Category Archives: Emotional baggage


art and emotionsAs emotions arise from our thoughts, then it is more than likely that they are influenced by events, people, places and circumstances that we have experienced from the time we are born until the time that we die.

By helping you to examine the thought processes around your emotions and looking at the beliefs around the feelings generated and subsequently changing those beliefs, a better understanding of the emotions experienced is possible. Some emotions however, are elicited by an unconscious reaction to a stimulus.

It is my role to help you discover the original stimulus even if it were long forgotten or experienced at a time when you were non-verbal. Art therapy allows you to access these unconscious stimuli through the creation of images and subsequent analysis and interpretation.

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Walking the Second Ring

After entering the labyrinth and accepting that one is neither starting the journey from the outside in or in the actual centre the journey continues by moving outwards to the second ring. ThWalking the 2nd ring 2nd Chakrais corresponds to the second or Sacral Chakra and is orange in colour. Here we start to feel the responses to the feelings of those around you and translate the spiritual messages behind the feelings.

The orange is energising, but unlike the red of the Base Chakra, is more feminine in nature.  Orange stimulates our creative talents and whilst we are all familiar with its positive attribute of joy, the negative attributes are pride and over ambition. This is the path of our psyche, where we want to share our passions, dreams and desires. With the combination of emotions and feminine energy it is hardly surprising that this ring and chakra are related to the moon. Emotions experienced on this ring may be associated with either an abundance or lack of joy with relationships.

Reiki is the ideal therapy to use with this chakra, it is non religious and free from dogma and helps gently resolve unconscious emotions. As you walk this part of the path, become aware of the location of the Sacral Chakra, just below the navel.  Get a sense of whether it feels light or heavy and take note of any emotions that may come up. If you feel confronted by them, slow down, breathe…. trust and release……tears mean that you have connected with the water element…….


The Mind Body Connection

The years are catching up with me….. a couple of car accidents, more than a few motorbike spills and several falls down steep stairs have left their mark. The body requires some TLC to get moving at times anfeelingd finding a good practitioner since my chiropractor retired has taken some time. He intuitively knew what to do to get the body moving again!

I am convinced that a treatment needs to work on both mind and body to get lasting results. One cannot exist without the other.

Recently, I had an xray of my spine as I went to try out a new chiropractor. Seeing the damaged areas had a profound effect. Normally I’m not one to let the emotions go, but the combination of the evidence of past fractures and the adjustment created a space to re-visit the events around them and re-assess the emotions that lingered.

SoulThe most poignant image was seeing the clips that had been placed on the fallopian tubes. Done after 4 miscarriages, because I didn’t want to go through another heartbreak, although I already had 2 healthy children.  My eyes teared up and in a flash I had put that emotion on the backburner, just as I had done so at each miscarriage because I had young children, a busy teaching job and had to get on with living. It didn’t stay on the backburner for long.

On return to the office, I tried to compose myself. For distraction I checked my personal horoscope.  “Sun and Moon trine Natal Chiron” it read. “For this brief period of time, you will become more conscious of the energy for personal transformation and healing in your life. This will likely mean some form of deep seated pain for the purpose of working through old issues and ultimately healing these issues. During this brief period of time, you may be blessed to provide the impetus for healing to others. You may also feel healing energy come into your life from a meeting with another person during the course of this transit……”

Deep  breath……

It may be that the original injury (falling off motorbikes, down stairs or car accidents) contributed to a physical weakness in a particular area. But does having that weakness also weaken or affect the psyche? Think of the saying “water always flows to the lowest point”.

Louise Hay in her book Heal the Body, categorizes the cause of miscarriage as fear of the future. Inappropriate timing.

So what to make of that?  Her new thought pattern certainly gave food for thought. ” Divine right action is always taking place in my life. I love and approve of myself. All is well.”

Entering into a self hypnosis session, brought more emotions up. Recognize them, name them and let them go…… The past is the past and don’t hang onto them anymore was the message that came up.  Yes, sad  to never have met those children, but as a Past Life therapist I can recognize that these souls chose not to incarnate through me. Divine right action.  The love and approve of myself part is a little harder….

Revisiting the chiropractor a week and a bit later, he was surprised at how well my body had responded to just two adjustments. We chatted about the mind body connection, without going into specifics and he adjusted my lower back.

