There is a lovely young oak tree on the common near where we live. Earlier this year, someone tried to set fire to her. Now, her trunk is blackened all down one side, and some of her roots are just charcoal. What a tragedy! How could anyone do such a thing?
I don’t know, but I feel a very strong connection with the tree, perhaps because it seems to me that we have a lot in common. We are both a bit damaged – me by cancer, her by fire – but yet we have so much life, so much to give to the world, so much still to create.
Healing ourselves and the tree
So, every day when Geoff and I are in Wales, we visit the tree, connect with her, and give her healing and love. At first, the only thing that filled our minds was the need apologise. To say sorry to the tree for the ignorance and cruelty of our fellow human beings. And quite spontaneously, with open hearts filled with love for the tree, our minds were drawn to the Hawaiian healing practice of Ho’oponopono: ‘I’m sorry, I love you, please forgive me, thank you’.
This went on for weeks, until we really felt that the tree had received and accepted our apology, and our minds were nudged on (by the tree) to the next phase in the healing process. Primarily an affair of the heart, there was nevertheless a kind of language involved which, if you put it into words, would read as follows:
Let us remember, O beautiful tree:
Our crowns are in the heavens;
our roots are in the Earth.
We are wonderful and eternally whole.
Nothing – no thing –
can ever change that!
Mother Earth feeds us.
The Sun, Moon and stars draw us upward.
Our needs are eternally met.
We are bearers of fruit,
sharers of nests,
shelterers of our brothers and sisters,
singers and dancers in rain and wind,
worshippers of the Sun,
lovers of the Earth,
tasters of joy,
weavers of beauty in all seasons.
Nothing – no thing –
can ever take this – our I-dentity – from us.
Should there seem to be harm,
should there seem to be pain,
should there seem to be sorrow,
know: it is but a dream, a passing cloud.
And we are AWAKE!
As you can imagine, Geoff and I found this just as healing for ourselves, as we were hoping it was for the tree. After all, every good healer knows that healing energy flows both ways, not just to the receiver, but also to the sender. It can’t be otherwise. And I believe that it is thoughts like these – not just generated by me but sent to me by many loving people in prayer and meditation – that help me to live a full and normal life, and that draw help towards me in all kinds of forms, despite all the (gradually passing) physical difficulties I appear to have. And I’m sure that, the more I allow thoughts such as these to fill my mind and life, the faster my healing will proceed. It’s a question of remaining open to the flow of life, especially at times when conditioning makes us want to close up.
A bright and constant flame
That’s why we decided that the theme of our 2013 calendar should be strengthening, healing thoughts like these. Remembering our true, Divine nature and fanning that spark of awareness until it becomes a bright and constant flame is the most healing thing we can do for ourselves… and each other. I always find that, the more I can bring my conscious – and subconscious – mind back home to the Truth of who I am, the more safe and confident I feel, the more my chakras seem to me to clear and brighten up, and the more healing opportunities (including better physical remedies) come my way.
So what is the Truth of who we are? It is the beautiful truth that – while each one of us is a unique and wonderful being, who causes the Divine heart to sing for the sheer joy of knowing we exist – we are also one with the All, one with Love, one with harmony, with the Divine and with every being in creation. So let us make it our daily intention to allow this ever-deepening awareness to guide all our footsteps, for it always will. You are God’s hand, and you are in God’s hand, and you can never fall out of it, for there is nowhere else to fall. In the face of this laser-light of your awareness, everything that seems to hold you back, everything that seems amiss or out of place, must simply melt away. It may take time, for matter has a certain momentum, but melt it will. You need never doubt it!
Oneness and individuality
I often notice that, when people talk about their experiences of oneness with the All, they seem to think they need to say that there is only oneness, as if we were all part of one big homogenous soup. But the words they choose to describe their experiences still indicate an awareness of ‘self’ and ‘other’. That’s why, just as the mystic and philosopher Tim Freke* always explains, it seems to me that oneness, and a sense of our individuality, are not mutually exclusive. You can have – and as human beings we are meant to have – both at the same time. The words written to inspire and encourage you as you use our calendar are intended to reflect this, and to help you to develop a clear sense of both your unity with all life, and your glorious, uniquely lovable individuality.
An experiment for you to try
So now, just to dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s, I’d like to give you an illustration of just how easy it is to feel and know a genuine sense of oneness with the All. You’ll think this is silly perhaps, but bear with me, and just place your awareness on your big toe for a moment. You know it’s your big toe, right? And, since you are in a body, you do identify, at least to some extent, with your big toe. Agreed? But do you actually feel a sense of I-ness in your big toe? Same as you do when you point to your heart, or your head? I bet you don’t! But, as we agreed, it’s still your big toe isn’t it.
Now just move your awareness to the surface your big toe is resting on, be it the sole of your shoe, a carpet, or some blades of grass or whatever. OK, as regards a sense of I-ness, or rather the lack of it, that surface doesn’t feel that much different from your big toe does it? OK, (unless, perhaps, you are a particularly advanced sadhu!) you probably can’t move it as you can your big toe. But think about it for a minute – there are actually lots of bits inside your body that you can’t move or control at will either. So being able to move something does not, as you may have thought it did, define whether it is part of you or not.
So that idea, that you end where the boundary of your skin ends, is just conditioning really. Our parents and teachers could have taught us quite differently if they’d have understood how. As babies, we come into the world experiencing only oneness, and have no idea that there is some sort of difference between ourselves and the people around us. We only learn this gradually. But what if, instead, we had been helped to understand that our oneness still exists, alongside our individuality? How would that change our behaviour? How much more would we care about each other and all life, if we genuinely felt, from the earliest age, that others are part of ourselves?
Expanding and embracing
So now, getting back to the little exercise we were doing, just place your awareness again on the surface on which your big toe is resting, and embrace it with love and care, as if it were you. Not difficult, right? And can you feel how your heart is starting to expand now? So just keep spreading your awareness, gradually, to everything you can see, hear, smell, taste and touch, embracing it all with love and care, and understanding that ‘all this is part of Me’. And then, extend your awareness even further, to embrace the planet and the stars. Why not? And then you will see that it is not the ability to control that determines whether or not something is part of you, but that sense of love and care which, if nurtured, will soon deepen into adoration, joy, gratitude, wisdom and the wish to serve.
Then there will no longer be that sense of contraction, defensiveness and confinement in your physical body, that sense which can so easily cause things on a material level to clog up and stagnate, and which, on a subtle level, can cause your aura to contract and resist the natural flow of healing energy throughout the system. And gradually, if you persevere, your whole consciousness will change, as will your perceptions, for the light in things will become much more visible to you. Also your aura will expand and be able to breathe and circulate energies freely and healthily, as will your body.
Your heavenly Self
Thus your heavenly Self – your Christ Self, the Self you truly are – will be able to descend upon you and enfold you like a cloak, and not only your Oneness with all life, but also your wonderful, Divinely-gifted uniqueness, will be not just a distant concepts, but a living, present, flowing, healing reality.
Wishing you a happy, healthy and transformative 2013!
With love, Ann, Geoff and the Cygnus Team
From I AM – Cygnus Calendar 2013 – Remembering Who We Truly Are © 2012 Ann Napier & Janet Baxter, published by Cygnus Publications.
*See, for instance, The Mystery Experience by Timothy Freke, published by Watkins Publishing in 2012