Archive for the ‘Blog post’ Category
Music and shamanic practice are inseparable for me. All of my personal spiritual practice is built around what I refer to as ‘intuitive music’. When I do healing work, for an individual person or when I am working in a group (my favourite!), the drums come out and I get everyone singing. It is so powerful and facilitates amazing healing, but it is also so much fun that people get lost in it, completely in the moment. I think that’s one of the reasons it get’s such great results.
I also work with this intuitive music alone, as the most important part of my spiritual practice. Where other people meditate, I sing. When others would lay out tarot cards to find the answer to a problem, I drum. In the past, when I needed to change a situation I would mindfully create positive affirmations, or carefully construct visualisations. Now I open myself to the song that will bring about the transformation I need, whatever that change may be.
When I work intuitively with sound, I enter a space where miracles happen. I’m not talking about a one-off miracle either – it keeps on happening! And not just for me: I share this technique with my students and it works for them too.
Anyone can do this. If you’ve never picked up a drum in your life, this will work for you, because the drum is an intuitive instrument and anyone can make a sound with it. Don’t think you can sing? Guess what – that doesn’t matter! Intuitive music is about connecting to Source and working with intent. It doesn’t matter what it sounds like. Any song that has intent behind it will begin to create change.
Here’s how you do it:
- Connect to Source. I don’t mind how you define this – God, Gods, the Universe, your Higher Self. Whatever you know as the creative force that guides all things, feel that you are connected to it.
- Set your intention. Whether you need healing, guidance, compassion, or to manifest something you yearn for in your heart, focus on that. Ask for it.
- Make music. If you have a drum start to play it, relax into it and let yourself settle into a rhythm that feels so comfortable you don’t have to think about it. Don’t have a drum? Use your singing bowl, your chimes, your rattle, your child’s rattle, a packet of tictacs, or tap on your knee. It all works. Breathe deep, remember your connection to Source and your intention, open your mouth and make some noise.
I know this might sound scary. Most people are scared of their own voice. They ask, ‘what if I do it wrong?’ Sometimes people sing a song they already know, sometimes they are inspired and new ones come to them. More often, there are simply vowel sounds, sometimes even deep sighs or whistles. None of those things are wrong. This is intuitive music. There is no ‘wrong’. And anyway, you can do this on your own when no one can hear you if you want to be on the safe side.
The first time I did this with a group, I asked my students to name something they desired but had not yet been able to manifest. Working with drums, rattles, singing bowls and what ended up being some rowdy shouting and howling, I asked them seek guidance on what was blocking them, remove that block and then use the sound to manifest that change. One person wanted to dedicate some time to the art of storytelling now that he was retired, but couldn’t find a way to do this. A week or two later, he was asked to join a new storytelling programme for local children. Two people in that class had been trying to move themselves out of London for a long time, but had been unable to leave. They felt trapped. Six weeks later, they both had new homes away from the city.
Perhaps the greatest thing about using music like this is, once you get brave enough to let someone else hear you, this is a gift that you can pass on to someone else. I lead groups who are singing to help others. The most powerful memory I have of this is singing for an inspirational lady who had just completed treatment for breast cancer. She felt energy flow powerfully into the place where her breast had once been, saw beautiful colours and felt held and supported. For the first time since her surgery, she felt no pain.
I sing every day, filling myself with my own song to remind me who I am, singing prayers to Source to express my gratitude, singing songs of magic, healing and power. I sing (often off key) in the shower to make myself present for the day. I hum my song under my breath as I walk the streets of London. I drum and call aloud into the howling wind on top of my favourite ancient burial mound in Somerset. These are my prayers, the sound of my soul, my most joyful connection to all that is.
London: Drum & rattle
This amazing day of intuitive sound work for healing and manifestation never fails to produce great results for all our students. The next one is on Sunday 30 June at Buddha on a Bicycle in London. View full details on the StarFire Alchemy website.
San Diego: Healing song
That’s right, San Diego California – I am so jet set these days! Beautiful healers in this part of the world, I would love to sing with you for an evening of soul-full healing. Thursday 25 April, please email me for full details.
Samhain blessings to you all!
This is the end of harvest, it’s officially winter. Whether you view Samhain as the last (meat) harvest, a feast in honour of the dead, the Celtic new year or all of these things, one thing is certain. This is the time of year when the veils between the worlds are thinnest, and this is a powerful time when all sorts of magic can happen.
Tonight the Faerie court move from their summer to their winter residence, and the Wild Hunt roars through the night… yeah, you don’t want to get caught up in any of that. Stay inside, and journey safely, folks
For those of us concerned with the path of power and healing, here are some things to think on this week:
What have you harvested this year?
2012 has been a tough one, but you did sow a lot of seeds this year. What did you reap from that work? What have you created for yourself that will sustain you for the winter?
Shift into your winter focus
At this time of year our attention should be focused within. What do you need? What understanding has been missing that would make you more effective when you are out in the world? Use this time to gain that insight.
Focusing within means YOU
Remember that the path of power is a personal one, which is why I look forward to this time of introspection so much! Between now and the solstice, when the light is reborn, we have the opportunity to connect with our deepest selves and find out what we really need. These needs are to be found in the deepest, darkest parts of ourselves. Do not shy away from that place, instead reaching outwards and latching onto the needs of others, or your need for them. Go within.
Use the thin veils to your advantage
Tonight is the most powerful night, but I have felt the power of ritual, meditation, journeying and psychic work growing immensely for the last week or so. Make sure you use this! Get your tarot cards out, skry into the fire, water or rising incense smoke. Journey on the questions you haven’t been able to find clear answers to. Call the spirit guides and ancestors you have tried to know more about to come close. This is the best time to do it.
