Tag Archive | spirituality

Childhood Friends

Childhood friends are the sweetest, most devoted friendships that there are. Those relationships that you pick up with other kids your age, while both of you are still young and single and childless. During that time of life there are no romantic or sentimental partners to take you away from each other, no children to occupy all of your time. You don’t have a job or a demanding boss, so your flexible hours let you and your best buddy spend all your time together, inseparable. You can go shopping, to the cinema or just hang out.

Remember when you used to just “hang out” with your friends, on the street, in the malls, by the boardwalk maybe? What happened to those times? What happened to those friends?

Optical Illusion Vase-FaceMost of my childhood friends now live thousands of kilometres away from me. I don’t know what some of them are up to now. Others share anecdotes and letters through Facebook or e-mail. But we don’t see each anymore, of course, and we don’t hang out together, obviously.

One of my best friends got married to an Australian and moved to the other side of the world.

Another wonderful mate who was inseparable from me also got married. Her new hubby had a dramatically different lifestyle from the one my friend and I were used to. She changed her way of living for him, and now we never see each other anymore. Something about me being too “hippie” for her very formal and reputation-conscious hubby……….

The friends I make now just aren’t the same. Burdened with the onerous task of earning money to support a family, weighted down by drudging work schedules, pressured by sentimental partners to devote more time to them and adapt their activities to the preferences of these partners. The friends you make once past a certain period in your life just don’t have the same devotion and availability. The days when they “hang out” anywhere, with anyone who isn’t a romantic interest, a child or a boss have long passed and washed away down the drain.

I wonder if any of the people “my age” remember what it was like to just “hang out”? To just be around with a friend who wasn’t a child, the mother of a child or a romantic interest? Maybe they’ve just gotten bored with that.

The Meaning of a Friendship

How important is friendship to you? What values would you, or wouldn’t you, compromise on in relation to your friends? What would a friend have to do to you for you to decide to break up with them, and what would you forgive them for or accept in them?

They say that when a person is about to die, because maybe they have a terrible, mortal illness, they start to realize what is really important in life. And then they become aware of what is truly important to them personally and what isn’t. That most things that people get so riled up about aren’t all that important, transcendental or life-altering.

Most of us, I think, if we stopped to think about it at all, would probably agree that the people that we care about, our friends and loved ones, are the most important things in the world and without them the world would be an insipid place devoid of any meaning.

If you were about to die, what would you prefer, a chance to hug your friends and loved ones one more time, or would that dollar, or even those 100 dollars, that your best friend or your brother owes you, make you so inflamed that you’d prefer to leave without seeing that friend or brother again, because when you catch a glimpse of them you remember that they still owe you $100?

$100 which you will never get the chance to use anyways. Because when you leave this world you won’t be able to take it with you.

I have a very prickly relationship with a friend who makes me question all these things. She makes me become aware of the fact that, in truth, most people don’t think too much about friendship or their friends, or value them overly much.

I know a lot of people, and I do mean a LOT, who don’t want friends. Who prefer to lock themselves away in their homes, even sometimes in homes that are as large and luxurious as castles, and turn their backs to the world. They’re afraid of bringing their friends into their homes because maybe their friends might break that antique Ming vase, get into their computer and steal money from their bank account or make too much noise.

So they hide themselves away in their mansions with the Ming vase, the bank account jam-packed with savings that could be stolen and their silence, unbroken by the merriment of happy children playing or loved ones pounding away at whatever their loved ones most enjoy pounding away at.

Well, I acknowledge that we’re all free to live our lives the way we want and fill our hours with whatever we prefer. And I respect that some people are happier living behind locked doors and walls surrounded by all the objects that attest to how successful and prosperous they are materially and financially.

But really, if you throw your friend or brother out because they owe you $100 and can’t pay it back to you, you’re telling them loud and clear that these people and their relationship to you are worth less than $100. That clearly you care more about your $100 than about your friend, or brother. That money is more important to you than a person, a person that you supposedly care about and feel at least some affection for.

