Monday, January 31, 2011

Without my friends and family I am nothing...

Ok, so the argument could be made by some that God is all you need; but then are these people not a part of God?
Religion and Spiritual debates aside it is a basic human truth that it is though the love and support of the people we share our lives with that we find hope, faith and strength.  So I dedicate this writing to that truth.  It is my way of thanking all of you for your patience, your kindness and your faith in both me and my work.  It is my way of giving back just a little to all those who have in the last year and throughout my lifetime given me so much.
Giving back...
Another universal truth; for all the blessings you receive, all the luck that comes your way try always to remember to both  be grateful and to give back as much as you receive.  Call it karmatic harmony, the Golden Rule or whatever your beliefs translate this particular truth into; the basic fundamental principal remains the same.  Give as much if not more than you have received.
Do it for yourself, to encourage your own growth, to ensure your own continuation on the path...
Do it for others, to share the light you have received...
Do it out of gratitude for the opportunities you have been given...
Do it to maintain the balance that is so essential to the continuation and evolution of the human race...
Do it because your soul, your spirit knows this to be the best thing for you...
Never has there been a time when peace and unity been so important for the advancement and wellbeing of the human race; and yet though the battle rages behind the scenes the true war will be fought and won within.
For only one Victory guarantees rebirth.  Only one war waged balances a new life birthed for every life taken.  Only one battle sees life burst forth from the ashes of death.   Your battle, your war, your internal struggle towards the light...Your personal inevitable Victory over your own personal dark is also your ‘egg of the Phoenix’; it is your doorway to change.
All you need to is step through...
Welcome, to life, to light, to you...
Until next time,
Love, light and laughter to you all
Niki Norlock, author of Truth - My Synchromystic Journey

When the student becomes the teacher...

What happens?   Better yet how does it happen?   
There is a balance here in our world that must be maintained – a very precarious balance that defines who and what we are – what in fact makes our world so very precious...  a balance between all things opposite that make up the diversity and colorful tapestry that is life on our planet.  In among the obvious; light and dark, male and female, good and evil, exists something many of us do not stop to consider. It is the realm of knowledge – I know vs. I do not know...
How hard is it for the average person to say those words?  I don’t know...

To be or not to be... Enlightened? That is the question...

A wise hobbit once said “it’s a dangerous business going out your door, you step onto the road and if you don’t keep your feet there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to...”
Why pull a whimsical quote from a fantastic tale? Only to validate the rest of what I’m about to share with you.  Admittedly J.R. Tolkien’s classic tale of good versus evil would not be considered by most to be a serious teaching tool for those inclined to step onto the path of enlightenment but if one really digs beneath the surface story to the wisdoms buried within the truth cannot be denied; the man knew more than he was letting on.
A journey into self is wrought with danger and it takes a strong will indeed to face the powers of darkness and not be pulled from the path. 
Dangers? Powers of Darkness?  What’s this you say?  Are we at war?

They call it Simply Spiritual

And it is...
Simple I mean; but we’ll get back to that.
Let's explore that other word first.  Dissect it a bit; discuss for a moment its meaning.
Spiritual: defined by the experts at Merriam Webster as being;

1)           Of relating to, consisting of or affecting the Spirit

2)       a) of or relating to scared matters
        b) Ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal
3)         Concerned with religious values
4)         Related or joined in Spirit
5)     a) of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomenon
        b) Of, relating to or involving spiritualism
Which leaves us where?  In my view, nowhere close to simple.

The Spreading of a Young Warriors Wings...

When is the last time you asked a child’s opinion?
When is the last time you sat down with one of our youth, looked them in the eye and asked them “what do YOU think?”
My next question is why?
I’ve spent a large part of the last year diving into the minds of our youth and I have to tell you it was a highly educational experience.  I ask why  only because I know that many of us, myself included, neglect to give attention to the very real needs and concerns of those we are planning on giving this world to when we are done with it.  The very people we have in fact borrowed this planet from.
Shortly after asking the question of ‘why’, I am forced to follow up with the very pointed question of ‘what took us so long’.
They have a right to be involved in the decisions that affect them.  They do live here with us; they share our space, our energy, our world.  At times as unfortunate as it is, we forget.  We push them aside, we say things like “you wouldn’t understand”, “you are too young”, or “or let the adults deal with this, we have seen more, have more experience, in short, we know more”.
Do we?  Who is more closely connected to the source that created us all?  Our Youth; pure,  not jet jaded, tainted or embittered by the ‘realities’ of our world.   Realities created by us and defined for us by our years of experience.  They see more clearly the vast potential, beauty and power of our world than many of us ever will; unitl that is we twist their minds with doubt and fear. 
Often thought by adults as not being capable of absorbing, understanding or being able to handle the ‘facts’ they exist in a world where they see a clearly defined need for change and feel powerless to do anything to initiate that change. 
Angels with wings that have been temporarily clipped, this is how I view the majority of our youth today.
It is often said of late that humanity needs unite; that here and now in this place and time a massive battle is underway.  War is being waged in defence of our planet and our survival as a race.  A revolution of spirit, fought by an army of earth angels disguised as human fighters for freedom.  Sadly we have left out our most potent and powerful ally.  There on the sidelines of the battle ground sits a contingency of our army that have not yet been allowed to join the fray.
Why; who are we protecting?
Are we protecting them?  Are we thinking they will get hurt emotionally, scarred and damaged by the things they see?  Are we really so blind as to assume that they don’t already know; that they have not seen what our world has become?
They see it and they want something done about it.
Are we perhaps protecting ourselves, our precious ego...?
If we ask them for help, then we will have to admit both to ourselves and to them that yes, we messed up, and no, we cannot fix it alone.  That has to hurt our pride just a little, being the all powerful adults that we must ask a mere child for help.
Thing is, they are ready, they are waiting and many of them already know what needs to be done. Though it may surprise some of you, they are in fact already doing it. 
One excellent and eye opening example is Simon Jackson, founder to the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition.  He was a tender age of 13 yrs when he began his war against the mighty logging companies that were threatening the habitat of a rare breed called the Spirit Bear.  Not only did he win, not only does he now head up one of the largest youth coalitions for environmental awareness but his life (yes all 13 precious years of it) and story made such a large impact that they made an incredibly inspiring movie to tell his tale.  You can check him and his organization out at the following link –  or Google ‘The Spirit Bear Youth Coalition'.
Or watch a short clip of him here...
Once you are done taking this amazing tour of what it is to find your voice and use it; reflect for a brief moment on the fact that this incredible man was only 13 when he chose to turn the world he knew on its head.
My point?  That’s one kid, one young person who believed his contribution mattered.  One small voice raised above the noise of society to shout, “I can, I will, I AM”.  One small child who realized he could fly.
What happens when we encourage them all to spread their wings and take flight...?
Jean Victoria Norloch

The Blame Game...

