Mindfulness and cupcakes at the Women’s Refuge

08/03/2016 at 6:33 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Ghossiya brought the cupcakes, and she came up with the idea too.  How can mindfulness help mothers? How can it help young children? She was planning to put her findings into a  dissertation for a degree course in early childhood studies which she is soon to complete at Oxford Brooks University.

A group of us – mothers, children, refuge key workers, Ghossiya and I –  looked at three principles:

Be here now

Notice what you notice

Be kind to yourself.

We ate cupcakes mindfully, using our senses, and discovered that the experts at this were the young children present. They explored with fingers in icing, and fingers in mouths. What happens, thought one, when you drop an icing flower into a glass of water? (Answer: it sinks to the bottom of the glass, where it stains the water a delicate pink.)

Afterwards, we did a body scan relaxation exercise, focusing on our breath, then toes and feet and legs, and so on, upwards through our bodies. We visualised a golden white light, spreading outwards from our heart, filling our whole body with light, giving every cell the chance to pause, and rest, and renew.

When we opened our eyes again, after the exercise, everyone in the room seemed visibly more relaxed. Even the very young children had noticed the change in atmosphere, and were contented. One was stroking the soft shiny hair of a toddler friend sitting nearby:  mindfulness in action.

During our session, we also talked about the fact that mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve health and slow down ageing. And we discussed how a body scan visualisation is ideal for young children, especially at bedtime, to help them to calm and slow down.

Free body scan audio

We discussed how the mums could talk their children through this. Or, if they preferred, they could play the audio that’s available to all who’d like it, through this blog (please just contact me, putting BODY SCAN in the comment box).

Ghossiya shared a cupcake recipe (see below). Cooking, it was agreed, it a great way of being in the zone, along with walking in the countryside, relaxing in a candle-lit bath, doing yoga … and any other enjoyable activity in which we are fully present, using our senses. And if we are ever in any doubt, all we ever have to do is enter the world of a young child. They know how to explore this moment now better than anyone else on the planet. They are not rushing on to the next activity. They are masters of the present moment. We can learn so much from them.

Mindful cupcake recipe

115 g caster sugar

115 g self-raising flour

115 g margarine (at room temperature)

2 eggs (at room temperature)

Any one of the following optional flavourings: 100 g sultanas or raisins; 100-150 g chocolate chips; 1 tsp vanilla extract; 1 tsp cinnamon.

  1. Set the oven to 150º C/Gas 2.
  2. Put caster sugar, flour, margarine and eggs in a bowl and mix thoroughly until smooth.
  3. If using optional flavouring, add to the bowl and mix in gently yet thoroughly.
  4. Place cupcake cases in a muffin tin and spoon in the cake mixture.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until risen and golden brown.

Decorate as liked with icing or simply lightly sprinkle with icing sugar though a sieve.

 

 

 

A rose for hard times

31/03/2015 at 7:52 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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There’s a simple meditative technique we can use in hard times. I call it the Rose Meditation. You can do this anywhere: cleaning the house, ploughing through work, undergoing medical treatment, in a high-voltage meeting….

All you do is this: focus, in your mind’s eye, on a rose. The example shown here was photographed after rain, in the sunshine of the Dordogne.

Picture the feather-light, velvety smoothness of the petals. Imagine yourself miniaturised, resting between the scented petals as though they are the softest bed in the world. Breathe in their heavenly fragrance.

Notice the variations in colour between the inner and outer petals. Absorb the beautiful colours with every cell of your body.

Touch the raindrops; taste their sweetness.

Explore the petals, going inward towards the nectar, and outwards again towards the sun and fresh air.

Do this visualisation any time you feel the need. The rose contains powerful therapy, and simply thinking about it in this way can be soothing, and healing.

Goodbye, Dr Nocebo

02/04/2014 at 7:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments
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Blossom believed blog

Easter, three years ago. My teenaged son, Tim, is still convalescing after a critical illness in Florida. We are now back in England, and he has caught a new chest infection. He goes to hospital where he is put on intravenous antibiotics. I stay with him. It’s not really possible to leave Tim on his own, because he has complex learning difficulties and other people don’t understand him.

