Taking action

Action!

Over the past few months we have been forced to take action in the way we live and to reconsider our priorities.  Our daily routines have been turned upside down.  Our social time has changed and what we have taken for granted is no longer guaranteed.

We haven’t had much of a choice in this action, we have been strongly advised, knowing that it ultimately for the safety of ourselves and others.  We’ve understood the reasoning, more or less, and have consciously agreed to take this different action.

This change we’ve adapted to in one sense has been unquestioned, we haven’t needed to find hidden depths of motivation to make change, we were unable to procrastinate – we just did it!

How different does it become when we want to make changes for ourselves even though we know that it would be good for us?  We know we can make changes, adapt and accept them, as proven over this period of pandemic, so why does it feel so hard when we try to do it on a personal level?

Then it can feel like it’s too much effort, our thoughts and beliefs kick in so we can easily justify why we won’t make changes just yet.  The human mind is incredible at finding justifications for not taking action, we can always find a counter-argument or reason to put things off.

Very often we can convince ourselves that we are making changes and we have made strides forward but somehow that is not reflected in our daily living.  It’s almost as if we are living our lives in our heads – our perception of our reality is not really what it actually is.  Many times I’ve worked with people who have told me what they are going to do, and however many times they say it and believe it they still don’t, in reality, make those steps forward.

The bottom line is that, by all means, make the plans, work out the steps but unless you take actual action nothing has changed.  We all took action whilst the virus was at its peak so we know we are capable of making changes.

 Now we are in a position to start making changes for ourselves – to continue with healthier ways of living, to drop and let go of unhelpful beliefs and thoughts, to reconsider relationships and build new ones.  If you have arrived at this mindset already that is brilliant, but you need to go beyond the mindset and start taking action.  However small or seemingly insignificant take some form of action everyday to bring the changes you choose into your life.

Action changes things
Action changes things
Feet in the grass

How Grounded are you?

Being grounded enhances our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.  It is often when we are not grounded that we notice feeling “out of kilter” or disconnected from others or what is going on around us.

Feeling anxious or stressed can energetically throw us out of balance.  Having to cope with a wide range of environmental impacts such as pollution, food additives or even other peoples energy puts a strain on our bodies.  Think how much harder our bodies have to work to clear these toxins, our energy can become depleted and we become misaligned with the earth’s energy.  We leave ourselves open to being more susceptible to illness and ill health.

Just like plugs, electrical sockets and equipment we need to be grounded.  Ideally we need to align ourselves with the Earth’s energy.  The Earth’s magnetic field is anchored by the North and South poles and it is this magnetic field that many animals and birds use to navigate their way around the globe.  As humans we are also affected by the impact of this magnetic field and we need to be grounded for the natural exchange of our energy system and the Earth.  Grounding helps stay in the “here and now”.

So in what ways can we ground ourselves to enhance our wellbeing?

  • One of the simplest ways is to walk barefoot upon the earth, the sand or the grass.  Our feet can pull up the energy from the ground.
  • We can do a visualisation exercise and imagine that we have roots growing down from the soles of our feet into the earth and the deeper they go the more stable and solid we become.  We can then imagine the energy coming up from the core of the earth into our bodies, aligning our energies.
  •  Donna Eden in her book Energy Medicine mentions several grounding techniques including “spooning” your feet.  Not sure how this works but use a stainless steel spoon and rub it along the soles of your feet.
  • Eating a small amount of dark chocolate helps to ground.
  • Imagine you are walking through thick squelchy mud.
  • Jump up and down.
  • Stand with your feet firmly on the ground or sit in a chair with both feet flat on the floor.  Imagine that your left foot is connected with the ground and you can feel energy coming up from the earth into your foot, moving up your leg to your knee and thigh.  When it reaches the top of your thigh allows the energy to move across and to travel down your right leg into your foot and back into the ground.
  • Walk mindfully; notice how you place your feet on the ground as you take each step.  Where do you feel the pressure? What part hits the ground first? What sensations can you feel in your feet?

You may have your own techniques, but whatever way you use, being grounded helps you connect with the earth’s healing energy, allows you to “get out of your head” and boost your energy& health.

If you wish to discuss what would be of help to you, please book a complimentary Insight session.

Communication in harmony

Empathy & Communication

Have you noticed that since lockdown you are having more conversations with strangers, from a safe distance of course?
It’s as if we are not only craving conversation but are being generally kinder towards each other, one of the bonuses from this situation.

However whether we are conversing with strangers or people we know well, how empathic are you?

The definition of empathy is “the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into other person feelings” (Collins Concise English dictionary).

Why is empathy important?  The answer is understanding, it has been said “that being understood is like being loved”.  And we all need this in these times.

Communicating empathically is both a cognitive and a gut reaction.  At times we may have to work a bit harder to really understand a person and to “get out of our own way”.

