July Thought for the Month

This month I would like to reflect upon some of the events that happened in June.

June saw some truly awful and momentous events happen; the killings in a gay night club in Orlando, the killing of a UK politician, and then the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

I would ask you to send some healing to all of those affected by these events.

During the month, my wife and I attended the gay pride event in our home town. My wife, who is a scout leader, had, with the troop that she leads, helped make a sign to promote scout pride, which supports LBGTQ+ members of scouting. She also helped out on the stall that they were running at the pride event.

 

It was great to see this event getting bigger and better than the previous year; to see people being able to be open about who they are, and to feel safe about it. It was also fantastic to meet up with some old friends from the LBGTQ+ community who we hadn’t seen for while.

Whilst at the event, we were talking to a fellow scout leader who is Muslim (he was there with his daughter and her friend).

We were unsure as to what he would make of a gay pride event, as our previous experience with Islam and LBGTQ+ issues was that it viewed homo-sexuality as wrong. So I asked my friend about this, and how he felt being at a pride event.

The answer that he gave me, gave a hope for humanity and peoples interaction with one another.

He told me that he had looked at what Islam had to say about homosexuality, and that Islam taught that it was wrong. But he also thought about it himself and decided it wasn’t for him, but accepted that there are people in the world for whom it is the right thing; that he doesn’t have to participate in it, so why not just accept people for who and how they are, as it is not hurting either him or them.

I thought that this was such a refreshing attitude to hear that it genuinely did give me a sense of hope.

If only the person who went into the Orlando night club with a gun had thought about life in the same way, or the person who decided to attack the UK politician. There would have been a lot of people out there who would not have lost someone that they loved.

It also struck me how accepting of me and my wife the LGBTQ+ community were. We were walking around the event as a heterosexual couple, and no one queried it, or was offended by it, or made us feel uncomfortable in any way. Could the same be said to be true if a gay couple were to walk around hand in hand or kiss one another at a non-pride event?

It was wonderful to see members of the LGBTQ+ community being open about who they are and feeling safe enough to hold hands, hug, and kiss in a public place.

 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone took the same attitude as my Muslim friend and just accepted that people are how they are, that it doesn’t have to be for you, and that we can all just get on with life and accept people for who and how they are.

 

Wishing you all love, light, hugs, and happiness

Zenabar

June – Thought for the Month: De-natured Living

6x6_3I am going to give you a phrase that may be new to you…..”de-natured living”

I am sure that you know that a lot of foods that you can buy have been de-natured. By that I mean foods that have been processed so that they are no longer in their natural state. A good example of this is margarine made from olive oil.

Whilst olive oil itself is a good fat (especially if you get a cold pressed extra virgin olive oil from organically grown olives). However, if you then hydrogenate it to produce a margarine, you then get a food that is de-natured, i.e. not as nature intended it to be, and as evidence suggests, could actually be harmful.

There are a great many other examples of foods that we can buy on supermarket shelves that have been de-natured to promote a longer shelf life etc, and I am sure that as readers of this blog, you are aware of these, and probably try to but natural food and as much organic food as possible, cook it in a way that won’t de-nature it, or maybe even eat regular amounts of raw food in your diet so that things are as close to being natural as possible.

 

But what about the way we live the rest of our lives?

We drive around in cars that are full of plastic, which give off harmful fumes, especially when new.

We live in big cities, sometimes in tower blocks where there is no green space, no trees etc.

We complain about the rain rather than embracing the fact that we have got life giving water for our crops.

We live our lives hooked up to the internet via our phones, constantly being bombarded by information and wi-fi signals.

We put de-odorants and perfumes on our bodies, air fresheners in our homes to make them smell nice, whilst breathing in the artificial chemicals.

We are forced to get up by our alarm clocks rather than waking naturally.

 

Now I am not going to tell you to abandon modern life, or indeed how to live your own lives, it is after all a free will universe. However, I would like to suggest the following things that you may like to include in your normal everyday lives so that we can live as naturally as possible.

