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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did I do it?

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

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

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

Be kind to yourselves this week and always.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in love and Spring light,

 

 

 

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

“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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in love and flowery light,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

I 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

Foreword by Ami Smart of Honeysuckle Healing:

This month’s Guest Corner has got me rather excited and I feel like I am writing a column for Carrie Bradshaw rather than Honeysuckle Healing!

If someone told me only 6 months ago that I would be writing a blog that contained the words clitoris, genitals and anus I would never have believed them!  That’s because I was amongst the many people who believed that not only was I not allowed to call my body parts by their correct names, but that if I said the words in public then they were to be in a whispered tone or with some kind of humorous innuendo attached…..well not anymore!

There have been many paths that have led me to discovering the word Yoni and in turn the importance of connecting to her and releasing blocks specifically trapped within this area.  Namely my discovery of the Goddess, but also my own conscious awakening, which continues to help me connect to my own body on a deeper level.  My healing and attunements have allowed for me to be able to experience energy frequencies within my own body and to become finely tuned to the ways in which I can assist her back to health.  That said, I have become more aware in recent months of the need to release trauma held within my Yoni area and more specifically my womb.  Some of this has been as a result of painful past relationships and some of this I believe has been as a result of inherited ancestral wounds, carried through from my past lives.

For those who aren’t perhaps aware, Yoni relates to the vaginal area in basic terms.  When I  learnt not so long ago that vagina means ‘sheath for a man’s sword’ and Yoni means ‘sacred temple’ in Sanskrit, it became a no-brainer for me that from this day forward my lady garden would now be known as a Yoni!  Just making the transition from calling it a miniwidge (yes you read that right) when I was a child to muttering the words vagina in my much later years meant that discovering the word Yoni took me from a feeling of being dis-empowered to super-empowered in a matter of seconds!

Experiencing a Yoni steam on ‘Miss Daydreamer’ was wonderful and I concur completely with Helen when she said it was as though her Yoni thanked her for the experience…I felt like my Yoni actually gave me a high five in appreciation!

Like many women, my Yoni has been a thing of taboo, something that can be quite embarrassing to talk about and something I rarely take time out to connect with.  But after my first steam, that changed.

I cried throughout the treatment and felt a deep release linked with my past relationships, it felt like a total surrender to let go and another step to truly moving on.  Giving my offering to the water, overlooked in ceremony by some rather curious passing swans and ducks, was nothing short of magical and a process that I can’t wait to repeat.

Heartfelt thanks to Helen, the beautiful and amazing Goddess that she is, for bringing her fascinating topic of Yoni steaming to this month’s guest corner, which really has been enlightening.  Writing this blog reminds me just how far I have come on my own personal healing journey, which is always an added bonus to these monthly guest interactions.  My hope is that this blog might inspire many women to try it for themselves, especially those who perhaps winced at the opening paragraph of my foreword or who still have nicknames for their Yoni’s…trust me, you need this blog more than you think my lovelies!

Yours in love and light,

 

April Guest Corner

Q&A With Helen Hatton

 

‘Yoni Steaming’

 

Firstly, for those who may not be aware, what does the term ‘Yoni’ refer to?

People have different ideas of what the Yoni area may be. My understanding of the Yoni area is from the anus to the clitoris, incorporating all of the genital area and all of the reproductive area, regardless of whether you have those organs or not.

What is Yoni steaming?

Yoni steaming is something that all of us ladies should be doing!  It’s a way of looking after ourselves and taking time out for ourselves in the form of self-care on many levels.  It can also help with physical ailments that can affect many women.

Just as you may have a facial steam to aid a cold or runny nose, you can also get great benefits from steaming your Yoni area.  Sitting over a bowl of sacred herbs and hot water, your Yoni will inhale the steam and the benefits of the herbs into your body.

Are there any specific herbs that are used in a Yoni steam?

There are quite a few herbs that are used traditionally. One of the herbs that many women may already be aware of is the Raspberry Leaf, as it is used at the end of term in pregnancy as it helps the muscles to contract. It is also beneficial during periods when women may experience menstrual cramps.  There are a number of herbs and you can choose more of one and less of another, and I encourage people to instinctively choose the herbs they are drawn to and the amount of each they feel they need.   I prefer clients to tune into their bodies, rather than overthink or analyse the benefits of each herb, as this helps them to intuitively pick the herbs and amounts that are right for them at the time of the steam.

What brought you to Yoni steaming?

I have completed a Priestess Healer course in Glastonbury in the last year and there were many modules of this course, Yoni steaming being one of them.  Yoni steaming was the module I felt most drawn to, I loved it and immediately I wanted to offer this service as a separate entity.

