An extract about Self Realization taken from the book, Soul Murmurs

12/07/19 | By Anita Neilson

So, what is self-realization?

Self-realization is many things to many people.For some, it’s simply the fulfilment of our character, our dreams, our place in the world.Often the first thing people ask us when we meet for the first time is, “And what do you do?”We are identified with the position we hold in our community, aren’t we?I remember with such clarity the time in my life when I had to retire on medical grounds.Pretty soon thereafter, I was left feeling distraught and completely lacking in purpose.This was the exact opposite of self-realization as I had envisaged it at the time.

The self and the Self:

When we are completely immersed in this physical existence on earth, it is our ego—that part of us which likes to be in control of this body-mind we inhabit—which is uppermost.Unfortunately, the ego (often called the pseudo self) is deluded into thinking that this physical world is all there is and it spends its time trying to find or realize itself through material and sensory pleasures.Yet many of us know from repeated experiences that this search is fruitless, leading only to dissatisfaction, frustration and unhappiness, for these pleasures are merely transitory!What we are looking for, although we may not be aware of it, is long-lasting, eternal happiness.This is where the Self comes into play.

The Self is who/what we really are—an eternal spark of the Divine, the soul—which incarnates again and again in order to reach perfection and ultimately return to Source or Universal Consciousness. Our true purpose through a succession of lives on earth is to bring our individual soul consciousness back into the union with Universal Consciousness (God). When we do this, we can be said to be self-realized.

For others therefore, self-realization is a deeper knowing of our role in the universe, of being awake to and aware of all our infinite capabilities, inextricably linked to Source (God, the Creator). We realize that we are not this body-mind; we simply inhabit it temporarily. It took trauma and crisis in my life to open my eyes to this eternal truth, and I’m forever grateful for it! This belief gives me such a lot of comfort to face the challenges in life. I know now that we need to learn from them so that we can continue our onward journey; that we need to grab life’s troubles with both hands and surrender to the higher purpose which lies behind them.

Soul Murmurs:

When we can quieten the mind and withdraw the senses from the exterior world, we become more open to listening to our intuition.This is true wisdom and can manifest itself in all aspects of our life, even in creative endeavours.This link to Source is very important to me as an author.Inspiration pours through in such moments in a stream of what I term soul murmurs.These are nudges from the Divine; messages from Source; intuitive wisdom, all sent to us innumerable times each day.What we need to do is learn to listen out for, and be aware of, these messages.When we do begin to notice them, it brings a sense of peace, calm and joy to our daily lives.We smile inwardly in private recognition and gratitude for this Divine assistance.To the awakened soul, aware of being tied to this heavy, physical body, it is a delight and a comfort to know that we are never alone through all the challenges of life on earth; that help from Spirit is always on hand; and that we are eternally connected to Source (whatever name we may give It—God, the Divine, Allah, Krishna, Christ, Universal Consciousness, and so on).

Self-realization is a wonderful journey, and as I walk further along this path full of twists and turns, pitfalls and detours, I know that it leads my soul on a gradual return home. I especially cherish having this stronger connection to the universal source of knowledge and intuition. This poured forth the inspiration for the poems, prose, short story, autobiographical vignettes and affirmations in my new book, Soul Murmurs: Seasonal words of spiritual wisdom to enlighten the soul. I love its peaceful wisdom and keep it beside my bed. I can do this with no trace of ego, since the inspiration for it was gifted to me in those moments of inner stillness, during meditation, during peaceful walks in nature and so on. I see it as a loving joint venture between the little soul (ego) and the true Soul (connected to Source). I have structured the book under seasonal headings to echo the eternal cycle of life and my own spiritual journey. Why not take some time each day to read a page or two? Let its quiet wisdom sit with you as you go about your day and allow your heart and mind to process what it means for and to you

Here are some extracts from Soul Murmurs, taken from ‘Summer’, for you to enjoy.You can also listen to the author talking about Soul Murmurs in the latest Healing Words blog podcast.Listen on the go to find out what you can look forward to and hear an exclusive extract!


Introduction to Summer:

This season is the time of growth. Spring’s heady enthusiasm and shoots of joy mellow now into a maturation of life, infused with the heady sights, smells and sounds of summer. Light grows daily in intensity and length. The haze of summer seems palpable at times, as if we could reach out and touch the aromatic ‘scentsations’ which surround us. I am so blessed to live near to a meadow full of wild flowers and grasses, munched in turn by horses or deer. Even watching it from my window fills me with joy and lifts even the lowest mood. I may have passed the summer of my physical and mental life (I would describe myself as most definitely autumnal!) but spiritually I’m in summer. Deeper meditation, a willingness to help others and a determination to reform myself of bad habits and negative ways of thinking have all contributed to this more rounded awareness of the reality of life on Earth and our role within it. Summer sunlight at its strongest enables all life to flourish. Similarly, spiritual enlightenment enables our inner light to grow, and importantly, to then be shared with others, as if poured over them like a healing salve.

The Storm’s Coming’ is one such poem. I wrote this sitting in the car parked outside a garage, waiting for my husband. The sky was growing darker and more ominous as the minutes ticked loudly past; a flagpole to my left insistently clinked against its supporting pole; the air, which moments earlier had seemed to envelop all life in a warm, hazy shimmer, now suffocated and throbbed. Tension was increasing, and I could almost feel the sparks of energy in the atmosphere. I knew the storm was coming and was in awe of the power of mother nature.

I love this duality about life on earth: light v dark; storm v calm; ignorance v wisdom and so on. Every thought, emotion and habit has its opposite. For example, if we have never experienced what it is to be anxious, how would we really know what it was to be at peace? I’ve found this duality to be true in so many areas of my life. Like all of us, we need to go through challenges and trials in order to grow and be rewarded with a renewed appreciation of the good things in life, which we may previously have taken for granted.

The title for this poem arose from a character in a television drama (Versailles), at the point of her death, saying that she could hear the flowers singing. I thought this was such a beautiful, comforting image, and so this poem took shape. If we can suspend belief in the Universe being all there is and our body-mind being all we are, then the other realm after death becomes a magical place of wonder and joy. I no longer fear death, which is a wonderful gift in itself, because I long to return to Spirit when my time comes.

The Flowers are Singing

Slow, like the breeze

on a hot summer’s eve,

billowing their beauty for us all to see.

Roses and lavenders,

heady perfumiers

the flowers are singing

in this realm of make-believe.

Their joyous refrain

bides us sweetly to their domain

of love, of tenderness and peace.

Their floral charms

soothe and disarm us

to venture, untethered,

from pain to release.

I long to hear the flowers sing

and feel their perfume

uplifting my soul

and carrying me home.

I long to join their floral song

in a choral crescendo of love.

I long to belong.

Slow, like the breeze

on a hot summer’s eve,

the flowers are singing

in this realm of make-believe.

I hope you enjoyed these extracts from the book. May your life be filled with soul murmurs, and I wish you every joy on your spiritual journey. Anita Neilson


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