An Amateur's Guide to Spirituality by Ella Roberts - HTML preview
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Ella Roberts was born in South Africa moving to England when she was nine. She started taking an interest in the supernatural, spirituality and selfdevelopment when aged fifteen. She read widely on the subject, and started to put what she learned into practice by working on herself, doing meditations, keeping journals and channelling information. She always loved reading books, but only began to write when she was twenty. The Run: London's Secret was her first novel, and An Amateur('s) Guide to Spirituality is her second book. Ella lives in London with her family.
“Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it” (Mark 16:20)
The amount of times my family, friends, acquaintances and random people showed up with valuable information to contribute or reinforce an issue whilst I was writing this book was amazing, and could only be put down to the fact that I was in total alignment with my truth and therefore, on the right track. Thank you so much guys:
Mummy, for your unwavering understanding and enlightened parenting. Daddy, for your consistency, devotion and trespassing (you know what I mean). Bobby, for all the jokes and constructive criticism. Lindy, for remembering to feed me when I forgot to eat (bless you). Rachelle, for an empowering friendship I didn't know I needed but thank Source for every day. Jenny, for your dedication to make sure the art-work is this fantastic. Greg, for your encouraging support that always came at the right time. Alli, for your straight talking, accurate, and much needed guidance (and free tarot readings). Paul, for your generosity and kindness that contributed greatly to my overall well being. And my Spirit Guides and Angels, for your patience, all encompassing love, and ever present guidance.
Thank you also to everyone who indirectly contributed to this book, my life and my growth in all ways; love and blessings to you!Ella.
ContentsIntroduction 1 AboutMe 7 Section One: Personal Spirituality 17 SectionTwo: 74 Home Retreat Section Three: Holistic Relationships 88 Section Four: Spirituality at Work 109 Section Five: A Spiritual Life 124 Conclusion 134 Bibliography 136 Other Resources 141
To have picked up this book over others and made a conscious decision to read it (or just see what it's about) you must consider yourself an amateur in the field of spirituality right? Well that’s okay; in fact it's a good thing because that brings you into alignment with my way of thinking…
But before you start throwing “ego” labelled stones at me, allow me to admit that I consider myself an amateur as well, and that is why the title is amateur(’s) guide as opposed to just amateur, because it was written by an amateur for amateurs, making it a very fertile environment for spiritual growth.
Another reason I've called it An Amateur(’s) Guide to Spirituality is because I believe spirituality is about bringing attention within from the outside world and focusing it on the Self, the Being as opposed to just the body and personality. It is about Selfenlightenment, Self-development, Self-centeredness, true Self… everything to do with the Self, so automatically that signifies individuality to me.
And what makes spirituality different from religion in my eyes is that although it may be practiced religiously by some (including me); every person practices their own version which will differ from another’s. There are no set rules to follow, no one way to go about it, and all routes ultimately lead to the same place.
For example, if you happen to catch a bunch of spiritually enlightened people together in a room somewhere, you will find that although they may have a common point of agreement, not everything they do, think, say or believe will be the same, or indeed done in the same way as each other, and they will all be aware of and perfectly happy in that knowledge.
Like I said it’s all about Self, and one person’s truth will not be another's, the key is to respect their truth even if it differs from your own. However, if it somehow infringes on your personal space step away, but keep that respect because we all have the right to exist and believe whatever the hell or heaven we want to believe in. "Live and let live" I say, and the beauty of free will prevails.
So in coming from that point of view (where everyone sees and interprets a different version of the ultimate truth), I believe that when you subscribe to someone else’s point of view you become an amateur to them, just the same way as if someone else subscribes to your point of view they become an amateur to you. You are both amateurs if you come together with a common point of view because you are looking to learn from each other. So welcome my amateur friends to my point of view!
Another thing that makes me an amateur in this room, is the fact that I don’t have any academic achievements related to spirituality that at all qualify me to write this book. Yes, I am a writer with a gift of the gab (I talk even more than I write), and yes I have years of personal experience incorporating spiritual practice into my life that has served me so well, I am now sharing it with the world. But no, I don’t have any certificates hanging up on my wall to prove it, although I do have one qualifying me as an Integrated Energy Therapist; I'm proud of that.
I must also warn you that this book isn't like the majority of books on the market (every writer says that), it has not been professionally perfected by a team of editors and trimmed to perfection, it is not politically correct (though I have tried not to swear) or straight to the point and proper (I tend to venture off into the woods when explaining a point). In fact, it has not even been proofread by a fresh pair of eyes (though a mate of mine has had a cursory glance), so if you come across any mistakes I obviously missed, do email (details at the back) and let me know.