During my training it was less than intimate as we did it in a large group, which was quite a surprise initially, but actually very useful in another way as I got to witness the physical reactions people can have when things are releasing.  Some people cough, some might cry, some people make physical noises such as pass wind and I found it so interesting to see many people having such significant reactions as well as those who were just quietly releasing.  For myself I just felt that my Yoni afterwards was just so happy and grateful for the experience.  It was like my Yoni said ‘thank you’ for remembering me!  I returned home with such enthusiasm, telling everyone about it and many of the people I told weren’t expecting this conversation so they were looking at me strangely.  I told people that from that day forward I was no longer going to talk about parts of my body in a hushed voice, that it’s OK to say the word clitoris without having to whisper it!  And I’m unapologetic about that.  I think it’s time.

How do you perform a Yoni steam session?

I am based in Bristol Marina on a beautiful boat called ‘Miss Daydreamer’ where I use a folding commode for Yoni steams, which is secure and comfortable.  Using a heatproof dish, we select the herbs that you wish to use and then top up the bowl with hot water.  I leave the room whilst you get yourself in position, removing your clothes from the waist down, and covering with cotton sheets to protect your modesty.  My role as a Priestess during the treatment is to hold space and encourage the release of whatever the person wishes to release.  The role of Priestessing is very much about enabling the client to observe, acknowledge, and release, whilst ensuring they are comfortable and feel safe as they do so.

What do you do with the water afterwards?

An important part of the process is that the water is given back to the earth in some form. Being based on a boat means that you are able to release the water from the Yoni steam directly back into the water of the Marina. The intentions placed in the water are effectively given back to the land, which will assist in further release.

What are the benefits of a Yoni steam?

The Yoni can hold trauma and emotional blocks from situations such as past relationships or even physical surgery to this area or the loss of a baby for example. You are encouraged to set an intention prior to a Yoni steam whereby you are asking for trauma to be removed from this area or blocks perhaps relating to past relationships that you want to let go of.  Attachments to old relationships can affect us in the present and blocks can be held in the Yoni area, which can be released through steaming.  Physical traumas such as surgery, removal of organs and even miscarriage or termination of pregnancy can also benefit from kindness and connection to the Yoni.

As well as emotional freedom such as the situations mentioned above, Yoni steams can help on a physical level with things such as painful periods, those who are out of rhythm with their monthly cycles and specific women related discomfort of this area, by having multiple steams.

Yoni steaming can assist with yeast infections and in bowel health.  

Those seeking help with fertility can find yoni steams beneficial as the cleansing and detoxing effect helps bring the body back to its natural state.

What intention would you recommend is set for a Yoni steam in order to get the best results?

Normally there is a reason people would come for a Yoni steam.  People might want to detach from things that have happened, in most cases a relationship, in which case your intention may well be that you might want to release all ties to a relationship that isn’t healthy.  But your intention can be whatever feels right for you at the time and this will be something you can choose to share or keep to yourself. 

What makes you so passionate about Yoni steaming?

 I very strongly believe that we hold trauma in our body and I think that this is what results in illness and disease.  I believe the more blocks and stress we can release from our body the better it is for each person.  Old relationships can be the biggest blocks we hold, things change and we often find it hard to move on, carrying these unhelpful patterns or energetic disturbances within our body which make it hard for us to truly move on.  It stops us having the life we could have as we get stuck, so I believe it helps us to move forward, releasing anything that no longer serves us.

On a physical level I also find it helps with symptoms of women specific health issues.  Also, from a regular perspective without even thinking about releasing stuff, I just like the sensation, as having a Yoni steam feels nice.

Can you experience a Yoni steam during menstruating?

There is no physical reason why you cannot receive a Yoni steam during bleeding, however it’s simply down to a level of comfortableness between client and practitioner. I personally do not mind performing a Yoni steam during this time as long as the recipient feels comfortable with the process.

Is Yoni steaming just for women?

In theory men can have this treatment, but currently this isn’t something I personally offer. In America the treatment is called V steams and A steams and is used a lot by men as well as women.

How does a Yoni steam constitute self-care?

A Yoni steam is about looking after ourselves, being nice to ourselves, taking time out for ourselves and above all else connecting to this amazing area. The Yoni is not only responsible for giving life, but it also gives us great pleasure, which we often take for granted or feel ashamed in some way to discuss or acknowledge. Connecting to this area through the steam not only gives great benefits on a physical and emotional level, but it also just feels so nice!  It’s a conscious acknowledgement of this sacred area that is often forgotten and a way of honouring ourselves as the beautiful women we are.

Having a Yoni steam is an amazing act of self-care with the additional benefits of sacred herbs which have been used for lots and lots of years.  I really think we should be looking after ourselves in this way.  We get our hair done, we get our nails done, we have a facial, we go to the gym or pick out nice clothes but we often forget this sacred part of our body.  The part that not only produces children but also gives us such great pleasure, yet we often take it for granted, don’t connect to it or take care of it in any way.  We don’t do anything nice for her, which I think is terrible.  We neglect her and I think it’s time we start appreciating her and all that she does.

How many Yoni steams would you recommend?

I would personally recommend 3 sessions as a minimum, in order to shift something. And I would recommend that these are held 1 month apart so that the recipient can gauge physical benefits such as an improvement during bleeding for example. Like with Reiki and other healing systems, if you are coming to deal with a specific issue then it’s unlikely to have happened overnight, therefore you will need time to release this from the body.  I always suggest a minimum of 3 to experience letting go and energy shifting for yourself.