Honour the dead
All this work for ourselves is important, but remember the season. this is time to honour those who have gone before us. We are made of the stuff of our ancestors, and the spiritual path is easier for us to walk today because of the dedication of those who walked it before us. Take time to be in remembrance.
Samhain blessings – make the most of the energies right now!
In the midst of all recent energetic upheaval, and the fall out of that on our lives, have you noticed how many people have fallen back on what they ‘should’ be doing? Have you done it yourself? How many of us become a martyr to doing what is expected of us and things we don’t really want to do? I fall into this trap sometimes.
So, this past weekend, I went to the Healing Weekend and it was made of awesome. I have deduced why it was so very awesome. I spent time with wonderful people, but was free to wander off by myself too. I listened to a lot of excellent music. I played my drum, with friends, every day. I sang. I went to the beach and watched the tide come in as the sun went down. I sang and drummed around a fire with others who were just there for the joy of it too. I drummed to the moon as it rose in the sky. I laughed with my friends till it hurt. I was out in nature all day (yes, I include torrential rain and mud in that statement). And I raised healing for others, and received healing for myself.
In short, I did whatever I wanted. I did all the best stuff I could think of to do in that moment. The result? I am more energised, more aligned, more intuitive. This surely means that I am better at my job, and better at this old business of living.
People who say you can’t do what you want have an agenda
People always say that doing what you want is a bad thing. ‘Fine, do whatever you want then’ = judgement (for not doing whatever the person who says that wants you to do usually!). ‘Well you’re just going to do whatever you want anyway’ = same, judgement. ‘Doing what you want means you’re selfish’ = yep, more of the same. ‘You can’t just do whatever the hell you want, you know’ = a LIE! You could if you wanted to, we all could! Again, it’s a judgement and it usually comes from people who are stuck in a rut of doing things they don’t want to do, and they want us down there in this rut with them.
I have often heard that it’s not ok for me to do whatever I want, and now I think about it I wonder about the validity of fearing this. So what if I did what I wanted? As we just saw, it’s not world ending stuff. I like to hang out with lovely people, I like to drum, I like to spend time in nature, I like to drink cider or whisky and cackle in a silly manner with my mates, I like to sing, I like to dance (badly, but there you go), I like yoga, I like spending time with animals, I like visiting new places…. it’s not like my ‘whatever the hell you want’ involves nuclear warheads or something. So why is it not ok to do what we want?
Wants vs responsibilities
I’m not saying that we should get rid of our legitimate responsibilities. There will always be some things in our lives that we don’t feel passionate or excited about, but there is a balancing trick here. Does that less desirable thing form an essential part of having the thing you do want?
Example: I don’t ever really want to clean out the cat litter, or pay for flea treatment, etc. But, I definitely want to have cats and that is the biggest want. Sometimes I do additional work at companies that I find a bit boring if there is something I particular I want that extra money for. In those cases, the bigger want is still winning.
What if I’m just doing it for the money?
Money is not a good enough motivator. There are plenty of things that will give us money, so if the only reason you are doing something is money it’s time to ask yourself what it is you really want, and look for other ways to make that happen.
(I’ve literally had this conversation before: I hate my job. Then leave it. But I need the money. There are other ways to make money, other jobs. But I can’t take a risk, I have a mortgage. But you don’t enjoy living there, so you could even sell it or rent it. I know, but my partner wants to be there. But you don’t really want to be in that relationship… and so on, as I was given an endless list of things that a person didn’t actually want to do but had to, in order to get money to keep things that they didn’t actually enjoy or want. Madness.)
Remember that money is fictitious. In and of itself it has no real value, it’s value is what it can get for you. Focus on what you actually want, instead of on getting money as a way to achieve it. Focusing on money, which is only the middleman, is what gets people trapped in positions they don’t want to be in. While it’s important to be real and practical (money pays your rent, after all) your manifestations will be more effective if you focus on what you truly want.
Focus on what you truly want
The trick is to focus on what it is you are actually getting, that you really do want. If you are not enjoying something in your life, is it feeding into something that you do want? If so, that’s enough to help you change your perspective on it. Let that undesirable thing become something you are grateful for because it allows you have what you want. If it doesn’t feed into something you actually want – why are you doing it?
Remember our work on dreaming the world into being (see the video here) where we focus on designing our ideal life. That is about getting what you want – not the interim steps that you think will get you there – so keep your focus on the dream. Be positive about what you are manifesting. As stated in the law of attraction, try to be present in the energy of already having that thing – there is no space for worrying about the details there!
Also, remember our recent work on power and focus (click for video). If there is something standing between you and what you want, is it time to remove that obstacle from your path?
So why is this a spiritual virtue?
Put simply, if you are on the path of healing and power, what you want will be in line with your beliefs. It will be in alignment with your heart. You won’t want money so much as you want the freedom it gives you to live your life’s path. Everything you want will be about enjoying life, being happy, being healthy and being in your power. Those of us that walk this path don’t have wants that fall outside of that path. Therefore, what we truly want will be in alignment with our soul path.
Doing what we want means that we are happy, energised and in our power. On the path of healing and power, it is therefore essential. We will be at our happiest and most peaceful, free from resentments and judgements and therefore a clearer channel for the work we are here to do. Doing what we want, living in alignment with our soul path, means that we will be better placed to focus on our overall goals. For those of us that are on this healing journey, those goals are about being healed and, in some way, being of service in the world. What’s selfish about that??
