There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle – Albert Einstein
I have felt a deep longing to connect with the Divine as far back as I can remember. Through the guidance of the wisdom traditions, meditation and prayer, as well as experiencing loss, illness and suffering, I have grown closer to Spirit and deepened my love and appreciation of the Mystery.
We are all born with two parts to our nature: one part is spiritual and the other is human. We are tormented by our passions and fears. We resist surrendering to our humanity. We judge and criticize ourselves. To find joy and lasting peace, we need to learn to love and accept ourselves as we are. We have to learn to love WHAT IS. We have to learn to BE LOVE, for our Essence is Love.
The world is a mirror. As Carl Gustav Jung said, “Whatever we are unconscious of in ourselves, we meet in the world as Fate.“ By cultivating awareness, we wrestle with our shadow and the darkness that we have created with our thoughts. When we get hurt, we immediately want to blame someone. We become victims instead of seeing the part we have played in creating the situation. The tendency to judge, discriminate and polarize must give way to our heart and our intuition if we are to gain wisdom. By connecting with our hearts we connect with our soul. The great Persian mystic, Rumi, writes, “The heart is the tongue of the soul”. After 30 years of practice, I’ve come to realize that love and compassion can heal all wounds.
We need to let go of Fear and be like grass in the wind, bending to its will. The wild grasses growing in beach sand are in harmony with the environment – adaptable, flexible, bending to the force of the wind, drawing nurturance from Mother Earth.
Tools and Approaches
Using spiritual tools like the Enneagram, Family Constellations, breathwork, meditation and prayer, as well as psychological approaches such as Gestalt therapy that grew out of the humanistic potential movement in the sixties and seventies, I help individuals, couples and families move through their anger, fears and tears and open their hearts. By developing compassion and loving-kindness for themselves and others, clients have an opportunity to develop their creativity, self-esteem and confidence. Gratitude, generosity, joy, peace and equanimity arise spontaneously when our hearts open. We transcend the false self, our egos and feelings of separateness and experience the Oneness of Being.
The Enneagram is an ancient ‘map’ of Consciousness. It shows us the way to return to our essence and not fall into unhealthy, negative defense patterns. Studying the Enneagram enables us to cultivate the spiritual virtues and see what our ego is up to so we can learn to transcend it. Find out more…
Family Constellations – Hellinger Approach
Family Constellations teach us that we are not separate from our families. We learn to honour our ancestors and cultivate humility, respect and compassion for ourselves and all family members so no one is excluded. Bert Hellinger, who developed this approach, presents a philosophy of being which, when followed, helps us too avoid repeating painful patterns, and restore the flow of Love so that we and our families can thrive. Find out more…
Pain, Illness and Suffering
February 2012 I became desperately ill with Lyme disease and symptoms of Parkinson’s. I had to quit work and life lost all meaning for me.
When I first got ill I felt hopelessness and despair. I became extremely judgmental of myself and experienced a lot of shame, regret and depression. I fell into victimhood and just wanted to die. I experienced a total loss of Faith. It was a real ‘dark night of the soul’. Then, I came to realize that my illness offered an opportunity for me to see my shadow, my inner bully, and engage in a process of purification, letting go of anger, practising forgiveness, loving kindness and compassion for myself and others. Illness and pain became a doorway to spiritual transformation and a test of Faith. (For more information visit my blog at https://mjcanesblog.wordpress.com)
All illness starts with Fear which leads to stress and sickness. Choosing Love instead of Fear leads to health, balance, joy and peace.
Little by little with the help of prayer and meditation and shifting my attitude, I recovered my faith, optimism and sense of humour. I took up watercolour painting and worked to find ways to give to others and make a positive difference in people’s lives. I experienced and continue to experience the miraculous. Life is full of miracles.
Healing begins with taking responsibility for the illness, whether it is emotional, physical or spiritual. Shifting my attitude from victim to victor, I approach the healing journey by addressing body, mind and Spirit. Illness starts in the non-physical realm of spiritual need, emotional confusion or mental distortion. It is never primarily physical. As Emmanuel in Emmanuel’s Book, compiled by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton says, “the body is the reactor. It vibrates to stress and is an outward manifestation of inner turmoil.” I have found that clearing emotional blocks, addressing nutritional needs, exercising regularly – taking walks, doing hatha yoga and tai chi, engaging in activities that bring joy – such as music, dance and painting help to uplift our spirits.
Our body in illness is not our enemy but our faithful friend. We need to heed its guidance.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Rumi in The Essential Rumi, translations by Coleman Barks with John Moyne .