Healing approaches

Cultivating mindfulness to support transformational change

Butterfly on zen Stones

By Laura McAvoy, transformational coach

There are many ways to experience mindfulness and meditation, whether through your own daily practice, within an embodiment tradition such as yoga or Tai Chi, or perhaps as part of a practical approach to stress reduction, to name but a few.

Mindfulness might not immediately spring to mind when you think of transformational coaching, with its focus on speaking and conversation to help you move your life forward. Yet mindfulness and coaching can have a big impact if the two approaches are combined – especially if you are feeling ‘stuck’.

It is an absolute truth that we can make a choice and make a change. Yet, deep personal transformation – the kind that brings significant, lasting and meaningful change – can often feel like a long process.

At times of transition – after becoming a parent, during and after illness or bereavement, in mid-life, during menopause or at certain points in our relationships or work – we can be called on to take stock, to turn inward and ask ourselves: Who am I and what do I really want?

Clients who start coaching work are often on the crest of this wave, seeking answers and with an awareness that something needs to move forward but wrestling back and forth in dilemma. They often feel hemmed-in by life circumstances, unsure of whether they have the resources within themselves to create something new and feeling trapped in circular thought patterns based on indecision.

The aim of a transformational coach in this scenario is to shift that sense of inertia or paralysis by helping to liberate their thinking.

If you are feeling stuck and want to start helping yourself immediately though, it could be useful to explore the attitudes on which mindfulness is based, which is an excellent place to begin. According to Emily Johnston, one of my trainers and a long standing mindfulness and wellbeing coach, mindfulness is underpinned by seven key attitudes:

  1. Non-judgement;
  2. Patience;
  3. Beginner’s mind;
  4. Trust;
  5. Non-striving;
  6. Acceptance;
  7. Letting go.

Sit for a while and sample the flavour of each of these attitudes, before combining them with some simple coaching questions. Doing so should help you shift perspective on your current situation.

Non-judgement

If you have been feeling stuck or as if you are not moving forward, your self-talk is likely to involve an element of judgement.

Ask yourself: How am I judging myself in this situation? Where am I placing blame? How is this judgement serving me in either moving forward or staying stuck?

See if you can ease yourself – even if only for while – into a state of non-judgement. Could you re-tell your story using only factual statements without your ‘inner critic’ rising up? If you are unsure, write your story down and read it back as if it had been written by a friend. What would you say to them upon reading it? How does this approach change things?

Beginner’s mind

This is my absolute favourite. ‘Beginner’s mind’ asks us to view our situation with curiosity and to approach it with an almost childlike wonder and openness as if for the very first time, with all of our preconceptions lifted. In other words, look at things as if they offer a new possibility.

Ask yourself: What have I not explored in my situation? What might I have missed? What other meanings could this situation hold for me? What other outcomes may be available?

Trust

Trust plays a crucial part in helping us make a shift. If we do not trust ourselves, our environment or other people, it makes it hard to be free ourselves enough to make the choices we desire.

Ask yourself: Where does my trust lie? What, if anything, is hindering my belief in myself? Who and what can help to support me?

Non-striving

The idea of ‘non-striving’ may seem to go against most people’s idea of coaching, but it actually sits at the heart of transformative practice. Deep transformation involves a process of unfolding, which entails listening in to yourself and being responsive to what arises, and even changing course if needs be.

Ask yourself: How can I bring a sense of more ease into my life? How can I honour the process in which I am finding myself? How can I truly be present?

Acceptance

Once we see things how they really are and are less clouded by judgement, fear and limiting beliefs, such acceptance can be freeing. It is not only about accepting the circumstances that surround us but also about accepting what is rising within us in terms of our emotions.

The discomfort provoked by some feelings could be too difficult to experience, so instead of accepting them and allowing them to express and dissipate, we supress or deny them. But it might also be worth exploring whether we accept the role that we are playing in what is happening too.

