Apr 202015
 

wpid-img_20150407_103943.jpgSometimes it’s necessary to take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself “Am I authentic? Do I Walk my Talk? Am I truly working for the highest good? Am I able to see when I am no longer humble and honest? What are my values – am I embodying them?”

If you can’t get past the first couple it’s seriously time to re-evaluate.

As well as being a compassionate witness to yourself when asking pointy questions about authenticity it is essential to remain kind. Ask these too: “What am I doing to nourish myself? Am I allowing enough space in my life to be in silence? Am I able to feel still? How often am I connecting with the wonder of all that is? Does it feel like I’m doing this enough?” The biggest of these though is: “Do I nurture myself enough to enable me to be authentically present for the people I care about?”

If the answer is no it’s time to re-evaluate.

The photo at the top of the post is from last week when I sat down to my own reflective practice. To ask myself those same hard questions. To offer up my shame, my failures, my truly epic fuck ups and to hold them, cradle and integrate them. I did the work, supported by my drum, by Reiki, by flower essences, by the women of my tribe who hold my dreams and my mojo safe for me while I’m floundering and I came out the other side. Next week I’ll likely do it all again.

Being authentic is about showing up and doing your best. In the words of the brilliant Brené Brown:

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

Credits:
Bach Flower Box – Healing Herbs
Mini Altar – Tiny Relics on Etsy
Woman Runes – Brigid’s Grove on Etsy
Kuan Yin Oracle – Alana Fairchild
Happiness Spell Candle – DeeLights.co.uk
Tiny Purple Goddess – Goddess Temple Gifts (Gifted by my heart sister Heather of Holistic Goddess)
Reminding me of the brilliant Brené Brown quote – Heather of Holistic Goddess

Nov 172014
 

joyThis talisman’s story begins with a double sided ‘Love’ charm.  This is fairly self explanatory in terms of meaning, but when combined with the two turquoise beads it takes on a different significance.  Turquoise is a highly spiritual stone.  The flat turquoise stone gives way to a sphere.  This makes me think of the journey the human race has taken, from believing in only what they could see – the earth is flat, to what they now know – the earth is a sphere.  I find this symbolic of the journey we take as our spiritual consciousness expands and we begin to question that which we believe as we evolve and grow spiritually.  The love charm helps us to remember that we are held in love whilst we quest – never alone or without grace.

The next one along is the glass bottle.  As usual, I haven’t sealed the cork, so if you have herbs that you’d like to put in, or just take the lid of to enjoy the fragrance, you can.  I’m also happy to glue the cork infor you if you are worried about the contents escaping.  Inside the bottle is salt, for protection and purification, white sage to banish negativity and clear your energy field of nasties that might be hanging around. Next is patchouli root, deeply connected to Gaia and the Earth Mother, this herb reminds you that you are loved by the Earth, wholly and completely. There are two resins in this bottle – the first is copal, sometimes called young amber, a gift from nature that helps us to recharge our spiritual batteries and maintain a youthfulness and joy to our outlook as we journey.  The second resin is colophony, a powerful purifier, an ideal partner to sage and will help to keep your energetic space clear.  Finally, your bottle is topped off with mugwort.  In the training I did it was considered a powerful magical amplifier, but it is also said to enhance dreamwork and revive travellers on long journeys – perfect for this talisman.

Next along is a ‘Find joy in the journey’ silvertone charm, suspended on grey waxed linen and topped with aquamarine chips. Aquamarine has long been thought of as a travellers talisman with the ability to calm stormy seas and bring peace to the bearer. To me this symbolises not just physical but spiritual journeys too, aiding deeper softening into mediation and journeying practices to gain more profound insight that has been achieved previously.

Next is the ladybug charm, married with garnet for safe travels, smokey quartz for protection and haematite for grounding.  Ladybug is a powerful teacher, helping us with invoking and embodying spiritual insights whilst helping us to remain spiritually grounded.

