Today I am making the long overdue decision to free myself from perfection.

As I spent the morning in tears, I realised that this emotional eruption has once again all come from this need to be the ‘perfect’ person.  The perfect daughter, the perfect friend, the perfect sister, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect weight, the perfect Mum to one very demanding fur baby, the perfect light-worker and even the perfect loader of the dishwasher….you name it, I want to be perfect at it!  Everything I do is steeped in this deep desire to please, to be liked, to be enough and to some how prove to others that I am worth the air I breathe or their investment, and it is becoming exhausting!

I am not perfect, far from it, and I don’t claim to be.  I make mistakes, I try too hard, I overthink, I care far too much about the feelings and opinions of others and my self-talk is very cruel.  I remember feeling ‘imperfect’ from the age of 2, and different and on the outside every year since that tender age.  Never really sure, even to this date, just why I don’t fit in or just how to channel my shadows and imperfections into something to be proud of.  But what I am now realising is that perfection is an illusion.  Something that can only be represented as a hypothetical carrot that dangles just that tad out of reach in front of you.  Yet the reality is that that carrot is further than you think.  In fact that carrot doesn’t even exist!  Magnify this unrealistic perfection with my Bach type being ‘Pine’, and you have a recipe for disaster.  For when I feel less than perfect or a situation doesn’t quite go to plan then I will revert to my tendency to blame myself and to punish myself by moving that perfect carrot even further away from my reach.

Perfection comes from a source of comparison.  If you didn’t compare the beautiful rose to the rose with noticeable marks and defects then you wouldn’t even know what a beautiful rose was.  For every rose would be on an equal playing field and beautiful in its own right, just as it is.  The rose becomes flawed and criticised because it doesn’t shape up to its blooming neighbour.  And here lies the problem.  Stop the comparisons and you therefore stop the ideal of what perfection is.

Sure we all need to strive to be the best versions of ourselves that we can be, but does that mean striving for perfection?

What does perfection even look like anyway?
Does it have a colour, a face, a name, an identity, a certain size body, or perhaps a minimum amount of tasks that we should excel in?  Is there such a thing as the perfect skill or talent to validate our placement on the Perfect-ometer? When you reach perfection do you graduate with some kind of honours and a certificate that tells the world you did it, you achieved a perfect state.  NO!  of course not.  And that’s why it seems madness that so many of us want to be perfect, when we already know full well that there is no such destination as “Perfectsville” and perfection is simply subjective and a state of peace within ourselves.  It’s a ridiculous notion that so many of us hold on to and today I have decided I am ending my relationship with it and I am starting an affair with being perfectly imperfect!

I have lost count of the number of years that I have tried to be what I thought I needed to be.  I have behaved in ways that danced to everyone else’s tune apart from my own, and as a result I have reinvented myself time and time again following what felt like failure.  And when you strive for perfection, the fall is always that much harder to take.  I simply decided today that I cannot cry any more tears or mourn the loss of the ‘perfect Ami.’  I cannot feel that I am less than acceptable as a human because of how someone else see’s me or interprets my words or behaviours.  I cannot strive to be this being of light who doesn’t hurt, feel pain or have opinions and needs.  I am human, and albeit a human in service, I am making mistakes and learning just like everyone else, and that is a fundamental part of life and any healing journey worth being on.

They say that the circles in which you keep make a difference to how you feel.  Surround yourself with positive people and you will feel positive.  Surround yourself with negative people and you will feel negative.  Whilst I agree (particularly as an empath) that the energy around you has a huge affect on your mood and behaviour, I also realised today that if their aren’t nerves to hit then people can’t hit them!  Whilst I am going along, subconsciously striving to be this perfect person who everyone will like, I am exposing myself to harder falls and more criticism.  The main factor there, is that as I feel everything BUT perfect, I am too emotionally reactive and responsive to said criticism and judgements…because these people are only mirroring the negatives I feel about myself and highlighting the flaws in my own perfect plan.  So rather than just be selective of my circles, I need to continue to work on the rawness of my wounds and tend to the idealised perfection that seeps from this opening.  I need to learn to embrace my shadow sides rather than hide them or be ashamed of them.  I need to understand that it’s none of my business what people say or think about me, nor do their opinions and misjudgements define me.  I define me.  I need to be at peace with myself.  I need to find perfection in my wholeness.

Sometimes in a world of modification, air-brushing, filters and show reels it seems as if we are all fighting a losing battle to expose and challenge perfectionism.  For we purchase flowers for our homes that only look ‘perfect’ and like they have plenty of life left in them, celebs continue to have their unique body scars and marks ‘touched up’ in photos in order to appeal to a larger audience and we live in a time when even a fruit or vegetable can be genetically modified or enhanced!  Nothing seems real anymore, so how do we learn to accept our perfectly imperfect selves, when it seems just about everything around us is still so outwardly striving for perfection and a mass market.

It was Dr Seuss who said:

‘Today you are you!  That is truer than true! There is no-one alive who is you-er than you!

How amazing is that quote?! Those simple lines serve as a reminder that we are who we are, and the very fact that there is no one who can be “you-er than you” just shows how perfect and individual we already are.

If you are feeling less than perfect today, please be kind to yourself.  Chances are your light is so much brighter than you could ever imagine, just as you are.

