Tag Archives: spirituality

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.

Demystifying Manifesting

Something a little different today!  I’m feeling called to share what’s currently capturing my interest.  Right now, the topic of MANIFESTING is totally lighting me up!

Manifesting, in the way I’m using the term, is the process of bringing things into being, into reality. When talking about manifesting, many people think only of what they want to create in their lives – things they want to have or experience. What they don’t often recognise, is that everything they already have has been manifested by them, both positive and negative, via the energetic realm. So, consider that you have manifested your job, your home, the food in your cupboard, your friendships, your children, your computer, the holiday you’ve booked, the cold you caught last week, the fight you had with the parking inspector, everything in your life. When we study the art and science of manifesting, what we are interested in is CONSCIOUSLY and INTENTIONALLY manifesting our desires, which might include experiences, physical objects or belongings, relationships, healings, both personal and external. Sometimes people can get stuck in the perception that manifesting is a very egoic, surface level, even selfish practice, but this is not necessarily the case – you can manifest health for your family, an improved social condition, environmental healing … the possibilities are endless.

My most in-depth training in manifesting to date has been through Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic (SoMM), in the Level 1 course. We learnt a powerful technique to manifest our wishes utilising the chakra energy system, the White Light, and mindfulness. Some of the things I’ve manifested so far using this technique have included (but are not limited to) unexpected income (seemingly out of nowhere) to buy tickets to a workshop I wanted to participate in, an interstate trip for a meetup with the SoMM community and a workshop, and 3 free tickets to see Danielle LaPorte speak in Melbourne. Through my experience and practices learnt through SoMM, I’ve also manifested many other wonderful things without following the specific technique learnt, simply through changing my energy to be an energetic match for that which I desire (think “law of attraction”, a concept you may have heard about) – free enrolment into an online course, a pro-bono 3 month coaching series, the healing of my son’s ongoing ear infections which prevented impending surgery, and the healing of my husband’s severely debilitating back injury. It’s been a roller-coaster journey, and I’m still very early on my learning path, but it’s thrilling!

Interestingly, I’ve been noticing the parallels between this method and some of the concepts I learnt growing up attending a Catholic school and going to church every Sunday. I remember learning things such as asking God through prayer to take care of all our worries, that God is love, and trusting in the infinite power of God. These concepts and more, in my opinion, are essentially the same as what I learned through SoMM, but just explained with different language. The language of the bible and religion is cloaked in metaphors and hidden meanings, and from what I understand, is misunderstood by the vast majority. For me, the language and techniques I’ve learned through SoMM have simply resonated and made more sense to me – they aren’t necessarily better, they’re just expressed in language that I can understand and apply, and they have been what has worked for me. They have given me a sense of power in my life that was previously missing.  It didn’t occur to me for some time that manifestation is actually referred to directly in the bible – Jesus healed the sick, fed the masses, and turned water into wine. He was, indeed, a master manifestor.

The most important thing I learned in the manifesting module of SoMM was that in order to live our soul purpose, we need to be able to manifest. As Belinda described it, we need to know how to manifest to get ourselves out of the struggle cycle so that our energies are freed up to live and pursue our purpose. Depending on an individual’s specific circumstances, this will look different – for some, they’ve manifested financial stability, but they may need still need emotional support through close relationships. For others, it might mean manifesting a secure income so that they’re not worrying about how they’re going to pay the bills every week. When life is working for us and our needs are taken care of, we can devote our time and attention to the “bigger” picture, to our bigger dreams and desires, to our purpose for being here in this lifetime, to our soul purpose.

It’s a fascinating topic, rich with intricacies and nuance. I’ve been reading and researching to gain some different perspectives on the manifestation process, and the more I read, the more I discover there is to learn and understand.

E-SquaredE-Cubed

E-Squared, by Pam Grout, is a fabulous book to start with if you’re new to this topic (or not!). Grout has a brilliant ability to mix wisdom, science, and humour into her writing in a way that makes this topic so simple to understand and apply. The book is designed as a set of simple (even kid-friendly!) scientific experiments that you as the reader conduct yourself in order to have the principles demonstrated in a very real and obvious way. This is a really fun book, and it was followed up with a sequel, E-Cubed, which goes to a deeper level again.

cars

Since reading this book over 18 months ago, I’ve adapted one of the experiments and I conduct it on an almost daily basis. Every day that I leave the house and I’m on the roads, I set an intention to manifest seeing at least one car of every colour of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. I’m strict with this intention – it can’t just be any red car, or any blue car – the colour must be vibrant and complete. Can I tell you, I have manifested this outcome with a success rate, by my estimation, of approximately 98%! I reckon that’s pretty impressive given that bright, vividly violet cars are thought to be relatively rare! Funnily, on the few occassions where I haven’t manifested one particular coloured car (usually purple), I can rest assured that the following day it will turn up in overload, and I’ll see two, three or four purple cars in one day!  This ongoing experiment has been a brilliant learning experience, teaching me a lot about my mindset, my subconscious programming, and the nuances of the manifesting process. I highly recommend it!

Wishes FulfilledWishes Fulfilled is a wonderful read by the delightful Dr Wayne Dyer. Dyer has essentially condensed and translated the vast array of spiritual teachings that he has studied on the subject, mainly (in this book), the works of Neville and Ascended Master Saint Germain. I’m up to the final chapter, but so far, this book has been brilliant at offering me the ability to understand concepts that before I had zero understanding of, and that I didn’t have clarity around how they related to manifesting. Dyer focuses on how and why we are of God, we have God within us, and that we essentially are God. This informs the tools he provides for practically applying the manifesting process, and offers a bridge to the belief that we are the creators of our reality.

Manifesting MatisseAnother recent read was Manifesting Matisse, by Dr Michelle K. Nielsen. This book is a thorough, well detailed, 10-step “practical system for reality creation”. Alongside the system, Nielsen has documented the story of how she manifested her son’s miraculous healing. Her son, Matisse, was born at 29 weeks, and by age 5 was experiencing severe developmental delay, neurological damage and attachment problems. Whilst his extraordinary healing is a fascinating read in and of itself, it provides a brilliant illustration of how powerful this technique is, that no matter how unrealistic a desire might seem, that miracles are possible.

