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Healing is an ever evolving and expansive modality, and one that’s deeply subjective.  It will mean something different to everyone as it will require something different for all who seek it.

Therefore, holding space for healing to take place is complex and there is a lot more involved than you may think.  Creating a loving and alchemic space is so much more than consciously calling people into circle or ceremony whilst spouting a few words of wisdom and waving a feather wand around, which is how it may look on the surface.

Healing is continuing to support the friend who does all the taking whilst you do all the giving, because you can see the triggered growth.  It’s the causes you champion and support even though they don’t return the energy exchange, because you believe in their roots and wider benefit.  It’s the candles you light behind the scenes for those in pain without making it onto your social media show reel.  It’s the divine material you channel and make your own, rather than someone else’s craft passed off as your ‘weekly wisdom’.   It’s the blessings you send out to an unknowing collective to aid a global ascension.  It’s the silent tears you cry for a burning rain-forest or the unprotected animals.  It’s the relationships you eventually walk away from to begin work on your own wounds so as to limit collateral damage to others.  It’s the distressed strangers on a train you send distant love and light to comfort.   It’s the flower remedies you take or the soul journeys you travel on behalf of those around you who are unwilling to change.

It’s the ancestral wounds you inherited and vow to break rather than continue to pass down the maternal and paternal lines.  It’s the channelled words you share outside your comfort zone because your guides say the world needs to hear them.  It’s the free online content you provide via social media, blogs and chance meetings that yield comfort and emotive thought to someones day.  It’s the discounts or free space you gift to those who need it more than they know.  It’s the free hugs, the extra time, the finest tea and the heartfelt space you give to those drawn to your light and work.  It’s forgiving others who will never understand the magnitude of the gesture.  It’s taking responsibility for your actions, even when you’re hurt.  It’s learning how to love yourself when those around you can’t.   It’s shining your light, speaking your truth and presenting co-creation even when it triggers, receives conflicting opinion or isn’t understood.  It’s all of this, and so very much more.

Makes you think doesn’t it?

When you’re called into service, despite vowing that it will be a part time venture, you make a subconscious decision to dedicate your every being to this way of life.  It’s a silent contract that means you will never be able to choose your hours, rules of employment or hand in your notice, as you will forever be serving a higher power that knows what’s best for you.    You sign up to put more love into the world than you’re ever likely to get back, and once you move through your ego you become comfortable with that exchange.  Because you start to appreciate that you made an unbreakable pledge in many lives previous, that you will heal, grow and find your authentic self no matter what the cost in this lifetime.  In my case, illness and isolation.

When you take the first step on a healing journey you will never be able to step back into comfort or be able to be a half-assed version of yourself ever again.  You will no longer be able to ignore your gut, or else the universe will harshly intervene to cut the cords for you.  You will no longer be able to live small, in ego or conform to the invisible ‘rule-book for good people’.  And when you hold space for others on that journey then these unspoken expectations magnify, have (biodegradable) glitter on top and bells and whistles to boot!

With that comes repetitive challenges, and at times relentless testing.  Bringing with it suppressed insecurities and internal battles you thought you had fought and won.  This can be exhausting, isolating and often the root definition of healing!

But with this journey also comes an immeasurable euphoria and a freedom of self.  A nirvana of the highest order, deeper connections and an everlasting gratitude of self and in turn the rest of the world.  It’s the release of material gratification, sought out validation, ego-living and surface happiness.  It’s a medicine for the soul that no Dr or Chemist could ever prescribe.  It’s the best feeling in the world, it’s the feeling of self-mastery.

To be a channel/healer/light-worker/shaman/*insert word here* you have to take care of yourself.  You have to be willing to take yourself from a wounded healer to an awakened being, for which the goalpost will continually move inline with your new and unique skill-sets, tribes and lessons.  The end result will shake with every lower vibration, retrograding planet or challenging astrological house sign.  As you transform and are attuned to new energetic frequencies, you will need to find stronger spiritual defences, be even kinder to yourself and often need to take extended time out from social media, people and helping others.

When you are an empath and live with a chronic illness such as myself, this makes the journey that much more painful and requires even more solitary self-care as I am beginning to learn.

As an empath you are further affected by the decisions of world leaders, by the cries of the planet, by the vibration of the collective and alike. Which means that it’s a necessary part of ‘the job’ to take extended periods of isolation to go deeper into this work.  Taking a break isn’t always about taking a physical vacation, although sometimes that’s part of it, but it’s more about taking time to process, to integrate and to understand your own triggers and wounds so that in turn you can hold space for others to heal.

There is no doubt about it that this is the down side of being in service, and it’s so deeply painful at times.

I used to see taking a break as weak.  Especially as it tends to follow repeated dark nights of the soul inevitably experienced through ignoring my body, synchronised signs and my intuition.   But I’m beginning to realise that in order to evolve my work I must first evolve myself.  My mind, my body and my soul.  I must detox, cleanse and completely reset my chakric system and auric field so that I am more aligned with my path and guidance.  I must be willing to revisit the heavy karmic ties of my heart.

At times I have felt that I would love to run away from all this and start again. Go back to an office job or only agree to do reiki on a small scale. Part of me has wanted to gift myself a whole year off to go on a personal pilgrimage deep into the woods and shut off from everyone and everything, just so I could rest properly and hear myself think. But that’s not me. And my guides won’t allow that. So instead I have to compromise because they’re now saying it’s time to listen and it’s time to rebuild, for there are many blocks within my work and within my tribe.

