What I wish I’d said to Anita Moorjani

26/08/2013 at 1:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 58 Comments
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There’s an autumnal edge to the air, and outside the leaves are speckled brown in places. The apples are reddening on the trees, and children’s school shoes are flying out of the shops. I’m about to plan the meditation themes for a new term in the Studio. So, all in all, I have that ‘going back to school’ feeling. The weather is cooling off and it’s time to learn again (as if we ever stop).

Instead of working, I keep thinking about a ‘nearly’ conversation I had with Anita Moorjani at the Hay House ‘I can do it!’ London conference last autumn. It keeps playing on my mind. I haven’t thought about it for months. So there must be a reason why it’s coming up now.

I heard Anita speak about her near death experience at the conference. I had previously read her book, Dying to be Me, and loved it. Last year, Anita was still fairly new to public speaking, and she was accompanied on stage by Dr Wayne Dyer. I liked her lack of ego. She wasn’t trying to prove anything. She simply had an amazing experience to share. Anita’s essential message seemed to be: Live your life fearlessly. You are always loved. You are magnificent. You are meant to be you, no one else. Live your life to the full. Enjoy being you.

At the end of the conference, I saw Anita again. I was standing in a long queue on the stairs, waiting for luggage from the cloakroom. Anita walked up the steps with her husband Danny. I said a quiet, heartfelt ‘Thank you’.

To my surprise, in all that noise Anita heard me and stopped. She looked at me, waiting for more. I didn’t know what to say. So I opted for: “Thank you for your talk. I really enjoyed it.”

“Why, thank you so much,” said Anita, and carried on her way.

Now the thing is, I wasn’t being honest. There was more I could have said. Much more.

What was I really thanking Anita for?

The clue is in this photo.

Timothy and Steven

It’s a picture of my teenaged son, Timothy, with his lovely, supportive dad – my partner Steven. You will notice that Timothy is disabled. He has an undiagnosed condition which means that he cannot walk, except for a few wobbly steps. He cannot talk, beyond a few basic words. “Ready, steady go!” is his favourite expression. He uses signs to communicate. He is holding his ‘taggy’, a favourite soft shape covered with labels that he likes to play with.

You may also notice that Timothy is smiling. Timothy smiles a lot. He loves people. When I’m with him I always have a sense that I am unconditionally loved and accepted. Other people experience the same thing. Timothy feels good to be around.

So what does this have to do with Anita Moorjani?

A vision of bliss

Unlike Anita, I have not had a near death experience. But the year before Timothy was born I had an experience which was very like one. I call it a vision, but it involved other senses too.

In my vision, I wasn’t in my body. It felt to me that I was pure energy. Somehow, I was occupying the space between matter, between the particles of matter. Matter itself, our physical world, appeared insubstantial, like a movie image that you could put your hands through.

The feeling I had was pure, absolute bliss. I was known, and witnessed and absolutely loved by the overriding intelligence that was everywhere in that space. For want of a better word, I called that intelligent being, ‘God’. But I knew it had nothing in common with external views of God.  I was unconditionally loved. I was incapable of sinning. I was this shining, wondrously loving consciousness in which I bathed, and it was me. There was no separation. And these same truths applied to every being on this earth.

Hard lessons

My vision of bliss has never completely left me. It sustained me when Timothy was born with complex and life-threatening issues, which became more apparent as he grew older.

As every parent of a disabled child knows, it is incredibly difficult dealing with the complex medical decisions for someone you adore, whose survival may at times seem fragile at best. It took me a while, and I stumbled many times, but gradually I learnt to trust my intuition – the inner voice of wisdom. And I believe this has helped Timothy immeasurably, many times over.

Not only that, after the vision it was as if a door remained open to the Other Realm. I have had, and continue to have, other visions that teach, sustain and delight me. Increasingly, I share these with others.

To me, it seems that Timothy himself occupies a space between this world and the Other Realm. He can appear immensely intuitive. He can sign an answer to me when I’ve only just framed the question in my mind – before I’ve spoken it aloud. And his unconditional love, his lack of judgement, is powerfully like the energy I experienced in my original vision of bliss.