The final charm is a feather with a heart, a green tourmaline, a malachite, and a turquoise dangle.  For me the feather symbolises treading lightly on the earth, doing as little damage as possible and healing if appropriate.  The green tourmaline is powerfully connected to both the earth and the heart – strengthening your connection with the earth and allowing you to tune in more easily to the vibration of her hearbeat, and in doing so, always being able to find your way home, however far you journey.  The malachite is a strongly protective stone and has been said to assure travellers a safe passage to their destination. Being green, it resonates with the heart and so helps to protect you emotionally.  Finally the turquoise, a stone of spiritual connection and journeying.  Together these stones bring the gift of protection and connection as you journey through your life, and a feeling of safety in the knowledge that you can always find your physical and emotional way home.  I would encourage you to go outside, put your bare feet on the earth and breathe, right through your feet and up to the sky, connect yourself with all that is and bathe in the feeling of deep love that the earth has for you.

On a last note, you might also notice that this pin is perfectly balanced, a secret reminder, just for you, that there must be balance in your life.  The dark times are as valuable as the light, the rest as important as the doing, the joy and the pain, the love and the loss.  They are all our teachers as the universe looks on with nothing but love for you.  You are precious. Remember.

Nov 162014
 

The idea for a talisman necklace is one that I’ve been pondering over for a long time.  How do I pack in all the symbols and magic that I want to into something that ultimately has to be worn around your neck?  It can’t weigh a ton or be overly clunky otherwise it just won’t work.  This is what I came up with.

couragecloseThis talisman’s story begins with a circle of Courage – an unbreakable and infinite symbol of hope and strength and a reminder that we have this inner reservoir of courage and with it the hope that if we don’t give up things will get better.  The circle is wrapped with red linen and in it’s centre sways a heart with a rose quartz crystal and a spiral.  These symbols combined for me represent what is at the heart of courage – a passion and unconditional love that keeps us going when times are hard, and give us the strength to keep showing up, to reach the centre of a spiral path and make our way out again. We may be changed, but we are still here, stepping up to do what is needed.

The first thing on the ring is a charm bottle.  I haven’t sealed the cork, so if you have herbs that you’d like to put in, or just take the lid of to enjoy the fragrance, you can.  Inside the bottle is salt, for protection and purification, white sage to banish negativity and clear your energy field of nasties that might be hanging around.  Next in the bottle are rose petals – again a symbol of unconditional love, traditionally used in love magic.  I added it with the intent that it would strengthen your love of yourself. This for me means paying good attention to yourself and your body.  What do you need today?  Is it a duvet day?  Do you need to dance, or sing or have a good shout?  Whatever it is, have the courage to do it, spend some time with yourself and see what your heart is saying to you, then do that.  The final addition to this bottle is the burning red of hibiscus flower – often used in magic for promoting love, I think of it more as a prompt to follow your passions, ignite your divine spark and do what lights you up and makes you shine.  The bottle is joined by another rose quartz crystal to amplify the energy of love and holding, and a smokey quartz for protection from negative energy and to allow you to recover quickly from situations that might dull that shine.

Next to your charm bottle is a little pewter goddess, reminding you that you are an expression of divine love. Worthy of respect and in your power.  She’s joined by a two tourmaline crystals.  The pale pink is closely associated with the heart, and the feminine side of our nature – strengthening and soothing at the same time.  The darker red tourmaline is said to resonate with both the Heart Chakra and the Root Chakra, promoting an increased flow of  life-force energy to nurture and heal the emotional body. It also has a grounding influence which can encourage a zest for living and lively interaction with others. It can help revitalize passion and joy in sexuality, and can help you listen more carefully to your heart’s voice when making decisions.  I paired these with the goddess charm to anchor the intent that you are held in a field of divine benevolence and love, regardless of your spiritual path.

The wing charm is paired with two rose quartz nuggets, symbolising the just how loved you are. It is that love that holds you close, keeps you steady, feeds your soul and helps you fly – combine that with courage and the possibilities are boundless. You are a unique soul, loved and set free to fly with joy and peace in your heart.

On a last note, you might also notice that this ring is perfectly balanced, and will lie flat and straight by your heart, a secret reminder, just for you, that there must be balance in your life.  The dark times are as valuable as the light, the rest as important as the doing, the joy and the pain, the love and the loss.  They are all our teachers as the universe looks on with nothing but love for you.  You are precious. Remember.

