A Quest of New Beginnings

14124072_10153653340167163_1669001564_oWe are all on a quest. To find ourselves, to find our purpose, to find out why we are here right now. Inspired by the book called Quest, by Denise Linn and Meadow Linn, I went on a short quest in nature today, with the intention to find peace and stillness within as I get ready to set off on a whole new chapter of my life.

I had no expectations for the quest, other than to walk my favourite route through the woods, and to sit in my favourite spot overlooking the river. But along the way, I received so many messages from spirit that I felt the need to share them here, as they may help other Earth Angels who are transitioning from one chapter to another in their lives.

Before setting off, I was visited by a blue-green dragonfly, who actually came inside the house, and refused to be ignored. I looked up the meaning of the dragonfly, and the description that jumped out at me was this:

When this spirit animal shows up in your life you may be called to transform and evolve. Symbol of metamorphosis and transformation, it inspires those who have it as a totem to bring about the changes needed in their lives in order to go to reach their full potential.

When this spirit animal shows up in your life, it’s an indication that it’s time for change. Just like the dragonfly changes colors as it matures, you may be called to live and experience yourself differently. Stay open to the enfoldment of your personal journey.

(description from this website)

This is most definitely a time of transformation for me, and it’s also time to do what I need to do to reach my full potential. I set off on my favourite loop, and when I reached my favourite place overlooking the river, I noticed the sound of crickets. In all the times I have visited that spot, I have never noticed crickets there before. Usually, they’re quite well hidden, but there were several just wandering around the rocks, so I got this shot of one.

cricket

When I looked up the meaning of the cricket, this description certainly fit!

You are an excellent communicator, love to walk your talk and are often vegetarian. You understand the power of music and will often have a career that uses music as a form of healing. You are a whirlwind of action, a blur of movement, and always on the go. You seem to have a hard time staying in one place and are always jumping off in one direction or another.

(description from this website)

In case you were wondering, this is the view from my favourite spot:

river

 

On my way back up the hill, I happened to look back and noticed a spider web shimmering in the sun, it was precariously situated between the tree branch and some brambles, and I only managed to take this photo before the wind picked up and moved it out of the sunbeam. I love how the sunlight made parts of the web look purple.

spider

I looked up the meaning of a spider, and this description made a lot of sense:

Just as the Spider weaves a web, so too must we weave our own lives. The Spider serves as a reminder that our choices construct our lives. When the Spider appears to us, it is a message to be mindful of the choices we are making.

(description from this website)

On the final stretch of my quest, a rabbit crossed my path, and I realised how lucky I was to have seen so much amazing wildlife in the last few years. I of course looked up the meaning of the rabbit, and found the following:

Symbolic rabbit meanings deal primarily with abundance, comfort, and vulnerability. These animals are about body and soul. Consider the amazing perceptive abilities of the rabbit. Radar-like hearing and near 360 degree vision speak of sensitivity.The rabbit reminds us to examine and utilize the tools we have within ourselves. Although our instincts are innate, they also need nurturing and development.

(description from this website)

14152196_10153653339912163_601009964_oAs a token of my quest, I saw this feather hanging from a branch, and took it with me to remind me that I need to reconnect with myself as often as possible, and to spend as much time as possible in nature.

I plan to go on more quests in the future, to get quiet enough to hear my guides, and to find the peace I used to feel when I was a child. I spend so much time on my computer or phone, that it’s rare to just spend time outside with a real book, just observing the creatures around me.

If you are also going through a transitional period right now, know that you are most certainly not alone, and if you need guidance, all you need to do is go outside, and observe the natural life around you. You are beautiful, you are strong, and you will get through this. I promise.

Spirit Warrior – Dirk Terpstra

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Welcome to the latest post in the Spirit Warrior Series in which I am featuring Spirit Warriors I know. These are men who have made the transition from very ‘normal’ careers to a more spiritual calling. Many men are making this shift from the physical to the meta-physical, and they have allowed me to share their stories with you, in the hopes it will inspire and uplift you, especially if you are thinking of doing the same thing.

The Spirit Warrior I would like to introduce you to is Dirk Terpstra. I was fortunate to meet Dirk in Vancouver, BC, whilst travelling this summer.

MG: Dirk, can you tell everyone what it was you used to do?

Spirit Warrior: Thank you Michelle, for inviting me to your inspiring Spirit Warrior Series. I feel blessed to have met you in Vancouver.
I grew up in a small town in The Netherlands, not far from Amsterdam. I worked for American Express and was responsible for the corporate divisions in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. It was fun work to do, but also quite demanding and stressful.

MG: What is it you currently do?

SL-logoSpirit Warrior: In the winter of 2001, I left the company and moved with my wife and two young boys to a rural area in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. I currently host an online platform called ‘Soul Love’ for which I interview people who inspire me – authors, spiritual teachers and scientists. I am trained at the scientific Institute of HeartMath in California and I coach individuals and organizations to live a more heart-based life. I explain the amazing science of our hearts and help them understand how we can regulate our personal stress levels, which has an immediate impact on our relationships, performance and outlook on life. 

MG: What inspired the shift?