Ask yourself: What, if anything, have I been struggling to accept? What might I need to allow to rise within me? What am I feeling?

Letting go

Letting go is a process that naturally follows noticing and accepting.

Ask yourself: What is ready to be released in my life? What thoughts, beliefs, behaviours, relationships, old patterns and habits are no longer serving me? What will support me in letting them go? Where might more forgiveness be helpful?

By questioning your situation with an attitude of mindfulness, you could gain new traction. The story in your head might not be the ‘whole truth’, so it may be possible to find a fresh perspective by engaging in a mindfulness or meditation practice that suits you.

If this suggestion resonates, it may be helpful to find the time and set the intention to cultivate the seven attitudes of mindfulness within you. Just five to 10 minutes of meditation a day can make a big difference if you practice it consistently.

Laura McAvoy

Laura McAvoy provides transformative coaching and dialogue for women. She also offers group coaching courses, coaching circles and 1:1 work, all of which incorporates mindfulness and meditation. Laura works in Saffron Walden, Essex, and the surrounding area.

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Healing approaches

Sound healing: Using the gong to restore harmony and balance

Gong

By Gayatri, yoga, meditation teacher and gong practitioner

How does it feel when you hear a piece of music that touches you deeply? Is there a physical response? Do you find yourself moved to tears? Or is there an energetic movement, which means you can feel your heart open and your spirit sore?

In essence, because we all consist of energy vibrating at different frequencies, sound has an enormous impact on us. So it would seem natural to use sounds and vibration to restore balance and harmony to our whole being.

Sound healing has been in use for thousands of years. Many cultures, ranging from the ancient Greeks and Egyptians to Native Americans and shamans, have employed it as a way of restoring balance to the mind, body and spirit. For example, the Aboriginal people of Australia have played the didgeridoo for at least 40,000 years as a way of treating illnesses and conditions, which includes mending broken bones and muscle tears.

Sound and vibration is also deeply embedded in many spiritual traditions. The ancient language of Sanskrit, originally passed on in an oral tradition, has 48 letters/sounds, with each one said to produce a vibration that resonates with different parts of our physical and energetic body.

The Western world, meanwhile, began to rediscover sound as a tool to aid healing in the early 1940s when ultrasound was first used for detecting brain tumours. Music therapy also started emerging following the research of the French otolaryngologist, Dr Alfred Tomatis.

He discovered a way to improve and restore the damaged hearing of individuals by playing sounds they could not hear through an electronic device that stimulates the muscles in the inner ear. The Tomatis Method has since helped various other conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, attention deficit disorder and autism.

One of the most powerful instruments used in sound healing today though is the gong. It has a broader range of tones than any other instrument and so can produce a huge range of sounds and vibrations.

An ancient instrument, it is not clear from where it originated, although it possibly first appeared during the Bronze Age. The first record of the gong dates back to the beginning of the 6th Century in Hsi Yu, a region located between Tibet and Burma in modern day China – even though the instrument is not originally Chinese. Instead its origins are in another unknown culture, which some historians believe was based in the area now known as Afghanistan.

Life force

Gongs as healing instruments

The use of gongs as healing instruments came to the West with Don Conreaux, also known as Baba Don and Guru Jagat, one of the original kundalini yoga teachers in 1969.

So how do gongs enable healing? Because the whole universe consists of vibrating energy from the sub-atomic level outwards, the more complex the organism, the more complex the range of vibration and frequencies that exist within it.

As humans, our bodies produce an orchestra of sound and vibration, with each of organ resonating at a different frequency. Because we consist of around 70% water, which is an excellent conductor of sound, gongs can help re-tune the orchestra so that it plays in harmony.

The first time you hear a gong played is a unique experience. The gong asks you to hear and experience sound in a completely new way. Unlike other instruments, you are taken on a journey through many layers of sound, consisting of overtones, undertones and vibration.