So we are sitting in the hospital, day after day, and nothing much seems to be happening. Tim’s not getting worse, but he’s not getting better either. Some days I don’t even spot a doctor. Tim is scarcely eating, so I ask to see a nutritionist, but am told that all the paediatric ones are away. After a couple of days, an adult one materializes and gives me some food supplements. I am grateful for those, but surprised that I had to work so hard to get them. Surely this is the sort of thing that Tim’s doctor should pick up on?

To be fair, there are some very good nurses around, and a lovely school teacher. But apart from them, the atmosphere seems lacklustre. I can’t help comparing it with the medical team that saved Tim’s life in Florida. They seemed full of energy and a belief in their skills and medicine. They didn’t think Tim would pull through, but they did everything in their power to help him, and were thrilled when he made it.

Here, in contrast, it feels as though Tim has been somehow written off.

One morning a doctor comes into Tim’s ward. It wouldn’t be fair to give his real name, so I shall call him Doctor Nocebo.

Absolutely, the name is symbolic.

Nocebo effect: when a person in a position of authority, such as a doctor, leads a patient to believe that they are going to get worse. This negatively harnesses the patient’s own unconscious power to alter health outcomes. If the patient believes the doctor, the nocebo prediction can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The opposite of the nocebo effect is the better-known placebo effect: the body’s innate ability to heal itself when it believes it can. Drug trials have to take the placebo effect into account because a high percentage of people get better when they believe in an imaginary medicine.

Dr Nocebo is accompanied by a handful of medical students.

While they look on, he gives Tim a cursory examination. He notices Tim’s physical disabilities: his very pronounced spinal curvature, his tendency to lie still while he’s ill.

Then he turns to me and tells me, in graphic detail, how Tim will get more and more chest infections and they will become more and more frequent. And he will die – the implication is sooner rather than later.

As he talks, I feel faint. There is something inhuman about the way Dr Nocebo is delivering this news. It almost feels as though he is showing off his power in front of his students.

That evening, I go to a small parents’ bedroom near the ward. I get into bed. I lie there, in the dark, and worry about Tim’s slow rate of recovery.

And then it happens. I hear a voice: loudly, insistently, inside my mind.

“Suzanne,” it says. That’s all. But accompanying my name comes all sorts of information. It’s a full conversation, delivered in one word.

I realize straight away that I have fallen prey to the nocebo effect on my son’s behalf. I have been picturing Tim getting more and more poorly. I have believed Doctor Nocebo’s words.

I now have an urgent job to do. I must visualize my son well. And I must keep doing it.

The actual visualization comes with great ease. It is as if someone is leading me through it.

First I picture, in great detail, that I am standing in beautiful countryside. There are fruit trees in blossom all around. In front of me is a healing temple. I walk up 10 steps, and enter the temple. I go to the reception desk, and sign in. I am given a special healing disc to wear around my neck, over my heart.

I walk across the light and airy atrium, to the healing centre of the temple. There, I take a seat. In front of me is a shimmering space. I picture Tim in the space, receiving all the healing he requires. Before my eyes, he becomes well and strong.

I leave the temple, still wearing the disc.

Blossom believed blog 3

The next day, Tim’s dad Steven is the lucky one who gets to see Dr Nocebo. The doctor of doom duly gives Steven the same talk he gave me: your son will soon die, etc.

Steven, being the practical one, asks: “Yes, but what about exercise? Won’t that help?”

Steven is fully aware that Tim normally does lots of physiotherapy and yoga. Dr Nocebo just sees a pale and poorly disabled child. He has no idea that when Tim is well he can be pretty active. He can, for example, stand up on one leg, with support, and do the Tree position in yoga.

Take that, Dr Nocebo!

“Oh yes,” said Dr Nocebo, surprised. “Yes, that could help.”

Blossom believed blog 4

 

In my imagination, I return to the temple once a day. Each time, I first go to the reception desk. The healing disc I wear over my heart is checked. Each time it is black and smoky with negative energy. It feels polluted. So I hand it in and receive a new one. And then I go to the healing area in the centre of the temple, and picture Tim strong and well.

In real life, Tim does get better, and we leave hospital. But even at home, whenever I feel the need, I continue to visit the healing temple, in my imagination, on his behalf.