What are your suggestions for how anyone reading this can connect to their Yoni if this all seems a new and daunting prospect?

At home, you can meditate, bringing your awareness to your Yoni by breathing deeply into this area.  Focusing on each part of the Yoni such as clitoris, labia, womb and just breathing loving intentions and a purpose of connecting with these areas.

I would recommend getting a hand held mirror and looking at your Yoni!  She is beautiful – we are all different shapes and sizes, and so are our Yoni’s!  So try and not be shy, take a look and say hello!  And appreciate her, she is gorgeous just like you!

Having regular healing treatments such as Goddess or Reiki healing can be a way of building up confidence to explore trauma specifically relating to the Yoni area.  Together with your practitioner you can find a plan of treatment once you feel ready to release this through steaming.

What are your tips for Yoni steaming?

I personally wouldn’t recommend that people try Yoni steaming at home.  I would personally go to someone who is qualified to hold space, encourage the release, and that you can feel confident that they have gathered organic and sacred herbs, appropriate for this treatment. If you are trying to look after your health, then I would advise you ensure that all herbs gathered are organic.  Just as with choosing essential oils, you want them to be pure and free from chemicals that could cause your body to have a reaction or adverse effect.  Never put essential oils in the water as you will burn yourself, this is for herbs only.  By going to a qualified space holder, you ensure that all these things are taken care of for you and the space is safe and prepared for your highest good.

 

Helen Hatton owns ‘Healing in the harbour’ (formerly Reiki on the water).  Helen offers one to one Reiki treatments, Goddess Healing and Yoni steams from her beautiful boat, ‘Miss Daydreamer’ in Bristol Marina.  Helen is a Reiki Master which enables her to offer Reiki attunements and training, with course details being available from her website and by contacting her directly.  Helen also runs monthly Reiki shares.  You can contact Helen by visiting her website or by email

 

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:

This month we welcome Heidi Rearden of ‘Heidi Reiki’ to our Guest Corner.

I first met Heidi on my initial stages of Bach flower training and I instantly felt the heartfelt love and warmth radiate from her as I sat next to her in class.  I believe that it is no coincidence who you meet in life, and when you strike up a conversation with someone you really can learn so much about not only them, but yourself as well.  In talking to Heidi I realised we were going down a similar path in many ways.  We obviously shared a love for the Bach flower remedies and I was fascinated to learn that Heidi was a Reiki Master, at a point when I was midway into my own Reiki training.  Heidi is also a practising Buddhist, which although I personally do not identify with any one religion (I like to combine the practices of many to form my own super faith!), I have to say that I have always been intrigued by Buddhism and in particular the healing power of chanting, the connection to nature and the infamous mantra of karma.

I really enjoyed meeting with Heidi for this month’s question and answer session.  I always find it interesting, not to mention beneficial to my own practice, to learn about others interpretations of Reiki; how they learnt and indeed how they personally benefit from this amazing tool once it has been acquired.

In talking to Heidi over a cup of Jasmine tea, I soon learnt that we share very similar ideas of Reiki and both hold it dearly, believing that it is a great catalyst for change and a wonderful heartfelt technique that everyone can benefit from learning or receiving.

Talking to Heidi certainly made me fall back in love with Reiki in its purest form.  Over the last year or so I have gone on a real journey with Reiki.  At points I have even questioned if it’s ‘enough’ for me, due to feeling like it’s becoming so widely and diversely taught, and it seems in such fierce competition with other forms of healing, often not seeming to ‘measure up’ when compared to more shamanic or alchemic based forms of channelling.  That said, I have evolved my Reiki style from what I was taught, to the point where I have even considered re-branding my services to something more along the lines of intuitive led or energy healing.  Although evolving my style in line with my own personal healing journey has been right for me, I was reminded today just how beautiful Reiki is in its simplest of forms, and in turn that it really is ‘enough’ on its own.   I respected Reiki so much more as a stand-alone treatment through a deep conversation with Heidi, as I was reminded of what drew me to Reiki and just how much I still use its unique practices for myself and others in everyday life.

Reiki really is a beautiful art.  I credit my change in outlook, improvements in physical and mental health and the channel I am today to Reiki, as it really was an enabling power in my own life.  I believe that Reiki has been a fundamental catalyst for my journey and indeed the foundations for all that I do.  I have even been lucky enough to witness similar effects subtlety ripple through the lives of my clients, as they embark on their own journeys following treatments.  I use it daily for myself; utilising it in times of needing self-treatments as well as times when I see anything from a distressed family member, a tied-up dog crying for its owner outside of a supermarket, protecting my car when it’s parked somewhere unfamiliar to comforting an upset stranger on the train.  It is something I feel so very blessed to have learnt and in turn to be able to share with the world.