Returning to the office, I began a Chakra cleanse.  It’s going to be a work in progress. Taking the time to really work on strengthening the body, mind and spirit. Today I start on the Root Chakra (Muladhara) – had to chuckle at the description of when it malfunctions …

Obesity, sciatica, knee troubles, bone disorders, frequent illness, frequent fears, inabilty to focus, spaciness, inability to be still……. this could take some time to return to healthy function!!

I have books on my shelf that literally jump at me to be read at different times… Today “The Sevenfold Journey – Reclaiming Mind, Body & Spirit through the Chakras” fell off the shelf as I was getting another reference book out for a colleague to read.

So starting at the beginning I began to read….. The 7 Basic Rights…. Chakra One – the right to have. It’s about the right to be here. “This manifests in the right to have what we need in order to survive. When we are denied the basic necessities of survival:

  • food
  • clothing
  • shelter
  • warmth
  • medical care
  • healthy environment
  • physical touch

our rights to have are threatened. Consequently, we will be likely to question that right throughout our lives, in relationship to many things, from money and possession to love or time for ourselves.”

Maslow’s heirarchy…..

So here we go…. the messages from everywhere all point to some self healing work to be done, body and mind….. Life is such an interesting journey!




Trust is like an egg and it’s not like an egg.

If you want to break an egg you have to do it from the outside. 
The only way to break up a trust is from the inside.
O. Henry

Agaricus Muscaris – Beautiful but deadly…..the toxins in this toadstool act on the brain, producing vertigo and delirium …. with the symptoms developing after a period of 12 – 14 hours. There is no antidote and the end result is total paralysis.
Homeopathically, it can be used for neuralgia, vertigo and some skin conditions. In the homeopathic preparation, it is not toxic when used appropriately. The poison resembles that of the rattlesnake and acts on the red blood corpuscles……..Trust as I’d trust a rattlesnake —Anon
There is a restlessness from violent itching and on falling asleep will start and twitch, waking often. ……

Walking away from a conversation several months back, I had the feeling that I shouldn’t have shared a personal comment. I don’t sleep well at the best of times and often the subconscious mind will take a while to process.  Head … awhirl with doubts like a sky full of starlings — George Garrett …..and I will often find myself awake in the early hours of the morning, sitting bolt upright with an idea or a revelation. 
I had a niggling feeling that the conversation would be repeated, but decided to give the person the benefit of doubt. 
In coaching, there is an exercise that is useful in deciding if a relationship is open and honest. So I asked myself the following questions:

  • How comfortable am I with this person now?
  • Am I able to express myself freely with this person in the future?
  • Will I avoid talking about certain subjects or situations with this person
  • Am I lying to this person, by hiding the truth?
  • Does this person ever avoid talking about similar things with me?

No more to be trusted (with news) than a cat with a saucer of milk —Christopher Isherwood …..another social situation and a different person in the social group makes an interesting, but off-topic comment……didn’t think much of it at the time……. but a week or so later, the penny dropped. The trust that I placed in my “friend” was misplaced….. A secret in his [the gossip’s] mouth is like a wild bird put into a cage; whose door no sooner opens, but it is out —Ben Jonson
So, with this person I will become like the echidna who curls up into a ball, so that the soft underbelly is protected by spikes, until the threat is past. I will carefully choose my words in her company. I no longer feel comfortable in her company, as I will be avoiding divulging anything personal or emotional. I will form my conversation around questions about her, not to share the elicited answers but to engage her in conversation about herself and fill the time.

 Friendship is like a butterfly’s wing, once it’s torn it may never fly again 
– Anon



Work in Progress

It’s been over a month now and apart from learning to live with a left arm and shoulder that has decided not to move so well, I decided to self medicate with a Homeopathic remedy. It took a little while to come to the remedy, but when I did, it was the obvious choice.
No doubt if I had seen my usual homeopath, he would have prescribed it sooner, rather than later.
However after a somewhat unsatisfactory visit to a new GP, I did decide to treat the arm with Acupuncture twice weekly, then weekly with a massage as well.
The Acupuncturist is pleased with the progress, and I have also been doing Self Hypnosis on reducing the pain and looking for the emotional trigger behind it.
Naturally I would prefer the whole thing to sort itself out a lot quicker and it has been an interesting process.
The massages were really helpful and the arm / shoulder moves a lot better after a massage session. I initially had a 90 minute massage with vouchers left over from an exchange of services with a client. Knots in places that I didn’t expect….. What I didn’t expect, was the release of emotion as the tightness eased…..
A fellow Hypnotherapist explained that chronic conditions are the result of long suppressed emotions and if the lid is kept tighly on, eventually the pressure builds up and has to release in any way possible.
So with this in mind, I have decided to continue along the “Alternative Medicine” or Body/Mind/Soul method of treating what the GP has determined is a frozen shoulder.
Having to adjust to sleeping on my right side has had an unusual outcome – whilst I dream every night, since sleeping in a different position, I have had not only what feels like a lighter sleep, but incredibly vivid dreams.

