Posted in artistic, oneness, Poetry

“Please Call Me By My True Names”

Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow
because even today, I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second 
to be a bud on a spring branch, 
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, 
learning to sing in my new nest, 
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, 
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, 
in order to fear and to hope. 
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and 
death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time 
to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond, 
and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence, 
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, 
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks, 
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to 
Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea
pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and
loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my
hands,
and I am the man who has to pay his “debt of blood” to my
people,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all
walks of life.
My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names, 
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once, 
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names, 
so I can wake up, 
and so the door of my heart can be left open, 
the door of compassion.

– by Thich Nhat Hanh

Posted in Abundance and lack, Inspiration, love

The Doorway to the Temple

Take a moment to consider your mouth, an entrance into the body along with certain other openings.  What we put in our body in the form of liquids, food, medicine is absorbed and distributed throughout the body.  Everything that enters our body has an impact at every level, not only physically but emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Our body is the temple of our soul and the mouth and other bodily openings are doorways into the temple. 

Nothing should go through those doorways and enter our inner sanctum without considering it’s worth and sacredness. We wouldn’t leave the door of our house wide open and let just anyone walk in, would we? That would be reckless, unsafe and unwise. But we seem willing to pop all sorts of crap into our mouths. Let nothing go inside unless it’s worthy of your divine essence. Let nothing become a part of your energy, by entering through your holy doorways to be absorbed into your temple unless it is a sacrament to your divinity.

Imagine considering every bite, every sip, every substance, every penetration that enters your holy gateways, in terms of their worthiness to enter your body. That would require holding yourself in the highest esteem and valuing your purity. You would become aware of the energy with which they enrich your being, sensing how each act of receiving into your being fulfils you, not in terms of instant gratification and momentary desire, but nourishing you on every level as the divine being you are.

It changes our relationship with food, with the substances we have addictions to, dysfunctional relationships, as is the case with alcohol and drugs. It makes us see ourselves differently. When I stopped and considered all this, I was drinking a mug of black coffee. I had to look down at that coffee, really think about what I was putting in my body, really see my mouth as the doorway to the holy temple that houses my sacred soul. I struggled with the desire to keep drinking, but in the end, I poured it away.

Our lifestyles have got so we can hardly avoid substances that are not kind to us, sugar, coffee, alcohol, additives, they are everywhere. My body has started fighting back, it gives me physical reactions like diarrhoea, indigestion, nausea, fatigue and lethargy and all because I eat things my body is telling me not to put in my mouth anymore. My body is telling me it’s time to radically change my relationship to what I put in my holy temple. This requires the restructure of a complicated relationship. My relationship with food is hugely emotional and that’s where I need to make the first change.

I am restructuring my relationship with food through working with the energy templates that encompass my attitude towards food and towards my body. I feel sad for my body. I’ve abused it so badly and it’s time to put things right.

What I’ve come to realise is that I’ve been programmed to be a human dustbin. This body of mine has been treated like a dustbin, not a temple. I am moving forward one step at a time, embracing a higher energy because I know I am worthy of caring for myself from a place of love and respect.

Posted in darkness and light, healing, inner child, Inspiration, love, Personal Story, The Truth of our Being

Closing Our Deep Wounds

“The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say but to say what we are unable to say.” – Anais Nin

On this website, I’ve shared a number of deep, personal truths about myself and my life from time to time. Some of those disclosures stayed with me for a while. Was it wise or foolish to speak out? I may have said I was doing it for the healing of others who may resonate with the circumstances but I was also doing it for my own healing.

I realise that what disclosure of intimate truth does is allow me to claim trauma as who I am. I claim it as me, a part of me, it’s my truth and even if it was trauma at the time, now it’s okay. Everything about it is okay, that it happened in the first place is okay.

What was hurting me was not that it happened but that it was hidden away, that what happened remained denied. That’s why I write, why I let it out the box and put my truth, my story out there in the world. And that’s me claiming myself in all my full beauty and magnificence.

