This is a very particular kind of self-help book. It is a book of remembering. Our journey is a spiritual one even if we do not always realise it. We humans spend a lot of time trying to work out who we are, looking for meaning, searching for the big picture. Through a series of beautifully evocative and moving stories, uplifting poems, and insightful observational pieces, you are invited to rediscover the truth of who you really are.
As a lecturer in Dynamic Therapy, the author’s particular area of research and expertise has been the mind-body-soul connection, as underpinned by the latest research in neuroscience and quantum physics. As a therapist, mindfulness coach, and energy worker in private practice, her work has involved integrating this knowledge with leading edge thinking on spirituality, the workings of the human psyche, the impact of our developmental history, and the power of intention and the unconscious mind upon our experienced reality. Her goal is to incorporate this into her own understanding of the spiritual journey as an awakening woman.
The stories, poems, and real life vignettes in this book are an invitation to you, as a fellow traveler and spiritual seeker, to see through compassionate eyes where you have come from, the amazing path you are embarked upon, and to view your experience of living this life, which is unique to you alone, from the perspective of who you really are: a magnificent spiritual being of light and love and power living a purposeful human experience.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.47(d)|
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Dancers Amongst The Stars
The wonder, the beauty and the magic of who we really are, seen through the eyes of an awakening woman, who happens to have a therapist in her pocket
By Janny Juddly
Balboa PressCopyright © 2014 Janny Juddly
All rights reserved.
We are creating a tapestry,
weaving in and out of
each other's' awareness
with the threads
which are the
patterns of our lives.
And as we tread softly
in and out and
amongst and through,
we gently bow
and touch souls
of countless remembered
I want to tell you a story. It is a bit of a fairy tale, I suppose.
It is the story of a woman called Molly, but could just as easily be about a woman called Kate, or a man called Sam, or Thomas.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin ...
There was once a little girl called Molly. She was a very lucky little girl. She had a very busy and successful daddy, who worked very hard so that her family could have lots of expensive treats and holidays and presents. She also had a very busy mummy, who was always organizing things, helping other people, here, there and everywhere. Everyone loved her mummy, because she was always so helpful and kind. Molly knew that these were very important things that her mummy and daddy had to do, and so she knew she must not mind. She knew that to mind was being selfish, and made her a bad person. So Molly grew up learning how to be good. Very good.
When Molly was all grown up, she realized that she knew how to be good, but that she did not know how to be happy. She asked her dad, who told her, 'Get yourself a good job, earn lots of money, get yourself a big house and fancy car, and you will be happy.' So Molly tried that. However, although she did everything her dad had suggested, she still did not know how to be happy. In fact, she felt a bit empty and a bit lonely. So Molly asked her mum, to see if she could tell her. Her mum said, 'Serve others, always be there whenever anyone needs you. You will be tired, and there will not be time to do things for yourself, but people will love you for it, and so you will be happy.' So Molly tried this. Still she did not feel happy. In fact, truth be told, she felt a bit cross. So Molly went to see her doctor, and told him that she wanted to be happy. Her doctor suggested she take a little white tablet once a day for six months. She did as he suggested, and it made her feel a little calmer, maybe, but once she stopped taking them, she felt just as unhappy as before.
A friend suggested to Molly that she read some self-help books, and so she went out and bought some. The books told her to write loving letters to herself, and to look at herself in the mirror and tell herself that she was beautiful. Molly tried very hard to do this. However, every time she sat down to write herself a loving letter, she could not think what there was to love. And every time she looked into her eyes in the mirror, and tried to say aloud the words the books suggested, the words felt hollow, ridiculous, like they were meant for someone else. Someone more worthy. More loveable.
One day, Molly found herself walking through a forest. It was a path she had never come across before. In fact, she had no idea how she got there. She had just sort of closed her eyes and become very still. She had found herself just listening to herself breathing. And that had brought her here. As she walked along the mossy path through the trees, she noticed a Wise Woman. Just sitting, looking at her. Almost expectantly. She decided there was nothing to lose. And so she went towards the Wise Woman. As she came closer, she could feel a strange energy, tingling through her body. In an inexplicable way, she knew it was an energy that she and the Wise Woman shared. She knew that they were meant to meet here.
