Tag Archives: mindfulness

Forging Faith

Forging Faith

Faith.

What does it mean? What does it mean to you?

I’ve been pondering this a bit recently. Through the inevitable ups and downs of life, the ebb and flow, I’ve questioned the strength of my faith, and even whether I have any at all.

The Oxford Dictionary defines faith as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”, or “strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”. For me personally, in this context, faith is my complete trust, confidence and conviction in my spirituality, my spiritual practices, and the spiritual teachings I follow, regardless of any proof or lack thereof.

So, the question I’ve asked myself lately is, do I possess unwavering trust and confidence in my spiritual journey?

The answer, I’m afraid, is no.

But it’s not a terrible thing, and it’s something I’m constantly strengthening with my daily devotion. Let me explain.

When things are great and I’m flying high, it’s so easy to have faith, to trust that I’m headed in the right direction, and that my spirituality is my guiding light. But on the down days, when life feels like a slog, it’s so easy to ditch that faith straight into the rubbish bin, convincing myself in my negative downward spiral of ego-identified suffering that “this sh*t doesn’t work”.

I’ve found myself there many a time. With infuriating frustration, I agonise over why it’s not working for me, why I’m failing despite my dedicated practice, that I must be defective because it’s working for everybody else. I get enmeshed and weighed down in expectations and comparison. I throw my faith out the window with the temperament of a 3 year old throwing a tantrum.

But I am determined. I claw my way back, eventually, into the upswing. And when I do, I laugh at how my descent into suffering is not only part of life for the unenlightened, but that when I’m down I rub dirt into the wound by failing to be vigilant and on guard with one key spiritual practice: mindfulness. I identify with the ego who tells me all these sickening lies, and I believe them. I might sometimes manage to observe my negative thoughts, but even when I do, I often find myself forgetting to disidentify with them, and believing them regardless.

The key here: this is a practice. I’m realising that faith isn’t something thta is necessarily unwavering, is something that I need to practice, just like my spiritual practices. It doesn’t matter, in the scheme of things, if my faith seems to waver from time to time as I descend into an ebb, because I’ve embedded my spiritual practices deeply enough into my everyday living, through devoted repetition, day after day after day, that I KNOW I will come out the other side, rising like the phoenix from the ashes. And I trust – I have faith – that with more practice, I’ll increasingly improve my ability to disidentify from my ego, and those ebbs will become less dramatic, and be fewer and further between.

But there is another aspect to this faith question that has arisen for me. The catalyst for my foray into my spiritual path was my recurrent struggle with mental health, which, amongst other drivers, was largely fuelled by a persistent yearning to find my way, to know and live my purpose for being here in this life. As such, whilst I’m coming to terms with the fact that this doesn’t necessarily look the way my ego wants it to – a concise job description that, if I follow it, will definitively bring me joy and complete fulfilment from now until my last breath – there is a part of me that has continued to seek a specific level of connection to God that will guide me on my correct path. To put it more specifically: I’ve been waiting for my intuition to kick in and ramp up, so that I can make confident choices and take actions that feel aligned with my soul. I’ve had faith that through working on my energy, through strengthening my chakras, I’ll learn to connect to that inner guidance, that indwelling divinity. I’ve had faith that I’ll become strong in my certainty that my third eye intuits with accuracy and precision, that my solar plexus communicates to me definitively. That my heart communicates with clear distinction from my head. That I can access my chakra eight and communicate with my soul with ease and clarity. Almost three years into my journey, I’ve questioned why I’m not there yet, as though the spiritual path has a final destination with a due date. I’ve had such faith that this path is THE path for me, but the test of time has strained that faith. I’ve been impatient. I’ve questioned why, after so much devotion, I’ve still felt so lost. It’s hard to keep the faith when you aren’t getting what you want in your anticipated timeframe, when you’re stuck in egoic thoughts about what should or shouldn’t be happening. But like I said before, I’m determined, and I’ve clung on to that faith.

Something about this quandary has shifted significantly for me very recently. I could attempt to attribute it to one of a number of specific things, but ultimately I think it’s a culmination of everything leading up to now – my continued devotion to my spiritual practice, some energy healing work I’ve done with a few practitioners, my readiness to begin working with intention setting, all the self help and spirituality books and podcasts I love to gorge on, the affirmations I’ve been repeating, the EFT tapping I’ve been experimenting with, divine timing, external conditions, perhaps even the full moon lunar eclipse and this lions gate thing everyone’s been banging on about! I’ve recognised that some of my negative subconscious programming has been rewritten. Areas in which I’ve previously felt so blocked have suddenly become free-flowing, unhindered, non-issues. It feels miraculous and magical. I’ve found myself doing certain things, without having given them much (if any) thought or effort. I’ve found myself unconcerned with potential challenges and stumbling blocks, inherently knowing that I’ll find any necessary solutions, but not consciously thinking through this as a strategy. I’ve then found myself, at random times (like when I’m on the toilet!!!) instantly coming up with solutions to challenges that I didn’t even realise I was attempting to solve. I’ve found myself taking constructive actions almost impulsively, which previously would have taken much self-coercion and motivation mustering. Things that previously I allowed fear to hold me back from, now I’m boldly marching towards with conviction and FAITH that it’s the right direction to move in, and that even if I fail, it’s all part of the journey.

What I’m coming to realise is that surrender is a big part of faith, that letting go and allowing the natural intelligence of the universe to flow unhindered through me is key. When I have faith, I know that there’s no need to strive, no need to worry, no need to push. I trust that I’m guided, and that even if I take a wrong turn, I can get back on track and appreciate the detour for the lessons that it gave me. But previously, surrender has felt infuriatingly elusive. How does one simply “let go” of trying to do everything we can to obtain something we want so desperately?