The initial sound that emerges with the first strike of a mallet is unpredictable. It swells and rises to a peak, before gently receding. The sound then re-emerges to reach a higher peak, before receding once more.

Other instruments tend to produce sounds that are more predictable and linear in their journey to peak and decline. But the sounds of the gong are non-linear, multi-layered and trans-spatial. Layers of different sounds and vibrations are built up to produce larger more complex soundscapes.

Don Conreaux described the gong as “resound”. He said: “Gong is not the sound, gong is the resound. Before resound you have no power. You go into the mountains and say one word, that echo will sound a thousand times more, for thousands of miles. That is the power of resounding sound.”

harmony

Restoring balance

Because of this complexity, you will hear a multitude of individual sounds within the gong’s soundscape. These sounds may include instruments, such as harps, bells, singing or chanting voices, linear sounding music and noises from daily life, as the mind tries to make sense of the unfathomable.

As the gong bath unfolds, the vibrations and sounds produced move through the body and vibrate through its cells. Different areas respond to the different sounds as they pass through because the sounds vibrate at the same frequency as the cells of the body. This means that any blocks or imbalances are dissolved and, by re-tuning the vibration, harmony can be restored.

Any areas that are offkey are re-tuned by a process called ‘entraining’. Entraining can be seen when two metronomes are placed side by side but are set to keep different times. As they move back and forth, their timings begin to synchronise and eventually they ‘entrain’, or match, each other, thereby working in harmony.

A similar situation takes place during a gong bath. The gong’s vibrations move through your cells and when they come across an imbalance, the process of entraining helps the cells find their way back to vibrating at a healthy frequency, thus restoring balance.

Physical rebalancing may be felt as physical sensations. For example, people with an old injury often report sensations in that area. The same happens within the body’s energy field, with higher vibrations being felt as an emotional release or change in energy.

Gong baths may be given to individuals or groups, but the normal practice is to lie on a floor bed or sit on a chair, wearing comfortable clothing and using blankets for warmth. The experience is a relaxing and rejuvenating one as the gong sounds alter your brainwaves to enable you to enter into a state of deep relaxation – and in some cases even a meditative state.

Some people recall past lives or have profound healing experiences, while others may simply feel more rested and restored. But whatever the outcome, the gong space offers a powerful therapeutic energy. It provides a space of stillness, tranquillity and gentle holding that enables each individual to go on their own unique journey towards healing.

Gayatri

Gayatri (Gail Gibbs) teaches yoga and meditation and is a gong practitioner. She is passionate about creating space for those of any age to explore their transformational potential in a safe and nurturing way. Cultivating compassion for oneself is at the heart of Gayatri’s teaching and sound work, thus allowing the process of personal growth and change to unfold.

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Healing approaches

A beginners’ guide to crystal healing

Crystal Healer Offering Selection Of Tumbled Healing Stones

By Debbie Walmsley, crystal healer and reiki practitioner

Humans have worn and used crystals since time immemorial. In fact, crystals have been on the Earth since the beginning of time, long before we came to share it. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds have all been used as body decoration for thousands of years and have traditionally been highly valued due to their beauty and rarity.

But ancient cultures also believed crystals had a natural healing power that could be used to promote emotional, physical and spiritual balance. While we may never learn how they accessed such knowledge, we do know that crystals were considered an important part of their civilisation. For example:

  • Ancient Romans used crystal talismans and amulets to enhance health, attract desirable objects to themselves, and provide protection in battle;
  • Ancient Egyptians lay quartz on the forehead of their dead when they buried them, believing it helped to guide the departed safely into the afterlife. Pharaohs carried cylinders filled with quartz to balance the Ba and Ka energies of the body. Royal women laid crushed lapis lazuli stones on their eyes to promote enlightenment and awareness;
  • Ancient Greeks often rubbed crushed hematite on soldier’s bodies prior to entering battle as they believed it made them invincible. Interestingly, the word ‘crystal’ is thought to derive from the Greek word ‘krustullos,’ which means ‘ice’, and until the 1500s, many people believed stones, such as clear quartz, were everlasting ice that had been sent from the Heavens;
  • Chinese medicine practitioners commonly use healing crystals in their treatments, which include crystal-tipped needles in acupuncture and Pranic healing sessions. These traditions hail from nearly 5,000 years of practice;
  • Aryuvedic medicine practitioners in India consider crystals valuable for healing emotional and metaphysical imbalances. The use of various healing crystals is documented in the pages of the Hindu Vedas, which also refers to each stone’s specific healing properties. For example, sapphires are thought to bring astuteness, clarity and mental balance, while jasper is believed to bring harmony, sexual vitality, and balance the base chakra;
  • Ancient Japanese cultures commonly undertook scrying, which is similar to looking into a crystal ball as some psychics still do today. Crystal quartz spheres were considered to represent the heart of a dragon and signified their power and wisdom.

Today though, we also rely on crystals in lots of ways without even realising it. Much of our modern technology would not be able to operate without them. For instance:

  • Quartz crystals are used in computers to record time as well as in our fridges’ cooling systems. When an electric current is passed through a quartz crystal, it vibrates at 60 hertz (60 times per second), and quartz clocks uses these vibrations to measure time;
  • Liquid Crystal Displays are found in flat screen TV’s, digital clocks and electronic picture frames;
  • Silica crystals are used to absorb odours in everything from cat litter boxes to the insides of fridges;
  • Magnetite is used to find the North and South Poles;
  • Rubies are used in lasers;
  • Fluorite is used in fluoride toothpaste;
  • Hematite is used to make nails for construction purposes;
  • Chalcopyrite is used to create copper wires.

Young woman receiving crystal healing

How do crystals work?

So what exactly are crystals anyway and how do they work in a healing context? A crystal is an organised grouping of atoms, or molecules, each with different properties and shapes. For example, sugar crystals are oblong and slanted at each end, while salt crystals are cubic.

Each crystal’s unique structure affects how it resonates, the kind of energy it attracts, and the way it clears negativity by either repelling or absorbing it. These unique properties mean the crystal vibrates at specific frequencies, which give them their ability to aid in healing.

While most people are familiar with the different functions of their physical body, the same is not necessarily true of their body’s subtle energy systems. Seen from an energetic perspective, we are all made up of layers of vibrating energy, each of which has their own specific vibration and purpose.

The physical body though consists of energy that vibrates very slowly, which is why it appears to be solid. Compare this with ice, which is a solid structure made from water that is vibrating very slowly. This means that it likewise appears solid. But when its atoms vibrate more quickly, the ice becomes liquid again. Faster still and it turns to steam.

Quantum physics indicates that atoms consist purely of energy waves with their own invisible force field. These energy waves can be measured and their effects seen, but they are made up of electricity. Science is now embracing the idea that we, and the universe, are created out of this energy.

So crystal healing operates by working with the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Crystals are amazing energy conductors and, when used in healing, enable the body’s energy to move around in order to find its natural flow. When our energy is balanced, we experience wellbeing, which supports us in evolving and developing emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Crystals treat the whole person, as well as their integrated energy system, in a non-invasive way. The body’s meridians are the pathways through which our energy flows, and where these pathways cross, an energy ‘hotspot’, or chakra, is created.

Rainbow Flower of Life

Channelling universal life force energy

The chakras channel universal life force energy – which is known under a variety of names depending on the tradition, such as chi, prana, ki, or spirit – in and out of our physical and spiritual bodies. They are considered both transmitters and receivers of energy.

When these pathways are clear and open, we are physically and emotionally well and feel good. But when our meridians and/or chakras become blocked, we are likely to feel fatigue, sickness, pain or mental unbalance.

