Category Archives: Blessings

Spirituality Without Fanfare

Once you have been on your spiritual path for a while you will start to realise that it is best to not take yourself too seriously.

There are two types of people who practise spirituality, in my experience. Those who tell others how powerful they are or how enlightened they are or how good their expensive courses are…and those who just get on with it, quietly and without fanfare. Do a course for fun if you think you will get something out of it but do realise that the only thing really worth spending is time itself. Time to learn, time to experiment, time to let things simmer.

Unfortunately being bombarded with all these enlightenment sellers can put some potential newcomers off discovering more about themselves and their possibilities and that’s a shame as there is nothing to be nervous about. Don’t be scared by the hype, don’t be put off by those who dress themselves up as mystical beings who need to be adored. They are selling a service which is the spiritual equivalent of getting your nails painted…it’s fun but it isn’t an essential life choice. You can do what you need to do with a little online research, free resources, reading books and, most importantly, living the life and gaining the experience.

Those who are quietly spiritual know that everyone is an individual who will be spending years on their unique path, no expensive course is going to get anyone there quicker. Sorry. Sometimes it can even slow progress down as you are following someone else’s path not your own. Their way of doing things might not be yours.

Your path is your own and you don’t have to be doing A, B or C to qualify for any award. There is no award. There’s a reward for taking a spiritual path though. Several of them.

If you can successfully meditate you can make your daily life calmer and happier. This can take the edge off the hardest situation. YouTube has some really good meditations. Try Michael Sealey or Jason Stephenson.

Practising mindfulness will give you a better outlook on life and will make those challenges easier to deal with because you stay in the moment, at least long enough to have a break from your mind chatter. Here is a 8 week free course, run by Dave Potter a fully certified MBSR instructor.

Being able to work with the energies to heal yourself and others for free is your way to give back and to do your bit to help change one small part of the world which is suffering…whether that be an individual or a situation.  Learn how to give reiki to yourself with this previous article of mine Reiki For Self Love.  Where you go with it afterwards when it comes to helping others is for you to decide.

Ritual is a way to bring order to chaos as well as engaging in aged practices – whether you just count your morning ritual of shower, tea and toast before work or rituals used with your deity of choice, such as prayers. A good morning ritual sets you up for the day and most of us have several rituals which we enjoy. Perhaps yours is a candlelit bath or a cup of chamomile tea last thing before bed. A ritual is simply something you do at a certain time and, sometimes, for a certain reason. Getting a few rituals of your own in place will bring structure and certainty to your day and you will find you look forward to doing them. They will bring a comfort and a smile, a sense of well-being.

Learning how to work with herbs is another way that you can help yourself. Again there are many online courses out there for the basics but a good book will do you just as well too if money is tight. The work of Susun Weed is a good start if you are in the USA or Herbcraft by Anna Franklin and Susan Lavender is an excellent choice for those in the UK and Europe. Herbcraft gives a broad use for plants including medicinal and magickal as well as a bit of history for interest.

Learning which plants are edible is very important so do take care as there are some deadly ones out there too. 

Knowledge is essential when using herbs in whatever form you choose them. Several good books for cross referencing are essential and you should never rely on just one photo in a book to decide which plant is in front of you in the wild. Several good, clear close up photos are needed. Of course, the company of someone who already knows is ideal but few of us have that and so we must take things gradually and be careful with our choices by being sensible.

Here is a fun video done by someone just starting out using herbs. We all have to start somewhere…

Many of us enjoy a cup of chamomile tea or peppermint tea so why not take it a step further and start learning how to work with the energies of the plants in your vicinity, growing your own or even just in their essential oil form. Pure oils can be used for cleaning and sanitising your home, refreshing the aroma, getting rid of garden pests, used to heal yourself and pets and in a multitude of ways.

I have had no training in essential oils but taught myself gradually over many years and now use them in every part of my life. They are surprisingly versatile, useful and helpful and, of course, chemical free if chosen wisely. There are many articles online which will help you choose a starter arsenal of essential oils. My first three choices would be roman chamomile, lavender and peppermint. I have linked to an article for each to get you started if you are new to essential oils.

