Posts Tagged ‘signs’

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Ten Signs You’re Awake

December 9, 2012

Following my previous post ‘Ten Signs of Awakening‘, let’s now take a look at ten ways to recognise that you’re well and truly awake – that is, what life will be like when you’ve been through the awakening process described previously and come out the other side. You don’t necessarily have to resonate with all of these to be awake but you will find each of these factors becoming more prevalent in your life once you do wake up.

1) Being true to you

Now you’ve shed your ‘stuff’ and been through the healing process, your authentic core self – call it your heart, your soul, your soul-self – is revealed in all its glory. At last you know who you are and what it is you want – and there’s a good chance it’s nothing like the life you’ve been lead to believe you should want or the ‘you’ that the world has reflected back at you.

That’s because unlike the unawakened world you’ve grown up in, you’re no longer experiencing life via the ego which views everything with fear, is self-obsessed and creates defences to protect itself. Instead, you’re seeing the world through your soul-self and the eyes of love, which means you now look out more than in and have made that all-important switch from ‘service to self ‘ to ‘service to others’, which is the cornerstone of soulful living.  You now see the truth of what the world needs – and you know what it is you can do to make that difference.

‘To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment’.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

2) Living in the moment

When you were asleep and living your life steeped in fear, you probably found yourself constantly dwelling on past grievances and worrying about what the future would bring. Whilst it’s important to learn the lessons which the past has taught us and to have a plan in mind for the future, when you constantly reside in those places, you miss so much of what is wonderful in the here and now – and also miss what needs to be done to make the world a better place. Living in the past and the future is SO self-absorbing and creates depression and anxiety – living in the moment brings inner peace which leaves you free to truly notice what is really going on both within and without you.

3) Getting in the flow

Remember those Universal nudges I mentioned in my previous post about awakening? Now you’re fully awake, you become a clear channel for Universal energy and as such, you will find yourself getting into the flow of life and riding a wave of Universal nudges and your inner guidance (the voice of your ‘soul-self). These nudges, coupled with the discernment of your intuitive self,  will help to guide you on to the right path towards fulfilling your life purpose and to live an existence which resonates with your authentic self.

4) Having faith

When you’re awake, you learn to relax and have faith in the aforementioned flow of life which will lead you in the right direction for both you and the good of the Universe.  Having faith means letting go of outcomes and getting out of your own way – in other words, you no longer try and control things or force them to go your way, as you know now that what is yours will come to you. (What it doesn’t mean though, is that you just sit back and do nothing – having faith doesn’t mean that you can’t be proactive in your life so keep on following those nudges!)

5) Appreciation and gratitude

Being awake means that you now find yourself spontaneously appreciating and feeling gratitude for what you already have.  Instead of living life in a state of perpetual longing, you love the gifts you already have and appreciate the simple things in life – your home, your family, your health, your own unique gifts. You will also find yourself noticing the beauty around you and may find that you have a newly awakened interest in the natural world. Spending time in nature can be very restorative for the awakened soul.

6) Being able to manifest what you need when you need it.

When you get into the flow and have faith, something really amazing happens – you find yourself manifesting exactly what you need just when you need it (NB this is NOT about what you ‘want’ – the Universe is not going to make you a multi-millionaire overnight, unless of course, it feels that this is appropriate for your particular life purpose!). This is  due to your inner guidance being in tune with the Universal Energy, creating a mutual support system which manifests everything you need for the highest good of your self and others.

7) Radiance

When you’ve shed the layers of darkness which have been masking your inner light, your authentic soul-self will be able to shine through. Consequently you will find others being drawn to you as you exude universal energy and light – you literally become a beacon of light for all around you. However this does not mean that an awakened life is completely free of darkness – though you will find that your ‘light’ repels a lot of dark energy, so you won’t be touched by it on a personal level as much as before – as we will see in point 8.

8) Living in balance

One of the misperceptions which some people have about being awake is that an awakened life is all sunshine, fluffiness and twinkly angels. This can result in some rather sneery attitudes towards awakening from those who would consider themselves ‘realists’.  However nothing could be further from the truth.

Being awake means that we still recognise what is often termed the ‘duality’ of life (the light and the dark, the yin and the yang)  – but instead of attempting to repress, deny or project these aspects onto others, we accept them as a part of the whole rather than a separate entity – hence the term ‘oneness’ which is used to describe life as seen through awakened eyes.  We realise that the key to life is finding the balance between these aspects of ourselves and the world rather than allowing one to dominate – and in the next point, we will see how being awake and in touch with our core self allows us to deal with darkness in a far more healthy and productive way.

Living in balance also means that we live our lives in a more holistically healthy way, as we recognise how everything is connected. So we balance work and play, mind and body, and naturally gravitate to a more healthful way of being.

9) Dealing with unavoidable suffering in a positive and meaningful way

In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl describes three steps we can take towards discovering the meaning of life, the third of which is our attitude towards unavoidable suffering.

When we are awake, our authentic core self and the strength and inner peace which that gives us, means that never again will we be destroyed by external events in our lives. This does not mean that you won’t grieve or feel angry, but you will no longer allow any tragedy which befalls you to define you and control you.

To read more about people who have dealt with unavoidable suffering a positive and meaningful way and find out more about the three steps Frankl suggested to discover the meaning of life, check out my blog post on this here.

10) Being the change you want to see in the world.

When you’re fully awake, you don’t just talk the talk, you walk the walk too. Your whole life becomes  an example to others of how to find inner peace and you become the living embodiment of compassion and empathy. Your mantra becomes ‘Do no harm’ and you strive to leave the world in a better state than it was when you originally entered it in your current physical form.

