Tag Archives: personal path

Miss Stress Ball

Illness Why Me?

Illness Arrives
Illness is a funny old thing. It arrives on our doorstep one day and it seems often to have come out of know where. Illness happened to me like that. I was vacuuming the house one day and I had the most horrible pain at the back of my head. It made me stop what I was doing momentarily. I did worry for a moment but then let the thought go. I thought to myself that either this was nothing or it was the pre curser to some horrible illness. I had always enjoyed good health and so why would that change? I was thirty six and with life ahead of me and full of ideas for my future. Ill health was not on my agenda. When is it ever for anyone?

Some weeks later, I started to feel some pain in the right side of my face. I did not know what it was I just knew that I was in a great deal of pain. I went to my doctor prescribed anti-biotics and de-contestants. I did not know then that this was the very beginning of one of the worst periods of my life. Often when people become ill this is the truth. Their lives, as mine did, take a huge turn for the worst.

Unwelcome Inconvenience
Illness presenting itself in our lives is always unwelcome and a huge inconvenience. We often think of the beginning of our illness starting the moment we felt ill. However this is seldom the truth. The truth is more likely to be that the illness started years before. Its roots will have been in the past. It will have quietly entered your life and your body and the energy will not have necessarily been noticed by you.

Illness is a slippery customer. It seldom enters with bells and whistles to alert you to its presence. It enters quietly and then gets to work on you. It works its way into your life and body. In fact, the beliefs we hold about ourselves and the world around us are entwined with our life and our body. There is no way to separate them. When we become ill most of us become the victim. We say why me? What did I do to deserve this?

I Caused my own Illness
Sometimes the answer is plenty. For illnesses such as M.E. which I suffered from for many years, I can say that I did plenty to deserve all that my body put me through, although I did not know it at that moment and would find out the truth of this many years later. If someone had told me then that I had brought this illness on myself and it was my own fault I would not have believed them. Because as far as I knew about ill health it just happened, with no rhyme nor reason to who it struck down.

It certainly struck me down for it took me many years to recover my health. This was the beginning of a miserable time that was to last more than a decade and took me to places within myself that I did not know existed.

Worry and Burnt Candle
I had burnt my candle at both ends and I worried myself into the ground. That is a sure way to health disaster. This time led me on a journey and one that led me to learn lots of things about maintaining good health. If only I had known then all that I now know with regards to maintaining health. I could have avoided many years of horrible health and pain. Well we live and learn. I sure did.

This horrible health experience led me to write Nourish the Flame Within, in the hope that others will not suffer my fate, and go down the road of health doom and disaster.
The story continues with……….
Illness set in the past

To find the reason for my illness we would have to go far back into my youth.

Spirituality and Enlightenment

 

  

Only the still centre can be a true reflection of the world around it, like a still lake perfectly reflects the sky

Only the still centre can be a true reflection of the world around it, like a still lake perfectly reflects the sky

 

What is spirituality?  What is enlightenment? What role does meditation play in experiencing these states of being?  How can martial arts be harnessed to achieve these moments of bliss and extend them into eternity?

Spirituality is the search for the eternal truth- at least that is why I undertake a spiritual journey.  The truth is so vast and it can be sought using many varied paths.  Many seek through religion, others through practises of personal development and transformation such as yoga, meditation and martial arts, some use healing as a means to connect to ultimate reality, while others use science to discern the truth empirically, with measureable, quantifiable evidence.  These paths offer many benefits and individuals will be drawn towards one or many aspects that appeal to them. It is not to say that all people who practise these disciplines are seeking eternal truth.  For those that do have a desire to connect to the universal truth, these paths offer chances to glimpse an experience that is often fleeting and at the same time life changing, when the connection to the universal truth is made.  This is what I think the Masters called enlightenment- a series of spiritually enhancing experiences that bring the person closer to the ultimate truth.

Meditation takes you further away from the chatter of the mind and closer to the blissful silence of no- mind where you might experience the currents of universal energy flow and access wisdom and understanding that are beyond your conscious mind.  You might make intuitive leaps that give you insight or profound compassion that leads to healing and human connection far deeper than pills and potions can offer.  You reach a centre of calmness that need not leave you when you rise from your meditation practise.  You can carry it with you, a still centre in the vortex of life experience.  This state of peace and inner acceptance and power can also be achieved in martial arts- the forms provide a moving meditation that invoke dynamic stillness that may spread out across many moments achieving a state of deep calm and rapid, powerful movement.

Both martial arts and meditation can be practised to such a degree that life can become an endless experience of calmness and tranquillity.  From a balanced centre, a person can experience the joy of love, the power of combat and the beauty of art and life itself.  From this centre, there is a profound sense of self, of who I am and what I stand for.