If you are starting off on your path and follow the signposts above and in my previous nine articles then together they should give you your first few footsteps. You will be on your way to a spiritual life which allows you to grow, gain confidence, deal with challenges, heal your everyday niggles and give love and strength to those around you. There will be days when it all seems too much and you will want a break. Be kind to yourself on those days and do whatever you need to do. Everyone has a spiritual crisis at some point in their lives…sometimes more than one…but this is good because this is where the biggest shifts happen.

My final suggestions are to enjoy life, love who you are and do what you have to do to make your life your own. Never be dictated by those who surround you or even those in your area of choice spiritually. Always trust your instincts and if you aren’t sure what they are saying then meditate and wait. The answer is there.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Irrational Fear Will Be Our Undoing

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Most people love a label. We like to compartmentalise everything. We pop ‘it’ in its box and we feel secure in the knowledge that we now know exactly what ‘it’ now is. We don’t get it back out of the box for another look very often once it has been given its label either. We can now judge it, worship it, revile it, discredit it or love it and it is okay because we have labelled it, we know what ‘it’ is and our minds are set.

With every new report of imminent war, fingers on triggers and terror attacks we all slowly go into ourselves with fear and start pointing the finger of blame on to unseen populations. We accuse whole groups of hiding those who would harm us. Every person who has the same ethnicity will be looked upon with suspicion. We can’t continue to do this to ourselves.

Wars are started and fought over this labelling habit. Communities are split. We judge on appearances or personal preferences far too quickly when, in fact, everybody is different regardless of their skin colour, religion or sexual preference. Deep down we all know that but it is fear which can stop us from being rational about it.

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This mass labelling has resulted in groups of people and their religion being accused of the same crimes as other people who have committed them and belong to the same religious or ethnic group. This is led by fear. Fear of the unknown and fear of the hidden. Unknown because it is assumed all those people are dangerous terrorists and hidden because people think these terrorists are everywhere. Of course, this is ideal for the actual terrorists because not only does it make them look as if they are everywhere and all-powerful, it also stirs up bad feeling between innocent parties and their accusers and leads more of the innocent on the path of resentment, thereby giving fresh meat to the terrorists.

It’s a nasty, vicious cycle which only gives power away.

A habit like this is not a new thing. Those whose countries have fought others in bloody battles in the past century or so are brought up to remember those battles and the atrocities acted out by the losing side through education in schools. This helps us remember those who suffered and died for us and to also make sure we remember never to do certain things ourselves again but it also reinforces we should be afraid of that culture or blame the people still alive in the next generation for what their ancestors did. A further note on this would be for us to remember it was the government of the country who caused the war not the civilians themselves. A few people, deciding for all.

We need to remember that there is hardly a country on this planet which has led a blameless existence when it comes to warmongering and war-related atrocities. None of our leaders are above reproach and none of them made war with others just for the good of the people.

As citizens of those countries, do we take the actions of our past leaders and feel the guilt of those deeds ourselves, personally, every single day? Of course not. Yet we can often look at someone else’s geographical location and presume them evil. Hmm.

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It is what we do NOW which matters, folks! Don’t judge your neighbours and people you see in the street out of fear or conditioning. See them as the individuals they are and allow them the freedom to choose to live their own preferences, as long as it harms no other, without fear until that fear is earned and not merely speculated upon.

We must learn to accept one another if we are to save ourselves as a species.

There is nothing happy, clappy about that statement. The more we fight and the greedier we become then the more we fear and the more we misjudge and the greater the risk of our own extinction.

The change must start with us as individuals.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

What’s In Your Mix? Fun Times With Creation and Growth

Creation is an important part of spirituality. Whether we choose to show our imagination through cooking, crafts, writing or growing herbs in the garden (or all of those things and more!) it is important that we have an outlet to manifest, achieve and create.