When I own it, I am responsible and therefore empowered. I take full responsibility for my actions and truth. I can no longer be hurt because the hurt comes from inside me and it’s something I allow as who I am. All those emotions that weren’t love become love. Love for myself, free from needing love from an outside source. I am loving myself to freedom.

Guilt, resentment, blame, anger, sorrow, all become love. And that love becomes peace. Peace brings stillness, release, acceptance and trust. I’m accepting and healing myself once more.

It’s not an easy thing to do, to speak out about intimate, personal things we don’t normally talk about. It’s certainly not a path for everyone. There are risks and consequences.

Still, how is it that such truths remain hidden to keep the status quo? To perpetuate dysfunctions, damage and abuse? How does society condone so much silence and allow so much to be hidden? Damage is done by silence and power rests with those who ensure we never speak out. It’s uncomfortable to speak out but sometimes, essential that a voice is heard.

Abuse and dysfunction are wounds and trauma being carried from generation to generation. There are no abusers on one level, only people carrying deep wounds and pain. It’s time to let our wounds’ stories seep out so that they can be cleansed, ready for the wound to be closed for good. And if someone needs to step up, then I will speak for us all.

Posted in Inspiration, The Truth of our Being

Giving Up and Embracing

These, I am giving up

Speculation, opinions, assumptions

Expectations, judgements, gossip

Deflection, manipulation, resistance

Control, perfection, intolerance

These, I am embracing

Acceptance, patience, stillness

Trust, candor, silence

Compassion, composure, peace

Allowance, openness, love.

In every way

Towards myself and others

In each moment

Let this be my stance

Let it be effortless

So let it be

Posted in elemental kingdom, Energy healing, nature, spiritual skills and techniques

Your Amazing Super-Sensitive Healing Hand

Our body is an amazing super-sensitive instrument in ways we don’t ordinarily notice. Think of it as a mass of minute nerve endings that can detect electrical pulses and energetic vibrations. We can’t ordinarily see or hear these impulses but if we tune in, we might learn to perceive them.

Have you ever had a feeling in your body, like a tingle up your spine, and looked around to find someone looking back?

Our body’s language is so subtle, we need to really slow down and tune in to appreciate what our body can do and how it’s designed to communicate with us.

We require a silent, undisturbed environment at a time when we are at our leisure. When you find yourself in such a space just hold out a hand and move it through the air ever so slowly. Focus on the sensations and feelings you experience. Now move it really slowly towards the back of your other hand. Feel the subtle energies around your hand creating pull and resistance. Now swap hands and repeat and you’ll find that each hand responds with a different intensity. This is one way to identify which is your prominent healing hand.

One hand will be more sensitive than the other, this may alter at different times, so test it out a few times to clarify the hand that’s your most consistent sensitive tool.

Once you know your prominent hand, go for a walk in nature and whilst you are calm and relaxed, take your awareness to your prominent hand. Become tuned into the feeling of it and it will start to display sensations that are like a radar picking up energy around you.

With practice, you can ask yourself questions and the sensations will guide you, perhaps to find a special tree or to the presence of elementals or spirits. You can also use it to identify places with high vibrations or low ones where healing is needed.

By turning your hand very slowly, you can also follow the intensity of the sensations as they guide you in a specific direction. I sometimes go on guided walks in this way, asking the elemental kingdom to show where to go. It’s a great way to find yourself in some magical places and I love using my energy hand like this especially when I’m amongst trees.

Posted in Abundance and lack, Inspiration, love, Storytelling

Stories of the Heart

Two stories have come up on my radar, both BBC i-player Storyville documentaries.  The first is about a sweet elderly gentleman, as he is dubbed by the elderly women in the film, several of whom fall in love with him.  He’s somewhere between 80 and 90 years old, this is the age requested in the newspaper advert of the detective agency looking for a mole to live in a nursing home for three months.  The agency has been engaged by a woman whose mother is in the home and she believes the staff are mistreating her mother and stealing from her.