Switch your phones and computers off so that you are not at the beck and call of facebook, twitter, emails etc.

Wherever, and as much as possible, put natural things in your home rather than man made materials (use wool, cottons, hemp etc instead of synthetics)

Go out and dance in the rain, sing, laugh and rejoice at how good it feels to embrace the element of water.

Bring plants into your home and gardens. If possible take on an allotment and grow your own vegetables, (your connection to nature and the land will increase immeasurably if you are growing your own food).

At the weekends, wake up to your own body rhythm, and if that means that you woke up at 5:00 in the morning, that’s great; go outside, smell the fresh air and listen to the birds singing.

Above all, try and live your life in as natural and organic way as possible, honouring and embracing your connection with all life around you.

Wishing you love, light, hugs and happiness.

 

Zenabar

May Though for the Month

Blossom_webSpring has definitely sprung as we celebrate Beltaine, (even if it was frosty overnight where we were).

If we explore what Beltaine represents, we can see that it is the marriage of the Goddess and the God, to bring fertility to the land.

So, can we take it further than that and explore how we create a marriage of God and Goddess within our own lives, and by that, I mean honouring the masculine and feminine within all of us?

I think it is all too obvious in modern life that, as individuals, we are expected to live up to certain stereotypes, even if they do not fit with who we are.

Frequently there might be more than one stereotype that we are expected to live up to, even though they may have conflicting ideals. This can create stress and tension within us, which is ultimately damaging to us and those around us.

I can only speak from a male perspective, but we are frequently expected to be strong, masculine, and protective of those around us, whilst at the same time being caring and nurturing and a ‘new man’ that is in tune with their feminine side. Whilst this is a great ideal, my own thoughts are that different groups within society do not allow the expression of the other aspects of the psyche.

I suspect that the same is also true for women, who are expected to be feminine and demure, whilst also being go getters and climbing the career ladder and upholding feminist principles.

With all these conflicting requirements, is it any wonder that we are messed up as a society?

I started this piece by asking if we could take the idea of Beltaine further, and honour the masculine and feminine that is within all of us, and it occurs to me that the requirements that are asked of us that I have put above, in their own way are trying to get us to do exactly that. But maybe we are going about it in the wrong way, especially as there are a lot of people who won’t recognise the need to balance the masculine and feminine that exists within all of us.

My own thoughts on this are that the best way forward is to recognise and honour the fact that we all have both masculine and feminine aspects to our personalities. Be happy with this, glory in it, and revel in the exploration of the different aspects of you. At the same time, be happy for others when they express a different part of who they are, and help them explore the different aspects of themselves without creating a need, no matter how subtle, for them to live up to any stereotypes.

I guess this can be summed up by saying be happy with yourself, be happy with others and for others.

 

Wishing you love, light, hugs and happiness.

 

Zenabar

April thought for the Month: Bringing Light Into Dark Places

IMG_0108

In springtime we often find ourselves naturally cleaning and clearing out the old and dusty especially within our houses. The new spring energy urges us on to move forward, put plans into action and leave behind what is no longer wanted.

Are you doing this on every level? Think about it, why should this spring cleaning be confined to just our physical living space? How about looking at other aspects of life – your body, does it need a change of diet? Is it missing some nutrients that it is craving to be the best it can be? Do you need to drink more, cleansing from the inside? Looking at your emotional life, are there any old thought patterns, belief, relationships, that need to be modified or discarded? Do you need to look at your confidence, who you are or where you are as a person? Do you need to make big changes in you life to live your dreams – the highest form of yourself that you can imagine and beyond? Are you truly happy with your life. Yes?, fantastic, carry on doing the same. No? What is it you need to do about it? Dream big and do it.

They may be big changes, they may be small but they are all significant to our health and wellbeing. As you would open a cupboard to let the light in to clean it out, look in the dark places within yourself. Let the light in, uncover what is there. Sometimes this may be scary but when light is shone, you will realise that the fear of not knowing is worse than the reality and that really there was nothing to fear. The comment, ‘Is that it?’ is often remarked. Once you can see something for what it is, it can be altered or discarded depending on what you require. Visualisation & meditation are great for this. Give it a go, it will make the world of difference.