The Wise Woman looked at her and waited for her to speak. 'I want to find happiness,' Molly said. 'I don't know what to do to be happy.' The Wise Woman said a strange thing. She said, 'My child, what do you need?' Molly was puzzled, and felt a bit cross. Firstly, the Wise Woman had called her a child. And she was not a child. She was a grown up. Could the Wise Woman not see that? Also, the Wise Woman had asked her what she needed! How useless was that! Did she not realize that she had come here to understand what to do, not to be asked what she needed? The Wise Woman saw her reaction, and just smiled. And waited. Molly realized that she was being invited to say something. So she thought hard, and then she said, 'I need to stop needing so much!'
The Wise Woman considered, head on one side for several moments. Then she asked, 'what is it that you need, my child, that you feel is too much?' Molly was flabbergasted. She felt like she was being criticized, got at; she felt stupid. Why did the Wise Woman keep asking the same question? She had given her the answer already. Wasn't she listening! Then something clicked. She gasped, as if a shock had gone through her. She looked at the Wise Woman, and looked into kindly, knowing eyes. The Wise Woman smiled and nodded. And waited. Molly looked at her again, then looked away, and then back at her. She saw a depth of knowing in those eyes. Somehow, they gave her courage. She took a deep breath, and began:
'I need to be loved.' She said, almost in a whisper. She looked at the Wise Woman for approval, but the Wise Woman just smiled, met her gaze, and waited. 'I need to be listened to ... and heard.'...... Again, the waiting, and the encouraging smile. Suddenly, she knew she could say it all. All of it. All the needing and the wanting, the longings she had kept in for so long: 'I need to say what I'm feeling.... I need to be allowed to feel what I feel......I need to not feel guilty......or ashamed......or bad. I need to know I'm okay. Just as I am. To love me!' The words were starting to tumble out now. 'I need to laugh out loud ... to be noisy ... to enjoy myself ... to say yes ... to say no ... To choose ...'
The Wise Woman still met her eyes. Molly stopped and felt the connection. It was so profound that it took her breath away. Then the Wise Woman spoke, very quietly, almost lovingly. The compassion in her voice was so soothing, such a relief, like balm on a sore wound. 'My child, you have always needed to do those things. They were always yours.
To experience them was the reason you came. But you had forgotten, and now you have remembered. When we fall into a place of forgetting, we forget our joy, our power, our magnificence, our freedom. And in its place, we learn shame. You have learned to feel ashamed for being you, my child. You must forgive yourself.'
Again, the surprise at what the Wise Woman had said. Molly thought and thought, but could not understand. 'I don't understand,' she said. The Wise Woman nodded. It was clear that she did not need any further explanation. That she knew what Molly meant.
'When we forget who we are, and why we came here, we start to believe we have got things badly wrong, have done things that make us bad. We feel terrible shame. We stop being able to be ourselves, still less to love ourselves. Instead, there is only shame.'
'You have to forgive yourself for forgetting, my child. For allowing shame to take over. For hating and despising yourself.'
Molly thought about the Wise Woman's words. At first, they sounded extreme but, the more she pondered, she noticed a growing feeling inside her that said the words were true. 'What must I do?' she asked. 'What would you like to do?' the Wise Woman asked her. Softly. Like she, too, was holding her breath. Slowly, meaningfully, Molly stood up. 'I would like to laugh ... and shout ... and dance ... and run ... and splash in puddles! I want to say it like it is, no more pretending, I want to choose, to change, to be free, to be me!'.....' Me! 'She was shouting now. And grinning. And laughing. Arms wide, head thrown back.
Suddenly, she became aware that the Wise Woman was no longer there. She felt bereft, as if a part of her was missing. 'Where are you?' she cried out. 'Don't leave me now. Not now. I've only just begun to know you.' Somewhere, she could not tell whether it came from inside her or outside of her, she felt a voice. As it spoke, it seemed to vibrate all through her. The air around her sparkled and shimmered. 'You haven't lost me, my child. You can never lose me, nor I you. We are forever one, always were, always will be. You need only listen, and you will remember.'