Manifesting MichelangeloManifesting Michelangelo by Joseph Pierce Farrell is another brilliant book that offers insight into the very real possibilities, or potential, available to us to manifest miracles. The book is divided into two parts – Farrell’s story, followed by his manifestation process steps. Whilst I didn’t personally gain enormous growth from his process (even though I found it completely valid) given my journey so far, I found Farrell’s story offered a marvellous demonstration of the reality of miracles, because it seems so completely impossible. As the book describes, Farrell discovered that he has the ability to transform human tissue using the power of consciousness. Specifically, Farrell has eyewitness medical testimony, scientific evidence and photos to demonstrate that he can heal broken bones, restore facial deformities, heal chronically injured joints, dissolve inoperable tumours, and more. He has even used his abilities to provide cosmetic “surgery”. This is an absolutely fascinating story, and Farrell has dedicated his life to “exploring human consciousness and its relationship to health and healing in order to bridge the divide between science and spirituality”.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

Deepak Chopra has written a book on the topic of manifesting, called The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success. As the name suggests, this book is particularly spiritual in nature, and quite profound.  I first read this book many years ago, and honestly, it went completely over my head. But I read it again a few months ago, and it took on new meaning for me and made so much more sense. If you’re familiar with Chopra’s work and perhaps a little way in on your spiritual journey, I highly recommend you check it out, because it contains much wisdom. This is a book that I feel I will need to keep going back to as I progress further on my path, and I’m certain that with each reading, more of that wisdom will filter through to my conscious brain!

What the Bleep do we KnowWhat the Bleep Do We Know bookIf you’re not keen to get reading, you might instead like to check out the film, What the Bleep Do We Know (which has actually been adapted into a book as well, so you could read it too!). This film combines documentary with a narrative plot, and offers a view of the universe and human life, linking neuroscience and quantum physics, to illustrate how and why we do indeed have the ability to manifest the life we desire.

The Law of AttractionAsk and it is GivenWhilst I haven’t yet read any of their books but have watched a number of their videos, Esther & Jerry Hicks have provided the world with a wealth of information on the law of attraction that is, at it’s core, all about manifestation.  The source of their information comes from “a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension” (http://www.abraham-hicks.com/lawofattractionsource/about_abraham.php), referred to as Abraham, that Esther interprets (whilst many refer to Esther as a channel for Abraham, they make a point of saying that such a word is inaccurate).  Abraham’s profound spiritual teachings centre on topics such as reality creation, emotions as guidance, and that life is supposed to be joyful.

The Hidden Messages in WaterLastly, this book may seem a little off-topic, but I feel compelled to include it as it gives more food for though regarding our manifesting powers: The Hidden Messages in Water, by Dr Masaru Emoto. Emoto presents a theory of how water is connected to human consciousness.  In a series of experiments, Emoto exposed water in glasses to different words, images, or music, and then froze the water and examined the resulting ice crystals with microscopic photography.  He found that water exposed to “positive” variables produced beautiful, brilliant, complex and colourful crystals, whereas water exposed to “negative” variables produced disfigured, incomplete, asymmetrical, dull-coloured crystals.  Whilst there is much criticism of Emotos work and theories from a scientific standpoint, it nonetheless offers a provocative concept – “since people are 70 percent water, and the Earth is 70 percent water, we can heal our planet and ourselves by consciously expressing love and goodwill”.  If you’ve read E-Squared, you might recognise the similarity between Emoto’s work and the experiment with growing seedlings – directing loving energy towards one set of seedlings, and negative energy towards the other set.  words-healDanielle LaPorte also referenced Emoto’s work in a blog post, and conducted an experiment of her own using an apple.  I find this whole theory absolutely fascinating, and it resonates insofar as it is linked with the concepts of law of attraction, vibrational resonance, and the power of love.  Whatever your take on Masaru’s work, it’s worth trying it out for yourself (although I must admit, I struggle with the idea of having to deliberately direct negative energy towards anything – I don’t want to hold that vibration within myself!).

If you’re curious to learn more about this topic, I recommend checking out some of these books and more, as well as surfing the web – there is such a vast variety of information out there, and you can get started on your path of learning and practicing straight away!  I’m keen to expand my reading into the area of master manifestors, the holy people and avatars of the world, to give me more awareness of the limitless possibilities and to help re-program my limited beliefs. I’m utterly captivated by stories of gurus materialising objects out of thin air, of men and women who can do the “impossible”. Whilst at this stage I don’t believe that level of manifestation is part of my path in this lifetime, it nonetheless ignites incredible inspiration for what I can achieve. I’m finding that the more I explore this topic, the more I want to learn, and the more the belief becomes cemented into my consciousness that manifesting is a very real process that we absolutely can take control of, in order to create the life of our dreams.

Do you have any favourite manifesting resources?  Please share your favourite books, websites, YouTube clips, and films in the comments, I’d love to know what inspires and helps you, and I’m always interested to learn more!

Happy manifesting!
X


Main image credit: Chiseld Flurry, by LadyDragonflyCC via Flickr.  Used under license.

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.

shadowworkingeventsquare28129

Taking Orders from the Cardinal

A little birdie (a cardinal, in fact) told me that it’s important for my soul that I get my butt back into this space, and start getting light-heartedly serious about the business of being me, loud and proud, through sharing my story.  I listened, took note, and proceeded to do nothing about it.  Excuses, you know.  Seemingly valid ones.  Then, that little birdie got in my face again.  The instant I saw him the second time, I knew he meant business.  It’s time that I follow his guidance.

This was my first cardinal messenger - the animoon reading for the week email from Sarah Wilder at The Fifth Element Life. Click image to link to Sarah's site.

This was my first cardinal messenger – the animoon reading for the week email from Sarah Wilder at The Fifth Element Life.


So much beauty and light has been shining down on my little world lately.  I feel as though I’ve turned another corner, a very distinct corner, and the path forward here is upward.  Not upward in an uphill slog kind of way, but upward as in towards blessedly higher ground.  I’ve let go of those niggling doubts and worries that were telling me that my spiritual path perhaps “doesn’t work for me”, that “I’m not as good or worthy as all those beaming lightworkers”, and “I’m doomed for failure and mediocrity”.  I see you Ego, and I say “Thanks for sharing.  I choose differently.”

My beautiful little boy began school a few weeks ago, and it’s been a wonderful new beginning for both of us.  He’s ready and raring to step into this next phase of his sweet childhood, and honestly, so am I.  I’ve learnt to delight in the joys of motherhood, and to weather the challenges with as much grace as I can muster.  But I’m so excited for this next phase in our journey, and the energy of these past few weeks has been that of excitement, anticipation, positivity, new beginnings, and growth.  He’s transitioned into school brilliantly, and I’ve transitioned into being a mum of two school children without a hitch.  (OK, I almost shed a tear before dropping him off on his first day!)

