Union

Spiritually, we are meant to be unified, we are meant to think and act with the whole in mind.

Spiritually, we are meant to be unified, we are meant to think and act with the whole in mind.

I wrote this minutes after finding out the result of the UK Referendum to remain in the European Union. The decision to leave has had wide- spread ramifications for Great Britain and the world already.  These outcomes will continue to unfold for months and years ahead, and I trust that the politicians, economists, financial houses, businesses and individuals will make the best of it, in that we will find a way forward that will be to the benefit of all sides.

I voted to remain. It was a spiritual decision.  Spiritually, we are meant to be unified, we are meant to think and act with the whole in mind.  Every spiritual path, be it within religion or not, teaches and demonstrates that we are part of an indivisible whole.  Science, with it’s theory of Big Bang, acknowledges that the entire universe came from a single point in space and time and that nothing new has been created since- the energy is just recycling.  This is the rhythm and cycle of existence.

In the UK, it seems that there is some concern with the challenges that come with European unification. Of course it is challenging to live in harmony with other people and nations that think differently, want different things and act in different ways.  This is part of the struggle of being human, to find a way to hear all that must be heard and respond in a way that all peoples feel respected, cherished and honoured.

While people only think short term and do not take the larger view, separation will always appear like the better option. It comes with its own challenges.  Separation and Union both bring their own difficulties.  Separation weakens the whole.  It is seeded in fear and I think we need to be more courageous than that, globally, nationally, regionally and individually.  Union requires a totally different mind- set.  To care for our brothers and sisters, to unite the energy that feeds and sustains us.  Once people feel cared for and heard, healed and empowered, that mind- set will have already taken a huge shift.  Until then, as individuals, we must do what we can to unify our lives, so that we can demonstrate the power of living in love.  This is the message of every spiritual leader: Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Ang Sang Su Shi.

I hope that whatever the UK and the world do from this point on, we will find a way to create greater union across all nations. I do not want to sound like some naïve new- ager.  I am not one, for I know that the road ahead will be challenging, not because it has to be, but because to change hearts and minds is hard when they are driven by fear and a sense of lack.  It will take a lot of internal work, that many of us are reluctant to do at the best of times, to shift towards love and abundance.  When we do, and the tide is changing in spite of what this vote may or may not imply, the healing and Union will pick up pace.

Transportation

There is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence

There is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence

One of the privileges of living in Cambridge, England, is King’s College and its chapel. You may have heard about the choir that performs there throughout the academic year, particularly at Christmas and Even Song service on Sundays?

Recently we went to this Even Song service and enjoyed the power this opportunity for contemplation offered. I went along without the expectation of following the service, but rather to experience the sound of the choir. My experience with energy has shown me that part of the reason hymns, psalms and services are sung in the manner that they are, is because the energy of the sound takes you beyond the surface level thinking of the conscious mind and deeper into the calm pool of the subconscious, towards a meditative state. You have to let the sounds wash over you and you feel the calmness take over as the service progresses. This service did not disappoint. The voices and the acoustics worked their magic beautifully. I had to stop myself listening to the words so that I could be affected by the primal power of vibration and rhythm.

For me it was a struggle as my conscious mind latched on to words it recognised. I had to remind my self to let go of the meaning and feel the experience of the sound on my soul. It was beautiful. Towards the end of the service I did listen to the words and they were so much more beautiful when heard from this place of calm and serenity. Couple this feeling with the visual experience of the vaulted ceilings and stained- glass windows and the ethereal became real.

The combined affect was to calm the anxious soul and to remind me that there is a peace and tranquility that lies beneath the turmoil of surface level existence, if only I’d give myself the chance. This Sunday service was my chance. I believe all services, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Pagan or whatever are a chance to reconnect to the Source of our Being. Call that Source God, Spirit, energy or whatever, the reconnection boosts your strength and resolve to do good, be good and have trust and faith. I believe yoga, martial arts, meditation, fasting, dancing, chanting or drumming for spiritual rituals strive for the same reconnection to the Source which is the essence of spiritual practice.

At last, I felt the connection between religion and spirituality. Religion I saw in the service, the vestments, the buildings and the prayers. Spirituality I experienced in the words, cadences, rhythms and sounds of all that religious metaphor. It was transporting. And where did it take me? To myself and to the Source. Perhaps that is the point of religion? Perhaps I should have learned that at Sunday school?

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If you would like to attend choral evensong, here is an article by Rupert Sheldrake who was involved in the creation of a website called Choral Evensong allowing you to find church services with free choral music across the British Isles.

Emotion in the Body

Have you wondered what people mean when they refer to the mind- body connection?   How does this relate to energy? What role does energy play in this connection between body and mind?

One of the key forces of the mind is emotion, feelings that flow through the mind and body created by the release of hormones, neurotransmitters and other chemicals that affect the body and mind in a myriad of ways. These chemicals are released as a response to events and situations that occur in your life. There are many chemicals for the body to choose from. Which ones you choose are determined by your beliefs and values, so that you might be anxious about the prospect of talking in public because you believe it to be a threatening situation, or you might be excited by the idea because it is thrilling to be sharing your ideas to a group of people. The quickening heart, the shortness of breath, the strained voice are all symptoms of one emotional response. The steady beat of the heart, the calm breathing and the conviction in your strong voice are the symptoms of a different response. Neither emotion is right or wrong. It is just how you feel about it. Those feelings create an emotional response in your body. This cascade of events occurs because the mind and the body are connected.

Energy and emotion

Emotion is energy in motion (e- motion). All things are energy and all energy flows. Emotion is a particular energy flow that is part of the human experience bringing you the highs and lows of living. Emotions can be joyous and painful. That joy and pain is felt most keenly when it flows, as it courses through your body and you experience that flow of energy. Sometimes that flow can be over- whelming as you feel the intensity of it. The joy of loving and feeling loved and the pain of bereavement are two more common examples. These emotions are sometimes so powerful that you cannot stop them flowing.

Some times in your life you might have been taught not to express your emotions. As children it is common to be told not to cry or not to be so silly, to grow up when upset or not to display anger. These restrictions are sometimes cultural and can also be because the people around you cannot handle these emotions themselves and so feel uncomfortable with them. In a desperate effort to control the situation, children are told by parents to stifle their emotions.   Humiliation at school by peers can be a powerful learning ground for suppressing emotion.