Six weeks ago I began working with the “Lunar Abundance” practice created by Dr Ezzie Spencer in her book, “An Abundant Life: Flourishing with the cycles of the Moon”. Ezzie’s practice provides a framework whereby you set a feelings based intention at the new moon, and then use the lunar cycle as a natural time keeper and self reflection tool to manifest your intention. At the last new moon, I found myself setting my second ever lunar abundance intention:

I feel safe, held and supported, trusting and knowing that the divine within me is constantly guiding me towards living my souls purpose.

Little did I realise what I was conjuring with this intention. The setting of it arose organically and intuitively through the process, and I assumed it was about my ongoing desire to discover my souls purpose. But I was also actually asking to find my faith. Following the practice, in which I intentionally felt and embodied those feelings of safety, of being held and supported, of trusting and knowing that I’m being guided by God towards my purpose, I was manifesting. I was making magic. It felt so sublimely good to feel the way I wanted to feel, and by intentionally doing so, I believe I flicked a metaphysical switch that had me realise that I’m now feeling the feelings because I already am being guided. I realised at the full moon that I didn’t have to imagine the intention manifesting in order to feel the feelings, because the intention already was manifest, and the guidance had been there all along – I just hadn’t recognised it before. I just need to feel the feelings and then remember that the divine is always working through me. It was around this time that the shift took place, and things began to flow. Like I said before, I believe it was a culmination of multiple contributing factors that brought me to this shift point, but this specific aspect felt particularly relevant and enlightening, highlighting for me what had changed. It was so easy. I’m in awe.

So am I insured from ever again losing my faith in this respect? Well I’m not sure, probably not. As in my more general spiritual journey, it’s possible that there may be times that my faith will waver, but I believe that I have the tools and practices that will always bring me back into alignment and back to my sense of faith. Faith therefore isn’t something I have to feel obliged to perpetually uphold in an attempt to maintain a spiritual identity, but something that I can trust will always be available to me when I’m ready to come home to myself after the inevitable missteps into suffering.


Main image credit: Rainbows 526 by Rocky Raybel via Flickr.  Used under licence.

The Vulnerability of Devoting to your Biggest & Boldest Dreams

I sat under the shade of the magnificent ornamental pear tree in Mum’s backyard, soaking up the glorious early autumn weather on a lazy afternoon, watching the kids play on the grass. I marvelled at the miracle of the tree. I gazed at the branches above me, the leaves, the canopy, and considered the fact that this sprawling beauty had begun life as a tiny seed. One small, seemingly insignificant seed contained all the potential within it to grow into that beautiful big tree that stood above me, home and playground to a myriad of insects and birds, a source of shade, a beauty to behold in the backyard.

That tiny seed, buried in the earth, was given all the right conditions to allow it to sprout and reach for the light, until it broke through the surface of the soil. Cell by cell, it continued to grow and transform as its trajectory remained focused on the light. Cell by cell, from tiny seedling, to sapling, to small tree to large, cell by cell, transforming from green shoots to wooden branches. Cell by cell, growing leaves to soak up the energy of the sun, and transmute that energy via the miracle of photosynthesis into new growth. Can you even comprehend the number of cellular processes it took over the course of more than 15 years to get from seed to sprawling tree? There was no rushing, no striving, no taking shortcuts, no lamenting how far there still was to go.

Seedling with seed case

Seedling

It seems that so many of us are so identified with our ego, and so accustomed to an instant gratification culture that we’ve lost the ability to allow slow and steady progress. We want what we want, and we want it now. I know that I often find myself abandoning possibilities that seem like too much work for too little return in the near or foreseeable future. What a loss – so much potential abandoned in the name of speed and ease.

I’ve been told by a trusted seer that in a past life, I was successful architect living and working in Italy. I worked in partnership with my father on a huge project of thirty years duration. Within days of the completion of this monumental venture, the area was hit by a severe earthquake. My life’s work was flattened.

I sense that I’m only just beginning to comprehend the gravity of this experience and the impact it’s still having on me today. I’ve learnt that we carry our energy from lifetime to lifetime, and as such, the energy of the experiences we have can stay with us too. From my admittedly limited understanding, I’d say that the soul-destroying devastation of having my life’s work ravaged within days of its completion was not something that I adequately processed or healed from that in that lifetime, nor in any of my lifetimes since. And so, today, I still carry that burdensome energy in a way that has me avoid committing to dreams that require slow and steady incremental progress, a long term large scale outlook, or little returns in the near future. The excruciating pain of committing to such a dream, and pursuing it for so many years, only to have it destroyed virtually as soon as it was finally realised, taught me to protect myself from ever having to endure such a shattering experience again. That unbearable pain still resides deep within my energy field. My ego feels the fear that it induces, and it knows well how to best protect me: to prevent me from ever attempting such a feat again. It whispers, almost inaudibly, “Don’t attempt to realise such a grand and large-scale dream, because then it can’t be taken away from you, and that would destroy you.” Even more shrewdly, my ego gives me all the seemingly sensible and valid reasons why I don’t really want to pursue that dream anyway. Simple solution.

Except, that it’s not. The seeds of our dreams, big and small, lie dormant in our soul. All that potential and possibility, encapsulated within an unpursued dream. Waiting for the right conditions to allow them to sprout and reach for the light of day. When you begin to awaken to your spirituality and the truth of your soul, these things can no longer hide quietly. They become illuminated, and you can’t un-see them. They can no longer be ignored.

Our ego holds those seeds captive. It keeps them sealed in a packet, stored high and almost forgotten somewhere on a shelf in the dark garage.