Of course it doesn’t have to be $100. Maybe you threw your friend or brother out because they forgot to buy you something that you asked them to. Not because they didn’t care about you, maybe just because, like me, they have a memory full of holes like a sieve and can’t remember anything if they don’t write it down in 50 agendas.

Now, I do psychic readings (you can find out more about these readings if you’re interested here), I love doing them and enjoy them very much and would never ever miss a session with anyone for anything but you can be sure, even so, if I don’t write it down in about 50 places I would never ever remember when I have a session with whom. I’m not like this on purpose, I don’t forget things in order to mess up other people’s lives on purpose. I just simply have a memory with more holes than a sieve, naturally.

So, returning to the subject of my friend, she is a person who constantly gets angry about things that I consider trivial. (I won’t say what things specifically because then if she reads this post then she will know who she is, and I don’t want that. I’m not in the game of trying to “teach her a lesson” through this post or anything like that. I’m not her teacher, her mother or her mentor and I have no interest in teaching her anything.)

Obviously, these are things that she clearly doesn’t consider trivial. To her they are very important. And I respect that. I try to do what she wants me to do when I’m with her, because so many things offend her, but of course people are full of surprises and unless you live with a person for several years you can never completely guess what sorts of things will get to them. Especially when we’re talking about a person who gets offended by so many things.

So I don’t go out of my way to deliberately try and do things that I know would bother or offend her. But of course even though I do psychic readings that doesn’t make me a mind-reader, hence I don’t know and couldn’t possibly guess absolutely every little thing that could bother or offend her. So sometimes I do do things that bother her. Not on purpose, of course.

But as far as she is concerned, it doesn’t matter if I did it on purpose or not. She always assumes that I did it on purpose, and calls me a liar if I tell her otherwise.

So, we are still friends. Mostly because I value her friendship, because outside of these (admittedly irritable, I won’t deny) characteristics she is still a great and fantastic person.

And I suppose deep down she must also value our friendship, because I imagine otherwise I guess that she wouldn’t still want to continue being friends with someone like me who is always all the time going out of their way to “deliberately” do things that “I know” she hates.

But it does make me wonder, what is more important to her, really, and to people like her? Her friends? Or that her friends be perfect, never forget anything, always adapt themselves to her and to what she wants, etc.?

Okay so now I can hear maybe a couple of readers timidly (or maybe loudly) clamouring out: And what about boundaries?? What about boundaries? We can lend $100 to a friend or brother once, but what about that cousin who is always sneaking around snitching $100 from our pockets every time they lose at gambling? Or that friend who never stops doing things that we hate, on purpose?

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have boundaries. Boundaries are important. They’re an important aspect that help make us whole. (Well I’m not going to sermonize on about boundaries here, entire books have been written on that subject already.)

But if we lent money once to a friend and they haven’t paid it back to us yet, because they can’t, I don’t see that any boundaries have been violated. Our friend was in need, we helped them, now when they are able they will return the favour to us. If they can return the money to us, great. But maybe they are poor. Maybe instead of giving us money they could work for a week for us doing secretarial tasks, cleaning our house or taking care of our kids. Who says that trading and bartering no longer exist or are out of fashion?

Is that money worth more than your friendship? And what if it were your spouse, child or parent, someone you loved more than anyone? Would you still kick them out over $100? Do you love that $100 more than you love your friend or beloved one?

Remember, you can’t take it with you when you leave the earth.

But the memories of what you did when you lived will still be alive when you no longer are.

Do you want people who were close to you to remember that you were that friend who turned your back on them because they couldn’t return your money to you? Or because they did something silly – now I’m not saying something really “big” or important like cheating on you, I mean something really silly and trivial, like for example maybe they forgot to turn the light off in your home when they were there visiting and the two of you left the house together, thus resulting in an increase in $10 in your electricity bill for that month?