When energy is trapped

So what is really going on inside of you when this happens? From the point of view of energy, the emotion you are feeling in that moment is energy in flow creating a response in your body that generates anger, sadness, jealousy or whatever, manifesting certain behaviour- you cry, shout, scream etc. When told to stop, you try to stem that flow, stopper it like a cork in a champagne bottle or holding tight onto the lead of your dog when it is trying to get away. This takes effort and energy of it’s own and the body tightens to contain it. Muscles stiffen to hold on to the energy as it tries to flow. Because the energy is contained, the bodily response subsides. Perhaps unknown to you, the energy is still inside you, trying to flow and held back by your body through muscle tension.

You know this if you have ever relived a past experience- the emotion resurfaces as if the event had just happened- powerful and emotional. Over many years, with repeated events such as these, the body becomes increasingly tense, limiting movement, strength, breathing, posture, digestion, presence and preventing relaxation that allows the body to act naturally. With so much emotion trapped in the body, the mind also becomes tense, as it has to monitor the muscles that are trapping this energy and make sure nothing gets released. Over time, this takes up more and more of your energy, splitting your mind and body, making it harder to focus on the present and relax into the moment.

Restricted energy in motion manifests as tension throughout the body

Restricted energy in motion manifests as tension throughout the body

The consequences of this learned behaviour over time can be severe. As well as reducing emotional range because you do not allow yourself to express more than just mild emotions, the mind and body become tight, increasing stress, accelerating the aging process, reducing learning and adaptability, preventing flexibility and agility of body and mind and affecting health as well as well- being.

When you release energy

How do you release this trapped emotion? What is most important here is to do so in a safe and appropriate way. Sometimes it might be important to seek professional support in dealing with emotions that are otherwise challenging to handle and work through. Meditation can be an excellent method for releasing tension and becoming mindful of your feelings when that emotion is released. Yoga too can be a brilliant method for stretching out tension throughout the body, creating calmness and relaxation in mind and body. Massage, reflexology, acupuncture and shiatsu are all methods of relaxing the body and therefore the mind as part of a programme to bring the mind and body into balance and towards well- being. There is another energetic advantage to relaxing body and mind and allowing the energy to flow through you rather than be trapped inside: that is connection. When relaxed you are more connected, more present and open to the fullness of the moment. Here you connect not just to your self, but to the world and humanity. Through doing this work, you reconnect to your natural state, connected to the expansive whole of the universe.

Over to you

How do you experience the mind- body connection? How do you allow your emotions to flow? What can you share about stifling and suppressing emotions? We’d love to hear from you and share in the discussion about energy, so come on over and post your comments in the box at the bottom of the page.

Pass it on

If you know someone who would enjoy this blog or find it useful, please pass it on and share in the power of energy.

The Full Human Experience

Have you ever questioned what it is to be human? Do you ever wonder whether there is more to this human experience? When you hear or read about people’s peak experiences do they seem familiar to you or are they totally alien, leaving you wondering what you are missing?

 

The work that Avis and Brown is engaged in is about energy. In particular the energy of the mind, body, soul and spirit. What does that mean and in particular what relevance does it have for the human experience? “Mind, body and spirit” is a phrase that has become common in our parlance and there are countless courses and books about these three aspects of life. The work that both Avis and Brown does  is about the three elements of the human experience: mind, body and soul, how they relate to the fourth element of our work, spirit, and the way in which these four are inter- related through energy.

 

As you can see from the diagram below it depicts that mind, body and soul are connected. Put all three of these circles in relationship with each other and you have the human experience. How full that human experience is depends of the size of the circles and how well balanced they are. You tend to favour one or two of the circles and neglect the others- which one’s they are depends on your upbringing, your training and your desire to develop and cultivate these circles. Speaking for myself I have worked hard throughout my life on the physical and mental circles and less so on the soul aspect of my being. I think Lynette would agree with me if we said she has worked hard on her mental and soul circles and less so on her physical. We work on all three to some degree- the question is how powerful is each circle and how well balanced the three are in relation to each other?

 

The human experience is more than just a physical journey through the world in which we feel the physical sensations of our environment. Neither is it simply a mental exercise to be intellectualized through or an emotional experience simply to be felt. Nor is life simply an ethereal experience in which you ignore the physical world and separate your self from others. All three of these aspects are essential to the human experience and life can feel stale, hollow and meaningless if you are lacking in any one of these. The ideal relates to what Buddha referred to as “The Middle Way”, towards connection and being centred- to your self, others and the world around you.

 

By all means enjoy the physical experience of the world as much as you wish- explore new places, meet new people, have new experiences. Enjoy food, physical exercise, sexual intimacy, stillness and movement. Become as physically strong, flexible and co- ordinated as you want, run marathons, swim oceans, wrap your leg over your head and dance the night away. The physical body is also a wonderful tool of sensation- the feeling of movement, thought, sensuality and emotion in the body is a powerful intuitive voice that could be referred to as Body Wisdom and requires a connection to, and awareness of, the body. To submit to your bodily experience connects you to something much larger, beyond thought and into pure movement and presence.

 

Your mind allows you to perceive the world through the lens of your values and beliefs, built upon the foundation of your traditions, experience and culture. Emotion gives you a richness to life that can be both joyful and painful. There is much learning and growth that can come from these emotional experiences. How and what you learn depends on your mind- set. The depth of feeling and emotion becomes limited if you are not willing to connect within or outward towards others. If you feel isolated you do not feel part of the great community of humanity that is there for us all to take part in as actively and as consciously as we choose. The mind is also creative as well as logical and reason- based. Again, we tend to favour one aspect of the mind or the other. In my experience, cultivating both the logical and creative sides of the mind gives you a greater breadth of learning, productivity and engagement. Here the mind begins to touch into intuition, instinct and the ability to connect into energies and forces that are much larger.

 

The third circle, the soul, is part of the energy centres of the being such as the chakras and meridians. Connecting to your soul connects you to your self, another route to your inner wisdom and growing experience and learning. Cultivate this with meditation, yoga, chi gong, martial arts and Reiki. Our book, Nourish the Flame Within, is full of meditations that nurture the soul and make it more powerful. The soul allows you to connect to others, facilitating empathy, compassion and connection to humanity.

