Circle of Life

The circle of life encourages us to grow physically, mentally and spiritually. We face challenges that may be new to us or even those that we have faced before and probably  will face again in the future. We continue on our own individual journey a series of deaths, lives and rebirths.

When I became unwell 6 years ago, everything changed; my whole world fell apart around me, the things I thought were of value paled into insignificance. The job and career that I loved, suddenly became less important, the love and emotional support of family and friends seem to fade as I battled with the constant chronic pain that no one could see. I began to think I was imagining this burning, aching, debilitation within my body, I was sleep deprived, I couldn’t even hold my cutlery to eat as the pain in my hands and fingers were so intense. My sense of freedom to do the things I have always enjoyed and taken for granted such as walking, driving, going out, suddenly had been taken from me. Leaving me feeling isolated and very much alone.

My childhood, a constant battle to fit it and be someone who I was expected to be. The pain I felt as a child was a deep sense of loneliness, an only child living in a world of busy grown-ups; a childhood of solemn self-reflection with limits and boundaries placed upon me. However it was also a childhood of connecting, I spent many hours on the swing in the garden, here I was able to be free, think clearly, daydream and imagine who and what I was going to be, my hopes, dreams and future life was planned out. Whilst I was on that swing I believed, anything is possible. So, what happened?

I stopped listening to my soul, I stopped feeling with my heart, I stopped believing in fairies, gnomes and father Christmas. I became an adult, who analysed everything, who thought things through, who used the logical part of my brain to make decisions. I asked for advice, I stopped using my intuition and gut feeling, I stopped paying attention to the signals that my body was giving me.
I had the warning signs, a bit of pain in my knees, hips and back, problems with my sleep, feeling overwhelmed by simple tasks. I kept ignoring the signs that my body was struggling, and carried on for months.

I finally had to take notice with the side swipe that knocked me to the floor, you are not listening, you are not caring for your soul, you have stopped nurturing yourself. You will listen, you will rest, you will Stop. I had no choice but to revaluate what was happening to me, pain and illness can have a devastating impact on your life, if you allow it to take over

It was then that I was given space, time to breath, time to be on that metaphorical swing as age and illness prevented me going to the park; the space then became filled with all the things that were really important to me and my wellbeing. I met people that I knew would be supportive, loving and caring, dusting me off and guiding me back to listening to my soul, allowing my heart to rule my head once again and choosing my weapons to fight my battle with fibromyalgia.

It was recently that I met up again with Christa and Sally for a workshop of Shamanic Journeying held at Lupton House. It was almost a year ago that I attended my first Shamanic workshop in November last year. This time it was so different I knew what to expect and I was also accompanied by my own Birthed drum. I think for me, exploring Shamanic practice is about reconnecting to nature, the ancestors and my soul, to experience what I need to know and carry out to heal myself, it is about going into an altered state of consciousness to explore, what makes me, who I am.

I selected The Circle of Life card at the start of the workshop, signifying all things are possible, stand in the centre and be open. The four winds are bringing your dreams to fruition. Embrace and accept where you are in the great circle of life. When this card chooses you, its time to honour and cherish all aspects of the great circle. All parts of the journey have beauty and grace. There is beauty in the rising sun just as there is in the setting sun. To only revel in the rising sun and demean times of endings, depletes your energy. Choose what is….. and you become master of your own personal universe.

I have experienced altered states when meditating, guided visualisation, day dreaming and even bird watching. As a child I was often daydreaming especially at school, having the ability to drift off, shift my mind away from reality, to perceive that which is beyond the ordinary. Exploring these realms that exist outside of my own reality of physical sense and thinking allows me to unlock my understanding of myself and who I am and see my world from a different angle. Altering my brain wave pattern from Beta waves used in thought, concentration and creativity to Alpha waves of relaxation producing a feeling of euphoria and wellbeing. This is very healing.

Journeying with the use of both the drum and gongs together and separately can take me to a deeper state of altered consciousness by using Theta wavelengths provided by the beat of the drum. I start the journey by setting my intent, what I require, what I need, then allowing the thoughts, pictures, feelings, smells that I experience to happen as it is, without trying to analyse or change the experience. It is, what it is; I then provide myself with time and space to reflect on what I have discovered.

During the workshop at Lupton I was finding it challenging to reconnect to my power animal, my ego was getting in the way and preventing me from having the experience, I was trying to analyse and make decisions whilst in an altered state and this led to frustration. Later in the day when we were asked to journey for someone else, I allowed what I saw, felt, heard and smelt be the experience and it was amazing as it made sense to the person I was journeying for; my ego and rational thinking could play no part in what was happening in that moment. A lesson to trust, believe and let go.

