Getting Over Life’s Doubts

In the past week I had been experiencing intense doubts about myself, my life, my abilities, my purpose, my choices, my religion and my goals. A momentary combustion occurred and I had what I deem a quarter life crisis one week after I turned the ripe age of 25.

We all experience this at some time in our lives. We all wonder where our life is heading and if we are going in the right direction. We all consider if we had taken a different route how our lives would now be more fulfilling and more successful. We all question our skills and ask if we are good enough, if we are good enough to believe in ourselves and if we really do have something valuable to offer the world.

In these times, we can remember that there are people who need help, there are people all around us who need uplifting, supporting and comforting. Through our own doubts and fears, if we can gather the courage to focus not on our own conflict of the heart but on the needs of others then truly we will be lost in a good work. Maybe in reality this is only escape and distraction from our personal turmoil but when this emotional chaos hits what better way to expand our energies than by looking outside of ourselves?

Take a look around. Begin with simple gestures. Send kind messages. Offer honest compliments. Take part in community service. Buy a Big Issue. Share the skills that you have. Volunteer abroad. Strive to become more patient and loving. Talk to a stranger. Share inspiring media. Develop a new talent that will benefit others.

Each day as we wake and rise we have this gift of life, we have a new opportunity to create our life as we want it to be, to decide where we will put our energy.

Rob Bell Quote

  • Begin whatever you’re doing by remembering that you are here and you have been given a gift.’

Ask yourself these questions:

  • ‘How am I going to respond to this life I have been given?
  • ‘What am I going to do with it?’
  • “What am I going to make here?’
  • ‘What new and good thing is going to come out of this experience?’
  • ‘What kind of life am I creating?’

(Rob Bell. How to be Here, A Guide to a Life worth Living)

*If you’re feeling brave, feel free to comment your answers

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One of Those Places

I sat in meditation
Pebbles nibbled my flesh
Warm winds whipped around me
At last the sun kissed bare skin,

Two boys frolicked in the shallows
Safe from shadows overcast by clouds
So many years ago on this same beach
My sister and I had rolled in mud,

By the sea I remember
Where I came from
Long days laughing in water
Some kind of magic floating in the air,

One of those places again
Clouds stand still
Birds swoop and dive
Particles shimmer, time pauses
Here I can stay forever
Cocooned in paradise on earth.

Why I want to serve a Mission

do-small-things-with-great-love

Last April I was baptised. I was introduced to the church through meeting missionaries on the street. A month after my baptism I pondered on serving a mission myself; I deeply desired to change lives in the same miraculous way as all of those who had taught me. The missionaries taught me about the scriptures and the gospel, about the commandments and the organisation of the church, but most importantly they taught me how I was loved. They showed me that I was cared for, that I was not alone, that difficult times were to make me stronger, that I was understood, that I had a purpose, and like every other person on this earth, they showed me that I was special.

With them I felt the greatest joys, shared my deepest sadness, and grew to love a God who had always been beside me. Through them, God loved me. Through them, God touched my heart. Through them, God filled me and He filled my life with an unchanging peace, a purity, and a divine intervention.

My dark wounds have been made light and my burdens have been made easier to carry. Maybe this sounds crazy; to devote 18 months to spreading the word of the gospel in a country I don’t yet know. It can be anywhere in the world. This time last year my motivation to work, to wake up in the morning, to smile, was the hope that someday soon I could travel somewhere beautiful again. But when I travelled before, in all of the excitement, self-discovery and exploration of foreign lands, I needed greater purpose. It was not enough to be helping small communities to live environmentally friendly and though I adored their simple, authentic cultures I could not refrain from questioning the deeper significance and finding none. They were just living, and I was just living. I wanted more. I wanted to get to the root, to the beginning, to the foundation of creation, to my exact natural being. Something has changed within me, and I want to inspire that change in others whether it’s related to religion or not. It doesn’t matter if people don’t accept my religion or if they don’t want to talk about God; it matters only that they know they are loved. That’s the reason I will serve a mission…to love the people who need loving, who have been hurt, wounded, broken-hearted, lonely, and lost so I can remind them that they have a purpose too.

