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The 13 -19th May 2019 marks Mental Health Awareness week here in the UK, and whilst it’s not like me to post a time-appropriate blog; bringing awareness to my own mental health this week has organically brought me here.

Mental health is not new! But it is thankfully becoming something we are starting to talk about, blog about and even sing about.

It’s perhaps one of the greatest invisible illnesses and can be the biggest killer, especially amongst men.

There is still so much stigma attached to those two little words, ‘Mental Health’.  Just by speaking them we often get subconsciously divided into camps for the weak and the strong; falling subject to ignorance, judgement and even other people’s unprecedented fear.

Yet through my personal and professional experience of working for many years within health and social care, I know that it actually takes incredible strength and self-awareness to say the words ‘I’M NOT OK‘.   In fact, it’s an admired vulnerability I am still trying to master myself.

Mental health doesn’t fit neatly into a tick-box as it resides on an ever evolving subjective spectrum, nestled somewhere deeply within a very personal healing journey.

It doesn’t always come with a diagnosis and it’s so much more than the commonly labelled and experienced ‘depression’ and ‘anxiety.’

It’s not something that always needs medicating, is a long term issue or inevitably leads to suicide.  It doesn’t belong to a certain pocket of people or age group, as it does not discriminate.  It doesn’t always present as someone crying in a darkened room as it can equally be the tears of insecurity behind someone’s beaming smile.  And above all else, I can guarantee you that it’s something we will all have to work hard to manage at multiple times during our lives.

For some, that battle of course will be a daily occurrence and none of what I say here is said to discredit that very reality.

Mental health is no doubt the increasingly recognised and experienced conditions of depression and anxiety, which given the age of social media show-reels, the filtered selfie, our environmental crisis and political poverty, it’s no wonder so many of us are finding it hard to process our feelings and to cope.

Mental health can be an eating disorder, an addiction, a hormonal imbalance, low self-esteem or poor body image.  It can be something experienced temporarily following traumatic experiences, grief or major life changes.  It can be something that intensifies with transitional birthdays and age brackets, spiritual awakenings, or even something that just runs alongside the relentless impact of a chronic illness.  It’s quite simply anything that becomes all consuming, disabling, life-limiting or keeps us locked into our unforgiving head-space.

But mental health is so much more than a handful of labels, as we are complex beings with an array of emotions and coping strategies.  We naturally fluctuate in mood and the ability to ‘soldier on’ inline with our own journeys, our hormones, our environments and the very cycle of the moon.  We all have endurance limits.

Like many people I have lived with my mental health demons largely behind closed doors, through an on-off love affair with anti-depressants during my adolescence, and going as far as attempting suicide in my early 20’s.  I’ve tried the orthodox route to managing what feels like an overload of emotions at times and have gone running down the alternative corridor, only to find that now the time calls for balance somewhere between the two.

I grew up with depression and would say that I am prone to periods of it even now.

Being bullied throughout the whole of secondary school took it’s toll on my already low self esteem and I have battled an underlying eating disorder and poor body image my whole life.

I was always told I was ‘difficult’, ‘loud’, ‘needy’, ‘intense’ and the best of all ‘too sensitive’ for as long as I can remember, which led to having friendships and relationships with people who just reinforced those negative beliefs.  Struggling to find where I would ever fit in the world or feel ‘enough’ took a long time and is still something I question on my darker days.

I remember wanting to change the world from a young age, feeling ‘different’ somehow and like there was so much more than the life I was living or the God I was told to believe in.   I was no doubt an energy sensitive soul and an indigo child, but sadly I spent too long seeing my suppressed and misunderstood gifts as my weaknesses.  Where I also fell short on changing said world was that until recently I thought it could only come from being anyone else but me!

Since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) there is no doubt about it that my mental health has required more effort.

Some like to put you in said tick-box and just say that depression and MS go hand and hand, but for me I don’t think that’s true.   Past partners have even used this as an excuse for their own shitty behaviour.  But I don’t believe I get depressed because my brain ‘is not wired properly’, but because living with a chronic and largely invisible illness is exhausting and I get down about it.  It limits my dreams and it effects my ability to have fun, to work and to have relationships, so sometimes I am human and I feel resentful of that fact.

Furthermore, since awakening my inner Goddess and empath the journey to good mental health has been an even bigger battle, for I hear the cries of the land, the turmoil of the sea and the sufferings of a collective as if they were happening to my very being.  I am not energy numb.

My healing journey has also unearthed a deep rooted and unhealthy relationship with food, which is an addiction and journey I am  trying to understand and overcome.  Add to that a personal struggle with accepting my sexuality and you have a toxic cocktail for low self-worth and poor mental health!

But all this aside, I would say I am in a good place now.  The very fact I can reflect on my journey so publicly and without shame or fear (thank Agrimony Bach flower) says it all really.

I share some of my story during this week of awareness as I am reminded this week just how hard I have had to work to be where I am today.

I do feel lost and I do get down at times.   I feel an overwhelming guilt and responsibility that I cannot do or be enough to change the world.  But today I treat myself with kinder eyes as I concentrate on how far I have come, not how far I still have to go.

How did I do it?

It’s taken facing my pain rather than projecting it onto others.  It has taken a shed load of Bach remedies, regular therapies, long periods of isolation, kissing A LOT of people I shouldn’t and finding a best friend in Audrey the Yorkie!  And above all else it has taken incredible effort, strength, resilience and personal sacrifice to walk away from anyone and anything that doesn’t serve me, and to dance unapologetically to my own tune.

