Thought for the week
Most of us, who have the gift of life, can expect to live past the age of fifty and possibly until we are a hundred years old. When we are young fifty seems a long way off. After we have lived a number of decades time appears to move quickly and we can see the end approaching. For most of us our younger years last the longest. As children we live and play in the moment. We were happier then. We didn’t spend much time dwelling on the past or being concerned about the future. We enjoyed our gift of life there and then. We were more closely connected to our happy playful selves, Soul.
An aspect of this time span of fifty to a hundred years is that there is an end to it. There will come a time when we have to leave this life. It may happen suddenly or gradually but our body eventually gets worn out or gets a disease or fault which causes health complications and our body dies. This event in Soul’s journey is like a graduation where we move on from our lessons here in this physical world into our inner worlds to continue our self discovery. At a later stage in our existence we will probably be given the gift of life back here on the physical world again.
Graduation of a Soul
This graduation of a Soul is often feared by many people simply because we do not have a clear understanding of the fact that we are Soul and we are not just our physical body. We have lessons to learn from the Souls we live, work and play with and they too have lessons to learn from us, no matter how long or short our time together is. This physical world is real while we are living in it, we also have our inner aspects such as our emotions, our memories, our mind and our intuition, which also have their own worlds too. When our physical body is old and worn out we move our consciousness to one of these inner worlds and continue our lives there.
Why are we here?
We often begin to appreciate our gift of life when we are doing something we love or when we are with a Soul who we love. The flow of love through us brightens everything and everyone around us. Love is the essence of life. It is the power which the Divine uses to maintain our worlds and allow them to exist. Love helps us realise that we too are part of this Divine Higher Power. The reason we have been given the gift of life here in this world is to help us discover ourselves as Soul and the love that sustains us.
The many struggles of life will help us learn that the best approach to our situations, challenges, problems and difficulties is through love. When we do things with love and love the things we do, we naturally connect with the happy loving part of ourselves, Soul. With love flowing through our lives we begin to appreciate our gift of life.
Bring back our youth
We can bring back our youthful enjoyment of life by reclaiming our ability to live in the moment. While as adults we may not have our parents available to tend to our needs and we may have a lot more responsibilities, we can still achieve the goal of living in the here and now and thereby gaining more from this gift of life which we are living. When we live in the moment we focus on the here and now, become aware of the reality around us, become less concerned about the past and the future and connect with our true happy selves, Soul.
Take a few moments
Now that we’re at the end of this article, hopefully there will be some realisation within us that life is a gift. Let’s take a few moments just to contemplate on that. Let’s think of our friends, our family, our surroundings, our feelings at this moment. We are blessed to have them in our lives. Take some time and daydream about the loving Souls and blessings we have around us.
May the blessings be
“Many people don’t realise that this lifetime is a rare opportunity… It’s a precious lifetime for every Soul who is here… We’ve come to solve the mystery of ourselves, the mystery of Soul – who we are. And it’s a wonderful journey.”
“You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.”
“The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduce yourself to, had life not done it for you.”
“Life: It is about the gift not the package it comes in.”
Dennis P. Costea, Jr.
“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”
“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”
“Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention.”
“Every problem has a gift for you in its hands.”
“Here's what I tell anybody and this is what I believe. The greatest gift we have is the gift of life. We understand that. That comes from our Creator. We're given a body. Now you may not like it, but you can maximize that body the best it can be maximized.”
“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have - life itself.”
“What if you gave someone a gift, and they neglected to thank you for it - would you be likely to give them another? Life is the same way. In order to attract more of the blessings that life has to offer, you must truly appreciate what you already have.”
“The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.”
Hubert H. Humphrey
"While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness.”
“I tell myself that God gave my children many gifts - spirit, beauty, intelligence, the capacity to make friends and to inspire respect. There was only one gift he held back - length of life.”
“Life is a gift, given in trust - like a child.”
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.”
“Technology is a gift of God. After the gift of life it is perhaps the greatest of God's gifts. It is the mother of civilizations, of arts and of sciences.”
“This life that has been given to us as a gift, as such a precious gift. To really try to understand it, really try to recognize it, is the greatest meditation. Through the media of this Knowledge we can tap into our inner sources that are so beautiful.”
