Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Feel As Free As A Bird!


Hello there, 
In my last post I mentioned the book of verse, #Escaped As A Bird, from patients at the #Oshima Leprosy Hospital in Japan. I quoted a poem relating to Christmas. Reading my Bible the other day I was surprised to discover the book’s unusual title in a line of a Psalm. Since the content of the book was written by members of the Christian Poetry Club at the hospital I suppose it was not surprising.

The title, in the context of the whole Psalm, is so very revealing. It gives an insight into the whole picture of the experience of the people, who, because of an illness were forced by the State, between 1907 and 1996, to leave family and home and live in isolation on a small island: Oshima. Their choice of title and Psalm clearly shows their faith in God.
 
Psalm 124

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
let Israel now say –
if it had not been the Lord who was on our side,
when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive,
when their anger was kindled against us.
Then over us would have gone the raging waters.
 
Blessed be the Lord,
who has not given us
as prey to their teeth!
We have escaped as a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken and we have escaped!

Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

In 2001 a Japanese court ruled that the policy of segregating suffers of leprosy – otherwise known as Hansen’s disease - was unconstitutional and should have been discontinued after effective multidrug therapies were made widely available by the end of the 1950s.

For more info and lots of photos of Oshima I recommend an article: Oshima, the Forbidden Island, by David Billa. He has documented his visit to the island – where he met some of the people still living there – with lots of photos as well as some powerful observations.


Wishing you love and blessings.

Teresa x
PS I hope you like the photo of the red kites which I took when watching feeding time from a hide at #Gigrin Farm in Wales. See: http://www.gigrin.co.uk
  
 

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Dreading Christmas? Take Heart!


Christmas is not always an easy time of year. Perhaps you feel sad and lonely. Maybe you think that no one feels as bad as you. But that’s actually not true. There is always someone in the world going through a tough time. Fact is, life is peppered with good times and bad times. The trick is to keep going when things are at their most bleak. When I feel I cannot go on I ask God to please hold me in the palm of His hand. And He always does!

I found my diary from last Christmas Day which read, “There was a gaping Mum-shaped hole in the day. Saddest Christmas ever. One of the saddest days of my life.” It’s just over a year now since we lost her and though it is getting a little easier Christmas will just not be the same without her. But, as a Christian I am celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

I have just come back from church and feel lifted up by the service. The church was packed and the line for Holy Communion a joy to see. Before Mass the priest put the figure of baby Jesus into the crib and blessed it and everyone sang carols. So I have started my Christmas celebrations with my focus on Christ and His birthday. And am now looking forward to a day with the family tomorrow.

Mum was very fond of poetry. Yesterday I came across one of her favourite books. It is an old volume called Escaped As A Bird, with verses from the Christian Poetry Club at the Oshima Leprosy Hospital in Japan. (From 1907 until 1996 those with leprosy in Japan were forced to live in such places.) Intrigued, I read the intro which includes these words, “Instead of being broken on the anvil of pain, suffering and deformity, these suffers have found faith, peace and joy under the ministry of Christian love…”

Here is a poem by a patient called Yamamoto

The wireless brings us songs of Christmas praise

From far and near;

And listening we are one with you today,

Friends, everywhere!

I take heart from those brave words. I hope you do too.

Wishing you a Happy and Holy Christmas.

Teresa x

Thursday, 6 July 2017

PUTTING ON A BRAVE FACE - How to cope when things are tough

Are you going through a bad time but trying to cover up your distress? Join the club! A few days ago I updated my website Dear Diary. Then I managed to track down an AWOL blogsite  http://teresaodriscolldeardiary.blogspot.com – It’s where I archive previous website posts but Blogger changed things and unlinked it from this blog (anyone know how to relink?). When I glanced at the last couple of entries. My jaw dropped. ‘Oh,’ I muttered. They were upbeat and informative. While my latest post was rather lacklustre – though I assure I had tried.
            But I admit that I just dashed something off because I realized it was ages since I’d posted. But clearly the grief of losing my Mum only weeks before Christmas is still reverberating.
            Sometimes I catch an unexpected glimpse of myself in a mirror and am startled by the deadness in my eyes.
            Don’t get me wrong. I know that I was blessed to have my mum for as long as I did. And I still have my dad. A number of my friends have lost both their parents, and a few of those did so when their parents were young. Also, some friends are coping with other losses, and other trials too…
            But you know the saying that goes something like: ‘I felt sorry for myself because I didn’t have any shoes until I met a man who didn’t have feet.’ Well, over the years, when in a trying time, I have thought about that to see if it helped. And though it did a little, fact was my pain was my pain for that time. Sometimes we just need to accept that until the worst passes.  
          I know that some of you are in your pain at this time – that’s life isn’t it? Up and down. Please know that I am sending you blessings. And if you want to share anything just get in touch.
          Meantime, please find below some of my coping strategies. I hope they are of help.

