Taking a break

I came across a great blog post the other day by ‘The Flying Witch’, Gabriella Guglielminotti Trivel entitled Time for Wholeness.  Ms Tivel’s blog carries the subheading ‘Flying with the feminine’ and in this particular article she writes about her experiences of going through perimenopause and needing to observe and honour the changes going on within her body.

This made me think about my own situation.  I, too, am at this stage in my life, while also going through a lot of other changes – home, location, work, animals, friends, etc.  It’s been an exciting, stressful, wonderful, and exhausting 12 months, and so I felt it was time to take a look at where I am, currently, and assess how I’m doing with all that’s been going on.

The answer is that I’m feeling rather drained, and a little bit lacking in ‘mojo’.

I’ve therefore decided to take a step back from writing this blog for a while.  While I love writing and sharing with you – and would love to engage more with you all – it’s time to take a short break.  Instead I’ll be using the time to focus on resting, recharging and reassessing where I want to go next.  I also have some other writing that I want to make time for, such as the mindfulness course that I’ve had sitting on the back burner for a while.  It’ll be good to get this done rather than having it sitting, staring accusingly at me from my To Do list! 😉

Also, I have a VIP guest coming to visit next month – my Mum is coming over from Ireland to see our new home for the first time.  I’m so excited and can hardly wait to share this magical space with her.  It’ll be her first time meeting Dax and Rika too!

So, I wish you all a wonderful September with whatever you have planned, and see you again in October.

Is your summer feeling like a bit of a wash-out?

How is your summer going?  I hope you’re getting at least some sunshine, though the UK has been experiencing some very unseasonable weather this August!  This can make such a difference to our mood and motivation levels, particularly when we’ve been holding on for our summer holidays and counting on warm sunshine, only to find that it’s cold, damp and grey outside.

We were thoroughly spoilt with hot dry days last year so the contrast can add to our disappointment.  All those plans we’d made for a ‘staycation’ or day trips with the kids during the holidays, might have ended up being a bit of a wash-out. 

Many of us work hard during the winter months, thinking that we’ll be able to take some ‘down-time’ in the summer: images of sitting on a beach, or park, or just in the garden, sipping a cool drink, and soaking up those warming rays, are what keep us going during those cold months…

We can end up running our batteries down, promising ourselves that we’ll top them up again in the warmer months…

At least, that’s how I’ve been feeling.  We moved here in October of last year on the day that storm Callum arrived and ended the 5 glorious months of sunshine.  We then spent the winter working hard to fix leaks and get the place set up for ourselves and the horses.  I know that I, for one, was hoping for a nice long summer to recharge and have more time just to enjoy being here, before the challenging weather returned.

But these things don’t always go to plan, do they!

So, what can you do if you’re finding that you’re sitting indoors feeling depressed at the wet, grey view from your window?

This can actually be an opportunity to go within and to rest deeply.  Sitting in the sunshine obviously feels amazing, and does great things for our wellbeing, but cooler, greyer weather can call us to a kind of ‘hibernation’ and it can good to take advantage of this, listen to our bodies and relax into that deep state of rest.

Also, if we’re not careful, sunny days can draw us into a different kind of busy-ness, with parties, weddings, barbeques, gardening, outdoor repairs, and so on.  All of these can be fun but it’s important to balance them out by taking a break every now and then.

And rainy weather is the perfect opportunity / excuse!

In my work I meet so many people who are frazzled and run-down.  They have an endless To Do list that just seems to get longer and their holiday, or time off, is a distant dream that keeps getting put off to another day.

But remember that:

And…

So, on those ‘not very summery’ summer days, don’t despair!  Try not to feel frustrated or upset at the weather, because after all it’s not something we can change.  Instead, use the time for some self-care:

  • book a massage, or some Bowen or aromatherapy
  • have a session in a jacuzzi or float tank
  • do some yoga, mindfulness or meditation
  • read a good book
  • or just have a lovely, indulgent afternoon nap!

And remember:

I’m sure you can come up with lots of other things to do!  Please feel free to share your suggestions in the comments below.

If you struggle with taking this time out for yourself, and some little inner voice is driving you to keep going even though you’re exhausted, then I can help.  Together we can explore where that little voice comes from and how to address it, so that it can let go and give you the peace and permission you need in order to fully rest and recharge.  After all, this will mean that you can function much more effectively and enjoy greater wellbeing.  You’ll also have the energy to include those fun things in your life that you’ve just been too tired / busy for previously.