There is much discussion of late with regards to the true nature of ‘reality’ and what it means to be human.  Often we are told by the masters of self that our world is merely a reflection of our own thoughts and feelings and I wonder is there tangible physical proof of this wide held ancient belief.  I think that this universal truth is never so evident than in our relationships to those who are closest to us.   It is often said that a smile may be passed onto another, that a life lived in peace and harmony will in turn bring a sense of peace to those touched by that life.  We see it all the time, in the beauty of a kind word or good deed, a smile offered to a stranger; the proof as they say is in the pudding and once all the ingredients of a happy life are put together it is easy to see what such a life is able to create through the simple act of merely being.  As with all things in our world, a world built on balance there is however a part of this universal law that produces the opposite effect and that is the reflection of our own fears and doubts manifested in how we interact and react to those around us. 
Although it may seem too complex a theory to some when we discuss it in terms of lower and higher vibrations there is a very basic natural truth in the way people respond to people.  They do so as a direct result of how they feel about themselves.  As difficult as it is to believe it is in fact a very simple and easy to understand principal that once reflected on and understood can change the way anger and resentment when experienced can affect you and those you love.
One of our most commonly used forms of self destruction is a little past time that humans delight all too often in playing; a little game called blame.  Think back to the last time you had an argument with somebody close to you, and dissect not only how the argument played out but how the argument began in the first place.  Explore what issues seemed at the time to be the cause and then dive deeper into the emotion and events that lead up to that argument; you may find that it was in fact your own insecurities that allowed another’s actions to cause your own negative and aggressive reaction.  Simply put, a mild comment made by another when married with our own doubts can manifest into a defensive accusation by us. 
Say for example there is a young married couple and as is often the case one or the other has put aside their goals or ambitions so that the other may in turn achieve theirs.  This is a common thing as all good relationships are built on give and take.  One is working full time, the other going to school and relying for the moment on their partner to cover the cost of their living expenses.  Perhaps the person who is paying the bills is not precisely happy in their line of work yet they have chosen to remain there as it is a stable source of income that provides a safety net of security for the family.  An opportunity comes up for the individual to leave their job and go into a field that is more to their liking but the amount of income will be less and if the chance is taken it may interfere financially with the comfort level within the home.   The person has a choice, take the job and with it the risk of not having a way to cover all the expenses in the home or stick out the old job a while longer until their partner is finished school and able to contribute more to the household.  It’s really not a hard call to make and most would stay in the old job in the interest of supporting the dreams of the one they love.  It is a sacrifice made knowing full well the costs of the sacrifice and it is very likely that there will be no ill will harboured by the person working because it is an act done out of love for another.  Both parties are aware of the sacrifice and both have no doubt had to consider the costs and emotions that come with the choice being made.  A few months go by, the student is still in school and the person who is working is finding it exceedingly more difficult to be happy with regards to the environment they work in.     As relationships go it is expected that when one is having a bad day, one will vent occasionally to the one person they trust the most, the person they share their life and their home with.  The problem lies in that the student is well aware of the position the other is in at work and may be harbouring some deep seeded (though unwarranted guilt) with regards to being responsible on some level for the others misery.  Sadly this can lead to a defensive attitude when it comes time for the other to unload their issues and concerns, and a benign comment not intended to be an attack can seem to the other person to be an accusation.  i.e.: the working partner is discussing their troubles at work and muses that they will be glad when the other is done school so they can explore other options and the student immediately fires back a comment about ‘if it is such a burden the I will just quit’...
Now where is the anger coming from? Certainly it is not due to an ungrateful attitude towards the person who has made the sacrifice, nor is it based on the fact that there is an attack being made on the student by the partner who is working.  For if both parties were working one or the other discussing an unhappy situation at work would not be uncomfortable for the other, in fact the outcome would be entirely different as it would be natural for one partner to feel protective of the other and would more than likely agree that ‘yes – your job sucks – maybe it is time to go’...
Because of the situation however it has suddenly become unsafe to discuss this topic and it would seem that the person who has done the giving must ‘suck it up’ and not mention the fact that they might for the moment not be particularly happy doing what they are doing.   Of course the argument can be made that the choice has already been made and the person who is working having made the choice should not be complaining about the choice made yet I argue that where is there harm in discussing the repercussions and costs of choices made.  Is it such a sin to make such statements?  To say ‘yes, I gave up something I wanted for the sake of somebody else and now I am paying the price’; why is it wrong to do so?  Perhaps it boils down simply to the fact that the receiver is not comfortable with the sacrifice made, and although that seems a far stretch to some it is not so hard to imagine if the person who is going to school is feeling guilty about the other person having to work in a place they do not like then they may become very defensive and irritable at the mention of the others unhappiness as they see it as a reflection of their own inability to provide for themselves.    
The truth is most of the time this defence mechanism is not needed, if you take the time to really consider the spirit with which something was done you can actually appreciate the sacrifice made or the gift given and do your best to give back as you are able.  This could be as simply a thing as hearing the other person out, letting them unload and allowing them to discuss and explain their own discomfort without assuming that they are doing so with the intent of making you feel as if you owe them something. 
It is an odd cycle this thing we call blame, for the person working can certainly NOT blame the person who is going to school for their unhappiness at work since it was the choice of the individual and made in a state of full awareness of the price that had to be paid.  Nor can the student blame the other for needing an outlet and an ear for their frustrations at work as it is part of our interactions with others that we naturally share our troubles with those we love.  So how do we stop such a destructive cycle?   By being aware of how it happens and what it is about our own emotions that allows us to feel as if others are attacking and accusing.  For in the game of life what it really boils down to at the end of the day is that you cannot control another’s actions but you can control your own reactions and if you allow your own fears and insecurities to get in the way of an open, understanding, supportive and communicative relationship then quite frankly you have nobody to blame but yourself.
Jean Victoria Norloch

