Native American Code of Ethics: A great way to live

1. Rise with the sun to pray. Pray alone. Pray often. The Great Spirit will listen, if you only speak.

2. Be tolerant of those who are lost on their path. Ignorance, conceit, anger, jealousy and greed stem from a lost soul. Pray that they will find guidance.

3. Search for yourself, by yourself. Do not allow others to make your path for you. It is your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.

4. Treat the guests in your home with much consideration. Serve them the best food, give them the best bed and treat them with respect and honor.

5. Do not take what is not yours whether from a person, a community, the wilderness or from a culture. It was not earned nor given. It is not yours.

6. Respect all things that are placed upon this earth – whether it be people or plant.

7. Honor other people’s thoughts, wishes and words. Never interrupt another or mock or rudely mimic them. Allow each person the right to personal expression.

8. Never speak of others in a bad way. The negative energy that you put out into the universe will multiply when it returns to you.

9. All persons make mistakes. And all mistakes can be forgiven.

10. Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind, body and spirit. Practice optimism.

11. Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us. They are part of your worldly family.

12. Children are the seeds of our future. Plant love in their hearts and water them with wisdom and life’s lessons. When they are grown, give them space to grow.

13. Avoid hurting the hearts of others. The poison of your pain will return to you.

14. Be truthful at all times. Honesty is the test of ones will within this universe.

15. Keep yourself balanced. Your Mental self, Spiritual self, Emotional self, and Physical self – all need to be strong, pure and healthy. Work out the body to strengthen the mind. Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.

16. Make conscious decisions as to who you will be and how you will react. Be responsible for your own actions.

17. Respect the privacy and personal space of others. Do not touch the personal property of others – especially sacred and religious objects. This is forbidden.

18. Be true to yourself first. You cannot nurture and help others if you cannot nurture and help yourself first.

19. Respect others religious beliefs. Do not force your belief on others.

20. Share your good fortune with others. Participate in charity.

First published in the “Inter-Tribal Times,” (October1994)

 

The Princess and the Phoenix: 22 lessons in life

All that is good NOW in my life is as a result of anything that was less than totally positive in the past. My past has been my teacher and what lessons I’ve learned!

I have learned:

1. To use my own voice and roar if I need to
2. To live my life from a place where my boundaries must be respected
3. To know what it is to be cherished
4. To be loved for who I am – because I’ve also known what it was to be loved for who people thought I was
5. To be broken – and know what it is to be entirely humbled – but that I can rebuild beauty
6. To live from a place of compassion rather than judgment
7. To never to settle for less
8. That I’m a princess and that’s a given
9. Great passion, so I can love more
10. Great sorrow, so I can understand others pain
11. To no longer be always strong, so I could become a woman of strength
12. That crashing and burning can mean you rise from the ashes like a Phoenix
13. That taking the wrong roads leads to blisters, but you can still have adventures while you are getting back on track again
14. To take directions from my heart and trust that the Universe and God has my back
15. That no-one wants me to be perfect, they just want me to be real
16. To step up and into the gloriously wonderful uniquely flawed me
17. To see the wounded angel inside those I meet
18. That carrying the past around me robs me of the energy to step into my future
19. To appreciate the beauty in all the seasons of my life
20. That the fact “this too will pass”, and no one will talk about this in a hundred years always gives me perspective
21. That I have been blessed and seen the unmistakable touch of grace and mercy on my life
22. And that, ultimately, those who have walked part of my journey with me and left for whatever reason, have blessed me. I release them to walk their own paths and I wish then hope, peace, love and happiness.

 

When you want to put a sparkle in your step

Just do it. Get your journal out and explore possibility x

Your journey has already taken you a long way down the road, and you are no stranger to self inquiry. But now you’re looking for more. .. more intimacy, more connection, more expression, more fulfilment and more passion. And you are willing to find it wherever it comes, be it a life-altering trip to the HImalayas or in that small perfect gesture, that puts a sparkle in your step. You are also willing to find it by whatever means is available. It might be through the people you love, your creative life, your work or service to the world, your prayers and meditations or some great mix of all of those.