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Ten Signs of Awakening

July 7, 2012

How do you do it and how will you know?

Awakening can be sudden or gradual – sometimes it happens as the result of a trauma or upheaval in our lives, other times it happens entirely spontaneously with no obvious trigger. You just know that life, the Universe and everything appear very different and that the truth about all this is perhaps not the same as the story you’ve been told by your parents, your teachers, your peers, society etc. However your awakening occurs though, you can guarantee you’re in for a bit of a bumpy ride.

But why is such a wonderful life-changing experience seemingly beset with difficulties?

It’s due to the healing and shedding of our ‘stuff’ which is a necessary part of the process, to make ourselves a clear channel for the Universal Energy (akin to what Jung termed the ‘collective consciousness’, though perhaps more amazing than even he realised) which is the most powerful – but underused – resource in the universe.

Pain is also a good indicator that something in our lives is out of balance and needs to change. Like the pain we feel in our physical selves to alert us to potential damage to our bodies, emotional and psychological pain alerts us to those areas in our lives which need healing so that we can tune into the energy of the Universe and of our own authentic soul-selves, instead of having our signal distorted by the chatter of egos – our own and those around us.

The process of awakening has a number of emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual and social implications, which are listed below (with some links for further reading if you’re interested in finding out more):

1) You see the bigger picture on a personal and global level.  And become very clear about where we’ve lost our way and what needs to be done about it. This can create feelings of anger, frustration and despair as we feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task which seems to stand before us. If you feel this way, remind yourself that you may only be one person, but you are still powerful enough to create great change – think of the ripple effect. Your efforts will reach way further than you can possibly even imagine. Just follow the path which together the Universe and your soul are leading you towards – the path of your true life purpose.

2) You feel good in your own skin and enjoy solitude and leading an authentic, uncomplicated life. And you become aware that to feel like this on a more constant basis, you need to ditch your baggage to discover and strengthen the authentic core you.

https://empathicguidance.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/time-to-de-clutter/  (There are five parts to this article)

3) You recognise that inner peace can only come from within, not without.  Once you recognise this you begin to lose your unhealthy attachments to material things and to people.

4) Due to the mindbody connection, you may also experience unusual physical symptoms. Often repressed feelings get stuffed into parts of our body. Use the ‘bodyscan’ to keep yourself in tune with your physical and emotional self. (The ‘bodyscan’ is a straightforward exercise where you simply mentally  scan through your body and verbalise what is going on in there, and why you feel it might be happening eg churning in stomach area (solar plexus chakra) due to power issues; menstrual difficulties (sacral chakra) due to relationship issues; pain in left hand side due to problems with your feminine energy or a female in your life, and so on.)

5) You begin to understand how our energy systems affect us all. The basic seven chakra system (mentioned in point 4) is a really good place to start if you want to find out more about how you and the world operate.

https://empathicguidance.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/the-chakra-system/

6) You become a clearer channel for Universal Energy. This is due to simplifying your life and digging beneath the layers to reach your authentic core so your energy is no longer blocked by your ‘stuff’. Try the ‘white light’ breathing exercise to increase your connection. (Visualise  white light (universal energy)pouring into your crown, flowing through every cell of your body and into the ground, then back up round your body and out of your crown again. Do this any time during the day to keep the connection fresh and clear.)

7) You become increasingly uncomfortable around lower vibrating energy. And therefore find it harder to be around certain people. You will feel repelled by anyone who is ‘toxic ‘ to your energy. If possible, simply choose not to be around them. If there are people you have to interact with, then at least minimise contact and try the shielding exercise to protect you during that time. (Visualise yourself protected and surrounded by a cloud of white light – again you can do this any time of day, quickly and easily, and can add to it too, by visualising drops of whilte light feeding into it. There’s no limit to how big the cloud can be so keep feeding it!)

8) You become intolerant of lower vibrating and overstimulating environments. In particular, environments you know to be embodiments of the wrong path. Because of this, you may also find yourself increasingly avoiding the media, especially certain news items.

9) You crave a more healthy, serene and compassionate lifestyle. You recognise how the mindbody connection works and begin to take care of your body as you appreciate it as your means to interact with the Universe. Bad habits fall away as your fears diminish and you may want to live and work in a different place. Increased empathy may also mean a vegetarian and more eco-friendly lifestyle too.

10) You start noticing nudges from the Universe. One of the fun aspects of waking up! As you become a clearer channel for the Universal Energy, you begin to receive messages from the Universe to nudge you in the right direction. These can take a number of forms, such as:
Synchronicities
Signs and symbols
Dreams
Telepathy
Intuition

https://empathicguidance.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/so-what-is-synchronicity/

https://empathicguidance.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/dreams

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On Being An Empath (part two)

May 30, 2012

Part Two – The Delights

Empathy: the state of identification of personalities in which one person feels into the other as temporarily to lose his or her own identity. It is in this profound and somewhat mysterious process of empathy that understanding, influence, and the other significant relations between persons take place.  – Rollo May

In part one of “On Being An Empath” we examined the difficulties of being an empath. In this second part, we’ll now explore how to take care of yourself once you’ve recognised you’re an empath, and the delights which being an empath can bring.

TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF

Now you’ve recognised that you’re an empath, the most important change you can make is to take care of yourself by minimising the number of negative influences in your life. As discussed in part one, as an empath you are susceptible to the detrimental effects of negative energy, whether it’s surrounding energy or your own.

