The Butterfly effect

It’s been 7 months since I last wrote in my blog. Seven months in which time has both crawled and flown.

It’s been a time of learning to live without my mother, and watching my father and my sisters struggle to do the same . It’s been a time of pride and joy, witnessing my son graduate with his Masters degree and accept a scholarship to continue with his PhD. And it’s been a time of debilitating pain and enforced rest – the result of some unexpected physical challenges that came up.

Throughout all this, I’ve made several attempts to write. I had messages and thoughts that I wanted to express; yet each time I tried to step out with them, a door would shut and I would retreat once more into my shell of silence.

I learnt to be patient, to understand that perhaps this was a time for me to simply flow with the experiences and allow myself to learn whatever lessons came with them. So I focused on living day by day – as daughter, wife, mother and teacher … for these are what I came into this world to be, and the universe has so much to teach through every one of these aspects of me.

Recently, the door opened, and the writer’s block dissolved. I can now step out again, to share some of the nuggets of gold that I have picked up over the months. And I feel the spirit of the Butterfly with me. At this stage of my personal evolution, this animal totem comes through powerfully as guide and teacher.

The spiritual community talks incessantly about transformation, shifts and change, and we see the butterfly as a symbol of metamorphosis, representing spiritual growth. But how much of this symbolism do we truly understand?

Allow me, with the help of Butterfly, to bring three points to your attention, that you may better understand the Butterfly effect.

* From the outside, while it looks like nothing much is happening within the chrysalis, lots of changes are actually taking place. Old body parts, tissues, limbs and even organs have all changed by the time the pupa is done metamorphosing.

*The butterfly does not emerge from the chrysalis until it is ready. And it does not attempt to fly until it has rested enough.

*The fully developed adult emerges without fanfare. And although it’s not large and its life span isn’t long,  the butterfly has an impact on all that it  comes across, and spends the rest of its life completing its life mission – which is to mate and lay eggs.

So how does this information link with our own spiritual transformation?

* Inner change can and does occur even when it seems like we aren’t doing much. As the universal laws teach, there is a cycle of ebb and flow – a time to sow and a time to reap, a time to rest and a time to act. What is important is that we continue to assimilate the lessons that the universe brings to us, to work on letting go of what no longer serves us and be open to new and better things waiting to come in. There’s no need to tell the world how much we’re being tested and challenged, or to make a big production of all that we’re going through.

*Trust in divine timing. Don’t try to rush things. When the time is right for us to try or do something, we’ll know – we do have the angels prompting us, after all. But don’t ignore the signs when the universe gives us the go-ahead, either. Remember, If the butterfly does not spread its wings when it is ready, it would not complete the next stage of its life cycle.

*There is no need to draw attention to the “new and improved me”. We earn our stripes when we overcome the obstacles and pass the tests that we set for ourselves. And like the beautiful markings on the butterfly, these will show in the colour and brightness of our aura. And they come forth through us without effort – manifesting through our state of inner peace, our willingness and ability to forgive trespasses, our acceptance of others – warts and all, and the ability to shake off judgement, our genuine respect and compassion for all life, the integrity with which we walk our talk.

And like the butterfly, for the duration of our life, we should be focused on seeking to complete our soul mission.

This, then, is the spiritual Butterfly effect.

 

Love and light

Love and Light | www.angelsandlight.co Photo by Steve Halama From Unsplash

This festive period has been a sombre one for me and my family.  Just a week before the Chinese New Year, my beautiful mother passed on unexpectedly … leaving a huge hole in my father’s heart and in the lives of my sisters and me.

We were blessed with unstinting love and support from relatives and friends as we struggled with the shock of our sudden loss, even as we waded into the unknown territory of making funeral arrangements.

Now, just 10 days after her passing, much of what we went through remains somewhat fuzzy. But the clearest thing that stood out, for me, was the shining, indestructible love that rose above everything we went, and are still going, through:

My father’s unashamedly, undeniably, soul-deep love for his beloved “girl”, and hers for him.

