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.

 

Meditation

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I am not sure if I have mentioned this before or not but I don’t meditate. This is something that often comes as a surprise to people, especially my students when they first hear it.

I have a theory about it though and that theory is connected with my shamanic work. In shamanism when I shift into light or deep trance there is always a reason for it. I am always seeking insight or information or am carrying out a task of some kind in either ordinary or non ordinary reality. Were my intention to be to empty my mind and for it to stay that way then I would not  be able to do my work.

It’s not as if I haven’t tried. I can clearly remember when I was training  in Chios Energy Healing talking to my tutor about the difficulties I was having with the meditation. The meditation in Chios is an important part of the practice and in it the mind is cleared while the energy of the human body shifts to energetically become what is required of it. However, when I practiced when training my mind would fill with images, with scenes unfolding, information being imparted as they did so. I would push them away only for them to return almost immediately. Discussing this with my tutor I was told to just allow them to be, for they were there for a reason. And so I did and still do. None of this affects my ability to free my energy from its human bounds to allow it to be something else in any way.

What I do instead of meditating is I do Reiki. Through self treatments I am able to be still and even though I follow the energy, am aware of where it is working in me and yes sometime receive information and insight even when self treating it still brings me into that meditative state. Fortunately there have been studies that have shown practicing Reiki to have the same effect on the brain as meditation so I am completely content with what I do.

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.

 

A Day With My Inner Child

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This might not look much to those of you who get lots of snow or who live where it snows often but for me this is a big deal as it rarely snows where I live. Yesterday the forecast was for everyone getting some snow, except for us which is often the way, so this is a real bonus.

My inner child loves snow and she was really excited by the forecast that was giving out snow warnings and then really disappointed when it looked too warm here to get any. She always lives in hope though and spent the day watching the weather just in case.

Now I can, and do, work with weather spirits but usually only if there is a real need and never simply to keep my inner child happy, it therefore never crossed my mind to journey, armed with offerings and gifts to plead her case, so both she and the grown up I sometimes pretend to be, waited patiently. We were very happy when the sky darkened, the temperature dropped and it began to snow.

It didn’t snow that much, when I did go out and stand in it for a few minutes, letting it fall on my skin, it was wet snow, disappearing as fast as it came. Sometimes there was brilliant sunshine, blue skies and big white snowflakes being blown horizontally on the wind, sometimes grey skies and nothing, I didn’t get to walk in it, scrunch through it, make snow angels or a snowman as it didn’t settle, but snow it was and my inner child sat inside in the warm and watched happily.

No Resolutions – Lots of Intention

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I never make New Year’s resolutions and in fact, never have. Growing up they were never part of my own experience as none of my family ever made them and the only time I was really aware of them being mentioned was by people discussing how quickly they had broken them, usually in connection to losing weight or giving up something they really enjoyed but felt others disapproved of. I guess I have never really seen the point of making a resolution that I knew there was a high chance I was going to break or to make one that was to do with others opinions or judgements not something that was actually important to me.

This doesn’t mean though that I don’t do anything. I actually do quite a lot around this time of year and this year it has felt necessary to do more than most years for some reason. The reason why doesn’t matter, what matters is that I listened to the messages, the awareness, the gut instinct that what I did and continue to do now, is important in some way.

So what have I been doing?

Those of you who read my blog will know that I have been doing  a lot of reflecting, looking back at what has been going on, looking at what needs to be left behind, changed in some way and what I want to hold on to. Part of the way I have been doing this, this year,  is that I have made a list of all that I do, the ways I go about my life, things I am happy with, things that I am not, things that I am not sure about and so on…..I’m sure you get the picture. I then made column of the pros and cons of each and then a final column for am I keeping them on not. This was a really interesting thing to do as it really helped me clarify my thinking and see what was happening. I have let it sit there for some days now and this again has given me space to reflect on my initial thoughts.

Today I was fortunate enough to be able to go to a women’s circle which gave us all a few hours of time for reflecting on the year gone and what we were stepping into, fire to release, to transform and water to help carry the flow of our intentions into the coming year. This was very much in line with what I had been feeling I needed to do and also in line with what astrologers have been saying about planetary alignments and the need to be clear about what we take forward into 2017. Also numerologicaly we are leaving a number 9 year which is the end of a cycle and entering a number 1 year which is new beginnings, so it really makes sense to have a good clear out before we go.

I had wanted to share a post about the planetary alignments but as so often happens couldn’t find what I was looking for but instead came across this……..

AT THE END OF THE YEAR

As this year draws to its end,
We give thanks for the gifts it brought
And how they become inlaid within
Where neither time nor tide can touch them.

Days when beloved faces shone brighter
With light from beyond themselves;
And from the granite of some secret sorrow
A stream of buried tears loosened.

We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.