A return of the war dreams and being lost in a myriad of passageways and underground buildings….. of schools that I worked in and people that I have no contact with….. of living in a place that is a mosaic of the different houses and offices that I lived and worked in……and waking with little tags on the inside of my cheeks where I had chewed them during my sleep..
The first indication that a particular homeopathic remedy might be useful.
So back to the books…. Homeopathic books that is…. other symptoms which I had put aside were the sighing, the inability to express the emotion in public and worse for consolation – but able to cry in the office after the last client has left for the day or in the shower.
All pointers to an overlooked, but obvious remedy for grief.
Imagine my surprise when I found that the cramping and shoulder problems were also a symptom covered by this remedy.
By now, if you are familiar with Homeopathy, you will have ascertained the remedy!
Just to check up further on the mental /emotional aspects of the remedy, I consulted my book by Vithoulkas.
His description of the remedy says that it is prescribed 10 to 15 times more for women.
He goes on to describe the woman as “wanting to liberate, assert herself. Sensitivity coupled with romanticism. Ability quick, clever, artistic, women of today. …..she is imposing upon herself the logical conclusions, she will say I must do this, do that : she is capable of performing it. She can do things, so takes a lot of things upon herself, over-working and taking on many more things than she could normally do…. Overstrained, grief, vexation, a frustration in her job and then is a breakdown……Trying to understand what is happening to her. If the shock passes, mostly the body is affected by cramping pains, neuralgias that have no pathological origin, but started from the time of griefe and stress…..”
So am I going to tell you the remedy? No!
Each person is different and what is right for me, may not be for you.
The remedy was taken last night in a 200c potency and the spasms in the arm muscles have eased. It has a duration of 7 days, but if the spasms come back, I will repeat it earlier.
If you do want to find out more about Homeopathic Remedies, how to prescribe, a general guide to some commonly used ones, then I will do a blatant plug for the workshops I teach.
Contact me and we can talk about when and where you can learn more about Homeopathy.
Your regular Naturopath/Homeopath may be grateful that you are doing this as it means that you understand how to take the remedies and what they prescribe is more effective for you.


I came across this prayer last week as I was preparing to take Dad’s ashes back to Perth to be laid to rest with Mum.

May the feet of God walk with you
and her hand hold you tight
May the eye of God rest on you
and his ear hear your cry
May the smile of God be for you
and her breath give you life
May the child of God grow in you
and his love bring you home.

Yesterday was the day.
I had planned a different day, but as Dad was cremated here in Victoria, I had to attend an interview to register his ashes in WA.
As it turned out the first available day was 6th February, which was the 2 month anniversary of his death.
An early morning flight there, combined with an afternoon return seemed the best option.
I like to use oracle cards and that afternoon I picked one that said “Be proud that you were brave enough to come to this challenging place we call Earth to learn”. 
I certainly wasn’t feeling brave and commented on my Facebook page and got a supportive message from a couple of people I have only met briefly.

Booking the flight was not without its problems.
The return trip calendar defaulted to March 6th; because February and March dates and days are the same, I didn’t notice until I printed out my ticket confirmation.
Oh No! I didn’t want to be stuck in Perth for a month…….  it’s a nice place, I could do with a holiday….but……NO.
A call to the airline and they sorted things out.
The crematorium staff had told me that I needed to advise the airline that I was carrying human remains, so I told the guy fixing up my ticket.
No charge for the wrong booking, which was really appreciated. He told me I would have to tell them at the gate before boarding, which I did and when I went to board – found that I had been put closer up the front!

Arriving in Perth, I picked up a car – which was cheaper than catching cabs – and made my way to Karrakatta.
Roadworks almost all the way…..slow trip….. but still got there in plenty of time for the appointment.

