simhasana

 

 

img_0018Its that time of year where if you’re anything like me, you begin to review everything you wrote down at the start of the year, (although I do this monthly) and make sure you are  somewhat on track with your goals and being intentional about seeing them come to fruition.

This brings me to why I decided to write an entry today. I’ve thinking soberly about my life recently, a lot is changing, and things are moving so fast. Looking for a pause button; mostly overwhelmed at the best of times.  

Please don’t read this entry sitting on the judgement seat, as you read I hope you can find your story in mine. And I as I go through yet another unveiling to bring about healing to both our journeys, I trust you will be kind enough to yourself by answering some of the questions in this blog and allow your mask to come off also. 

Lately my questions have been about my life: the past, the hurts, the ex’s, the frenemies, the dead end jobs, bad boss’s, corrupt colleagues… and my tomorrow. As I approach 40, I look around to find a small handful of close friends (I’m slowly learning to open up again and allow new people to come in). Desperately in pursuit of newness, afraid of sameness, and itching to create moments.  

Have you ever had those moments in your life when you seriously just want to get in the car, pocket full of cash, your fav radio station, clear road with no traffic. You, the road and destiny; only to wake up to the shocking realisation that real life is not at all like the movies. When will ‘it’ begin? Will I ever get married, will I ever be able to let the guard down long enough to allow someone to get close to loving me, for me. Are more kids on the books, heck do I want more? The truth is I had a decision to make. At this point of my journey, parking the car, leaving it punctured is far from ideal. Looking in the rear view it was clear that i’d come a long way. A bloody long distance, going back was not an option and parking in the middle was; well, also not an option. What do you do when the beginning is no longer in view, and the end is not in sight?  For me, this was a reoccurring hump on the road. Its obvious the show must go on, until curtain calls that is. So here I go again on my journey, no turning back, although it gets ever so tempting at times. But I want to help walk you through my survival kit for bumpy rides. Its inevitable that days will come when the car (vehicle-me/you) simply needs a rest. Thats the first place we start.

R E S T. When was the last time you gave yourself a MOT?

Every car owner understands the importance of having their vehicle checked annually to avoid a failed inspection. The consequences of failing a MOT test is costly, so you owe it to yourself to make sure you pass the inspection.  

Liken that to our own lives. I don’t know about you but I used to be a sergeant for ensuring my ‘life check ups’ were done without fail every year, usually on or around the week of my birthday. Because the thing is this, with check ups you are almost, always guaranteed the unpleasantness of other  less immediate problems. Truth is, they never pose a serious enough threat to make us want to act now.  I think that is why many people do not like going for check ups. However, when we ignore these problems that we know should be addressed sooner rather than later, as they may worsen. We face graver consequences that may cause us to fail our ‘life check up’ the following year.

Call me, turtle. 

I had a gut feeling 2017 was going to be quite an adventure. But one I simply had no appetite for, just trying to keep it real. Anyone that knows me, knows i’m the queen of hibernating when shit gets real. “Many turtles, are able to retract their heads and legs into their shells as a defensive manoeuvre”. And honestly, I can stay in the shell for what can sometimes feel like  lifetime. I guess growing up is a lot to deal with at times, and some days, I just have no gusto for being an adult. When all you’ve known is responsibility there’s sometimes this mischiefing urge to do the opposite. The sad part about that is, life doesn’t pause when you do. Time has no respect for my hiatus, and rightly so, it keeps on ticking.

Tonight I screamed silent thoughts of frustration, of wasted years, poor choices and failed relationships, disappointments, failed attempts of success.  I scream, knowing that better days are ahead; but only wished ‘those days’ could be today. I’m pretty sure you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, I do too. Well, one of the things I find that has helped me over the years is journaling my thoughts. Its always so encouraging to go back to the entires and reading through where your thoughts were and comparing them to how you now feel.

Shortly after having ‘my moment’ of silent torture, I practised  ‘Viparita Karan’ (leg up the wall pose) to help relax and calm me. I’ve recently taken up Yoga again, after several years of putting it to one side. (I’m beginning to wonder why) By practicing regularly, I am much more capable of meeting a worry with a presence, of curiosity, and patience rather than fearful reactivity. My practice has given me peace of mind. Honestly I’m a better mother, friend and person, because I can handle the everyday ups and downs more easily. I feel better than ever. As a Christian I can easily see the benefits of being spiritually connected to God and being more aware of my being  and my presence. In some crazy way, yoga has reintroduced me to my spirit man in ways incomprehensible. 