Equipped with appropriate spy cameras in his spectacles and pen, our man is on the case.  Truly, he’s such a sweetheart, he makes friends with so many of the residents in his attempt to uncover what’s going on.  The outcome is not as expected.

Nobody has a bad word to say about the staff but our mole uncovers something else entirely.  Firstly, he discovers that an elderly woman with dementia is going around and taking things, so that’s why things were going missing.  The real crime is how many residents are sad and lonely because they’re getting little or no visits from family.  In the case of one woman who thinks her mother is still alive, the staff frequently arrange phone calls to her from themselves, they pretend to be her mother just to comfort her.  She pleads with her ‘mother’ to come and take her home.  It can’t be easy for the staff to hear her heartfelt pleas but they keep ringing, just the same.

The emotional pressure begins to take its toll on our elderly gentleman-spy who is struggling with the sadness and hurt he sees as his newfound friends talk about being abandoned by their so-called loved ones.  Even the lady whose daughter complained doesn’t seem to visit her mother.  As our intrepid gent reflects, perhaps her attitude towards the staff is a deflection of her own feelings of guilt concerning her mother’s situation.

The second story is that of the corruption in Romanian hospitals that was uncovered following a fire in a nightclub where 12 people died and then another 37 people who went to hospital later died.  Not from burns but because the conditions were so terrible that they became infected in their wounds and died.  The level of scandal and corruption that’s revealed is mind-boggling and horrific to imagine because it goes hand in hand with personal stories of people suffering or dying as a consequence.  One character is a newly appointed Minister of Health who is really trying to sort out the mess and fix the problem, but the level of corruption is so deep that it’s soon clear he has no chance, and then there’s an election and he’s out of the job as all his efforts are wiped away.

The reason I’m telling you about these stories, and sorry for the spoilers, is because they touched my heart so much I was, once again, reminded that my life is a million miles away from that kind of hurt and it does me good to remember it. There are many, many people in the world who live every day with such conditions that I cannot even imagine.

All I put out about spiritual growth and love and peace and such, it just paled into insignificance for a moment there, in the sight of the everyday difficulties these people endure.  I’m glad these stories came up on my radar to help remind me of who I am, how lucky I am and to be humble and remember that some people are just trying to find a way to get out of bed, put one foot in front of the other and survive. 

I know that those sweet, elderly people who are in their final years are feeling lonely and abandoned because of what’s going on inside their heads and how that makes them feel and they’re doing the best they can with what they’re given.  I know that those people whose bodies are disfigured and whose limbs are missing due to the fire and those that lost their children, they are also choosing whether to let that define them or not, and that’s their soul’s journey.  They all have my sincere blessings and so many others whose stories I don’t know.  During this life, some are dealing with the toughest conditions for what their soul needs, some are taking on massive challenges that have the potential to transform many, maybe even a nation, maybe even the world.  Love and blessings to you all, whoever you are, whatever your life brings.         

Posted in healing, inner child, Twin Flame

Understanding Trauma Bonding

Trauma bonding is a complex subject. 

During our formative years, usually from womb to around the age of seven when our neurons are creating networks and we are forming a sense of who we are in the world, we are susceptible to deep emotional wounding. We haven’t gained the resilience to see the bigger picture and we personalise everything from our inner child eyes.

Usually, the emotional wounds hang on not being seen, heard, loved or valued. When those are perceived as not present for us, our inner child is traumatised and it’s as though the moment is forever frozen within us. A belief is formed, such as “I’m not lovable” or “I’m not worthy” and from that moment, our inner child is triggered whenever that belief is activated by any situation.

We don’t have one inner child, we have as many as there were wounds or traumas created. And each inner child is inside us and aware of everything that happens, on the alert for anything that feeds that belief or can fix it. Except it can’t be fixed from outside us, that ship has sailed but our inner child doesn’t realise that. They are constantly searching for what is missing.

