I first learned hands-on-healing when I was twenty and belonged to a Catholic Charismatic Community. It was one of my favourite things to do. I never doubted its authenticity because, to me, it seemed obviously real and beneficial.
I remember attending a community conference in a different state. At that stage, I didn’t have any money and was gifted the conference and flight tickets which I was thrilled about. The conference was a large, enthusiastic gathering with many hundreds of young adults fired up with spiritual energy.
Merlyn had her month of weekend sleep-overs at Tom’s flat, in the city, and weekday sleep-overs at Malik’s house, in Waldmeer. Neither was ideal. Tom kept pushing her away, and Malik’s busy family was all-consuming. She didn’t like Tom pushing her away; it hurt. Nor did she like being taken over by the members of a large, noisy household with three children (Maria being the youngest at fourteen and Michael being the oldest at twenty), two adults, and Odin (who was supposed to be an adult but, on Earth, he ended up more of a dependent).
It may not have been Merlyn’s favourite arrangement but that’s life, isn’t it? When are things perfectly balanced on the outside? Rarely. And in those glorious moments when they are, it doesn’t last long. The only viable option is to try and balance ourselves on the inside so that we are not pushed around by what happens outside us.
Here is one of the chapters from my newly published book, Writing: A Spiritual Voice. The image is the original cover of The Love of Devotion which this article refers to.
A few days before the photo shoot for the book cover of The Love of Devotion (2014), I suddenly had the idea to wear a large, white, silk veil over my body and head. The veil is a universal representation of feminine spiritual devotion. It is ancient and transcultural. It represents the core qualities of spiritual love and inner beauty. It has its own particular manifestations in each religion, but is always equated with humility before God, devotion to goodness, and commitment to the spiritual path. My natural self is highly devotional. As a Westerner, and a raised Catholic, the archetypal symbol was probably arising from the stereotypic Catholic nun.
Writing is a long-term career. It takes a lot of time, money, perseverance, learning, and soul. Making a mark as a writer and having an influence in the world is a process which generally accelerates slowly.
Trust your instincts.
Go with the flow.
Do your best.
If you know that the spiritual voice is in you, and you would like greater access to it as a writer, then Writing: A Spiritual Voice can help you to develop your capacity to hear and heed that voice.
The human psyche gets in the way of spiritual progress. Without understanding it, we will be fighting an invisible enemy. As soon as it becomes more visible to us, its days are numbered. Rather than trying to delete our mental chatter in meditation, it helps to look at it objectively and go into it. The chatter tells us what we are thinking and what our fears and angers are.
In the beginning years of my consciousness-awareness, during my long daily walks, I would start off just naturally thinking about all the things that were currently preoccupying the surface of my mind. It’s easy. You go with the stream of thought. However, rather than becoming blindly immersed in the thoughts, I would watch them. I didn’t stop them. I let them continue, but I would watch and ask myself certain questions:
What are my fears at this moment? Am I sad or grieving anything? Am I angry with anyone? Do I want something? What are my thoughts telling me?
“Weak latte (no sugar). Hot chocolate,” yelled the Waldmeer barista.
Merlyn grabbed her coffee and headed for the door. They put sugar in my coffee, she thought as she sipped it. Hang on,that’s not sweet coffee. It’s hot chocolate. The orders have been muddled.Oh, well, it tastes delicious. She thenturned her thoughts to the recipient of her latte who would be missing their own order of hot chocolate. Looking around for a likely suspect, she easily spotted a woman, about her age, staring at her drink. Merlyn wondered what her reaction would be. The woman seemed to be weighing up the benefits of caffeine versus sugar and, like Merlyn, decided to go with the flow. Merlyn then realised that the mixed-drink-recipient was Esther, the psychologist.
It was Monday morning. As Ben walked through the glass doors of the State Ballet building, he came across one of the older professionals of the company, a friend of many years.
“Morning, Ben,” said the man. “How’s Store Creek going?”
“Morning,” said Ben. “Fine. I suppose.”
Truth be told, two weekends had passed since Ben had seen Merlyn. More, he hadn’t even spoken to her. Nor had he messaged. Every day, if not many times a day, he checked his messages to see if she had messaged him. She hadn’t.
Seeing the look on Ben’s face, his friend said tentatively, “Look, buddy, I thought you were back together but if things aren’t going quite to plan, I have a suggestion.” He waited to see Ben’s reaction. As there was no obvious displeasure from Ben about a suggestion, he continued, “The missus and I have had our ups and downs over the years. I think most people think that we have been very fortunate with our marriage and we have been but, the thing is, everyone has their problems. God knows, we’ve had many.”
After six months of living in Store Creek with the cold weather, it was good to finally arrive at spring’s doorstep. Merlyn wondered if that was why Ben had decided to visit today. He said it was a rental inspection. But that was just a joke. At least, Merlyn hoped it was a joke. Although it was two years since their separation, they had been married for three years. Nothing needed inspecting.