Choose a rug of comfort, wrap yourself and sit in the Temple of Solace.
image courtesy of Imogen Crest – October 2006
” May your voice be loving enough to silence your own fears.” ….. silent lotus
Living with my husband’s advanced cancer for many years has proved challenging. Advanced cancer is a term to describe a metastatic cancer and is a cancer which is unlikely to be cured. One of the painful realities, when cancer will not go away, is that family and friends sometimes withdraw. For years I have converted the stress of ‘living with cancer’ to creative energy and the Soul Food Cafe is a product of that creative energy. More recently The Temple of Solace was borne out of a deep sense of loss over hurtful abandonment at a time of deep grief.
Recently a close friend here at Soul Food shared saying “I think the whole of Soul Food is a wonderful creative resource where people can browse or contribute as they wish, where there is no pressure to produce, just to enjoy. It is well known that writing and art heal the soul and I’m sure, given the right stimuli, people respond in it in a way that they never can to conventional medicine. This is why art therapy is so helpful. The fact that Soul Food exists online, means that therapy is accessible to everyone who has a computer or access to a computer. If they choose to join our community they will be sure of a warm welcome. We can all attest to the reality of the closeness contained in this virtual community, a community which does become real when you start interacting with kindred spirits and exchange private mails, phone calls, snail mail, etc. I think SFC rocks! I am biased of course”
Soul Food Cafe and the Temple of Solace are not just for those who are feeling isolated because of circumstances such as that which I have experienced. It is quite simply a refuge, a safe place to retreat. Visitors to the Temple may be searching for some kind words as a result of a loss of a job, a way of life, an empty nest, the loss of a teddy bear, the death of a pet, the loss of property, loss of a way of life, a lost muse, a sense of abandonment: about almost anything. Personally, I have found that kind words can reduce me to tears, simply because I am not as accustomed to kind words and kind actions as I am at steeling myself, putting up my armour to protect myself from the pain of what feels like rejection.
When you arrive at the temple, choose a rug from the pile Monika Roleff has provided, wrap it around yourself, rock and keen or wail if that is what you feel like doing.
There is only one catch to all of this. If you choose to unburden and seek some comfort be ready to comfort and listen to others. No one is expected to find any solutions or offer any quick fixes. They are simply expected to hear and feel empathy and then go out into the real world and treat people with kindness.
For a long time gratitude journals have been popular and these are excellent. What we would like to see in the temple is a book of kindness where folk record and share some of the simple things they have done to comfort and support another, over a sustained period. You see, folk are usually quite good at the time of a cataclysmic happening, but they are not always so good at marathon running, at being there for an extended period. It often simply gets too hard.
What also needs to be recorded is what we feel would have been enough. It is enough when people spend a little bit of time with me and nod knowingly.
I am hoping that people will ask to become members of the Temple, that they will produce ideas, essays about the subject, icons that comfort, altars, references, meditations, helpful hints, spirit lifter suggestions, and so on.
Lets start a chain reaction to break the silence Gandhi spoke of.
Simply begin commenting at the Temple and if you want to be a member of a team committed to beating the drums that call for compassion, empathy and kindness, simply contact
Heather at heatherblakey at fastmail dot fm or
Monika at indigo_moon22 at hotmail dot com
Help Support the Temple of Solace and Soul Food
Consider ways that you can help support Soul Food Cafe and the Temple of Solace, and ensure that its field of positive influence is expanded. Any donations are ploughed back into the site. Soul Food Cafe is a free resource and is not a profit organisation. It has been funded and operated by Heather Blakey for over eight years, but now a group of like minded individuals have gathered to ensure that the vision is sustained.