© Robin Rice

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Growing Your Soul

I love these words of Sonia Choquette, in her book, “Grace, Gratitude and Gifts,” a book one of my dearest soul friends bought me last year knowing it would call me to read it when the time was right.

“…..help me look upon my life experiences with neutrality and appreciation for all the great learning experiences my soul has had. Grace me with the ability to remove all harmful negative filters of judgement, shame, regret, and guilty that I project onto my soul experiences, preventing me from deriving the genuine value each one has brought into my life, and please instead inspire me to review my past with the interest and objectivity of a co-creator student who is here to learn all that is possible from each life experience and condition to grow my soul…..

Grace me with deep understanding in my heart and Spirit that all unfolds in your supreme perfection and that in Divine eyes there are no victims, only students of life, having experiences.”

Namaste

Letting Bygones Be Bygones.

I believe in the power of words, and that certain books can change your life. I’ve learned that books call to me when I’m meant to read them, when I’m ready to sit with my journal and let the words inspire or teach me as I explore what happens next.

When Sonia Choquette’s book, “Grace, Gratitude and Gifts” attracted my attention, I could have dismissed it, as I’d tried to read another book by her but had ended up setting it aside. But I have learned to trust my intuition – and I’m glad it did, for man, did change happen, and here’s how!

 

1. Losses create space for the lessons your soul needs

The introduction explained how she wrote the books, through automatic writing. I ask God to bless my writing now, but this was a step beyond that – it was asking God to write through you. In my journaling classes and coaching, I sometimes suggest “stream of consciousness” writing, where you just put pen to paper and see what happens for a few minutes, without judging it at the time. It can be surprising what happens in three minutes. This, however, was a much more deliberate process – one that acknowledged and accepted outside help.

So for the first time ever, I did as she suggested – and asked my Spirit Guides and Angels to guide my writing, covering me in light and love as they did this. I had no idea what would happen when I started to write, and I didn’t expect to find it was the words that came were the story of the end of my first marriage.

A story that is all-ways my story in the same way all the other players have their story and version of events, but I can only tell my own story, with respect for theirs. The story poured out, but in a different way than I’d expected. It was still a story of three people in a marriage, invisibility, a dutiful wife on a lonely pedestal with lots of masks and lists of what not-to-do’s. A story of someone thinking they were living from the light but where all the light got snuffed out so all I saw was a tunnel with no light at the end, darkness. I was unseen, unheard, and unloved, a woman with no boundaries who was fenced in by her culture and beliefs but who found that a culture cannot box you in or stop your heart seeking love and appreciation, for it is love or fear that drives us almost anywhere. It was also a story of a darkness that was almost self-extinguished in despair, where hope could not be found and options could not be seen. It was a story that meant that appreciation was the spark that meant I’d lose my home, my job, my community, my church communities, and almost all of my friends – but as my youngest daughter said when I shared this all with her for the first time, it was a story where I had lost myself. It was a story that still defined me, as I was stuck there with the glues of regret and shame, guilt and anger, hurt and fear. But as I wrote, the story unexpectedly moved to the future – and I was grateful for losing all of these things as well as who I had been, because it created space for all that is so good in my life. I found that this gratitude and perspective gave me much peace.

2. Opening and Closing Doors

Yet that night, I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t feeling well, but it wasn’t that – it was the really strong smell of faeces, like the toilet was blocked, and a feeling of overwhelm and heaviness. I was sure the others in the house could smell it, it was so strong, yet no-one commented on it, so I didn’t feel I could. When I’d put my head on the pillow, it was particularly strong, so sleep escaped me. At 2 a.m. in the morning, I googled it – and read that smells like this might suggest evil or negative spirits and at that point, this made perfect sense to me given how I was feeling.

So I prayed for protection and searched for an answer again, and found blessings/prayers to use to protect me and my family and house – and the smell disappeared and I slept. This happened again the next night, and I did the same and commanded whatever was there to go, as I was living in love and light and peace and joy and there was no space for it. I felt that in asking my spirit guides and angels to work through me, I had also opened an energetic door where things that were less than totally positive could enter. I needed to shut this door firmly, so I did.