This susceptibility affects your life in a number of ways. Firstly, you will be unable to tolerate an unhealthy relationship at any level. Some people are able to exist in such a relationship for many years, perhaps by operating as though it were simply a business arrangement, but as an empath you are unable to do this. Indeed, if you do attempt to follow this course of action, you will end up becoming physically, emotionally or mentally sick – I have know more than one empath who has become suicidal when stuck in a loveless marriage. I have also known other empaths who have ended up becoming completely numb – unable to cope with the negative energy, they simply cut themselves off from ALL energy and feel nothing at all. What a horrible (non) existence. Consequently, the aware empath would rather remain single than be in a negative relationship.

You will also be unable to tolerate work which is meaningless – what Barry Jaeger in Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person calls ‘Drudgery’. Though many people are able to tolerate a dull job purely for the money, you are not one of them and if you make such a sacrifice, you will ultimately pay for it with your emotional, spiritual and physical health. The aware empath values their time, their well-being and meaningful work far more than they value money and consumer goods. Sadly, our society revolves around the masculine principles of economics whilst the more feminine attribute of empathy is often derided and neglected. And whoever dreamt up the work ethic certainly did not have people like us in mind – and was definitely not an empath.

The empath’s preference for meaningful work means that you will find many of us working in creative fields – the writer, the musician and the artist will often have this trait to some degree. Creativity is food for the soul for the empath and I personally find it vital to my well-being to use creativity in my work. I’ve done many jobs over the years but this is the only work I’ve truly enjoyed – even the more stressful and tedious aspects are easier to cope with when your work means something more to you than just a way of paying the bills.

As an empath, you will also benefit from periods of solitude to recuperate after any energy bombardment. In part one I discussed the difficulties for the empath of being in an urban environment. As I’ve got older (and empaths often become more sensitive to energies the older they become) I find that if I spend the day in a nearby town, I can only last a few hours before I have to get the hell out of there.

I also used to have what I call ‘brain in the jar’ moments. Before I recognised my trait, I would spend too much time amongst other people and become so overwhelmed, that it literally felt as if my head would explode. I would also find myself becoming overwhelmed by stressful situations or issues in my life. Whenever I felt like this, I would comment that I wished I could ‘take my brain out of my head and put it in a jar’, as a way of giving myself a break. At some subconscious level, obviously I knew what I needed – complete and utter sensory rest.

Fortunately I eventually recognised this need so I now make sure that I regularly recharge my own energy by spending time alone, meeting my need for time to contemplate, read, write and generally take care of myself – and my ‘brain in the jar’ moments no longer occur. I also realised that, for the same reasons, empaths need more sleep than most people. If you have commitments such as work and family, this can be easier said than done, but at least try and take half an hour to nap or lie in a dark, quiet room during the course of the day to revitalise yourself.  Some empaths are so unable to cope with energy onslaughts that they become recluses or hermits, but for most of us there is no need to go to this extreme, although time spent in retreat for a few days can be a positive thing now and again. This can be particularly useful for urban empaths, as time out in a tranquil rural environment can really give you a boost as well as indulge your passion for nature, which occurs naturally for many empaths.

Finding a pastime which absorbs you is also a good way of giving yourself a break. My personal favourite used to be jigsaws – you’ll find that  ‘geeky’ pastimes like model-making or stamp collecting are particularly good for this, as are creative pursuits such as gardening, painting, sculpting, or cookery. So long as it takes you out of your conscious mind for a while to give you time to balance your energy, any pastime you choose will do.

Basically then, the rule is to be your own best friend – take care of yourself, eat and sleep well and give yourself little treats now and again. Time spent relaxing with a good book in a local friendly coffee shop is my idea of bliss and is a really cheap and simple way to give yourself a lift and recharge your batteries. And remember to talk kindly to yourself – empaths tend to analyse everything and can end up being hypercritical of themselves. Whenever you catch yourself judging yourself harshly, ask yourself ‘Would I speak like this to my best friend? Would I tolerate my best friend saying this stuff to me?’ If not, then perhaps you need to reconsider.

Ultimately, self care is crucial. The more you nurture yourself, the more you will be open to the following benefits of being an empath.

 UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE – TELEPATHY, SYNCHRONICITIES AND DREAMS

Because of your high level of resonance, you will probably be tuned into the ‘universal energies’ or what Jung called the collective unconscious. This gives you a deep sense of knowing – you just ‘know’ things despite there being no rational explanation as to how you know – as well as a strong feeling of connection, which can lead to the spiritual belief that separation is an illusion and ‘we are all one’. This connection and knowing also opens us up to the ‘universal guidance’ which is contained within these energies, which is why many empaths are natural problem solvers, able to resolve any issue which they put their hearts, souls and minds into.

I mentioned in part one how my daughter and I are so close that as soon as we’re in each others energy range, I start to feel her physical symptoms. This energetic connection with others, often referred to as telepathy, is one of the fun aspects of being an empath. As well as those little tricks which many of us do such as thinking about someone just as they call you, or bumping into someone you haven’t seen in years the day after you thought about them, you may also find yourself connecting energetically with people in other less obvious ways. I find that I often tune into people I’m close to through my dreams, perhaps because my mind is more relaxed and therefore more receptive. For instance, if my daughter wakes before me in the morning and reads a book, I often have a dream which reflects the contents of that book in some way. A recent example was a dream I had about Glastonbury music festival one morning shortly before I woke. When I asked P what she had been reading, it turned out that there was a character in her book that had the nick-name ‘Glastonbury’! Even more bizarrely, I have even on occasion had the same dream as my daughter or my partner.

