Tag Archives: change

Small Changes

footfall

Long ago, when I was a child, I was an avid reader of stories from other cultures, whether they were ancient history, mythology, or ethnic.  I learned a lot about people and life through those stories, and one element that impressed me a lot was a native american tale about a young boy and his father.

I can’t tell you much more about it because I hardly remember the story at all, apart from that element, but it changed my life.

The piece of the story that I do remember was when the father was teaching the boy about hunting.  As the boy walked through the forest, he stood firmly in every step and kept breaking twigs, crunching fallen leaves, and dislodging small rocks.  The resulting noise from his walking made it difficult to be quiet enough that the prey could not hear them coming.  So the father taught him the method of ‘silent walking‘ and of walking in a way that blessed the mother earth with every step.

I was born with flat feet that had no arches.  It meant that my feet were sore a lot of the time, but it didn’t really hold me back.  The doctors at the time told my mother that I should go barefoot as much as possible, in the hope that I would develop what was called ‘false arches.’  But I was a fairly clumsy child, very gung ho in my actions, and so I was always having accidents.

I liked to play on nearby vacant lots that had old house planks stacked on them from demolitions, and the house planks still had rusty nails in them.  I’d walk along the planks as if they were tightropes, checking my balance, and almost always stepped on a nail.  And later, what happened was an infection from the nail and a rush to the doctor for help and tetanus needles.

The Amerindian story changed all that for me.  After reading it, I never walked on the earth the same way again.  I never placed a foot without looking at the ground I placed it on.  And I followed the advice of the father to his son, to ‘silent walk‘ by placing the ball of the foot (the toe end) on the ground first and rolling it back to the heel, instead of jamming the heel into the ground and slapping the toes down thereafter.

My new way of walking meant I was far more able to creep up on people.  It also meant that I stopped accidentally stepping on things that wanted to go on living, like snails.

An interesting side effect at first was that my shoes all developed severe wear and tear along the sides, because I was rolling my feet to the sides as I did this new step.  It was so bad that my mother got advice from a foot doctor, who said I needed orthotics for my shoes.  Luckily, she really didn’t have the money for that at the time, and I didn’t realize that it was my new way of walking that was causing the problem.  No one else ever seemed to notice that I placed my feet differently to the way they placed theirs when walking.

Over time, I learned to adjust the way my feet moved so that I didn’t walk on their sides as much, but still walked in what I presumed was the way of the Amerindians.

I noticed how so many others walked jarringly on their heels, thudding across floors, making noises on footpaths, and always alerting the villains to where they were in the movies I watched because they couldn’t keep their footfall quiet.  I took pride in my unique walk.

I thoroughly recommend my ‘silent walk‘ that kisses mother earth with every step for anyone who has back problems – far less jarring of the spine from jamming your heels into the ground.

It was also very helpful with my sprinting style when I did athletics in my teens, because you actually run on the ball of your toes, not your heels.  So you can move faster.  And if you are trying to carry a book on your head, like you do in deportment classes, my style of walking means you move the lower body more smoothly, so the book doesn’t fall off.  It seems to give strength to the calf muscles, too.

What seems like small things like the change in my walk can have a chain reaction effect in life.

The care with which I placed my feet and observed the ground beneath then followed on to a greater observation of the world around me, in general, and I noticed things that I hadn’t seen in such detail before.  That led to a life filled with wonder and a deep sense of happiness from what I observed, that buoyed me up through many painful moments and even later tragedies.

Small changes really do have great effect.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

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Sing your world into being

shivaI have a daily ritual of chanting mantras.  I use a set of 108 prayer beads to count each mantra set and do one full round.  It takes me about an hour to complete the task, and then I meditate.

I never used to chant mantras so regularly, nor meditate every day, even though I believe in the efficacy of such rituals and actually create prayer beads that I sell to others.  But after my life became more assailed than usual, I felt I needed a bit more help.

There are many in the world who follow similar rituals, regularly.  Some of them buy my prayer beads(Some just wear them).

At the suggestion of an indian guru, my mantras hail the vedic gods, Ganesha, Shiva, and Lakshmi – but they could be to any gods or goddesses, or to one god, or none at all.

Mantras are simply prayers invoking divine energies (creation energies), and divine energies don’t have to have a face or a name.

