Words have power - sharing what has truth for you is a sign of integrity.

Integrity breeds trust – writing with discernment

We are bombarded with so many ideas these days that sometimes you don’t know what to think. We live in a time when choice is rampant. Enthusiasm can sometimes override common sense as marketing gurus and politicians know just the right buttons to push.
We are told sometimes you have to believe before you can see: “Beliefs are limiting”. In the face of quantum theory it seems almost anything is possible and time-honoured ideas are being challenged. The food pyramid has been turned on its head. Economic models need re-modelling to consider factors such as air and water quality, lifestyle and mental health impacts, which had previously been left out of the equation.
Statistics can be made to say different things depending on your perspective. So who’s words can you trust?
Conversely, in this age of instant communication, are you sharing with integrity? Can your words be trusted? What is your goal as a writer?

Writing consistently with integrity, sharing ideas of what is true for you breeds a sense of authenticity, trust and respect among your readers.
In the age of political correctness no one whats to be seen as judgmental. But there is a serious need for discernment, while also not taking oneself too seriously. Our truths can change.

“How does it FEEL”

Some years ago when I was editing a spiritual magazine I was caught up in the dilemma of what to publish and what not to. Some of the articles that came across my desk got me so worked up – but being “judgmental” was the big evil of the day. I sought advice from a source I trusted, one that I felt had great integrity.
The response was: “Go with the truth as you feel it. To be judgmental is simply to say ‘this is right and this is wrong’. To be discerning is to say, ‘well this is really a lot of nonsense, but that is alright because it is someone else’s sovereign right to be really stupid if they want’.”
I asked: “How do you KNOW what’s the truth?”
“How does it FEEL,” he replied.
I thought of one contributor with a bit of a following who had some ‘out-there’ ideas, “It doesn’t feel good,” I admitted.
“So go with the feeling, and if it does not feel good then leave it alone. Alright? You know, there is a lot of stupidity about. And you know all of this New Age business, all of this great race for enlightenment, is all very well – but you know, it is about being sensible too. Again one does not preclude the other, you see,” he explained.
“But how do I know I’m right?” I pleaded.
“Go with the feeling. It is people’s own learning to read and judge for themselves. You do what you want. You do not have to pander to other people’s stupidity. And being stupid is alright. There is nothing ‘wrong’ with it,” he said.
“If it is that you only produce that which ‘feels’ like wisdom then you are being of benefit to people. If your truth changes tomorrow, that is alright. Then tomorrow you do it different.”
“Is that not forcing your truth on others?” I asked.
“They do not have to read your magazine!” was the hearty reply.
I laughed. It was so true. We all have the choice of what to “put in our pie” as Esther Hicks’ Abraham would say.

Be-happy-signI have several authors in whom I have faith to give me direction when I am feeling confused. The book Seth Speaks – The Eternal Validity of the Soul by Jane Roberts is one such book. In fact I have the whole Seth collection; as well as Conversations with Seth by Susan M. Watkins, who was among the ESP group who met to hear Seth’s words in the early 1970s.

So who do you turn to when facing the tough questions?

 

In native culture Hawk is the messenger of the gods - Life is sending you signals; a clue about the magic of life is being brought to you (from Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson). Picture: SM Scott

The Winds of Change – a poem

As I carried my cup of tea onto the terrace this morning I was greeted by a brown hawk in flight, barely three metres away from me at eye level. My heart lifted, I called out to others to come and see. No one came.
It circled around a nearby tree and came back for another pass, wingtips rippling in the strong easterly wind. Elation flooded me. What a gift – so close. It circled one more time and disappeared over the treetops into the east. Spirit has sent me a message – it’s time to listen and look for clues.
Sitting there thinking how lucky I was I remembered a poem I wrote in 1994:

The Winds of Change
The winds of change blow strong
Stirring your emotions
One moment calm, yet stifling and hot
You are in the depths of despair and exhaustion;
Nothing is fun.
Next they whip up fiercely
Blowing away the cobwebs;
Invigorating, sweeping your emotions along with them.
In the cool of night they blow strongest
Voicing their mighty power.
Yet you are safe inside – calm within the storm.
To stand outside is inspiring;
The wintry winds hold promise of a fruitful spring.
Speak to me, oh wind, of what is my destiny!

– SM Scott

When life gets too much

When life gets you down take comfort in the thought that this too will pass- Picture credit: Jon Eckert

A young girl in our beautiful valley has taken her own life. What makes a 13-year-old feel their predicament is so hopeless? Why didn’t she talk to someone who could help?
Could this tragedy have been prevented?
It seems farmers are also killing themselves at the rate of one every four weeks in Queensland, politicians say. They see no future what with overwhelming debts, drought and death all around them. But we always have choice, even when we don’t know it.
We are losing too many individuals – be they young or older – and whatever talents and creativity they may have enriched our world with. Is it overwhelm? Hopelessness?
I have my bad days but when I do I think “This too shall pass” (an old Persian saying about the inevitable nature of change).
And you know what – it always does.
Take heart and reach for hope any way you can.

Out of the darkness

 

There are hidden treasures in the great grasslands of north-west Queensland and not all of them are gold and sapphires, as I discover on a drive along the Savannah Way


 

Undara lava tubes were created as rivers of hot lava flowed across the land some 190,000 years ago.

