There is so much power in sharing your story with someone who listens unconditionally, especially in your own mother tongue. Everyone should have the opportunity to access counselling.
I recently worked with an Indian woman in her 80’s. This felt like an honour to me because I know how many potential barriers could have got in the way and prevented her from accessing counselling. Some of these are:
As we head into the 3rd national lockdown in the UK, let’s take this opportunity to reflect on how far we have come in our own unique ways!
2020 was a break-through year in many ways and full of so many hidden blessings, if we choose to see them! It is true that through ‘suffering’ and experiencing darkness we transform! We hear about this in so many spiritual teachings such as Buddha and Christ. Through suffering and in search of some light we begin to awaken. Even a slight glimmer of light keeps us going! It helps us to put one foot in front of the other.
Understandably so many people felt incredibly challenged in 2020 and may have even struggled to see even a glimmer of light. That is OK. Sometimes we need to ‘just be’ and spend time in darkness. It is an important part of the healing process.
Through both my own personal experiences and professional observations with clients I noticed some common themes arising collectively through 2020 and although I blogged all year around about these on my favourite social media platform; Instagram I today felt inspired to pull some of these together for my much neglected website (aim to blog more here in 2021).
Learning to live life in the present moment
This has been the only thing that we have realised we have control over, right? We cannot change the past, the future is so unknown to us and clearly very uncertain at the moment. The unpredictability of events in 2020 really pushed us to work with uncertainty last year, being forced to find our own way to grasp this ‘new’ way of being!
Some were faced with sudden and quick realisations that the only thing we have any control over is how we respond to the present moment; this moment right now! We saw how people responded right? Some stepped up to help and serve humanity whilst others became tunnel visioned as a trauma response and their survival instincts kicked in, motivating them to panic buy as well as outwardly project their views based on only their survival, by blaming the government for everything!
The past has gone, the future is yet to arrive. How we respond today will determine and shape our future. I always find it helpful to ask myself:
‘Am I responding from a place of love, or reacting from a place of fear?’
In 2020 we clearly saw this division between fear (separation) and love (unity), whether it have been through the pandemic, black lives matter and the Sikh protests in the latter part of 2020 that failed to reach the media in this country and still go on in India as I write this now!
This reminds me of a message I channelled back in the summer of 2020, which once shared on Instagram many folk resonated with deeply. Much of my following is from people on their spiritual journey
‘I shall travel across time and space in the name of unity and reclaim every drop of my sanity’
Does this resonate with you in anyway?
2020 for me was a lot about recognising the need to slow down and I really enjoyed the slower paced life which I know so many of you who are reading this right now did too!
I am multi-passionate with several projects on the go, however 2020 taught me to rest more and create a better balance, and even let go of some of my commitments in 2021 (which I have done!).
The pandemic gave us all hidden blessings of time and space; often the two things we so badly craved for pre COVID life. How often did we think ‘too much to do, not enough time!’. Well we certainly were given those two things in 2020! Maybe we collectively manifested it?
I saw this as an opportunity of a life time to evaluate our lives and create a vision for our futures.
Through this opportunity to evaluate, people had no choice but to look at themselves, their lives, their pasts, ponder about their futures, to realise their priorities and recognise those that had slipped.
It was almost like a gift from the universe to stop, pause and RESET our lives. Having been given the head space to have these realisations and ‘aha moments’, I witnessed so many people wanting to now lead more meaningful lives and even question their life purpose.
So many people felt they were having spiritual awakenings.
Spirituality and faith
There is no doubt that with everything we experienced in 2020 made people question life and wonder what was ‘really’ going on, whether it be conspiracy theories, mother nature taking her power back, some sort of divine intervention, planetary shifts and ascension – who knows?
What is significant is that so many people were led to question this and began to explore outside of their usual thinking and considering spirituality and faith more!
I certainly saw this through my work with most of my clients in 2020 and saw how they became more open to trying holistic therapies, including those that can be sent energetically via a distance such as reiki healing. I have had clients in America, Canada and Europe as well as the UK. It has been amazing to see this shift in people steering away from conventional medicine and trying alternative and holistic therapies.
One of the biggest revelations in 2020 that I feel most people have had is around the concept of gratitude and beginning to count their blessings so much more than before.
Realising the small but important things in life to be grateful for! Appreciating the things that we would have taken for granted before! The value of relationships and quality time with loved ones with full undivided attention. How often did we go out with loved ones before, yet be distracted with scrolling on our phones and not concentrating on the person in front us?
We have realised that loved ones may not be around forever and this fear around their and even our own mortality has been a wake-up call for people, to appreciate each other more and has even caused people to leave or distance themselves from unhealthy relationships.
Having spent so much time in our own energy and in the energy of those who we bubbled with in the lockdowns, we became so much more connected to our own energy and auric field. This separation and absence from other people made many of us realise how their energy and other external factors might have been impacting on our mood and energy levels, maybe causing us to dip and feel drained.
I have seen people evaluate who and where they choose to invest their energy in the future. We all have energy, we ‘are’ energy and it is up to use how we choose to use that energy. The key is to create a good balance and self care regime so that you remember to give to yourselves as well as others!