“Let's choose today to quench our thirst for the "good life" we thinks others lead by acknowledging the good that already exists in our lives. We can then offer the universe the gift of our grateful hearts.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach
For more insights into the gift of life, click here to go to the Spiritual Inspirations page.
Thought for the week
To live in the moment is easier said than done. This becomes apparent when we are confronted with things like bills due next week. How do we remain calm and focused on the moment when someone says they will withdraw their service if we don't pay or we get to the point where we don't have money to buy food? When we get to this point we have a choice of either going into a panic or else releasing it to the Universe, the Lord, the Eck or the Holy Spirit, depending on our beliefs.
If we go into a panic we run around like a headless chicken making rash decisions and mistakes until we stumble across a way out of our current difficulty or at least put off the problem for the moment. If we let the Universe provide us with a solution, we have to be patient. We have to be patient with our mind, which will throw up worries and concerns, and we have to be patient with the Universe to trust that It knows what is best for us. Sometimes the solutions we are presented with may seem more like challenges but if we have the view that the Holy Spirit knows what is best for us and we can learn and grow from the situation, we see the positive side of it all.
Dealing with bills
At this moment in time, there may be a few items which are demanding our attention. One of the ways of dealing with bills is to look at your history of paying them. In the past we have always found a way to pay them. If we can look into the future we can see that these will have been dealt with. This current situation will be resolved and probably forgotten about because when we get to that point in the future we'll have a pile of other items demanding our attention. These attention demanding items continue to spiral into our lives on a constant stream. We are going from one panic, pain or problem to another as we live our lives. Surely there is more to life than this?
When we are dealing with these demanding items we are looking to the future of what may happen if we don’t take care of them or we may be looking to the past where an issue started with regret for the way things happened. The only thing we can deal with is our current reality, now. What is here now is real to us. What is in the past we cannot deal with as we are not there. What is in the future is also out of reach. We may have plans and hopes for how things will be in the future but we are not there now. Now is our only reality. We can only do something now, not in the past and not in the future. Focusing our attention on this moment helps us to move on from the past and diminishes our fear of the future.
Why live in the moment?
Why would we want to live in the moment? There are a number of advantages to living in the here and now.
We become focused on what we are doing and where we are.
This focused attention removes us from the concerns of the future or the past.
We gain a little detachment from our concerns.
By doing things now we can change what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. If we do the best we can with what we have here and now, the Universe will help us towards our goals.
Purpose of life
The whole purpose of life is to distract us from our spiritual side and it does an excellent job. When we get tired of the never ending spiral of panic, pain and problems we then begin a search for some insight and explanation for this whole process we call life. The issues we come across are part of our training to become enlightened and loving Souls. They are all part of a process to get us to realise who and what we are, spiritually. These lessons will eventually teach us that we are part of the Divine, who loves us so much It has given us the freedom to do as we wish in these worlds of time and space. When we eventually get to the point where we begin to let love flow through us, we then begin to get a feel for our own divinity. We can see that love is the power which sustains and maintains our world.
Reasons to live in the moment
Here are a few reasons to live in the moment. When we live in the moment we can:
Focus on the here and now
Grasp the true reality around us
Move on from the past
Be less apprehensive of the future
Connect with our inner spiritual side
The HU Song is an easy technique to help us connect with the here and now. It helps us connect with our true happy, loving selves, Soul, which constantly lives in the moment. Using the HU Song we can re-establish our connection with our spiritual side and begin to live in the moment. Click here for instructions on how to use the HU Song.
Wishing you love, joy and insights as you live in the moment.
“When God calls, are you listening? Learn to recognize how you are in the grasp of divine love every moment of every day.”
“Living in the moment, yesterday is farther away than it used to be. And, so is tomorrow. They both matter less.”
“Someday you will read in the papers that Moody is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now. I was born of the flesh in 1837, I was born of the spirit in 1855. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit shall live forever.”
Dwight L. Moody
“To improve the golden moments of opportunity and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of living”
“All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them.”
“I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
George Bernard Shaw
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
“Anything can happen to anyone at any time and you shouldn't just live through the days, or you lose them. You should do what you can to enjoy every moment.”
