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There is a common myth amongst the spiritual community, that you have to be happy all the time in order to be ‘enlightened’ and that healing is all love and light.

To be a light-worker of any kind you cannot openly experience what are known in the trade as low-vibrational energies or emotions.  These tend to be feelings such as anger, jealousy, sadness, insecurity and alike.  You know, the very things that you are likely to have been brought up suppressing, because you learned through adopting parental behaviours or witnessing a collective that these were the ‘bad guys.’

It is subconsciously expected by your public platform, and on occasions your peers, that you will be a cross between Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandi!  A ‘normal’ human just isn’t spiritually enlightened after all…or so the story goes!

Well, I am here to burst that bubble and to dispel that myth as it actually drives me crazy!

I believe that one of the things we as a collective are trying to heal in this lifetime is the learned behaviours of our ancestors, our manufactured modern day media and the inherited parental lines.  For all of us, no matter how we present, which language we speak, which country we come from or which God we believe in, all seem to have a common misunderstanding… that we should only embrace our light, and at the expense of pretending we hold no dark.

This learned behaviour feeds into our insecurities and encourages our suppression of pain and trauma, for we see it as some kind of personal failure if we exhibit these low vibrational behaviours.

We begin unhealthy comparisons, put channels and healers on pedestals to magnify our conceived inadequacies and we never truly learn how to love and embrace our wholeness.   We actually start to lose our power and get further away from healing ourselves, as we lose sight of just who ‘ourselves’ really are.

Thankfully there are a rising number of channels and alchemic therapists who hold space to address shadow work, and others whose healing methods help us to let go of ‘good and bad’ connotations.  Through my own personal and professional development I too am working towards building communities appreciative of a self-duality; an unapologetic presence of our shadows and of our light.

Just as there is no day without night and no night without day, we need both our darkness and our luminescence in order to thrive.

Some of the channels and therapists I respect the most are those who own their feelings, even when they get it wrong.  Those who post videos that move them to public tears, and those who sit in circle and do the painful work alongside their paying tribe (rather than pretend they do!)    For most authentic beings of light in this field are those who have experienced pain and persecution on large scales in their lives.

They are often the people who take their insecurities, their traumas, their misfortunes and their universal need to feel loved and they channel it into helping others.  They are the people who made a brave declaration to strive to put more love into the world than perhaps they have personally experienced, through using their wounds to heal and empathise.   That doesn’t mean that these people no longer feel pain, that they have all their shit together and that they don’t get it wrong sometimes, they are human, they are constantly evolving.  It just means that they are trying to become the best version of themselves and to empower others to come along for the ride.

If you haven’t learned to incorporate your shadows, then their is tremendous weight to carry as a light-worker.  You will always hide under a fabricated light, for others will take great pleasure in exposing your darkness for you.   I now believe that without utilising your shadows you will limit what you can offer as a channel, as a person and as a business.  For example, I found my inner Priesti through shadow work, and this is an energetic gift and skill-set that I struggle to understand how I lived without now.

I have begun taking steps on a path as a channel, which I believe may take me away from being a therapist of sorts.  With this comes a responsibility to do the opposite to what I once believed, in terms of showing an ascending collective that healing is found just as much in the dark as it is in the light.  It is a path of pain as much as pleasure and one that is very much about authenticity and public vulnerability (the latter being the one I am still working on!)

We need to end the emotional stigma.  That’s why so many people have become mental and physical health advocates, as the array of emotions that come with fighting illness are often forgotten and judged.  Whereas the truth is, all emotions are forgotten and judged, for we as humans are actually learning what it means to be ‘happy’ with an ever evolving picture of what that looks like for each of us.

So are happy healers the best healers?

…well I guess it depends who you ask!

For me, every emotion is valid.  In my opinion, the greatest healers, light-workers, channels and therapists are those who on occasions struggle to find the balance in their emotions yet are never too scared to show them to the world.

Book therapies with the professionals who are unapologetically flawed but forever willing to learn from their mistakes; as trust me, they’re the real game-changers!

Yours in love, and just for today a rather happy 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

 

 

When asked what my favourite season is, I answered without hesitation, Spring!

For many of us, Spring is an eagerly anticipated time of year.  It’s an opportunity to say goodbye to dark nights, cold weather and the anti-climax of Christmas, whilst welcoming a renewed sense of optimism in its place.  For me, it’s no different.

There is something quite magical about Spring.  I always feel it’s another chance to regroup and to refocus on my goals for the year ahead; picking up the slack from any January intentions or resolutions I might have missed.

From the sight of the first snowdrops peering above the morning frost to later enjoying abundant fields of dancing yellow daffodils, I have really started to appreciate the beautiful transition into this life-giving time of year.

On a recent walk with my little Audrey, I felt a sensory overload from the surrounding green landscapes and the sight and smell of newly emerging flowers and trees.  It made me realise just how many opportunities for mindfulness this season brings.

Mindfulness seems to be the ‘buzz’ word again at the moment, but it’s quite simply an easily adopted act of gratitude and a way to be present.   It’s even something you can get the kids to do!

It’s nothing more than a conscious decision to bring our wandering minds back to what is going on around us and to acknowledge the moment in all it’s witnessed beauty.   It can be the simple decision to stop and smell the flowers, the awareness that we are feeling a strong emotion, the decision to walk with our head up and not down so that we may take in our surroundings, or the appreciative focus on the inhale and exhale.  It is everyday tasks that so many of us take for granted, rush through or even suppress.

With the stresses and strains of modern day life, I quite often find myself slipping out of the present and either into the past or time-travelling to the future.  This can be a very dangerous way to live as not only can it bring unnecessary worries, but it also stops me living and understanding what’s going on within and around me.

Unlike guided forms of meditation, albeit a similar exercise, mindfulness isn’t about escaping the mind or body in order to relax.   We no longer want to imagine our feet in the sea or walking barefoot on lush grass, it’s now about doing those things in ‘real time’ and enjoying every bloomin’ minute of it…even the bits that seemingly go wrong!

During mindfulness practice we are encouraged to ‘check-in’ and to feel our pain within the body, note our feelings, ask our fleeting thoughts to come back to the here and now, and to really engage every one of our senses.  It does take an element of effort and practice, and initially can even be frustrating as it’s human nature to allow our minds to wander too far without significant training.

Mindfulness has become an essential part of my self care routine.  It is helping me to live more in the moment and in turn build abundance through acts of gratitude.

For me, I often find that I do my best thinking and feel more centred when in nature.  Whether that be by the sea or in the countryside, I always try to take in my surroundings and appreciate the simple pleasures such as the changing seasons, a birds song, a dogs wagging tail or a butterfly resting on a leaf.   Treating the experience with some effort in order to imagine I was using my eyes, ears and touch for the very first time, with the excitement and appreciation an infant would.  I even enjoy using the process to bring awareness and rationality to my feelings and blocks within the body; as they say “when you feel it, you can heal it”.