Undara lava tubes were created as rivers of hot lava flowed across the land some 190,000 years ago.

Unexpected warmth emanates from the cavernous tunnel before us. Its source is not the river of hot molten lava that formed this high semi-circular “tube” – that cooled about 190,000 years ago. Hardy bushes now grow in the tumble of rocks at its entrance.

It comes in waves as if the cave is breathing.

Behind us the temperature is dropping as the sun sinks towards the dry savannah horizon. We wait patiently, eyes keenly peeled for any sign of movement. But the warmth endures as the sun sets over the savannah behind us, glowing deep orange.

Sunset over the western Queensland savannah at Undara Volcanic Park

Sunset over the western Queensland savannah at Undara Volcanic Park

A faint odour wafts from inside the cave, hinting at what’s lurking inside. I try not to breathe too deeply or make any sudden moves. Voices are hushed as we all focus on the darker depths of the lava tube.

Minutes pass. There’s a rush of air past my shoulder. I duck as movement flits past my face.

These are the scouts, checking if it is time yet. The light is dimming and the flash of wings comes more often, disappearing back into the cave’s depths. My eyes adjust with the fading light.

Before long there is a swirl of 20 or so tiny creatures circling in the cave entrance only metres in front of me, building up confidence to venture past. A 5cm fur-ball zips past me into the cool dusk air – followed by another and another. As if on cue, hundreds of resident horseshoe and bent-wing microbats dart for the surface en masse.

Out of the darkness there's a rush of wings

Out of the darkness there’s a rush of wings

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The sheer numbers make them easy prey for pythons which strike from the bushes crowding the cave entrance.

The snakes are more prevalent during the warm summer months – when bat numbers also swell with the breeding season.A python strikes (look closely for the bat wing as it swallows its prey).

A python strikes (look closely for the bat wing as it swallows its prey).

But the call of nature is strong and they continue to run the gauntlet to freedom and food. Finely tuned sonar ensures the bats don’t collide with each other or the humans vying to get a photograph but it is impossible not to duck as they whiz past.

Measuring only 5cm long and with a 10cm wingspan, thousands of the insectivorous microbats emerge from this particular lava tube at Undara every night. The creatures need to eat their own body weight in insects before the sun returns at dawn and play a vital role in the  web of life on the savannah.

Our Savannah Guide Ivor Davies says the bat population can swell to a million during the summer breeding season, taking up to 90 minutes to vacate their daytime abode. During winter there can be a steady stream of creatures for 20 minutes or more. The effect is mesmerising.

This is the excitement of the Sunset Wildlife Tour at Undara Experience, a national park-based tourist facility some 275km southwest of Cairns on the Savannah Way, in north Queensland.

The lava tubes are among the longest in the world – more than 90km long – formed as an estimated 23 cubic kilometres of molten lava flowed in rivers from a single volcano across the McBride Volcanic Province. It is one of the longest lava flows from a single volcano in modern geological time, spreading more than 160km to the north-west.

For more details go to: Undara Experience, Undara Volcanic National Park; Ph 1800 990 992; www.undara.com.au

This is just one of the natural wonders of the north-western Queensland section of the Savannah Way, a 3699km trans-national drive from tropical Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef to the remote pearling town of Broome, in Western Australia.

Dreaming of Dolphins – a plight interwoven

Last night I dreamed of dolphins. I followed a concrete pathway down a steep bank to an abandoned wooden structure which used to be a watery abattoir where dolphins were killed. The water’s surface was littered with light debris which I couldn’t really identify, perhaps leaves but with a sense of pollution about it which left me feeling sad. However then I brightened up as a pod of dolphins appeared in the water. I was amazed and overjoyed that they could come back to this place of such negativity and still be so friendly and playful. I watched the dolphins for ages, admiring their sleek forms and playfulness, overjoyed at the feelings they inspired in myself. There were baby dolphins there as well and I was able to touch them and have them gather around me until the caretaker of the place told me it was time to leave. A sadness overcame me as I knew I had to go. What would happen to these dolphins now? What was their fate amid this pollution?

Upon waking I had several thoughts. There was the feeling of joy the dolphins inspired which made me question: “Where is the joy in my daily life?” What can I do to feel like that more often.

Then there was the memory of the annual Japanese dolphin slaughter – was this what the dream was also symbolic of? If you haven’t heard the story check out the Sixty Minutes’ segment aired Feb 23 called The Killing Cove  at http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8804712

Dolphins are not just another animal. They are sentient beings, so intelligent and so inspiring, they deserve to be treated so much better than to be slaughtered like fish for food that many people would be loathe to eat or just to steal their young for the profit of the aquarium trade.

There was another layer to my dream I believe that spoke of the compassion and willingness of dolphins to return to that place of killing (an abattoir in the dream; the Killing Cove in Japan) and endure that negativity so that we humans can feel their joy again and reconnect with our playfulness.

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I was fortunate enough to interact with a wild dolphin at Monkey Mia in Western Australia many years ago (pictured above) and the memory of it is a real treasure in my heart.  I hope other people can experience that joy and wonder in future years as well.