I have done it this way because when I was starting out and read anything on spirituality that my intuition led me to, I never came across a book that detailed the writer's experiences, what they felt, what they thought, and how they dealt with it. Not to say that there aren’t any books like this, I just never came across them.
This is fine of course, and believe me I am not criticising because I recognise and respect that people like to keep their personal lives and experiences private, and so they should. But I feel a certain release when I share my issues and challenges, a sense of liberation and growth when I finally come through a situation and then go on to help someone else do the same.
When I went through experiences that I considered traumatic I felt alone, like I couldn't talk to anyone about what I was feeling, and that was painful. I had no role models to look up to and nobody I felt was talking, so I would like to bring it to the forefront and hopefully get to someone going through similar experiences so that they know it is possible to get through things with the ideas I share on how.
I am hoping that many more people will come forward in the future with their experiences and how they got through them, so that others will also have somewhere to look for and find assistance, because sharing facilitates growth!
A long time ago I realised that I am more receptive to following by example and learning by experience than just theory, so I am naturally drawn to leading/teaching by example and encouraging learning by experience; that is another reason why I have written the book this way.Before we begin, let me cover myself:
Everything written in this book is from my point of view; what I do, what I don’t, what I think, what I don’t, what I like, what I don’t, what I agree with, what I don’t, what I believe in, what I don’t, how I see the world, how I interpret things, what I experience, and most of all what I say! [Breathe]
You do not have to believe everything I have written; indeed you do not have to believe anything. If you take at least one thing away with you when you have finished (or decide you are bored) I hope it is an idea of how to start or continue your journey from here.
Even if it just shows you that you don't want to be spiritual, at least it will have uncovered a bit of your truth to you.
This book is not researched, it was written from mind to computer via hands, and the only references I will point you to, are things that have worked for and mean something to me. This is my version of spirituality from my point of view, and although everything I think, feel, do and say is right for me, it may not be right for you so accept that.
I believe that there is no wrong or right in black or white terms, but relative to where you are coming from (which is why I use the phrase ‘right for me’) but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things I seriously don’t agree with, that may be right for someone else.
Any opinions I share or observations I state are once again what I think, so you do not have to believe or agree with them, just accept that they are mine and have the right to co-exist with yours.
Remember that spirituality is about Self; what you think, what you feel, what you know, what you resonate with, who you are, so take nothing I say as gospel because it is not! It is simply a fraction (albeit important) of the ultimate truth, which is seen from my point of view based on where I am standing, and that may be far, far away from you. However, in the greater scheme of things we are all standing in exactly the right place for us, and have every right to change position if we feel the need to.
The purpose of sharing my truth, is to hopefully inspire you to open up to your own, so go ahead and believe what you will and discard what you don’t, but allow it all to be. Know that everything you do is by choice and therefore all consequences are your responsibility (free will clause signed before incarnation).
I hope you enjoy this book but remember that it is not intended to lead you by the hand and take you “there” (because that would be you walking my path and I really don't want you on here), it is to show you what options you have available to assist you on your own personal journey.Now that's out of the way, let’s continue:
This is my guide to spirituality… which is really a fancy way of saying “I’ll tell you what I do to incorporate it into my life and you can take from it what you will, and leave the rest for someone else” don’t worry there’s enough to go round.
Just to let you know that I have split the book into five sections (as opposed to chapters) called Personal Spirituality, Home Retreat, Holistic Relationships, Spirituality At Work, and A Spiritual Life; enticing isn’t it? But feel free to read it in any order you feel comfortable with (the predictable ones will run straight to relationships, tut, tut). I've done it this way because that is how I divide up my life in that order of importance.
Also, some of the suggestions I make may pop up in multiple sections, which sounds like I am repeating myself, but that is because spirituality is not containable and really shouldn't be (I feel).Alright, let’s go!
About MeSo who am I and what makes me so special?
Well… I was born in South Africa, I’m a Virgo, Rat, and my totem animal is a Grizzly Bear named Lola... not particularly the best trivia but I had to in put something.
And without going on too much about my childhood I will start with the fact that my view of organised religion was tainted in South Africa, no not because of the political goings on, but because of what happened at school…One second let me cover myself again:
Although I was born in South Africa and lived there for the first nine years of my life, I didn’t start coming into my own way of thinking until I’d moved to Britain, which also happens to be when I (in a sense) found out about and began to understand what was actually going on politically.
I subscribed to the world’s view of it, and although I have memories and experiences that showed me what it was like on the inside, they are clouded by a child-like bubble that didn’t extend further than "mummy and daddy will fight away bad things that want to hurt me".
