Category Archives: Healing

Full moon

why does the moon make us go a little crazy when she is at her fullest

As I lay in bed last night I decided to ask the moon why she makes us go a little crazy when she is at her fullest.  She answered me through speaking of the purpose of cycles.

The cycle of the moon begins with the new moon, a time when new opportunities or new lessons are presented or old lessons are presented in a new way.  At the full moon there is total illumination of these lessons and with nowhere to hide we feel increasingly sensitive.  For those who practice regular self awareness you will know that whenever we respond hyper sensitively, even though we can often explain our behaviour away, there is always an underlying darkness that needs to be brought into the light.

The cycle of the waning moon then gives us the chance to face up to and let go of these issues.  Many women cycles follow this with a period letting go and renewal during the waning moon.  The more we hold on to outdated ideas the more painful this time can be for both physically and emotionally.

The cycles of the moon should therefore be honoured as times to become aware of what it is we need to learn, times to be conscious of how we are being affected and times to let go and surrender.

Moon ceremony to try – in the waxing moon write down any issues you may be facing and put them in a fire proof bowl.  On full moon offer these issues up to the moon in prayer tell her that you wish to surrender and release them from your life.  Then burn the offering in the bowl.

Body Balance – the Science of Relaxation

If you asked yourself, your colleagues, your friends, your family what they think the Secret to Life is, I am sure you would come up with 101 different answers.  Keeping your thoughts positive, going on holiday, jumping out of planes, living your dream etc, etc.

If you asked me I would probably tell you the same, but I would also tell you one of the most important things at the top of the list should be BALANCE

balance is : a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions…

Work/life balance is the current buzz word, which is not surprising because working a million miles an hour toward a successful career just doesn’t seem to satisfy us anymore (I am sure this is not just me and my potential mid-life crisis).  And why – because balance feels good – balance means we pay attention to and honour all the aspects of our lives – balance in our emotions, in our actions, in our relationships and the focus of this post, balance in our bodies.

Our bodies naturally oscillate or swing between activity and inactivity.  Moderate swings are healthy, large swings are not.  So if you imagine a pendulum swinging, on one side there is stress and hyper-arousal (anxiety, hypertension) and the other side is exhaustion and sickness.  If you do not maintain a moderate balance between activity and non-activity, if this gets out of balance, there is an increased rate of wear and tear on your body, vulnerability to illness and premature agingeek!

Your bodies are smart though and generally take care of this for you – if something has stressed you out your body has a natural relaxation response which will try to restore you to a state of balance (the nervous and endocrine systems).  However the more we react or over-react to stress, the more we get out of balance, means that we remain aroused for longer periods of time and these systems have to work harder and harder to combat this.  If it takes a long time to settle down after an incident and our relaxation response system is incomplete, we become erratic and REMAIN anxious and stressed.  This not only affects our ability to rest, but as the pendulum swings back, leads to exhaustion and sickness.

The number of stress related diseases are countless, here are a few to scare you – stress leads to heart disease and kidney and respiratory failure, high metabolic rates lead to fatigue and cell damage, muscular tension lead to physical pain and injury. Constricted respiration combined with poor heart function contributes to asthma, reduced blood supply to the digestive system and excess production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach produce a range of gastrointestinal problems and so on…

But the good news is, you can help your endocrine/nervous system out and learn to consciously activate your relaxation response. 

Physiological benefits to conscious relaxation include a steep drop in metabolic activity, reduced blood lactate levels and muscle tension, slower breathing, drop in blood pressure and those fabulous feelings of relaxation and peace.  As well as increased tolerance toward and getting on better with your roomie, your bestie, your Mother etc, etc…

Right so we have covered why, now for how can we consciously activate our relaxation response?????