Reaching for my journal I soon came across an entry that had me in tears. Not sad tears, but the happy: pulls you into pieces separate forcefully, act of tearing that causes your eyes to stream with warm tears and your mouth engaging in a smile, in one chemical reaction. All because I came across a promise that I had written several years ago. The sweetest part was knowing that finding it was no coincidence. It was just another one off the beautiful ways of reinforcing his love to me. Every word he has ever told me is way bigger than it is; and the first thing I can do is simply trust him. Trusting, means letting go of what I want and taking hold off what he has in store for me. 

What are you holding onto that you know you must let go?

I’ve learned that the challenge of living isn’t the problems we face but our stance in the trials. Yes, the issues are real. The longer I live the more I see hurting people, experiencing real suffering, and knowing actual pain. It’s way bigger than the movies, and more factual than the media’s depiction.

My journey has just begun, each milsetone finds me standing at the burial ground of my imperfections and breathing life back into it. With each resurrected limb becoming more beautiful than its dead remnants. This journey has me taking tests, and failing them countless times. On route, I learn what it means to  follow and be still. I never said I was always compliant, so lets just say most times I’m kicking and silently screaming, but in spite of, knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be. 

Truth is, you are fighting for your life in one way or another and perhaps getting ready to park the vehicle. My plea to you is; whatever you do, learn to rest, not to quit. It’s so easy to mistake tiredness as a reason to stop the car. But remember that the journey requires movement. I once read somewhere that, ‘stillness in itself is a movement’. Learning when to rest and when to keep on moving is one handy tool that you and I will need for this journey to wholeness. 

 

Thanks for following my journey and reading. Please feel free to like, comment or share. Any questions you’d like to ask please feel free to do so. I look forward to walking with, and unveiling more to you.

 

Namaste

Jewel

 

 

 

Reflections of Grace

 

 

img_3906

I recall sitting, and waiting patiently for the gas man to arrive. The boiler had decided to go to sleep, clearly it needed a rest. I don’t think it was being sensitive to its demand on such a cold and wintery night, but needless to say a cold night was on the horizon. All wrapped up, with candles on, playing classical music in the background (I love classical music) and a mug of what was becoming my favourite herbal brew, chicory tea.  

Those who have visited my apartment know how cold it can be on winter nights. My apartment is an old build with poor ventilation, but quaint in every other way with traditional features. The architecture is why I fell in love with the property and although awakened to the downfalls of unbearable hot summer nights and smoggy cold winters, it was a ‘small’ sacrifice I was prepared to pay. And, to be honest, several winters had past where it became manageable with the aids of onesies, electric blankets, hot water bottles, candles, and hot brews. Lol – we made it work. Isn’t it funny the lengths you’ll go to when you want something to work desperately.  Until that one ‘horrid’ night; a cold apartment even when the heater was on,  provided mediocre comfort. 

 To my utter amazement I felt more warmth that night than I usually did on most nights. 

Looking back on the events leading up to that boiler breakdown, I could easily understand the reasons why.

You see life is a series of decisions. We can choose to suck on the lemons or decide to make lemonades out of our lemons. Don’t know about you, but I prefer to settle for the latter. 

I was going through a 31 day challenge of writing down the things I was most grateful and thankful for in my life. And as I looked around that beautiful decorated front room, I instantly felt tears of gratitude stream down my face. I recalled the nights we slept in a hostel, the many nights I was travelling with my young son looking for shelter because I was in desperate need to escape our current nightmare. The memories of temporary accommodations that weren’t fit for purpose, the days of living through a suitcase; all these memories came flooding at me. And at once, I was fuelled by a surge of warmth, one that came from within, not without.  Admittedly it was a very cold night. London was  7 degrees with a 70% chance of snow. It was freezing to say the least.

But as my mind escaped, so did my perspective. I have a shelter, a bed to sleep on, clean, running water (indisputably cold) but nevertheless, running water. I sat there for almost an hour, smiling and thinking up all the many blessings I was grateful for in  my life and how far He had brought us through. 