Now that we are in another lockdown, I know some people are just really fed up! The stop and start energy can be so unsettling and destabilising without a doubt! I know many are also relieved to be in another lockdown and are accepting it as the new norm. Some are panicked and anxious. Many unfortunately do not have safe environments at home and therefore lockdown may bring further challenges and we will sadly see an increase in mental health.
No mud; no lotus!
I hope that the concept of the lotus gives you strength during this time! They say, ‘no mud; no lotus’. A beautiful lotus grows in muddy waters! 2020 may have felt quite muddy, sticky and like a dark place. However, how beautifully does a lotus flower grow after spending so much time sitting in gloomy and murky mud!?
The lotus flower symbolises transformation! Whatever you went through in 2020 and whatever you’re continuing to experience now in 2021, know that you are growing and transforming through it (even though you can’t see this right now!). We may feel a bit stuck in the mud, but this is temporary!
With love, hope & faith you can get through this.
If you want to know how to remain positive during this time please check out my colleague’s blog here where she talks about how to use the basic principles of The Secret to attract abundance into your life.
A couple of weeks ago, I was sat in the garden on my day off and I took this photo of the clouds.
What do you see in this photo? What stands out to you? Take a few moments to look at the photo. Is there something that you see instantly?
I know what I saw instantly, which I will go into later in the blog.
I sent this photo to friends, family and also posted it on social media. I was curious to see what people may see! We all see things differently don’t we? We perceive things from our own personal experience or view point.
Similarly how we view the pandemic will vary on our own perception and experiences.
I was sat in the garden being mindful, enjoying the present moment and taking a break from work and life. I was gazing at the beautiful sky. The sun was so bright and I was absolutely enjoying it’s warm embrace.
One of my favourite things is enjoying a hug from the sun. Have you ever tried that? When I notice the sun shining on me, even on the coldest of days, in the midst of the ‘usual’ busy life, even if I am sat in the car in traffic – I always say thank you to the sun, as a gratitude practice.
I know we are experiencing an unprecedented time at the moment and so many people are really struggling with their mental health (anxiety, fear, depression etc) whilst others are in their way flourishing and appreciating the break that this pandemic has given them in relation to their personal circumstances.
Our experience is unique and personal to us.
So, while I was enjoying the sun, all of a sudden I began to feel cold as the sky dimmed. A huge cloud covered the sun. I nearly went back into the house again as I felt so cold, but then decided to just sit through it as I reflected on the metaphor of clouds being passing thoughts.
At that point I took this photo. I could not clearly see what I was taking a photo of because I was still being blinded by a tiny bit of the sun still shinning through the cloud. A few moments later the cloud passed and I began to enjoy the warm embrace again!
Clouds are temporary. They come and go. They are the dark times, the negative thoughts, the difficult feelings, those challenging situations. They always pass. Some last longer than others. Some are combined with turbulence. Some create chaos. Some change our lives! However they always pass.
This is a reminder of how life is. The clear sky is permanent. It is infinite and always present. It is the peace, the calm and the stillness within me, within you and within everyone else.
The sun, the light, the warmth from mother nature is always there! So is your inner light and your inner spark. The sun exists outside of us just as the sun exists inside of us.
At times our light goes off (temporarily), but it always comes back.
Sometimes we need an upgrade! We need to reboot. We need to bring in a new light.
When the light goes off, we learn new things, we have realisations and those ‘aha’ moments come to us.
In this photo, even though I was really cold here on the ground and was tempted to avoid the temporary coldness by going in the house, I sat through it and it was in that moment I captured something magical in the sky.
When I looked at the photo, the image I saw instantly was of an angelic being, a cherub (the lit part) blowing kisses or playing with a butterfly. Did you see that that too or did you see something different?
I was amazed that others who replied also saw this same image at first glance. Many also didn’t. Some saw animals and other characters such as fish, a rabbit, a dragon and a rat. Some saw a baby. Some saw a woman.
It was so interesting to see how everyone perceived this image.
Similarly, how are you perceiving the pandemic? We have one more week left in May. Has your experience and perception changed these last 10 or so weeks?
Have there been changes in how you perceive your life, life in general, your relationships, your work, what you do and why you do it?
Our perceptions create our reality. Our perception can also be ever changing. The more self aware we become the more our perception can change, or even be reinforced.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and that you are keeping well and safe during this time.
I was talking to a friend who recently broke up with her partner about how now is a good time for her to ‘find herself’ (cliche!) and reconnect with who she is, what she likes doing in order to build that relationship up with herself, as we can lose this in a relationship. Although this can be a daunting process (as most of us are afraid to really meet ourselves) it is where healing takes place.
My friend has already signed up to dating websites. On one hand I think that’s great, she is ‘moving on’ and being proactive – and it is good to socialise with people to lift your spirits, however is she really moving on, or just trying to quickly fill the void her ex has left her with? A quick fix solution, will only fill the cracks, but the cracks will still be there. We discussed this void within her – she acknowledged she was trying to fill the gap as did not want to be left with her own thoughts. Starting a new relationship from this state of mind can be unhealthy.
