Let’s Communicate with Authenticity and Love

At the heart of true and deep  communication lies……

. The need to be listened to…

. The need to be understood beyond perceived opinions and misconceptions…

. The need to be heard above external and internal noise…

. The need for felt connection…

. The need to be truly loved despite perceived  failings…

. The need to be  100% Authentic…

Have a look around … What do we see/perceive /hear/feel /experience?

The joys of deep,authentic communication between people(s) and places ?

Or do we see  the state of self/societal-imposed incommunicado that affects people(s) and places…?

Directly or indirectly, we become consumed  by “what/which”,  we choose to feed..

The greatest foe of True communication is Fear…

“Be it fear of criticism, fear of ridicule, fear of not being allowed to be authentic, fear of judgement, fear of being misunderstood, fear of rejection, fear of failing to say what we want to say with eloquence,fear of alienation, fear of one’s vulnerability being exposed….etc”….

That’s what lies between us and our true expression of ourselves…. At least that’s what I’ve so far, come to realise…

Irrespective of this Foe can we communicate with authenticity and love?

Yes we can...

We can overcome this fear, whatever form it takes,

We can learn true communication by authenticating ourselves first

We can give Love a chance by first learning to love ourselves

We can open our hearts to really listen and understand

We can break the barriers and shackles,which  directly or indirectly disrupt true communication

We can learn and observe the golden rules of communication..

We simply can learn to communicate with authenticity and love  …it is an art that is as  old as the universe, and you know what? We are all privy to it…

First SEEK and Ye shall FIND…(words from the scriptures)

The Art and Science of Communication may come naturally to some…To others it may need to be learned….

Wherever we find ourselves at, let’s call that our starting point….

The MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION to ask is,…..

How can one  understand another, when one cannot or isn’t able to understand oneself?

The first person we earnestly need to learn to communicate with, is within….

Look inwards, listen attentively, feel the emotions , move with the rhythm,accept yourself , then let the  ripple effect of all that energy and love flow outwards……..

In a world fraught with chaos and disruptions,May we find that stillness we all seek and need daily…..

One Love…

Ral …..Xxxx

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DEATH? NO …. A NEW BIRTH, A NEW LIFE

The title might not be the ideal choice just after marking Easter. … or ,  maybe it even is….

Anyways , I’ve just had an undeniably powerful urge to share this .. Considering that it had been sitting in the box as a draft following weeks of debating…( to share or not to share )….

It’s a long read , brace yourself!!!!

Recently,I was  spending some quality time with my youngest,and amidst all the fun we were having,He suddenly came out with this  … Mum why do we have to die?……………

Before attempting to unravel the above or even start to narrate how I responded, I’ll say this first….

We are born with a natural instinct to survive , hence our innate reflexes as neonates…..

This need for self-preservation continues to grow and  develop as we wade through the waters of life ..It takes on different forms depending on our experience of what we call LIFE

Life as we try to live it, Earth as we see and feel it , Existence as we perceive it, to a great extent determines how attached /detached we are ….Thus, when one’s  child asks .. “Mum , why do we have to die? I don’t want to die , I want to be with you forever …….” We should be glad for their thought processes, and be grateful for the opportunity to light up our little ones’ lives with stories of hope and love….

Did I do that when I heard the question drop out of my son’s lips ? No… Panic mode set in(of course), my vulnerabilities came alive , my complete lack of knowledge hit me, my heart stopped beating for a bit……Why the question , what’s happening ….and so on… ?

There was  no preparation for the tears that rolled down my eyes as the real depths of his unanswerable question began to unfold … ….

I actually experienced true heart ache for the very first time, as I realised, yet again, that a time shall come, when to my limited mind, I would be no more physically present with my loved ones, and all that’s dear to my heart….

Have we thought about this lately? How does it make us feel? I bet we want to close this page and not give it another thought … That’s the feeling it uncovers …Right ?…..