In my experience and beliefs, the essence of god has many faces and many names, and these are represented in every faith or religion throughout the world – and even in the faith people have in themselves or in just living, as atheists and agnostics do.

When I first began my mantra rounds, I was calling Shiva in his form of BhairavaBhairava is a fiercer aspect of Shiva, but more actively protective, which the guru thought I needed at the time.  But as time passed, I felt that the energy was too strong and too forceful, and was not so good any more, so today I just pray my mantras to the all-encompassing Shiva and let him (the god) decide what form of his I need in my life.

As well, I added a joyful round of mantras to Vishnu/Krishna before closing that section with a Namaste to them all.  And then finished with the buddhistOm Mani Padme Hum’ mantras, sending out waves of pink healing energy into the world, to give something back…

It’s not always easy to stay focused during my mantra rounds.  Thoughts come and go even as I am uttering the words and names.  I find myself constantly trying to refocus on the multiple candle flames I light in the room, or to breathe in the incense to reawaken myself, even though I always begin my mantra sessions with deep pranic breathing.

I think it is the higher vibrational energy that does it.  My body gets more worked by it, and when I am so busy in my days or in my thoughts, already, it’s a natural reaction to drift, or even to nod off to sleep for a fraction of a second (more likely to happen when I do my mantras in a pre-dawn session).

I sometimes feel frustrated when that happens, because I think it is disrespectful to divine energies – though ‘they’ are telling me it’s okay, and that such thoughts belong only to human beings and the realm we live in.  (Apparently, the divine is much more accommodating).

When I first started my mantra rounds, I used to focus extremely well, fired by the needs that began them.  I would bring great concentration to bear on manifesting better conditions, and would quickly be flushed with a greater sense of empowerment, and noticed very quick changes going on in the world around me, afterwards.

Over time, again, I felt that such concentration was too forceful, and that things were not happening as naturally as they should.  The sense of power also made me over-forceful in my daily relationships, causing friction, which I didn’t like.

Today, I am quieter and gentler in my chanting, but that also means I am more likely to drift or nod.

I contemplated this problem during my rounds, and as usual received an answer.  I was told to not worry about focusing on manifesting the good energies of each divine being I was chanting to, but to just ‘sing my world into being.’

I was told to not worry about outcomes, and just trust that what needed to happen would happen.  So I did, and after that some nice and interesting things began to happen in my life, bringing more hope back.

But then I began to be concerned about this ‘singing my world into being.’   I thought – what if I sung something quite ‘wrong’ into being?  What if my drifting thoughts and micro snoozes set some ‘darker energy’ free to do its work?

I was surprised at the reply I got to those thoughts.  I was told to trust myself.  I was told to believe in my self.  I was told to ignore the flaws and failings of my daily life, the ‘trips’ in my personality, the fallibility of my tongue, or the ‘breezes’ wafting my emotions.

I was reminded that the gods do not need to clear away distractions to do their work .  To them, the noise of life was ‘white noise.’  No different to that of children trying to climb onto your lap when you are working.  They just don’t think about it, and the work gets done.  Like the parent of the child, they automatically deal with the ‘child’  whilst keeping focus on the work that needs to be done.  It is the focus that counts.

It is said that just saying or hearing the mantras will set their energies in motion.  But I wondered, nevertheless, how well my mantras were being set in motion if I was not really thinking of them while uttering them, or if I had nodded off for a moment between one set and another?  Where was my focus?

Then ‘they’ told me that this was not about my mind.  It was not about my heart.  It was not about my physical body or its presence in the world.  It was all about my spirit, and soul.

It was all about my essence, and the underlying factor of all my beliefs.  It was about what my ‘truth’ would ‘sing into being’ if I could have everything the way my spirit or soul wanted it to be, or could imagine it to be. 

I had to think about that.  Stopped mid mantra to do so.  Thought about what my soul aspired to – and realized with surprise that my soul effused ‘goodness’. 

You may ask why I felt surprised, but it is simply that, having come so far through the ‘scathings’ of life I really don’t feel that ‘pure’ a lot of the time, any more.  Damage has been done, that I felt must surely have ‘marked my soul’, no matter what good things I might still do in the world, or what efforts I make to reconnect with the divine through prayers or mantras.