The official start of Spring will vary from person to person.  Some will see the 1st of March as the start of this abundant season, others witness the turning of the wheel to Imbolc as the seasonal marking, but for me I invite the upgrade with the celebration of the Equinox.  This is when I change the altar within my home and when I feel confident I have fully released and integrated the lessons and blessings of the seasons predecessor.

Spring really is a cycle of liberation and exploration, which encourages us to try new things, to take leaps of faith and above all else to give thanks for our wholeness and our surroundings.  It is the best time to practice mindfulness and gratitude.  Whether that be appreciation for my senses, for my freedom or for the simple pleasure of walking with my best friend Audrey.

I encourage you all to try some mindfulness today by getting outside to take in all that this wonderful season has to offer or by simply laying in stillness as you concentrate on the life giving breath moving freely around the body.

Yours in love and Spring 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

We read blogs all the time about how to combat the blues or to enhance mental health, with access to nature being perhaps one of the top suggestions in every publication.

I have to agree that being ‘out and about’ is my personal number one mood booster, with walking Audrey on a weekend being my favourite thing to do.

When we are lucky enough to have our health we often take ‘being in nature’ for granted; for something as simple as a walk to the end of the street, a scenic bike ride or even a drive around the countryside can be enough to lift a temporary depression when you have been cooped up in the house or hospital for days, weeks and even months.

I’ve been there during hot summers when it feels like everyone is out having fun whilst I am led in bed feeling completely drained, or during the winter when pain and social anxiety are at their hardest to manage.  It’s a daily battle not to let it get you down when you feel like the world is passing you by and you forget what it feels like to hear a birds song on an afternoon stroll, to smell wildflowers on your travels or to dip your toes into the sea.

As a result this often makes said blogs and mood boosting suggestions accessible to a healthy majority, but with a very real exclusion of a struggling minority.   These publications are often only written from a viewpoint of someone who cannot appreciate the barriers to accessing nature, when you may have a chronic physical or mental health condition to consider or a limited number of daily spoons!*

Not all disabilities are visible, which means that sometimes using mobility aids or a blue badge are still not enough of a support to get someone out of the house.  Which means we have to get inventive and find ways to bring the outside in.

This got me thinking what do you do if your chronic illness stops you from accessing nature?  What on earth are you supposed to do when nature is all you crave and your preference is a natural antidepressant?

I’m a fan of the old ‘5 tips’ as it often makes an overwhelming task more manageable and means there isn’t much to sift through before finding something that works for you!

Walking Audrey through Snuff Mills today this blog idea came to me, and as a result I just had to share my top 5 tips with you all:

1 Create an Altar

On your ‘better’ days try to gather as much flora and fauna as you can from holidays, day trips or even local walks.  If you are unable to leave the house at all then ask a carer or someone else to collect items for you.

Gathering shells and pebbles from beaches, pine cones, bark and fallen leaves from the woods or even seasonal flowers and fruits from local shops are all a way of bringing the outside inside.  Creating an altar, which can be as big or as small as your surroundings will allow, is a great way to have a nature inspired focal point, a place to connect to the outdoors and invoke a temple of peace when you are stuck indoors.

Remember there is no right or wrong – create a place that is a combination of collected fresh and artificial treasures and get imaginative!  It should be a scene that evokes the thought and feeling of being in nature for you, so go with what you are drawn to in order to get the most from it.  This will be a site that you can use for meditation and Gaia connection.

2 Get wild with your decor

Decorating your room or your home with nature inspired prints, wallpapers and fabrics is another great way of feeling surrounded by nature.

Taking photos on holiday, day trips or even in your own back yard and framing them or creating scrapbooks and collages will all help to bring memories and nature to life.

You can treat yourself to some paintings or prints online that make you smile or feel as if you were amongst the scene itself.  Where possible, perhaps even get creative and paint your own wild art!

If you particularly miss travelling due to illness then get friends and loved ones to send postcards of natural wonders from around the world that you can place around your home.

3 Invite round some birds

One of the easiest ways to feel connected to nature is to witness it going about its business, freely.

Birds are fantastic to observe for they don’t take much persuading to come into your garden and can provide hours of entertainment with a perspective of the outside on rainy or difficult days.

Placing inexpensive bird feeders, baths for them to take a splash in or even adding bug hotels will send out an invite to all feathered and winged friends that you’re hosting a nature party…and they’re all invited!

There are many DIY bird, bee and bug feeding station ideas online, which can keep you further entertained and involved in helping these beauties.

4 Adopt an animal or support a wildlife charity

There are many charities out there doing great work to support the preservation of wildlife; from trees to turtles and hedgerows to hedgehogs!

Find a charity in your area or a cause that sings to your heart and support them physically on any ‘good’ days or financially from the comfort of your own home – most of them are happy with a small donation of whatever you can afford.

I joined the RSPB last year and I love getting their seasonal magazine as it is filled with beautiful photos as well as ideas of how I can encourage more birds and wildlife into my garden.  They also host The Big Garden Bird Watch each year, which is another easy way to interact with nature and runs later this month from 26th to 28th January.  You can sign up online or for a pack here

Most charities will send regular updates that include publications, photos and alike – all of which will keep you feeling connected and like you are doing your bit for nature.

5 Aroma-nature-therapy

One of the biggest stimulants of nature is the aroma’s; which if blindfolded you are likely to be able to tell whether you are by the sea or in the woods and whether it’s Spring or Winter!

Mother nature is beautiful, as are her scents.  From freshly cut grass, damp woodland, a perfumed rose garden or an earthy pine tree our natural experience is enhanced.

You can invite these smells into your home as another way of feeling like you’re amongst it.  Add this with a CD of bird song, whale calls or a guided meditation through nature and you have yourself quite the setting.

Essential oils, making your own deodorants and lotions, incense, room and aura sprays and alike are great ways to do this.  As is adding fresh flowers or scented foraged treats to your altar (step 1).

This is of course magnified if you are lucky enough to have access to a garden whereby you can create a sensory patch with clever growing and scented plant placement.

 

There are many ways in which chronic illness can still be considered when accessing nature, which is no doubt a very important tool for the Spoonie community.  This blog is aimed at sharing just some of the ways in which the physical, mental and emotional barriers can be broken down, but I appreciate that you too might have your own ways you would like to share with me.

A lot of the obstacles to accepting an illness is mind-set, and allowing ourselves to grieve for the ways in which we used to do something whilst maintaining enough positivity and hope to find new ways to replace the old.

Never stop believing that anything is possible, and please do use these tips for the days when the garden gate seems as far away as San Fran’s Golden Gate!