Whether you are spring cleaning your house, or aspects of your life, remember the light will make everything clear. Imaginary things grow in the dark whereas life grows in the light.

Bright Blessings

Gaia

March – Thought for the Month

Who are we?

It is a question that has been at the forefront of our thoughts at Garden of Awen over the last couple of months.

My wife has just been through the process of deciding that the name she was given when she was born, no longer fitted and was not her.

The outcome of this is that she has changed her name and is now known as Gaia.

Some people might look at this and decide that just changing a name is silly. After all it is just a name, and the person is the same.

However, the name that you use, and the identity that you take on, defines, at least partially, how people view you.

More importantly, it can define how you view yourself.

I’m sure we can all easily think of a great many people who have changed their names to take on a new identity within the worlds of music, entertainment and writing. People like Freddie Mercury, Eric Clapton, Michael Caine, have all changed their names from the ones they were given when they were born.

By doing this, they have aligned themselves with who they want to be.

Energy follows thought, and if we bring that thought into the physical realm the effect becomes all the more powerful.

I am not suggesting that everyone who is reading this should go straight out and change their name. However, maybe there are other things that you feel you need to change in your life so that you can be who you want to be.

If this is the case, don’t be afraid of making the changes that you feel you need to make.

Search your true feelings and intuition and know that what you need is right. Find the strength from this and make the change.

 

Wishing you love, light, hugs and happiness.

 

Zenabar

February – Thought for the Month

Snowdrops_Leamington Spa

 

Can you feel it?

 

Can you feel the change in the energy of the world?

I love this time of year, when we celebrate Imbolc.

Although it is still cold, and the mornings are frosty, I love it.

 

I love walking outside and noticing the new beginnings that are happening in nature: little  insects flying about, buds being visible on the trees and bushes, snow drops coming up and flowering, and we get reminded of the good things that are to come as we move through the year.

You can start to feel the earth waking up from it’s winter sleep, and getting ready for the business of growing during the year.

Hopefully you will all have been able to think about your focus for the year during last month, and will have decided what you want to do, and how you want to grow.

Now is the time to start planting those seeds for change so that as we move forward through the year, things can really start to happen.

 

Go and book yourself on to the course that will help you move forward, join a new group that will enable you to start the hobby that you have always wanted to do, whatever it is that you need.

As the song said “Love is in the air everywhere I look around” (and I don’t just mean Valentines Day!).

Showing love for others is important, but just as important is love and respect for the self. Give yourself permission to love you, respect you, and give yourself the permission to make the changes that you need and go and do the things that you want to do.

If your whole being is filled with love, it will radiate out to others

 

 

Wishing you love, light hugs, and happiness

 

Zenabar

January – Thought for the Month

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL.

 

Hopefully you had a relaxing and enjoyable time during your solstice/yule/Christmas celebrations, and are now full of renewed enthusiasm and energy as we start 2016.

 

But what to do with that enthusiasm and energy?

Lots of people make new year resolutions to lose weight, eat less chocolate, get fit, etc etc, and find that they have gone totally out of the window by February.

At Garden of Awen, we prefer to have a focus for the year rather than a new year resolution.  In this way we know what we want the overall theme for our year to be, but are not tied to specific things, and have the freedom to change and adapt what we do as the year moves forward.

This might sound like only a subtle change, but it can make a big difference to how you view the year, and it can make it a lot easier to stick to what you decide to do.

 

As we move forward towards Imbolc at the start of February, and the energy of the year changes, try and think about the things that you might need or want to do to achieve your own focus for the year. Maybe find the course that will help you move forward with your job, or hobby.

 

Plan the things that you want to do while we are still in the dark time of the year, and then get ready to sow those seeds at Imbolc so that they can grow and flourish as we move through the year.

Wishing you love, light hugs, and happiness

 

Zenabar