Winner Of Today’s Beyond The Call Of Duty

Since in this household we are convinced that all the mainstream media are owned by the same small group of powerful manipulators, we have not bought a newspaper for years and we removed the television from our lives six years ago. This does not mean that we are not aware of current issues in the world, we just prefer to listen to independent media of different persuasions, and make our own conclusions about events.

It has to be agreed though, that a lot of what we read about the world is very negative. We are aware of the powerful cabal that is brainwashing a huge number of people worldwide, not only into the idea that they are slaves but into actually enjoying their enslavement and believing they are free. We believe in peacefully withdrawing our support from this structure and making our own decisions as much as possible and co-operating with our neighbours and friends to try and live as much as feasible outside the illusion that the powers that should not be would like us to adapt to. In that way we are voting with our choices, being aware that we cannot fight the giant structure on our own, but with each person that withdraws from the illusion the foundation of the pyramid structure of power is undermined.

In that spirit, I wish to now and again post praise and positive support for those people or institutions that Go Beyond The Call Of Duty – thereby making this world a better place to be. I am not thinking about the ‘Big’ deeds, these are the small deeds of human kindness that make the world suddenly a happier and less competitive place. The little things that create a sensation of ‘warmness’ as they are happening and might not seem important, but can colour your entire day.

So today, for me the Winner is an Optician – step up for the prize Vistalia, Altea! I needed to get an old pair of glasses repaired. The little screw on the side had fallen out, thereby releasing the lens. I had tried to repair them myself with a tiny screwdriver, but the screw had ‘jumped’ away and I could not find it anywhere. To cut a long story short, I asked the girl in the shop whether she could put a new screw in, and she said of course. After about 10 minutes of standing waiting, she returned into the shop and said I might want to go for a coffee and come back in about half an hour, she wanted to work on the glasses a bit more.

I went to a nearby coffee shop and sat on the terrace in the autumn sun, it was warm today and there were many people about. After the coffee, I walked down to the sea and sat on a bench for half an hour, just soaking in the air and the sun.

When I returned to the shop she had repaired the glasses, cleansed them with an ultrasonic bath, and then fitted them with new nose pads and new temple tips. They looked almost new (apart from the scratches on the lenses which she said she could not really do much about). I thanked her and got out my purse. She said there was No Charge! An hour’s work and no charge!  Now I know that when we do have some money we will undoubtedly go to that shop to get new glasses, but that does not in the slightest bit alter the fact that she Went Beyond The Call of Duty. I went away feeling happy and grateful and wanting to share this act of human kindness.

Let me know if there is anyone or any institution that treats you well and maybe we can start a blog roll of honour for those that make the news that day just a bit more enjoyable.

Glasses Winner Of Todays Beyond The Call Of Duty

Letting Go Of Emotional Baggage

Since we have lived in our new house we have made a very conscious effort to start simplifying our lives and our needs. We have a small house, quite old and not the most luxurious house we ever lived in, but we both feel that this is the house of our Roots, that somehow we have been allowed to move back in time and get back to who we once were and how we once lived.

Because space in the house is strictly limited, we had to start looking at all our possessions and systematically remove those we no longer needed or wanted. For me, this mainly involved removing endless clothes from the one wardrobe I now have. To be fair, because I had lost so much weight, a lot of those clothes had not been worn for more than two years, but I have moved with all these clothes several times before.  Half of them I did not recognize at all. So all clothes that did not fit, either too small or too large – had to go, that was the easy part. The harder part was removing clothes that did fit but had become ‘inappropriate’ for me – they were clothes that would have looked great on a woman 20 years younger than I – and though I do not want to go into ‘frumpy’ mode just yet (if ever), they had outlived their usefulness. That did hurt, not much, but there was an uncomfortable awareness that I too was getting older, a fact that is so obvious we hardly ever think about it. Inside I still feel so much younger, but my body is showing some signs of wear and tear, and so my ‘juvenile’ clothes had to go.

The next part was the hardest – the ‘sentimental’ clothes. Whilst dealing with those clothes I remembered who had bought them for me, or where I was when I bought a particular item and how I wore it for the first time. I remembered the feelings those clothes had evoked at times in my life, which party I had been going to and who was there, how the party had progressed and how I felt the day after it.  All those memories somehow wanted to impel me not to part with those clothes, just yet. So I put the ‘emotional’ clothes in a large plastic bag and then put the bag into the courtyard under the little roof – they were still there, but no longer inside. I vowed I would look at them again some other time!

All clothes that I had been able to let go, with the exception of the ‘bag of emotional clothes’ were taken to a Charity shop, and it gave me great joy to know that not only would they make some money for the shop, the clothes themselves would be worn or used again.