Yours in love and light,

 

 

*explanation of the spoon theory here

 

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

 

 

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

This month it is an honour to welcome a therapist and healer I respect very much to November’s Guest Corner, Tristan Starling (formerly Stibbards).

I liked Tristan as soon as I met him!  He was coming to the end of his Reiki journey just as I was beginning mine, and this is how we met as we trained with the same Reiki Master.  What I’ve always liked and admired about Tristan is that he is a responsible and authentic practitioner.  Whilst he brings a wealth of  knowledge and skills to his practice, I know that he has done a lot of ‘groundwork’ and like me hasn’t cut corners, which is something that is so important to me as a practitioner as well as a client.  This is something I feel strongly about, really getting to know your onions so to speak, or in this case your gongs!  The foundations of all that we do as therapists is so important.  I believe that we have a responsibility to grow as channels and as people into the best versions of ourselves when we choose this path, and I don’t believe you can do that by reading alone or without doing a pilgrimage of sorts, which often requires taking the longer routes to qualify.

I’ve attended a few of Tristan’s sound healing workshops and sound-baths and used his 1-1 treatments a lot during my Reiki training to help me shed the old beliefs and barriers to becoming a practitioner myself.  In Tristan’s company I have cried a lot!  Sound for me is very powerful, and my biggest trigger.  It’s highly emotive and is always the therapy that makes me cry, feel super vulnerable and as a result often avoid through resistance or the fear of being too exposed in front of others.  When someone whips a bodrum out that’s particularly when I am likely to lose my s**t!

The introduction of sound in healing is becoming more popular today, and many therapists use it within their treatments.  But for me, finding a sound therapist with this as a specialism and who resonates on the same frequency as me has been harder than I thought.  Given what I do for a living I am now quite ‘choosy’ about who I let into my energy space and who I work with.  This is not because I don’t think there are many great practitioners out there, but because I am the expert in my own healing journey, as is everyone else in theirs, and so I know what I need and more importantly who I need to address blocks and barriers to my health and well-being.  We must always take the time to find who personally works for us, and for me the foundations of their business and their approach to their own personal healing journey is very important.

Having experienced several of his workshops, sound-baths and 1-1 treatments Tristan is someone I would personally use as well as feel confident to refer my clients to.  Tris is now using ceremonial cacao, something I was hoping he would venture into when we spoke last year after my first experience of it.   I am hopeful that Honeysuckle and Snailspace will be able to ceremonially collaborate in some way in the future, and I am looking forward to receiving guidance on how and when this will be the right time.

This months guest corner, albeit later than intended, is one that I believe is quite thought provoking.  This interview shows just how beneficial, yet specialist, the world of sound in healing can be.  Sound is used in so many ways, from setting a relaxing atmosphere with music in treatments to moving through the aura and chakric systems with instruments.  It’s a vast subject and this is a great introduction as always.  If you would like to read more about my personal journey with sound then click here

With many thanks and love to Tristan for bringing his time and expertise to Honeysuckle this month.

Enjoy!

Yours in love and light,

 

November Guest Corner

Q&A With Tristan Starling of  Snailspace Therapies

 

“A Sound Way To Heal”

 

What is sound healing?

It’s an absolutely vast topic with a million different perspectives. From my point of view, sound healing is basically the utilisation of sound frequencies and vibration to promote health. This can be done using the voice and / or a multitude of different musical instruments and tools. If we imagine the human body (and in fact all matter) consisting of energy which is condensed to various levels of vibration (solid matter like a rock being a slow vibration and gasses like oxygen being a faster vibration for example) These vibrating particles all have their own specific frequency, or musical note, which can be “tuned” in order to increase the efficiency of their particular function. This can work on a physical, mental, emotional or energetic level as all of these things are connected, so from a holistic perspective you can’t influence one without the others following suit to a degree. Sound vibration can also be used to dissipate clogged energy, almost like a micro massage. Certain frequencies and patterns can also have a powerful effect on the human brain, using resonance and entrainment processes we can essentially influence our state of mind and therefore our emotional state too.

What brought you to sound healing?

I’ve been a musician since I was 4 years old so music and sound has always been a huge part of my life. I remember being a small child and we had this giant rubber plant in our house that was dying.  My mum moved it to sit next to my piano telling me that the sound vibration can stimulate the plants. Within a couple of months it was healthy again and I think that ingrained something in me at that early age. I studied audio engineering my early twenties and was fascinated by the physics and psychoacoustic side of the course. Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception and audiology. More specifically, it is the branch of science studying the psychological and physiological responses associated with sound. When I began to work specifically with massage and energy healing work more recently in life, all of these elements naturally came together and now sound is a huge part of  my healing work.

How do you incorporate sound into your services at Snailspace Therapies?

During energy healing sessions I often use the voice to tune into certain energetic blockages and help to dissipate them. I also incorporate various instruments depending on what’s required. It’s all very intuitive really. I work a lot with the chakras – the seven main energetic centres of the body, which I see as a scale of seven harmonic frequencies ( just like a musical scale.) I also run workshops involving sound healing, showing people how they can use their own voice to clear the energies of the body moving up through the chakras with certain vowel sounds. This is called “Chakra Toning”. I generally end the sessions by taking people on an extended sound journey with the gongs, crystal singing bowls, guitar and voice and many other things.

Do you have a favourite instrument that you like to use in your treatments?

My gongs are by far my favourite. They are just so unbelievably powerful and beautiful. When I play them It feels like it opens portals to different dimensions of reality.

What reaction do people usually have to sound healing?

A lot of the time people are surprised as to how much of an effect it can have and also how quickly. People are generally very receptive to it and find it very relaxing and calming, although sometimes it can bring up deep emotional release too.

How could someone use sound healing at home in their everyday lives to heal?

Singing and using the voice is the best way to work with sound in your everyday life. Opening the throat chakra leads to a universe of self expression that in itself can be the most important part of any healing process. There are many online videos regarding chakra toning exercises that will help clear and revitalise the body and mind. We’re all musical beings and the more we explore that aspect of ourselves the more we open ourselves to the universal energy flow. Also using music as a meditative aid is always great.

What brought the snail to your business?

(laughs) I’ve just always had a thing for snails really. I think they’re kinda magical. Also, I think “coming out of the shell” is a great metaphor for healing work.

There are lots of therapists now using sound in their work, how important do you think it is to be qualified in this field?

