I learnt tonight - June 8th 2014 that one of our delightful participants to the Experiencing Life Creatively Retreat Workshop 2013 in Plettenberg Bay - Carol-Ann passed away recently.
Such a beautiful, vibrant and authentic soul. She captured our Hearts and radiated Love through her gentle eyes and happy smile.
We could not know the level of pain and suffering she had endured and she said that it was a miracle that she was able to attend the workshop and manage her pain. She earnestly aligned herself with the work and went through the process of being in Witness of her Life Journey.
Her dedication to this Inner Work was timely as soon after the Retreat she went into hospital and now a few months later, dear Carol-Ann is in the Divine Realm.
There comes a time in each of our Lives when we need to just sit a while with our deep Inner Awareness and make our Inner Peace with our Life Journey and all those with whom we have traveled.
Experiencing Life Creatively is one Journey we all need to take before the moment we lift from this Realm. It is a sacred Journey that helps us to Awaken to our Spiritual Being. When we have come to sit a while with our Divine Aspect, then we Know that we are Loved and in the Arms of God.
I am so grateful for the Light and Love that Carol-Ann brought to our Retreat and very glad that she was able to be in that space with herself and others who held her with great Love and admiration.
We shall dearly miss Carol-Ann but will forever see her sweet smile shining into our Heart.
Carol-Ann wrote beautifully and shared her thoughts with us. Now reading her words again it is easy to feel the Loving, Guiding Hand of God. I am sure Carol-Ann would gladly share these words if it can open the Heart, Mind and Soul of another. In tribute to this Gracious lady, we share these letters:
Dear Joy & Leela
My bladder op is scheduled for Friday of this coming week , or Monday of the following week ------------------that too can’t come quick enough, tolerance level for discomfort and pain is reaching its zenith!!!
I thank both of you for the two days of the retreat, it was pure gift - lots of people have asked me what the retreat was like and the only word that comes to mind is “the such-ness” which of course no one understands, so I just reply “I got a lot from it” When I wrote to Leela, I mentioned that it is not so much a lot of words needed to explain it, it is rather a state of “being” and in spite of being in pain and discomfort I still have the peace that I received - fear is a thing of the past, what a pleasure to get rid of THAT companion!!!
Thank you for sharing with us how, using our breath in & out, to honour and accept our day and all events as being for our higher purpose. I believe that all my pain and discomfort is serving a higher purpose – although at the moment I don’t know or understand. One thing that it has taught me though, is that when I pray I not only pray for myself but for all people that are in pain, I have begun to feel a sort of connectedness, and I pray with gratitude. I have been given the gift of seeing the end of my pain where as some people live in painful conditions day in and day out. As I write these words I realize that maybe the purpose is teaching me, gratitude, even in pain,---- because when I look into it, it has created in me an acute awareness of people who suffer every day with no end in sight, just part of their daily life conditions ( i.e. Doug ) I realize now that he didn’t have the monopoly on pain, even though he bore it so courageously (I see that now too is a lesson, it never touched his Spirit) - Wow, is all I can say, in the magnificence of it
I know I have a calling but I don’t quite know what yet??? --------------I am sure it will come to me as I spend six weeks after the op recovering in stillness and reflection, and I ask for your prayers too, please.
I woke up at 1.30am on Monday morning and knew that it was a calling to mediation, prayer and reflection. I never went back to sleep again and with pen in hand wrote what I called my “Damascus Story’
I have put into a frame the photography of me as a child - I was bowled over by what other people saw in that little face? Have typed it out and put it behind the photograph to be reread from time to time to remind me never to let those qualities be buried in conformity by life’s events – but in such circumstances draw them as my strengths!! Could you imagine how much more I could have taken from my experience with Doug – because actually I was only being what I was programed to be from the start --------------how many people get the gift and joy of that knowledge. I kept saying after Doug’s death that I had lost my purpose in life ------- I know now that I will carry those strengths into every situation that comes my way, maybe what I experienced with Doug was preparing me for my calling & life purpose????? ---------------- maybe by reflecting on that I will come closer to knowing my call – how exciting that with the tools of mediation & reflection to be able to live a full life from now onwards day by day - even maybe in loneliness, pain & discomfort and trying to find & learn a lesson there to??
I received another gift on the retreat, Chinky asked me to sit on the beach quietly before she drove home on Sunday, which I did. Sat on the beach just letting the sand sift through hands, when I looked up and became aware of my surroundings, I was sitting on the exact same beach that Doug and I had walked on two weeks before he walked into hospital never to fully recover, it then hit me that I had come full circle and I let go with honour love and gratitude. ------------ haven’t I been blessed!!!!!!!!
Thank you both with
Lots of love light & blessing
MY DAMASCUS EXPERIENCE by Carol-Ann McMenamin
My Damascus experience began on 6th May 2004 when I was struck by a life experience of my husband losing all life or movement in his body in the blink of an eye. I was struck blind in as much as I would never again see, experience life as I had known it --------- I was catapulted into another life dimension within a heartbeat.
I lived this life of blindness until on the 26th October 2013 the scales began to fall away and once again I could see - I woke up to very different world from where I had come - and yet in a strange way had always known.
I have found the mystery that I have been searching for all my life – even as a child. The Mystery is within me (always has been) it is not me and yet I am it, and because of that it connects me to everything that lives & breaths ----it is the very Source of life itself ------- known as God.
I have been called to live close to that Source, and take that gift of awareness to everyone I encounter. I do not know the way yet, but it will be shown me.
I do not shun that period of Blindness as it showed and made me aware of Strengths I have which I never knew I possessed until they were put to the test.
I honour that period of blindness as gift, and welcome my new sight with joy. In the Source that created me, lives in me, and becomes me --------- for the world
I cannot thank you & Joy enough for the gift of the retreat, it has turned my life around 360 degrees - I see everything now as gift, even the pain - not immediately of course!! When I look back it was once again a sense of connectedness – I am not the only person, and I won’t be the last. The lesson I learned from it is to be more patient & empathetic, for people in pain. It is difficult to be kind or understand when someone is in pain when you are bubbly & full of life, have places to go and things to do ------- and they are down & depressed, ( I experienced that as well) it takes a deeper understanding, and that comes from connectedness. Out of everything comes good, if you choose to see it that way.
Love, thanks, light and gratitude