Sunday, March 29

I don't know what I'm doing...

...but I've managed to do a lot.

This weekend marks the end/beginning of something huge.  I've attended my graduation ceremony for my Master in Education confirming that I have the letters M. Ed (Open) after my name if I desire to write so.  My nearest and dearest joined me for the day and we managed to wander around a bit of London and see some sights too.

As usual my return to England has been busy however, in comparison with previous visits, it has actually been a quiet affair.  The best word to use would be solitary.  This weekend I've: been to the theatre to watch 'Harvey', a play about a Pooka that I highly recommend to everyone, even in film form; visited my two cousins on the Isle of Wight who've had babies 5 days apart with their respective spouses; spent an hour in the Tate Britain and discovered an amusing collection of photographs by Karen Knorr; sat on public transport...a lot.

Although doing all this 'on my own', I've obviously spoken to people.  From my family and friends who came to my ceremony, my cousins yesterday, the hostel worker who checked me in, the sisters from Taiwan I shared the hostel room with who asked for advice about English wedding protocol, the Dutch lady I walked from the bus stop to the Tate Britain with etc etc.  During these conversations I've managed to say and do silly things, as those of you who know me will have had the pleasure to...enjoy?...but of all the strange exclamations and head knocking to prove I no longer have a soft head, the best has to be when I walked into the Caffè Nero at Bishopsgate Liverpool St.  I looked up at the board for a while with, I'd like to think, an inquisitive look only to say to the barista, "I don't really know what I'm doing in a coffee shop".  He suggested I got a milkshake once he'd stopped laughing.  It was a very nice mint milkshake.

Thursday, March 19

Loving Well

Loving God Well.  Loving Myself Well, Loving Others Well.

The past few months I've been 'working' on my spirituality in alignment with my emotions.  I must admit it's been pretty challenging, an internal battle that is not over yet, nor ever will be.  Thanks to a book called 'Emotionally Healthy Spirituality' by Peter Scazzero and the accompanying devotional 'Day by Day' I do, however, feel I'm getting somewhere.

Today I read a passage that encapsulates the concept of 'loving well' that I'm trying to follow...

Love springs from awareness.  It is only inasmuch as you see someone as he or she really is here and now and not as they are in your memory or your desire or in your imagination or projection that you can truly love them, otherwise it is not the person that you love but the idea that you have formed of this person, or this person as the object of your desire not as he or she is in themselves.

Therefore the first act of love is to see this person or this object, this reality as it truly is.  And this involves the enormous discipline of dropping your desires, your prejudices, your memories, your projections, your selective way of looking, a discipline so great that most people would rather plunge headlong into good actions and service than submit to the burning fire of this asceticism....  So the first ingredient of love is to really see the other.

The second ingredient is equally important to see yourself, to ruthlessly flash the light of awareness on your motives, your emotions, your needs, your dishonesty, your self-seeking, your tendency to control and manipulate.*

That is all.

*Anthony De Mello as quoted by Peter Scazzero in 'Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day' by Peter Scazzero, 2014, p. 145.

Monday, March 2

Look what I received...

...in the post today.

YEH!  The real certificate.  It's official, I actually 'possess' a Masters, if that's possible.  2 years of pondering and reflection summed up simply on one piece of - slighty flimsy - card.  Ho hum.  Funny that the theme of my Masters was how learning doesn't work like that but anyway, I like the simplicity!