We don’t have to be especially talented in our chosen media. I admit if I had to make a living using my art then the chances are I would be hungry but the important thing is that I enjoy doing it. I have fun! Also, if things go well, I have something to decorate my altar, other parts of the house and the garden which I admit is rather satisfying.

Just lately I have got into working with air dry clay and have made the amulets (and several more) that you see in the header photo for my nature altar.  I really like exploring symbolism and I try to incorporate as much as I can into my work, practice and life in general. The above photo is my Mother Earth Goddess figure. She now has pins coming out of her underskirts ready to be rooted into a base which I will be doing in the near future. I intend for her to have flowers, herbs and plants at her feet.

I also like to draw and spent quite a while drawing out the above Antahkarana symbol for use in the room I send my distance healing sessions. It was surprising how long it took to work out how to draw the squares on to top on another like that. It looks so simple but…well, it was a little taxing surprisingly but good fun, especially for the youngest teenager who enjoy the process and her mother’s struggles immensely. She also had the lesson of ‘never giving up despite having an obvious inability to use a ruler with ease’ 🙂

Having something arty or creative on the go is a fabulous way to relax and find our inner child too. Remind yourself what it feels like to squash wet, sticky clay between your fingers or how great it feels to eat something you have grown yourself.

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Those of you who follow my blog will know I spend a lot of time in my garden. I like to think of myself as a small time gardener and herbs are my go-to plants of choice. The slide show above shows some of this year’s produce in its very early stages. In the last week alone things have really started to come to life.

Bringing the garden indoors sounded like a wonderful idea to me when I saw some inspirational mosaics made out of clay and so I decided to try a herb press mosaic and have produced some quite pleasing results so far.

I hope to incorporate the leaves I used once they are dry and then I intend to try out Pebeo’s Mixed Media paint on these once the primer and base colours are on. I have heard some good stuff about the possible effects when using this media.

Below is a photo of an interesting example and you can click here to see more ideas on Pinterest.

I am itching to have a go. I will also be making some clay beads for some particular jewellery I have in mind…watch this space as there is a chance I will inflict them on you all 😉

Creating and growing are important parts of spirituality. It isn’t just about where you are in your head, it is about where you are in the outside world and how you interact with that.

If you want to imagine those roots of yours going deep into the ground to nourish your soul then what better teacher than a willing herb you have grown from seed who is happy to show you the way in the real world in return for a little care and appreciation? See how she grows when she is well nourished, has just the right balance of sun and shade and is given a good and healthy compost mix to grow in?

What’s in your mix?

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Using Tarot Cards To Receive Answers From Your Spirit Guides

I believe everybody has their own spirit guides. Whether they come in the form of guardian angels, your own higher consciousness or separate energies such as ancestors, reiki guides or deity is entirely up to you to decide.

Some time ago I found having a scientific brain made the of concept of believing I was able to talk directly to my guides quite difficult to accept. I thought if I did (or was trying to do so) that it could well be just my imagination and that the answers received were therefore not reliable enough to be taken seriously. I needed another way.

I have a few tarot decks which I have bought myself or that other people have bought for me for special occasions. I had been starting to learn the tarot for use with the Kabbalah and for self improvement purposes only as I wasn’t that keen on using them for divination as such. I prefer to make my own future and always hope that I do a better job than some of my past decisions. I believe that the future is a fluid, changing wave and therefore any type of fortune telling is a bit of a waste of time. This is just my opinion, based on my energy work, and I am happy for people to disagree with me 🙂

I had a particular deck of cards my partner had bought for me. I couldn’t seem to get these cards to work for me in the usual way I used them. The cards were shuffled and dealt as normal but never seemed to deal with the matter at hand. I was very disappointed as I loved the look of them and had asked him specifically to buy these ones for me but now I couldn’t gel with them.

