Reflect

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  1. where do you belong?If you have ever felt different from the people around you, like an outsider, unsafe even because you don’t fit in, you are definitely not alone. As a result, many people spend their lives unconsciously searching for a real connection, looking for a deep sense of belonging. Maybe you’ve done this by getting into a relationship you know isn’t good for you, changing your hair, clothes, lifestyle, hanging around people you want to be more like, by moving house, or city or even country, desperately trying to connect to something, someone, so you can finally feel that you really belong…

    Knowing we belong is a deep-rooted innate need within us.

    The mistake we make is that we are looking outside of us for something that can only ever be found within. It is part of the trap the matrix has us I bought into. It makes us consume more, want more, feel discontentment with who we are and what we have, which in turn keeps us in feelings of isolation, not being good enough, not having enough, frustration, resentment and loneliness. The trick is to recognize that belonging can never come from outside of us, it does not come from a place, person or thing although at times these can substitute for a while. The single truth of life is that change is constant, so relying on something outside of us that in the end is bound to change for our sense of belonging will fail in the end.

    Let me guide you for a moment and show you the doorway to belonging…

    Take a deep breath in.

    Take a few deep breaths in.

    Every time you breath out relax a little more.

    Breathe right down into your belly and close your eyes.

    Stay here breathing.

    This is the only place you belong.

    woodland-2816801_1920Inside of you is your home. And it can feel scary, when we don’t trust ourselves, when we aren’t comfortable in our own skin, when we dislike something about our character or parts of our body, when our thoughts are hurtful to us, when we have been hurt, abused, rejected, felt unloved and worthless, when we are the last person we want to get to know. The wound we have to heal, the difficulty we have to overcome, is that a long time ago we decided inside us, who we are, wasn’t enough, was wrong.

    There are three keys to unlocking a deep meaningful sense of knowing you belong that is unshakeable.

    1. Find the answer to the question “who am I?”. Get to know yourself. In my work I often hear people say, “I don’t know who I am” and that is a great place to be. Getting to know yourself, who you are, your gifts, connections, inspirations, what you like and like less is important. This means spending time alone, out from the influence of family, friends and media. Carving sacred time for you. Understanding your emotions, your triggers, your history, your desires. You can do this by meditating, by journaling, practicing yoga or simply sit and look at yourself in the mirror and notice what you notice. Really look at you, look into your eyes and ask yourself any questions yet unanswered. You already know the answers if you can be present with yourself long enough to hear them.

    2. Become the parent you always wanted. There will have been at least one moment where you haven’t felt loved and safe. For many of us we were young children when we first felt this, we were weak, small and felt unprotected. Much of our sense of not belonging can come from feeling abandoned in some way as a child because the people we belonged to didn’t keep us safe. Getting to know your inner child is essential to healing and becoming a whole adult. Only when we feel safe with ourselves do we believe we belong unconditionally where we are.

    If you haven’t reconnected with the younger you already, try a meditation, close your eyes and imagine somewhere you loved as a child, a happy place and invite your inner child to join you. Let them show up as they need to, they could be any age and may come running for a hug or could hang back scared. Remember they are a part of you that felt abandoned and alone so will need to build trust again and sometimes that can take time. Keeping your promises to yourself, booking in things you liked to do as a child, listening to them, talking to them, writing them a letter, making time for play and fun in your life will bring you closer and once your inner child knows you have got them and they belong with you, you will really feel it too.

    sunset blossom

    3. Connect with the divinity within, cheesy I know! Now this one can be a bit of a leap but in the end to feel safe in your belonging here on earth you have to know you have God with you and within you.  Take a look at something you admire in nature and realize that God thought one of you was exactly what they earth needed right now as well. You are unique, there has been and never will be anyone that entered via the portal you did at the exact time and place you did. That doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, far from it but you do have to be real. Real in your emotions, in your expression, in your actions. Be you and recognize the part of you that is perfectly imperfect.  