3. A Profound Experience in Grace

The book is a series of daily readings, mantras, prayers and blessings. On my third morning, with my heart cracked open, I read this.

“I humbly ask you to bestow your all-empowering grace upon me this day so that I find the power to forgive those who have hurt or injured me in the past, even though I still feel the pain of their injuries to me. Allow me the grace to stop dwelling in the past, and to release all moments from my mind and emotions where I have perceived myself to be wronged and felt hurt, whether or not the events that passed were meant to personally assault me. I humbly ask for your holy grace to give me the ability to let bygones be bygones, and to free my mind permanently of any memory of wrongdoing, whether at my expense or caused by me. I ask for your holy grace to release me from all guilt or shame that is the result of my own wrongdoing or wrong thinking in the past, so that I may forgive myself fully and learn from my mistakes but not be held hostage by them.”

As I read on, I actually felt that prayer in every fibre of my body; it was a prayer from my heart. And amazingly, wonderfully, I found myself forgiving many of the key figure who had hurt me, and letting bygones be bygones. More than that, I found myself blessing them and asking that they would also all love, light, peace, happiness – and love. It was a profound experience in grace that I am still smiling at – and this too is my story. Namaste

Wholeness Lies Beyond Perfection

What does authentic living mean to you? For me, it means no more masks. It means being who I am – light and darkness, wherever I am. It means all-ways showing up as me. So that’s why I’m going to share this story because it’s the preamble to my next one which wouldn’t have happened without this first.

I’ve had fibromyalgia for some time, which can be painful. After several years of visits to various doctors, I was diagnosed with Autonomic and Peripheral Neuropathy and am currently going through tests to find out why. In many ways it was a relief to get a diagnosis, as I was sure the doctors sighed when I turned up with another symptom. (Had they looked at me holistically they would have put the pieces of the jigsaw together years ago)

It has significantly affected my life; no more 48 hour days, lots more rest, finding ways to still exercise safely, and steroids that affect my immune system. It affected my handwriting so I stopped writing as it was so untidy. Above all, it came with fatigue, but I brought pity to the party. I felt very sorry for myself.

Perhaps as a result of all that, I ended up ill with a nasty bout of bronchitis and tracheitis. This turned out to be a total blessing. It gave me precious time to journal and talk to myself about how I wanted to live my life. I dare people to be happier but I wasn’t walking my walk, so it was time to see if I really believed that people can always choose their attitude, even when faced with life changing news (and I do!) I had time to find my dreams again, dust them off and see if they still fitted who I am – and they do. I still want to heal, encourage, inspire and encourage people with my words.

It was a period of recuperation, reflection – and of transformation, once I got to the stage where I could read and think again, and I know the power of words to transform lives (thanks Andrea Gardner and Cheryl Richardson and Viktor Frankl) I realised that some of my tribe and community could also be through books (thanks Robin Rice)

I realised what I wanted above all was wholeness, and that wholeness lies beyond perfection (thank you, Rachel Ramen). I also found that I would find that through following my heart, feeding my spirit and being present in this moment. I learned that I transform me, my life, my beliefs and actions as well as what happens, when I observe without judgement (thanks Ariel and Shya Kane)

I learned you give what you seek, to listen from my heart, to go with the flow, with “what is.” (Thanks, Deepak Chopra)

Instead of focussing on my health problems, I learned that my body deserves to be respected, minded and understood in its spiritual nature (thanks, John O’Donohue)

I also learned that moving into wholeness is where I find healing, not by running away from it into a quick fix – and that “suffering, whether physical, emotional, spiritual, or as is often the case, all three, can be a doorway to transformation.” (thank you, Dean Ornish). And that transformation takes place when you stop trying to fix yourself, and choose instead to own your own story, be who you are, and shine.

I learned that this moment is perfect as it is, and I must enjoy life moment by moment because this stops worry and anxiety and gives peace. I learned I can do less and accomplish more because my heart is in it and I’m focused.

