Category Archives: Meditation

Mindful May

With the new month just days away and it being promoted as Mindful May,  I was very mindful myself (pardon the pun) to finally complete my online meditation course.

It was started sometime ago, but somehow most of the audio that I recorded for it disappeared into the ether when updating some software.

The next hurdle to overcome was Mercury in Retrograde, noted for issues with electronics and the like……  I couldn’t get rid of the noise of the computer fan that ran in the background. Eventually I found an app that I could use with an iPad and completed the last of the recordings just in time to get the course up and running for May.

If you have never meditated before and are not sure how to or what sort of meditation suits you, then this introduction to meditation will help you work that out.

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Nurture

What does nurture mean to you?

Is it the care and protection of those you love or is it the nourishment of your own body and soul?

Pondering the nurture versus nature debate, it is interesting to consider whether our genetic inheritance contributes more than environmental concerns. We can nurture our bodies with adequate clean water and fresh, wholesome food. Likewise, we can nurture our souls with taking time out to appreciate nature – literally stopping to smell the roses!

With ongoing studies in epigenetics showing that our genes can adapt as they interact with environmental factors, the nurture versus nature conversation becomes more complex.  Behavioural epigenetics studies have shown that it is possible that behaviours can be imprinted into genes and these imprinted genes are handed down through several generations. Studies done on identical twins, who have the same genes can exhibit very different behaviours even when brought up the same way.  Social and emotional conditioning as well as environmental factors may well be part of the nurture versus nature conundrum.

I find it interesting to reflect on what I may have inherited from my forebears.  Apart from the likelihood that I may have a genetic predisposition to the diseases that my ancestors suffered from, I have the opportunity to make changes by ensuring that strong environmental factors, such as diet and lifestyle choices offer the opportunity to imprint on my genetic makeup.

Other factors to consider, especially in recent times, are the effects of trauma on the brain. Repeated trauma will change the brain, affecting how we learn and process new information.

From an educational viewpoint, a stressed student is one that is likely to have some difficulty in retaining information.  It is unfortunate that negative experiences are far stronger than pleasant ones and it can be expected that sustained or prolonged traumatic experiences are likely to be retained in both our brain circuits and as a genetic change. I’m sure my teaching colleagues will attest to this, an anxious parent is most likely to produce an anxious child. Nurturing then becomes something to consider within our educational system.

Creating as many enjoyable experiences such as regular meditation will help to overcome the negative experiences and imprint a more positive attitude or behaviour both in our brains and our genes.

https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article-lookup/doi/10.1525/bio.2011.61.8.4

New Moon

I was curious about what time the New Moon energy was coming in, so on the trip up to the retreat, I checked the Moon Phase app on my phone (& no, I wasn’t driving at the time). It was the 15th at 11.19am….. I checked the clock and it was 11.19am….. an auspicious start to the weekend with such a synchronicity!

Arriving at the retreat it was apparent that not much rain had fallen over the last 2 weeks, so the small tanks had not yet refilled. In the quest to fill the main concrete tank since the repair, which seems to have held up, we empty the smaller tanks into it on a regular basis in the hope that we won’t have to buy water over next summer. Every little bit helps.

With no major projects scheduled for this visit, I found a spot out of the breeze and sat down to write my new moon manifestation journal. As I meditated, I became more aware of the birdlife and occasionally could hear a ruffle of tiny feathers and catch a glimpse of the robin family as they went about their daily activities. Having completed my page, I made my way to the labyrinth, where it was pleasing to see no more digging by the local rabbit and the rose bush was relatively OK. A little frost burn on the top shoot, but some fat and healthy buds lower down. Hard to say what the Oak tree is doing  as all the others are looking very dormant too.

Labyrinth wattleThe two wattle trees in the labyrinth are just about to burst into bloom and one has some interesting galls on it. Love the pattern of the budded flower, reminding me of the Fibonacci numbers!

The yellow wattles surrounding the labyrinth had a quiet hum as the bees made the best of the pollen. This walk was slower than usual, focusing on each ring and visualizing the chakra colours as I progressed. Every so often, time to pause and move a stone on the path into the channel or small ditch that defines the outline.

Reaching the centre, I re-read the journal entry, slowly tore it into strips and then lit it, allowing the paper ash to be caught in the gentle breeze, carrying my words and pictures away. As I watched, I made the conscious intention to let go and let the universe take care of my requests.