The Beauty of a Shared Experience

I have a friend who lives on the other side of the world, a good man, simple and true.  I have not spoken to him in some time but he is often on my mind as I move forward in my life and my work.  There are few people out there, though admittedly the number grows every day who truly appreciate the basic simple things in life.  People who have a base understanding of the importance of family values, compassion and understanding are very precious to me and very much respected regardless of their age, race or background.  I would wish for him to forever be in a state of joy, so that he may continue to share that joy with others.   Being the pen that I am I feel I have no better way to honour the man that he is than to pass his message to me onto to you so that we may all remember the meaning of the times in which we now live.
He told me a leader walks ahead of the people expecting that when he turns around they will still be there behind him.  He chooses the road to walk and shows others where to step.
He told me a good leader walks among the people and talks with them so that they may choose their road together.  They walk side by side so that if a step is taken that causes them to stumble they may hold each other up.
He told me a great leader walks behind the people, nodding silently to himself in quiet satisfaction and joy as they choose the road they wish to take.  If they stumble and fall he is always there to help them get back on their feet.
He is wise, gentle and kind and the world will likely never know his name.  Yet to the family and friends who know, love and respect him, he will forever in their hearts be a great leader.  Why?  Not because he has a position of power, status or wealth.  He does not; he manages a restaurant in Manila, and works 12 hrs shifts before travelling two hours by bus so he may spend time with his family.  What makes him so special is that he understands that to lead sometimes means to stay behind.
How many different leaders does our world have?  Spiritual, religious, political and social; it seems there are literally thousands around the globe who stand ready to show us the way.  Which leads us to ask the question; who is it that we should choose to follow.
We were warned to beware of false prophets; warned that a time would come when only the whispers of our heart could be trusted to be our guides.
In the last few years the number of people claiming to be messengers has grown by an alarming rate, something that may cause concern for those who are leery of being led astray.  Yet it cannot be denied that the messages of peace and love seem pure, and much of what is now being taught is quite logical.  It stands to reason that if we wish to survive and move forward in our evolution that we must make peace with ourselves and the world in which we live.  It makes perfect sense that we must learn to love ourselves, our world and each other; to know ourselves, our world and each other.
If you really think about it, the most common sense teachings of our time are also the most commonly taught.  We are all one – connected – united – what you do to others you also do to yourself – what you do to our world you in turn do to you...
Still we were warned and many may be wondering where the false prophets are and how one can tell if they are false.  I wish I could give you that answer but I am not you, I do not see through your eyes and even though I am a part of the world of which you are also a part it is not for me to choose your path.
So if each person’s journey is their own why now more than ever does there seem to be so many different guides.  Why now more than ever does there seem to be some many teachers and lessons available for others to learn.
I imagine it is merely so that we may choose what in the end works for us.
Perhaps if our perceptions of those who have come before could be altered just a little we may begin to view them more as friends and not as somebody that should be raised above us.  Many of them have made it clear they are no different really from us, in no way more special than us and not so long ago probably just as lost and confused as us. 
That my friends is where the magic in the message is.  They have not come to tell us how to make our lives better or even so much that we should.  They have only come to show us how they improved their own lives so that we will know when we choose to do so that we can.
It would seem the days of complex rules and regulations are coming to an end.  The do’s and don’ts of yesterday are no longer seem to be something  people wish to concern themselves with.  There is a freer, more creative way of looking at our world and each other; judgements and condemnation are no longer welcome.  Instead of focussing on our faults we are now spending time recreating ourselves and our world.  Things are being flipped around, altered, the artists and musicians, the outcasts of yesterday are now stepping forward and using their talents and skill to help those in need.  Having always lived out of the box, they have long ago forgotten the box is there and are now using the energies they have always used to create entertainment for the masses to co-create and new world for the masses.   Thought and feeling are merging and becoming one and balance is being restored.
Through the shared experiences of others that reassures us that we are not alone and the creative force of those who have set out before us in the interest of freedom of expression we are leaping into a brave new world.  Through the open hearted discussion of all our various beliefs and ideals and the common interest of sharing our gifts and visions we open the magical portal to our future.  Through our new found acceptance of ourselves and each other our new world begins to emerge, lives transform; love and laughter are again reborn,  All because we stopped saying this is where you should go and started just going, then sharing with others where we have been.
So we come to time when leaders no longer walk ahead of us and into a time when through the sharing of experiences they walk among us.  We have come to a time when teachers no longer tell us what we should learn, but encourage us to remember that which we already know.  We have come to a time when the guides no longer point the way but instead wait patiently on us as we choose the direction we wish to walk.
We have come to a time when the guide may be led down a new path, where the teacher realizes that there is much yet to be learned from the student and the leaders fall to the back of the line so that none may be left behind.
Jean Victoria Norloch

The Balance...