By shedding light on these egoic shadows and blockages that past life experiences, or any other negative life experience, have created in our energy field, we might initially feel more stuck than ever. When we shine a torch upon an object, it suddenly casts a more defined shadow than what we might previously have been able to observe in the regular light of day. But once we know it’s there, we can use mindfulness to disidentify from our egoic thoughts, and transmute that shadow into light. That’s all the shadow is, an illusion. The shadow cast by the torch is not a tangible object, and it comes and goes depending on the angle and strength of the light. The shadow within is similarly just an illusion cast by the darkness of the ego. When we know that, we can use mindfulness to infuse our energy field with light, and transmute the shadows. We can say to ourselves:

“Those fears aren’t me. They are my ego, doing its job of keeping me small and safe by avoiding the potential greatness lying dormant within me, because greatness implies vulnerability. I don’t need to obey my ego. I can chose differently. I can give the seeds of my dreams the conditions they need to begin shooting towards the light. I can chose the step by step, slow burn of committing to a grand dream, knowing that it has the potential to reap the most glorious of rewards. I can remind myself of the beauty and light inherent in the process of pursuing my dream, that it’s not all about the final outcome. I can remind myself that in truth, in the eyes of God, without the judgment of any ego, there is no tragedy in a fulfilled dream being destroyed. Loss is not inherently bad, but our thinking makes it so. I can remind myself that even under such circumstances, there was so much beauty and love and light in every step of the way.”

It could be said that the real tragedy is in a dream never being pursued in the first place, in unfulfilled potential not even being attempted. But the truth is, even this is only a tragedy from the perspective of ego. But given that we have this beautiful opportunity of life, why would we not want to bring as much light into it as is humanly possible? Why would we not jump wholeheartedly at the marvellous opportunity to give form to the miracle of God inherent in the potential of the seed, by allowing it to physically express it’s divinity as it journeys toward the light?

Grow little one


All images photographed by me. ©


I’m looking forward to diving deep into my shadow with Belinda Davidson at her Shadow Working Workshop on the Gold Coast next week.  Details here.

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Drumming up Drama

Oh how skilfully our ego can take us over and sweep us up in a shitstorm of drama and stress! After thinking recently that I was starting to get a relatively decent handle on catching my mind and avoiding identifying with my ego, the universe delivered me an excellent situation which perfectly highlights just how deep this unconsciousness runs, and that mindfulness is an ongoing practice. No need to be getting cocky any time soon!

My day, my energy, shifted in an instant. It had been a pretty regular day, I was out of my usual routine but it was nothing startling and all just normal life stuff. I was feeling good despite a few little niggles here and there, my energy has been refreshingly and gratifyingly on the rise lately and I am recognising the pay off from my devoted spiritual practice. All it took was a quick glance at an email that had arrived in my inbox in the early evening.

My heart squeezed. My stomach instantly began churning. I felt ill. I was physically shaking.

It’s comical retelling the story with hindsight. This instant and dramatic shift in energy, all from a short email. No terrible news had been delivered. No significant problem had been revealed. I won’t go into the details of this private matter, but suffice to say, it was a simple email. It was simply a small piece of information, and a request for my opinion.

But it’s what my ego, my thinking mind, did with that information, that sent me into a tailspin.

The thoughts that I conjured from this short email were mostly along the lines of:
– People I love must think I’ve been deceiving them;
– My words and actions have caused other people to worry, stress, and take unnecessary actions that they would otherwise not have taken;
– I’ve disappointed people I love;
– I’ve inconvenienced people I love;
– People I love must be angry with me, annoyed with me, and think less of me.

Yep, although I was very concerned about my loved ones, the crux of my freak out came down to my concern around what others think of me, and I concocted all of those assumptions based on a brief email that included no comment whatsoever about me, or what anyone thought about me.

So the drama was firmly established in my mind, and then some conversation ensued around a highly emotional topic.  Any other day, I would have simply shed a few tears. But in this situation, I allowed it to snowball me staight into meltdown city.

Situations where our reputation or character is perceived as being under threat are not uncommon, and it’s a normal human response to try to maintain a favourable standing amongst our family and community. Evolution created our brains in that way, increasing our chances of survival amongst the safety and support of the tribe. It’s a base chakra phenomenon, and our ego isn’t all bad – it’s a survival mechanism.

But this brain wiring does cause us a lot of unnecessary stress, and we’re at a point in human evolution where we are better served by being aware of this process, and how to use that knowledge to reduce our suffering.

All of my thoughts around this situation were just that – thoughts, created in my mind. They weren’t truth. No one had said any of those things. And yet, I believed them as truth, and I gave them meaning without even consciously thinking about it – I am a bad person. The churning and nausea in my stomach was a clear sign that the weaknesses in my solar plexus had taken a huge hit. My self confidence isn’t unshakeable. My ability to safeguard my energy isn’t yet quite as robust as I’d like it to be. I place a grossly unbalanced weight of importance in what other people think of me.

If I’d managed in that moment to observe my thoughts and avoid identifying with them, I’d have been able to handle the ensuing conversations much more gracefully. I’d have been able to calmly and effectively respond to the email without drama. I’d have been able to see the situation for what it was, and not attach all that meaning to it. I’d have avoided much of the pain, suffering and tears that followed.

This situation has been an illuminating learning experience for me. I’m so grateful that these days, I can at least recognise what I’m doing to myself, and diffuse the anguish and suffering a hell of a lot more quickly than in the past.

As I said to my mum earlier today, tongue in cheek, clearly I needed to drum up a bit of drama for myself, seeing as I’ve been so stress-free lately and it felt too foreign! Thanks for that ego, job well done.  Time to move on.


Photo credit: by Nicholas A. Tonelli. Modified and used under license.

School of the Modern Mystic

Two years ago, I became a student of Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic (SoMM). Enrolling in the level 1 course set me on a path that I never dreamed I would walk, and the most exciting part is that I’ve really only just begun.

