New Experiences

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I am just back from holiday and like all holidays it has been full of new experiences. This can be something as simple as trying a new cocktail but in my case included seeing an Ocelot on a night drive, mastering how to stand up on a paddle board and making tamales and tortillas with a women’s co-operative in a Mayan village.

I really do appreciate I am very lucky to be able to travel and I have come back home full of enthusiasm for trying new things whenever I can.

I am also very lucky in my work as every new client or student brings me new opportunities to grow, develop and learn as I work. This is the nature of shamanic work and of teaching anything.

I make no apologies at all for highlighting how important new experiences are to us.

New experiences help to:

  • keep our brains functioning
  • slow down the appearance of time passing quickly – our brains take longer to process new information
  • stop us being bored
  • help to alleviate fear and build courage
  • open up new possibilities
  • help us to grow
  • develop new skills
  • keep us up-to-date
  •  enhance self esteem
  • feed creativity
  • breaks us out of ruts
  • provides new perspectives

So how can we gain new experiences on an overcast day at home when we have empty pockets?

These are just some of the things that come immediately to mind

  • walk a different way when you go out
  • turn left instead of right
  • pick up a different type of book when you go to the library
  • talk to a stranger
  • try drawing/singing/painting/dancing/skipping/something you don’t usually do – do it when no one else is around
  • write with your left/right hand, the one you don’t usually use
  • walk to somewhere you don’t usually go
  • write a book/an article/a letter/anything

I was going to keep going but if this has wet your appetite Tiny Buddha has 50 ways to Open Your World to New Possibilities 

Go, experience and enjoy, I certainly will be.

 

Kitchen Witch

 

I know nothing at all about being a kitchen witch or any other witch come to that, unless you count being able to conjure up meals from nothing in which case I fully qualify. Someone who does though is Rachel Patterson, Author and Kitchen Witch extraordinaire.

As it is always nice to be able to share another author’s blog and website and so I have shared the links below and will leave you to explore and find out all about Kitchen Witchery.

Rachel Patterson witch and author Blogspot

Rachel Patterson Website

Injured :(

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How ironic that a week after I wrote about healing and the stripping away of layers to reveal what is underneath in order to reach the root cause I have managed to reactivate an old injury 😦

I was actually warned about this in a round about way when I last went for a massage. At the end of the blissful session my masseur commented on the fact that there was a lot of heart energy present and to be aware if anything came up over the next few weeks. I, of course, assumed it was connected with something I had been tossing around connected with my work, something that is causing me a lot of soul searching,  until that is my body showed me otherwise.

On Friday in the gym I was aware of a pain under my left shoulder blade. Now this was unusual in that yes, the old injury was to the area in between my shoulder blades but previously had always been to the right of my back. By the time I left the gym it was across  the whole of my upper back and so on getting home I reached for the anti inflammatory cream and my pendulum. This is after all the back of my heart chakra so definitely warranted investigation. If my body is sending me messages in a physical way then it is quite likely I have been ignoring something that it has been trying to tell me and having run out of ways of getting me to pay attention has decided to hurt so I will actually stop and listen.

Previously when working with this area of my body I have been aware of releasing layers and layers of emotions as well as healing on a physical level and so I wanted to discover if this was something that was now surfacing, my body attempting to shift something I was eventually ready to let go of and which I could assist happen. I asked question after question relating to what this might be and all I could get was ‘yes’ this was something that I was ready to release but that there was nothing I could do, other than let it happen. I tried asking about everything from regression to a shamanic journey for either insight or healing and got a clear ‘no’ to everything I suggested.

And so it is that I am sat here with a heat pack on my back as this eases the dregs of the nagging pain. I have been able to release much of the tension and tightness in the muscles (I always knew that massage training would come in handy) and it is all so much better than it has been. I no longer feel sick from the pain, can now sleep on both sides of my body as well as on my back and can turn over without the pain waking me up, another huge improvement 🙂 If my body wishes to release now in a physical way all I can do is continue to support it while it does so. To these ends I have a cranio sacral session booked for later in the week, my body is happy with this and usually responds well by releasing and so enabling healing to take place. I have my fingers crossed it will do the same on this occasion for I have been working on this for many years now and there can’t be much left there for me to let go of…..surely.

 

Healing

 

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I have struggled with finding an ‘H’ blog for this week. This is in fact the 3rd blog I have started and probably the 4th or 5th subject I have toyed with, but as its now Wednesday I feel I need to knuckle down and write about something.