I notice, on my visits, that the healing discs aren’t getting so polluted. Then, on one visit, I am given a special, permanent healing disc to wear. People gather round to congratulate me. I realize that I have graduated to a new level. This new disc is gold and iridescent. It will stay naturally clean of negative pollution. However, I will still get it checked at the reception desk from time to time.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Soon after Tim’s encounter with Dr Nocebo, I realize that there is just one more thing to do: we need to change hospitals. So I arrange for Tim’s care to be transferred to a newer and better hospital. We don’t get to see the new consultant for 18 months though. There is no need. Despite his disabilities, Tim enjoys a period of excellent health.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Unfortunately, Dr Nocebo has many cousins, all equally negative and miserable. So if you happen to encounter one of them, remember this: when Dr (or Mr or Ms) Nocebo talks negative, it’s up to you to visualize positive.

Blossom believed blog 2

 

 

 

How to meditate the amazingly easy way

21/08/2013 at 11:31 am | Posted in Meditation | 3 Comments
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Meditation is the easiest way I know to feel better fast. During challenging times, meditation can be really helpful. During good times, meditation can create a sense of bliss. It calms the mind. It stops the cycle of negative thinking. And it creates a space for hope and happiness to enter.

I aim to meditate for 20  minutes a day, early in the morning. I don’t always succeed. Sometimes I miss a few days, or even weeks. But when I catch myself feeling low, I’m quick to start meditating again – because, quite simply, it works.

Here is the EASY method that works for me and many of the people who attend my meditation studio.

Establish a routine.
Accept that it won’t go perfectly.
Sit still in silence.
Yield to the process.

Let’s take each of those steps in more detail…

Establish a routine

You’re more likely to meditate if it’s booked into your diary. Find an ideal time of day for you. You might try 20 minutes at the start of every day, or in the evening; or both those times.

Aim to meditate at the same time every day. Choose a length of time that will work for you. Anything from 15 minutes to half an hour is good.  However, it’s better to do ten minutes, or even five, rather than none. Aim to meditate in the same place, and make it pleasant and uncluttered, the way you’d like your mind to be.  You might like a  shawl or blanket over you, so you feel warm and comfortable. It’s helpful to set a timer to let you know, gently, when the meditation has finished. You can use your phone, as long as you’ve switched off incoming calls. There are also some lovely meditation timers around, but keep it simple.

Accept that it won’t go perfectly

Sometimes we try to create the perfect, calm environment, and then feel fazed if a fly enters the room and buzzes around, or building work starts up outside. Accept that life isn’t perfect. If anything disturbs your concentration during your meditation, simply witness it. It may well be a reflection of your own mind, which may be buzzing like a fly, or in a state of change and renewal, like a building that is being restored.

Sit still in silence

It’s helpful to focus on a single thing in your imagination, and to keep focusing on that during your meditation. An object from nature, such as the flower pictured above, makes a fantastic subject for meditation, because it has shape, pattern, texture, colour, scent and depth that you can dwell on in your imagination.

Or you might simply witness your breath, noticing every detail of it.

Or you might count up to four, one number per breath, and start again, counting up to four each time.

Or you might repeat certain words, silently to yourself. Breathe in “I am”, and breathe out an uplifting word that you have chosen. It might be “peace” or “love” or “leaf” or “flow”. This is the method we use during twice-weekly meditation sessions that I run in my Wiltshire studio.

In the studio, we typically combine more than one of the above. For example, breathe in “I am”, breathe out “tree” and visualise that you are a flexible willow tree, bending gracefully in the breeze. Or a tall, strong oak tree with rough bark and spreading branches.

Whenever you notice that your mind has wandered, simply remind yourself that you are here to meditate, and go back to the object that you are focusing on, or your breath, or counting.

Yield to the process

There’s a sort of ‘giving up’ that goes on when we meditate. We’re letting go of that list of things to do that seems to have permanent residence in our head. We’re giving up trying to control anything. We’re giving up, sitting down and being still. That is when the magic happens. You may experience colours that aren’t there, voices of people you can’t see, shafts of sunlight, and sudden insights. Simply witness these. Keep witnessing. Keep returning to counting breaths, or noticing your breath, or whatever you have decided to do to still your mind. And at some point, you may well experience bliss. Let yourself bathe in that bliss.

Afterwards, don’t try to recreate what happened. Don’t worry that you’ll never manage to achieve it again. Remind yourself that you meditate in order to meditate, that’s all. There is no goal. Bliss is… well, blissful, but it is not a goal. Follow the EASY steps, and simply witness all that happens.

