Out in the Fields with God


Out in the Fields with God

The little cares which fretted me
I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play,
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees,
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of the bees.
The foolish fear of what might happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay,
Among the husking of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod
Where ill thoughts die and good are born–
Out in the fields with God

~~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~~

Image origin: unknown, found circulating on Facebook


Affirmation of the Week



Life, is mostly about being in the *Now*, enjoying each moment to its maximum and getting the most out of it. As is often said, the past has been and gone, and the future has yet to arrive. All we truly have, is this moment in time. But… yes, there’s a but with it… I think it is also good to have goals, dreams and hopes for what we would like to be or become in the future, else wouldn’t we just drift along and have no motivation to change things let alone take responsibility for how our life is shaped, anyone else agree? As Elbert Hubbard said

We work to become, not to acquire

This is not to say that we are not successful now, for we are. I truly believe we are where we are meant to be at this point in our lives. But as each day brings new experiences, we change ever so slightly and become *more*. What then of our future? Do you really want to be roughly in the same place, doing the same thing, being the same person you are now? Or do you wish to increase your knowledge, your wisdom, your heart, your love… or anything else that you may want to add to that list… a list that’s as unique as the person who creates it!

How do I define success in relation to this? To me, it could be choosing to do something new, or speaking in a different way, how I interact with friends, family and strangers… and then acting upon it. That’s it. Whether I continue doing it or not, I will have done it at least once and I will learn from that experience. If I’ve learnt that I don’t want to do something again, then that is not failure… it’s giving myself knowledge and learning from it. That’s success.

But how to achieve it? Baby steps, one little step forward at a time. OK, so you may take a couple of steps back from time to time, but pushing forward in this way will also take you where you want to go, which is just what I read in some emails from thoughtfortheday:

“Winners make big things happen a little bit at a time.”

“Your determination pulls success towards you, and your focus pushes obstacles away”

“Think Big Rise above little things. Be a big thinker. You are what you think. So just think big, believe big, act big, dream big, work big, give big, forgive big, laugh big, image big, love big, live big. Carry that list and you’ll start feeling big. Be a believer and you’ll be an achiever.”

You often hear in the media about how someone has suddenly achieved some great success, and how wonderful everything is, how lucky they are, but what is not reported very often is the years of struggle that that person has gone through to get to that point. Each moment a learning experience, each moment a choice of continuing down the path they want or doing what they know is meant for them. And every single baby step of the way is as important as the other.

Who comes to mind when you think of someone successful? These days, more often than not, a celebrity or media person would automatically come to mind, because society seems to deem money and status as the necessary items to have in order to be classed as successful.

But what about a person who has had a car accident and been hospitalised for a year? Been told they won’t walk again… and then proceeded to push themselves… until one day they are walking down the aisle towards their loved one? That to me is success.

Or the Mum who builds a loving and supportive relationship with her child? What about someone who has dyslexia and is told they will never amount to anything and go on to be a writer? Or the person who uses their most painful experiences to help someone else who undergoes a similar experience, get through it, learn from it and become a happier human being with less pain? Again, these examples shout out success to me.

A quote which I love in relation to this is:

There are no secrets of success. Success is doing the things you know you should do. Success is not doing the things you know you shouldn’t do. Success is not limited to any one area of your life. It encompasses all the facets of your relationships: as parent, as wife or husband, as citizen, neighbor, worker and all of the others. Success is not confined to any one part of your personality but is related to the development of all the parts: body, mind, heart and spirit. It is making the most of your total self.
~~ Wilfred A. Peterson ~~

So, some questions for you to ask yourself in relation to this week’s affirmation are:

How do you define success?
How successful do you feel?
What barriers to success do you have at present?
How can you help yourself be more successful?
What secret success do you wish you could have?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

Image origin: Unknown

© 2012 Michelle Payne

Brink of Eternity


Brink of Eternity

In desperate hope I go and search for her
in all the corners of my room;
I find her not.

My house is small
and what once has gone from it can never be regained.

But infinite is thy mansion, my lord,
and seeking her I have to come to thy door.

I stand under the golden canopy of thine evening sky
and I lift my eager eyes to thy face.

I have come to the brink of eternity from which nothing can vanish
—no hope, no happiness, no vision of a face seen through tears.

Oh, dip my emptied life into that ocean,
plunge it into the deepest fullness.
Let me for once feel that lost sweet touch
in the allness of the universe.