However,  I was ‘told’ that the ‘bottom line of my soul’ is not related to human arguments and conflicts, or to the difficulties that embroil me at times, or that embroil anyone.  It is simply the underlying ‘truth’ of my existence. 

It is the ‘essence’ of me that rises up from the ‘muddy bottom’ of physical life, through the ‘murky waters’ of thoughts and emotion, to become the ‘lotus flower’ spreading its petals under the ‘divine sun’.  It is the ‘cosmic me’.

For life in this world is a schism between the mortal and immortal, the manifested and the never manifested, the physical and the divine.

I am a human being embroiled in the roleplays of a mortal life, but my soul and spirit are divine, and never stop ‘hearing’ the ‘symphony of stars’. 

That is how I can focus even though my body is dealing with distractions.

That focus came from the intentions I set up in doing the mantras at all.  It came from what I believed them to be, and from what I want from them – and that belief is far more than just being selfish… It is a belief in the ‘ultimate goodness of life’, that arose from everything I ever thought beautiful and everything beautiful I want my life to be.

This stems from my ‘soul’, and comes from hearing that divine music – the ‘symphony of stars’.  When I flow with or ‘sing’ that ‘symphony’, I am truly alive and living.  Thus, do I ‘become‘ and thus my world is sung into being’.

Having had this mini revelation, I then ‘saw’ Ganesha, dancing so freely, enjoying life just for the fun of being alive.

I ‘saw’ Shiva, sitting in meditation, serenely contemplating all the galaxies in the universe, and accepting life for what it is, ‘warts’ and all, as beautiful.

I ‘saw’ Lakshmi, not as the provider of wealth, but as the kind, generous and compassionate goddess, giving hugs freely and soothing troubled brows.

And I realized that the pure and unadulterated energy of ‘singing the world into being’ was what Krishna and Vishnu embodied.  It was love – love of life,  love of living, love of making the best of life and living, and love of being.

I loved being alive, for all its flaws and failings, struggles, traumas, and tragedies – and if I had to choose, I would choose just as Ganesha, Shiva, and Lakshmi did in my vision – to dance the dance of life, to be able to meditate serenely without attachment to the whys and wherefores or attaining solutions, and to provide simple nourishment for the assailed souls of all beings so that they could also ‘dance’ and fully be alive.

You may call that a dream, but now I feel good about ‘singing my world into being.’ 

I trust the energies of my deepest inner self to do what is ‘right’, to create what is ‘good’, and to manifest a better place despite what roleplays of life my mind, emotions and body may play out as I function outside my mantra sessions.

In this way, I feel I am manifesting changes in my life, from the inside out.  And when I send out the ‘pink waves of love’, spreading from my ‘pebble in the pond of life’ chanting ‘soul mind’ at the end of each session, I feel like I am sharing something good and wonderful.

This is what I feel it means to ‘get in touch with your source.’  This is what I think it means to ‘know your core essence.’

The deep tap root of life that we brought with us into the world of manifestation is always there.  We only need to look for it, and recognize it when we find it.  And it is ‘good’, because we do not come into the world with damaged souls.

We come here ‘pure’ and amazed by the magical realm we have entered.  And that awe and delight remains present, no matter how old we get or how much assails us, though it can seem to be buried under a ‘dung heap’.

When we ‘sing our world into being’ we ‘sing’ of that ‘magic’ that made us feel happy to greet each day as a child, before any damage ever began…

It’s not a ‘song’ as you physically know a ‘song’.  It doesn’t come from your mouth.  It doesn’t come from your mind, really.  It doesn’t even come from your heart.  It’s a soul memory, of who you really are, and who you really were, before you were born.

To gain access to that primal memory – first, you have to remember who you were as a child, before you ever got hurt.

Second, you have to remember how ‘fun’ it was to explore the world you were born into, then.

Third, you have to put aside the ‘damage’ that has happened, since, and just ‘dance the dance of life’, and in that way ‘sing your world into being’, just as you did way back then…

When your soul ‘sings’, all life becomes a symphony.  Your mind re-attunes to the ‘music of the universe’.  Your body becomes flushed with the ‘harmonies of life’.