Want to find out more about your soul path?
Read the article and order the meditation I created to help you check in with whether you are following your soul path: How can I tell if I’m walking my soul path?
Want to find out more about becoming powerful?
Sign up to the Oak Programme, the Acorn Programme, or follow the Monday Power Talks. Become Powerful.
Frankly, one of the biggest reasons I do my work is because I know that walking a healing path can be painful. We are sensitive types. We are strongly affected by the feelings, actions and energies of people, places and situations. When we are *switched on* – and bear in mind, it’s in a chaotic world full of people who are very much switched off – we can feel like we are under attack. And, while feeling this way, what sucks even more is that other people don’t understand it. Sometimes it feels like it would all be better if we could switch it off.
Believe me, I know this feeling well. But in my heart, I know that switching it off is not the answer. I don’t believe in sensitivity of this kind as something that needs to be cured. It is not an illness, it is a gift. Sometimes, it feels like a shitty gift, but would you really give it back? And this isn’t a rhetorical question, I want to know. Please comment and let me know if you would switch this off if you could. I wouldn’t.
Imagine a world where you couldn’t sense the true motives behind people’s actions, or make important stuff happen more quickly by focusing your intention. Where you couldn’t put your hands on people you care about and allow healing to flow to them, where you couldn’t reach for answers to questions that are essential in your decision making process, where you couldn’t touch into the very real sensation that you are part of something so much bigger than these little lives. Imagine a world where you just got up every day and got on with the mundane actions of living in this world, then went to sleep, and carried on like that till you died – and died without certainty that you were simply moving into a new phase. That’s how I imagine life is if you switch off our sensitivities.
No psychic awareness or magic? Shit, how do those people even get anything done?! No ability to facilitate healing, even for myself? Sod that. What would I do, take pills? No. No embracing of the soul journey we are on as an important adventure, a journey, and something that my soul chose to incarnate into this time around? No way dude. Even during the rough times (and trust me, I’m in one right now, so I don’t say this from behind some rosy lenses) I choose a spiritual and energetically aware life.
As far as I can see, having those things means that the sensitivity to other people’s emotions, energies of places and other realms and psychic phenomena is also there. It’s like they are part of that package. It feels overwhelming sometimes. If you are on a healing path I know you know what I am talking about. People like us often feel everything – the super positive as well as some tough lows. But I think this is a gift, and that it has purpose. Switching it off would escape the lows, but reduce our life experience to the mundane.
I understand that sometimes people wish to switch off from this, seeing it as a burden or even an illness. But I believe it is who we are. Recently I finally wrote a proper ‘about me’ page, so people could see if I am really the kind of person they want to work with. You can read it here, but let me sum something up about it. I don’t want anyone to suffer on this path, but I do not work to shut it all off. I work to harness it, celebrate it, honour it and work with it. This is the path of healing and power, and my work honours that path above all things.
Everything you experience on this path has something to teach you. As Rumi says, don’t go back to sleep.
Every morning, when I am having my first cup of hippy not-coffee, I head outside and connect with the outside world. I read it like a tarot card and it gives me my message of the day. It’s like drawing a card of the day from one of your decks, except that it is the world we live in, that holds and supports us, and that we are part of and connected to you. And it moves, and it’s interactive, and you can hear, touch, smell and taste it as well as see it. You see where I am going with this: it’s *cooler*.
Anyway, yesterday’s message to me was very clear: do not lose faith. I found this an odd message. All is pretty well, actually. What would cause me to lose faith? But the outdoors was gently insistent that this was my message. Do not lose faith.
Sure enough, before the day was out, a couple of things happened that could potentially make me go a bit wobbly. I definitely didn’t feel good about it and I took the rest I needed, but that one phrase ran through my head over and over: do not lose faith. It was such a gift. I knew that I just had to give myself what I needed for the day and then tomorrow would be better. So here I am at tomorrow and I do indeed feel good and creative and energised – I will keep going and not lose faith. (Today’s message from the outside – just keep on going, everything is still moving, some steps must be careful and slow but then the leap comes.)
It reminded me of a piece I wrote for Lightworker Magazine (now no longer with us) about the importance of tenacity. It is something I wanted to share with you all today. Because things are changing, the big shifts are upon us, and sometimes you will have a shitty day that might make you question things. But everything is happening just the way it should be and, as long as you maintain your power and your faith, you will keep going towards inevitable success.
Here’s the article….
Tenacity is an important quality. As a lightworker, it is extremely likely that you will have found it difficult to fit in to the traditional roles that society has offered you. I expect that, like me, you have had to work to create a role that is actually suitable for you, and have enough courage in your convictions to occupy this role. In any aspect of our lives, when we do this we are often going against the grain of society. People might think we are weird because of our jobs, our philosophy, our funny sounding chanting. People may say we are rude because we speak our truth, selfish because we stand firm instead of acquiescing to the demands of others. Time and time again we are challenged, offered chances to be a bit more normal, shown opportunities to keep quiet about our truth and instead support the status quo. Staying true to ourselves in the face of a world not (yet) run by lightworkers requires a real steadfastness, an unwavering commitment to ourselves and the work.