Memories of growing up in Perth as I drove down familiar roads, even though there has been a huge building boom there over the years, flooded back.
Street names off the Great Eastern Highway that I knew off by heart as I used to be a delivery driver. Riverside Drive and the cockies grazing on the grassed area.
Had to be a little vigilant to get onto Stirling Highway and past the old Swan Brewery. Keeping a lookout for a little jetty and boathouse where I lived on a small yacht which was moored off it at one stage….. 
…….I even took a little detour past his old house in Shenton Park as a symbolic gesture.

The bag with the ashes in it was surprisingly heavy.
Carrying it in, I wondered if there was a cafe there to sit and while away the time rather than trying to find where Mum was located.
On reflection, I carried Mum in here too. I was a pallbearer for her  and walked alongside her casket to the service. I wonder about the symbolism of carrying your parents after they have carried you……

Yes!….. a cafe at the gates!

I went in, ordered a cup of tea and just as the woman handed it over, a song came over the radio. She probably wondered why I laughed out loud and went to sit outside!

The Seekers singing – Now the Carnival is over……

Now the harbour light is calling
this will be our last goodbye.
Though the carnival is over
I will love you till I die. 
In about half an hour, I was going to be handing Dad over so he could be put next to Mum – I love that the spirit world plays jokes with us when we get too serious!
As I drank my cup of tea, a huge orange and black butterfly landed on the wall next to me…
The time came for the appointment – now was the time to let go and not lose it…..
A little wait and then we were organizing the registration, the plaque and the payment….
The plaque will be ready in about 6 weeks and will have to come from Victoria! More amusement!
……Just in time for him to go into the niche next to Mum for what would have been their 58th Wedding Anniversary.  How perfect would that be?

Handing him over into the safe keeping of the Cemetery, I got a map and went down to see Mum’s spot.  
Last time I was there, was about 6 years ago when I went over to help Dad sell his unit to come to Melbourne. Looking rather neglected, I used a tissue …of which I had plenty…. and borrowed a flower from a nearby tree to spruce her up a bit ……
Then it was time to go…. Headed off to Kings Park and treated myself to a salad while I waited for my brother. I had some documents copied for him and he was able to get away from work for  a little while. 
With the roadworks in mind, I headed back to the airport with plenty of time to spare, refuelled the car and started the journey home.  
I had a whim to take a photo of the sun setting on the clouds behind us…. 
I believe in orbs…. I don’t care if others don“t….. because I was sitting up closer to the angels last night and it felt OK.  

Moving on….

As the water flows down the waterfall, so too do emotions flow relentlessly when a parent dies and more so, when it is the last remaining parent and you become an orphan.

Many people are familiar with Elizabeth Kuebler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief but  there are other variables in the process.
Many people would also be familiar with the quotation “No man is an island”, which was a sermon by John Donne in the 16th century.
No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others.”

But what happens if you have a long term partner or spouse? 

Can you rely on the in-laws to emotionally support you as you go through your grieving process?

What about friends? 

Who would you rely on? 

It would be nice to move through the stages Kuebler-Ross outlined with no extraneous factors. 
So what if you are feeling bereft of support? 
Seeing a Grief Counsellor may help to work through underlying issues that were already in the family dynamic.


What’s your baggage?

We all have baggage.
Some have a little and some have a lot.
Some baggage is more easily put down and left behind than others. 
I get curious about types of baggage and what purpose it serves the person carrying it.

Is the baggage a backpack?
Is it light or heavy?
Can it be easily removed?
Does it feel like there is someone putting stuff in and making it heavier while you are moving to your destination?

Is the baggage a suitcase?
What’s inside? Is it full of things that “might come in handy” or familiar, comfortable objects?
Does it feel like it’s making your arms or hands ache?

One of my favourite films, “Up in the Air” uses the metaphor of baggage really effectively.
So how easy is it to unpack the baggage and only take what is necessary for the journey and are you willing to let go and let someone else take the weight from you – even if for a short time?

The familiar or comfortable things need to be looked at first.
Familiarity doesn’t mean that it serves you now.
 Familiar could be an unhelpful habit or attitude that has outstayed its welcome.
Moving it on or leaving it behind can either be a joyful or gut wrenching occasion. It all depends on your perspective.
The comfortable may no longer be of use either.
Who hasn’t had that dearly loved pair of shoes or an item of clothing that is comfortable but has definately got that scuffed and tatty look or frayed at the seams………
Sometimes it takes another person, often a friend or family member, even a coach or counsellor to help us to see that it is time to make a change.
Having made a change, it is all too easy to slip back into previous habits, reach out to do the “same old, same old”, but looking at new options can be exciting and life changing.