Settled – The Gentle Breath Meditation and Serge Benhayon

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No matter what I was doing, be it working, reading, walking, swimming, resting, chatting with friends or trying to get to sleep, my body always felt agitated or shaky and my mind would be in a whirl, spinning with constant chatter.

I never felt at rest, there was always a tension and a sense of having to get on with the next thing. That there was more to do, better things to achieve, one more hurdle, goal or milestone to hit and then I could rest, be at ease and achieve a sense of completion. But when I reached that goal there was another and another and another to strive for. My restlessness built and built until my body felt wired and my mind could hold several conversations simultaneously without my being even really involved in them.

I needed coffee to get me going in the morning and then several more to make it through the day. And then to help me sleep a couple of beers or a glass of wine or two or three… but usually the whole bottle. When this wasn’t enough I’d work harder and longer than my colleagues, cycle to work, run or swim at lunch time and go to the gym on my way home. I just could not stop – I was in perpetual motion, spinning out of control. I felt like a Newtonian flywheel; the faster I went the more momentum I gathered so I could just keep going. I was the woman who could defy Newton’s first law of motion: an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted on by an unbalanced force. How ironic, as looking back I was that unbalanced force driving myself faster and harder.

I viewed this way of life as my being ambitious, driven, productive and a bit of a ‘go getter’. At first it was a good thing; it got me through high school and University, from one job to a better one and even to opening my own dental practice. It spurred me to travel, meet new people, try different things and emigrate to start a new life. But I never felt at peace, rested or able to take a break. Nothing helped stem the feeling of being restless and going at a million miles an hour on the inside. I tried long soaks in a hot bath, walks on the beach, yoga, meditation, massage, visualisation techniques, Chi Qong, New Age Music, self-help books, the works… but nothing helped. In fact most of these things made me more uptight, on edge and wound up.

A friend of mine gave me a flyer about a Universal Medicine heart chakra workshop – a whole group was going and would I like to come. Now this wasn’t really my thing, I was cynical about hippy trippy new agey stuff – none of that crap worked in my opinion – but when my friend explained it might help me relax I relented and said I’d give it a go.

I listened to this guy Serge Benhayon talk about some stuff, most of which went over my head and decided when the tea break came I was out of there. I didn’t feel relaxed at all, I needed to bolt, the chatter in my head was full steam ahead and I couldn’t sit still.

I became very aware of how completely unsettled I was and realised that this was how I felt every moment of every day, but here in this room with 50-60 other people I had no way of avoiding what was going on in my body.

Serge explained we were going to do a simple meditation. I closed my eyes and breathed gently through my nose. As I did so, something in me changed, the chatter in my head faded away to a quiet whisper and for the first time since I was a little girl I felt settled.

Settled: “to discontinue moving and come to rest in one place”.

That place of rest, the place where I felt settled was inside me; it had been there all the time, I had simply lost my way.

 

Life Behind The Mask

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I was looking back at my life, reflecting on the person I used to be only a few years ago, when it struck me that I didn’t even recognise myself or know who that person was. It was as if that person living my life was someone impersonating me, putting up a very credible performance that would have even the most astute acting critic well and truly fooled. But why was that? How could it be? – that person obviously was me, but somehow was not the person I recognise as and relate to the me I am today.

I realised that I have hidden myself behind a series of different masks worn to suit each role, act, relationship and mood that I felt would protect me, make me liked, give me confidence and cover up the fact that I was anxious and insecure and out of my depth.

So no wonder when I looked back I couldn’t recognise myself if, for most of my life, I had been presenting a fraudulent version of myself so as to fit in and appear like I had my act together.

I would imagine most people can relate to living this way, hiding behind a mask so that the real you never comes out and doesn’t have to risk rejection or being hurt. We are afraid to speak our truth because we know it might be upsetting to someone else. We pretend to be confident when deep inside we feel insecure and unsure. We speak and act differently around certain people to gain their approval and acceptance. And the irony is that all our relationships and interactions are then founded on a lie lacking in connection, which takes enormous energy to sustain. This keeps us from experiencing fulfilment in relationships or creating the success we’re looking for in life, and we end up living in a state of internal flux. By wearing these masks we can’t possibly be ourself, because we are moulding and calibrating ourselves to be the “person” that others will love, accept and approve of.