The key to this is to make your conscious relaxation response just that – CONSCIOUS.  Here are some suggestions to couple with your new mantra – “I choose to… to consciously relax and help rebalance my body”:

♥      Make yourself a screen saver:  “Relax my muscles, drop my shoulders, unclench my jaw”

♥      Be religious in taking your tea break, choose a consistent time and make a cup of Herbal Tea, the English Tea Shop make a fabulous calming blend

♥      Choose to watch a mindless, non-violent TV show before bed

♥      Assess your weekends, are you constantly running around trying to catch up with countless people because it feels good to be social – or could you find more time/balance to:

♥       Watch a movie

♥       Read a book

♥       Identify and remove stressors in your life – sometimes this is easy and sometimes incredibly difficult – so start small, in the very least identifying who/what stresses you out helps to contain it/them and then you can start to break small ties

♥       Create time and space to meditate or if this is difficult start with daydreaming – making the space for meditating/daydreaming beautiful with incense and candles – this helps a lot.  Try some guided meditations from youtube, attend a class or buy a meditation CD to get you started

♥       Look for the good in whatever situation you are in, this will help to fill your life with gratitude and is a fabulous tool for combating the stress of envy

♥       Work out what it is that you love to do on your own – yes alone – and make some space to do it

♥       Make sure you have a creative outlet

♥       Laugh a lot – subscribe to ‘some not so serious’ facebook pages – I recommend Grumpy Cat

♥      Use your senses:

♥       Smell:  Buy some calming oils and wear them, burn them, bath in them – lavender is fabulous and used widely by beauty salons to instigate that “I am spoiling myself” feeling

♥       Sound:  Turn off the radio, download and listen to some gentle music on the way to work/way home – don’t tell anyone but I still love to listen to Enigma

♥       Sight:  Put some nature in your office, bring in a little flower in from your garden or if you keep forgetting buy a peace lily – hopefully you have an office with a window

♥       Taste:  Choose foods that aren’t super sugar coated for you and your loved ones

♥       Touch:  Hugs are like super food for your body, they release endorphins – etc, etc: http://happinessweekly.org/2013/01/19/fun-facts-about-hugging/

♥       Don’t ever be afraid to say no and take time out.  I know a little girl who would never say no, who would never choose to relax or for that matter go to bed, just in case she missed out – is that you?  If so, think seriously about what you are doing to your physical and mental health.  Keeping busy is a great technique for avoiding the hard stuff but it is an even closer friend of ANXIETY.

So I give you permission, without guilt, without conscience, to RELAX.  It is good for you and very, very necessary for that life balance secret.

Well there is the kettle boiling for my 11 o’clock so must go…

Relax

6 August 2013 – Sound Therapy

After a week of sickness brought on by two long standing issues that are well overdue to be removed from my back pack I was excited to be going to Echoes Sound Therapy session on Sunday.  I had no idea what to expect.  The little sound therapy work I had done with mantra had invoked a wonderful sense of calm, so I knew I was in for some deep relaxation in the very least.

I did however have the hope that the session would also be a healing one so I could get some clarity on, yes the big ones – forgiveness and money – which had shown up in the form of a sore throat (anger) and serious sinus congestion (someone getting up my nose).

The sound chamber at Echoes which looked like a tepee, was located on a sacred Aboriginal site within the gorgeous grounds of Ramons Restaurant in Canning Vale.  Inside the chamber there were thirteen bed like positions made cosy with pillows and cushions and a massive gong suspended from the roof.  The roof itself was quite spectacular, it looked like the night sky in Albany – full of the brightest stars.

GongThe session started with circular breathing and before long we were treated to the sounds of gongs, crystal bowls and didgeridoos sometimes in the centre of the tepee, sometimes over our individual bodies or at our feet.  The sound was incredibly strong and the vibration resonated through our entire bodies.

Science has found that sound has a profound effect on the body and sound therapy is the subject of many studies at various Universities worldwide.  Our bodies are made up of energy fields that vibrate and the use of sound vibration to rebalance these energy fields is actually nothing new, ancient cultures have for thousands of years used sound and vibration to cleanse energies in the body. The use of singing bowls dates back to the days of Cleopatra.  The didgeridoo has been used for both ceremonial and medicinal purposes for tens of thousands of years and other indigenous cultures have used drums, gongs and other vibratory instruments to this purpose.