Without further ado, I hand you over to the lovely Heidi who this month talks about Reiki and energetic space clearing for your home.  Thank you Heidi for your time, insights and this lovely addition to our guest corner.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

March Guest Corner

Q&A With Heidi Rearden

 

‘Reiki And Energetic Space Clearing’

 

What lead you to Reiki?

I was studying different types of healing, because I had been having a lot of bladder and kidney infections.  My children were quite young at the time and my Daughter was also suffering from chronic kidney and bladder infections, so I was trying to find a holistic way of helping us all.  As my children got older, I recognised they were getting more stressed with school and becoming affected by life and so I really wanted to be able to help them.  My interests led me to a course, which was based on shamanic teaching, and Reiki was one of the little taster modules being covered as part of the course material.  I loved it so much that I didn’t end up continuing with the course as I wanted to learn Reiki instead.  I just found it an incredible energy.  During the course we were paired off to practice Reiki, and this was before I was even attuned or knew much about Reiki itself, and when the lady sat up on the couch after I had given her effectively a Reiki treatment, she said she had never felt so loved in her life!  And I just thought ‘oh my goodness, did I really just do that?’, it really was a very humbling experience and that was the start of my Reiki journey.  I then went on to do Reiki level 1 and 2, and personally felt I needed to go on to do Reiki level 3 to gain more confidence and because I became really passionate about teaching it as well.

What does Reiki mean to you?

Reiki to me is an enabling and healing energy.  I act as the conduit and as the channel for the energy to come through to me for the person who is receiving, and they can then use it for their best purpose.

How do you incorporate Reiki into your own personal life?

I use Reiki everyday on myself through a self-treatment, usually in the morning and at night when I am going to bed.  Or I will use it during the day if I feel I am lacking in energy somewhere.  As much as I used to use it on my family directly, it tends to now be something I use for them indirectly; through emitting this light in my general being when I am around them and others.

What is distance Reiki?

To me, it’s sending the intention of Reiki to someone who isn’t present.  So they can be anywhere in consciousness or in the world and they can receive Reiki as equally as someone who is sat next to you.

Is Reiki just for people?

Oh absolutely not!  Reiki is for everything.

It may sound strange but I can do Reiki on furniture! 

I offer a service whereby I go into a space or home to do an energetic space clearing and I actually use Reiki in that situation, as I will often get a feeling from a piece of furniture.    Furniture can feel like it doesn’t belong within a home or space.  Whether that be because it’s disliked or it doesn’t ‘go’ with the rest of the house, or perhaps it’s second hand or from acquired past relationships etc so it can then disturb the flow of energy in the home or space.  I will give Reiki to the piece of furniture as the first option before looking at something more drastic like whether that item needs to be removed from the home at a later date. 

What is energetic space clearing?

I offer energetic space clearing as a service of my business.  It’s an element in Feng Shui which is used for helping a home or living space to be happier, healthier and a joyous place to be.  For example situations such as bereavement, relationship breakdown, illness, or perhaps there are teenagers in the house that are going through anxious times, an energetic space clearing basically brings back the balance and the joy to the home.  I also give Reiki sessions to everyone living in the space, either remotely or face to face, as it’s really important to have both together as we affect our environment just as much as our environment affects us.

What are the benefits of energetic space clearing?

The benefits are endless really.  People have said to me they have experienced a real happiness in their homes and their lives, that it’s really helped them to go through and process deep trauma and hurt from situations such as relationships breaking down.  They have been able to see things in a more positive light.

What would your advice be to anyone who doesn’t think Reiki ‘works’?

Try it!  Reiki will work whether you believe in it or not.  Whether or not you think it works, just try it and see what happens.  My advice would always be to have 3 Reiki sessions as a minimum, as that’s when you really start to feel the processes of letting go and the deep healing that can take place.

Is Reiki affiliated to a particular religion?

Not at all.  I personally feel that the history of Reiki is steeped in Buddhism.  I am a Buddhist and have been practising for 32 years and I have found many similarities between the two.  I also feel there are aspects of Reiki that are shamanistic from all over the world, and for me that’s why I believe Reiki is for everyone as it doesn’t identify as one religion or practice.  It’s with everyone and for everyone.  There are some types of Reiki that are Christian based, which is popular in America.  But Reiki that is widely used today and that I practice is not affiliated to a particular religion.

What is your advice to anyone wishing to learn Reiki?

Find a teacher that you really connect with and resonate with, as it is a very personal decision.  Call them up, speak to them, meet with them and don’t be afraid to meet with a few Reiki Masters before making your decision.  In my experience, different teachers teach in a different way, so I think it’s really important that you find a teacher that you really resonate with and go with an open mind.  You may wish to check a teacher’s lineage to Dr Usui, so that you know you are undertaking an accredited and traditional course, but not every teacher is happy to share this prior to signing up for a course.

Do you have any tips for how people reading this can use Reiki or energetic space clearing within their lives and homes?