And I realised I’m a spiritual being having a human experience and all that has happened – whether by my own actions or others – is what my soul has called to it for the lessons it must learn. And learning all this – with great peace – opened the door for what happened next. Namaste

The Prosperous Heart

I wanted to change my beliefs about abundance, money and prosperity, so I bought a few books to challenge my thinking. Yet I’ve resisted the lesson, as to date, I’ve only read one, The Prosperous Heart by Julia Cameron.

Most famous for her bookThe Artist’s Way, I hadn’t realised she was once married to Martin Scorsese, with more than enough money – yet was deeply unhappy. That rang a chord with me, needless to say, and I suggest you buy a copy if you are curious about what really drives your spending habits or debt.

One of the exercises is to recall where you have already felt prosperous. Do this exercise! “I feel prosperous when…”

Here’s my response. I felt prosperous when
…surrounded by my family at Brinsop Court, a medieval manor where I spent my 50th birthday. I was able to share the beauty and wealth of that place with those I love most in the world.
…When I spent a weekend with Lee in a wonderful French Gypsy caravan in the Scottish Borders.
…when I was in Korea and saw a man with no legs pulling himself along on a handmade cart, and when I saw the old ladies collecting old paper in wheelbarrows.
…when we went to Scott’s for our anniversary and enjoyed a whiskey tasting night – but not the year before when we went to a luxury hotel that was ruined by bad service.
…in Cumbrae,by the sea, in my busiest ever year, where I had space and time and a log fire… But not the next week when I also had a log fire but an old cottage at the edge if a desolate moor.
…when I stopped by a stall for Cancer support and gave the ladies who were wrapping Christmas presented a bag
filled with juice and fruit to say thank you, when I gave someone else some money and they could fix their windows.
…when I organised my mum’s surprise 70th and all those people came and she had no idea about it
…in Rome, with my girls, the Dolce Vita and the Colosseum.
…as I stepped off the boat to first see the island in the Maldives where we would spend our honeymoon, and when our houseboy said he would get to visit his family again in three months.
…when I bought my M&S winter jacket
…when I had A car instead of public transport.
…when I saw how the Bedouin women live.
…when I can order online easily.
…time spent on afternoon teas and at Jamies and the Butterfly and Pig.
…when I did without coffee in March to give that money to Comic Relief and when I donated over a £1000 to Cancer Support Scotland in lieu of birthday presents.
…when I walked the West Highland Way in slow stages with Madaline
…for a friend buying me a coffee when I couldn’t afford it
…when we sat the kids down, explained the debt mountain we needed to climb, telling them holidays were out and Christmas would be one small present – and my two young teenagers found out they had £100 in their accounts and offered it all to us.

These are the times my soul and spirit swelled with gratitude for all that I have. Lately, I’ve been focused on other things like my health, and forgotten to be grateful. That shocked me when I realised it but at least now I can do something about that. And I’m grateful that I can all-ways change 😉

What’s The Chances?

A friend sent me this story and I’ve checked it out. It IS a true story. Call it synchronicity, or call it grace, it’s still pretty awesome!

All fifteen members of a church choir in Beatrice, Nebraska, due at practice at 7:20, were late on the evening of March 1, 1950. The minister and his wife and daughter had one reason (his wife delayed to iron the daughter’s dress) one girl waited to finish a geometry problem; one couldn’t start her car; two lingered to hear the end of an especially exciting radio program; one mother and daughter were late because the mother had to call the daughter twice to wake her from a nap; and so on. The reasons seemed rather ordinary. But there were ten separate and quite unconnected reasons for the lateness of the fifteen persons. It was rather fortunate that none of the fifteen arrived on time at 7:20, for at 7:25 the church building was destroyed in an explosion. The members of the choir, Life reported, wondered if their delay was “an act of God.”

Here is a link to the full article –

http://www.thehealersjournal.com/2013/06/01/the-hidden-meaning-of-synchronicities-and-coincidences/

John O’Donohue, The Burren and Could-Be Obstacles

Yesterday I had the great joy of visiting The Burren, where John O’Donohue must have got much of his inspiration. I fell in love with the place just as I’d fallen in love with his books. It’s unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been – it has a magical quality all of its own.