Love and light

Teresa
P.S. Please check back again soon as I plan to start posting regularly again.

   5 steps to get you through a testing time

1) Exercise: Get out in the fresh air as much as you can - walk, cycle, jog, or swim. Or do a workout at the gym, take a class in dance, spinning, yoga, Pilates; whatever.

2) Look around: When you are out and about take an active interest in your surroundings. Glance up at the sky, the top of a building, a tree, a bird in flight, people passing by… You get my drift I’m sure.

3) Try going Low-GI: The less a food is processed, the harder the body needs to work to digest it, which means you get natural slow-released energy. So opt for lots of wholegrains, fruits and veggies.

4) Make goals: At the start of the day write down 5 things you want to accomplish. Small or great a goal achieved is satisfying.

5) Count blessing: At the end of the day write down 5 things you are thankful for. Close your eyes and really feel how lucky you are. []

 

Friday, 6 March 2015

Inspiring you to: © Be the Best You Can Be! MBS

Ah, March - the perfect month to make a fresh start to your life! When Spring is adding zest to the very air we breathe you can choose to go that extra mile. But how? What? Here is a suggestion: You could simply opt for a change of attitude to a more positive one that serves you better. This switch is a great way to grow - to develop your whole being.

"Developing the self is the most fun thing you can do in life. It's a spontaneous experience of joy."
      #Dr Deepak Chopra

Personal growth is a choice. Actually, if you think about it, our life is made up of the sum of all our choices up to this moment. Hmm. That may set your mind on the path of: Well, when I made one choice such and such happened and it's working well   /  but when I made another choice I didn't like what happened and it seems like I'm stuck with it now. The great thing is that if we are not happy with some of our choices... we may well be able to choose again!

"You've got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you're not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice."
      #Steven D Woodhull


Admittedly, change is not always an easy thing. However, choosing to change, to grow, is the first and most crucial step towards making it happen.

"That definite decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."
      #Ralph Waldo Emerson


A lesson in avoiding criticism
Okay, let's get specific by looking at one very common problem: Criticism. Being on the receiving end of criticism can be a very painful experience.

Do you attract a lot of criticism? If you do, using the following Blossom Tool could change that.

Blossom Tool
Stop criticising... yourself!

When you stop criticising yourself and start choosing more supportive thoughts you will stop attracting criticism from others. (Wow! What a lot of heartache and aggravation that will save.) This is because people's behaviour towards us tends to mirror our own.

Choosing to put aside criticism will take you a giant step towards your best self. Choose to: Be the Best You Can Be!
 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

#Happy Valentine's Day!

You do not have to be in love to enjoy Valentine’s Day! Instead of hiding away feeling guilty because you are single or your partner doesn’t thrill you anymore, you can use this day as the starting point of a new deep and meaningful love story. Call it: Loving Yourself!

There is an old jokey line that goes: ‘I love me who do you love?’ but that is definitely not what I am talking about here!  

#Dr Deepak Chopra, personal improvement guru and bestselling author of #The Path To Love has made a study of the above. “Most people think of love merely in romantic terms,” he said. “However, love is an experience of complete unity between body, mind, spirit and environment. When you have that unity you experience spontaneous self-love.”

When people hear ‘self-love’ they may interpret that as selfishness. In this context though, this actually has the opposite meaning. “By ‘self’ I don’t mean the ego,” Chopra explains. “I mean the state of being where you feel love towards everyone.”

 If you are alone you may take note that Chopra says that feeling this kind of love attracts love. “The key to experiencing love is to be comfortable with your own self,” he advises. “But,” he continues, “most people are uncomfortable with themselves. They don’t feel attractive and if you don’t feel attractive to yourself it’s going to be very difficult to attract others.”

The main problem is that many people focus on the superficial: ‘how do I look on the outside?’  But Chopra points to a different approach. He feels that we need to accept ourselves as we are, and puts a special emphasis on embracing our weaknesses. “Seeing yourself as a whole is the first step towards seeing yourself as a truly attractive person,” he maintains. “You’re only human. When you see that the same is true for every person you’ve ever met (as well as every media darling celebrated in our society) you will gain a sense of comfort with both the most attractive and least attractive.

“The closer you come to seeing the appeal in all people, the closer you come to God’s perspective. Equality is the first step towards acceptance and acceptance is love.”

For further info visit:# http://www.chopra.com