Tag Archives: Left of Centre Therapies

9 October 2013 – Life Favours the Brave

Tell me have you ever thought about what it is to have courage or to be brave ‘in life’?

A man wrestling a crocodile to save his dog – is brave, the US teacher who put herself in front of her class when the school was being attacked by a gunman – was brave.  Bravery is easy to recognise in one off events of pure courage, however being brave or having courage in life, though slightly different, is just as significant.

Being brave or having courage in life means something different for everyone, it really depends on what you fear.  I fear public speaking – the mere thought of having to speak in front of an audience about myself, what I do, who I am or even how nutrients affect the life cycle of seagrass :) makes my hands perspire, my heart beat like an African drum and my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth so any intelligent sounds heard in the near vicinity are certainly not coming from me.  It doesn’t matter how I think of the audience – as being naked or a patch of cabbages – I need a brown paper bag just thinking about speaking to any more than 5 people at any one time (slight exaggeration but I am sure you get my point).  And forget the questions – that is absolutely the end!!

I know I am not alone, even the most “seemingly” confident people feel distressed when faced with an impending threat, a threat that is personal, can be real or imagined, is frequently well hidden and often battled alone.  My friend at work loves public speaking – she looks confused when I tell her of my dread when I need to give an address in the boardroom, she knows she has a story to tell and sees no difficulty in telling it BUT the mere thought of failure, of her getting something wrong, in any way shape or form sends her body into panic and her mind into a spin.

So when we face our own personal fears, for me attempting public speaking, for my friend, admitting she is wrong or has made a mistake, that is being brave in life, it is facing the fear, FEELING IT, taking a deep breath and then doing ‘whatever it is’, ANYWAY.

Makes sense, but why bother, I hear you ask.  We all know what it is to feel fear, we have all felt it at one time or another, but there aren’t too many of us (except the odd base jumper) who like it enough to want to go there.  So why then should we put ourselves in distressing situations just so we conquer, or at least temper our fears?  Why can’t we just behave in the way inherent to human nature when faced with a situation that makes us feel discomfort and avoid, duck, dodge and weave…

In reality, for the most part, we can very easily survive and do whatever it takes to avoid our fears leading an average, comfortable life doing a job because it pays our wage once a month so we can play on the weekends, consider anyone who rubs us up the wrong way as them having the problem not us, staying in relationships because it’s easier that way or staying single because it is too much work to put ourselves out there.

I actually do think it is ok to avoid suffering, I don’t believe that we should think of life as being hard, or that we should make life hard for ourselves, I see this as pointless.  I don’t believe in self punishment or that anything was ever achieved by the monks whipping themselves.  But what I do believe, is that limiting ourselves in life is making life hard and that it is a form of self punishment…

Lets go back to my example of public speaking.  It is my dream to develop Left of Centre Therapies into a full time business, inspiring others to embark on the journey of healing and to be able to live juicy lives unlimited by negative perception or past experience.  This is fine, the therapy sessions are one on one but there is going to be a time (actually right now) where I need to nail telling my story to groups of people so I can inspire them to join the healing journey too.  I want to expand, get bigger, tell my story some more, be more and not be limited simply because I suck at presenting myself publically.

In fact I am absolutely sure that anyone following their dreams, will be presented with uncomfortable situations and at those very points in time they will need to make a choice, face them or risk restricting growth.

Put in a more visual way, I stood overlooking a very, wild and stormy ocean the other day and noticedStormy sea just a couple of rays of sun poking through the grey sky onto the waves – the word that sprang to mind was bravery – no I don’t mean that I was brave being down at the ocean in the middle of a storm, but that bravery was depicted by the sun’s rays shining on a little patch of ocean, illuminating it, filling it with warmth and light, while the surrounding sea remained dark.  When we are brave, when we face our fears, we light up an area of our life that has been previously kept in the dark and give it a chance to be filled with warmth and light.  When we are brave we light up our lives while others around us remain in the dark – and life favours the brave.

Having the courage to open up and shed light on our fears, is to realise that while they may never totally disappear, we can be the master of things that are trying to enslave us.

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So make a start – look at problems as opportunities, I have an opportunity now to get some help with my fear through attending a public speaking course.  Its exciting and confidence building to think I may in time be able to handle situations that I would, at the moment, shy away from as well as the chance of meeting and learning from people who are in the same situation as me.

Share your dreams and visions with others and learn to admit your fears too, showing vulnerability is both therapeutic (except in the case of the man wrestling the crocodile), and relationship building.  Open communication enables you to attract like minded people and a chance to learn from their experiences and their coping mechanisms too.

Hang out with others around you who lead courageous lives, see these people as your “courage people”, spend time with them to help inspire you to get through the rough patches and not give up.

Aspire to BE and believe in yourself as part of your own ‘bigger picture’ destiny.  Having aspiration helps to fuel perseverance, persistence and determination.