And because of its proven healing effects, Echoes Sound Therapy has now been Accredited as a Complimentary Medicine.

The sound chamber creates an environment for sound therapy to be used as a catalyst for physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual healing, depending on the attendee’s intent.   A person’s intent to heal during a therapy session adds power, so that the clearer or purer the intent to attain peace, healing, change, or growth, the greater the result. 

My intent on Sunday was to not only gain physical healing through the sound vibrations but to also allow my inner psyche, in the state of meditation, to reveal answers on my issues above.

And yes, I had very profound experience.

My focus for the week prior had been on forgiveness and money, so I was surprised when the session started, that I immediately sensed a strong feeling of failure AND FEAR.  I saw the faces of my parents and my children, of the people I would let down if I was to fail.  If I could not provide the right type of parenting or the right financial environment to support my children as my parents had done, I would be a failure.  Of course at this point there were floods of tears.

My first thought was of escape and so I saw myself as a bird flying with great speed using breaststroke wings to get maximum push upward.  I flew upwards and upwards, through mud until I came to a space.  It was a tranquil space, a space of nothing.

I looked around and very quickly realised I had escaped, I had run away.

I looked down at what I had escaped from and realised that everything that was important in my life had been left behind.  Everything that felt like hard work but that I truly cared about, was back on earth and I was no longer there.  Looking down from above I missed my burdens, the people I could fail, the things I could fail at.  So I took off and flew back through the mud, back to earth.

Lying there and letting the sound vibration massage my body cells (that’s really what it feels like) I realised that the key issues of money and forgiveness were also intertwined with a previously hidden fear of failure.

So from my sound therapy session I can say I am a little closer to understanding myself, my current issues and limitations and the start of the healing process has begun…

I wonder what my next sound therapy session will bring?

5 July 2013 – Off Track

I am sure you have heard the metaphor before of life being likened to travelling down a highway.  There are many different roads that lead off the highway and the trick is to take the right turn at the right time to stay on the path that is true to personal growth.   Jaguar

I like to think I am travelling along my highway in a cream J-type Jag, oh so stylish…  But sometimes I don’t behave like the graceful lady that is meant to be at the wheel and then I know I have either taken the wrong turn or have somewhere gone off track.

This happens to everyone every once in a while.  Sometimes it’s a result of something big, a life changing event or sometimes its just an accumulation of small things that just creep up on you.

Generally for me it is when I take on too much.  Most days I am a worker, a taxi driver, a teacher, a cleaner, a cook, a confident, a friend, a gardener, bob the builder, I have a new business, write a blog, try to regularly exercise, handle the finances etc, etc…  and while I used to think that being busy, busy, busy was a good way to be and somehow it made me feel important, from experience I now know that being too busy drains away the enjoyment and passion for life.

At times like these times, life rather than living takes up all of my headspace, I have no time for meditation, no energy for exercise, am too tired for spontaneity and can’t be bothered to have fun and so all the good stuff goes out the window.  At times like these I notice I am surrounded by an increase of negative energy, I have bad dreams, wake in the middle of the night, I am grumpy, my relationships suffer and I realise I am not present in any moment of any day.

So on goes the hand brake…

It can take a mammoth effort to stop the J-type, turn around, clear the mind and start up again.  To succeed you need inspiration.

And I get mine from working with signs, children and distraction…

It is absolutely amazing that if you look, the right words or SIGNS pop up as if by magic, to put a situation that is not feeling good into to a space that you can deal with.  Signs may come in the form of a relevant chapter in the book that you have just randomly picked up or are currently reading, a comment from a friend or something as bizarre as the number plate of the car driving in front of you.  I have so many examples, so I will share a couple with you…

I remember a period when I was actively trying to shift some old crap, trying to get my head around what was going wrong and why I felt so angry towards certain people who are actually very close to me.  It was a little muddy upstairs and I had wound myself up pretty tightly.  One day in particular was a roughie at work and on the way home I felt so miserable, I wanted to cry.  But first I had to pick up my children from school so really didn’t think it appropriate that I turn up with bloodshot, puffy, panda eyes, so I expertly suppressed the tears.  I hadn’t got far when I started to follow another car and I could not help but notice the number plate: 1CRY.  I couldn’t help myself, down the tears came (I can’t imagine what the sight would have been like because it was not such a graceful cry).  But by the time I got to school I had regained composure, cleared up the panda circles, my eyes magically looked normal and I felt a million dollars, because as always, a good cry is the best therapy.

