Julia Griffin - author

The Stranger Within
Man's face in shadows

The Stranger Within

October 2022

I submitted the following article to Sasee, a magazine available digitally, based in the US.

I have known and been a part of The Erasmus Foundation, a spiritual teaching and healing centre in Laxfield, Suffolk, in the UK, for most of my life. I am coming up to 63 years old, but believing that this physical life is just a drop in the ocean of time in how long my spirit has been alive, it is really only a number on the scale of the life I am now living, however long this may be. What is important is within me. What has value lives on.

The other constant is a belief that there is a force, a God, a Great Mind, however we might wish to phrase it - I say the Great Mind - that is in control and connected to each and every spirit because a part of the Great Mind is within the core of our spirit, and it is this gift that gives our spirit eternal life.

Through spiritual knowledge and tuition at the Foundation I have been in a better place to deal with the tests and challenges that any woman might face; such as relationships, the menopause, family anxieties, disappointments and other difficulties and stresses that come along through life's journey. This spiritual knowledge has helped me to get to know myself in truth – the strengths, the weaknesses, the sharp corners we will all find in our nature that need a little smoothing down so that we are not only more acceptable to ourselves but also to others. In short, this exercise of self-inspection has helped me to find the confidence to be who I truly am and to have a sense of my purpose – and we all have a purpose.

So, what I would really like to share is my belief that we are more than just the physical here and now, that there is a spiritual side of us, the other half of us, that lives on at the end of our life. If we can identify with our spiritual self and get to know ourselves well, this will help us in the struggles, demands and expectations that many women face at this time and it will also help us understand what we want to do with our lives. Everything we are searching for I believe is within us; in fact, I would go as far as to say that in order to survive we need our spirit, which I would say is our mind; the brain, the computer of our physical body.

One of the best tools to help us connect with our spirit, or mind, is meditation. If we can find some time each day to meditate this will quieten the brain and enable the mind to surface; and in surfacing the mind we may find answers to questions we need to resolve, and clarity for any problems we are facing which are difficult to see when our brain is more to the fore. So much can be gained from this quiet time, but perhaps what is always gained is some peace, a period of quietude that allows a pause from our day that may contain noise, violence, abuse, stress and hardship.

I have found nature to be a great healer too, whether this is simply walking in a garden, growing flowers and vegetables, or spending time with our pets, this helps release any stress we may be feeling. And stress is perhaps one of the main causes of poor health, both mentally and physically, so anything we can do to diminish this stress can help us find inner strength and positivity.

It is heartening to see women who find the spiritual strength and courage to stand up and be counted, to battle against constricting and challenging situations. The sharing of the reality of many women's lives across our world is giving motivation and encouragement to women everywhere to unite and say that "We are here, we have a worth, we are equal, we have a part to play, and we have a purpose." And in order to bring back good health and balance to our Earth we need to come together, share, learn, teach and bring our individual purpose to fruition for the benefit of all.

And in this regard, I see so much positivity and opportunity for women to shape our future world. As events unfold in their due season and force all humans to look at behaviour and values in our current climate, women can lead the way in how to be in this world of ours; and I would suggest that in standing up for the truth, for what is right and fair, being equal to anyone, and in doing this with dignity and graciousness, will set an example for others to follow and help change a mindset that for too long has embedded itself within certain people, especially those who have power and influence in all areas of life.

As my life has evolved, as I have met and learnt from people along the way and grown in my understanding of myself through experience, through making mistakes, through achievements, I feel more connected to myself, both physically and spiritually, and to the Great Mind. I try to adapt to life's changes by going with the flow of life, and with this comes a certain acceptance alongside my endeavour and helps me keep a positive mindset. It is not a complacent or inactive feeling, it is simply being myself, doing the best I can and helping others where the opportunity arises.

So, if we can go with the flow of life, accept there is a force that is in control and do the best we can, we can achieve much. To keep a positive mindset through self-knowledge and an understanding of our purpose will help us cope and adapt to change. But it is important to reach out to others to help us do this because sharing and learning is what, in essence, life is about.