Tag Archives: christmas

Christmas 2016

Sleeping on the streets at Christmas time

Sleeping on the streets at Christmas time

 

 

 

I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas. I would like to thank you so much for reading and supporting our blogs over the years. David and I started writing our blog to support our book “Nourish the Flame within” . That book was published in 2012 and that seems like such a long time ago. Next year I hope to publish my second book and I am currently writing my third. So there are lots of exciting things ahead in 2017 for both myself and I hope my readers too.

I have to say that this last year has been something of a challenge for me personally. I have had many of life’s little difficulties thrown in my direction. Life is life and we have to expect these things in our diection from time to time. Where would we be without a challenge or two to stir things up? We are all human and walk a human path, with human experience. Sometimes those experiences will either make or break us.

We can never know exactly what will come our way in life. The spiritual take on experience is that ultimately all experience is good as it allows our soul to grow. I think experience develops us in many ways. Experience allows us to stretch through endeavour and misfortune. Experiencing negative things can be testing and hard to endure. I won’t pretend that people don’t suffer through experience as they often suffer a great deal.

Suffering is a part of life as is happiness and pleasure. It is the other side of the coin. Life has opposites. Each person experiences many things both positive and negative good and bad. It is the mix of experience that ultimately shapes the person. People are not static beings they learn through endeavour, circumstance and experience. However,  I know that many people are broken by hard circumstances.

Compassion is an ingredient of the Christmas spirit. Christ taught us to be compassionate. I personally find it very difficult to walk past any homeless person without emptying my purse of change and more. I do not like to see people with a lack of warmth, food  and shelter at any time of the year let alone at this, the coldest and most miserable weather wise. We have many homeless people in Britain. Homelessness is not restricted to our country it affects many people all over the world.

Young people who find themselves living on the streets at an early age will be more likely to die an early death. There is a part of my being that does not find this acceptable. When I pass a homeless person I wonder what brought them to that point in their life. Homelessness makes my heart sink. Society makes my heart sink. So many of the young people who find themselves homeless and living on the streets have fled abusive or violent homes and the streets as hard as they are seem preferable to what they leave behind. Isn’t that horrible, isn’t that terrible?

I understand that there will always be a small portion of people, who do not fare well at parenting for many reasons, but children are a blessing to us all a gift from life and deserve the best love and nurturing that society and parents can give. They are the next generation. People and life are both  very precious things. Each person and each life offers potential to society.

Homelessness seems to be a large and difficult problem. So once again this year in the bleakest mid winter weather there are too many people living on the streets trying to survive the night, the week the month and the season? I know that many of you will give as I do, help where you can, to these desperate people. Everyone deserves to have love, respect and a roof over their heads.

Lack of money and lack of housing is a difficult issue to address. We can all send our love to the homeless this Christmas. We can all send out our good thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers are energy and energy can move mountains. As a collective energy force we impact and change life. Some people think that thoughts and prayers do nothing. This is not true they connect us to each other in a direct way. They connect us to the power of the universe. I am so fed up with walking through our city streets and seeing so many people living on the streets. If we really wanted an end to it I am sure there would be an end to this situation. I think the issue of the homeless in Britain 2016, is a disgrace to us all. I would  like to wish all who find themselves homeless this Christmas joy, happiness and a roof over your heads in 2017.

On a lighter note, I would like to wish you the warmest of Christmas greetings. I hope that Santa brings you all of your Christmas wishes, and may the angels walk through life with you.

Love and best wishes,
Lynette

Christmas Reflection

A gift is a token of our mutual connection

A gift is a token of our mutual connection

What a beautiful time of year this is, the festivities are almost over and now we have time for reflection. Christmas is a time for reflection on Christ’s message which is one of peace and to have a giving nature, and the Jewish festival of Chanukah is the festival of light and a celebration of god’s power and grace.

In the darkness and cold of winter, light and peace bring warmth and brightness to our hearts.

This time of year holds a serious message for us all and I think these festivals represent the core of the human condition and the giving nature of the Universe.

The candles and lights remind us of the human spirit, and that the human spirit has its own light. The Universal source is the source of that light, it nourishes that flame within.

The giving of presents and the acts of sharing and reflection remind us that it is important to have gratitude within us. Nothing in life is our right; we must carve life out for ourselves. Life gives us what we need as long as we engage in life appropriately.  We seek out gifts to thank people for being part of our lives and for sharing with us.