If you’d like to have a chat, you can contact me by phone, email or through my website:

What is guilt? Is it healthy? Does it serve any useful purpose?

According to some, having been raised an Irish Catholic, I should practically have a PhD in guilt!  Seriously though, seeing the effect that it has on people’s lives, I do ponder this feeling, and its consequences, from time to time.

Recently I’ve been thinking about how strongly it relates to shame.  For most of us, this is something that we learn at a very early age.  This means that it’s acquired during the phase of our lives (0 – approximately 6 years of age) when we accept things without question, and without the ability to judge their validity or helpfulness.  As a result, shame is something that is very longstanding, deep rooted and can have a profound impact on our lives.  It is also – as alluded to in my, slightly flippant, comment above – often embedded into our culture, helping to perpetuate and strengthen its hold on us.

So, is it healthy, and does it serve any useful purpose?

If I can address the second part of that question first, I believe that guilt is only useful in as much as it alerts us to discomfort.  It shows that there is an issue that needs addressing.

When we experience discomfort in this way, it indicates that our thoughts are out of line with our Higher Self’s views on the subject.  For example, if I do something that makes me feel guilty, my inner critic is telling me all those self-shaming thoughts, such as:

  • You’re a bad person!
  • You never get anything right!
  • You’ve failed again!
  • What a stupid mistake that was!

In contrast, our Higher Self never judges us, and certainly would never address us in less than loving terms.

So, our discomfort makes us aware that we’re out of alignment.  We’re not being true to our Higher Self.

If we drill deeper, we’ll probably find it’s not just the shaming thoughts that are off balance, they’re most likely coming from our deeper awareness that we’re not living as our Best Self – we’ve allowed ourselves to be distracted by other things.

In today’s world we’re spoilt for choice on ‘distractions’:

  • Social media
  • ‘Will we / won’t we’ Brexit?
  • And, whichever way it goes, what impact will this have on the economy?
  • Has environmental damage gone beyond repair?

Then, of course, there’re also the ‘minutiae’ of our everyday lives:

  • What to have for dinner
  • Who will get together with whom on Love Island?
  • What are people thinking of me / of what I said / of how I look?

All of these things can occupy our thoughts, meaning that we’re not fully present much of the time. 

As a result, we often act, or make decisions, on a largely subconscious level.  We can end up going through our days on autopilot, reacting rather than consciously responding to situations, allowing the nervous, anxious, fearful part of our mind to make our decisions for us.  This can result in things like:

  • Over eating
  • Over spending
  • Not stepping out of our comfort zone – eg trying something new
  • Avoiding situations that we find challenging – eg meeting new people
  • Self sabotage

When we notice that we’ve made decisions that were unwise, and maybe got us into trouble, we then feel guilty.  This isn’t ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ – no feelings are, and it’s impossible to turn them off anyway – it’s what we do with this feeling that’s important. 

Do we get ‘stuck’, listening to, and engaging with those shaming thoughts?  

Or do we explore the feelings and learn from them, seeing what changes we can make to move closer into alignment with Who We Really Are, in order to live a life where we make conscious choices that serve us, and that feel authentic and honest, and where we can be responsible and accountable rather than feeling guilt and shame?

This can be challenging, and will require us to look deeply at conditioning that we’ve carried since childhood.  Others have referred to this as ‘un-domestication’ or ‘rewilding’.  It’s a visceral process and requires deconstruction and reconstruction, but you don’t have to do it alone, and the rewards feel amazing: self awareness, autonomy and freedom.

I think that this is the only value of guilt and therefore I don’t feel that it’s a place where we should spend any more time than absolutely necessary.  In fact, to return to the question of ‘is it healthy?’, generally, beyond the initial recognition and finding the issues to be addressed, I would say that the answer to this is ‘No’.

On the contrary, guilt is often very restricting and deeply uncomfortable.  It keeps us small and can be very stressful which, as we know, impacts on our wellbeing.  That inner voice also isn’t content with just criticising our current choices.  If we are prepared to listen, it has a nasty habit of dragging up every perceived failing and every ‘mistake’ we’ve ever made.  It also projects its beliefs onto others, telling us that they, too, see us as not good / clever / skilled enough.

So, what can we do? 

Start by taking a step back and observe the things that your mind is telling you, without engaging with them, knowing that they are merely the product of your conditioning and your natural negative bias.  Don’t try to fight your mind, it’s just doing its job, and it’s not really open to persuasion anyway!  Observe, without judging, and accept that this is what the mind does – not just yours, but everyone’s.

