Category Archives: creativity

Risk

There is an element of risk in most things – driving your car, walking down the street  –  life is full of possible risks and there is no guarantee that we won’t encounter risk of some sort in our lifetime. There is a great book, Feel the Fear and do it Anyway  by Susan Jeffers that encourages us to turn fear into action.

One oand the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossomf the benefits (yes, there are benefits) of coming down with the flu or something similar, is that it gives you time to reflect on a whole host of things and usually in an altered state of reality. Allowing yourself time to reflect is certainly part of the healing process and should you subscribe to the effects of various celestial events, all part of the process to work towards enlightenment.

I was recently gifted an Akashic Records session and accepted it without hesitation.  So, with the old adage in mind “nothing ventured, nothing gained”, the session was booked in. As the process began, I started to feel quite emotional which was unusual as the session was being done over the phone.  Allowing myself to go with the flow and experience this journey, it was somewhat disconcerting to hear the facilitator telling me she saw an archway behind me and a guide standing there. She wouldn’t have realized that the door to my clinic room was open and the hallway arch was behind me! The other images and metaphors that were revealed were equally as fascinating as the guides communicated through her to me.

Of interest to me was the observation that I have been getting sick as a result of fear of letting go. This certainly fitted in with my realization that I have had frequent illnesses since leaving teaching….. I need to fully let go of the unhelpful energies around a disappointing teaching position and open up to the flow and trusting that I will always be safe when connected to the Universe.

The session was over all too quickly and it inspired me to open up and offer some workshops to the wider public, rather than just my client list and within minutes I had an email indicating that someone would like to attend one of the workshops.

Having focused on what I wanted more of and taken the advice and opened myself to better opportunities and possibilities, I can see that there is truth in being aware of where your thoughts take you as there is a powerful energy in intention.

Dreaming

I often wonder what each night’s dreaming will bring….. most nights are very full of activity and adventure and every dream is in colour. Quite often the location is an old house I’ve lived in or a school that I’ve been to. Other times I’m dreaming that I’m in a familiar place but I cannot name where it is.

There are familiar faces in some dreams but more often there is a cast of characters that are not related to any people that I know in this lifetime.

Over the years, I’ve read some books on dreaming, the first was many years ago and was Carlos Casteneda’s Art of Dreaming which I found fascinating. Without using any substances to alter my state of consciousness, my dreams provide me with rich visual and auditory experiences that cannot be found even when viewing a movie. Carlos Casteneda puts forward that there are seven gates to dreaming and to be able to pass through the first gate, one must become aware of the actual moment of falling asleep.

Delving into other books such as Lucid Dreaming by Pamela Ball has expanded my awareness of dreaming even further. It is wonderful to step out of a dream whose script has gone “wrong” and pause and go back to sleep with the intent to change it and make it a more pleasant experience. Pamela Ball writes that “Healing and dreams are closely interlinked” and I’m sure that this is true for the retreat. The powerful combination of the labyrinths and Reiki energy as well as the organic practices used are no doubt having an effect on the land.

The dreams are also affected by my physical location. At the retreat the dreams seem to be set in times gone by and I have woken on occasion to the sounds of sheep and horses passing by then going back to sleep. When I do wake fully from the dream and know that I am really awake, I have had on occasion, needed to check that the troughs and haystacks are not outside the cottage as I had dreamt!

A psychic friend offered her opinion after I had told her of one particularly vivid dream, that I was having historical dreams….. Picking up on the energy of people who had been passing through on the land..

Robert Moss in his course Dream Gates – a journey into active dreaming suggests not only keeping a dream journal (as do many other teachers) to record themes that are relevant to the dreamer, but he gives useful shamanic exercises in connecting with spiritual guides both animal or angelic and how to use dreams in a constructive, healing way.

Frequently remnants of my dreams stay with me for some time during the day, allowing my subconscious mind to process any message that may have been delivered. In one dream, some time ago, I retained the image of a country road and a driveway that I knew was my home. For years as we travelled along country roads and outback Australia, I looked for that driveway, never finding it. When my parents legacy to me was finalized, I began looking for a country property where I could realize another dream … to create a retreat for healers.