The full human experience is the total integration of mind, body and soul.

The full human experience is the total integration of mind, body and soul.

There are exercises you can practice that allow to you consciously cultivate connecting all three circles at the same time. Some forms of martial arts, yoga, Reiki and dance will do this. Often it is good to cultivate one circle at a time such as some forms of meditation that get you to calm the mind and body so that you can energise the soul of your being. Often, you can work with two circles, so a workout may well work the mind and the body, or a walk in nature will cultivate the body and the soul. In truth, it is impossible to separate the three circles, as they are an integrated part of the human experience. Activities will favour one or two circles over the others.

 

Perhaps the key is being aware and working on developing the weaker circle(s) so that you become more balanced and whole. Then, you will have a more integrated experience with all the activities you do, making your life more engaging for the body, mind and soul. Only by consciously working on these circles can you work towards having a progressively more fulfilling and meaningful human experience. Get this combination of three circles right and you have deep human experience, where you become aware of something much larger than your self, perhaps even larger than the people you are sharing the experience with. You are not just engaging one circle, or even two circles. In fact you are engaging all three circles. Access your connection to Spirit through any of the circles and it will power up all three. Now you know you are connected not just to your self and to others. You are also connected to something bigger that feels powerful and makes you feel energized throughout your being.

 

We’d love to hear from you and find out how you work on developing your circles and how this has lead to you living more fully, freely and in a more connected and peaceful way. Please leave your comments in the box at the bottom of the page and share your experiences, insights and knowledge.

The Universe Influences

ThinkstockPhotos-177794827Mind body connection

There are many books on the market that talk about the mind and body connection or the mind and life connection. Books such as the Secret and authors such as Louise Hay have used and shared this mind- life, mind- body understanding. Hypnotherapy is a practice that centres on those connections and uses them for the benefit of the client’s health and well-being. The connection between mind and body and mind and life is very well understood by health and well-being professionals.

We also have a connection to the Universe. We are the Universe. We are not separate from the Universe. Every moment of every day we have a profound connection to the totality of the Universe. If you consider yourself separate from the Universe please answer this. Where did you come from? What made you? What are you made from?

 

You are energy

You are energy through and through. You are made of the stuff of the universal stars. You are no different to them. You have your place amongst them. They are energy and so too are you. The Universe came into being a long time ago and we can say it has a life of its own. It too lives and breathes as you do. Stars come and they go. The Universe experiments with energy on many levels, life forms come and go depending on how successful they are within the universal experiment. You are made of the stuff of the stars. The universe created you to live and breathe. It created you to live a life. Life can be challenging. Many things both good and bad happen within a life. People cross each other’s paths, sometimes those meetings and crossing are good and happy ones with fulfilling outcomes. Other times they are not so. If they are considered good or bad it will depend on the view points and agendas of those doing the analysis. Each person has free will and choice. Each person has a mind of their own. Each person has thought patterns and processes. These thought patterns and processes are unique to the individual. The individual ultimately gets to choose how they think. Their thought processes help them to make sense of the world and understand it to a degree.

 

Your life influence

It is not commonly understood by the general public that there is a mind connection with life itself. We think from the point of view that thinking and action will bring about a result.  It is true that thinking, decision and action will do that.  Results will be gained efficiently by using thinking decision and action and should not be underestimated as it plays an important role in taking the individual forward in a chosen direction. However what is not as easily understood by people in general is that they have another field of influence upon life. This is an energetic one. We can bring situations or people in our direction by our energetic connection to life and the Universe on all levels.

 

The Universe thinks and heals itself

The Universe is a thing. It lives, breaths and thinks. It has consciousness throughout. Human beings are also energy with consciousness. We too are energy that thinks. It is like two heart beats, the universal heart beat and the human heart beat. They can beat in synchronisation or out of synchronisation. So we can be conscious and energetically in tune with the Universe or out of tune with the Universe.

We all have influence on our lives, the lives of others and our thoughts and decisions through physical interaction, conscious thought and energy interaction and manipulation. There is an energy that permeates the Universe that influences everything. It is the catalyst that fires the Universe on all and every level. This energy is called Universal energy. It is known by many names and every culture has a name for it. It’s made up physically of a combination of electricity and magnetism. It is electromagnetic energy. It permeates all life on all levels. It is a carrier or information. It carries thoughts, ideas and beliefs around and throughout the Universe. It is a universal telegraph wire. It carries information everywhere. This background energy is known to science and they are calling it “The field”. Esoteric people and healers have called it Universal energy, Chi, Ki, Psychic, and Pranic energy amongst other names. It has been known to man for many thousands of years and the Chinese have understood its healing properties and how to exploit them for five thousand years.

 

Transferring Universal information

Everything you think and feel is carried into the world as energy. It is carried around the earth and out into the Universe on the back of Universal energy. Your thoughts are transferred through Universal energy to all parts of the Universe. We have all heard of the Aboriginal people of Australia and the fact that they have telepathic abilities. If what I have said holds water and it does, then this is a perfect explanation to those abilities.

You have both connection to and influence upon the Universe. You are part of the Universe and a part that makes up the totality of the Universe. Your thoughts and actions and deeds add to or take away from the Universe. You are important to the Universe. There is a responsibility to the Universe by you to it. Whether you consciously acknowledge that responsibility or not is your free will and choice.

 

Your Universal life

The Universe acknowledges you and the life it gave you. It will interact with you on many levels. It gave your life to you and in time it will take that life back. How you live that life is your free will and choice. If you interact with the Universe consciously, this is too your free will and choice. It is for you to understand that the choice is yours and you can exercise it at will. The Universe will respond to your thoughts and actions. Not with fire and lightening but with situations, people and circumstance to your ultimate benefit.

