One of my favourite posts from when I first started my blog back in 2014. Spiritual healing, religion, books, reading, managing time, being happy, Maya Angelou…
Inside I’m dancing* (First published in June 2014)
My healing teacher lent me a book a few weeks ago. She said she had been ‘guided’ to lend it me. This did not fill me with joy as it was all about grief and life after death. Was I or my husband about to die I wondered (I may be a healer and a therapist and into a spiritual life but I can imagine catastrophes with the best of ‘em). Anyway, this morning I started reading it: Beyond our physical bodies and our physical world is the world of thoughts. Beyond the world of thoughts is the world of feelings and emotions. Beyond or within that world is a world of pure love: Heaven. We can all access that place whether we are alive or dead. But like my healing teacher, the book was ever down to earth and pragmatic: of course, it said, even the dead cannot live on the top of the mountain forever. And the living must take care of their day to day life and responsibilities.
Just as I was drifting off into wondering about getting together with a group of people and us all raising ourselves up into that world of love, my husband who is suffering terrible toothache woke up and I found myself back in the practical application of love: calling dentists, making food, fetching painkillers.
Religion or spirituality can help guide us to walk along that bridge between the visible and the invisible, between this world and the world we cannot see, between theory and practical application. As each world both supports and enjoys the experiences that belong to the other, there lies Bliss.
Yesterday I had the rare for me experience of a day that was both busy and peaceful**. I accidentally slept in until 9am; I was due to be at a friend’s house to give healing at 10am. By some miracle I managed to get out of the house at record speed and arrived there only five minutes late. The healing went well and we both took our time to relax and chat before and afterwards.
Afterwards I went into town. I went into a large department store, well known for its book department which has existed for as long as I can remember. When I walked in I was alarmed to find that I couldn’t see it anywhere. For a few moments I wondered if I had been fast forwarded into the scary reality that people talk about, a reality of no books and no bookshops left. I pulled myself together and went out and in again through the main entrance. The book department had moved downstairs, that was all. It was a peaceful, library vibe and I felt an almost religious sense of calm as I dropped into the world of books and let myself choose, or be chosen by three books. As I paid for them, I wondered if there was anyone else anywhere who had bought the same three books at the same time: a strange and beautiful looking book about an exiled person and a hare, Iain Banks’ last book and an Introduction to Islam.
Then I went to see a friend and we sat in her garden enjoying the breeze and the sunshine and her garden full of flowers. The best type of friend, she is simultaneously interested, knowledgeable and non judgemental no matter what new and crazy ideas I bring up.
The hours of the day ran though but driving home towards the end of the day I didn’t feel panicky that I hadn’t yet done any housework or other chores or tired that I had been out all day, or worried that I had used up all my alone time on visiting and shopping and not writing. I didn’t feel any of that. I wonder if it’s the quality you bring to the day or that the day brings to you that determines the peace, rather than what you actually do in terms of quiet versus busy.
* ** I should make reference to the film and literary title and quotes I have used. The phrase ‘busy yet peaceful’ comes from one of my favourite books The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville. It is filled with many beautiful and moving lines and descriptions.
Inside I’m dancing is a film. I haven’t actually seen it, but the words just keep coming into my head these past few weeks. I am rubbish at dancing, hopelessly self conscious and uncoordinated and yet, I so feel like leaping and stretching out my arms and spinning and flinging myself around. I am so full of joy that it seems like such a natural way to let it out. I don’t though, I just think about it. Maybe, one day soon I will wait until I am alone in the house, draw all the curtains and double lock all the doors and just go for it.
Maya Angelou died just after I posted my last blog, in which I had cited her as a potential angel (as a writer I am ashamed to admit that I only just noticed that her name includes the word angel). If I feel in need of guidance, she leaves her many books of autobiography, her poetry, her Radio 4 Desert Islands Discs and Front Row interviews as well as many other interviews and many wonderful life affirming quotations and teachings. I give my sincere thanks. Rest in Peace Maya Angelou.