As #mentalhealthawarenessweek2019 draws to a close, I thought I would take this opportunity to reshare a blog that I wrote a while ago on why I think we should exercise the ‘3 C’s around #PositiveThinking :
– Conscious consideration
Sometimes I think that the trend for advocating Positive Thinking has got a little out of balance, where people are pushing themselves to feel happy all the time and then feeling that they’ve failed when they fall short of this impossible expectation.
Our lives seem to be full of contradictions! On the one hand we’re bombarded by news that is often negative and full of doom and gloom, while on the other we’re encouraged to be positive, smile and avoid negative thoughts for the sake of our health.
So what’s the answer?!
Well, first of all let’s look at why positive thinking can bring great benefits. The cycle goes like this:
The thoughts that we think create the perspective from which we look at things. This influences the filters through which we interpret the world around us. This determines our experiences, which help to form our beliefs about that world. Our beliefs are what our thoughts are based upon, and so the cycle continues…
Obviously if we think positive thoughts, and can carry this on round the cycle, then we will be happier than if we are plagued by negative thoughts, however…
Apologies that my blog is a little late this week. It was a very busy week with appointments and also preparing for a bespoke 1:1 workshop yesterday on Energy Healing for animals. It was perfect timing to be offering this as today marks the start of Healing Awareness Week!
Energy Healing is a topic that is very close to my heart as
it has been a huge part of my journey, particularly over the last 10 years or
I had reached a stage in my life where I was feeling
miserable, lost and alone. At first, I
didn’t even realise this because I had cut myself off from my feelings as a
kind of coping strategy. I suppose this
worked for a while, but I soon realised that if things didn’t change, I was
going to make myself ill.
I started reading and looking around for ways to make things
better. Initially I was looking for
external ‘fixes’, but I quickly discovered that these weren’t really addressing
the deep need within me. I continued
exploring, as if following a trail of breadcrumbs, just going from one step to
the next, seeing where it would lead me.
The first course I found was Reiki Level I. Suddenly I felt that I had found a path that resonated for me! It gave me a renewed sense of hope and direction and also of purpose – that I could develop the tools I needed for myself, but also that I might be able to offer this to others too.
I went on to complete Level II, and from there to studying with the Healing Trust. This training covered a wide range of wellbeing related topics, including anatomy and physiology, the energy of colour and techniques for releasing old hurts and traumas. I completed my case studies and sat the exam and after 2 years of learning and practice I became a qualified Healer Member of the Trust.
Alongside this I was working on my personal development and exploring how I would like to use these newly developed skills. My journey was reconnecting me with my love of Nature and animals and so I went on to study healing of animals – initially small animals and later a specialism in equine healing – with Liz Whiter of the Healing Animals Organisation.
This has been a wonder-full journey full of deep challenges,
incredible experiences and amazing people and animals. I have learnt so much and met such inspiring
I have gone on to add further tools to my kit, but working
with Energy still underpins all that I do.
I would define healing as:
“regaining balance of mind, body and / or emotions. It complements conventional medicine by treating the whole being.”
A completely natural form of therapy
Complementary to conventional treatment
It stimulates the body’s own healing processes by
the immune system
absorption of nutrients
release of endorphins
a sense of wellbeing and calm
Have you ever had a session of Energy Healing? If not, I can recommend it as a great way to relax and recharge, and to enable your body to enter its ‘Rest and Repair’ mode.
If you have any questions about Healing, or you’d just like
to know a bit more, then please get in touch:
you know that April is Stress Awareness
Stress plays a huge part in our sense of inner balance and wellbeing.
Often we become accustomed to a certain level of stress and no longer notice that it’s there. It has become our ‘norm’. But it’s still having an impact on our health and can lead to burnout and chronic dis-ease.
e-motions are meant to be energy *in motion*. They need to be allowed to
come up and then flow on.
However, when we place expectations on ourselves or worry that we’re being judged – and found wanting – it blocks this flow, which adds to our stress levels.
Life is not a test, so don’t take it too seriously. Remember to laugh, and don’t be afraid to feel.
Our bodies know exactly what they need in order to heal, and they know the steps to take to get to wellbeing.
Our role, then, is to provide the right resources – rest, nutrients, hydration, fresh air, exercise – and to do our best to clear the way, removing those things that hold us back and keep us stuck.
Emotions carry valuable information about what’s going on for us. As such they can be very useful.
However, if we don’t listen and explore ways to support ourselves and meet the needs beneath the feelings, then they can become toxic, both to ourselves and to those around us.
Opening to all that our emotions can teach us help us to develop the emotional intelligence that brings the resilience we need to deal with change and the challenges that life brings.
Next week I’ll look at some tips for dealing with stress when we feel it beginning to build.
To wake up listening to birdsong is truly a magical experience and something that, having always lived in the countryside, I could too easily take for granted.