I also have prophetic dreams which you can read about in my blog entry The Magical World of Dreams. Empaths are often fascinated by dreams and we are natural dream analysts, due to our ability to see the deeper meaning in things and make lateral links using subtle details. This ability also works in the waking world too and helps us to interpret signs, symbols and archtypes, as well as synchronicities. Aware empaths delight in synchronicities and as our understanding of ourselves and our connection to the universe grows, we find that the universal guidance which appears in the form of synchronicities becomes ever more fluent and clear. You can read more about synchronicities in my blog entry So What Is Synchronicity?

PEOPLE AND OTHER ANIMALS

The aware empath is often described by others as ‘a beacon of light’. You will find that people are drawn to you and babies in particular will adore you – I often notice little children staring and smiling at me from their pushchairs when I’m out and about.

A similar thing can happen with animals. Empaths have a deep connection to animals and love to be around their energies. You may even find you prefer their company to that of people, as you feel animals – and their energies – are simpler and don’t have an agenda. Perhaps those ‘crazy cat ladies’ who prefer to live alone surrounded by felines are actually misunderstood empaths.

As an empath, you will also be able to resonate with the emotions of animals and unlike most people, you will view them as sentient beings who should have the same rights as humans. Because of this, many empaths become vegetarian or vegan at some point in their lives.

As far as people go, the empath makes a great friend for life, as we are loyal, warm and, humorous as well as very loving and affectionate. We are also good listeners, who are unembarrassed by strong emotion as well as being pretty much unshockable. However a healthy empath will have no tolerance for drama queens who seek attention through emotional behaviour. Though we are highly expressive about our feelings and ourselves, with the ability to share openly and honestly, we are also natural peacemakers, so prefer calm discussions to overwrought emotional spectacles or aggressive confrontations.

If you befriend an empath, then they will probably be your greatest champion. Empaths recognise your inner potential, so are able to identify your positive attributes and will remind you of your strengths when you forget you have them. (Paradoxically though, they often find it hard to take a compliment themselves.) They may also subtly alert you to any negative patterns in your life in a helpful and non-patronising way, as your empath friend has the ability to sift through all the confusing emotions you are experiencing which may be clouding the issue, to help you achieve clarity and find the root cause of your problem. And should they ever feel angry with you, you can rest assured that they will express this without attacking you personally – empaths are not judgmental and they recognise that just because a particular behaviour is bad, it does not mean that the person is bad too.

YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND

Being an empath means you have the ability to sense the truth behind someone’s facade. You intuitively know when someone is attempting to mask a negative emotion. One theory is that when we are in the presence of an emotion we have personally experienced, we recognise it and feel it within ourselves, due to our high level of internal resonance. The empath is also able to read body language, mostly at a subconscious level – you will pick up on things like tone of voice, body movements, the words people choose when they speak, the words they avoid, the logic they use – all factors which help you to tune into others and know things about them which other people probably miss. This also makes you very difficult to lie to! Not only are you able to detect a lie, you can also tell whether the intent behind that lie is malicious and selfish, or whether it’s a white lie, told in an attempt to protect someone else.

Empaths are also highly expressive themselves. They project an incredible amount of energy releasing their emotions, with many gesticulations, and as they are so open about themselves, the empath is usually the person of whom it is said that you can ‘read them like a book’. We also delight in using our bodies in a sensual way – empaths can literally become ‘lost in music’ when they dance, their bodies becoming one with the music to create one wonderful mass of  flowing, sensual energy.

NATURAL HEALERS

As you become aware of your empathy, you will recognise more and more how sensitive this makes you to the energies around you. The fact is that as an empath, energy is literally absorbed by you far more easily than more thick-skinned folk (hence the expression) so by increasing your awareness, you will be able to be more selective about which energies you allow yourself to absorb. This also means you will be able to experience a high level of resonance with another, without being overwhelmed by a multitude of outside influences.

When you have achieved this level of balance and awareness, you will find that all your empathic qualities as discussed above – your deep inner knowing, your connection to the universal energies and so on – make you a natural healer and counsellor. Indeed, for an empath a good way of sublimating the energy we talked about in part one – which attracts the energy vampires and lame ducks – and drawing boundaries around your own propensity to give of yourself to others, is to channel it into training in a helping or healing profession.

Being counselled by an empath is an amazing and life-changing experience. After just a few hours of conversation, you will feel as if the empath knows you inside out. This is due to the afore-mentioned ability for high emotional resonance, which allows the empath to tune into your energy and emotional state, giving them an uncanny ability to pinpoint what you most need and want. They will also ask the questions others may be afraid to ask – if you’re willing to face up to some possibly uncomfortable truths about yourself and your life and recognise your negative self-destructive patterns in order to grow and be true to the real you, then working with an empath will change your life.  An empath will not shy away from talking about feelings of loss either, and will help you to gain perspective on your issue as well as heal from emotional wounds, past and present.

In addition to helping you to heal, the empath will point out strengths and abilities you perhaps never realised you had. Personal empowerment is very important to the empath so they will always respect your courage and sense of determination to survive and will trust in your ability to heal and take care of yourself. All this creates a very safe environment with a high level of trust and a strong intimacy. The relationship between an empath and their client is more than just a business transaction – an authentic and caring relationship will be formed between you as the empath helps you to be your best self and to live the truth of who that best self is.