So what qualities do we need for empathic communication?

· Attentive listening

· Being non-judgemental

· Observing

· Being in the other persons shoes

· Reflecting

· Mirroring body language

· Sensitivity

· Intuition

· Caring—on others needs rather than own

Communication

Being empathic transforms:

  • Blame (it’s your fault)
  • Criticism (that’s not just good enough)
  • Labels (lazy)
  • Insults (you stupid idiot)
  • Threats (if you don’t I will..)
  • Self-diminishment (putting ourselves down)
  • Guilt, depression, anger ,shame

As our communication changes with others here’s a chance to be even more empathic to benefit not only the other person but ourselves too.

Silence

Silence and Stillness

As we find ourselves in a very different world we are coming across stillness and silence.  For some this may be a totally new experience as previously it would have been rushing around, noise and non-stop on the go.  Maybe the only time to be still was in front of the television and even then perhaps unable to switch off from thoughts whirling in our minds.

Today, in lockdown, there is less noise, fewer cars, fewer aeroplanes, fewer people in the streets or children in the park.  So what are we hearing instead?  Are we noticing different sounds? Have you heard the dawn chorus or the wind in the trees or the hum of insects?  The blackbird in my garden has been singing throughout the day at the top of his voice.  Internally are you hearing your own thoughts a lot more but also now having the time to reflect upon them.

Silence and stillness can be uncomfortable, unfamiliar and maybe a bit scary.  For some there is a fear that if they stopped for a while unwanted thoughts /feelings would rise to the surface,  staying busy is a way to suppress them.  Maybe there’s a belief that if you stop and do nothing then you are being lazy.  Or perhaps you live in a culture, an environment, that everyone else is always on the go and you get swept up in it in order to fit in.  Life has led us from human beings to human doings and maybe we have lost a sense of ourselves.

Silence and stillness can take time and practice; it’s a skill to be learnt.  But now more than ever we have that opportunity to find that place within us that is quiet.

Benefits of stillness and silence are:-

  • Decrease stress
  • Lowering of blood pressure
  • Increased creativity
  • Promotion of deeper sleep
  • Boost to the body’s immune system

Ways to learn the art of stillness can be:-

  • Stop, close your eyes and listen to what you can hear both in the foreground and background.
  • Turn the television off and read a book or do a jigsaw puzzle
  • Before getting up in the morning lie there quietly for 5 – 10 minutes and allow thoughts to wander into your mind but don’t hang onto them
  • Take 5 minutes to focus on your breath, notice the rise and fall of your chest and just see if it possible to deepen your breath to your abdomen.  Count your breathing.
  • Use a mindfulness app
  • Walk slowly and pay attention to smaller details rather than the bigger picture
  • Receive a distance healing session where you lie down in your own home and receive the healing

You will find your own way of being still and silent, embrace it, and allow it to become a comfortable and healthy part of your life.

Keeping well

Keeping Well

I remember being told by one of my holistic teachers that receive healing when you are well. You don’t have to wait until you become unwell or distressed in order to seek a treatment. Having a healing treatment in whatever form when you are well continues to support the body’s own natural ability to heal itself and maintain a healthy equilibrium of mind, body and spirit.

The body is marvellous at healing itself and it continues to regenerate continuously throughout our lives. However it can only do this when it is in a relaxed physiological state. Low grade stress, pain, anger, discomfort does not contribute to a healthy body.

The stress hormones alone will be putting the body on an alert system thus taking away its capacity at that time to kick start a natural healing process. The more we can invoke a sense of relaxation or calmness within ourselves the healthier we will be. How you do this has no one single answer. There are many, many ways to kick start our own healing process, sometimes we need the assistance from others and at times we are more than capable of doing it ourselves. We need to value the importance of our health and how it enables us to live our lives.

Here are a few suggestions that you can do yourself:-

 * Take 5 mins a day to slow down breathing -try 7/11 breathing – in for 7 and out for 11

* Go outside and walk as often as you can, just park a bit further away or have your lunch outside. The NHS is advocating the health benefits of walking (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/walking-for-health/)

* Stop and listen – to music, to the birds, to the wind – no phone, no interruptions

* Use a meditation/relaxation app (5 suggested ones here)

 * Resolve issues, don’t harbour grudges, accept, change or move on from underlying stress

 Here are a few suggestions that will enhance your health:-

 * Reiki – will promote a very deep relaxed state to enable your body to natural rebalance and re-energise

* Mindfulness classes

 * Healing session – such as Shamanic healing , reflexology, Indian head massage etc

* Learn how to use Tapping to calm down and switch off the “alarm system” in your brain

 * Seek advice on how to resolve long standing issues

What do I do? Well I do just 10 minutes of Reiki a day, book in for a shamanic healing session every 3 months or so, treat myself to a facial, walk when I get the opportunity and read with no radio or television on.