Benefit comes in many textures. Some rough and some smooth. What you may feel benefits you may not be the same thought and understanding to the Universe. However, it is not the point of living to give you a hard time to punish you. We are strengthened by being stretched. We always have the Universe’s ear when things are unbearable to us. Speaking your truth, thoughts, wants, needs and desires to the Universe is not seen as selfish but a necessary part of your right and growth. The Universe hears you. A word of caution here: please be careful of what you ask for. Harmful thoughts, deeds, and desires always have repercussions. We are all human and sometimes each of us may fall a little short. This is part of our learning and growth. To set our own boundaries of good and right is a good thing. To understand that our desires affect others is a good thing. To abuse our position in the world is a bad thing. Harm to others deliberately done is not acceptable to the Universe and should not be acceptable to you. Fairness and love is a good starting point in any situation. Selfishness, harshness and greed will not be seen well. You may have selfish and harmful desires in the short term as they may be part of your growth and growth to others. What feels bad to us we seldom engage in twice by choice. Basically what I am saying is this: we grow by experience and sometimes we do not get things correct. No one is perfect, we are perfecting ourselves daily. It also must be said that others feel our energy and thoughts by way of energy and if they feel bad, we will be seen in that light by those who engage with us.

 

Interacting with the Universe

We can ask the Universe for direct and positive input into our lives, health, and living situations. The Universe responds to those requests. We interact with the Universe every moment of the day and do so largely without conscious thought on the matter. If we give our interaction conscious thought and conscious interaction we have more of an influence upon outcomes.

We think things into being on either an energetic level or a physical level. For anything to come into being it must be preceded by a thought first. When I learnt how to design many decades ago one of the things that were drilled into me by the design process is the fact that change happens by my conscious thought. An idea comes into being by thought first then execution second. Along the way in the execution process the idea can be changed manipulated and honed. It is the same with the manipulation of energy. We have a thought or an idea and that is then communicated to the Universe and then the Universe responds by moving energy to bring it into being.

Whatever you want or wish for and even if it seems impossible; tell the Universe what it is. Ask the Universe to move situations in your direction to bring about the change that you desire. For your life to go in a certain direction you have to bring about the physical change or you have to ask the universe to do it for you. What the Universe will do will show you how to make the change by bringing people, ideas, or situations in your direction. Sometimes and more often than would be supposed it will just drop things in your lap. You can ask for many things from the Universe and material things are amongst those that can be asked for. They will not always be granted but if you don’t ask you probably will not get it unless you physically do it for yourself. The Universe makes the path to what you want and need easier and smoother for you.

 

Steering your life

You have a life that you can steer in this direction or that, according to your own desires. The Universe has a role in that life as it gave it to you. You are part of the Universe and it has a vested interest in you and your life. Day by day you live and grow and the Universe helps you to do that. It supplies the ingredients for life.

So what are your desires and wishes? Whatever they are as you think them whisper them to the universal forces and ask those forces for a direction toward them. The Universe points the way forward.

The fog lifts hope for the future

164Number 6 in Lynette’s series

 

 

I was ill for a long time as I have said in previous blogs. I recently reconnected with an old friend who asked me, “When you were teaching me all of those years ago where you unwell?” “Well yes of course I was” I said. I asked her if I was any different and she said “Yes, I had a lot more energy”. A fibre myalgia client said to me that people just do not understand how ill one is with this illness. Fibre myalgia and M.E. are similar illnesses. “If you had a hand or arm missing people would see your pain and difficulty. Because the pain you feel is internal they can’t see it and so don’t understand the levels of physical pain you are coping with”, she said. This is very true and I would support that entirely.

There is a mental fog that is attached to this illness and the sufferers mental thinking is diminished for the duration of the illness. Some days it is worse than others of course. I found that the things that were so easy in the past were difficult on every level. Anything physical was hard and anything that required my mental capacity was also difficult as my brain just would not work properly.

I am a trained artist and designer and all of my life from my childhood I have used my creative capacity. When I was ill it was almost impossible for me to do anything creative. For about half a decade I did pretty much nothing but sleep. I could not paint, draw or design and it all felt lost to me. I read a lot during those times when I had a break in my illness. That reading took my on a new path. One that I had contemplated years earlier, but had set aside for my first love art.

My love of art started when I was a baby. My mother drew for me a cat. I must have been no more than eighteen months old as I know I was still being carried by her. I never forgot that day she drew the cat. There are times, days, circumstances, people and moments that touch us. They are the jewels of our life. Illness diminishes our capacity to engage fully with life. Both illness and life are experiences. My experience with illness has changed my life. That experience now helps me to connect to others who are going through the same or similar and help them on a road of recovery. For many people illness is a temporary inconvenience. For some it marks the end of their life and for others a road that has to be accepted and endured. Illness can be embraced, endured or fought. It is up to the individual and their circumstances what path is taken. There is no right or wrong way to emotionally deal with illness. The individual decides. I fought my way back to well health. I looked for those answers that would enable me to go home back to myself.

That road home challenged me on many levels. It took me from my own temporary resignation to my horrible situation to a deeper understanding of the human body, life, spirit, soul, and the forces of nature and the universe. Would I change anything? That is a difficult question to answer. I hated being ill and loosing every aspect of myself and self-respect. It is difficult to live with oneself, in illness. I looked in the mirror and I did not see Lynette for years. The strong feisty lady who rolls up her sleeves and gets on with it had gone. The struggle she endured during those ill years was immense on all levels, emotional, physical, mental and spiritual. It was a hard horrible time.

I came through it stronger, wiser, and clearer in my understanding of many aspects of life, more knowledgeable and more skilled. So my difficult time gave me something. It took something and gave me something else in return. So, would I change it? Probably not on balance, I think. I am still here with a somewhat different outlook on life. To be honest I am grateful to the universe for all it has given me over the past sixty years of my life. What is a little bit of fog between the universe and I?

The Relationship between Mind, Body and Subtle Energy

What is the relationship between the mind, body and subtle energy or energetics? We speak about them separately, when in fact they are intertwined, each merging into the other, fuelling one another, fed by each other in an endless flow of energy and power.

The Mind

The mind is a complex combination of conscious and subconscious processing, driven by cells stimulated by hormones and neuropeptides that create electrical impulses. These impulses act in a coordinated way that allow your body to work as a whole as the electrical activity spreads from the brain throughout the body allowing you to breathe, balance, pump blood around the body and so much more. Activity of the brain and the central and peripheral nervous systems are forms of energy that create networks and fields that pass through the body and beyond.

The body is energy too.

The body is energy too.