SoMM opens its doors for enrolment once a year, and that window of opportunity for 2016 is approaching in a few days. I am an affiliate for the course, because it was the catalyst that transformed my life, and I’m SO PASSIONATE about the teachings. I’ve experienced transformation for myself, I’ve seen so many other SoMM students blossom into their most joyous and soulful lives, and I wish that opportunity for everyone on the planet. The opportunity to finally break free from the pain and struggles that are holding you back, to connect with your soul, and to live in truth and joy. And so, I’m sharing with you today my experiences. Following are some of the most significant shifts I’ve experienced thanks to SoMM.

MOVING BEYOND DEPRESSION
My main motivation for enrolling in the school 2 years ago was because I believed that it could help me to break my patterns of recurring depression. At a time when I was recognising the early signs of onset, SoMM entered my radar, and I saw it as an admittedly unconventional alternative to yet another round of psychological counselling or medication. My intuition told me that this could be my answer. I’m not advocating that abandoning traditional mental healthcare treatment is the answer for everyone. For me, I knew I needed to break the cycle, and I needed a different approach if I was to have lasting results. I sensed that SoMM was MY path. I was so right.

During level 1 and beyond, I became so much better able to cope with the everyday stresses of life as a Mum that had previously brought me to my knees. I was calmer, more effective at solving problems, and had more mental resilience. I no longer felt broken. It wasn’t that I hadn’t tried to reach this place earlier – I read books and blogs, attended workshops, practiced yoga, took advice … and whilst these things were all definitely helpful, they didn’t effect lasting change. The difference with SoMM – I was clearing the energetic blockages that were responsible for my subconscious ways of operating, so my mental patterns changed without effort, without me consciously realising.

I was elated. My husband was happy. The kids had a healthier and happier mummy. I believed I had the tools to effectively move through life permanently depression free.

As 2016 swung into gear, around 6 months after completing level 1, I began to experience some depressive episodes again. Not full blown clinical depression, but certainly not pleasant. I freaked out. THIS WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HAPPENING. Life was supposed to be easy and joyful and pain free now, filled with rainbows and unicorns and fairy dust!

As I’ve re-emerged from that dip on the roller coaster of life, I can see through hindsight a number of things. Firstly, I had unrealistic expectations of what post-SoMM life “should” be like (i.e. unicorns etc.!!🦄). Healing yourself and improving your life does not mean that you will no longer face challenges, hardships, or disappointments. Secondly, the massive energetic and spiritual changes I’ve begun negotiating thanks to SoMM have raised a lot of fear and uncertainty, fine fodder for the ego to go wild. The status quo is no longer a viable option in my life post-SoMM – half truths don’t cut it, hiding is futile, and the truth can be painfully uncomfortable. This stuff can feel terrifying! This is where I discovered that my mindfulness practice, from the third module of level 1, was not yet as strong as I had naïvely assumed it to be.

But … this was all a part of my healing journey, teaching me along the way. And, it was the SoMM teachings that brought me back online, back to my centre, and back to mental health again.

I believe with all of my heart that these teachings are rock solid. Foolproof.

The take-away for you from this experience is that SoMM offers you the UNIVERSE, but it sure as heck isn’t for the faint hearted. It is amazing and transformational and literally miraculous, and it will fill your life with light and love, IF you devote yourself to the spiritual practices that it teaches you. It will also crack you open, and demand that all that is not love, truth, and purity, all that is fake, all that is playing small and hiding, all that is conformity, be shed. I know from experience that that is not easy, and it’s not for everyone. It’s a choice. But if you’re willing to make that choice, you’ll find magic.

I could probably stop there, but I’d like to share with you some of the other beautiful gifts I’ve gained through SoMM.

TRIBE
The online SoMM community – my SoMM sisters (and the odd brother here and there!) – is an absolute joy and treasure. To have found a tribe of (mostly) women whom I didn’t even consciously realise I was desperately searching for has been an incredible gift. Like minded women, on a journey of the soul in this physical life, together. So much love. So much support. Connection. Friendships. The opportunity to meet with many of my SoMM sisters in the flesh has been extra special – I’ve been craving this kind of connection all of my life.

INTUITION
Putting aside my new-found fascination for psychic perception, my own intuitive abilities are steadily building in subtle ways. I imagine something, and then it actually happens. I have insights that enable me to prepare for what would previously have been unforeseen circumstances. I have the ability to solve problems based on intuitive hunches, often preventing further complications from arising. So far, this phenomenon is intriguing, helpful, and warmly welcomed.

COMMUNICATION
I’m discovering my voice, on many levels. It’s still emerging. An example: my husband and I mutually acknowledge that open communication has never been our strength, is something we must constantly work on, and is something we easily slip into avoiding. Post SoMM – it’s an ongoing work in progress, but we’re having the conversations no matter how difficult. WIN. As I said before, there’s no more hiding.

SPIRITUALITY
My prime motivation for enrolling in SoMM was to overcome depression and gain mental health. I got so much more than I bargained for, but that somehow, on some subconscious level, I was yearning for and could sense that SoMM would give me.

The spirituality of SoMM is what has transformed my life, and is what now informs every waking moment of my day. I have a new relationship with God. I have a new relationship with myself. I’m finally coming to understand a lot of what I was taught in my Catholic upbringing. Things that hadn’t made sense to me previously, things that seemed like fictional stories or outright lies, I’ve been able to reframe and discover the truths that they hold. SoMM is not a religious course, but through it and discovering my spirituality, I’ve been able to develop an appreciation and understanding of what was being taught to me through religion that I’d never managed to absorb. It turns out there is more than one path to God.