I am following the path of a channel and I am not where I consciously started this journey 5 ish years ago, and a long time before that with my eyes wide shut. Almost everything that I say and I do is coming from an ascended place, higher than I can often translate into 3D words or understand at times.

It’s no longer a therapy or a practice inherited from books or teachers, it’s the unscripted work of my heart and soul.

So perhaps I have been a fool to think that smudging my home, using protective practices that I was first taught for hourly therapeutic work, and the odd meditation would be enough to provide great spiritual defences anymore.

I am a being of light that is expansive and ever-evolving, therefore I need to do a lot more within my basic foundations to grow and to protect myself.  That includes releasing worry what others think or how my events/words/work are interpreted, as it seems the more I grow the more I lose followers, the less attendance I have in ceremony and the more opinion I receive.

This realisation came as a huge wake up call and attack to the soul on my recent Samhain tea ceremony.  When I unexpectedly had to close my circle early following repeated verbal abuse from others who had also booked the space for their event expecting to be alone, unbeknown to us all.

 

I realised in that moment just how alone and out of my depth I felt, as I am the channel and the entire events team for my business…Honeysuckle is just me!  I am not headed up by a committee or on a conscious healing journey with a business partner, I am everything and I live and learn from my mistakes.

I felt out of my depth as I was in shock from what happened and wide open through channelling and holding a calming space that was attacked repeatedly with aggression and anger.  Taken a back,  I wasn’t able to articulate what my higher self knew to those shaken souls in attendance, which was that this experience was actually a learning tool for us all, and healing that you couldn’t put a price on!

For me it evoked physical fear as one of the ‘gentlemen’ (and I use that word politely and loosely) shouted inches from my face, as well as unearthed a great impostor syndrome, resentment towards those who I felt had put me in that situation and above all else guilt.  Guilt as I felt responsible and embarrassed that my circle didn’t deliver what I had promised.  I don’t mind admitting that the situation was the straw that broke the camels back and made me see what I had been ignoring for too long out of loyalty.

The experience was an opportunity for growth for all of us, which is after all what we signed up for, as no-one said healing would be all love and light.  The way we individually felt and reacted in that situation was showing us exactly what it was time to release and what emotions were holding us back.  Furthermore, it was completely out of my control so should therefore be no reflection on me.

Nonetheless, I saw in that very moment that I was done with serving others for the time being, and instead I wanted to strengthen my defences so that I couldn’t be affected that deeply again.  I wanted to expand my aura from energy attacks and opinion.  I wanted to take a deeper look at who I was supporting and travelling with at this stage of my evolved journey.  I wanted to gift the love and healing to myself, for it was clearly so long overdue.

Making my decision to take a break publicly, and without the initial need to explain why, received an overwhelming amount of love and support, some of which from people I never even knew followed my work.  After such an unsettling Hallows experience, this unexpected lifeline of kindness restored my faith in the world and indeed my own work.  But of course it also received opinion, gossip and highlighted the people and places I have now outgrown.  It also allowed others to play down this role as though they were one up on me by realising I needed a break, this is ego living!  But I realised that ‘taking a break’ merely means taking a break from social media, gifting everything I mentioned in the opening paragraphs and no longer holding space, it doesn’t mean stopping this work, infact it means doing more.   But that’s the nature of this role, it is a platform that will always receive critique and opinion, and those that think healing is something you just one day master.

But I choose to do things differently.  I choose to be more vulnerable, honest and to change the way we see healing, which should be a country mile from the world of hierarchy, shadow-free light and show reels.  The channels I am drawn to are changing things and work towards this vision I have.  The world is changing because healers and channels are changing. There is a gaping and obvious difference between those who are awake and in this for the long haul, and those who see this as a part time journey of bandwagons to jump on.   These channels are ‘a bit of me’ and they share their lows as much as their highs for they speak honestly about their triggers. They evolve from them and they bring this awareness into circle.

They are called into this work and are unwilling to go around it, for they are brave enough to go through it.

For this reason, they will not be able to relentlessly serve without having to stop.   And these are the people I want to receive healing from, I want to be taught by, I want to sit in circle with and who I want in my tribe.   People who take responsibility for their blocks and triggers and know when it’s time to stop and to regroup.

In the weeks that have followed Samhain,  I can see the many blessings in what happened.  Namely that I can now take some time out for myself, to re-establish a committed Honeysuckle Tribe when I return and to break links to people and causes that no longer serve me.  But what’s been more beneficial is the realisation that I need to rebuild,  I need to raise my vibration and I need to have stronger defences.

It has taken me weeks to write this blog as I wanted to be sure that I am writing it for the right reasons.  That I am not doing it out of retaliation for what happened or that I am not justifying my actions or need to take time out.  As always, I write from a point of healing to help others.  From now on I trust that those who take the time to read my blogs and indeed are still here following me on the other-side of my break are meant to be here.  I trust the organic restructure that will come from this.

I can’t say when I will be back or in what capacity, and I am sure the winds of change will carry me through many directions in the new year.

But this is what authenticity looks like.  This is what channelling looks like.

Thank you for your continued love and support.  See you on the other side!