“To live fully is to let go and die with each passing moment, and to be reborn in each new one.”
“A living thing is distinguished from a dead thing by the multiplicity of the changes at any moment taking place in it.”
“Feeling down? Remember… now isn’t forever?”
“All these places have their moments - with lovers and friends - I still can recall some are dead and some are living - in my life I've loved them all.”
“Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now.”
“To live exhilaratingly in and for the moment is deadly serious work, fun of the most exhausting sort.”
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
“This is a great moment, when you see, however distant, the goal of your wandering. The thing which has been living in your imagination suddenly become part of the tangible world. It matters not how many ranges, rivers or parching dusty ways may lie between you; it is yours now for ever.”
“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.”
“If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven't done much today.”
“Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.”
Cherokee Indian Proverb
“I need neither future nor past, but to learn to take today not too fast.”
“The living moment is everything.”
“Why not just live in the moment, especially if it has a good beat?”
“Nothing ever gets anywhere. The earth keeps turning round and gets nowhere. The moment is the only thing that counts.”
“Seize from every moment its unique novelty, and do not prepare your joys.”
“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”
“We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way.”
“Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.”
To find more inspirations to live in the moment, click here to go to the Spiritual Inspirations page.
This is the point in creating a picture that I realise there is a lot more work in it than I first thought. I’m still working on dressing the crowd of nearly 500 people. As I haven’t had much time during the week it adds to the slowness of this part. At times like these I begin thinking it might have been easier to photograph the 500 people or maybe not. The image above shows some progress in getting the crowd dressed.
Thought for the week
Can we give love that allows people to be as they are? Can we put away our opinions about how they should be dressed or how they act? Can we accept them as they are and look for the love, insights or lessons they bring us?
While our upbringing may have taught us to expect people to dress, behave and interact in certain ways, we need to recognise that these expectations are required by our society so that we conform to the rules of the place where we live. Others have been brought up in different families and regions and have a different approach to how they live their lives.
Blessings in our life
If we can see these Souls in our lives as a blessing whether they are friends, family, work mates, people on the street, difficult people, etc. we will have a happier outlook on our lives. Life, the Universe, God or whatever you like to call It, has placed all these Souls in our life so we can learn from them. They are the blessings in our life. Some of them may not seem like blessings now but after we have come through our experiences with them, we should be able to look back and see how we have learned something through our involvement with them.
Compassion, understanding and sympathy for a person’s position is another way of giving love. Looking at people with kindness and the understanding that they have a number of challenges and difficulties in their lives, whether they are rich or poor, employed or not, from a foreign region or our home. If we are here on this Earth plane, we are going to have difficulties. This is the University of Life and we are all here to learn something and whatever that is will bring difficulties and pain into our lives until we learn it. Then we move on to something else to learn.
We travel our individual path
Why are we on this merry go round of lessons, difficulties and pain? The simple answer is Love. The Life force, Allah, the Holy Spirit or whatever name you give the Divine, has given us the liberty of making as many mistakes as we wish while we travel our individual path to discovering this Love. It has given us this freedom so we can discover for ourselves that giving love is the best way of treating and interacting with the many Souls in our lives. Many of us get lost in the many passions of the mind in our pursuit for this Divine Love. We have been on many twisted roads but we do find our way eventually when we start to give love.
How to give love
Here are a few suggestions on how to give love:
Look with Love – look at others with a compassionate heart. Let’s try to see the difficulties others have in their lives. We don’t have to say anything but our loving understanding will help them a little.
Be kind - can we help someone? The person stretching for something out of reach. Can we help them get it?
The driver trying to move into the lane of traffic in front of us. Can we let them in?
Say ‘Thank You’ – there are many people in our lives who have helped us. It is nice to be thanked. They will value our appreciation. It helps acknowledge their input and adds value to their lives.
Listening – take the time to listen to someone and their plight, the issue they have at the moment or their joy and celebration of an event. Let’s take time to try and understand a person and their point of view. Listening with love brings us closer to people and brings us friends.