 

So what exactly was I thanking Anita for? 

In a word, validation.

Anita appeared to be terminally ill with cancer, on the verge of complete organ failure, when she had her near-death experience. In her book, Dying to be Me, she describes how she experienced a state of extreme bliss while also being aware of what was going on in the hospital, and also where her brother was, many hundreds of miles away. She describes how she understood that she was completely loved, and magnificent. And when she returned, her body healed within days.

What Anita describes corresponds to my own vision, although our circumstances were very different. I am grateful that Anita worked hard to share her experiences in a thoughtful and balanced way. Eighteen years ago, when I experienced my vision, these things were less talked about. I have always felt that I live two lives: the physical one here, and the blissful one, in the space between the particles.  The first I talked about; the second, I did not.

Well, that is changing. Now I am talking about my experience of bliss – why ever wouldn’t I? Seeing Anita stand up and speak her truth, with dignity, on a stage before  hundreds of people has got a lot to do with that.

The autumn term begins here in one week’s time. There’s one thing I’m sure about, whether I’m learning, or sharing what I’ve learnt: I will speak my truth.

Quick psychic sweep

26/04/2013 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Healing, Intuition, Meditation, Wellbeing | 4 Comments
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Dear Intuitive

You asked me for a quick protective exercise that I often use and recommend. I have pleasure in enclosing it here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Imagine yourself standing inside a big golden egg of light – this is your own energy field, or aura. The golden egg is the border of your energy field. At the top of the egg is an opening. You can open and close this at your will, and it connects you to the All That Is.

Imagine that the surface of the golden egg is strong and protective. If any parts of it seems a bit thin or frayed or tattered, let more golden white light from the All That Is  heal those places and firm them up.

Now imagine again that you are standing in the centre of your energy egg. You are holding a big, effective broom. The brush is so wide is comfortably reaches into every part of your energy field in one big sweeping motion. Start at the top, and sweep down one side. The brush sweeps a good half of the egg as it does so. Continue the sweeping movement below your feet and up the other side of the egg. The brush sweeps over that entire half of the egg as it does so.

Finish with the brush at the top. With a quick, firm, flicking movement, send any debris – anything that doesn’t belong in your energy field – out into the All That Is, which is fully capable of handling it. Repeat the entire sweeping movement once or twice if you choose, just to make sure that your energy field is totally clean and clear.

Then, imagine beautiful pure white light coming in from the All That Is. See or sense it filling your energy field completely. Enjoy the sensation.

Finally, close the opening at the top of the egg just slightly, knowing that you can open and close it at will.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The whole exercise can be done in under a minute. It’s particularly helpful for those times when you feel that someone has hitched a ride, psychically speaking, in your energy field. It happens. Remember this: your space is your space. Boundaries matter. You get to choose who enters your space, and if they do so, it’s on your terms.

With love and happiness

Suzanne x

Thankful, optimism, support

01/02/2013 at 5:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments
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purseThis is a special bag: a beaded evening purse; handed down through the generations of my family. My mother gave it to me one day last December.

I typed out a list of positive, uplifting words, and printed several copies on card, then cut them up and popped them in the bag. During the Solstice, I invited many people, upwards of 80, to take a word out of the bag and keep it with them as guidance for the year ahead.

During the Solstice get-togethers I drew a total of  three words for myself: ‘Thankful’, ‘Optimism’ and ‘Support’. I looked at them, felt their specialness, then put them down and forgot about them.

January came, with snows, then wind and rain. There were winter bugs in my household, which meant I didn’t get to the gym, or go walking, or swimming. I reduced my daily yoga… gradually, imperceptibly, I was putting my wellbeing on hold. This is never a good idea, I know. But still, it happened.

And then, just yesterday, I found my three words once more: ‘Thankful’, ‘Support’ and ‘Optimism’. I hugged them like old friends. How could I have forgotten them?  The truth is, I need those words every day. Each word is a tiny, effective dose of wellbeing.