When we look to others to give us love and approval, we have lost awareness of our own self-love and self-acceptance. Wearing a mask, or presenting a ‘contrived version’ of ourself to gain approval from others keeps us in a state of internal struggle. And even when we ‘get’ the approval we think we’re looking for, it’s never enough. Because it is only through true self-acceptance and love that we can come into full awareness of our own worth, beauty and power.

We use our masks to hide from the ones we love, the ones who love us and ultimately ourselves… till we no longer know who we truly are.

We live knowing that others do not fully know and understand us and that they never can, because they are ‘out there’ behind their mask, and we are ‘in here’ behind our own.

This perception creates a sense of separation and disconnection between us.

Achieving a true connection with ourselves and each other requires a willingness to unveil ourselves by removing the masks we wear, and fostering the ability to know who we really are without all the charades.

But how do we go about achieving this moment of unveiling, how do we discard the masks?

For me this process began when I attended my first workshop with Universal Medicine where, through some simple exercises, I realised that I could simply breathe gently, connect to myself and feel who I was deep inside, right at the very heart of my being. I was able to feel the essence of who I am. Something that was so natural and innately there, the something I had been missing and searching for my whole life – ME, the true me.

I found I could also connect to this same essence that I had in me, in another. What I experienced is that no matter who I connected to in the exercises, they felt just like me! I realised that behind those external facades and masks we put on, we are in fact all the same.

A few months after this workshop I had my first individual session with Serge Benhayon. I had a whole list of questions to ask him, had calculated how I was going to present myself, and even though by now I had fewer masks, which mask I would be wearing.

However, all that flew straight out the window the second I sat down and Serge looked me in the eyes. What I mean by that is – he really looked at me and saw me for who I was with no judgment, need or pretence of his own – he just sat there totally open and connected to me. I had never met anyone like this before, who simply let me be and connected to the real me with no agenda and no mask of their own. In that moment my mask dissolved and I was left simply as me, totally speechless and humbled, not feeling uncomfortable or exposed, but feeling all of who I was. A most beautiful moment where I felt totally safe and held by love, as if I were a newborn baby wrapped up in the warmth of a swaddling blanket.

How amazing would our lives be if we all stopped wearing our masks, presented our real self and chose to connect to people in this way. Others would then through us experience what I and many others like me have via our interactions with Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon and the Benhayon family, who are consistently this way with every person they encounter.

To truly connect with ourself and others, I have come to understand that we must be willing to unveil our true selves and let ourselves and others encounter the beauty and joy that is our TRUE SELF, so they in turn can feel this in them.

The process of letting go of my masks is ongoing … it is astounding how many we wear, and the extent of our chameleon-like abilities seems boundless. But the more I am willing to be me and not hide my true self, the easier it becomes, and the more true connections I make with others. If no-one had allowed me to see and feel that the masks that we wear aren’t necessary, I wonder what fake version of myself would be living my life today. These days the only mask I consciously wear is the protective face mask required for my job in the healthcare sector, and it feels incredible knowing that to the best of my ability I am presenting the real me in all that I do.

We are works in progress, and that progress needs to be shown for what it is and not hidden behind some mask – otherwise no one will ever know that life can be different, and that life need not be lived behind the mask.

Connecting with Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon

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During my life, I thought who “I” was, was contained inside my skin. Like most people, I felt I had to protect myself from what was outside. As I aged and matured, I believed that “I” was also my family and my friends and my community. That “I” was defined by the things that I did, the roles that I played, my gender, culture and nationality along with the possessions that I owned. Through the revelations and techniques presented by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I have been able to open my heart again, reconnecting to me and how I feel inside. I know who I am, that I come from love and that all is one; there is no true separateness.

We have to create separateness; it is not our natural way of being. Whenever I create separateness, I cut myself off from God, from love, from healing and from humanity.

Everyone is a part of “me”. I cannot hate, blame or judge another without damaging myself; conversely, I cannot heal or love myself without that being equally there for others as well. I am more than flesh and blood and because of that, I choose to live in a way that develops that awareness and that love within.

I have realised that there is more to me than meets the eye; that I contain the essence of the Love that I come from. I know it is pretence to consider that I live in an individual bubble, which keeps the world on one side and me on the other, when actually my experience shows me we all live in one big bubble that contains and encompasses all of life in all realms and dimensions.

