Simple Pleasures – Home

Here is a section from the original The Love of Devotion which has returned in my latest re-edit. It includes some family history.

Little Oakey

My grandfather, Michael John Pope, was a pioneer farmer in outback New South Wales, Australia. He built his small, four-room home, Little Oakey, from the creek-stones of the area. Behind the house was a wattle and daub (clay) kitchen and cellar. In that little home, with his wife Mary Jane, he raised five children in, what would be considered by today’s standards, primitive isolation. Continue reading “Simple Pleasures – Home”

Connection

Relationships matter. Who they are with and in what form they manifest is secondary to the quality of the relationship. Is it truthful? Is it life-changing? Are we present? Is the other person “there”? Does it engage us? Does it help us grow? Relationships ultimately teach us love but we need to be available to learn it. Continue reading “Connection”

Shame and Courage

For many of us, courage is not easily brought to the forefront but we pay the price for lack of it. I was five and it was Lent. The Catholic nuns at school had put a chart on the wall and said that anyone who went to the 6.00 a.m. Mass would get a gold star. Although the concept went over my head, my sister, who was one year older than me and knew much more about what was worth getting, seemed to be rather enthralled with the idea of getting the stars. So each morning, she and I would walk on our own to the little country church for the event that would earn us the treasured star. Continue reading “Shame and Courage”

Relationships are a Living Thing

My little girl was two years old and we were having a family outing at the famous London Zoo. While walking along beside her as she was having a pony ride, something suddenly occurred to me like a ray of sunshine streaming through the grey London skies. I looked intently at the young zoo attendant’s face. There was a brightness, sincerity, and happiness about her. She virtually bubbled along, pony in hand, happily carrying out her duties. She looked like she was living the life she wanted to live and was content and free as a result. Continue reading “Relationships are a Living Thing”

Making Mistakes

If we find it difficult to admit to mistakes, it is often because we have a harsh inner critic. Admitting to any mistake will inevitably mean heavy recrimination. Sigmund Freud called the inner critic, the superego. It monitors the behaviour of the individual. For numerous reasons, many people end up with very brutal and unforgiving superegos. And so, what choice does such a person have but to avoid admitting mistakes in order to avoid harsh treatment? Many of these same people will project those mistakes onto innocent others in their lives. I am sure it has happened to you that the very thing someone else is and you are not, is suddenly being thrust upon you as your own character trait. And more, there is no reasoning with the person who seems incapable of looking at themselves rationally. Continue reading “Making Mistakes”

Our Destiny

Families are a struggling ground for life and evolution. Decisions are made from the platform of what seems most important to any given individual at that time. We are born where we are meant to be and we walk towards that which we are meant to grow into. We have an instinctive tendency to relentlessly move in the direction of our own destiny whether it is like that of the people around us or not. We will keep walking in that direction because nothing else will satisfy us. Every time we do something to rightly fulfil our destiny, we will feel alive, engaged, and at peace. This is how we find our place in the world. We are no one else but ourselves, and that is all we need to be in order to be happy. We need to be our honest, but our best honest, self. Our true self; the self our soul recognizes as itself even without a name or a family identity. Continue reading “Our Destiny”

Outgrowing Mother

It is common for people to never truly outgrow their deep, inner referencing to their mother in their life choices. It doesn’t matter if the mother has died. It makes no difference at all. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Once authentically outgrown, we find that no one can ever have that hold over our consciousness again. Once the pivotal person is internally conquered, all are conquered. Outgrow mother and we outgrow everyone. It only takes a visit of more than a few days to our birth families to activate all the buried content of our consciousness. We were born, bred, and fed on that parental mind and it takes years of deliberate effort to consciously overcome it. In fact, so widespread is this phenomenon that most people have no idea that it is in operation within their thoughts. And there is no greater enemy than the one unrecognized. Continue reading “Outgrowing Mother”

Seeking the Sacred

I went to see the movie Philomena which is based on the, apparently, true story of an Irish teenage girl whose baby was taken from her by the Catholic nuns in 1952 and adopted to a wealthy American couple for one thousand pounds. Fifty years later, an unlikely match between Philomena and an emotionally struggling journalist brings healing to both in their search for Philomena’s son. The real-life Philomena says, ”This is not a rally cry against the church or politics. In fact, despite some of the troubles that befell me as a young girl, I have always maintained a very strong hold on my faith.” I walked home from the movie on a calm, warm evening in a small, Australian, seaside town and thought about the depth of the, largely unconscious, ties that we have to the sacred. Continue reading “Seeking the Sacred”

Intimacy – sexual relationships

In order to enjoy a close and intimate bond with our partner, we need to be mindful of the emotional state of the relationship. Without an honest and genuine emotional bond of trust, a high quality sexual relationship will never be achieved. Sex will become non-existent or the domain of one controlling partner over one submissive partner or a mutual using of each other’s body. Each individual brings with them all that they are outside the bedroom walls into the sanctity of the enclosed bedroom space. With humour, goodwill, and enthusiasm, the skill level of both people can improve rapidly. A few good sex books can do wonders for a couple. We cannot assume that our partner understands the sexual needs of a body that has a different physical and emotional functioning to our own. Even gay couples cannot assume to know how a different person functions sexually, though it is the same structural type of body. Every good-natured experiment is one step closer to a more satisfying experience. A couple may even choose to investigate such ideas as the meridians and pressure points of Taoist foreplay if they would like their sexual relationship to become more holistic and healing. Continue reading “Intimacy – sexual relationships”