The way you approach things will have a tremendous effect on how they affect you. Take the most recent issue, that has virtually had the whole world staying at home under orders from their government, all for a silent invisible enemy, SARS-Cov-2, to give it it’s proper title.
When the UK government finally decreed that we must stay at home, on 23rd March 2020, the writing was already on the wall as far as my health business was concerned. My clients had already contacted me in their droves to tell me that they were staying at home, as they had been scared by the main stream media into not leaving their homes.
How many times have you said to yourself “I wish I had more time, then I would do x y or z” Now was the time to do all those things I had promised myself when I had more time.
And so began my Spring Retreat @ Home. That is how I chose to look at it, I was not locked-down, locked-up or locked-in. I made a conscious decision to call it a retreat and treat it as such. Over the coming month I will share with you how I discovered joy and myself in that time. During the month of September, I am going to write a post a day under the AtoZ challenge. This is A is for Attitude.
The 7th quality of the Fruit of the Spirit, as described in Galatians 5 v 22-23 is faithfulness. What does the word mean to you? Here are the quotes we contemplated and meditated on.
All God’s giants have been weak men and women who have gotten hold of God’s faithfulness.
Our world is obsessed with success. But how does God define success? Success in God’s eyes is faithfulness to His calling.
Faithfulness in the performance of small duties gives us strength to adhere to difficult determinations that life will someday force us to make.
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post which is one of a group writen on the Fruit of the Spirit. Tomorrow’s post will be on Gentleness. I hope you will come by and read more on the Fruit of the Spirit.
As we work our way through the qualities of the Fruit of the Spirit, we come to the 6th, goodness.
To have an open self is to provide a free channel for the infinite goodness of God. To have an open self is to keep yourself aware, alert and sensitive to the beauty and wonder of life. God’s love will flow through you into the world, when you are open. You enlarge the dimensions of your life when you keep yourself open to the highest and best. The key to God’s infinite riches is within you-open yourself and you will receive.
An act of goodness is of itself and act of happiness.
In goodness there are all kinds of wisdom.
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post which is one of a group writen on the Fruit of the Spirit. Tomorrow’s post will be on Faithfulness. I hope you will come by and read more on the Fruit of the Spirit.
This week we are looking at the Fruit of the Spirit, in the Sacred Garden. The fourth is Patience (or long-suffering in the New King James vesion), and these 3 quotes and passages were read aloud for meditation & contemplation.
Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”
Inner peace is impossible without patience. Wisdom requires patience. Spiritual growth implies the mastery of patience. Patience allows the unfolding of destiny to proceed at its won unhurried pace.
The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.
Do you have a favourite passage or quote on Patience? I would love to hear it.
Tomorrow we are looking at Kindness.
I hope you will come back and read my thoughts on that too.
This week we are looking at the Fruit of the Spirit, in the Sacred Garden. The second is Joy, and these 3 quotes and passages were read aloud for meditation & contemplation.
Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. She gives most who gives with joy.
So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice and no-one will take away your joy.
John 16 v 22
Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.
Do you have a favourite passage or quote on Joy? I would love to hear it.
Tomorrow we are looking at Peace.
I hope you will come back and read my thoughts on that too.
This week we are looking at the Fruit of the Spirit, in the Sacred Garden. The first is Love, and these 3 quotes and passages were contemplated upon.
Love is the most universal, the most tremendous and the most mystical of cosmic forces. Love is the primal and universal psychic energy. Love is the sacred reserve of energy. It is like the blood of spiritual evolution.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God-for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending His only son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love, it is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No-one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us and his love has been brought to full expression through us. And God has given us His Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us.
1 John 4 v 7-13 NLT
Your tsk is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Do you have a favourite passage or quote on Love? I would love to hear it.
Tomorrow we are looking at Joy.
I hope you will come back and read my thoughts on that too.
Are you like me, you like to do things on your own terms? Maybe you’re a starseed, never feeling quite at home or comfortable where you are, never quite fitting in. If so you are not alone, but you may need to hear this.
I love hillwalking, I love being out in nature, high up, admiring the view. My happy place was on Tuesdays. Heading out to the hills, all located within a 2 hour drive from my home in Scotland. But if I was honest, I preferred to do them on my own. I held people back, I wanted to enjoy the journey admire the views as they changed, not just race to the top, and then head straight home again.
When I went to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, I learnt 2 big lessons. One was that no matter what you do, altitude sickness can get you, and put a stop to your ambitions.
