Leaving Orkney: Going Home With Peace

I’m doing an early blog today. Tonight I am leaving Orkney so I may not get chance to be online on the ferry. It’s been an interesting process of discovery. Discovering a deeper peace.

Visiting the ancient sites has reminded me very forcefully how little human beings have actually changed. What I want out of my life seems to be the same as the people from so long ago. To live peacefully a full life. To enjoy the fruits of my work. And to see my child grow up to a life of her own. Leaving aside the natural challenges of life – illness, times of famine, lack of water and shelter – the people here seem to have lived that peaceful exsistence. Until it was time for these people to leave their sites. There is no information as to why. But in leaving they also gave us some interesting puzzles to unlock.

I wonder what people will think of our exsistence in a couple of thousand years. Will my legacy to my daughter’s children be lost somewhere down the line? Will I and everyone alive now become a puzzle to the humans of the future? Especially if technology fails and records perish. Leaving behind the drinks cans, plastic bags and remains of the steel in our skyscrapers. What will be made of this time? I hope my desire for peace for all will be delivered. Because that ensures humanity continues. I believe it may also help us to evolve beyond the point we are currently at. How would it be to be peaceable for a thousand years?

That’s the hope I have been reminded of this week. Leaving Orkney I’m taking with me a sense of continuity. Life really does continue no matter what.

That thought has also been challenging my inner world. I feel I will be leaving behind something else when I go. Watching the cruise ships and ferrys dock and leave I’ve been thinking about the way I transport my fear around with me. I know it’s hard to admit, even when on holiday, that I might still be worrying something over in my mind. But it’s true. I feel it’s what most of us do. My conditioning about what is ok or not ok keeps tripping me up. Letting myself relax when there are future bills to be paid keeps catching me. How strange. Because I have no need of this pattern. One thing I do know is that my life will go on bills or no.

Yet it seemed, when I was chatting to others, that we all seem to share the challenge of stepping back. Some of the people from the cruise ships wanted to pack in as much as they could. They didn’t want to waste time or money. Because taking time out seems like shirking a responsibility. Leaving everything aside seemed to be hard for them to do. Yet they told me that they enjoyed rushing from place to place. Taking photos for when they got home. Half and hour for this place. An hour for that. I felt their pace was fast and furious. Not at all peaceful. What will they really remember? Would it be peace?

Our ancestors in the Neolithic times worked when they had to and rested in the seasons when they couldn’t. Will the people of the future go back to that pattern? I’ve been working on inner peace. Stripping away another layer of conditioning. Leaving behind more fear.

Day 604 of my blogging challenge 

Rituals: Death Through The Ages

My visit today was to the Tomb of the Eagles where there was a real chance to think about the rituals that surrounded death five thousand years ago. And still do today.

The Tomb contained thousands of bones. Some were stored in separate chambers. Most were disarticulated. There were no whole skeletons found. Yet only eighty-five skulls were in the structure. Far less than could account for all of the bones. As the guide explained to us  the death rituals of these Neolithic people are believed to have included sky burials. Bodies of the dead were left outside until the soft parts of the body had decayed. Then they were apparently dismembered and placed in the Tomb. After about eight hundred years of use the roof of the Tomb was deliberately collapsed. Perhaps it had fulfilled it’s purpose. Or was full. Or the rituals had changed.

Archeologists try to understand these practices. But it’s hard to make sense of the burial practices when there are no records. What was the pottery for? Or the eagle tallons? And the animal bones or stone tools? It seems that lots of different theories have been proposed . Especially since on the same site there is a Bronze Age structure which has also defied an explanation. It actually has piped water into a pool in the centre. It seems the water was heated for some purpose too. I had lots of questions. Was it a bath house? A sauna? The place to give birth? Somewhere like a mortuary to prepare a body? At this distance from that era it is impossible to be sure. Yet rituals seem to be at the heart of both buildings.

Which made me think about our own rituals around death. What it’s acceptable to do. And what we no longer practice in honouring the loved one who has passed over.