Whatever methods and techniques work for you, use them! Our bodies have to cope with an awful lot in our lives and we don’t always look after them the best that we can. Give them a break, enable them to help us and don’t wait until it breaks down!

Steps towards wellbeing

Four horsesmen of negativity

The Four Horsemen of Negativity

It was Dr John Gottman who coined the phrase the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and related it to negative behaviours within relationships.

We can take this model and equate the Four Horsemen of Negativity – Monotony, Tiredness, Complexity and News to having an impact upon our perception of wellbeing and happiness.

According to Andy Cope, author of The Art of Being Brilliant each of these areas add a bit more stress and negativity to our lives.

Monotony

Although at times we can do with a quiet life, going through the same routines, eating the same food, doing the same work with the same people can reduce our experiences and sense of living and enjoyment.  Monotony can limit our potential and we may never find out what we are truly capable of doing and being until we step out of our routines.

Tiredness

There is a huge array of research on the importance of sleep and most of the time it may not be of concern but when we become tired and struggle to replenish our energy we can become increasingly more stressed and irritable.  This in turn can impact upon the people around us and may lead to conflict.  Focus and concentration are affected along with our sense of humour and capacity for tolerance.

Complexity

We may think that life is never simple but sometimes we are our own worst enemy and make things more complex than they really are.  How easy is it to get fixated and hung up on small stuff that in reality really doesn’t matter?  With our truly wonderful minds and belief systems we can “make a mountain out of a molehill”, we can make assumptions or jump to conclusions thus increasing the complexity of a situation.

News

In today’s world we are bombarded with constant information and have access to world news 24 hours a day.  It is good to be informed but remember that the news we hear is already being filtered, someone else is choosing what we hear or read or in some cases making it all up.  News can be depressing and therefore can affect our mood and wellbeing.

So what can we do to get ourselves away from these Four Horsemen of Negativity?

  • Change habits, (watch the video on this), do something different, become mindful of what you are doing and give yourself choices.
  • Listen to your body clock, go to sleep when you are tired and get up at a regular time.
  • Reduce the complexity of situations by deciding whether you can change them or need to accept them or are able to let them go because in the long run they are not that important. “Don’t sweat the small stuff”!
  • Turn off the news at least three times a week, avoid listening to it or buying a paper and do something else that is rewarding and enjoyable.

Ride away from negativity and reclaim you health and wellbeing!

Healing energy

How does Shamanic Healing and Reiki differ?

Healing both from Reiki and Shamanism uses energy to assist the body and mind to find balance and restore harmony from distress, illness and ill health.  Neither are cures, and should always be used in conjunction with any prescribed conventional treatment and advice.

Having evolved my healing practice from Reiki to incorporate shamanic healing I am beginning to gain a greater understanding of how they differ.

Reiki allows energy to flow through the practitioner to the client and for the energy to travel to any part of the person physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  It kicks start the body to natural heal itself even though we don’t always know the root cause.  The energy, often from Universal energy which surrounds us, can replete areas where the energy is depleted and calm down aspects/areas that may be over stimulated.  Our first indication of feeling unwell or “out of sorts” will often manifest itself physically although the origin may be in the emotionally or spiritual energy field of our bodies.

The client is a recipient of this healing energy and needs to be willing to receive Reiki and can comfortably lie back to receive whatever is required.

Shamanic healing is more active and proactive.  As a practitioner I still use the Universal life force of energy but actively call in compassionate guides and spirits to work with me.  In this sense it is a three way partnership of healing between the client, practitioner and helping guides.  Shamanic healing also involves exploring and gaining a greater understanding of the issue through gentle questions, therefore, although relaxed, the client has a bit more work to do!  This creates an ownership and commitment to explore, understand and heal.  Questions asked such as – “what does this pain/issue look like? – is it yours or does it belong to someone else? – what is its purpose?” leads to a greater understanding of the client’s body.  Use of sacred tools such as drum, rattle, voice and breath can be used to assist the healing process.  Healing can occur in a variety of ways through releasing misplaced energy and replacing with healing energy in different forms.  It may go to the very needs of the soul.

Both healing modalities can be highly effective in gaining a deeper form of healing and balance that is not cognitively led but is guided through a deeper and, at times, ancient knowledge of total well being and balance.

What can Reiki and Shamanic Healing be used for?

  • Restore emotional balance related to issues such as stress, anxiety, low mood and trauma
  • Promote physical well being within the body
  • To ease and release pain
  • To assist in letting go of past hurts and emotional blocks

If you would like to know more about these beautiful interventions please book a complimentary Insight session to discuss your needs further.

Benefits of Shamanic healing
Filters through which we live

Celebrating Filters!

