Climing the Hill to Enlightenment…

Or if at first you don’t succeed ……

Have you ever had times when you get disillusioned or feel that you can’t get where you want to be? You aren’t alone – I know there are times when I think I’ve ‘cracked it’, and have found my way – but then – wham, down I come to earth. But I guess if we had life all fathomed out we could become complacent or even a little smug. There is a reason why there are so many self help books out there. People are always searching to find a new way of dealing with life; a new angle that might just make everything become clear. It’s a big industry, but I’m not knocking it. I have found several books and audio tapes over the years that have helped me through rough times, and are still helpful today. I’ve followed some inspiring gurus too. ( I loved to listen to the motivational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer, who always sounded warm and friendly and came across as a lovely man when I attended some of his seminars.) Sometimes just reading or hearing one illuminating line can offer up a ‘light bulb ‘ moment that gives us the answer we have been looking for.

Here is a story of one man’s quest for enlightenment…..

There was once a man who wanted to find the meaning of life. He spent many years listening to all sorts of gurus, and read many ‘self help’ books. He tried yoga classes and quite enjoyed them and soon learned how to ‘Salute the Sun’. He learned how to meditate, and once he had stopped his busy mind wandering off and thinking about what to eat for his supper, he more or less got the hang of it. He ate an amazingly healthy diet with only a few slips-ups (he had rather a liking for donuts). He took plenty of exercise and breathed in the invigorating fresh air in the woods behind his cottage. He gave up his stressful job and decided to live simply and he put on sandals.

But with all this to help him there were still times when he felt he hadn’t quite ‘got it’.

So the man went up to the top of a mountain, made himself a simple camp, and stayed there for five years. He contemplated his life. He relaxed and completely ‘chilled out’. He prayed for peace in the world. He felt at one with the universe. Occasionally, the odd climber or two came up the mountain and he smiled at them most benignly, bestowing calmness upon them. That felt good.

One day he woke up and thought ‘I’m ready to go back and face the world and nothing will phase me now.’ Gleefully, he set off down the mountain. But he had forgotten how steep it was and by the time he got to the bottom, his feet were a bit sore and he was thirsty and tired. He walked into the café at the bottom of the mountain and asked for a bottle of water. No one heard him. He asked again but the staff were busy and ignored him. After five more minutes he felt the anger boil up inside him and banged his fist on the counter, and demanded to be served. A waitress rushed over and nervously placed a bottle of water in front of him mumbling an apology. He grabbed the water and drank it down without a word. From a table in the corner and old friend spotted the man and walked over to him. He asked him how he was getting on with his quest for enlightenment. Without a word the man turned and walked out of the café. He headed back up the mountain.

This is just a reminder that we can all fail from time to time no matter how far we think we have come. But it is okay. It happens to us all and it is never too late to try again. The man was just human like we all are. And remember – nothing good is ever lost.

Blessings to you and keep going!

Hearts and flowers today …obviously

I’m getting on a bit now. Valentine’s Day is now just a pleasant diversion that cheers me up on a winter’s day. Not that I’m not a romantic, but as the years roll on it’s the everyday togetherness that is important when you have been married a long time; the comfort of knowing that (if you are lucky) your partner is there for you no matter what, and your heart won’t sink to your boots if a bundle of mysterious cards do not find their way through your letter box.

It’s easy to say that Valentine’s Day is just a commercial fest; its true that flowers increase dramatically in price as the day approaches and that is a shame, but there is no doubt seeing all the lovely containers of blooms spilling out over the pavement outside the florist’s shop is very uplifting to see, and yesterday my local mini-supermarket was awash with glorious bunches of red roses which should have dropped a hint to the most preoccupied of lovers.

As with all these celebratory days, it is difficult for some. Not everyone is in a happy relationship, some people are alone; maybe they have lost a loved one; putting on a brave face on such a day can be hard. I can remember as a teenager being mortified that no one had bothered to send me a card; even worse, I remember the feeling of elation that quickly changed to heart wrenching disappointment when the card I thought was from someone I yearned to have as a boyfriend was really from someone else. If only we could reach back down the years and tell our young selves that the future would be bright and for a lot of us the right person was out there!

Although days of celebration like this will always be with us and on the whole, we enjoy them, it’s really day to day living that matters. Small romantic gestures every day of the year are what makes the world go round. It’s something that is easy to forget, and yet it is so important. Who could fail to feel better after coming home to a lovingly prepared dinner and some lighted candles, or seeing a household job completed that had been niggling away at you for ages? And a bunch of flowers or some chocolates are welcome any day of the year in my house!

It’s not just the romantic side of life that’s important, it’s showing we care for friends and family too; noticing when someone is down and taking time out for them; babysitting and baking, sharing time together, all these help to keep our world turning.

The following poem isn’t really about Valentine’s Day itself, it is more about friendship. Friendship takes many forms. When we love someone and have loved someone for many years, friendship above all, is what gets us through the days and nights.

Whether you are in love, missing a loved one, looking for love or just need a friend, this poem is for you.

Blessings to you, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

I was standing by the window

Staring out to space

Wondering if I could find a friend

To stop me feeling out of place.

Then out of nowhere you appeared

With your jolly point of view,

Taking life so lightly

That I believed in you.

I don’t know where you came from;

Were you just out of sight

Like the sun, waiting behind the clouds

To dazzle me with light?

You seemed to gather my sadness,

And discard it like a cloak

I’d never need to wear again,

With one uplifting stroke.

You gave me help to find my way

To somewhere I belong,

Gave me your time, just like a gift

I’d waited for so long.

I don’t know where you came from

But you changed my point of view;

Your heart is surely golden

And I believe in you.

img_0113(C) Lyn Halvorsen

The Same Old Sun Up In The Sky

On my journey home  last night I looked at the winter sun hanging in the sky like a big red balloon. I thought about my eldest grandson who lives in America. I remembered telling him that whenever he missed us he could look up at the sun; the same sun that we looked at even though we were thousands of miles apart. It’s a comforting thought to know we share the same sky.

In times of loneliness or sadness I think we miss our loved ones more than ever. We only need to hear the few notes from a favourite shared song or pass a place we visited on happy days to slip into feelings of wistfulness.

But wherever we are in life there is always someone missing someone. The more we love the more our hearts can suffer when we are apart. But how lucky we are to love and to be loved.

Across the sea, a part of me

Stays in a house I know so well,

I left a footprint and a kiss

And a tear that softly fell.

And I visit often in my dreams

And swear I was really there,

Found my own way back, it seems

Across the sky we share.

A thousand miles can’t separate

Or loosen binds that tie,

And I can summon up your face

In the blinking of an eye.

(C) Lyn Halvorsen

                                   A favourite poem about my grandchildren:

My grandchildren came to the house today

And we took the time to stop and play.

Beloved little pair, playing with toys;

A sitting room filled with happy noise.

Special little people who like to dress

Like Superman, and a sparkly Princess.

We had a picnic laid on a cloth of silk

With gingerbread men and chocolate milk.

Left upon the bathroom mat

I see a twinkling sticker, a frog and a cat.

And in my handbag, what do I see?

A shiny lemon, dropped there for me.

(c) Lyn Halvorsen

Blessings to you….especially if you are missing someone today.