Forgiveness – holding a grudge is like holding on to a hot coal. We burn ourselves and we get dirty. We all make mistakes as we go through life. That’s how we learn. We have to allow others room to make their mistakes. We may have suffered as a result of the mistakes of others but let’s move on. Let’s focus on improving ourselves and not on the errors of others. There are many people we can forgive especially in our family. We may be nurturing long term wounds which may have been there for so long we have forgotten their origin. We can detect these by our attitude. If we dislike or fear a person in anyway, there is probably an issue between us. If we give love by understanding their circumstances and the reason for their behaviour we will be able to move on. We clean the lump of dirty coal out of our life and continue on our path a little lighter.
Give a compliment – recognising a job well done, the effort a person makes, the beauty of a thing, place or person and saying it to those responsible is a way to give love. A compliment lifts their spirits and shows them an appreciation for their efforts.
Leave it better – another way we can give love is to leave a place better than the way we found it. Can we leave a place cleaner? Can we add a little detail to make it better? Can we fix something? Doing little acts of kindness all help to give love to those around us. We may not know who will be affected by our efforts but by leaving a place better than we found it, is a way to make life a little easier for others.
Be the best we can be – we can give love to everything we do. If we do it to the best of our abilities there will be love in it. While people may not seem to appreciate all our efforts outwardly, on a subconscious or inner level they can feel the positive effects of our work.
So let’s give Love. It’s the way we become happier and give happiness to others. Love is what life is all about. It’s the next step in our lives.
Wishing you love in your life.
“Real love is selfless. We do continual acts of kindness to make the way easier for your loved ones. By giving love, we become magnets of love.”
“Kindness in giving creates love.”
“We've got to learn hard things in our lifetime, but it's love that gives you the strength.”
“The love we give away is the only love we keep.”
“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”
“This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love; the more they give, the more they possess.”
Rainer Maria Rilke
“Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.”
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
“A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.”
Thomas á Kempis
“The only gift is a portion of thyself.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“If you give your life as a wholehearted response to love, then love will wholeheartedly respond to you.”
“If you don't have a smile, I'll give you one of mine.”
“Do not be afraid of showing your affection. Be warm and tender, thoughtful and affectionate. Men are more helped by sympathy, than by service; love is more than money, and a kind word will give more pleasure than a present.”
“The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.”
Rachel Naomi Remen
“What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.”
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you’?“
William A. Ward
“Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.”
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present.”
“My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, both are infinite.”
“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“A smile costs nothing but gives much.
It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it.
Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.”
If you’d like to discover more quotes that give love, visit the Spiritual Inspirations page by clicking here.
I’ve been working on the crowds recently. I haven’t counted the number of people in this picture but it is around 470. The problem with the models in the 3D software I use is that they all come naked with no cloths on, so now I have to dress them all. And you think you had problems dressing your kids?
Thought for the week
“Let’s love ourselves” may sound like a silly remark but it is something we need to do in order to live a happier life.
If we don’t love the one we know intimately, the one we are closest to, how can we really love anyone else?
In order to have love in our lives we must first learn to love ourselves. Many of us have been taught that we are unworthy, we are sinners, we are an inconvenience to others or we are unwanted and undeserving of attention and love. These kinds of background feelings have a serious effect on our lives. Any of these feelings will stop the flow of love in our lives. We need to check the reality of this thinking and adjust it to a more positive attitude to ourselves and our life.
Unworthy becomes worthy
We are an individual Soul, created by the Divine. If the Higher Power sees us as worthy of existence, there must be something worthwhile within us. If the Divine can love us enough to give us life, how can other people’s opinions which say the opposite be true? Surely Its divine plan is perfect and anything we or anyone else can come up with is going to be incomplete and faulty. If the Divine thinks we are worthy enough to exist, then there must be something worthwhile we can do and be. We just need to find that purpose.
Sinners to saints
Some religions teach that we are sinners, born with a flaw, an original sin. We are really born into ignorance and we have to educate ourselves out of the darkness and into the light. We do this by learning from others but mainly we learn by living our lives. We make mistakes and we learn to correct them. We are constantly improving our awareness of our selves and how we work. We are moving from the dark into the light. We may have been considered sinners by others but we have the potential to be saints.