One day I had got the pack out to try again and I idly shuffled them as I pondered a difficult family matter, my mind drifting off the task at hand and on to more personal matters…happens to all of us! As my mind mulled over the problem a card flew out of the pack. Instead of thinking myself clumsy and putting it straight back in the deck I felt compelled to give it a closer look. What I found was exact guidance to my family matter. Curiosity compelled me to carry on. I talked about the problem as if talking to a friend out loud and asked for two more cards to fall out. These came as I talked and the three cards together gave me the guidance I needed.

Of course, I tried this several times after that. I would sit and talk fluently out loud about a problem or situation and the cards would fall out as necessary.  They have never been wrong since and I now use this particular deck all the time as my own special thread between myself and my spirit guides. It is a great comfort and extra special as my partner bought them for me.

You don’t have to know how to read tarot cards to use them to communicate with your spirit guides.

To start with you can use the guide book to look up the meanings and write each session up in a journal so you can look back on the situation, and the insight given, another time. As you go forward you may find your intuition allows you to decide what each card means for you personally. The interpretation in the book which comes with the deck is the interpretation of the decks creator but it is not cast in stone and you may find the meanings change for you. This is perfectly okay. You can meditate on the cards individually without a question and answer session to decide their meaning for you and write this up in your journal or you can simply let nature and determination take its own natural course and let their meanings make themselves known as you go along.

There is never an incorrect way in spirituality and your path is your own…always and without reservation.

The advice you get through the tarot will always be helpful when it comes from a place of unconditional love. Before the start of each session it would be sensible to visualise yourself in a crystalline egg, surrounded by white light. Set your intention at the start of the session for the work ahead and ask your spirit guides to come through with unconditional love, protection and advice for your highest good.

Your guides will always give loving advice and will never tell you to do something which you find uncomfortable. Neither will they mind if you don’t follow their guidance. Everything is your choice and you are always in control.

Try this for yourself and let the answers you seek flow freely, in trust that the help is there whenever you need it.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Finding Your Safe Place

Lots of people have already found certain places in nature where they go to regroup or relax. This can be as simple as a tree in the local park where they can stop off whilst walking the dog to take in the view and taste the air.

My favourite place is by a particular tree which is generous enough to replenish me with its energy whenever I visit. I don’t visit quite often enough for my taste but it is a difficult tree for me to get to and so I savour it when I do get there. Not even my immediate family knows of my attachment to this particular tree. I keep that knowledge close to my heart because it is special to me and holds more power than if I verbally share it and its whereabouts indiscriminately. That’s what I choose to believe and that belief has served me well.

If you are lucky enough to have a public park near to where you work then do visit in your lunchtime. Take that half hour and your sandwiches and get outside. It will wake you up, increase your productivity and your mental agility too. Even if you haven’t got a whole park to yourself then a bench or somewhere peaceful outside is ideal to replenish a weary mind. It can also be the place you go to catch your breath when the human race has been particularly trying. It will become a place of regrouping, comfort and fresh starts.

If you don’t have a few trees handy then the next best thing is putting on a pair of noise cancelling headphones on and listening to sounds of nature or, taking it one step further, imagining a forest in your mind’s eye and creating your own place to escape to during meditation. You might want to start with a guided meditation first if this seems daunting. There are plenty of options on YouTube if you want to try this. How about this one from Linda Hall?

A place to feel joy, gratitude, love and happy memories and to make new ones.

A place to go to when times are testing.

A place where you can be yourself, without judgment.

However you find your sanctuary it will serve you well.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Why Do Bad Things Happen?

Usually bad things happen because we were in the wrong place at the wrong time or a decision we made has led to the circumstances we now face.

It certainly isn’t because we have upset a higher power. How do I know this? Because if our chosen gods were that involved in what we do there would have been no Adolf Hitler or any other dictator of a similar ilk. Lightening, if it were to strike anyone, would surely have struck Hitler or any other past or current leader who has done or currently does that amount of harm to so many.

Bad things happen because, well, they just do. It’s part of the web of life.

I don’t believe bad luck befalls us because we have asked for it or deserve it.