So I’m actually mostly self taught with sound healing specifically, although I have done quite a few workshops and training sessions with various people along the way including the UK Gong Master Sheila Whittaker. My training with music, audio engineering and my extensive energy healing training in Reiki and Shamanic healing both in the UK and Peru (which also involved sound and music) have all blended together to give me the skills I need to do the work even though a lot of the training I’ve done wasn’t exactly the kind that gives you a certificate at the end! Due to all these elements, and the fact that I’m already a qualified massage / reiki therapist, I was able to get insurance as a sound healer based entirely on my past experience. It’s definitely important to know what your doing in this work as it can have powerful effects on people, and if you’re going to be working with the public then you definitely need to get insurance – which generally involves doing a course of some kind. However if you just want to experiment at home in a non professional sense then go for it! There are loads of books on the subject that can get you going. I’d recommend anything by Jonathan Goldman. You could also come along to one of my workshops sometime.

There is an increase of ‘sound baths’ around the UK now, what are these for anyone who doesn’t know?

A sound bath is a sound healing journey. “Bathing” you in sound.

What easy tips can you give my readers who wish to begin their journey with sound, whether personally or professionally?

There are loads of books on the subject that can get you going. I’d recommend anything by Jonathan Goldman. You could also come along to one of my workshops sometime!

 

Snailspace Therapies is run by Tristan Starling.  It’s a healing practice based in Fishponds, Bristol offering a variety of therapies / combinations of modalities. Tristan is a fully qualified and MTI approved massage therapist offering professional bodywork, Thai massage and holistic oil massage.  Offering energy healing that blends different techniques including Japanese Usui Reiki, Chinese Medicine, The teachings of Barbara Brennan and also certain South American shamanic practices. Sound healing therapies both one to one and in groups are available – mostly utilising the gongs. For more info / bookings please text or call Tristan on 07873 535880 or check out the website here

Tristan also runs regular events mainly involving cacao ceremonies, sound healing, music and yoga with his wife Fleur Starling from their beautiful studio. You can check out upcoming events here

 

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

 

Legal disclaimeras always, my guests are invited to share their work with you in order to support your healing journey as a whole, by giving you empowering tips and food for thought.  I only invite guests whom I know to be insured and practising to the best of my knowledge at the time of their guest spot.  I will only welcome guests that I have personally used the services of, and have found to benefit my own individual healing journey as a result.  However, if you choose to book any treatments or use any guests services as a result of my monthly interviews, then please be aware that you act personally on this decision.  Honeysuckle Healing take no responsibility for the outcome of this decision and these guest blogs do not act as a referral or recommendation service.  Please ensure that these guests and services meet your individual requirements prior to booking.  Thank you

 

This month we bring our attention to remedy number 11, Elm.

This restorative remedy is sourced from the infamous Elm tree and was first prepared by Dr Bach in 1935 using trees growing near Sotwell.

Mature Elm trees can live for up to 100 years.  Although a rarer sight in the UK since the 1960’s sweep of Dutch Elm disease, Elm trees are largely found growing in English countrysides.

I am often asked what is the remedy for ‘stress’ and the answer is that there isn’t one, because the beauty of the Bach system is that we find a personal concoction that speaks to our individual traits and distress.

However, I do believe that Elm is the remedy that should definitely be considered when you are experiencing any form of stress, for I believe that stress often comes from having too much on our plate, too much to deal with and often not knowing where to start for the task in hand is too great.  This is why it can be a calming remedy for revising students, struggling toddlers or during any heightened emotional state.

This is personally my ‘go to’ remedy in times of stress.

We live in a world with so much choice now.  Whether that choice is a basic decision such as what to eat or which broadband provider to pick, or whether it’s a huge succession of choices that come with the fight against chronic illness for example; most of the states of stress will come from their just being ‘too much’ in varying forms.

Take any new venture in life.  Whether that be a new healthy eating regime, a new job, moving house (in my case) or even adjusting to a health diagnosis.  We often think of Walnut in these times of transition, but all too often we are just feeling overwhelmed, with a temporary loss of confidence in our own abilities as a result.

I could talk about Elm forever, as personally I have gone on a tremendous journey with it, particularly through ill health and spiritual practice.  Overwhelm is a huge trigger for me and something that can take me from being a fiercely independent woman to a quivering wreck with impostor syndrome!  And it always stems from not utilising Elm enough or recognising when life has just got too much to handle and I am not in flow.  As an empath I often find energy and interactions in social situations draining due to the constant stream of messages I receive as I never switch my guidance ‘off’.  This means that Elm has been my saviour on many an occasion, and stopped me from becoming a total recluse during times of requiring long periods of solitude.

Elm is the remedy for the days when that straw just breaks the camels back!  It’s the final bill when all our money is spent, it’s that extra thing on the daily ‘to do’ list and it’s the end of the line on the ‘shitty-day’ express!

It’s those multiple plates we have spinning and we try not to drop.  It’s the crying over spilt milk.  It’s the end of our tether and it’s often the end of the line in a long battle of effort.  It even prevents ‘burnout’ if taken at the right time and can be great for over-thinkers who tend to magnify tasks rather than simplify them.

However, the important thing to remember is that an Elm state tends to be temporary.  We utilise it when we are usually people able to flow, keep up with the ever changing demands of life or illness and are confident in our abilities.  Elms will have temporary crisis of confidence, perhaps presenting with tears or heightened emotion as the situation or problem reaches a head.   There can be so many similar presenting characteristics to that of other remedies with an Elm and that’s why it’s a remedy that can be a strong contender when we are going through change, low self-esteem or feeling down.

The beauty of the remedy is that it takes the pressure out of the cooker!  Often in such a subtle way that we rarely give the remedy the credit it deserves and we can tend to put it down to the motivational book we read, the pep talk we had, the holiday we took, or the early night we got.  But 9/10 I find that when someone has taken Elm, particularly for a period of time, they not only experience a pretty instant change in attitude but they develop deep rooted coping mechanisms that help them find stress busting strategies for life!

Elm gives us that natural ability to cope.  To find ways around problems but with kinder self talk, an ease to problem solving and a quiet confidence that we will get there.  It breaks things down into bite size chunks.  It restores our capability and keeps us moving forward.

I often find when working with clients, that Elm can be behind a lot of missed remedy selection.  Often people will read up and self-diagnose, which is great, but they will take as many remedies as possible when perhaps Elm could have been all they needed.  When we’re in an Elm state then even remedy selection becomes overwhelming!  Healing is overwhelming!  Working with the remedy at the appropriate time of presenting gives us an inner strength and helps us to limit revisiting this situation in the future.  It helps us to limit what we take on and to safely manage what we have already taken on.

There are many beautiful and intricate layers to Elm and just when you think you have nailed the remedy or believe it’s your ‘type’, you will find more and more subtle ways in which it presents in your life.   It’s a remedy that can be worked with for years, yet still teach you new things each time.

One of my personal favourites, one of my personal saviours.

Yours in love and flowery light,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: I would always recommend having a consultation with a qualified and registered Bach Foundation practitioner/BFRP, to ensure that you get the most from the Bach system.  Dr Bach advised that blends be bespoke and BFRP’s teach their clients how to use the system effectively.  These monthly insights are offered as a guide to the remedies, but are by no means exhaustive.  Guidance is always advised when using the remedies for the first time or without suitable qualification.