Yours in love and unashamedly imperfect light,

 

 

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

I have loved and listened to music for as long as I can remember, and today has been a day when I have rekindled my audio love affair.

I grew up in a house mainly listening to anything from Motown to The Carpenters and Aztec Camera to Alison Moyet, all with fond memories of LP’s purchased from Woolworth’s or Rival records at the height of my appreciation.  But the turning point for me was 1999 in Cardiff.  After only attending gigs with my parents or chaperones up to this point, I attended my first ‘proper’ gig on my own.  I was 16, they were Stereophonics, and it was just before ‘Performance and Cocktails’ was released.  Pushing my way with Lisa to the front, only to be almost squashed in a moshing crowd and my friend having her hand cut on some glass, we quickly retreated, slightly petrified but still singing!  It wasn’t the best experience, but the euphoric feeling of live music still resonates every time I listen to that album.

From that moment on I became obsessed with music.  Listening to music before work, during my commute to work via headphones, in my lunch hour and after work when I got home, and if that wasn’t enough I was going to 5 gigs a week and many festivals in my hay day!  I would later go to gigs alone and meet amazing people as a result.  Often I would be buzzing so much after seeing a live band that I would drive my gig buddy home (50 miles round trip) in my old-school mini and even park up outside of his house whilst we talked for a further hour to unwind.  We would talk until the early hours about where Joy Division went wrong (in our opinion) or dissect the latest Elbow album track by track in great detail, and I would still get up for work the next day!  It all seems another lifetime now.

Over the years I guess I lost my connection with music as I knew it.  I got the treble clef tattoo on my wrist covered up and recently sold off the vast majority of my impressive vinyl and CD collection (which wasn’t emotionally easy to do).  The very collection that took presidency to house in every relocation and new relationship I entered; travelling with me as the most precious of cargo.  Some of those ex’s probably wouldn’t even believe that I finally parted with it after all these years, as it was my prize possession.

But things change.  I’ve changed.   Although today I am reminded that music remains ingrained in me.  It’s not about being first to discover the latest underground bands, or recite the order in which the Beatles released their albums anymore, as I realise that those things no longer define or validate how much I love music.  In fact despite the quieter confidence in my musical relationship , my folks still swear that I am the girl you want on your pub quiz team, just in case a music question comes up.  Or they call me into the room when the Eggheads get to the music round.  And I am pretty sure I am the first friend they would call if they were sat opposite Chris Tarrant and there was a question about the Stone Roses!  And that’s because the way in which music moves and excites me did not leave when I gave away my last LP.  Because once you catch the music bug, it never leaves you.  It may go from a hard rock to a soft ballad, but it’s their, like an old flame waiting for you to just say the words to hook up again!

Music is something that we often take for granted just how much it can lift our mood or even communicate with us when those around us just don’t seem to be able to find the words.

Multiple festivals and outside entertainment is now geared around music, as it’s something that we just can’t live without, whether you’re into anything from Mozart to Morrissey or Beethoven to Bowie.  We use it to set ambience during therapies and meditation, to motivate during exercise, to support us through heartache and breakups, to enhance social gatherings and to dance to, amongst many other things.  It’s something that the majority of us turn to when we need to manage any emotion or find connection, as it’s that thing we turn up loud and belt out the words to when we just need a release of feel good hormones.

Music has always been emotive for me, perhaps more than any other tool being an empath.  I have lost myself at many a gig, even crying whilst everyone else is bopping.  I always cry when a drum or bodrum is whipped out in a 1-1 healing session and I have even been deeply triggered by the ‘singing’, or rather whaling, of releasing women in a cave in Avebury.  Music or sound of any sorts is a huge trigger for me, and something that prompts uncensored vulnerability.

Today I let my intuition and my higher guidance show me what I needed to listen to and where this suppressed musical love wanted to take me.  It’s been a day of melodic audio and I have wanted to listen to an array of genres.  As I lay on my bed, candles on and enjoying a moments quiet, I double clicked the ITUNES logo.  I was taken to songs that were as necessary a part of my healing journey as any.  Some of these were songs gifted to me by ex-partners, some were songs that remind me of better times, freer times and evoked deeply nostalgic feelings.  Some songs transported me to where I feel I would like to be.  And some reminded me of where I am pleased I no longer am.  All and all, in the space of an hour I had created my own little sound bath and I released a lot of tears that could only fall as a result of these songs.  Tears that needed to fall for what was, and tears that needed to fall in anticipation for what could be.  Some songs I hadn’t been able to listen to since relationships broke down, until now.  Not because I have any regrets for these relationships ending, or any particular warm thoughts towards these people, but tears for the pain I felt at the time and the promises of love and commitment that never quite transpired.  And that’s what music does.  Those averaged 3 minutes can take you to another time as clearly as if you built a time machine and travelled back to reunite with your younger self.

Music is deeply soothing and the benefits on the chakric system, body and aura are often something we fail to appreciate.  We tend to think that only a huge gong can release pain and trauma within the body or that we need to be held in a room of sound.  But a simple hour out, when you’re ready to witness what needs to be released, can be the perfect and bespoke sound bath you crave.