You can then make a conscious decision about whether to go along with what your mind says, or choose a different option.  You don’t have to push yourself too far out of your comfort zone.  Small steps and small challenges will help you to build your ‘consciousness muscles’ allowing you to stretch and grow.

As you become more self-aware you will be able to identify the things you really want in your life, the things that light you up and fill you with excitement and joy.  These are your guide in creating the fulfilling life that you long for.  These are where you discover your ‘purpose’.  You aren’t here for the ‘should’s, ‘have to’s or ‘ought to’s.  You’re here to Be Who You Really Are and to let that light shine out.  You’re here to experience and grow and en-joy the journey.

what is self-compassion?

I was recently having a discussion with a small group of friends and the term ‘self-compassion’ came up.  One member of the group was unfamiliar with this word which made me wonder how many others are in the same situation?  It’s a fairly self-explanatory concept, and one that’s very common in my field of work, but perhaps it’s incorrect for me to assume that it’s part of everyone’s vocabulary.  And if you haven’t come across it in any specific sense, is it something that you would consciously apply in your life?  I therefore thought that I would post something to make self-compassion more explicit and also maybe to say what my thoughts are on what it is, and what it is not.

To start with, I thought I’d look at some definitions.  Compassion itself can be defined as:

“a strong feeling of sympathy and sadness for the suffering or bad luck of others and a wish to help them”

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/compassion

Synonyms: pity, sympathy, feeling, fellow feeling, empathy, understanding, concern, solicitude, sensitivity, warmth, gentleness, tenderness, consideration, kindness

According to vocabulary.com Compassion “is a word for a very positive emotion that has to do with being thoughtful and decent… When you feel compassion for someone, you really want to help out.” https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/compassion

The literal meaning of compassion is “to suffer together”. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/compassion/definition  Its qualities are “patience and wisdom; kindness and perseverance; warmth and resolve.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compassion

Self-compassion then, is when we show these feelings towards ourselves.  If we’re experiencing feelings of inadequacy, failure or suffering of any kind, instead of being critical of ourselves – a very common response – we can choose to be warm, understanding, sensitive, gentle, considerate and kind.

So why, you might ask, would we want to do this, and isn’t it a form of selfishness and self-indulgence?  If I’ve done something wrong / foolish, don’t I deserve to feel guilty / stupid?

Well, firstly I would say that if any – even small – part of you resonated with that last sentence, I would like to gently invite you to notice your self-talk.  Using labels like ‘wrong’, ‘foolish’ and ‘stupid’, I believe, is unhelpful.  They put us into a state of shame which is deeply uncomfortable and only adds to our emotional suffering at a time when we’re already feeling pretty lousy.

I also think that there is very little to be gained from feeling guilty, other than to notice the emotion and to learn from it, by which I mean to observe the discomfort and to explore what triggered it and what wisdom that holds for you about who you really are and the choices that you make, so that you can make choices that are more authentic for you in the future.  Beyond that, I feel that guilt serves only to make us feel bad, and how can we be our best selves from that place?

Image from Jennifer Petty Psychotherapist

I would also like to reassure you that self-compassion is not selfish, or self-indulgent.  It’s an important part of self-care.  I’ve written about this before https://equenergy.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/positive-thinking-is-it-always-a-good-thing-part-24/ so suffice it to say that I believe it’s necessary to take care of ourselves, and to practice self-compassion first, before we can truly offer this to others.

In fact, if we don’t do this, we can end up experiencing burnout and ‘compassion fatigue’.  This is basically when we’ve exhausted our inner resources, leaving ourselves ‘running on empty’.  This is not sustainable and can result in becoming ill and unable to function fully for a time, until we can rest and recharge.  If we’ve allowed ourselves to reach a very low point, this recovery could even take years…  so much better to learn how to look after ourselves now. 

Also, a phrase that really hit me a few years ago when I was pushing myself too hard and not taking time to replenish my resources, was:

How then do you recognise if you’re experiencing compassion fatigue?  According to goodtherapy.org the main symptoms include:

  • Chronic physical and emotional exhaustion
  • Depersonalization
  • Feelings of inequity toward the therapeutic or caregiver relationship
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of self-contempt
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Poor job satisfaction

https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/compassion-fatigue

You can help to avoid this by:

  • Developing greater self-awareness, eg through journaling, mindfulness or meditation
  • Practising self-care and self-compassion
  • Setting – and holding – good emotional boundaries
  • Spending time outdoors, in nature with fresh air and natural light
  • Cultivating healthy relationships with people who boost your mood

If you would like to explore self-compassion further, please get in touch.  I offer bespoke wellbeing packages which address this, and I also run workshops helping you to develop self-awareness and learn strategies for self-support. 