I believe that by Shamanic journeying and entering an altered state of consciousness I am allowing my body to support its own wellbeing; as did our ancient ancestors. It is time to return to the old ways without the use of chemical or medical intervention. I can connect to my heart, soul and spirit and learn what I need to do to heal myself. I do not always need to attend a workshop as Sally and Christa have made a brilliant recording of the drum and gongs, enabling me to take these journeys at home.
Using the CD for a recent journey I was able to set my intent to reconnect with my power animals that I encountered last November. I was able to allow my altered state of consciousness to explore and experience what I needed to know.

She sits daydreaming on the swing with all her hopes and dreams, trusting her intuition and listening to her soul speak, not from her head………from her heart.

I am currently undertaking a research project for my level 4 Counselling Course      “Shamanic Journeying ~ the effect on wellbeing”.  I would be interested to hear from anyone who would be willing to participate in a short questionnaire on this subject or is able to provide some information that I could use as part of my research. I would be grateful if you could please leave a message on my website with your email address or message me through facebook.

CD and downloads available from Sally Free

CD and downloads available from Christa Mackinnon

Lupton House

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Reset your mind, body and soul

Wouldn’t it be good if we could press the reset button and our body went back to factory mode setting; well only if you were manufactured with the perfect body to start with. Now that is wishful thinking!
I am thinking of more a life, before chronic pain took hold. I started the reset process in my body this month with a Gong Bath, it was amazing, I fell asleep, when I woke up I was startled at how bright it was, despite the cloudy day. This can sometimes happen after a therapy, you suddenly become aware of nature and things seem so much more emphasised, larger, louder, clearer, softer…… it was like I had gone into default mode, experiencing a rebirth moment. It has been a while since I had a full dedicated gong bath that was not on a retreat or at a festival. My body went yes, this is OK, I remember this, wow, sleep, rest………RESET!

I decided this month to experience a totally new type of sound therapy to me. It is using the very old and ancient sound of the Tibetan bowls, where the bowls are played and placed on and around the body.
I am always up for trialling any type of holistic treatment that may assist in the management of my pain caused by fibromyalgia, I decided not to have any other therapies whilst I gave the bowls ago, so that I could really judge the impact of them on my body.

My first session was interesting, having previously experienced the crystal bowls I was not sure what to expect for this treatment. I was made to feel comfortable on the therapy bed, then gently held by my ankles which were pulled to open my chakras, (please just stay with this, if it all sounds a bit weird). I then had my chakras dowsed to see which were unbalanced and to determine which bowls would be used.
I then turned over onto my stomach with my head up near most of the bowls positioned on the floor. Bowls were gently placed along my spine and each encouraged to sing. I must be honest at this point; to begin with I did not enjoy it. It made me feel sick. Then gently the bowls were moved up and down my body. When a bowl was removed to be replaced by another one, I could feel my body tensing and I was in half a mind to ask her to stop. As with most therapies I have discovered that you need to give it a go and sometimes more than once; as it is the bodies way of adjusting to a new stimulus, or as I like to think pressing the factory reset button.

When I turned over to lay on my back and have the bowls placed on my front I felt this fear of dread and sick to my very core, not what I was expecting from a relaxing Tibetan bowl therapy session!
However, I continued to persevere with the treatment. At the end as with most sound therapy there is a small amount of silence allowing the body to integrate and the body’s cells to absorb what has happened. It was then suggested that I would need a further two sessions to really feel if there was a benefit.

Following the first session, over the next few days I did feel less pain and tension in my hips, knees and ankles. I then became quite unwell I think possibly a virus, which knocked me sideways, I found that I was unable to do much over the weekend with little energy, a nasty cough, sore throat and a nose that would not stop running. I almost cancelled my appointment for the 2nd treatment, but I woke up feeling better. I was uncertain if the treatment had caused this or if I had picked up a virus, I will never know.

Having the second Tibetan bowl treatment could not have been so different from the first, although the session was structured the same. My body seemed to be more accepting of the sound vibration and when the bowls were being moved on my back It felt comforting and cocoon like, I could feel the very bronchioles deep within my lungs being massaged. Now that is a bit weird! The whole time the bowls were being played I did not cough once, my nose did not run, I was left feeling more energised. I was told that having dowsed my chakras, they indicated that my immune system was compromised.

My third session again was very different, my body was accepting of the treatment and no feelings of dread or sickness. Only two bowls were used on me this time and one was so deep and reverberating I had a feeling that it was ‘searching for my soul’, there was a concentration on my hips, knees and ankles and each time a joint was reached, the bowl was gently chimed. The vibrational feeling went right into the centre of each one, so very powerful. During the silence at the end I had a sensation of going back very quickly through a star-studded black void and then just as quickly shooting forward into a bright sparkling light as if going through granite, I then felt grounded. It was like past, present and future rolled into one; my mind, body and soul reset; very surreal.