So, what I think about what has been and is going in South Africa is derived from stories told to me by family members, bits and pieces of juicy hear’say from here and there, and of course childhood memories.So don’t be surprised if when you ask me what my views are, I shrug and say “I don’t know”.
I used to go to a church school but I don’t remember what denomination it belonged to. There were Priests hanging about and nuns who lived on the grounds, some used to teach the lessons, and we had Bible studies as part of the curriculum. Now, I am going to take a wild stab and say it was a Christian school, but I am still not sure, so don’t quote me on that.
Anyway, I was an inquisitive child; my parents were big on learning and would ask me about what I knew, and encourage me to question what I didn’t understand so that I could learn more. I had a very vivid imagination (still do), so I was drawn to fantasy and the supernatural from a very early age but unfortunately, that was frowned upon at school meaning I had to keep my thoughts and ideas to myself.
Now, having been allowed to express myself freely at home, you can imagine I expected to be allowed the freedom of expression at school right? Yes, but not what I got with it!
I used to make frequent observations that brought me to realisations about things at school that weren’t all they seemed to be; there was a lot of hypocrisy knocking about that nobody was willing to admit to and didn't want brought to their attention.
I know this because I tried to question it on numerous occasions, stating what I’d observed and weighing it up against what was so loudly preached about. But instead of being met with praise like I had expected, I was met with stern disapproval, and at times accusations of being cheeky (yes, I didn’t learn after the first time and kept on going). There was even an occasion when I got ejected from the classroom and sent to the head.
One thing they were very big on at school, and would preach about at least twice a day, was that “we are all equal in the eyes of God”, that “regardless of colour, age, social background or creed, we are all brothers and sisters, and we shall all love one another as such”. But in practice, things didn’t happen that way…
The teachers would lecture us about things we should do, ways we should think, things we shouldn’t say (nobody ever told me why though), that it was written in the Bible and therefore law. This was fair enough, but when it came down to it certain lines became blurred, and it turned out that one set of rules applied to one group of children who would be treated in one way, and a different set of rules applied to the other group of children who would be treated another way.
Now, to anyone who was paying attention, what did that say? Hypocrisy, and a very strong “do as I say not as I do” message that I spent a lot of time bringing attention to, and getting into trouble for my troubles.
So, by the time I left for my journey across the waters I had a very tainted view of institutions and organised religion or institutions ruled by religion.Hold on, disclaimer again;
Although I am still working on neutralising my tainted view of organised religion, and getting to a point where I respect rather than dismiss it without listening because I grossly disagree with some of the practices and beliefs, I am beginning to realise that whether it is said through Judaism, Paganism, Islam, Buddhism or Christianity, the message is the same all round; it just so happens to be said in different ways/languages. And if we all began to see that, world peace would be inevitable; "Instead of spreading love we spreading animosity. Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity" - Where Is the Love? by The Black Eyed Peas says it oh so well!
And I definitely agree with that, if we all put more effort into celebrating our similarities instead of trying to change each others’ differences, things would be a lot more peaceful in our world. Especially when it comes to a little thing called free will, and the fact that different people, who live different lives will make different choices and be subject to different experiences, etc…
And everyone is receptive to a different way of learning, for example, whereas my barriers go up faster than a boy on fire if something is told to me in terms of politics however; I am all ears, eyes, and receptive senses if it is told to me in a weird, wonderful and exciting way. On the other hand someone else may be receptive to music (teens for example, look at how influential music stars are), their barriers may go up fast if told something in say… a mathematical way.
And this is where my “different routes to school” theory comes in (feel free to change “school” to “work”, “the airport” or even “the pub”) handy. Think of a community school that children from all over the neighbourhood attend. Some will arrive by bus, some by train, some will cycle, some will walk, some will drive, and some will be driven, the odd few might fly, but ultimately they will all get there.
So, whether you get to your “spiritual school” at 9am, 12.30pm or tired and hungry at 2.45am (in terms of life at thirteen years old, twenty-one years old or seventy-eight years old), you will have made it when it is right for you.
Some will get there early and some late, some will leave "home" early and some will leave late (which is also relative if we look at time as an illusion, but that’s a different book, different story) but everyone will get there eventually. And any spiritual person worth their toes will not laugh at the late or early comers, they will rejoice their arrival because that is what’s important; arrival not the time!
Spirituality is not a race, so if a certain route to school/work/the airport/the pub isn’t working, is delaying or slowing you down, then it is time to re-route mate, you have an abundance of choices available, why are you keeping yourself stuck?