We need tenacity in times of change
We are living in a time of great shifts. As we prepare for the changes coming for 2012 and beyond and as we face our challenges in the present moment, a great many of us are encountering resistance. In my life old, limiting beliefs are showing themselves to me. I know I must clear them if I am to continue in my personal and spiritual development, and I know that I must commit to clearing them in order to be the best teacher and healer that I can possibly be. So I have a very strong resolve to change, to grow and to evolve in line with my highest good. I am committed to this. Well, on one level I am…
My ego has another view on this. Fear! Worry! The timing’s not right! You’re not worthy of this! Big scary fear! And so I am manifesting resistance to many of the changes I am experiencing. I am even resisting letting go of things I know I don’t want and are bad for me. Stupid ego! Here’s where we all need two things: awareness and tenacity. We need to be aware of our resistance, and remain determined to overcome the obstacles we encounter along the way. If we are tenacious, we will overcome. But – and here’s the big question – is overcoming the obstacle always the right thing to do? Or is that obstacle trying to tell us something?
The importance of awareness
As lightworkers we need to be awake. I mean fully awake, exercising self-awareness and awareness of where we are on the journey. As a shamanic practitioner I operate in a world where we believe in ‘seeing with the strong eye’ – it means to be aware of the energetic truth behind things. Recently I have found areas of my life where I have not been using this awareness – this seeing – as usefully as I could have been. Instead of using the strong eye, I have been operating within normal awareness even in situations where a deeper awareness is necessary.
I have been offered many great opportunities lately. Having trained and worked for so many years, it has been gratifying to receive so many offers of work, invitations to events and requests for my talks and writing. In my head I think, it’s about time! This is where my great tenacity over these transformative years has led me. Being a great believer in saying ‘yes’ to the universe, I have been gratefully accepting these opportunities. On some of these occasions, I have been wrong to do so. The clue to how I have been able to make these mistakes is in the phrase I used a moment ago: in my head. This is where I processed and accepted these business opportunities. What about my heart?
Unsurprisingly I have found a number of obstacles presenting themselves between myself and what many would call great opportunities. Please understand that nothing I have been offered is harmful or damaging, but not all have been for my highest good at this time. Not all have allowed me to focus on my true purpose. I pushed on, determined to make the most of every prospect. I saw the blocks on the road as resistance or fear, coming from my own ego. In the last couple of months I realised that some of these blocks were there because I was spending time and energy walking a path out of alignment with my own.
Balance tenacity with flow
Now I can look back on my journey so far and see more of the energetic truth behind it. I can see how I have shown great determination for so many years and how, in most cases, this has been of great benefit in getting me to where I am today. Seeing now with the strong eye, I can observe myself pushing forward without the appropriate focus, refusing to turn down any work that came in. I took on tasks that do not serve my soul purpose and my energy became scattered. Ironically, it has been my determination to always be moving forward that has often left me feeling drained. When this happens I am unable to hold fast and finish projects, and I can struggle to keep going. The fact is, tenacity is useless if we are pushing against the current.
We are lightworkers, so we are connected to Spirit and various guides and helpers who can advise us along the way. Sometimes things will happen that stimulate the ‘mundane’ part of our brains – work, family, basic health and self care issues – and we approach them as any person living in the world would. For all these decisions, we can avail ourselves of our gifts and ask whether or not we are on the right path. These days I do at least one shamanic journey a day to check in on things. Is this the right course to do? A job I should accept? A project I should take on?
When we remember to journey, meditate and ask Spirit for guidance, we see our path more clearly. We may not know exactly where it is leading us but we know which steps to take, and that is enough. Stripping away the actions that are not quite in tune with what we are here for right now is extremely liberating. Even better, it frees up so much energy in us that we are able to truly focus on what we are meant to be doing so that we can pursue it with tenacity and drive.
Times are changing, everything is shifting, and we need to stay strong and keep going.
Hello all! It’s a Thursday – Wednesday completely passed me by when I was going to post this! Shocking. But, since March has appeared, the energy has shifted, don’t you think? Talk about accelerated! I am bouncing off the walls like a mad thing, still working on replacing lost work from my technical disasters last month but, mostly, I am busying away on brand new stuff. I love those times when you become so extraordinarily excited about work. It is so wonderful! I am launching something big this month, and the rest of the year is looking damn exciting too. Love it.
This month, embrace joyfulness & connection
Key to all of this is ensuring that the joyfulness is not pushed aside. It is March, people, and that means Spring. I love spring! The grounds my house is on are teeming with life – voles, mice, squirrels, bunnies – bunnies!- and millions of birds, including our favourites, the pheasants that we have named Eric and Susie. They take no crap from my cats, by the way The rhododendrons (pink ones and red ones) are now in bloom, and there are many of my favourite flowers: daffodils. The work I am doing now is intense, and there is so much of it, but I am remembering to stay connected. I’m still working through the group coaching programme with Corrina Gordon-Barnes and it is delicious, and staying connected everyday is essential.
I’ve been playing with what makes feel most connected & for me it’s around walking in nature every day and journeying every day. I’ve found that I don’t always want to do those things first thing in the morning, so I just allow them to unfold whenever is right in the day – which means 2 walks or 3 journeys is fine if that feels right, not walking till 5pm to clear me for my evening work is also fine – but having something in the morning still feels important. My morning routine is simple, it involves stepping out onto the deck by the kitchen, which is where the morning sun hits, and drinking my first cup of coffee (no caffeine, the hippy stuff) while in my PJs. I breathe in the air, the sun, the greenery, the birdsong, all of it. And I use it like a tarot card to give me my message for the day. It’s awesome, and a very joyful way to stay connected. I still do the walking & journeying too, and the star energy work at night, but I have been searching for something I want to do first thing that is quick and easy and sets me up for the day. I’ve found it. Interestingly, I started doing it as soon as I moved here, but then let work (and the cold) get in the way. So instinctively I already knew what I needed to do to feel connected, aligned, powerful from the start of my day. What do you do?
