Eight Women who Refused to say the Word Miracle


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 They arrived one at a time. I reached out my hand to a slim grey haired woman and said, it is a pleasure to meet you. She tersely replied that she would let me know at the end of the evening whether it was a pleasure to meet me. Brenda, a relatively new friend had generously invited a small group of her friends to her home in the hills of Jerusalem.  I told her  I was collecting miracle stories and although she could not promise her friends had any, she would invite them and together we would see what emerged.

A large glass sliding door led from the lounge room to a windswept balcony on the fourth floor of a modern sandstone building. Everything in Jerusalem is built in ancient white sandstone.

The sunset had recklessly splashed pink and orange all over the horizon and the colour was dripping down over the buildings.

I asked the eight women who were sitting in Brenda’s living room what brought them to a conversation about miracles and was told, it was their scepticism. This was not going to be easy. I shared a few miracles to start the ball rolling but was told these stories  have no real meaning for them. So what does have meaning for you, I asked.

In a gruff and slightly irritated voice one woman said she had a strong reaction to the word miracle. It just doesn’t fit in life in Israel. Life was hard and getting harder. She had never known a day without something terrible happening here. There are no miracles here.

Marilyn, had arrived in Israeli in 1961 as a young bright eyed eighteen year old. She fell in love at the age of twenty married an Israeli man. In the next six years she had three children. She and her husband worked hard to make a life. Inflation, war and security were the primary issues. Everyone was listening and nodding. She was telling their story too.

“In some ways it is a miracle I am still here,” she said, shacking her head. “I have lived through the Six Day war, the War of Attrition in 1968, the Yom Kippur war in 1973, the Lebanon war in 1978 and 1982 and 1987. The Persian Gulf war, the Hezbollah war in 2006 and the war in Gaza in 2008. We are sick and tired of war. We, all of us here have been working towards peace since the day we arrived. We have all but lost faith in our politicians.

Women like myself work hard to break to cycle of fear and humiliation by reaching out to other women on the other side. We meet, Jews and Muslims, Israelis and Arabs to find ways to build a new ground of peace that our leaders on both sides seem unable to do. In 2001 we heard about a woman called Lia Nirgad and we joined her organisation called Machson Watch. Two of us at a time used to go to check posts and just witness what was happening. We support the soldiers in behaving respectfully and when something happens we ask them why.  They don’t have to pay any attention at all to us, but our presence sets them a type of challenge. Even though they see us as elderly aunts who are driving them nuts, we bring to the checkpoints an effect of sanity, something extra-army, and that stops the knee-jerk reactions for a moment. They are compelled to stop for a moment. When a soldier tells us `I can’t do that,’ we say `Yes, you can.’ At that point he has a choice.”

“We all do our part to make this place a better one. She looked around the room and caught the eye of another woman who then nodded her permission.”

“Only yesterday”, said Marilyn, “Anita and I were sitting in the tent with Noam and Aviva Shalit.”

“Along with dozens of other people we sat with these parents to show our support for their son, and in so many ways he is now our son, to be returned. It is time.”

So you talk about miracles?  I don’t see any miracles here.

But I did.

Addendum

Gilad Shalit was captured by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid in 2006, was at the time still being held by Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, for four years. Hamas  demanded the release of more than a thousand  Palestinian soldiers held in Israel in exchange for the Israel Defence Forces soldier’s freedom. His freedom became a reality on October 18, 2011.

 

When you feel you have nothing left, give something away

Just give a smile away

 

 

 

 

 

One day I was feeling very depressed. I could go into all the external reasons I gave myself at the time for this depression, feeling overwhelmed with family responsibility, feeling un -appreciated,  addicted to negative thoughts etc. but the truth was I had temporarily forgotten who I really was.  I decided to go to the beach. At least I could wallow in my misery there.

I sat on the sand and shut my eyes and began to pray.

“Dear God,

Umm. Here I am. On the beach. Umm. I don’t feel so good. I umm, don’t want to bother you, but if you have a moment could you help me, please.”

It was not a very articulate prayer.