After the session had ended I asked about the big deep sounding bowl, that seemed to be searching for my soul, it was explained that it was the largest bowl and usually is not moved around the body as the magnetic handle placed within it, will not normally hold. It decided to hold for me, maybe what my body needed.

How am I feeling now? Different, I can’t quite explain what has happened; it is as though something has shifted deep in my core, my soul feels lighter, balanced, grounded at one with by body. I have not noticed any pain. If that’s what happens after three session I daren’t even begin to imagine if I continue to have more. Sound therapy for me is an incredibly important part of my pain management plan, giving me the opportunity to press the reset button…….

If you want to find out more about Sound Therapy please visit Sally Free Sounds for the soul

Do What Makes You Happy

I have not had the desire to pick up my drum, practice yoga or go for a healing treatment, I just wanted to be……I think it is important to listen to your body, let your soul and spirit speak to you and feel what is in your heart. We spend so much of our lives trying to please other people and not necessarily ourselves. Sometimes you need to be selfish and do what is the right thing for you. Do what makes you happy, do what makes your heart sing, do what you want to do, when you want to do it, even if it is just for a short time.

Just before I took my healing sojourn this month, I attended the annual Lupton Festival, I got there in plenty of time for the opening ceremony which we were all given strips of coloured ribbon to attach onto the ancient oak tree on the front lawn of the house. It was a very magical and special moment. I have always had a strong affinity with the Lupton Healing Oak Tree, its majestic trunk routed firmly in the ground with its boughs spreading out, enveloping me in a massive comforting hug, supporting a whole universe of other plants and creatures within its branches. If I place my heart against its truck I can feel totally at one with the energy of the universe, plus no one bats an eyelid if you hug a tree here.

I attended several workshops at the festival although it was on for two days I was only able to make it on the Saturday. I enjoyed a wonderful gong bath with Sally and then this followed with a Shamanic journey facilitated by Christa together with Sally and the gongs; both therapies I found to be very powerful and healing, they took place in a marque and lying on a blanket on the grass with the sound of the fountain in the background really solidified the whole experience.
Later in the day I moved into the coolness of the Sanctuary to make my own Traditional Incense with Mortar and Pestle Magick, following a delicious vegetarian wrap for lunch, I headed back to the Sanctuary for an Orgonite Workshop, the three pieces that I created are now spread about my home and apart from the benefits of turning negative into positive energy they look amazing. I was unable to stay for the evening, which included fire walking, music and drumming no doubt it was an enjoyable night. I however felt immense gratitude for allowing myself the time to do something that makes me happy.

It was in the first week of my holiday I decided to try an activity that I had not done for years.
As a child, I used to cycle everywhere, giving me the freedom and independence to go off to explore. Becoming older and in not so great health I still have that desire to feel the wind in my face and that sense of freedom once again. I decided to hire a bike, the route chosen was alongside an estuary on a cycle path, I thought it would be flat, but suddenly a hill emerged along route and I had to get off and push, the bike I hired had only three gears and a very uncomfortable saddle. I was a bit wobbly to start with, once I realised you never forget how to ride a bike, the feeling of freedom and the wind through my hair brought the biggest smile to my face. My only fear was fatigue taking hold of my body, leaving me struggling to get home. Luckily despite being a bit achy when we returned to our starting point, nothing that a cup of herbal tea and a big slice of salted caramel chocolate brownie wouldn’t put right!
It was then I decided to try an electric bike………hills, no problem and when I feel a bit tired, pressing a button and it is as if someone is giving you a little push that helps you to dig a little deeper. I’m now hooked on cycling again at last I can do a physical activity without the fear of running out of steam. Yes, you have guessed it, this makes me happy.

I have always loved to dance, usually it has been in a club, at a party or more recently around a fire. I was somewhat surprised that whilst in my local supermarket a track was being played that found me shaking some moves down the fruit and veg aisles. It all came a bit too naturally and made me chuckle. I realised it was a track that we have in the Zumba class. I cannot wait to get back to it and perfect those routines, so I can go shake my booty whilst carrying out the weekly shop. This is going to make me happy.

It wasn’t until earlier this week that I returned to my weekly yoga practice. Since I started Kundalini yoga earlier this year, it is a practice that fills my body with energy and gives it a good work out and I have noticed an increase in my lung capacity, practicing the breathing techniques. The mediation and mantras we do give me the opportunity to look inwards. The beautiful village location has a wonderful energy and a great outlook onto the meadow behind. I leave the class feeling amazing and watching the cows run across the field gently lowing to the farmer always makes me smile. This makes me happy.