Business 101 by a Business Dummy Like Me

I’m not a business person. Not at all. Not in the least bit. I’ve always HATED business and anything business-related with a PASSION! At university when everyone else was ploughing off into BA’s and Commerce and the like I just drifted around and ogled at stars in the clear, cold, semi-Arctic night sky. So I never imagined that I could ever learn so much about the business world or managing my own business. Or want to learn it, for that matter.

I’ve been running my own fairly successful free-lance business for a year now. I never meant to work free-lance, even though it was something I’d always hankered to do, because I detested having bosses over me or fixed hours (which generally got longer and longer instead of shorter and shorter, as bosses coerced me ever more often to put in increasing amounts of overtime – if I wanted to keep my job!). I wanted to be able to take off for a few moments to go and have a coffee with a friend if I felt like it. Or an hour to run off to a gym (everyone’s gotta stay fit ya know!). But low-level, menial office jobs somehow just don’t happen to include these kinds of privileges in their working conditions. Shucks!

Having children made it even harder to get in to work. I couldn’t just keep taking time off to care for my son, who was born with an illness that often kept him confined to the house. But I was a single mom and if I didn’t go to work, we wouldn’t have anything to live on. A real catch-22.

And then finally, the crisis crashed down like a pall over our little city which had never been exactly a model of prosperity to begin with, seeing as it’s located in Spain’s poorest region, the “deep south”, whooo. A city with virtually no industry to speak of, little commerce, one that depends almost entirely on tourism, mostly foreign tourism, to survive. And with the crisis people just weren’t going on holidays anymore. I mean, holidays are expendable, it’s more important to fill up the pantry first!

So unemployment shot way up to 36% (as opposed to the national average of only about 15%) and I couldn’t get a job. The only alternative I could find – other than adopting a rich granddad or seducing and then marrying a tycoon, that is – was to strike out on my own.

So I started out peddling everything I knew how to do. I pasted posters offering myself for everything from dog-walking and babysitting to Reiki massages (carried out in the comfort of the client’s own home, no less) and palm-readings, not neglecting, of course, every North American-in-Spain’s ace up the sleeve: teaching English.

Countless North American and English students taking a semester of Spanish classes in Spain, or doing their full degree here, have survived thanks to English classes. It’s practically a tradition here. So of course, I offered to do it too.

After about a month or so I already had several English students – and not a single dog to walk, baby to look after or backs to massage (even though Reiki massages more than just backs, but then again, that’s a different topic altogether…….). Since teaching English also happens to be more lucrative than walking dogs or watching over babies anyways, I ran out and pulled down all my ads except the English-related ones.

So I had already learned a basic, fundamental lesson about running a business, and this without ever having stepped into a Business 101 class. And that was, that advertising was super, super important.

After a few months teaching English, someone asked me if I also knew French, since I’m from Montreal. Their son was studying French at school in addition to English, and if I could teach him French too it would save them all the bother of searching for a good, qualified francophone tutor, and it would mean more income for me. I said yes and added French lessons to my repertoire.

As the next logical step I decided to add to my services, lessons in everything that I knew enough about to teach. And thus I also learned a new lesson, one which business gurus just can’t emphasize enough and charge people a fortune to teach it to them: diversify. Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. If you offer more services, and different kinds of services, you are much better prepared for “lean cow years”. If demand for one of your offerings drops you aren’t left out in the cold.

And I guess I’ve got 2 more gems hidden away here and which I’m currently working on: always do the best, be the best you can. If people are happy with what you do they will refer you, and come back for more. I would say about half of my students today are from referrals.

And innovate, improve, find out what other people don’t offer and offer it. Develop something creative and original. Fill in the holes and gaps left out in the marketplace.

So now I bump into people out on the street all the time, acquaintances, strangers, beggars (you can read the story about my debate with one of these acquaintances in the very next post), and they all say the same thing to me, “It’s impossible to be doing well today in Malaga, there are no jobs, no one has money…….. You’re just LUCKY!!”

But I always want to tell them, nay yell it to them, shout it out so everyone can hear: “Luck has nothing to do with it!!”

