The Sacred Centre

sharing – daring – caring – writing from the heart

Category: Humble Beginnings

Who we are

I have just enjoyed a delightful two hours of watching “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” which threw me vividly and also emotionally into a bucket full of aspirations and insights and brought up the old longing to find that part in myself that aspires for the better in me and those around me.

My intention is by no means to write a review about the film, which I will lovingly leave to those specialising in that area. I would like to, however, find clarity about this longing in my chest that keeps popping up on numerous occasions with no warning and descends on me like the last rays of the setting sun.

Only a few days ago did I end with another prolonged cycle of what we shall call “the crux of being a woman” and want to no avail deepen into a monologue about the female reproductive system here and now, but would simply quickly like to explain where I am at this moment. I have to remark that “I truly feel like reborn.”

So I have indeed risen from the ashes of my two month ordeal like the prominent phoenix that would rise anew if only it was real. With every cycle, however long it takes, I awaken a more conscious being. It is like the depression and deep inner recognition I experience during the low times of this bumpy ride propel me even higher when it comes to look over the edge of the box I was hiding in.

Blinded by the light of the new day I awaken to find that life really isn’t that bad after all and that there are so many interesting personalities walking about that I am inspired to make this planet a better place. These are very high aspirations which I begin to feel overburdened with as soon as the end of the cycle comes near again, but which I also can’t seem to get away from. They follow me, like my shadow, tirelessly, through good and bad times, probably until death does us part.

What is it that makes us so interesting personalities? And why are some of us nice and pleasant whereas others are right out mean and scary? And lastly, can we change? As the movie showed clearly it is the course of our life, with all its ups and downs that makes us who we are. But it is also up to us how much we let it take hold and manifest in us. But most importantly for us to recognize is that we can still change, even after a very, very long time. I can’t by no means talk for everyone but I believe that it is usually an experience deemed as bad or negative that has the power to change us. And it is up to us which way we let it influence us. Do we let it make us even more bitter and resentful, or do we take the chance to turn our life around and grab the opportunity to find out where our real potential lies?

There are a few topics I would like to go into more detail over the next few weeks. They all concern our inner self, the deep space in our chest that resonates with our innate hopes and fears and about which we all know so little, yet feel so much.

I leave you for this moment to reflect on yourself and will share my own reflections in due course.

Love
Anna

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Pomegranate or the silent “e”

Today I suddenly found myself holding a deep red pomegranate in my hands smiling like a cheerful gangster.

“What’s so funny about it?” I hear you say.

Well, for starters, I was standing in the middle of a hospital ward and secondly, I still don’t know how to pronounce it properly. I never had tried one before or had anything remotely to do with it so I never gave it much thought. My pronunciation sounds something like: “pom grenade“. You see the problem here? To be fair, it’s shape would suggest the resemblance, doesn’t it?

I suppose I ought to explain my cultural background of the German language where the German equivalent to the English “grenade” is in fact “Granate”. Can you see what I mean?

It can be utterly confusing, for someone who can’t even distinguish left from right appropriately, to figure out why to pronounce it more like “granite”, which is a different word all together. And due to my Germanic roots I know that “pom” comes from the French “pomme” for apple (because in Germany we eat Pommes (from French for “pomme de terre” (“potato”, or “earth apple”) which is in English “chips” (“Chips” is actually German for the English word “crisps” ), and interestingly the German word for “pomegranate” is accordingly “Granatapfel” which actually (as I only just realised this very minute) means “garnet apple”, not, as previously assumed “grenade apple”.Garnet” also interestingly comes from the old French “grenat” which gives it the same meaning as in German.  Now, I learnt today that it is named according to it’s colour, not shape. And it’s only the English who decide to make the “e” in “pome” audible.

Funnily, the French word for pomegranate is “grenade”, which brings me right back to the beginning!

Anyhow, I got myself in a right pickle now. I had no intention whatsoever to go into such a deep hole filled with all these odd wordings.

I was more inclined to emphasize on the fantastic gesture that a patient would arrange for you to have an oddly looking fruit to try because you don’t know it and also don’t know how to pronounce it. It definitely made my day!

And the morale of the story: try and mispronounce something from time to time – you might get it for free 😉

Love
Anna

How to have a proper day off

I am terribly guilty of packing my days off with all those important and often vitally necessary stuff from studying to shopping and rarely take time off properly for what it is meant to be: a day off from all the hustle and bustle.

Now, I am certain that I am not alone with this attitude considering most of us have a very all-encompassing and over consuming life, but consider this: never mind the proverb “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” Put it off anyway, at least for once in a while.