My mum always said, ‘Do what makes you happy’. So that is exactly what I intend to do. Life is very precious, and we are here for only a short amount of time, so doing things that make you unhappy cannot be good for your wellbeing. No matter what challenges my health throws at me, if I am doing what makes me smile, all will be well in my little corner of the world.

Lupton House

Walking Your Own Path

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors. To experience their pain, hardship and maybe joy. To explore what it really means to live and survive in an often-hostile landscape and environment. To see through their eyes the beauty and wonder that this planet had to offer?

Every time a look at the news it is about war, violence, politics, plastics in our oceans, crime, disorder, ill-health, greed and the like…… I am curious; did our ancient ancestors have the same issues or were they very different. How did this all come about?

I recently had a week of enlightening experiences, I was not expecting to partake in one of them; it all happened by chance. But I am learning in life as I walk along my own path to healing, that there are no coincidences. After receiving healing at Lupton a couple of weeks ago, I arrived later than normal, and when I came out The Tashi Lhunpo Monks were about to start their opening ceremony for their Peace Sand Mandala. I was invited to stay and how awe-inspiring I found both the monks, the creation of the Mandala and the significance of me of being there, at that point in time.

I felt such a strong urge to follow this path to see the creation of the Mandala and then witness its destruction, the following morning I made 45-minute journey to spend time mediating with the monks, before seeing more work on the mandala. During the mediation I found a depth of clarity and rewarding of how simplicity can aid in nourishing the soul, leaving behind the pain, trauma and stress that I seem to invite into my life.

I was unable to attend the following day but felt the urge to see this through. On the final day I decided that I would give yoga a miss and again return to Lupton, to witness the destruction of the beautiful peace mandala.
My soul was searching for healing, it has been just over a year since my father died and I have been finding the right moment to scatter his ashes. It seems that spending time with the monks was giving me strength through meditation to find a way forward. As the ceremony took place, I commented to a friend, that wouldn’t it be lovely if our cremated remains were the rainbow colours of the sand mandala, she said, ‘but they are, in here’ and held her hands to her heart. Oh how true, how the whole mandala is so symbolic of birth, life and death. As I watched the coloured sand pouring back into the water, it all started to make sense. We are but small grains, but together we can make something so beautiful and then return to the earth. I was invited to take a small amount of sand with me, knowing exactly what I intended to do with it.

The next day I had arranged to join a mindful walk on Dartmoor, exploring our ancestors, dowsing and using earth energy to connect with the landscape, although it was cold, wet and windy for most of the time, it was exhilarating to experience the harshness of the moor at its best. After exploring some tors, stones rows, round houses and stone circles, I became connected to the energy of the ancient ancestors that left their mark on the landscape.

To walk down a line of stone rows, that have stood since the bronze age; feeling the energy, following an ancient route that had a burial cairn at the top and then a gentle gradient downhill towards the river, again I was being shown the cycle of life. When you stand in the centre of a circle surrounded by stones and connect to your being, understanding how our ancestors studied the movement in the heavens of the sun and planets and built monuments that relate to moments in time, that have stood the test of millennia. It is with awe and complete wonderment that I wish to honour them, and myself. Four years ago, I would never have managed or even contemplated trekking over the moor. For me it is about never giving up hope and taking opportunities that cross my path.

Sometimes my healing journey takes me off at a tangent, now and again; but health is not just about aches and pains. I really believe that your soul needs to heal first, then mind and body will follow. I have learnt that well-meaning people will offer advice, and when you do not act on it, they feel put out. That’s their stuff to deal with, not mine. Making your own choices in life is important and only each and every one of us can know or experience what it is, for us.

My fathers ashes are now scattered together with those of two of our beloved dogs and a little bit of coloured sand, I have honoured my ancestors; now I feel, I am free to continue to walk my own path…..

Find out more about  Mindful walking tours

 

The Journey Continues

As part of my holistic journey I have found sound therapy to be beneficial to the management of my chronic pain caused by Fibromyalgia, this sound has taken the form of gong, tuning forks, crystal bowls and drumming whilst also practicing yoga, Reiki and more recently joining a Zumba class. I would not have believed that I would have been able to participate in a dance fitness activity following my diagnosis in 2014, when I was walking with the aid of a stick. I have always maintained that I will keep on fighting this, exploring activities that I feel will benefit in assisting my body to heal itself. I believe that a lot of my healing has been a reaction to the sound and rhythm allowing the very cells of my body to absorb and be agitated, bringing them to life; it makes me smile, I feel happy and with that, energy seems to flow and the pain melts into the background.