 

The Body

The body itself is energy too. Every protein, carbohydrate and fatty acid is energy converting from one form into another in the more than 100, 000 chemical reactions happening in each of the 50 trillion cells of your body every second. Somehow these reactions are co- ordinated in a way that keeps you alive, functioning, learning, growing, repairing, fending off infection, maintaining health and solving problems.

 

 

Subtle Energy or Energetics

You also have the subtle energy networks, like the meridians and chakras. These systems of electromagnetic energy run through the body supporting, energising, nourishing, balancing and communicating within the body and beyond.

How do they interact?

All three of these systems, the mind, body and subtle energy are entwined and impossible to truly prise apart. These systems are in relationship as each one feeds and is fed by the other.

The complexity of this arrangement was recently brought home to me in a workshop I ran in which I tried to get participants to experience each of these in turn and separately from each other. There was no way to do this because of this connection and relationship between them. What we did discover is that placing your awareness on one brings the sensations and feelings of say the body, to the fore and allows you to focus on it and gain insight into the wisdom residing there.

This happens in all three areas and we found that some participants favoured the mind and body over the subtle energy, or subtle energy and body over the mind, or mind and subtle energy over the body. Each combination works and has value and is necessary from time to time and in different circumstances.

In discussion we decided that the energy of the three systems , mind, body and subtle energy could be brought into balance through attention, intention and awareness. This balance generates, enhances and maintains perfect health.

In truth the model is more fluid, like a triangle hovering in the air, tilting and moving according to where the attention, intention and awareness are placed. Predominantly we are out of balance, moving in certain directions then readjusting by focussing on others.

For example, you can study or work very hard for long hours which tilts your triangle on one corner, pulling the body and subtle energy off centre. A workout or gentle exercise brings the body to centre and meditation brings the subtle energy to centre and you have balance. This is over simplistic and demonstrates how you can take daily action to serve each energy system and by doing so keep the whole in balance. There are many combinations.

Life is a complex combination of all these relationships. Having a sense of balance of these three energy systems is important so that you are aware of where you are lacking and in need of attention, rejuvenation and recuperation.

The mind can be balanced through creativity (writing, art, sculpture) and learning. Meditation can bring the mind to a more calm state and away from the frenetic pace of daily living.

Subtle Energy is electro- magnetic, flowing within the body and beyond

Subtle Energy is electro- magnetic, flowing within the body and beyond

The body can be balanced through exercise, stretching, strengthening and for awareness to be brought to it. Sometimes relaxation is important so meditation can be great for the body too. Holding tension on the body is a common experience in our modern age. Tension limits movement and energy flow in mind, body and subtle energy systems so it is important to address issues of tension that build over time.

For subtle energy, activities of connection are essential for balance such as meditation, chi gong, martial arts, yoga etc. Depleted subtle energy can be brought to balance using reiki and other energy healing modalities. The meditations in Nourish the Flame Within specifically address drawing universal energy (white light energy) into the body to increase the subtle energy levels and flow in the body.

Over to You

We’d love to hear from you and learn what you have discovered and experienced about keeping your health and energy in balance. We encourage you to share it as well to provide answers to common questions people have about health, well- being and connection to themselves, others and the world at large. If you have read our book Nourish the Flame Within and you have done any of the exercises that improve health, connection and well- being we’d love to hear your feedback.

Diet, environment, the company you keep, your everyday activities and the mind set you have as you are doing them as well as the job you do all affect the energies of the mind, body and subtle energy systems. How do you keep balance? Do you know when you are out of balance? What are the signs? What do you do to bring your self to balance?

The Soul and the Spirit

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I read something said about Reiki recently. I read, “Reiki is said to be a spiritual practice. However it is more than that”.

That statement implies the description of “spiritual practice” does not express what Reiki is. It implies the idea of being a spiritual practice is in some way insignificant to other considerations of what that person thinks Reiki is. What they are basically saying I think, is that if we describe Reiki as a spiritual practice it does not tell us the true worth and ability of it.

Being a spiritual practice, is the very highest of what Reiki is. It does not make Reiki less in any way. We have to take a look at the word “Spiritual” and determine what that is. Recently someone said to me that they consider themselves to be Spiritual and not religious and I asked them, what is the difference? The person could not give me an answer because they had not thought about it thoroughly enough. It was a clever and fashionable statement but did not have substance for that person. They did not have an answer to my question.

To consider the word spiritual we perhaps to look at the word religious also and look at them side by side.

Let’s start with the word religion. I feel that many people today have a negative view of religion and use the idea of spirituality in its place so as not to be associated with any particular religion but showing some reverence to something greater. Maybe religious history is partly to blame. This negative view maybe in part due to all of that fighting back stabbing, killing, abuse and downright dishonestly that many religions have engaged in over time, that have caused so many of us to just not wish to even hear the word religion spoken. It could be said that which is meant to nurture the human soul and spirit have thrown dirty water on the task. So it is not surprising that many are left feeling cold at the very thought of the word religion. Religions main task is to throw light on the path to God; instead it too can be bogged down with earthly experience. Difficult indeed to heave one foot on the earth and on in heaven.

Now what do we mean by spiritual? To consider the word spiritual we first have to understand the word “Sprit.”  What is spirit? Often the word soul and spirit are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. They do not mean the same thing. Many people if not most people think of their body as who they are. “I am my body.” “My body must be beautiful because if my body is perfect and beautiful people will perceive a beautiful me.” Are we a sum total of our body or are we more than our body? The body becomes a mess in time because it ages, and so are we now not beautiful because our body may not be so?

To find the real beauty of a person you must look deeper. It is located inside of the person that is where the beauty lay. The beauty lay in their thoughts, ideas, actions, and personality. Those things allow the person to have interaction with the world on a deeper level. What are we to call those bits of the person as a collective expression? Are those things part of the mind or are they more than just mental thinking capacity of the person? The mind is a tool by which we make sense of information on an intellectual level. We analyse the world and life with the mind. We say we think thoughts and they happen in the brain which is the mind. The soul is not the mind it does not analyse at all it just is. We will come back to all of these words and ideas latter. So that leaves the word sprit and if spirit is not the soul what is it?

Let’s recap.

