Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Stations of the Soul

Last year I was fortunate to receive, as a gift from my family, the beautiful prints of George Trippe's Stations of the Soul. George created these ten art works from his reflections on the spiritual life. Each one is full of meaning and contains thought provoking words for reflection. 

I am keen to share these stations with others. My thought is that we could have an open door for a period of two hours. During this time, people would be welcomed to come and engage with the stations. This would occur in a contemplative manner, with quiet music, the opportunity to light a candle and respond to each of the artworks in turn.

If you would like to host a Stations of the Soul evening, please get in touch with me for further details. I am looking forward to how they will have an impact on those who choose to engage.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Incredibly Blessed

Yesterday, I had the privilege of conducting a memorial service for a truly extraordinary lady. It was not her life achievements, or her public profile, or even her acts of service that made her extraordinary - it was her humble and grateful way of living. This woman suffered with poor health in her later years, bringing exhaustion, frustration and a loss of independence. Despite all of this, each and every time I visited her over the last five years or so, she would tell me, "I am incredibly blessed, Cathie." As she sat in the hospital chair, unable to support her own body weight, carrying the pain and hurt of her life, the first thing on her lips was gratitude for her family and the life she had led.

It is a choice to live this way. Some may call it a "Pollyanna" way of life and dismiss it as unrealistic. But seeing how it brought joy and peace to this woman's life, I see it as admirable. Robb Hillman, a life coach, once said, "I don't think Pollyanna was simple and na├»ve to reality. I think she was a badass who bent reality to her will. Optimism isn't lazy, it is a fierce battle of consciously choosing the perspective that best serves you". Living a life of gratitude, counting your blessings each day and finding the good in things is hard work. 

In today's world, we need people who will not fall prey to playing the victim. We need people who will see the good in our world and talk openly about it. We need people whose hearts are not hardened by the hate and fear in our societies. And more than anything, we need people who have hope. I certainly know that this is what I want in my life. Goodness knows, there is enough negativity and bad news around us to last a lifetime. 

There is a book on my "to read" list on this very subject, Diana Butler Bass' "Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks". One of the quotes I have read from this book is, "Gratitude is not about stuff. Gratitude is the emotional response to the surprise of our very existence, to sensing that inner light and realising the astonishing sacred, social and scientific events that brought each one of us into being. We cry out like the psalmist, 'I am fearfully and wonderfully made!'"

And so, today, I want to give thanks for the life of Belle that was fearfully and wonderfully made and hope and pray that her inspiration will help me to find that inner light that keeps me counting my blessings and remaining grateful.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Mandala Workshop - Perth

On Friday 3rd August, I will be holding a mandala workshop in Perth. The workshop will be more than simply an introduction to mandalas. We will explore together how they can be used as a spiritual tool in our own personal lives and how they could be used in the faith communities and groups to which we belong. 

The workshop will commence with a presentation and discussion, followed by a time of meditation and creation of a mandala. We will conclude the evening with some sharing time about the process. Supper will be available during the workshop and all materials will be provided. The cost of the workshop is $30 per person. Registrations are essential as places are limited. To register, please email deepwaterdwelling@gmail.com and payment details will be provided.

I will also have copies of my new book "A Mandala a Month Workbook" available on the evening. If you would like to pre-order one before the night this can be arranged. The workshop is at Noranda Uniting Church, Camboon Road, from 7-9.30pm on Friday the 3rd of August. Look forward to seeing you there!!