Everything is a Miracle

by Eileen Campbell

There are so many things to marvel at in our world if our hearts can be open to them, and if we can see them without judging and distorting through our thoughts and opinions.  It was Albert Einstein, father of the Theory of Relativity, who said, ‘There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.’

Starting with ourselves, we can appreciate the miracle of our body and its functioning, which we tend to take for granted until something goes wrong.  The heart, the brain, the organs for digestion and elimination, the senses, all the myriads of cells, nerves, muscles, and tissues, cooperate through an amazing system of interconnections to carry out the necessary functions they perform.  And we are able to walk, dance, sing, play tennis, make love, and do 1,001 things as a result.  Awesome, really!

This amazing orchestration is also mirrored in the world around us.  Beyond ourselves, we are part of larger wholes – family, community, the whole of humanity and life on the planet.  Our existence within the miraculous living organism of Gaia is certainly something to appreciate.  We are all moved by the beauty and magnificence of the natural world with its mountains, plains, forests, rivers, and seas, teeming with life and energy.

Everything is a Miracle

Using our senses, we can wonder at the miracle of life evident all around us on a daily basis.  I’m blessed with a garden, but just as rewarding, if we don’t have one, is a walk in the park or the countryside, or along the beach, or in woodland.  Even walking down a street in the heart of the city or town there is much to marvel at.  We can look at the sky, at the architecture of the buildings surrounding us, maybe there are a few cherry trees with their magnificent frothy blossoms, or some colourful flower displays hanging in doorways or on windowsills.  We can look at people, endlessly fascinating as they go about their lives, each with their own story written on their faces.

If we’re confined indoors because of ill-health or old age, a plant can remind us of our connection to the miracle of life.  Growing bulbs or seeds on a windowsill always thrills me!  And we can be thankful for the treasured possessions and photographs we have around us that evoke memories and give us pleasure.  We can listen to uplifting music.  We can share the space with family and friends when they visit us.  We can be thankful that we are alive and have the opportunity for yet more life experience.

Wherever we are, there are things to delight us.  We only have to be aware and use our senses and open our hearts.  When we are able to appreciate and give thanks for life as it is, and when we revel in the here and now, our hearts are filled with joy.


Eileen Campbell is a writer of inspirational books, including a successful series of anthologies described by the media as “treasures of timeless wisdom,” which sold collectively around 250,000 copies. She has studied with a variety of teachers from different traditions and brings a wealth of knowledge and life experience to her books. She is known for her pioneering and visionary career as a self-help and spirituality publishers, and has also written and presented for BBC Radio 2 and 4. She currently devotes her energies to yoga, writing, and gardening. She lives in England. Visit her at http://www.eileencampbellbooks.com.

9781573246705

Walk Among the Flowers Instead of Walking in Your Own Shadow

by Eileen Campbell

Letting go of negative emotions is vital if we want to have more joy in our lives.  We all experience a broad range of emotions, but negative emotions like fear, anger, resentment, guilt, and shame emerge when life doesn’t go the way we want it, which it rarely does.  Such emotions can be problematic and prevent us from experiencing true joy.  Whereas positive emotions like love, openness, courage, and empathy enhance life and health, negative emotions create tension and stress.

The origin of negative emotions lies in our past.  We have forgotten what was effectively programmed into our brains in childhood and have remained as misperceptions in our thinking. We actually make our lives more difficult than they need be by holding on to long-held beliefs and self-imposed limitations that are no longer appropriate.  As children we wanted love and approval from our parents, and as we grew up, from our teachers and peers.  We learned how to get our needs met by adopting certain patterns of behaviour, and these became habits.  Gradually we created a self-image, and in order to make sense of our lives, we told ourselves stories about who we were, and we continue to do this, modifying and justifying that self-image that is our identity.

Walk Among the Flowers

By becoming more aware of these stories we tell ourselves and the roles we play automatically that cause us unhappiness, we can begin to let go of them.  It’s our thoughts that create emotions, and we tend to think we are our emotions, when they are simply feelings – they are not who we are.  Only when we become more aware of our thoughts can we begin to see them for what they are and let them go.