FOR YOU: To me what is very key in Reiki is treasuring yourself and really looking after yourself, so that’s something we can all do.  And many people feel they don’t do it enough.  It’s learning to combat that negative voice and backchat in our heads that says ‘you’re not good enough’.  By challenging that and learning to stop it, we really empower our bodies to heal and ourselves to be happy, balanced and joyous.

FOR YOUR HOME: Again, do things that make your home feel joyous.  So light candles, play music, place flowers in view, decorate etc.  This might sound strange, but part of Feng Shui is talking to your home.  Saying how much gratitude you have to your home for keeping you warm and dry for example.

 

 

Heidi Rearden runs a business called ‘Heidi Reiki’ which you can find more details about through her website or by emailing 

Heidi offers individual Reiki sessions and space clearing in homes and spaces in Bristol, Bath and London, with a willingness to travel accordingly.  Heidi teaches Reiki levels 1, 2 and 3 in Bath, please visit her website for course dates

 

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:

As some of you may be aware, I have been an active Melissa for just over a year at the Bristol Goddess Temple, since it opened in August 2017.

Although I am unable to hold space quite so much now, this is still a role that I take very seriously, am sincerely grateful for and is no doubt a greatly pivotal step on my own personal healing journey.

I enjoy meeting every person that comes through its doors when I hold space, more often than not on a Saturday afternoon, as since becoming a humble servant to the Goddess, I have taken a great deal from this role.  It has helped me to grow in knowledge and confidence as a person, as a space holder and as a Goddess in my own right; and I know there is still so much more to come from my awakening divinity and path.  Connecting to the Goddess has contributed to the flow of clarity, peace and abundance in my life.  She has also brought a strong sense of identity and belonging through a deeper connection with nature, source and self.

Like Ruth, who kindly shares her time with us in this month’s guest spot; I have also felt that there was a higher energy from a young age.  Something that needed exploring, and for me, for a long time this was something I tried to suppress and something that I considered to be my ‘dark side’ rather than my gift.

In resisting this power, I was in fact delaying my light work, making my path more troublesome, more isolating and possibly it even contributed to my ill health.

That’s because I believe that it’s a deep need within us all to connect with the land, to listen to our internal voice before we listen to the voices of others and to act on every impulse, every instinct and to follow every sign that excites us…. trusting that in doing so we will be universally held and guided to meet our authentic selves.

I’ve always been a bit of a feminist at heart, long before I even knew what that word meant.  Learning about the Suffragette movement ignited deep fires within me from a young age.  Watching films and reading books shocked me to witness the many fights women have endured over the years, and even in today’s modern world, for equal pay and rights.  And I have to admit I was a die-hard Spice Girls fan growing up, largely due to buying into their slogan ‘girl power’, and believing that was the very way in which I should live my life…with a zig a zig ahhh!

Don’t get me wrong, the Goddess collective is not about feminism per-say and there is very much room for men to get involved, but just as my fires were fuelled by anyone from Emmeline Pankhurst to Geri Halliwell, it is about women stepping into their power and no longer hiding in the shadows.

I could talk about this subject for hours now that this part of me is awakening and this divine energy is running through every inch of my being, but this opening paragraph is in a Goddess nutshell really, as this is not my story to tell today.   However, the very realisation that I am now a part, albeit small part, of the amazing group of women who head up the Bristol Goddess Temple, excites me beyond words.  I feel that this space and this divine movement is part of a collective of women that stir, that are awakening and that are powerful enough to bring about much needed change to this world.  To bring back an equality of the sexes and speak the ancestral wisdom of Gaia herself.

Ruth Cogan from the Healing Couch and who is the Mother of Melissa’s (amongst many other valued roles at the Bristol Goddess Temple) kindly joins us in this month’s  Guest Corner for a Q&A session about the Goddess.   Ruth is a woman and healer who I have come to respect very much.  I asked for her to join us this month with a view of sharing her knowledge of the divine with you all and as always to give my readers tools of support and empowerment on their own unique healing journeys.

It’s time to awaken the divine and it’s time to awaken ourselves.

Enjoy this lovely time with Ruth and enjoy the beautiful and awakening month of February everyone.   For my male readers, please read on as this blog is very much for men as well as women.

Yours in love and light,

 

 

February Guest Corner

Q&A With Ruth Cogan

 

‘Awakening The Goddess Within’

 

How did you discover the goddess?

The goddess has always been present in my life since I was very young.  I have always been aware of a higher energy, something that makes the world rotate, the earth breathes; something that makes the clouds scuttle past when you’re lying on your back looking up at the sky on the side of a mountain.  I was always walking around with a fishnet when I was a child, scooping around in the ponds looking for things, just being in total awe of the world, and I knew that there was more to it.  What brought her back into my consciousness was when I was slightly post-menopausal, as this is a time when I think you start to take stock. My children were no longer with me, having grown up and leading their own lives, and I started to question my role in life.  I was walking the dog one day, on the land we were renting in Alabama for a time, and all about me was solitude and peacefulness. I stood there and it was like She had just gone back into my heart and said ‘do you remember those conversations we used to have, well I’m still here and I’m waiting for you to reconnect.  I’ve got so much I need you to do so don’t feel sorry for yourself or start asking yourself too many questions.  I’m waiting for you to step into your true self”.  When I came back to the UK, I started reading more, looking at Pagan websites looking for groups and I began to think this was exciting, that there was something in this and I wanted to explore more and to train.  I trained in Swedish massage, then I did crystal healing therapy and from that moment I thought ‘there is so much more to this’, there were more questions than I could answer.  My daughter took me to Glastonbury for the first time, and I picked up leaflets and heard the goddess voice everywhere.  It’s just been a succession of one thing leading to another, and then a link leading to something else and it’s evolved from there.