I thought about the deaths in my own family. As the news spread people gathered to grieve together. To talk about the person’s life and wish them well on their new journey. My loved ones were placed in a box that was filled with objects to remember their life. A piece of jewellery, photos, poems, significant belongings. Because we wanted them to be accompanied by their ‘things’. And the reminders of all of us. Then those boxes were placed in the ground. Some families practice a fire burial. My family practices an earth burial. Prayers were said. Eulogies given. Songs sung. All of these practices show love and respect for the dead person.

I reflected on how similar the rituals of death still were. Thousands of years afterward I know we still want to honour our dead. Because it feels like the right thing to do. That’s why we worry that we might not be doing it right. I know that many people come to see me concerned that their loved one in Spirit may not be happy with the memorial they were give. Then I can reassure them that the rituals we follow are always appreciated by our love one. Whatever happens during the proceedings. It made me realise that I can only do my best. At the end of a loved one’s life I have to honour them in whatever way possible. Rituals change slightly over time. But it seems the core is always a demonstration of love.

I stood on the headland by a standing stone. It is the memorial to the farmer and his wife who discovered and preserved the Tomb of the Eagles. How fitting that their passing has been marked in this way. Because their passion for the distantly past has preserved it for all of us.

Day 603 of my blogging challenge 

Relax, Rest, Review: Time to Think

Rest is very important. It’s a point I make over and over when I’m mentoring. So today I’ve taken a rest day. And perhaps to give myself time to think.

Of course taking a holiday break gives me a chance to step back from my work. To move out of my life as it is and do something different. I also enjoy the time I get to reflect when I take a break. Because I can think about those things that are going right with my life. And what isn’t. Interesting these things often come up in the events of my holiday. Take noise for an example. I hadn’t realised how much I enjoy quiet time. At home and in my Centre I am very lucky to enjoy the absence of most noise whenever I want. Staying in a hostel full of noisy people has been a challenge. Rest has sometimes been hard to find.

The walls are very thin. The communal areas can get very busy. The doors bang continually in the morning as people get up, shower, have their breakfast and set off for the day. One or two late night parties have taken place overhead. When the silence descended today I breathed a sight of relief. I’ve had a couple of moments of praying for deafness. And of wondering if people are aware of being inconsiderate. I realise how precious silence has become to me. In the quiet I can tune into that inner voice of guidance. The Guides can draw closer. In this relaxed space we talk about all sorts of things.

I’ve also enjoyed a rest after all the walking. My body loves being active. Wind, rain or shine it doesn’t matter. Striding along gives me more time to think.

Ideas jump into my head. Wondering and wandering. Reviewing my life as a journey like my walking. The past couple of days I’ve enjoyed thinking about what my life would have been thousands of years ago. Probably lots more walking, of course, but still a journey from birth to death. Maybe a few more children than in this life. Probably grandchildren by now, if not great-grandchildren. Of course there might not have been much in the way of medical care so childbirth could have been a hazard. It reminded me that my body matters too.

After I watched the ferries arriving and departing this afternoon I sat down for a coffee. In a quiet cafe I sat with my Passion Planner to review last week. It’s something I do every Monday even if I’m on a rest day. I find the commitment to looking back over my week helps me shift any thoughts or feelings that I’ve got stuck with. It also clears my head for the week in front of me. The ferries got me thinking. When I am on a boat there is nothing to do but rest. Surrounded by all that water there is nowhere else to go. I am contained within the area of the boat. Like my life is contained in my diary most of the time.

I am contained by my passion for what I do. Yet I can also find those trips to other places that help me relax. As well as recharging my batteries taking time out refreshes my ideas and purpose for my life. Well deserved rest!

Day 602 of my blogging challenge 

Neolithic Highway: Moving On Down The Road?

Today I’ve been blown along the Neolithic Highway. A road between two lochs that seems to be full of standing stones and Neolithic villages. What was the draw for our ancestors?

All along this highway it seems they were encouraged to settle, build large monuments and then, after about a thousand years, to move on. The road winds from a settlement that is now on the edge of the sea, but was once well inland, down past two stones circles and two more settlements. I’m sure there are many more buildings still to be discovered. Was it the promise of fresh water? Or that seals come to shelter their young in the safety of an inland lake? Was it the warmer climate giving good ground to grow crops?