Empaths may also find themselves being drawn to other types of healing work directly involving energy, such as Reiki. With our natural ability to tune into the universal energy, learning to channel this energy through ourselves to help others is a path which many empaths naturally gravitate towards.

I do hope this article has helped you to understand your trait a little better. If you feel that anything here resonates with you, do please leave a comment – I would love to hear from you!

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Talkin’ Bout A Revolution – a prediction for 2011 and beyond

December 23, 2010

Don’t you know they’re talkin’ bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Poor people are gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people are gonna rise up
And take what’s theirs

Don’t you know you better run
Oh I said you better run

Finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ bout a revolution

(Tracey Chapman)

Back in July, I wrote an article about my friend G who was the victim of a dreadful road accident. Thankfully she has now almost fully recovered physically – though she is still dealing with the emotional and psychological repercussions – but there is one rather spooky aspect to this which I didn’t mention in my original piece. For several months prior to this accident, I saw the expression ’thrown under a bus’ everywhere – so often that I was struck by how unusual it was, particularly as it wasn’t really an expression I was familiar with. I also began to become rather unnerved by it, worrying that maybe someone I knew was going to end up under a bus, and that it was some kind of warning – but as I didn’t know who this person was, there wasn’t really much I could do about it. So I put the thought out of my head and chalked it up to a vivid imagination….

Of course, the rest is history, so you can imagine my consternation when I more recently started seeing references to decapitation/beheading everywhere. At first I was extremely alarmed, particularly as the previous event had demonstrated to me that I was unable to actually do anything about it. However I then began to get a strong intuitive feeling that this wasn’t about an individual but was a prediction relating to events on a national level. Politically, the UK is going through a turbulent time, and I felt that my ‘decapitation’ prediction perhaps related to a potential revolution (similar to the one in 18th century France, though hopefully minus the guillotine), with the less well off members of our society finally being jolted out of their passivity and rising up against the complacent rich, who seem hell bent on taking as much as they can of the world’s resources for themselves, at the expense of everyone else.

Despite the violent and daunting implications of revolution, I really hoped that my feeling that this could be a national rather than a personal prediction was correct – not least because it’s about time we stood up for ourselves – and was therefore heartened when I read the result of my energy scan which I ordered from Gehenna of Beyond Within. I often contact Gehenna for an energy scan, as like most empaths and intuitives, I sometimes find it hard to read my own energy clearly and pinpoint any blocks etc, particularly if external energies have been somewhat overwhelming. Gehenna always helps me to clarify these issues and I would highly recommend her service.

As always, Gehenna’s reading for me was spot on – and I felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when I read these words:

“Only other thing I get is a sense of worry/anxiety around your third eye. You feel a sense of foreboding that isn’t personal, but more of a world thing and it is bothering you as you’ve never been one who bothers much with Doom.”

Gehenna described exactly what I’d been feeling – that  sense of foreboding relating to  people on a wider scale is indeed new to me as previous intuitive feelings have been on a more personal or individual level. I do believe that we are in for a rough ride over the next decade or so and that things are going to get  extremely tough for a lot of people – but I also believe that the outcome of all this will ultimately be a positive one.

I received this reading on November 30th, a day or so after I requested it, and a couple of months after I began to have the ‘revolution’ thoughts. And then, of course, nine days later this happened (accompanied by cries of  ‘Off with their heads’):

(For more on this see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/10/student-fees-charles-camilla-inquiry)

The other word which was prevalent for me over this same period of time – and again, not a word which had regularly appeared in my environment prior to this –  was ‘meltdown’. My feeling about this, then, and my prediction for the next decade is that nationally – and maybe even globally – we are heading for a meltdown and a revolution – with the masses finally rising up against the super-rich as the current austerity drive affects more  and more people – will be the outcome. One thing’s for sure – we’re heading for some enormous changes over the next decade, after which nothing will ever be the same again. Scary, yes – but also much needed if we want to create a more equal and empathic society. Vive la revolution!

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Visits from departed loved ones – dream or reality?

June 28, 2010

A couple of months ago I wrote here about the sad loss of my cat, Binbag. Binbag had been my cat companion for 16 years so as you can imagine, I was devastated. My other little cat friend, Pyewackett, who grew up with Binners, had died suddenly three years previously and Binbag’s demise brought memories back of this,  as well as symbolising the end of an era for me, so I found myself  grieving for both of them and for happy times, never to be revisited.

I also felt a lot of guilt and concern about the way Binbag died. I’d noticed him acting strangely over the previous week and had begun to wonder whether he was perhaps going senile. His personality began to change – he no longer seemed to be his usual laidback happy little self – and he spent a lot of time just staring at his food dish, or seemingly staring into space. When I realised that he  was also beginning to struggle with his breathing I decided it was time for a trip to the vets.

Despite his advanced age, I still hoped that the vet would offer some remedy for his problems and that our old Binners would be back with us, right as rain. We’d had a little scare six months earlier when his eye swelled up enormously and blood started to trickle from his nose, potentially the signs of a tumour. Luckily it turned out to be a simple infection and a couple of shots of antibiotics had him back to his old self in no time.

However, this time it wasn’t to be. The vet examined him and told me that he had a lot of fluid round his lungs, which was why his breathing was difficult, and also appeared to have a swollen liver. To remove the fluid would have involved a painful operation and she said that at his age, there was a good chance that the procedure in itself would kill him. The swollen liver was also a bad sign and she advised me that if it was her cat, she would probably do the kindest thing – and euthanize him. Ultimately though, the decision was mine.