For some of you there is a dramatic shift that is going to take place in your life in the remainder of this year, if you will simply know hot to rest in the storms and the not so convenient weather changes.

I learned first hand that the sure-fire way to see the change that is promised, was for me  to change the position of my heart. 

This week whilst journaling my heart to the lord, I heard these words”take your eyes off  your circumstances and current situations, they will cripple your faith. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” ‭‭JOHN‬ ‭15:7‬ ‭AMP‬‬

img_2278

You have no idea how timely this message was for me this week. I recall a time when I’d stay parked listening to john 15 in my audio bible. Desperately crying to the Lord to help me to remain. What does that even look like, I used to wonder? In chains to every spoken word, I refused to be unshaken and undisturbed in my pursuit when my desire is to remain in this word. My desire for change has been a desperate one, fed up with poor life choices and stagnancy, wishing my ‘aha’ moment would finally come. I’m sure we’ve all experienced such moments. Imagine driving to a destination, clearly getting nowhere fast. Desperately looking to get back on track only to realise you’ve been driving in a circle all along.  

Once on the right track you’d do what ever you possibly can to prevent yourself from getting back off track. You could liken this analogy to my  hunger to have this word being glued, permanently tattooed on my heart. To do whatever it takes to get it out there, and join the many clouds of witnesses that came, not only saw, but also conquered. The many that refused to allow their story to be written for them. The many that refused to have life keep them down. Despite my many knock outs, I’m convinced that with each blow Ive gained new muscles. Muscles I never realised I had before  and granted I don’t know how many falls I’ve taken, but the one thing i’ve never done is allow them to keep me stayed down.  My desire is to remain because everything else  means nothing to me. In this place, I’ve found living. The temperature in my apartment was unquestionably cold. But the heat I felt that night, and would love to have continually on the inside of me  is blazing.  

img_0841More and more I’m realising the power of this moment. The power in the now; right now. I see so many of the things I once hid my face from. Now this journey would allow me to sit in a place that others cannot, I see this grace at work, in my life, proving to be sufficient for the roads  I am to travel. 

My prayer for everyone reading this, is know that He sees you, you who is desperately seeking a safe haven. You, on your journey to finding restoration and craving for change. I pray that you are established and planted so deeply in Him. That regardless of your current situation and where you may find your life at today. Be assured that your story is not over because of one cold night. There is promise in tomorrow. I pray you find him on this journey, if you seek him with all your heart. And that you trust  the process and allow His word to build you up. Let boldness and courage come over you today like never before. That you might ask  whatsoever your heart desires, and when you delight yourself in Him.  Soon and very soon, you’ll experience your hearts desire. I’m on the same journey…

Signed, 

Finding my way 

What floats your boat?

Sometimes it feels like everything around you wants to consume you. Problems at work, family issues, lack of finances and bad health to name a few. It is like being stuck in a boat in the middle of the ocean, hit with tempestuous wave after wave, with rollercoaster events leaving you fighting to find the calm in the storm.

What matters is not so much what’s going on around you but what is incubated on the inside of you.

Notes from my journal, and it reads:

Negative issues seek to penetrate your heart and become a part of you. The word of God says to guard your heart for out of it flows the issues of life. As you allow these issues to spring a leak in the heart of your boat you will find that it will sink because you have allowed what was on the outside to get on the inside.

If we are going to endure the storm there are key parts your boat will need:

1. An anchor to keep you from drifting off course. The word of God serves this purpose. Proverbs 3 : 5,6 says
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognise, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.day as it ever was. Letting go and submitting was hard for me.

2. A rudder (flat piece hinged vertically near the stern of a boat or ship for steering)
Now I want to substitute the rudder for your tongue or in other words what you say.

James 3:4,5 (NLT)
And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.

In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.

Proverbs 18:21 (message) explains the power of the tongue further indicating your life will move in the direction of your words.

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

3. Your faith keeps you afloat resting on the promises of God. I love what it says here in 1 Peter 5- Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

Our boat is blessed… Christ on the inside

IMG_0585.JPG
In fact you are at the highest state of blessedness ( a feeling or state of well-being and contentment).

We are going to make it.

“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honour depend on God; he is my  mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”‭‭Psalm‬ ‭62:5-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬ 

 

Hope you enjoyed this entry, and please feel free to comment. Your support is warmly appreciated. 

img_0862

Jewel