Chakras move in and out of balance naturally each and every day. Depending on what is happening around us, they respond to the highs and the lows of everyday life. Stress, minor illnesses, emotions and even your thoughts affect the balance of your chakras. If they stay out of balance for too long, your body will experiences dis-ease, which is a state of not benefiting from ease or wellbeing.

During a crystal healing session carefully chosen crystals are placed either on your chakras and/or around the physical body. These crystals absorb, focus, direct, detoxify, shift and diffuse energy as they interact with vibrations within the body’s energy field, helping to bring the mind, body, spirit and environment back into harmony and restoring the body’s natural rhythm and inner balance.

Healing using crystals can occur at various levels:

  • Physical: The deep relaxation generated is an effective antidote to stress, anxiety or depression, and is helpful in maintaining general wellbeing. It can help to relieve the physical symptoms of stress-related illnesses, provide pain relief by relaxing muscle tension and may assist with immune disorders. It has also been shown to be helpful for insomnia, chronic fatigue, raised blood pressure and sleep problems;
  • Emotional: It can help to stabilise moods and enhance self-esteem;
  • Mental: It may assist in providing clarity and enhancing focus and can be used to transform unwanted behaviours, thought patterns and addictions;
  • Spiritual: It can help to enable an acceptance of, and create harmony with, all aspects of being, leading to a more peaceful and centred life.

Wearing crystals may enable you to experience their healing and spiritual properties, while placing them in your home or office can help to clear negative energies or leave a room feeling more calm and relaxed. Crystals may also be used for meditation to help focus and clear the mind.

Some – although not all, so do exercise care – can even be used to create an elixir to drink. They work from the inside out, or can applied directly to the skin.

A key thing to remember though is that crystals work on a continual basis. Each balances specific elements, whether they relate to mind, body or spirit, so if you feel drawn to a particular stone, it is probably for a reason. Just pick it up, hold it or play with it and notice how you feel.

Put another way, crystal healing aids wellbeing, whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. And wellbeing naturally comes about when our energy flows freely and is in balance.

Debbie Walmsley

Debbie Walmsley is a reiki practitioner, crystal healer, master hypnotherapist and Three Principles facilitator. She is also a member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists and the Complimentary Medical Association. Debbie has been a natural healer all her life, having first discovered the power of healing in her teenage years. She has studied various forms of energy healing, which included spending a month in Peru with a shaman.

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A ‘Divine 9’ message: 2019 – A pivotal year of completion and rebirth

divine92019pic_image1

By guest contributor Gina Schofield, channel and cosmic coach

Since 2009 when I started channelling, a range of wonderful guides have both communicated through me, and with me. All of them come from evolved star groupings from other parts of our cosmos, such as AndromedaSirius and the Pleiades. Most recently, on the morning of 31 December 2018, a group called ‘The Divine 9’ from the Pleiades brought through an uplifting message about the energy of 2019, including tips on how to move through the year with more ease and grace.

The Divine 9 describe their mission as being one of supporting humanity in strengthening the connection with our divine aspects, which they tend to call our ‘Illumined Self’ (higher self). Their name, the Divine 9, refers then to this Divine aspect of us, and also to the energy of the 9 contained within the 2019 year, where the focus is on working towards completion and rebirth.

When reading their message though, please bear in mind that it was spoken by them through me, and I then typed it up from my voice recorder. So it is a snapshot of the way they speak, which is sometimes very fast. They also often repeat things in slightly different ways to get their message across more clearly.

So my suggestion is to let go of needing it to read like a perfectly-written human piece because the way they use language is different from us. Instead try to open up and allow yourself, as you read it, to feel the energy of their transmission within the message. So here it is:

“We are the Divine 9 and we bring through the divinity frequencies – divinity as in your illumined aspects, and we come from the Pleiadian frequencies. The 9 is an energy of working towards completion and rebirth.

“2019 contains the 9, and this is a really pivotal year. You will be working towards all that you have been doing, your inner work of this past few years. And so this is an embodiment year, a year of true action and really making it happen. Walking the talk, embodying the learnings and knowings that you have been working through so well and integrating.