There are a lot of questions that I would love to have answers to. As I looked at the precise building of the settlement of Skara Brae, mirrored further down the road but in much bigger style at the Ness of Brodgar, understanding these lives seemed far out of reach. Because they left no recognisable records. May be the stone circles were all they felt would be needed? I sat for a while on a fallen stone in the Ring of Brodgar. I wanted to tune in. But today wasn’t the day. Too many people. Too much activity. Lots of layers of energy from all the people who have visited in the past. Now the highway is not so much a thin place as a well travelled road.

I love travelling to thin places. Where the highway seems to take me back to another time. Or sideways into a different dimension.

But I also feel that our thin places become less so when we enter them as unaware spectators. Not being mindful about the impact of our energy. I would like to sit in the Ring of Brognar under a full moon. Then I’m sure the energy would be more as it once was several thousand years ago. And I can journey to life as it once was on this highway. To be a ghost in their world. Looking in from the edges of their perception. I wonder what they would make of me? Or my time? And all of the traffic that now zooms up and down this Neolithic road.

As the wind tried to blow me off my feet I enjoyed the sudden fall of rain. It freshened the energy of the road. I felt that I was in two places at once. Here on the edge of the loch two lifetimes finally met in one moment. Another woman once walked this highway between her settlement and the standing stones. Whatever her purpose she felt the wind at her back and the rain in her face. One day, in her turn, there will be another woman who experiences these same feelings. In her future I hope she will wonder about all of the women who have walked the Neolithic highway. And remember that all of us are connected.

I am here because my mother was here. She was here because her mother had her.  In a line unbroken back to the settlements along this road. Orkney reminds us to keep on moving down the road.

Day 601 of my blogging challenge 

Six Hundred Days: It’s Been A Real Challenge

I’ve been very aware today that I have to write my six hundredth blog tonight. A long way from the thirty days I originally challenged myself. As each day has ticked by I’ve been surprised how I’ve stuck at it.

That got me thinking this afternoon as I stood on Stromness harbour. I watched six sail boats out in the wet weather practicing manoeuvres in the bay. Much more of a physical challenge than my writing. Then to visit the home of Eliza Fraser who was shipwrecked after travelling to Australia. Captured by aborigines she turned her challenge into a media show (or what passed for one in eighteen thirty six) and had an island named after her. A life full of all sorts of challenges then. Not least when it seemed she had really been rescued rather than captured.

I also found Login’s Well where many explorers took their drinking water on board before setting off. Arctic challenges, Hudson Bay Company ships sailing with trade goods, Caprain Cook off to discover new lands. Lots of brave people taking on the challenges of the sea. Now those places are as familiar to us as our own towns. Because of the words written about them. Also now because of the wide reach of the internet. I wondered what those pioneers would make of my life. Of most of our lives. I can take a large ferry across those seas. Big tankers ply their trade. My biggest challenge getting here has been to get on the right trains.

Better still I can fly across the world to any continent I wish. Is that six or seven? It depends on how you define them. That’s true about challenges too.

My challenge with my blogs is wrapped around words. It’s not particularly physical. But I’ve found it has stretched my emotions. Especially with my determination to stick with it on the days when my thoughts went into hiding. Or I felt like there was nothing noteworthy to write about. When I felt like no one could possibly be reading the blogs. And when I was working on my book as an extension of my blogs. Some days my writer’s block was overpowering. Yet I needed to keep going.

This evening I stood in the late evening sunshine and watched a Pipe Band. I thought about all of the discipline required to make bagpipes sound good. The hours of practice and gradual progression. Six drummers stepped forward and gave a display of timing, teamwork and passion. Their challenge had kept them going until they could work in unison. My writing has challenged my discipline and my passion. I’ve also had to learn to work in unison with my words. We are a team. Describing my life. Exploring my experiences. And giving me space to work out my next step on my spiritual journey.

I have learned to love my writing enough to keep going. That’s important. Because I still have four hundred and one more blogs to write. Plus a book or six. What will your next six challenges be?

