You’re asking me to do what-PRAY!!??!!

I recall giving a similar answer many years ago when someone suggested to me during a challenging time to pray!  However, I worked through my resistance and gave it a try.  Today it is still an important part of my daily practice-why because it has worked for me-and I could give endless examples.  There are three aspects to my prayer life-the first is to pray, the second is to listen and the the third is to take action, as a result prayer is a dynamic process.  The results bring me a sense of connection of guidance and hope.  As with all practices they need practice to grow our own prayer life that works for us and this is an adventure you may wish to take.  I did pray as a child and my return to prayer was  too this way of praying, however I have come to see that the doing is more relevant than how we do it.  So in my beginning I would pray on my knees with my hands in the prayer position I find it a very humbling posture to offer prayers and today I will sometimes pray in this way.  Though more often my prayers are part of my meditation practice or offered while out walking with the land.  I will take a moment and take some breaths drop into my heart and offer my prayers sometimes spoken and sometimes silently. I find just like questions prayers are openings and can lead us somewhere new.  I use both a mix of traditional prayers and also what comes from my heart.  Prayer can be seen as a communication with the universe and once we speak its good to  listen to what comes back ,this may be instant or over a period of time. Once we recieve a clear answer then the final part comes into play to act on the guidence. This how we build trust and faith in the power and effectivness of prayer. To pray is a act of humility for me so as I do not know what is best for another I do not pray for outcomes for others. I do give thanks to others that are helping me in my life in whatever way that is. It is important as in all aspects we take responsibility for our prayers. Often when I am unable to find a way forward in a situation I will simply offer it in my prayer and say “I do not know please help me” and then listen and act as is required or not. This has proved over and over very effective and with my trust in prayer strong it relives a lot of tension for me finding the courage to not know is a prayer in itself. What do I pray to? Well that has changed over the years as I have developed connection and relationships with powers greater than me which has taken different names and meaning at different times again an adventure to undertake for ourselves. Sometimes the most simple actions can be very powerful and get lost. Prayer is simple and effective practice in our spiritual lives-  I remember my awakening to this, i had been with someone for a few days at a convention and we had a long trip back to Bristol overnight my patience was low at this point my prayer was “please may I not give my anger to this person on our journey back” within a minute a car pulled up with another friend offering us both a lift back to Bristol! My prayer was answered immediatly, there are not always but I trust if I ask it is heard and answered in time. Maybe a workshop on prayer and blessings would be helpful for the future. I am offering individual sessions for people from Monday 30th March contact for details.”These are unique times and may we find the resources on all levels to practcally and spiritualy adapt to what is presented to us” this is my prayer for us all.

Vulnerability and our Power

Early in Febuary while out on my beloved bicycle I hit some black ice and came off breaking my shoulder and upper arm! Ouch! I was very happy on this day till then and recall thinking about plans for the weekend just before this happened,then suddenly my encounter with nature takes me in a different direction! I was out on the back roads with no phone and no car seen for 30mins or so, it was cold i was in agony and in trouble, the thought came to breathe and call to spirit, i also thought with the shock, cold and remote location maybe this is it?
Within 5mins a car pulled up and out stepped a retired doctor, the begining of outstanding care and support across the board from our NHS! What a blessing to live in a country such as Scotland that has this service. So apart from times in hospital for treatment and my operation I have been recovering at home as my usual routine is completly changed, it has been a time to recover, of rest, connection and reflection, this rare space the accident has given me I have been able to turn into a oppurtuinity. In this time I have become acutly aware of how vunerable life can be but also where my power is as well. these two play out daily and it has taken this event to help me see this so very clearly.
To accept the situation, to receive the generous help offered, to do the things i can do-what an achivment to feed the cat in week one and put my socks on myself this became my progress markers- to say thank you and acknolwedge help given, to use the time as a oppurtunity adapting to new ways turning a challenge into a learning experience in all ways and levels and to meet life in a deeper way with both my vunerability and to claim my power too. With the slowing down of life I have felt real joy in simple things the play of the cat we live with or looking intently at the buds on the newly planted willow or the birds in the garden. I also have given space for my fears and despair that i have been with at times to wash through me.
I am recovering well doing my exercises for physio, the NHS were incredible across all areas and i made a point to thank them, friends and colleagues have shown love and kindness in so many ways supporting me through, the land i can now walk upon holds me and i am inspired by the awakening of spring and spirit guides me in my questions and a new vision is forming. My power has been in how i respond to this challenge with help love and support a setback becomes a oppurtunity and blessing that one day once integrated can become a offering to another. I will be able and well to offer individual healing sessions via Skype from Monday 30th contact me for booking. I also am offering free group distant “gatherings” email me to join and I will send you details currently by email and currently learning to step into the world of technology for the future! This seems important to keep a sense of meaningful connection at this time and as we know when we work together the power is amplified.