Anyway so, by the time I hit fifteen I was unhappy, confused, and felt like I didn’t belong. I didn’t believe in religion which all my peers seemed to subscribe to one or another, was drawn to the supernatural that a lot of people told me was inspired by the Devil, and hated school because it felt so wrong to me.
I felt as though a load of random facts were being thrown my way, that I was expected to memorise and regurgitate at the end of the school year (whether I had learned anything or not). For some reason that felt pointless and non-progressive, so I didn’t put much effort into anything to do with school, most of which was to please my parents and teachers anyway.
Nothing much held any importance to me either; I wasn’t interested in the latest trends, music or whatever else my peers were into; oh I tried, but just felt like I was lying to myself and pretending to them. Plus I was always accused of being strange and weird, which did nothing for my already battered self-esteem.
So you can imagine how much I always looked forward to the weekend and holidays because that meant no school. And I vehemently hated (really, with an intense passion) Sunday evenings because every hour that ticked by was getting me closer to Monday morning and therefore, school.
All in all I did not like it, and would never return if I had another chance to do it again. That time of my life felt like a purposeless existence, which is more than apparent now if you look back at my academic career, add that to my tainted view of institutions and you have… me.
Fifteen was also the first turning point in my spiritual life; January 2000 was when my mum started reading a series of books called Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch, and (I can never thank her enough for this) started talking to anyone who would listen about them. Obviously my interest was piqued at the things she said, which resonated with me (I was wise even at then, yes) very much.
I would question her about things, and was really enthusiastic about the answers, so she suggested I read it for myself and see what I was receptive to. She also said “I want you to know who you are by the time you are twenty”; it was a little after my twentyfirst birthday that I realised how much I had been striving to live up to that statement.
And from there I was hooked and went on to read the remaining two books, after which I read Ask Your Angels by Alma Daniel, Timothy Wyllie and Andrew Ramer. That book started my obsession with these wonderful Beings, and it also opened me up to the chakras, meditation, developing my psychic abilities and communicating with my Spirit Guides.
For the first time in my life I felt like I belonged (how cliché), even though it was the summer holidays and I was cooped up in my room (alone) with sticks of incense and candles for company, opening up my chakras and releasing blocked energy. I had found something I could really get into, something I was good at, and wanted to spend all my time doing.
And the major reason I was so enthusiastic was because I was allowed to be an individual, I was allowed to explore and create, believe in anything I wanted and not be judged for it. I was never told what to do or that what I was doing was wrong, I was not different (in a bad way), strange or cheeky, I was developing and growing, choosing and being!
So, the more I read up on the subject of spirituality and self-development, the more I discovered there was no wrong or right, just choices that didn’t work for me. I began to notice a real freedom that I had never felt before, and so consciously set out to become a spiritual being.
You’d think at this point my new beliefs and I would skip into the sunset hand in hand and start a new life in happiness right? No chance! Even though I continued growing spiritually, I became externally unstable; moving from course to course, job to job, and changing my mind constantly about what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be.
At seventeen I fell into depression and developed an alcohol dependency.
At 19 I decided to run away from my “problems” in London and go to the University in Huddersfield, only to get there and realise (when I couldn’t leave) that the buggers had followed me up. That’s when I things went from bad to the pit of doom!
I was extremely vulnerable, because I was alone in a foreign town far, far away from home or anything familiar or comforting to me, I didn’t know anybody and therefore didn’t feel I could talk to anyone about it. I was also under the impression that nobody cared (as every fresher student does) about me.
Even though I found a few friends on my course, I kept socialising to a minimum, and when I didn’t have any lessons I would spend time cooped up in my dorm crying and drinking; I would cry myself awake (if that’s even possible), cry myself to sleep and sometimes even weep in the woods surrounding the student village.
I isolated myself and would surface only to go to lessons (even that stopped at some point during the first term), scavenge for food, or accompany my colleagues on wild nights out, where once I got so drunk I still don’t remember what happened (stopped trying).
By the time I was twenty I had a track record for instability and my poor parents were worried I’d never grow up to be a responsible adult. So, it came as a surprise (even to me) when, two months before my twenty-first birthday, I discovered I was a writer, and I haven't looked back since.
It was also on the twenty-third year of my existence that I consciously decided to no longer allow other peoples’ thoughts about me to dictate what I do with my time, energy and life. I will gladly accept the labels “strange”, “weird”, “cult member” or even “Devil possessed” because I do not believe them to be true, therefore they are not (to me).
What is true however, is that I am a Light worker and I hereby affirm that I will devote myself to spreading the message of love and light by sharing my truth and encouraging others to uncover theirs, and then go on to spread love and light too, until the energy of this Planet has completely shifted to a higher vibration, and we can all effortlessly step into a new dawn together!Amen.