I wish you a calm mind, peace and happiness.

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

The healing power of swimming

16/03/2013 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Exercise, Happiness, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Wellbeing | 5 Comments
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WaterA few days ago I went back to my local pool after a long absence. As I glided through the water, reflections of blue sky danced over the surface. I could feel myself relaxing, letting the water support me. And I remembered the joy of swimming.

We know that water can be kind to the human body: whatever the level of fitness, water provides a small but significant resistance that increases the overall benefit.

Less talked about, it does something equally interesting to the psyche: it connects us an earlier, more aquatic stage of life: the womb… and even, more distantly, our evolutionary past.

When I am in water, I feel different. The hard angular surfaces of modern life give way to a fluid world in which I feel safe, held, and simply more inclined to go with the flow. There is something inherently fun about the experience, and I feel zingy and cleansed.

As I swam, I started an internal chant, and this is how it went:

“I am beautiful… I am one… I am beautiful”… I am one…”

Each phrase corresponded to a swimming stroke. When I reached the end of the pool and turned around, the chant had become: “I am beautiful… I am two… I am beautiful… I am two…”

With each new length, the number went up. I was counting lengths, and throwing in an affirmation too.

And then I realized I was actually imagining myself at the age of one, two, and so on. Not only that, I was feeling the dominant emotions of that age, in connection with beauty and self-worth. As I continued to swim up and down the pool, the happy self-belief of young childhood gave way to the huge, wobbly uncertainty of my teens, and a growing feeling of confidence in adulthood. As I remembered sad times, it felt as though the water was washing the pain away.

Effectively, I was healing each stage of my life’s journey with the help of water, and affirmations. My adult self was sending love and support back through the years to all my younger selves who were still there, it seemed to me, in the memories held within my body. The process felt deeply restorative and I recommend it to you.

Next time you’re in the pool, you might like to affirm “I am beautiful… I am one” and so on, all the way through your teens, twenties – all the way up to your present age. You can spread the exercise over more than one swim session, if you choose. But when you have swum a length for every year you’ve lived, you can start all over again with a new word. “I am strong”, and “I am well” both have great healing potential. What affirmation would you choose?

Seven ways to strengthen your base chakra

13/06/2012 at 11:05 am | Posted in Happiness, Healing, Meditation, Nature, Uncategorized, Wellbeing | 10 Comments
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A healthy base chakra connects us with nature.

“An excellent course. Just what I was hoping for. A real gift. Many thanks,” emailed a student. “You said that you would think of a solution to getting my base chakra more engaged. Any luck please?”

Defining the base

The base chakra means different things to different people, so I’ll put forward a quick definition here. The chakra system is a useful way of explaining how we interact energetically with ourselves and the world. The idea is that there are energy concentrations – vortexes of spinning energy – at key points in the etheric energy field in which our bodies move and rest.

The base chakra is situated at the base of the spine, and it’s all about how connected we are to the physical world. The base chakra is about our physical survival. It’s about feeling safe, and solid, and definitely here, on this planet.

To achieve a healthy base chakra, it’s good to know how it feels to have a healthy base chakra. To do that, I like to consider Stone Age people. We – our ancestors – lived for tens of thousands of years – far, far longer than modern civilisation has lasted to date – in a sometimes fluctuating, but always very natural environment. There was hardly any sense in those days that we controlled the world. Instead, we saw ourselves very much as part of a huge, intelligent and creative system. We were physically healthy to a degree we can scarcely imagine today.

Here are seven ways to safely balance and engage the base chakra, so that you feel grounded and stronger.

1) Imagine.

To help you imagine the ideal state of primal health, and a superb connection to the physical world, I have put together a simple, free, guided meditation for you to listen to: the Stone Age Meditation. For your audio copy, just fill out the form below, and I will send it to you (I’ll also pop you on my emailing list for future updates).  

Listen to the the Stone Age Meditation several times over a few weeks, and note the difference to your own state of wellbeing.

2) Take pleasure in simple tasks. Make a point every day of spending time mindfully on a simple activity related to your survival. For example, preparing a meal, or maintaining your home.