Some might argue there is always a plan. That our chosen deity has put these people or difficulties in our way to challenge us individually or as a species. Hitler certainly did more than challenge and it appears very few of the lessons humanity was taught by Hitler have done anything to make a significant change in the here and now. In 2017 I would say we are even regressing when it comes to racism, bigotry and committing genocide. Hitler got in to power because he was charismatic and he pandered to greed, power and superiority complexes not because a deity put him there to teach us a lesson.

Some religions would have us believe if we don’t do as the ambassador for that religion dictates then we will be punished by deity for our actions. I don’t subscribe to this nonsense at all and believe it is simply a way for religious leaders to control those people who choose to hang on to their every word.

I have had some horrible things happen to me (and to those in my family) in my lifetime so far. This isn’t because we deserved these things to happen nor because we attracted this bad luck. They happened because we made some questionable choices which resulted in these things happening. This isn’t self-pity by blaming myself or them, this is a simple fact. Every day we face choices and every day consequences of those choices are felt. If we fall over a crack in the pavement then we should have watched where we were going. Years ago we would do these things, laugh with some embarrassment or cry with pain and move on.

These days we look to blame others and be compensated.

We are building a culture of blaming others and taking no responsibility for ourselves.

When we blame bad luck we are turning the focus from our own choices on to the Universe and blaming that instead. Anything rather than just accepting that sometimes s*** happens or that we really should have thought more about the idea which led to our present circumstances before taking action.

Next time, hey?

How we deal with an upsetting event in the here and now is what will potentially shape our next few weeks or years.

It probably won’t change the life of whom we blame. In fact blaming someone else or something else can often result in the emotional impact living with us for decades because there is often no come back, no compensation and no karmic return and this can lead to depression, shame and regret. Sometimes even going so far as to destroy lives.

What bad things do give us is an opportunity to look within and grow as people. We can use these circumstances to better ourselves as individuals and come out the other side stronger and more able to face further challenges in the future. It also gives us the tools to help others who have similar things happen to them and it gives us a clearer perspective of our own blessings. If you have ever been hungry, truly hungry, you will appreciate every meal after that. If you have been cold, you will notice and appreciate the heat of a warm home. If you have ever wondered if you have a true friend then any bad times you have will make this clear one way or the other.

If you can learn to appreciate the small things around you that bring life and sustenance then you can find joy, peace, happiness and love for yourself and for others who cross your path.

Those things are ultimately the good parts of when bad things happen. If we let ourselves look at the hard times in that way, by looking inward for growth rather than looking outward for rewards, we will become more able to see the joy and be in our truth.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Your Spiritual Cement Mix

When you are building the foundation for your life path you are going to want to make sure your cement mix is well-balanced so your cobblestones stay fixed 😉

Your mix may consist of many things, here are a few of mine, not in any particular order, apart from the first. Meditation is one of my foundation corner stones.

Meditation Aromatherapy
Mindfulness Flipboard Creativity
Podcasts Tarot Cards Oracle Cards
Knowledge Audiobooks Laughter
Love Herbs Hugs
Understanding Gardening Appreciation
Reiki Photography Gratitude
Crystals Films Learning

These are just some of the things which, together, see me through life and keep me walking forward. Now there are still days when this lot aren’t enough and I allow myself a pyjama day. Yes, awful, isn’t it?Awfully GOOD! Do I feel guilty because I am having a not-so-good day? Nope. Life happens. One foot in front of the other. A tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is optional.

Getting your mix right is a lifelong challenge and when it works you won’t need to change a thing. Sometimes though you can come unstuck and then you may want to try other things. It is worth investigating potential things for your cement mix when things are going well. That way, on a difficult day, you don’t have to think too much. What about having something crafty to do on standby or go to somewhere like a park in your lunch break with a new book to read as you eat? Keep something to one side which you will see as a treat and something to fortify yourself with in times of greater need. I have a bar of Dairy Crunch on hand for emergencies. You may see a theme here…chocolate and ice cream are real treats for me and are also a bit naughty 😉

Whatever floats your boat and rocks your world.