After I few moments I heard a sentence, inside my head.  At first I dismissed it. But it kept repeating itself. “Give something away.”

I had left my bag in the boot of the car and had jammed my car key into my jeans pocket so I didn’t have anything to actually give away. And I was not about to give away the keys to my car.

“Give something away,” repeated the voice.

I stood up and began to walk.  I passed a child holding her mother’s hand, carrying a tiny bucket and spade in her other hand. Cute.

Climbing the steps to the promenade I noticed a dog doing his business on the side walk.

Not so cute.

An old man, wearing a pair of shorts walked towards me and I raised the corners of my mouth, ever so slightly. He had looked away and then suddenly seeing my pathetic attempt to acknowledge him, he turned his head towards me, bared his crooked, slightly yellow teeth and smiled back at me.

I smiled as I passed a boy on his bicycle and surprise, surprise, he smiled at me!

I decided to create an experiment. I would see how many people would return my smile. At first it felt ridiculous. I felt like a fraud.  Smiling and feeling dreadful but I smiled at every one who passed by. And every one that passed me, smiled back.

I smiled at a mother carrying her new baby in a pouch on her chest. I smiled at a man munching on a bag of chips as his mongrel dog lie peacefully beside him. I smiled the cyclist who rode past me and at the old man who looked a miserable as I felt. And then he smiled too. The strange thing was however, I was having fun, in spite of myself.

Sitting next to a couple who were just looking out to sea,  I turned to them and said, “Hi, how are you today?”

They told me they had arrived from Finland two days ago to visit a sick friend. Their friend had passed away that morning and they were so grateful they had arrived in time to see him before he died. “You must have been very close, to him, to have come all this way”, I said.

They looked at me and told me that he had been the best man at their wedding two years earlier. He had been the man’s friend since primary school. He said that he was so happy to have known him. So grateful to have shared 27 years of friendship with him. They were both smiling and I felt the love for their friend and each other far outweighed any grief they may have been feeling.

We said goodbye and I began to walk toward my car.

The depression that I had carried with me to the beach that morning had completely lifted.

Miraculously I felt only joy and gratitude.

And all I had to do was give something away.

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A Random Act of Appreciation

“Miracles, in the sense of phenomena we cannot explain, surround us on every hand: life itself is the miracle of miracles.” – George Bernard Shaw

For many people in the world sleeping in a bed, under a roof with a full belly is a miracle.For many people in the world giving birth safely is a miracle.For many people in the world drinking clean water is a miracle.For many people in the world being warm in winter is a miracle.Without gratitude, a miracle can pass us by unnoticed, unseen or at very best, melt into another lovely moment. Gratitude connects us to our hearts and turns even the most ordinary and mundane experience into a sacred moment. On the other hand the most profound and life changing miracle will lose its brilliance, and fade unless it is accompanied by gratitude.

We cannot instantly change the situation of these millions of people but we do have the power to count our blessings and pay them forward in many ways.

Recently I read an article by Martin Corben who works on ABC radio in Sydney. He was travelling to work by train as he normally did, and out of the blue, he heard the train guard make an announcement over the loudspeaker. “’ I’d like to thank all passengers for boarding the train so quickly and efficiently as this train has now arrived at Central on time, despite there being a problem with the doors.”

The effect of this most unusual, random, congratulatory comment was that Martin, and probably many other passengers, felt ‘randomly good’ for the rest of the day. How many people stepped off that train and were inspired to pay back one random act of kindness with another? The guard certainly didn’t need to do that and he probably will never know what the impact of his announcement.

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Gratitude Can Move Mountains

 

 

 

 

 

“This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love; the more they give, the more they possess.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Gratitude is the first step to making magic, manifesting miracles and moving mountains. Well maybe not quite moving mountains, but almost.

Over the years I have worked with a great many people in very different stages of life. Some were at a cross road and did not know which way to turn. Others were painfully emerging from a long relationship and in the process had forgotten who they really are. Others bore the grief of losing a child, a job, their youth or a dream and could not find a way to step forward.