Spirit Warrior: During my corporate career, I didn’t find the fulfilment in my work that I was hoping for. I needed a new adventure and a new challenge in order to make a deeper connection with my deepest wishes and desires. 

MG: Were there financial implications?

Spirit Warrior: There were definitely financial implications since I was making a lot of money. I voluntarily left this career behind me and chose for living a more adventurous and meaningful life without any idea what I wanted to do. I had no work, no income and a lot of fun. It took me a few years in nature and losing three dear family members (my dad, brother and mum) to find my true purpose. What a spiritual journey!

Dirk_white_bgMG: Did you get support from your friends and family?

Spirit Warrior: Our friends and family were not too happy that we left the country. They didn’t ask for this change. But fortunately, there are always people who keep loving you and supporting you, no matter what happens. 

MG: Have you ever been judged, criticised or ridiculed for your decision to transition from the physical to meta-physical?

Spirit Warrior: You know Michelle, there are always people who judge or criticize us, but to be honest, those people don’t interest me. I strongly feel that when my decisions and actions are coming from my heart, I am unstoppable and nothing else bothers me. 

MG: Have you ever considered returning to your old career?

Spirit Warrior: No! I am actually surprised that I have never really looked back. I must have found my purpose. 

MG: What gets you through the tough moments?

Spirit Warrior: Gratitude. I have so much to be grateful for and that brings everything in perspective. I have also learned that the moments we don’t like, are the moments we learn and grow the most. I now also work with people who suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). But did you know that most people have never heard of PTG? It stands for: Post Traumatic Growth. Look at the most inspiring teachers in the world and notice what they’ve often been going through.

MG: Do you have any advice for other Spirit Warriors who are making the same transition, or are thinking of doing so?

Spirit Warrior: Picture yourself, being 80 or so and sitting on your front porch looking back on life. Did you do everything you wanted to do? Do you feel completely fulfilled or do you have some regrets? Write down these regrets and do them now! No matter what it takes!

MG: Can you share you favourite spiritual practice with us?

Spirit Warrior: Spending time in nature. Just being. We often forget that we ARE nature, and we need to connect with who we are, at the most fundamental level, in order to stay balanced and whole.

MG: Are you more in tune with your inner self? With your intuition?

Spirit Warrior: Yes, very much so. I used to be that when I was a young child but over the years I lost that. I slowly drifted away from that little child inside, because I listened too much to others and what they thought was important (for me). By slowing down, going through some difficult times, and following my passion, I feel restored and whole again.

MG: Do you express your feelings and emotions more easily?

Spirit Warrior: Yes, I believe that I am more present now and easily recognize what I feel. With my new circle of friends it’s easier to express these feelings. I usually don’t pay much attention to my emotions. They come and go. 

Wayne-DirkMG: What has been the best and worst parts of making this shift?

Spirit Warrior: The best thing is that I DID it, despite my initial doubts. I fell in love, why would I stop that feeling? There’s nothing bad really about making this move. There’s nothing bad in life. All events are perfect lessons that make me more experienced, wiser and more resilient.

MG: If you could go back in time and change the past, would you choose to do it all over again?

Spirit Warrior: I would never change anything of my past. And YES, I would make this decision again tomorrow. I can’t tell you enough how much it made me feel come alive. This aliveness is crucial in life. That’s why we’re here.

MG: Is there anything else you would like to share?

Spirit Warrior: Follow your aliveness, no matter what others might think or say. When something feels good in your heart, trust it and go for it. Your heart is always right. It’s who you are.

MG: Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, and with my readers!

If you would like to check out what Dirk is doing his links are below. Thank you for reading, there will be another Spirit Warrior featured very soon!
Interviews: SoulLove.com

Website: DirkTerpstra.com

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Is Poverty the Birthplace of True Creativity?

Does it also lead to deep appreciation and gratitude for the beautiful, simple things in life?

I’ve wondered, on more than one occasion, why I have remained in financial difficulty over the last few years. I mean, I am not destitute, or living on the streets,though if it weren’t for my amazing friends and family, and my credit cards, that may well have become the situation. But the thought popped into my head today, that if money were no problem, then perhaps I wouldn’t be quite so creative. That if money was plentiful and my bank accounts all very healthy, I perhaps wouldn’t be able to empathise and connect with those who have very little, and be able to help them.

I said to my partner last night – “I sometimes feel like my career is taking a while to really take off, to make sure that I learn to remain humble.”

I also think, that the struggle, the desperation, the rough times – all become the perfect material for creating stories and objects that will help and inspire others.

None of this means that I wish to be poor for the rest of my life, but it does seem to be that the ‘starving artist’ mentality may have its roots in the idea that poverty forces you to be more creative with what time, resources and money you have. If your budget is tight, you don’t go out and buy everything brand new for a project. You are more likely to recycle, salvage, and think outside the box. So in fact, having less money is promoting eco-friendly ways of being, too.

I do think that extreme poverty, to the point where you are living in scarcity and are unable to think of anything other than surviving the day, limits creativity, as it seems like a luxury to be creative in those situations. But when you are able to survive, but have a limited budget for things you want to do, I do think you become more creative within those limitations.