I have always been interested in how our ancestors dealt with health conditions using herbs and natural therapies to alleviate pain and health conditions often administered by the wise elders of the indigenous groups around the world. Something that I feel, we have lost in our modern society of technology, stress and burn out.
This has led me on to the path of Shamanism, learning to feel the connection between nature, mother earth and my whole being. Rhythmic drum healing is a very ancient therapy that has been practiced for thousands of years by many cultures to promote wellbeing and healing using the natural law of resonance to restore the vibrational integration between mind, body and spirit.

I could not believe my luck when I was offered the opportunity to birth (make) my own Shamanic Drum in a one day bespoke workshop which was held locally.
Prior to the day we were asked to source a piece of wood to use as a beater, so during the storms and following the blizzards a couple of months ago, I wandered along the seashore and found a beautiful piece of drift wood, which I felt was perfect for my drum.
I attended the workshop with a mix of excitement and apprehension, after being so poorly at the start of this year with a chest infection and chronic fatigue, I knew that birthing a drum was going to be very special. I would be creating this wonderful tool for healing and it would be taking place on the full moon.

There were five of us attending the workshop, our first task was to select our 16 inch rounds of wood than had been handcrafted to form the frame for the drum.
It’s really strange when you sit and think about making a shamanic drum for yourself, I really wanted to feel that I was in touch with my ancient ancestors, the night prior I had not had the best of nights sleep and had been very restless so arrive feeling a bit jaded.
We were invited to select our deer skins that were outside in five buckets, Phil had had spent a lot of time in the days prior, preparing them for our use. He explained they were all different sizes. I selected the last reamaing bucket, this turned out to be the smallest skin.
At first I felt I little bit of disappointment, but then realisation that envy is something that I need to work with, I was starting to discover that my little deer was going to teach me some very valuable lessons in life. We started to connect with our drum, by some shamanic journeying which is similar to a deep mediation whilst a drum beat is played, we did this at various stages throughout the workshop.
After cutting out the circle to make the drum from the skin, we were asked to make the umbilical cord to lace it all together, from the same piece of skin. There was a concern that I would need to use an additional skin as my hide was quite small. However I ended up with about so much cord, I had a lot left over after I had laced it, my second lesson from my little deer, just because something is small, it does not mean that it cannot generate a bountiful supply.

Later we following the Shamanic tradition walking in single file, stepping in each other’s footsteps, while Alex drummed for us, making our way into the woods. We came to a large tree and then took it in turns to test the strength of our umbilical cord, which we had taken with us. We were asked to lean back and take the strain of the cord to see where it breaks, having completed that ritual, we returned to lace our drums.
This was the most challenging part of the process, I discovered you need a lot of strength to lace the back, to ensure the face is kept taught. I think this was the time when I felt most connected to the process and started referring to the drum as her, I don’t know how or why, I just knew. After a fair bit of effort and some help from Phil I finally birthed my drum.

I have been taught that great patience is required both during the making process and the need to be allowed to completely dry before being played, each day I kept going to look at the change in the colour on her face and eager to hear her first sound. Her markings are similar to looking at the moon, I see pure beauty; the significance of birthing my drum on a full moon is being able to use the strong energy as a very positive opportunity and illumination to the world.

Two weeks later, on the new moon when an energy portal is opened up to bring in your good intention and manifest healing energy, I knew it was time to hear her play. The sound that she gives out is so very special, I feel a very deep connection to nature, to my ancient ancestors and also to the spirit of the deer coming through the drum.

Earlier this week, after a particular challenging day, I picked up my drum, sat out in the garden in the evening sunlight and quietly played, letting the gentle rhythmic beats flow through my body, quieting my mind and bringing loving healing energy to my soul. I feel truly blessed, and so the journey continues……..

 

If you would like to know more ~

About birthing your own drum please contact  Phil Rowe Drums

About Sound Healing Sally Free ~ Sound Therapist

 

 

 

Dance to your own rhythm

This is me………………………………I am starting to emerge from wherever it is, that I have been lying dormant, waiting for this moment.

Life has been a bit of a struggle the last couple of months and I been battling with my health, not necessarily Fibromyalgia, but a lot of chronic fatigue and issues with coughing and the infection in my lung. Having had all the tests and the medical profession finding nothing to report, I had a bit of a déjà vu moment, in 2014 the day that I got my Fibro diagnosis, the life changing label. Only this time it was different. Nothing to report, no diagnosis, no further treatment. I was going to have to find my own way out through this again… I still had the cough, I still had the exhaustion and I still wanted to feel well again.

Having not been to a yoga class for 5 weeks, I decided now was the time to try to find a different sort of yoga, having been practicing a similar type of yoga since my fibro diagnosis, I wanted a more dynamic class, but one where I could still do my own thing, if all became too much.