(My website is currently ‘under construction’ but hopefully will be back up and running by next week)

‘I don’t know what the problem is, but I’m just not happy…’ (part 2)

Following on from last week, where I looked at physical ways that we can support our wellbeing and happiness, I will now turn to exploring the more emotional and ‘spiritual’ aspects.

Perhaps it would be good to start by explaining that, when I say ‘spiritual’, I don’t mean in any religious sense.  That might play a role, if it is important for you, but I believe that we all have a spiritual part of our being – whether or not we’re religious – that needs care and attention in order for us to be living a whole, balanced – and happy – life.

I believe that it is only by being in harmony with our inner nature, and the Nature all around us, that we can truly experience balance, wellbeing and flow.  For me, being in Nature feeds all the layers and aspects of our being and offers us many lessons on how to better care for our health on all levels.

One of the main attractions of the property that we recently moved to in Wales is the amazing Nature all around us.  I’ve known for some time that I wanted to move out of the city.  I’ve been finding it claustrophobic and stifling, feeling squeezed uncomfortably into a role and space that no longer felt ‘right’ for me.  I longed to find a place where I felt I could breathe; where I could see the sky above, and green, living things all around me.  We looked at a variety of places in our search, all of them more rural than the Bristol suburbs where we’d been living, but not truly ‘countryside’- until we found Rose Cottage!  Here we have woods, fields, trees, natural hedges and even a little stream.  I instantly felt the sense of peace that fills this place, and it was as if the coiled spring that I’d been carrying around inside of me began to unwind and relax.

Spending time outdoors, in Nature, has proven health benefits.  There are the obvious ones of fresh air, exercise and the fact that we need daylight for our bodies to synthesise Vitamin D.  In addition there is something calming and healing about the colours green and blue – the main colours that we see, at least in the UK, when out in nature.

Connecting in with the earth is beneficial, both in terms of a physical connection and also on an emotional / spiritual level.  It is very grounding, especially if we can take our shoes off and feel the earth beneath our feet, tuning into its energy and allowing it to bring us peace and balance.

Since moving here, we haven’t been connected to the internet (if you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that it’s been an ongoing saga with BT…) but I’ve really come to know and appreciate the truth of the saying:

There is something very special about getting away from the world of work, busy-ness and all the normal daily demands.  Sadly we are often so used to this ‘noise’ that we’ve forgotten how to be quiet, and lost touch with our own uniqueness – who we are without all the ‘domestication’ of our every day lives, and also the wonder of our being and all the amazing gifts that we alone can bring to the world.

So many people are experiencing stress and overwhelm in our society.  They might push it down, using work, food, alcohol, smoking, shopping, over-exercise or some other form of addiction in order to dull the pain.  But it doesn’t go away, and often it can fester inside us, leading to physical or mental dis-ease.  Sadly, trying to stop ourselves from feeling the pain in these ways effectively dis-connects us from ourselves, and from our internal guidance system, meaning that we can find ourselves feeling lost and/or making decisions that don’t serve us.  We can end up feeling discontent, unfocused and lonely, knowing that something is missing but not sure how to fill the hole…  This is what leads us to look outside of ourselves for the answer, the thing that will help us to feel fulfilled and ‘complete’, but in reality, nothing outside of ourselves can ever satisfy this need, if we don’t first take care of our inner selves.  This is where it is so important to spend some time in quiet, allowing ourselves the space to reflect, reconnect and tune in to what we really need.  Mindfulness and getting present are great ways to start.  Also practising gratefulness.  I often recommend keeping a gratitude diary, making a note of all the things you find in your day to feel thankful for, or that make you smile.  It can be as simple as a warm cup of delicious coffee, reading a good book or seeing the smile on a child’s face.  Focusing on these things will reset your focus away from negativity.  Where your attention goes, energy flows and will attract more of the same into your life, so feeding the positive is a great way to support your wellbeing.

Basically ‘overwhelm‘ is when we find ourselves in a situation where we feel that we have little or no control, and yet we’re having to juggle a high level of demand.  We feel overloaded; trapped with nowhere to go to escape.