Weekends were spent scouring the internet for properties for sale and then making a list, travelling to the area to inspect and although one or two seemed attractive in the advertisements, in reality they were not suitable. One popped up, twice the acreage of what I was looking for and a little over budget, but I decided to have a look to see what it offered. After arranging to meet the agent, we made the 2 and a half hour trip to view it. It was on a road we had often travelled on to go to the Easter Parade, but further down than the usual turnoff.

Turning into the driveway, my body reacted…. this was the driveway of my dream.

A strong feeling of Déjà vu as we drove down the driveway to where the cottage was located. An area nearby was semi cleared similar to a drawing in my vision book, convincing me that dreams are a powerful agent in the manifesting process.

Labyrinth constructions

Facebook kindly reminded me this morning that it has been 2 years since I constructed the 7 ring Cretan Labyrinth at the retrLabyrintheat.

I haven’t spent much time in it lately due to a couple of falls that left me sore and sorry for myself, but over the last couple of visits I got the shovel out to refurbish it.  Not being mathematically minded, I wasn’t  even going to start calculating how many shovel widths the outer ring is and the energy used to move that amount of dirt…. however curiosity got the better of me and I used a circumference calculator to work out that the circumference of the outer ring is a little over 47.1 metres as the diameter at its widest part is some 15metres.  The gypsum applied a while back has definitely improved the soil quality, especially from the digging point of view! Some still remains in the central cross and that got turned over last weekend.

Sage ready to plantThe wildlife likes to play in it, so to keep the definition, rocks from the paddock are gradually being put in the channels created by the digging, which also means less rocks out in the paddock for the mower to run over. Hopefully the rocks will also provide some initial protection for future plantings. The sage program was ambitious and contrary to gardening advice sites that suggest that it is unpalatable to rabbits or hares, the amount of droppings left next to the munched and dug up plants suggest otherwise. It appears that kangaroos enjoy sage as well as garlic.

Solstice morningThe next project is to find a plant that will tolerate drought and extremes of temperatures. Winter mornings can be a little crispy underfoot and a recent week of summer temperatures of over 38C saw even the succulent plant known as pigface, burnt to a crisp. I’m wondering if Rosemary is suitable and will strike a few cuttings to plant before undertaking a big project again.

At the centre is a small rose bush, which is getting drip fed water from the damaged water tank that used to be on the fire trailer.  That was put in  some months back and is only just surviving. The wildlife had dug up the oak tree in the centre, grown from a Rushworth acorn and I was about to discard it, but at the last minute planted it at the entrance. I was delighted to discover it had resprouted and it now has a sturdy tree guard around it.  Last weekend I picked up some acorns in Heathcote and planted one in the outer ring at the northern most point. It will be lovely to see if it sprouts and if so will have a tree guard put up next visit. Apparently Oak trees are a little fussy about having their roots disturbed by repotting.

Shepherd's CrookIn the meantime, I realised that one of the areas near the firepit might be suitable for a small labyrinth and marked out an area with a tomato stake – raking the leaves to make a path once it was clear that it would fit. This has been a handy little labyrinth to walk… the design is called the Shepherd’s Crook and it provides a choice of directions to get the centre once you have entered the first two rings. This is ideal if you choose right or left to be a yes or no answer to a question that you take with you to the centre. I had to detour slightly on one path as I wanted to keep the pigface in that area and there a couple of bull mallee trees to squeeze past on the outer ring.