Well I found it and the venue has a heated floor as well, luxury. It looks out onto the lush green valley side and whilst practicing you have the sound of nature; the screech of a buzzard, the chatter of nesting birds and a small brook babbling away. The class is so different from any other yoga I have taken part in, it is more active with options given for each pose. The session starts with mediation and breathing, which flows on into and through the practice. At the end of the class I feel more energetic, grounded and at peace with my body, mind and soul.

With my new found energy, I also decided I wanted to try out a new fitness class, I’m not a gym bunny and the ideal opportunity arose with a Zumba class. I went to the first session before I had my chest infection, and then unable to attend due to lack of breath for some weeks, I have now returned and I love it.

The fantastic movement that Zumba allows, even for those suffering from chronic pain is that you do what you can and what you want, within your own range of mobility. Even my lack of coordination doesn’t matter, my feet are often going the wrong way, but who cares there is no one watching; well at least I hope not! Apologies to those lovely ladies who end up behind me.
I think I shocked a few people at first, when they heard I had been to a Zumba class, “that’s fast going isn’t it?”, “you be careful” and “wow that’s amazing”. Yes it is amazing, and no matter how young or old you are, or feel, you are given a warm welcome and there are no judgements, your body joins into the rhythm of the music and it becomes contagious. After the class a few of us may even head to a local hostelry to replace our lost fluids!

I gradually started to feel better, the more I stretched and exercised my lungs, through walking, yoga, Zumba and a bit of light digging in the garden, the more the coughing ceased, my lungs felt more open and the tiredness began to evaporate. I even noticed that I danced across the lawn when the sun was out last week! I have started to feel more alive, energised and ready to absorb the new wonders that are awaiting me whilst I continue on this magical journey of self-healing, soul expansion and enlightenment.

I believe, if you really want to do something and improve your quality of your life, you just need to give it ago, do it your way. Listen to your own body, let your breath be your guide in dancing to your own rhythm, do what is right for you.

‘Dance like nobody’s watching.
If you sense they are, let them make eye contact and smile, show them that your soul is free.’

 

Want to find out more, please click on the links below

Yoga Loveliness                    Zumba – Shake it Fitness Devon

 

My recent blogs

Behind the Mask

The Crystal Healing Bed

 

 

Behind the Mask

I’ve been really struggling this month, pretending to the outside world that all is well. I am not struggling with chronic pain, but I am struggling with my health. When suffering with Fibromyalgia it can mask other things, so when I feel a bit unwell, I put it down to Fibro and dismiss it. This has resulted in yet another battle I am fighting against ‘holistic versus modern medicine’.

I had another session on the Crystal Healing Bed at Lupton this month, I think they forgot about me so I was on a bit longer than usual and although I did cough a few times, I was left feeling very invigorated with a zest for life. So much so that I even gave a new dance fitness class a go, and discovered the joys of Zumba, I loved it. Knowing I needed to pace myself after completing a vigorous form of exercise, I decided to give my weekly yoga practice a miss. I felt good the following day, apart from an annoying cough that I have had since October.

Towards the end of the week, I was finding myself wheezier and the cough keeping me awake at night. So I made that call to the doctor, I even started apologising for calling them and said I feel a bit of a fraud, as I don’t really feel ill, I just have this annoying cough and its causing some pain when I take a breath in. Turns out the doctor I saw thought I had pleurisy, so given antibiotics to take and rest.
Not one to take antibiotics, I was anxious as to how they were going to impact on my body. I felt a whole lot worse, I started to actually feel and believe I was ill. The mind is so very powerful.
I felt sorry for myself and lying around resting, meant not doing anything. I should have gone to have my monthly gong bath, but felt too unwell as my cough seemed to have become worse since visiting the doctor.

A week later, I still had the cough so returned to the doctor, this time sent for a chest x-ray and given a short course of steroids. Expecting the steroids to kick in and the cough to ease, I couldn’t have expected the reaction I had, on the first day of taking them; I thought my blood was boiling, I had a massive pulse in my neck and could feel the blood pumping down into my legs. I took to my yoga bolster, and put my legs up in the air in a supported shoulder stand and gave my body some long gentle breaths until I felt calm and grounded again.

Having had antibiotics, steroids a chest x-ray that shows nothing sinister. The doctor seems to be at a loss, so I’m now waiting to have some blood taken. In the meantime I have been battling with fighting this holistically and the intervention of modern medicine.

I went for healing this week and whilst receiving my treatment, the healer working with me started to cough, I however did not for the whole session I lay there and at the end I felt a lot lighter, my energy had shifted, my wheezing eased.

I am a strong believer that we all have the ability to heal ourselves, but when your energy levels are so low, it ok to ask for help. That help can come in the form of holistic therapy healing or with medical intervention.
Thinking back, our ancestors must have asked for help and advice and would maybe have visited the local shaman or wise person, who using their skills and knowledge would have prescribed a medicine made from natural ingredients or a ritual to carry out to rid you of your disease.