3) Find a nature totem. Go somewhere natural, and find a stone or a small piece of wood that pleases you. Keep it with you. Whenever you touch it, be aware that you, like the small object you hold, are always connected with the wider natural world.

4) Grow food to eat. Bean sprouts or salad on a window sill are an easy start, and all you need is a few seeds, and some earth. Don’t spend a fortune on a gardening kit – think Stone Age, and use basic stuff that you can find in your locality.

5) Buy whole foods. Consciously seek out groceries that have not been overly processed. Befriend your local farm shop.

6) Walk. Make walking a part of your daily life. Where possible, step outside at the start of the day and walk barefoot over dewy grass. When driving, park half a mile short of your destination, and enjoy the journey on foot.

7) Spend time in nature. Being in green spaces is calming and grounding because it’s our home environment – it’s just that we forget it sometimes. Seek out fresh air. Remember this: you are part of nature, and nature is part of you. You are unique, and special. There has never been anyone quite like you on this planet, and there never will be again. You are part of a whole, interconnecting stream of planetary life – and you have your role to play. Be proud of that role.

Love and blessings to you.

Hugo Meditation

11/02/2012 at 10:10 pm | Posted in Meditation, Wellbeing | 2 Comments
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In the award-winning film ‘Hugo’, the eponymous hero, a 12-year-old boy, sees the world as a huge, intricate machine.  “Machines never come with any extra parts,” says Hugo. “They always come with the exact amount they need. So if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part: I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason too.”

In this meditation, the aim is simply to observe the movement of the machine.

Sit quietly, with your eyes closed, for a period of 30 minutes. During this time, keep observing movement within you: when air enters your lungs, and leaves them; the rhythm of your heart beat. Where in your body are you most aware of your pulse: at the site of your heart, or perhaps in your fingers, or toes? If you are more aware of one side of your body than the other, consciously focus on the least aware side.

From time to time, you will notice stray thoughts travelling through your mind. View these thoughts in terms of their movement: where do they seem to originate, and where do they go within the body?

Keep returning to the motion of your lungs, and your pulse. Be aware of any involuntary movements.

From time to time, you may also notice sounds from outside. Simply observe their movement. Where do you sense them beginning? Where do they travel?

After half an hour, open your eyes, and stretch.

The benefits

This meditation can help you feel

• calmer

• more aware of your unique and valuable place within the huge, complex natural world

• more aware of your thoughts and their effect on your body

• more able to choose happier feelings.

‘Hugo’, directed by Martin Scorsese, is a marvellous 3D movie which will be available at the end of February 2012 on DVD.

Love or logic: you choose

24/09/2011 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Joan thought she knew where she was going… do you?

One of my all-time favourite movies is I Know Where I’m Going, starring Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey. This 1945 black and white romance is drenched with subdued passion and iron determination, against the turbulent backdrop of the Western Isles of Scotland.

In the movie, Hiller plays Joan Webster, an ambitious young woman who is set to marry Sir Robert Bellinger, a wealthy, older business man. She travels up to the Scottish Isles for her wedding. But stormy weather prevents Joan from taking the boat to the island of Killoran, where her future husband, who is playing laird, awaits her.

While the wind rages outside, Joan is thrown together with dashing naval officer Torquil McNeil, who turns out to be the authentic, cash-strapped laird of Killoran.

We’ve all faced the dilemma between head and heart.

Joan has decided her future – she’s going to marry for money… but her heart is beginning to tell her otherwise. And this dilemma within Joan is where much of the film’s timeless appeal lies.

The thing is, we can all be a bit like Joan Webster. We know where we are going, don’t we? We make plans, based on practical considerations rather than heartfelt ones. Maybe, for example, we trained for a particular career, because there were supposedly better job prospects, even though deep down we knew we’d prefer a completely different career path.

Maybe we chose the house we didn’t love, or even the partner we didn’t have a passion for, because we decided to be sensible.

A life-time of small compromises based on the head ruling the heart can even lead, eventually, to chronic ill-health, breakdown, or crisis.

Head-based decisions are based on fear

It’s wise to use logic as a back-up tool to predict what would happen if we followed our heart, and to make some adjustments where necessary. We nevertheless have to take notice of what our innermost feelings are telling us, because they are our most authentic guide. If we don’t, the universe has a great way of getting us back on track. It will start with small obstacles…  then bigger and bigger ones, until we become aware, and change our course. Joan Webster was so determined not to listen to her feelings, it took a giant storm to stop her from making a giant mistake.