Sometimes, we may meet someone who resonates with us because our inner child interlocks with their inner child and they bond. This takes place on a deep subconscious level so we don’t realise it happened. We believe we are consciously deciding and that events are fully within our control, but that’s not the case.

When two inner children bond, it’s the most wonderful experience, like we’ve found somebody who resonates with us so deeply, except the resonance is with the trauma we carry. We feel drawn to them and may fall in love. We may feel like soul mates or twin flames.

Bonded inner children feel seen and understood and that’s a big deal because we may often find that nobody gets us, certainly not as deeply as our new special friend, so we feel especially drawn to them. That’s what trauma bonding is.

Now it gets a bit complicated because there are different types of wounds and we may respond differently, depending on the wounds and beliefs we carry. For instance, a co-dependent may carry the need to be loved and appreciated, so when someone resonates with them, someone who really gets them, someone who is just so open and showing such loving affection, then the inner child is going to soak all that in. The inner child feels so loved, cared for, seen and valued. And the other inner child responds in kind, basically, it’s a love-fest.

All this is sounding lovely. Until the day when one or both of the subconscious inner children begin to realise that the deep wound from early childhood isn’t being fixed. At that point, a new dynamic is created as the child-self continually tries to elicit what it perceives as missing, which is the original trauma. And a cycle begins where everything is going wonderfully and then it all blows up and falls apart. A reconciliation is reached and a cycle of love, blame and reconciliation repeats over and over again. This cycle becomes more demanding and destructive of the relationship over time.

Trauma bonding is, deep down, all about unresolved need. And that need is never going to be resolved through the relationship because it cannot be resolved outside of us. This isn’t the basis for a healthy relationship.

Two needy, wounded and unhealed inner children have connected and sooner or later, as children do, they will push the boundaries. They may test this new love, is it real? They may push away to ensure the other comes back. It’s the need of a wounded part of two unhealed beings. Both are trying to get those needs met but with somebody who has their own needs and can’t help. Neither can yet fully love themselves, so how on earth are they going to truly love anybody else? They can’t, their path needs to be one of self-healing and as long as they’re together, that can never happen because they’re caught up in a dynamic that keeps them tied to need, feeding the need. The dark side of this relationship will always crop up from time to time.

When trauma bonding takes place, there are red flags. We let things slide that should raise our red flags because we’re bonded. We are in denial of the fact that something isn’t right. We keep quiet to keep the peace when the dissonance emerges. It may feel like we see each other so clearly, that we see the others’ faults, we may call them out in the hope they’ll fix things, but they can’t whilst trauma bonded. As we come up against the trauma expressing in each other, we feel like we’re walking on eggshells. At its worst, it can feel like everything’s falling apart, like we’re going crazy, like we don’t know what’s real anymore.

All the time, two beautiful souls are stuck in the dynamic. And their souls brought them together in the first place to address what is ready to be healed. Life is like that, if we don’t see it, life will kick our butt and knock our heads together until we work it out. However hard this journey is, even if two people end up hating each other, this can be seen as an opportunity and a gift to fast-track healing.

Nevertheless, we won’t easily let go of the dream of being with that perfect person we first perceived, the fantasy of who we wanted them to be, thought they were. Sometimes, people are stuck in this dynamic for a long time.

Trauma bonding is often mistaken for a twin flame relationship. Twin flames can go through difficulties with each other because they see the best and worst in each other, like looking in a mirror. They sometimes heal together through the drama. So, trauma bonding and twin flame relationships are easily confused. Even so, with both, quite often the answer is to walk away and do the healing away from each other. All those needs can be met, they can be healed but it’s never going to come from someone else. We heal from within. Sometimes, walking away is the biggest act of love we can give to another, even if they’re never going to appreciate it. And more importantly, it’s the biggest act of love we can give to ourselves.