GLOW
The last thing I’ll mention here is kind of random and unspecific, but I attribute it to the spiritual practices I learnt in SoMM. People tell me I look different – in a good way. I have a sparkle in my eye that wasn’t there before. I look well. Personally, I think it comes and goes relative to how I’m showing up for my spiritual practice, but I haven’t tested that theory out for external validation. Whatever the case, I like it.


If SoMM is right for you, you’ll know. You’ll be curious. You’ll feel drawn in. Something about it will call to you. If that’s you, I encourage you to follow where your curiosity leads. In my eyes, if you choose to dive in, it will be impossible to regret it. You will be held, and supported, and loved. Strap yourself in for the ride! If you’re in, be sure to let me know, and I’ll see you in the school yard.

To find out more about School of the Modern Mystic and sign up to be notified when enrolment opens in the next few days, click here

Ego: Dream Killer

The new month has brought with it a significant shift in energy, and I know I’m not alone in feeling it. I don’t know if it’s the new moon in cancer, the new financial year giving off January vibes, or something else altogether, but there’s no denying it. Personally, my mood has lifted (alleluia!), I’ve had significant insights, and I’ve set new intentions that have flowed to me fluidly rather than forcefully.

Firstly, I’m realising with increasing clarity that I grossly underestimated the level of commitment and sustained diligence required to disassociate from ego and live in alignment with my soul.

Yep. Big.  (Massive.)

Following this realisation, I’m beginning to recognise the degree to which I’ve allowed my life to be dictated by my ego. To put it another way, my default mode of being is to allow my ego to stop me from living my dreams. In particular, I’ve uncovered a deep, long-held, heartfelt dream that I’ve skirted around, hidden, denied, and turned away from, for as long as it’s resided in my heart.

It’s only been in practicing mindfulness and  disidentifying from ego that I’ve been able to see the truth that’s been under my nose all this time. My ego has told me I’m not good enough to pursue, let alone achieve, this dream. My ego has convinced me that I’ll make a fool of myself to even admit this dream to anyone.  My ego has given me all the reasons why this dream is a foregone failure. My ego has told me I’ll be selfishly squandering my money to pursue this dream, money that could be put to better use for my young family. My ego has reminded me of my past failures and used them as evidence that this dream is destined for the same. My ego has laughed cruelly in my face for even daring to dream such a ridiculous dream.  My ego has even rationalised that this dream isn’t quite right for me.

If the ego were a person, that person would be judged as a pretty horrible person, and not a wise choice of someone to confide your dreams to.

The amusing thing is, since getting back on the mindfulness bandwagon and choosing not to take the ego’s opinions on board, I can actually see all the signs that the Universe (God/Source/the Angels) has been persistently placing on my path in an effort to steer me in the direction of this dream. There have been sparks of interest, meetings with inspiring role models, fascinations, signs, omens, synchronicities, serendipities. And if you consider my email subscriptions and social media feeds, it’s so blindingly obvious that this dream totally lights me up.

*Sigh.* All I can do is laugh about it.

No matter. I believe that I, just like everyone else, am exactly where I am supposed to be, and my journey gives me everything I need to grow. I trust the entire process.

There is so much I don’t know, so much I don’t understand.  I’m learning, and it’s a lifelong process. Whilst sometimes I think I can’t be helpful to anyone if I don’t have all the answers (hello again, ego!), I trust that by sharing my journey, full of struggles and mistakes as it is, may help you to have your own realisations.

Perhaps you have a dream that you’re ignoring or denying or hiding, because you’re believing what your ego has to say about it. Try this: dream the dream anyway. Don’t believe what your ego has to say on the matter. Envision the dream in your mind’s eye, ignoring the ego’s heckling jibes telling you that your dream couldn’t possibly come to fruition. Feel the feelings of living your dream, disregarding your ego’s persistent snide remarks that your dream is an impossibility. Dream the dream. Forget the how’s. This is where the magic begins. Because even if your dream doesn’t turn out the way you hope for, LIFE is where you pursue the dreams of your heart for the pure joy of the experience living in alignment with the callings of your soul.

xx


If you’re serious about disidentifying with ego, I recommend the following books that were recommended to me by my teacher, Belinda Davidson. Read them, study them, re-read them. Then read them again.

  • The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
  • The Happiness Trap, by Russ Harris

Image credit: by Deb Stgo, used under license.

Your light is eternal

I’m a freaking mess. High one day, a disaster the next. I feel like a complete idiot, like I’ve not learnt anything about life and how to live. I told anyone who’d listen that I finally had this depression thing sorted for good, and now, I’m being slammed by depressive episodes again. And it’s not even a “legit” depression, where the person is rendered physically and mentally incapable of dragging themselves through the day. No, my brand is shameful: it’s a choice. I’m feeling shit, and I’m wallowing in it. I’m choosing to opt out and zone out of life, because I just don’t want to endure another moment of feeling this way.

I’m heartbroken, because I was so certain that I’d found the golden ticket to keep me out of this pain permanently, but despite my dedicated chakra cleansing, my ego found the loophole: mindfulness. I know that mindfulness has been my stumbling block, and it’s the way my ego is worming it’s way back in to the drivers seat and controlling my life again. She’s clever – she’s even managed to convince me that she can thwart my attempts at chakra cleansing and channeling White Light. So, whilst I’ve surrendered to the MIA mindfulness, even my attempts to chakra cleanse and channel White Light feel measly and futile.