Stuff I am hearting this month
Ok, here is a list of great resources and things that I am loving this month. Great websites to visit, videos & podcasts to enjoy, and events to go play at. And some delicious offerings from me and StarFire Alchemy as well.
- Lena Stevens’ monthly forecast, as always.
- Sandra Ingerman’s Transmutation News, as always.
- The beginnings of a new improved website at StarFire Alchemy – the change in colour and style reflects our new energy for 2012. More changes to come later in the year.
- Speaking of StarFire Alchemy, there is a free gift available for you if you help us with our colour healing research. It’s all part of the work we are doing to make our Colour Healing course on 24 March in Covent Garden even more awesome. There are still spaces on this so book yours now before they all go!
- I am also starting the new Intuitive Healer course in Surrey on 17 March. Things are changing there too, it’s Intuitive Healer 2.0, I am super excited. Want to grab the last place?
- Have you seen the new programme at Lendrick Lodge? I can’t go to my preferred ones – gutting – but I highly recommend this place. Especially if you are ready to get your firewalk on.
- For those self employed healers (or self employed anyones) among you, I recommend this video interview with Jason Stein of Heart of Business. Love their approach – and he’ll be in London this month, 29 March, if you are inspired by the video.
- The programme that I am doing with Corrina at the moment is changing my life – I know she is taking bookings for the programme that starts in May, and for you self employed healers I just can’t recommend it highly enough – go here to find out more.
- More self employed resource joy comes from Marie Forleo. I can’t lie, I love this sassy woman and watch her videos every Tuesday.
- My homegirl Lisa Clark is upping her blogging game recently with a series of kickass posts about down to earth, joyful, feminine spirituality. Love her.
- On The Shamanic Voice this month I interviewed Jim Graywolf Petruzzi – what a joyful, loving connection! Listen to his interview here – there is also a great journey by Alison Arcehelizaga and, later today, I’ll be posting the latest ‘Teachings from the Web.
I am launching something brand new, super exciting and brilliant this month, on the Spring Equinox. It’s the next part of the Become Powerful work and offers a self study approach to working through blocks and stepping into your power, as well as being part of a supportive community, on a smaller budget than the personalised one-to-one mentoring allows. It’s not out yet, but when it comes out I will be making a very special offer to everyone on personal mailing list. You can subscribe on the right hand side of this web page. Do it.
After all my work with fire, I am moving into the final element on the four month journey for The Shamanic Voice: Water. My latest show went live on Sunday, an element I am not so hot on as a general rule, but I am feeling really good about going into this month of water work.
I spent my fire month gazing into my woodburner for answers, taking chances, having bursts of creativity, taking some of the ideas that started coming through in the air month and driving forward with them with passion. But we must honour all of the elements, and so we cannot stay in that state for ever. So now from that burning flame I move into FLOW.
This month I am committing myself to going with the flow. I am not sure what is going to happen, and it’s the first month of this project that I have really felt that way, and I realise it is important for me to feel ok with just going with the flow, wherever it takes me. That is the commitment (read: challenge!) I am setting myself. Water is dreams, emotions, psychic awareness, intuition and so I need to ride all of these things – and enjoy that ride! The magical axiom of water is: To Dare. Letting yourself go with the flow of life, feel your emotions, dive into your unconscious and your dreams, be run by your intuition, all of this is daring. So I will flow this whole month, feel it, be in touch with my unconscious throughout it, and at the end of course I will be delivered back to where we started: earth.
The river is flowing, flowing and growing, the river is flowing, down to the sea…Mother Earth carry me, your child I will always be, Mother Earth carry me, down to the sea…
How is everyone feeling, here at the very beginning of the year? We all counted down to midnight, we saw the new year in, and now…how is it feeling? I’m told January is usually a rough month for people, after the festive season, back to work, and (as I recall from the days of the monthly pay cheque) a particularly long month waiting to get paid again! But I am, for the most part, feeling pretty good and I hope you all are too.
Last week I said farewell to 2011 and talked about how to support ourselves moving into the new year – you can see the blog post here. I have already been serendipitously delivered a yoga teacher, starting tiny classes just across the field from my cottage next week, so one of my goals for 2012 (do more yoga) is already being supported by the universe! I also put on the list ‘ visit new places and have adventures’ and I have found an intrepid adventurer to join me and we are planning our first one. The adventurer is my best friend, who has a 6 month old daughter to whom I am an auntie. I had noted in my list of 2011 gifts the joy of meeting this little niece of mine, Lyra, and I certainly want to ensure I see her growing up. Since we live over 100 miles apart, having her as a fellow adventurer throughout the year supports an unspoken goal, to spend more time with Lyra and her lovely mummy, my best friend. I’ve also had the bookshelves I wanted manifest themselves for free, received other unexpected gifts, and had a great response to my mentoring programme as well as taking a lot of bookings for courses later in the year – and this is traditionally a very quiet time for such things. So it is now four days into 2012 and I am feeling very grateful and supported already.
It’s time for change
Always with an influx of joy, abundance, work that we love and the gifts that we ask for comes that thing we want and fear: CHANGE. January is the most amazing time of change, don’t you think? We have moved from the vibration of a particular number into the vibration of another. Everyone’s got their ‘back to school’ head on after the festivities and most people are armed with resolutions about how they are going to be better than they were before. This is a key time for people to start looking for new jobs, going to the gym, improving their diet and similar changes. But sadly, many resolutions don’t live to see February – why is that?
We only make resolutions for changes we want to see in our lives, so what stops us from following through?
