Is this life of mine my fault?

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Lovelies, I received a very thought-provoking question recently in regard to the quote from Rainer Maria Rilke at the top of this post, and I wanted to address it here on my blog. Like many things in life there is no simple answer, and as it is a question I have asked myself over and over again in this lifetime I wanted to share my response.

Here’s the excellent question:

Good morning,
Mine is a question Nicole that troubles me.
I always love the captions/snippets from other writers under your lovely images and this morning’s starts with ” if your daily life seems poor don’t blame it” 
My question is how does this fit with all the poor souls born into or find themselves in shocking conditions they have no control over such as absolute poverty, war, famine, abusive families?
How have they created this? How can it possibly be their fault?
These questions have troubled me because they don’t seem to fit into the positive thinking or “ask and it shall be given” brackets. Can your guides help with some clarity here ?
Thank you for your blogs, they have been part of my day for years now.
Elle xx

As many of you know my life has had its share of troubles, pain and obstacles. When I was young and idealistic I thought that this suffering was unfair. Why did I have these problems when friends of mine seemed to be floating along on a cloud of joy, love, support and happiness?

But looking into the window of the life of another never truly tells you what is going on. I have found, through life experience and in my decades of working as a psychic and mentor, that all of us have troubles and many of these are invisible to those around us.

Throughout my life, in an attempt to heal, I have also explored every possible avenue including much time spent in trying to undo, rectify or heal any wrong-doing, thought or action I may have taken that may have led to my suffering.

Goodness, how mean I have been to myself – blaming myself for my circumstances and believing that this suffering was all my fault.

War, famine, drought, accidents, random acts of violence and horror, abusive relationships, terrible illnesses. Did we sign up for these? Much of the New Age movement would have us think so. Works such as the book ‘You can heal your life’ and the philosophy of the Law of Attraction make it easy to buy into the concept that any problems or suffering in our lives are a direct result of our karma, our thoughts and our attitudes. Perhaps we even chose suffering as part of our ‘contract’ in coming here to this life.

I have seen the dramatic recent rise of shaming of people who actually need our empathy and support – people with issues as diverse as addictions, autistic children, staying in a marriage with a partner who has mental health issues, cancer, chronic illness, depression, or displacement from their country due to war. Human kindness is too often replaced by judgement from those fortunate enough to not be in the same circumstances. Rise up, they say. Change your thoughts. Juice vegetables. Go vegan. Wear a crystal. Parent better. Use less chemicals. Make different choices. Have more discipline. Heal your past lives!

(Want to read more on this theme? My Sad Unicorns post covers this ‘dangerous magical thinking’ problem in detail.)

I’ve seen mothers told that their young children’s illness is the result of past-life religious transgressions. I’ve listened as people have judged someone with cancer for having caused it by not having a clean lifestyle. Yes, it’s true that there are lifestyle factors involved with many illnesses, including cancer. But that’s not the whole picture. I’ve watched friends who are vegans, vegetarians, yoga instructors – every possible thing that you could consider the epitome of a healthy, anti-cancer chemical-free loving and natural lifestyle be struck down and taken by cancers, savagely and fast.

Dear Elle, yours is an excellent question, and this is what I believe. Life is difficult and wonderful and dangerous and fraught with risk. Things happen for which we will never find a reason. People in power make decisions that affect millions. Accidents and mistakes happen. Weather patterns change. Our genetics hands us a bad card or wild one. Illnesses occur and we don’t yet have the science to interpret and understand them fully. And none of that is our fault. If we look wider we see that this is also true for plants and animals and places. No-one and nothing is immune to suffering, desecration, destruction or death.

So what does that have to do with Rainer Maria Rilke’s quote? I think this quote is more about how we cope with life’s suffering than our thoughts as a causative agent of that suffering. I believe that there is one thing we do have control over. We can choose how we feel, how we react, what we think. In even the most difficult of lives we can find tiny windows of calm, of nurture, of beauty, and small moments of grace and gratitude. That is one of the gifts of suffering – it can promote mindfulness and with mindfulness comes an opportunity to mentally lift ourselves out of impossible pain and hardship for a short while. It gifts us resilience, and meaning and a way to endure.