    When you realize you have always been wanted just as you are, loved for everything you have done, and haven’t done, that you are worthy, that you are enough… you will know you belong here. And your search will be over. You made it home. You belong.

     

  2. Are you in the flow of change?Do you ever feeling like the same thing is coming up over and over again and you just don’t seem to be changing or making progress?

     When we get conscious and realise we have some work to do, to learn to love ourselves, to heal all those things we have felt hurt by in life, it can be really frustrating when we seem to make the same mistakes again and again. Perhaps you fall into the same conversation with your partner or kids, play the same pattern of behaviour out, maybe you act like the victim, avoid your responsibility in creating a situation, procrastinate… believe me it is totally normal!

    However, awareness of what you are doing and that by being responsible you can change things is a massive change of perspective in itself. To then think from that moment on, when the light comes on for you, you are going to be a completely changed person is often what we believe will happen, and why we always feel like we fall a little short.

    7D026F36-2742-4566-AFEB-870D22A788CC_1_105_cI have been a change manager and business psychologist for huge global organisations for over 20 years. And the one thing I know is that change ain’t easy! Whether you are changing the behaviour of one person or thousands it takes an alchemists mix of desire, consistency, focus, clarity, vision, belief, effort and ultimately love to make it work.

    There are of course things you can do that make it possible and there are times where we are forced to change, just like our world showed us recently that in a funny way make it easier because we have no choice. So how can you make it a little easier for yourself? 

    1. Focus on the masculine structural aspects of making that change happen:
    • Get clear on what you want and why. Write your vision and what you will see, hear, and experience when you get there.
    • List the benefits of you doing this and all the things that may block you, come up with a response for each.
    • Write down your goals and the actions you are going to take to achieve it.
    • Break the steps down in to manageable steps, have something you can do every day, so you feel like you are progressing
    • Reward yourself for getting on track and staying on track
    • Monitor your progress, track visibly the changes you make so you can see them. 

    2. Flow with the feminine aspects of embracing change:

    • Be clear how you want to feel, what you will notice when you have grown.
    • Call in support, from family, friends and from the spirit world. Know you don’t have to do this alone.
    • Trust yourself and that the process of change is not linear, you will make mistakes, and go backwards but find the wisdom to be kind to yourself and it will set you back on course more quickly.
    • Allow for miracles and magic, for rest, play, peace and love. Embrace who you are becoming.
    • Grieve what you are losing, there is always something we must let go of to make space for the new. Get comfortable in the in between place.
    • Recognise your emotions have as much to do with change as do your actions, breathe into them allow them, welcome them and let them show you what you are not seeing.
    • Connect to your inner child and higher self, let them show you the wounds and how to heal them, be patient.
    • Allow the ancient wisdom of your ancestors, of great teachers, poets, writers and musicians to support your understanding and energy.
    • Nourish yourself, love yourself, this is a life not a race. Appreciate the lessons on the way, these are the gold we collect not the medal at the end.

    peaceful-442070_1920Transformation is possible but it requires you to light a fire within, tap into an immediate burning need, a determination of unwavering clarity within which no doubt can exist. But once the fire of needing to change is burned through it is the feminine that will grow fruit from the ashes, it is that incremental knowing that will sustain you for a lifetime.

    Change is messy because we are most divine creations ever envisioned, we are complex webs of conscious and unconscious. And that is perfect.

    I would love to hear how your own transformations are going and whether you believe you are balancing both the masculine drive and feminine flow of change? Tell me what you need more of to get to where you want to go.

  3. Do you see what nature is saying to you?One of the things I love about my life now, is that I am completely immersed in nature. Even now as I write this to you, I am looking out of my window at a spectacular pyramidal mountain. It is a privilege for sure.
     
    Being here I have grown to appreciate what nature shows me. I pay real attention to it now because I have learned that by observing it carefully it is an easy way for spirit to show me what I need to do next. I will explain a little more in a moment, but perhaps you are thinking “but I live in a city/town and I like it, I don’t have time to watch nature.” And I get it totally!
     