My word for the year. Image by Jo Klima of The Darling Tree

My word for the year. Image by Jo Klima of The Darling Tree

The summer holidays allowed me some space to re-establish a DEVOTED practice.  I realised at some point that last year, whilst I was showing up to a committed daily practice of a chakra cleanse meditation, most of the time I wasn’t really connecting.  The lights were on but nobody was home.  It was surface level, and I was just going through the motions.  This was partly because I felt that the only time I could fit my practice in with consistency was at 5.30am, but bleary eyed and sleep deprived, I often struggled to keep myself from drifting to sleep, and I couldn’t muster the energy to do it standing up to prevent that.  I felt proud that I was doing the work, but I was ignoring the reality that I was actually only managing to do half the work.  I couldn’t concentrate, my mind would constantly wander, and I would be rushing through it before it was time to get on with my day, instead of allowing the time to feel my way intuitively through the process.  I was still reaping benefits, but I certainly wasn’t experiencing the magic I’d come to expect and witness in others on a similar path.  The gentleness of our summer routine provided the breathing space that allowed me more time and less pressure, so that I naturally found the depth and connection again that I realised I’d been mostly missing for months.  And so, as a consequence, my energy has skyrocketed off the charts, into seriously high-vibing territory that not only feels wonderful, but is what I knew I was missing last year.

Practically, this new energy I’m rocking looks like:

  • Feeling naturally moved to begin a daily routine of walking in nature. This is something that I began intermittently last year, but for a long time I found myself saying “I should walk more”.  The difference now is that I’m moved to do it, I’m eager to get out there, because I love it!  There’s no pressure, no forcing myself, no yearning for motivation.  It just happens.  I also realised that I really didn’t have an excuse – we live less than 2 minutes walk from wetlands with a walking track!  Until this year, I’d kind of ignored that fact, and used the excuse that it wasn’t very nice, it was too close to the roads, and there was often rubbish lingering around.  But I see it with new eyes now.  Those wetlands are teeming with bird life, native flora, and miracles everywhere I look.  I love my morning walk, and I’m feeling the benefits on SO MANY levels.
  • Committing to a 5 minute morning yoga practice. Again, this has evolved naturally, and it’s something I look forward to.  Physically, my yoga flow has never been smoother, my biceps have never been stronger, and my body feels limber and spacious.  In the past I’ve used time as an excuse to avoid a home practice, but 5 minutes a day has had incredible impact for me.
  • I’m getting more sleep. If you’ve read some of my earlier posts, you’ll know that this has been a life-long self-sabotage issue for me. I decided to surrender.  I let it go.  I stopped listening to the beating my ego would give me after every late night.  I accepted that this is something I do, it’s possibly going to be something I do for the rest of my days, and trying to fix it isn’t working.  I’m not clear on the exact mechanism at work here, but something shifted – I naturally began choosing to head to bed earlier.  It became a priority.  I wanted to accept the responsibility of making choices with consideration of the consequences.  Far out, it feels so much better when I’ve slept a decent stint for consecutive nights!  Who would have thought?!?!  It’s still something I need to be very mindful of, and I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’ve overcome this destructive habit, but I’m finding it increasingly easier to be aware of the impact of my sleep choices, and of wanting to make choices that have positive longer-term outcomes (rather than the instant gratification of rebelliously revelling in an late-nighter).  (The late-nighters often aren’t even that enjoyable anyway!!) (Disclosure: I did stay up late to complete and publish this post! I was driven, it felt as though it was almost beyond my control.  The words were hankering to get out of me and onto the screen to be shared with my audience. I went with it. More on that below.)
  • I’m manifesting like a boss! Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. I won 2 free tickets to see Danielle LaPorte speak live in Melbourne, and then I scored an extra ticket as well, total value $375 (I’ve delighted in telling the details of this awesome manifesting story to anyone who’ll listen!).  I’ve secured a 3 month pro-bono 1:1 life coaching series.  I’ve been invited to participate online programs with incredible women that have come with PERFECT timing, taught me huge lessons, and given me amazing outcomes and momentum.
  • I’m feeling more energetic, less grumpy, and better able to remain mindful in my parenting experience. My overall demeanour and energy is lighter – I’m even saying hi to people I pass when I’m walking, which is totally out of my comfort zone!  I have the energy and motivation to do basic things like housework, without having to force myself.  I just get stuff done.  Messages, omens, and signs are flowing to me constantly.  I see the beauty and miracles in everyday life.

Magic & Miracles 1Magic & Miracles 2 miracles 3

  • Life is just working better. I have two examples to illustrate this.
    Example 1: A few weeks back, we purchased a large filing cabinet for our office.  Because it is so large, we arranged delivery, and the sales assistant advised that the delivery company would contact me on the morning of delivery to confirm a time.  On the first of the two possible delivery days, I kept my mobile within reach at all times.  No call.  At 3.30pm, I bundled the kids into the car to head to swimming lessons.  I turned the key in the ignition – nothing.  I got the kids out again, cancelled their swimming lesson, and called the RACV.  I quickly knew not to get upset or annoyed about it – worse things could happen, and I was grateful that it happened at home rather than in some random car park.  I thought that was the silver lining.  But it got even better.  At 4.20pm, when I “should” have been sitting poolside, I heard a vehicle out the front, and peeked through the window expecting to see the RACV truck.  Instead, it was the delivery truck with our filing cabinet.
    Example 2: It was a Wednesday evening, and I was in the backyard admiring the beautiful summer sunset.  I invited my husband outside to see it too.  Whilst there, gazing upward, he noticed that we had some significantly broken tiles on our roof.  The next day, he called a professional to come and check it out.  The roof guy was able to come that same day, and he confirmed that it needed substantial repairs.  He was booked to do another job the following day, but was waiting on a part needed for that job.  The part didn’t arrive, so he was able to fix our roof that day, Friday, instead.  That weekend, there was a massive downpour.  Bullet dodged.

There’s so much more I could share.  Suffice it to say, life is grand.  That’s not the same as perfect though.  There are still challenges, there always will be.  But how I’m facing them is shifting.  For example, we’ve been having ongoing and protracted drainage and plumbing issues with both of the showers in our house since we moved in over 2 years ago.  After repairs and complete replacements, we’re still having serious water leakage issues.  I’m tempted to be stressed out about this situation, but I can see beyond it.  We now have one water-tight and working shower.  We’ll sort the other one out in due time.  Worse things have happened.  I’m also feeling into the energy of the situation, to ascertain the reasons why we’ve attracted this into our experience, as well as contemplating the symbology represented by water leakages.  I know, with certainty, that we can resolve this situation at its root cause by resolving the blocked energy.  When we’re in alignment, this will resolve with ease.