When we look at the signs in song form, ABBA announced they were thankful for the music, Mama Cass told us that we had to make our own kind of music and Julie Andrews was a little bit in love with the sheer sound of music. And I personally have to agree with John Miles when he said that music was his first love.  So take time out today, and if you haven’t already, put on the first album you lay your hands on, or better still do an ‘intuitive search’ online.  See where it takes you, and don’t just have it as background music, light some candles, spark up the incense and listen to what the words are telling you.  Notice where in the body the notes spark and fall.

On that note (excuse the pun), I’ve an overdue date with Ryan Adams ‘Gold’.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

Since discovering the Bach flower remedies I had been too scared to take two remedies; Agrimony and Oak.

Up until recently, after years of working with the system both personally and professionally, I had managed to escape the clutches of these two remedies and convince myself I didn’t need them.

That’s because Agrimony is the remedy for those who wear masks or use forms of escapism to hide their pain, and Oak is for those who feel they need to keep going all the time, even when the need for rest is glaringly obvious.  I had imagined (despite knowing that the Bach remedies do not work in this way) that I wouldn’t be able to use humour as a way to avoid public vulnerability, I wouldn’t be able to appear strong anymore; the way in which those I love need me to be, and I would be forced to stop and rest past a point I could return from, if I took these two tinctures.

But by starting with Agrimony, when I eventually realised that I was holding myself back by means of resisting it, I came to realise that the remedies and energy-work that invite a period of rest can actually be the most beneficial.  I don’t just mean rest in the physical sense, but rest from show reels, abusive coping strategies or even rest from responding re-actively in the moment, as all of those things are exhausting.

When I meet a new client, I will ask them in their initial consultation why they have come to see me and this question often throws people for some reason.

But can you guess what the most common answer is?…

…It’s ‘relaxation!’

 

Yet relaxation is the very thing that so many of us find so hard to do, and even go as far as to sabotage it by finding things to do when we notice that we start to take time out for ourselves or from our ‘duties’.   The vast majority of us even feel as strong a feeling as guilt for taking time out for ourselves or for doing nothing.

I witness so many people in my own community do one of two things when it comes to ‘healing’.  There are those who avoid alternative therapies altogether, perhaps through fear of the unknown, resistance to change, or even sabotaging their own success, and then there are the group of awakening souls who want to try everything!  They want to sit in circles multiple times during the week, do every training course, or attend the opening of a spiritual envelope, all without adequate time for integration of the healing they have encountered or reflection afterwards.

I am not highlighting either choice by means to cause any detriment to these people, as all of us will fall into both of these camps at varying points on our individual journeys.  But what I have come to learn is that both approaches can cause delays in improved health and well-being as they lack balance.

 

Healing is not always about getting what you want, infact it’s often about getting what you need

 

A channel or intuitive-led practitioner will often bypass the physical body or the guidance spoken on a 3D level and go straight for a deeper connection with your higher self.  This means that healing will take place unfiltered and in ways that are subconsciously determined by the part of you that knows how to get you the results you crave in the long run.  Knowing just what it needs to do to get you back on track physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually without fear or overthought, and often without initially making sense to the conscious mind.  This means that for some people they can be forced to down tools if they are people who are not checking in with their body enough or are in situations of heightened stress and trauma, which causes them to react or ‘keep going’ rather than to rest – almost like a fight or flight situation.

Resting is so hard to do, and learning to do it without frustration, without expectation and without a self-administered ‘time-frame’ is not only a huge act of self-care but it’s an inner surrender to flow.  Trusting the process and learning to see this unscheduled downtime as a blessing that is perhaps saving you from exhaustion, a breakdown, or a further deterioration in physical or mental health.  Those who resist the flow are often taken out of action for longer as it becomes no longer just about the benefits of resting and also about learning the lesson of how to live in flow and the great unknown.`

I understand first hand how hard resting is.  I battle with chronic fatigue every day in my personal life, which means that the need for rest is often unavoidable and unpredictable.  I also struggle with issues of worthiness.

On my ongoing search for my authentic self I can now see just how worthiness for me relates to rest.  For I have never allowed myself to feel worthy of rest.  In the past when I have taken even an afternoon to have a siesta, or I have written off a day to watch rubbish TV and sit in my pj’s, I feel an obligation from myself or those around me to do something.  To perhaps allow myself to lie in bed, but to do some work on my laptop at the same time.  Or to only allow an hour or two’s rest before getting up to tidy the house, all before my partner gets home and would therefore never know I had been resting!  This is not rest.  This is controlled rest.  My mind, let alone my body, never got to fully switch off and immerse itself in this down time as I was already thinking about what time I needed to get up or what was an adequate amount of ticks to make on my to do list alongside this day off!  And I see it so many times.  Clients who have had a period of exhaustion pre and post treatment with me, and being incredibly frustrated by this or wary to book a follow-up as a result.  Or those who ask if remedies will make them tired before even taking them, as they seek stimulants not relaxers.

I can see, and I include my own fears in this, that we are becoming a nation who are frightened to stop!

Truly stop.  As we have too many expectations placed upon us and we view resting as lazy, a waste of time and something that holds us back.

But what happens when we burn out or get sick?  We are forced to stop.  Yet the world keeps turning.  The household still runs.  The kids still get to school.  Our jobs wait for us to return (usually).  And as frustrated as we may feel initially, we know that our bodies want and need this.  We instinctively know that we need to take to our beds and to rest for a while, and in most cases we allow ourselves to do this.