Nov 152014
 

Earth mother fullThis talisman’s story begins with a wooden thorn bead – this is to remind you that you are not a pushover – a rose is beautiful and is capable of bring great joy, but is not defenceless.  You have boundaries and they should be honoured and respected, because you are worthy.    Joining this thorn is a faceted Czech glass bead – a beautiful leaf green, a reminder that you are a child of nature, you belong and you are loved, in all of your many faces, talents and moods.

The next one along is the glass bottle.  I haven’t sealed the cork, so if you have herbs that you’d like to put in, or just take the lid of to enjoy the fragrance, you can.  Inside the bottle is salt, for protection and purification, white sage to banish negativity and clear your energy field of nasties that might be hanging around.  Next is patchouli root, deeply connected to Gaia and the Earth Mother, this herb reminds you that you are loved by the Earth, wholly and completely.  Sandalwood is next, a herbal expression of divine love.  Finally, a single piece of Frankincense resin is a strongly protective component, often burned to purify and consecrate sacred space.  Sharing this spot with the charm bottle is a small malachite sphere – a powerful magical and energetic amplifier to boost the energies of those in the bottle and also the overall harmonising effect of the talisman.

Next to your charm bottle is a little copper goddess, reminding you that you are an expression of divine love. Worthy of respect and in your power.  She’s joined by a prehnite crystal, said to help you deepen your trust in the universe and bring you into harmony with nature.  It may also help you focus and gain clarity during meditation and can calm the space around you.  I paired this with the goddess charm to bind the idea that you are being held and supported by Mother earth into the talisman with the intent that it resonates into your space as you use it.

The leaf is a hand finished glass bead and symbolises nature in it’s most productive phase, energetic, fulfilling it’s needs and those of it’s tree, with efficiency and balance – always making sure that it has what it needs before it passes what it has over to the rest of the tree so that it too can thrive.  A gentle reminder that you have to fill yourself before you can fill the cup of others, a nudge to prompt you to a regular self-care practice.  To this end there is also a triple loop, symbolising the need for a balance of focus on the mind, body and spirit for the achievement of optimum health and wellbeing.

Earth mother closeFinally there is a copper feather, for me this symbolises treading lightly on the earth, doing as little damage as possible and healing if appropriate.  There is also an amber nugget, a reminder that the earth is a living, breathing entity – this is the blood of her trees, still alive and active.  Amber cares for and soothes the energy system, bringing peace, balance and healing.

On a last note, you might also notice that this pin is perfectly balanced, a secret reminder, just for you, that there must be balance in your life.  The dark times are as valuable as the light, the rest as important as the doing, the joy and the pain, the love and the loss.  They are all our teachers as the universe looks on with nothing but love for you.  You are precious. Remember.

Nov 142014
 

For a long time now, I’ve had an idea in my head.  A way to pull together all of the creative things I do with the spirituality that I live.  I have been pondering, mulling and cogitating – honestly seriously procrastinating – about making this idea a reality.  It was mostly due to all the old demons.  My inner critic telling me that no one would buy them, I’d be wasting my time, what’s the point?

Then I went on retreat.  I met 15 fantastic women, truly awesome in their willingness to share, grow and love with open hearts and gorgeous hugs.  They kicked my inner-critic’s arse.  Well and truly stomped on it.  I was raring to go.  Then I left Somerset and my Vixen Sisters and the critics began to pull themselves together again.  By the time I got home and recovered from the trip, I’d gone back into ‘Arrrghhh, what if?!’ mode.

I sat with that for a while, then asked my lovely fiancé if he fancied investing in my new venture.  He said yes, and so I sallied forth, buying the minimum I would need to get going.

This morning the last of the new ingredients arrived and I made this:

IMG_20141114_105456

Into this:

IMG_20141114_124557

My intent during the making of this piece was that it bring to it’s bearer the attributes that it symbolises, and I’ve written a little bit about why I think things like this are important in our lives.  You can buy these – either from stock or have one custom made for you – either from Etsy or direct from me using the contact form.