How can we respond?

We are certainly living in unique times and are being called to respond in new and creative ways as we are pushed outside of our comfort zones.  So how do we respond to this? This may be one of the few things that we have choices in it is both a challenging time but one that brings opportunities. As a middle world teacher one aspect of this for me is to hold hope, not in a false positivity kind of way but in a grounded and realistic way.  As a species we are facing big challenges as we become aware just how vulnerable our lives really are.  In a few days the whole structure of the society has changed.  I have been self isolating since the beginning of February due to an accident I had on my bike and in one moment my life also went from a very clear direction into one of vulnerability and a greater dependence on others.  I have had  outstanding care from the NHS what a blessing this is in our society.  My wife, friends and colleagues too have been there for me in so many ways.  The space this accident has given me has led me to seek help from spirit in new and dynamic ways.  This experience has challenged me but with support, time to get through ranges of emotions that have risen up my fears, my frustration my grief and sadness  and with a slowing down of life appreciation of the great beauty in my life the joy and gratitude for simple things.  So now across the world we are all being asked to respond in new ways! Beyond the fear and panic within us all there is a place of calm and  peace and there are many ways to get access this place; the slowing down of life will help us get there or we may use meditation or a simple walk in nature once we are there we may wish to ask ourselves some questions that I have found helpful in my own challenge.  What are the opportunities for me at this time?  What are the qualities and strengths that I have to bring to myself to those I love and to my community?  What are the resources available to me in both the physical and spiritual worlds?  How do I allow myself to receive help and how do I offer help?Once we ask questions and be open to listen for the answers however they come to us we open to new possibilities. As the questions act like keys unlocking wisdom within us.  We are all in this together and how we respond calling on the resources we have and the attitude we bring to this situation is where our individual power lies.  It is a time where we really need to come together and although physically we cannot do this we can find creative ways to make this happen.  A time for kindness, time for compassion, a time generosity, a time for unity and in experiencing our vulnerability as human beings, maybe this is an opportunity for a new society born out of the current challenge.   Energy goes we’re attention flows this has been a very helpful practice for me since I first heard this.  If I focus on the very real pain that is in my arm as a result of the accident then I am in pain and this will impact me and everyone around me .However if I focus on the resources opportunity and healing then my day goes in a different direction which also ripples out around me.  It simply comes down to how I respond to the complexities of being human if I can make space to become aware and see what’s going on  maybe I am able to respond in a kind and compassionate way.  All workshops and sacred activism events are currently postponed however I am looking into ways to offer learning opportunities and spaces for us to come together during this time.  Shamanism still is effective outside of time and space so we have many opportunities to meet in this way.  I wish each of us strength and creativity and flexibility as we navigate our way through this time.  The willow that we planted earlier this year is coming into bud, the frog spawn is in the pond right on time and the rookery in our village is very alive and as I walk my ear is awaiting the sound of the Chiffchaff the first migrant to return to this land.  All around spring is awakening. I love witnessing this phenomena of the natural world and we are part of that too!  May the blessing and wisdom of spring touch us all.  Each morning at 7.00 AM and each evening at 7.00 PM I will be in my regular personal prayer circle you’re most welcome to join me where ever you are.  There is no set format it is simply a time to come together and intuitively respond and bring through what is needed the power and strength is in our unity as we move from I to we.