I think it is about balance, the battle I have going on is of my own making.  It is important for me to live by the values that are important to me and my lifestyle. I don’t pretend to be someone who is pure and perfect and living this wonderful holistic dream. This is part of my journey and I have free will to make choices about how I treat my health. If I decide that modern medicine and holistic therapy can work together to help heal my body; then so be it…….

“Remove the mask, and be that magical, beautiful, genuine, and not quite perfect person, you really are”

 

 

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The Crystal Healing Bed

This month has been a struggle, I suffered from a massive flare up, which caused all my joints to burn and the excruciating pain meant that I could not sleep at night, even the duvet touching me made me cry with the pain. I knew this was not just a pain flare up but was caused by a virus probably flu that meant my body was unable to fight it. I ended up taking some pain relief if only just to be able to function as a human being. I rested and tried to remain focused on healing myself slowly using self-reiki treatments, honey, lemon and ginger drinks, I even made myself a fresh turmeric and puy lentil soup to ease the inflammation (if using fresh turmeric remember to put on protective gloves, I didn’t and ended up with bright yellow fingers. Not a great look!) .

Having rested for week, I started to feel better and then last Tuesday took myself off to Lupton House, Brixham to the healing cafe for some much needed me time. It was while I was waiting for healing treatment that I enquired about the Crystal Therapy bed and was told that is was available now and would I like to have a treatment. I agreed, having never experienced this type of therapy before I had absolutely no idea what to expect.

I was shown to a room upstairs above the crystal shop and adjacent to the Sanctuary, it contained a bed with a stand above it with the crystals pointing down. There are 7 crystals that each have a coloured laser light relating to each of the Chakras, I was invited to remove my footwear, lie down covered with a blanket on a really comfortable bed with an eye mask, some candles were lit and some beautiful music put on to accompany me on my healing journey and I was left alone.

I lay there not sure what was going to happen and as I started to relax I felt very calm and serene and experienced lots of, as I can only describe; shards of rainbow light. I thought that there must be something like a crystal hanging in the window causing this effect, so I lifted my eye mask and looked about the room, nothing, but still the rainbow lights glistened in my vision. So I shut my eyes and went with it. At one point I felt as if my forehead was being gently massaged, it was so reassuring that I did not feel the need to take a peek. Knowing that I was alone, tucked up and very comfortable.

As I lay there for the whole treatment I did not cough once, having been so poorly the week prior this was a truly a blessing. I’m not sure if I stayed awake or dozed, but I knew I was experiencing something very special and profound I could almost describe it as celestial.

At the end of the session I was left to collect myself together and make my way downstairs. I found it difficult to put into words how I felt, it was very special and very powerful.

Since my treatment, I have been feeling much better and straight afterwards I was surprisingly tired but had lots of energy about me. So I went home and rested and it has taken me some time to be able to put into words how I felt, I’m still not sure how to describe the treatment. So maybe give it ago for yourself.

Whatever treatment I try, it is about healing me, and is my journey. Sometimes I meet people who have read my blog and then go onto to try a treatment for themselves and they tell me it hasn’t work for them. I have found it is best to try therapies a number of times, to see if it makes a difference. I believe our own energy systems resonate differently to various stimuli and it takes a while for our bodies to adjust to a new treatment or therapy. The propose of my blog is to share with you what I am doing to help deal with a chronic pain condition. What works for me, may not be for you, but that’s ok. We are all individuals, all on our own healing journeys and using our energy to help heal our body, mind and soul.

I would never have believed that 5 years ago my life would be so dramatically different. I had not even heard of a Crystal Therapy bed let alone considered having a treatment. This part of my journey, giving my body the opportunity and space to heal itself would not have been possible if I had remained blinkered with conventional medicine methods.

Lupton is truly a very magical place and I always feel like I am cosseted in a big universal hug as I make my way down the tree-lined driveway, leaving the chaos that is modern life behind. Maybe I will see you there too?

 

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My Quest for Healing

Those of you that follow my monthly blog, will know I use various therapies to support my healing from a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia. I think it important to raise awareness of this and other chronic pain condition, I do not wish my blog to become a source of me feeling sorry for myself, I do not want to give this pain more energy than it already takes from me. So whilst I may not write about, how I feel tackling this condition on a daily basis, I am still fighting the battle and I am slowly winning. Just because I look well and don’t complain about the pain I am experiencing, does not mean that it is not happening.