It’s a crazy, busy world we live in and it’s easy to forget the magic in our everyday lives. By making and offering these talismans, these wearable altars, I hope that I can bring a little of the wonder back. Encourage and remind you to take a moment of connection in an otherwise hectic day.

Each talisman has it’s own story to tell and it’s symbols will perhaps mean different things to you than they do to me – that’s ok, as long as it means something to you the magic will happen.

This talisman’s story begins with a heart and a snowflake – this is to remind you that you are unique, your heart and soul are the only ones like it on the planet. That’s an awesome thought, no? There is only one of you and you matter. Your story matters and you are loved.

Joining the party on this first charm is Blue Lace Agate – a beautiful, calming stone that connects with the throat chakra and helps you to express yourself, as well as bringing a feeling of peace.

The next one along is the glass bottle. I haven’t sealed the cork, so if you have herbs that you’d like to put in, or just take the lid of to enjoy the fragrance, you can. Inside the bottle is salt, for protection and purification, white sage to banish negativity and clear your energy field of nasties that might be hanging around. Next is lavender, soothing, calming and also protective – are you sensing a theme yet? Finally there is white willow bark, for magic, strengthening your connection to your intuition and supports creativity.

Next to your charm bottle is a Believe charm with it’s own carved Fluorite crystal. Fluorite is a lovely crystal that helps to integrate higher vibrations and spiritual energies down into the body. I paired this with the Believe charm to bind the idea of self belief into the talisman with the intent that it resonates into your space as you use it.

The wing charm is paired with a Haematite and Sodalite sphere connected by a blue copper coil. For me, this symbolises our ability to fly high and dream big, whilst remaining anchored to the earth, staying grounded in Her energy and knowing that you are safe in her arms whilst you follow your heart and achieve your goals.

Finally the fox charm is a reminder to be discerning and to follow your instincts. In animal wisdom, the fox is associated with agility, cunning and practical wisdom – let the fox remind you that everything you need is inside you. Also, this fox is curled up and sleeping. Let her prompt you to take time for yourself, to rest, to retreat and relax so that you can be your best self when you need to be.

On a last note, you might also notice that this pin is perfectly balanced, a secret reminder, just for you, that there must be balance in your life. The dark times are as valuable as the light, the rest as important as the doing, the joy and the pain, the love and the loss. They are all our teachers as the universe looks on with nothing but love for you. You are precious. Remember.

So there it is.  Hopefully the first of many magical, beautiful and useful objects that can help you being a moment of pause and connection into your days, made with love and pure intent.

SO MUCH GRATITIUDE to the Redfox Retreat creators – Sas Petherick, Susannah Conway and Meghan Genge – I cannot thank you enough I do not have the words.  Baby steps toward my Muchness.  I have such deep love for you all and the women you brought together to circle.

 

 

Jun 132014
 

 

we-are-the-women

We are the women who remember
We carry within us the knowledge of the ages
We stand in the space between

Our hearts at once strong and yielding
Ever open to receive the pain and love of journeys travelled

We are the women who witness
We carry with us the stories of struggle and joy
We hold in the space between

Our spirits at once old and new
Ever open to wisdom from journeys travelled

We are the women who wander
We carry with us the skills long forgotten
We comfort you in the space between

Mar 062014
 

I love singing. It’s an engaging and freeing activity that when combined with good technique allows you to connect with your body and the world around you.

Feeling Connected – Technique, why bother?

When you’re singing in the shower you’re highly unlikely to be using singing technique. Nevertheless, you are relaxed, you’re smiling, you’re releasing endorphins and you’re feeling good. But are you connected? When you use good singing technique you have to become aware and be connected to your body. This allows you to achieve the best sound you can possibly make. To do this you have to be present in your body – your actions are no longer passive events. Doing this, you being to cultivate a relationship with your breath, your lips, teeth, muscles, and your centre. Singing becomes a total body experience and you’ll never want to go back.