Notwithstanding the journey each one chose to make in their own healing, all these people had one thing in common. By paying attention to the areas in their life that warranted gratitude, their lives began to change. Though the areas that called them to give thanks were not connected to the issues that caused them pain, once they began to count their blessings miraculously everything in their lives gradually began to improve.

Why?

Because of one simple Universal Law. “That which is like unto itself is drawn”. Basically, we attract what we think about. If we focus on the good things in our life we draw more good things into our life. We have the power to attract both good and bad into our lives as a result of what we are thinking, feeling and calling towards us, whether these intentions are conscious or not. And when we change our thoughts, we change what we attract into our life. It’s all up to us.

In her book Simple Abundance, Sarah Ban Breathnach’s says that relief and comfort are inevitable when we write 5 things that we are grateful for every day. Gratitude is Grace. It connects us to the heart and when our heart is open we become a magnet to everyday miracles.

The Effortless Ease of Everyday Miracles

“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” 
― C.S. Lewis

 

 

 

 

 


There are moments in life when everything becomes effortless and naturally falls into place. Like waking up after a deep and restful sleep and finding yourself floating in an ocean of inner peace. Or letting go of an old and obsolete belief and sinking into  soft, warm sand of unrestricted freedom. Or burying a love one, knowing everything between you was complete and grieving is but a passing cloud in a sea of gratitude and love. Those are precious moments not to be taken for granted.

I love it when I know I have taken the wrong turn and drive around lost for a while when suddenly I am at the right place, as if by magic. I love it when I have just made a cup of tea and realise there is no milk in the fridge when my husband arrives home with the milk at that exact moment. I love it when I think about an old friend who I haven’t seen for years and I receive an email from her out of the blue. You know what I mean?

Here’s to the effortless ease of everyday miracles.

 

The Little Book of Everyday Miracles

Hello and Welcome,                                                                                                                

Welcome to my blog about miracles. Everyday miracles to be exact. This is a place to put to share, explore and create the magical, miraculous, the marvellous and the magnificent. Can you imagine what our world would be like if we expected miracles everyday?

The book, The Little book of Everyday Miracles can be purchased by simply clicking the link below.


 There’s something about miracles that’s utterly enticing. Just to hear about a miracle makes you feel more hopeful.

It doesn’t matter whether this miracle happened to you or to a complete stranger—it can still delight you. It’s a delight that lingers, that leaves you with a spring in your step. Suddenly life doesn’t seem so difficult. But where are miracles to be found, and how do they come about?

Maybe you don’t believe in everyday miracles. Maybe there was a time you really needed a miracle and it didn’t come in time.

Maybe the most amazing miracle turned your life around.

Maybe, like me, your days have many everyday miracles.  I was born believing in miracles. Don’t ask me how I knew miracles happened, I just did. I also knew life wasn’t restricted to mundane things. I simply knew that there was more to life than I could see or hear or feel. That’s what miracles do to us. They stretch our vision, nudging us beyond all the everyday things which weigh us down. Of course we don’t have to believe in miracles. It’s our choice.

I hope that as we share our beliefs and experiences together you may be reminded of some magical moments and synchronicities in your own life.  I know you have them, because we all do. Everyday miracles however, are like dreams, easily forgotten unless we write them down or talk about them.

I want to hear about your everyday miracle. It cannot be too small. In fact the smallest ones make us smile as much as the big ones.  Only today I was looking out of my window and instead of noticing the clear blue sky I noticed streaks of dust, cobwebs and a few suspicious splotches on the window pane. I was trying to remember the lovely young man who climbed the 4 metre high ladder some time ago, when I received an sms on my phone asking me whether it was time to clean my windows. Don’t you love it when that happens?

Have you had any everyday miracles while travelling, or bringing up children, or finding love, or losing love? Have you experienced a crisis that became a miracle?

Don’t forget to include your name and contact details so that I can contact in the future.

We may just be creating another book, together.

Here’s  to all the everyday miracles you’ve had and are about to have.

Much Love,

Sharon