Although there’s much that we cannot control in life, we always have a choice about what our thoughts dwell on, as Rumi cautioned us:

‘Stop walking in your own shadow

Wallowing in your foolish thoughts.

Raise your head, look at the sun, walk

Among the flowers, become a human being.’

We need to take an honest look at our past in order to understand, leaving behind the hurts, fears, and disappointments of our earlier years.  Whatever happened is in the past, and we need to accept that the wounds were inflicted, but there is no need to keep revisiting them and suffering.  We can let the circumstances of our life close us down, or we can let them open us up.  We can let go of our negative thoughts.  By becoming more aware of the patterns that run through our lives, we can change what we believe is who we are.  Once we see ourselves more clearly we can begin to accept and love ourselves.  We can also reshape our stories to give us what we most want out of life for the future.


Eileen Campbell is a writer of inspirational books, including a successful series of anthologies described by the media as “treasures of timeless wisdom,” which sold collectively around 250,000 copies. She has studied with a variety of teachers from different traditions and brings a wealth of knowledge and life experience to her books. She is known for her pioneering and visionary career as a self-help and spirituality publishers, and has also written and presented for BBC Radio 2 and 4. She currently devotes her energies to yoga, writing, and gardening. She lives in England. Visit her at http://www.eileencampbellbooks.com.

9781573246705

Daring to Be Ourselves!

by Eileen Campbell

It takes courage to be fully human, to wake up to life’s possibilities, and to grow and mature.  We need to be open, yet being open is a risk.  We tend to stay with the known, the familiar, rather than risk the unknown.  Taking risks is scary – we might fail, or experience loss or disappointment, and nothing might turn out as we hope.  Life rarely does go according to plan, but that shouldn’t stop us from moving beyond our comfort zone.  If we don’t take risks life is not being fully lived, and we may experience fear, loneliness and lack of fulfilment.  ‘The day came,’ wrote the author Anais Nin, ‘when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’

Taking risks means being open to life’s experiences, being curious about what might be if we were to do something different, break away, or speak out and challenge.  Daring to be ourselves and letting people see who we really are requires courage.  Often we play a role, while underneath we’re a bundle of fears, largely because we were never given a sense of unconditional approval.  We see ourselves as separate from everything and everyone, which leaves us with a sense of being incomplete.  Sometimes we reach a crossroads – we sense a need to live differently.  The authentic self is calling us and we need to listen to the whispers coming from our hearts.  We need to find out who we truly are, and what we really want and need for our growth.

Daring To Be Ourselves

‘Know Thyself’ was inscribed above the entrance to the shrine of Apollo at Delphi, a maxim that was also used in the writings of Plato, Socrates, and Aeschylus, as well as by later philosophers like Hobbes and Rousseau, and poets like Emerson and Coleridge.  When we find the courage to explore the depths of ourselves and make the journey inwards, we develop greater awareness and begin to understand our emotions and thoughts, and have insights as to why they are the way they are.   We need to make time for quiet and reflection and ask for help and guidance.  Meditation, mindfulness, psychotherapy, or counselling can all help us get to know ourselves better.

Gradually we can make changes and adjustments so that our lives seem to run more harmoniously and become richer and more meaningful.  We feel a sense of being connected to something greater than ourselves, yet there’s a softness at the centre that allows us to be more open-hearted – both towards ourselves and others.  We are at ease with who we are.

The Indian teacher Sri Sathya Sai Baba taught that we’re actually three people and suggested that we try to make them one.  ‘There is the one you think you are, the one others think you are, and the one you really are.’  If we can make them one, joy, peace, and bliss will be the result.