Day 600 of my blogging challenge 

How Far Have I Come? Thoughts On Ancient Days

Looking around the buildings of Kirkwall today I started to think about ancient times. Not only the lives of people in Orkney five hundred years ago but also of three thousand years ago.

This chain of islands has so much history to offer. Of course so have many places all over the world. It’s just that sometimes I forget to stop and notice. I guess it’s the same for everyone. Living takes up all the time and space I have. Busy going here, doing that, meeting them. Finding a way to keep a roof over my head. Wanting to ensure my daughter and I can eat, be safe, or warm and dry. Looking for a purpose and meaning in my life. Was it the same in ancient times?

I looked around the Cathedral today. There were plenty of grave stones with memento mori inscriptions. The reminder that death comes to us all. At the Earl’s Palace the shell of the building remained. The Earl himself only enjoyed it for a few years as he was forced to give it up in 1609. To the Archbishop who had a palace already. The Earl was later executed for rebellion. Surrounding these monuments are a network of small streets made up of little terraced houses lining the harbour. Two big cruise ships had docked at the ferry port. So the streets were also full of visitors being shepherded around the town by the  tour guides.

All of us taking in the ancient buildings. The quirky town. Trying to get a feel for a life gone by. Photographing the graves of the long dead.

I wondered what people in those burial plots thought about the Afterlife. Certainly there had been a shift from the Viking tradition of many gods and goddesses to Christianity which focused one one god alone. Then in later centuries the disputes between Catholic and Protestant factions. But I was thinking much further back. What about the people who had a Neolithic existence on these islands? Our ancient ancestors may have had a goddess tradition. The purpose or meaning of their lives could have been from a different perspective than mine.

But I am sure that they also lived with the same focus as me. Keeping a roof over their heads, finding food and warmth, sharing with others. So I know they also had to work to make these things happen. And they also died. Their lives had an ending too. I find that the most grounding of all thoughts. We are continuing a basic pattern that has lasted for many thousands of years. I doubt that it will be destroyed overnight. Whatever happens the remains of ancient times remind us of the enduring human experience. To live, to love, to reproduce and to die. And to pass something on for the next generation.

Because we endure. What ancient monuments show is that we survive. They are a powerful reminder to me of the hope I have for humanity. We can overcome anything.

Day 599 of my blogging challenge 

Travelling ever northward: in search of a new land!

I’ve been up and about since five am this morning. Taking a series of trains to get over to the Orkney isles. Further north than I’ve ever been. Heading northward to discover a new land.

Yet I also feel called to this place. Perhaps I’m about to discover one of my past lives? Before heading northward I’ve had several days of a niggling anxiety. Everything has been planned. But I couldn’t help feeling that something was going to go wrong. The fact that everything has gone so smoothly today has been a great delight. After all what could really go wrong? What was I imagining? I’m not even sure I know now I’m nearing the end off this all day journey. We have even been blessed with a calm sea. Great for someone like me who suffers sea sickness if the waves look like they are going to be higher than three inches.

So what is the journey northward about? It started when I watched a TV programme about an archeological dig on Orkney.

At a place called the Ness of Brodgar. A site that apparently pre dates the pyramids and Stonehenge. Older than Ggantija in Malta. That caught my attention. I’ve been to Malta to the temple several times. And visited the Hypogeum temple too. The sense of Divine Feminine energy was very strong in Malta. I wondered if it would be the same in Orkney. Then they suggested that the stone circles, like the one called the Ring of Brodgar, were the first known monuments of this kind in the country. The circles spread from Orkney down the rest of the UK.

Of course it made perfect sense that I wanted to see and sense for myself if there was any Goddess energy still left in these places. The waves of energy around us at the moment are returning out focus to our own feminine energy. As human beings we have both feminine and masculine energy in all of us. A part to create and a part to make that creation real. I know we have been stuck in the ‘making it real’ part for far too long. For thousands of years creativity has been hedged about with structures that hinder the intuitive leaps forward that are at the very heart of that creativity. It’s become very hard to think the unthinkable. Let alone make sure it happens.