If you would like me to draw a word for you out of the bag, just ask, and I’ll be happy to send you your own little dose of wellbeing.

5 reasons to love December 2012

30/11/2012 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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Solstice 2012“What is all this about December 2012?” asked a meditation student. “I’ve been hearing some scary stories about the 21st, the Solstice. Should we be worried? Should I be preparing in any way?”

“What kind of scary stories?” I asked, though I had a pretty good idea.

“Oh, that there’s going to be some kind of natural disaster. You know, the world coming to an end; the Apocalypse…I’ve been reading about it.”

“Okay,” I said. “I’m going to give you some good reasons why we should love December  2012.” And here they are…

1) December 21st 2012 is the shortest day of the year, and also the date when a long cycle in an ancient South American calendar system, known as the Mayan Calendar, comes to an end. It has been suggested that this date will bring calamity. But calendars don’t create or predict events. They simply mark the days. And in any case, a new Mayan cycle starts on December 22nd.

Borders are always significant, and this border between two vast periods of time creates a pause. Within that pause there is an opportunity for old, outmoded ways of thinking to vanish, and a new, more humane outlook to flourish. This can be good for all of us.

2) Alarmist predictions about this month can actually teach us how to tell the difference between our ungrounded fears – in this case, a fear of the unknown – and our intuition. Intuition literally means ‘in-tuition’ and it is a form of teaching. We all know that good teachers care for their students and help them to achieve their best. So true guidance, whether it’s within you, or from someone in the wider world, is reassuring and uplifting – always. Trust your guidance.

3) A date can have powerful symbolic meaning, and this can be used in good and helpful ways. So, for example, December 21st 2012 is acting as a powerful focus for the ever-growing holistic movement. This movement can be summed up as this: the realization that we are all one. Humanity is one, magnificent, glorious being who is just beginning to learn that the only person we’ve been fighting all this time is ourselves – and that when we are kind to others, we are kind to ourselves.

4) This month may truly turn out to be an Apocalypse, in a positive way.  The word ‘apocalypse’ comes from ancient Greek, and originally meant ‘uncover, reveal’. It developed an additional meaning of ‘insight’ or ‘vision’. So perhaps we are living through an apocalypse; perhaps it has already started. But this is a good thing. Over the past 12 months we’ve had covert wrong-doings exposed in people who run countries, businesses, banks and charities.  We are living in a more transparent time, and that is to be welcomed. We are also, finally, accepting our intuitive and visionary abilities, having learnt in the last century that science and logic can lead to inhumane actions on a planetary scale.  We need our insight. We need our vision.

5) Each of us can use the potential energy of this time in excellent ways. You can focus during the whole of December, and especially around the time of the Winter Solstice on the 21st, on love and peace, feeling it in your own heart, towards yourself, your family, your community, your country, and this whole beautiful planet. While you do this, you will know that countless other people are doing the same, all over the world. What we think and feel does manifest in the outer world – and the positive energy we can generate together is beautiful. Be loving to yourself, and loving to the world.

That is the real meaning of this amazing time that we are living in.

PS For your free copy of my Happiness Meditation mp3, just click here. 

The real meaning of home

28/09/2012 at 3:02 pm | Posted in Happiness, Meditation, Nature, Wellbeing | 12 Comments
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In our distant nomadic past, home was where we settled for the night: it was shelter, a place we lay down – a place of rest. Recently, on the West Coast of Scotland, I came across a perfect example of home at its simplest. This stone outcrop at Sand provided shelter for our ancestors nearly 10,000 years ago. It was their bedroom, and also their kitchen: there is evidence that they collected limpets from the sea shore and boiled them up in water before eating them.

My daughter led me up and onto the roof of the shelter. “There’s a place I’ve got to show you,” she said. “You’re going to love it; it’s really special.” And she was right. On the heather-clad roof there were several broad stones: slabs of natural paving. One, in particular, was a perfect meditation seat. It was easy to sit there, gaze out to sea and  simply let your thoughts drift into that in-between place – the other realm.