I have experienced this in my own life, where I have wanted to do something, but not had much money to spend, I find that I become more creative, and though it may take more of my time, there is something infinitely more magical about the end result. For example, when I did the Harry Potter theme parties, for myself and my friends, there were so many things I could have bought online. So much available merchandise, if I’d had a big budget. But I didn’t. I was trying to do the parties on no budget at all. So instead of buying chocolate frogs, I found a template online, printed it onto card, made the boxes, and then bought a frog mold, and melted bars of chocolate. Instead of buying a sorting hat, I dug out my leather from my notebook making days, and hand-stitched a hat myself. For the house points, I got four pop bottles, turned them upside down and screwed the lids onto a plinth made by my partner. If I’d had a budget, I would probably have bought it all, instead of making it myself. And I think it was the Weasley nature of the decorations that made the parties magical. I also appreciated it all so much more, because I knew how much time I had put into it!

I also mentioned gratitude and appreciation, because I truly feel that until you have experienced the feeling of having nothing, or of going through some very dark times, it’s difficult to truly appreciate and feel gratitude for what you have, and for the simple things. I watched a clip from Oprah’s latest Super Soul Sunday, and she was interviewing Amy Purdy. who is such an inspiring woman. She died on an operating table when she contracted meningitis. She said that when she crossed over, and was told she could stay on Earth if she wanted, she thought about all the things she loved about living, and they were things like – the smell of rain, and the sound of ocean waves.

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She decided to stay, and now, every day, she experiences deep and true appreciation for the simple things in her life, like her coffee in the morning, and walking in nature.

It seems that adversity that comes from illness, injuries, disability or near death experiences also inspires a deep creativity, and appreciation. Amy wanted to snowboard again, despite having had both legs removed, because it was her passion. But there weren’t prosthetic legs that were appropriate, so she created them.

How many of us just trudge through life, without stopping to create something new, without looking at things from a different angle, without pushing the boundaries in order to fulfil our mission and purpose and doing whatever it takes to follow our passions? Do we really need poverty, illness and adversity to wake us up and inspire us to truly shine?

What are your thoughts?

 

Living life to the fullest

Paul Walker

I was really sad to hear the news this morning about Paul Walker dying in a car accident in California. Having been an avid fan of The Fast & The Furious, and a fan of his before that, as Varsity Blues and The Skulls were two of my favourite movies, it was awful to think that I wouldn’t see him in any future movies. (After Fast & Furious 7, which I hope they are still able to finish). Forty years old is way too young to be leaving this earth, but after talking to my partner about it, he made me realise that actually, Paul Walker has probably lived more in those forty years, than most people do in twice that amount of time.

He followed his passions, took risks, made blockbuster movies, and also supported charities, raising awareness for different causes. I get the feeling that he was the kind of person who lived without regrets. How many of us can say that? How many people die every day, having never realised their dreams, followed their passions or figured out their purpose? Too many, I think.

And so, I have decided, that 2014 is to be a year of making things happen. Of realising dreams, pursuing passion and leaving no room for regrets. 2012 was a year of destruction of the old ways, 2013 has been a year of transformation, so it makes sense that next year will be the year that it all comes together. In fact, I have been told that the next 12 months are going to be the most exciting yet for me, I will tell you more about that in my next post.

Rest in peace, Paul, and thank you for teaching us to live life to the fullest. x

The truth will out!

butterflies

The last few weeks have been very interesting, energy-wise. In one weekend we had the Summer Solstice, the Supermoon, Mercury went into retrograde and we had solar flares. Not the cheeriest of times for most!! I found the run up to that weekend pretty tough, everything rose to the surface and suddenly all of the situations I had been avoided reared up and I couldn’t ignore or deny them any longer.

I had to face them head on. I can’t say that I did so very gracefully, but I felt better for acknowledging them and seeing the truth of the situations. But also, it gave me the opportunity to look for the solutions too, and all of those things that had been hanging around in the back of my mind were cleared.

Since then, truth and authenticity have been the major topics of conversation in my circles of friends, as we see those who are not being authentic and honest either disappearing from our lives or trying to attack us. It has been a case of constantly clearing the energies,  clearing and healing ourselves, and most importantly, sending love and light to those who are floundering and falling into the trap of the ego.

Every day we have to choose between our true selves and our ego. Every day we have to choose anew for if we don’t then ego will find a way to knock us off course.

When material matters are forefront in your mind, you know that the ego is at work. When you are focussed on getting more, having more, or feeling dissatisfied with what you have been blessed with in life, you know that it is ego.

When you are taking good care of yourself, and so are able to help others, and seek to assist and guide them on their path, you know that you are living your truth. When each night you go to sleep, knowing that you have done all that you could have, and that you are thankful for all your blessings, the beauty around you and the love that you are filled with, then you know you are your authentic self.

You are pure love, and you are also one with every living soul you encounter. Treat them with the love and respect that you deserve also. In this time of change and shifting energies, be sure to stay grounded, and connected to the divine source at the same time. And surround yourself with those who are speaking, living and acting out their truth. Let anyone who is not to walk their own path, but don’t get involved in their drama. When they are ready to live their truth, their paths will cross yours again.