‘Do whatever it takes to feel the kiss, for this
is what you came here for
to know yourself as the beloved of God
and to spend your time kissing the world awake’
You may want to read this blog alongside my related blog: THE KISS OF GOD
What does it take to feel a kiss?
A willingness to receive it?
A sensitivity to touch?
An awareness of what the kiss is conveying?
Kisses are about love and to feel the ultimate love of God breathing our world alive, we must first align our lives with love.
The kiss of life is a gentle caress. To feel it we must receive it in the manner in which it was given. We must become ourselves as gentle as the kiss, as soft, as loving, as caring, as free, as gracious, as joyful, as generous.
If we are hardened, embittered, cold, unfeeling, resentful, ungrateful, unreceptive, callous, cynical – if we are any of these things then it will be almost impossible to feel the kiss of life breathing us alive each day. A gentle embrace cannot be felt through layers of hardness and while we do not feel the kiss of God we remain convinced that we live outside of it, somehow separate from the Source of life and therefore somewhat lacking in and of ourselves.
I believe we need to soften and give ourselves opportunities to feel the subtle, gentle kiss of God.
‘Do whatever it takes to feel the kiss.’
Just what might this look like in practise?
Here are a few examples.
Only by knowing ourselves as love are we able to give out love.
To some extent we all carry a memory of ourselves as being love otherwise we would not be able to love at all, in any way, shape or form. The fact that the world has not crumbled into total chaos and destruction is testimony to the fact that the human race is essentially good. However our ability to express and give love is often far more restricted than it need be. Often we love only partially. We reserve love for the chosen few and find ourselves unable to love those who do not meet with our approval. We often love conditionally rather than unconditionally, attaching strings to our loving. Worrying about whether it is safe to love we love timidly rather than courageously, half heartedly rather than with our whole heart, we hold back and often wonder whether it is a good idea to love at all.
If we perceive that someone is unloving towards us we withdraw our love from them in an attempt to minimise the pain we feel.
We love inconsistently rather than consistently.
If we are to ever begin to love more consistently and fully then we must commit to rediscovering the truth about who we are as beings of love. The extent to which we can hold kindness, love, beauty, peace, gentleness, compassion, joy, and truth within us as expressions of that which we are, is directly proportionate to the extent to which we can give these qualities to the world.
The good news is that it is fun discovering who we really are. It is a wonderful feeling to begin to open your heart to love, to begin to remove the barriers to feeling that we have erected and held in place for so long. Taking them down is so less stressful than keeping them in place. Once down we feel how beautiful it is to sit in the ‘soft, green, beauty of the open field’ and to breathe in the fresh air rather than the cold, stale air that our own prisons have provided us with.
I leave you with these lovely words from Rumi
‘There is a kiss we want with our whole lives
The touch of spirit on the body’
I encourage you to do whatever it takes to feel this kiss.
I came across a story recently that I believe has great value for us all.
It is a story about four rabbi's who one night were visited by an angel. The angel took them to Heaven where they viewed all things sacred. Having experienced bliss first hand they then returned to earth, each responding in their own ways to what they had witnessed whilst in Heaven.
Here are the four responses:
SO what can we learn from this story?
It is a simple lesson really.
No matter when, where or how we experience bliss it is a gift given to us to enhance our lives here on earth.
It is NOT something to analyse, to probe, to understand, nor is it something to hold onto too tightly or even something to preach about. Primarily it is something that awakens our capacity to be grateful, that deepens our appreciation of life and expands our sense of wonder and joy in living.
So today I am adopting this joyful attitude and I am rejoicing and giving thanks and praise for the good things I have been given; things such as the breath in my body, the gift of my senses, the quiet dark that supports my sleep and the morning light that wakes me, the first meal of the day, the song of the blackbird, small touches of kindness that come my way, the smile of a friend, the anticipation of what the day might bring....
I encourage you to join me and to make your own list; to revel in the feeling of joy that it brings you.
If you feel like sharing then I would love to hear from you. I believe joy is contagious so lets spread it where we can.
Recently a piece of homework, set by the tutor of a poetry class I am attending brought home to me how much of life we miss simply through lack of attention.
At first I must admit that I began the task a little reluctantly but soon I found myself to be completely absorbed in the art of looking and listening to the sights and sounds of life all around me.
What started off as an exercise in creative writing turned out to be so much more as I was filled with an unexpected feeling of total joy. Too often our lives become so cluttered with thoughts about life that there is little room left to appreciate the simple pleasures of being alive.
Too easily we can spend our days lost in a haze of future plans and/or worries and concerns about life that the beauty and wonder of even having a life in the first place is overlooked.
Being mindful, that is filling our minds with what is happening in the present moment, is a deeply refreshing alternative to being lost in thought and is the best way I know of to develop an appreciative response to life.
Days after completing my homework I find that I am still being drawn to notice things in more detail: the deep blue of the delphiniums in the garden, the arc of wisteria climbing the wall, the sparrows nibbling at the bird feeder, the sound of children’s laughter drifting over the garden fences, the vast expansiveness of the sky, the scent of jasmine, the cuckoo's song.........and amongst all this a gentle and pervasive sense of being a part of it all.
The words of a well know poem by W.H Davies comes to mind:
‘What is this life if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare?’
My advice is simple – make time to stand and stare....and then perhaps share with others what has caught your attention?
Hands of Grace 08/14/2013
Have you ever felt guided by something that is greater than yourself? Have you ever experienced coming across the right book at exactly the right time or received a phone call from your best friend just when you seemed to need it most? Have you ever had an e-mail arrive in your in box with just the right message for you that day? Have you ever experienced the synchronicity of happenings where things just seem to fall into place and the path before you, which was previously cluttered and overgrown, is suddenly clearly revealed?