Personally I don’t watch the news on television. I get the main headlines online and then I do some investigating if I want to know more. This not only means I choose how much negativity to bombard myself with, it also means I am more informed than I would be by just listening to one or two news channel’s narrow reporting. It allows me to read about both sides and make my own mind up rather than being told what to think.

For other news, such as science, nature or environmental issues, I simply use Flipboard to weed out the latest and then, again, research it myself if it piques my interest. It is amazing how much more you find out and, sometimes, how different it might be from what you have heard. The above video made me laugh, laughter is good, and yet the content is also so very true.

Once you have the right cement mix you can start building your path and then start trying out various things which enhance you and encourage emotional and intellectual growth whilst knowing your emotional core is strong. A strong foundation gives you the strength to be more independent in thought and more curious to try out new things. Find out what resonates with you and don’t wait for someone else to tell you what that might be.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

Tolerance

You may have a designated religion or you may be like me and have no named religion at all. I have happily taken techniques from many practices around the world and I have used them in my own work to enhance what I do and to support my own growth – emotionally and spiritually. It’s all part of the fun when you allow yourself to follow an eclectic path.

One major ideal it also allows me is a greater sense of tolerance to those who follow a different path to mine. This is because I follow no actual rule book. I am constantly learning new techniques and finding things which interest me so I have nothing in individual form to hold up and insist this is – The Only Way.

This is quite a healthy stance for me because it allows a spiritual growth in a way which suits me and my lifestyle.

Humans are notorious for wanting to follow the crowd. There is a lot to be said for it, after all. We can feel accepted, supported, valued, heard and completely right if we surround ourselves with people who agree with us. If we find someone we don’t agree with we can get our chums together and see who can shout the loudest. It is difficult for some to turn away from such acceptance.

Wouldn’t it be unstimulating if we all agreed, all of the time? What if we all wore the same clothes, day in and day out? Grey, dull, uninspiring. We have to start seeing our differences as a fresh influx of interest which stimulates and nourishes, not as direct attack on ourselves.

Are we so unsure of our beliefs that one person disagreeing with us can shake or move our stance  and make a difference to us as individuals?

And if not then what does it matter if they don’t do as we do?

Is our foundation that unsteady?

If it is then we need to start questioning whether those beliefs are our own or someone else’s we have just picked up. When our own country’s highest governing body (by its policies or representatives) implies certain behaviour is suddenly acceptable it will bring many people out of the woodwork who may, for social standing reasons, have hidden their true feelings on the matter beforehand. I am in the UK and our biggest problem has been issues regarding immigration. Ever since we voted to exit the European Union we seem to have brought some very odd folks to attention and given them a platform which they aren’t hesitating to use. Many countries are having similar problems with social regression. Radical political parties which would not have been acceptable before are finding themselves with more ears turned to their words.

Take racism. This is a difficult topic and will usually get hackles raised quite quickly. What makes one skin tone think they are better than another skin tone? The same formula that makes people who follow one religion feel they are superior to those who follow another, I suppose. The human need for superiority, conquest and control of the subservient. The fire-in-the-blood excitement when the prey has been cornered. Since humans began taking land from each other and trading human lives, there has been this need to be superior to another at any and all opportunity. How small we can be.

If we are to grow as a species we need to realise that working together makes society grow and ideas flourish. Progress can be made in areas which will benefit all. If we can’t get past separation and greed than any progress will only be in the world of corporate money, great if you have the right shares, I suppose…

The question we all have to ask ourselves is simply this:-

What does it matter if your neighbour chooses to walk a different path to you as long as they are not hurting anyone?

Diversity is actually a good thing. It brings fresh ideas, big questions and gets things done more quickly and efficently. We need access to a multitude of ideas where one team can learn from the other instead of holding back progress to try and be more powerful than other countries. This slows progress up for decades. Take the space race between the USA and the then USSR. Competition got things moving towards a common goal much faster than if there was no deadline. Think how quickly things would have been done if ideas, experiments and results had been shared between both countries? The International Space Station is a good example of what teamwork between nations can achieve in cooperation with each other.