Remaining centred is an intuitive art.  As the environment around you is changing, so you too must flow with the changing elements of your environment.  No moment is ever the same, no experience ever duplicated, simply an ever- changing flow of energy that remains in balance and harmony.  The conscious mind cannot do that.  Only the still centre can be a true reflection of the world around it, like a still lake perfectly reflects the sky.  The reflection changes with every passing cloud, every animal that enters and moves in the landscape, each rustle of swaying branches.

So enlightenment, if you are to experience it for longer than that fleeting moment, means you become one with the environment.  Enlightenment is not a static state of being- it is fluid.  You must feel your way through the perfection of experience and being to remain balanced, in harmony and in blissful awareness of the ever expanding moment.

Nourish the Flame Within offers meditations that brings you to that centre, to remain there and honour that unique self that is inter- connected to all universal energy or ultimate truth.  To explore where that connection takes you is your journey to that eternal truth, that experience of enlightenment that becomes your spiritual path.

The Flow of the Universe

The River of the Universe flows from a ubiquitous source, through a process we call time.  The Universe unfolds at every point expanding and evolving.

We are all a part of that process and we have no choice but to participate. It is up to us whether we are a willing participant or if we resist the endless force that drives us towards forward movement, growth and evolution.

If we choose to resist it is only temporary as we ultimately return to the Great Flow when we die.  To choose to resist can be a tiring and draining process.  It is an experience full of pressure, strain and stress that can debilitate and weaken us. If we resist all we are doing is fighting a natural law of the universe. That natural law is one of movement and change.

In time this resistance can cause Illness with in us and we may become stressed in some way either emotionally or physically.  We may have sensations of dissatisfaction and meaninglessness, we may feel despondent about life and we may think we are powerless.  The more resistance we give to natural flow the more pressure we will inevitably feel.  Nature can give us room to manoeuvre when it makes us aware of our correct path; it then gives us the opportunity to change our poor choices. Poor choices too are a part of growth and change.

These gentle persuasions of nature can be ignored by us as we have free will and choice.  If we choose to ignore them the negative symptoms within us may grow and affect us detrimentally.

There is wisdom in listening to nature and understanding her pulse. She has her own natural rhythm of which you know and understand at a fundamental level of your being.

To be consciously aware of that natural rhythm of evolution and growth can only enhance our lives. It will set us in tune and in step with all that there is. For you to access this knowledge the key is deep inside of your being and to find that key one must go on a short journey. There are many practices that will help you find that key and unlock the door to flow.

Meditation, martial arts, mediumship, yoga, Chi Kung, Reiki as well as all forms of energy healing all help us to connect to universal energy at a deep level.  Once we have found that connection we can use it for many purposes.

In artistic and all daily practice we can connect to the flow of the universe and loose ourselves in its power. In a moment we can become one with its inspiring movement. We can be in the flow of life and the universe itself.  In time we learn to understand its language and use its power to enhance our life and being.

A river does not flow for itself alone.  It flows for the fish and insects that live in it, the animals that drink form it. It is a repository for rain water and a reservoir if the land is dry.  It carves through the earth changing the landscape and moves the earth and water around the planet.  In doing that, it expresses its true essence.  A river cannot be totally isolated.  Its identity and reason are intrinsically tied into its environment. It is a part of the larger picture of life.

So too are we.  What are we without our environment?  How can we shine without a larger context, a greater environment and people to share our light with?

Being a small part of a lager whole is our natural state.  To acknowledge that and work in union with it is to serve a greater purpose. To be in the flow of life and the universe is to be at one with your-self and at one with all.

Martial Arts and Reiki

Martial Arts has benefits to mind and body with artistic beauty interwoven.

Martial Arts has benefits to mind and body with artistic beauty interwoven.

Martial Arts

What martial arts is very much depends on who your teacher is and their motivations for practising and teaching their art.  In martial arts there are countless schools, each one a subtle (or not so subtle) variation of the one that went before.  They are not all the same, and that is how it should be.  However, I believe they should all have central values.  Although is it thought by many that learning to fight and to defend oneself in a physical sense is the main focus of any martial art it is in fact a  by-product of martial arts.

Learning to fight is a product of the martial arts none- the- less, however the context of that learning is all important.  Learning martial arts will teach the person physical co-ordination, conditioning, technique, mobility, flexibility and agility, and it also teach mind discipline, focus and intent which are essential life skills.  Honour, integrity and etiquette should be all central and core values of all martial arts. As a teacher of martial arts I feel that a mutual desire to create an encouraging and nurturing learning environment is vital to students’ progress.