Pop up labyrinthThe next labyrinth project was a “Pop Up” labyrinth that I drew freehand and in chalk for the City of Monash in Hamilton Walk during the last school holidays. A simple left handed, 3 ring Cretan labyrinth.  My acupuncturist and myotherapist were delighted with my activities and I shall remember to do some proper stretching exercises before I attempt another one of these! It was a beautiful autumn morning and from all accounts there were many children walking it later in the day.  It was completely washed away by a thunderstorm the following day having served its purpose. If asked to do another, I would orientate it a little differently as I wasn’t familiar with the foot traffic in the area.

light in the labyrinthAnd so we return to the 7 ring labyrinth. Slow and steady, plenty of water and several hours later, the outline was redefined.  A mixture of rocks and earth, a rose at the centre – with some jonquil bulbs that are already poking their green leaves above the ground. I’m just hoping that they won’t make the wildlife ill – as I believe they are toxic to cats, dogs and horses.  Another couple of days are needed to add more rocks for more definition.

 

It’s THAT time of year

It can be a challenge to maintain balance in your life at this time of yearbe kind, with parties, pressure to complete tasks before the end of the year and emotional responses sometimes muddled by over indulgences.

Take some time out to nurture and care for yourself and nourish both body and soul by choosing healthy foods and taking a long deep breath and letting go the difficulties that may have come your way. Whatever these may be, respond rather that react in ways that may hurt others. Being sensitive to your needs as well as letting go of self-criticism is one of the best gifts that you can give to yourself and others.

Listen and learn to trust your intuition…..there’s a benefit to it!

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts

Rita Mae Brown

This time of year seems to magnify the challenges and difficulties  as the energy of the Solstice coincides with the religious festivals that start in early December.

This year Bodhi Day, celebrated by Buddhists, coincided with the Full Moon in Gemini.

Hanukkah begins on the 17th December and for the Pagans, Yule is celebrated with the Winter Solstice. In the Southern Hemisphere the opposite festival, Litha & the Summer Solstice is celebrated, which this year is at the same time as a New Moon.

Remembering as well the Christmas energy which builds up to Epiphany, on January 6th, celebrating the arrival of the Three Wise Men who brought gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. The first Full Moon of 2015 is on this day as well.

Whatever problems you may face during these next few weeks, change your mindset to see them as challenges and use the experience and learning from them as stepping-stones to a transformation.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable, as when the heart is open, spirit connects. Use the energy of this time of year to dream….acknowledge your dreams…. trust your instincts and follow your heart’s desire.

The care of your soul is one of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself and by enthusiastically cooperating with your inner being or soul, you will light a spark of creativity, perhaps magic or divine, to shine on  the road to fulfilling your goals.

A moment in time…

Lawn Hill …..accompanied by that sinking feeling as a post or an article that you thought was reasonably interesting or informative disappears into the ether….

I wrote an article earlier in the day about dreaming and lucid dreaming, posted and thought nothing more about it until later in the evening when all the notifications popped up on various feeds. Curious to see how it presented on the mobile device, I clicked to check…. and all that was there was the title and a short intro……but no article.

Had I saved the article to Word or pasted it from there….. ummmm … no! Gone … gone….. like the early morning mists, much like the dreams that I had written about….faded away and disappeared…

I guess the positive note being, that in the writing there was a subconscious resolution. Maybe some of you read the post before it  disappeared and that’s who it was meant for. Can I reconstruct it? Probably not.. I still have the memories of the many dreams and last nights remains strong in the conscious mind, but I’m of the opinion that the post was not meant to be read by many.  So if you missed it… I’m rewriting something similar for inclusion in a future book.

Settling in at the Retreat

Summer has been long and hot and with the threat of bushfires, particularly as we are reasonably close to the Rushworth State Forest, trips to the retreat have been dependent on checking out weather conditions and deciding if we want to be there in the heat or stay home and have the option of a pool to slide into to cool down!
Being self employed gives a little more flexibility and we decided to add an extra day either side of the Labor Day public holiday to avoid traffic and have more time to do “stuff”.
Packing the car has become an art form as necessities (& luxuries) are taken up there and left….

Luxuries like 4 matching banana lounges….perfect for star gazing!
Sitting in a normal deck chair to watch the satellites and stars, results in a cricked neck if you do it for too long, so the banana lounges are ideal, even if they are a little low to the ground…..