I do not see myself as a mental health advocate or that my biggest battles are all in my head.  I am not trying to jump on any bandwagon or to say that I am a mental health expert.  But I do see myself as being lucky enough to have a public platform that I can use for change and awareness.  Together with my social work foundations, and now being the owner of a business that is fundamentally set up to support those on a journey of self-discovery, it feels crucial to be amongst the people bringing awareness to this week of wellness.

Through this personal and rather difficult journey I am the person I am today.   I am the healer I am today.  I am the channel and intuitive I am today.  For I can resonate with the shadows as much as the light and I will always turn my pain into empathy to support rather than to tear down.

Be kind to yourselves this week and always.

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 will know that women of a certain age experience a monthly bleed, but what you may not know is that there is an increasing community of awakening women who are using this cycle in ceremonial offering.

Gross right?  Well, I used to think so to!

I strive to keep the majority of my blog focus on lighter subjects that fall within the holistic spectrum.  If I am unable to do this then I at least try to simplify topics so that they may reach a wider community.  However, every now and again I like to challenge my presence and to witness my own evolution from therapist to channel and from practitioner to goddess.

This is the way that I start to trust my heart’s teachings and to ensure that I adapt to an ever changing audience.   It also acts as a reminder to me that I am transforming, I am awakening and I that I have to sometimes step outside of my comfort zone and away from public acceptance or validation.  I must speak my truth, no matter how ‘weird’ that may initially seem.

Blood offerings are something I never envisioned myself doing, let alone writing about.  It couldn’t be further from the way in which I have been raised or indeed from the shame I naturally carry as a woman.

It has become a practice relatively new to my esoteric and spiritual path and one that I am still learning how to embrace and utilise for my greater good.

My awareness began around 18 months ago when I started travelling a more channelled and goddess inspired route.

I began to move in circles of women who done this religiously each month without a second thought.  I even sat in sharing circles whereby ‘sharing sticks’ adorned with elder women’s last bleed were passed around when someone wished to talk.  What struck me was that after my initial thought of ‘what the hell is going on’, there was no feeling of shame or uncleanliness that stayed with me, and instead a deep respect and gratitude amongst us all.  I was intrigued.

Depending on culture, faith, upbringing and gender, a woman’s menstrual cycle will be something to be celebrated or something to despise.  Some cultures create tents for women to gather and craft during this time and others banish women to outside shacks as if they were carrying an infectious disease.

For many women, dating back as far as our past lives, this natural cycle carries with it an element of shame, a feeling of being unclean and is something we rarely talk about openly.  We even give it names like ‘star week’ for example, to avoid magnifying its power or to save embarrassment to anyone who still winces at the thought of it.  We as women are often unable to feel justifiable anger, upset or strong emotions during our bleed without this being excused as PMT or hormone induced.

With all of these negative connotations is it any wonder that working with your cycle seems grose rather than gorgeous?

 

I have always suffered with menstrual cramps and pain, to the point where I am sure there is an underlying diagnosis I haven’t explored with my GP.   As a result of this life-limiting agony I actually dread my periods as I have to spend the first few days in bed and on strong pain relief.

However, in more recent months since making conscious blood offerings to Gaia I have felt a slight improvement in my experienced pain, and I have actually learnt to embrace my monthly gift.  It has created a change in mindset and given less power to the negative thoughts I have had around my cycle.  Despite any expected discomfort, I now actually look forward to being able to offer this in some way and to be source-led to new destinations or ways in which to do this.  Even more so if this falls on a significant lunar rhythm or astrological event, for I see this as a magnified value.

What really changed for me was when a few months ago I was 4 weeks late.  After realising that unless I was expecting the second coming of Jesus, I may be facing the end of my cycle.  I will turn 36 next month and whilst I may still be considered a little ‘young’ to be pre-menopausal, I was experiencing many symptoms which could have indicated that my time was indeed running out.

The thought of this actually made me sad.   I felt robbed!  I had only just discovered this sacred gift, this womanly power if you like, and so it seemed a grave shame to be losing it before my journey had even really begun.  My initial thought was that I wished someone had told me about this sooner, and that my awakening happened earlier so I may have utilised this ceremonial tool.

I believe that a woman’s bleed, whether it’s her first or her last, is a natural wonder to be celebrated and is infact gorgeous.  It’s a reminder of our strength and our synchronised connection with the moon.  For those interested in understanding an energy duality, I believe this is the aspect that helps us to connect to our divine feminine, which when working with rather than against can create balance.

I no longer feel ashamed to talk about it openly without nickname.  I will now be fully embracing this part of my body’s function, and seeing this as a uniquely divine gift I can bring to my ceremonial offerings and ancestral connection.

My crimson journey is of course in it’s infancy and I am human!   Every now and again when I am called to give blood with nearby spectators then my ego will kick in and I will do it all a bit cloak and dagger, as awakening is never easy and some days others opinions cut deeper.  But this act is no longer something I see as grose.  It is no longer something that makes me feel unclean or less of a person because of my presenting gender.  I see it as a powerful connection to Gaia, which can only come as a result of being a woman.  A woman in tune with her body, in tune with the moon and in tune with the land.

This needn’t be something to shout about, but it’s also no longer about suppressing an inherent and natural birth right.