~~ Rabindranath Tagore ~~

Image origin: unknown, found circulating on Facebook

Affirmation of the Week



Like everyone else, I have some bad habits… some more annoying than others… and one that I used to have in abundance was when confronted with someone’s problems, try to give them solutions, when that is not what they need. Nowadays I know better thanks to all that counselling training 🙂

One of the things I hope I’ve achieved over the past few years with studying counselling is a much improved listening ability and that this has not just culminated in a new professional career, but has rippled out so that my everyday listening skills have improved too.

Listening often seems to be seen as such a “passive” thing these days, we talk about problems and have solutions thrown at us left, right and centre. Very often these solutions include material things, which is not what’s really needed and in today’s material, driven society, such passivity seems to be classed as a weak thing. Well that’s how it comes across to me at times. Yet don’t you think that listening can be such a strong tool… and one that we all possess if we can but still our own minds a bit more?

One aspect of listening is when others need to talk or cry on our shoulders: listening shows that we care about them, their feelings and their thoughts. By providing a listening ear, we allow others to vocalise their thoughts which in turn helps them to validate themselves, their thoughts, feelings (and who doesn’t need that at one time or another)… we are then showing them receptivity, help and thoughtfulness.

Then there’s another aspect that by listening we learn things… like learning in school, or from parents, from colleagues at work… chatting or gossiping with friends, learning likes and dislikes of others… it means we can debate and discuss political, ecological or societal issues.

These are some external examples.

“You get wise from listening and regret from speaking.”
~~ Thought for Today ~~

We can also use listening for inner work. By quietening the mind, sitting with silence, we listen to our bodies, our minds, our nerve endings… our intuition, our gut feelings. By listening to the “Inner”, this can help us to hear more in the external world… like silence, air, birdsong, wind, trees whispering, music playing, conversations, trains, animals… and so on.

Or how about when we listen to what someone tells us about ourselves… when people don’t like what they hear, they very often just close down, filtering out what doesn’t fit in with their perspective, their reality… their “inner world”. Sometimes, being open and listening to someone else’s opinion could facilitate healing and growth when we need it the most.

For myself, I’ve learnt to love listening… that it isn’t weak, that it is in fact a strength and that by doing so, I can help others when they need to vocalise. And that by actively listening, I can hear what’s being said in reality, both explicitly and implicitly… instead of making assumptions or filling in gaps that have appeared when my brain decided to go wander off somewhere else mid-conversation.

Some questions this week to ask yourself this week would be:

What does the term “listening” mean for you?
How do you feel when people listen to you?
How good are you at listening to others?
What can you learn from listening?
What do you listen to? Or For?
How can you improve your listening skills?
What benefit will listening bring to your life?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2012 Michelle Payne

Image origin: Gregory Colbert

It’s Ours


It’s Ours

there is always that space there
just before they get to us
that space
that fine relaxer
the breather
while say
flopping on a bed
thinking of nothing
or say
pouring a glass of water from the
while entranced by

gentle pure

it’s worth

centuries of


just to scratch your neck
while looking out the window at
a bare branch

that space
before they get to us
when they do
they won’t
get it all


~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

Image origin: unknown, found circulating on Facebook

Affirmation of the Week



We all have many things that we would take to be an anchor in our lives, be they children, parents, homes and even our jobs. However, what I’m thinking of this week is more along the lines of our emotions and inner selves!

We all absorb lessons from the moment we are born, every single day. Yep, even up to and including the very moment you’ve opened up your webpage to read this! And those lessons, especially the ones absorbed as children help us to live our lives, and react to events, circumstances and people around us on a totally subconscious level. Get a bad feeling about someone who just walked past? It could be that they’re giving off a *don’t come near me* energy, it could be that they’re wearing a stocking over their face just having robbed a bank or it could be that something about them reminds you of a person who was nasty to you when you were a kid. And of course the opposite applies – see someone who looks like your loving Nanna, well you’re more likely to think of them as kind and cuddly than an overzealous and ruthless bargain hunter shopper who wants to trip everyone up with their walking stick!

The thing is, we all have choices as we get older but let’s be honest, how many choices do you really make that are done on automatic pilot? And if you really look at those choices, how many of them do you make out of love or fear?

We can do no great things;
only small things with great love.
~~ Mother Theresa ~~

So while people, events and even our jobs can be *anchors*… what really underpins everything is how we emotionally and subconsciously react to everything and everyone around us. Of course, I could be wrong… this is just my personal opinion.