Life is an exchange of human interaction and what greater gift is there than the meaningful exchange of time, energy and experience to enhance the lives of all concerned?

The use of light when celebrating festivals the world over is a testament to the power of love and compassion that resides in the human heart and at the core of the Universal Spirit.  It is celebrated the world over, and for a short period it is in the fore front of our minds.  It can only be a good thing to have light and peace and giving in the fore front of our minds each year to reacquaint us all with those concepts.

Our lives are full of modern wants and needs.  However, perhaps we should ask ourselves is this the point of life, or is there a more fundamental and real point to existence? The Christmas message is one of gratitude, knowledge, understanding, hope, joy and peace to all. Christ came to light the way for us all and so that we would know what the light is and we would carry that light in our hearts always.

It is always pleasant to receive a gift from a treasured family member or friend. The gift is just a token of something more. It is a token of their connection to us and us to them. The human story is one of connection and that we are all bound together in our humanity. We should be truly grateful for those that bind us close to them. We should always remember to show gratitude for the love that is given to us by others. Our life would be the less without it. In the Chanukah story, god showed devotion to humanity by keeping the ever- lasting light alight even though there was not enough oil to keep it burning.  The wise men traveled far to honour the Christ child and in that act they showed us humility for Christ’s message, the Christmas message, the message of the light.

David Brown and Lynette Avis

Christmas Spirit

Intuitively we understand that light is good.  When we unite under the banner of light we are stronger.

Intuitively we understand that light is good. When we unite under the banner of light we are stronger.

What is the Christmas Spirit? Though Christmas is a Christian holiday, I believe there is a universal message that all people, Christian and non- Christian alike, can learn.  If we can get beyond the attachment of “my” religion, there are many beautiful messages to be shared throughout the religions, cultures and traditions of the world.  In fact, the Christmas message is so universal, that it appears time and again in religions and even in popular culture.

So what is this message?  Throughout history, humans have struggled with the balance of good and evil: corruption versus compassion; greed in conflict with generosity; arrogance and humility; love and apathy; hatred and tranquillity and; self- doubt compared to empowerment.  So often, we chose the dark side of our character even though it brings pain to us and our loved ones.  The message of Christmas is to choose the light, not just the light side of our character, but the light side of the universe, the forces that compel us to do good, to be the best of ourselves and to live beyond our petty fears and concerns and move into a greater future.

My understanding of the Christmas message is that Jesus was sent to show humanity the way towards the Light of God.  It is the story of the battle between light and darkness, good and evil that has been told the world over and across time.  Many cultures have stories in their traditions that represent this archetypal struggle:  The Jews have the story of Hanukkah (The Festival of Light);  The Hindus celebrate Diwali (the festival of lights) which spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair; Charles Dickens writes about it in A Christmas Carol with the lessons to Scrooge from the ghosts of Christmas’ past, present and future; George Lucas deals with it in the story of the Jedi and the Sith in the Star Wars Series and; JK Rowling discusses it in the Harry Potter books with the wizards of light fighting the dark wizard Voldemorte and his Death- Eaters.

The context of Jesus’ story is set in Roman Palestine and Jesus tried to preach a better path away from the corruption of the Jewish priests and the Roman politicians.  The story of Hanukkah, set centuries before highlighted the suppression by the Greeks of the Jewish way of life and yet somehow, despite the Greeks’ best efforts, that way of life could not be quashed.  In both stories, a greater force was sent to change the status quo, to show people that there is a force greater than them nurturing the Path of Truth, the Universal message.  The acts are often depicted as miracles: the star that led the three Kings to the baby Jesus and; the one day’s worth of oil to burn the ever- lasting light (that represents God’s presence) in the Jewish Temple that lasted for eight days.  May be they are in fact universal forces that show us we live in a supporting universe of love?

This spiritual message is important.  I think it is significant that it is often represented by light and the use of candles (Christmas and Hanukkah) and Fireworks (Diwali).  Intuitively we understand that light is good.  We must make a stand against the darkness and that when we unite under the banner of light we are stronger.  That light is an internal force, a flame burning within that is the human spirit.  It is also an external force, from beyond our self, from the universe itself, nurturing and nourishing our inner flame.  The religious festivals and cultural stories remind us of this wonderful universal spirit of giving and sharing that we all enjoy.  A plethora of Christmas movies that celebrate the Christmas spirit often make us feel warm and empowered to do our best good.  To embrace the light and its significance is a message to be held as a way of life.  The light never to be forgotten, forever nurtured.