If you take this route then it is something I feel you have to appreciate may warrant a few raised eyebrows and your family and friends perhaps thinking you have finally gone round the spiritual bend!  But for those ready to rise from the shadows, it is an act of self connection, self mastery and  I believe deep awakening.

If this blog speaks to you on any level, even if that is a trigger into thinking it’s more grose than gorgeous, then just try it.  See it as a way of ridding yourself of inherited shame as a woman and of inviting goddess empowerment into your life.

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

I have always been cray for Christmas and up until a few years ago I was still acting like an Elf on crack!

Like so many of us, I spent many years buying into the ‘hype’ and chaos at this time of year and continued to actually find it hard to sleep through my excitement on Christmas Eve.  But something my healing journey has surprisingly taken away from me is the spirit of Christmas; to the point where my spirit is well and truly 6 feet under this year!

It died as I began to awaken, and every year that I continue to ascend it means that a little bit of my festive cheer falls away inside.  This was quite a sad reality for me, and this year has been my hardest to face yet, with many tears for what I feel I cannot single-handily change in the world.  With strong Pine Bach tendencies to my nature I instantly beat myself up; asking myself what had happened to make me assume a Grinch-like identity and to lose my love of Yule…had I become too hard after heartache or too removed from my community?

With no festive fancy left in this body, I find myself no longer being able to belt out the hits of Wham! or the original Band Aid as they play in every shop, on every radio station and even in lifts.  I have adopted a more typically ‘male’ approach to present buying, whereby I have left everything to the last minute (and I’m not even affected by that very reality despite usually having all my gifts bought and wrapped by October).  And I wouldn’t honestly care if I spent the entire day alone at home, in my pants and face down in a box of mince pies!

So what changed?

Well, healing for me is about removing the many blankets of BS we have wrapped ourselves in, and about getting back to the very essence of who we are.

You know, all those beliefs that are your parents and not yours, all those labels and restrictions that society like to place upon you in order to keep you subconsciously conforming, and all those heartbreaks and traumas that program you into thinking that you no longer know who you are.

All the things that basically take you off of your true path and put you onto someone else’s; which is hurtling towards a destination you don’t want to go!  They become blankets or layers that stop you being your authentic self, which often means that you become someone who is lost and as a result can find it hard to connect or to understand what is really important to you.  Heck, sometimes it can even feel like you have lost your mind because nothing resonates and you find yourself taking long strolls in spiritual no-mans land, just waiting for something to click!

In my own personal healing journey I have discovered many things that I realise I had forgotten or suppressed about my very character.  My blankets, my labels and my personal restrictions have all contributed to me thinking that I wasn’t the woman who now stands more in her power today than she ever did.  This woman loves nature.  She strives to be the change in the world that she wants to see.  She cares about the environment, the world and the humans and animals who reside in it.  She is wild and a deep shade of Indigo.  She is passionate about equality, individuality, creativity and duality.  She does not tolerate injustice or fake news!

With that in mind, every Christmas has got harder.  For every layer that I remove, I find it is steeped in guilt and sadness.

For every-time I have an overfilled plate of Christmas dinner a thought enters my head about how many bellies are painfully hungry across the world.  Every-time  I open yet another present, I think just how many children or older people do not have one single gift to acknowledge the day.  When the Winter chill fills the room we reach for the radiator thermostat or throw another log on the fire, when there is someone somewhere shivering on the streets for the night.  And when I think of how much love is in my home from friends who visit, family who support me, yuletide cards that adorn my windowsill and cuddles with my little pup, I then think just how many people and animals remain victims of abuse and neglect.  NONE of this sits easy with me, and every year it gets harder to keep up the charade in order to enjoy this one day.

This year, I believe that we will have the highest number of people emotionally struggling with Christmas and all that it entails.  For it is not possible to be ascending as individuals and as a collective alongside the Winter solstice this year and the many opening gateways, and to not take through a desire for change in the world.  When change presents we often go into personal resistance or trauma.  We adopt ‘old’ ways of doing things and we often get reflective or low in mood because it can force us to lose our identities.  Something as magical as Christmas no longer cuts the mustard and we want more.  This year on a global level we have watched plastic in our oceans reach new and alarming heights of appeal, we have seen an advert banned for being ‘too political’ just for showing us the devastation palm oil is having on our forests and we all panic as we head into uncertainty over Brexit!

WE ARE CHANGING.

 

So when you think about it, isn’t it any wonder that so many of us can’t get excited about one day of the year, when so many of us want equality, the end of austerity, animal and human rights to be accelerated to ascended levels and an end to homelessness and poverty?  Christmas is a time of triggers and of bringing out our shadows in many ways, so if like me your Christmas spirit is fading, please see this as a positive that you are ascending.  You are questioning what is now important to you and perhaps flowing into new times.  I have seen so many people change this Christmas.  Shopping locally rather than lining the pockets of tax-evading chains, or cutting down the amount they spend, or simply doing more for charity…which is so great!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Christmas isn’t a time of deep joy and that we should all sit around feeling guilty.  In fact, your feelings around Christmas that have drawn you to this blog won’t necessarily even echo mine, as your healing journey and authentic self is unique just like mine.  But I am sure if you are reading this then something within you has died too, and you want more.

Simply put, the journey of a fading Christmas spirit can be hard and it can take many years to understand just why it’s happening and what you can personally do about it.  For me, its been to adopt a more ethical Christmas this year in terms of limiting my waste with wrapping presents, asking Santa for gifts that ‘give back’ to charities and animals, and even just supporting more local projects with a donation or my time.  And whilst at times it still doesn’t feel ‘enough’, I am working on letting it be enough for now.  Letting myself be enough this year.  Without the need to drink, or entertain the family, or even running around visiting everyone as my body craves rest and integration this year.