{thank you: http://wind-rose-grace.tumblr.com/ -for the quote}

 

Improve Organ Function and Well-Being

 

 

 

Ancient literature going back 2,500 years depict images of exercises similar to Qigong postures but it’s also considered to be over 6,000 years old. It’s a strongly established method originating from China that uses a gentle combination of breathing, stretching and meditating for easing muscle tension, relieving stress, generating flexibility, cultivating energy, and increasing balance in specific organs relevant to each position.

From a literal standpoint, the word “Qi” is the Chinese word for “vital energy”. Qi is the animating force that moves through our body and soul and gives us not only life but consciousness. The concept of a living energy can be found in every culture and is known by names such as Prana (India), Ruach (Israel), Aenema (Ancient Greece), Holy Spirit (Christianity), and The Force (Star Wars).

“Gong” is the Chinese word for “work” or “skill”. So the word “Qigong” can be translated as “the skill of vital energy”.”

This is a short exercise of 20 minutes and even if done only once you will feel immediate benefits. It provides a great sense of inner peace, a clearing of the mind that alleviates mental strain and I recommend trying it out every morning, every other morning, one evening a week, or whenever it suits you.

(Reference: http://www.qigongevolution.com/QigongHistory.html)

5 Words, write a Story

My sister and I strolled through Rochester High Street before we walked laughing into the crepe cafe, an aroma of sweet melted chocolate drifted through the air as we found our booth tucked away. We sat there drinking hot chocolate, sharing some of our latest poems. My inspiration had felt stumped, motivation to write had dwindled. What was there to write about? There was nothing exciting happening; my senses were not being elated; romanticism had evaporated; it was only a dull world I could now see.

Then I remembered an activity a friend had introduced to me whilst we sat in a cafe on a hot summer’s day.

We gave each other 5 words and with these five words we had to write a short story as fast as possible.

This is what happened:

Story Skye:

ANGEL MOUNTAINS SNOW AMAZEMENT SPARKLE

One day an angel appeared in front of a young girl called Kizzy! She was hiking up high in the mountains, and the lights she saw made her look up in amazement. The angel gave off an amazing heat which made the snow melt beneath Kizzy’s feet. The angel didn’t say much but the look in her eyes made Kizzy know and feel that everything was going to be okay! And with a flutter of her wings and an epic sparkle, she was gone, and Kizzy was alone on the mountain.

Story Kizzy:

FLOWERS PANCAKES RAINBOWS UNICORNS LIGHT

In a distant land far, far away from the earth, far from this universe and anything we know to be true, is a planet inhabited by wild unicorns. They leap and gallop and spend their days helping people. Rainbows shine through the sky from their planet and they fly along the beams to land on the earth. Their light makes them so bright they are invisible to the human eye, only their myth lives on to tell the tales of their mysticism but no-one believes they are real. The unicorns fly here and there doing good deeds for people. On their planet there is an abundance of beautiful, exotic, colourful flowers more glorious than anything you’ve seen before. One day a unicorn named Skye saw a young girl making pancakes on her own. The young girl wished for friends to share them with, for laughter, and for happiness, so the unicorn Skye built a rainbow and travelled down to the earth. She transformed into a girl and went to this young girl’s house with a bunch of these wonderful flowers. Together they made the sweetest pancakes, laughed, danced, and joked until the sun set across the houses.

Try it some time 🙂

Teaching with Missionaries

My religious journey has progressed so that now rather than meeting up with missionaries each week to have lessons, I am going out with the missionaries to meet other people who are interested in the gospel. Now I am learning how to teach others about the joy, peace, and spiritual fulfilment that comes with understanding our interpretation of God. Because everyone has a different interpretation of God, I thought I could never accept God to be man. Yet I’m here, testifying with every fibre of my being that God lives and loves every one of us and I’m here sharing this message so that we may all have the option to follow this path.

