68. Oh My, The Food!

Okay, so I've got my wheatgrass shots and my vitamins and I'm doing my best to keep to a ultra-healthy diet but even the fear of the ego will allow a festival celebration. In fact, despite the early panic when we got to Cyprus, it (and I) were so happy to let go for the day.

The Christening feast was half-way across the island at a magnificent beach restaurant called Kalamies where we were thrilled to be sitting with Tim and Natasha and Ariadne and surrounded by Greek folk who know exactly how to have fun. And the food just kept coming...

I love Greek food particularly kleftiko and I ate for England. The only 'shame' was no fish on this particular menu but I even had a slice of chocolate cake. Oh boy! It's been a while...

There were gifts for the guests, flowers everywhere—and we got to take some back to the hotel which was lovely—and the beach was golden sands with a bright blue sea. Quite a difference from Dartmoor.

I spent most of pudding time sitting on the beach, glorying in the sunshine and the water and so incredibly grateful that I got here; incredibly grateful for Lion's constant support and incredibly grateful for the love that has surrounded me on this journey.

We drove away at about 4pm but next day was a feast day too. A picnic on Konnos beach at Ayia Napa with just Tim, Natasha, Ariadne and a few close friends. We were not to worry about bringing food so we didn't and the fare was great big bread rolls full of tuna and chicken and both savoury and sweet pastries.

I was hungry, so I ate 'em and appreciated them. Yummy. And I thought how presumptive it was of me to have assumed there'd be salad or something not quite so glutinous. I've begun to get used to taking my own food on journeys because there's really nothing out there which is gluten-free or ultra-healthy. Even the salads at M&S etc need a good examining for contents if you're on a restricted diet.

But I did crave my salads and vegetables. And out here I've grown an addiction for fresh orange juice even though I've brought my vitamin C powder. One day of feasting was great; two days perhaps not so good. However, the beach was lovely, the company excellent and the sunshine, glorious.

It's always worth remembering two of my favourite teachings of Jesus:

"It's not what goes into the mouth of a person that defiles them, it's what comes out of their mouth that defiles them" Matt 15:11.


"First clean the inside of the plate and the cup and then the outside will be clean" Matt 23:26.

Diet alone won't cure a life-enhancing dis-ease. Yes, it can stop it and even reverse the symptoms but you have to keep to that diet forever unless you get to the root cause and heal that. If that diet stops you from living in your deepest heart and soul, where is the benefit in that?

I had another worry-ego-chunter about not having chemotherapy the day after the feasts because I had a bout of physical exhaustion that looked a bit like a relapse. And because when anyone finds out about the dis-ease that is always the first thing they head for: "Are you having treatment?" Whenever I have a worry-ego-chunter, my energy drops existentially but, this time, my guidance was having none of it.

"God's chemotherapy is Divine Love. You are receiving Divine chemotherapy. Shut up."

Yes. That's good enough for me.

How do I become Divine Love? It's inherent; you just have to drop the barriers against it and that's the whole of this journey. For me, it's in the gratitude—and in the blessing. The blessing of everywhere I go and everything and person, creature and spirit that I encounter. And blessing you, reading this right now.

Thank you.

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68. Cyprus Christening

I'm not a maternal kind of person. I'd have puppies like a shot but I've never had a child of my own.

Lion has two grown-up children, Chris and Karen. Their mother died when they were in their teens (I can only imagine the horror of that) and we have a good relationship in a peaceful, slightly distant kind of way. Neither Lion nor I come from cuddly got-to-keep-in-contact families but the bond is still there.

When I told my brother about the diagnosis, he—the hotshot international lawyer who I see about twice a year and who had, just a moment before, been slightly testy at my insistence on talking with him on the phone—said 'shall I come? Shall I come now?' He was just about to go into a high-pressure meeting 200 miles away at the time but all the veneer just falls off at the vital moment.

But Tim is our son ... and Ariadne is our grand daughter. Not a speck of blood contact but Tim's face when he saw us and his open arms to embrace us was what it must be like to have 'real' children.  And Natasha, his wife, acknowledges us as parents/grandparents as well. Tim's blood mother wasn't there—I didn't know if she would be and was quite prepared to take a back seat if necessary. His father, as mentioned previously, was murdered in 2006. They had been divorced since Tim was two years old.

The Christening, in the tiny but beautiful St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral (which doubles as church for several other denominations nowadays too which I think is a very good idea), was short and lovely. Just the Baptism with the minister explaining to the agnostics what was going on, including the fact that the font is by the church door as it is welcoming the child into the community.

The ceremony included the traditional 'renounce the devil' aspects which modern people find so hard. Again, for the mystic, it's fairly simple; it's about dealing with the demons of the psyche inside so that you can be a clear channel for the spiritual guidance of your Godchild. Ariadne's Godparents are young and I don't know what level of faith they have but it was interesting that Tim came up to me afterwards and said, 'When I was a child I would go and hide in one of the dog kennels (his mum is a breeder) and phone my Dad in the dark to ask him all sorts of philosophical questions. I am so happy that Ariadne will be able to do that with you.'

