As the saying goes, “things are not always what they seem”.   I know many friends have found the last few days extremely trying to say the least.  I too have had all sorts of strange events occur (even my TV blew up (safely) due to the changing and intense energies of Wednesday).  And with Mercury retrograde now over,  things SHOULD be flowing forward smoothly, but for what ever reason, there still seem to be some obstacles.

Keeping this thought in my mind as I chose a card to share with you for today’s blog, the response from the Nature Spirits was no surprise … it was the card of  “GRATITUDE”.

Gratitude is so much more than a thought or word.  It’s a state of mind, a powerful emotion that can empower us to do great things with the resources currently at hand.  When we hold Gratitude in our heart, we connect with the real us, the person who we are deep inside, the one that sometimes is “hidden to the world” for fear of riddicule.   And when we remember to connect to our “true self”  miracles happen and we begin to weave magic into our lives, as well as those of the people around us.  We connect to the heart and soul of the planet, to each other and all life here on Earth.  We remember we are ONE.

Just like the smiling bee in this photo, the Attitude of Gratitude is something we should practice in all we do, no matter what curveballs get thrown our way. For when we are in a state of Gratitude we acknowledge the lessons and the journey of life – the good, the bad, the ugly and the extremely trying circumstances that sometimes get in the way of us living our dreams to full potential. Patience is a key part of living in Gratitude too – it builds our strength and courage so we can climb any mountain to reach our dreams.

Having gratitude for the smallest things, makes such a difference to the world.  Sitting in the garden, or by the beach, in fact pretty much anywhere outdoors, will bring to you the powerful healing of Nature as soon as you open your eyes to the world around you.  And by remembering that each challenge in your life has a silver lining to be grateful for, not only make you a stronger person, but one who is far less stressed and worried about the small stuff in life – which in turn helps to rebalance and restore your wellness.

Personally, I spend time in my garden every morning – mostly with a cuppa in my hand and even if it’s raining I will try to at least walk barefoot on the grass for a few minutes.  I do this as an expression of my Gratitude  for  everything and everyone one in my life.   I breathe my Gratitude for this into my soul and let it fill every cell in my body and then on the exhaling breath I send out a ripple of Gratitude to everyone in my life – even the people I may not have seen in many years or those who are no longer of this earthly plane.  For me, by sending out this ripple of Gratitude, I rebalance who I am, why I am here and show respect to my Ancestors for the lessons learned and the gifts yet to come.   Connecting to the Oneness of life is a wonderful way to kick start  the day.

By taking this time to slow down, I find myself learning the art of Patience.  This photo for example, was a great teacher of this lesson … 197 frames on a digital camera and about 45 minutes of laying on my stomach, as still as possible, on the footpath outside my house as I witnessed a lovely native bee climb upwards in a spiral on a lavender flower in my garden.

He was patient. He left and returned several times, always to the same flower, but on his final visit to the flower, he climbed  a spirial walk all the way to the top – to the pinnacle of his personal Everest – and then he looked straight at the camera and SMILED. This humble bee smiles wisely acknowledging his path and showing that after the journey, including the hard work of the harvest, that NOW is his time to enjoy the nectar of life from this flower, before he heads off to find another flower and start his next journey – and repeat the process all over again.

I also love that he chose to teach this lesson with a Lavender Flowers, whos beautiful doctrine of signatures not only soothe and calm a weary soul, cleanses the aura and helps stop the “negative mind chatter” that may try to get the better of you when you are reaching for your dreams.  And as always that message was so very timely, as it filled my heart with gratitude for the journey that led me to this moment in time.

For me this photo has extra special meaning, as it represents my gratitude for the amazing people in my life who loaned me cameras along the way, and in doing so, encouraged my connection with nature and macro photography.

The first person was  my darling Dad, who one day  saw me playing with his expensive camera (which I still use to this day).   It was a Kodak with a very expensive pop out lense (he bought it in Japan in 1947 whilst there as part of the Armed Forces Clean up of Hiroshima).  I was about 7 years old at the time and he could have said no, but he didn’t.  With that small gesture I learnt a valuable lesson of gratitude and “paying it forward” and  from that moment I began to view life through the viewfinder of a camera, ever grateful for the beauty of nature, friends, family and the endless vistas.

The next was my mum’s cousin who entrusted his Brand New Pentax SLR to me at the age of 13.   Needless to say I spent most of that visit keenly photographing everything from flowers, to bees, to blades of grass.  A few weeks later, an envelope arrived in the mail from Mum’s Cousin with some of my photos from that day, that he had taken the time to develop in his darkroom under the house.  They weren’t wonderful, but I was so grateful he had taken the time to develop the 2 rolls of his film I’d used up that day.

When the first digital cameras came onto the market another dear friend, Mike, graciously loaned me his brand new Sony Mavica camera and I began to experiment with digital photography whenever I went on holidays. (In fact two of the cards from the Ancient Wisdom Oracle were photographed with this camera – “Whalesong” and “Warnings”.  As much as I dearly wanted to get my own Digital SLR camera, and  a really good Macro Lens, money was tight – bills were stacking up and I was contemplating going back to work full time in a city office block so I could remain in my childhood home.  So I asked the Universe for a clear sign which direction I should take.

And my patience was rewarded.  A couple of days later I received a letter from a solicitor and inside was a cheque from Mum’s Cousin’s estate.  It was enough for me to purchase my Olympus E410Digital Camera with twin lens kit and macro lens, new tripod and a few other gizmos.  And no sooner had I looked skyward and said “thanks”, an opportunity presented itself to attend   a 1 week workshop to far North Queensland with the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers for their annual “workshop” and learn from some of the best photographers in Australia.  My patience, hard work and dreams were rewarded and my gratitude flowed in rivers of tears.

So today’s message from the Nature Spirits is a simple one.  Practice being in an Attitude of Gratitude.

For those of you who feel like you’ve had a curveball thrown at you of late – I encourage you to EMBRACE the curve ball and thank it with Gratitude in your heart for gifting you with the additional lesson.   This may include the fast tracking of something that you weren’t planning on doing so soon, and  matter how inconvenient it might be…. everything is in Divine Timing ALWAYS.

Gratitude for the journey, the people who gave you a helping hand along the way and realisation of your dreams can then be shared  by helping someone else to realise their dream too… it’s the positive flow of “paying it forward”.

So next time you are catching a bus or buying a coffee, why not pay for the person behind you.  A simple gesture of gratitude such as this,  when it is given by a total stranger in this way, not only makes a difference to the person receiving your gift, but encourages them to ripple the gratitude forward and help others.  And before you know it, this positive ripple of gratitude gathers momentum and begins it’s journey  – that of making a very big difference in the vibrational harmony of the world we call home.

It starts with a single step.   Gratitude.

Oceans of love, blessings, gratitude and rainbows to you all

Journey Ancient Wisdom