Meditating in the centre, I was startled by the bang of a shed door on the neighbouring property. What seemed like an instant later, a large kangaroo burst out of the surrounding wattles into the space in front of the labyrinth, followed by a couple of smaller roos and 2 joeys. They paused…. I paused…. The larger kangaroos hopped off, leaving the little ones no further than 3 metres away and we looked at each other for a few more seconds…. an amazing moment ….then they were gone.

Next morning I went for a walk in the “Wild area” and found a spot which I think might be suitable for a “secret” labyrinth. It’s close to a rocky outcrop, so not far to move some stones to outline it. Perhaps a small 3 ring Cretan style labyrinth…… I’ve already got sites in mind for  a big 30m Chartres style and a Celtic style triskele walk.

I’ll keep you posted…….

Progress at the Retreat

The Paddock December 2013 The Paddock May 2014 Paddock viewed from North boundary Dec 2013 Paddock viewed from North Boundary May 2014Visible changes are taking place, and whilst the photos aren’t taken in the same spot, this gives a sense of the work that has been done.

It was too hot from December to March to do any slashing of the scrub without creating a fire hazard.

The scrub, commonly called Chinese bush is self seeded and is a fire hazard even when it is wet and green.

It seeds prolifically, and just one plant can produce over a million seeds in a season.

What it does tell us; is that the soil here has either been overgrazed in the past or is depleted in nutrients.

One method of controlling the bush is to overplant the area once it is slashed with a green crop, such as clover – which will smother the emerging seedlings and provide green manure for the soil.

The difficulty in removing this scrub, is that there are also young saplings of gum trees and a couple of varieties of wattle, including Golden Wattle to avoid.

Poison is not an option as we want to develop the property as organically as possible. What has been made apparent, now that the scrub has gone, are the contours of the property.  It slopes gently down to the centre of the property, revealing the natural flow of water that feeds the two dams.

Plans for the future include developing much of the area using Permaculture principles.

Labyrinth site Easter Labyrinth outline 13 Centre of the Labyrinth 14 Centre of the labyrinthAnother problem is Guildford Grass or Onion Grass and this is prolific in the area of the labyrinth.

Single blades of grass that come up from a bulb and toxic to stock in large quantities.

Not even the kangaroos seem to have a taste for this.

Again, chemical removal is not really an option as it will leave residual poison in the ground for several seasons. Apparently use of a rotary hoe on a regular basis helps to keep it in check and reduce the incidence of re-infestation.

At present, I’m in the process of removing the top layer of soil, with the intention of getting rid of weeds so that I can put a topping on the path.

However the Onion Grass is very resilient and just bends with the shovel, so after reading the agricultural notes about it, am thinking of using a small tilling machine in the area.

This will most likely save time and my back!

In the meantime, work continues and mapping the progress with photos makes for a welcome break from digging.

We want to observe a full year of seasons before commencing any building projects. The first project is to restore the soil and then we can start to plan what plants to put in and where.

Already I am growing some oak seedlings and whilst the trees would not be used or harvested in my lifetime, future generations will have access to them.

 

 

On the road to Mastery…

People come and go into your life for different reasons and seasons ….(as the well known poem at the bottom of the page goes…..)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust recently, I have re-connected with a couple of people not seen for many years and whilst there has been the occasional email or social media contact, it really isn’t the same as chatting easily over a cup of tea or coffee.

One meeting triggered an examination of my personal journey over the last few years. A reflection, perhaps triggered by the review and planning process of the New Year.

The questions were asked……

“Are you still doing your Energy work? 

Your website and book don’t say that you are.”

Immediately I replied with a “Yes”, but in that moment realized that although I have a daily Meditation and Reiki practice  – often sending absent Reiki to friends and colleagues, I have let much of the spiritual work in maintaining Mastery slide. An audit of what studies I have done showed a common theme….. starting many years ago with weekly Yoga sessions, then Meditation.

Life was on hold for a while as I juggled young children and going to work as a teacher, but in the first school …. a most unlikely place, I thought, I had  a Lifetime person step into my life when she introduced me to Reiki. She could see I was stressed, put her hands on my shoulders sending Reiki…… It felt as if my blood had turned to lemonade…. I went all “fizzy” with the energy. Weeks later, I found a Reiki Master and was attuned to the energy…. the start of an amazing journey.  Level 1, followed by Level 2 and I resisted becoming a Master for another 9 years!!

Birthday morning 2013Other energy therapies beckoned in that space……. EMF (Electro Magnetic Frequency) Balancing, Homeopathy, Polarity Therapy, Touch for Health, Pranic Healing….Spiritual studies…..