She’s good at convincing me that I suck at life, that I’m dumb and slow, and that I’m just not cut out to get my shit together enough to live an awesome life. She laughs hysterically when I say I want to shine my light and inspire others. “LIGHT?! WHAT LIGHT?! You’re a phoney loser. You don’t have a light, and saying the words won’t make one magically appear. You’re a try-hard, follow-the-crowd loser, pretending to be different. It’s embarrassing watching you pretend to people that you’ve got life sorted, that you have answers, because it’s a crock of shit and everyone sees through you. No one would ever want to follow your lead. Suck it up Princess, life’s a bitch, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner we can all get on with it and stop laughing with pity and disgust at your pathetic attempts at “Lightworking”. FFS, the fact that you have the audacity to even use that word is just maddeningly embarrassing, and hilarious, and pathetic. You’re not one of them, so give it up. You’re destined for mediocrity, so stop trying so hard, and maybe the road will be a lot less embarrassing and painful for both of us.”

Whoa. She’s brutal. She’s a total cow. Writing out her tirade helps me to see just how horrendous she is, and how it is that she’s managed to slam me. It’s not only given me clarity on how she’s operating, but also an idea on how to disarm her. You see, before I wrote out her vicious tirade, I knew I was being beaten into submission by her words, although I hadn’t consciously acknowledged exactly what her words were. I knew she was slamming me, but I felt completely helpless. Now, reading her vitriol on the page before me, I can see her for the abhorrent bully she is. It makes me think, if someone spoke like that to someone I loved, I would go beserk! I wouldn’t stand by helplessly – I would tear my loved one away from that person, and bombard them with all the reasons why those words are complete and utter bullocks! I would shower my loved-one with love and hugs, and tell them how beautiful and amazing and wonderful and perfectly imperfect they are. I’d tell them how much I love them.

So, that’s what I’m doing, for me.

Rachael Louise Stella, that horrible tirade that Ego just pissed all over you is complete and utter garbage. She is trying her best to tear you down, because she’s afraid of how powerful you are, and that you’ll render her powerless. She’s clawing her way to survival. It’s not true, and she knows it. Rachael, you are a beautiful, amazing, wonderful, perfectly imperfect woman, and I love you with all of my heart. You are a Lightworker – it’s just that your light has been dimmed lately, because you’ve believed those awful things that Ego tells you. I can assure you, it is a spiritual impossibility to extinguish your light – it is eternal. Don’t allow that desperate Ego to convince you that you’re not glorious. You are, and that terrifies her. But don’t fight her. Fighting is futile, and breeds negativity. Perhaps show her some love and kindness, by allowing her to be, but remembering that she does not speak the truth. Allow her to say whatever terrible things she has to say, but don’t accept them as true. Remember that her words are born of fear. She fears for her existence. You know how to disarm fear: with love. Remembering this will allow your light to shine, ever more brightly, and will keep Ego in the back seat, whilst you take the steering wheel.

I love you so much. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo


Image credit: 365.12 – Light by Kristina Savic. Used under license.

 

The Spider

The spider has a job that she must do to ensure her survival – she must spin webs.

When the time comes for this job to be undertaken, she simply does it. She doesn’t contemplate it, plan it, worry about it, think about whether there are other tasks that she’d rather be doing, wonder if it might be better to put it off until tomorrow, or worry about how the finished product will turn out. When the moment arrives to spin a web, she mindfully sets about spinning a web, without being distracted, without wondering whether it will live up to her expectations or the expectations of others. She doesn’t contemplate whether that which comes naturally to her will be deemed the right thing to have done by others. She just does it. She spins her web with focus and intent to create that which comes naturally to her. She works with persistence, and if something should unexpectedly interrupt her, it is dealt with, after which she dutifully returns to the task at hand.

When her work is finished, the spider doesn’t stand back and critique her work. She doesn’t fret over whether others will judge her work favourably. She immediately moves on to whatever it is that her instincts direct her to next. If her work is destroyed by unforeseen circumstances, she doesn’t spend an instant grieving over the loss of her creation that she poured so much time and effort into. She moves on and does what needs to be done. She creates another web.

There is something to be learnt from the spider and her web spinning. We humans are naturally creative beings, and there is so much potential within us, waiting for us to let go and give birth to the creations that we were made to transform from potential into existence. We spend so much time and energy thinking, wondering, contemplating, worrying, analysing, assuming, and judging. All this mind work imprisons our potential, stifles it. It holds us back from birthing our creative projects. When we do manage to wade our way though the quagmire of mental mess, our creations fail to be born into the full expression of their potential. There is pure magic and magnificence lying dormant within a creative idea. A creative idea holds the possibility of beauty, joy, wonder, brilliance. The practice of mindfulness releases us from this prison of stifled creativity. When we disidentify from the ego, and model the spider’s approach to spinning her web, a world of glorious, fully expressed creativity falls effortlessly into our laps.

The mind isn’t all bad. Luckily for us humans, we also have the pleasure of enjoying and fully appreciating the beauty that has been created in the world.  What a true blessing.


Image credit: spider web by x76882, under license.

Back From the Future

As I write this, I’m smack-bang in the middle of a three day retreat.  Specifically, a stay-at-home “White Light Intensive Healing Retreat”, that is part of a course I am currently undertaking.  This retreat has given me some much needed down time, time alone, time with myself, minimal social interaction, no social media or email checking.  Time to breathe, hear myself think, rest, and get present.  Ahhh…

Whilst on this retreat, I have been encouraged to practice mindfulness, and so I’ve used the opportunity to delve back into the words of wisdom from Eckhart Tolle in his profound book, The Power of Now.

Tolle teaches how to reach enlightenment through observing the mind and living in the present moment.  Although I’ve been studying this book for some months now, reading it during this retreat has enabled me to have new insights into how I’ve been living.

I’ve been living in the future.  Waiting.  Yearning.

Yearning for a time when motherhood is less demanding.
Yearning for a time when I have more money.
Yearning for a time when I can learn all that my teacher has to teach me.
Yearning for a time when I’ve nailed the art of manifesting.
Yearning for a time when I know my life purpose and can live it.
Yearning for a time when I can fully embrace and embody the magical human being I am discovering myself to be.