Eileen Campbell is a writer of inspirational books, including a successful series of anthologies described by the media as “treasures of timeless wisdom,” which sold collectively around 250,000 copies. She has studied with a variety of teachers from different traditions and brings a wealth of knowledge and life experience to her books. She is known for her pioneering and visionary career as a self-help and spirituality publishers, and has also written and presented for BBC Radio 2 and 4. She currently devotes her energies to yoga, writing, and gardening. She lives in England. Visit her at http://www.eileencampbellbooks.com.

9781573246705

Learning the Dance of Life

by Eileen Campbell

Life is like a dance, and for the dance we need to be fluid, fearless, and aware.  Everything in life is in a state of constant change, ebbing and flowing, waxing and waning, but we need to trust in the process of constant regeneration.

In Hinduism Shiva, in the form of Nataraj, is the transforming god.  In his cosmic dance, Shiva balances on one leg within a circle of flames, representing the continuous creation, maintenance, and destruction of the universe.  His right foot is poised over a demon representing ignorance, but Shiva’s head is serene.  As the archetypal dancer, Shiva represents the ever-changing life-force with the myriads of worlds, galaxies, and beings taking shape and passing away.  As the archetypal sage, he represents the Absolute where all distinctions dissolve.  This endless round of existence means beginnings and endings, with life renewing itself constantly.

Learning the Dance of Life

Things may fall apart, but out of chaos something new is always being born.  We cannot hold on to anything in life forever – we have to let go.  Relationships dissolve, we lose parents, friends and colleagues, possessions and homes can be destroyed, youth and beauty fade, fame and success are eclipsed, and our bodies wither and cease functioning.  If we can learn to view life as a dance however and trust the Life-force within us to show us the way, wisdom and serenity can triumph over ignorance.

The martial arts like tai chi, aikido judo, karate, and kendo help in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, where the purpose of training is to enable the practitioner to respond in an appropriate manner when under attack.    Thomas Crum, uses the graceful martial art of aikido, often translated as ‘the way of harmonious spirit’, or ‘the way of unifying life energy’ in his well-known conflict resolution and stress management workshops.   He advises us on not being afraid of the ups and downs of life – ‘Instead of seeing the rug pulled from under us, we can learn to dance on the shifting carpet.’


Eileen Campbell is a writer of inspirational books, including a successful series of anthologies described by the media as “treasures of timeless wisdom,” which sold collectively around 250,000 copies. She has studied with a variety of teachers from different traditions and brings a wealth of knowledge and life experience to her books. She is known for her pioneering and visionary career as a self-help and spirituality publishers, and has also written and presented for BBC Radio 2 and 4. She currently devotes her energies to yoga, writing, and gardening. She lives in England. Visit her at http://www.eileencampbellbooks.com.

9781573246705

Walking in Someone Else’s Moccasins

by Eileen Campbell

We often forget how similar we all are underneath our external appearances.  It doesn’t matter what sex, age, race, upbringing, or religion – deep down we all want the same thing – to be happy and avoid pain and suffering.

When we remember that there is a spark of divinity in every one of us, it’s easier to refrain from criticizing or blaming someone because of their behaviour.    Not that it’s any great surprise that we rush to judge others, since we’re quick to berate ourselves for failing to live up to our idea of what we think we should be.  We give ourselves a hard time when we make mistakes and say and do things we wish we hadn’t done, or don’t say and do things it might have been better to have said and done.  If we can’t be kind to ourselves, we’re unlikely to be kind towards others.

Each of us is on a path, and we can never know what someone else’s path is. If we think about our own lives, we know that through our many experiences we are constantly learning and changing.  Events force us to change and grow.  Poets, philosophers and mystics of many persuasions have portrayed the world as a school where we come as souls to learn.  Others too are learning and changing just as we are.

Walking in Someone Else's Moccasins

The Native American saying, ‘Do not judge someone until you have walked a mile in their moccasins’, reminds us of the need to stop and reflect before we criticize or judge someone.  How can we know the reasons for their behaviour unless we put ourselves in their shoes?  Having empathy for others is not always easy, but what we can do is recognize that the divine spark is there in them, just as it is in us.