When we make time to get out into Nature, it gives us space – both literally and emotionally – allowing us to take a step back and regain a degree of perspective, in order to reconnect with what is important to us.

I love this quote from Emily McDowell:

To me, this is what it’s all about, and it’s what being in Nature gives us the space to do.  It allows us to strip off the layers of conditioning, the masks we wear to survive in the worlds outside of ourselves, and to reconnect with Who We Really Are.  When we can do this, and appreciate the amazing being that we are, ‘warts and all’, then we can start to explore what it means to be that person, more fully.  How can we tap in to our gifts and begin to truly share them with those around us…?  This will both benefit others, and help us to grow and to feel more fulfilled – more ‘in tune’ with ourselves – that is, more comfortable in our own skin.  The feelings of stress and overwhelm begin to melt away as we step into the niche that was always there for us, waiting for the time that we would stop trying to please others, and instead allow ourselves to be all that we can be.

It’s like Marianne Williamson says:

We are ‘powerful beyond measure’ when we connect with our authentic selves.  The Universe has created you with great care, bringing many elements together over aeons of time, to result in the person that you are.

Stop and think about this for a moment…

Let the miracle of your being really settle into your consciousness…

This doesn’t just apply to others – those who are rich, or famous, or have won the Nobel Prize for something…  it applies to each and every one of us.  Being ‘small’ doesn’t serve ourselves, and it doesn’t serve those around us.  As Marianne says:

“… as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So don’t think of it as selfish to take time for yourself and to listen to your heart and follow where it leads you.  That is what you are here to do.  That is how you fulfil your potential.  That is how you be your best self and give permission to others to be their best selves.

This magical place is supporting me along my journey, and if it resonates for you, I’d love to offer you the opportunity to experience this healing space for yourself.  Together we can create a bespoke package for you to explore Who You Really Are, within this safe and supportive environment.  I work with energy, using techniques such as Reiki and EFT (‘tapping’), and also offer workshops and retreats.  If you would like to know more, please get in touch:

You can also see more on my website: equenergy.com

‘I don’t know what the problem is, but I’m just not happy…’

Sometimes the lack of internet and TV connection here is a blessing!  This week it has inspired me to write this blog…

As we can’t watch any of our favourite programmes at the moment, I’ve been going to the library in Abergavenny to borrow from their collection of DVDs.  One of the movies that I picked up last week was called ‘A Long Way Down‘.  When I chose it, I didn’t read the blurb on the box so had no idea what the story was about and, to be honest, to start with, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue watching it, as it’s about a group of 4 people who happen to go to the top of the same building, on the same night (New Year’s Eve) intent on committing suicide.  They obviously hadn’t planned on doing this in front of anyone else and so there’s a bit of awkwardness and they end up agreeing to form a pact, promising not to kill themselves before the next most popular suicide date, Valentine’s Day.

The film then follows them through all their misadventures together, but what struck me was that one of the characters, JJ, feels like an outsider in their little group because, from his perspective, each of the others has a reason for feeling the way they do – one has been publicly shamed, one has lost her sister and the other has a disabled son and spends all her life caring for him.  JJ on the other hand confesses that he doesn’t know why he is unhappy.  He feels hopeless, and also jealous of the others.  They know what is ‘wrong’ in their lives and so they know what they need in order to ‘fix’ things, however as he doesn’t have an obvious ‘problem’, he has no idea how to improve things, or indeed, if that’s even possible…

This got me thinking…  This seems to be a not uncommon situation in our society.  So many people are unhappy, unfulfilled and dissatisfied, without knowing why.  On the surface their life might appear to be ‘good’, or even ‘perfect’, but to them it is a miserable, and perhaps painful, existence.  The issue is compounded because they don’t feel they can complain about this apparently happy life, particularly when so many others have ‘more obvious’ challenges to deal with.

Just look at examples such as Robin Williams.  On the surface he had an amazing life and his public persona was very upbeat, but behind this he was very unhappy and deeply troubled.

I’m glad that there is now a greater awareness about mental health issues, and much work is being done to reduce any stigma.  It’s great to see well-known personalities speaking out about their experience and letting the world see that outward appearances can be deceptive.  Even the most amazing lifestyle, or having lots of money, doesn’t protect you from feeling unhappy.

I believe that these feelings need to be addressed holistically.  It’s not something that will generally be resolved overnight, or with a simple fix.  It takes time for someone to reach this point, and it will take time for them to find their way back to balance and wellbeing, but every step along the way will bring improvement and valuable learning – about themselves, their needs, values and desires – that will be of great benefit in creating the life that they long for.