The stones and landscape, wells and ancient stones and places are timeless. We drove past a particularly large stone in the middle of a field, and I was reminded of what John’s brother Pat said about such stones – stones that many people would see as obstacles.

He says:

“Here in the Burren you are befriended by rocks and stones wherever you go. They only become obstacles if you can’t find your way around them. When we were being introduced to the world of garden and meadow it was natural to see a massive grey conversation piece protruding through the brown soil or the green grass. The rows of vegetables never seemed perturbed as they continued around the possible obstacle like the flow of the river meandering on its way further down the valley.

In fact, the fruits of the garden often flourished in the vicinity of this rock. The heat of the limestone warmed the seed and its size sheltered the tender young blossom. It also presented the tired back with a justifiable occasion of straightening and rest. In a mysterious way it seemed beneficial, if not necessary, to have a ‘could be’ obstacle on your path.”

I had never thought of a massive rock in a field like this. I would have been more likely to see it as something to be removed, or something that made planting anything in it’s vicinity to be a waste of time. I realised that it’s ultimately all about perspective, and about how we choose to see what is in front of us.

I don’t know what’s in front of you; I don’t know what is in front of me either! But my wish for us all is that whatever ‘could be’ obstacles might be in our paths, we find a way of viewing them that brings us grace.

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Old Year’s Revolutions

My youngest daughter used to call them New Year’s Revolutions, (and I guess If what you resolve to do transforms you, then revolutions is probably a better word than resolution anyway).

I don’t make resolutions! Let’s get that out there. I found they set me up too often for failure, so instead, I have a theme, or themes for the year. And then what adventures I have!

I’m working on 2013’s just now, as though the theme comes through strongly towards the end of a year, it is only by reviewing the previous year that the theme gets refined.

So what have I learned this year?

I’ve learned that dreams are vital, as it is our imagination connected to soul longings that moves us forward. I also know that if one route doesn’t work to get to that dream, try another!

I’ve learned that my mind had taken over and disconnected from my body and it’s now time to reconnect them.

I’ve learned that I’m an adventurer at heart. A traveller, not a tourist. I’ve ticked off some of my bucket list and found great joy in doing so. Highlights are an evening on the fabulous Orient Express, a wonderful weekend in Brinsop Court, a week in Egypt, a long weekend in Rome with my girls, and a wonderfully romantic weekend in a French Gypsy Caravan in the Scottish Borders with my husband.

I’ve learned I need solitude too, with a weekend spent in a Buddhist monastery and I’ve then crossed specific time off throughout the year to repeat this at home.

I’ve learned to forgive old deep hurts and let the people involved go by seeing the wounded angel inside them.

I’ve learned that friendship is more important than connections and numbers and that friendship requires time, nurture, patience and love. I’ve also learned that friends will surprise and disappoint you and let you down, and I’ve learned to let that go, recognise the soul lessons – and remember I’ve probably done the same myself.

And oh how I’ve learned the blessing of soul friends!

I’ve learned from failure to see what really matters to me. For example, it was the failure to get a job I applied for that made me see my heart lies in coaching and writing. I also learned that it was okay to try things (like Meet Ups or courses in particular venues) to see if they worked for me or not.

I’ve learned to distance myself from negativity, and those who are argumentative for the sake of “debate” as that generates only heat, not light.

I’ve also learned to distance myself from those who are persistently unkind.

I’ve learned to nurture myself – and that the world doesn’t fall apart when I do that.

I’ve learned that some will misjudge your motives for doing something. Perhaps there may be mixed motives in what we do, but we can’t always see that ourselves so with as honest a heart as we can, we should still do what we intend to do.

I’ve learned that I love the area I live in as well as my home, and to make my home a haven.

I’ve learned that I’m transformed by solitude, journaling and focus (through specific themes or projects).

I’ve learned I still need to work on thoughtfulness, patience and graciousness.

What have YOU learned?