Arg! Stinky resistance. Anyone on the healing path has come across this old foe! January is traditionally full of it, and I think this is the fitting energy of the name, January, infused as it is with the energy of its namesake, Janus. The Roman God Janus is a God of change, transitions, ending and beginnings. He straddles the point between the end and the beginning – and so of course his time is one where we experience both of those things. And this is where a lot of this tricky, crunchy energy and resistance comes from. At this time of year, like Janus himself, you have those two faces. You look forward into the possibilities that stretch out ahead of you, you see your dreams, your goals, the person you want to become. Your vision looks at unlimited possibility. But the details of it aren’t clear, and it is scary. Your other face looks backwards, you are so close to the old ways, the old you, that you feel you still are that person. You can see it clearly and in a way it is motivating, because you can see the things you don’t like and want to change. But you can see it clearly, you know it, and this is comforting. It’s the way things are, so it’s easy. Except that you are also looking at the changes you want to make, so it’s not as easy as it used to be…
Experiencing both perspectives at the same time creates resistance on all levels: you fight against change while struggling to be at peace with what you know. This is the nature of change and of the energy of Janus and January. The key, of course, is to be compassionate to yourself as you navigate these changes and make sure you have as much support as possible. Brute force won’t do it. As my dearest friend and colleague, Magin Rose, put it so beautifully in a blog post last month on Isa, the ice rune:
When we hit a point in our lives where we just don’t seem to be able to break through our bad habits, feelings of hopelessness, and lack of motivation, then we know that we have hit against the hard ice of Isa. Often we try to tackle these feelings by getting angry, effectively taking a sledge-hammer to the ice in an attempt to break through it. Problem is, that ice is you, so every time you yell at yourself or cry miserably into your pillow you are simply attacking your own being. The ice is either going to crack (leaving you in a worse state than you were before), or simply defend itself by becoming thicker and stronger.
If you have set goals that are unreachable at this moment, or have asked too much of yourself in anyway; if you are struggling to feel good as you move into change; if you are overwhelmed or just damn tired with all this shifting going on, I recommend Magin’s Isa blog post to everyone at this time. And enjoy this amazing meditation below (complete with extraordinary singing) to help you gently accept yourself at this time – it is the best tactic for overcoming resistance. (Important note: the Isa song in this video is so deeply healing, I have been listening to it over and over again! Even if you don’t have time to do the meditation right now this second, you simply must go to 8mins30 on the video and hear this amazing healing.)
Stuff I am loving this month
- Obviously, I am loving the current work of Magin Rose! Be sure to visit her wonderful blog and, if the runes call to you, check out her rune pathworkings.
- The new & improved line up of presenters on The Shamanic Voice – and messages for 2012 from all of them.
- The 2012 StarFire Alchemy course schedule is now open for bookings – we have a couple of shiny new venues too, one in central London, so we are now more accessible to people. Check out the winter programme for our next events & our shamanic course listing to see the other courses we are offering. (And bear with us as we improve the website!)
- I have launched a new ‘Healing and Power Mentoring Programme’ with a super special offer price for January, and I am loving it. I actually started taking on clients in December and the client list is growing every day so please do get in touch to take advantage of this exciting opportunity.
- Power animal enchanted forest – this is a site I saw ages ago, but recently got a reminder to use with the intention of choosing an animal to bring me the energy I need for 2012. I got Elephant Fun site!
- As always I’m loving the monthly forecast from Lena Stevens at Power Path – they are also offering an mp3 on effective intentions, goals & resolutions.
- And as always I am adoring the Transmutation News from Sandra Ingerman – enjoy.
- Loving this new website of my dear friend and former student Cathy Birkinhead, ‘Reiki in the Chilterns’. Cathy’s a brilliant teacher, highly recommended!
This will be my last blog post of 2011. You may have noticed I’m a little bah humbug about the christmas holiday, unsurprisingly I am also not really one for celebrating new year’s eve. Crotchety old witch that I am, new year begins on 1st November for me. Plus, NYE is usually an over-priced night out with too many crowds for my liking and it’s never easy to get home. Mostly I give it a miss, unless someone’s hosting a relaxed gathering at home that takes my fancy.
What I do like, though, is noticing a change in number. Different numbers have a different energy too them and I do like to observe how that vibration feels. 2010 and 2011 were illuminating, boundary moving, imagination stretching and transformative, and packed a heavy, crunchy, uncomfortable, ‘strip everything away until you think you’ve lost everything’ kinda vibe. I am the most grateful for them of any years, although it must be confessed they weren’t the most enjoyable years ever seen. (Regular blog readers may recall I glanced at these years in the summer when I turned 32, so I won’t repeat myself.)
The most amazing things 2011 gave me
- clarity on my soul purpose
- understanding the true source of my power
- greater commitment to shamanism as my path
- connecting and reconnecting with many lovely souls
- the fluffy bear-cat Patch coming to live with me
- the birth of The Shamanic Voice
- learning that I am not invincible and cannot do everything all by myself
- a beautiful holiday in Spain
- having my heart broken & opened; experiencing through that a deep understanding of love & letting go
- being receptive to the true energy of the StarFire Alchemy courses, creating the full & joyous programme with Magin Rose
- meeting my niece (daughter of my best friend & therefore family) who is now 6 months old & truly amazing
- learning what I want to focus my work on for 2012
- finally taking the plunge & going vegan
- connecting with Sandra Ingerman, a great inspiration to me
- rekindling my true creativity through The Artist’s Way
- leaving university to pursue my love of learning in a way that actually reflects who I am
- manifesting my dream home in the country, leaving London behind to come to this beautiful spot in the Surrey countryside.