What you emit, energizes.  What you imagine, becomes.  And the ‘lyrics’ of ‘universal love’ flow these words through you –

‘Let all beings be happy!’

That is more than a prayer.  It is also an act.  It is a manifestation that comes from innate choice, not forced, but natural – the choice of your ‘spirit’, living fully in its truth.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to be happy, you will be happy, and others will feel your happiness and be affected by it – happiness is infectious.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to have faith, you will find faith, and others will have faith in you – faith imbues.

When your ‘spirit’ chooses to smile, even when you don’t feel like smiling, smiling soon feels like the natural thing to do, and others will smile with you – smiling is a gift.

These innate choices allow your ‘soul‘ to ‘sing‘ and help you manifest a better life, not only for yourself but also for others – despite the distractions that come from the ‘white noise’ of living.

So, ‘sing’ your ‘world’ into being.

(Remember though: Like a germinating seed, the growth is from the inside to the out… and change takes time, with much occurring on the inside before the leaves of your ‘tree’ unfurl in the world – but there is a powerhouse of energy in that soul!)

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine

Coins

CoinsWhen I was a young girl, the Australian currency was pounds and pennies (pence). The penny was not even the lowest coin. The lowest coin was a half-penny. That is half a cent, today!

For a half-penny, I could go to the local ‘milk bar’ (variety grocery store) and buy a paper bag bigger than my head, filled to overflowing with a wide array of assorted lollies (candy).

I could also go see a movie at the local cinema for the matinee session on Saturdays.

I loved the sound of the money words they had, then. You didn’t say ‘harf’ penny for a halfpenny, you said, ‘hay’ penny. Two pennies were tuppence. Four pennies were fourpence. Six pennies were sixpence.

A shilling or ‘bob’ was the equivalent of ten cents, today. A two shilling coin was known as ‘two bob.’ (That was the sum always slipped to me and my sister by our adoptive grandfather during rare visits to his home). In Australian colloquialism, when someone had an opinion, they were “putting in their two bob’s worth.”

A quid was a pound note. (A dollar in Australia, today, but still worth two dollars in the United Kingdom). The quid was also part of Australian colloquialism. If you wanted to say you didn’t really care about something, you’d say, “I don’t give a quid!”  If you really wanted something, you’d say, “I’d give a quid for that!”

The sixpence was my favorite. – that was the third coin up from a halfpenny, and my Nanna put lots of sixpences in her delicious brandy-soaked plum pudding each Christmas. My cousins and sister and I would gobble it down, mucking through the yellow custard drizzle to find our treasure and race to the ‘milk bar’ before the grocer went home for his own family celebration.

My sister forgot to check for sixpences one year and swallowed hers. It was a long wait over the dunny (toilet bowl) before she saw it again. My uncle also chipped a tooth on one he forgot to sort with his tongue. That only added to the fun for us. There were risks involved in getting your sixpence, and most kids love a challenge.

After the currency changed, Nanna kept a hoard of sixpences just for the Christmas pudding. When we found one after that, we would be given a five cent piece to spend.

It just didn’t have the same feeling to it. When you have to stop and wait for Mum or Nanna to get their purse to swap the coin, you can’t get the lead on your cousins and buy out all the best lollies at the shop before their legs can get them there… As well, instead of a huge bag of lollies, we could buy just twenty with five cents (…I know, still more than my grand-daughters can buy today).

I missed seeing the lovely young queen on the back of the old coins. She had long strings of ribbons and curls blowing in the wind. The queen that came with the new currency was older and had a saggy chin (although she did have a tiara). She didn’t look so happy.

I did like the variety of Australian wildlife on the new coins, though. The old bounding kangaroo was getting a bit stale by then.

Even when Australian money became ‘americanized’ in the 1960s (albeit not as greenbacks, but with bright and happy colors), one cent went a very long way. The average wage was about $40 a week. A car cost a few hundred dollars. A house was a few thousand dollars. It’s amazing to think of the difference in cost between those things now and then, but the truth is that the value is still about the same. All they did was increase the numbers, so the wage went up at the same time as the cost of purchases. That’s called inflation.