Then she heard a peel of laughter, bright, sparkly, effervescent, full and joyous. It was like a thousand bells tinkling. The air was full. What of, Molly could not tell, but somehow she again felt a remembering stir in her. 'But for now, beloved child of mine, you need to go and jump in some puddles!'
So she did!
When you can hold up
for another soul
the mirror of your
till they can see
their own beauty
you have bestowed
on that soul
of unimaginable love
and your souls
will never forget
Toddler in the courtyard
The other day, I was sitting in a courtyard outside a tea shop, enjoying the sunshine and the general comings and goings of what is a beautiful place, when my attention was caught by a small family group sitting just back from me and to my left. It was a man and woman, a young child and a toddler, maybe twenty months old or so. The family were having some cake and drinks, and a collie dog approached and was clearly curious, sniffing the toddler as he sat in his buggy and wagging his tail.
The toddler was transfixed, then excited, and clearly wanted to say hello.
He reached out and patted the dog, a bit clumsily, as toddlers do, and the dog responded. He moved closer and gave the toddler's hand a lick. The toddler wriggled in delight, and his dad noticed, and encouraged him, saying what a lovely dog it was, and how nice it was to make friends and say hello. The toddler visibly expanded, reveling in this new friendship. Grinning from ear to ear, he patted and stroked the collie, talking to him animatedly in his way, and receiving happy licks and tail wags back, as these two formed a quite beautiful bond. The world was a friendly, fun place where you reach out to other souls and they reach right back.
Then, this little person suddenly had a new idea. You could see it register. The deliciousness of it. He would share some of his food with his new friend! He broke off a piece of his cake, and held it out to the dog, smiling. With infinite tenderness, the dog very gently came forward to a position where he could take the offered food with his tongue so as not to risk catching the infant's fingers with his teeth. The moment was magical. The infant was giving something of his own, that he was able to give, and his friend was accepting it.
And then, the infant's dad noticed. In the same moment, the infant realized that his dad had seen, and grinned expectantly at him, expecting him to share the wonder of what was happening. Just like he had before when the dog had first come over.
However, his dad said, in a voice full of urgency and anxiety, 'Don't do that! He might bite you!'
The toddler's face startled, then crumpled, and then his whole body collapsed, and he let out the biggest howl of a painful sob you have ever heard. And when he had his breath back from that first sob, he just sobbed and sobbed again. He was inconsolable. The dog slunk away, confused. The little boy cried and cried, and did not know how to stop. His parents tried to distract him, showed him toys, tried to get him to laugh, offered him more of the cake, but all he could do was sob. In the end, his mother picked him up out of the buggy he was sitting in, cuddled him to her, and walked away from the table and out of the courtyard. You could still hear him crying for a good ten to fifteen minutes.
Years ago, when I was a psychotherapist in training, one of the most emotionally challenging aspects of that training was a two-year child observation. We observed a child, and that child's interactions with the world, every week for two years. We were trained to look and really see. To see the meaning, to notice what was going on in that child's internal and external world, and watch how that child's developing self was affected by those experiences. To respond emotionally to the detail. For those of us who were parents, it was such a revelation, a privilege like no other opportunity ever, before or since, a chance to really see. And what had just happened reminded me of so many instances observed during that child observation where we, as grownups, well intentioned as we most certainly usually are, ride rough shod over a child's emerging world so thoroughly that we spoil something that cannot easily be retrieved.
Now, some onlookers, watching that scene, would have felt that the father was absolutely right to say what he said. He had not wanted his son to be bitten by the dog. But of-course, the father was not really looking. The dog's body language was in no way aggressive, and both child and dog were being careful of each other. Other onlookers might have decided that the little boy was having a tantrum. That he was objecting to not being allowed to do what he wanted. They would possibly even say that he wanted his own way and was spoiled, needed to be shown he could not have everything he wanted. Others looking on might decide that the mother was making way too much of it all, taking him away and cuddling him for all that time. That it would teach him to do the same another time, showing him how to get his own way.
All these things you would find people thinking. We are brought up and conditioned to believe that children know no better, that they have no inner wisdom of their own, that the 'grown up' view of the world and how it operates is self-evidently the correct one. However, when we do that, we miss the point. Just as that father missed the point. We miss the glorious truth that our children come into the world to teach us, and not the other way round.