The love of friends and relatives who came to the wake – quite a few despite their age and own ill health; and many, more than once – just to stand by her casket and quietly weep, because our loss was their loss too.

And it opened my eyes further to how one person can, and does, make a difference in the lives of many.

My Cantonese mother went through a lot when she married my father at  the age of 20 – uprooting herself from her family and all that she knew in the small town of Kampar in Malaysia, to come to Singapore. She learned to adjust to the unfamiliar ways of an extended Peranakan family and, in the following years, brought up 3 daughters while taking care of her in-laws and the extended family home.

When I remember how naive and clueless I still was at that age, I marvel at her courage and fortitude. And I am in awe of the force of the love that she and my father shared. Because only now do I understand that it was true love that powered them through thick and thin, and kept them devoted to one another for all 58 years of their marriage.

Through it all, their love never wavered. And the most wonderful thing about that love was that there was more than enough to go around.

At her wake and funeral, besides my son and my sister’s daughter, several other young adults came to pay their respects and to mourn the loss of Por Por or “Grandma”, as they called her. Among them were two Korean young men who had lived next door to them for several years when they were boys, Malay neighbours, children and grandchildren of friends and distant relatives. Every one of them had their own personal, cherished memories of her.

I have always respected my mother for her feisty spirit, kind heart and strength of character. But it was only then that I realised what a truly glorious beacon  she was.

There are many lessons that my mother taught me, and I would like to share some of the best ones with you:

If you want love, first open your own heart wide and love others – because love  always comes back to you.

If you wish for abundance, then be generous – for if you begrudge others, why should you expect the universe not to stint on you?

If you want joy, learn to laugh – first AT yourself, and then WITH others. True laughter is untainted by malice.

Don’t be afraid to fight – but only in defence of yourself and what you believe is right. Never initiate one just to prove yourself, because you only show yourself up.

Finally, and this is from me: If you want to be remembered with love, if you want to bring light into darkness, BE love. BE light. You can’t fake it. Even if you did, you wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long; let alone a lifetime.

So how does one become love and light? Refer to the lessons my mother taught me.

I love you, Mum.

If you don’t get what you want

Last night was supposed to have been no different from every other New Year’s Eve that I have spent in the last 10 years or so.

I was going to sit in my temple at home and spend the last hour of the year in quiet contemplation, reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly that had been allowed to come my way in the past 12 months, to find the bits of gold among the dross. And I would have spent the first half hour of the new year in prayer for all that lies ahead in the next 12 months, asking for the healing, blessing and protection of all those dear to me, as well as the world in general.

But somehow, things did not go the way I had expected. I ended up having to keep the peace among my cats who, disgruntled by the persistent all-day rain, vented their frustration by stalking each other and generally looking for trouble. And before I knew it, 2017 had left and 2018 was here.

And then of course the disgruntled one was me. Still needing to sort things out, I decided to pour myself a glass of wine and write down my thoughts instead.

So here I am, having ended the old year and begun the new very differently from the way I had planned.

First, I thought I had wasted and “lost” the last hour of the year; but in reality, I had spent that time being very much in the present with my beloved pets; and nothing is ever lost when love is involved.

Second, I had wanted to spend time remembering the negative experiences of last year – to mull over them and perhaps, after prolonged examination, discover the  lessons hidden underneath. Instead, the old year slid away from me, out of my control. And with it went the remains of the old energies which – if I were to be honest – I would likely have had trouble letting go of and moving on from.

What quietly came in, instead, was the energy of the new year.  This is going to be a year of opportunities for growth and expansion of work; a year of truly  finding your feet and learning to stand strongly and firmly on them.

And it is this energy that nudges me to focus on the negative only long enough to let it show up the multitude of positives that either resulted from that negativity or which would not have been possible without it. And I realise that all things really do work together for my highest good … no matter how wise I  may believe myself to be, how carefully I may plan, or even how hard I may plead.