When I did so, I found myself talking to the inhabitants of that time. We weren’t using words, exactly, but we were communicating. To my surprise, I found they were admiring my build: the fact that compared with them I looked immensely well fed. I was aware of their lightness and slimness and superb fitness, and found myself wishing that I exercised more.

Self-acceptance

They were surprised at my lack of self-acceptance on this matter. They reminded me of the goodness of Mother Earth, or the Mother as they called her. She provided what we needed, and it made no sense to disparage her gifts. Abundance was a blessing. Each of us was a creation of the Mother. Each of us was divine. How could we criticise ourselves in that context? Criticism was utterly meaningless.

I actually had the sense they were laughing at me, as if I were a child who didn’t quite understand. And yet there was also respect. It was as if they saw wisdom in me, as I saw wisdom in them. And the wisdom wasn’t individual wisdom; it was collective. We all shared knowledge… and this knowledge was infinite awareness.

And then I understood the true meaning of home. It is unconditional love, and it is acceptance. When you are at home – truly at home –  you are loved, you are accepted. During the many times we find ourselves on our own, we can still feel unconditional love and acceptance towards ourselves. And when we are with others – however distant in terms of culture, or the passage of time – we can feel that exact same connection. As I did on that rock.

Down below, a car horn was sounding. I was being summoned back to the 21st Century. I clambered down the heather slopes, sea breeze in my hair, aware that the bliss I was feeling is our natural birthright.

It’s your birthright; it truly is.

Happiness is being open

27/07/2012 at 6:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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This week has been all about happiness: pure happiness. My meditation groups have been focusing on the word – they have breathed in “I am”, and breathed out “happiness”. Then, just this morning, I recorded a ‘Happiness’ guided meditation, which I will send out to people when they book a place on my September Intuitive Development course.

One of my favourite intuitive insights from a week of happiness is this: the opposite of happiness is control. 

“Surely the opposite of happiness is unhappiness?” pointed out one guy in a group session.

That’s true, of course. However, consider the happiness levels of a young child. They are not especially in control of their lives. But in any given moment, a child can find happiness in playing with absolutely anything that comes his or her way, whether it be a twig, some earth, or a bowl of water (or even better, all three together).

Consider, in contrast, the last time you organised a fun event, like a party. Did you freely enjoy it, or did you spend a portion of your time worrying about everything that might go wrong?

When we try to control how things will turn out, that’s where unhappiness lies. In contrast, when we open up to life and accept surprises along the way, that’s when we experience happiness.

So after a week of focusing on happiness, have my happiness levels risen? Definitely, by around 100%. There’s been less rushing, and more enjoying the moment. If you haven’t done this already, I warmly recommend it: sit somewhere quietly for 20 minutes or half an hour. Breathe in “I am”, and breathe out “happiness”. And just see where the word takes you.

Meditation bluebell

20/04/2012 at 10:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Bluebells in woodlandThis is English bluebell time. The woods around here are thick with lush green leaves topped with with ethereal indigo bells.

This flower thrives in the British Isles. So what does the bluebell say about the English psyche? And, if you are drawn to this beautiful flower, what does it say about you?

The bluebell hangs down almost shyly. There is a quiet, reflective element to it, and yet it’s sociable too – it’s generally found in crowds. Its deep, purple-blue colour is associated with the brow chakra. This, in turn, is linked with intelligence. When the brow chakra is functioning well, the two hemispheres of the brain are in balance, so we can operate both intuitively and analytically.

Signs of the future

Bluebells, or wood hyacinths, are fragrant, beautiful, modest and reflective. Although being modest and reflective are not generally valued in our busy human world, there is the distinct possibility that they will be in the future, as witnessed by the growing interest in mindful meditation in schools and workplaces.