This year, spring seems to have come all of a sudden and surprised us all with the sunshine and the warm, sunny, longer days.
Since working with Bees, my awareness and appreciation of the natural cycle in the order of things has changed. I used to dread the long dark nights of autumn. October, November and December would be very difficult months for me. With my birthday in November, what I would do is always organise a big party; a big celebration to distract from the depression that would set in as the days grew shorter.
After spending seven long years of my forties in bed and wheelchair bound, I had to learn to appreciate the small things in life: a blue tit sitting on my bedroom window ledge; watching spiders weaving webs in the roof lantern above my bed; and watching the bees from the hive I could see through the bedroom window.
Recovery has taught me to appreciate the small things, every day, and not to take wellness or health for granted. We are all merely a breath away from disease or disability.
I’ve learned that the winter months, as for the bees, are my rest time. They are my chance for hibernation and the time for my body to heal. After a busy season with long summer days where I’m enjoying every ounce of daylight, either with work or play, I then need the long winter nights to sleep.
Back in February we suddenly had warm days which were getting longer, and I didn’t feel ready. It felt too early to be busy with Bees. They were awakening with the sunshine, and the plants were slowly awakening too, but were they quick enough for the bees? Was there enough food for them? I wondered about us: had we had enough time to rest and recuperate before another busy summer?
A bee research project found that healthy bees in a colony that is lined with propolis and filled with honey, spend the majority of their time resting.
So, when we say ‘busy as a bee’, we are not referring to them being busy all the time, but just when they need to be busy, pollinating flowers, collecting nectar or building wax comb. The rest of the time they are together in the hive doing nothing, maybe Meditating?
In contrast, an unhealthy hive which has its honey taken away and replaced with sugar syrup, (lacking the trace minerals essential for healthy life), this colony spends none of its time resting.
The bees emerge from the cocoons and begin a busy race for survival. Each of the phases of life is shortened and sped up: cleaning their cells as they emerge; nursing the new bees; and, finally, whilst still immature, they begin their foraging flights to collect nectar and pollen for the rest of the colony.
These bees, living a life shortened by almost half, are found shivering and twitching with their wings in tatters exhausted from life without rest.
This behaviour is caused by the toxins that the bees are exposed to. A cocktail of insecticides and pesticides and environmental poisons sprayed on our plants, leeched into our soil, drawn up by the flowers and given to the bees through the nectar and pollen. These toxins are then deposited in the honey or used to make the wax cells that they lay their eggs in.
Keeping their colony at a constant 35° ensures that the vapours from these toxins vaporises, allowing the bees to inhale this man-made mix of poison from the moment they emerge.
These toxic fumes affect the nervous system, preventing the bees from pausing between each nerve impulse. Each cell in their body is constantly bombarded with stimulation. Without these important pauses, the muscles are exhausted, the brain is exhausted, no organ in the body has been able to repair itself which it can only do during rest and sleep.
Could we be seeing parallels in our own lives?
What if the same poisons we use on our land and in our homes to keep us pest free, have now poisoned the water we drink and the air we breathe, and are now affecting our own nervous systems, pressurising us to work and play hard, not to rest or meditate.
We haven’t yet reached the ‘silent spring’ that biologist Rachel Carson wrote about in the 1960s. I can still hear birds and I do have bees in my garden, but there are places in the world where insects are scarce, and birds are scarcer. As we dispose of unwanted nature are we slowly disposing of ourselves?
As we have this respite from winter with bright sunshine, clear skies and dry feet, let’s use it to enjoy nature and to care for the wildlife around us, using this time to nurture ourselves and the environment we live in. Should more of winter return, let’s use that time to rest so that when we have the longer days and we need more work to be done, we have the energy reserves, and the strength to make the world a better place.
Paula’s book ‘Artist to Bees’ was published in February 2019 and is available from her website and local independent bookshops. www.paulacarnell.com
Paula Carnell was born in Dorset, England and has spent much of her adult life living in Castle Cary Somerset. Forming ‘Possi’ in 1990 as part of the Prince’s Youth Business Trust’ scheme, she soon had a successful enterprise selling her original paintings on silk, and printed greeting cards of her work in over seven hundred shops across the UK and exporting to eleven countries worldwide. Opening a gallery in Castle Cary in 1995 established her as a familiar face in the town, until she ‘retired’ from retail in 2004 and focused on her personal painting career. Exhibiting in London and the USA, Paula was fulfilling her dream as a globe travelling artist. Then in 2008, she began to fall ill, becoming bed and wheelchair bound with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome in 2009. The following seven years were spent on a personal quest to find meaning in life, transforming from an artist to a bee speaker. Achieving a full recovery in 2016, she is studying as a medical herbalist with the IRCH, runs her business ‘Creating a Buzz about Health’, working as a Global beekeeping consultant, writer and speaker. She lives in Castle Cary with her husband Greg and three sons.