I hope that helps,

Much love, Nicole xx

Day 27 – Gratitude Challenge

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive ~ Howard Thurman.

Life is not a career path! Life is a glorious opportunity to explore, to grow, to learn and to become.

No matter whether our lives currently reflect the way we want to live, or whether we have a long way to go to realise our dreams, we can begin to be happy where we are.

The more we find to be grateful for, the more good stuff starts to show up in our lives.  Transforming our energy and our attitude is as simple as cultivating that attitude of gratitude.

If you were to ask me what your purpose was for this lifetime, I could answer this in just two words – Be Happy.

If you needed a longer explanation, then I would say to you that happiness comes from using your natural talents and gifts to express yourself in the world.  Maybe your talent is to be a surgeon, maybe it’s to sew incredible curtains, you might be a natural parent, a brilliant writer, a nutty inventor, or a magical gardener.

In each twenty-four hour period, are you devoting ANY energy to doing things you enjoy and are good at?

Life doesn’t have to be a career path, although for some people it turns out that way. Sometimes a job is just the mechanism that provides the security and pays the bills, so that you can devote the rest of your time to doing what really makes your heart sing.

What makes your heart sing?  What makes you come alive?

Today, give thanks for those energies in your life, and do all you can to incorporate a little more of that activity on a daily or weekly basis.

And for some people, the thing we love and give attention to, grows to be able to support us financially anyway…

Image from desktopia.net

Now let’s build up some more of that delicious attitude of gratitude with our regular practice…

Counting Our Blessings and Using our Gratitude Rock

If you need a detailed reminder of our daily process, you can review it here in Day 1 of the Gratitude Challenge.

  1. List five Blessings in your journal, explaining why you are grateful for each one.
  2. Count your Blessings off on your fingers, summoning positive emotion and saying Thank You from your heart for each one.
  3. Choose from one of the following phrases, write the words on a piece of paper and add them to the ones already under your Gratitude Rock : I embrace my passion.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. ~ My dreams are becoming clear to me.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. ~ I am open to happiness and flow.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.  ~ I understand that I deserve to be happy.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
  4. Tonight before you go to sleep, hold your Gratitude Rock and affirm I am richly Blessed. I have an Abundance of Good in my life. Visualise one thing you have been grateful for today. Swell that positive energy up in your heart like a beautiful golden light, and give a heart-felt Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the Universe, then imagine a tiny shower of golden light travelling from your heart into your Gratitude Rock.
  5. Still holding your Gratitude Rock, bless your fellow travellers on this Gratitude Journey by sending them golden light, and saying Thank you.  I Bless You.  I intend for you Love, Miracles and Abundance. Know that as you are saying this for them, they are also saying this for you. Feel that connection and gratitude and know that there is real love and support for you here.

If all you do today is these five steps, know that is enough.

Today’s gratitude challenge is about energising yourself to actions, activities and opportunities for you to feel good…

Living Happy!

Close your eyes, and think of a time when you were really happy in your life.  What were you doing?  What music did you listen to?  What food did you eat? Who did you hang out with? What was it about this time in your life that made it so magical?

Dwell on that time for a moment, and really feel the happiness, really feel that strong emotional connection and positive energy. Then build up a sense of gratitude in your heart.  Say a heart-felt Thank You to the Universe for the Blessing of happiness.

Image from daniel-wong.com

Now think of an activity that always engages you, relaxes you, makes you feel good…  It could be surfing, sewing, singing, writing, cooking, dancing, bushwalking, researching the family tree, painting or renovating, solving complex maths problems…  It doesn’t matter what it is – it only matters that you enjoy that thing!

See yourself doing that activity.  Feel the pleasure and satisfaction, feel the usefulness, feel the mental engagement or the sense of freedom. Just absorb yourself in thinking about this activity in a pleasurable way, so that it leaves you wanting more. Remember to say Thank You to the Universe for this gift in your life.

Image from blog.babazeka.com

And when you’re done with day-dreaming, take your diary and schedule a little time for reconnecting with this activity in your life.  Plan to buy fabric, or go to the library and get a relevant book, or make some time to simply DO this thing in your life. Just for the love of it.  Just for how it makes you feel.  Life is for living, and for enjoying the journey. Make sure you make time to do something that you LOVE.

Bless  ♥ xx