Sometimes it’s as if there is a pair of hands working behind the scenes helping to direct the course of our lives. We aren’t always aware of these ‘hands of grace’ helping and guiding us but sometimes their influence on our lives is so obvious that we cannot help but take notice of what it is they are placing in front of us.
Recently a series of ‘coincidences’ has led me to sit up and take notice of these guiding hands.
Because I am soon to be involved in running a quiet day where the theme is about weaving I had felt drawn to re-read a book that I had read for the first time a few years ago. The book was ‘Unravelled’ by Maria Housden. This book, aptly titled, seemed to take on a life of its own and began an unravelling a thread in my own life that I couldn’t resist following.
Usually whenever I discover something that thrills me as much as this work does I am disappointed to discover that all the tantalizing workshops organised by these amazing people happen in America and because of this time and cost prohibit me from attending them.
Not so here.
I was amazed and overjoyed to discover that Chloe is based in Britain and that there is no real obstacle to me beginning to explore the possibility of working with her.
I absolutely know that I am being called deeper into voice work and particularly the vocal expression of poetry. I know that htis is where my deeper healing lies. This both terrifies and excites me. It terrifies me because I do not know where it will take me and I fear what it may ask of me. However I am a great believer in the 'take the one next step' approach when it comes to moving forward on our journey of self discovery. The one next step is not as daunting as taking a bigger leap and landing somewhere you are not sure you want to be!
So the next step for me is as simple as purchasing a CD and beginning my voice work in the comfort of my own home - not that difficult surely?
Beyond that I don't know at this point in time - just keep watching this space!
For today I just wanted to give thanks for the hands of grace that have pointed me in the direction of these amazing people and their inspirational work in the world. I am so grateful.
Have you any experiences to share about the hands of grace at work in your life? If so please leave a comment.
According to science every thing that appears to be made of solid matter is in truth composed of moving energy that vibrates with its own unique vibrational signature and that includes us as human beings.
The universe has its own, perfect sound or to put it more poetically, its own song. Everything that exists does so as part of this song.
When we sing in harmony with this song we feel good; we feel alive, vibrant and in tune with the world around us. When we sing in tune with the universal song our lives have meaning and purpose and we are given all that we need to fulfil this purpose.
Sadly though for many of us these feelings are all too rare. Rather than feel energised we all too often feel drained, out of sorts, unbalanced and unclear about our purpose in life. This can happen even to the best of us at some point in our lives.
Learning to sing in tune with the universal song, as often and as consistently as we can, is what our lives are all about.
Consider this ancient tribal custom:
When women in a certain African tribe know that they are pregnant they go out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of their child. When they attune to the song they sing it out loud, return to the village and teach it to everyone else.
When the child is born the community gathers together and sings the child’s song to him or her. They do the same at major transition times of the child’s life; at every rite of passage the child hears their own unique song. Finally when the soul is to pass from this world family and friends gather together and they sing the person to the next life.
There is one other occasion upon which the community sing to the child and that is when they have committed a crime. The individual is called to the centre of the village and the villager’s form a circle around them and sing their song to them. The tribe recognises that love and remembrance of who you really are is the only solution to anti social behaviour.
When a person recognises their own song they have no desire to do any harm towards another person.
Do you know your song?
Do you know people who can help you sing it when you have forgotten it?
Do you know how to help yourself remember it?
Oriah Mountain Dreamer tells us that there is 'one word you are here to say with your whole being'. This word is your song; your own unique sound.
There are many ways to help us rediscover this word and find our own unique contribution to the song of the universe. Here is just one.
All you will need is a pen and a piece of paper.
Take time to think back over your life.
Make a list of all the jobs you have done and what drew you to those jobs. What were the best bits about the job? What other jobs or careers were you attracted to even if you never pursued them? What were you interested in as a child and what were/are your favourite hobbies and pastimes? Can you remember times when you felt particularly energised, uplifted, enthusiastic, passionate or inspired? What was going on then? Who were you with? What were you thinking? What do you dislike most about the world we live in? What fires you up? How have other people described you in the past? Make a note of these. Sometimes other people see things in us that surprise us and that we never realised where there at all.
When you have done all this try to see if you can see a common thread running through your life. This should be something that jumps out at you without too much poking and prodding. When you do this you might be surprised at how seemingly unrelated things in your life show a great deal of commonality.
Make a note of these areas of common interest.
They might include: creativity; communication; supporting others; facilitation; leadership; caring; teaching; learning; playing; observing; listening; giving; mediation; instructing; sharing; motivating; entertaining; relating; supervising; challenging
Look for qualities too: gentleness; strength; playfulness; humour; kindness; compassion; peacefulness; gregariousness; shyness; truthfulness; quietness; resilience; patience; forthrightness; boldness; courage; acceptance;
These are all keys to your own unique song; to your own unique contribution to the Universal song.
There is a way to explore these further through personality profiling which gives you insights into your own unique expression as a human being. Personally I recommend exploring your personality through the Myers Briggs Indicator and/or the Enneagram both of which help to highlight not only your strengths and gifting but also the things that habitually stop you from experiencing them and thus from singing your own song.
There is great fun and joy in unravelling the mystery of who you are but remember that love and fear reside in us all and yet it is only love that harmonises with the universal song.
‘I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony.’
Fear gives rise to disharmony and love to harmony.
Fear makes you sing off key; love enables you to sing with confidence and in tune with all of creation.
Are you ready to start singing?
The opinions I express here are my own. However I offer them with the word 'syat' next to them. 'Syat' is a word used by the Jain Tribe in India which means 'To the best of my knowledge SO FAR.' In the spirit of openness I invite comments from anyone whether you agree with my point of view or not. In this way we can all learn and grow together. Thank you.