My father recently shared with me a poem, which is reputed to have been found on the body of a Confederate soldier during the American Civil War. It beautifully expresses the wisdom of the soul:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked God for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for
but everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among men, most richly blessed.

Happy New Year. May you get nothing that you ask for but everything you hope for, and may all your unspoken prayers be answered.

Hello, it’s me

Welcome to angelsandlight.co!

I hope this gorgeous new look brings you as much light and joy as it does me. As the year 2017 progressed and things both big and small began drawing to a close to make way for new beginnings, I got clearer and clearer signs that my website of many years had served its purpose, and a new one was needed that would better reflect my current energy and the direction in which my spiritual work is going.

Just as it did the first time that I needed help with creating a website,  the Universe brought another earth angel to my aid.  With no instructions other than that I wanted a  simple infrastructure that I could manage on my own; and a fresh, clean design  that would feel like me and what I do, this is what graphic designer Geraldine Lim ([email protected]) came up with.

So what you are looking at is essentially her perception of me … in terms of my work, my energy and vibration. Interestingly, many who have visited this new website have said that they find it to be a pretty good reflection.

All this brings me to the subject of change. I know how our life can appear to turn topsy-turvy when shifts occur either simultaneously or concurrently within and around us. When all that we are used to,  or are comfortable with, is either taken from us or no longer work, and we are forced to go beyond our self-imposed limits to create or try new things, we tend to focus only on the impact that the challenges and tests have had on us – mentally, emotionally, even physically.

But it is important to realise that our transformation has an effect on all who are around us – our family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances. And it isn’t what we put out to the world that makes us memorable. Because masks eventually disintegrate; pretty words are soon forgotten; clever gimmicks come and go.

But what we become after what the Universe allows us to go through can be  like a beautiful fragrance that lingers long after we’ve said hello and goodbye.  This, then, is our truth; because it comes from our heart and soul. And this truth, which is the essence of our self, has the power to touch and affect lives.

No, change is never easy. But it is necessary. Every time soul alchemy occurs, it results in a little more Divine light, love and beauty coming into the world … through you.

And all those around you can, and do, perceive it. Better yet, they experience it.

Now is that really something to moan and groan about?

I am moving house

This will be my last post in angelsandlight.net, but it isn’t goodbye.

From November 15, angelsandlight.co will replace the website that first introduced me and my work to the world.

Right from the beginning, the angels who first assisted in my spiritual awakening and nudged me into answering my soul calling have always been a source of inspiration, guidance and strength. They brought to me people who helped me to grow – either positively, by being the wonderful lights that they are; or by being difficult in order to challenge me into finding the light within them.

I have been blessed with the presence of both animal and human angels in the 13+ years of my journey. And I know I will be blessed with many, many more.

But in this last post of mine in angelsandlight.net, I would like to come full circle by paying  tribute to three angels in particular. Because without them, angelsandlight would not have  completed this cycle of growth the way it has.

Dieter Luske, who runs usenature.com.au, a holistic web directory from Australia. He not only came up with an effective website that suited my simple needs, but also, with great patience and good humour, helped me overcome my fear of, and ineptitude for, the Internet and all things technical … long distance, to boot. Oh, the countless panic-stricken emails that I used to send across the miles whenever I fumbled, made a stupid mistake, or got stuck as I struggled to get my posts out! And how his calm responses and patient instruction always helped me out.

My cat Cinnamon (Monty), who diligently attended every healing circle that I held weekly during the early years, to help anchor light.

His sister Spice, who refused to succumb to nose cancer, but would patiently sit beside me as I struggled to complete all the writing necessary before the website could be launched. I remember she looked at me and purred when I finally clicked “Publish”.

This website address will always hold treasured memories for me. But I have learned that I have the power to create more treasured memories wherever I am.

So I am simply moving house, dear ones. Do visit me at my new “home” at www.angelsandlight.co

See you soon!