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.

Shaman Pathways Web of Life Review 

It can be really difficult to publicise and share reviews of my own work without it feeling like my blog is a sales pitch which it really isn’t in any way. It’s so much easier to share other people’s work than it is my own anyway but I think all authors feel that way.

This week though I had contact with someone who really loved my book. She was so enthusiastic about it that I really wanted to share what she said in case anyone was feeling lost or was searching for something that Web of Life might help to give them. 

The review was posted in a Facebook group so the only way I can share here is via a screenshot so I apologise for the size of the text, any smaller and it’s illegible. 

Shaman Pathways Web of Life Uk
Shaman Pathways Web of Life  USA

Practicing Patience

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I am not by nature patient with myself even though I can be very patient with others when I need to be. Over the years I have learnt to be a little more gentle when it comes to me but it is still not something that comes naturally and I do have to work at it.

Whatever ‘bug’ I have had these last couple of weeks is really testing my patience, even though I know others who have had it and who talk about it lasting two or three weeks. I am used to being well and on the odd occasion when I am not, usually find that once I begin to feel better, I continue to do so day on day. Not this time though, this time I might have a day when I feel a bit better followed by one where I feel worse. It really is strange and I am certainly finding it difficult.

Yesterday was a good day, today when I woke up I felt ok but by the time I had got up and showered I had to sit down and recover. This is not like me in any way.

So I am practicing being patient. I am breathing, working with my breath  and am yogic breathing to exercise my lungs. I am grounding myself, walking barefoot and breathing in the energy of Earth to feed and nourish my body. I am being still and allowing my body to do whatever it needs to do to heal. When I have enough energy I am working on my art and when I don’t I am reading or playing online. I have given up the idea of planning to do anything and am taking it one day at a time in the hope that ‘today might be a good day’.

I am not a good patient which is maybe why my energy is as it is. If I feel ok then I will dive back into life and maybe, just maybe, I need this time out, time to be still. Perhaps it is good for me to be reminded about what this feels like, but if so, trust me I have got the message, loud and clear and hopefully this ‘bug’ will let go of me soon and then I can stop practicing patience.

 

My body is in charge

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Well I am now at the end of my second week of feeling decidedly rubbish 😦 Unusually for me I had just given in and rolled with this which means I am at the end of my second week of doing …….. nothing very much.

I have been listening to my body and my body is screaming at me ‘rest’ even when my mind is saying I really should be doing something. Listening to my body and allowing it to be in charge, hard though it is, is actually making this all much easier than had I been fighting it.

When my mind is in charge it tries to make me do things, makes me feel bad when I am not doing anything, makes me eat even if I am not feeling hungry, makes me move about, makes me try and work through being unwell because that’s what we do isn’t it. We tell ourselves we do not have time to be ill and we push ourselves on.

The problem is that when we do that, when we push ourselves, when we ignore the messages our body is giving us, we can end up being worse than we would have been if we had stopped and given ourselves chance to recover. I have done this many, many times before now, sometimes because I am too busy to be ill, sometimes because I feel, incorrectly I might add, that I am too indispensable to stop, sometimes just because I can.

I have a book in my workspace ‘The Secret Language of Your Body’ by Ina Segal which is all about the messages our bodies try to get to us by not being ok in some way. I talk to my students and clients about how important it is to be paying attention so that we don’t end up really sick or so we can help ourselves to heal. Perhaps if I had been paying more attention before I was unwell I might not have reached this point, the pulled muscle in my side and torn muscle in my arm might, had I been aware enough, have been signs to stop or at least slow down, but rather than give myself a hard time over this I can at least allow my body to be in charge now so that I do not make myself worse.

So I have been paying attention and I really have been listening. When my mind tells me that it is two weeks since I was in the gym but my body reminds me that I barely have the energy to make a cup of tea I am sitting down and resting and when my mind says I should get up and do something but my body is struggling to hold itself upright I am staying put. Hopefully my body will take pity on me and recover quickly now as I am reaching that dangerous stage of beginning to feel a little better. I just hope I can continue to listen and allow my body to be in control.

Boot Camp!

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About six weeks ago I joined Curves. After not doing any real exercise for the last few years I started off slowly, gradually building up what I was doing on the machines and am delighted with how much stronger my body feels and how much I am enjoying it. The results are starting to show now, muscles are tighter and I can see bits of me that I haven’t seen for years, which is nice 🙂

This week though I have been to Boot Camp! This is not as bad as it sounds really….honest. At least the first day wasn’t but today was my second and I may not go for a third. It is basically boxing type exercises on the recovery mats between the machines. These are fun but today I am wrecked and although I am signed up to go tomorrow I am sitting here now thinking I might give it a miss after all I am sure my body needs to recover from today and its not on at all on Saturday 🙂

I am always aware of synchronicity and at the moment, as I sit here writing this there is a body coach on the radio talking about how it is better to exercise less often but intensly when you do. I think this is a message for me…at least I’m taking it as such and so am going back to my ordinary work out sessions from now on. Back to working hard and enjoying it rather than killing myself at Boot Camp!

What’s in a name?

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Connections in my own ‘Web of Life’

It has been suggested to me recently that the title and cover of my book ‘Web of Life’ published as part of Moon Books Shamanic Pathways series doesn’t really explain what the book is about so I thought I’d try and redress that here in the hope that it will help.

I actually wrote the book as a result of my own struggle to work with a Medicine Wheel, a struggle that led me to realise that the problems I was having were because Medicine Wheels do not belong to either my culture or my belief system. It was a bit like ‘square peg into round hole’ and no matter what I did it wasn’t working.

So I began to explore other cultures and wheels including the variations between Native American tribes and in doing so discovered both the similarities and differences. This exploration led me to the realisation that in order for many of us to work with the power of a medicine wheel we needed a way to create our own, one that could be adapted to fit us and so the idea for my book was born.

The title of my book is actually down to my guides, who showed me the web, the matrix, or network that connects each and every one of us to everything that exists and through which we all have the power to communicate. Alongside this they showed me the spider at the centre of the web, the spider that represents ourselves, spinning our own web and weaving in the connections within it that can support and guide us as our paths unfold. They also taught me how we can consciously weave our own paths within the web either for projects or our lives in general. The book passes on all that I learnt so that you can do the same. Basically it gives you a modern day, culture and belief free way of working with power of the Medicine Wheel in a way that fits YOU.

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  Example of a created path

 

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Example of an extended path

The images here show my own connections or teachers within the web and examples of the way in which I create my own path and then have the freedom to extend it, or I can start again. Your connections or teachers will be different to mine as will the paths you create.