Ignore any flak you may get in your journey, accept that some people will try to influence you, and many will not understand you.   Never compromise yourself by trying to influence these people or force your ideas onto them.  Stand on your own if you have to.

And finally, in these days of the internet and facebook there is never ending stream of advice and motivational quotes, so notice those which speak of bravery and be inspired…

Winston S. Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Nelson Mandela: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Ambrose Redmoon: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”

“The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all”

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

7 June 2013 – Interview Heroines with Heart

I was recently very honoured to be asked to do an interview for my friend Claire’s Heroines with Heart segment of her wonderful and incredibly successful blog – This is Lifeblood, and here is how it went…

Today’s Heroine with Heart is a very special person in my life. Synchronicity brought Fiona Ferreira into my world when I had hit absolutely rock bottom. My entire life had changed overnight; I was lost, confused, angry, anxious, heartbroken and in serious need of some healing. Fiona’s blend of reiki, meditation and energy healing has transformed so many areas of my life, physically and emotionally. I have written about my personal experiences with reiki here, here and here.

Fiona is not only a Reiki 2 Practitioner, Writer and Blogger but also a wonderful Mum to two young children. She seriously blows my mind with her intuition and her ability to give so much to the world. She has the biggest heart of GOLD and I am beyond thrilled to introduce her to you today.

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So, first things first. What is your dream?

My dream is to be successful. Success to me is enjoying every aspect of my life, career, relationships, hobbies, money, exercise etc… It’s not just about having these things, it’s about enjoying them too and the enjoyment comes from fulfilment where the activity does not own me and I have it/do it because I choose to. To fulfil my dream I actively work on self discovery, confidence, defining happiness, peacefulness and love.

What makes up your lifeblood?

My passion is to live a spiritual, creative, exciting life full of adventure and making connections with people who are travelling down the same road as me.

What has been your biggest fear to date to overcome?

My biggest past fear was the fear of “losing” my children as during our divorce proceedings my ex-husband insisted on shared care. I was worried that the children would make preferences between households and reject me. I feared losing my influence on them and that the less time we spent together, the less the kids would bond with me. For these reasons I turned into a horrible control freak, until one day it dawned on me that I could not control what was happening and that I really had to make the best of it.

I set about trying to reconnect to my heart so I could then live through it. Once I did this my relationship with my children blossomed and I cannot imagine we will ever not be close irrespective of the amount of time we spend together or how different the households are.

Being healthy means that I…

Feel strong in body, mind and spirit. I was a slow learner on this one. Connecting the dots between my thoughts, my beliefs and the consequent desire for physical health took me some time to master. I started working on the health of my mind, then my spirit after which the health of my body, which I had struggled with in the past, came easy. I did not change diet or exercise significantly, but just found a natural balance which keeps my body strong.

To me, the word ‘healing’ means…

True healing is going deep into self discovery and changing what it is that isn’t working for you anymore. Healing is identifying and then moving emotional and energetic blockages that hold you back in life. Deep healing is a cellular level, it creates a sense of calm, a sense of peace, it is when you still have day to day things to deal with but have moved most of your baggage and you are no longer controlled by past experiences or outmoded ways of doing things. It is losing the need and doing/having because you choose to.

Where is your ultimate travel destination?

Is this a trick question to see if I am adventurous or not? I don’t know, I used to be a big traveller but the interest has faded. But if I had to choose I would have to say Scotland is up there as I feel a spiritual connection, particularly to the Scottish countryside.

What DRIVES you?

I love being part of self discovery, being a part of a new story, a new person/client which brings new energy and momentum for achieving their peace. There is nothing better than hearing someone make the connection… The AHA moments.

Choosing love over fear means…

Personal growth. In life there are always choices between taking the easy road and the hard road. In most instances choosing the hard road brings personal growth and the courage of that choice brings self respect, therefore stems from a love for yourself.

Choosing the easy road is often done out of fear and can limit growth.

I feel really creative when I…

Write. I have so many ideas and thoughts, solutions and stories to tell and to get them down on paper, to share them, satisfies my creative side.

If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be?

Stop trying to grow up so quickly. I spent a lot of time in childhood thinking I was missing out because we lived on a farm out of town. I didn’t get to go out with friends who hung out with older kids who drove laps between the main street of town and the beach to see who else was driving laps (affectionately known as “bog laps”).

In reality I could have enjoyed those innocent years more by an understanding that there is plenty of time to do bog laps and that by doing the same things as everyone else isn’t necessarily the best option (I mean seriously – bog laps!!).

Can you share with us your secret pleasure?

I am such a geek, I looooooooove Lord of the Rings. Recently I was home sick from work and spent an entire day watching nearly all of the movies. I can see in my crystal ball another day in the near future – with a bad headache coming on….