 

So this Christmas, to help any dwindling spirit and cheer, put yourself first.  Do what you need to do, free of guilt.  Your inner voice needs to be acknowledged more than ever this year in order to avoid the blues.

What is your heart and soul asking of you?  What does Christmas really mean to your authentic self?

Wishing you all so much love at this difficult time of year.

Yours in love and festive light,

 

 

 

A Christmas Wish (a poem by Ami Smart)

This year I don’t want gadgets, gifts, money or rings; I want change, I want peace, I want all manner of things

I want orangutans to have homes and bears to stop dancing.  I want tigers to be free and caged dogs to stop fighting

I want no more lotions or potions to hit each shop, for animal testing and cruelty simply has to stop!

Plastic in our oceans and deforestation, please Santa, hear my cries and save our nation

For this year I see that I am beyond blessed!  For I have a family, friends and a safe place to rest

I have freedom and voice, I have wellness and a dog; but I can’t help but cry when I think of the ole’ hedgehog

For she roams at night with no place to bind, in search of food and kindness from each human she’ll find

Santa, my darling, I can cry no more.  I cannot do this alone, and I don’t mean to be a bore

But today as I was writing my usually long list, I realised I have everything I need but just one wish

To sleep on Christmas knowing that all animals are happy; that they have beds for the night and bellies full of Chappie!

So please send me vouchers for Greenpeace and not the high street, for my heart can’t take another year of riding on this global backseat

I want change TODAY and I want animal freedom…so please help me Santa to build a happier kingdom?

 

 

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:

Aromatherapy is an ancient practice (with the name being the only modernising addition), and one that still excites and intrigues me.

In many ways it’s a system that resonates with me due to its Bach similarities; in terms of its global accessibility without qualification, its ability to enhance mood, support (and some say limit) many chronic conditions, and that it’s a derivative of nature.  However, this is where I believe that most people don’t appreciate that the comparisons end.  For unlike essential oils, Bach remedies do not contain the plant extract itself and therefore come with far less complications, restrictions (such as age), barriers to health (such as orthodox medication side effects) or things to consider before administering.  Essential oils, like most systems, tend to treat the outcome/result rather than the source of the problem, and therefore should be treated and respected as two standalone systems.  Both therapies require (in my opinion) a strong foundation of knowledge, an accredited qualification and a real thirst for using nature to heal in order to get the best out of the systems.

It’s a complex subject and whilst I use essential oils in smaller forms both personally and professionally, it is an area that I am happy to leave to the experts…such as this months guest, Louise Morgan.

Some of you may remember that Louise kindly joined me in Guest Corner in November 2017 when this monthly spot was in its infancy.   It’s wonderful to end 2018 with her wise words and revisited specialist subject, as she is a businesswoman and practitioner whom I respect tremendously.  Louise owns Kinsale Therapy Centre, which since July 2017 has been my base for offering Honeysuckle treatments, and we have exchanged many treatments and had a fabulous journey together.

This month I have asked Louise to join us to try and condense the vast and popular subject that is Aromatherapy.  As always my guest is the expert in the monthly topic and I have really enjoyed learning more about this subject in conversation.  Due to the length of this interview I will keep my opening paragraph short, as I have been inspired to write a future blog to clear up some of the misunderstandings between the Bach remedies and other plant-based systems of healing.

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to Louise for finding the time in her always busy schedule to connect this month and to end Honeysuckle’s Guest Corner’s as we know and love them.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

December Guest Corner

Q&A With Louise Morgan Holistic Therapist

 

“Aromatherapy”

 

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a branch of complementary therapy which uses bottles of different oils in small amounts to create an affect to help a person.  The bottles of oils are called essential oils and are extracted from plants, trees and fruits through different methods.

What are the benefits of Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy has several benefits depending on how it is used.  Inhalation is a really quick way for essential oils to enter the body, whilst putting essential oils on the body in an oil or cream can mean a longer and more subtle effect, depending on several factors.  On an emotional level, essential oils can be used to help mood, and the oils can be blended depending on how someone wants to feel – they can be used to stimulate, refresh or relax an individual.  At the other end of the spectrum, with clinical aromatherapy, you can use essential oils to support an individual with their health conditions.

What got you into Aromatherapy?

I worked in an office and knew I didn’t want to be there for the rest of my life.  Months before approaching a ‘0’ birthday, I’d seen the course advertised, asked for information and then stuffed it in a drawer when I saw the cost!  One day when clearing the drawer, I found the paperwork and decided the cost wasn’t that much for a complete career change.  By the time that birthday came, I was 6 months into the course!

 

How do you use Aromatherapy in your business?

Aromatherapy is a core part of my business.  For some clients, it’s the bespoke blend they get for a massage, for others it’s a high diluted blend for a problem they would like help with.  I make an essential oil blend in a cream, which I use for the final massage in my Reflexology sessions and I also use essential oils around the clinic if I want to change the aroma.

What are some of the easy ways my readers can use essential oils in their everyday lives?

One easy way is to put a few drops on a tissue and inhale it through your nose and out through your mouth.  This option doesn’t need expensive equipment and can give you a quick burst of energy or calm, depending on the oil you’re using.  Another way is to pop a few drops on a cotton wall ball and pop it behind a radiator (if children and pets can’t reach it) or on top of a shelf/wardrobe where little fingers and paws cannot reach!  The oil then diffuses gently into the air without being too overpowering.