Rest isn’t just about going to sleep or lying in bed.  Rest is about integration.  It’s about taking that time out from therapies, circles, people or duties by making time for some silence in your life.  It’s about switching off from the stimulants of caffeine, alcohol, drugs, unhealthy foods, social media and TV and getting out into nature, with just you and a good book or an intention of mindfulness.  It’s about getting off the treadmill in the gym and slowing it down to a jog or a walk in the local park.  It’s as simple as that. Above all else it’s about learning the difference between needing rest and integration or going into resistance (resistance blog coming soon!).

After any period of healing there is a time when we must stop and often disconnect from our current lives in order to adjust to the new and improved ways that are trying to enter.

So, if you’re still with me, take 5 minutes now to turn your phone to silent, to turn off the background noise and to tune into your body.  What is she asking from you?  Are there aches or pains?  Are there signs that you’ve ‘overdone’ it at the gym or at work or even socially with alcohol/food/drugs and too many late nights?  Perhaps on the emotional end of the scale, there may even be signs that you have done enough for now.  You have had enough treatments, you have attended enough retreats, you have sat in circle more times this month than you’ve sat at your family dinner table and now it’s time to stop and check in.  To quieten the mind and to engage the heart to see what’s coming up.  What triggers have revealed themselves this week or what signs are around you?  What lessons have you learnt?  What unique traits are you beginning to realise you have (as it’s not all about the negative!) It’s time to rest and it’s time to integrate no doubt, so do this for yourself now, no matter how small the act, as this is a fundamental part of any healing journey and awakening, yet it is often the one that gets ignored.  It shouldn’t take going on holiday to take time out to rest and to be present.

Taking time out whether physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally will give you more energy to get things done in the long run, and a much deeper sense of healing.

Rest. Listen. Integrate. Grow.

 

Yours in love and light,

 

 

Never fear, Oak and Agrimony will not necessarily induce rest for you, no more than any other remedy IF that’s what you need at the time of taking them.  So please don’t avoid them.

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

Jealousy is a common feeling, one that all of us experience far more than we perhaps care to admit.

It starts as early as childhood and usually results in squabbling siblings, competitive natures or comparable tendencies.  We are programmed when we are young that this is one of the ‘negative’ emotions and traits that we shouldn’t exhibit, yet we are rarely given the supportive tools to unlearn this behaviour, and instead tend to suppress or bury our feelings.

With that in mind, it is no surprise that we carry these feelings through to adulthood and often feel jealous long after it’s socially acceptable to be, even sometimes holding on to childhood rivalries as a result.  People like to put an ‘age’ on jealousy.  After perhaps the excusable cute stages of being a toddler, we have to ‘man up’.  We have to own these strong and often confusing feelings (usually in secret) forcing us to move on at hurried speeds, especially when we are unexpectedly triggered by them in later life.  When you start to understand jealousy, where it comes from and the effects of childhood supression, it becomes no surprise that so many adults still hold enviable comparisons and still feel the need to compete.  But what makes it worse is that when we feel jealous in later life our inner child comes along for the ride!  Bringing up old insecurities and suppressed emotions just to make the process feel even harder to deal with and to sprinkle a little self-guilt over the proceedings!

So why is jealousy such an important emotion to acknowledge?

 

In later life, since I’ve really begun to awaken, I have become increasingly aware of my own shadow side.  Today I was reminded in such a fleeting feeling that jealousy is still a part of who I am, albeit a continually self-challenged and reducing emotion.  An emotion that pacifies with every high vibrational discipline I practice, with every Bach remedy I take and with every day that I learn to love myself that little bit more, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a feeling that rears its head in different forms every now and again.

As a practitioner, and someone who has done a lot of self-healing in a short space of time, I understand that jealousy is what is known as a low vibrational energy.  It is something that comes more from ego, unbalanced emotions and often a place of disconnect within the heart.  But I also believe that it can be a wonderful learning tool when you’re ready to listen, as I see it as a ‘trigger’ emotion.  A trigger emotion is one that acts as a catalyst for great change, but one that can often be uncomfortable and challenging for not only ourselves but those around us.  It’s an emotion that is rarely about the other person and EVERYTHING about us.

Jealousy doesn’t always come from a place of resentment, bitterness or anger, which is often why it is seen to be so bad.  It gets subconsciously grouped together with other so called ‘bad’ emotions and the whole process portrays those experiencing it to be some kind of green eyed ‘monster’.  Yet I find jealousy is more linked to a place of self-worth, self-love and self-esteem or rather, lack of.

When we feel jealous it’s often because we don’t feel worthy.  We don’t feel we can have the same success or achievements as others, or when we need validating because we’re not quite giving ourselves the love and respect we seek, and it’s often only experienced when our own feelings of self-acceptance are too much in the negative.  Don’t be fooled into thinking that those truly living in their power won’t still experience feelings of jealousy, as they will, but for them it’s more likely to be quieter, infrequent, and will only serve as a learning tool when it surfaces.  Like every emotion, jealousy will appear multiple times on a healing journey.  It will be weaved into the fabric of your very being, linked subconsciously to intricate layers of past trauma, belief systems and core values.  Some feelings of envy will be strong and noticeable, whilst others will be subtle and take a period of processing to be able to put a name to the emotion.  And that in itself is healing!