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

Will I ever be enough? This is a question I ask myself on average at least once a week, sometimes consciously aloud and sometimes suppressed into the ways that I act or feel.

At least once a week may sound a ‘little much’ to some, but I believe it’s a question that many people, particularly awakened ‘women,’ ask themselves frequently too.

In fact anyone on a path of self development or conscious soul searching will likely ask it so much as they too will have this self-limiting dialogue carved into them as if it were a tattoo.

You may be fooled into thinking that asking this question repeatedly is all about low self esteem or a lack of self confidence; therefore excluding you if you feel above this way of feeling.  Sure, those mindsets don’t help if that’s something you live with, but they are actually unrelated to the root of the question.

That’s because this question relates more to impostor syndrome, and for me impostor syndrome isn’t always a bad trait if you can learn how to live in the more positive aspect of it. Impostor syndrome gets you asking questions in order to learn, to grow and more importantly to heal. This is fundamental on a Goddess inspired path or the path of an authentic light-worker.

Impostor syndrome in essence is an inner craving to become more, and a desire to unearth more of yourself, your authentic self, and indeed the rest of the world, which we often achieve through initial self doubt.

We feel like an ‘impostor’ because deep down we know we can be so much more, and in many ways we are fighting the internal calling and birthright to step into our power.  And that’s because we are taught to fear our higher selves and our authentic beings from a young age.  For women this is especially true as we are born with gender inherited shame and guilt, which is magnified in the values we are taught such as comparison, inferiority and critical self dialogue.

And despite what you may have been taught, that this is low vibrational energy; those with impostor syndrome are often the most skilled of light-workers and the most attuned channels.  They are less likely to be living and working in their egos, because they understand the questions they must ask of themselves to keep it real and to evolve.

We are taught to fear success, to resist self expansion and to dim our lights so that others can live untriggered alongside us.  We are taught to live small.

From this fear we learn how to put our deepest dreams in a box that struggles to contain them, and we limit our cosmic beings to a 1D or 2D realm, or if we’re really lucky a 3D or 4D existence, whereby we really start to ask ourselves the opening question.  And it’s only when we start to ask this question consciously and with an intention to grow, that I believe we are starting to ascend to 5D and beyond.

Years pass and adolescence is cruel to any awakened soul, indigo child, empath or highly sensitive person.   We become wrapped in individual blankets of BS, of unjust self analysis and of life limiting belief systems and core values.  Because we are taught this from a young age and our forefathers are taught this.  We inherited our parents opinions of us, we adopted unhealed ancestral trauma through our paternal and maternal lines and we believed what media and society told us about our labels.

And thus began the rise of the question “will I ever be enough?”

The question will differ from person to person.  For some this will not even be consciously asked, and it will more be an inferiority of sorts that presents in behaviour, insecurities or feelings.

For others it will be a loud loop that plays out regularly, as if to say your best isn’t good enough,  YOU aren’t good enough.  In remedy terms it’s likely to be the Pine’s, the Larch’s, the Rock Water’s, the Centaury’s, the Agrimony’s and the Cerato’s in my opinion.

I believe the question ‘will I ever be enough’ is ingrained in women the moment they are born.  That’s not to say that this question is gender exclusive, but I believe that it’s a statement attached to the divine feminine, and this is felt more prominently in women.  You then inherit an ancestral line, particularly passed down through the maternal line, of women before you who never quite found their worth or voice due to their inherited belief systems or the suppression of feminism during harder times.  These wounds have now been passed on to you as if they were a baton and it’s now your turn to have a go at healing them alongside your own unique shadows.

The way you are brought up also plays a part, for the media you are exposed to, the parental viewpoints and the developmental years of an empath for example can make or break your inner critic.

I remember feeling fat, ugly and like I just didn’t fit in from as young as 2!

I have wonderful and loving parents, I have experienced no known trauma at a young age and I have no reason to feel this way, but I did.  I wanted more from that tender age and I wanted to be anyone and anything other than me, as I felt like a failure.

Whilst doing my Reiki training I travelled back to ‘heal my past’ and this was the first memory that came to me, and this is when I became aware of my 2 year old inner child, who had shaped so much of my adult life.  I saw my younger self playing in the flower beds in a local park and I felt as if I wanted to be more like my sister, who wasn’t crying because she didn’t want her photo taken, or wasn’t causing her parents stress because she was ‘different’ and wouldn’t ‘conform’.  For 30+ years I learned to hate that child/myself, and my insecurities were magnified with every partner, friend, co-worker or stranger who told me I was too loud, too sensitive, needy, difficult because I saw the world so differently or effectively not good enough.

But it’s only now that I am starting to ask myself this question in the positive, for greater good and growth.  “Will I ever be enough” in terms of wanting to ensure I am striving for my best self and connecting to my hearts calling whilst dancing to my own tune.

It’s taken years of painful shadow and solitary work, carefully selected Bach flower remedies, many modalities of healing, soul journeying to heal and understand my past lives and my inner child and a continued ascension into 5D living.  It’s also taken changing my energetic vibration so that I am attracting kinder souls who want to help me as much as I want to help them.

If you too are consciously asking yourself “will I ever be enough”, then start to gift the question positive power by replacing it with something like, “what do I need to do to grow further?’.  This is a far kinder approach and you will get a lot more from the lesson.  Considering Bach remedies such as Larch, Pine, Rock Water, Agrimony, Centaury or Cerato so as to remove the self doubt and restrictions to grow will help to.  And finally, it’s never too late to love that inner child in the way that they needed and deserved to be loved.