Posted in elemental kingdom, Energy healing, Shamanism, spiritual skills and techniques, transformation

Shamanic Trance Intensive

As a shamanic practitioner, I wish to understand trance and look to history for inspiration.  I look towards those ancestors who lived before agriculture, the hunter gatherers.  A time when shamanism was synonymous with everyday life.  For thousands and thousands of years, humans have appreciated that there’s another state, another experience available within the human sphere, beyond our physical expression, and it happens during trance. 

Trance is a part of our lives even today, but we rationalise it as something ‘other’.  To our forebears  it was as real as what we call ‘normal’ everyday life.  They saw how powerful this state of consciousness is, they understood the possibilities and embraced it.

I’m especially interested in learning how to intensify the trance state in today’s world without the aid of hallucinogens.  I’ve realised there are numerous ways we can go deep into trance, especially when we layer the methods. 

Breathing is a hugely fundamental tool, as is repetitive percussive sound at about four beats per second.  These are my usual techniques when I’m doing shamanic work.  Another layer is sensory deprivation, wearing gear that renders us unable to see or hear.  Of course, if we are free-floating in a large tank of salt water in the dark, that’s going to do it, but that’s too impractical for the most part, so I’ll give that a miss since my bath isn’t big enough.

The shamanic trance intensive retreat kicks off with a vision quest, a powerful way to induce trance in itself.  One of the ways it does this is to induce a state of fear.  The idea is spending anything from a night to five days and nights alone, without human contact, with little or no food and only water to drink, with no comforts and staying awake the whole time, in a state of meditation and contemplation.  Staying with ourselves.  And that’s the scariest bit, having nothing to distract us from ourselves.  We live in a world where there’s so much to fill us up so that we’re not having to be with ourselves, TV, radio, music, books, phone, computer, social life, activities, food, alcohol.  We keep ourselves engaged to avoid having too much emptiness when who-knows-what can emerge from within us.  Vision quest is all about being with ourselves good and proper.  And that’s something that can take us into trance.  Some crazy things happened to me on my first vision quest, things like hearing the rain make melodious music and feeling a lot of presences with me. 

Sweatlodge is all about breathing and heat and fire.  Sweatlodge is ceremonial.  Ritual and ceremony are also trance-inducing through the power of repetition, focus and  building the intensity of the energy.  Sweatlodge is a purifying experience but also brings us into a deeper state of consciousness.  Like vision quest, sweatlodge induces increased levels of fear because it can be difficult to breathe and manage the heat and one can feel trapped in a small space.  The heat can be challenging and along with possible dehydration, it’s easy to find oneself becoming dizzy and light-headed.  Trance-invoking percussive sound and chanting are also used during sweatlodge.

Trance dancing and drumming in a repetitive rhythm around a fire is a powerful experience, especially at night.  Group shamanic trance dances always induce deep and profound trance states and are ideal for undergoing shamanic journeys. 

Finally, I’m learning currently about postures and what they contribute towards shamanic trance experience.  It was back in 2018 at a London workshop that I first found myself working with movement during meditations, activations and journeys.  I’ve found correlations from a number of sources that endorse either body movements or postures during meditation or journeying to create a potent focus and energetic alignment for a particular purpose.  This work can create powerful and intensive trance states and I intend to write a more detailed post on the subject in the future.

The intention of trance is to achieve as deep a state of consciousness as possible, in order to open oneself up to the non-physical world.  In doing so, it’s possible to really boost one’s capacity to experience otherworld reality and beings.  An even stronger connection with ones’ spirit guides is reached.  That’s why the trance intensive retreat spends several days creating deep trance states, so that participants can intensify their connection with elemental and nature beings such as tree and plant spirits, landscape guardians and the energies of earth, air, fire and water.  These beings don’t exist at a physical level and therefore we can’t communicate with them that way.  They exist at the emotional energy level and by inducing a non-physical energy stance, we are able to experience and communicate with these and other beings.  Nature beings and elementals are teachers and have gifts to give.  Where plants are concerned, this is paramount for healing.  Where elementals are concerned this is a way to achieve healing, balance and harmony for humanity and planet Earth.       