Cry if you feel like crying – that was her advice – Write the truth about your feelings even if they are not filled with light, you don’t have to share them but who is to say it will not help others for them to know that they are not alone.
Smart lady I am thinking and once again blessed I am to have her in my life.  Of course she is not the only one these days who seems to be sharing this wisdom and so perhaps it is in my best interests to stop and listen to the meaning behind the words.  Another friend, who spent an afternoon doing his part at advancing my healing shared with me his observations and in the sharing encouraged me also to take a deeper look at my own.   I mentioned in another blog the importance of acknowledging that which upsets us.  As I spoke to my friend and told him my story I began to get angry, but it wasn’t long before the anger turned to tears and as the tears flowed he offered gentle words.
“You see now don’t you, that behind all your anger there is a deep underlying sorrow; a sadness that needs to be addressed and dealt with if you are going to find your way past this place in which you are stuck.”
We discussed the fact that often there are a multitude of blogs and wirings focussing on light and love but seldom do we see an honest representation of human emotions.  We wondered who it is benefitting to pretend that we are not creatures of feeling, who it is helping to pretend that life is always full of light.  Another piece of advice then came to mind that I think I had misunderstood until now.  Another much respected friend had offered a help full hint with regards to my troubles,  something I think perhaps now as I dive deeper into the why of where I currently am is an important lesson for us all and one that makes a great deal of sense.  He had told me not to give into my emotions, not to let them overcome me or control me.  At the time I took it as a warning to not accept anger, hate, fear as part of my world; I took it as instruction to work at forcing them out of my life.  Love he said when I asked is not an emotion; it is a state of mind so it is acceptable to live in love; not so he said with hate, fear or sorrow.
When I look back now however and combine his words with the advice of others I have grown to respect and trust I realize that shutting these things out entirely can be extremely dangerous to our advancement spiritually.  As many of us accept that we are a marriage, a joining of the physical and the spiritual it does us a great injustice to ignore that within us that is human.  Often we hear how important it is to strive for a state of peaceful acceptance of all things, and this I do not deny is what we are all working towards yet to get there we must understand a few things about ourselves that are not so often discussed openly.  As much as forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others is extremely important it does not do to beat ourselves up when we are not able to reach or live in that perfect state of calm all the time.  I think that too often we push aside our true feelings about a situation due to our desire to live in a state of harmony, we ignore the things that hurt us and we forget that in our human state it is quite normal to feel pain or fear.  Yes of course there will be times when all is aligned as it should be and we will feel so powerful and at peace that nothing can harm us yet what happens when we back track? What happens when we lose that feeling and come crashing back to the reality that for the moment we still live in the world in which we live and in that world there is still suffering and loss?  It can be a crushing blow if we have somewhere along the way convinced ourselves that it is not longer acceptable for us to be affected by the things that happen to us or in our world.  That is where the danger comes in; a danger at not accepting that sometimes we are affected and that we must be aware of who and why we were affected in order that we might learn from the experience.
You can choose to ignore your feelings but in doing so a few things may happen.  First they may become buried so completely that you may not be aware that they are affecting you spiritually or physically.  Once buried you might have a bit of trouble digging them back out once you get to the point where they have affected you so much that they are damaging your ability to move forward. Once you finally manage to dig them out (and you will have to actively search for them, face them and force them to once again come to the surface) you will have to deal with them; which means you are no further ahead than you were when you first began to feel them.  Second, you may actually begin to act on those feelings but being as they are buried deeply you may not be aware of what you are doing.   This too may slow or stop the healing process, it may even in fact set you to moving backwards from where you are, as if you are acting on feelings that you are not prepared or willing to accept as your own you may inadvertently take an action that you will in the future find yourself regretting.  It becomes another vicious cycle that needs be both addressed and stopped; difficult to do if you are unaware that it is happening.  Your feelings then if ignored come to have a power over you, as they direct your actions and reactions without you being consciously aware; you no longer give yourself the option of having a choice, and as choice is the basis of all that we do and are when you take away your ability to choose, you take away your ability to live as you were meant to live. 
I don’t believe for one minute that it is in any way healthy to ignore our feelings or to pretend that they do not affect us.  It is living a lie and though the argument has been made by many that it is also not healthy to allow the actions of others to control or direct our emotions and well being; let’s face it, here in this life, in this reality we are human and as humans we feel a fantastical range of emotions. It is in fact one of the beautiful things about being human, this ability to feel.  All of this boils down to one little thing that we often do not discuss or explore; the reason that we are so set on ignoring the emotions that are such an integral part of being human in the first place; fear.  Is it perhaps that we fear them? Do we think that if we accept them as they are that we may lose control of who we are?  Is it that we think that it is a step towards perfection on a spiritual level for us not to feel?  Even in the bible it is written that Jesus himself felt fear and doubt, and He is held by many in their hearts to be the purest example of human perfection that ever lived.  If He felt fear why then are we also not allowed to feel fear? 
The power that emotions hold over us is not in the recognition or acceptance of them as part of our life, it is in our choosing to ignore them and push them away.  Accepting them allows us the power to choose to act on them, or to not act on them; ignoring them as I explained takes that power away.  Just because somebody hurts you does not mean you have to act out of anger towards that person, it does not mean you have to seek out revenge or take action that may in turn hurt the individual that first hurt you.  You have that choice, yet choosing not to act on your anger does not mean that you have to ignore the fact that you are angry.  If you are – you are – and you have every right to be...
Fear in all shapes and forms stop us in our tracks, prevents us from following our dreams, living true to our nature and existing in a state of honesty.  Fear of accepting and embracing our human emotions is no different and in the end may be more dangerous to our state of wellbeing than any other fear; to fear our emotions is to fear ourselves.  To fear ourselves is a sure fire step onto the path of self destruction, a path that none of us wish to walk...
In all our teachings about being true to our purpose, all our studying about being true to our hearts, all the work being done now to encourage others to accept who and what they are we sometimes are so focussed on telling others how beautiful they are, how filled with light they are, how much of a blessing to our world they are we forget sometimes to tell them that we mean exactly as they are not as they interpret us to wish them to be...
So my friends in order to honour the part of us that is human, the part of us that brings balance to that part of us that is spirit; I am passing on some words of wisdom...
If today you are sad, even if you don’t know why, if today you find that tears seem to come unwanted or even unwarranted to your eyes, if my friend you feel today as if you want to cry - go ahead, cry... trust me in this world of humans who feel  - you are not alone.
Jean Victoria Norloch

Pain sucks – yes that’s right. I said it – it sucks...