What are your top 3 essential oils and why?

I love sweet orange.  There’s research into how it can be an useful option for anxiety; people of all ages tend to love it and it’s safe for all age groups.  It’s a ‘cheering’ oil, but as it’s a citrus oil you do need to be careful.  Every time the bottle is open and it is exposed to the air,  sweet orange reacts with the oxygen.  After about 6 months, it should be discarded.  Or if you have about a 1/4 of the bottle left you may wish to discard it as there will be a lot of air in the bottle.  If you use a bottle which is oxidised (i.e reacted to the air) you may find you experience a reaction and your skin could become sensitised to the oil.

Lavender – a few years ago this wouldn’t have made it onto my list as I felt it was overused, but since I have had my clinic I have fallen back in love with it as clients have requested it to be part of their blends.  It’s a great ‘all round’ oil, which is anti-inflammatory and also cicatrisant, which means it helps skin healing.  Over the years I’ve used this in blends for bee stings, chickenpox, sleep blends and eczema.

Please note Louise has kindly provided lots of uses and points of concern when using Lavender, particularly when using alongside ADHD conditions.  To aid the readability and length of this blog, please contact Louise directly for a consultation and to learn more about general usage and health and safety points.

Benzoin – this has a wonderful deep Vanilla aroma.  It is a thick oil, which gives a chocolate orange aroma when combined with sweet orange.  It’s a great choice for calming and de-stressing and is also good for the skin.  This is an oil I wouldn’t use in high dilutions, but is great for creating a lovely aroma.  If you are using a diffuser you will need to clean it out afterwards to avoid it leaving a residue.

Is Aromatherapy suitable for use with children and pets?

I use Aromatherapy with my children, and I talk about how to safely use essential oils with babies on my baby massage courses.  The problem is, some oils are safe, but it’s all about which oil you are using and the amount of oil you are using.  There’s lost of information on the internet, but with babies and children it’s worth making sure the information is from a reputable source.  I’m not qualified to give advice on essential oils with pets, and I know during my initial training I was advised you could only do so under the guidance of a Vet.  Personally, I wouldn’t use essential oils with pets as I know how potent they are.  Also, I know that cats’ livers can’t actually metabolise essential oils, so they can be toxic to them.

What are your top tips for working with essential oils?

Think about how you store your oils – keep them in a cool, dark place, out of reach of children and pets, and keep the lids on as much as possible.

Remember a little goes a long way!  You don’t need to be using a lot of essential oil to create an effect, and you should always try to use the least amount to avoid overexposure.

Buy a good quality essential oil.  If you check the membership list of Aromatherapy Trade Council, they hold a list of suppliers who provide good quality essential oils.  Unfortunately the market isn’t regulated so oils can be adulterated with synthetic or natural chemicals.

If you’re thinking of using essential oils for a specific health condition, it really is worth spending the money on an Aromatherapist.  If you look online you may find some information, but it is general and may not be suitable for you.  When you pay for an Aromatherapist appointment you are paying for the expertise and experience in understanding the oils, and their understanding of how they may interact with medications or pose certain problems for some individuals.

And, as it’s the season of Yule, what oils would you recommend to get that traditional Christmassy aroma?

Personally, I love a bit of cinnamon and orange!  I use cinnamon leaf (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum) as it’s safer than the bark, and sweet orange (citrus sinensis).  This is a traditional aroma, but the sweet orange is cheery and uplifting, while the cinnamon is good at keeping the Winter bugs at bay.  Cinnamon leaf essential oil is potent, so in high dilutions it can be mucous irritant (you may not want to diffuse it all day) and it should not be used by pregnant ladies.

 

Louise is a holistic therapist who owns Kinsale Therapy Centre, Bristol; a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies.  Louise offers reflexology, aromatherapy, aromatology, holistic massage, Indian head massage, reiki, baby massage and story massage.   For further information visit Louise’s website or contact her clinic on 01275 217160

 

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

 

For many, they remember remember the 5th of November as an exciting time to create warming fires and let off dazzling fireworks, but for our little fur babies and for many wild animals I am sure this is the time of year they dread!

Loud bangs, unexpected light flashes and pre-lit bonfires looking like cosy places to nest are all something that require our human intervention and compassion in order to help our animal friends safely through this time of year.

Now, I don’t claim to be an animal behaviour expert, but I do claim to be the devoted Mum to one gorgeous fur baby!  My motherly role has led me to almost speak ‘Yorkshire Terrier’ and I have built quite the toolkit to help my little Audrey in times of illness or distress.   These life skills, together with being a qualified Reiki and Bach flower practitioner have given me handy tools when trying to instil calm and order to the legend that is Audrey-Cherry Puppington The 1st!

With that in mind, I have compiled my top 5 tried and tested tips to help your pets through their most scarily-anticipated season

 

1) Utilise Bach Flower Remedies

Rescue Remedy (also known as 5 flower essence and recovery remedy) is a great place to start with frightened and unnerved pets.  If the area you live in is anything like Bristol, fireworks start and end a good week or so before and after the main event.  Therefore, I like to start Audrey on Rescue Remedy at least a week before November 5th.