Remember,  we are all asking if we will ever be enough in some form or another, for we are all on this beautiful healing journey called 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

 

 

 

 

“Come gather ’round people wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown.  And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone, if your time to you is worth savin’.  Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone…for THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN” Bob Dylan

As per usual, in the true spirit of flow and divine timing, I find myself reflecting on my guidance and insights on the very eve of the Winter Solstice.  And in accordance with my increasing ‘style’ of channelled receivership, it has come complete with lyrics, this time courtesy of Bob Dylan!  For I personally know all too well right now that this particular Winter will bring times of change; whereby you literally have only two choices…to sink or to swim.

Tomorrow, 21st December, welcomes the shortest day of the year and marks the official start of Winter in the astrological calendar.  This is an energetically anticipated Winter season in the UK as this year it doesn’t just feel like a time for pagans and spiritual folk alike to witness.  I believe that as we are ascending as individuals and as a collective into the 5D, after whats been a very difficult and trans-formative year, a majority of us are ready (or almost ready) to embrace change, to invite alchemy and to take individual responsibility – and I for one cannot wait!  Together with a full moon following on 22nd, this feels more like a weekend to honour ancestral tradition, rather than just a day this year.

This is perhaps the first Winter that I have truly embraced, looked forward to and whole-heatedly surrendered to its unique seasonal offerings.  Because despite the season that usually brings 3 bleaker months and a ‘Crone-eque’ energy, I can really appreciate the invitation to rest, reflect and to build a nest from which I can fly come the Spring.  For this year I have physically let go by allowing my weary body and mind to rest, and I have learned how to emotionally succumb to my shadows as much as my light.  All of which I feel stand me in good stead for a reflective and strongly anchored Winter.

Winter for me follows on perfectly in theme from its predecessor, Autumn.  For like its seasonal colleague, Winter is just as much about letting go.   In Winter we are bare.  We hold no fruit on our branches and no leaves to hide behind; we are ourselves, naked, and more vulnerable to the light as much as the darkness.

This Winter exposes us in many ways and expands our truths.  It closes down many gateways, opens more, and brings the painful lessons and baggage of 2018 to a climax for us.  Therefore, if you have done the work this year in terms of now finding yourself in deep and reflective surrender upon the Solstice rather than bitter resistance, then I believe you will be rewarded as you travel into another season and ascension opportunity.

There is no doubt about it, this season requires a giant leap of faith and mammoth strides into the unknown!  Channels and light-workers, including myself, are struggling to get clear insights into what the season will bring, as there is a loss of connection together with unsettling ascension symptoms.   It can be tempting during the Winter to seek readings, guidance, to be susceptible to outside influence and to simply ignore the need to be patient and listen to our own hearts and callings.    The solar plexus, third eye and crown are particularly heightened around the time of the Solstice and this is making for heavy and weary bodies.

NB: As well as a personalised Bach mix, utilise Cerato for the self doubt, Impatiens to settle down the need for answers,  Walnut for the sensitivity to a seasonal change and ascension and Olive for being over-tired.

The Solstice feels more important than ever to celebrate this year, and feels about the weekend as much as it does the day.  Calling for rest, self-awareness and lots of self love and care.

I am not surprised that I started to get insights about where to be tomorrow some months back, as in many ways I am travelling lost right now, whilst painful cycles wrap-up and I am waiting for seeds I have sown to grow and show me the way.  Pathways are unclear and we can no longer rely on old ways of coping or living; being pulled for the final times right now between chaos and clarity.

People, particularly narcissists, ego driven energy vampires and alike are falling away as those ready to ascend are shedding the hangers on.  I for one am adopting self forgiveness and self mastery at this time – making clear intentions about who my customers are in 2019 and just which communities of people I am willing to serve.  Our audiences and circles are changing, as are the ways in which we love ourselves and others, thanks to the lessons this year.

The time between the last Winter Solstice and this one has been huge for me, and has felt like I have been travelling and breaking for a lot longer than a year.  As a result I am really starting to pull back and to put my own needs and healing first.  This feels a fundamental thing to do for all of us so that we stop allowing others to ride on our coat-tails in order to avoid their own pain….that’s it now, whoever doesn’t want to learn how to swim will be forced to sink until they do.

We are letting go now and this weekend feels so important in both gratitude and forgiveness for ourselves as much as for anyone else who has travelled with us to date.

I wish I could tell you what is on the other side of the Solstice, which usually is much easier to predict, but right now it’s simply a time to trust, to be patient, and to ride the storm.  Be prepared to flow and to adapt more than ever this season as plans cannot always be made when we are required to follow our guts and the universal signs.  For example I have been called to Barry Island tomorrow as per guidance I received some months prior, but on the eve of the Solstice my ascension symptoms are crippling my body with heightened pain and fatigue.  But as Winter is indeed the season of rest, integration, laying foundations and self-mastery, then I trust all of those things can be achieved pottering within my own home as it can walking the Welsh beaches.

On the eve of a very powerful weekend I wish you all peace.  I wish you all a prosperous new year and season.  Remember to follow your own path this season, embrace the unknown and the seas of change, whilst increasing your self care during what can be more testing times.  Utilise the Bach remedies as this is a season known for it’s triggers and emotions.