It does help, in my case, to have a dear friend who is mad enough to create a list of 71 points on how to seize the day (www.lifestarts.co.uk/the-vows). Point 37 on her list was to create a home retreat for one day. And I was lucky enough to be part of it. What at first sound like she just wanted to show me a yoga DVD turned out to be a perfectly choreographed day without me having to worry a thing and to be able to simply just relax and go with it. I do wonder, however, if she actually managed to get the same contentment out of it as me, since she clearly was the “maîtresse de maison” 🙂

We started following instructions for a Kundalini Yoga session on the telly screen which wasn’t as hard as I had feared it would be. Yet my bones did make all sorts of noises…yes I have been putting off some of my morning yoga sessions in favour of other worldly commitments…

Then she created a beautiful light lunch of salad with carrots, olives, beetroot, celery, rocket and hard boiled eggs which was soo yummy and refreshing. She can be very territorial though when it comes to food, even in my own kitchen!

Her scheduled walk was abandoned due to torrentuous rain but instead we took to pens, watercolours, crayons and paper and indulged in an activity of painting and drawing which we both felt like we haven’t done for far too long. It was like being back in kindergarten – so happy and content.

And then, there was even more. She mashed up an avocado and mixed it with a little olive oil and we splashed it all over our face. Again, just like back in kindergarten, the pure gist of mashing up stuff and smearing it on your face. And the most beautiful thing: while we let it soak in and do its job on our face, we layed back down on our yoga mats and listened to a guided meditation. All the way one of my friend’s cats curled up on my legs mildly massaging them with its purring. Oh, the sheer beauty of it all..

Finally I was allowed to approach the dining table that has been my focus of attention since my arrival for it was loaded with books that had such fascinating and interesting titles to look at that I found it hard to just ignore them. But throughout the morning I was again and again promptly reminded to get the hell away from them. Yes, I do have a weakness when it comes to interesting books. But now that I was allowed to just curl up on the sofa with books and a cat on my lap I made the most of it.

In between we had herbal teas with detoxifying properties and there were endless opportunities to cuddle and stroke cats which has such a tremendous therapeutic effect on relaxing your mind and soul. I can only stress to do something in the line yourself. And do it sooner rather than later! Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by your everyday stress, take a day off. And make sure you take it off properly!

Love
Anna

Thoughts and Feelings

I had an interesting group discussion yesterday about the origin of our thoughts and feelings. Where do they come from? What are they? And, which of them comes first?
Feelings are clearly an emotional response and can even cause physical sensations. For example, we get a tight throat when we are sad and might even begin to cry. So where did this feeling come from? And was it based on a thought we had? When someone suddenly unloads their anger on us, how does that make us feel? Possibly pretty horrified. I ask you to imagine this situation and see what you think you do first: do you first feel anger, sadness, frustration etc. or do you begin to form words in your head and then get an emotional response?

How big a part do cultural conditioning and innate responses play? There are cultures where feelings are suppressed or not expressed at all. In fact every culture has a different way to show how they feel and might even feel offended by someone from a different background who isn’t accustomed to their particular cultural habits. If we were conditioned from birth onwards to behave a certain way, we probably will for the rest of our life unless something makes us question ourselves.
And on top of it all: how much do hormones influence our feelings? Certainly very much if you as a lady suffer from your monthly mood swing or as for males if they “feel love is in the air” as in the need to spread their semen in the wake of humanity. And there is also the common fight and flight response which is triggered by adrenaline rushing through our blood. In a pretty dire situation, do we think what to do next, or do we just do what we feel is right?

Feelings are definitely influenced by thoughts. This is where the power of positive thought comes in. We can think ourselves to whoever we want to be. If you believe to be of no worth, you are likely not a big achiever. “The world is my oyster”, as Shakespeare proclaimed, meaning: the world is yours whatever you make of it.
Many practice a conscious behaviour, hiding their feelings, controlling them with their thoughts. This is tremendously unhealthy and is definitely advised against if you want to lead a fulfilling life. Don’t pretend, be genuine and honest to yourself!

So, what is a thought? Where does it originate? Does it really just “pop” into your head?
Anxieties can “pop” up just as quickly. Do they follow a thought? I have often experienced on my own the subtle onset of a panic attack without a clear visual clue. Was it just a random thought that set it off? Or is there something hidden soo deeply in my unconscious mind that I don’t even realise when something triggers it? And why does the anxiety spread onto other issues that have nothing at all to do with the original cause of the anxiety?

I don’t want to suggest that thoughts come from an undefined higher source, but then I know from my practice with subtle energy healing that “energy follows thought“. Thoughts are clearly just an energetic impulse that fires through our brain from synapse to synapse like a squirrel jumps from tree to tree. And on its way it triggers certain points of resonance in our brain that give us the sensation of an emotional response. The thought that is, not the squirrel!

Feelings are not just emotional though. How do you feel when you accidentally come in contact with a hot oven? Yes, you feel emotional, but most of all you feel actual physical pain, which can be indulged in another time… However, I read once that we have similar or the same cells in our gut as we have in our brain – so we technically think with our gut when we follow the famous gut feeling.

Neither of us in the group came to a definite answer of the origin of thoughts and feelings.
I am intrigued to hear your input!

Food for thought: Do you think in pictures or words?