I don’t believe that I’m doing well and have many clients because I’m just lucky. First of all, I worked hard for it. While some of my acquaintances were out drinking it up in a bar and the beggars were sitting around with a little dish in front of grocery stores, I was pasting posters to walls all over the city. I spent hours doing that. My acquaintances spent hours getting rid of their unemployment money or their welfare money or their parents’ money in pubs and taverns, the beggars spent their time begging, and I used those hours to do a lot of exercise running around the city (when you’re unemployed you don’t take the bus!) and gluing ads up on walls. So if the next morning I had a new client and my acquaintances and the beggars didn’t, that wasn’t an accident.

And then, I also set out to be a vibrational match for what I wanted. We probably all hear a lot about that lately in New Age/spiritual development circles. And it’s really hard to explain. It’s not something to sit around in an ashram and understand in theory, it’s something you DO. So for me, doing it meant, well, just “doing it”. (There must be some reason why Nike athletes are so successful after all, right? Haha.)

Just going out and doing things that could attract clients to me. Looking over the kinds of English lessons I could teach, so when people called me up and asked me what I did I wouldn’t just go, “Huh? Well I dunno……” I networked of course. I designed my own little business cards on the computer and made photocopies of them (when you’re broke you don’t go to a printer). Then I cut them up at home with scissors. And I also advertised on the internet. I’d say half of my clients today come from the internet, and the others from the original ads I had put up on walls and their referrals.

I never wanted to learn anything about business, I never meant to learn anything about business. And I didn’t start working free-lance because I wanted to know anything about business. I lugged up a free-lance career because I needed it to survive. But now after a year I can sure appreciate everything that that free-lance job has taught me.

So Maybe I Need a Shrink?

The other day I had a debate with an acquaintance. This young man is really into protest marches to try and get the current government to resign. He blames them for the crisis and the high unemployment, and he thinks the government ought to give jobs to people. I told him, it’s not the government’s responsibility to give you a job, it’s YOUR responsibility to prepare yourself for a job and then go out and look for one!

He went on and on: but that wouldn’t make any difference, there wasn’t any point in people preparing themselves for a job if the government didn’t make jobs for them, people would never find jobs as long as there was still a crisis and it was the government’s responsibility to get rid of the crisis and etc. etc. I told him I was doing well and earning money, even though I didn’t have a job in the sense of working for someone else. I said if I had waited for the government to do something for me I’d still be sitting around twiddling my thumbs. He said, meh but you’re just lucky.

But that did get me thinking. For a while now I’d been pondering about things like, how come in spite of all the obvious and humungous improvements that I had experienced in my life thanks to receiving a healing session in the Soul Realignment modality (and which I’ll definitely be blogging about at a future date, I mean, clearly, I wouldn’t have gone to all the time and expense of studying something and offering sessions in it if I wasn’t absolutely convinced of its awesome effects, and its undeniable ability to move complete mountains in a person’s life! But more on that subject in another post…… someday……), there were areas where I still remained obstinately, immovably STUCK!

My professional/financial situation was undoubtedly what I had in mind as I carried out these ponderings. I refer to, how come, even though I now made a good income and earned enough for me and my kids to live well, nonetheless we were still suffering from scarcity and a lack of abundance? I was bringing in income from many sources now, I’d gone from Welfare Single Mum to Working Single Mum, we weren’t deprived anymore of things that we really needed but, I also wasn’t able to save anything. We don’t have a spendy lifestyle, I hardly ever buy unnecessary items like clothes or shoes unless I really have to, because for example everything we have is all worn and full of holes already! I don’t go out a lot, do the nightlife thing (but then again, after all, how many single mums do you know out there who do do the nightlife thing very much anyways?) or even go to the movies. And even so I’m not attracting so much that I can actually save, every cent that I’m earning has to go to something, if not food for the kids then bills, or rent.

So then I got to thinking about the people around me. People around you and their attitudes towards you and towards life can tell you a lot about your own because, as they say in popular wisdom as well as in Law of Attraction, well, like attracts like.