What does the goddess mean to you?

To me, she means heart to heart connection.  She means helping to heal the world.  She means bringing back the power of womankind and woman hood.  She means dealing with the harm that’s been done for centuries and hopefully bringing man and woman back together in synchronicity, empowering women.  I think once women realise their power again, there will be a softer coming together and wars will be blown out of the human psyche.  There is a lot of work to be done, so we all have to gather our skirts and go with the movement.

Is the goddess only for women?

Absolutely not.  The goddess speaks to everybody in their hearts, minds and higher selves.  She has been there since man probably started forming the very first words and thought processes with themselves.

How can people incorporate the goddess into their everyday lives?

It takes practice.  It takes a little bit of stepping outside of yourself and accepting that there is higher energy, higher connection and incorporating a connection with her in your daily life.  For priestesses it’s a dedication of daily devotional practice, because we are the ones spreading the message of the divine feminine, so we need to practice what we preach.  For individuals, I think its about gratitude and not doubting oneself all the time.  It can be as easy as spending a few minutes saying a few words to her, in the morning when you’re fresh and before you walk out the door and face the world.  “Lady, Goddess, a goddess’s name”, however you tune in or wish to relate to that feminine energy and just do that everyday.  It could be as simple as a wink in the mirror when you’re brushing your teeth, or daily affirmations.

Does the goddess symbolise a particular religion or faith?

No, I believe historically awareness of Goddess goes back to when man could first fashion a word or a tool.  When man recognised there was a change in the seasons and the phases of the moon.  To be closer to goddess you don’t need to follow a particular path, its more about looking inward, and community.  Goddess is all encompassing, she can be in a person as much as she can be in a stone on the ground, or a tree in the wood.

What is the Bristol Goddess Temple?

It grew from a seed of an idea.  From regular meetings that were happening already such as a Moon Lodge and a drumming circle particularly for women; giving women a sacred safe space to give, to share, to learn, to experience, to craft, to go out in nature and just to connect and communicate.  We realised we were attracting a particular kind of woman and a community was forming.  Two of us had trained in Glastonbury in the Avalon tradition, and acquired priestess status, so we had the skills and ability to encourage people to find a different way to be and to connect.  We came up with the idea as the room became available in Warmley, Bristol.

What is your role at the Bristol Goddess Temple?

My role is a temple weaver.  The weaver is a term to express the core group of organisers, or committee if you like.  I am also Melissa Mother, so I am the person who trains and coordinates the volunteers who step forward to donate their time to ensure that the temple is open on designated days.  I like to get involved with decorating the temple at the changing of the wheel, so a temple dresser if you like.  I make the incense and oils for the temple, which are used to smudge and clear auras.  I like to Melissa myself, and I also run the monthly New Moon healing sessions.  In my role as priestess healer, I channel the healing energy of the Goddess on the evenings of the new moon.

You are one of the few, if not only, goddess temples to have a male alter, what is this for?

This is to acknowledge the need for balance.  The goddess needs her consort, just as the moon needs the sun to shine.  We debated this for a long time, and because we felt Bristol was such a diverse pagan community, it would be irresponsible not to express the sacred male divinity as much as the female aspect.  It felt right.  I loved dressing his altar, and I love connecting with him.  To me, he is all about the sun, earth and energy.  The particular altar picture in this space is the Lord of the Wildwood, but similarly to the goddess altars, you can connect to whatever the male aspect means for you.  Natural aspects such as bones and wood are used on this altar.

Do you personally have a favourite goddess and why?

Yes, my favourite Goddess is Danu.  I am training to be a priestess of Cerridwen, and I also work with Bridget’s energy.  She is very bright and represents fire, crafts and healing, which again appeals to my craft work, my bead and woodwork along with making the incense and oils for the temple.  Working with the energy of Cerridwen prepares you for the darker episodes of life, as well as learning a great deal about the life source in herbs, trees and crystals.  I believe Danu was really the first goddess I recognised the energy of, the one who first connected with me in voice, and said ‘now all your mothering is out the way etc, I’m calling you back into the fold as we have work for you’ and I think she was the one who really set me upon my path.  I am definitely moved more towards the Celtic goddesses as opposed to a lot of the other pantheons.  The triple goddess for me is symbolised with Bridget, Danu and Cerridwen.

What are the benefits of connecting to the divine/goddess?