A new month, a new year and a new decade it sounds exciting but we seem to be surrounded by distressing and worrying news.  Society seems designed to make us worry and be anxious – adverts get us to worry about how we look so we buy their products, newspaper headlines are there to shock us and thus buy, social media thrives on the sometimes anonymity to  put others down.  How easy it is to get on a roll about complaining and what is wrong.  In amongst all this doom, gloom, depression there are people, places, situations that should be celebrated and honoured.

Our mind is a filter and like putting sunglasses on to filter our harmful rays, we place filters in our mind that only allow in what we focus on.  Have you had the experience of thinking about buying a car and suddenly you see that type of car everywhere!  You have placed a “car filter” in your mind and you will notice everything pertaining to that filter.  Media and political campaigns give us dire warnings and so we notice these things that back up this belief (and thus only a particular party can help us).  This happens mainly subconsciously and often we are not aware of our thought patterns and subsequent actions.  Only 5% of thought is conscious, most of our decisions, actions, emotions behaviours depend upon our subconscious.  The filters we put into our minds go into the subconscious, the subliminal messages from advertisement slip into there, the constant drip drip of distressing news feeds our emotions.  The more that we notice aspects/situations that support our subconscious beliefs or emotions the stronger they become.

The good news though is that we have control over our thoughts and are actions.  We can determine our filters; we can seek out what is good in the world and bring our attention to it.  If you find yourself getting caught up in a ritual of complaining with others – walk away, change the subject, put an alternative view across.

We need to be aware of what is going on in the world but we don’t need to be totally submerged and overwhelmed with it.  Earth Day (22 April 2020) which celebrates and promotes action is but one day of the year.  In our own lives we will feel better in ourselves if we recognise what is good/enjoyable/pleasant.  Let go of the low level moaning and bring in compliments and praise, acknowledgment and gratitude.

Reflection, time to reflect upon the year

Time to Reflect

Last month of the year! Do you give yourself time to reflect on what has been?  Reflection is a key aspect of learning and personal development.  It’s so easy to forget or ignore what we have done, or just take things for granted but we miss out on giving ourselves credit, appreciating our memories or learning from our mistakes. 

Maybe you have just allowed life to lead you or maybe you have taken charge and created your own changes?  Whatever the case, 12 months has gone by and stuff has happened! It can be really helpful to sit quietly and go back through the year appreciating what has happened, learning from mistakes, reminiscing and reliving beautiful memories.  If we don’t, then it’s just gone and we haven’t got any wiser and certainly no younger! 

As a suggestion you may like to reflect upon these questions as a way of appreciation and gratitude of the past year.

  • Write down 4 things that you are proud of this year
  • What has been your “biggest” achievement?
  • What one thing would you do differently?
  • Visualise one of your happiest memories from this year – how does it make you feel, what can you see and hear?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you can pass onto someone from your experiences this year? 

Give yourself a huge pat on the back for being you, for dealing with whatever has come up this year and for having insight and awareness to take you into next year.

If you come across an issue that you feel stuck on and would like support with, don’t forget you can book in for a variety of interventions that may get you further on than you are now. If you are not sure what would be of help, book a complimentary Insight session to discuss this further.

Powerful questions
Travel - Atacama Desert

The Essence of Travel

As we near the end of the year, have you been anywhere new over the past few months?  Maybe you have revisited familiar haunts or have sought out new places.  Travelling and exploring places that are different from your normal environs brings curiosity, expansion of thoughts, wonderment and perspective.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Chile this year – from the Atacama Desert to the fertile lands of central Chile and onwards south to Patagonia with its granite peaks and spectacular Condors.

I love travelling – seeing things for the first time, experiencing the different sounds and smells, hearing other languages spoken and getting to know the culture and history of the place.

I’m not a city person so I tend to gravitate towards landscapes and wildlife – the more vast and desolate the better.  It is here that I can truly appreciate the beauty and power of our Earth and try to understand how our ancestors survived and thrived in harsh conditions.  Whilst, currently, looking at the present struggle of wildlife caught up in our changing climate.

In places such as Patagonia there is a sense of perspective, how such a tiny dot as me fits into the vastness of the place.  Being such a small part in the history of our planet also means sharing the responsibility of keeping our Earth safe and healthy.  In the Southern ice fields of Chile just 20 years ago glaciers were receding about 12 foot each year, now it is over a 100 feet annually.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless with the “heaviness” of depressing news and destruction but we can also choose to be part of making small differences, part of a being collective of raised consciousness and awareness.

We don’t need to travel oversees to appreciate beauty and marvel at the world around us.  Just getting away to somewhere new for a few days and taking time to stop and be aware or to see things with “new” eyes can bring about a new perspective.

Travel allows us to learn and to appreciate what we already have, not to take things for granted.  Travel in our own country or further afield gives us that opportunity to wander and wonder at the beauty and generosity of our Earth.