    I lived in Tooting Broadway and worked in central London for 20 years. I too love the city, the people, the shopping and hustle, noise and vibe. I loved the stores were open 24/7 and everywhere was alive with crazy energy. But even there I would notice how in every given opportunity people would flock, even in their business suits, to try and get a square inch of grass to sit on and eat their lunch. We are naturally drawn to nature because we are born of her.
     
    blossomNow, yes I have opportunity here, but we all do where ever we live, we can all watch for what nature is telling us. For example, do you watch the which animals are showing up? If you think it is random think again. It could be ants, bees, wasps, beetles, birds, snakes, cats, dogs, foxes, mice, rats even. If you are looking, they are natures messengers. I use an animal spirit guide card deck to interpret their meaning but google works just as well, and I even trust the universe has my back with what the search engine throws at me. It is usually bang on.
     
    I will give you an example that happened today. I was cleaning the terrace and knocked a light forgetting there was a wasp nest in there. The inevitable yelling swearing, running ensued with me gaining 4 stings pretty quickly. And god I had forgotten how much they can hurt. Now I know that wasps are a sign that if you can take the sting happening in your life right now something much better is in store for you. As I am frantically running cold water over my effected body parts and googling remedies for wasp stings my new partner appears with what looks like a tub of mud, tells me to sit down, it is his grandmother’s recipe everything will be ok in 5 minutes.
     
    So, I let the mud go on my skin, and man in stung even more but in 30 seconds nothing. Literally like magic I could feel the swelling going and the pain subsiding. And the gift was I was taken care of for the first time in a long time, I learned an awesome natural effective remedy for wasp stings, and I felt loved. And as these gifts are dawning on me, I see a pair of red dragonflies over the water of the pool here at dragonfly house reminding me of my mission here, and that truth will transcend illusion. Red dragonflies are rare and a sign of death and eternal love. And there I was watching the belief I am alone die and feeling a sense of love more than ever.
     
    Not convinced yet? Try one more example….
     
    A few months ago, at dusk, I had a swallow in my living room. I had no idea how it got there as the doors and windows were shut. I let it out, and checked everything, I even blocked the chimney, its summer after all. But the next evening the same thing again, I couldn’t understand it. Third evening I was like ok this is just weird! So, I looked up the meaning of birds in the house, and some traditions believe it signals a death. Not great and I couldn’t figure it out as no one I knew had died. The following day my mum called to say her brother had passed away unexpectedly. I had already been told.
     
    ED1901B0-06A3-4879-A08F-388C236604A5_1_105_cSo keep an eye out. Watch the animals and even the weather. I cannot tell you how often the weather gives us clues and rolls with the energy as well. It is one of gods tools to guide us, challenge us and enrich our lives, it is the uncertainty of it that reminds us that we are not in control, we are a co-creator and that his power is infinite beyond our imagination. Nature is not weak, it is dangerous and strong and destructive just as it is nurturing, beautiful and inspiring. And so, watch.
     
    I notice when I meditate, often a wind can begin out of nowhere, how when I need to rest the sun will go in. How when I shift my emotions the weather can go from miserable to glorious. Even yesterday it was 42 centigrade and too hot but I had planned a trip to the beach and as I arrived a sea mist rolled in as thick as London fog which meant I could relax and swim under cover it was amazing.
     
    Maybe you feel a bit disconnected from nature yourself? So here is something to try. Find your nearest spot of nature. It could be a park, a tree or I have even stood in the middle of a grassy roundabout in a desperate moment! It doesn’t matter because nature is more powerful than you can imagine. If your intention is to connect, she will meet you there. All you need to do is breathe and imagine your feet are magnets (take off your shoes and socks if you can but again it doesn’t matter!) and draw energy up from the earth as you breathe in. It will take a few seconds but the longer you give it the deeper you will connect. And simply ask for a sign. If your intention is true and you are willing to notice even the smallest of changes, she will send you a message.
     