But if there is a glimmer of truth in what I’m thinking and believing at present… then we can choose that solid place within that we operate from, the *thing* that we cling on to when the going gets rough… and what we jump up and down on when things are great and full of celebration. And what more deserving a platform than Love? Seeing with love, being with love, acting from love, thinking from love, feeling from love… and everything else that generates, like compassion:

Compassion is the basis of all truthful relationship:
it means being present with love—
for ourselves and for all life,
including animals, fish, birds, and trees.

Compassion is bringing our deepest truth into our actions,
no matter how much the world seems to resist,
because that is ultimately what we have to give this world
and one another.

~~ Ram Dass ~~

I know that when all is said and done, the overwhelming thing I have that motivates me, moves me and inspires me… is Love. I’m not daft enough to think I’m ever going to be able to achieve that 100 per cent. of the time, I’m human and here to learn many lessons as are we all… but I do think it’s a great thing to strive for, to be aware of (as much as possible) and I also deeply believe, that by having Love as an anchor within, it can also help to heal and affect those whose lives I interact with. It can mean that even when the going gets tough, I can look at what motivates myself and others and not blame, not hold grudges and be able to let go and get on with my life, knowing I’ve done all I can and been the best I can be.

This morning take a few minutes to reflect on how
you give of yourself to the world.
Often we get caught up in the frenzy of buying
and giving things. Look at the ways you give
appreciation, friendship, energy, time,
love, and affection, and give of your own
special talents and abilities throughout the year.
Acknowledge yourself for having enriched
the lives of others. Spend some time loving
yourself for the giving light that you are.
~~ Shakti Gawain ~~

Being Love, breathing Love, absorbing, acting in, from and emanating Love… all of this brings light, happiness and hope, not just to our own lives, but others too.

This week’s affirmation questions are:

What is the current anchor you are operating from consciously?
What is the current anchor you may be operating from un/subsconsciously?
How strong is love anchored in your life generally?
What can you do to strengthen or build more love into your life?
What benefit will this bring to you in the short-term?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

Image origin: Unknown

© 2012 Michelle Payne

Phenomenal woman


Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

~~ Maya Angelou ~~

Image origin: unknown, found circulating on Facebook

Affirmation of the Week



Mirrors.. it took me a while to understand what mirrors can mean, in a literal, physical, metaphorical and hypothetical sense. I know someone who literally cannot look at themselves in a mirror… well, they have to when they shave, but when I talked to them about everyday and life stuff, I’ve often asked whether they’ve looked at themselves in the mirror. And they can’t. It produces such a feeling of aversion and yet, no matter how strong a character they are, they just can’t do it. They are not ready.

Mirrors to me denote quite a few things. There are the real-life physical mirrors, the ones I look in when I’m brushing my teeth, putting on make-up or wiping over when I’m doing the cleaning. There is the mirror that I show to the world, and for many years it had a huge cover on it, because I couldn’t bring myself to let what was hiding inside out into visibility where anyone could see it because if you do that, you are judged… which can be a painful experience. Then there is the mirror for what we see in the world… you know the one, where what we see is merely a reflection of what’s actually inside us.

The world is a looking-glass,
and gives back to everyone the reflection
of our own faces.
Frown at it, and it in turn will look sourly on you;
laugh at it and with it,
and it is a jolly, kind companion.
~ William Makepeace Thackeray ~

Then there’s the hypothetical mirror… what do I want to project today? Going for an interview, dress and act the part of someone confident, who believes they deserve the job, firm handshake and all! Actually, for many years I used this one and it worked brilliantly!

I’ve also found mirrors to be excellent when doing inner work. Has anyone else done this? When you need to truly know something deep within… no matter how good or bad you are feeling… even with tears streaming down your face… standing in front of that mirror and letting those feelings out, those thoughts out… fear, rage… and very often PAIN… mirrors can be a huge help with such a carthatic process.

And last but not least, mirrors are one of the best ways I’ve found of doing affirmations, especially when they are connected to self-esteem. Standing in front of them… repeating the words like a mantra… staring into your own eyes… and working on getting those beliefs and feelings flowing in harmony… of course that can then also cause the tears and pain mentioned above, because deeply-rooted issues can then be released and come to the fore.

So this week I would ask the following:

What does looking into the mirror mean to you?
How does looking in the mirror feel to you?
What issues come floating to the surface?
How much can you see in the mirror?
Is there anything you are avoiding seeing in the mirror?
If so, what are you avoiding?
And why are you avoiding?
What are you reflecting into the world?
How genuine is that reflection?
What benefit would looking into the mirror bring to you?

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead ♥

© 2012 Michelle Payne

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