You can read more about coping with the festive season in my latest blog here

Happy Winter Solstice!

Yours in love and Winters 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

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

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

As most of you are aware by now, I am keen to build a positive and empowering community through means of social media, my monthly newsletter and the blogs I write.

My hope is that whether you take advantage of one to one treatments with me or just utilise the aforementioned online support, you feel included in your health and well-being programmes and more importantly empowered rather than overpowered by your Honeysuckle interactions.

Some of the media contents may at times seem ‘random’, but they are lovingly selected by me to give you the tools to try things that have personally worked in my own physical and mental health management.  The aim is to offer a holistic approach to your healing journeys and to give you things to try or consider outside of your Honeysuckle treatments.

That said, I am really excited that Honeysuckle Healing is evolving, and it’s turning into a rather lovely and co-creative space.  With that in mind, this month I am so pleased to welcome my childhood friend Lisa James of LiLi’s Little Farm.  Lisa being the girl who I fondly remember singing Madonna’s ‘Immaculate Collection’ in it’s entirety with during our innocent primary school days!  However, Octobers guest spot is less about Papa Don’t Preach and more about peachy pumpkins!

Through Lisa’s green fingers I have been further inspired by nature and it’s connection, spending many early evenings watching the sunset over her allotment when Audrey and I have stopped by on our walks.  There is a real tranquillity to this space and Lisa has kindly shared many of her beautiful produce with me to taste or in picture form to cheer me up on days I haven’t been able to join her in person.  I have proudly watched Lisa go from having a small allotment to now being a co-creative and very active member of a rather impressive small holding.  She continues to inspire and remind me just how much the land can provide physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually when you are willing to put in the hard work.

Thank you you to Lisa for her time in updating this Guest Spot from last October, and for her delicious Pumpkin loaf cake recipe at the bottom of this blog!

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

October Guest Corner

Q&A With Lisa James of

LiLi’s Little Farm

 

“The Perfect Pumpkin”

 

What Advice Would You Give To Anyone Wishing To Grow Their Own Pumpkins?

Everyone has their own way of growing them and the trick is to find what works for you.  In this interview I am sharing some of my tried and tested tips and the ways that have worked for me.  A lot of my approach has been to learn through ‘trial and error’ and learning how to apply those lessons to ensure I have a better crop each year.  So don’t be afraid to just give it a go!

When Is The Best Time To Start Your Pumpkin Patch?

To get the best from your Pumpkins, you need to ensure that they are planted after the last frost and when the soil has had chance to warm up.  This is around May time, but if you are like me and can’t wait that long then you can start them off indoors from around April.

What’s The Difference Between Sowing Into The Ground Or At Home In Pots?

If you aren’t sowing directly into the ground and choose to start them off in pots at home, then you will need to ensure you harden the plants off by putting the pots outside for timed intervals, around 2-3 weeks before you are ready to transfer them to the ground.  This is so that the plants can get used to the weather and ‘toughen up’.

However, if you are sowing directly into the ground then you will not need to worry about this process.

NB: Make sure the soil is warm enough, as I say around May time, as if not it can cause the seed to rot.

Do You Have A Favourite Variety Of Pumpkin To Grow?

I grow quite a few different varieties of Pumpkin and my favourites are Jack O’ Lanterns or Atlantic Giant Pumpkins.  Once I have chosen my seeds and compost then I am ready to plant my seeds.  If planting directly into the ground then I push the seed 2-3 inches into the soil and water well.

What Are Your Tips For Growing ‘The Perfect Pumpkin?’

Pumpkins are very thirsty plants and like a lot of space in bed!  So water plenty and try and leave as much space as possible between planting.  You can get several pumpkins from one plant, but if you are after that one large Pumpkin then you will need to remove adjoining shoots and plants as they grow, in order to leave one plant on the vine.

How Long Do Pumpkins Last Once Harvested?

Sometimes Pumpkins can come away from the plant – if this happens then I just leave them outside to get a sun tan!  Leaving Pumpkins to harden in the sun will mean that they can be stored for up to 6 months after harvesting!  Pumpkins are usually ready to harvest around September/October during which you can make a yummy cake such as the recipe below.

 

Lisa’s Easy-Peasy Pumpkin Loaf Recipe

Ingredients:

250g softened butter

250g caster sugar

Juice & zest of 1 orange

4 eggs

*250g sieved self-raising flour

1/4 of the flesh from a small Pumpkin-grated & strained of juice

You can also add optional warming flavours such as mixed spice, cinnamon, vanilla or whatever you enjoy!

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Beat together the butter and the sugar until pale and creamy
  3. Add in the juice and zest of one orange
  4. Add spices you wish to at this point
  5. Add the grated Pumpkin to the mix, ensuring you have removed the juice beforehand (you can use a muslin cloth to do this) – stir contents of the bowl well
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in a little flour if the mixture starts to split
  7. Fold in the remaining flour
  8. Transfer the mixture to a greased loaf tin and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through
  9. ENJOY and share your pics via Honeysuckle Healing’s or LiLi’s Little Farm social media accounts!