 

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

 

Blogging on the morning of the Autumn Equinox, I feel as though my guides have well and truly left it until the last minute to bring my words and energy together!

I have always enjoyed the change in a season, but it was only a year ago that I actually started celebrating each turn of the wheel and really witnessing the beauty and energetic opportunities that each individual season brings.  Spring and Autumn have always been my personal favourites, and that’s because they both hold a rebirth in many ways.  Coming out of the darkness of the Summer and Winter, which are times when we tend to be triggered, reflect and go inward a lot more; the two Equinoxes can bring a sense of long-awaited clarity and new beginnings as a result.

Today, 23rd September, marks the Autumn Equinox for 2018 and the official start of our beloved Autumnal season.  The season of colour, of magic, of abundant nature and of opportunity.  Anything is possible in Autumn.

It’s a time when we are happy to slow down a little, to appreciate the simpler things in life like a walk in the park to witness the falling leaves or a natter with a friend over a pumpkin spiced latte.  Nature is arguably in its most beautiful form as pockets of browns, golds, oranges and reds seem to fill every street, park, and corner of the world.

Nature comes out to play for perhaps it’s final time, with insects such as spiders coming into the house to mate (something so many of us dread!) or wild animals seen gathering food before they go into hiding over the cold Winter months.  There is a crisp to the air and we enjoy collecting fallen conkers, apples and leaves with the children, or for any gathering Goddess’s altar!

Food is at its freshest and tastiest during this time of harvest. When those who have been working hard in the fields or on their allotments reap the fruits of their labours, bringing us plump pumpkins and succulent squashes fit for any hearty homemade soup bowl.  It really is the most beautiful of seasons, and every sight and smell associated with September through to November is nothing short of a comfort blanket.

If you are inspired by nature like I am then this season really calls for you to put on those wellies and to get out and about!  It’s a much slower paced season, yet we often achieve most of our goals and bring together the majority of the years healing and lessons.  That’s because there is a clarity to Autumn and a real supportive and universal magic.

September is the start of the school year and as a result a new spiral of learning.  Along with this month we all start new beginnings in our own way, and this is a time when we want to learn, we want to tie-up lose ends and we want to expand our knowledge, putting an end to procrastination.  October brings myth and magic.  A month when we can dress up, wear masks and be both enchanting and enchanted, increasing our connection to other worlds as the veil is at its thinnest.  And November brings fire and light.  Whether that be Diwali or good old bonfire night, we use this month to ignite passions and creativity and to start a month of celebration and connection.

The order of Autumn, particularly as the Equinox is followed by a powerful full moon in Aries tomorrow, and as always is surrounded by many planetary activity, is to LET GO!

Nature thriving in it’s season teaches us so much about what we can expect from the coming months.  You do not see a tree panic because it has Halloween costumes to make, or a squirrel with anxiety because it’s annual bonfire night celebrations aren’t going to plan do you?  That’s because nature adapts to what each season calls for, and in Autumn you will see them busy, but with a quiet confidence that they will get the job done all before Winter comes.

Trees stand tall and take root, only letting go of their leaves which no longer serve them.  Animals gather food, insects mate, and the flora and fauna start to die back to protect itself from a looming Winter.  It’s a month of preparation and of harvest.

There is a sense of achievement with this season and opportunity is literally everywhere…acorns are no longer just in the trees, but on the ground, at your feet!

This particular past years spiral of healing has been tough for many of us as their has been a collective shift and ascension, so coming into Autumn there is a sigh of relief for many.  We cannot completely rest on our laurels, but just like the nature around us we can now enjoy the fruits of our labour.  Starting to apply our newly found clarity and knowledge over the next few months, just as if we too are going ‘back to school’.  We can be grateful for our painful lessons of the Summer and feel renewed with the change in energy.

Letting go and forgiveness are key this season, as coming into today there has been a heavier energy, which I for one have been feeling on a huge scale.  You may have been experiencing lower back pain as the root chakra grounds, chest pain as the heart chakra has been expanding and releasing old loves, and headaches as the third eye opens to help us see our paths more clearly.  I’ve personally had the ‘energy flu’, which on top of overdoing it with my new house move I have felt pretty wiped the past few days, but I can see the beauty in my body adapting to this new season and in the need to ‘let go’.

Letting go isn’t just about the obvious sense of letting go of people and patterns that are toxic or no longer serve you on your path of healing, but it’s about letting go of outcomes and surrendering to the great unknown.  That can even be something as simple as taking more rest days if your body calls for it (but your busy diary doesn’t), or eating that slice of cake instead of refusing it….as these things are all tests from the universe that you are willing to trust and to let go of the human need to control.

Since becoming more consciously aware of the changing in seasons, both in my energy body and desire to respectfully celebrate the wheel turns, I was disappointed that Autumn isn’t bringing much of a celebration due to being so tired.  I spent the Winter Solstice in Avebury on a Starlight Soul Journey, I spent the Spring doing something I can’t remember but lovely no doubt, and I spent the Summer Solstice in Ceremony on Brighton Beach.  With Autumn being one of my favourite times of the year I felt sure the guidance of where to be would be huge, but instead it feels like it will be a day of pottering, running errands and perhaps if I am lucky a walk in the park with Audrey later.  But in this realisation I understood exactly why Autumn wasn’t as profound a celebration as I had hoped for, and that was because I am supposed to let go and surrender, to find contentment in isolation and gratitude in rest.  The guidance I receive is for me as much as it is for you guys!

As Autumn is about getting your house in order, spring cleaning for perhaps the second time this year and finding a grounding and mindful presence, then it makes complete sense that the Equinox for me is being marked in this relaxed and flowfull way.

In surrendering to the many magical aspects of this season I know that I will achieve so much more.  Autumn requires productivity but at a much slower pace, which needs to include rest and integration.  It needs to involve mindful walks, nature connection, new learning and self-acceptance.  I am so excited to be moving home during this season, as it really proves that anything is possible during these next 3 months and marks a huge new beginning for me, and a lot of letting go.

Autumn is steeped in opportunity, dripping in clarity and engulfed in magic.  So whatever you do, enjoy!

Yours in love and Autumnal 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 haven’t felt too well of late, despite my usual brave face and positive demeanour.

The Summer always exasperates my health complaints and means I spend more time at home than any person in their early 30’s would be happy to spend!  This means that Netflix and binged boxsets become my best mates during this difficult season.