Dosage: The guidance on this will vary, depending on the books you reference for research, but Bach approved courses will teach you the following.  It is perfectly safe to use the remedy which contains alcohol in the same dosage you would a human, 4 drops 4 times a day or as and when needed.  My wonderful teacher Celia, always says “it’s the same dose for a mouse as it is an elephant”, which I always like to share as an easy tool for remembering dosage in animals.  Where possible add this to a treat or in water, ideally diluted in the case of smaller breeds, birds and animals I find.

If your pet is of a general nervous disposition, you can obtain more information about specific remedies from books such as ‘Bach Flower Remedies For Animals’ (Ball & Howard) or by searching for qualified BFRAP’s (Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioners) in your area here

 

2) Create A Cosy Environment

Creating a warm, safe and relaxing environment is key.

Keeping cats indoors (tape up those cat flaps!) and where possible bringing other animals inside.   A lot of cats and dogs like to hide, so creating a den or ‘shelter’ within the home will help them to relax and escape the noise.  Soft lamps and drawn curtains can help to block out some of the flashing lights, and this is especially useful if you cannot be home to comfort your furry friend.

I use an ‘iCalm Dog’ and ‘Through A Dogs Ear’ music system, which is a small speaker with classical music that has been tone simplified to meet the sensitivity of canine’s ears.

Audrey loves hers and they now seem to be available for cats and in portable form.  Not the cheapest of options, but I have found worth the investment.  I purchased mine from a local specialist pet shop, but they are also available online.

 

3) Be An Understanding And Interactive Pal

It’s not uncommon for pets to be noisier than usual or to even forget their toilet training during this season!

Try to be more patient at this time, re-framing from shouting at them or sending them to the naughty step.

If possible, try and be home during the firework festivities so as to provide hugs and distractions with toys and games.

Audrey likes interactive games such as this one where she gets to find treats beneath – it keeps her entertained for a while, although she is far too clever for her own good now!

 

4) Keep Calm And Have A Treat

As Audrey is a bit of a diva, she has a particular pallet not to mention a sensitive tummy so we always use the Pooch and Mutt treat range as they are wheat free, ethical and natural, so both of our belief systems and needs are met.

We use the pale Purple tube ‘calm and relaxed’, which is really helpful for this time due to its chamomile and serotonin boosting ingredients.

Especially helpful when topped with a couple of drops of rescue remedy or placed in her flower Kong for extra distraction!

 

5) Provide A Blanket Of Love And Light

For those attuned to Reiki or equivalent, energy healing can be a great way to soothe animals during times such as these. Healing hands can create calm and restore a balance of emotions.

Like me, many practitioners will offer distance healing packages whereby they can send Reiki (or equivalent) to animals worldwide, meaning that they don’t need to be in the same room to soak up this energy.

If you’re not working as a channel, don’t worry – a comforting embrace of your pet together with a positive intention will do the trick!  You can even place calming crystals such as Rose Quartz around their beds or hold the crystal in one hand whilst you lay your other hand on your distressed fur baby.

Setting loving intentions and affirmations whilst cradling your pet, and even visualising your fur babies in a blanket of healing light with colours such as Pink, White and even Blue being particularly restorative, will help to make them feel safe and loved.

 

These are just a few of my tried and tested tips as a devoted Mum, but this list is by no means exhaustive and I would like to stress that I am not advertising or affiliated with any of the products I have mentioned. Further tips can be found from helpful vets (mine have a brilliant blog for the occasion) and I have also found great support from local re-homing centres and animal charities – I recommend finding the equivalent in your area.

I don’t have a caged animal such as a rabbit or smaller, or a farm or wild animal, but I would imagine this can be a bit of an ordeal for them too, especially those left outside with nowhere to hide from the sounds and sights.  If you’re unable to bring your pet indoors or don’t fancy snuggling up in front of the TV with your cow or chicken, then get them on the Rescue Remedy and send them love and light!

Finally, remember hedgehogs this firework night and rebuild bonfires before lighting.  They can be a very cosy home to these lovely little critters and their amphibian friends so keep your eyes peeled and create alternative homes for them.

Be safe and enjoy the celebrations.

Yours in love and sparkly-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 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

 

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

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,

 

 

 

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

There seems to be an influx of visiting bees in our conservatory lately, and today’s guest looked like nothing short of the Queen!

I have always loved nature, preferring to be outdoors (contrary to what those around me may have to say) from a young age, but it’s really been the last few years that my love of wildlife, animals, fauna and flora has really come alive.

I think nature is sent to not only provide for us, but to lift our moods and enhance our connection and purpose, although sometimes it takes going on a deeply inward journey in order to truly appreciate it.  When you awaken the goddess within, when you hear her cries and answer her calls I think you naturally become more sentient, more empathetic and can see the way that animals and nature (when kept alive) fit into the great wheel of life, as if they were fundamental cogs in the machines workings.

For me personally, I can see that my authentic self looks like a wild woman at the core, but somewhere along the line she got lost and scared.  She became frightened of spiders, scared of mice, too afraid to pick up and talk to a rat or walk through a field of cows, and that makes me sad.  It’s only now that I am seeing such sadness in those learned behaviours as I realise that I have missed out on so much, and am having to remove these layers and get back to the essence of who I am much later in life.  Somewhat behind where I should be as a result. Everything I do to heal and connect to my higher power and inner wounds takes me ever closer to this wild woman; and she is someone I like and respect a lot more than the girl I have allowed myself to be up until now.

But the problem comes with the fact that I put a great deal of pressure on myself.  To love nature I feel I must be able to roll around in it, covered in spiders and loving the process somewhere in a remote campsite…but that’s sadly not the case!