*Substitute flour for gluten free varieties if required and you can also vary the recipe to support a Vegan diet

 

Lisa is part of a community collaboration and small holding known as ‘LiLi’s Little Farm’, which lovingly produces and sells an array of homemade treats including fresh veg, eggs, pickles and jams.  They welcome visits to the animals and appreciate those who ‘shop local’ and support their growth. Lisa has recently passed her beekeepers exam and now produces and sells her own honey  from her buzzing hives in South Bristol.  To follow the treats for sale, as well as keep up with all the news and pics from the farm you can follow LiLi’s Little Farm on Facebook 

 

~

 

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

 

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

I invited Will to join me in the Guest Corner this month as September is a month of new beginnings and self investment!

It’s the month when we look for new adventures, start new projects and often want to take better care of ourselves after an emotional period of processing and purging.  So what better way to show up for yourself than to put on your running shoes and get out in nature; witnessing the autumnal colours starting to come into visual appreciation and releasing those endorphins through a new challenge.

I first met Will through a local self-employed networking group and I have to say I liked this guy as soon as I met him, we just clicked! I could visualise myself jogging alongside him, and his personal story of depression fuelled running really resonated with me and I thought made him very authentic and personable.  He has never made me feel like a fat girl struggling to keep up with him!

Running has always had a special place in my heart since discovering it after a huge health scare 10+ years ago, which became the catalyst for better self-care after making a full recovery at the time.  There was a period where like Will, I used running to improve my mental health and it became my main form of exercise (and transport) – even taking part in a few running events with a not too shabby finish time!  With a forever fluctuating waistline and my own personal battle with chronic illness, this does make exercise that much harder to factor into my life in a sustainable way now, but that doesn’t mean I don’t constantly challenge this setback and find ways around it!  Using a tailor-made service like Will’s has meant that I can learn new ways to adapt my dreams so they continue to be achievable.  At the moment I may only be donning my trainers for a quick lap of the park with the Welsh wonder that is Will, but through my new eyes of self acceptance I am realising that sometimes that is more than good enough.  The showing up, the getting up (early starts) and the weekly improvements will eventually lead me to places I never thought I could travel again.

This September, in my efforts to put myself first, I am joining Will back in the park to try again with my personalised running plan.  With kinder eyes looking at myself, more patience and the inner knowing that one step forward (no matter how small) is always better than one step back.

Thank you Will for your patience, expertise and for joining us this month to share your story and tips.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

September Guest Corner

Q&A With Will Jones Fitness

“Running Into Happiness”

 

How did you get into running?

I first started running about 8 years ago.  I was suffering with depression after sadly loosing my mum and my doctor recommended I start running to help with it as I was struggling to leave the house.  It didn’t happen over night and it took many months for me to be able to run even 5k which was a real struggle, but the more I did it the more I loved it and wanted to challenge myself more, it helped me a great deal and still does as if I’m having a bad day I will go for a run to clear my head.

Did this lead to you setting up your own business?

I set up Will Jones Fitness because running changed me massively; my fitness improved, my health and mood improved and I loved it!  I wanted to help others experience this also and so trained as a run leader, then a coach in running fitness and also qualified as a personal trainer but I focus on the running side of things and help get people into running or improve there running.

Have you run any marathons or races?

Yes I have ran two full marathons (Bristol 2 Bath marathon and London Marathon) the atmosphere at these events is amazing and the crowd helps carry you around.  I am currently training for the Brighton marathon next year and also my first Ultra marathon which is 45 miles long. I have also ran races of other distances such as 5k, 10k and half marathon distance and you get the same great feeling whatever the distance.  I recommend trying a race sometime during your running journey but never feel like you need to rush into a distance as you may take the enjoyment away from your running.

What support do you offer people who come to you to run?

I offer full training plans working to individual needs, we work to what is appropriate for each person.  I love working with people who have never run before and seeing them grow and enjoy the feeling they get after each run.  I set homework runs to keep them on track, I also offer group runs and runfit sessions.

What is your motivation when you don’t fancy putting on your running shoes?

I think everyone sometimes feels like they can’t be bothered and running is a lot of mind.  I know once I put my trainers on and make myself get out the door I will enjoy it once I’m out and I will feel better for it once I’m home.   Runs can always be cut short, so if you do go out and it’s just not your day it’s quite easy to turn around and head home, sometimes as your heading home in this situation you may suddenly think actually I’m enjoying this now and have one of your better runs. I also build runs into my day by running to the shop, work etc.

Do you have to be fit and healthy or a certain size to run?

Anyone can run if they want to.  I have worked with so many different types of individuals and if they want to learn to run and are committed they can do it.  I know week on week they will see improvements and it’s what makes it all worth while for myself.  Things like size, age, health should not be a barrier and if someone wants to start running but thinks they can’t then they can get advice from a doctor for example.  If the Doctor gives the ‘ok’ then they can do it.  The running starts off very short times and distances and builds each week tailored to individual needs, I’m always available to give advice or support.

What are the benefits of running?

There are many benefits of running such as helping keep joints healthy, build muscle strength, it can help with blood pressure, improved bone density, feel good chemicals and hormones are released helping ease stress and anxiety, depression, weight loss, improved cardio and lung capacity are just a few of the improvements you can  see from running.

What are your tips for anyone wishing to start running?

Lace up those trainers and give it a go!

Do you have a favourite running track or tracks when running to music?