I was utterly distraught and completely torn over what to do. After composing myself outside of the room (I didn’t want Binners to pick up on my distress), I went back in and after a lot of thought and soul-searching, sadly gave her the nod.

It was one of the most traumatic things I’ve ever experienced. It all felt faintly surreal and the moment when the needle went in was truly horrible – I knew at that point he was going to die and that there was no way back from then. What made the experience even more traumatic was that his circulation was so bad, the vet had to inject him in his stomach which was clearly very uncomfortable for him as he squirmed in a desperate bid to free himself. The vet then had to hold his head up due to his breathing difficulties, so as he died he was looking straight into my eyes. As I stroked his paws and told him what a great little cat he’d been and how much I loved him, I saw the light finally go out of his eyes for good, but because of his illness and where he had the injection, he still continued breathing despite apparently being brain dead. The actual end – which in reality probably took a couple of minutes – seemed to take forever to arrive. I was heartbroken.

Over the next couple of weeks I found myself constantly in tears, unable to sleep and feeling desperately guilty about whether I’d done the right thing. Maybe if I’d allowed the operation, he might have stood a chance? He’d always been a fighter, after all. I also felt terribly traumatised by the manner of his death –   I’d always imagined euthanasia would be quick and peaceful but this wasn’t the case at all with poor Binners. My father, who was with me during all of this, assured me that I’d done the best thing for him and my friends and family all told me that he’d been a very lucky cat who had had a wonderful life, but none of this could console me.

I spent a lot of time over this fortnight pacing around and wandering  about aimlessly, unable to settle or concentrate on anything. Then one day during yet another aimless wander around my garden,  a bee began to follow me. Everywhere I went, there was the bee, buzzing around my head despite my attempts to flap it away.  I suddenly recalled that I’d heard of people being visited by deceased loved ones in the form of a non-human creature, and I began to wonder if the bee was Binners, particularly as it was a bumble bee (BB standing for Bumble Bee and Bin-Bag). So I said to the bee – ‘’Ok, if you are Binners and you’ve come back to let me know that you’re ok, then please give me another bee sign in the next 24 hours.’

The following day, exhausted through my lack of sleep, I decided to go for an afternoon nap. I always dream a lot when I have a sleep during the day, and this time was no exception. In my dream, I was in a strange house with my parents and daughter which was apparently our home. Despite the unfamiliarity of the house, I accepted that this was home and believed this to be real, until I suddenly spotted Binners curled up asleep on the floor. ‘ Hang on a minute,’ I said ‘this can’t be real! Binners is over there and I know for a fact he died. I’m dreaming this! I need to wake up!’

And I promptly did wake up – only to feel the familiar sensation of a cat jumping onto the bed. I sat up, eyes still closed, and was elated to feel fur rubbing against my skin. Binners was here! I was too afraid to open my eyes as I seemed to sense that if I did, he would disappear, so I contented myself with stroking him and was delighted to feel by the sleek texture of his fur that he was young and healthy again. He nuzzled against my face, and somehow wordlessly communicated to me that he was happy and at peace, and that he loved me and that I should no longer feel sad or guilty about him. And then he jumped off the bed, and finally I had the courage to open my eyes – just in time to see the tip of a black tail disappearing out of the door.

I lay in bed for a while after, feeling stunned and excited. Was that really him? Did that really just happen or was I still dreaming? I had heard about people being visited by deceased loved ones whilst they lay in their beds, so maybe this was what had happened here. When I eventually got up, I decided to do what I always do when wondering about something, and went on the internet to google it.

I typed in ‘dreams of deceased loved ones’ and came up with over a quarter of a million results. The first entry I looked at was a discussion forum which I felt would offer a number of different experiences, one of which may be similar to my own – and on the first page I viewed, under a comment which particularly resonated with me, was this ‘signature’:

 

It was the bee! And as you can see, not only is it a bee, it’s a bee who appears to be jumping up and down and waving at me, as if to say ‘Well, you wanted your sign and here I am! NOW do you believe it was me?’

This whole experience was of  enormous comfort to me and I was finally able to let go of the guilt I felt about Binners’ death. It was also a very exciting experience and over the next week I found myself sharing the story with a number of people. I live in Yorkshire where the people are very down to earth, and I expected that many would at best, humour me or at worst, look at me as if I was slightly mad. But amazingly nearly everyone I told, including those who I expected to be the most sceptical, had a similar tale to tell of being visited by a recently deceased loved one whilst lying in their bed. Each of these stories had striking similarities – no words were spoken yet there was a telepathic communication between them, the message usually being ‘I’m fine, don’t worry about me’, the loved one appeared youthful, well and happy, and there was a surreal feel to the experience, with the person being visited unsure whether they were awake or asleep. Further research on this brought up that same surreal feeling time and time again – that it didn’t feel like a dream, that it felt real yet the fact that the visit occurred during the night made them uncertain of how real it actually was.

Having considered this for some time and done a vast amount of research, my belief  now is that this experience is a genuine visitation and that for most of us, this is probably the only time when energy of a more ethereal nature can interact with us. When we are resting, our mind is relaxed and therefore much more receptive than during the day, when we are usually over-stimulated and stressed out by our daily routines. When we are lying in that limbo state – half-awake, half-asleep – we are also probably less likely to be afraid of a ‘spirit’ appearing before us. At rest and away from the harsh realities of everyday living, it seems all of us have the abilities and sensitivity of the empath…

If you have recently lost a loved one, I hope this story is of some comfort to you – and if you have experienced something similar, please leave a comment as I would love to hear your stories too.