Our shadow sides can teach us so much.  Just sitting with a feeling of jealousy can tell us what remedies for example are needed for the next part of our healing journey.  Holly Bach remedy is often associated with feelings of jealousy, but it isn’t always the most appropriate.  For squabbling children, I would say it is usually the ‘go to’ remedy, but Holly is for when we feel extremes of a negative.  So in the case of needing to invite love into the heart or balance extremes of jealousy then it’s one to consider, but I often think people with Larch and Pine tendencies can also experience a lot of jealousy.  For they often compare themselves, never quite feel good enough at what they do and in turn can look at everyone through an emerald tint for it’s less about the person they’re jealous of and more about their own feelings of inadequacy.

When I have been on retreats, taken part in intense healing courses and integrated into close-knit circles I have been surprised by how much jealousy I have felt.

I have felt as though others are getting opportunities that I am not, I have felt that I will never be as good as someone else and I have felt that space holders have given praise to others that I wanted for myself.  And at the time I know I was jealous in some form.  But what has been a huge breakthrough on my journey to releasing this jealousy, was to admit it.  Admit it to myself and in turn to the people I was sharing space with.  This admission was healing in itself for it would NEVER have been something I would have said out loud, I wouldn’t even have been able to say it to myself as I wouldn’t have been so aware.  But in saying out loud how I felt, I gave power to those words, I released them from my body and in turn I found the humour in the emotion. For I had spoken my truth, without filter, and let go, trusting the process.  I had chosen to do something differently to what I usually would and with that decision came deep healing, still to this day.

In a closing circle at a soul-journey I went on last year, the honesty stick made its way around the circle until it got to me.  I was asked to sum up what I was feeling, and in that moment, I felt my body get hot and my adrenalin fuelled feelings rush to my chest as if I were to have a panic attack at any given moment, for I knew I needed to say out loud, to all these people who seemed so perfect and so enlightened, that I was feeling jealous.  Jealous that the space holder gave her praise to someone else and not to me.  But luckily enough the two space holders were encouraging, created a safe space and they understood the need to expose the shadow side as much as the light, so I reluctantly shared.  I can’t even remember what was said in response to my words, but I felt better, I felt lighter and I no longer felt jealous! I realised in that moment that the jealousy triggered an emotion linked into my childhood insecurities, and I looked to that space holder as if she were my mother, wanting her to tell me what a good job I have done and that I had her seal of approval.

But I also realised in that moment that had she have given it to me, it wouldn’t have been enough.  She could have praised me 10 times over but until she gave me that 11th dose of praise it wouldn’t have felt enough.  And that’s because one of my main Bach types is Pine.  So, jealousy for me usually indicates a need for me to take Pine, to improve my self-worth and to find validation of myself.  The much feared feeling of jealousy actually became the tool that set me free in this case.  It gave me closure.  It gave me understanding. And it gave me a gentle reminder that I hadn’t taken enough Pine!  It also sparked a hugely emotive and honest closing circle, that I can now see perhaps wouldn’t have happened had I not been so open.  Had I not found the courage to share my shadow then others may not have been so rebelliously led to share theirs.  But in doing so we ALL exposed our shadow sides.  We ALL understood what triggered us and what needed deeper healing.  And it ended in such a deep respect, love and understanding  for each other and served as a humorous reminder of what we all needed to individually heal.  It couldn’t have ended better.  From such pain came an undoubtedly uncomfortable lesson and situation, but one that ended so blissfully and couldn’t have taught us what we all needed to know without my initial green eyes.

So, challenge your shadow sides.  Notice who and what triggers you.  Notice who you feel in competition with or enviable of.  For they can be your biggest teachers and your greatest tool for healing.

Yours in love and light,

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

You may have noticed an influx of companies (perhaps many of whom you can’t even remember signing up for their services) emailing you in recent weeks, asking you to re-subscribe to their mailing list.

That’s because on May 25th 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect, which in simple terms has been built around giving us all more control over our data and the ways in which it is stored, used and shared.

This can seem an unnecessary task for some, and as a small business it has meant a complete review of my policies and practices.  However as someone (like everyone I’m sure) who seems to have had their email address or phone number added to things that they can’t ever remember signing up for, I can personally understand the need for change.  I also think it’s important that no matter how small the business, it’s customers and clients should feel confident that their personal information is respected, kept confidential and used appropriately.  Therefore, I have tried to find a compromise between not bombarding the Honeysuckle community with emails asking you to get in touch or re-subscribe, whilst ensuring I am increasingly open and transparent about what the GDPR means to Honeysuckle and in turn your data moving forward.

As Honeysuckle Healing is a small independent business, I am taking these new regulations seriously and have already mentioned some of the ways in which I would be ensuring my business is GDPR compliant in April’s newsletter.  As I come from a health and social care background, as well as many organisational roles, I have always been overly familiar with the Data Protection Act and the importance of working with clients openly to gain their consent for services.  With that in mind, I am pleased to say that I feel in order for Honeysuckle to be compliant with these new regulations, I need only make a few changes to my current consultation forms and to bring your attention to the ways in which you can subscribe and unsubscribe from my services.

This blog is aimed at reassuring any new and existing customers of Honeysuckle Healing, including those who haven’t used our services for some time and may wish to leave our mailing list, what you can and cannot expect from Honeysuckles services moving forward.

