Although I am a Christian Jewish Buddhist Sufi Pantheist Hindu Taoist, I just wanted to write a message of gratitude and love to you all on this Christmas day.
For those dear retreatants who have already braved the roads to Greyton to share your hearts’ longings, fears and dreams with me, my heart salutes you. I send you best wishes and greetings on Christmas day, also honouring Ganesha’s festival of Pancha Ganapati, 21 – 25 December, Hannukah Festival of Lights 28 Nov – 6 December, and Bodhi Day 8 December, the day Siddharta sat under the Bodhi tree and achieved enlightenment. May we all be free of suffering.
May all of your loads be lightened and may you feel light and joy in your heart, as you get in touch with what you most value, and why you are here.
I have learnt so much about vulnerability and courage from all of you who i have been blessed to share time with on your retreats with me, and just want to take a moment to acknowledge the gutsiness and strength it takes all of us to face and be with our own frailty, fear, uncertainty, AS WELL AS with our true heart’s longing, our strengths and our gifts. To remember our innate goodness also take great courage. It takes strength of character and heart to choose the goodness path.
I went for a walk this week and took my shoes off on a sandy veld path, let the dogs run ahead, and just walked barefoot along sandy paths, until i came to an embankment and sat down to take rest a while. As I sat there earthing, one and then eight and then over fifty little swallows came to light upon the telephone wires. I am aware that this flock, which took off into the skies every time a cyclist or vehicle drove past on the nearby road, and then returned to sit right in front of me each time, bringing tears to my eyes, face massive uncertainty and challenge each time they make their annual migration to their wintering grounds in Ireland and the rest of the UK. I saw the sun sparkle on their delightful markings, watched them preen their little wing feathers, and listened to the delightful sounds of their soothing, twittering swallow music. Enjoying their summer here, swooping for insects, flying for joy under bright blue skies, gathering strength.
As we each look back and give thanks (and gifts) for what we have come through, and for the opportunities even the wings of adversity have brought us this past year, may we take time to gather in our family lines, in the sun, to preen our feathers, to sing to ourselves and to each other, and when we need it, to take some walks alone, with our feet in the sand, because it does the heart good.
Thank you so much for your support of High Hopes, for caring to heal yourself, and in doing so contribute to the spreading of love and compassion in our world.
I appreciate each one of you, deeply, and hold you in my heart. May you experience compassion and love for yourself, the two wings of the bird. In 2022 we are going to deepen our journey together in exploring developmental trauma, what it is, how to nurture and connect with our own bodies as a critical part of our healing, how to be swallows on the wire, immersing ourselves in each season of our lives, as we find ourselves.
So much love to you all, and the special magic of the season be with you, today and always.