Connecting to goddess helps to ground you as a person. It takes a lot of internal work, and helps to connect you to each other, to the earth that we walk on and share the abundance and beauty.  It helps us to feel elevated and enlightened and to remember; because we all have past lives even though we may not all be aware of them, and to connect to our higher self.  The way I see it is what exists within us is our spirit, the essence of us that keeps us going, that brings us back from pain and wounding, the aspect of us that the world sees.  Whereas our soul is our higher self.  Our soul and spirit connect to each other, so we need to connect to our higher self in order to understand energies that are higher than ourselves.  The energy that flows within us comes from one source and is what connects us all, and we are reminded to step back and breath, smell the roses from time to time, and connecting to the goddess encourages us to do this.

Can anyone become a Melissa?

Anyone who is hungry to learn and grow and has the time and feel they can hold space, in terms of giving the right energy, keeping the temple space calm and peaceful.  It’s important to be a good ear and be respectful of people’s needs, because you will get all sorts of people in all sorts of states come through the door.  You need to be patient and reliable, because there is an element of trust.  You don’t need to be an expert in goddess stories but acknowledging that there will be a difference in people’s faith and beliefs, so you need to enable the space to be open and equal for everyone.

For anyone interested in connecting to the goddess after reading this blog, what is a good place for them to start?

There are loads and loads of books out there on goddess and goddess energy and mythology.  Books are a good place to start for knowledge but connecting to goddess comes from going out onto the land, you have to go on walks, you have to sit with your back against a tree and feel the sun or the moon on your face.  You have to tune into and experience the changing of the seasons.  Things will come to you when you feel like you are getting it right.  Join workshops, groups, talks, even FB groups – when someone posts something that feels interesting or ignites a spark within you then act on it, follow the link and explore.  The internet has been such a bonus for the pagan communities over the last 10/20 years as its brought access to groups and events.  Meeting in scared places such as Avebury, Stanton Drew and Stonehenge with like-minded people, will encourage discussion and sharing of information about groups and events that you can join and develop your path.

 

Ruth runs a part time business called ‘The Healing Couch’, offering Swedish massage, Indian head massage, crystal healing, hot stone massage and Reiki.  Ruth also offers priestess healing, which is predominantly holistic healing using an intuitive tool-set alongside Goddess energy (using Ruth as a channel).  Ruth can provide mobile services and a base at the Bristol Goddess Temple, by prior arrangement.  You can contact Ruth by email for more information or to discuss an appointment.

The Bristol Goddess Temple is currently open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, with extended hours over yule.  It also runs regular circles and events and is growing all the time, with lots of plans for the new year.  The Bristol Goddess Temple is passionate about its Bristol heritage and is working hard to provide a space for local craft people.  The temple weavers are planning to research the Goddesses of the wider Bristol and Avon region, looking to expand on the Avalonian tradition, sourcing Goddesses relevant for the area.  You can visit Bristol Goddess Temple’s Facebook page for event details and opening hours here

 

 

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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

Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When the leaves fall and there is a crispness to the air, the woodland floor lays bountiful with fauna and flora.    That’s when you know it’s time to come together in reflective circle, for the Season that teaches us how to gracefully let go is here.  The dark witches call and the Goddess stirs, shadows integrate and inner magic awakens; we are called to celebrate the arrival of Autumn in all her opportune harvest.

Honeysuckle Healing is proud to present the first of their outdoor and Equinox events, held within the beautiful woods of Ashton Court Estate.

Join an intimate circle of foraging Goddesses* as we gather leaves and offerings for a sacred woodland sharing circle and emotional cleanse ceremony.   We will begin with a grounding meditation before mindfully and respectfully foraging the woodland floor for leaves to use in a release ceremony.

Ami will hold space deep within the woods, opening circle with Autumnal offerings that will be provided for you.  We will weave a natural seasonally apt circle and prepare to surrender all that we are ready to let go of in this craft and discussion ceremony.  You will receive an Autumn saine/smoke blessing with the invited Goddess, before enjoying warm pumpkin vegan milk lattes and ginger cookies in a closing ceremony.  You will also receive a small blessed gift.

You will have the opportunity to gather additional offerings for your Autumn altars.

As always this will be a circle of flow and divine connection so guidance and content will unfold in line with channelled receivership.

Pre-booking is essential and you will need to pay in advance via PayPal to secure your place.  This helps Ami to tune into the energy of the circle beforehand so as to tailor the event to the unique needs of those who attend.  It is also to cover the costs of the materials/refreshments and to avoid waste.  This circle is limited to 7-8 spaces (an energetic decision will be made when we near this capacity) to aid your comfort, circle intimacy and good time keeping.  Please note that all tickets are non-refundable unless the event is cancelled by Honeysuckle Healing.  However, if you are unable to attend after booking you can transfer your place to a friend.  This event is likely to go ahead even if it rains so please come prepared with layered clothing, waterproofs and something comfortable to sit on with a willingness to embrace the cleansing rain should it choose to arrive.  Please note that we will be walking and entering the woodland, so a reasonable level of mobility and fitness is needed to book for this particular event.  You will be responsible for your own health and safety during travelling.

