Archives for October 2017

Are you giving thanks this Autumn?

In September 1620, a small ship called the ‘Mayflower’ left Plymouth, England, to carry over a hundred passengers to the New World. These folk were made up of persecuted Christians seeking freedom to practice their faith along with others who were seeking prosperity and land ownership. After a treacherous and uncomfortable crossing that lasted sixty six days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay where the Pilgrims, as they are now commonly known, began the work of establishing a village at Plymouth.

Throughout that first brutal winter, most of the colonists remained on board the ship and suffered from exposure, scurvy and outbreaks of contagious disease. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring.

When they were close to death, they were visited by an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English. Several days later, he returned with another Native American named Squanto, a member of the Pawtuxet tribe who had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery. Seeing the desperate plight of the Pilgrims, Squanto shared food with the starving Pilgrims and taught them how to harvest pumpkin, grow corn, extract sap from maple trees, catch fish in the rivers and avoid poisonous plants. He also helped them forge an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local tribe, which lasted for fifty years and tragically remains one of the sole examples of harmony between European colonists and Native Americans.

On the fourth Thursday of November, which this year is 23rd, this act of kindness will be celebrated as Thanksgiving. I am very blessed to have a dear friend who invites us to celebrate this lovely occasion in a very special way. As we sit round the dining room table, everyone is invited to say something they appreciate about the person on their left. Then a delicious meal of turkey cooked in champagne, succotash: a Native American dish made from peas and onions; sweet potato, and pumpkin pie is served. Afterwards, entertainment is shared; perhaps a song or two or some appropriate poetry.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful occasion and has now become one of the highlights of my year. With love at the forefront of the celebrations, let Thanksgiving, wherever we live and whatever our history, be a salutary reminder to all of us to be kind to those in need and generous with our time for those who need to learn new skills.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love Laurelle

Are you Home or Away?

If you were lucky enough to go on holiday over the summer you hopefully returned feeling refreshed. However, does that holiday already seem a long time ago?

Daily life can be so overwhelming that we lurch from one break to another only to sleep most of that break away. If we can find a still point inside ourselves and visit it daily, however, we can learn to feel refreshed after just a few minutes.

A dear friend of mine, Jackie Jarvis, recently walked both of the long Caminos in Spain and Portugal and has written “In the Pursuit of Slow” as a result. During her adventures, she learned that taking time out and slowing down to a natural rhythm completely redefined how she wanted to live her life. Her worries and anxieties fell away and she found a deep inner peace. I thoroughly recommend her book – not only is it an enjoyable read but it also gives lots of tips and hints about how to achieve peace on a daily basis.

Try this: sit in a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed, close your eyes and design your perfect inner sanctum. It might be an empty space or a cosy room; it might be filled with beautiful flowers, exquisite paintings or the most comfortable bed you’ve ever slept on; it might be in nature by a lake, a mountain or the sea; it might be in a concert hall filled with beautiful music. You can create whatever you like as long as feel completely safe and relaxed.

Now imagine yourself sitting, lying or standing within it and allow its healing properties to infuse you with strength, hope, compassion or whichever quality you most need at the moment. Allow any tension to melt away and return to the refreshed self you would like to be all the time.

Do this on a daily basis and soon you will no longer need a holiday. Of course travelling and time away can be huge fun but don’t spend all your breaks sleeping because you’re so tired. By visiting your inner temple regularly, you will be able to take off in that aeroplane or drive away in that car and give everything you’ve got to the wonderful adventures ahead, including your daily life.

Enjoy creating your inner sanctuary and have a happy, peaceful October.

Love Laurelle