So I’m feeling good.  There is ebb and flow, and that is to be expected.  I’m observing and learning every day.  Magic surrounds me.  That magic comes via my devotion.  And it’s is why I’m here in this space today.  I’ve been on the verge of sharing here a few times over the past few months, but something has held me back (it seems to be an ongoing pattern of mine).  I’ve hesitated and questioned whether my stories, my experiences, are worthy of sharing, whether they hold any value.  This hesitation and questioning has peaked in response to an experience which took place shortly after publishing my last blog post, in which a dear friend of mine was very brave and honest with me.  She told me that she had deep concerns about my spiritual path, and that she needed to put some boundaries in place for her own protection, and that of her family, if we were to continue our friendship.  This revelation shook me deeply.  I can’t recall ever having had an experience before where someone essentially condemned, albeit in a loving and considerate way, my beliefs and my way of life.  Initially, it was unnerving and incredibly uncomfortable, but I put on a brave face and told her that I was ok with her requests.  However as time went on, and the situation marinated in my mind, my ego began to launch savage battle with my higher self as I tried my best to not take my friends opinions and actions personally.  I wasn’t sure whether I could accept her requests.  I wasn’t sure whether I could be friends with someone who wouldn’t accept me in my entirety, who felt that my spirituality posed a danger to her and her children.  The situation drew anger, opinion and judgment from most of those whom I shared with.  I knew in my heart that I didn’t reject my friend or her stance, in fact I respected her bravery, honesty and integrity in approaching such a delicate topic with both care and respect.  I have no issue with us having different beliefs.  But I found it difficult to determine whether I could continue to spend time with her.  I have a strong value of respect for others choices and beliefs, religious and spiritual included.  In my world, I can accept and live with the reality that others have different beliefs to me, and that we can coexist harmoniously with that difference.  It is my belief that there is more than one path to God.  But not everyone shares that belief.  How could I share a friendship with someone who rejects my path and feels the need to protect herself from my way of life?  Initially, I thought I could find a way to continue our friendship in line with her boundaries, that we could meet in neutral territory and simply avoid the topic.  I thought that would be the moral and loving thing to do.  But I soon realised that such a path would come at a cost.  I would be dishonouring myself.  I would be saying, symbolically, that my beliefs and my spirituality are not worth taking a stand for.  That it’s ok for someone to place conditions on our friendship that dampen my spirit and leave me feeling like there is something inherently evil about how I live my life.  I know my friend had pure intentions in what she shared with me, that she came from a place of love.  But ultimately, she was saying that how I live, and who I am, is not ok.

My uncle's tatoo - people of all belief systems and religions CAN coexist in harmony.

My uncle’s tatoo – people of all belief systems and religions CAN coexist in harmony.

Whilst I’m proud of the way that we both handled this situation, and that we’ve come to a mutual understanding of how to respect each other’s wishes, the after-effects are lingering for me.  Whilst I believe in the depths of my heart and soul that the crux of my spirituality is nothing but unconditional love in its purest form, this exchange with my friend has given my ego fresh fodder to keep me safe and small.  It speaks to me of the risks of speaking my truth, that I might be judged and attacked, next time with hatred and viciousness.  It tells me that people will misunderstand me, that people are looking for an argument, for a way to wield their power.  It tells me that people might associate me with things that are not, in fact, a part of my belief system, and use that against me.  It tells me to be scared.  It tells me that life is so much easier when I just keep my mouth shut and fit in with the crowd.  It tells me that I don’t need to share this stuff anyway, I can keep it to myself, keep it private.

My ego is doing such a beautiful job of protecting me.  All she wants is for me to survive, and she’s making use of the most effective tools that evolution has given her, the tools that have brought humans so far in perpetuating the species for eons.  The thing is though, I’m beyond survival.  I’ve got that handled.  Thank you, dear ego, for lovingly doing your job.  But I choose differently.

Life might be “easier” when we keep quiet and fit in, but for me, that feels unbearably stifling.  I have these words, these expressions of my experience and my truth, that are conceived to be spoken, not swallowed.  When I suppress them, they don’t just magically disappear – they are energy, physical matter on the quantum level, that doesn’t vanish through repression.  They stay inside of me, and they turn bitter.  They’re there, and they’re so loud that I can’t ignore them, so unless I allow them to move through me, they fester and grow, and eventually seek an alternate route of expression, through rage, tears, or illness – they’ll find any means of escape.  So “easier” is perhaps not an accurate term to use.

Tell your story with pride, said the cardinal.  Accept this moment as it is, he chirped.  So I’m acknowledging the truth, the words, the expressions of my experience, and I’m accepting that they are here, to be born out into the world when I’m moved to give voice to them – when they’re ripe and ready to flow.  It’s a lesson I’m learning over and over and over again.   I’ve discovered that it’s my destiny to share – one of the many essences of my soul is to give expression to my words, and to have them be heard.  And I’m devoted to being in alignment with the light of my soul, so silence is not even an option for me.  My words are part of my soul’s purpose here on this human journey.  I am devoted to living that purpose.

Image credit: Fire by Zdenko Zivkovic. Used under license.

Image credit: Fire by Zdenko Zivkovic. Used under license.


Main image credit: Mr Cardinal by Dawn Huczek, used under license.

The Good Witch of the South Eastern Suburbs

So today is Halloween, and it has prompted me to write about a topic that is currently holding my interest: witches.

I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween, nor have I really gotten into the spirit of it, apart from the one year when, as kids, my brothers and I naïvely decided to carve a jack-o-lantern out of a rock hard pumpkin, and spent hours trying to scoop out the raw flesh and carve a face without stabbing ourselves in the process (pumpkins suited to carving weren’t readily available from the local supermarket here in the early nineties). We were never allowed to go trick-or-treating (I’ve held on to that tradition with my kids – mean mum alert!), and the only time I can think that I would have dressed up would have been if a friend happened to have a themed birthday party at this time of year. I actually don’t remember or know a great deal about the origins of Halloween, other than the fact that here in Australia, it’s really only gained in popularity in recent times thanks to commercial reasons.  Retailers saw a gaping hole in the market that represented millions of dollars in potential revenue. Get Aussies on board with Halloween, and you can sell a truck load of Halloween stuff to them.

When I do think of Halloween, the standard images come to mind: pumpkins, ghosts, skeletons, vampires, and witches. Scary witches.

I used to joke years ago that if I’d been born a few hundred years earlier, I would have been burnt at the stake for supposedly being a witch; I’ve got red hair, green eyes, I’m left handed, and I have knobbly knees and a boney nose. I look the part. It was a throw-away joke, and it was funny to me – it certainly didn’t upset me that I looked that way. I didn’t really think a lot about what I was referring to – the fact that in times past, innocent human beings actually were killed for being believed to be witches.

I’ve learnt recently that the history of witch trials, which hunts and witch burnings is taught in school curriculums in other parts of the world as a part of history education. It’s a significant piece of human history that I’ve been largely ignorant of.

This topic has landed more frequently on my radar since I began studying energy medicine. Many of my classmates bring up the topic of witches, given the subject matter of what we’re studying. Initially, I had quite an aversion to the topic. I certainly didn’t want to identify as a witch – witches were scary and freaky and horrible in my naïve experience. And yet, here were my friends and teachers and soul-tribe, speaking so passionately about this topic, and many speaking as if that’s what they are: a witch.