On a practical level, there are signs that the natural wooded world of the bluebells will also increase in England. Oxygen, the main product of woodland, will become truly valued within our lifetimes, along with the food and fuel that woodland can offer. The value of a 3-dimensional landscape will be recognised, and our flat billiard table fields will gradually give way to hanging arboreal farms and gardens.

You can already see this awareness emerging in our collective psyche when you visit a city like London, where hanging gardens increasingly adorn the outsides of buildings and the insides of shops and atria. Instinctively, we are drawn to this aesthetic, because in our not-so-distant past we were truly arboreal. Deep down, we are still woodland people.

Bluebell in woodlandThe best way to understand the bluebell’s message is simply to spend time in bluebell woods. If that is not possible, hold a picture in your mind and meditate upon that. Dwell on the essential aspects of the bluebell – the womb-like hanging bell, and the sublime indigo of the flowers perfectly counterbalanced by the rich green of the leaves. Indigo and green – the colours of the head and heart chakras respectively – meet in this most beautiful of plants, bringing us an awareness of our own creativity, balanced by reason and love.

How intuitive are other people, anyway?

20/02/2012 at 12:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Intuition

Imagine, for a moment, that  you are facing brain surgery. You’re nervous, but try not to show it. You might expect the nurses to be able to sense your hidden worries. But would you expect the surgeon to be able to intuit exactly what you feel – even, perhaps, have a sixth sense about you?

In many schools, colleges and universities, did you know that many students and teachers believe they can actually read you like a book?

How do I know this? Because they told me. According to a questionnaire I set, there are plenty of intuitive souls out there. And you can find them in every walk of life.

On a quiet day recently, I posted a question on Facebook: ‘How intuitive are you?’ I offered three options, which could be broadly defined as ‘mildly’, ‘reasonably’ and ‘highly’. I didn’t offer the option of ‘not at all’. At that point I had never met anyone who claimed to be completely unintuitive. (I have now: just the one).

This wasn’t a scientific survey. It was simply an invitation for those who felt they were intuitive to stand up and be counted.

Over 500 people answered –  548, to be precise.  Fewer than half of the respondents happened to give an indication of where they lived or worked. The majority were from Britain, though a number of other countries were also represented. There were good numbers of both men and women.

People who have hunches

A small 13.5 % clicked on the mildly intuitive option: “I do get hunches, but don’t always know what to do with them.”

A fire safety officer, a slimming consultant and a radio presenter, plus a few university members were among those who considered themselves to be mildly intuitive.

Looking beneath the surface

The biggest group – a whopping 61.5% – considered themselves reasonably intuitive: “I often sense what someone is feeling beneath the smiles and chat”.

This included a post office worker, a pre-school teacher, a fork lift driver, a minibus driver, a restauranteur, a special effects makeup artist, a caberet artist, a supermarket assistant, someone who works for a heritage charity… Plus a  sprinkling of people linked with various universities, from MATC Milwaukee to the University of Oradea in Romania, and plenty of British universities.

Quite a few respondents worked in various health care settings, and for local government. A few ran their own holistic businesses.

Seeing the big picture

And, finally, the most intuitive group? Exactly one quarter, 25%, of the respondents, opted for “I can intuit what someone feels, and their best, next steps.”

A lot of holistic souls featured here, many running their own businesses. There were nurses and public sector workers and university graduates a plenty. Curiously, few religious organisations featured in any of the categories, but a Sufi, representing the more mystical end of Islam, did pop up this section. A watercolour artist, some psychic readers, a homeopath, a life coach, a crystal therapist…  There was also an immigration adviser… and one neurosurgeon.

Conclusion

Although this was not a scientific survey, it did prove one thing: men and women from all walks of life consider themselves to be intuitive. Interesting, when you consider that a century after that pre-eminent pioneer of analytical psychology, CG Jung, coined the phrase “collective unconscious”,  intuition is not widely accepted as a serious element in the human psyche. And yet, judging by my respondents, intuition clearly has a role to play – a real influence on daily life. Perhaps, then, it is time that intuition was taken more seriously – even treated with more respect.