The universe never ceases to amaze me when it throws in synchronicities (meaningful coincidences) as later that day we got talking to someone randomly about meditation who shared that he’d always kept himself busy and doing ‘nothing’ use to make him feel really uncomfortable so he’d do ‘stuff’ all the time to fill the void.
I feel my friend needed to hear this, as it normalised her feelings but it also gave her hope (a bit anyway…that is a start!). He said once he learnt to get past the initial ‘pain barrier’ of facing the void inside him, he started to feel much more comfortable being in his own company and things really shifted for him. Obviously this does not happen over night. Everyone at their own pace.
For us to be truly happy we need to address our voids; emptiness and loneliness. People tend to avoid such feelings as they can be painful and bring anxiety to the surface, they therefore keep the void ‘stuffed’ up by perhaps spending money; retail therapy, eating too much, smoking, drinking, working too much, keeping busy, jumping from one relationship to another etc.
Most of the time this is unconscious, we don’t even realise we are doing it. In my earlier twenties I still remember my counselling tutor saying, ‘I wonder if you’re keeping yourself busy to fill the emptiness inside you’. He was right, but I didn’t realise consciously at the time that I was feeling empty! I learnt that keeping busy had become a defence mechanism I developed from an early age which actually can be an unconscious form of ‘avoiding’.
Becoming more self aware is bringing the unknown into the known – brining what is unconscious to you into your conscious mind. It is only then you can enable change, because if you don’t know what is underlying, how will you know you need to work on it? Counselling courses take you on a journey of self discovery and exploring your inner world – but I will save that for another blog!
If you resonate with filling a potential void inside you, then I’d encourage you to reflect on some of the following.
What are you hiding from? What do you think you might realise if you allowed yourself space? What is the worst thing that might happen? How would you survive the worst case scenario? Because you WILL survive! A lot of people are afraid that if they allowed themselves to feel the pain, the sadness, the guilt, or whatever the feelings might be, that they won’t come through the other end. Not ‘giving in’ to these feelings suggests an internal battle, but YOU are the one fighting it! Perhaps you feel you need to ‘be strong’, but it takes more strength to face your feelings right? This can also be linked to ego, which again is another topic for another blog!
Try giving yourself time, to be with just ‘you’ for only 5 minutes a day to start of with, you can do longer if you’d like. No phone, no people… just you -simply notice how this makes you feel, both physically and emotionally. Do you have aches and pains in your body you did not notice before? What are you feeling? Strange, for doing this!?! Agitated, relaxed, sad? Do you feel like running away from yourself, or do you feel peace? Make a note of these each time. By doing so you are acknowledging the feelings that are trying to get your attention! Acknowledging is the first step, and sometimes that is all that is needed. Just acknowledging thougths, feelings and pain can actually help them to reduce. Remember your feelings are not bigger than you. They will pass and won’t last forever.No-one can fill your void – only you can!
‘What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be’ Quote by Ellen Burstyn
So, it’s almost been one year since I last wrote a blog! Makes me think about the concept of time. On one hand, it seems to pass quickly, but then on the other hand when reflecting back time can seem to have passed at a much slower pace. The way we remember some of our experiences can also vary; feeling so real in the moment and then so surreal when you reflect afterwards.
I met a 9 year old boy on the train this weekend, and got chatting to him about moving up a year at school in September – he said ‘time flies when you get older’, and he really meant it! I was like ‘but you’re only 9!’. I was surprised that at from such a young age the notion of time going quickly is being believed to be true by children…so young! Of course there will be many factors contributing to this such as societal and cultural pressures and expectations.
Living in the world we do, it can be extremely challenging to escape such expectations. We all get lost in this from time to time (no pun intended!), or for some of us most of our lives. Getting caught up in being ‘who’ and ‘what’ we think we are ‘suppose’ to be, or ‘should’ be we lose touch of who we actually ‘are’. All these layers get added from external places that sometimes we can become so far removed from our true selves…our authentic selves!
When this happens we may experience depression, anxiety, a sense of being ‘lost’, anger, frustration, generally feeling dissatisfied with life, our relationships, work, activities we undertake… it might feel like something is missing. A sense of there is more to life than this!?!
Imagine how it might feel to connect to your true self? Getting to know yourself again, or for the first time. The most important relationship that we need to experience in order to feel true inner peace and happiness is the relationship with ourselves. This then provides a foundation for meaningful and satisfying relationships with others. Relationships can then be based on ‘wanting’ to be with someone, not ‘needing’ to be with them – they can come from a place of unconditional love and detachment (meant in the terms of not ‘clinging’, or trying to find your happiness through the other person).
My own journey and those of others around me, both personal and professional relationships have inspired me to share more and write more! It might just be one sentence that speaks to you and that sentence might be just what you need in that moment, to help you along your journey. It might sew a seed, or it might help to confirm something for you. The kind of topics I Imagine I will be writing about are around, self love, connecting to your true selves, obstacles holding you back, mindfulness, removing fear of judgment, making decisions, reducing stress, coping with change…… and so much more, so keep an eye out for future blogs.
I also welcome your thoughts on this blog as well as ideas and recommendations for future topics, please leave a comment below or alternatively – email me.