My aversion to something that was so openly and commonly discussed amongst my tribe perplexed me. This home that I’d found amongst friends felt so right, and yet this subject matter worried me, because it didn’t bring me the joy that I found in every other aspect of this environment. After some time, I came up with a solution that suited me just fine, even if it turned out to be temporary: I could identify to some degree with being a GOOD witch. Yes! If being a witch was a part of this new world, then perhaps I could be just like Glinda the Good Witch of the North, from The Wizard of Oz. She was all pink and sparkles and love. What made this idea feel all the more pre-destined was that in high school, my graduating class produced a special year book, which included a fictional story in which many students featured as special characters. I had been depicted in this story as none other than Glinda.

As time has passed, and I’ve progressed on my journey, I’ve found this subject matter cropping up more and more frequently, and things have begun to shift. Whilst I certainly wouldn’t describe myself in a bio as being a witch, or when introducing myself to a new acquaintance, I can’t deny that there is an aspect of who I am at a soul level, and what I love, that certainly would have had me burnt at the stake in another time and place. I am devoted to my daily energy medicine practice, and it informs every aspect of my life. I use the White Light to heal. I have a fascination with all things metaphysical. I have a tendency towards using alternative and complementary medicine. I have an open-mindedness towards shamanic practices. I have a penchant for crystals which I cleanse under the light of the full moon, and I wear a treasured necklace with a citrine crystal that has been infused with prayers and White Light.  I have a fascination with psychic abilities, and I’ve undertaken education and training to better understand and to strengthen and further develop my abilities. I have undertaken spiritual journeys on different planes of existence. I’ve developed a surprisingly thrilling fascination with hunting for “fairy toadstools”! I’m a student and active community member of the “School of the Modern Mystic” for goodness sake!

Just call me "The Toadstool Hunter"! ??

Just call me “The Toadstool Hunter”! ??

Interestingly, I received an energy reading last week, which included a reading of the energy that  I am currently emitting which originated in past lives – energy that came about as a result of events that took place during past lifetimes, which has stayed with me and is affecting me in this present lifetime.  In one of these past lives, I was a healer. My healing work was my passion and purpose – it lit me up and made me feel brilliantly alive.  The circumstances I was living in at that time meant that I had to practice healing in secret – the stereotypical, almost corny image of the woman meeting with her patient under the cover of night in the safety of a darkened forest.  This need to hide my true nature angered me, but didn’t stop me – I was brave in my actions, and my passion fuelled my courage. This lifetime did not end well – I was eventually betrayed, and killed for being a witch.

So I’ve begun to research, and learn more about what this word “witch” actually means. I’m very early in my research journey, but I’ve already discovered some things that put my mind at ease, that reassure me that I’m not a freak, I’m not crazy, and that it’s perfectly acceptable for me to embrace this part of who I am.

A preliminary web-surf of Wikipedia has shed a surprising amount of light on the subject. The following except from the entry on “witchcraft” sums things up rather succinctly:

Witchcraft (also called witchery or spellcraft) broadly means the practice of, and belief in, magical skills and abilities that are able to be exercised by individuals and certain social groups. Witchcraft is a complex concept that varies culturally and societally; therefore, it is difficult to define with precision and cross-cultural assumptions about the meaning or significance of the term should be applied with caution. Witchcraft often occupies a religious, divinatory or medicinal role, and is often present within societies and groups whose cultural framework includes a magical world view. Although witchcraft can often share common ground with related concepts such as sorcery, the paranormal, magic, superstition, necromancy, possession, shamanism, healing, spiritualism, nature worship and the occult, it is usually seen as distinct from these when examined by sociologists and anthropologists.

This says a lot for me: witchcraft means different things to different people, particularly across different cultures and societies though out human history. There is no one singular definition that encompasses all the practices, beliefs and nuances that fall under the umbrella of witchery.

What I have discovered is that there have been numerous periods throughout history in which a terrorising fear of witchcraft has led to mass hysteria, resulting in witch hunts, witch trials, and witch killings. Ignorance and religious influence have played key roles. Men, women and children believed to be witches have been subjected to assault, abuse, torture, and killing. Wikipedia states:

The period of witch trials in Early Modern Europe were a widespread moral panic suggesting that malevolent Satanic witches were operating as an organized threat to Christendom during the 15th to 18th centuries. Those accused of witchcraft were portrayed as being worshippers of the Devil, who engaged in such acts as malevolent sorcery at meetings known as Witches’ Sabbaths. Many people were subsequently accused of being witches, and were put on trial for the crime, with varying punishments being applicable in different regions and at different times.

A painting in the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria, condemning witchcraft and traditional folk magic. The inscription is translated as: “Magicians and healers are servants of the devil. That’s why the devil rejoices greatly, jumps around, and dances in front of people who come to them. And what they [the healers] give them to drink and eat is devils’ filth. Those who abandon God, the laws, and the church, and go to the healers, are servants not of God, but of the devil.” Source: original photo by Nenko Lazarov 06/12/2005; adjusted by Martha Forsyth 4 April 2008, via https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rila_Monastery_wall_painting.jpg#mw-jump-to-license

Punishments for those found guilty of witchcraft have included imprisonment, exile, fines, and capital punishment by hanging, beheading, or burning at the stake. Methods for determining guilt throughout these periods included such bizarre practices as tying the suspect up and throwing them into a body of water. If they floated, they were deemed guilty and sentenced to death. If they sunk, they were deemed innocent, but many drowned in the process. The estimates of how many people died as a result of these witch trials varies greatly, but the “scholarly consensus” according to Wikipedia seems to be in the region of 40,000-60,000.

1533 account of the execution of a witch charged with burning the German town of Schiltach in 1531.

image

Execution of alleged witches in Central Europe, 1587

Burning of three witches in Baden, Switzerland (1585), by Johann Jakob Wick.

Burning of three witches in Baden, Switzerland (1585), by Johann Jakob Wick.

I’ve begun reading a book* about the “Salem Witch Trials”, in which two dozen innocent men and women were hung from the town gallows in 1692 in newly colonised America (New England). This horrific injustice came about for many complex and startling reasons, but was largely influenced by ignorance, religious and spiritual beliefs, a profoundly deep-seated fear of God’s wrath, and a religiously motivated desperation to build a colony that upheld the morals of Puritan Christianity, in addition to a shockingly inept justice system.