Anyway, trying to unravel my son’s honest question ,in order to give the most genuine answer I could , took me back many years …..

….Sometime in the 80’s… I remember  looking outside my window at night as a child, admiring the moon and stars in the sky… In awe, I would ask myself questions , that in my then 6/7 year old mind, remained unanswerable… ….

Try bringing up questions around death in a typical ” Extended African Family “…You immediately get hushed down from Great-grandmother  to Aunties and Uncles…..It was a topic no one knew how to truly answer…

Moreso, for  a little growing mind to even pre-conceive the idea?…It wouldn’t have been encouraged.. No one was going to sincerely answer  the deep burning questions of a 6-year-old living in 20th Century ,New Age, somewhat developing Africa?

It would then be left to Mum and Dad to address my queries and they would lovingly tell  me religious/ spiritual  stories, that were almost always sufficient to calm my inquisitive  mind…

Now going back to my dear son’s question …What did I say ? I tell you a fact .. I too was stumped, just like my predecessors , who hushed me as a child when I dared to ask those questions…

I hear my  inner whispers say to me, “It has come back full circle Ral.Your questions asked as a child are now going to be answered by you, as your own child asks you the same questions”…

I hurriedly thought to myself …Do I give an answer based on oral tradition? Do I change the topic out of fear? Do I give a faith-based answer?

I said something in the nature of this to him..

” I really do not know (material evidence/ facts ), darling , but I feel in my heart that we do not die , we transform .. We move on to another form of existence …There’s a life force inside of you that’s like the fuel we put in Mummy’s car… this gives you the lovely opportunity to be here on earth and experience all that you experience … At some point it has to move on to newer experiences, so that it doesn’t get bored , hence Death , as we call it…” Death somewhat signifies the end , however the way I’ve chosen to see it, is as follows:

 If I know not how it began , why then shall I give it an end? Hence, the process is transformational  to me and  Life to me is a continuum…

I then went on to explain how the faith I’ve chosen, and a few other religious or spiritual organisations try to explain death…

( At this point , he’s giving me that ” You’re a Lunatic , Mum” Look.. I knew it was coming though , because how do you explain the intricacies surrounding DEATH to a little child of 6? How can he comprehend the rantings of my beautiful mind, without getting lost in the maze?)

With that, a can of “GOODIES” was opened , and we began to have a very intellectually spiritual conversation that only happens when two deep, weirdos meet… Lots of interesting things were unearthed, we talked about the cycles of life et al… and I’ll not go into them all , so as not to  bore you to DEATH!!!

On the flip side though,this made me realise something .. I was hushed then because my grown- ups  were all in Awe of what we call DEATH and it  might have been difficult to get my 6-year-old brain to fully comprehend  this mystery of life … (So I forgive you all for not answering my questions-Dead and Living!!!)

POINT IS???…..

To me, the FREEDOM to truly deliberate what DEATH means to me has been very enlightening, rewarding and de-sensitizing. At least for now…

I’m finding that, the more I think about it, the less threatening it feels , and the more I look upon it as a NEW BIRTH, the more welcoming and acceptable it feels…

It has really given me a deeper level of understanding/ purpose with regards to LIFE and LIVING…And as such, every minute matters. As the seconds tick so do our opportunities, our chances , our experiences, our ability to love….

I remember this “Ibo” saying from a Reverend Father ( whilst I was sat in a Catholic church with my family in my pre-teen years …. All these years and it still  remains fresh in my memory)..It goes like this ……..

“Onye  lo ta onwu, o nua nwayo” – basically translated as  When one remembers death, one becomes still / calm”…

Does the saying above strike a chord ? It did then for me, and it still does now…

How Powerful the thought of Death is, it automatically turns us inwards , doesn’t it?

Turning inwards is key to understanding life and living , as well as coming to terms with internal and external chaos…

May we have the stillness, to truly comprehend Life and Living and as such savour the very essence of it…. This I Pray…

One Love..

Ral …XXx….

Could it be by chance?