I try to wrap my brain around these concepts of presence and mindfulness, but as Tolle explains, that will get me nowhere.  Being present is knowing presence.  Being mindful is knowing mindfulness.

It’s time to take the lessons of this retreat into my daily life.  The social media and email free time is a massive step in the right direction.  I’ve decided to limit my time on these activities, as opposed to my ingrained habit of reaching for my mobile during every spare millisecond I can find.

It’s also time to step up my mindfulness and presence practice.  I’ve learnt so much through my studies, but it’s time to commit to living these practices every single moment of every single day.

Noticing when my mind says that motherhood is demanding and holding me back.
Noticing when my mind says that I don’t have enough money.
Noticing when my mind says there is so much I need to learn.
Noticing when my mind says that I haven’t yet mastered the art of manifesting.
Noticing when my mind says that life will begin when I’m living my soul purpose.
Noticing when my mind says that I can’t yet embody my truth.

Observing these thoughts.  Accepting them.  Perhaps chosing differently.

And finally, knowing that these thoughts aren’t who I am.  I am the one who observes them.  Knowing that I am perfect, whole, and complete, in this present moment, right now.

xx

Message from a Tree-Hugging Hippy

I’ve been pretty occupied lately.

Being a mummy.  Preparing food.  Washing clothes…

Practicing yoga.  Meditating.  Resting…

Studying.  Reading.  Learning…

There has been a part of me just itching to share more about what’s been occupying a large chunk of my time over the past eight months, because it has been freaking awesome.  Amazing.  Eye opening.  Life changing.  But … There has also been a part of me that has been hesitant to share, fearing negative judgement.  To be completely honest, I’ve thought way to much about what every single person I know will think of me if I share this part of my life.  I’ve learnt this lesson before – worrying about the opinions that other people have of you is futile.  However … I tend to be a slow learner!  I’ve been scared that people will think I’m a “tree-hugging hippy”, a bit weird, a fruit loop, a naive and silly little girl with my head in the clouds and a loose grip on reality.  But something subtle is starting to shift within me, and I can feel a mask slowly peeling away from me, leaving me feeling more and more ready to express without fear.  With abandon.  Because the people who don’t get me, aren’t the ones I’m supposed to be talking to.  My truth is that I’ve recently experienced some of the most profound and significant lessons of my life to date, and I feel moved and obligated to share with people who are interested, open, and perhaps searching.  For the people who think that I’m weird, that’s none of my business.  Thanks for coming, have a nice day.  Being free of the idea that I have to hide a part of me, is truly liberating.  Let’s get to it.

Find your voice quote

I’ve spoken a little here and here about my studies with Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic (SoMM).  I’ve just completed Level 1, and to say it’s been a game changer for my life is, quite frankly, an understatement.  I feel like my entire approach to life has shifted.  Actually, it has.  The way I go about my day, my every waking moment, is informed and influenced by what I have been learning.  Let me tell you a bit about exactly what I’ve learnt.

The first module of the course is all about chakras.  Prior to this course, the only things I knew about chakras were that they are within the body, they are related to energy, they are the colours of the rainbow, and my yoga teachers often refer to them during class.  Belinda has taught me so much more.  In a nutshell, the chakras are a part of our energy system, which affect every aspect of our life.  Let’s go back a bit first, to explain how this works.  My (very limited) understanding is that according to quantum physics, all physical matter in the universe is essentially made of energy – that is, the smallest “part” of all physical matter is energy.  For example, a solid piece of metal, is not actually solid at all – it is made up of miniscule “bits” of vibrating energy, all squished so closely together that they appear solid (can you tell I’m using my best scientific terminology?!).  As such, the body is made up of energy.  The chakras are an energy system of our body.  These chakras generate, distribute, and absorb energy.  Our energy field is made up of 12 chakras – 6 in our physical body, and 6 above our head, and each one relates to different aspects of our physical body, health, and life circumstances.  Belinda teaches, in the School of the Modern Mystic, that we can positively influence the chakras, via our subconscious, during meditation (i.e. focused energy), in order to change our energy field, and thus change our life.  We do this by practicing a chakra cleanse meditation.  Belinda’s motto is “change your energy, change your life … get your chakras rocking, and life becomes magic”.

The chakra module of the course is very in-depth.  Level 1 covers chakras 1-7.  We spent two weeks on each chakra, learning the theory (i.e. it’s location, attributes, areas of the body it governs, how it impacts our life), as well as activating, balancing and strengthening our chakra, and reflecting on the state of it, and how our practices are impacting it.  In this sense, the course is extremely practical.  As Belinda explains, you can know all the theory in the world, but unless you are actually doing your spiritual practices, you are not treading the spiritual path.

This module of the course on its own, has been mind-blowing.  I have been interested in the benefits of meditation for a long time, but never committed to a regular practice, and frankly, found it boring (ha!), which made it difficult to stick with.  Like many others, for a long time I was mistakenly under the impression that meditating required me to stop thinking for lengthy periods of time.  Have you ever tried to stop thinking?  If you’ve never tried, I’d be willing to be that you won’t make it to a minute.  The guided chakra cleanse meditation that we use in the course made meditation so easy for me.  A 35 minute audio, guiding me through the meditation, during which I focus on each of my chakras.  No striving to stop my thoughts.  Simply focusing on each chakra as guided by the audio.  Six months ago, I could not have predicted that I would now be guiding myself through the meditation without the audio prompts, actually feeling and experiencing the energy of my chakras, feeling energy course through my body, and observing the effects that the chakra cleansing is having on my life.  Whilst I’ve always been interested in hearing about energy medicine and modalities like Reiki and polarity therapy, I could never understand or relate when people could feel or see or sense energy.  Now, I’m experiencing it for myself.

