No matter whether you are religious, agnostic or atheist, the great old churches and temples of this world carry a powerful charge of energy from the centuries of prayer, of song and of silence that have been carried out there. Even now, most folk hush themselves when they enter an ancient church and take a moment to feel the echo of the ages.
In our everyday life we often have so many roles to fulfil, all at the same time. Be it wife, mother, sister, daughter, colleague, boss and, the most important of all, being who we are. Always being in demand can be exhausting and draining. It can leave us feeling tired out, cranky and emotional with nothing left in the tank.
The gap in perspective of both cause and effect can in reality seem so small but at the same time it is huge, cause and effect are in fact one, both created in a cyclical effect as much of energy is. The main difference between them is where your focus is, of whether it exists in the present or in the future, if it is in the past you are also focused on effect.
If enlightened and tolerant people are not involved in creating a strong political will to effect change for the greater good, then who? The more compassionate people get involved in the political process, the easier it will be to pass compassionate laws. Lastly, spiritual leaders are fellow human beings and have a right to express their views, just like every other citizen.
The legacy of Mother Teresa, born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910 in present-day Macedonia, still lives throughout the world and her image is a source of encouragement and inspiration for many, but also of skepticism and criticism for some. There is a simplicity of service towards the poor that can be learned from her example, without having to idolize her.
Ramadan demands that Muslims be positively active and dynamic in their community and wider society. As a people of faith we have a unilateral obligation to work for the good of all. We have the obligations of good-neighbourliness, of being concerned for others, to share their joys and feel their pains and to provide support and help wherever we can.
The term that best encapsulates the dots I am trying to join up here - spirituality and home design - is well being: that is our 'elephant'. Whether it's the thread count of the Egyptian cotton sheets you're sleeping on, your newfound yoga addiction, or unquenchable prayer/meditation habit that keeps you sane, we're all essentially doing the same thing when it comes to these lifestyle choices.
Eclipses follow a pattern of sorts in that they occur in 'sets' of a pair of opposing zodiac signs, almost six months apart and usually over a two year period. As above, so below, and over the course of the set the themes of consciousness of the traits and life areas governed by the eclipse zodiac signs plays out in both our lives and the lives of those around us.
If you'd asked me five years ago what I thought my hen-do would have been like I would have said champagne, Ibiza, new bikinis and a weekend of debauchery. Instead I'm going to be in the middle of Stonehenge, banging drums, dancing like a wild woman and honouring my inner goddess with a ceremony led by a Shamanic practitioner and pagan priestess. It's on Friday and I can't wait!
Self love is a term often banded about in spiritual enquiry and I touched on what it means to me in my blog post on vitality last week. It is not some selfish indulgence, as our minds might lead us to believe: in fact, it is quite the opposite. In order to love others fully and without judgment, conditions or limitations, we must first love ourselves in this way.
New age spiritual language has become a bog of well meaning terms that in effect mean whatever you need or want them to need, or, in fact, nothing. As much as we all want to be the light, find our truth and let it all go, whilst mantra-ing our ass down to the local yoga dojo, it's sometimes not that simple.
On Tuesday my husband Ben and I took part in a magical cacao ceremony with Joel and Aiste from the Wild Food Cafe, supported by the beautiful music of our friend Antarma. We played the singing bowls, danced, sang, drummed and prayed and it transformed what had been a challenging few days into new horizons and rememberings.
At the heart of Christmas is the Bethlehem babe, who later went on to preach that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. Not instead of ourselves or despite ourselves but as ourselves. The all-inclusive love Jesus was teaching, therefore, includes the call to each of us to look after "number one", too.