So, what do I mean when I say that the issue should be tackled ‘holistically’?  We are many layered beings and for us to function at our best, all of those layers need to be healthy and in balance.  When we feel any form of dis-ease, it means that something is out of balance.  In order to resolve this, we need to look at each area of our lives: physical, emotional and spiritual.

These aren’t discrete layers.  They flow from one to the other and are interdependent.  Any separation is artificial, but for simplicity, and ease of explanation, I’ll look at each in turn:

Physical

Did you know that gut health plays a huge part in our mood, as well as in many other aspects of how we feel and of our self image?

For this reason, it’s important to pay attention to what we eat.  For example, did you know:

It’s not just what we eat, either – it’s also about the whole of our environment.  This includes the products you use, both on yourself, and for cleaning.  Did you know that you absorb things more quickly through your skin, than by digestion?  For this reason I try not to use any harsh chemicals.  I use natural, organic, vegan products where possible.  I’m a consultant for Arbonne and I also buy from sites such as Green PeopleNorwex and Forest Hog.

Next week, I’ll look further at the emotional and spiritual aspects.

 

If this post has struck a chord and you’d like to ask any questions, or have a chat, please get in touch:

Some words of inspiration

This week seems to have been overly long and, having got to the weekend, I find myself feeling drained and exhausted.  Much of this is probably down to the fact that we went up to London yesterday for a funeral.  This is the second one in just a few months within the same family (Tim’s cousin and then his uncle) which obviously has quite an impact.

Added to this, the funeral took place in Upminster, which is the far side of London for us, meaning that I got up at 4am to see to the horses before catching a series of 5 trains, followed by a lift to the crematorium for the service at 10.30.  We left again about 1pm and got home about 5 – a long and tiring day!

Funerals, of course, are sobering occasions and, particularly as we get older, they become more and more a time to pause, reflect and consider where we’re going in Life.  Funny how death has a way of making you think more about Life!  It makes us realise how quickly time passes and how temporary and fragile things can be…

I see death as just another part of the natural cycle of things.  To me it’s not an end, just the start of another, different chapter.  As Einstein said:

I believe that since we are energy, death is just a change of form.  We move on to a new state of being, one that, from this life, we can’t see, imagine or understand, but no less real for that.

I also think that it’s a good thing that death makes us reflect…

  • Are we truly living?
  • Or are we merely surviving, struggling through each day..?
  • or existing, drifting along with no purpose, no joy and no hope?

I think that we’re here for the sole purpose of experiencing Life in all its fullness and exploring what it means to be as fully ourselves as we can possibly be.

I don’t think we’re being watched, judged or found wanting – other than, so often, by ourselves.

If we could just find a way to let go of that, and to know that there is no right or wrong, no good or bad, no failure, other than where we choose to apply these labels…

If we could know that our true nature is Love and allow ourselves to align more closely with that, without fear, what a Life we could lead, and what a world this would be.

I know that this is a bit of a simplification of things and that there are many layers and many shades to our existence here in this Life, but I’m all for keeping things simple!  I think that we so often over-complicate things…

I also think that when we see things that we label as ‘bad’ or ‘evil’, this is often due to misunderstanding, a difference of perspective, or deep pain somewhere that has caused things to go so far off track, so far away from the beauty of our true nature, that it has become distorted and hurtful.  Sometimes this has perhaps gone beyond the point of no return, but often, with Love and gentleness, these hurts can be healed, at least in part.

So, for me, this week has been about taking stock.  Where is my life serving me – where is it making me happy, bringing me joy, helping me to grow – and where is it holding me back?

The following quotes appeared on my Instagram feed over the last few days:

They spoke deeply to me and so I thought I would share, in case they might resonate for you too.

As we enter the weekend after another busy week, I wish for you:

  • some time of stillness to rest, recharge and reflect
  • the opportunity to discover what makes your heart sing, and the strength to choose to follow that
  • the courage to face the things that aren’t supporting you in your life, and to make the changes that will align you more with your happiness, freedom and Love

A challenging week!