It’s not by chance that we think of a dear friend we haven’t heard from in ages , only to hear our phone ring and guess who? Surprise , Surprise….

It’s not by chance that we say to ourselves , Oh I need to call so and so , and we pick up the phone , it’s a missed call from them!!!

It’s not by chance that we have thoughts swirling in our heads, and the next thing we know, nature starts acting it out/ giving us answers by way of real life events…(TV, radio, conversations, billboards e.t.c)

It’s not by chance that we have and remember peculiar dreams. Sometimes the picture messages are very clear and precise ,and other times very confusing….
How often do we brush them off , only to realise that they were indeed cryptic messages for the applicable other or even ourselves???

It’s not by chance that you wake up from a short nap, with a heart pounding call. You heard your name loud and clear , but you find you’re all alone … Why the call? Am I hallucinating?
You then realise seconds later, that it was to avert an imminent mishap or to help someone in distress…

It’s not by chance that you awake suddenly at night with a very clear destination and mission… Your baby’s room…you feel him/her… hotter than molten magma with a grunt that says, act now Dear Mum…

It’s not by chance that you have an overarching urge to write, to speak ,to listen to, to touch, to heal minds, bodies and souls….No matter how much we ignore it , the  feeling  never goes away.It instead haunts us day and night, giving us more and more reasons and themes to write about….

The Energy needs to flow, we can’t keep it all in(IT whispers)..

It’s not by chance that we see it , taste it , smell it , feel it , perceive it , hear it, sense it …… and whatever else we receive from this vast universe…..It’s not by chance my dear friends…

It’s not by chance that we meet who we meet ,we love who we love, and be with who we’re with… No matter the circumstances and decisions and journeys, it’s not by chance … There’s a story, a reason, and some learning ….

Let us think about the ..” Could it be by chance(s)?” we’ve encountered in our  lives and ponder… And ask…What’s the story?What are you trying to tell me?….

Yours “Ponderingly”…

One Love Xxxx

Ral ….

 

Looking for love in all the right places?

Hello Everyone,

With Valentine’s Day celebrations , just barely gone , I reckon we all had our doses and potions of love, appreciation care  and affection …

It feels good to be shown all the above , doesn’t it…

Valentine’s day really feels surreal .. I especially recall feeling a flutter in my heart a few days back, when I was doing my weekly grocery shopping… It was then that it  hit me that this is really a big deal…

All around me were dozens of Roses et al, waiting to work their way into someones’s heart , thousands of teddy bears with hear shaped decors, waiting to find their way into someone’s arms, Chocolates, gifts , bottles of wine all silently calling out for passers by to pick them up…

I understand the cynicism some may have towards it ..

However, May I add , that ,in a world that’s  already crying out for Love, if we didn’t have one day to remind us about LOVE , what would become of our Dear Universe?

Amazing isn’t it ? We are all capable of love , and we are all worthy of being loved…

What fuels this Love ? It’s not fabricated , it’s genuine..

Why does it then wither away with time , Why does it all dissipate into nothing , why do we let something so beautiful float away …Why ?

(Phases .. It’s all to do with the phases of life , my head replies…)

I don’t know why … I suppose there are a million reasons why Love once found , becomes Love to be sought…

It’s difficult I imagine , to really understand the real fathomless depth of true love, only to throw it all away….  ,

Whilst reflecting on the above in my quiet moments,  my heart asked me a question…

The pertinent question is…..

When it comes to love ,are we looking in the right places? Are we looking inwards ? Then reflecting it outwards.

Are we looking for appreciation , without first appreciating that one who longs to be be appreciated by us? YOU…

Are we caring for that heart that yearns to be cared for? 

I think of my loved ones and tears fill my eyes…. because I wonder , I really do wonder…

Am I showing them everyday , (not just on Valentine’s day) that I truly and deeply love them with every pore of my being ….

Am I searching the right places ?