Oh sure I can hear you now... but where’s the light?  She always writes to inspire... Pretty words, stories of incredible people who survive against all odds... be good to your fellow man – and above all don’t forget to be grateful...
Confused aren’t you... you know I’m laughing right. 
Ask me a week ago if I was feeling blessed and I would have told you to go suck on a lemon and feel blessed about that.  Ask me now and well I say absolutely but before I get into what I feeling blessed about let me explain one little thing... I do not think that no matter how sweet and caring – no matter how compassionate – empathetic – loving a person is that if they are subjected to long term ongoing intense pain they will maintain a sweet candy coated disposition.  That’s why I’m wiring.  I might be getting better (and we will get into my illness later as well) but there are countless people out there struggling with the same thing every hour of every day and how can others possibly understand their agony and anger if nobody will talk openly and honestly about the effects of it. 
Now I am not talking about (oh my belly hurts kind of pain) nor am I talking about a irritating headache that goes away in a few hours – or the aches that come with having the flu – no I am talking about the mind numbing, wish I could curl up in a corner and die, can’t walk – talk – sit – lie down – breathe – wish I was back in labour kind of pain.  As a side note that is saying allot (ladies with babies I did 60 hrs of hard labour with no drugs for the first two days – last week I really wished I could suffer through that again instead).  As to the why of the pain – well not that it matters but apparently I have some serious issues with my muscles and my spine – enough that the doctor has decided that at the age of 35 that I can no longer work due to a  few little problems that have come up.  Though I thought that my herniated disks between my shoulder blades were gone – according to the doctor – no such luck – sorry lady those you are stuck with for life.  He had more good news too, the muscles not liking the fact that I have been working a very physically demanding job with a damaged spine thought they would help me out by over compensating for my weak back by tightening up – barring that fact that tight muscles hurt like hell – they had an odd affect on my spine and the natural curve that used to be there – that is supposed to be there - is gone – bones are touching bones and pinching things they should not pinch and oh by the way – sorry lady we can’t fix that either...
Well then what the hell are the doctors for...?
Oh they can give you drugs – yup that they can do – and they can sign papers that you can then bring to the government and they cut you a small check every month – give you a drug card and do their part at trying to keep you semi  fed and clothed while the doctors keep you stoned.
Does not seem to be the prettiest of pictures so far does it...
Where is the light?
Well the light comes in when your friend gives you enough money to buy a laptop self so that you can lie in bed and write...
The light comes in when your family and friends don’t get mad at your moods swings, when they forgive you for not responding to emails, and for generally forgetting that anything other than the pain exists in your world.
The light comes when our roommate works all day then comes home and cooks you dinner – or leaves extra already prepared food in the fridge so that you have food to eat while she is away.
The light comes when you are surrounded by healers and energy workers who can assist the doctors in their efforts to heal your troubles by healing your spirit.
The light comes when people from every race color creed and belief are praying for you because for a long time you have prayed and cared about them – that my friends is the light...
The light comes when you the reader pass this on – in every way you can to everybody you can because the light also comes in me being able to put my thoughts about this little experience on paper so that the family and friends of others out there who suffer from chronic pain may come to understand how it affects the individual.
First off – it scares the hell out of you – because you know there is something wrong – terribly wrong with your body and you usually do not have an answer as to what it is.  Not right away anyways – there will be tests and medications – it is a trial and error process and that is only if you are lucky enough to get the right doctor.  If not you get pills shoved at you and you are expected not to push for a diagnosis – just take the pills and feel the false euphoria they give you.  Don’t give into that – not for one little second – if you hurt – you push – and when they finally tell you they have figured out what is wrong you keep pushing – you need it fixed – not in a year – not in a month – now – right now and you are not going to take no for an answer....
So you are scared and it hurts – now what?  I am guessing after a few weeks if not days of hurting you are going to get tired – very very tired – you see if you hurt your body can’t rest and the less rest you get the more it hurts.   It’s a vicious cycle – one that needs to be broken because the more sleep you lose the less will you have to fight this.  You will get cranky, than angry – sometimes you will cry and you won’t know why except to say that you are perhaps really tired of being in pain.  Really tired of nobody understanding... the long and the short of it is you are really tired...
Exhaustion sets in and whatever small ounce of hope you held in your heart for ever getting better begins to fade... Now you are at the point where the drugs are looking really good – and anything else you can find that will make the pain seem less.  Alcohol works but trust me after watching my mother drink and pill herself to death I do not recommend mixing the two – it is a deadly combo...
Now the good news is – take the meds – they will help for now and it’s ok to get help.  Once you are feeling better, a little lighter – once you have had some sleep your little ounce of hope will begin to grow and suddenly there will be options available for you.  In fact they were always there you just were so wrapped up in the pain – lost in it in fact that you forgot that there are always options.  Our physical wellbeing is often a direct result of our spiritual wellbeing, so while the doctors are working their miracles with pills and therapy you will be researching ways to heal yourself on a spiritual level.  In fact it really is as easy as asking the heavens for help – because once you ask it is given and there will be people come into  your life that will offer their time and their energy – offer themselves to help your cause – all you need do is believe.  Problem is that while you are locked into a prison of pain it is a little hard to believe, that I understand. Others though – they may not imderstamd – so I offer this advice as well – be honest with them – tell them you are scared – tell them you feel alone – cut off – helpless – tell them what you are going through and DO NOT think you have to do this ALONE...
If you have a family member who is in chronic pain – let them know – they are NOT ALONE – tell them you are there – that though you may not understand you will try if they will let you... Be there and I know that as you watch them suffer you too may feel helpless – I watched my mom for years with no clue how to help – she suffered from fibromyalgia – osteoporosis – osteoarthritis and that was 20 years ago when the only way they knew how to help was to give the patient narcotics.  Narcotics do not solve the problem – nor do they take the pain away completely and over time you need more and more because you build up immunity to them.  They are addictive and they kill your liver, your kidneys your heart and your lungs... so where does one go from there?  I could not help her – nor did I understand why she was so angry – I had never felt what she was feeling – not until now and so I could not possibly understand.  Still though you may not be able to take your loved ones pain away you can find ways to help them.  Being there for one, listening and offering a shoulder to cry on when it becomes too much to bare.  That is just a start, help them explore alternative answers, help them understand that if they really truly wish to get better they have to help heal themselves.  They have to not give up and you have to not give up on them.  That is vitally important because you see they will want to give up – they will want to give in – they will want to hide and cut themselves off from the world because the world they once knew no longer makes sense.  They can’t do the things they love to do, they can’t find joy in the things that used to make them smile and laughter, our most important gift will be illusive for a time... Be patient – and if you are the patient be patient – with yourself – go easy on yourself – understand that yes for now you have limits – yes for now there are things you cannot do but there are other things that you can do – figure out what they are and do them – if you want to take a break – take it – don’t push yourself and don’t feel guilty for not being able to do the things you used to do – that will not help you – guilt kills.  Life might be different for you now – and things may look a little scary but there are things you can do to help yourself... 
Gratitude they say heals – so make a list of the things in your life that you are grateful for.   Make a list of the people in your life you are thankful for and keep that list with you.  Cherish it – love it because it is your reminder that there is a reason for you to survive this.  It is a reminder that you are cared for and loved and that you are important to others and for that reason you will find a way to pull through this.
It s sounds simple – it is not simple – not one little bit...
Chronic pain does not allow it to be simple – it is a struggle – every minute – every hour of every day – it is a struggle ... Just please, please do not give up.  
I hurt – every day – I wake up and it hurts – I go through my day no matter what that day holds and it hurts – I go to bed and it hurts.  I live on a couch, with a heating pad, and my computer and a TV – my books – and that for the moment is life... But I am determined that it will not always be that way...
I figure the powers that be gave me a pen for a reason, so that as I work through this I can write about it and pass on what I learn as I go to others so they may work through it too.  That makes it not hurt so much.
Yes as I said pain sucks – but what would suck more is giving into it – giving up...
Do I feel blessed – yes I do because as much as it sucks at least I can let it go by writing about it and sharing my story to help others.  Suddenly my pain has a purpose and it starts not to suck so much but maybe instead is something else to be thankful for...
Jean Victoria Norloch