This doesn’t mean that we condone the other person’s behaviour, but it does mean that we don’t get caught up in a spiral of negativity. If instead we can cultivate empathy, through awareness and listening to their story, then compassion can be the result.  This applies whether we’re dealing with our most intimate relationships, our work colleagues, our neighbours, or even strangers.

When we try to see something from another’s perspective, then we move closer towards tolerance and acceptance of difference.   We begin to recognize our shared humanity, and the deep connection we all share, as different cultures in the past once did, and as indigenous societies still do today.

All the great humanitarians and teachers of different religious traditions have stressed the importance of compassion.  The so-called Golden Rule of treating others as we would wish ourselves to be treated runs through all religions.  ‘My religion is kindness,’ says the Dalai Lama.  The Talmud, the Jewish Book of wisdom, claims, ‘The highest wisdom is kindness.’  Jesus told us to ‘love one another as I have loved you.’  The Koran asks, ‘Do you love your Creator?  Then love your fellow beings first.’

The perceptive writer Aldous Huxley, having explored mysticism and altered states of consciousness, said on his deathbed, ‘Let us be kinder to one another.’  We may not be able to walk in someone else’s shoes, but when we recognize the divine spark within someone, we will naturally be kinder to them.


Eileen Campbell is a writer of inspirational books, including a successful series of anthologies described by the media as “treasures of timeless wisdom,” which sold collectively around 250,000 copies. She has studied with a variety of teachers from different traditions and brings a wealth of knowledge and life experience to her books. She is known for her pioneering and visionary career as a self-help and spirituality publishers, and has also written and presented for BBC Radio 2 and 4. She currently devotes her energies to yoga, writing, and gardening. She lives in England. Visit her at http://www.eileencampbellbooks.com.

9781573246705

Believing in Our Dreams

by Eileen Campbell

Do you have a dream that you want to realize?  Is it truly your dream, by which I mean does it come from the essence of who you truly are?  It had better do, because only then can you find the passion and determination to achieve it.

How do we discover what we truly want – not what our parents, or teachers, or peers influenced us to pursue?  We know with our heart, not with our heads.  As we develop awareness and gain self-knowledge, greater clarity about our goals comes and we have an authentic sense of what our ambition is.  We feel a sense of destiny, and know that it is we alone who are responsible for making the best choices for ourselves.  Energized, we’re inspired and motivated by the Source of life within us – that same force that the poet Dylan Thomas described as, ‘the force that through the green fuse drives the flower.’

Believing in Your Dreams

If our dream turns out to be about more than achieving something just for ourselves, some higher purpose that benefits others, we are helped in some mysterious way by Ralph Waldo Trine’s ‘ thousand unseen hands’.

Patanjali, the Indian philosopher from around the second century BC, wrote in his Yoga Sutras:

‘…when you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break your bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.  Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.’

We find the courage to take risks and to use our imagination, our intuition, and our creativity.  Creating a vision of how we want our lives to be is like using a map when we’re traveling.  As the Sufi master, Pir Vilayat Khan wrote: ‘The future is not there waiting for us. We create it by the power of the imagination.’

There’s a well-known story about three men working in a quarry cutting blocks of stone.  A passer-by asks the first man what he is doing.  He replies, ‘I’m cutting stone.’  The second man answers the same question with, ‘I’m earning a living.’  The third man has a different answer to the same question, ‘I’m building a cathedral.’  This man is motivated by a vision that goes way beyond his personal needs.  He is building something of enormous importance and great beauty for his community now and for future generations.

Commitment to making our dream a reality, discipline and patience to see us through any obstacles, and the ability to be willing to accept and release what the end result may be, since we don’t have total control, are also part and parcel of achieving our dream.


Eileen Campbell is a writer of inspirational books, including a successful series of anthologies described by the media as “treasures of timeless wisdom,” which sold collectively around 250,000 copies. She has studied with a variety of teachers from different traditions and brings a wealth of knowledge and life experience to her books. She is known for her pioneering and visionary career as a self-help and spirituality publishers, and has also written and presented for BBC Radio 2 and 4. She currently devotes her energies to yoga, writing, and gardening. She lives in England. Visit her at http://www.eileencampbellbooks.com.