Disturbingly, this isn’t a topic confined to the past. In various parts of the world today, men, women and children are still accused of witchcraft and subjected to assault, abuse, torture and killing. According to Wikipedia, approximately 750 people were killed for witchery in India between 2003 and 2008, 1000 children over the past decade have been murdered in the name of witchcraft in Nigeria, Saudi Arabia continues to issue the death penalty for sorcery and witchcraft, and in Britain there is an ongoing problem with (particularly immigrant) children being accused of witchcraft and subsequently being abused and tortured, including money making scams in which a pastor accuses a child of witchcraft and the family subsequently pays for an exorcism.

I’ve also read a little about Paganism and Wicca, sub-categories which are certainly worthy of further exploration, but that I don’t feel are especially relevant to my particular interests.  Presumably, further research would also expose evidence of people who did (or are) indeed practice malevolent forms of witchcraft, justifying accusations and promoting the fear-inducing archetype we’re used to associating with witchcraft in popular culture.  This convoluted narrative of history isn’t only about innocent victims.

As already outlined, it’s evident that the concept of witchcraft and witches is complex and variable. The witches that we associate with Halloween in modern Western culture are largely a product of folklore, story-telling and Hollywood’s characterisation of this multifaceted and mercurial archetype. I have a long way to go in my research (Wikipedia doesn’t really cut it for a thorough and in-depth education!), before coming anywhere close to fully grasping the intricacies of this topic, and this brief overview barely skims the surface of this broad subject.  Nevertheless, my preliminary reading has brought me to a place where I can drop the fear associated with witches.  What does being a witch mean for me in my personal experience? Well to be honest, the word itself still doesn’t quite sit comfortably with me, but it represents the wise woman, the healer, the seer, the psychic, the magician, the shadow-hunter, the light-worker, and the holy, the regal woman who knows her power as the individualised expression of God.

For me tonight, Halloween presents an opportunity to do something different and somewhat unexpected: to light a candle and say a prayer for the souls of the men, women and children accused of witchcraft, who have suffered assault, abuse, torture and murder across the ages.


* Francis, Richard (2006) Judge Sewell’s Apology, The Salem Witch Trials and the Forming of a Conscience, Harper Pernial, London.

Main image credit: by gliss.gliss, 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

Spirituality: The Answer to our Prayers?

“Already for most humans, the only respite they find from their own minds is to occasionally revert to a level of consciousness below thought.  Everyone does that every night during sleep.  But this also happens to some extent through sex, alcohol, and other drugs that suppress excessive  mind activity.  If it weren’t for alcohol, tranquilizers, antidepressants, as well as the illegal drugs, which are all consumed in vast quantities, the insanity of the human mind would become even more glaringly obvious than it is already.  I believe that, if deprived of their drugs, a large part of the population would become a danger to themselves and others.  These drugs, of course, simply keep you stuck in dysfunction.  Their widespread use only delays the breakdown of the old mind structures and the emergence of higher consciousness.  While individual users may get some relief from the daily torture inflectied on them by their minds, they are prevented from generating enough conscious presence to rise above thought and so find true liberation.”

~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now, p.102


I’ve avoided writing about this topic for a while now, out of fear of being misunderstood, of being accused of denying the realities, severity and seriousness of mental illness, and the power it holds over those who suffer from it.  The last thing I want to do is make light of what can be a debilitating and lethal condition.  Yet as I journey forward, I’m strengthening in my ability to express my opinions and my truth.  As such, I now feel it’s important to share my experience, and to offer ideas for contemplation and consideration.  I hope my best intentions are evident.

I’ve suffered, in the past, with recurring bouts of clinically diagnosed depression.  In my opinion, these episodes were mild, in the sense that I managed to continue functioning in life, meaning that I was capable of holding my job, dragging myself through the days, and mostly hiding how I was feeling from most of the world.  I felt like I was trapped in dark despair and hopelessness, but I managed to keep my head above water.  I entertained fantasies of suicide, which elicited the simultaneous and seemingly contradictory emotions of anger and relief, because I knew myself to be incapable of actually committing such acts.

During each bout of depression, my medical carers recommended anti-depressants, but I avoided them, feeling certain that whilst they would no doubt make me feel better, they wouldn’t cure me of the cause of my illness.  I believed that the chemical imbalance in my brain, which cases the symptoms of depression, was preceded by something else.  I was convinced that the chemical imbalance didn’t just randomly occur – something caused it.  As such, I opted instead for psychological counselling, hoping and trusting that it would address that root cause.  Counselling definitely helped me, but the fact that I continued to relapse suggested to me that there was something else I was missing.  The last time I had depression, I agreed to take the medication, based on the fact that I had young children to care for, and as such I couldn’t afford the time it would take to recover using psychological counselling for treatment.

When, under the guidance of my GP, I managed to successfully wean myself from anti-depressants, I knew I had work to do.  I never wanted to suffer from depression again, and I never wanted to put my children or my husband through such an experience again.  I knew I needed to maintain the self-care practices I’d begun whilst on the medication, to prevent a relapse.  But, beyond that, I knew deep down that I needed to address the root cause of my recurring illness if I was to avoid living this cycle for the rest of my life.

I could sense that if I didn’t take action soon, I would be heading down the same path I’d been down before.  It was around this time that Belinda Davidson and her School of the Modern Mystic (SoMM) entered my world.  I was interested.  I was fascinated.  I was drawn in.  In a strange and subtle way, I believed that Belinda could help me to escape from my cycle of depression.  My instincts told me to enrol, and my husband was on board with my decision.  I haven’t looked back.

Let me be clear: Belinda does not claim to be a doctor or medical professional, or to be a substitute for such.  What she does claim is to offer teachings that enable you to change your energy, change your life, heal yourself, become intuitive, and discover your life purpose.  When I undertook Level 1 of SoMM, I was not depressed, but I was looking for my way to avoid becoming depressed ever again.

Having come out the other side of SoMM Level 1, I feel like the answer to my question of what was causing my depression, is that I’d been avoiding my spirituality for a long, long time.  I’d well and truly lost the true essence of me.  I was like an empty shell, with no vibrance or vitality.  I’d given up the belief that life is full of beauty and joy – it felt more like a hard slog, disappointment, and disillusion.  Sure, there were moments of fun, happiness, joy and love, but they felt fleeting and impermanent.  I was resigned to bleak “reality”, the daily grind, struggle, and settling for mediocrity.

Amidst this resignation, the flame inside of me, although dimmed, was never completely extinguished.  I spent late nights trawling the internet for inspiration and answers.  I attended personal development workshops.  I subscribed to every mailing list offering hope and salvation from motivational and inspirational authors.  I read self-help books.  I felt desperate at times.  But I never stopped searching.  Something inside propelled me to keep searching.

Religion didn’t do it for me.  The self-help movement didn’t do it for me.

