Remember the Small Things


Photograph: Charlotte McCarthy, taken in Egypt, July 2012

Remember the Small Things

Some of my sisters work in Australia. On a reservation, among the Aborigines, there was an elderly man. I can assure you that you have never seen a situation as difficult as that poor old man’s. He was completely ignored by everyone. His home was disordered and dirty.

I told him, “Please, let me clean your house, wash your clothes, andmake your bed.”

He answered, “I’m okay like this. Let it be.”

I said again, “You will be better still if you allow me to do it.”

He finally agreed. So I was able to clean his house and wash his clothes. I discovered a beautiful lamp, covered with dust. Only God knows how many years had passed since he last lit it.

I said to him, “Don’t you light your lamp? Don’t you ever use it?”

He answered, “No. No one comes to see me. I have no need to light it. Who would I light it for?”

I asked, “Would you light it every night if the sisters came?”

He replied, “Of course.”

From that day on the sisters committed themselves to seeing him every evening. We cleaned the lamp, and the sisters would light it every evening.

Two years passed. I had completely forgotten that man. He sent this message:

“Tell my friend that the light she lit in my life continues to shine still.”

I thought it was a very small thing.
We often neglect small things.

~~ Mother Theresa ~~


Affirmation of the Week



How many people do you know that are truly happy? That radiate out that kind of inner joy as they walk through life? When you look around as you walk to work each day, I have to say most people don’t look that happy, especially on a Monday morning… and although I focus on this affirmation a lot myself, I doubt I give off that kind of air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week myself. Frankly, it’s just not possible! Yet I do believe that it is possible to feel like this without having something specific being the cause for such happiness… in reality anything is possible if we set our minds to it.

If you want to be happy, be.
~~ Henry David Thoreau ~~

Yes, I do believe this is definitely a mindset. It is, like everything else, a choice! I like the quotation above because it is so simple. There is beauty in its’ simplicity. I’m sure some people would look at it, read it and think… Oh, if only it were that easy. But it is if you think about it, isn’t it? 🙂

Ask yourself – am I happy? If the answer is no, then ask yourself why not. List the reasons down. I bet nearly every single one of those answers are external. Some examples I could think of, are because I’m not in the right job, the right relationship, because someone has been horrible to me, because I have no money, because I feel ill. They are *conditional* which therefore makes happiness *conditional*. But happiness isn’t dependent on anything other than your heart. Yes, these can all be draining things… but, playing the devil’s advocate here, do they really cause unhappiness? Isn’t unhappiness simply a state of mind? A choice to focus on the negative aspects of life, rather than the positive? If someone can still be happy and yet have illness (and severe, life threatening illness at that), then why can’t we, who have no illness, be happy? I think happiness can co-exist with illness, with grief, with stress… it’s all about making that choice, and taking responsibility for it. I think that’s a very important point so I’ll repeat it… and even highlight it.

It’s about taking responsibility!

After all, we only have this life to lead (well… actually that is dependent on your personal spiritual beliefs, and if we do get more than one life, well… we’re not gonna remember the others, now are we, so it’s kind of a moot point!). A personal example was a time when I had been stressed, and physically ill… and I was grieving over a death… BUT… that Sunday I went to work, I chose to do overtime as I needed the money… and some time ago I would have really whinged about it because there were many other things I would have preferred to do. However, up I got, a very foggy morning, cold air… hardly anyone around as I made my way to the train station… and when I consciously chose to become aware of the air around me, listen to the birds singing, relish the peacefulness and no-one being around… well that contributed to one of my happy moments for the day 🙂 … one I wouldn’t have had, if I hadn’t chosen to take notice. Therefore, this week I am making a conscious choice to see the good in things that surround me, to have hope for the future… and to be happy *grin*.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2012 Michelle Payne



Peace is not something you fight for
With bombs and missiles that kill,
Nor can it be won in a “battle of words”
One fashions by scheming and skill
For those who are greedy and warlike,
Whose avarice for power cannot cease,
Can never contribute in helping
To bring this world nearer to peace
For in seeking peace for all people
There is only one place to begin
And that is in each home and heart–
For the fortress of peace is within!

~~ Helen Steiner Rice ~~

Affirmation of the Week



Introspection is a wonderful thing… after all, aren’t most of the answers we seek to be found within our selves? Sometimes though, we need to take a break… we need to breathe… to rejuvenate… to have a *time-out*. This is a message that has been brought home to me loud and clear recently!