In my last post, I was excited as we’d finally been connected to the internet via a Minihub and I was at last able to catch up on some work that had been on hold since we moved here, 3 months ago.  But things went downhill from there!  My computer had been in for repairs and I thought that when I got it back I would be able to get stuck in with many of the things that I’d been planning to do, such as updating my website and planning the Equenergy Open Day, however when I turned it on it made a kind of ‘pfft’ noise, there was a smell of burning and it immediately went off again.  Not good!  I wasn’t too worried though, as I now have a laptop to fall back on, but when I switched it on it was obviously not well either!  It went into a diagnostic loop and then crashed.  Consequently, both are now back in the shop and I’m typing this on my husband’s laptop.  As someone who likes to feel independent and unrestricted, this is frustrating for me…

You might not be aware that in addition to my health and wellbeing business, I also work as a British Sign Language / English interpreter.  This week I’ve been supporting communication for a case at family court.  I was booked by the solicitor representing the mother which has meant that I am interpreting instruction from the client to her solicitor and barrister.  These conference meetings are normally fairly brief and less formal than the court proceedings, and so I have been working on my own, unlike the court interpreters who work in pairs.  The case has proved quite challenging with heated and emotional issues coming up, resulting in long and serious discussions outside of the court room.  I realised that I was going home at the end of each day exhausted and still carrying these emotions.  As you can imagine, the case is highly confidential and so I am unable to offload to anyone.  I am self employed and don’t have a supervisor or line manager to confide in so at times it can be a lonely and isolating experience.  It didn’t help that this was happening at a time when my plate already felt quite full due to my technological challenges back at Equenergy.

Thankfully, as is the nature of court work, although I was booked from 9-5 each day, the times when I was needed were subject to change, meaning that I finished earlier some days, and on a couple of occasions I wasn’t needed until later in the day.  This allowed me to have some time with the horses, doing the regular duties of feeding and poo picking.  (The rest of the time my wonderful husband had taken this on for me.  Without his fabulous support I wouldn’t be able to work these hours.)  These regular duties might not sound very exciting, but they were a great way for me to relax, re-ground and recover my balance and perspective.  Spending time in court listening to evidence of abuse and seeing witnesses caught in perjury can make the world appear to be a very negative and threatening place, but being back in Nature, around these gentle beings, helped to restore my faith in the goodness of Life.

It helped me to remember to focus on the positive and not to get too caught up in the things that seemed to be going against me.  It can be so easy to think of all the ‘problems’ that we’re facing, all the things that are going ‘wrong’ in our day, and to forget about all the little wonderful things that make our lives better.  These can be simple things like the sun shining, a smile from a friend, or enjoying a nice warm cup of tea.  The more we can notice, and be grateful for, these little things, the more things we will see to be grateful for – and the more of these things we will attract into our life.  For me, it was:

  • noticing again the beautiful, restorative stillness of this place
  • the opportunity to spend quiet time with our cat and the horses, whose gentle energy is so calming, smoothing out the wrinkles of my day
  • coming down from the fields to a nice warm house with our little woodburning stove glowing nicely
  • enjoying our outdoor, more physical lifestyle, and being grateful for my health and strength which allow me to do this
  • the beautiful sights and sounds of being in this rural setting
  • being able to cook tasty and nutritious meals to support my wellbeing, particularly when I’ve had a busy, demanding week and need to look after myself

These things are very individual, so what is important to you could be quite different from my list, but these things are particularly precious to me as there have been times in my life when I haven’t had them, and so I’ve come to understand the impact they have on my wellbeing.

What things in your life support your health and balance?  Are there ways that you can bring more of them into your day to day experience?

So when your day is feeling really tough and you’re struggling with lots of challenges, look around for those little moments of brightness.  Take note of them and hold them in your heart.  Perhaps even keep a gratitude diary.  You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference this can make, and how much fun it can be looking out for things that you can be thankful for, or that make you smile.

If you feel that you would value some support in this, or everything just feels too big and you don’t know where – or how – to start, please reach out to someone you trust and ask for their support.

This is one of the areas where I can help, and if you would like to have a (no obligation) chat, then you can contact me at:

 

Happy New Year! Equenergy is open for business

Hello!  I’d like to start by wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year!  I hope it brings you many wonderful adventures.

I hope you had a magical festive season and enjoyed some rest and relaxation alongside all the business that tends to be common over the holiday.

I’ve been very fortunate to spend time with family and friends, and also with the horses and out in the woods.  It’s been mostly mild here, with a couple of very beautiful sharp frosty mornings.  We made the most of the dry weather to put up a field shelter for the horses and my husband put a floor into the ‘tack room’ on the end, making it a wonderful hay store.  This means that I don’t have to push the hay up to the field twice a day!