Early on in the course, I knew I had imbalances, weaknesses, and blockages in pretty much all of my chakras, simply by learning the theory, and analysing how it fitted in with my health and life circumstances.  As the course progressed, and I meditated more, and focused more on my chakras every day, I learned to feel the state of my chakras – to feel their energy.  Aspects of my life have certainly shifted and improved as I’ve worked on my chakric health, and when I’m having problems or difficulties in certain areas of my life, I now intuitively look to my chakras, and work on the issue from there.  Interestingly, sometimes I recognise an issue in my chakras before I notice its manifestation in my body or life circumstances.

Module two is all about the White Light – a healing spiritual energy.  I feel a LOT of resistance in talking about this module, as its sounds kind of “woo woo” to use Belinda’s words, however it was surprisingly fascinating, heart warming, enlightening, very practical and thrilling!  We learnt how to use the White Light, to strengthen our ability to cleanse our chakras, clear energetic blockages, and manifest our desires.  It’s given me a certain power to supercharge my creative action taking, and it’s filled me with unconditional love.  This module was the most surprising for me, as it cemented my true belief in this work.  I have been able to physically experience the energy of the White Light, which was initially startling (but beautiful), and I see the effects it’s having on my life – proof that it’s real and it works!

Module three covered a topic that is getting a lot of coverage these days, and rightly so: mindfulness.  We studied two texts as part of this module: The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle, and The Happiness Trap, by Russ Harris.  I view both of these texts as handbooks for life.  Tolle’s writing isn’t particularly easy to read, but it is full of profound wisdom.  Harris’s book is extremely practical and simple to read.  Both help us learn and understand how the mind works – that we are composed of two “selves” – the thinking self (the ego), and the observing self.  Our aim is to learn to disassociate from the thinking self, and learn to associate with the observing self, through practices of mindfulness and presence.  I can’t recommend these texts highly enough.  This module has taught us to recognise when our ego is taking over, so that we can align with our observing self – our “higher self” or “light-filled self”.  In this way, we can continue on our spiritual path, without getting sidetracked or high-jacked by our ego, which can only lead us back to pain and suffering.  I practice mindfulness every single day.  It is especially helpful when I’m dealing with screaming children, trying to get the kids ready for school on time, or lamenting the fact that I can’t seem to achieve all the things on my “to do” list every day!

So, put it all together, and these three modules give us the pillar practices for creating healthy energy, and thus being able to create the life of our dreams.

Where I’m at right now, at the conclusion of this Level 1 course, is a place of calmness and positivity.  That may not sound astounding, but it is.  I feel confident that I have the ongoing ability to deal with whatever life throws at me, as well as to create and live a life of my choosing, as opposed to drifting with the current.  This course has given me a foundation, I believe, to ensure that I never again find myself wallowing in self-pity and using “I can’t cope” as an excuse to opt out of life.  In a practical sense, this translates into an ability to keep my cool (mostly!) with my kids, no matter how severe the tantrum.  To experience contentment and peace in the present moment.  To trust that there is a path in front of me, leading me on the journey I am destined to travel, filled with so much joy and love.  To have eliminated the sense of despair and dread of a ho-hum existence or worse, as well as the incessant worrying that I’m a terrible parent, stuffing-up at every turn and ruining my kids for life.

As a gratifying extra, my husband has told me he’s noticed a difference in me.  He thinks I’m coping better with daily life as a mummy.  I’m happier.  I’m less stressed.  I’m more easy-going.

In the interests of transparency, I’m not suggesting that life is suddenly perfection and that there is no room for improvement, or that I don’t have times of struggle or pain.  There are ongoing issues that I’m still working on, and my manifesting technique requires much practice, but – THAT’S FINE.  I’m in a place where SoMM has given me the ability to recognise, on a moment to moment basis, that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and that wherever that is, IS perfect.  Instead of stressing about why I haven’t manifested something-or-other, I know that I am on my path, and that it will manifest when it is meant to, if it is in my best interests.  When I notice myself feeling upset, or angry, or frustrated, I’m able to observe those thoughts or feelings, and recognise them as separate to who I am.  This doesn’t necessarily solve all my problems, but it helps me to move on from them more quickly than what I otherwise would have, or to find solutions instead of wallowing in pain.

In the aftermath of completing Level 1 of SoMM, I am now preparing for Level 2, which is all about learning how to discover and live your soul purpose. Completing Level 1 has prepared me and my energy field to embark on this new journey.  I have yearned for what seems like forever, to know what it is that I was put on this earth to do.  I am thrilled to have found a path to discovering what it is that my soul intends for me.

As I’ve progressed through SoMM, I’ve felt like I’m becoming better able to connect with the things that bring me joy.  I’m drawn to them, and I’m recognising the feelings they incite.  As I plan to begin Level 2 in July, the Universe is giving me little insights.  I’m learning that whatever feels awesome, lights me up, sparks an interest, is worth pursuing.  That my soul purpose is something that will make my heart sing with joy, not something that I will become begrudgingly obligated to follow.  That my spiritual practices will take me there.  That there is an abundance of guidance and help available to me, if I simply ask.

My spiritual practices, which have become part of my daily routine, are having the most beautiful impact on my life.  I’m astonished by the power of a simple daily chakra cleanse meditation.  I feel my chakras spin.  I channel White Light. It’s truly magical.

So I’m firing up.  Following the sparks.  Expressing what I can.  I still have no idea where it will lead me, apart from where I am destined to be.  And that, my lovely, is THRILLING!

xoxo


To learn more about Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic, or to purchase the Guided Chakra Cleanse for Busy People, click on the images below.

Belinda Davidson's School of the Modern Mystic starts September 29th!

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Main image credit: crazy flare, by Yutaka Seki.  Under licence.