March 26, 2013

Finding Hope

If you haven't read 'Man's Search for Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust' by Viktor E. Frankl you definitely should, what an incredible book. Frankl has a way of reminding us that in all circumstances in life we can find and hold on to hope. We always have a choice about how we will view our life and the attitude we choose to adopt. If hope can be found in the concentration camps than whatever you are facing today, you can also find hope.

 'We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that eveything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of all human freedoms- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.'

March 25, 2013

Moving Generously into the World

`Research has shown that volunteers experience better health than those who don’t volunteer, and even gain more benefits, socially and physically, than those they help. Volunteering helps to reduce stress in people’s lives and in turn reduces the risk of disease.'

Check out my latest article on the benefits of volunteering;

Never Say Never

I recently attended a women’s retreat run by a friend of mine. The weekend was about grounding yourself in the Earth’s energy and acknowledging the divine power within. We did some wonderful yoga, meditation, dance and art sessions. It was a lovely weekend of learning and sharing with a great group of women.

While the retreat was wonderful, it was something else about the retreat that impacted me greatly. My friend who organised and led the retreat has not had an easy life. She experienced Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for four years in addition to significant personal and spiritual challenges. She knows about the grittiness of life. However, she has worked hard and soulfully to find healing and peace in her life. 

What struck me on the weekend was her amazing transformation. When she was sick and literally crawling on her hands and knees to get up the stairs in her home, if someone had said to her that she would be organising and leading her own retreat she would have seen it as unfathomable, impossible and laughable.

By living one day and one step at a time, by honouring herself in that process and by doing things that she loved, she has been able to achieve and experience some wonderful things in her life that once appeared inconceivable. The retreat was not only a wonderful success but was such a tangible example of how far she has come in her life.

I have found great optimism and hope in my friend’s journey. Just like everybody, I have desires in my life that currently seem implausible. I can’t see how I will get to where I want to be in my life and it causes me anxiety, frustration and sadness. What I learnt over the weekend, however, was never consider something to be impossible. Never say never.

The lesson is if you live well, stay grounded, and live in the moment anything is possible. If you can trust in the process of life and your own transformation you will find yourself with a life that you had only dreamed about- a life of joy, love, happiness and peace.