It begins and ends in silence...

Much like the miraculous cycle we call life a Deva Premal and Miten with Manose concert is born, comes to life, grows, expands then slowly fades into the darkness of night.  So it is from a place of feeling I write as to do anything else would not fairly honour the love with which they offer their gift of music.
Of course, I use the term music lightly since it seems to me that the melodious mixture of rhythm and beat transcends that which is merely heard; this song, this beautiful soulful offering is one that must be felt.
Blessed are those who get the chance to hear them play, blessed more so are those who meet them.  Peaceful, balanced, grounded and open...  Those words might do them justice if not for the one word that supersedes all the other words that come to mind.  It is the one word that describes the feeling of being in the room with them.  It is the one word that describes what one senses when you sit down with them to talk. It is the word that describes their journey, their relationship with each other and those who they allow into their lives.  One precious word – LOVE...
The best part about having the chance to meet them in person is in the knowing that the description above may make them smile, they may accept my words with a slight bowing of their heads and a whispered Namaste yet adoration is not their hearts desire.   Interaction with the crowd is what I felt drives their energy when performing on stage.  I believe they embrace the chance to blend their energy for a time through the sharing of their gift with the energies of those who would otherwise be strangers. 
It is the creation that stirs the soul within, the dream of unity that empowers the work and the humble spirit of the connected messenger that allows for the purest delivery of their message of love. 
In honour of that same spirit it is fitting that as serious as both the music and the message are the joy with which they are both delivered lightens the burdens of those who would wish in their hearts to create a better more peaceful world.  There is a light hearted humour, thanks to Miten a spattering of comedic relief not to be out down by Manose who offers an easy banter with his fellow artists.   Combined with the gentle motherly nature of Deva these elements create a space of inner stillness.   Their approach in performing is simple and honest and it is obvious to all watching that they are very much in love with each other and their art. 
They encourage the crowd’s interaction both with themselves and each other throughout their performance.  There is an intense energy that is built up as the ones sitting in the place of the audience join in and become performers.  That is the magic moment, the moment of now when an entire theatre full of strangers stands together and sings as one.  Accompanied by the remarkably moving flutes of Manose the songs take the crowd to a new heights; peace for the moment seems attainable, in fact to sit and look into the eyes of Manose as he plays means that peace seems inevitable...
One voice, one message and one heart; that is what one feels upon leaving a Deva Premal and Miten with Manose concert and how I think after meeting them that they would all wish us to feel long after the music stops.
Jean Victoria Norloch

My tribute to Mr Woodyard....