How often do you do something that you would class as *silly*? That doesn’t appear to have any meaning, any benefit… or even, God forbid, pointlessly takes up some of your valuable time? Look at the word… *silly* or *silliness*… what does that conjure up in your mind? From my personal perspective, it can mean being daft, acting the fool, doing something that other people think is a waste of time, or would laugh at me for… childish, idiotic… then I realised that these descriptions are all negative! Oh dear!!!!!!!! So off I trotted to trusty old Google, and looked up the definition of silliness.

Silliness – The quality or state of being silly.

The Thesaurus for it states: noun – foolish behaviour, absurdity, folly, foolery, foolishness, idiocy, imbecility, insanity, lunacy, madness, nonsense, preposterousness, senselessness, tomfoolery, zaniness, informal craziness.

It can also mean an impulsive scatterbrain.

Again, these don’t seem to read positively do they?

Call them what you will… but dark times… shadows… healing… grieving… loss… questioning… searching… and many other adjectives which I won’t list (and I’m sure you can think of more of your own)… are good in our path for growth, progression and gaining wisdom… but they need to be balanced with fun, with laughter, with love… and with light. And during those dark times, finding that light can actually be one of the hardest things to do… especially if we are unaware just how heavy and dark we actually become.

Also, all too often, travelling these paths can bring a lot of seriousness into our lives… and that of itself can  weigh us down, even if we are not aware of it happening at the time, let alone when it’s compounded by other things that are going on in our daily lives.

So this week, I would hope that anyone who reads/comes across this blog and/or post will join in in being silly… acting just that little bit “mad”… doing something daft… even if other people think it’s crazy… don’t let that stop you!

Do one thing, each day… to make yourself laugh… 

Giggle… pull faces at yourself in the mirror… run down a path or road with your arms outstretched… spin in a circle in the house while doing housework… sing along loudly to some music in your car even if you are tone deaf (ok this one is definitely me… you should see some of the looks I get sometimes… (no sniggering allowed 😉 … seriously, if you also bop along while you’re sat waiting at traffic lights, you’ll get some right weird looks off people *GRIN*)!!!

What is wrong with being silly?
What benefits do you think it can bring into a person’s life?
How many ways can you think of to be silly?

Now I can’t think of that many silly things to do… so please, do share and post any ideas or things that you do… you may just be helping someone else lighten their load 🙂

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2012 Michelle Payne

I Rise



You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

~~ Maya Angelou ~~

Affirmation of the Week



When life strikes hard I think it makes you question a lot of things that you automatically take for granted, believe in, hope for… some time ago I’d been pondering over my reiki practice and even questioning whether it really works… because if it works, why can’t it cure diseases, why can’t it get rid of growths… but of course it doesn’t work like *that*, some things are not meant to be cleared, cleansed or cured, no matter how much we hope, pray or even beg or bargain!! Although of course, this will depend upon your personal spiritual/religious beliefs.  So at that point I  then  looked through the main reiki precepts… and thought I’d concentrate on the first one for the moment… and it helped.  So much so, that I think it’s a really helpful “go to” tool whenever you hit a brick wall or have something you struggle over, and of course, figured I’d share it here 🙂

Worry, it’s something we all do. I doubt there is a human being on this planet that does not worry in some form or another at least once during their waking hours. But what use does worry actually have? None that spring to mind for me… we can deliberate, muse over, ponder… but these are rather more detached words don’t you think? Worry brings to mind a more personal analysis… mentally going over something which causes the heart to contract… and I think, just my opinion ;)… that it arises from fear and absolutely, definitely, feeds it.

It’s natural when crises arise that we worry, that when we don’t have enough money to buy food we worry, that when our children, parents and pets are hurt, we worry… an instinctual response, one I think, that in those scenarios, would then lead us to find solutions.  But the worry I’m talking about in relation to this affirmation is not of the type that can be used for finding solutions, but rather when it is bringing no benefit. When it is causing stress, undue concern and limits our actions, thoughts and emotions etc. What happens when we worry about things that are out of our control? When we worry about things that haven’t happened yet, that may happen, that may never happen? If we worry about the more trivial things that really, don’t have much bearing on our lives? I would ask:

Why are you worrying? And is it fear based?
What benefit does it bring you?
What could you be doing with your mind instead?
What could you be doing with your time instead?
Why are you choosing to worry?