Below you will find some common Q&A’s that will help you to understand Honeysuckle’s compliance with the GDPR and hopefully help you to familiarise yourself with what you can expect moving forward.

  1. Will I need to complete a new consultation form?

For anyone who has attended a Honeysuckle event, taster session or had an initial or follow-up treatment with Honeysuckle Healing from 1st May 2018, you will have been asked to complete an updated version of my consultation form and therefore will not need to update your details again until a point of review*.  This form has been given the addition of marketing ‘opt outs’, which include choosing whether you wish to receive emails, texts, post or contact from Honeysuckle Healing in between treatments.  It also informs you of the ways in which I store and use your information.  For anyone who has completed this new form, I have updated your consent and will adhere to this accordingly.  However, please note that you can change your preferences at any time by contacting me via any of the usual methods of communication, or by simply clicking ‘unsubscribe’ on the monthly newsletter.

If you have had a treatment, taster, or attended a Honeysuckle event BEFORE 1st May 2018 then you will be asked to complete a new and updated consultation form at your next appointment and be asked to book a full consultation appointment rather than a follow-up appointment.

*review period TBC

  1. What Honeysuckle communication will I receive if my last treatment was before 1st May 2018?

With effect from 25th May 2018, anyone who has not completed a new form i.e. has had a treatment before 1st May 2018, please be aware that I will no longer be sending you cards, texts or postal communication as you will not have been given these service ‘opt-out’ choices at the time of your last treatment.  However, I have chosen to keep your email address on my mailing list to receive the monthly newsletter and very occasional emails in between.  This is because I am confident that everyone on my mailing list has given consent to be added (see question 5).  I would also like to remind you of the easy ‘opt out’ option at the bottom of the newsletter which simply says ‘unsubscribe’.  If you click this link at any time, I will assume and respect that you no longer wish to receive any form of communication from Honeysuckle Healing.

  1. What does it mean to ‘unsubscribe’ from the mailing list?

If at any point you wish to stop receiving emails (and post/texts for those who have opted in) from Honeysuckle Healing then you simply need to click ‘unsubscribe’ from the bottom of the newsletter.  By doing this I will assume that you no longer wish to receive any form of communication from Honeysuckle Healing and I will not contact you or send any communication via email or post as per your request.  By choosing to re-subscribe at a later date you are simply requesting to re-join the electronic mailing list to receive your copy of Honeysuckles monthly newsletter and occasional emails in between.  If you wish to receive postal services or texts at a later date then you will need to complete a new consultation form.

  1. Why will I no longer receive postal communication such as birthday cards?

If you have not had a treatment, attended a workshop or taster event prior to 1st May 2018 then you will not have had the opportunity to complete my revised consultation form, which updates you on data sharing and gives you the option to select the ways in which you are happy for Honeysuckle Healing to contact you.  Therefore, I will not be GDPR compliant if I continue to send postal communication or initiate texts after 25th May (sorry to all those older clients yet to have a birthday this year and receive their Honeysuckle gift voucher!)  To continue to receive all forms of Honeysuckle communication, you will need to have another treatment or attend a taster or workshop in order to complete a GDPR compliant consent form.

  1. Why do I still receive emails but not postal communication?

On my previous consultation forms there has always been a box that has asked you if you wish to be added to my mailing list.  Therefore, I have already gained your consent to email you.  However, until 1st May 2018 there was not a box to ask if it was ok to send you cards for special occasions or to keep in touch via text or postal services. Everyone on my mailing list has either given their consent by signing up via the website, through previous consultation forms, personal request or by adding their name to a mailing list at a previous event.

  1. What if I only use the Bach treatment bottle only service or have a skype/phone appointment?

All services that I provide require me to collect a minimum amount of personal data in accordance with my insurance obligations, such as name, date of birth, address and contact details, as well as keep a record of suggested Bach remedies and any aftercare advice that I give.  It is also best practice for me to gather necessary background medical information when giving Reiki or energy healing.  When someone has requested a phone/skype appointment for Bach flower remedies or a treatment bottle only service, I have previously gathered this information by phone or text in order to speed up the process and keep interaction minimal for the customer.   However, to ensure my records are kept up to date and you are aware of the ways in which I use, store and share your information, as well as given ‘opt out’ marketing choices, I am in the process of creating a condensed form to support these services.

Please note, with effect from 25th May, Bach flower treatment bottle only customers will be expected to complete a condensed consultation form prior to the issue of a Bach flower blend.  For distance energy healing clients, or Bach flower consultations via skype or phone, you will be required to complete and update full consultation forms at regular points of review.

  1. When I sign up via the website mailing list box, what communication will I receive?

When you choose to add your email address to the mailing list box on the home screen of www.honeysucklehealing.co.uk you are choosing to receive a monthly copy of Honeysuckle News, which is a newsletter emailed to you around the 1st of each calendar month.  You are also being added to my mailing list, which will give me the consent to send adhoc emails, as deemed holistically appropriate and as Honeysuckle evolves its services.  This is likely to be a rare occurrence, however I may on occasions feel this is relevant and wish to share important news with the Honeysuckle mailing list.

