It’s very good to be connecting with you again. We have passed the Equinox - Spring in the northern hemisphere and Autumn in the southern hemisphere. Of course the weather is changing, but the pattern of the year so far - and I think it will go on for many months - is caught up in a very fast moving, agitated, difficult energy stream.
There’s a touch of unreality, sometimes more than a touch, in the atmosphere, certainly a great deal of unpredictability. I know all about it because it’s what everyone is talking to me about - just how this difficult energy is playing out in their lives. Well, each case is different, but today something happened that is not different. Something that reminded me of what lies beneath whatever circumstances we are dealing with, something that we all ought to put at the very front of our minds, all the time.
It poured today. When I stepped onto the train in the little backwater I was travelling from it was already miserable and grey. When I stepped off the train and walked to the tube after reaching London it was pelting down. Soaking wet I wheeled my heavy bag (computer, lots of papers, and other bits and pieces) down the road, carried it clumsily down two staircases onto the tube platform. A train had just pulled in and I rushed forward to step on-board. Unfortunately my trainers were soaking and the floor of the carriage was soaking too. As I lunged towards the one empty seat I could see, it would have been disastrous if the hairy man sitting next to the empty seat had not reached out a hand to catch me. I was so grateful. We smiled at one another. His multiple piercings, wild whiskers, and voluminous clothes meant nothing. Good man, I thought.
When I reached the other end, the wheelie bag seemed heavier than ever, I negotiated the escalator, then gritted my teeth for the final (two!) sets of stairs to the surface when a solid looking man, probably in his thirties, offered to help. Wow. Of course I smiled my thanks and he carried the heavy bag up the stairs for me to the street where he politely enquired if I would be OK?! I couldn’t believe it. I am sure - surely? - neither my hairy saviour nor this young man could be seeing me as a wizen old lady (could they?), and certainly not as a “hot chick”, but both just helped. Their simple generosity and care made me smile; and it was a long day.
Later that evening, the late train back meant a change of trains at yet another small station. This time, when I stepped onto the platform, just as I was realising I’d have to carry the wheelie up a perilous set of stars in the semi dark, and down another to reach the opposite platform, a middle aged man stepped forward from behind me and took my bag, almost without asking! Yes, he carried it up one staircase, and down another for me, before disappearing onto a different platform to catch his own train. I could hardly believe it. Three times in one day - strangers had reached out to be helpful.
That is what I think we need to keep at the front of our minds. People are kind, they want to help. We all want to help one another. Of course there are exceptions, but always be prepared to be surprised by the simple acts of humanity that are occurring all around us, all the time, and participate: be kind to others. Help where you can.
That’s it. I wish you peace and joy until we next speak.
Love and best wishes.
In this newsletter this time, Tracey, from South Africa, who has worked with Michal for many years, writes about how she approaches the changing of the seasons. Suzannah, based in Australia, is a recent graduate of Michal’s online course, The Souls Path, and a new member of the Circle Group, explains how she feels supported by the work.
Looking out my kitchen window, I see some leaves have dropped onto the grass from the big tree standing tall on the other side of my boundary wall – the one that is frequented daily by a myriad of birds that visit the neighbourhood. Although the end of the summer rainfall season is still with us in Johannesburg where I live, the signs are there that autumn is now full upon us.
The sun rises a little bit later each morning, with a slight nip in the morning air and the days are growing shorter. Winter is coming, but for now, autumn is here. It’s easy to lose track of the ever-present rhythm and change in nature’s seasons when you live in a city, but the signs are always there if you take the time to notice and appreciate them: the drive home from work on Friday had a back drop of an array of colours a sunset brings to the evening sky. I find that my body knows what the season is, even if my mind hasn’t quite caught up with it yet.
Johannesburg has one of the largest man-made forests of trees in the world, a mixture of indigenous and non-indigenous species. Hence we see differing rates of responding to the onset of autumn in this urban forest – some trees have not shown signs of leaves changing colours; for others the green in their leaves has lost its lustre and shades of yellow and brown are peeking out. Still others have started losing their leaves – like the one overlooking my back garden. It also takes time for all the leaves from all the trees to drop – we don’t get much wind in Jo’burg, unless it is to blow the rain clouds away, along with the seasonal thunderstorms and spectacular lightening displays. Sometimes the last of the leaves only fall when the growth of new leaves in springtime pushes them off the branches.
In a way, I see the trees as a metaphor for us human beings – some are more responsive to changes in our environment than others; some take longer to respond to changes than others. Some embrace change and others don’t. Yet change we all do over time – it’s inevitable and part of life, whether we like it or not.
I have often had a love/hate relationship with change in my life. But the older I get, the more accepting I am of this unequivocal fact of life, and the more I find myself embracing changes and the natural rhythms that exist in daily living. For me, it starts with listening and observing: listening to my body, listening to and observing the world around me, paying attention to my own responses to what is going on within and around me, and most importantly, understanding how I feel about it all. I can’t always change situations that happen in life nor necessarily have an influence on all the changes that impact on me. I can, however, change my responses to these situations I find myself in. I can choose how I respond - so long as I know what is happening within me – otherwise I am simply reacting and then not always in ways that I would want or like to react. Emotional balance is the key part for me – otherwise emotions drive my reactions.
Change is hard when you resist it. The seasons will change whether we want them to or not. I feel it’s better to embrace each season for what it is and flow with the natural rhythm of life – summer gradually becomes autumn, and then autumn gradually becomes winter, and so on. I find it easier to deal with incremental changes than big-bang ones and that seems to me how life works naturally, most of the time anyway.
For those of you moving into spring in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy all that the season brings to you. For the rest of us here in the Southern Hemisphere, my wish is that you find something to embrace this autumn as we move towards winter. For me, I look forward to seeing more of the sun here in Johannesburg, as we get the most sunshine during the winter months, despite the cooler temperatures. An interesting contrast – some warmth in a season that is otherwise not associated with that concept. Perhaps this is another metaphor for life to reflect on?
I feel that the work of Michal, and the support I feel from this work, is very much around it bringing some new dimensions and methods to the work I do on myself. I feel that the slightly different tasks, tools and approaches of Michal and the group, are quite complementary, (for me) in the expansion of my work, and the continual ability to adapt to, and work with, the experiences presented by the changing world we are in.
I also particularly love knowing there is this connection with others working with life this way, and the diversity that the group possesses whilst striving for Values that embrace and respect each person’s own path, individual natures and the gifts that these bring to the Work.
The Soul’s Path is an interactive, comprehensive, and profound online study course based on Michal’s teachings and writings. The course aims to awaken your ability to sense energy both within yourself and in the environment and teaches you how to interpret that energy, develop your intuition, and to use it to enhance all areas of life. If you are interested in signing up for The Soul’s Path click here.
Powerful, Transformative and Life-changing: A Retreat with Michal 2017
THURSDAY 17th – MONDAY 21st AUGUST 2017
Michal is offering a European Retreat again this year, for four days this time. Newcomers and those with lots of experience working with Michal are equally welcome. This is a wonderful chance to spend time with Michal, join a special group, and explore (or continue to explore, for those who came last year), the theme of ‘Self and Others’. Michal’s retreats can and do change your life. The venue is the beautiful Mill Retreat Centre, on the Picardy/Normandy border in France. It provides clean, simple but comfortable accommodation in a converted watermill, next to a river and peaceful lake. For more information please email Consultations@MichalLevin.com
As always, please pass this newsletter on to anyone you feel would be interested, who may wish to join the Values Family.
Wishing you a very happy new season, wherever you are in the world.
Michal Levin Institute