I do love camping, but the point is I am still learning to love spiders!  With these high expectations and now the line of work I find myself in, I feel it’s somehow my duty and reputation at stake to be at one with nature…including knowing how to save every bee who comes to Bristol for some time out!

However, whilst watching this bee take what I hope is a nap in our ambient temperature glass house, I began to panic and take an unhealthy responsibility for nursing this bee back to health.  Even my Mum has faith in me that I can save the day, which only ceases to add to my own self–administered pressure!  I opted for the ‘go to’ reaction of giving it a water and sugar solution, ensuring I took my instructions from a reputable Google search such as the RSPB or Wildlife Trust, but he didn’t seem interested.  My next step is always to sit as close as I feel comfortable to do so and send this striped fella some Reiki…which has been known to help in the past.  Even Bach Rescue Remedy can help when diluted!  I sat there and channelled my inner Wild Steve England (read Steve’s Honeysuckle guest blog here) , wishing I had his skills and confidence to pick said bee up and administer the sugar water…but I realised I was scared.  I was a Rock Rose level of scared, yet I am not sure why, as I wanted to save this bee more than anything.  So why couldn’t I just ‘get over it’ and help him when my desire to do so seemed to outweigh my fear?

I left the conservatory, with the spoon within the bee’s reach and went back upstairs.  I sat there restless and began to cry.  I went back downstairs 5-10 minutes later and started the process all over again.  And this rig-moral of going back and forth to the wilting bee went on for half an hour, maybe more!  Goggle searches such as ‘how do you know if a bee is sleeping or dying’ happened, tweets to Wild Steve for advice and a lot more empathetic tears shed on behalf of the Queen all followed this exhausting process.  Until I sat there and the penny dropped…. I needed to work with Pine…AGAIN!

Pine is one of my ‘type’ remedies and the negative aspects of the remedy underpins the majority of my feelings, outlooks and interactions, and this bee served as a reminder today that I still have intricate layers of Pine to balance.  For I took the blame for this bee and sole responsibility for it’s predicament.  I somehow felt guilty for the fact that he is sleeping, resting or heaven forbid preparing himself to cross the rainbow bridge.  I was sat there beating myself up for not being able to pick him up or remove my fear to get close enough to him to help.  I felt angry with myself and stupid for not instinctively knowing what to do with him and how to save him.  After all I am a ‘healer’ right?  Therefore it’s ‘my job’ to know how to help every living and sentient being and to not fear mother nature herself.  It just didn’t sit right with me and from that one flying visit I had spiralled into a deep self-reproach and fear, all from a situation that unless I morphed into David Attenborough I don’t think I could have done much more!

But the idea for this blog came as I sat staring at the bee for the 40th time.  Berating myself for not being a good enough healer, for not understanding nature enough and only having the useless and emotional connection of an empath, a gutless empath at that!  For what good is feeling the bee and witnessing its struggles if I can’t do anything to help.  My self talk was terrible and I really heard it today.  Why on earth was I feeling as though this was my fault?  Why did I think I ‘should’ know what to do?  What was I so afraid of?  All of these questions (and more) served as gentle reminders of my next layers presenting, Pine and Rock Rose.  Perhaps this yellow and black wonder was merely sent as a sign of what I need to do next, which remedies would help me unlock my potential. Perhaps he was sent to show me how to step bravely into the ‘fear bubble’ as Ant Middleton would say.   Or perhaps he was just tired, and nothing more!

The moral of the story is that I am human.  Sometimes I don’t know what to do in situations for the best.  Sometimes I can have deep connections, but be too fearful to see them through as my own emotions take over.   And that’s what this little guy was showing me today.  My best in any given moment is my best.  It’s not my fault he was there, and whilst he may have boded better in Steve or David’s house, he was given love and attention perhaps more than he would have been somewhere else.  So that needs to be enough.  With Pine and Rock Rose, which I will now prepare in a mixing bottle to see me through this next stage of my journey, I am sure I will be better prepared for the next bee-autiful guest who stops by.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

BEE-cause I thought you would like an update: Alas, good news!  Writing this blog inspired me to go back downstairs and to try again, with more determination and trust that my loving intention could replace my fear.  I made a solution of sugar and water and added Olive Bach remedy (for tiredness) and Rescue Remedy (to give this guy back its senses) and I added it to one of my Bach mixing bottles so I could administer it to the bees mouth, one drop at a time.  Within a few seconds of doing this he came alive before my very eyes and flew off as if by magic.  Thanks for the lesson little bee, god speed!

It’s important not to give bees honey, or to use certain sugars (such as Demerara).  For more information on how to revive tired bees, you can visit ‘save the bees’ website 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

Events

Honeysuckle Healing is proud to present a workshop like no other in the run up to the Christmas madness!

November is the time when we often begin to put our sociable pants on, but it’s also the time when we start to feel the overwhelm and stress of the festive season ahead. Ami of Honeysuckle Healing believes she has the answer with this fun and informative evening, combining two of her favourite things…Bach and beer!

Learn how to soothe your seasonal stresses with the self-empowering Bach flower remedies, and then learn how to soothe them some more with a selection of Christmas inspired craft ales to sample.