I choose to live a life of connection and oneness where who I am and what I do – if based on Love – has the capacity to heal. Knowing that by opening my heart this can inspire another to feel their own love. And from there to have the choice to unlock their heart – thus breaking themselves free from the illusion that we are separate beings whose actions and thoughts do not impact on each other – when in fact, the ripples of what we do, say and think, are felt far and wide.

As such, I can feel the enormous responsibility to open my heart and be all that I am so as to live in a way that is not harming of self or others – but rather a way that fosters Love and connection for myself, others, nature and Divinity.

 

 

I Had No Religion – The Way of The Livingness Universal Medicine

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When I was a child, other families had or did religion. They went to church on Sunday, wore a cross or had a bible. They belonged to a certain community or had been christened, they believed in God and that Jesus had died for our sins and came to save us. But not my family; we had no religion.

My Dad was raised a Catholic but fell out with God when my grandma died when I was around 4, and from then on he hated the church. My Mom, well she had been raised under the Church of England, but when asked about God she always told me she didn’t really know one way or the other. She too despised church, and when I was around 12 and wanted to go to the local church sermon just to see what it was like, she forbade it.

Both my brother and I were never christened and we only went to church for weddings and funerals. Yes, we celebrated Christmas but we were not religious. I had no religion.

At school, which was apparently non-denominational, we sang hymns in assembly, recited the Lord’s Prayer and listened to gospel stories. I quite liked them and some hymns really resonated with me, whilst others didn’t – so I simply mouthed the words rather than sing, so as not to get into trouble.

From these teachings, I began to view God as something bigger and better than me — something out there, ever watching and ready to reward or punish me. And, if I was a really good girl, if I prayed long and hard enough, He might just might talk to me or send me an angel or messenger, so I knew I was one of the chosen ones.

So, knowing deep inside that God was real but not knowing how to be with Him, I became a very good girl. I would pray long and hard, often bargaining with God in a futile attempt to get Him to contact me, to show me a sign, prove his existence – and yet I still had no religion.

By the time I became a teenager my knowingness of God wavered to an uncertain belief, and then waned to my claiming I didn’t believe at all – after all, I wasn’t even religious.

I found it easier to deny His existence than consider He had deserted me, left me out in the cold, or that I hadn’t been good enough, or prayed properly – and that’s why He never showed Himself to me.

My atheism continued for years. I would ferociously declare that God didn’t exist and religion was merely a crutch used by the weak and feeble to prop them up and excuse their behaviour.

Yet, when I was 20 and I received news that I needed to travel from Leeds to Birmingham because my Dad was seriously ill, I prayed and pleaded with God the whole journey to let him live long enough for me to say goodbye – even though I had no religion.

My Dad had actually died of a sudden heart attack, aged 47, and I never got to say goodbye in the flesh. However, when I visited the chapel of rest I was overcome with the unshakable feeling of my Dad standing next to me with his arm around my shoulder. I felt at peace knowing we didn’t need to say goodbye and that he was OK.

I started to question God’s existence again, so much so that I started to explore the religions. No one religion actually spoke to me and I was surprised to see so many similarities running through them, yet couldn’t fathom why they all seemed to be fighting one another. To me, if God was an all loving being there could be no chosen ones, punishment, judgment, hell or eternal damnation. So once again I had no religion.

That is, up until a few years ago, where I came to understand through attending Universal Medicine workshops and exploring the concept for myself, that God is about love. By allowing myself to feel and connect to God, and know love, I came to understand that organised religion was about reinterpreted scriptures and man-made doctrines which had very little love in them.

When taken back to its earliest definition, the word religion essentially means relationship. A loving relationship with self, nature, others and God.

I realised that if I were in fact from God, then I too was love. And that by being loving with myself, my fellow man and nature, that I was deeply religious. I also understood that each individual’s way of being religious was very personal to them, yet carried a common thread of union, love and equalness: that our religion comes from a way of living that is known inside of us and not from a book or a preacher in a church.

By being able to experience religion in its true sense, I know God as something I feel within and around me. I understand that being religious is a natural way for us all to be.

Now I can say, “yes, I have a religion” – a loving relationship with myself, others, nature and God. My religion is the way I live. It is called The Way of the Livingness.