I don’t listen to music at all when I run anymore as I like to be aware of my environment.  When I started running I did used to listen to a bit of music to take my mind off what I was doing, and enjoyed listening to upbeat feel good songs.

What is the best way to cool down or recharge after running?

I believe you should always stretch after a run no matter the distance to cool down.  Everyone will be different and recharge in there own way, but as long as you are giving yourself rest days during the week you shouldn’t really over do it, the more you run the more you will understand your body and needs.

How often would you say someone needs to run in order to lose weight or improve fitness?

It will vary from person to person, but as long as you are committed and also changing other aspects such as diet then you will definitely see improvements before long.

How important is diet in running maintenance?

Diet is very important when you run, as you need to fuel your body properly or you won’t be able to run to your full potential.    If you are just starting your running journey it may be difficult to change your diet straight away but little changes here and there will help massively as you learn more about what works for you.

What is your advice to anyone who is thinking of running but perhaps doesn’t have the confidence to start?

Don’t let anything stop you!  Give it a go, find somewhere quiet that is close to home and just try a really short run, you will soon learn no one pays any attention to what you’re doing and all runners have had to start somewhere, not everyone is a natural but just keep trying and you will get there.  I’m always happy to chat to someone if they are not feeling confident and my groups are extremely supportive of each other.

 

Will Jones Fitness is based in South Bristol, but Will is happy to travel to meet his clients needs.  Offering tailor made 1-1 running and fitness programmes together with regular RUNFIT group training sessions.  For more information and to connect with Will please make contact via his email or Facebook

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…It’s ‘relaxation!’

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rest. Listen. Integrate. Grow.

 

Yours in love and light,

 

 

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

 

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

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

This month we welcome the West-Country’s answer to Bear Grylls, Mr Steve England, or as his Twitter handle refers to him as ‘wild Steve England’.

Described through his website as an “award-winning wildlife educator, conservationist and horticulturalist from Bristol, on the Walk of Fame leading wildlife, wild food and protection”.  And I have to say after attending a few of his workshops and wild walks now, he is all of those things and not to mention a generally nice bloke!

Audrey and I first met Steve on one of his workshops last year, which looked at taking a “walk on the wild side”.  I came home with an even bigger thirst for natural knowledge and wishing I could invent some kind of machine that would steal his brain!   That’s because attending just one of his workshops will give you more hands on experience and nature connection than reading several books non-stop for a week could do!

Bristol naturalist (not to be confused with naturist!) Steve, is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to all things nature; from being able to identify an individual bird song, knowing a poisonous plant from an edible one and he is definitely the man you want around when you’re sourcing a mushroom in the forest for your tea or wanting to learn how to light a fire!  I am not saying this to inflate Steve’s ego in any way, but for anyone who has attended one of his events or even looked at his website you will know how much you take away for a very small fee!  In fact I find you even have to ‘write off’ the day when you are booked on one of Steve’s events, as his talks always run over due to his blatant and infectious enthusiasm.

As someone who is deeply passionate about the Bach remedies, it is becoming part of my flowery pilgrimage to learn as much as I can about the source of each tincture, and to witness each plant growing in the wild.  Trees in particular fascinate me and they are the very things I choose to walk amongst (and even hug) when I need grounding or answers.  That said, I was honoured when Steve accepted my invitation to be interviewed for Honeysuckle’s guest corner.  This month I have asked Steve a series of questions which are structured around some of the tree-based Bach remedies, and alongside his interview I have added a brief synopsis of why you might take the remedy in question.  I felt this was important as a lot of people don’t realise that the Bach remedies harness the energy of the plant and do not contain the plant itself.  Therefore, the medicinal benefits of consuming a plant for example will not necessarily mimic the emotional balance obtained from taking the same plant in Bach form, they almost become two separate entities and rewards for working with the same plant.    It is my hope that perhaps one day (when I have personally taken a lot more Larch) that Steve and I might be able to collaborate on our own little plant based workshop!

Thank you so much Steve for your time this month, as I know you are a busy man.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

July Guest Corner
Q&A With Steve England

‘The Teachings Of Trees’

 

BEECH

Beech is the Bach remedy for those who find it hard not to criticise the way other people act, speak or do things.  Beech’s find it difficult to tolerate other people’s idiosyncrasies and as a result may have a tendency to ‘bitch’, gossip, moan at length or may be inclined to be instinctively judgemental – guilty until proving innocent so to speak!  The remedy helps us to be more understanding and tolerant, even when perhaps our feelings are justified, as we are able to exhibit more patience and empathy towards others, learning lessons from every person we meet and every trigger.  Sourced from the Beech tree, the Bach remedy was first prepared in the countryside near Dr Bach’s home, Mount Vernon, in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying a Beech tree?

The easiest way to identify Beech is by its elongated leaf buds that are pointed, also the greyish bark of the tree helps identify it too.

What are some practical uses for Beech?

The leaves are edible in spring just as they open, having a citric “tang” to them.  A traditional use of the beech is the mast, or beech nuts, when simmered in warm water they release their oils which float to the surface and when scraped off can be used in cooking or as furniture oil. The wood is a hard wood and is traditionally used to make rifle buts, as it has a very tight grain and does not split, a good wood to burn being a hard wood burns hot and slow.