  1. How do you store and protect my data?

It is a requirement of my insurance company, Balens, that I store personal information, including details of the treatments I have given and any aftercare advice for 7 years from the date of last treatment.  I have always kept consultation forms electronically, shredding any paper copies, using my personal device which is password protected and kept in a secure place within my home.

I have a secure website, which supports the safe use of any information you share such as enquiries and email addresses online with Honeysuckle.  And I use Mail Chimp to send the majority of my mailing list emails.  In the event that I need to contact you directly, in a group of other attendees to a workshop for example, I will use the option to ensure that your email address is concealed from others.

  1. Why do you gather information?

It is a requirement of my insurance company and professional memberships that I gather basic personal information (see question 6) as well as a brief medical history.  I have endeavoured to keep the information I request on my consultation forms to a minimum and to ask only what’s relevant from a treatment point of view.  Some medical conditions can have a reaction to healing treatments and therefore will require medical involvement or closer monitoring for example.  All information gathered is taken with a view of giving you the best possible service, results and ongoing support, as well as to ensure I am aware of any triggers or complications that may arise on your healing journey.

Personal information is kept in case of any emergency or need for me to contact you.  You are given details above about the ways in which I may use this information with your consent.

You will be fully involved at consultation whereby we will discuss this in more detail and you will always be kept informed and involved in your treatment selection.

  1. Do you pass on my details?

Your details are treated as confidential, as is your treatment notes and the conversations we share.  However, I reserve the right to break confidentiality if I feel concerned that your welfare or the welfare of others is at risk.  You will be given details about this at consultation and I will inform you if I need to break confidentiality for this reason.  Other than this I do not share your details with anyone else or any third parties.

  1. How often will you review this?

I am still determining the best course of action for a review period, and this may change during this time of transition and compliance.  However, I anticipate that I will start to do a yearly audit, meaning that I may ask clients to complete a new consultation form and to update their preferences one year from their last treatment.  This is more likely because contact details and medical information may have been likely to change.  However, workshops and taster sessions will require completion of a specially adapted form each time, due to the time lapse between each session.

 

I hope that this blog answers some of your questions about how GDPR will affect your services and communication with Honeysuckle Healing.  As always, I will strive to be open with you at consultation and to keep communication between treatments to a necessary minimum, only sharing holistic information I feel may support your healing journey as a whole.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support and patience during this time of change, when I may need to update forms and procedures multiple times in order to arrive at the best outcome for you and Honeysuckle, whilst being mindful of the need for GDPR compliance.

If at any point you are unsure of any of the ways in which I store, share or use your data you are welcome to re-read this blog or to contact me for more information.  You also have the right to request any information I hold about you, by putting your request in writing.

Once again please be aware that you can unsubscribe to Honeysuckle services at any time via the newsletter or by contacting me through email, my website, social media accounts or by phone.

Honeysuckle Healing is here to support you and would never intentionally do anything to jeopardise that or abuse your trust.  The introduction of GDPR will simply ensure that you feel more in control and have access to all information held about you.  From my point of view there is not a lot that will change as I have always taken this subject very seriously and will simply use this opportunity to improve my services further.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you

aAs I looked in the full-length mirror in front of me, the one behind and the bonus third mirror to my left, I could really see myself in all her glory.  And I didn’t like what I saw one bit!

I asked myself ‘how’ have I got so big again, when almost 2 years ago to the day I was in good shape and about to run the Bristol 10k!  Yet now I wouldn’t even be able to run to the corner shop for a tub of ice-cream!

But what made me sadder, and perhaps compelled me to write such an open and exposing blog is that I realised that I wouldn’t be the first woman to feel this way in a Marks and Spencer’s changing room and I wouldn’t be the last!  Today I decided to embrace the weight I have gained and to get my much larger norks measured and safely housed in a bra that wasn’t 3 sizes too small and a pair of pants that actually covered my rather round derrière!  In doing so I felt sure that I would feel empowered and almost accepting of my new fuller figure, yet it left me looking shamefully at the reflection of this person I barely recognised with tears running down my face.

I am returning to my blog writing after taking some time out, and this comeback subject and level of honesty may seem a tad strange, but I blog about my real-life experiences on my journey to healing, and sadly for me weight will always be my nemesis and the very thing that I struggle to control and accept.  We all have our vices, and mine is food.  As I looked at myself today I felt vulnerable, which is something I am not very good at admitting or feeling, and I couldn’t understand how I found myself here again, looking at someone who, well, I didn’t want to look at.  But what perhaps disappointed me more is that it always seems to take weight gain for me to appreciate how perfectly acceptable my figure was in the days before.  I am terrible for critiquing myself.  For comparing myself to women whose figures are unachievable for my frame and health limitations, and then using this to somehow validate my inner critic when she says that I am too fat, too wobbly or not pleasing to the eye.  Of course, with my weighty life flashing before my eyes in the changing room today, I realised how much time I had wasted not feeling ‘good enough’ over the years, when infact I would LOVE to be any of the sizes of my former selves again right now.

So how do I break this cycle?

One that I am sure so many women can relate to.