Once upon a time there lived a man.  He was a simple soul, never asked for much and always gave more than he got.  He played a pretty mean guitar, sang a soulful song and along the way he touched the lives and hearts of thousands.
He wasn’t famous, he wasn’t rich, you won’t see his name in lights yet his life shone a bright light into the lives of so many others.
I’m sitting here on my deck tonight writing to you so that his memory will be kept alive.  You see, I received word yesterday that he has passed on and was not able to put pen to paper until today.  The shock was just too great.
I spent 5 years of my life under the watchful eye of this caring individual.  5yrs protected and sheltered by him from the harsh realities that were my teenage years.  Long talks behind closed doors brought comfort in times of need. Always encouraging with never a harsh word he often took more time then he had to dry my tears.
There were a lot of those growing up and many a time when growing up seemed so much more difficult than giving up.  He never did, give up on me that is and regardless of how much trouble I caused him, he never walked away.  I was a pain; rebellious, self centered, thinking that I had all the answers, yet by my side he remained.  He had my back and life at home became too much to bear he would quietly convince me to stick it out just a little longer.  He always said some day I would understand, I now I think maybe I do. 
He never judged or condemned me, only tried desperately to understand.  He got through, when nobody else could reach me.  He burrowed a small spot into my heart and there he remains one of the biggest influences of my youth.
Don’t quit – don’t give up – you are better than this – take care of you – follow your heart – follow your dreams – be you – and be happy while you are doing it...
That was his advice and though I did not always listen then, I have remembered it often as I grew.  Life can be hard but love is free and that is what his love meant to me; the freedom to be the best me I could be.  I’m still working on it, his guidance and strength still in my heart.  I was looking forward to the day I could come to him and say thank-you; show him what I’d become.  I’ll never get the chance but I know he’s watching and I’ll keep working hard to honour his memory and all that he stood for.
I am only one person, only one life touched with only one part of the great legacy that was his life’s work.
Imagine what kind of impact he made on the hundreds of students that walked the halls of our small school.
Who was this man?
He was our high school vice-principal and he is one of the reasons I have made it this far.
Mr Woodyard this is my way of saying thank-you.  To all of you out there reading this, please remember his name; let it be a reminder to us all that a man does not have to be a great man to make a difference but he does have to make a difference to be a great man.
Jean Victoria Norloch

My reality vs. your reality?

I always promised myself I would not write when I am angry so as not to spread that energy out to others, however it has occurred to me that if I am to be completely open and honest in my work I cannot hide away when I am disappointed or discouraged by what I see.
It is the game of right and wrong that these days is bothering me; one speaks his truth as he sees it and another comes along and tells him his truth is in fact a lie.  We all do it, we are all guilty of this at one time or another, we are all guilty of it more than we are willing to admit and although it seems to be our life’s work to help to change our world for the better we still slip once in awhile and unawares in many cases force our beliefs on others.  My favourite phrase to dislike these days is ‘they are not awake’ add in a pinch of ‘they don’t see’ and a dash of ‘still sleeping’ and what do you get?  In my mind you get us being just as arrogant and ignorant as those in charge of the system that many of us agree is not working. 
Who are we to accuse anybody of not knowing if we cannot say that we definitively know?  So I put this question to you as well... DO YOU?  Do you know all the truths to know about our world, do you know all the facts; do you in fact have all the answers?  No?   Is ok – me neither...
So many of us now walking around the world who see things more clearly than we did, who have a new awareness for the interconnectedness  of all things.  This is amazing and magical and beautiful; it is in fact the miracle of our times that we see the need for unity and peace.  We see the potential of shedding our materialistic values, see the promise of a new age of light and love in the letting go of old beliefs and burdens.    We are aware many of us for the first time in this life that we have within us the power to remake, recreate and rebuild the world in which we live.  Through the choices we make, the lives we live and the actions we take we can be the change we know in our hearts is coming.  Yet at times we forget how we got here, to this point of awareness.  We forget that it was a very personal journey, an experience we had to live through, something we had to see for ourselves.  Many of us spend a great deal of time telling our stories and sharing our experiences, many in fact have made it their sole (soul) purpose to do just that.  So many out there paving the way for others who have yet to come, so many out there making sacrifices to lay the ground work for the next few years.  The problem is this, we are not laying the ground work, we are not even close to the first nor will we be the last.  It is in fact a process and although we are all a huge part of the process, we are not the only answer.  We are only a piece of a massive yet unseen picture being painted.
I have had an interesting couple days, out of it has come the need to take a closer look at how exactly I am meant to contribute to the very potent, very powerful and very real spiritual revolution that is currently underway on our planet.  Being a writer of words it is easy enough to share my tales, easy enough to document what I see and pass it on, easy enough to tell my own truths but in the act of doing that I have to remember to be very careful indeed to remind both myself and my readers that those truth are mine not theirs.  I sat down and went through my journey, went over in my head the people that influenced and encouraged each new step on my path and it occurred to me that the ones who told me I already knew where I needed to go were the ones who helped the most.  It was the ones who shouted loudest about their training and acquired knowledge that were the ones who I ended up running away from.  The ones who threw titles and position at me, were the ones who turned out to be the exact opposite of what they claimed to be and it was the ones who allowed me to come to them rather than forcing themselves on me who earned the most respect.  Above all it was the ones who also had many questions who seem to be still with me on the journey and me so much happier and balanced for their presence. 
It is something I would like to work on, something about me that I would like to be aware of and so for that reason it is also something that I must write about in order to understand and explore.  Along the road there comes a time when we all say to ourselves ‘holy crap – how can they all be so bloody blind?’ and it is at that precise moment when we undergo one of the biggest tests to self.  What do we do with that thought?  We could spend a life time trying to wake them all up, waste precious resources and energy trying to pry open their eyes or we could take the high road and simply go on about our day.  I think that things are meant to be this way, that there will always be others who may not see things as we see and it is up to us to decide that that is ok. Then once decided we can get on with the task of living; living our own lives, our own truths and having our own experiences.  We can also keep sharing, through our writing, our songs, our music, our poems and our paintings we can keep telling our stories.  Just as the stories from those who have come before have helped to guide us so too will ours be there to help light the way for others, as long as we understand that it is their choice as to whether or not they wish to turn that light on. 
We live our lives and through the example of those lives we leave behind a trail of clues for others to find, a path of bread crumbs to lead them home.   If they don’t see them it does not mean we are meant to stop walking.
Of course that too is only my view, it does not have to be yours...
Jean Victoria Norloch

