Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice – what can we learn?

We have all heard of the winter solstice which this year was on 21 December 2020 and represented the shortest day of the year.  A day where daylight is shorter than any other time, but also a time when the sun rises and sets in the same place over 3 days.

For us in the 21st century December is predominately aligned to the Christian calendar of the birth of Christ celebrated as Christmas – a busy month of planning, preparations and buying. It certainly has a very different feel to how our ancestors marked the Winter solstice and its 7-6 week cycle.

Even though Christmas was very different this year for most of us due to the co-vid restrictions I expect the lead up to Christmas day was probably still full on and possibly quite stressful.

So what is the true meaning of the Winter solstice and what can we learn from it in our modern lives?  For our ancestors the Winter solstice meant stillness, a time to slow down and rest.  The harvest had been gathered, food stored and planting of new crops wouldn’t be taking place until the Spring Equinox.  So for them this meant restoration, retreat and a time to conserve energy.

 Is this something that we could bring into our lives? I feel we can because in one way the weather encourages us to snuggle in at home and spend time with family (especially if we weren’t under co-vid measures!).  We may find ourselves resting and sleeping a bit more, making use of the darker evenings.  We can also consciously slow down, take time to listen to our bodies, accept that is OK to sit and read or watch a film in the afternoon.  Slowing down can be difficult for some people as it also creates a space to think, to allow thoughts and memories to come to mind and that may be painful.  However, accept them in, don’t judge or try to fix, just allow the thoughts to come in and know that they will pass.

As we move through the Winter solstice we recognise that this is also the time for the returning of the light, a time when the Sun very gradually returns in length within our days.  This year more than ever I feel the return of the light is not only physically manifested but also symbolically.  For as we go through the Winter solstice we are hoping for a very different succeeding year – a year of hope and light as we come to terms and accept what we have all been through.  Over the next few months we know that the Sun is coming back to us and sharing with us its beauty and power just as it did for our ancestors thousands of years ago.

Whether you are a winter lover or not take the opportunity to slow down or snatch bits of time to do absolutely nothing, you deserve it and your body needs it!

If you feel you need some extra help is slowing down I invite you to book a distance Reiki session. From the comfort of your own home, receive healing that invites deep relaxation, peace and balance of harmony within your body.

Smiling with Happiness

Why Smile?

Smiling, we haven’t always felt like it over the past months! It continues to be a tough year for all of us but hopefully now we can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

Maybe we have drawn on inner reserves of strength and put into place self-care and wellbeing ways that have promoted our resilience or “bounce back”.

One of the simplest ways to trigger a positive reaction within us is to smile.

There is a lot that goes on when we smile, our biochemistry changes and we generate positive emotions and trigger off a trio of happy hormones – dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.

Even if you make a smile and hold it for long enough you will still trigger off the reward centre in your brain and it starts to feel more genuine.

When you smile at someone else, it too has an effect on their biochemistry and in turn they feel better.

It has been shown that on average you live 7 years longer than a person who rarely smiles!

In the video below, taken from my weekly wellbeing tips, I tell you how frequently we smile as an adult as opposed to a child!

Why make an effort to smile if we don’t feel like it?

Research behind smiling shows that there are many benefits to smiling:-

  • Lowers stress levels
  • Reduces pain
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Boost immune system
  • Increases longevity
  • Increases productivity
  • Look younger
  • Is a Universal language! 

So for today, even though you may not always feel like it, smile at yourself and then pass it on!

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.

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