Heart-based decisions are based on love

Heart-based decisions are so easy to spot. They’re the decisions that make you happy. They’re the ones that feel right.

Heart-based decisions are not to be confused with infatuation. Infatuation has a totally different vibration. If you find it hard to tell the difference between infatuation and love, try the following easy intuitive exercise. Make it a standard tool in your intuition toolbox.

You can use this technique specifically to check out the nature of your relationship with another person.

Intuition exercise to spot authentic love

Sit quietly, without disturbance. Take a few deep and even breaths. Feel your thoughts settling down; let them go.

Now picture the other person in your mind’s eye. See them in detail. Just observe them, without making any judgements or comments.

Now, picture or sense a cord connecting the two of you. The cord goes into each person’s solar plexus, just beneath the rib cage.

Now, simply observe, or sense, the cord in more detail. What colour is it? What texture? How does it feel? Is it in glowing, good condition, or looking tired and frayed? Is it a pleasant colour, or an unpleasant one? What is your overall impression of the cord: healthy, or unhealthy?

A healthy cord clearly signifies a healthy, authentic relationship. An unhealthy cord tell you the relationship either needs work, or has no future. To find out which, you will need to do further intuitive work.

See what happens if you try to clean up the cord. Now pour unconditional love into the cord… Is the cord improving in its condition, or is it not?

Regular meditation for 15 or 20 minutes daily will help to quieten the mind enough to help you to see and sense such energies more clearly. And revisiting this exercise can show the cord making improvements over time.

Finally, we listen

In I Know Where I’m Going, Joan Webster finally starts listening to her heart. When she does so, the storm vanishes, and she is filled with a new energy – she knows exactly what to do next.

When we follow our heart, we too find life around us becomes less bumpy. We experience an increase in joy and synchronicity. We feel more authentically ourselves. We are back on track.

Intuition healing: Vivien’s story

25/03/2011 at 2:11 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Healing is about lighting up dark areas of the psyche.

Vivien rang me from London to say she wanted to see me. Her cancer had returned, this time in the form of a tumour at the top of her spine, pressing very painfully on nerves between discs T1 and T2. The hospital organised a course of five radiotherapy treatments straight away, and I travelled to London to take her to the fourth treatment.

We talked in the hospital waiting room, and as we did so, I was aware that with Vivien’s words, an energetic release was taking place. I saw, intuitively, that this cancer journey for Vivien was about finding herself.

On the way back to Vivien’s sunny garden flat, she told me about her tiredness. “I feel overwhelmingly tired, much of the time,” she said.

“Are you tired in any particular parts of your body, or tired all over?”

” All over. It’s like a thing all around me – maybe like a cloak, or a cocoon.”

I mentioned that when someone is tired, it often signifies that they don’t want to be doing whatever it is they are doing at that time.

“I’m tired of life,” said Vivien.

Back in the flat, we settled down for an intuitive healing session. Vivien lay down (though clients often do simply sit in a chair for this) and I sat in a chair beside her. “We’ll use your tiredness as our route in,” I said.

I asked Vivien which hand felt most tired. Vivien opted for the left hand. I then asked her to picture herself as a little point of consciousness, and to take that consciousness outside her body to her left hand. “So now, in your mind’s eye, look at your hand from the outside,” I said.  ‘Notice what it looks like.”

Vivien then, at my suggestion, entered the hand and travelled up inside her arm and into her shoulder. “Let’s give you a choice,” I said. “Would you like to travel upwards, to the brain, or downwards, to your heart?”

Journey to the heart

Vivien opted to go towards her heart. I asked her to notice what it looked like from the outside, then pointed out a door in the wall of the heart to her and asked her to open the door and enter her heart.

Vivien walked in and found herself in a vast chamber, with dark red walls, and the vague suggestion of pieces of furniture, quite a few of them. She thought they had been there for a long time. They were not used, but they were not dusty either.

Vivien walked towards one, and it came into focus: it was a big sideboard made of good walnut wood. But Vivien didn’t want to stay there. She became aware of some stairs ahead of her, and had a strong urge to go up the stairs. As she proceeded she said that the narrow staircase led nowhere – she couldn’t see a door or anything at the top of the stairs, there was just darkness.