So at the end of the exercise in clearing out the clothes, I was left with four pairs of jeans, a half dozen T-shirts, a pair of tidy trousers, socks, underwear, a few long-sleeved shirts and sweaters and one neat skirt. All clothes now fit in the one wardrobe in my bedroom.

We then set to work on tools and things that we have collected over the years and managed to put together a sizeable box of oddments, which again were taken to the Charity shop. Great, so much more space in our little house.

Then the rains came – not for long, just a couple of days with a reasonable downpour and then the sun was shining again. Because I was not working I decided that I would now look at the bag of ‘emotional clothes’ and try and see if I could let them go as well. I opened the bag and all the clothes in it were covered in green fur! Nothing to be done with them apart from put them in the garbage containers. That is when a Truth dawned on me – these ‘emotional’ clothes were now rubbish – they could have been used by someone else but by my attachment to them I had spoiled them totally and now they were just so much mouldy old mush. Better had I let them go in the first place and they would have given joy to someone else.

Lesson learned – if it does not serve you, let it go. Stop being attached to things (and your own story about those things) – the memories can still be with you without the physical evidence. By being still somehow bound to my emotional baggage I had turned it into rubbish. This lesson I am now using for my emotional history as well – making more space there too.

 

rubbish Letting Go Of Emotional Baggage

 

God and I part 2

highway to hell remake by evergraphics d3i71li 300x225 God and I part 2

As if losing my belief in God being a good Father,  who loved and cared about us, was not enough, the loss deepened more when my parents divorced and we moved to a small village where we were to attend a Calvinist Protestant school. This marked the beginning of my criminal career and also of my continuing journey to find a Good God who did care about us, was not capricious and who indeed loved us. Whereas before it had just been a loss and an indifference, it now became a grudge against God which I bore for many years.

In this school we were taught that we were all miserable little sinners and realistically there was not much hope for us. We learned that God had already decided long before we were even born, which ones of us would go to heaven and which ones would burn in hell forever and ever. This was called Predestination, and was a doctrine which as a child appeared completely unreasonable to me. It meant in effect that if I was good and tried to do good, but God had already decided I was unworthy, then my good deeds were pointless and I would still go to hell. It also meant that really bad people (like  Adolf Hitler, with whom as a Dutch child in the first generation to be born after the war, I was obsessed) might still go to heaven despite what they had done, because God had decided it so.

Apparently there were signs you could look out for, to be sort of secure about where you would go. One of them was to do with whether your parents and grandparents were good people, something about their sins being visited on the second and third generations. The fact that my parents were divorced was a bad omen I thought, since what God had put together let no man put asunder figured largely in the teachings. Then there was the explanation about adultery (when learning about the 10 Commandments). It was explained that once you got married, even if you divorced after that, it was adulterous to have a new wife or husband because God did not acknowledge the divorce as being real. This meant I was in deep do-do, because my father had married again!!

I now know that adultery means something completely different and I am pretty sure that the interpretation we were given as children was not the real one, but they were certainly not going to mention the sex word in our school at that time.

The gravity of my situation and my almost certain destination came home one Wednesday afternoon, which was always a free afternoon. I was in the garden of my best friend, playing, when her mother stormed out, shrieking at me that I was to leave the garden and never come back or play with her daughter again, because my mother was an adulterous harlot (on an aside I had no idea what a harlot was, I did look it up and it seemed like I had quite an interesting and exciting mother really). I had in confidence told my best friend that my parents were divorced and she had prayed for me before going to bed the night before, because she was a kind friend and wanted me to be ‘saved’. Her mother unfortunately did not share the same kindness.

It became clear to me that I would never be able to play with my classmates again, unless I could find something that would interest them more than parental disapproval. My solution was theft. I first started to steal the money from my mother’s purse, and buy sweets. The ample supply of sweets meant I could always play with my friends, though not in their gardens. Secretly we played as long as there was the promise of sweets. Then my mother started to realise money was missing and anyway her purse did not have enough money for the supplies I needed, so I cut out the middle man and just stole the sweets directly from the shops. Eventually of course I got caught and punished, physical punishment from my mother and  punishment from the Head Master of the school – who made it very clear to me that I was showing all the signs of being predestined to go to hell (something of which I myself had become more and more aware) and that only sincere soul searching and asking for forgiveness might get me of the hook, but it was a very slim chance indeed.

However, in a way the concept of Predestination as it was explained to me at that school, helped me a lot, because I suddenly realized that basically even if I did not repent and search my soul and I carried on thieving, it would make NO difference whatsoever, because my fate had already been decided and whatever I did would make no difference to the ultimate outcome. Perversely, that which should have made me cower set me free, a freedom to do whatever I liked, knowing I could not be punished when it came to eternity.