Recently I’ve discovered ‘Wentworth’, and if hot to trot Franky Doyle wasn’t reason enough to keep me glued, then the heart-racing story-lines sure are!  Watching the amazing acting from Pamela Rabe (as I literally HATED her Governing character) I realised something, as I always do when sticking with a story or scenario for too long.  See, I learn most of my lessons from the simplest of tasks.  Everyday triggers become huge ‘wake up calls’.  Arguments with those closest to me become scenarios for self-analysis and development.  And even a TV program or cinematic flick can give me deep insights into the characteristics and emotions that I need to balance.

Wentworth taught me I need to revisit Impatiens Bach remedy and to practice a little more patience!

As my fave character Franky battles with a belly full of heroin in season 3, I just couldn’t wait until the end of the episode to find out her fate.  The sheer thought of continuing another season without the sight of this little beaut was just too much to bear!  So I Googled desperately to find out if Miss Doyle will live to fight another day on the inside.  But during my search it became less about Franky and more about me and my tendencies to spoil the surprise of life.   After all, why was I doing this, as isn’t the whole reason we watch TV so that we can escape our reality and to get lost in a plot of emotive viewing?

During my eager search I heard a loud voice, which I wasn’t sure if it came from above or within.  It said ‘patience, control, flow’, which I knew was a clear message that I needed to take heed of.  As I tried to decipher the message, I quickly realised that the warning was that I must master the art of patience, relent control and learn to live in flow.  Something as simple as trying to sabotage my own storybook surprises served as a thought provoking thunderbolt in my approach to my own reality.  I can’t wait, I like to know what’s coming next, and that’s just me!

I believe that Impatiens is one of the sacred tools needed by everyone on a serious journey of healing and awakening.  For it’s human nature to want quick results when we start anything, and to particularly want to move as fast as possible through our own ascensions and lessons.  When we aren’t where we want to be or situations aren’t moving at a pace we’re comfortable with, then that’s when we start interfering due to frustration or the need to control.  A simple Google search during an Aussie prison drama reminded me of that.

When you start to take notice of the signs and syncronicities around you then literally everything becomes a learning tool.  All acts, even those of escapism, hobby or ways to pass the time provide some of the greatest healing apparatus.  I share this blog because my approach to healing is not only about giving my clients and followers the tools to help themselves, but the dedication to ‘keep it real’ whilst doing it.  I understand that all of us will be at a different point on our unique journey, and that not everyone understands or resonates with the real ‘airy fairy’ side to healing or spirituality.

So the lesson here (as well as maybe check out Wentworth if you’re looking for a viewing recommendation), is to take note of what you are drawn to.  Pay attention to the types of programs or music you are moved by and see if you can notice any occurrences, triggers or characteristics that mirror your own.  This is yet another simple, but very valuable part of any journey of change and evolution.

When we know what we do, we can change what we do.

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

Castanea Sativa is more commonly known as Sweet Chestnut, and a mature tree can live up to 700 years!

Often confused with Horse Chestnut in appearance, this tree bears both male and female flowers, with the female flowers changing form after pollination to the edible chestnuts we traditionally roast in the Winter months.  This beautiful, but rather ‘spiky’ looking tree, is the last to flower of the remedy trees and the Sweet Chestnut remedy was first prepared near Wallingford in 1935.

I picked Sweet Chestnut as our focus this month as so many of us have left behind a tough period of healing.  One which has contained many ‘dark night of the soul’ moments and even left a collective heartbreak as we say goodbye to loved ones, old friendships and patterns that no longer serve us.  And for those who haven’t done the work, I’m afraid this is the state you will find yourselves going into when you play catch up.

Sweet Chestnut would be the remedy that surpasses Gentian and Gorse states, and is one that can leave a real darkness that can feel as though we will never come back from.  I personally believe this remedy encompasses many other remedies such as Honeysuckle, Cherry Plum, Star of Bethlehem and Mustard as well as the aforementioned Gentian and Gorse, as it’s often a point of no return and a very lonely place to be based on passed failures, loss and actions (from our own personal viewpoint).  It is first and foremost a remedy that we utilise on the dark nights of the soul, the times when we send up a flare or send the Morse code (. . . – – – . . .) aka SOS!  It’s the overwhelm and accumulation of many missed remedies and those low moods we just haven’t nipped in the bud through successful remedy selection.  A pain and longing like no other that makes our hearts break, our stomachs knot and our tears fall hard and fast.

A SC state is a lonely one.  It can be the period after a huge amount of ‘inner work’ on a healing journey when the many emotions, traumas, heartbreaks and fears you have suppressed present like a rush of blood to the head, leaving nowhere left to run.  When we feel we have exhausted all avenues, started to question our faiths and can no longer see the wood through the trees or the light at the end of the tunnel.  We have lost our way in many ways and are praying to be shown our next move.  Unlike a Gorse state of darkness, we haven’t quite lost our hope in the early stages of Sweet Chestnut.   And like a Cherry Plum state we are unlikely to be so low to the point of suicidal tendencies, as the Sweet Chestnut state is more strong and stable.  There is an inner trust that once we come through this period of despair and anguish then we will be stronger for it.   We know there is always a lesson in our struggles and we trust the period of surrender in many ways, allowing ourselves to become vulnerable through asking our higher power to step in and lead us back to our salvation.  With Sweet Chestnut it isn’t so much about needing others to save us, but needing someone or something to walk alongside us whilst we save ourselves.

In illness a Sweet Chestnut will be justified in their mental state.  No doubt fighting many invisible battles, chronic illness and daily fights against their own bodies which often bring about a ‘breaking point’ or deep fear that they can no longer fight this.  Feeling as though this is the end of the road for them and becoming a subconscious permission to allow all buried emotions to surface with a vengeance.

On the other side of Sweet Chestnut, we utilise this remedy to soothe our hearts, usually when they’ve broken.

This is where I think the loss and grief of a Star of Bethlehem state and the reminiscing and rehashing of a Honeysuckle frame of mind can come in.  It’s that permanent dull ache when you long for your body to be next to the person you love, when every power ballad sounds as if it was singing the song of you and your soulmate and when you wonder if your heart will ever start beating again without the other persons accompanying rhythm.  The anguish is so great, it becomes almost unbearable.  It’s the knife to the heart feeling and the nights you cry silently, or loudly, into your pillow.  It’s the checking your phone for them to text, it’s the seeing their face every time you close your eyes and every time you open them.  It’s a state which is nothing short of torture, especially if unrequited.

So why take Sweet Chestnut?

Well basically to bring the opposite to all of these things into your life!  The above are just some of the common ways in which a Sweet Chestnut state presents, so taking the remedy in these cases will no doubt be a very restorative and transformational experience.  It’s a remedy that has the capability of mending a broken heart, of placing a lighthouse in turbulent emotional waters in order to guide you back home and to be the life-raft when you’re lost at sea.  It’s a bridge, it’s a light, it’s clarity.  It’s a soother of the soul, a repairer of the heart and should never be overlooked or underestimated in the case of bereavement.  I have been utilising Sweet Chestnut as we leave August and come into September, and will be certainly taking it during this 9th month.