So, what about you? How intuitive are you?

Intuition: a definition

Intuition can be defined as an inner knowing, without necessarily knowing how you know. The information is just there; it’s not something you can chase after. Jung defined it as “perception via the unconscious.” He also said, “If insight does not come by itself, speculation is pointless.”

Intuitive people may physically feel the emotional or physical pain of others; they may see images in their mind’s eye that give insights into a person or situation; they may even hear or have a sense of words spoken… there are a number of routes. Experiencing such insights is typically an uplifting feeling.

Animal ‘knowing’: we have this too

05/10/2011 at 12:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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By valuing animal wisdom, we learn to value ours.

We’ve all heard stories about animals running away to a place of safety before the tsunami hits. Cambridge scientist Rupert Sheldrake has written about animal telepathy in ‘Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home’.  I have often noticed that my own wise cat has already arrived at a place in or around the garden before I get there.

Examples of this mysterious animal ‘knowing’ are widely recorded. It’s somewhere between instinct and intuition, perhaps belonging to an older part of our brain that we have largely lost touch with.

Here is a meditation that can help us to access that forgotten part of ourselves.

Animal ‘knowing’ meditation

Choose an animal. You could pick the orang-utan pictured here, or perhaps a pet you know and love. Take a few deep breaths, and then simply focus on the animal in your mind.

First, really study the animal from the outside. How big or small is the animal’s presence; how quick or calm? What texture the fur; what colours do you notice?

Now consider the animal’s mind, its way of being. Imagine what it must be like to be that animal. You will probably pick up a sense that it exists fully in the present: not rushing, not striving, just being.

Whatever qualities you have noticed in the animal, be aware that you possess these very same qualities. All of them. Try them on for size. Sit still with these innate qualities: breathe them in, breathe them out.

How do these qualities serve you in your own life?

Send the animal your love and blessing, then reconnect again with who you are. Feel your consciousness expand to fill your body. Then, when you are ready, wriggle your fingers and toes, and stretch.

Postscript

I met the orang-utan pictured here a few days ago, at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust on Jersey, the Channel Islands. Exactly 25 years earlier as a young and inexperienced journalist I had interviewed the founder, author Gerald Durrell in this same place. He was full of jokes and laughter – and passionate about his role as a pioneering conservationist: “I can say in all immodesty that what we have done here has altered zoo attitudes around the world.”

Gerald Durrell had a great intuitive ability to connect with animals. I’m sure he understood their wisdom, and he inspired countless people to do the same.

The primates I saw last weekend seemed to blend so well with their surroundings. They were somewhat like unstressed humans, – no deadlines, no pressures.  And when they made eye contact, as I hope you can see from my photo, there was a real intelligence there – the wisdom of animal ‘knowing’.

Dream school: learn while you sleep

29/09/2011 at 12:10 pm | Posted in Intuition, Uncategorized, Wellbeing | 2 Comments
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Ask for solutions to come to you in the night, while you sleep.

Mary was a new client who was struggling with a new course that she’d started. “The problem is my memory,” she told me. “I just don’t remember things as well as I used to.”

I told her to stop trying and start relaxing. “That’s all very well for you to say,” she retorted. “But this situation is making me feel stressed. How can I possibly relax?”

So this is what I told her. Maybe it will be useful for you too…

Before you go to sleep at night, while you are lying in bed, ask for the most suitable expert that could possibly exist to help you with your memory, or the subject which you are learning. Ask for expert tuition in this subject while you sleep. Thank the expert, feeling happy in the knowledge that you will get the help you need.

Then… go to sleep.

In the morning when you wake up you may or may not remember any dreams. That doesn’t matter. You will, however, find your learning goes more smoothly. Repeat, at night, for any specific help that you require.

Mary reported back a few days later. “I don’t know how it works, but it does,” she said. “It’s as if I’m using another part of my brain to help me. I almost feel as though I already know what I’m learning.”

Mary now frequently attends dream school while she sleeps. And so can you.

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