Which way is better for mankind?

Which way is better for Earth itself?

Sharing is what will make us all strong and we will all need to be strong if we are to survive as a species. We must let go of greed and stop stockpiling food for so long it goes off. Australia and Norway are two countries I can think of offhand who have produced a surplus of free power through clean energy means. There is enough of everything we need to survive – everything except tolerance and acceptance and they are our failings, not the failings of Mother Earth.

This article is part of Your Spiritual Life series. Other articles in the series can be found in the top menu.

The Spiritual Way

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I find myself at a crossroads of sorts with my spirituality. I have a great deal of knowledge on various spiritual subjects and now is the time for me to decide what to do with it. I am thinking of having a free series on this very blog in the future, once I have written it and fine tuned it, which will help beginners self-realise their own spiritual potential. There is no ulterior motive to this, just a desire to share what I have learnt in the hope it will help someone else.

On a practical level I am working with the universal energies via Reiki to send free distance healing to those who ask for it and those whom I offer it to. I do this up to three times a week. I am finding this very satisfying as one of my beliefs is that the universal energy is there for all of us to tap into, not just those with enough money to pay for it. I know Reiki helps and I like to get stuck in there and walk the walk as often as time will allow. You can learn how to work with Reiki yourself by reading a previous article of mine here.

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It is really important to remember as you start on your path into the spiritual and metaphysical worlds that being humble is one of the most important things you can learn to be. Learning how to send healing or exercising your psychic muscle isn’t like an episode of Charmed and you won’t be banishing demons next. It is all about self-improvement and learning to help others. It is about listening. Feeling the emotions of other people and recognising them for what they are. It’s about taking responsibility for your thoughts and your actions and realising how those thoughts and actions make their mark in the collective consciousness.

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At the very least you can learn to become much more aware of what is going on around you and more appreciative of the little things in life that you might have otherwise rushed past. Mindfulness is an excellent example of a technique which will help you be more in the moment. There is a completely free online 8 week course in Mindfulness which you can access here. Trust me, it is well worth the effort.

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Being spiritually aware isn’t about just sitting bolt upright, cross-legged and meditating. Where the humbleness also comes in is admitting that sometimes you can cock-up being all Zen and in fact get just as mad, irrationally or otherwise, as the next person. Nobody is perfect. The stoppage is having the control to think about what you will do next before instinctively just going for the primal option and acting without thought, potentially doing great harm to yourself as well as others. Guilt and remorse tend to stick around in their black gooey state, particularly in those quieter moments, and can be very difficult to rid yourself of. Why have the bother?

Having faith in whatever deity or truth you choose to believe in can be very empowering. When you have that sort of faith on your side it will give you the strength to walk away from toxic people or those who would harm you. It gives you the backbone to say ‘Enough!’ and leave. There is nothing fluffy about true faith and belief. It gives you the courage and feeling that you are never alone and that you are heard.

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One final thing I will put at the end of this blog – every religion is the right religion for the person who chose it as their own, as long as it harms no other. Faith gives us strength but we should never assume it will give that same strength to another, their needs may be different to ours.

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Now, more than ever, we must try to live in harmony and embrace other people’s differences and unique ways. We are all equal. We must learn to share what we have with each other, freely and with love, for the betterment of us all.

When The Menopause Bites Back

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I am feeling quietly pleased with myself as I have just changed the keyboard on my laptop all by myself. I grant you it isn’t a really difficult task for a normal person but I am menopausal…tying my shoelaces on my own these days is a real achievement!

I’m joking…kinda 😀

Today I wanted to talk about the menopause. I thought I was nearing the finish line since Mother Nature hadn’t paid me a visit since last July. Then on the 6th of the month she called unexpectedly and overstayed her welcome. I was not exactly thrilled. Yesterday she popped in for a quick coffee yet again and now she has gone…with a flea in her ear, let me tell you!