9781573246705

Flourishing in a Dysfunctional World

by Eileen Campbell

All of us want to flourish – to live a life that makes us feel happy and fulfilled and be the best we can be.

Yet it’s hardly surprising that in today’s world many of us end up suffering from anxiety and stress.  To start with, there’s the endless stream of news stories percolating through the media reminding us of how dysfunctional our society is, whether it’s the latest bombing or a mass shooting, an epic man-made environmental disaster, or yet another downturn in the economy – there’s always bad news of some sort (after all that’s what the media thrives on!), and it’s hard to avoid it.

Then there’s the sheer pace of life today.  It’s hectic, and we struggle to keep up with a huge array of tasks and commitments.  Our heads spin with information, and we’re on a tread-mill with our consumer lifestyle – both consequences of the material progress we’ve made in the last decades.

Flourishing in a Dysfunctional World Eileen Campbell

As women we’ve ended up juggling careers, home, children, and relationships, whether with our significant other, our parents or our friends and neighbours; we’re short on time and leisure; and definitely lacking in the sleep department.  We keep on keeping on.  We say we’re fine, whilst we frantically multi-task and try to cope.  But heck, this isn’t flourishing!

Deep down we know this.  In our heart of hearts we suspect there has to be a better way of living our lives.  We also know that sooner or later chronic stress and anxiety are bad for us and can result in burnout.   Serious mental and physical problems can ensue.  One in four of us will experience depression of some kind at some point in our lifetime.  Insomnia, adrenal depletion, heart disease, poor immune function and memory problems are all possible consequences too.  The stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline increase our heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which is all well and good if we happen come across a lion in the street, but as a constant reaction to everyday events and circumstances it’s disastrous for our health and well-being.

So how can we best deal with stress and take back control of our lives so that we can actually flourish?  There are a number of things which help, but the most important one is to stop, slow down, and focus on ourselves.  Self-care isn’t a luxury.  It’s essential!  As women we’re often programmed to care for others rather than ourselves, but the best way of caring for others is to make sure we look after ourselves first.

We have to be disciplined enough to create space for ourselves every single day, no matter how busy we think we are.  Thirty minutes is sufficient, and we can choose to do something just for ourselves. We might want to go for a walk in the park and smell the roses, or enjoy a bicycle ride, or do some yoga, or tai chi. We may feel we want to simply relax and do absolutely nothing, but it’s usually helpful to have a focus to stop the mind chatter.

We might want to do something creative like drawing, sewing, reading a poem, writing in a journal, or playing a musical instrument. If we can take a little more time for ourselves, then having a massage is wonderfully therapeutic.  One of the best things we can do, however, is to practise mindfulness or meditation, both proven to lower anxiety and stress.

It doesn’t matter too much what we choose, but we need to find that time on a regular basis to switch off from the constant activity and stimulation that we’re caught up in, and focus on ourselves.   When we do take the time, something shifts.

What shifts is our perspective.  We begin to rethink our priorities and make changes.   Taking time for ourselves becomes our top priority.  We may want to work with affirmations and cultivate more positive emotions.  We may well find that we want to increase the amount of time we set aside each day.    Our strength and confidence grows and we become more effective, feel more connected, and are more able to withstand life’s challenges.  Flourishing will become second nature!


Eileen Campbell is a writer of inspirational books, including a successful series of anthologies described by the media as “treasures of timeless wisdom,” which sold collectively around 250,000 copies. She has studied with a variety of teachers from different traditions and brings a wealth of knowledge and life experience to her books. She is known for her pioneering and visionary career as a self-help and spirituality publishers, and has also written and presented for BBC Radio 2 and 4. She currently devotes her energies to yoga, writing, and gardening. She lives in England. Visit her at http://www.eileencampbellbooks.com.

9781573246705