Today I went for healing at Lupton House and after a short twenty minutes session for a minimum donation of £3. I feel amazing. I have been going to healing since I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I went weekly and it helped heal my mind, body and spirit. When I attended my first healing session, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. After completing some paperwork, I was led into a beautiful, tranquil and peaceful room with therapy beds set up with different coloured covers and warm cosy blankets, you choose the bed that you are drawn to, obviously not the one with other people on receiving their treatment! You lie down fully clothed just removing your shoes and you can have a blanket placed over you, whilst you close your eyes, relax and drift off somewhere nice.

The healers all work differently, some hands on, some hand off, some a mixture of both. Each time I receive healing it is always different, sometimes their hands feel warm, sometimes they feel cold, more often than not I see wonderful colours mainly purple and other times I see nothing at all, but feel energy pulsing through my body and a serene calmness envelops me like a hug.

The whole healing journey led me to my attunement for 1st and 2nd degree reiki which I use for healing on myself and the dog on a regular basis; however receiving the energy that is channelled through another healer is very powerful and a truly wonderful experience.

Healing as a Therapy seems to have lost is dark, mystical status and is more widely accepted as a Holistic form of healing, it does not take the place of conventional medicine but is often used alongside it to treat various conditions. The great thing is you don’t need to believe in any religion to experience this great therapy.

I had not been to Lupton since October last year, so for me it was lovely to be able to access the beautiful and tranquil space. This week for me, is about self- nurturing and finding my authentic self, there is the super blue blood moon eclipse, tomorrow 31st January and what better opportunity to remove the obstacles in my path, clear my throat chakra where I have been experiencing blockages, holding back and not saying the things that need to be said. The moon energy this month is about manifesting love and healing old wounds and with it being the start of the New Year, what better way than to purge the old way of life; start a new chapter and move on.

To assist in this moving on process, I have been given a new yoga teacher, taking the class that I have been attending for the past 4 years, I have never felt comfortable with change, but it is important to embrace it. When you create space, it can filled with wonderful experiences and kindred souls, if you allow it to.

To integrate all this change, movement and growth, a fantastic gong bath to look forward to on Friday evening.

I feel very blessed to have a wonderful family, supportive friends and like minded kindred spirits in my life. Thank you for helping me to stay strong when my body has been weak. I love you and value your presence whilst you accompany me, fighting chronic pain xx

 

 

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Embrace Change

A satisfied life is better than a successful life, because our success is measured by         others. But our satisfaction is measured by our own heart, mind and soul.”

When we meet someone for the first time, we often greet each other with our name, then what?  What do you do? It is then that you can be given a label. As humans we seem to have this inquisitive nature as to what another persons does, maybe to measure how successful they are; or to discover if they have anything in common with them. Why do we feel the need to have to be label someone?

All through life we are striving to become; to achieve the ultimate goal; but at what cost? So that we can be successful, so that we can be somebody, so that we can be given a label.

When you suffer from chronic pain, it can take over your life so much that it becomes who you are and starts to define you, but only if you let it! You have a choice, to give in to it and let it take you or to stand up and fight, as if your life depends on it. It is not easy.

Four years ago, I was ready to give in and let it take me, which it did for 6 months of my life. I was given a diagnoses, a label and then it started to define who I was and who I became.

You can change your label and how others see you, start by feeling satisfied with all the positive things you have in your life. From there you can begin to heal your body, mind and soul, start to believe and have hope that things do and will change.

I have spent the past 12 month’s blogging about various holistic therapies and practices that I have experienced, as part of my healing journey. I am not announcing that I am cured, but the change I feel in my health is noticeable, I am having less flair ups, I still suffer from pain and getting up each day is a battle, a battle that I fight every day and I will win, it about listening to my body and when I’m feeling tired taking a quick power nap.

My hips and knees often remind me that they are still attached to me with a deep seated pain inside the joint, I know that with some gentle yoga stretches I can encourage that heat to disperse taking with it the pain. Some yoga sessions I find, I feel so exhausted that I just stop, lie down on the mat, cover myself with a blanket and take a rest. It’s ok to do that. Listening to the change that your body is asking you to do.

Yoga is not an endurance test to bend yourself into some strange posture, it is about gentle stretching for the mind, body and soul and I have found this to be of benefit to managing my pain condition. Finding understanding teachers is a bonus, and after 4 years of practice I now find that I walk taller and I’m a lot more bendy than I ever thought I could be. I still can’t touch my toes, that’s ok, I’ve got long legs and short arms!

As this year comes to an end, I embrace all that has changed as I continue on my healing journey; there are people that have touched my soul, made me stop and question who I am and who I want to be. There are acquaintances who I believe crossed into my karmic path for reasons that will someday be coming clearer. There are also those kindred spirits who consistently surround me with their love and support and to them I am eternally grateful.

I have ………love, laughter, peace and harmony in my heart, mind and soul and I know that I am truly satisfied. I will let you measure my success!