The second example happened just the other day.  I have started so many new things this year which has inevitably led to the odd time when I have compared myself to others.  Yep I know it is vital for your self esteem to leave comparing the market to the meerkats, but easier said than done.  I needed inspiration and it came at exactly the right time, from a conversation I had with a wonderful lady I recently met, I got a new motto:

“Never compare your start to someone else’s middle”

Then there are times when you just can’t seem to get everything done in a day, whatever you do just doesn’t feel like its good enough.  You need time to work on things and that time is just not available to you.  This is where CHILDREN become a wonderful source of inspiration.  The focus of children, well mine at least, is to have as much fun as you possibly can in a day.  They have an absolute ability to live in the moment, it doesn’t matter to them if the house is clean, the dishes are done, they are wearing a green and red sock, or are occasionally late for everything, they are just so happy to be driving in the J-type the rest just happens.  The love notes, pictures or cards they make instead of getting ready for school, really do inspire me to stop and enjoy the moment, get done what is absolutely life threateningly necessary and just let the rest happen – and it always does, just happen.

And finally being off track and negotiating your way back on takes time, concentration and effort so to limit the associated fear that often comes with this process, I recommend the art of DISTRACTION.  Man-child Phil Dunphy from the TV show, Modern Family, portrays this art so well.

In one recent episode, to prove his manhood Phil jumps on his father in law’s motorbike.  He is obviously scared to death but while he is riding down the street he starts to think about how Fonzie once put together a motorbike while blind and how great the show Happy Days was… and yes he forgets that he is scared.  I just love this, try it – if you are scared, distract yourself with something shiny and watch how your fear dissipates.

Life provides us with much inspiration to get us back on track.  Notice next time what is that key inspiration that once you have stopped, makes you turn around and with a smile pushes you gently back onto the highway.

22 June 2013 – healing is like emptying a backpack

Below is an extract from a talk I recently gave on Healing at a gathering of Perth Wellness Bloggers.  The wonderfully successful event organised by Jacqueline from Upon Wild Stars was a day to nurture our bodies, minds and creative sides (Jacinta’s flower headpieces – http://cintism.com/)…   

The notion of healing may be different for everyone but for me I see it as like emptying a backpack.

We are born with an empty backpack and as we go through our childhood we are influenced by many situations, some good, some bad and we fill up our backpack.  With our negative experiences we store consequent negative beliefs and the backpack gets heavy and weighs us down.

When we then face similar negative experiences later on we dig around in our backpacks to find and use the same coping mechanisms that we have learned in the past, behaviours that have been stored based on how we have seen others behave or how we have best protected ourselves.  We run away, get aggressive, get anxious or become the victim.  These coping mechanisms attract further negative experiences and the trend continues.

MistAs we travel down our roads using our same old mind sets we continue to fill our backpacks until the weight of life and our experiences causes us to get stuck, slow down or have a crisis and a veil of yuck covers our senses so that we struggle to see the road we are supposed to be travelling on.  The signs are there as our body breaks down, our relationships break down, our relationship with ourselves breaks down.

Eventually a correlation, an AHA moment needs to be made to identify that WE are attracting our own negative experiences into our lives by how we are behaving.  At that crunch moment, the moment we face up to the fact that we are responsible for all that is happening to us, the good, the bad and the ugly, we have a choice to continue on with an ever increasing load and more mist than on the Scottish Highlands, or stop and start to remove or change those innate, stored behaviours from our backpack.  And this is healing.

And so healing begins with the conscious acknowledgement of the need to heal. 