My school was into teaching the value of savings when I was a kid, and bankers sometimes visited our class to spread the word. They even gave us free tin moneyboxes that looked like pieces from a monopoly game, but when you rarely see money at all, saving it seems such a waste when you could go and buy that comic book you would never be able to get any other way…

My money box never got filled up. I had good intentions, but the comic books always won.

My mother would sometimes stoop to pick up a coin as we walked along a city street. She’d say, “See a coin and pick it up, and all day long you’ll have good luck.” I never saw her get particularly lucky, though.

She had a similar mode for bird poop falling on her shoulder or head. She thought that if she bought lotto before cleaning it off, she’d win. She never did. So I had to learn to not worry too much about being embarrassed about the way my mother looked… Hey, it was all for a good cause!

Once I started earning my own money, I learned the value of having a large purse. Every time I bought something, the coin section would swell with new change. It didn’t matter how many times I tried to count out that change to spend on another item and get rid of it, it was soon back and stretching the leather.

I always wondered why guys (or in Aussie lingo, blokes) didn’t have coin sections in their wallets. Well, some did, but they were so small you’d never get any real change into them. I wasn’t surprised that men didn’t even try.

I was surprised that they just put the loose change in their pocket. I thought, maybe they like the sound of that change jangling together as they walk? Then, I’d see them running and wonder how the change didn’t fall out. It wasn’t until I started putting my hands into my future husband’s pockets for fun that I realized that men’s pockets are super deep. Then I got very jealous…

Of course, after we began living together, I didn’t mind him putting his change in his pockets when I vacuumed the couch and found a trove under the cushions. My mother taught me well. “Finders keepers!” she would say when she found coins in her couch…

When bank cards began to circulate in the 1980s, everyone was wary. The thought of swiping a card to buy something seemed ludicrous. How could we trust the banks at their word that they wouldn’t take more money from our accounts than what we had actually spent?

For a long time, I resisted getting a bank card. I liked to have control over my own money, not rely on others being trustworthy enough to handle it for me. (Well, I was right to worry, since now I pay debit fees for using my own money, when back then it didn’t cost anything to get some from a friendly bank teller).

It’s strange how time inures you to things. Eventually, resistance to trends wears down until you just give the new modes a try. (It’s good that some trends pass, though, or my sister would still have a skinhead hairstyle, today). One day I gave in to the bombardment of applications in my letterbox and have never really looked back.

Today, my purse is stretched not by coins but by cards. I have cards for just about everything. I have to prioritize which cards to leave at home and which ones I really need in my purse, because otherwise I can’t shut the thing.

For years, everything was bought with a swipe. My purse had rarely seen notes or coins, but now a new wave of shopkeepers are bucking the trend and going back to ‘cash only’ sales. It’s very frustrating to want the delectable pastry in the bakery window, only to be told I need to find an auto-teller to get the cash to buy it. That’s not convenience!

As well, I had to learn to hoard gold coins somewhere in my bag ($1 and $2 in Oz), for the times my grand-daughters were with me and came across one of those rides they scatter through shopping malls. (I know, I could have said no, but I’m a grand-mother, now!)

My disabled son goes to the bank each week and gets his allowance out in lots of bagged coins that he uses to pay for his purchases. I thought this was just another of his oddities until I finally ‘twigged’ why he did it.

Being disabled and only able to use one hand, he had difficulty handling notes. They would often fly away or fall to the ground as he fiddled with his wallet.

He didn’t like to use his eftpos card because he knew that he had a limit to what he should be spending, and his short term memory loss meant that he could easily forget how much he had spent and would eat into the money he needed for bills. So his solution was to get coins.

I thought this would be a problem in most shops, counting out the coins so laboriously, but most shop-keepers are very patient with him, (possibly because he has a lovely smile). They also are often glad of the extra coins for their till. When people buy things with notes, these days, the notes are usually large ones, and that means that cashiers need a lot of change.

I still have a penny in my drawer at home with the year of my birth on it. It is smooth and dark brown, with a bounding kangaroo on one side. I remember getting pennies when I was young that were bright pink copper, just minted, but if I cleaned my old coin today that apparently reduces its value. Not that the year of my birth is a good year for rare pennies. They minted lots and lots of them, then. So the value is all for me.

Blessings!
Lianne

Lilipily Spirit – Empower Your Life, Connect with the Divine