There is plenty of information out there telling us about some of the symptoms of a looming menopause but not many websites talk about the days or even minutes of numbness, the crying for no reason and the crazy lady syndrome which can beset some of us. Now, let me be clear. Depression is a long lasting condition which needs medical care. If you have it, you will know it. The type of low mood I am talking about is one which comes and goes. The low mood, brain fog, irritability and crying we get periodically on and off in the months/years leading up to the menopause is very different from full on depression and is very similar to PMT at its worse in my experience. It is just more irregular in appearance and can strike at any time and go away just as quickly, sometimes even in a day.

With changes in our bodies and also possibly in our life circumstances emotionally and family wise such as children leaving home for university and parents needing care, this is a time for many changes not just THE change and we can be thrown off balance far more easily. We are still warrior women but we do have to remember this is a time to be kinder to ourselves and less judgemental of what we feel we ought to be. The Crone is emerging, the wise woman with decades of life experiences to share is settling in. We look to grandchildren now, the next generation to teach and nurture. We look to ourselves and our own needs a little more and this we MUST do, with no guilt attached, if we are to find joy and contentment with what our bodies and minds now offer us. Do you know who you are? Are you who you want to be?

Sometimes it can be difficult to maintain your Zen. I think it is important to be honest about how we feel rather than trying to make out these things are below us (makes it easier for the next woman who comes along to know she isn’t alone too) so let me share the following with you. Two weeks ago I was an absolute mess. The flu, migraines, anxiety, tears whether sad or happy (fluffy bunnies set me off!) and increased pain levels by about a good half. All a prelude to a time of the month I didn’t know I was expecting but it scared the heck out of me. I battled down with herbs, crystals, a blankie and a lot of mental thumb sucking and rode the wave out but, gals, I thought I was losing it at the time until the reason became clear when my period started. It was just PMT and a wash of hormones.

This week I mostly feel as I usually do (the flu is lessening…one hopes!) and what a relief it is! I also bought myself a copy of Susun Weed’s Menopausal Years and found it to be the perfect companion. Susun tells you about all the nitty gritty stuff and gives you the confidence to know that things will be alright even when you are drowning in the emotional riptide.

Your hormones are such fun companions but if they really start to bully you for more than two weeks then do get yourself to the doctors and find out what is available to help you. Get yourself informed about herbs and natural supportive treatments. Meditate. Do what you can to stay in the moment and don’t allow yourself to linger on unhelpful thoughts of guilt, shame and any other negativity which rears its head. Keep away from the news, social media and any other potential trigger of a drastic mood change and wait it out. If it lasts longer than a couple of weeks then seek help. The menopause is a natural transition, it is not something to suffer for.

Do yourselves a favour and buy a copy of this book. It is an absolute must for the shelf of the personal library of every women from 30+ years old and will save you from a whole heap of trouble later. Trust me. 

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The best book on menopause is now better. Herbal solutions for osteoporosis, hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, flooding, fibroids, low libido, incontinence, anxiety, depression.

Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones.

Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD.

One of the world’s best selling books on menopause still comes on strong. Called “indispensable,” “incredible,” and a “treasure trove of information,” Menopausal Years is the “bible” for the 87% of American women over the age of fifty who want nothing to do with hormones.

Includes information and remedies for problems with premenopause — flooding, erratic periods, fibroids, spotting, water retention, muscle soreness — as well as menopause — hot flashes, sleeplessness, mood swings, headaches, palpitations, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and much more. Final chapters speak to post-menopausal women’s concerns: including ways to maintain heart health, prevent and reverse osteoporosis, deal with dry vaginal tissues and incontinence, ease aching joints, and maintain healthy libido.

The soothing, wise voice of Grandmother Growth guides each woman through the book and through her own menopause metamorphosis. Ritual interludes interweaves a spiritual dimension often lacking in other works.

Includes superb resource lists for menopause information, index, glossary, directions for using (and preparing) herbal medicines, complete descriptions of the most-used menopausal herbs (including nettles, ginseng, dong quai, red clover, oatstraw, and motherwort), recipes for heart- and bone-healthy dishes, and lots of illustrations.