Warming up your voice is very similar to meditation. No, I’ve not lost the plot. When you begin to warm up as a singer, you start with breathing. It prepares your lungs and muscles for the deep breathing and breath control that you need to sing. The aim is to become gently and fully aware of your breath and the parts of your body that are engaged when breathing consciously. There are lots of exercises to bring your breath into your conscious mind, but this is one of my favourites:

Breathe in for 4 slow counts
Pause
Breathe out for 4 slow counts
Pause
Breathe in for 4 slow counts
Pause
Breathe out for 6 slow counts
Pause
Breathe in for 6 slow counts
Pause
Breathe out for 8 slow counts…

You can continue this pattern for as long as you like, adding 2 counts onto the in and out breaths each time. Go with your body, don’t push too far, enjoy it!

Feel your lungs filling and emptying, your ribs swinging in and out, your diaphragm, the expansion in your chest. Try to keep your shoulders down and, bizarre as it sounds, breathe from the bottom up and… don’t make a single sound. Become aware of the earth beneath your feet, the strength in your thighs, the powerful shape you make when your feet are planted firmly on the ground, your shoulders are square, your spine is aligned and your head is level and proud. Enjoy the feeling. Visualise breathing in love and breathing out tension and stress.

Sit with this feeling, try to hold it when you continue your day, feel the connectedness to your body and the earth as you interact with people. Try it on your lunch hour, use it to reconnect and become present in stressful situations, have a go in the bath and sink deeper into relaxation and bliss.

When you do this exercise regularly, it becomes easier to slip into the feeling of grounding and connection. It also expands your lung capacity and encourages good lung health, which can only be a plus. If you’re a smoker or have a pre-existing lung condition, please start slowly as you may feel lightheaded more easily and find that it makes you feel like you need to cough. This is unpleasant at first, but good in the long run as you are beginning to expel the stagnant toxins and contaminants that sit happily at the bottom of your lungs and rarely get an airing. You’ll gradually become more comfortable with the feeling and start to enjoy the sensation of your lungs filling and emptying. This exercise can also help you to feel more awake and energised if you’re feeling sluggish, as breathing deeply carries a greater volume of oxygen to your brain and body tissues.

From a personal standpoint, I had a serious chest infection in March 2009, it put me in hospital for 3 days and it damaged my lungs fairly badly. It can take up to a year for damaged lung cells to fully regenerate, but doing this excersise regularly has allowed me to dump the steroid inhalers and long acting ‘reliever’ inhaler that I depended on when I was first released from hopsital.

Give it a go, and tell me what you think. Most of all though, have fun!

Dec 132013
 

7circuitlabyrinthblueThe Oxford English Dictionary defines an analogy as:
A comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

I was sitting with a lovely client earlier today, wrestling – as I usually am – with the right words to try to classify and clarify what it is that I do in a Journey Companionship session. Whilst sitting in the quiet for a few moments, it occured to me that I’m akin to a tour guide. My lovely client thought that this was a good analogy and suggested that I blog it – so here it is.

A tour guide is there to gently point you in the right direction. It’s your journey, your adventure, your discovery of places yet unseen, they aren’t walking it for you, but they might point out interesting landmarks and draw your attention to things that you otherwise might have overlooked.

As a Journey Companion I witness your journey, I walk it with you. I might draw your attention to milestones, fleeting thoughts that might bubble up from a deeper place, and honour the big moments that might change the course of your journey altogether. As an added bonus I can offer you holistic therapy support and signpost you to places and people who may also be able to help you to enhance your journey.

Every person is different with a unique path to walk and so every session is different. Each one grows organically around your needs. We make no plans, there are few rules, there is no pre-defined route. If you have avenues that you wish to wander, I will wander them with you, we’ll take in your journey together and it is my privilege, joy and honour to do so.

Although making a face to face connection is important and valuable, so is having your journey witnessed. With this in mind I offer Skype sessions if you can’t get to me in person, and am always happy to be flexible and creative when it comes to supporting you on your journey.

Apr 232012
 

Hello lovelies – I’m going to do something that I don’t normally do and ask you if you could share this link far and wide. http://www.goddessguidebook.com/affiliate-redirect/?p=secretspinner&w=sems It’s an awesome resource and because I was a contributor I get a little bit of cash when someone buys a copy using my link ^^ I’m not asking y’all to buy it, or to spam the bejaysus out of your friends, but if you know someone who might be interested can you send them the link please?