“Now it is taking all of that and putting it into action. This will be showing up in new relationships that will be forming, so that people will be embarking on new love partnerships, new business partnerships, and you will also see new business ideas and new institutional shifts. Lots of positivity is coming onto the horizon. We are here to gather and share with you everything to do with the 9 energy.

Gateway

2019 as a gateway year

“The gateway portal point of 2019 begins to prepare us for the 2020 timeline of the next decade, that is very filled with light and new developments for humankind. We are a collective that come from the Divine 9 constellation of the Pleiades star system that brings forth a frequency of divine expression in human form.

“And so what we mean is, the blended human that has their higher-self frequencies more integrated than ever before – this is what is coming for many who are in a space of readiness for this. More and more threads and light frequencies are coming through in the day-to-day, so that you are ‘feeling more yourselves’ – this is what a human would call it – you will be ‘feeling more yourselves’ than ever before.

“And what does this mean? It means being online more fully. Being more plugged in more of the time is the goal because it feels good, it feels natural, and you feel home. So you are embodying home here on Earth as you move through your world, and you interact and engage, and you are more and more embodied in your fullest, illumined self.

“So this is exciting! Imagine a planet with more and more humans embodying this and living, speaking, interacting and choosing from that energy space. This is a world that is healing itself.

“And of course you may ask why does the world look the way it does? Well, we see that there has been so much destruction both on a psychological level, within people’s psyches due to fragmentation and separation. Due to war, conflict, repression, and all kinds of subtle things that affect many people, like working long hours and being in isolation quite often in their separate abodes, and not having that feeling of support and tribe and love that once was the norm in more ancient times for many.

“So this community is beginning to return, in a new digital way, and will look different for each person. People are finding their own creative ways to create a tribe, whether this be through an online community or whether it be through groups that they physically go to that they are finding online.

“So it’s interesting, isn’t it, if you track the trajectory of humanity, how fascinating it is through all the many civilisations (as you call them) throughout time, how things have been built up and burnt down, and built up and burnt down?

“And now, in this world, there is actually so much positivity and so much light lighting up, and so much healing occurring on the subtle planes. And in more tangible, obvious ways, there are also people speaking out, people standing up for things that they believe in, and the vulnerable are being supported in ways that they were not before.

reconnecting

2019 as a year of reconnection

“So much is stepping up if you really think about the improvements broadly and deeply from how things were 50 years ago, and how things are now. This would be an interesting exercise would it not, to explore, to really get how things really are improving?

“So do not feel that the world is on a trajectory of self-destruction. And yes, Gaia is living and breathing still, miraculously, despite the lack of love and respect that has been shown to her, and a lack of realisation that she is a live being who has feelings.

“Still many who are asleep do not realise or even comprehend this, that Gaia is a living breathing being. They may look at trees and grass. They know are growing, but they never have a thought that there is feeling there. So there is this disconnect, yes.

“But, at the same time, there are so many who are returning to and rediscovering an honouring of the herbal ways, of foraging, of ways of making things homemade again. The ways of making and creating, and remembering how to do things oneself rather than just buying it all from the shop.

“So there is an ongoing process of reconnection, a reconnection within one’s own psyche, a reconnection with each other as humans. And people are being heartfelt and considerate and also moving about the world with more gracefulness and consideration and thought for the livingness of this Earth. So there is so much to celebrate.

“So this year 2019, let us see what is going to be the flavour of this year. This has much to do with how you can bring your fullest embodiment out into the world, so this is more a year for being out than being in.

“Being in has been the theme for the past few years as people have really gone within and self-sought within themselves. And you may have been going through layers and layers and layers of ancestral and akashic records, to clear, to cleanse, to purify, to face, to bring up, to unearth. And so much courage and resilience has been built as a result of this, yes.

harmony

2019 as a year of embodiment

“So much resilience is becoming the norm, and do you see now, with this courage and resilience as you step out into the world with your new embodiment of the things you are deeply knowing, the things you have seen and felt and had nudges about to shift and change even in a subtle way.