The shed has become a cooking area, with gas camping stove, electric frypan, Dad’s old toaster and benchtop oven and even a donated microwave….
A comfy 3 seater lounge and chairs (also Dad’s old furniture) are also stored in the shed.
This last visit saw the installation of a roman blind over one of the shed windows to reduce the sun fading the fabric on the sofa  and there have been discussions about installing a roof vent and insulation to make it more pleasant to be in (hot in summer and no doubt it will be chilly in winter).

About 10 acres of the block is covered with a bush that is locally considered a nuisance, but not a noxious weed. It has grown too high to use the slasher, so the only other option was to attach a grader blade to the tractor.
Only problem was that the blade was seized stuck with rust from being in the open.
With a little work (& diesel and oil mix) and pushing up against a strong tree, the attachment loosened up and Michael and a friend, Rod, began the task of flattening the bushes by driving over them and dragging the blade behind. More comfortable than sitting for some time, twisting backwards as the tractor is reversed over the bushes.
Hot and dusty work and the aging tractor began to make some ominous noises from the gear box.
Most of the area treated this way has stayed flat over a two week  period and is dying off. The flattened bushes can be removed by hand and stacked up, ready to burn once the fire season is over, but this is labour intensive and I’m not so keen on having piles of flammable material, whereas if it is flat it may mulch down.
Another alternative is to find a fencing contractor who specializes in brush fencing and offer them the option to harvest it for free. That way they will get their fencing materials and we will get rid of the bushes!

The composting toilet is working well, using 20 litre buckets, recycled from the local (city) chicken & chip shop, sawdust from the hardware store and we picked up some mulch from a roadside heap that was created after the bushfires near Kilmore. The intent is to leave the sealed buckets for 12 months or more to get rid of any pathogens & then add them to a compost heap to break down further.
This will then be used on the planned fruit and nut tree grove.
I hope to install a second composting toilet in the cottage in the near future and the ceramic pan (which was not hooked up to anything and lacked a cistern) has been removed, leaving much more space in the shower room.
The previous owners left behind a chemical toilet, but that requires some nasty chemicals, water and a disposal pit,  although it has been suggested that a homebrand nappy soaker is more environmentally friendly.

On to more pleasant topics….
The visit at the end of February involved cleaning the lichen off the fibreglass dome. Washing it off also washed off the top gel coat of the fibreglass and we were left with a milky white liquid.
Fortunately, the camper trailer we have is fibreglass and the manufacturers included a bottle of fibreglass polish and wax…. only thing was that we didn’t have it with us on that trip. So Labor Day weekend saw the application of said wax early in the morning, before the heat and flies became a problem. Luckily the dome roof rotates, so I was able to move that around and work in the shade most of the time. The eastern walls had to be polished in the evening!

The idea behind having this place is create a retreat.. both for myself and my family but eventually having a space for practitioners who might need some time out to live simply for a few days.

This requires some preparation… energetically clearing the space, using Reiki and feng shui and adding some comforts.
Using the Autumn Equinox was perfect timing to start some serious energy work.

I brought up some Tibetan Prayer Flags on this trip and installed them around what will be a central gathering /fire pit area.

In this way, their energy will be working for the space even when I am not there.
Their vibrant colours will fade in time and the breeze over the weekend kept them active, adding to the energy.

The colours of the sunset on the night of the Equinox faded quickly, but I managed to capture them on the phone camera as I was having a wander around looking for a site to build the labyrinth.  Originally I had thought that a flattish area to the west would be ideal, but it is just a little too close to the neighbours. Then I thought down between the two dams….. but in winter that area will be quite boggy (if there are good rains).
Trusting that the right place would be revealed as I explored more, I continued to meditate.
Some time alone the next morning allowed me to do a really good energy cleansing of the cottage, which I finished off by cleaning the windows and adding Reiki symbols all around.
 Curiously the sliding door screen stuck fast when I opened it, and I couldn’t move it at all.
Michael returned from his expedition to the Aboriginal Waterhole at Whroo and inspected the damage. It was decided that a visit to the hardware store in Heathcote would be in order, to get new parts for the door.  That done, the door still refused to move freely on the tracks….. Too late for a return trip, it was decided to make a repeat trip the next day.
No part available …. so a road trip to Bendigo was in order to a larger hardware chain. A bit of a wander around and a late lunch eaten in a park, then back to the retreat.
The new parts (hangers) were fitted to the top of the door and just as the door was moved…… crack…. both parts broke.
We had been gone 4 hours on the return trip to get those parts…….
Luckily, Michael can think laterally, so he used screws we had bought from the Rushworth hardware store to install the roman blind, to connect the broken bits together and eventually we had a screen door that opens and closes as it should……. what a day!!