Meeting the mother

So we went up the stairs, and on to a narrow walkway. I felt a strong presence of her mother (who is no longer with us). So I asked Vivien to visualise her mother. She saw her clearly and described her mother seeming to be very anxious – seeing her wringing her hands and fretful.

Now something curious happened. “I can’t turn around towards her,” said Vivien. “I can hardly move. I’ve become a big, heavy wooden statue.”

I asked her to see what her mother was doing. “She’s very worried,” said Vivien. “She’s extremely worried.”

“Ask your mother to go downstairs to the sideboard and open the cupboard door. There should be something in there for you.”

“There’s nothing in the cupboard.”

“Tell her to open the drawer above the cupboard. She will find a red rose in there. Ask her to bring it to you.”

Vivien’s mother brought the rose back to Vivien and placed it on the wooden folds of Vivien’s wooden clothes, by her neck.

“There is a change,” said Vivien. “The left side of my face has become flesh and blood again.”

The transformation stopped, leaving Vivien still mostly a very large, wooden statue. Vivien’s mother was wringing her hands together, still very worried and anxious.

“Give your mother the red rose now,” I suggested.

Barely able to move her big statue hands, Vivien did so. She passed it behind her, with her left hand, without turning to her mother. Her mother took the rose and cradled it, like a baby. Suddenly, her mother was released from her fretful state. Her whole body language changed as she cocooned ‘her child’. Vivien felt that she was now released energetically from her mother and felt free to move on. There was not the pull of ‘need’ from her mother. Her mother had what she needed and was at rest.

Vivien now very strongly wanted to go on and through a door which was now visible at the end of the walkway.  We walked into another large chamber, much lighter and welcoming. Vivien immediately saw that the wooden cloak dropped from her and she became lithesome and agile, like a sprite – as if dancing around and carefree. She saw her colour change to pale, light blue.

The healing temple

I asked Vivien what she saw in the inner chamber. She replied that she saw a pale, blue heart the same colour as herself. It was alive and fluid: a beautiful heart shape, with full rounded edges. We entered the heart and Vivien realised she was in a temple of healing, one that she had visited many times before. The space was light and airy, and there was a stunning garden there, full of beautiful colourful flowers, and birdsong.

Vivien saw an altar of healing. “I can feel white feathers all over my back and covering the altar,” she said.

Vivien enjoyed being there for a little while. Then I suggested she take one white feather and return down the stairs with it. Vivien did so. She found her mother in the room where she’d left her, still holding the rose tenderly. “It’s time to let your mother go,” I said. So Vivien let her go, and we continued down the stairs, to the first vast chamber.

I showed Vivien that there was a simple, beautifully crafted bowl on the top of the sideboard and suggested that she put the white feather in the bowl. Vivien did so. We then went through the heart chamber door, back into the rest of her body.  We made our way back towards the shoulder.

Hearing the message

“Actually,” I said. “Let’s visit T1 and T2 while we’re here.”

So we made our way to the space between the spinal discs, to her tumour.

“What can you see?” I asked.

“It’s hard, and mirror-like, black, almost like obsidian.”

“Give it your love and blessing. Give it your respect. Let it know that you respect its reason for being here and ask it what its message is for you.”

“Oh, there’s a word I don’t like – it’s passing through – something I have to deal with. The word is ‘Pride’.”

“Tell the tumour you hear the message and you respect the message; thank the tumour.”

“Oh, it’s getting smaller. It’s getting smaller all the time. It’s getting smaller and smaller… even while we’re talking… it’s vanishing. It’s gone!”

“That makes sense,” I said. “It’s delivered its message. It doesn’t have to stick around. Job done!”

Vivien was very struck by seeing the tumour vanish.

“Is the space filling with anything?” I asked.

“Divine love and light.”

Vivien travelled back down the arm and back to the hand, remarking that the arm and hand generally seemed softer and more relaxed than on it had on the way in. Then she popped out through her hand and into the air again, and her journey was complete.

I thought Vivien might want to rest, but she seemed to be full of a new energy, and I left her looking very sprite-like in her front garden.

Grateful thanks to Vivien, for consenting to have this intuitive healing session recorded, and also for sharing in the writing of the account.

If you would like to find out more or book a session, visit suzanneaskham.com.

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