What are your cultural influences?

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 11.26.22

Mmm the question ‘What are your cultural influences?’ is the 7th in the challenge I decided to do to help me keep blogging this year. While I am not slavishly sticking to it, nor feeling the pressure to blog every week come what may, I am trying not to skip questions just because they are not the easiest thing to write about. To be honest I’m not really sure what this even means but I’m going to have a go.

I was born in England in the mid 50’s and growing up in the 60’s exposed me to both ‘flower power’ as well as ‘mods and rockers’. I spent my teenage years dressed in long flowing Indian cotton dresses, necklaces of tiny bells that jingled when I walked, looking longingly after those who were a little older, lusting after the freedom they had to travel, hang out at festivals and so on. With a short flurry into cropped hair and mohair suits, it didn’t last long but you do need to experiment don’t you, the ‘hippy’ era probably influenced me are than anything else. Living less than an hour outside London forays into Carnaby Street, Kings Road, Knightsbridge with Biba and Harrods, where at the time you really could buy anything, was the norm. Live music was so accessible, with the Kursaal in Southend providing a weekly, and affordable place to hang out and see bands and I still like loose, flowing clothes, long velvet skirts and going to live gigs 🙂

Travelling as an adult, something I do as often as possible, has opened my eyes to other cultures, many of which have links to some of the work I do as an energy and shamanic healer. I know that every place I visit impacts on me in some way and that I carry the energy of many of them with me.

I live now in Ireland  and despite the rise and subsequent demise of the Celtic Tiger, we are still  relatively free from the busy and materialistic world. It is here that I found my way into the work I do now, discovered the delights of stone circles and standing stones, ring forts and labyrinths and the energy and spirit of place. It is here that I learnt to connect with and work with the land, here where the culture allows this all to happen naturally. So just as the culture of 60’s England influenced by early years so is Ireland now influencing the latter ones.

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 11.18.28

How Did You Find Your Path?

Ok so I didn’t manage to get back here to blog last week but hopefully better late than never 🙂

Having found the blog prompts last week I thought the best place to start was at the beginning so here we are with prompt 1:

‘How did you find your path?

I think the best way for me to answer this question, is that in many ways my path found me.

It all began with an article in the local newspaper, one written by a woman who had trained in Reiki and who was writing about the ways that it could be used, including on yourself. With a busy, some times stressful, always very full time, job, I liked the idea of something that could be done for yourself. At that time I might have managed to get myself to the gym for a swim but scheduling an appointment for someone to do something for me was never going to happen.

But of course having read about it I promptly forgot all about it until several years, a new country, new home, and a couple of jobs later, when I opened yet another local paper and saw an advertisement for a weekend Reiki 1 course. Having just moved house and not yet having found a proper job I decided I couldn’t justify the expense and so left it go once again.

Eventually, with a few prompts and a gentle push from my husband, I actually managed to get myself to a Reiki 1 course and that’s when everything changed. I quickly found myself not only using Reiki for myself, but also on friends who would turn up on my doorstep having heard from other friends that I could ‘do Reiki’. I fell in love with the energy hook, line and sinker and went on to do both my Reiki 2 and then my Reiki Master’s training.

It was during my Reiki Master’s training that my path shifted yet again or perhaps it’s fairer to say that Reiki opened a door for me and I found myself walking what I now know to be a shamanic path through some spontaneous shamanic journeying during which I met the first of my guides, one who taught me how to walk in woods, work with plants and how to make offerings to my allies. At the time I didn’t have a name for any of this and it wasn’t until some time later that I realised that what I was doing, how I was working, and the path I was walking actually had a name.

There have been many twists and turns in my path since then. I have trained in things I no longer use, all of which have influenced me and left their mark on me in some way, after all nothing happens by accident. The latest twist has seen me step onto the path of the Order of the Bards, Ovates and Druids, something I was guided to do but which I am still waiting to discover where it is leading. Sometimes I think I know, then something changes and I am left in the dark once again which is fine. If nothing else, over the years I have learnt to trust and just go with the flow.

At present I am wandering deep within the forest on the path of the Ovate, trusting that when the time is right, when what I have learnt is needed, I will understand why I needed to be on this part of my path. What I am completely certain of though, is that Reiki and Shamanism are as much part of me as breathing is and they will always be part of my path wherever it takes me in the future.

A ‘New’ Challenge :)

I need something to keep me blogging otherwise I have a tendency to drift. The challenge I found the first year worked brilliantly as it was flexible enough for me to always find something to write about. It was simple and used the alphabet, so week one was a post beginning with A and so on. I also had a Facebook group in which to share my blog which I also liked. Last year the only challenge I found didn’t suit me at all. I actually found the pressure of searching for something to say about things that were outside my experience quite stressful so I stopped and consequently so did my blog 😦

I thought I had found a challenge for this year but its mainly about tarot which I don’t use but today I discovered this:

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 10.49.22

I’m not sure where its from as I couldn’t find the Facebook group when I searched but that doesn’t matter. I have 52 headings that I can use for blog prompts, if it doesn’t link to anywhere I am under no pressure to write when I don’t have anything to say and both of those points make it flexible enough for me this year 🙂

So I am going to start with the first prompt and sometime during the week will be back with a new post.Lets see if I can keep this one up.