It’s a beautiful remedy that removes the darkness and replaces it with light, allowing us to move through our pain with gratitude to those who have broken our hearts as much as those who have mended them.  A truly magical remedy that is deeply purifying and supportive in purging old wounds, emotions and loves from our aching hearts.  It’s the very thing that transmutes negative energy into positive and leaves us held in a place of greater good, whatever the reason.  It’s a real phoenix from the flames moment, when we rise from the embers of our past traumas and belief systems.  Helping us to shed what no longer serves us, and leave behind the weight that tethers us.

Sweet Chestnut is nothing short of a miracle cure for the hardest of times.

When the sky seems full of darkness, this remedy will reveal the stars.

 

Yours in love and flowery light,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: I would always recommend having a consultation with a qualified and registered Bach Foundation practitioner/BFRP, to ensure that you get the most from the Bach system.  Dr Bach advised that blends be bespoke and BFRP’s teach their clients how to use the system effectively.  These monthly insights are offered as a guide to the remedies, but are by no means exhaustive.  Guidance is always advised when using the remedies for the first time or without suitable qualification.

 

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

 

During my Bach training I noticed a common opinion of 5 remedies in particular, and their universal reputation as being ‘the bad guys’.

Like a lot of people I started my Bach love affair with his emergency formula, more commonly known as ‘Rescue Remedy’, but it was a good 10 years later before I discovered this wonder tincture derived from a system of 38 plant based remedies.  Wow, who knew!

I fell in love with the Bach remedies as soon as I took that first individual stock bottle, and I was desperate to know more.  This deep rooted desire led me to complete a Bach centre approved qualification and in short succession, achieving my BFRP status and completing all 3 levels in only 10 months.  During my level 3 training at the Bach Centre, which is the final qualification required to practice as a Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner (BFRP), I started to notice how difficult myself and my fellow students found it to approach these 5 in mock consultations.  There was an apparent fear of upsetting or offending the client by suggesting they take one or more of these remedies, and almost a personal insult if it was suggested you need to take it too!

Later after qualifying, I met with a few BFRP’s and self taught flower practitioners in and outside of my area, by way of wishing to witness and connect to the different ways in which people work with and love this natural system of healing.  I remember meeting one therapist for a coffee and I ordered a water which was made by a company called ‘Willow’.  When I excitedly pointed out the synchronicity with Willow being one of the Bach remedies, she said ‘no-one wants to be a Willow!’  and that always stuck with me, as at the time I tended to agree.  But this collective opinion doesn’t help the undeserving stigma attached to these remedies.

I have been utilising Bach flower remedies personally, and now professionally, for some years.  Learning with every new situation and experience, the many layered intricacies and subsequent positive reactions people have when releasing these conditioned ways and emotional traumas.  Together with my Bach qualification as a strong foundation, this has taken me on a real journey of discovery, which never ceases to amaze me.  Through meeting many wonderful clients and various holistic practitioners who use the remedies in their work, I have witnessed these same 5 remedies have a negative ripple in the wider community when my suggestion has been to take them.  When my ego isn’t in check and my own insecurities of ‘impostor syndrome’ raises its ugly head, then even I as a BFRP can still find it hard to suggest to clients that they need one of these 5.  Especially as these remedies in particular might appear more through interactive behaviour, aura or body language in a consultation, rather than actual words spoken by the client, which doesn’t give me an easy route in to suggesting they take it.

So, without any further ado it probably makes sense at this point to share what the famous five are!

They are Beech, Chicory, Heather, Vine and Willow.

 

Now, it’s important to mention that this is my opinion and that it is stated nowhere in any publication or learning tool that these 5 remedies are the bad boys of Bach.  It’s merely a collective observation, together with my own preconceived opinions at the time of learning, which made me realise just how many ways resistance to the Bach system and in turn our own healing can occur.

The reason I think these remedies are so difficult to broach is because they all relate to the ego and have an element of self-centredness, which lets face it, no-one wants to admit is out of balance!  When we tend to be in any one of these states, or have them as a ‘type’ remedy, we like the sound of our own voice in many ways.  Our connections with others become limited due to our overwhelming need to be heard, validated or the most important person in the room.  Our feelings, opinions and emotions take hierarchy over others whilst in the negative aspect of these remedies, and we often can’t see this before taking them.

But what I have learnt through going on my own personal journey with these remedies, and in turn seeing my clients taking these remedies at the appropriate point of presenting; is that the only way to gain the healing you seek is to address every aspect of your wholeness, and that includes the ego and the shadows.  There is no negative connotation to these remedies, its a myth.

Beech‘s in the positive will be strong people who are able to see the beauty in every situation.  They will be tolerant and considerate types, who are able to value the individuality of each person and learn from any differences.

Chicory‘s in the positive will be loving, open hearted, mindful and selfless.  They will be willing to constantly check in with their ego and to take self acceptance for when it’s out of balance, correcting it with compassion and independence.

Heather‘s in the positive will be those who are caring and close to hand.  They will be able to communicate well, striking up conversations across a broad scale and on all levels.  They will be great at ‘reading a room’ and a situation, knowing when it’s appropriate to share and when it’s right to hold back and allow others the floor.

Vine‘s, we all need Vines.  Some of the strongest leaders and advocates will be Vine’s.  In the positive, Vine’s are powerful types who can really lead from the front, whilst being flexible in that approach.  They will understand the need to see plans through, but not to exclude or dominate others in doing so.  A positive Vine is one that softens and climbs whilst encouraging others without agenda.

Willow‘s, contrary to what was said before, everyone want’s to be a Willow!  For a positive Willow will be forgiving, generous, accepting and adaptive.  They will be able to support others and relish in their successes, even when they have their own troubles, and are able to see the lessons in all situations, even the bad ones!

Now you have heard all of that, how can any of those remedies be negative eh? 

To explain the remedies we often need to look at the negative in order to identify why we might need them, and perhaps that’s where we have gone wrong.  We all grow up learning ‘good and bad emotions’, and the 5 aforementioned remedies feed into what is perceived to be the ‘bad’ ones.  But when you go on a healing journey you begin to understand that there is no such thing as good and bad emotions.  To be whole, we must embrace every emotion.  We must learn to balance them and find a point of equilibrium, which puts us no more in the positive than it does the negative.  We find harmony in every characteristic and every unique trait, discovering new ways to bring the best versions of ourselves to the table.

So, next time a BFRP suggests one of these 5, or you see traits of yourself in any of these remedies, then step aside from the ego and think of the positive aspect of each remedy and just what it can bring to your life.  Don’t see this as a character flaw or a slight on your part, for we will all be every single one of those 38 remedies at multiple times on our personal journey.