I could go on, I’m sure. It was a year of many, many gifts. What were the greatest things that happened to you this year?
I think it’s good for us to take stock of what we achieved in 2011. What ruled, what sucked, and what we learned. One of the people I discovered this year is Chris Guillebeau who wrote an amazing book that changed the way I look at things, and he is going through interesting ‘annual review’ process. If you are lacking perspective on where you’ve been and where you’re going, this could be useful little tool. However we choose to do it, moving into 2012 is a great time to set goals for ourselves for the coming year. It is, after all, a new number, with a new energy. What will it mean for you?
I’m working on a list of things I want for 2012. I’m still refining it, but at the moment it looks like this:
- Focus my work on helping people restore personal power through shamanism
- Continue to build on my own restoration of power & understanding of my true self
- Stick with my new & improved daily personal practice (that’s every day)
- Write my book
- Enjoy my relationship, my cats, my home, my beautiful countryside surroundings
- Improve my nutrition and physical strength
- Live in an easy, comfortable flow of wealth without compromising the work I love
- Allow my business to evolve into the success I want it to be; includes changing to more distance & digital work
- Write, record, perform…allow the creative side of my work to flow more
- Create an amazing drumming event in the summer (watch this space)
- Travel to places I have never been before, and have adventures
- Enjoy my connections with friends
- Get a new car
- Learn to swim (I can swim a little bit, but not properly, which is a shame because I like kayaking & sail boats)
- Do more yoga
- Organise my paperwork, workload & home so that unfinished tasks stop sapping energy
- Take greater time to honour the wheel of the year & other natural cycles
- Allow more time for play
And probably other things besides. Some are mundane, some spiritual or wider reaching…I think it has the balance I am looking for. More important that what’s on the list though, is how I am planning on going about it.
Don’t go it alone
My old tendency would be to take the above list of aspirations and turn it into a list of chores. These chores could, of course, only be undertaken by me, alone, as a control freak and martyr to my own causes. This year, I am calling in reinforcements, because I have finally learnt that we weave a better tapestry with more threads. So, my boyfriend (let’s call him a slightly obsessive neat freak who likes everything in its place) is helping with the paperwork and general organisation of stuff. A group of chums on a similar path are coming spending the first full moon of 2012 with me to offer support to each other as we dream 2012. I am working with a nutritionist to help improve my diet. And – so excited about this one! – I begin Corrina Gordon-Barnes’ group mentoring programme in just over a week, meaning I will be working with a group of 12 self employed, open minded women who are all supporting each other in our unique work.
Surrounding yourself with people, investing in training and asking for support are essential if you want to build anything sustainable and worth having. So when you are planning your 2012, remember to ensure you have that support. Who will you be calling on?
Never underestimate the power of positive dreaming
I put pictures of country houses on my vision board and two weeks later I was applying (successfully, as it turned out) to live in a beautiful house in the country. The Law of Attraction works if we make a commitment to it. A new number calls for a new vision board, which I will be starting this week in my kitchen. It’s my favourite room in the house and, because I work at the kitchen table, I spend the most time in here. It will have key words for my goals, good reminders of where I am going and pictures of things like the new car I plan of having pretty damn shortly.
Other things I’ll be working with include gratitude, positive visualisation first thing in the morning, positive affirmations and my old favourite ‘dreaming the world into being’ (look how much my life has changed since I started that in May!).
Make time & space
Nothing you plan to achieve this year will get done if you don’t create enough space for it to take root in your life. We’ve got to make it easy for ourselves, and allow the time for it to become part of our lifestyle and even be fun. Let’s take a simple example of my own: improving my nutrition and physical strength. It’s not just a matter of saying ‘I will eat better and work out’. That doesn’t mean anything because it doesn’t do anything to create the fertile ground needed for those habits to thrive in.
It’s about ensuring the space is there in your routine to support that whole process, and make it less of a chore. For example, I have a nutritionist to help me, so I can learn more about what is best for my body and combine that with what I have already learned about eating to an ayurvedic body type. So I’m making sure I have the resources I need. I have found the best place to get my fresh produce (the village market on Thursdays), so my Thursday mornings are always for cycling into the village to collect those – bonus points for the cycling also ticking a physical strength box. Buying fresh produce weekly and maintaining my commitment to trying at least one new recipe every week means that I need to allot time in my week to food planning and scouring vegan recipe books and sites for inspiration – I am actually enjoying this, and I will continue to allow myself the time to do it. It feels like a luxury, whereas I used to buy what I was used to and for convenience.
As for working out, cycling to Thursday morning markets alone won’t cut it. But sometimes cycling can be part of my playtime, exploring new places. Sometimes I can go for a long walk in the woods instead. Boring work outs don’t stick for me – going to the gym is not an option, I detest those stinky places. Doing my favourite work out videos (yogalates and Davina) work for me, but my boyfriend works from home so I need to negotiate time where I am alone and have the space to do that each week. I also know I need external motivation, so I’ll be hunting down a good class to go to or maybe a work out buddy.
Creating a framework in your life that will support what you are trying to do is important for everything on your list. Thursday morning market run can become a part of your routine if you write it in. Morning meditation becoming non-negotiable will make you get up earlier and have more energy to do everything. If you have a goal to produce a certain body of work, create reasonable deadline dates for yourself and a schedule of work that makes it achievable. Most importantly: when you do this, be realistic and be kind.