The other significance, for me, was that this Baptism—the recognising of a new life in the world and in the Christ consciousness—was on my birthday. Three hundred and sixty two days after I found the first lump. It does seem like a rebirth; a new responsibility and a new start. This day was a day to be born again.

I don't usually write about the signs and portents and all that that I get but I'll risk it this time. I went up to the altar after the ceremony while photos were being taken and prayed for everyone there and for the church and all who come to it. And I asked that I might live until Ariadne's 21st birthday and be a source of spiritual guidance to her should she ask for, and need it.

Very clearly, I got '25 years.' 

Thank God for waterproof mascara.

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67. Rocking the Ego.

We arrived safe and sound in Cyprus in the mid afternoon and were picked up at the airport by the car hire people. While Lion was sorting out the paperwork, I had a mild panic attack.

You see I've never been abroad with this body before; I didn't know how it would respond. I wasn't going to do any driving and that's unusual for me and felt disempowering to the ego. I'm the woman who travelled all around China with her Dad in thee 1980s and barely turned a hair at staying in hotels where the only loo was two floors down and the culture was challenging the say the least.

And I have a neck that does not look normal—and my ego hated the idea of people staring at me. Yes, I've got a lovely haircut from Ivan so that the hair naturally flows around that part of my neck but in wind (and Cyprus has wind) it's painfully exposed.

I had been doing so much inner work on feeling beautiful again and, guess what, another challenge. Yes, I know it's all about inner beauty but it's also about re-training the ego. Middle aged women are fairly invisible a lot of the time and it had been such a wonderful surprise when I became slim again after so many years to find that I turned heads like I used to as a 30-year-old. The heads were in their sixties but fortunately that doesn't matter when you get older.

There was also the ego's fear around food. No juices for a week, unknown foods and precious little hope of any gluten-free bread. Even on a healing journey we get locked into the 'you must do this and this and this' and I am very careful about what I eat. With, effectively, a week off, ego tried to fret because its safety net had gone. Friends, of course, said 'it will do you good to eat what you like and have fun' and they're right. But...

By the time we were at the hotel I felt better and within 24 hours my ego had settled in and realised that no one was going to point and shout like in Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and even though the salads were strangely disappointing, they did at least exist. And oh, the sunshine! And oh, the sea! It's only a year since we had a beach holiday but nonetheless it was so wonderful to be warm and to paddle and to sit on the sand.

(WBX warning). I sat on the beach the first evening and greeted Aphrodite, the Goddess of this island and asked for blessings on all the land, its creatures, its people and its spirits. I don't have the slightest problem with speaking to ancient Gods. They are archetypes—each one is represented by one of the names of God in the Hebrew Testament. One of the brilliant things about Judaism and Christianity is that they brought the pantheons together, recognising one over-Divinity containing different aspects to make it simpler and less dangerous for us.

In Christianity, for instance there is Trinity—Father, Son and Holy Ghost but also Mary the Divine Mother and all the stories of Christ in the Gospels. Jesus' life and those he meets and works with are beautiful demonstrations of the different aspects of Divinity and how they can be balanced or out of balance. Through understanding the Hebrew and New Testaments in a mystical context we can see those 'Gods' in us and assess whether they are positive or negative influences.

The commandment 'thou shalt have no other Gods before me' is advice to stick with the whole of the Divine as your first port of call. It doesn't say that there are no other Gods.

If you mess around with Gods you get in trouble because a single God is out of balance with the whole. Yes, you may need the energy of one to pull you back from imbalance at times but generally they're best not messed with.

However, it's only polite to greet and bless them (Gods don't just vanish because we stop believing in them—read Douglas Adams' The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul for more on that. And they're pretty prevalent in our movie and comic culture too). The blessing is the blessing of the most Holy One so you are making it quite clear where you stand. I called for blessing on all the Greek Gods but led with Aphrodite because it's her island. Aphrodite appeared—or at least I imagined she did—to see what this little human being who had blessed her and her companions was about.

Gods don't chat. Angels don't chat either. Gods are angelic archetypes and completely ruthless when they need to be. But you can usually tell if you're speaking with something from another reality when the words (that you hear in your head) are totally unexpected.

Aphrodite asked what I wanted in return for the blessing. I said 'nothing', she said 'pah' so I said 'healing, in the name of the Most Holy One, but I don't think that's your provenance for me.'

She said 'it will cost you blood' and vanished. And Pallas Athene was there instead. Yes, I know, I know, but that's what seemed to be going on and Athene is the aspect of the One God with which I am working right now—the martial 'let's cut out the crap' attribute. Athene and I had a short talk—under the provenance of the Most Holy One—and made an agreement but it was still going to cost blood.

Two days later, five minutes before going into the church for Ariadne's christening, I had a totally spontaneous nose-bleed. The Goddess got her blood. She will keep her end of the bargain.

NB. On one day, we were walking on the beach by the hotel and a bronzed man in just swimming shorts appeared about 50 yards in front of us. He had only one arm. The other had been amputated at the shoulder. I looked at him just getting on with his life and dealing with the fact that people would always look at him twice and surmise what might have happened to him ... and received another powerful lesson in humility.

I never saw him again.

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Time For Some Not Fake Food.