Now while I have used a simple metaphor likening healing to removing items from a backpack, healing is anything but simple.  Once we have decided to take the plunge we are often faced with a myriad of questions and a sense of confusion which can be overwhelming or bring an anxiety all of its own.  Where do I start, what do I do now, how am I supposed to behave, how can I change from the person I have always been?

Healing is a personal journey.  It is a step by step process of change to our energy, our thought patterns, our perspective, our behaviour to ways which serve us better.  It may require throwing out all our preconceived ideas and starting afresh.  But there is much help at hand…

From my own experience I have learned to heal through a combinationReiki Left of Centre Therapies approach.  I work with energy tools (reiki, meditation) to reduce the anxiety, gain clarity, get answers and to change my negative energy to positive which in turn attracts positive experiences, I work with mental tools (guided meditations and books, books and more books) to make cause and effect changes and I work with physical techniques (exercise, food) where I need to make physical changes. 

In an effort to heal myself I found reiki, which now is my passion.  Reiki is an energy healing technique that picks up on anxieties, feelings and emotions that are stored in the body and which are sometimes expressed in the form of physical ailments.  A hands on healer can feel these stored negative energies and will raise them during a session to bring them from the subconscious into the conscious.

So once they are in your conscious the Healer can then work with you to find out what experiences you have stored in your backpack that have caused these emotions and determine ways of dealing with or releasing them.

I recently worked with a client who had a deep seated fear of teaching which was evident from a tooth infection.  As a child her parents berated her for her inability to learn quickly.  She was now helping her own children with their homework and behaving in the same way as her parents.  The infection was a result of her attacking herself as she subconsciously knew she did not like how she was teaching or behaving.

Once we worked this out she was able to approach the teaching/homework issue in a conscious way, she has looked into tutoring where her children needed specific help and is mindful to both her children’s and her needs in this area of her life.

A reiki session also rebalances your energy, draws in external energy and moves energy around your body to help unblock blockages, temper those strong emotions, bring clarity and leave you feeling more positive and in a better place to attract better experiences into your life.

There are other amazing energy tools you can also use to help in the healing process and which I use in session.  Crystals for example are little rocks full of magic.  My favourite is rose quartz a stone for your heart, it is a stone to invoke universal love and can really help you to live through your heart.

Most days I get a little rose quartz from my collection and hold it in my hand, I speak to it and project love into it.  I do this by thinking about something that makes me feel lovely and asking the stone to take that feeling with me throughout the day.  Then I carry it around in my pocket.

Spirit quartz is related to other quartz crystals but is made up of very fine facets usually of amethyst or citrine.  I use mine to meditate with, I speak to it first and ask it to give me clarity and intuition and place it on my forehead.

And finally black tourmaline is a protector stone and for anyone who is looking at doing Healing is a must to wear to retain your own energy and not take on the energy of your client.

There are also tools useful for making mental changes, to work on cause and effect.  I use guided meditations which guide you into to a relaxed state and bring your inner most thoughts, feelings and experiences to the surface so you can take control and use your own mind to consciously change your perspective and associated behaviour.  It is an exercise which you can repeat and practice at home.

Using all these tools and techniques, Healers can provide a sanctuary, a place where you can get closer to your own intuition, your subconscious, your faith and begin to heal.  However there is also work required of you to achieve lasting healing success and this is the homework, the deep cellular work.  Being committed to healing requires time spent by yourself allowing you to get to know YOU, to notice when things aren’t working, to notice when you don’t feel good, to determine when and how you need to start the healing process and determine what works for you.  Which is why Healing and Self Awareness go hand in hand.

Life is cyclical, it doesn’t matter how much you heal there is always more work to be done, but this work gets easier, quicker and the lessons further apart.

My path as a Reiki and Hands on Healer has been an exciting one.  There is so much to explore, so many different tools and techniques to investigate, try and learn.  Sometimes there are too many choices but on this journey you need to find out and work with what resonates with you.

Most importantly you need to be or become self-aware and even when things get tough with healing and they do, ensure you give yourself plenty of TLC, love your scars and continue to strive to make the world a better place.

Backpack