Cool for Cats

My little Jess2 Cool for Cats

I am always exactly where I am supposed to be

This photo is of my little cat Jess, who died earlier this year. She shared her life with me for 19 years, which was far more than the vet had given her when I first brought her in. Jess and her brother James were two kittens that were born with epilepsy, and the vet advised us to have her put to sleep, because she would not make it past two years and anyway, it would cost a lot of money to medicate her for that time. I remember thinking that I hoped he would never have a child that had a long-time health problem, because what was he going to do then? Anyway – he proved to be very very wrong about Jess (though James died at three months by going into status epilepticus) – she lived until the ripe old age of 19 and survived being flown from England to Spain without any problems.

Jess way my Cat Angel. She taught me that you are always perfect, even when mere humans cannot see past the disease. Her condition never stopped her doing what she wanted to do, and she had no fear. She was fiercely independent and really lived in her own little world. She would never accommodate me when I wanted a bit of affection, because for her at that time there were more important things to be done. But when she wanted love she would not hesitate to demand it – and always received it. I learnt from her that you don’t have to please others all the time, you can go your own way and ask for what you want and then be pleased to receive and give it.

Another lesson I learnt from Jess was never to be fearful. She was not worrying about when she would have her next fit, she enjoyed what was happening at that precise moment and that was all there is. When she had had a fit she was a bit confused for about half an hour, then have an attack of the munchies, demanding to be given food right now!! After that her life was normal again and she went on her own sweet way.

She was always graceful – even when she missed her mark.  Despite her condition, all her cat senses worked beautifully and she would explore the world at night, with her perfect sense of sight and touch, like an intrepid explorer finding new worlds. She taught me not to be afraid of the dark, to develop a vision for which I did not need cat eyes as such but for which I did need an awareness that no mere senses would ever give me. She was great company when meditating, always wanting to put a paw on me somewhere to link her ability to meditate with mine (she was probably my best meditation teacher ever).

She would look at me when I was in a stew about something, and then come and sit next to me, regarding me as though I was a bit mad really. Looking into her eyes I knew she had all the answers and she was telling me I had them too, I just had to stop trying to fit in and ‘be perfect’ and it would all fall into place and flow naturally. I think that ‘flowing’ was Jess’s greatest gift to me, she would just go with it and not fight. She did what came naturally and never thought about it.

I thank God I had the privilege to have this cool cat in my life. For 19 years she taught me daily, about love, grace, courage, being always in the right place wherever you are, about being funny, about going within to find your centre and to stay true to yourself, and most of all about being perfect just as you are (warts and all). She sometimes comes to me at night now, I can feel her jump onto my bed and I know she is there. I guess she comes to teach me, because 19 years was just not enough to get all her lessons into my mind and spirit. May I always learn from Jess and the other cats in my life and may all humans be blessed by learning from our Angel Cats.

 

 

Hansel and Gretel Revisited

stones Hansel and Gretel Revisited

Was reminded of the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel yesterday – when walking the dog along a stone path. Was trying to do a walking meditation and be aware of every step I took and everything that was happening at that precise moment. I try to do this a lot – being completely aware of a moment and then ‘storing’ it in my scrapbook of perfect memories. That way when the black memories take over and I want to remember something great that happened I have lots of those perfect little memories to help raise the spirit again (though to be fair the present moment is usually the best, but we all sometimes feel the present is too much to bear and take refuge in a perfectly preserved memory). Anyway, there were all those perfect little white pebbles lying next to the path and I vaguely thought how useful they would have been for Hansel and Gretel to find their way home again.

When I dreamt last night, I had a dream where I was setting up white stone arrows and spiral structures. I worked in all the different continents we had and kept leaving markers everywhere. Someone asked me why I was doing it and I said I was not sure, but had been asked to do it. Then a voice said, well, she is making markers so that next time she visits she can find the Path, and so can other travellers.

I woke up feeling how nice it would be if in our previous life(s) we could have left signs for ourselves, so that when we came back it would jolt our memory and we would remember the Path Home more easily, and you know, quite possibly we have left markers along our previous journeys and from time to time we suddenly become aware of them and it moves us along the Path a little more surely. Some days the Path Home is hard to find – never mind walk, and I walk it only because I believe it is there. Some days the Path is so clear and you just know it is the right Path and you will go Home. Maybe on those clear days I have met a little marker, left by myself or someone else, maybe I did not even realize I saw the marker, but the Path was clear.

Hansel and Gretel eventually got home again, back to the loving embrace of their father. I am sure that with the use of some signs that we may leave for ourselves (and others) and signs left by others for us, as well as the use of our guide, we too will find the Path Home again.