In that moment, that split second that we are worrying, we are not achieving. We are not being, we are not doing… we are in effect… living in Fear. We are not solving, we are not acting… we are wasting time, don’t you think? Wouldn’t it make much more sense, in that split second, to feel love, to laugh, to hope, to release?

I think it was either one of the daily meditations from Living Life Fully that I was reading, an excerpt from that site or one from DailyOm… that spoke of someone applying the 100 year test to a problem. Will it matter (what you are worrying about) in 100 years? So I would ask will it matter in a month? In a week? Will it matter today?  And if the answer is no… focus on something more positive, and just let it go.

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2012 Michelle Payne

A Rescued Hen says Thank You


Sage within first month of rescue April 2010

A Rescued Hen says Thank You

Are you the one that rescued me?
Are you the one who came?
I want to say a thank you.
But I don’t know your name
Thank you for coming to take me.
Away from that cage with no space
Thank you for taking me under your wing
and bringing me here to this place
We’ve been on a terrible journey.
Folks bury their heads in the sand
As long as the price on the egg box is low,
that’s all they understand
Thank you for getting up early
and thank you so much that you care
We didn’t know life ‘til you found us.
Kind people, clean bedding, fresh air
But now we live in a garden,
we move and it’s green and there’s sky
Our feathers are shabby, our wings may be weak,
but give us time and we’ll fly
You gave us your care and I thank you.
You did what most people would shun
On behalf of my fellow ex-battery hens…
our lives have at last… really begun.

~~ Jill Pendleton ~~

Sage a year after rescue

Photographs © 2010 & 2011 Michelle Payne

Affirmation of the Week



I’m very much all for the being in the moment (or rather, constantly working on or attempting to or hoping to be in the NOW) yet sometimes, in this heavy sense-driven physical world that we inhabit, I think we need moments of escapism… moments where we can let our minds open to all possibilities, however fantastic… let our fantasies take over, daydream (admittedly so long as they don’t take over our entire life of course).

Sometimes real life can be excruciatingly painful… when we undergo spiritual, emotional and mental challenges, lessons… and losses… in my opinion, they can then bring in the psychosomatic effects in the physical world.

Just to make sure I was understanding the word correctly I googled it… this is the context of my understanding of it and in which I am applying it to this post…

“It is well known that the mind can cause physical symptoms. For example, when we are afraid or anxious we may develop: a fast heart rate, palpitations, feeling sick, shaking (tremor), sweating, dry mouth, chest pain, headaches, a ‘knot in the stomach’, and fast breathing. These physical symptoms are due to an ‘overdrive’ of nervous impulses sent from the brain to various parts of the body, and to the release of adrenaline into the bloodstream when we are anxious”.

So in times of such stress, such pain… how do we keep a balance? How do we cope, especially if there is physical pain that accompanies the problems we encounter?

A few years ago (almost to the week actually) I read all of the Harry Potter books, yep all 7, one after the other… loved the first four films but had never read the books until that point. As it happens my mate’s eldest was clearing some books out, Harry Potter included, so I had already brought them home, very synchronistic!! I love the books even more than the films… how I wish Hogwarts was real (yeah yeah I know, it’s not ;))… wouldn’t you just love to have gone to a school like that? Not to battle demons or anything, but to be able to practice magic like that? To ride on broomsticks & dragons… to make potions, to have wands… etc. etc… pure fantasy (well I haven’t yet seen a broomstick flying across the sky, the “Dog in Sky” episode… well that’s another matter ;)).

Reading this kind of fiction at that time helped me to escape from the physical, emotional, mental & spiritual pain of the *real world* that surrounded me then… from worrying and stressing, from hurting… it gave a few hours respite just when I have needed it the most… not because I wanted to hide away permanently, not because I wanted to construct a fantasy life and try to live that, because I didn’t (well there are certain things I wish I could wave a wand at, hey… can’t blame a girl for wishing ;))… but to help me cope, to grieve, help me start on the new path that I then had to walk… and which would ultimately help me to eventually heal.

Escapism and daydreams can also help us forge our way through to the future, they can help to bring about realities that we wish for… by visualising the best for ourselves, our families and our friends… we can then see something that may be possible, that we can strive for, can turn into reality.

Reading then was the escapism that I not only needed, but a gift that I gave to myself. So my question to you this week is how can you best use some escapism to help yourself, and what beneficial effects will it bring to you?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2012 Michelle Payne

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