I have settled on ‘Healing’ as my final topic because after all that is what a lot of my work is about in one way or another.

I feel at this point that I need to be absolutely clear though that my work is never about me healing anyone else, but is always about me providing the space in which others can find ways to heal themselves. All I do is facilitate that.

I work with lots of things that, for want of any other way to describe them, have labels that help people make some sense of how I work, but in reality when I meet with a client we decide together what blend of assistance they need to move towards being able to heal. It is after all, all energy, the distinction is really only in the way energy is worked with/manipulated or passed on at the time.

I don’t believe there is any quick fix regarding healing. Instant changes happen not because of anything I or any other therapist does but because of the work the client has already done on themselves that makes it seem so. Right place, right time as it were.

I am also my own ‘work in progress’ for once we start on a journey of healing there is always more to do. I can’t work on others unless I am working on myself. There is though nothing more frustrating than thinking we have dealt with something only for it to reappear at a later date. This I am afraid is what healing is all about. It is the stripping away of layers, touching on what is there, dealing with and if we are lucky, clearing what reveals itself, but all the time knowing that unless we have reached the root of the issue then there is always more beneath it. I often use the analogy of an onion but sometimes that of an iceberg might be more appropriate. What can sometimes be hard to see though is that we never revisit something in the same way if it reappears. We are not in the same place we were the previous time, we are not the same people. We revisit with more experience, more knowledge and hopefully more wisdom. When we revisit we work and heal at a level deeper than we were able to the previous time and we can only do that because of the work we have done before.

There is also no ‘one size fits all’ in healing which is why I like to have a range of ways in which I can work both on myself and when I work with others. What is perfect on one occasion is unlikely to be on another. As we heal ourselves so the ways in which we work need to adapt to our new needs.

 

Grounding

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IMHO grounding ourselves is one of the most important things for any of us to be doing every single day. The more grounded we are the more we are in contact with our bodies, our physical beings and the more we can deal with whatever comes at us in a practical and useful way.

When we are stressed and have lots of things running back and forth through our minds it is easy to get caught up in that headspace, grounding ourselves can help to bring us back into contact with our physical bodies and settle us. I am not saying for one minute that it will solve all of our problems but it can help. I often see clients who are stressed, anxious or depressed and almost always, helping to settle their thoughts by balancing their energy and bringing some back down from that head space and into their bodies can really make a difference. Grounding ourselves and our energy can do the same.

I always work with my students whether it be Reiki, Chios or Shamanism or something else that they are training in by making sure they all know how to ground themselves. When we are running energy, having energy caught in our higher chakras, or the upper part of the energy body, is a sure way of becoming unbalanced and even sick, grounding before we work can help stop this. That spacey, away with the faeries feeling can be lovely but is not good for any length of time, neither is it safe. The warning about not driving, operating machinery, making important decisions should apply to everyone who is running or working with energy but who is not grounding themselves regularly.

At the end of a treatment with clients I always ground them before finishing as this can stop them being light headed or dizzy when they sit or stand up.

There are many ways of grounding ourselves and on my website I have an article on Grounding  which has several ideas for how to do this and which you might like to explore but here I am sharing two simple ideas with you.

Grounding Exercise 1

Go outside and find a quiet space with some grass, where you will be undisturbed.
Take your shoes off and walk barefoot on the grass.
With every step be aware of your foot and its connection with the grass and the Earth.
As you walk, breath in deeply as you place each foot on the Earth.
Focus only on your breathing, the feel of the grass and the Earth energy as it flows into you.

Grounding Exercise 2

Sit quietly with your feet flat on the floor, without shoes is best, and make sure your spine is straight.
Close your eyes and imagine, sense or visualise, roots flowing from the soles of your feet into the Earth (Don’t worry if you are not on the ground floor this will still work).
Send the roots flowing down, spreading out beneath your feet, anchoring firmly into the Earth.
Now breathe in deeply imagining the breath coming up from the Earth into the soles of your feet, up your legs and into your body.
Continue this for a few minutes at least and with every breath feel the connection between the soles of your feet and the Earth becoming stronger as if a magnet is pulling you.

 

If you would like to delve back into the archives you can find my ‘G’ post from 2014

Divination, Insight and Guidance

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Usually by this time of the year I have taken a pack of cards, most often Ted Andrews Nature Speak ones which I always find scarily accurate, and carried out a spread for the coming year. This year though this seems to have been overlooked and although I was aware that it remained undone as it were, until today I was unaware of why. Talking with my guides this morning I had the overwhelming desire to draw one of Denise Linn’s Soul Coaching cards and the one I drew was ‘Simplicity’. Never one to use anyone else’s explanation I spoke further with my guides and by the end of it both the card and the reason why I had, on one level anyway, decided not to do a year’s spread became clear to me.