    Just watch and listen. The path will unfold.114B2757-B395-4573-A913-66E9A351EADA_1_105_c
     
    I would love to hear what nature means to you and your stories of following her guidance, share below and let's spread a little love and appreciation for all she gives us.
     
    With love,
    Helen xxx
  4. xP_AGmeEa6s

    I recently started teaching yoga and a beginner in my first class asked "What is yoga really?". Well of course, there is literally hundreds of websites and articles out there that describe what yoga is but I figured perhaps giving you my take might be an easier starting point in that I can share with you the things I wish someone had told me when I first started out. 

    The first is that the media gives us the impression you need to be slim, young, female, flexible, drink green juices and like tight clothes to be "into yoga". That stereotype undermines what it is really about which is learning to love ourselves, and I mean EVERYTHING about ourselves, including the nasty bits we are too ashamed to even vaguely admit to ourselves, let alone anyone else. The idea being, when we see others behaving dishonestly, we can still treat them with genuine understanding of the fact we are all simply human and not so dissimilar when it comes down to it. We all have shadows.

    cCkheI30Jd4Being on your yoga mat is important but it is kind of like the swimming pool practice and real life is like swimming an ocean. Yoga postures help you grow self-awareness of your body, but to me more importantly, awareness of your emotions and your thoughts.

    I dare not even try to recall the number of times I heard the voice in my head say "I can't do it" and how long it took me to retrain and replace that thought with "I can do it" and what do you know? Suddenly I could. Yoga gives you time and space to see what your thought patterns are when faced with easy things, challenges, the opportunity to show off, embarrassing situations and situations that make us want to storm out of the class; we get the chance to figure out how the hell to manage all that in real time. 

    Being on a yoga mat gives you the chance to focus on now and only now. It opens you up to be willing to experience pain as you learn not all pain is the same and it is not all bad; it always passes and often it is simply your body giving you a message. Yoga showed me that every pain I ever had was associated with some sort of emotion that I had buried or situation I couldn't face and that when I got the emotions out by crying or screaming or finding the courage to face the things in my life I was terrified to, those pains literally vanished. Like magic. 

    Yoga shows you it is ok to fail and fall, to be able to laugh at yourself, to push yourself a little harder and get back up. You realise most people are too busy worrying about how they look to even notice your trials and errors. Some of the hardest lessons for me were not to look around. Not to compare my body with other people who to my mind were inevitably slimmer, fitter and more beautiful than me. That we all have postures that we do easily that look impressive to other people, but these are not actually where we make most gains. The ones that infuriate you, that make you cry, that you think you will never be able to hold for more than a millisecond - they are the ones that make you grow. But you have got to be willing to show up, EVERY TIME, and try again, and again, then let it be for a while and suddenly you will be in that posture you never thought possible. 

    gI7zgb80QWYAnd the breath, wow, I literally never got that when I started (for like maybe 9 years...!). But if there is one thing that is the easiest to take from your mat into daily life it is that breathing, big, deep, long, slow belly breaths as often as you remember to. Try one or two now and you will get what I mean. Instant STRESS RELIEF.

    I also never got meditation, I used to spend so much time thinking, “I am still thinking, this is a really long meditation, right? God! why can't I stop thinking, just for a second or two, to have a rest, you know? Relax. Ok, so I am focused on my breath, inhale, yes, exhale, no. I am thinking about dinner, and all the things I forgot to do at work today that I MUST remember tomorrow....and oh good! Thank God that is over!”

    I can't say it is the same for everyone but somewhere along the way my mind changed. I was willing to let go, to trust I didn’t have to run the show and it was ok to step back and let my thoughts come and go. That I wasn’t them. And now meditation feels utterly amazing. There are still thoughts of course, and my overactive imagination runs wild, but I let the visions come now. I let the energy expand beyond me and I send love into the world and I get it back; and I feel good and whole and happy.    