We have so far spoken about spiritual practice, we started with that and also religion and the differences in those two things. We have also spoken about the difference in the soul and the spirit. We further touched on the body and what is that and our ideas of the body and who we are. What a muddled mine field it all is. Please let me give you my take on this it may help you to make some sense of it all.

 

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That defiantly is where the analytical processes of the person take place. We all think our thoughts in the brain. All information about our external life will be filtered by this part of us through the  senses. We make sense of what is around us via the senses and the brain. We analyse that information with the brain and then that information is stored somewhere in us. We think about what is coming at us via life and our senses and then store that information. We do not think consciously about every bit of information that comes at us form moment to moment as there is just too much of it for the brain to cope with. It thinks about some of it and analyses that which is new or different or previously unknown and unfamiliar. A lot of information that comes in our direction does not need the brain to analyse it as it is very familiar and  not consequential or threatening or different. It has been already stored and understood.

 

The Physical body

This needs little explanation, however it is not who we are. The body is not the person. ThinkstockPhotos-461277209The body houses the person and the person lays somewhere inside the body. I am not my body, but my body is the home that I inhabit. It allows me to move and live within the human experience on the earth. It is flesh and bone and it is easily damaged if I am not careful with it. I can work on my body to enhance its look and health. I need my body to live the human experience on the earth.

 

The soul

This part of the person is the person. The soul is who I am. I am my soul. The soul is my personality, it is my essence. I know that some of the person’s personality is governed by part of the brain. However the person is more than their brain functioning. They feel and when they feel they do not do so with their brain. It is at another part of their body that they go to for their feelings. It will be with their gut and the heart that they feel. Feelings painful and joyful go to these two places. This is where the person or the soul resides. The person resides in the gut mostly and in the heart also. The soul is the part of you that changes and develops over time. You are not the same person that you were ten years ago or even five years ago. In that time span you have had many experiences and those experiences good or bad happy or sad difficult or easy have moulded you into the human being you are today. It has given you your take on life. It has shaped your understanding of the world and what it can be to you and others. I am a therapist and very often it is this part of a person that is in the most distress when they come to me for help. I have to repair their soul, before the body will heal. Very often it is a case of sort the soul out and the body will sort itself out. This part of the person connects to all life on all levels and so it gets the biggest distress sometimes as it negotiates life.

 

The spirit

Now what is the spirit? If the brain governs the analytical process of the person and the soul is the person, what is the spirit?

The spirit does not do the same as the soul. It does not feel at all. It is dispassionate. The spirit of the person stands back and watches. The spirit part of the person is the observer. What does it observe? It observes you the person. It observes how you negotiate life. It takes note of everything and records everything about you and what you do. It is like a note book or a USB stick recording as you go. There is nothing that you ever do that you truly forget. It is all housed somewhere and this is where it is housed. We think that our memories come from our brain. In part they may, however it is in the spirit that everything about  you is stored. The spirit is like a filling cabinet and the brain retrieves the files from the cabinet. The spirit half of the soul records. The soul and the spirit of the person sit side by side within the person.

The spirit of the person is the part of the person that is pure energy. It is the part of your being that comes directly from the source of life itself. It is the part of you that on your demise will go back to the source of life. The spirit does not interact with life as the soul does. The soul is the messy part of you feeling everything and reacting to it all. The spirit just takes note of how the soul handles life. It is dispassionate.

These two jobs need to be separated. The soul very often is a mess feeling and reacting to everything that comes its way. There needs to be a part of you that stands back and is dispassionate to keep record of how you got in the mess in the first place. Your history needs to be housed somewhere. It is in the spirt that your history is housed. When you are done with life on the earth and the human experience your spirit hands over the spirit USB stick, if you will, to the source of life and your whole life is recorded in the universe for the source of life to use as information on life. Nothing is lost from the universe life takes note of everything and it is continually adapting to information. We know that life changes from generation to generation and there is development of all species that takes place within life. The universe keeps all information safe and uses it for the development of the universe and life. The spirit goes back to the universe or God. The spirit goes back to the source of all life and hands over its information to the source of life.

 

Oneness

ThinkstockPhotos-177794827In every mystical or religious path we are told we need to recognise our oneness with God. What is that for heaven’s sake? Oneness with God! Many people don’t recognise God and so go into great debate about that. God is a word used to describe the source of all life. God is all powerful and the ultimate force of nature. It is the thing that brought all life and the universe into being. It is the universe. That force is given a human face by Christianity and in other religious paths it is given other faces, as an energy force, gods, or a god of some kind. All paths put that force above everything else and say all sprang from that force.

Now there is a clue in those words “All sprang form that great force”.

So if all sprang from this great force which some call God, that means you and I did and all things did. Mystical and religious paths say all is one and has oneness. All come from one to make many.

We can use the word “spirit” to mean essence of a thing. We are all from the main essence. We could say that the spirit and the main essence being one and the same. So the spirit can be said to be that bit of you and me and all things that came from the great source of life. It is the “God spark”. It is the bit of you and me and all things that come from the main ingredient of life. We can think of God in many ways but its essence is the source of all things. So now we can see the difference between the words soul and spirit. This is why these four words, the mind, the body, the soul and the spirit  are so important to us. They describe very different aspects of the human living condition that are of great importance to the human living experience.

 

Spirituality

So now what of spirituality and a spiritual path? Well spirituality is the path that nourishes both the soul and the spirit. How can we do that? How is that done if it is done at all? If it is done will be dependent on what the person has decided for themselves. Do I ignore the whole idea of the spiritual and just exist?

Do I live the earthly life to the full and experience all that has to offer to the exclusion of nurturing the spirit? In that experience I feed the soul aheavy diet.dv787002 I may well enjoy my self for many years but at the end of it some thing may well suffer.

Do I balance my experience by nurturing both soul and spirit? Walk a religious path alongside the earthly experience. So I can have an affair or two, drink loads of alcohol, take substances that are not good for me perhaps, travel the world and have a great time, then think about the spirit from time to time as is needed. I might think about it at my religious holidays and festivals, and at whatever ways and times that connects me to the “God source.”

Do I immerse myself in the spiritual path and just live my life exclusively nurturing my God spark, feeding the spirit with the best that living can give it? Do I then pass those learnings onto others and illuminate their path to the best spiritual nurturing they can have?