So I got to thinking about that young man that I quoted at the beginning of this article. And I also thought about one of my ex’s, who is always criticizing me for having too much stuff, like books and CD’s and things. (I asked him, but what’s so bad about books and music? They enrich your life, you … … (unquotable name that one might occasionally use to refer to ex’s there)!) But he thinks that books occupy too much space and don’t have any use. What’s the point in enriching your mind and your spirit, he wonders. You can’t eat off of a rich mind or a prosperous spirit, you need a fat bank account for that! And books won’t bring you a fat bank account, quoth he.

I also remembered that sensation of sheer panic whenever I observed my bank account beginning to grow. It’s a strange sensation, as if on the one hand I just knew that any moment now SOMETHING would happen to make it all disappear, someone would show up and take it all away from me. And on the other hand, it was like, who am I to have so much when other people are starving??

Well, that sensation is also known as guilt! So I realized that guilt was keeping money out of my life.

When people, like the young acquaintance I was talking about earlier, tell me that I didn’t do anything to bring in more money, that I was just lucky, what they really mean is that I simply don’t DESERVE the money that I’m getting. That they think that maybe I’m still not working hard enough, or I’m not a good enough person. Maybe, in their opinion, they ought to be earning more than me, even though they’re just sitting around on a sofa twiddling their thumbs (or more like standing around in a picket line twiddling a poster), just because supposedly they’re worth more than me, they’re better people than me, they’re superior, therefore they ought to be earning more money than me even though they’re not doing anything.

It’s illogical, I mean, that young man spends all his time griping and complaining to people about his unhappy lot in life, then goes out every night and drinks it up with his friends. He doesn’t work, just hangs around parliament buildings (or more like the Moncloa, here in Spain, as we don’t actually have a parliament building here). I mean, of course I’m earning more money than he is! I go out to work every day. When my clientele slacks down I go out and advertise more. I don’t do it because I’m greedy, I do it because my kids need to eat, and if I don’t pay the rent we won’t have a place to live (even if it’s just a tiny, cramped little 1-bedroom-with-a-walk-in-closet in da inna small city). But I still feel bad about that. I still feel greedy.

Must be something to do with my upbringing. Or maybe I need a shrink. Sigh!

So What Can I Blog About?

Okay, so, on we go now to our second post already. Wow. So what can I blog about here?

Well about a year or so ago I decided to sign up for this course in a new, well relatively new, intuitive healing art called Soul Realignment™. You’ve probably never heard of it before, as I just said it’s quite new. It’s been around for a long time but it only recently came out of the closet and became available to the rest of the world, having spent a great number of years as the best-kept secret of only a handful of practitioners who all lived fairly close to one another, since it was a technique that, until recently, was only passed on directly and personally from teacher to student.

Now I dunno why ever did it occur to me to sign up for this course. It’s not like it was just a one-day seminar or workshop or something. It’s quite a long course, takes several months to finish. And if there’s something I definitely am not it’s a healer, or a lightworker, or any of those New Age terms that a lot of other people do identify with. I’ve never healed anybody. I don’t beam out rays of light or bathe people in the warmth of my peacefulness. I don’t practise affirmations, tout Louise Hay philosophy everywhere or have a calendar of daily meditations on my desk. I don’t do macrobiotics, I don’t even do Mediterranean diet, and I should, seeing as I live in the Mediterranean!

But who knows why the powers-that-be determined that it would be a good course for me to study, and they dumped the perfect opportunity into my lap for me to acquire this course. So I did.

After that I started up a sort of journal to document how and what I was doing in the course, and posted it up into someone else’s forum. So now I’m going to be transferring all that material from that forum here onto this blogspot.

I’m only going to be posting all that material here right now, so the dates of publication on this blogspot won’t correspond with the original dates that I put out the different posts on. So I’ll date each post with their original dates, it’s like a diary.

And in between I guess I’ll scatter in a few other titbits, musings about life, things that happen, people that I bump into.

I guess, I hope, to see you all around! Do feel free to share your thoughts with me about anything that you like, anything at all under the sun. As I plan on doing with you too!