Posted in healing, Inspiration, love, The Truth of our Being

Spiritual Freedom

Over the years, I’ve been chasing freedom and didn’t even realise it until it found me.

It turned out, freedom was not what I expected it to be.  I expected freedom to be a ‘doing’ thing and it turned out to be a ‘being’ thing. 

Being true to myself, that’s freedom.  And that meant learning who I am and that nobody else’s opinion matters.  Freedom is what happens when bravery to live one’s truth becomes second nature and doesn’t require being brave anymore.

Freedom is trusting oneself, finding the self-worth and love you need inside yourself.  Freedom is stepping into your sovereignty and rocking your power. 

I didn’t go looking for it, I just kept following my in-built instinct towards fulfilment.  And that meant taking down my walls and opening my heart, whatever the risks.  I thought I was protecting myself from the outside world but what I found was, until I did that, I couldn’t learn to love myself.

Freedom meant making some big decisions to change and acting from a place of love whilst surfing on the crest of the universal energies that guided me towards a new me.

It’s supreme liberation and it’s so empowering and enriching.  Spiritual freedom is such a glorious superpower to have.

Posted in elemental kingdom, Mother Earth, nature, Personal Story

A Sacred Grove

Yesterday, I set off from my home on foot to walk up my mountain and there I found what I’ve been looking for ever since I moved to this locality six months ago.  I found my sacred place in nature where my own special tree was waiting for me.

I finally reached a place I’ve been meaning to go.  It’s an old quarry, a sunken world, now totally reclaimed by nature.  More than that, it has become nature’s temple. 

This sacred grove is isolated, on private land that I have unrestricted access to, it sits far away from paths or human places.  It is left entirely in peace.  It’s a wet, soggy hollow with woods of oak, willow and hazel, some birch on the higher slopes.  On one side hangs a high cliff-face of earth and greenery.  It abounds with bracken and bramble, ferns and moss.  There are sparkly drusy quartz-covered stones, glinting in the undergrowth, bedrock long since quarried and abandoned.  Corvids hold court here, the jackdaws, rooks, crows and majestic ravens are all around, calling and swooping through the woods.  Also in attendance are robins, blackbirds and little jenny wrens.

It was exciting when I finally came upon the narrow entranceway that led down into the wide amphitheatre of lush green mystery.  Three oaks called to me as I passed, on each I saw the face of its accompanying tree spirit.  I knew the moment I approached the third oak that this is the one that’s been waiting for me.  All the trees are bedecked from head to toe in moss, a veritable green world, this is. 

Having formally approached up to the edge of the canopy, I asked permission of the oak to draw near.  I placed my hands on the broad trunk and bent my forehead to the bark, giving my name and asking the tree for his, which was received.  I sent my love to this tree, and through it, to the great oak consciousness.  Then, I sat at the foot with my back to the trunk and opened myself to the energy of nature, but not before opening my mouth and throat to sing of my power from the depth of my lungs.  As shamanka, my song lets the spirits of this sacred place see me, know me and feel my authenticity, integrity and power. I am demonstrating my right to be here. My raw notes rang out loudly, echoing through the grove, unheard by human, but a wind appeared from nowhere and met my song, letting a shower of oak leaves fall with each piercing note, ceasing to stillness only as the last note trailed away. 

Eventually, I moved further down the wide corridor of the grove into further wetness until I reached the opposite end.  Thank goodness I wore my wellies.  From there, I climbed up to find the sky and summit as I tried to find a shorter way home, but it was not to be.  All in all, I was up on the mountain for just short of five glorious hours yesterday.  Now, I sit cosy in my little tree house, knowing my sacred grove and beloved oak tree await me for another day and another adventure.