Martial arts can also provide the opportunity for self- expression and encourage the student to create works of art.  A good teacher tries to find new and exciting ways and things to teach students to develop their skill in life as well as martial arts. A good school develops the martial arts by creating new forms, new techniques and new concepts that are a product of its passion for the subject.

As a student of martial arts, there is the opportunity for new learning and pushing the boundaries of your own potential which your teacher is qualified to assist you with.  Martial arts are a vehicle for unlocking your own innate potential in all things, not just martial arts.

Reiki

Reiki is a Japanese energy healing therapy. Rei means universal and Ki means energy in Japanese. It is a traditional method of energy healing that has been used for centauries but the understanding and practice became lost to modern man.  In recent times it has gained a revival. It was brought to the west by a Lady called Mrs Hawayo Takata who was a Japanese Hawaiian, just before the Second World War. Since that time Reiki has traversed the earth and is now used in many countries. Each country adds something to the practice of Reiki in the way it is performed and passed on. Reiki is passed on from master to student and not just taught in a traditional way, although there is traditional learning as well to master as a Reiki practitioner. The student of Reiki must master how to give a treatment both to them-selves and to others also they must master how to send Reiki energy over long distances to people who may need a treatment.  We all have a natural ability to heal. Reiki knowledge brings this ability to the fore for the student of Reiki. To be a Reiki practitioner the ability to connect to other people in a healing capacity on all levels of the person is cultivated, as Reiki itself heals the person on all levels. Reiki heals the practitioner as well as the patient. It heals on the mental, the physical, the spiritual and the emotional level of the person. Reiki can heal or support the healing of very serious illness. It does not harm in any way as subtle universal energy is part of the fabric of our being and so therefore can only be good for us. Reiki heals by flooding the body with universal energy and by doing this the body takes what it needs and replenishes the body to bring about healing of the physical body as well as the other bodies, emotional, mental, and spiritual, of the person. Reiki could be said to almost do it all. Reiki is a very effective healing therapy.

Which do you recommend for what kind of people?

Which you choose depends on you and where you are or what you wish for from your personal journey.   You are on your personal path and may choose what is right for yourself. People who wish to explore themselves and their own life and quality of life may wish to choose martial arts. People who are unwell and are looking for solutions to that ill health or people who wish to help others or loved ones manage their ill health or people who are looking to become therapy professionals may choose Reiki.

Your experience of martial arts will depend upon the teachers you choose, the values they hold and the method of their teaching.  Find people who are in line with your values.  You may also be surprised what martial arts offer.  It may well be that when you engage in either practice, Reiki or martial arts, they may shatter preconceived ideas that you may hold about either or both.  The key to your personal energy journey is to be open to new ideas and to try things and give them time to unfold.

 

What are the unique benefits of each?

Both Reiki and martial arts offer people mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health benefits. These benefits are not unique to Reiki and martial arts but are certainly very powerful.  Both martial arts and Reiki require mental focus to direct power and energy in certain ways.  Once we learn the skill we can be opened up to the natural benefits of these practices , such as better health, reduction in the rate and effects of aging, more vitality and productivity, more creativity not just in the artistic sense  but also relating to dealing with life’s problems, stresses and strains.

Martial arts can offer continued physical fitness, as well as an awareness of the body that leads to less injury.  Due to the high impact nature of martial arts, it can promote bone density which may reduce the effects of brittle bones later in life. The fact that martial arts demand a range of body movements may promote prolonged mobility and flexibility, as well as coordination, balance and overall body strength.

Reiki has many benefits.  Reiki is a quiet non-invasive therapy. It can be given hands off the body or hands on the body depending on what the person prefers.  It does not hurt and there are no pills, lotions or potions to take or apply. There are no needles as in acupuncture and only requires the person to lie on a couch and relax whilst the practitioner works. It is very effective and there has been some research done on Reiki that has found the effectiveness of Reiki with regard to many illnesses. It will help most illness to a greater or lesser extent. Reiki always helps, never harms and will work alongside any other form of treatment, giving that other treatment support and help to do its work. It will speed up results gained using other therapies.  It can be used alongside conventional medicine and will not interfere at all but will work in harmony with it. As the practitioner gives a Reiki treatment they too will obtain a treatment at the same time. Reiki helps with many of life’s difficulties as it brings about a calmer person and a person much more in tune with others. Reiki helps the practitioner strengthen their feeling of connection to all life and the universe.

“Best wishes from David and Lynette as you continue to nourish the flame within.”

Photo credit: Marc Arnold