    So, if I could give any yoga newbie some advice it would be this: SHOW UP.

    Your journey and mine may well be completely different but I promise you that joining a class will bring you benefits you can't even imagine yet. And, it will not be a straight line; sometimes you will feel amazing and other times completely floored. You will get new injuries and pains in places you never even knew you had before. One day a posture you used to fall into with ease will suddenly become a nightmare. You will put on weight after working so hard to lose it and find muscles in the strangest of places.

    But you will learn something else about being in a body and about living this time around that you never saw before. And if you can learn the lessons your mat is trying to teach you, swimming in the ocean one stroke at a time becomes easier, and not only easier, it starts to actually be enjoyable. And then you realise you had everything you ever needed inside of you all along and the only thing left to say is thank you. 

    IMG_2247For a brief history of yoga you can visit here. I believe it is well worth understanding something about chakras which are the energy centres in the body that yoga postures work to unlock and balance – you can find out some more here.

    The ashtangas or eight limbs of yoga  documented by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra’s are also an invaluable tool for living life. They start with the yamas and niyamas, which are a bit like the 10 commandments of yoga and the positive gems that are the genuine heart and purest intention of all faiths and religions worldwide. 

    They help you realise that yoga doesn’t happen on your mat. It happens when your child does that thing again that literally makes you want to explode. When a family member leaves dirty laundry on the bathroom floor again. When your neighbours are noisy and when your dog won’t stop barking. When someone pulls out in front of you or cuts into the queue you have been standing in for ages. When you don't get what you want. That is when yoga is most valuable. When you can take what the world is showing you and know YOU are responsible for your reactions and your reality.

    And one more thing to keep in mind, once you start this journey it won’t end. Yoga is a bit like Alice following the rabbit into the hole. The more you learn, the more curious you become and the whole world shifts and asks to be rediscovered. Because in truth, yoga is not about the destination (do aim high and reach for enlightenment by all means!) but is only ever about this moment RIGHT NOW.

    So, enjoy your beginning!

  5. Have you ever felt alone?If you answered yes, I assure you the feeling is very real, but the good news is you aren’t alone in having that feeling. These past years we have felt more physical separation than ever before, but it has been the emotional, psychological impacts that we felt most. For some it has been the perfect opportunity to go deeper inside ourselves but if you haven’t found your door way in yet don’t worry!

    Ask yourself “when did I first feel alone?” If you dig deep, it is likely there will have been a moment from your childhood where you felt abandoned and without the love you needed. I know for me it was when my dad left home, and my mum was so emotionally devastated I felt they had both left me. I was a young teenager, my body was changing, boys started to show interest in me, I had exams on the horizon that I believed would dictate how the rest of my life went and three younger siblings who also felt alone. I was overwhelmed and felt like I had no one to turn to. I felt completely alone.

    I made the decision to lock away my own emotions, stay on track and keep working hard because I knew it was my way to manage the pain and my way into the future I wanted.  Feeling like I couldn’t depend on anyone, I needed to make sure I could depend on me. Studying and achieving things gave me something to hold on to, made me feel a bit better. I looked for the love and self-worth I was desperate for in boyfriends who were unable to fill the gapping hole of abandonment I felt.

    woodland-2816801_1920Thirty years later I see the track I set myself on and that I went into survival mode. It got me through but cemented me into a lifetime of feeling alone. When we don’t reach out, or share what we are going through, and don’t allow ourselves to really feel stuff, we feel alone. We see ourselves as different from those around us instead of recognizing how we are similar. We avoid the pain of being human but in doing so we cut ourselves off from the pleasure of real connection. And locked in our own cage of isolation no one can reach us.

    The first step always takes a little bravery. You have to admit how you feel and share it with someone else. So today, find just a little courage and do just that. You have in your hand the key to your own cage. If you don’t know who to share your feelings with, share them with me and post them below. I suspect by the end of the day we will all realize being alone is not so lonely.