This northward journey can help me connect back to a different point of creativity. If I can step into that ancient energy.

That is the key. If there is a past life connection of any kind I hope to release any karmic patterns that prevent me from accessing my creativity. I’d also like to tune into the background energy to understand where these more northward peoples came from. What their history and heritage was. That’s why I’m excited about going to see the dig site. And I never know what else I might be asked to do. The fact that I’m going tells me that the Spirit World will most likely have a bit of work for me to do too. Probably on myself. But I never know. I might be there for service to someone else too.

Yes it is a holiday. Some time out for me. But I love my work with my Guides. They are taking me northward because they know I will enjoy it. And if they feel they can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, they will certainly do do. I feel like this long journey is all part of the process. We could have flown here. Or had an overnight stop. But when I was planning the trip I thought about the journey our ancestors must have made. In boats on the open and uncertain North Sea. No power but the wind in the sails and oars if becalmed. It must have been a much more epic journey than today.

Northward it is then. Adventure awaits. I’m ready to explore.

Day 598 of my blogging challenge

Embrace: Every Woman’s Story of Self-Love

I’m heading off on a break tomorrow. Before I go I’d like to share some information about self-love. Something I’ve been discussing for a while in my blogs.

When I first started to connect with Spirits and Guides I was very unsure about what was happening. Through a process of working with them I began to accept that they really had picked me and that I had the abilities they needed. It too me a while to build up my confidence in what they asked me to do. Giving messages to strangers was outside of my comfort zone. But with their loving support I moved myself a long way out of that comfort zone. With help I found some self-love to support my growing confidence. And the rest is history.

I’ve had to support my daughter to find self-love rather more than I expected over the last eight years. Her school days have not been full of happy memories. She didn’t get to enjoy a prom night. Or the kind support of loving friends. She is her own person. With the confidence to outlast the bullies who made her life a misery. Because she didn’t pay attention to her looks, make up, clothes or boys. She kept on studying despite all the cruel words. I encouraged her to enjoy being different. To dress how she felt she wanted to. To be her own person. Not an easy thing, I know, for a teenage girl surrounded by all the body image hype.

What kept me strong in encouraging her was the self-love I had developed for myself. Understanding  and talking it through with my Guides. Realising why it was so important.

Tonight I went to see a film called Embrace. A wonderfully empowering story of the work of  Taryn Brumfitt to bring the focus of self-love into the issue of women’s bodies. All of my life I have been judged on my looks. Whether I was good looking overtook the issue of if I was intelligent, good at my job, capable or had ability. The dress code where I worked was quite clear. Women had to look like ‘attractive’ women. Whatever that meant in the eyes of the men around us. Or the media for that matter. I remember the power suits, shoulder pads, navy or black, heels and accessories that were understated. A world without colour.

I also remember the joy at being able to escape the work uniform. To drown myself in bright colours, flowing tops and jeans. I wasn’t the same person under the clothes. But judged very differently. As was my body. My chest really. It was prominent. So I could never match the models in the magazines. I hated myself at times because I couldn’t find bras and tops to fit that were fashionable. There was definitely a lack of love going on. And that is why this film and the work is so important. Women come along in all shapes and sizes. And we are all beautiful.

In the Afterlife I will have no physical body. Looks won’t matter. Do I want to look any different? No. I want everyone to be treated as beautiful for the skin they are in. Embrace self-love and love every bit of you because the true you will leave this body behind one day. Enjoy it whilst you have it.

Day 597 of my blogging challenge 

Waterstones Cafe? It must be time for a Spirit download!

I was looking for a morning off. Headlining into Leeds with my daughter. Delighted to spend some time in Waterstones. A book store with a cafe. Perfect!

I love a chance to be surrounded by books. Probably my favourite treat. And if I can get a latte whilst I browse I feel like I’ve had the best treat. So today I seized the chance to have a trip out. A bit close to my holiday break but I’ve been working hard. I felt I deserved it, I thought. As I wandered through Leeds station I spotted some notebooks. Purple pens. I’m a bit of a sucker for stationery. New notebook tucked into my bag, plus purple pen, I set off to Waterstones. Not to use the notebook. But to do a few ‘tasks’ to clear my desk for my holiday. Because I can get a bit fraught if I feel I’ve left things undone.