An old yabbie net had turned up on our explorations, so some left over meat was put into an onion bag and tied securely, and the net tossed into the top dam. A couple of hours later, there was a yabbie having a feast…. disentangled and it scarpered back into the muddy water. Later that evening, when we checked with Peter who had come over from his place at Redcastle, all the meat had gone .. & so had the yabbies!!
We had another go on Sunday morning and caught 2 more. One with half a claw missing…. and both back into the water…
Apparently they have to be purged in fresh water for about a week before eating… so the net from home will go up and the yabbies may become an Easter feast……
As I went for a last minute wander on Sunday after packing up, I came across a space that somehow I have missed before.
Towards the Eastern boundary, yet quite private.

 A bit more of a slope than I would prefer, but that could add to the sensory experience…
It feels as if it is the right place for a labyrinth….

 And just a little further to the East ….
…….a small clearing, almost circled perfectly by some trees….

I can see the potential to put benches in the spaces between the trees and a small fire pit to do some circle work……..

A balanced end to 2013

A big grass fire up near Tooleen on Boxing Day, helped us to make the decision to postpone our trip to the block in the interests of staying safe.
Temperatures in the high 30’s are much more pleasant when spent around a home pool rather than a dubiously muddy dam….
With the CFA Fire Ready & VicTraffic apps downloaded, we loaded up the camper and car and set off. The journey up was incident free and took around two and a half hours including a stop (mistake) for fast food on the outskirts of Melbourne. We would have been better off, financially and healthwise had we waited for the healthier option of a salad roll at the Heathcote Bakery.
Gate unlocked and we took a slightly different route in (2nd mistake) and arrived to notice a rear tyre rapidly deflating.
We unpacked to lighten the car and the tyre was repaired.

This trip saw us taking up a few 20 litre buckets and a newly constructed toilet pedestal for a composting toilet, as well as a small supply of solar lights and some other bits and pieces that we intended to leave up there.
The toilet was placed in the “en suite” that sits high on the hill.

No water or plumbing connected, but it has potential to have it connected as well as an external power point to plug in the power.

However we solved the lighting problem by installing a solar shed light that reflects into the mirror, giving lots of light.

The porcelain septic pedestal was removed and the wooden pedestal placed over a bucket, which will be used for composting in about 12 months time.
Another large bucket of sawdust fits into the cubicle and that is used in lieu of flushing with water.
Handwashing is either with antiseptic hand wash or in a bucket of water outside, to be used later to water some of the succulent plants that are scattered around the living area.

 The view from the loo is quite peaceful as well, looking towards the back fence and small birds can be observed in the trees.
We discovered that they like to forage for small insects and spiders in the dead mistletoe  high up in the branches.

On our second day, we had day visitors for lunch in the cottage.
 Having the futon  and a card table has made a difference to our seating arrangements and we decided against eating in the shed as it warms up quickly. No doubt it will be chilly in there in winter.
The paddock bomb was fired up and taken for a drive, needing one rescue by the Patrol when the battery died…. It got going again and the visitors were taken for a tour of the boundary fences…. doing a bit of bush bashing through the scrub that needs to be slashed. 

Another visitor for dinner that night, our good friend Peter, who has built a mudbrick cottage some 16kms away. (It is on his property that I have built the labyrinths). Good wine, good conversation and and agreement to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a similar fashion…..