Secondly without a certain group of people, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I did. Those people are the Porters and Guides who accompanied us. It was very humbling to be in their presence. Yes they had an awesome “office”, but they had the likes of me to put up with. They are all stars in my eyes. They worked tirelessly carrying our belongings as well as all the food and water, cooking equipment and portaloos up and down the mountain-side, and they do it with a smile on their face. Each night when the team got into camp they were greeted with singing. I only managed to first day, as all the following days I was so behind everyone else, they had stopped the singing and dancing and were onto other duties. It is the thing that makes me the saddest, when I reflect back on that trip, that I missed the singing and dancing.
3 guides I spent an inordinately long period of time with, and can mention them by name. There were others that were the rest of my party, so I didn’t get to know them so well. During the evenings, when everybody else was around the mess tent, bonding and gelling, I was laying down, recovering from the days walk. I saw little of the mess tent after the second day. Despite huge attempts by some of the party, I was left to my own company in my tent. This was a shame as it meant I didn’t get a chance to speak to the porters much. To be a guide, you started as a porter for 3 years, and we were encouraged to speak to them, to help them with their english.
So a big shout goes to Benson and Sticky who got me as far up the mountain as was possible., occassionally literally dragging me up, as the altitude sickness just made me want to sit down and sleep.
Ayoub who escorted me off the mountain, and subsequently looked after me, taking me to clinics and internet cafes to get the necessary paperwork, before I could come home.
I am often asked if I have unfinished business on Kilimanjaro. I don’t think so. Sometimes you just have to accept that you may not realise the dream you set out to do. That is the unfinished business that I have. Coming to terms that there are places that we set out for, but never reach our destination. The real learning is in the journey. The last donation before I set out came with a message.
So what has this got to do with your spiritual development? Well sometimes you just have to admit that you need help. Without the expertise and knowledge of a team of people, I would have failed very early on. Self-awareness, self-development, dealing with trauma and experiences in life that can hold you back from experiencing joy in your life need a guide sometimes. That is why I am currently writing a book to help you overcome situations that are holding you back. Sometimes it may feel as though you have a mountain to climb, and from my experience you do. Sometimes you will need a little help carrying some of your baggage, and sometimes you might need dragging along, as it feels as though the oxygen has been sucked out of you. But using my book as a guide-book, we will get you along the track for a memorable experience.
The mountain teams are seriously hit economically by the health crisis, which has gripped the world in 2020. If you are enjoying this blog please consider donating to the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project here This is a fund set up to help with finances and training. To become a guide takes, time, money and dedication and they need our help now, more than ever.
It is approaching the year annivesary of heading out to Tanzania, and heading out to Kilmanjaro to attempt to get to the Roof of Africa. I use the word attempt, because that is what it was, an attempt, I did not succeed, and so I came home and licked my wounds and tried my best not to think about it. I had an amazing adventure, don’t get me wrong, and it was through no fault of my own that I didn’t get to the top. My body decided to give me the experience of altitude sickness. Nothing I could have done, I don’t think, could have prepared me for it.
I reached the grand height of 4600 metres, somewhere between the height of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. No mean feat, and when I look through my photographs I have great memories, but when I see the pictures of my fellow climbers who managed to get to the top, I am sad, and will admit to crying over not realising the dream.
I won’t go into the gory details, just suffice to say that for 24 hours I couldn’t keep a single meal down. Jo, the leader of the party took the decision that I did not have enough fuel onboard to continue onto the summit. Being successful of reaching the top means that those who are not fit, hold the rest of the team back and I understood that, so on the day that the main party headed for base camp ready to head out for the summit, I headed down the path, back to a bed on lower ground.
I will leave you with my photos.
Having spent some time going through my photos to put on here, I am eternaly grateful for the chance to have had the adventure. I must give a shout out to the tour operators 360 Expeditions, and their team “On the Mountain” lead by Mussa and his loyal team of porters and guides.
If you are considering doing this trip when we are all allowed to get back to travelling, do not skimp on your support staff. If the trip looks cheap, then your support staff are probably not of a good calibre. They can make or break your chances of success. Mussa and his team are excellent. They took such good care of us all. I can highly recommend them, and I hope they survive what we are going through now, as they are certainly the best on the Roof of Africa. They work as a team, but I will give a shout out to the porter and guide who came down with me, in a post of it’s own, watch out for it in the next few days.
I still have a lot of processing to do from this trip. Writing this blog has given me another opportunity to process what I did actually achieve. I certainly don’t feel that I want to go back and prove a point…..there is no point…..altitude sickness sucks. But Mount Mehru looks amamzing, and to look over and see Kilimanjaro, now that would be a view worth training for.