I find it curious how the path of life often weaves a different pattern to what we might envisage for ourselves. Yet all these studies and people who taught them  have contributed to my mastery…. they have been there for a reason or a season or a lifetime.

Whilst reflecting on what Mastery means, I came upon a list of some 44 attributes that a person seeking Mastery might have.  A little daunting… but a good challenge for the coming weeks, months and years ahead….

Interestingly,  at the top of the list was Balance….defined as:

  • a state of remaining upright and steady; equilibrium
  • an appropriate proportionality between different elements

Two more that I would like to share with you are Courage:

  • strength in the face of uncertainty
  • the ability to do something that may be fearful

and Flexibility:

  • capable of bending without breaking
  • ready and able to change; to adapt to different circumstances

I printed out the list, ready to refer to it and have decided to randomly pick an attribute  to work on each week and write in my journal about the journey.
Later this week I will revisit a teacher of one of the Energy therapies I studied a while back and will perhaps refresh the knowledge in this new year….

Reason, Season, or Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is,
you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.                                                                                                                                                          Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

— Unknown

A balanced start to the New Year

sundown NYEStill waters run deep ……

I wasn’t about to test the depth of the dam waters on a clear summer evening in the bush, but it was pleasant watching the sun go down over the horizon for the last time in 2013.

As the evening lengthened and the first stars made their appearance, the reminiscences of the past year and earlier years began…

Gradually the night sky darkened and unveiled the Southern Cross, the magnificence of the Milky Way and more… Our necks grew tired from leaning backwards in our chairs… satellites, shooting stars…. all glowing brightly in the night before the new moon and the new year.

The only thing missing was the music from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon…..

Breathe
(Waters, Gilmour, Wright)

Breathe, breathe in the air.
Don’t be afraid to care.
Leave but don’t leave me.
Look around and choose your own ground.

Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.

Run, rabbit run.
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Don’t sit down it’s time to dig another one.

For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave.

Work Experience

Planting seedsSetting up in a Hypnotherapy or Coaching practice takes time. Do the study, then some more and then a steep learning curve on how to market yourself and perhaps find a niche.

“Find a niche an inch wide and a mile deep” was a comment made in one lecture I attended.

All well and good, but a couple of years after graduating, I was still looking for that niche like the proverbial needle in a haystack. Around me were fellow students who seemed to have easily and effortlessly slipped into their niches …Past Life Regressions, Lives between Lives, Style Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Business Coaching, Weight Loss, Stop Smoking… and the list goes on.

The bookshelves are groaning with the weight of recommended reading. The printer spits out marketing letters on a regular basis. I have sat down and written about my ideal client so many times I feel like we are conjoined twins…..

Yes, the clients are coming, but for a variety of reasons.

Mostly for weight with an underlying theme of stress.

Now that’s something I understand!

Perhaps I have stumbled upon my niche, except it doesn’t look an inch wide… more like a mile wide and a bottomless chasm deep.

The interest in stress started when I was still teaching. I noticed that if I kept an appearance of calm, then the students seemed to respond better. Combining a teaching job and parenting 2 young children meant that my meditation practice was made up of incidental moments rather than a half hour session at any one time. Breathing at the traffic lights, mindfulness when on yard duty – appreciating the moments of nature… a leaf…. an interesting cloud….

Leaving teaching for a couple of years, I went to a job where I was able to observe how people with learning difficulties reacted to stress. An interest in how the mind adapts to stress grew from here and CBT based Adolescent Counseling beckoned. Back to teaching and full-time for three years. This time the universe threw me a curved ball. Being back in the classroom with a different perspective on student learning was fabulous, but the staffroom was toxic and not entirely from the black mould growing around the school.

But that’s a whole different story to be told later…

I left.

I took time out.

I studied some more and graduated with a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Cert 4 in Training. I didn’t complete the Medical Intuitive course I thought was my next journey.

I went and sat in the Simpson Desert.

Then I went back to teaching part-time and a small client list part-time. Coaching studies to augment the Hypnotherapy and I was just muddling along. I didn’t have anything specifically wrong with my health, but just didn’t have the energy that I used to. Palpitations were becoming more frequent, but I dismissed them as a result of the coffee I was drinking. I didn’t notice that I wasn’t meditating any more. I was asked to speak about women and stress for a local council’s Women’s Network.  Scroll back through some of the older posts and you’ll find that speech somewhere and the events that transpired a few months later!

So now it seems that my niche found me, rather than the other way around.