My teacher, Belinda Davidson, has shown me that my spirituality is where I will find all the answers I seek.  She has shown me that my soul holds all the information I’ll ever need to live a life of purpose.  She has shown me that I am responsible for my energy, and that by raising my vibration, I play my part in changing the collective energy of the world.  She has shown me that I am not my thoughts, and she has shown me how to identify with my higher, light-filled self.  She has shown me that I am a Lightworker, and I always have been.  I just got lost along the way.

I’m not an expert, and I have no great understanding of what seems to be an epidemic of mental illness in our society.  Perhaps though, in my humble opinion, it is worth considering whether our cultural tendency to ignore our spirituality, is at the root of some of our problems.  Perhaps we would do well to encourage exploration of our spirituality, to introduce spiritual practices into our daily routines, to consider the larger questions of life as important enough to dedicate our time and attention to in our busy worlds.  It seems that so many of us are caught up in life, pursuing empty and meaningless goals that we think are important, but ultimately never satisfy us.

Only time will tell, but I feel certain that a relapse of depression is no longer something I need to concern myself with.  I have the tools, the spiritual practices, to ensure that I stay well, and free from mental illness.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

xx


If you or someone you love is suffering from mental illness, please seek professional help.

Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support

Black Dog Institute: http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

Headspace: http://headspace.org.au

PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia): http://www.panda.org.au/


Belinda Davidson's School of the Modern Mystic starts September 29th!
Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic is currently accepting enrolments for Level 1.  Click here for further information or to enrol.  Enrolment is open once a year, and the doors close for 2015 on Monday 21st September – don’t miss your opportunity!

*I am a proud ambassador and affiliate for School of the Modern Mystic.


Image credit: image by Wonderlane.  Under license.

 

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!

albumcover_chakracleanseforbusypeople

I am a proud affliate of Belinda Davidson’s School of the Modern Mystic, and earn a commission on any sales made as a result of my referral.


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

The Milky Way is Always There

It is a divinely beautiful experience to stand under the Milky Way on a clear, balmy summer  night. The energy is exquisite. A few weeks ago, I did just this, gazing into the heavens, drinking in the atmosphere, and feeling a sense of perspective with my place in the universe.

The following night, I went out to drink in some more of the loveliness, but the stars were hidden beneath smatterings of cloud. It was still beautiful, in its own way, but it didn’t hold the magic and sparkle of the previous evening. And yet, I knew that beyond those clouds, the same Milky Way was still there, just hidden from my eyes.


Once again, it’s been quite a while since I last posted here. There are a few reasons:

1. Committing to Sleep
I think I’ve finally solved my sleep commitment issues. I made a pact with myself that I can only rise early in the morning to meditate if I’ve slept for 8 hours. Daily meditation is a part of the spiritual studies I’m currently undertaking, and I’m learning that the benefits are life changing. Further to this, I’m finding that meditation first thing after waking is an awesome way to begin my day, as it starts me off in the right head-space, and carries throughout my day. So, despite my natural tendency towards being a night owl, I’ve had surprisingly little difficulty in establishing this practice. The problem lay in maintaining my late night habits alongside my early morning meditation. Exhaustion does not facilitate mindfulness. Hence, the pact. That has been motivation enough.

Herein lies the next problem: my writing and publishing, thus far, has been confined to late night (or very early morning!) when the kids are asleep, and I have no other pressing responsibilities (aside from sleep, that is!). So, when I’m committed to sleep at night, it’s tricky to find daylight hours to squeeze in writing between the school and kinder run, playing trains, riding bikes to the park, keeping the house looking semi-respectable, preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner, cleaning up after breakfast lunch and dinner … I’ll stop there. It’s oh-so-easy to push yourself into the trap of “I don’t have the time” (all the while emphatically claiming that you fell in, against your most-determined will).

2. Wallowing in an Energetic Funk
I’ve struggled to generate inspired content that I deem publish worthy. This is a trend for me, it seems. I’m not interested in publishing just for the sake of it, despite all the advice out there that consistent content creation is key to a successful blog. I only want to share writing that I feel moved to share, writing that I believe will resonate, move, inspire, comfort, or spread love. I’m less about “successful blog”, and more about authentic connection.

I’ve struggled with this, I believe, because my energy has taken somewhat of nose dive from the heady highs of the early weeks of this year, when my chakras were rocking, and I was brimming with positivity and connection.

I don’t think I’ve done anything “wrong” to cause this downward turn. I’ve maintained my meditation practice. I’m continuously delving deep into spirit. I’m even sleeping more! I think it’s simply the ebb and flow of energy and life, it’s something I’m learning from and I’m yet to master. I understand that the level that my energy vibrates on is my responsibility, but I’m still learning how to manage this. I’m acknowledging the drains on my energy, such as the new routines and earlier mornings with a new preppy in the family. I’m making an effort to accept this experience for what it is, without making it wrong. I’m doing more “gentle” and “restorative” yoga classes, and less vinyasa, until my body is ready. I’ve turned down invitations for evening socialising, and instead substituted rest and sleep. But, I’m still a work in progress. I am so ingrained in the mindset of “pushing through” when it comes to matters of household and parenting duties, and this inevitably lands me in the state I’m in right now – succumbed to a viral infection, unable to do much, and forced to do that which I should have done to prevent this outcome: rest. It’s uncomfortable territory to put me as number one priority. I’m taking baby steps.

Anyway, my energetic funk has had me feeling like I’m incapable of producing shareable content, because I believe that high-vibing content can’t be faked. If I’m not vibing high, any content I create will stink of the funk I’m in. But I’m coming to realise that there is an antidote, a way to create that is authentic and share-worthy, even when I’m feeling down (because let’s face it, we can’t hide under the bed covers indefinitely every time we’re feeling off).

The answer: taking action, and being honest.

So, here I am.

Waiting around to feel “ready” to write, waiting for inspiration to hit, will get me nowhere. I’ve been trying to convince myself that the time will be right soon, but not right now. This has generated nothing. There is a time for stillness, a time for rest, but this is not the same thing. Knowing that I have these words bubbling up inside of me, clambering to get out onto the screen and in front of you, means that I need to take action. During the time between publishing posts, I don’t sit around feeling fulfilled by my last post – I feel magnetically pulled toward creating. I don’t always know what it is I want to write, but I can feel the words trying to escape from inside of me. Putting pen to paper, and turning on the computer, is what generates the inspiration for exactly what it is I will share with you.

As I’ve explained, my highs of the early weeks of the year have bottomed out. I’ve been doing everything I’m “supposed” to be doing to improve and maintain energetic vitality, but I’ve lost that sense of flow and connection that I was in. I’ve felt frustrated, frustrated, frustrated. Plus angry, embarrassed, and like a failure. I had thought that once I’d attained that lofty high, I was there to stay. A high is like that – it makes you feel invincible, like you’ll never return to the grotty lows from where you first rose. What am I supposed to say now that it’s waning? I’ve felt like a fool at times, like a naive little girl chasing castles in the sky. How can I progress from there?