I rarely use cards for divination, although I am more likely to draw a single card as I did today for guidance. Despite having many sets of cards I am, for example, far more likely to pick up a pendulum to ask a question, undertake a shamanic journey for insight, take myself out on a signs and omens walk with a clear intention, or simply chat with my guides. I don’t believe it matters at all what we do to divine answers, or how we seek insight or guidance as long as we are clear about what we are doing and why. In other words as long as we use whatever we have carefully, with common sense and discernment.

Many years ago at an early stage in this part of my journey I was in a small local shop looking for a pendulum. The person who owned the shop allowed me to play with one that I was drawn to and watched me for a while before telling me that sometimes she refused to sell them to people. She was, she told me, very cautious about the way in which people were going to use them. If she had someone whom she felt was going to use the pendulum to decide what to have for their tea, or choose between tea or coffee for example, she would gently persuade them that it was maybe not the right thing for them to be working with.

At the time I didn’t really understand this. Why, I felt, could people not do whatever they wanted with them? Now though I completely understand. We have many, many tools available to us, some work beautifully with us, others less so depending on our own abilities, I for example, despite being a natural dowser, cannot map dowse to save my life, some work better in some circumstances than others, like us they all have their uses, strengths and weaknesses and it is important we recognise that, know which tool to use when and when to use nothing at all. What we also have is ourselves, our own intellegence, knowledge, skills and intuition and sometimes what we need to be doing is trust in ourselves and what we know or what we feel instinctively. We do not need to be second guessing ourselves all the time and we should never become dependent on any tool, in any way, or for any reason. This is what the woman in the shop meant and she was quite right.

The understanding I received today came not from the cards or from my guides, although talking to them helped me gain clarity. It had everything to do with my looking at what had happened over the past year and seeing how little I used the yearly spread, how seldom I referred to it once it was done, or even remembered it was there. It had shifted from being a useful tool to being a habit, one I no longer needed. The card ‘Simplicity’ merely highlighted the need to strip things away, to simplify things and not complicate them by doing something that I didn’t need to using tools that served no purpose in this particular way at this particular time. I do not need to divine my future, I have no need or desire to know now what the year ahead might hold. This morning put the tools back in perspective and allowed me to set aside a habitual practice. Insight and guidance, and yes divination, will come as the year unfolds but not for me at this time.

And yes I do have a crystal ball tucked away on a shelf, covered with a silk cloth.

 

Cleansing and Purifcation

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I have blogged before about how I used to really dislike the month of February, how after the Winter Solstice, the seasonal celebrations, the period of recovery, of getting back to normal, it always felt a bit flat, a bit nothing in particular and that I was always relieved when it was over. I then discovered that historically February was the month of cleansing and purification and it all felt a bit better. Yet here I am on Imbolc itself, the first day of spring with the wind howling and the rain lashing, if ever it felt a time for closing down and hibernating, today, and if the forecast is right, the next couple of days are it, never mind a spring clean and a purification of home and of body. This is a good reminder for me of why I am usually delighted and not a small bit relieved for it to be March with its promise of better things to come. Mind I have until 15th February before the historical period of Purification began so there is still time…..she says hopefully.

This does seem a good time for me to share two of my past blogs which contain information about February, pagan rituals and ideas for cleansing and purification, again this should save you trawling back through the archives for them:

Cleansing 

Spring Cleaning 

This year, on the whole so far, the winter has been mild, the winds often slack and our windows have been wide open more than they have been closed so the need I usually have to open them wide and allow the element of air to move through and do its work is needed less than usual it seems. The garden is not covered in bits of windfall from the ash and hawthorn and so I have no need to go gathering kindling, at the moment anyway. So unless anything changes as the month unfolds, this February my cleansing and purification is going to focus on ME 🙂

Since the summer I have been working in a gym again, the first time for six of seven years. I am discovering muscles I hadn’t seen for a long time and a physical strength that I had thought was lost forever. My 2017 cleansing and purification rituals then are going to be used to get to know it again, how it is now, to deeply cleanse by spending time with it rather than the quick in and out of the shower it is used to. The purification will be through what I eat which will be as healthy and light as I can make it during the winter. So lots of fresh fish, vegetables, salads, meals made from scratch and of course the odd bar of chocolate and glass of wine 🙂