How curious is that?

I’m presenting a workshop next month with the topic “From Stress to Strength – Building Resilience for the Small Business Owner”  and I’m preparing for that with a bit of work experience…

Yep!! I’m STRESSED!!

Just getting in a bit of practice….. some good stress involved this time with the imminent arrival of a grandson…some bad stress with a blind, diabetic aging dog that has to be let out to pee 2 -3 times a night.

Sleep deprivation is not good for stress management!

PastThe body mind connection is letting me know I need to manage the stress a bit better, so the emWave is getting a good workout several times a day.

Last night was a case in point. I dream. Colour. Action… always vivid. Sometimes so full of action I am tired when I wake up. Sometimes, not very often now, the events are too vivid & I have been known to wake with a blood curdling yell. That didn’t happen last night, but I woke as I threw off the covers and went to confront some intruders that weren’t there and who came through a doorway that wasn’t there….. it took quite some time to convince my conscious mind that they and the doorway didn’t exist.  This time the dog waking and going for a wander down the street at 2am was just what I needed as the activity in going looking for him helped to dissipate the stress hormones and I was able to get back to sleep relatively quickly.

A couple of emWave sessions before starting writing showed that I was entering into “Coherence” fairly easily. More sessions scheduled this morning before the afternoon clients.

It’s all about putting yourself first, to better serve clients.

It could be called Work Experience!

Healing through readings

Every so often I have a need to go to the Oracle cards for clarity.
My favourite style of reading is to select a number of cards from different decks, place them in a grid and then read them. Jotting down the messages from both the pictures and the accompanying booklets and then typing them up.
Quite amazing how a message will jump out – the same message from different decks providing an affirmation that Spirit is wanting to pass something on!! A quick “cut and paste” will arrange the main points coherently….

Those who know me, will be aware that the last few months have been difficult to say the least …..

Intellectually I thought I was prepared for Dad to move into a different realm and was blessed to have conversations with him as he did so. He described walking into a large open space, with lots of lights and some people coming to greet him.

Perhaps now I will do the Lives between Lives Hypnotherapy training!
What I wasn’t prepared for, was the physical effects of the grief.
The emotional roller coaster and the fatigue. I have found myself struggling to maintain a positive physiology and just the other day, this was brought to my attention when an acquaintance, who is a shaman, came into the tearoom and asked if I was OK.

I haven’t been to the cards for myself for a while and today I was drawn to do a reading before starting work on a presentation for next week and am sharing it here.

I used 3 packs – Collette Baron-Reid’s The Enchanted Map, Doreen Virtue’s Archangel Oracle Cards  and Ascended Masters.

Know that it is safe to teach and at the same time be open to new ideas. Overcoming the previous difficulties and challenges have made you stronger. Your experiences are not a single story, but they filter into one another. 
Teach others from this experience and teach topics that awaken your passion. 

Good fortune, ambitions will be fulfilled as you enter into a time of happiness long overdue.
Everything is connected through the universal flow of consciousness and this connection will allow synchronicity to work its magic.  
When you use clear and focussed intention and have positive expectations the inspiration will flow and you will become a channel for inspiration.
Live deliberately and with focus. 
Trust in the inner knowledge – embrace it and trust…

Meditate, use clear and focussed attention to reach inner peace. 

Let go of self doubt and ignore the critics and skeptics and know that Spirit is supporting you, 

even if there are people around who are not.
Abundance will come through living life authentically.
 Listen to your heart’s truth.

Belonging…

A sense of belonging to our tribe, our family, our groups is one of our fundamental needs that often is unmet.
I believe we come here for this lifetime for a purpose, to make a difference.
Part of our growth comes from a understanding why we are here and once we have divined our purpose, peace of mind follows.
We may well struggle for some time in finding our purpose and often find ourselves diverted from our intended path.
This path can sometimes be littered with diversions which cause us to take a little longer to discover our purpose, but are still valuable learning experiences. Challenges along the way serve to create the spiritual and emotional breakthroughs that make the journey richer. Becoming accountable to yourself and acknowledging what is important and what is not is yet another challenge that can be overcome.
Learning to use our intuition, that “gut feeling”, aids in our survival. We have forgotten how to use this extra sense – the ancients trusted their intuitive powers and it helped in their survival.  When we nurture our intuition, it is an extension of caring for our physical body and can nourish our emotional and spiritual self at the same time. Like a compass, intuition can guide us to the right tribe, family or group – leading us to a more meaningful and purposeful life..