So, I’ve had some time, to be with what is, and to consider my situation from different perspectives. I chose not to quit in disappointment and disillusionment, but to maintain my commitment to my spiritual practices – THANK GOODNESS. It’s paying off – a few days ago, I finally re-connected, albeit faintly, with source. It’s brought about an awakening:

• Energy ebbs and flows. It’s my responsibility to maintain my own high vibration of energy, but I also need to acknowledge the natural peaks and troughs of the energy that surrounds and impacts me, and do my best to work with it and flow with the currents. It’s my responsibility to prevent external low vibration energies from dragging me down.

 

Vibrate higher

Source unknown.

• This too, shall pass.
• I am exactly where I am supposed to be – even if that is in a funk – and my journey gives me everything I need to learn and grow. I trust the entire process.
• Beneath the fog of my funk, I’m still the same soul that I was at my vibrational high. It’s simply the clouds temporarily covering the starry sky. This gives me faith.

xo


Photo credit: The Milky Way Strikes, by Abdul Rahman.  Under licence.

Finding my voice

My hairdresser told me a funny thing today. She said that when she read the first blog post of mine that I emailed to her, her jaw dropped. She couldn’t believe that I had so much to say. That I wrote so well. It made me laugh out loud. She went on to say that she was so shocked that I, the girl she knew so be so guarded and quiet, clearly held a LOT inside of me.

Whilst I found all of this quite comical, it really got me thinking. A lot. (I am an expert over-thinker.) I generally describe myself as fairly shy (I’m very uncomfortable at parties unless I am the hostess, more so if I’m amongst strangers, and I’m hesitant to introduce myself to a stranger or start a conversation). This might make some of my friends laugh, because they know me as pretty loud (well if not loud, definitely not quiet) and pretty happy to be the centre of attention. I’m not scared of public speaking, even though I can get a little nervous. So I’m a bit of a contradiction, a mixed bag. But the kind of communication that is the most important and satisfying to me – the D&Ms, discussing matters of spirituality, life, purpose … this is where I have traditionally struggled the most. These topics that I hold so dear and find so fascinating … why would I struggle with them? I’ve had one or two friends in my lifetime with whom I’ve been able to talk about these topics. Those chats fill me up, nourish my soul, make me feel connected and cosy. Then there are people who I think would be fabulous candidates for sharing these kinds of discussions with – for example, my hairdresser – and yet I’m guarded, stuck for words, inhibited, and feel as though maybe I don’t have as many valid ideas to contribute to the conversation as the other person. Or … they might judge me (there’s a doozy!). Then, there’s writing … I’ve been so humbled and honoured by the praise that my select handful of friends with whom I’ve shared my blog, have given me for my writing. It is dawning on me that … I AM A WRITER. Who would have thought?! I haven’t done a lot of writing in recent years, but composing and publishing blog posts, as few as there have been so far, has been SO satisfying. I love getting my message recorded in words, reviewing it and editing it, over and over, to ensure that I’m crystal clear in communicating it exactly as I intend. Heck, I’ve been so blocked with conversation in the past that I’ve been known to write letters to my husband, so that I know he gets my entire message, without missed details, or getting sidetracked, or using ineffective language, or even chickening out from telling him everything – at least if I hand him a note, I can squirm with embarrassment, but I can’t hide and cut the conversation short.

So, the conclusion I’m drawing from all this: when I feel vulnerable, I’m blocked in my communication. Big time. A perfect example: I haven’t shared my blog with my husband yet. It feels like a side of me that he’s unfamiliar with. I don’t expect he will dislike it … it’s just that I feel so vulnerable about something that is so ME, my vehicle for speaking my truth in the world, a side of me that he perhaps doesn’t know or understand, and he is probably my most important critic.

So whilst writing can be an effective means of communication, it can also be a wall to hide behind. It’s safe writing here from the safety of the computer keyboard, or the pen on the paper. They don’t judge. I don’t feel nearly so vulnerable. I’m certainly not suggesting that writing is a bad thing – it has its place (and here is one of them!). But obviously it lacks a certain intimacy that a conversation has. A palpable connection that you make with the person with whom you speak to. When I hand my husband a letter, he receives the message that I want to give him, but we both miss out on the intimacies of a face-to-face conversation, where so much more is communicated.

It’s no coincidence that this contemplation about my voice is coming up right now. In the two weeks prior to Christmas, I undertook training on chakra five as part of a course I am enrolled in. Chakra five, the throat chakra, is all about communication, self expression, and speaking your truth. The course work involved learning all the theory about the chakra and how the health of your chakra five affects your life, as well as working on clearing energetic blockages in this chakra and strengthening it. Needless to say, I’ve discovered some quite significant blockages in my chakra five, which go right back to my childhood. The substantial work that I’ve done to clear these blockages has led me to, amongst other things, get back here on the blog, and start sharing my words, my thoughts, my ideas, my voice. I still have a long way to go with my one-on-one D&Ms, but in the meantime, please consider my little patch of cyberspace as a place where we can share a virtual D&M. I feel certain that the better I get at using my voice here, where I feel so comfortable, the stronger my chakra five will grow, and my personal conversations will progress naturally.

Start where it's easy


 

MANTRAS & DREAMS

I’ve done A LOT of intense spiritual practice over the past month or so. My studies and practices with chakras have taken me to places way beyond anything I could have imagined. I’m blown away by how calm, centred, and positive I am about where I am right now, and where I’m headed. My energy is, without any shadow of a doubt, changing – for the better! Sometimes I need to remind myself of how far I’ve come in these few short months.

I want to share with you some guidance I’ve received that has made every day a great day since receiving it. These guiding words have become my mantra, and they bring me comfort and peace, every single day:

Surrender.
I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, and my journey gives me everything I need to learn and grow. I trust the entire process. The Universe delivers everything I ask for, and more.

It seems so simple. And it is. I’m in such an awesome place right now. Life isn’t “perfect”, and yet it is – I trust that I’m on the right path and heading towards my dream life, and most importantly, my soul purpose. This makes me so SO excited for 2015 – it’s already the best year ever. No new years resolutions for me. Instead, I’ve become crystal clear on how I want to feel, right now, and I use these core desired feelings to inform every decision I make, every day. I desire to feel:

Exhilarated
Nourished
Ease

My coursework has also seen me get clear on my dream perfect life, which was also informed by my desired feelings. I won’t go into the details here, but if you’re the curious type, you can check out my dreams at http://dreamdrop.be/dream/201/rachael.

I am so full of gratitude to be exactly where I stand, here and now.

2015: BRING IT ON.

xo