John O’Donohue

Excerpt from, ‘At the End of the Year’
BENEDICTUS (Europe) / TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US (US)

May our reflections bring us clarity and insight, may we recognise the many blessing that the past year has given us even if the lessons sometimes have been hard, and may we carry forward our dreams for the coming year in the knowledge that we create our own reality and dream our world into being.

Happy New Year and a blessed, peaceful and abundant 2017 everyone xx

Taking time

 


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much we rush around nowadays and how little time we all seem to have for anything. We only have to look at over the counter pharmacuetical products to see how this lack is reflected in what we are being fed by companies too. Everything is express this, faster acting that, delivered yesterday or at worst in a few minutes.

It has taken a summer of being unwell to make me stop and take time. Firstly I had allergy asthma that progressed to bronchitis. This required three lots of antibiotics each one progressively stronger and each wiping out my body and immune system as fast as they were ‘curing’ me. I had no choice but to take these as without them my lungs and heart are seriously compromised but this doesn’t mean I liked doing it. Anyway, a few weeks after recovering I picked up a viral sinus infection which had vertigo like symptoms. It was, according to the Dr I saw, a mild version although it didn’t feel that way. She put it down to the effects of the antibiotics and I learnt then that it takes the body six weeks to overcome one lot of antibiotics so I can only imagine what three lots had done to me! This virus again cleared up only to return with a vengeance.

As a result of all this I decided to give myself what I clearly needed which was time. I stopped rushing around, I made space, once I felt well enough to go I allowed myself to wake up properly before going to the gym and to sit and have coffee and food afterwards. I have done things in small bites rather than all at once, and yes this is taking longer but so what.

I also made time to go for a massage and the conversation with my therapist reinforced my thinking. We were talking about the changes in my body, seven years after a car accident, lots of physio, Reiki,  Chi Kung and Tai Chi, massage, Bowen treatments, sound healing, cranio sacral work, and finally five months  (minus the time I’ve been unwell) in my local Curves gym. My muscles are different, stronger, my back tightens but lets go now rather than holds on and my body feels different now to both her and me. This has all happened because I allowed time, time to heal, time to recover, I listened to my body and what it needed, I paid attention to when things weren’t working, like yoga and Pilates, worked out why and then sorted out what might work. It’s been a long journey and it’s not over yet for there are still things I can’t do and which need more time.

This has all helped me to realise that we need to allow ourselves time to heal all the time and not just when something drastic happens to us. We should stop expect quick fixes where our health is concerned and give ourselves the gift we really need, we should be patient and allow ourselves to heal. We are and our bodies are immensely powerful but only if we give ourselves permission to take time and give ourselves what we need.

So heading into the winter I am doing what I can to build up and support my immune system, feeding and nourishing myself and I am going to continue to be patient with myself and allow myself to take time.

Clean vs Dirty

 

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I’ve been seeing quite a lot or posts and articles recently about clean versus dirty eating. Now don’t ask me what they both are exactly as I haven’t been reading them in any depth, my interest has been more in the extremes to which people are going, both in their choice of diet and in their vilification of anyone who disagrees with their views. Last night I read of a blogger who hides the fact that, for the sake of their health, they are no longer vegan. They are hiding this because of online attacks by others who feel they should remain loyal to veganism. I suspect I could have equally written this about any type of diet and anyone who blogs or vlogs about their way of being, holding it up as an example of something we should all follow.

One of the things I do is allergy and intolerance testing and much of the time my work is about helping people be aware of what works for them, what feeds and nourishes their bodies and what causes their systems to protest in some way. This then allows them to make informed choices about what they consume and the effects it has on them. What this work has taught me over the years is that we are all different. What suits one of us in terms of diet, supplements or environment, like so much else that we do, does not suit the next person, and indeed why should it.

In order to test I work with a pendulum, charts and lists and more often than not, much of what comes up as a problem is not any real surprise for my clients. Many of us do listen to our bodies, to things we crave and which make us feel better and things we eat or expose ourselves to, knowing that afterwards we will feel worse in some way, and not just through guilt at having eaten the whole box of chocolates/doughnuts or having drunk the whole bottle or wine/vodka, (substitute food or liquid of your choice here). Our bodies are amazing machines and our intuition is something we all have which can guide us, if we listen to it. Much of intuition is about just that, listening and paying attention ,not ignoring it and our bodies do try to send us signals when anything is wrong, signals which intuitively we are more than capable of picking up if we are in fact paying attention.

If anything we are doing be it diet or something else, is making us feel ill, tired, lacking in some way then we should change what we are doing. Extremes are rarely good for us so why would a diet that is extreme either in a ‘clean’ or ‘dirty’ way be any different. Balance is what is really ideal for us in all areas of our lives ,or at least as much of it as we can obtain, and balance can only be found once we get better at recognising and responding to whatever it is that tips us out of balance. If we understand this there really never be any need to vilify or attack anyone for not eating or behaving in the way that is right for them.