This is the big one. Make a commitment to yourself in some way that you have a reminder of what you are doing and why. Tell a friend or a supportive group – get witnesses. (Oops, writing a massive blog post means you have witnesses too – bugger.) Write it down, keep a journal, write yourself a contract, vow it to a deity and best of all, make a note of why you are doing this. Unless you have a big enough why, you won’t do it. Again, here are my examples:
‘Why do I have to cycle to the market to get my veg? It’s cold and I’m busy.’ Because you promised yourself great food as a way to nourish yourself and feel strong, plus you will feel crap later when you don’t have enough healthy fresh food to eat and have to go to the little village super market and make do with what they have, which is no good when you are the only vegan in the village. Now get on your bike, missy.
‘Why do I have to do my accounts? I *hate* it!’ Because you have your own business. You have worked for other people before, and you know how that feels. Now you work for yourself, and you know how that feels. Want to go back to a desk job, giving up your freedom just so you don’t have to do accounts? Didn’t think so.
And so on
You need to make space, stay positive, call on all the support you need and stay committed by reminding yourself why you signed up to those lofty 2012 goals in the first place. You can do it. So can I. Hurrah for the energy of this great new number, 2012!
Fire is my favourite element. I know I have said it before but it is worth saying again. I heart fire. And just like when you re-read your favourite books, revisiting your favourite element means you get to see things that you never noticed about it before. In this case, I am looking at the fuel that is used to keep the fire burning, and I am not sure I have taken this view point on fire before. It ties in beautifully to a lot of the personal work I am doing at the moment, of course. I am looking at lot at power, and finding your energy source, and ways to tap into that source that mean you can be more energised and more powerful. Burn more brightly, if you will. There is something important and purifying about identifying the source of your power so that you can go straight to it when you need to accomplish something or replenish your energy.
If you want to know more about the source of your power, and work to be the most powerful healer you can be, check out my Become Powerful programmes. Free resources to support your own work, multimedia home study to heal you and build a personal practice, and one-to-one mentoring for tailor made guidance on stepping into your power as a healer.
But I have also been thinking about it in a more mundane way than that. What structure in my day keeps me burning brighter, longer and more easily? Morning meditations, evening drumming, time in nature and regular exercise are essential. When I don’t do this, I feel that I just don’t emit the same light and energy that I would from within that structure.
What are you putting in your engine?
I have been considering burning a clean engine fuel, in terms of the fuel I am putting into my physical body. Already as you know I am a vegan and in choosing a compassionate diet I really do feel that I have cleared a lot of karmic crap from my food. Without taking terror and cruelty (and the drugs they feed to animals as well!) into my body, I am burning a cleaner fuel. However, what is this in my tank? Ah yes, my old foe: sugar!
I used to be a heavy smoker. I gave up quite a long time ago now. It was much easier than giving up sugar. I know this because I still haven’t given up sugar, even though I am pretty sure I would prefer life without it. It is just so addictive!
I am also thinking about generally what I eat – is it balanced? Is it really healthy? To this end I have enlisted the assistance of a beautiful nutritionist and I am dutifully writing down everything I eat. Every crisp, every sweetie, every festive glass of wine. True to the nature of my beloved fire, it is certainly illuminating!
Something I have noticed is that if I get up early, I eat better all day. Why this is, I have no idea, but I know that it is so. I have also noticed that if I have a good breakfast, I tend to eat better all day. Writing everything down also helps you see what it is that throws you off the path of healthy eating. For me it is being out when it is time to eat. If I am travelling somewhere when I should be sitting down eating my lunch, I will fall into the habit of eating rubbish. Partly that is because I can’t usually get good vegan food when I am out and about, but crisps are not the healthiest thing I can get my hands on so it is partly just a bad habit. Even if I get home hungry, around dinner time or a bit later, unless there is something that I have already made up and can heat up I won’t bother. I just eat bread and houmous instead . So – food planning is the key to my burning a clean fire. What good habits are essential to you maintaining a diet that keeps you feeling great?
Remaining bright through the holidays
I know we are heading into festivities now, so maybe you think this is not the best time to be talking about things like this. Actually it is the best time! When you wake up feeling crappy you are able look back at what you have eaten in the last couple of days and you will likely be able to spot exactly what it is that has made you feel this way. (Note: Just to save you some time, if you drank a bottle of wine, it was that.) And anyway, there is nothing wrong with being festive & cutting loose every now and again! Being aware of how far we go with that is enlightening though, as is an awareness on the stress factor. This is one of the reasons I think we struggle to cope with the extra strain we put on our bodies at this time. Winter festivities are often said to be some of our most stressful times (money, family, booze, and other button pressers in abundance) and we tend to be rushing around a bit. Chances are, it’s not just the parties that will affect what you are consuming, it’s the planning, shopping, and extra driving around. That’s where I can see I fall down the most. While I am sorting out the last of my 2012 programme, trying to see everyone, arranging the influx of people to my house on boxing day, trying to get other work finished before the Christmas period, travelling in and out of London…while I’m doing all that, how can I make sure that I am ensuring that I take in good, clean fuel?
Christmas will be far less stressful if you maintain a structure around yourself that keeps you feeling powerful. Don’t avoid the festive parties – unless you can’t stand them, in which case: why put yourself through it? You’re free to say no to your invites. And don’t feel that treating and enjoying yourself is somehow wrong. Outside of that though, what are you doing to make sure that you are not feeling drained, sluggish or stressed? Keep up your meditation/yoga/workout/walking routines as much as possible, drink plenty of water and herbal tea and make sure you eat well the rest of the time. Keeping your fire burning clean most of the time means that your body will cope much better with the excesses of this time of year.
Solstice blessings to all of you, and I hope the fire you welcome back into your life at this time burns pure and bright!