 

PINE

Pine is the remedy best known for balancing feelings of self-reproach, guilt and issues of self-worth.  It’s utilised in times when we don’t feel worthy or good enough and when we tend to take the blame for situations, even when it’s clear it’s not our fault.  Pines tend to apologise for anything that goes wrong, often feeling guilty and in affect doing everyone else’s healing for them! The Pine remedy helps us on our journey to self-forgiveness and self-acceptance, as well as brings a balanced understanding of what is and isn’t our fault or responsibility. One of my personal favourites, the Bach remedy is sourced from the Scots Pine tree and was first prepared near Sotwell in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying a Pine tree?

Pine trees are identifiable by their leaves, which are always in pairs of two needles, and they smell of pine!

What are some uses for Pine?

This is in my top two of trees that have uses! The resin is loaded with anti inflammatory, anti-fungal and bacterial agents that can have multiple uses such as a glue, and a great wound dressing.  It’s fantastic for lighting fire as the resin is flammable too. It was used as a water proofer in roman times; heated pine resin was used to line their drinking pots to make them waterproof.

You can also twist a pine cone from its tree, leave it on a heatproof dish/plate on a radiator for a natural air freshener.

ELM

Elm is the number one remedy we utilise in times of overwhELM.  This is the remedy for people who become overwhelmed when taking on additional tasks or responsibility, despite usually being able to cope.  It can be utilised for crisis of confidence, when extra pressures and demands mean that we can doubt our competency and ability to manage the task in hand.  The remedy is a great ‘stress-buster’ and restores our belief in our own strengths by helping to break down tasks into bite size pieces, restoring calm and order once again.  Taken from the Elm tree, the Bach remedy was first prepared using trees growing near Sotwell in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying an Elm tree?

To identify elm you can use multiple methods, first the leaves have jagged edges and at the point where the leaf is attached to the stem one side of the leaf is higher up the stem than the other confirming it as elm, also by its bark and seed cases.

What are some uses for Elm?

Being a hard wood it is great for carving, but the inner bark is traditionally used to make cordage and rope, not the best wood to burn as it smoulders.

SWEET CHESTNUT

Sweet Chestnut is described as the remedy for the ‘dark night of the soul’.  It’s best utilised in those times when we have reached the limit of our endurance and we are searching, praying even, for the ways to get ourselves out of these dark times.  This remedy is a saviour in times when we feel as though we can take no more, we have nothing left and no means of escape.  The remedy helps to restore our hope, to bring about light again, and to help us continue on our journey with renewed will and vision.  Sweet Chestnut was first prepared near Wallingford in 1935.

What are your tips for identifying a Sweet Chestnut tree?

To identify sweet chestnut you look for its long jagged edged leaves and also by the spiky chestnut fruits.  It can also be identified by its wood colour as sweet chestnut is very high in the wood preserver tannin, giving it a very yellow appearance.

What are some uses for Sweet Chestnut?

Traditionally used to make fencing products called “pales” another great wood for carving and being a soft wood it is great for use in lighting fires making a bow drill set from its wood.  The nuts are very edible, traditionally roasted over a fire in winter.

WILLOW

Willow is the remedy for when we find ourselves hosting our own little pity party.  When there are feelings of bitterness or resentment for the situations we find ourselves in, which make it hard for us to be accepting of other people’s success.  The Willow remedy is one of rebirth.  We become more aware of all of the things we ‘can’ do rather than the things we ‘can’t’ and we refocus our direction in a positive light rather than a negative.  It helps to bring about a steady flow of abundance through a more optimistic mindset and connection with others.

What are you tips for identifying a Willow tree?

Depending on the time of year, in spring it can be identified by its fuzzy catkins, or by the waxy bark. Some are very yellow such as the weeping willow, or look for the diamond markings on some tree bark.

What are some uses for Willow?

Willow is traditionally used in basketry; I use the branches for weaving fish traps and general baskets.  The willow sap contains salicylic acid (a key component of aspirin), which in bush craft if in pain you can simply peel the bark off a young stem and suck to give yourself an aspirin dose to relieve the pain.  The tips of the new shoots are high in concentrated auxins which is the plants growth hormone.  By cutting the stems and crushing them, then soak them in water to release the auxins into the water which can then be used as a plant hormone cutting fluid – fantastic for helping promote new growth for cuttings!

SILVER BIRCH

Not one of the Bach remedies, but a little bonus from Steve is the addition of Silver Birch.  After having tried some of it’s sap on a recent ‘plants and their uses’ workshop with Steve I can confirm it tastes lovely!  But after witnessing how much is involved with tapping it’s water in a way that ensures you leave enough for the tree, I will leave it to the expert….

What are your tips for identifying a Silver Birch?

Silver birch can be identified by its white bark.  Some have paper bark which is very flaky and easy to peel

What are some uses for Birch?

It is an amazing tree with multiple uses.  The sap in spring is drinkable and is used to make wine or syrup.  The oils in the bark are extracted to derive tar, and also the bark is used to make pots and fire.  The leaves in spring are edible and have a nutty flavour.  Being a soft wood tree, the wood makes awesome firewood that burns very hot.

 

Steve England Outdoor Learning comprises of educational material and hands-on workshops in Bristol, but Steve is also available for private bookings.  Steve shares regular videos which help those to connect to his knowledge outside of the West-Country and he has both a Twitter and Facebook page (links here in bio).  For more information on upcoming events and Steve’s work please visit his 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

 

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

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