Have you set out to do something huge, and not made it. How did you feel? Leave me a comment.
………was a writing prompt given to me as part of the Hay House Writer’s Community Assignment. Like many people, I have been told that my life story would make a good book, and so in this time of “plenty of time on my hands” I thought now was the time to look into it. And so I joined in Hay House’s 7 day online writing challenge at the end of July, and then joined their community soon after.
The idea of a writing prompt is that you set a timer for 7 minutes, and write freely from the given prompt. Before I sat down to do this one, I mulled over in my head what I would write about. Would it be “I remember when…..you could see people’s faces when you went shopping”, or “you shook a stranger’s hand when you were introduced to them”? Would I be taken back in time to a childhood memory, of a summer holiday maybe?
Just before I started the timer, I drew a Starseed oracle card, and this shaped my writing as I will explain after my freefall writing
This is my 7 minute writing:
I remember when…..it felt like we had the freedom to travel wherever and whenever we chose, but that freedom was an illusion. We were restricted by so many things, ferry timetables, plane schedules, and of course, the ability to pay for the tickets. When we got to a new destination, we were reliant on a museum, art gallery or park being open. I remember when I eagerly looked forward to holidays, exploring new places, new cultures, a chance to visit fantastic natural wonders. But this was only when the tour companies ran their tours, or when the coach, bus, train etc was going. Even having the ability to drive, we relied on petrol stations being open along the way to ensure that you had enough petrol. We were not free to just wander in, as and when we liked. Our freedom was an illusion.
I remember when trips to the seaside meant going on the coach that was arranged by your dad’s work, for their summer outing. I remember the train to Swansea. Looking forward to getting to the tunnel, the highlight of the journey, when the whole outside world became pitch black and you could see yourself reflected back in the train window.
(END of seven minute timer)
Prior to this writing prompt, I felt drawn to the Starseed Oracle and drew the card “Hiraeth” a Welsh word for “longing for home” or homesickness. The booklet explains “This yearning can lead some Starseeds to travel to find a physical place that feels more like home” I was reminded of the woman who I worked with in London, who asked me what I was running away from, with all my yearning to travel? That question resonated with me, and set me on a path to discover what it was I was running from. But not for another 7 or 8 years. It took a tragic episode in my life before I really started to understand what it was that I was running from and finally start to unpick the past, and realise what it was. It was “the fire of life” which has turned me into the star that I am.
For many years I thought of myself as a diamond. Once I started to discover my self-worth, I saw myself as something that had been formed from immense pressures, but maybe in reality I am a star. I know very little about stars, and how they come into being, but I have a feeling I am about to learn a whole lot more. if you, my reader know anything about them, please share in the comments.
As I removed the Hiraeth card from the pack, another card was revealed, the “I remember” card. It struck me as pertinent that it was “hidden” behind the Hiraeth one, just as I was about to write with a prompt “I remember when…..” I thought that sometimes what we seek needs a little bit of searching for, God doesn’t always put it right under our noses, it is not always right on top and obvious. So I read about that card too.
“There was a moment before you were born, when you chose the conditions of life you’re living right now!…..We live in a world of free will….it takes courage and faith to take the destiny path that your Soul has chosen.”
Well reading that made me realise how far my Soul has come on it’s journey. Several years ago I would have been angry at the thought that I had “chosen” to be adopted, chosen to live the life that I had. OK when you are an adult you can chose what to do. But as a child? Can I really say “I chose” that experience? Several years ago I would have said no, but now, when I reflect on the fire that I have gone through, to make me a JoySmith, then I accept that it was necessary, and welcome the moulding that that experience has given me.
“Are you strong enough to follow your destiny, to trust the path your Soul is calling you to?” Hell YEH!
Let’s free fall through space, through the stars, and let’s see where it takes us.
“You’re being invited to remember your Souls greater plan and to surrender to it”
You, the reader, if you are still with me, will possibly not understand the joy that this brings me, the feeling of excitement. The excitement of stepping onto a path where few, if any have gone before.
I am standing on the threshold of going somewhere new…to the stars. My friend in London asked the wrong question, when she asked me what I was running away from. I wasn’t running away from anything, I was trying to find a place that I could call home.
On my earthly travels, I have often wondered how it must have felt for all those early explorers, going out into the unknown. Were they scared?
Possibly, but did they feel what I am feeling right now…excited…bursting with anticipation…full of joy..of going somewhere where no earthly person has gone before.