Before I left for a trip across the pond to the US, memories of my grandfather surfaced. He dreamt of a cruise across the Atlantic on an ocean liner but my Grandmother’s sickness on her one, and only, sea crossing (to Norway), put paid to that idea.
Instead they retired to a seaside village, perhaps a consolation prize of sorts for my grandfather
He fed the dream: a pair of high powered binoculars sat on a wooden tripod, ready for my grandfather to inspect ships that appeared on the horizon. Across the room, the majestic ocean liner, The Queen Mary on a cruise with no end, within the frame of an oil painting.
He never made the atlantic crossing.
His story came to mind again when a dear friend said,
“this human experience, it’s like a life-long, all inclusive cruise.”
How my grandfather would have loved that idea!
Every experience is included on this life-long, all inclusive cruise
Not only are we completely taken care of (yes it’s an all you can eat buffet) but also Life is meant to include EVERYTHING. Every experience has treasure in it somewhere except we miss that because we divide things up and judge them to be good or bad.
“I like this experience; I don’t like that one. I want this experience; I don’t want that one. My life will be okay when……”
Focusing on what is wrong or lacking we miss so much of what is present.
We can gaze from our living room, like my grandfather, and imagine how wonderful it could be, but never actually get to immerse ourselves in it.
Or we can spend our lives shovelling coal in the heat of the boiler room, in the bowels of the ship, never realising there’s a whole ship and a world beyond to explore. We can suffer our way through life.
And then we may insightfully realise we’ve been given a free ticket for this life long cruise, and it comes with a full crew and unlimited fuel, food and drink and every entertainment you could wish for.
And what does that realisation do? It means we relax more often, knowing each day can bring new wonders and delights on and off shore for us to enjoy and marvel over whether we are in the boiler room or up on the deck sunning ourselves or exploring foreign shores.
Yes, but what if life doesn’t feel like a cruise (or I don’t want to go on a cruise)?
We forget. We all do. And for some, moments of freedom and ease feel like the exception not the rule. But we have this gift of Thought, and we can begin to look towards more of what is going right. More towards the moments of ease. More towards awe and gratitude at this marvellous, miraculous thing called Life. And as we do that, something seems to begin to grow. A wider, more universal, more expansive and inclusive consciousness seems to come into view, little by little, more and more. And then we forget again.
As another friend said, it’s like a dance.
And these are the kind of things we’ll be exploring in the next online programme. These conversations yield such rich and beautiful stories of life in action where we look towards the wisdom, beauty and wonder of life.
And in those moments we take to reflect together in a space of quiet awareness, we get an invitation to experience gratitude for the profound gift that is Life.
Rather than trying to figure Life out, we get to relax, sit back and feel that sun on our face and the wind in our hair up on that sunny deck with other curious souls.
And as we go off into our day, things seem to shift. Problems tend to look smaller, more manageable or disappear. We may notice kindness and joy spontaneously arising or bouts of weeping may seem to wash our souls clean of thinking past its sell-by date. Or nothing may appear to happen until some weeks or months down the line, you just realise life feels a little easier, a little lighter.
Check out the PROGRAMMES tab on the website.