“As you embody them and move them out into the world, and you start to share them as you feel guided and appropriate, this is what you are going to be feeling and seeing: Changes in yourself that feel good, that feel more aligned. Changes that you feel and see in others. Changes that you will begin to see and feel in institutions and collective groupings.

“So you see this year, 2019, is more of an outward embodiment, an action year of making things happen. And this could be for you personally to do with changing habits, such as committing to breathing in awareness for five minutes a day.

“Really the key is to listen to your personal prompting, your personal need. Moving also out of the mentality that has been common in many aspects of society – the feeling of having to fit in for fear of disapproval or ostracisation.

“What you will be finding is that as you follow your true promptings rather than society’s messages (that maybe don’t sit properly or fully with you as an individual). And you will find that you will be seeing this in others also. And you will feel that your values are being more accepted by others around you, and this will be a nice surprise, as they also are learning to step into their personal, new frequencies.

“So this is a theme that is coming: more acceptance of the self in its uniqueness, and more acceptance of others, and a celebration of them embodying their uniqueness. And you will find this is more common. And we would encourage you to really allow yourself to encourage in others, where you feel they are calling for support in making changes or looking for any support or encouragement, if it is something that they are personally prompted to do, then that is right for them.

“Rather than the thinking mind, it is more what their heart is telling them, or what their gut is communicating to them, or telling them deeply in the body-self that is true and right.

No conflict – that is the thing now. We are moving away from conflict and we are moving into Harmony and Unity, and that is the journey we are on as a humanity, from conflict to unity – both outwardly in your culture, between nations, and also inwardly. A mending and a blending of the psyche, of each person’s psyche, as they bring home the parts of them that may have been exiled, bringing them home to be together and aligned and connected.

love

2019 as an outward-looking year

“So this is an exciting time. This is a gateway year, where we move from the inward to the outward phase of action, of really starting to embody all we have been learning.

“It should not be too hard in many ways. The key thing is to listen, to really take time to listen, to feel your knowing and feel your truth within you personally. And if you need to take time locked in the bathroom, for example, to be on your own, to feel your personal knowing away from the pressures and voices of others, if you can, this is the most key, important thing: to keep coming back to your personal knowing of what is right for you. Do not feel this is selfish, for it is not.

As you are more your true aligned self, you are more and more a representation of the Love frequency walking the planet. And you are actually being far less selfish as you embody your fullness, as you embody the full love that you can give to yourself, and then allow that to flow through you in your expression as you move through the world – you are being of far greater service in many ways.

“So really this is the key, to make time to listen within, even if it is five minutes a day, two minutes a day, perhaps in the morning, and again at night. Take time to go within and listen and, as you practice this, you will find it becomes quicker and stronger and easier. And it is an investment, and you will find that your illumined self, your expanded most evolved expression of yourself is going to be more and more online as you listen.

“The more you listen, the more you know what to do and the more you know who you are. The more you know who you are, the more peace you feel, the more loving you feel, the more love you can give, the more you can share, the more you can receive. It’s a win-win.

“It is such a small investment of time and attention, absolutely tiny really in terms of the time you have in your 24-hour day. So that is the key – we cannot stress this enough – to listen, two minutes in the morning, two minutes at night. And accompany this with a slower deeper breathing, for this calms the mind and allows your fuller self to come through.

“So 2019 is a year of moving into a fuller embodiment of who you truly are.”

Gina Shofield

Gina Schofield is a channel and cosmic coach based in Bristol. She has channelled guides from evolved star groupings from other parts of our cosmos, such as Andromeda, Sirius and the Pleiades, since 2009. Gina offers personal and group sessions, in which the guides coach and offer multidimensional healing.