Incidentally, when my cat Pyewackett died, it was a shock as it was unexpected – we came down one morning and he had simply died in the night – but it was nowhere near as disturbing as the experience with Binners. However, even though I was relieved that he’d died the way we’d probably all want to go – suddenly, without any prior illness, and at home (especially as he hated going to the vets more than any cat I’ve ever known) – I still felt guilty that I hadn’t been with him, particularly as I had heard him miaowing in the night and had just told him to be quiet. He was always a very talkative cat, regardless of the time of day or night, and there was nothing in his tone to suggest anything was amiss, but I still felt upset that I hadn’t been there for him in his last moments.

A few days later I was in a local supermarket waiting for a friend to finish her shopping. As was usual at this time, I was thinking about Pye and feeling upset that I hadn’t been there for him when he needed me, when I suddenly spotted this rather bizarre headline on the newspaper stand. It said simply, in huge letters  right across the front page:

“I’m happy to die at home.”

 

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Wabi-sabi (part one)

September 26, 2009

wabisabi

I’m sure most of you will have experienced the phenomenon of being followed around by a particular word or phrase. For example, I remember a couple of years ago the phrase ‘cut of his jib’ leaping out at me from a newspaper – and from that point on it seemed to be everywhere I looked for weeks. More recently I found myself being stalked by the word ‘labyrinth’, prompting me to buy a book on the spiritual practice of ‘walking the labyrinth’ in a bid to establish if it had any particular significance for me, as yet to no avail. (I’ll keep you posted.)

Even more recently, however, I’ve found myself being shadowed by an unusual pairing of words – the Japanese phrase ‘wabi-sabi’. Glimpses of wabi-sabi seemed to creep up on me in both written and spoken word, from a number of sources including the internet, books, newspapers and magazines so with my curiosity piqued, I decided to explore what this strange expression meant. And this time there was no doubting the significance of the words for me, as followers of my blog will soon see…

So what is wabi-sabi?

It’s a Japanese term which is said to be difficult to explain adequately to Westerners, and in my research I found a few differing stories about the origins of the expression – in particular there seemed to be confusion around dates – but here are some definitions and a description of the main principles of the concept as I understand it.

Wabi originally meant sad, desolate and lonely – ‘the misery of living alone in nature away from society – a cheerless emotional state’. However, towards the middle of the last millennium, wabi had evolved to mean simple, non-materialistic, ‘humble by choice’ and in tune with nature.  It also meant ‘the aesthetic of the people’, referring to the simple lifestyle of the ordinary samurai who lacked material comforts, as opposed to the warlord rulers who lived an ostentatious consumerist lifestyle. Another possibility is that this more positive definition evolved because the Japanese held the spiritual asceticism of the monks and hermits in high esteem.

Sabi also originally meant ‘to be desolate’ but its definition evolved to mean ‘to grow old’, and by the middle of the last millennium, it was regarded as meaning ‘the beauty of the natural progression of time’ or ‘the bloom of time’. Sabi is about taking pleasure in the beauty of an object which has aged or weathered, and about carrying the burden of years with dignity and grace.

The expression Wabi-sabi finally came into being in the 16th century, thanks to the style and beliefs of the Tea Master Sen no Rikyu. Rikyu rejected the formal practice of tea ceremonies which he felt had become too ostentatious, exclusive and complex, allowing only a privileged few to participate. He decided it was time to bring the ceremonies to the masses so he built tea rooms like farmers’ huts with rough mud walls, thatched roofs and misshapen exposed-wood structural elements. He also made it an art to use handmade cups, pots and tea bowls, and utensils hewn from unlacquered bamboo.

Aesthetically, then, wabi-sabi offers an alternative to the poor designs, mass production  and disposable extravagance of our commercial world and instead embraces the simple, the well-used, the earthy and the unpretentious. Wabi-sabi is ‘perfect imperfection’, appreciating the beauty of things modest and humble or unconventional and finding perfection in the flaws. It’s about treasuring the old and well-loved objects you already possess rather than discarding them for new bland ones. It’s about keeping only the items which are necessary to us for their utility and/or beauty. It’s about working with natural products and celebrating the handmade – objects made by humans rather than by machine – and the soulful – music and art which comes from the soul rather than slick corporate soulless stuff. And it’s about warmth and comfort and creating a cosy welcoming sanctuary – spending time with loved ones in a quaint rural tearoom instead of an anodyne Starbucks; relaxing at home in a battered old armchair instead of an Ikea special; and snuggling up in a well-worn cardigan instead of the latest throwaway fashion from Primark.

And once again, the definition of wabi-sabi has evolved and now embraces the personal – our lifestyle – as well as objects and environments.  In part two, I’ll share with you the key principles for living a wabi-sabi lifestyle.

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So what is synchronicity?

June 24, 2009

So what is this strange phenomenon ‘synchronicity’ and why does it happen?

Synchronicity is a term which was originally coined by the psychiatrist Carl Jung to describe an acausal coincidence between two unrelated events connected by meaning – a ‘meaningful coincidence’. Jung is famous for his belief that science and spirituality should be integrated, and felt that synchronicity was the perfect challenge to our cultural conditioning to only accept the rational and explicable.

The fact that despite the best efforts of the sceptics, synchronicity is a phenomenon which ultimately maintains its mystery is one of the things I find so intriguing and delightful about it. It demonstrates that there is more to our lives than that which is witnessed by our five senses or explained away by scientific research and that therefore there is perhaps a greater pattern in operation in the universe.