An inconvenience to a blessing
How often have we considered something or someone in our lives as an inconvenience or an intrusion? They upset the way things are, so we now have to adjust ourselves to accommodate them. After a while, it could be weeks, months or years, we begin to see the benefit of having them in our lives. The same can be true of ourselves. We too can change from what others consider an inconvenience to a blessing. For us to achieve that we must be able to give something, be a benefit or be of some use to them. The easiest way of being a blessing is to give love to them or do things with love for them.
Unwanted to cherished
We may feel unwanted and unloved in many areas of life. It may have been as a child, in school, in work, in our family, or in our community. This is not because of a problem with us but more likely a problem with the behaviour or attitude of others. We know that deep down within ourselves we are good, decent and lovable. Love is the key to changing peoples attitudes, including our own.
Respecting our body
Respecting our body is another part of loving ourselves. Looking after it so we can use it efficiently and get the most from it does require care and attention. If we eat stuff or do things that don’t help our health, our body can get ill. We now have to find a way of getting better. Sometimes we do that by taking some medicines which will clear up the symptoms but if we are able to find the source of the illness and deal with it, we will then have a better and a long term solution.
We may need to forgive ourselves for the things we have done. We may have made mistakes in the past but that is part of life. It is the way we learn things. We try something, we do it a particular way and we later discover it is the wrong way. Our mistakes can vary from making a mess of a meal to wrecking a whole family’s relationship. Recognising our error is the first step. The next step is to correct it. This may take a small adjustment or years of work, depending on the damage created by the mistake. By attempting to undo our error we have good reason to forgive ourselves and love ourselves. We made a mistake but we are doing our best to correct it.
Be good to ourselves
We must be good to ourselves. We must look after ourselves both physically and mentally. We are the one in charge of and responsible for our body, our mental attitude and our inner state of peace and contentment.
The purpose of our life
To find the purpose of our life we need to find what we love to do. When we do what we love, the results are lovely. We pay attention to the details, we do the best we can and we give it a positive feeling. Others see this aura of love usually on a subconscious level. The things which are done with love look nice, taste better, feel good, sound pleasant, smell great and give a feeling of kindness and love. We come across these every day but rarely see them as gifts of love. We see them as something nice or good. The love in them is noticed by our intuitive or subconscious level.
Giving love to others and doing things with love will naturally lead to seeing ourselves with more love. As we put love into the things we do and give love to the Souls in our lives, we discover that there is more love in our lives and more reasons to love ourselves.
Love is the key, love is our purpose, love is the reason we are here. Let’s use this love in our lives and discover more love for ourselves.
Wishing you love in your life.
Looking for more articles on love and ways to love ourselves? Click here to go to the Spiritual Writings page.
11 December • 10:00 - 17:00
The Royal Marine Hotel Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Ireland.
The Affordable CHRISTMAS Gift Fair is a one-stop fair for all your Christmas needs. Avoid the stress of last minute shopping or time consuming searching as the Affordable Gift fair will host a huge range of gift ideas to suit every member of your family and all types of friends, including Ed Parkinson’s spiritual art.
...See you there.
“Love others more. Then loving oneself just happens.”
“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.”
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.”
“Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.”
Michel de Montaigne
“The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”
“If you must love your neighbour as yourself, it is at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbour.”
Nicholas de Chamfort
“The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.”
“Only as high as I reach can I grow,
Only as far as I seek can I go,
Only as deep as I look can I see,
Only as much as I dream can I be.”
“No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent.”
William Ellery Channing,
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.”
“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”
“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.”
“When you re-read a classic you do not see in the book more than you did before. You see more in you than there was before.”
“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”
“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”
“Your distress about life might mean you have been living for the wrong reason, not that you have no reason for living.”
“In order to judge properly, one must get away somewhat from what one is judging, after having loved it. This is true of countries, of persons, and of oneself.”
“Everyone is born a king, and most people die in exile.”
“Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.”
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself.”
“Like the sky opens after a rainy day we must open to ourselves.... Learn to love yourself for who you are and open so the world can see you shine.”
Need a bit more wisdom to help you love yourself? You’ll find it on the Spiritual Inspirations page by clicking here.