Sylvia Clare, lives on the Isle of WIght UK
She writes memoir and poetry and teaches mindfulness
Her books can be found here, four volumes of poetry and her two latest memoirs, NO Visible Injuries (about growing up without love and then learning what love is) & Travelling the Alphabet Spiritually (an exploration of the spiritual aspects of life which passed through my life as part of a healing journey)
this is my latest book - just released on Amazon. It is a trawl through a life time ( 67 yrs.) of spiritual exploration, much of it unasked for and unsought until I realised that I was being prodded hard in the back, and until I turned around my life would always run wonky. It hasn't been totally plain sailing since I did turn around, but
each decade thereafter got incrementally more enjoyable, until I utterly fell apart in my early 50's. From there though it became even more challenging and yet I have never looked back. I am so grateful for it all, the PTSD and trauma, the struggle, the soulmate who helped me get
there, the guides and signposts which said 'this way now'. The spiritual journey has taken me through as many twists and turns as a novel might do. But this book also brings insight and healing to other people who have helped me to write it. My editor said it came at the right time in her life, and other beta readers have said similar.
As Sting put it so well in the 1981 Police song, ‘We are spirits in the material world’. I didn’t relate to this just then, but it wasn’t long afterwards that those words started to have meaning for me. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience. But it is so easy to believe that the material human experience is the only reality. This life is a trip to the amusement arcade, to a park full of fairground rides. At the time, it feels so very real, and indeed it is in many ways, at least in this human form. We have so much invested in our human lives; it can be difficult to accept or even be aware of other ways to look at life and see other dimensions of reality beyond our own.
Through the teachings described in this book, I found understanding and learned to live a better human life. I did this by stepping back and looking more deeply into the nature of being human, consciousness, and my own quality of life.
The material world holds many temptations or distractions. I have learned to look away from many of them and enjoy a more simple and comfortable life myself, for which I am most grateful. I am free from the struggles I’ve already faced, of financial shortages and lack of support in my life from those around me and can concentrate on looking deeply and helping others as I get older.
I have learned so much from what life has thrown at me. I believe we can all learn from life equally if we are open to it. Too much of human life experience revolves around longing for more or less. That is both a tragedy and a mistaken view. We do not need to improve our self-esteem, status, or finances beyond a basic level. We stand to gain much more by opening our eyes to what is beyond the material form and finding a deeper wealth from within. That is what I hope to share with you here.
What set me on this journey?
Early trauma sources
As a child, I was traumatized through my mother’s untreated and unacknowledged Psychopathic Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and through violence on both physical and emotional levels from both parents. I was their scapegoat for aspects of life they could not cope with or manage. Compassion was never on the agenda. Judgements and a denial of my reality from other family members halted my attempts to speak out about the abuse. Denial is a common problem in families with abusive patterns, just as it is within spiritual communities. People do not want to acknowledge the darkness about themselves and their home tribe, as it were. Acknowledging it would require getting involved and taking difficult actions. This denial is written about in detail in my book No Visible Injuries.
But this book was written about my spiritual adventures apart from my family, almost in spite of them.
BEING THE GUEST HOUSE
After the poem by Rumi
You suggested we should invite them all in
so we did. Chaos reigned supreme for some years. But slowly we saw through the chaos, between the shadows, there were shafts of light.
Behind the dust there was a spider’s web that spun gold
the diamonds of dew in our hair shone brightly, bringing joy back into the dusty rooms. We slowly packed them all up and moved house.
When our house was swept clean of the sorrows
that finally relinquished their hold on us, we were free to determine our own lives. We explored widely, found a new garden to grow, a new stage in life,
an exploration of what it meant to be free when
duty had bound us so tightly for so many years. We liked what we found, reveled in the lightness. In emptiness we found true freedom, no self.