Feb 172012
 

I’m currently working through Dianne Sylvan’s Spiritual Nomad course. I’m really enjoying it and although I am always learning and integrating new concepts into my overall spiritual ethos, this course is giving me a whole host of signposts that I hadn’t previously considered in depth. Week two of the course prompts us to consider who our gurus are – those people to whom we turn for direction, guidance and inspiration most often. I spent today making mine. This is by no means an exhaustive list of my gurus, but some of the people who really belong on this board have no desire to be on the web, in any capacity, so they remain in a different place and in my heart.

From top left to bottom right:

The Dali Lama – I am always inspired by incredible soul who understands that the way to heal our planet and ourselves is through the moment to moment practice of mindful compassion and kindness.

Dianne Sylvan – I purchased The Body Sacred on the recommendation of a friend some years ago, and since then have purchased copies and gifted them to other friends who I felt would benefit from the words and ideas contained not only in the book, but in the mind of this kick-ass, real-life woman who is dancing her way through life in a crocheted fraggle hat. Her words and spirit are a constant source of inspiration, humour and uplifting light in my life and the lives of so many others who are gradually learning self acceptance and how to rock their spiritual socks off.

Ina May Gaskin – Oh my. I discovered the awesomeness (and I use the word awesome in it’s correct sense) that is Ina May only quite recently. I’m a fledgling doula working toward recognised status with Doula UK and although I’m really only starting out on my birth companion journey but I’ve been walking in tandem with people who need support for a while.

William Bloom – I first discovered William’s work in 2006 when I read his book on Psychic Protection. As the years have passed I’ve attended several of his brilliant courses and am working towards my Spiritual Companionship Certificate. His calm, compassionate outlook and clear energy are a constant source of inspiration and I feel immensely lucky to have been able to study with him.

Jennifer Louden – I’m rubbish at self care. I’m able to support people, to care for them, to encourage them to look after themselves and help them to heal but I’m often really pants at taking my own advice. Jennifer’s writing is forever inspiring and a reminder to look after myself so that I can take care of others.

Sera Beak – My copy of The Red Book is falling to pieces I’ve read it so much. This woman sings to my soul in a way I never even thought I needed. I always find what I need in there, she makes my feel like someone opened my heart and poured the goddess right in there.

Heather Veitch (Heathwitch) – I’ve known Heather since 2005 but it feels like we’ve been friends for a lifetime. I was a celebrant at her handfasting in 2009 and she’s been my teacher, my friend and my heart-sister for as long as I’ve know her. I studied eclectic witchcraft with her when she was the High Priestess of a teaching coven, she attuned me to Reiki and showed me that having a chronic illness doen’t mean it has to define you. She’s helped me to realise that I can be whoever I want to be and for that I don’t have words enough to thank her.

Purple Butterfly Sister – This purple butterfly is for a dear sister-friend who transitioned in 2011. She was creative, thoughtful, funny and smart. She fought like an Amazon with grace and quiet strength. She is with me every day, she touches my life in ways I could have never imagined and she sprinkles sparkles on me when I need them most.

Claude Debussy – Ah, Claude. I have a BA in Music and I studied Debussy’s piano music with one of the foremost scholars of his work. That honour never fails to make me catch my breath and give thanks. Debussy’s music touches my soul and fills me up. It pulses with the the rhythm of my heart and takes me to places filled with silence, joy, shadow, golden light, peace and pain. Spirit lives in his work and plays peek-a-boo between the notes. The Snow Is Dancing and La cathédrale engloutie (The Sunken Cathedral) are two of my favourite pieces of music.

Mikao Usui – This man is said to be responsible for the system of Reiki that we know today after a period of extended retreat on Mount Kurama. His techniques now help millions around the world. My spiritual life has profoundly enriched by Reiki and the daily meditation and mindfulness it encourages.

Jennifer Berezan – Jennifer’s work with sacred sound, especially her work for Returning in The Hypogeum at Hal Saflieni in Malta has become a huge part of my healing and relaxation work. Her music is an inpiration and a source of peace and gentle strength for me and I am grateful.

So ends the whistlestop tour of my guru board. Making this was such a great experience for me and a really valuable place to sit and and rest on my journey.