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Moving beyond the ‘New Year, New You’ culture

woman measuring her waist
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

By Gemma Kennedy, transformational coach

You may be starting to feel the strain of the ‘New Year, New You’ nonsense that is flying around at the moment. It seems that every time we turn on the TV, log onto Facebook or walk down the street, we are hit with ways in which we need to change ourselves to become better, worthier or more attractive.

Influencers of all stripes tell us that in order to make 2019 the best year ever, we need to make drastic changes and embrace diets, gym membership and the like. It is as though when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, we suddenly became broken somehow.

But I cannot recall anyone I know who has ever managed to turn their body-related New Year’s resolutions into lasting change. At some point, people always seem to ‘fall off the wagon’ and start the self-flagellation routine.

This is the second year that I have no intention whatsoever of changing my body in order to achieve the things I want to though. Instead of trying to use New Year’s resolutions to fix whatever is supposedly wrong with me, I have developed goals that I am keen to achieve.

These goals are things that, in the past, I would never have considered possible until I inhabited a thinner, more conventionally attractive body. But coaching has taught me that I am already good enough to work towards whatever it is I want to do.

A wonderful friend introduced me to ‘The Language of Letting Go’ by Melodie Beattie. In it, she shares a year’s worth of beautiful daily meditations that are aimed particularly at people who are experiencing co-dependent relationships.

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New Year meditation

But regardless of whether you feel this situation applies to you or not, it should be possible to learn something from her work. This is part of her meditation for 1 January, and you might find it beneficial to take some time to reflect on the questions she raises:

“What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?

“What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life?

“Remember, we aren’t controlling others with our goals – we are trying to give direction to our life.

“What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your career? What would you like to see happen inside and around you?”

Once you have had a chance to reflect on some of these issues, ask yourself what it is you notice coming up for you? Is it the kinds of things you expected? Are they any different to previous years?

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Being free to be me

When I personally undertook this exercise, I was struck by the absence of judgment that I placed on my body. Instead, I was able to genuinely think about what I wanted for myself, and my life, over the coming year.

I believe it is only when we can let go of the infectious expectation that we dislike our bodies that we are able to truly see what it is we would like to achieve. As women, we are taught from birth that our worth is inextricably linked to our physical form. Realising that this is not the case has been the most empowering thing I have ever done – and I would invite you to embark upon a quest to do the same.

To get started, here are some things you might like to try to survive the ‘New Year, New You’ propaganda:

  • Have a social media clear-out: If you follow people who make you feel bad about yourself in any way, whether intentionally or unintentionally, get rid of them. Fill your newsfeeds with people and bodies of all kinds. It sounds simple but the more you expose yourself to the diversity of the human race, the more chance you have of resisting the ideals sold to us. For tips on some positive individuals you might like to follow, please visit my website;
  • Set healthy boundaries: If your workplace or social circle is full of diet talk, it is easy to get sucked in. Try telling people that you will not be dieting this year and you would appreciate them saving their weight-loss related conversations for someone else. If they are not able to respect this, you may wish to reconsider the time you spend with them, if at all possible;
  • Surround yourself with like-minded communities: People often find a sense of community at slimming clubs that they may not find elsewhere and, in some areas, there are few anti-diet alternatives. But it does not need to be the case if you create your own community. Whether it consists of a regular meet-up with other anti-diet friends, an anti-diet book club or an online group, they can all be invaluable in avoiding diet culture.

But whatever goals you decide to set for yourself this year, the most important thing to remember is that you deserve to achieve them – and that I believe in you.

Gemma Kennedy

Gem Kennedy is a Body Positive activist and transformational coach. Having started her first diet aged 10 and spent many years promising herself that this would be the year to lose weight and start living, a switch flicked in 2017 when she discovered the Body Positive and Fat Activist communities. After training as a transformational coach, she now specialises in coaching and mentoring clients both individually and in groups to help them shed the burden of today’s diet culture and feel confident enough to be in the world exactly as they are, right now.

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