Ami will take you on a whistle-stop tour of must-have festive tonics, through a showcase of the South Wests’ finest festive beers all whilst teaching you about some of the Bach remedies that can save your cool this Yule. We will be learning about remedies that can support you with anything from avoiding burnout to dealing with resurfacing grief from lost loved ones this Christmas. There is even a remedy for managing the inevitable Christmas over-indulgence, and to help you to bounce back from the xmas anti-climax. There really is a remedy with your name on it (and a beer!)

The Christmas jukebox will be playing in the background and there will be savoury snacks with local chutneys and cheeses to keep your tummy’s full and your minds sharp. Included in the price, you will also take home a handout on the beers you have sampled and the Bach remedies you have learnt about, so that you are armed for next year. If that wasn’t enough then you will have the option to take home your own festive Bach blend, choosing from the remedies you have learnt about this evening along with the tailor made suggestions from your very own Bach Centre trained Ami.

This workshop is open to men, women and non-binary and promises to be a great night of entertainment, food, drink and above all else priceless knowledge. So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself an early bird bargain today! You won’t regret it.

Ami is a Bach Centre trained and fully insured practitioner, with vast personal and professional experience with the remedies.  Ami enjoys finding new and fun ways to bring the remedies into ceremony and to a wider audience, whilst respecting and honouring the original ethos of Dr Edward Bach.

FEE EXCHANGE: EARLY BIRD RUNS UNTIL 15th OCTOBER – TICKETS ARE JUST £80 WITH THE EARLY BIRD (£90 THEREAFTER). This includes a 3 hour workshop, cheese and nibbles, all craft beers to sample, detailed Bach flower presentation with individual remedy focus AND your own Bach blend to take home (lasting 3-4 weeks). The Bach flower blend will be tailored to your individual needs and is a key component of the workshop aftercare, as this bad boy is where the healing begins!

PLEASE READ BEFORE BOOKING:
This workshop will of course contain alcohol; both within the Bach remedies themselves and the ales you will be trying on the evening. This means that you will need to be over 18 years of age to attend. Although we will not be getting completely sozzled, you will be delicately inebriated and over the limit to drive or ride a bicycle, so please do book a taxi or arrange lift’s for the evening so that you get the full experience. If you have any specific dietary requirements, please get in touch before booking the event to ensure I can cater for your needs. All food will be vegetarian, but not vegan. Please note I have a small and friendly Yorkshire Terrier called Audrey who will be at the event, and may want cuddles! Tickets will need to be purchased in advance to cover the workshop materials and to limit waste. Tickets must be purchased via the friends and family option and without protecting your payment if you are purchasing through PayPal, failure to do this will incur a fee from PayPal which I will have to pass on to you. Alternatively, please get in touch if you wish to pay via bank transfer. This workshop is held within my cosy vintage home in North Bristol. Once booked, you will receive an email with full address details and any other workshop information. Spaces are limited to 6 for your comfort and enjoyment. Please allow enough time in case we slightly run over on the evening.  If you are unable to attend the event or deem it unsuitable after booking, please note that there are no refunds, however you can transfer your space to a friend.

Sunday Service @ The Taster Temple is a new quarterly offering from Honeysuckle Healing based at Kinsale Therapy Centre.

At the final Taster Temple of the year you can experience Healing @ Honeysuckle in taster and energy top-up format. Come and enjoy an Autumn cleanse!

For just £25 you will benefit from a 20 minute tailor-made and intuitive led healing session, which will be both deeply relaxing and restorative. This will include a chakra balance as a basic yet fundamental starting point and an aura sweep and grounding ritual to close.  You will also be provided with a comfortable waiting room, refreshments and esoteric books/oracle cards to support your experience.

Healing @ Honeysuckle uses an expansive myriad of heartfelt and channelled techniques which include Reiki, Goddess Healing, soul and spiritual healing, chakra balancing, guided meditation and much more.

Each taster will be held in a private room and on a professional couch with soothing sounds and scents to help you relax.

Not exclusively for, but ideally suited to, students/low income/unemployed/retired/disabled communities. This is a great way to try this unique style of healing for yourself and to experience healing on a budget or time limit – without having to book months in advance due to my current waiting list.

LIMITED APPOINTMENTS: Drop in sessions will be available between 11am and 1pm on a first come first serve basis. You will be given a time slot on arrival and my social media accounts will be updated throughout the day when appointments are full. Herbal teas and biscuits will be provided in vintage china within a breakout area whilst you wait, alongside books and oracle cards to work with in quiet reflection. There will also be healing and craft items to browse and buy on the day from local small businesses. Sessions are open to all/non genders, and children with an accompanying adult over 12 years of age.

This service has been designed to support the many enquiries I get via my website from financially struggling communities, so please do use it in order not to lose it. Based on the success of these sessions I will provide quarterly Taster Temples, alternating between Bach flower tasters and energy healing top ups so do please support this event…as always, you will get a lot for your monetary exchange

ABOUT AMI: Ami is a fully qualified Reiki practitioner with clear Usui lineage and is a member of The UK Reiki Federation. Ami has completed an intense 6 week channelling course with a recognised channel and has served regularly as a Melissa at The Bristol Goddess Temple. Ami continues to live her life in dedicated service, regularly evolving and updating her skill-set and technique through courses, professional development and intuition based journeying. Ami is fully insured.

Do please get in touch if you have any questions prior to the event.  Marking yourself as ‘interested’ or ‘going’ within the event on Facebook will act as an electronic reminder nearer the time.

Please be aware that this venue is not wheelchair accessible and there is one small step up to the centre. All access is level once inside – please get in touch if you have any additional needs or special requests