However, if you listened, really listened, with empathy, care, and openness, to the quality of the sobs coming from that little body, you would have known that it was not about any of those things that people not really listening might have decided it was. Because the thing you would have heard, right there in the midst of those heart-rending sobs, would have been grief. And once you had heard the grief, you might find your own feelings stirred. You might find yourself experiencing flickers of long lost memory, of when you too were newly here, of when you still knew you were a spark of Source energy coming on an adventure, of when you still remembered the place where we all shared the same heart and were One, of when you still knew that we were all Love. A time before the adults around you introduced you to fear.
That is what was in the sobs. That was the overwhelming grief. That was the loss.
We do that to each other all the time, do we not? The word of caution, the hesitation in our voice, the warning, the frown, the look of disapproval or anxiety or dismay. We perpetuate the myth that fear is the correct way, the sensible way, the self-protective way, the way the world is. But just supposing we gave it a try, this other way. The way that this little boy sitting in his buggy offering some of his food to that dog came to remind us of, to show us all over again. Just supposing we did that. Wow, what a world this could be!
If not you
raw and from
hold the child
that was you
in the palm
of your hand,
and send them
all the love
to feel safe
and to be free
to move on.
Then wrap them up
deep within your heart
If not you,
I was walking through a shopping center the other day when I became aware, afresh and startlingly, of just how much eye contact was going on between people who were apparently total strangers. I am not meaning brief glances, or furtive looks. I mean full-blown eye-to-eye exchanges that held warmth and familiarity and a knowingness. People shared so much in those wordless communications, far more than they might have been immediately conscious of. They passed each other by having shared how their day was going, how they were feeling, what was on their mind. Mostly, they probably would not have given the exchange any further thought. Nevertheless, that exchange would always have happened and, even if they never thought of it again, they would have touched each other's lives.
But it was something more than this that I was noticing. Something even more profound. It was the recognition in the eyes. You will, I am sure, have experienced it yourself. A total stranger looks you straight in the eyes and beams at you as if they know you. Not in any intrusive or inappropriate way; just a direct gaze or a beaming smile that leaves you wondering how you know each other, where or when you have met before. A wonderful moment of soul-to-soul recognition.
In addition, that noticing led me to think just how stunning, how breathe taking, how full of aliveness, the eyes are. How much we see and
receive through them. The depth of what is held there. How much is so powerfully and yet so subtly communicated through our eyes. And how, so very often, we will see reflected back to us in the eyes of a complete stranger, as we pass each other by in what is sometimes the smallest, briefest of encounters, something of our own soul, our own being.
Excerpted from Dancers Amongst The Stars by Janny Juddly. Copyright © 2014 Janny Juddly. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Reflections of Appreciation, xix,
The gift, 7,
Toddler in the courtyard, 8,
If not you, 12,
Let Go, 17,
Letter from an Animal Guide, 18,
Love's Tears, 21,
Whispers on the Wind, 34,
Love is energy, 37,
Finding Myself, 40,
The Caretakers, 41,
Sacred dance, 44,
Our stories, 45,
On Compassion, 55,
The embrace, 67,
Little girl on a climbing frame, 68,
Love said to me, 71,
The real magic, 72,
The voice, 80,
Soul groups, 81,
You are the space, 85,
For lightworkers everywhere, 86,
The creation of reality, 92,
In defense of defenses, 95,
Inner being, 108,
The importance of feeling, 109,
Memory feelings, 114,
The Awakening, 116,
On forgiveness, 118,
I Am, 120,
On empathy, 121,
Then there will be you, 124,
The shadow, 125,
Feelings are neutral, 130,
Little boy in the sea, 132,
The bridge, 144,
On fear, 145,
We are the dream catchers, 148,
On loving, 149,
On feeling lovable, 153,
You are a once only, 156,
Earth's playground, 157,
Go beyond, 161,
Love is who we are, 162,
Your path, 164,
Parents can be tricky, 165,
We are all that is, 168,
Can you hear?, 171,
The awakening trap, 172,
On who we really are, 176,
You are the wave, 179,
You are not random, 193,
You are exactly where you need to be, 195,
A pair of old magic spectacles, 197,