The morning chores done, I sat down to do a little crochet, a little reading…..

Peter arrived late afternoon and we strolled down to the top dam. The kangaroos didn’t seem too perturbed by our presence and allowed us to get within about 20 metres before hopping off.
The temperature was somewhat cooler down by the dam and we wandered down to the lower dam to watch the sun go down.
All very peaceful….

Realizing that it was after 9pm, we strolled back up to the cottage and sat outside with fruit and wine to observe the stars.

I’m thinking that my next purchase for the block will be some banana lounges so that our necks don’t get cricked looking up at the Milky Way.

Satellites crisscrossed the skies at regular intervals, some traversing North/South, some the other way and others travelling West to East.

Suddenly we realized it was approaching the magic hour when the year ticks over to the next…..
….and there it was….. a new year, with a new moon on New Year’s Day.
What a great start …..!!

Almost on top of the world!

A short sojourn on a property that is currently for sale.
A warm winter’s day with the scent of the wattles drifting across the senses much like the clouds lazily moving across the sky.
Surrounded by State Forest it was possible to drink up the energy of the trees  for a few moments and take a few more moments to notice some of the larger trees and just noticing the colour and textures – the difference between the new saplings pushing up and the old, mossy, bare fruit trees that remain as guardians to the ruins of an old burnt down homestead.

Using the imagination to wonder about long forgotten people who once stood on this land and dreamed their dreams.
Allowing images to come to mind and letting them go with the wafts of wattle perfume.
Observing the birds, noticing the bleached bones of a marsupial and treading carefully around them on the way down to a hidden dam.
Noticing the reflection of the forest beyond  in the still and perhaps deep waters.
Then a gentle stroll back up along the fence line that needs a little attention, considering/ wondering whether this is the right place to be.
Is this what my heart has asked for?
Noticing how it responds to the energy of the land and listening to rational thoughts about the business of buying this place. Bringing the attention to things such as conservation and Aboriginal heritage overlays. And of course the issue of wildfire….

Unseen Energies

Every so often, for as long as I can remember, I will catch a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye.
I turn and look and there is nothing there.
As a young child I was chastised for talking to “imaginary friends” and writing stories at school about fairies and the like.
At one stage, just after arriving in England as a very young child, we lived in a castle that had been converted to apartments and I often woke my parents up in the night as I was standing up in my cot “chatting” to the others in the room!

I’ve always had a sense of something special in nature and I remember walking  down a country lane in England as a 5 or 6 year old with one of the Nannies that we had, and telling her that there was a special place ahead. I picked some flowers and shortly after that we discovered a small waterfall or spring at the side of the road with an old carved rock – I can still see it in my mind’s eye – but when I asked my parents about it many years later, they knew nothing of it. Even on a trip back to the area as an adult, I couldn’t find it or anything about it.
I’ve always had a sense of when things are “not quite right” – when traveling and adjusted my plans accordingly – which has kept me safe – especially when traveling alone.
In the last few years, the movements have become more insistent and frequent.
A fellow Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master announced that my guides were wanting my attention!
On one of my outback trips, I had an uneasy feeling about water across a road in a remote area – not sure where, when or how – I put it down to apprehension about a river crossing, especially as we often travel on our own.
We modified the trip and headed for the interior where there were no flowing rivers at the time. I have posted about that trip before……but long story short…. the heavens opened up and the interior became very wet and boggy and after finally making it in to Innaminka, we were there for 4 more days to wait for the roads to dry out!!!

I started taking photos when I was getting these “flashes” – asking permission for them to show me who they were and have started getting an interesting collection of orb photos.
Rationalists and skeptics should have tuned out of this post by now!
Their theory is that it is dust or moisture on the lens, but does not explain to me why the “artifact” moves across the screen in a series of photos taken in quick succession.
For a while, I had thought that I was only able to take photos like this while I was out of the city, but the first photo and the next were taken recently from my back deck.
 This confirms for me, that I am surrounded by the otherwise unseen energies and it brings great comfort to me as I sense that they are benign.