Love
Anna

Listening

“We have two ears and only one tongue
in order that we may hear more and speak less”.
Laertius Diogenes

For me, attending a basic counselling course has brought a considerable shift in awareness. Although I always used to be a patient listener whenever someone wanted to get something off their troubled chest, I have come to realise that there has also been a build-up of a growing need to express myself over the past few years. This need has unfortunately turned into eruptions of never-ending sentences that spill and spill the more excited about something I become.

An interesting fact to notice here is that there was a time during my humble years as an insecure teenager where people would say to me that I was very quiet and ask why I would never talk! Maybe there was just nothing to talk about.

Recently my college tutor asked us to consider this: “Are we listening to listen, or are we listening to speak?”

I wonder what your answer is. Mine was a shocking “listening to speak”. Dear friend of mine who is reading this, please don’t take this as a rude admitting to not ever listening to you! I do listen, however, there is a fear inside of me that I won’t be listened to in turn, or that I need to have an answer at the ready to keep the conversation going, because I worry that a moment of silence would mean the end of our conversation. Behold, I possess the power of insight and recognition and am working on it!

I have now taken a majestic step back and am actively making an effort to just listen without trying to have an answer at the ready. Well, you see, I promptly got caught out at the recap bit at the end of a training day last week. I was sincerely patiently listening to everyone duly answering their given question and when it was my turn I swam in my holy silence like algae drifting in the underwater current.

Ok, I learned my lesson: It is the right timing that matters.

A little side effect I have noticed when completely succumbing to my listening to others is the warm feeling of being there and then totally right in the moment, NOW. This is an experience I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on. So the next time you are listening to someone, drop your shoulders (and whatever else you’re holding on to) and just listen!

One challenge I am working really hard on at the moment is to attempt to listen to someone who talks way to much, it could nearly be considered harassment. Every information is boldly given in a minimum of three different versions without any means of visual fullstops, commas or any other means of putting a halt to the attack of words. Even if you turn away, walk away, hide…the words follow you, or catch up with you later. It is very, very tiring, very exhausting indeed. I have tried so many unforgiving times to turn it into an enjoyable conversation, but failed miserably every time. I just lose the plot! I feel like I am about to suffocate, drown in a field of never-ending puddles as soon as the first word drops down on me.

At least I learned one thing from it: Listen more, talk less.

Love
Anna

Inner Child

I very much enjoy a walk along the sea with my feet in the water, be it barefoot or (considering it is winter) with wellies. Here it is best to go at low tide because it unveils the otherwise hidden sand of our pebble beach. There are hardly any people down there, during summer you will encounter a few more. It enables me to switch off my thoughts and get absorbed by the thundering and splashing of waves.

Another distraction are the many things you can find. Besides crabs, shells and other curious things I find it hard to walk past any stone that has a natural hole formation. And there are thousands of them on our beaches! I put them into my pocket with a big smile on my face.

Also with that same big smile will I climb over groins (wooden barriers to stop the tide from pushing the pebbles along the coast) when the tide comes in again and stops me from walking further along the water line. The best bit is the jump down!

The sea water has an interesting charge to it. As soon as my feet touch it, it feels like there is a release of electricity taking place. I feel more relaxed. And as I wander along the edge of the sea with my nose in the wind and my eyes squinting into the sun I can forget all worries and sorrow and nurture my inner child to the full.

What does your inner child enjoy? Do you devote some time every week, or even every day, to give it the attention it craves? Give it a go and notice the difference it makes in your life!

Love
Anna

Dreamboat

Yesterday I was working with a lady who has congenital blindness and while I was helping her to get ready in the morning she said that she wanted to look good today because Dreamboat would come and visit her later in the afternoon. At first I thought that she was just referring to a friend until I realised with a little surprise that actually there were more feelings involved.

“He’s one of the residents at my home and I am a bit potty about him”, she said.

My very first, hugely naive thought was whether Dreamboat was just as potty about her and my mind followed its own trail wondering how, or if he could love her. And how would she know what she was getting herself into? Yes, I am aware of how inhuman that sounds. Our minds are so judgemental…

She asked me to make sure her hair looked decent and while I was listening to her repetitive words my train of thoughts brought me to the wonderful realisation that she simply loved him for who he was!

This shines a radiant beam of light into the common misconception of love. Here was this lady, born blind, who goes potty about a guy from her home. It clearly shows that our feelings for someone count so much more than just looks.

If we were all to stop looking without eyes for the perfect partner, nobody would be alone. Of course we can’t generalize here, but just to hold the thought that there would be a dreamboat for everyone, if only we would let them.

Love
Anna

Hello world!

Here I am, invincible, brave and immensely happy to be able to share my thoughts with the world.

And yes, blogging never really appealed to me. And yet, once again, the world has sucked me into its ever changing vortex of new ideas and latest trends.

This vortex has totally and fundamentally sucked me in and all I can do is oblige to its constant pull to communicate with the rest of you who are glued to their screens looking for entertaining clues for your brains to indulge on.

Watch this space for delightful and intriguing blogs that will have you look at the world and its people from a different angle.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you!

Love

Anna