The dry spell has also allowed me to paint the sign for our cottage, making it easier to locate us:

And, of course, the Equenergy sign is there as well:

We also received the most beautiful wooden plaque for a Christmas present, but we haven’t yet decided where to put it:

We’ve sanded and varnished the floor of the healing room, and had the place painted, so it’s looking much fresher.  I’ve now moved the furniture back in and it’s ready for clients:

 

The peaceful, healing energy of this place takes my breath away, every day, and I’m so looking forward to sharing that with others!

Amazingly, the longer daylight hours and the recent mild weather have already brought on some signs of the promise of spring to come.  It feels like a wonderful new energy in this place, heralding in the New Year, and a new adventure for Equenergy, here on the Blorenge in South Wales.

If you would like to experience some of this amazing energy for yourself, please contact me:

Feeling our way from Stress into Flow

Thank you for your patience while I’m without regular WiFi connection and my blogs aren’t always posted on time.

This week I thought I would share with you a little about a presentation that I gave earlier this week.  It was the last session of 2018 for The Business Haven, a networking group based in Portishead, and was followed by a fun Christmas lunch.  The lunch included a draw with many wonderful prizes, donated by members of The Business Haven group.  I was very fortunate to win a beautiful necklace made by Katie Bird of Birdsmith Jewellery.  I couldn’t believe it when I opened the parcel and found that it was a delicate silver horse’s hoofprint!  Could it be any more fitting for me?!  Everyone around me was also in awe of the synchronicity of this prize coming to me, particularly as mine was the last number to be chosen and so this necklace had been sitting in the stocking waiting for me!

The presentation I gave was 90 minutes of looking at ways that we can Feel our Way from Stress into Flow.  It was the first time that I’ve run the session in this way.  In the past I’ve given a short 20-minute, interactive session as a Women Mean Biz keynote speaker, and offered a 3 hour workshop from the EQUENERGY healing space.  I was interested to see how it would work in this new format.  In the end it turned out that they were such an open and engaged group that I really enjoyed it!  This is a huge change for me…

About 3 years ago I was working with a business coach who encouraged me to start networking in order to build my business.  I’m naturally quite a shy person and the idea of walking into a room full of people that I don’t know or – heaven forbid! – standing up in front of them and telling them about what I do, was enough to make me want to run away and hide.  But I strongly believe in all that I offer, and I love supporting people to step into their joy and freedom, so I took the leap and tried out some networking groups.  You can read more about this process in my earlier blog post.

Having found the group that worked for me, I was then working with another coach who said that the next step was to offer talks and workshops.  Again, this felt very out of my comfort zone, but I went on a fabulous workshop with Helene Jewell of Jewell Facilitation and learnt how to put together a good workshop and to deal with any challenges that might arise.  This helped to build my confidence and again, reminding myself how much I love what I do, and that it would just be sharing my passion with others, I started to offer workshops and make contact with groups who might be interested in hearing me speak.  At first, I was nervous, but I’ve found that people are usually open, welcoming and interested in the topic.  I love when they ask questions and we start a discussion where everyone can share from their experience.  It’s very much a 2-way learning!  I find it exciting to meet new people in these sessions and to hear a little of their experience and the wisdom that they’ve learnt along the way.  The questions, too, always get me thinking and challenge me to be more aware, and clearer on my message.   For example, on Wednesday Tamsin, the group leader, asked me a question that reminded me of the importance of remaining curious when faced with challenges, rather than feeling overwhelmed, taking things personally or getting angry.

Running this workshop also makes me think of the role that emotional intelligence plays in our wellbeing.  So often we can become detached from our feelings in order to survive in this world, which is sometimes so busy and full of noise that it can leave us feeling overloaded.  I believe that often the key to keeping our balance is to be realistic about how much we can do on our own, to not be afraid to seek support, and to be aware of our own needs, doing our best to meet these rather than expecting someone else to do this for us.  In some ways I think that while our brains have evolved beyond those of our ancestors, we often haven’t learnt ways of responding from this new place.  This can result in dis-ease, as our bodies try to cope with the stress and tension that we hold, unable to indulge in more ‘animal-like’ behaviours, due to etiquette and the rules of polite society, but we’re not yet fluent in alternative ways of releasing the tensions.

Those who have attended these sessions have found them helpful and full of ideas to put into practice in order to support their wellbeing.  This is some of the feedback that I’ve received:

If you’d like to know more, you’re interested in booking a place on a workshop, or you’d like me to run one for your group, please get in touch on 07980669303.