Do I sit back and analyse it all using my brain to assess the validity or futility of all of these paths?

As you can see there are many paths and each path has its own merit. No path is better or worse than the other. Each path has its merits as each path will bring something positive to the person. Each path brings experience through the living experience to the person. All paths are a road back home to the ultimate force. We all return to dust or at least our body does and our soul and spirit go home. The ultimate power of the universe, that which some call God wants back that which it gave us, that piece of itself called the spirit. A spiritual path is one that nurtures that part of us. God is the ultimate energy force that houses the best in us or the light side of us. Not the dark side of the human nature. If we follow a spiritual path we wish to enhance the best side of us. That bit that is nearest to the universal perfection that we have.

Life itself is the ultimate spiritual journey. Life takes us from the universal source of life and then sends us back to it. We are on a journey of return from the moment we are born. We are thrust into life and we are given people who are our parents and wider family and we accept that situation and get on with what comes our way from that experience. We then are trust even more into the living experience and made to learn many things and are schooled by our social systems in one way or another. We start our development of the soul from the moment we are born. The situation to which we are born into starts that development for us. We are on our spiritual journey. We are working our way back home already. To be on spiritual journey you do not have to be religious or non-religious you just have to be living. Living is the ultimate spiritual journey. It is the return home for all of us with a lot of hassles and joys thrown in to make it interesting and stretching.

A spiritual journey is not about being good or bad. It is not about being the light or dark it is about a return home. How we choose to return home and with what kind of information on our spirit USB stick is our choice. The source of life gets to look it over and it will be happy or sad at the information stored on that spirt USB. The source of life needs you to experience life and no two lives are ever the same. We are all different people having our own personal human experience. There are rules to life, for life would be chaos without rules, and so the source gives some rules for us to follow. However, if we choose to follow those rules or not is up to us as above all we must experience. At the end of life we get to make our case for the life we lived. We are all on a journey of the spirt no matter what. The path we take and if we take a spiritual path on that journey is up to us. Free will and choice is at the heart of the universal desire for you. You get to choose many things each and every day.

 

Religion

Religion sheds light on the way back home. It highlights the rules to that return, or at least that is what it is supposed to do. It is there to remind us that there is a home and we are not here forever just a time and then we return home. The universe is home and the universe is what we return to. All religions give their personal explanation on how the universe is organised. It does not matter what religion you choose or if you choose none at all. You will return home one day and you will have lived a life long or short good or bad. You will return home with experience and development of your soul.

Religion or no religion a spiritual path or not is up to you and always should be your choice. So what bit of you do you most wish to nourish? Is it the soul, the spirit, the mind, or the body? We all get to choose our focus.

 

Reiki

Reiki treatmentNow let us finally go back to the very beginning of this blog and discuss Reiki. We have now come full circle. A spiritual path nurtures the spirit and spirituality is the practice of nurturing the spirit and  the soul. Living itself could be said to be the ultimate spiritual journey as it nourishes both the soul and the spirit to some capacity. Reiki is a spiritual practice and so it nurtures the spirit of the person. It enhances the practitioner’s spirit, because they connect to the source of the spirit. That is where the energy of life comes from and it is that energy that the practitioner connects too. It is that energy that the person both the practitioner and the patient or client engages with. That energy feeds the person on all levels. It feeds the body, the soul, the mind, the emotions and the spirit of the person. It enhances the person on all levels of their being. That is why it is a spiritual practice and that is why it is the very best it can be, and to be a spiritual practice does not make it less than but more than. Reiki is very effective and this is its effectiveness. Reiki connects to the source of life and it connects the person to that source, both practitioner and patient also. Reiki draws energy from that source.

We all get to choose both our focus and our path in life. We all get to choose many things each day. We get to choose if we bother to think about things and analyse things or not. All aspects of the person are important as is the method of feeding and nourishing each aspect that we choose. Each choice is a road ahead and a way forward, a method of engaging with life itself. Each choice we make is an opportunity to enhance the many aspects of ourselves.

What will you choose today? You have at the heart of your being free will and choice to do as you please.

The Continuation of Life

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I am sure that many people will have had the usual round of New Year’s greetings at the stroke of midnight, seeing out the old year and welcoming in the New Year. Dubai saw the old year out with an unfortunate fire that spread through one of its tall hotels. Mercifully no one was seriously hurt. However the fire did put a slight dampener on the celebrations as they had to be little scaled down due to the unfortunate occurrence. The following day I am sure would have seen many people who were connected with the hotel and the incident either as employers, employees or residents, dealing with the devastation that the fire would have left. A great deal of loss of one sort or another would have followed such an incident.

We look to the New Year to bring us new and better things, emotionally, financially, physically, and health wise. In reality our life does not begin a new as the old year passes. Our life is a continuation of events, one event building upon another. Accidents such as fires are due to poor decision making. I do not know what caused the fire in Dubai. It was possibly an accident. Accidents happen all of the time, people take a wrong turn, make a wrong decision, may have been carless in an action, decided something without care, all of these things may bring about an accident.

Our choices and decisions fashion future outcomes. Lives are built one day at a time one decision or choice at a time. If you feel that 2015 was not a good year for you, then ask yourself what you did in 2015 to ensure that 2016 is that very good and prosperous year that you desire. Our life is not something that just happens to us. We create our lives one day at a time one decision at a time.  At the end of your life you will look back over those days that made your life and what you will see is a pattern. A thread that runs through your life. Whatever ill that you may feel has happened to you that you don’t like, you have the power to change it. A desire to change the pattern is the first step to change. The next step is action. Change can sometimes happen in an instant. However more often than not change is slow, but slow change is change and will take the person forward on a new path to their desire.

Everyone suffers painful events.

Everyone suffers painful events.

Everyone suffers painful events. Bad life experiences are not particular to you however you may feel. They are particular to everyone. Everyone suffers some pain in their life at some point in their life. Pain is a part of life as is joy also. Everyone has something of life’s mix. Each person will experience both pain and pleasure within their life. One experience must be balanced by the other. We are here to live and grow. We live to experience, and we are not here to have pleasure alone.  Struggle is at the heart of living, as is love, laughter and happiness also.  All conditions exist and all conditions go to make a life. A balanced life is a healthy mix of it all. I have no idea if 2016 will bring you the things that you desire and be a good one for you. Only you will know if your 2016 was a good one or not as you are the person who will get to experience it. Once it is done you will look back over 2016 and decide what you feel it was.