The best thing you can do for yourself when working with the remedies is to take the ones you don’t want to.  As when taken at the right point in your journey, they can bring the biggest breakthroughs!

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

This week I proudly announced that I was going vegan!

Whilst this is a decision I feel I have been building up to all my life, following 24 years as a vegetarian, I find myself now only 6 days in and rapidly regretting that statement.

I knew it wasn’t, and isn’t, going to be an easy process, especially as I am a cheese-aholic and have recently gained a bit of an addiction to corner shop convenience.  But this decision was almost taken out of my hands by divine guidance, as it’s a way of life that I now know is necessary to best support my physical and spiritual health.

Being an empath, and I don’t just mean an empathetic person, I feel things deeper than ever now, which extends of course to the animal kingdom.  The guilt I have been feeling as I connect without intention to nature, has been nothing short of unbearable.  I have been feeling their cries as if they were my own, which has actually been keeping me awake at night.  So ‘veganism’ is something that I have been taking many steps towards for some time; whilst beating myself up for every day that I haven’t been able to do it.  “I should have known better” I told myself as I took my new Bach mix this evening, containing Pine (for the critical self talk) and Chestnut Bud (for not learning from my mistakes).

Like everyone I have grown up with labels all my life, and I’m not just talking about the obvious ones such as my gender at birth.  Labels like ‘needy’, ‘sensitive’ and ‘difficult’ are just some of the negative tags that I’ve carried and fought against to date.  And no matter what I do to change or evolve, they just never seem to fully dissolve from the opinions of those I love.

By the age of 35, still a baby some kind souls might say, I have 6 labels attached to me that I know of.  To make matters worse, all of these labels come from a minority group, with half of which being recorded strands on the Equality Act.

I read a book by Mel Wells not so long ago called The Goddess Revolution.  In that book I remember being inspired by a section where Mel states (unquoted), that she chooses to say she tries to follow a plant based way of life when asked about her diet.  I could appreciate Mel’s unwillingness to put herself in a box clearly marked ‘vegan’.  As her decision to do so would have instantly placed a restrictive label upon her, and an imaginary bar that she would strive to reach for the rest of her life.  See, when we give ourselves labels, we give others the power to judge us and to criticise our choices.  When you’re at the start of any journey, and a flawed human being like everyone else out there, you just don’t need that level of peer pressure.  As chances are if you’re anything like me, then you are good enough at judging and berating yourself without the help of anyone else.

I have felt an incredible pressure on myself this week, some self administered and some no doubt from the critics I have out there just waiting for me to fail.  I haven’t felt at all liberated by my decision to go Vegan and instead I feel imprisoned and hugely dis-empowered.  If anything, this additional label will be one of the reasons I am likely to relapse and tuck into a chunk of cheese (mmmm, cheese) or a square of Dairy Milk!

I already feel angry with myself for adding yet another daily battle to my already difficult days.  A war that I no longer feel I can fight in private, as my announcement took the opportunity to tackle this huge life change day by day and at my own pace away from me.  I feel as though I have another lifestyle choice that is open to opinion, to scrutiny and a pre-conceived and timed expectation from others.  Oh jeez Ami, what were you thinking girl?!

Last year I had a new tattoo, and whilst sat in the hot-seat I witnessed a nearby conversation with a fellow ink junkie.  I remember hearing them discuss ‘bloody vegetarians’ who go around with these strong opinions whilst wearing leather Dr Martens!  I remember having to bite my lip so as not to say anything, as it just didn’t feel like my counter-argument would go down too well.  But all the time I was thinking ‘how dare you’ pass judgement on people who are trying their best to make positive changes in the welfare of animals.  For these Doc Marten loving veggies could well have bought those shoes second hand, or have every intention of replacing them when they get past a few months of their overwhelming new regime.  Perhaps they haven’t bought the handbook on ‘how to be the perfect vegetarian’, or perhaps they have only purchased volume one of the series.  You just never know what’s behind someone’s story, so should we really be judging others who are trying their best, and lets face it, doing far more than these meat eating tattooed dudes were!

What’s more, a few years ago , after having always been very distinctively ‘vintage’ in my appearance, I started wearing jeans.   Following a break up, one that was quite controlled in the length of my hair and the clothes in which I could wear, I met a friend for coffee wearing something that I guess was quite ‘masculine’ and plain from what she was used to seeing me in.  I will never forget that this ‘friend’ made a comment about how I didn’t look like me and she didn’t like it.  Given that following a break up always equals cutting off all your hair and trying to look the total opposite of what you looked like when you were with said partner, I was crushed.  Especially as I already felt I had lost my identity.  Right there became another label, the ‘vintage label.’  One that I am still trying to liberate myself from today, when I choose an outfit on my more ‘masculine’ days.  Oh, and all whilst being mindful not to look ‘too gay’…so as to be sure I really don’t offend (said with sarcasm!)

And that’s just it.  The moment you give yourself a label you are open to judgement.  You leave yourself wide open to ridicule, and find yourself having to justify everything you do that just doesn’t meet others strong opinions or expectations of who you told them you would be.

I have gone on a real journey with labels recently.  Rebelling against them and trying to find cruel acts of self-sabotage and defiance whilst I act from a place of pain or unworthiness.  My Indigo nature has wanted to revisit and re-brand all of these labels, even the basic ones such as gender and sexuality, and turn them on their head…just to piss everyone off and give them something to talk about if nothing else!  But all I have done is hurt myself as a result, and moved further away from the empowering points of why I shared these expressed characteristics in the first place.

I’m so fed up of being defined by the restraints of my health, who I fancy, what I eat and what gender I class myself as to name but a few.  And that’s not because anything has changed since I’ve given myself these labels, infact quite the opposite, but more so because I no longer want to live in a world of labels just to make other people feel comfortable about how to address me, cook for me or explain who I am to others in social situations.

I am not these labels.  They do not define me.  But they do seem to limit me.

So whilst I begin my new Bach mix complete with Centaury, which no doubt will help me reassert and redefine myself (much to those around me’s disgust); as of today I am removing my labels!

I do not want to call myself anything, unless it feels right to do so for me at the time, and I no longer feel the need to explain myself to anyone anymore.  My actions whilst I grow, find my authentic self and reawaken my truth mean that I am sometimes going to get things ‘wrong’ and I am going to go against all of the textbook meanings I have set for myself.

Some labels are inevitable, and I am ok with that.  In fact I believe that in the fight against labels we often end up giving ourselves more.  So my hope is that by loosening the restraints of my own identities and pigeon-holes then I will actually be able to live more in flow and more authentically.  Being a lot kinder to myself in the process, especially on the days when it’s an achievement just to be alive and to be me!  However she presents, whoever she kisses and whatever she eats!

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

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