 

If I had the answer to that question, I would not only be a very rich lady but I would be one slender goddess!  For there is no ‘quick fix’ and it seems, rather puzzlingly, that the more healing I do right now, the more pounds seem to go on!  I was actually slim when I started my Reiki training and I have got bigger every year since.  And I have asked myself WHY so many times.  I have, like many people who come to me as a practitioner searching for answers, turned to various groups and professionals, including nutritionists and channels, for the solution, but with no lasting luck.  I have had deep healing sessions and even tried hypnotherapy, yet I find myself the least in control of my eating I feel I have ever been, and now looking to take Cherry Plum Bach remedy for the fear of this relationship with food spiralling completely out of control.  That’s because ALL forms of healing (despite what they may claim) simply remove layers, assist you to the next lesson in life, give you another tool and move you ever closer to unlocking your potential, but of course it’s a journey!  One which will always take effort, moving goalposts and some lessons that can only be learnt through pain.

It has made me feel super vulnerable to share this post and I know that once I publish it I am likely to re-read it multiple times and question whether I should take it down, but I have felt for a while now that there is a need for more practitioners to be vulnerable.  To practice what they preach, to take down the ‘show-reel’ a little and to keep healing real!  And that means being authentic themselves and on occasions a little raw and out of their comfort zones.  I don’t personally believe, despite what some therapists riding firmly on weight-loss bandwagons claim, that there is any one solution to the problem.  I think it comes back to the individual and their own unique emotions and journey, which is why I utilise the Bach remedies first and foremost as my layers peel.

We are moving into a time where people are beginning to challenge stigmas and to encourage others to speak out, so although this may not be the full extent of my story, I do hope that it helps someone feeling deflated after a changing room experience today that they are not alone.  That someone else in the world has an issue with body image and is battling with their weight and insecurities. I am a positive person, and I am actually in the best place I have ever been with my confidence and acceptance of the person I am.  But I am human.  I have insecurities as much as the next person and I am on a healing journey along with the rest of the world.  I am lucky enough to have many tools to support me, but I have learnt that no matter how happy you are or how far along your journey, we ALL have issues behind the scenes, things we dislike about ourselves and things that we struggle with.

What makes the return of my plus size figure perhaps harder to deal with is that this time round I am awake enough to realise that sometimes things need to get worse before they can get better. Which means that I know that no weight loss club, no chanting in a candlelit room in Glastonbury or shot of cider vinegar each morning is going to cut it!  For I have to travel not to the diet club in the local church hall, but within myself.   As hard as this is to do, for I have clearly avoided the bigger picture for too long now, I need to surrender to the process and trust that in order to break free from my yo-yo figure and relationship with food, I need to do the internal work and I need to break the cycle…and that will take as long as it takes.  Some say that it’s common to put on weight when you are going into a deeper level of healing, for you need ‘protection’, and to a certain extent I can understand that.  Over the last few years I have gone on a healing journey of epic proportions and with each layer I have peeled back, with each core belief I have challenged and with each failure I have endured, I have picked myself up and learnt from it.  This is a time when I need to bring my demons to the surface, whether that be in blog form, self-acceptance or just bigger pants for now, this is a time when I know that it’s no longer about quick fixes or a pair of size 10 jeans, because that’s not going to make me feel better in the long run.  I need to challenge my thoughts and feelings and I need to deal with my pain and trauma, so that I can break abusive habits once and for all.  Weight can be a way of holding yourself back.  Food can be a replacement for love and weight can be a way of stopping yourself from meeting a new love, perhaps through fear of being hurt again, which are certainly all true in my case.

I wish this was more of a blog about how to love yourself, as I don’t like to think of anyone stood in their underwear in a room full of mirrors and critiquing their unique shape, marks and scars and questioning just how ‘beautiful’ they are.  And I would never speak to anyone else in the manner I speak to myself, I wouldn’t even think it about them!  So why do I allow myself to speak so cruelly to myself, why do I have such an idealistic view of ‘beauty’ and weight when it comes to myself yet I see women of all shapes and sizes and truly think they are beautiful?  The answer to that is probably because I’m human!  We are all our harshest critics and we all carry pre-conceived ideals of what is and isn’t acceptable for ourselves.

But, I take comfort in the fact that this blog is probably the most vulnerable thing I have ever shared, and in doing so I feel it is the first step towards breaking that habit.  Right now, this is where I am at, and that doesn’t mean that this is where I will be tomorrow, or next month or next year!  Becoming aware of our shadow sides and learning to face them head on, whether that be in one mirror or three, is a fundamental part of healing.  Denying the very thing that is making us unhappy or is stopping us from truly stepping into our power can continue to make the problem worse, masking it for a little while longer, before the blood seeps through the bandage and we can no longer hide it.  Today, why not ask yourself what is holding you back?  What is the thing that makes you unhappy? And what are you avoiding?

For me, today I will trust the process.  I will surrender to the flow and start to ask my inner voice the overdue questions such as the ‘why’s and the ‘how’s’.  I will take my Bach remedies and peel back those layers, challenging the emotions, fears and outlooks that lead me to this vulnerable place I find myself in today.  And what’s more, I will choose to do all of this in slightly bigger pants and a fabulous new bra!

Yours in love and voluptuous light,

 

Sharing is caring!  Sharing my blogs, quoting my insights, and your continued support is always appreciated.  However, if you reference any of my work then please credit Honeysuckle Healing, and include links to the appropriate piece so that others may benefit from these tools too.  I work hard to ‘give back’ to my community through my free blogs and self-empowering online content.  I can only continue to meet this dedication through your respect and recognition.  Thank you