Little Things

    While you are out there taking a long hard look at what is not working in our world don’t forget to stop long enough to appreciate what is working.  I call them the little things, because it is not only the big self sacrificing acts of giving that show us love and compassion, it is the little everyday sweet things that the people in our lives do to ease our burdens that truly define the divine spirit of oneness.
     Little things; when you really want that cup of coffee but you are stuck at work, somebody not only brings you one but they turn down your offer to pay them back.  Little things; you run out of change for laundry, your neighbour gives you a bunch of loonies and won’t accept anything in return.  Little things; you are hurt and can’t quite keep up at work, but your team picks up the slack and when you thank them they simply smile and say you’d do the same for us.
     Look around you when you leave your house today and see how many of those little things just happen to pop up.  If your hands are full and a stranger opens the door, that’s a little thing.  If you aren’t feeling well and the people you live with do more around the house so you won’t have to expend energy you don’t have, that’s a little thing.  When some stranger on the bus gets up and offers and elderly person a seat, that’s a little thing.
Here is what I’ve seen through my job as a server in a local restaurant, if this does not show the selfless nature of the human spirit than I am at a loss for what will.
     A young couple come in, they have their meal, enjoy their evening but when it comes time to go the man discovers he can’t find his wallet.  He goes to the car thinking he left it there but no luck and now they are starting to look a bit panicked.  The young lady doesn’t have her purse, it’s her birthday and it was supposed to be his treat.  He begins to explain it to me but before I have the chance to offer to cover the cost of the meal a woman from the next table quietly reaches over and lays the cash to pay for the meal into his hands. 
     I remember him being completely shocked, speechless for a few minutes until he finally managed to mumble a thank-you.  Then he gave the money back...
     He spoke to management and left his ID, then went to get the cash.  I remember asking her after they had left why she had done it.  I thought at the time that she knew them but she had answered no, she just felt it was the right thing to do.  That was over a year ago, and since that day I have seen her often but never mentioned it until last week, when I sat with her for a moment and told her I had written my first book, and was now working on my second.  I explained that I was planning on putting this story in it.  I was touched by the tears shining in her eyes.  A simple thing, an offer to pay for a meal and maybe now that one simple act will be read by many who will see how a simple kind deed can touch more than one heart.
     An elderly gentleman dining at our restaurant had a massive heart attack.  Out boss worked tirelessly for 20 minutes doing CPR until the ambulance came but was never able to revive him.  We all assumed the worst and our boss I am sure was tormented by the realization that this man could not be saved.  Yet a week later the man’s son came in to thank our boss for his efforts and to explain that the gentleman in question had lived for days after his heart attack.   His family had the chance to say goodbye and for that the son was very grateful.  It was remarkable to me that he had taken the time out of his own grieving to understand and act on the very real probability that his father’s death had affected more than just him and his family.  I told him so and thanked him for his kind words to our boss.
     An elderly couple had a small accident in our parking lot; the lady had tripped and fallen and the gentleman had tried to catch her.  They came in bruised and bleeding one extremely busy afternoon and waited patiently for a table.  Our young hostess, harassed and surrounded by more than a dozen people asking for seats didn’t notice, but a customer passing by did.  He came over to ask if they were ok which caught my attention as I was rushing by.  I dropped what I was doing and went to work cleansing the gentleman’s hands, taking my time to bandage them up and stop the bleeding.  I had a full section, and it was a very long time before I was able to get back to my tables yet not one person complained.  In fact when I apologized to them they told me not to worry, they had seen what I had done and they were more than willing to wait.  I did however do something that day that I am not proud of; I scolded our young hostess for not taking care of the elderly customer and told her she had a lot to learn about compassion; it was something I felt horrible for days after yet a month later I walked by her while she was tending to yet another elderly customer who had injured her hand.  Our young woman was kneeling by the table, patiently and gently applying ice to the woman’s fingers.  I whispered to her that she was a sweet girl and she offered me a little smile.  I can’t say my words to her the first time were right, because it is never right to judge but I can say I am happy that I was just more than a little wrong about this girls willingness to care.  The elderly couple did come back two weeks later to thank me, and the gentleman proudly showed me his hands, they were fine; no marks, no scars, no infection and as he said no worries.
     I recently got an injury that makes it difficult to do my job yet I still have bills to pay like everybody else and so have been trying to continue to work.  My co-workers have shown me what it is to hold somebody up until they can again walk on their own.  They lift things for me, do all the things for me that really I can’t do for myself.  My boss, who could have told me to stay home until I am better, instead goes out of his way to explain to customers that I am only able to use one hand and ask them to be patient; they are.
     I have seen one young man from a table on one side of the restaurant put down his own plate of food then follow a complete stranger around plate in hand helping her get what she needed.  We are a buffet and she was an elderly woman in a wheelchair struggling with her attempts to move the chair and balance her meal.  I watched him walk by her, notice her, turn around, put his plate down on the nearby counter and go to her offering her his assistance.  I watched as he spent time with her, getting her what she wanted then bringing it back to her table for her.  Only after she was seated did he go back to getting his own dinner.  I asked her if she knew him and she told me no – but added that she would like to because isn’t he a sweet young man. I had to agree.
     What about the waitress, a single mother struggling to pay her bills who went out of her way to buy 15 crossword books in large print for one of elderly customer because he was going into the hospital for surgery.  He loved crosswords, his family was very far away and his eyesight was horrid.  His name was Bill, her name was Jackie and I hope someday she sees this and realizes how big a difference the little things make.
    And you see, that’s the key, if you are looking for the answer to life’s dilemmas; if you are looking for the Holy Grail, God’s light as it were, the salvation of mankind.  You will find it in the little things; the random acts of selfless kindness...
     Sure these people could be angels, they could but they aren’t.  I know an angel when I see one, they give off a bit of a glow to the well trained connected eye and none of these people were angels.  They were just people, ordinary every day, work for a living, struggle to survive people.
    And they are why we are here.
     Not one of those people knew I was watching, they had no idea I’m a write or a messenger of hope and they would probably not care.  I do.  I care a great deal for every person out there who displays compassion and understanding for no other reason than that is simply who they are.  I care, my soul cares, my spirit cares and my creator cares.  Perhaps you also should care because they are the ones who will save this world, they are the reason humanity has a chance to survive.  To those people I say thank-you for all the little things you do every day to bring light and love into our world.  Thank-you.
Jean Victoria Norloch