You will be sent an email with exact location meeting point and more information once you book, approximately 2 weeks before the event.  Please use the ‘friends and family’ option for PayPal payments to avoid paying a fee, which will be passed on to you if you do not use this option at the till.

Those who attend must be at an awakened point in their journey whereby they are able to process their own emotions and healing following this alchemic event.

*open to men, women and non-binary ~ over 18’s only please

PLEASE NOTE ~ THIS CIRCLE IS NOW FULLY BOOKED
Honeysuckle Healing is proud to present a NEW monthly spiritual development and healing circle for women.  This particular circle is open to Men, Women and Non-Binary.
 
Held within my home in North Bristol, this intimate gathering around the new moon will be an opportunity to connect to your own guides and helpers as well as to set witnessed intentions with Goddess Luna.
 
The theme will change monthly and utilise a quality natural loose leaf tea alongside carefully selected harmonising Bach flower remedies. Whilst not all tea may be certified organic, the origins are known to the supplier and they will not be mixed with any synthetic materials or chemicals. Where possible, teas will be sourced locally or within close proximity.
 
Each event will begin with a visualisation and guided meditation to support connection, followed by a tea ceremony and sharing circle. Using a myriad of techniques and supportive tools, this safe space will be created through a combination of channelled guidance, appropriate qualification and experienced practice.
 
THIS MONTH: Formerly The Path Finding Tea Ceremony, this ceremony continues to evolve inline with my guidance.  Both the date and title has changed as this ceremony is not for the faint hearted.  It is asking a lot of me as a space holder to provide, and for those who are called to step through their own resistance and obstacles to join.  This circle will require you to dig deep, to listen to your hearts call and to really show up for yourself by taking a leap of faith on your own path.  Steeped in union, duality, self love and self acceptance of our wholeness, this ceremony is called The Marry-Me Tea Ceremony as it is now time to bravely step into the holding space where Summer and Autumn meet and to marry yourself!  Performing a guided mediation that includes a hand fastening; we will be conducting a marriage ceremony between Shakti and Shiva, the over-lighting masculine and feminine energies that reside within us all.  A marriage between our light and darkness and really unifying all that we are so that we can become all that we need to be.  Working as always with supportive remedies to help us to step into our personal power, to find our connective paths and utilising Gunpowder tea.  Is it time to moved forward this Autumn?
**EARLY BIRD OFFER – BOOK FOR JUST £35 if booked before 31st July 2019**
 
The fee exchange covers an empowering 2 hour ceremony and your own goodie bag PACKED with healing tools and treats, including a ceremonially bespoke Bach blend (lasting 3-4 weeks ).  You also gain deep alchemic healing and will leave armed with priceless knowledge.   Furthermore you will be invited to join a closed Facebook group for ongoing support. Tickets need to be purchased in advance, are non refundable (but you can transfer your place to a friend) and cost £40 (£35 with early bird)
 
Ami Smart is the founder of Honeysuckle Healing in Bristol, which is an empowering and enabling holistic health concept. She is a fully qualified and insured Bach Foundation Registered Practitioner, Reiki practitioner and channel. Ami is an experienced space holder and will always create a loving and safe space for you to address your unique healing needs.
 
PLEASE READ PRIOR TO BOOKING: If you are pregnant, have any disability or access needs or have an intolerance/abstinence to alcohol please get in touch prior to booking your space. Please be aware that the Bach flower remedies contain a small amount of alcohol.
Spaces are limited to 5 women for your comfort, so your absence will be missed if you fail to attend. Tickets are non refundable, but you may transfer your place to a friend if stated in advance of the ceremony.  Please pay via the ‘family and friends’ option rather than goods and services if using PayPal (to avoid paying a fee, which will be passed on to you should you not use this option at the till).  Please state which ceremony you are booking for in the notes at the till, and provide all attendees email addresses if you are booking multiple places.
There are no side effects when taking Bach flower remedies and they can be taken safely alongside any medication. Your ability to drive will not be affected after the ceremony, however you may wish to arrange lifts or car share to support your relaxation after the ceremony.  Please ensure that you do not have any sensitivity or medical reasons as to why you cannot consume the listed tea each month, such as consuming flowers or herbs. You will be responsible for doing your own research into any personal side effects of tea consumption and booking your place will indicate that you have read and understood these terms and conditions and therefore remove any liability from Honeysuckle Healing.
Exact circle location and event details will be sent to your PayPal email address once you book, approximately 2 weeks before the event starts.
The event will need a minimum of 4 people to run.  In the event that it doesn’t book you will be offered a full refund or a Honeysuckle credit for a future tea ceremony (your choice).
Those who attend must be at an awakened point in their journey whereby they are able to process their own emotions and healing following this alchemic event, however you will be invited to a closed Facebook group for peer and ongoing support once you have booked your ceremonial place.