Yesterday we taught three individuals entirely unique and entirely interesting. The first one, I will call Gary. We walked into his bedroom that was adorned in ACDC posters, a desk covered in paints sat in the corner and a gentle purple butterfly duvet cover was made on his bed. Gary was a short man, slightly hunched with shoulder length soft brown hair and stubble. I missed his eye colour; his gaze refused to hold mine as he spoke whilst perched on the corner of his bed looking towards the wall talking about ancient civilisations and religions. A cat leapt down from the top of his window-frame and crawled around our legs. As Elder Andrews and Elder Reynolds taught Gary about God’s plan for us I noticed that his forearms stretched down into tennis-ball sized disfigurements over his elbows. His fingers were bent like claws and he mentioned he had a disability. His beliefs were primarily based upon Paganism but he was willing and open to learning more. Although he had this interest in learning, he was also more interested in talking through the lesson. I recognised how God reaches the sick and afflicted, how this pain gives us an opportunity to seek God, but that we have to be willing to listen to God and His multiple ways of communicating with us.

Next we were to meet *Rachel. She had called four times because she was early and waiting in the cold for us to meet her so already we were anticipating the lesson with caution. Rachel was Indian with long thick black hair and large glassy brown eyes wearing camel-toned workman boots and joggers. She greeted us with a tear trickling down her cheek and distress oozing from pores in her dishevelled face. She said she had diabetes, had left her money at home and needed food and sugar straight away; the missionaries took her to a cafe to buy her food and sat down to talk. I joined them as Rachel told us she could see spirits, that she had good thoughts as well as evil thoughts trying to take over her mind. She said she felt good and strong and faithful, sometimes. On other occasions the darkness crept in and took her sanity as though she owed it for her sins. Spirits told her to get baptised, to be cleansed of her sins, and she wanted to. She needed our help and we had been sent to her. Months ago I had prayed to God asking, how can we stop this depression? How can we feel God’s love through depression? Is schizophrenia an attack from the opposition? Is a relationship with God enough to heal these illnesses? Is a relationship with God the solution instead of drowning in numbing medication? I was intrigued by Rachel’s life and her story and I was desperate to discover if the Lord could be almighty enough to heal this woman.

The missionaries and I took a break for lunch; they went to their flat to prepare hot food and I went to the library with a hot chocolate and my packed lunch. I walked up beside the park to re-join them and sat upon the entrance gate waiting. I gazed out at the stretching snow covered fields, wind whipped my hair and a flock of dark birds glided left then right then landed and shot up then dived then swept left and landed in synchronisation riding the current. Everything worked, everything harmonised and everything mattered. We approached *Tony’s flat where we climbed stairs to a damp scent and carpet blanketed in coarse, white dog hair. The lounge was cold as Tony had no wood for his fire resulting in regular early retirement to his bed where it was the warmest place in the house. Tony was an older gentleman with a blonde ponytail and beard, yellow teeth, wearing a colourful abstract jumper. His living room walls displayed Led Zeppelin memorabilia, an empty ashtray was on his coffee table, and his  beautiful husky visited each of us as we sat down on cream leather sofas. Our purpose this lesson was mostly to listen as Tony told us how he gave his time to charitable causes by helping the homeless. Through his past addictions he was able to share experiences and be the example to the people he helped that a positive future was possible. Giving his time pro-actively was admirable but he could not retain his negative thoughts about society. He saw so much of the destruction, the lack of gratitude, the lying, the neglected, but in a brief moment I explained how connecting with God helps you to overcome these thoughts and focus on the positive so that you’re able to contribute with peace of mind, so that God is always on your side and so that your head is clear for your heart to love. A busy mind prevents the heart from loving, and that’s the reason we are all here. To find God, and to love.