In her book Synchronicity: The Promise of CoincidenceDeike Begg expands on this concept:

The most interesting aspect of all truly synchronistic phenomena is that there appears to be a pre-existing knowledge of things to come, things of which we have at that moment no apparent awareness whatsoever. There seems to be an altogether ‘other’ that knows more than us, can see into the future and also has the ingenious ability to find the quickest route to return us to our destined path.

This ‘other’ which Begg speaks of is what Jung called the ‘collective unconscious’ and which I like to refer to as the ‘universal energy’. We see evidence of this ‘unconscious world’ which connects us all through synchronistic happenings, dreams, telepathy and the like – as Begg says, ‘in that moment we are aware that we are not alone, that there is a whole other world ‘out there’ of which we normally know nothing but which nevertheless reveals itself to us in order to help or warn’.

It would be easy here to get caught up in a lengthy discussion based on Jungian theory, but I feel that’s beyond the scope of this blog and something best reserved for a more in-depth article. So I’m going to cut to the chase and offer my own feelings about synchronicity and what these strange occurrences mean to me, based on contemplation, research and empirical evidence.

I think there’s a part of all of us – the ‘higher self’, if you like (the ‘unconscious’ in psychological terms) – which is tuned into the universal energy (or collective unconscious – see below for an illustration of how this works). Some people are more in touch with their higher self – and therefore the universal energy – than others. Through this higher self, the universal energy gives us ‘nudges’ through such phenomena as synchronicities to encourage us to expand our awareness and open up to the infinite possibilities which exist beyond our conscious mind and our ‘everyday’ self. The majority of people, when experiencing a truly awesome synchronicity, will take a moment to ponder whether there is perhaps more to life than the purely material, and for some, this will trigger a search for ‘something more’, beyond that which is tangible.

collective unconscious

But this nudge into awareness is just the beginning. Once you begin to listen to the voice of your higher self – the voice which I call ‘inner guidance’ – then the synchronicities will begin to appear more and more. These syncs are like destiny’s signposts – I find that they usually occur to either reassure me I’m on the right path, or to show me the way when I’m feeling bewildered about which direction to take. The latter is also usually a nudge to remind me to let go and follow my inner guidance, as the bewilderment is usually caused by ego-generated fears. When I do surrender to the universal energy and listen to the messages coming through my higher self, then the path to follow is pretty clear.

Here’s an example: I first had the idea for my website and blog three years ago (almost to the day). Whilst giving guidance to an internet friend, I suddenly had an intuitive flash – maybe my life purpose was to be an ‘intuitive guide/healer/therapist’, combining my traditional counselling training with my intuitive/empathic nature, and using my writing skills and journalistic background to impart information and work with people online. I was concerned, however, about how feasible this idea was and my fears went into overdrive. Was this a realistic way to consider making a living? Would my family and friends shun or mock me as a ‘weirdo’? Confused and nervous, I picked up a random book from my vast collection and opened it. The book was The Lightworker’s Way by Doreen Virtue and the first page I turned to said this:

She also relayed a message that she had received for me: ‘Don’t worry so much, because everything is going to work out perfectly.’

With that sentence, I blushed. I had been worrying. So much of my world, my thoughts, my beliefs and my relationships were shifting, and I felt that my foundations were very shaky. The more I reopened my long-neglected spiritual interests, the less interested I was in traditional psychology. Yet, I feared my income depended upon my writing about and conducting ‘academically correct’ psychological work. What would I do for a living if I walked away from traditional psychological methods and beliefs?

Another one of my overriding concerns was my relationship with my fiancé, Michael. Although I deeply loved him, I wondered whether my emerging spirituality would pull us apart. I longed to talk to him about my exciting clairvoyant experiences, but I expected him to scoff at or overanalyse my words. Michael had never given me cause to draw these conclusions; I just didn’t feel comfortable discussing my fragile new world with him.

On reading this, I became very emotional (strong feelings and physical reactions – e.g. tears, shaking, goosebumps or  feeling excited and more alive – are usually a powerful indicator that something special has just occurred). What a wonderful sign! The author of those words, Doreen Virtue, is of course extremely successful in her chosen field, and she also states later in the book that her fears about her fiancé were totally unjustified.

Obviously I listened to this message and followed up my original idea which is why I’m writing this today. The key to making the most of the synchronicities in your life is to pursue the path which you feel they point you towards. Sometimes it’s not always as clear cut as the above example, but the feeling that something pretty powerful has occurred and a willingness to be open to what your inner guidance has to tell you and to tentatively follow the trail which the synchronicity has left in its wake can be enough.

For instance, I intuitively feel that the Pete Duel synchronicity I shared with you on Monday relates to my work and consequently my life purpose. The story of this sync covers several decades of my life, from when I was a girl and felt a strange inexplicable connection with Pete, right up to the present day when I wrote the article stating that I felt he may have been an unaware empath. I think I recognised at some level that there was something important going on here before the actual sync occurred, which is why I discussed it with my partner and did some more research into Pete’s life. The wonderful synchronicity confirmed me to that this is a trail of some significance which is definitely worth pursuing – and who knows what exciting opportunities may arise or what discoveries I may make as I explore this path further?

If you’d like to read more about synchronicities, here are some more links which may be of interest:

teapotshappen.wordpress.com

When God Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Lifeby SQuire Rushnell

The Three Only Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence, and Imaginationby Robert Moss

The Celestine Prophecyand The Celestine Vision: Living the New Spiritual Awarenessby James Redfield

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