Many things will have touched your year. It may have been romantic love and the pain that can go with that. With each passing relationship we learn something about life and our self. If someone walks away don’t take it personally, you were not right for that person and neither were they right for you. It was just a miss match, but a valuable experience. Take stock and know that you were the best that you could be at this time. Annalise the situation and find the reason for the closure of the relationship. Did the relationship just come to a natural conclusion with no real fault on either side? There will be a lesson to be learnt so look for the lesson.

Finance always has its positives and negatives. We all need financial security. I have always found the remedy for lack of money is earn more spend less and save at least 10% of earnings. This seems such a simple philosophy. Life is rarely that simple as life always throws its twists and turns. However I have found that to be sound financial planning.

Greif comes to each of us given time. We all lose people as loss is a part of the condition of living. We live and then we die. Death will come to each of us given time. Everything dies. Everything passes in time. There is movement to life. Life moves. Life is energy and energy moves. There is a natural order in that. The death of the physical body is one thing but the soul of the person transcends life. I am a spirit medium and there is a real comfort in that knowledge for me. I know  many people  find comfort in that understanding.

When a family member passed two years ago she had not been gone two days and she came through to talk to me via a friend who is a medium also. My friend did not know my relative had died. It was quite a shock for us both as she invaded out telephone conversation. However it was also nice as being newly deceased was not going to stop her getting some things sorted before her funeral.

 

All conditions are a part of life.

All conditions are a part of life.

All conditions are a part of life. There is a thread that runs from one situation to another always. Examine the thread of your life and you will learn a lot about change.

I would like to wish all of our readers a very happy New Year and thank you all for supporting our blogs for the past few years. I hope you have enjoyed them, however  if not I hope that they have at least challenged you or stirred your thought in some way. 2016 will see the publishing of my New book “Feel the Power” and I hope that you should be inspired to buy it. Both David and I wish you a very Happy and peaceful New Year.

 

The Spiritual Message of Christmas

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Have you ever thought about the spiritual message of Christmas? Do you wonder what Christmas is about and that it might be about more than eating and drinking?

Christmas shares a number of common features with other festivals from other religions and cultures? Many religions and cultures have a common spiritual message contained within their festivals. Many festivals have similar practices the relevance of which have been lost over time to common understanding. Light is a common theme to many faiths and festivals. On a very practical note light can represent warmth and comfort against the harsh cold and darkness of long winter evenings.

 

Christmas also coincides with the winter solstice, December 21st, the point of transition at which the year draws to a close in the rhythmic cycle when nature sleeps and begins the slow awakening towards growth, warmth and summer.  Light is an important theme in the winter solstice as the transition of the seasons are being celebrated and witnessed. I believe there is a deep spiritual message contained in the concept of light that is not simply restricted to Christianity, but also to Judaism (Hanukkah), Hinduism (Diwali), Paganism (Winter Solstice) and other faiths and traditions across the world. Throughout Christian history, in an attempt to be embraced by many people, the church drew on parallels between non-Christian ideas and Christian concepts and made them their own. One example of this is Easter, where pagan ideas of the Easter bunny and Easter eggs have become as big a part of the celebration as the Christian message. It is my opinion that Christmas is no exception. The spiritual concept that so many people across the globe and throughout time have embraced during this time of year, of light being a beacon of hope and change amongst the darkness, the stale, materialistic and self- absorbed ways of old and entrenched traditions.  It is easy to get confused by dates and think that because these festivals do not fall on the same dates as each other and often do not fall on the same date each year according to the Christian calendar, that they are not related.  Reviewing these festivals and the messages of these festivals we can consider whether they might be spurring people towards similar spiritual developments and understandings?

 

The story of Hanukkah is the tale of the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Syrian King Antiochus and the miracle of the light that burned in the temple, representing the presence of God, while the Jews went about the task of making the temple holy again after Syrian occupation. This is a story of good over evil, of freedom over tyranny and of the light of hope and enlightenment over the darkness of ignorance and narrow- mindedness.

 

Jesus’ story is very similar in that Jesus was born in a time of Roman domination in The Holy Land during which the Jewish hierarchy was rigid in its interpretation of the Jewish Law. The star that led the Three Wise Kings to Jesus’ birth heralded a change for the state and the religion of the region.  Jesus himself became a beacon and light of hope for people who suffered under the tyranny of the Roman Empire and Jewish control.  Jesus marked a change towards love, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance and taught a different way to the status quo. Of course the star has great symbolic meaning to Christians. It led the way for the Kings and Jesus is the light that leads the way to God.

 

The story of Diwali has it that it is the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. In Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Kali (the goddess of creation and destruction).  Everyone forgets and forgives the wrongs done by others. There is an air of freedom, festivity and friendliness everywhere. This festival brings about unity.  It instils charity in the hearts of people.

 

According to the BBC website, Pagan traditions were born from ancient people’s life outdoors. “The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. Because of this many ancient people had a great reverence for, and even worshipped the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for this wheel, houl, that the word yule is thought to have come. At mid-winter the Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories and drank sweet ale.

 

The ancient Romans also held a festival to celebrate the rebirth of the year. Saturnalia ran for seven days from the 17th of December. It was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down. Men dressed as women and masters dressed as servants. The festival also involved decorating houses with greenery, lighting candles, holding processions and giving presents.

 

The Winter Solstice was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids (Celtic priests) would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months. It was the Druids who began the tradition of the yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year.”

 

There are many common themes of good and evil; light and dark; the light overcoming the darkness, destruction and creation; the emergence of the new order from the old order and rebirth. As with all spiritual messages and practice, these themes and ideas encourage us to look within to evaluate ourselves and how we are measuring up as beacons of light or dark. With respect to personal energy, this time of year is a time of contemplation and reflection. It is a time for each of us to look within and seek our own personal rebirth of new insight and understanding. I hope that this festive season leaves you renewed, having reached new perspectives that lead towards your growth and fulfilment in this New Year.