As I settled in with my iPad to a little bit of work I felt really relaxed. I also pulled my Passion Planner out of my bag to check a diary date. That’s when it happened. I found myself reaching for my new notebook. And that pen. My arm felt heavy. My fingers seemed to have a mind of their own. Oh, I thought, someone is here. Then I set off writing at a speed that was hard to keep up with. Before I’d finished writing one thing the next one was in my head. My hand and the pen were struggling. Slow it down I insisted. The thoughts went a bit slower for about fifteen seconds. Then my hand was off in a hurry again.

In the middle of Waterstones the Spirit or Energy Being channeled a whole list of sayings for a set of oracle cards. Then started to download the meanings!

I was busy thinking ‘more work’. Trying to hold on to what had been said. All around me people were chatting, reading, shopping in Waterstones. It felt a bit surreal. It’s happened before but not usually with so much insistence. I wondered why the hurry. And if this was the way I would spend my train journey on Thursday. Writing up these notes. Getting them ready for production. Eventually the energy started to die back. I was laughing to myself. So much for a quiet morning. With no work so to speak.

I love inspired writing. Because when they drop into my head I know that I will always learn something. The inspirations they gave me will remind me of important things to think about. They can be shared much wider than me. I also loved that they had chosen Waterstones to contact me. About twenty feed from where I sat was the shelf where mind, body and spirit books were stacked. Along with some packs of oracle and tarot cards. A sort of ‘if you dare’ challenge. Asking me to think about my own book and oracle pack being on those shelves. If I dream big enough. Finally, I thought, shades of J K Rowling, lol!

Well done Waterstones. I had a wonderful morning doing what I love best. Sitting letting the Energy Beings communicate with me. All in all a great start to my holiday.

Day 596 of my blogging challenge 

Pointer, Stylus, Dobber. What do you use?

I’m siting here using my pointer. Or is it a dobber? Even a stylus? It’s a sort of pen thingy so I can push the buttons on my iPad. With a soft bit so it is kind to my screen.

I came across my pointer because I had hurt my index finger. Tapping away at the keyboard on my screen was painful. But how to write my blog? Of course I could have tried speech recognition. Talking it into the iPad. But would Siri make any sense of my muddled up Lancastrian/Yorkshire accent? I’m a bit too hazy how good he is at getting all the words down. What if it didn’t make any sense at all and I had forgotten what I said? So I have a dobber. What my auntie calls the big pen she uses for bingo.

Of course I know it’s sold as a stylus. Another writing implement. And that is what it’s helping me do. It’s like an extension of my finger. Happily hitting all of the right buttons as I do my best, fastest two finger typing. You might by now be wondering why I’m talking about a pointer. Rambling in fact. But that’s the point. I often forget the devices that make life simpler for me. The little things that are the perfect solution to my problem. Because I’m often looking for big answers. Solving things completely not just for a bit.

I get a pointer from my Guides most days. They bring in the little pieces of information or support that will help me with the problem directly in front of me. It’s me who can’t see it.

I’m still looking for the wave of a wand that will solve the whole issue. It’s like not trusting the voice software. It could solve one of my writing issues. The time it takes me to type. I can speak much faster. Yet I’m stubbornly refusing to use it. The pointer is there. The stylus is jabbing me in the back. The dobber has gone off in a sulk. I could make things easy for myself but I don’t. I sometimes have to laugh at myself. I’m still following the ‘if it is too easy it’s not going to be good’ idea.

This is an old bit of stuck energy about the value of something is increased if it’s hard work. I wonder how many of us fall into judging ourselves by that standard. Instead of being glad or excited that something has turned out to be really easy. So I get on with things still waiting for the pointer to the fast but hard work solution. I realise I need to value myself in a different way. And value the dobber and stylus as ways to get me into doing things in a slightly easier way.

Small steps. Leading eventually to doing whatever will be easiest. And praising myself for a job well and easily done.

Day 595 of my blogging challenge