I hope we all are, and that we all begin to …

It is my solemn prayer and innermost wish that we all individually and collectively come to a place  of Divine Peace and Love , and as a result, give and receive that Love ,which Mother Earth is so in need of…. Amen, Amen , Amen…

Peace and Love..(with tears in my eyes)

Ral Xxx

Self compassion….

Ever Heard this? …

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF….( What ever happened to the  “Yourself” bit?)…. Anyways…..

 

Self Compassionate … Are we?

This is a question I ask myself … over and over ..

I guess I’ll always do…Now that I’ve  discovered the benefits of taking a rain check on our self compassion meter..

It really is very easy to be compassionate towards others …Isn’t it?

…Oh it comes naturally …I hear you say …
…Oh it’s easy for me .. others say…
…Isn’t that the natural order of the heart? .. Some ask..

Is it possible to be truly compassionate without being compassionate to ME  first.

Think about this….

Try making the mistake of making a slight nick to your finger whilst chopping vegetables…. and tell me that you don’t curse yourself through the pain .. telling yourself how silly you were to have let your concentration slip for a moment…

Now Turn the tables and let that person in the picture be your little one… or a friend ,  or even  a stranger … What would be your natural predisposition?…

There are so many ways in which compassion to others  comes so naturally and automatic to our very nature.. .. Robotic even…It is a very good thing , don’t get me wrong …

However, when the tables are turned inwards , we often feel it’s undeserving of us … We rarely give us a chance to feel the comfort that comes from within…

I hear the inner critic say the following

1.It’s my fault .. I should’ve been more careful… so don’t deserve any compassion

2.I deserve this pain, how could I  have been so careless?

3.If only I’d listened , I wouldn’t have been where I am now…. That’s what you get for not listening ….

On and on it goes…

.. And the light slowly but surely gets dimmer….

The very one who needs the most attention , becomes neglected, discarded, uncared for, rejected, disregarded… and what do we get in return ?  Self Alienation … Self Loathe .. and downward goes the spiral…

Tell you what…

My understanding is this.. the only way we can come to know, and breathe compassion in it’s purest form is by showing ourselves the same compassion…..

How about saying(to us) the same things you’d say to your little 5 year old when he’s hurt a toe?… How about offering ourselves the empathy we naturally offer others when we feel their sorrow? …

I am not Nobody, I am Me.. Human , same emotions that others have …

So, Why does it feel unjustifiable to offer Me Compassion??

Have we somehow, been conditioned to regard it as conceit? Maybe …But I say not .. It’s very far from Conceit…..Or have we simply forgotten how to care for ME? ..Possibly …

Offer your heart what it needs … Love and compassion from YOU … You OWN It

As we are urged to be our brothers keepers, May we remember to be our Hearts’ Keepers…

Our Hearts only lead us down a certain path …..JOY… Yes, JOY .. have you found her/him?

As we set about implementing our New Year Resolutions , may we remember to practice a little bit of self compassion if we can….

I’m certainly no expert… but I’m an eager neophyte ready to explore this journey of SELF COMPASSION…

May the masters of self compassion remain true to it. May the neophytes remain steadfast , and may those who have just come across it adopt it

Let’s do this People…

Remember this?

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS “YOURSELF”……..

One Love ..

Peace

Ral Xxx

Here I am again..

I’ve been away far too long and today a heartfelt decision has been made to return me to me!!!

My head has been in control far too long ….It really has…

I feel I’ve given my head enough time to be in charge so let heart intelligence take over …

I leave myself open for my heart to lead and my gut intelligence to support .

Not forgetting to address the concerns of my head intelligence, because it sure gives out valid reasons for holding back ….

I’m reassured by the comfort and the warmth that wholeheartedness brings,

Yet apprehensive of the warning signs and factual evidence that my “head-fullness” offers….

All in all within my core , my gut will always support me….

I leave myself open to receive the goodness from the soft whisperings of all the elements ….

Because I am here with all the elements … Here I am again….

Peace …
One Love ….
Ral Xxx