The Left Brain / Right Brain Business.

The lovely Lorraine who has been blogging for only several months over at Gin & Cornflakes introduces the left / right brain discussion here.
It’s scientifically proven that certain areas of our brains relate to our different types of thoughts and emotions. Simply put, the left side is more academic, the right is more creative. Do we all have particular ‘leanings’ one way or another, or, seeing as most of us are blessed with both sides of one, can we become better fulfilled by exercising more of it?

Lorraine works in the City, and lives in Surrey with her husband and one year old daughter. She says she doesn’t have the time or energy to want it all, she just wants a bit of everything. So, as well as her day job, she is also a Reflexologist.  Reflexology is one of the Holistic Therapies . It’s thousands of years old and is increasingly being integrated into mainstream medical practice. It is used in hospitals and care homes up and down the country as the benefits generated become more widely accepted, but the general public have happily been putting their money where their mouths are for it since before it was de rigeur to do so.

It works on the principles that the feet and hands are like maps of the body, with certain points on them corresponding with specific parts of the body. It can be very powerful in the right hands and I have sometimes been intuitively drawn to work on a reflex point on someone’s foot when they’ve had an injury too painful to work on directly.

A mild application of pressure all over the feet can be very healing indeed. Here, Lorraine examines why she became a Reflexologist and explains why she believes we all might live dual lives without really knowing it.
left right brain

 

”I have a split personality. Not like Eric and Bananaman. But by day I work in London town. By night (well, evenings and weekends) I am a Reflexologist.

I may have let that side of me slip recently, but it is a side that has been reignited since stumbling upon Anya’s blog. She found healing when there was a lot just ‘not right’ in her life. The same way I found Reflexology. She left a six figure salary in the City to pursue a healing career. I didn’t quite leave that much ;o), but through studying a complimentary therapy I found the space to find ‘me’. Priceless. And through finding ‘me’ I had the clarity to leave one career and embark on a slightly different one. One that I really enjoy, that stimulates me intellectually but that allows me more time to myself to find my balance. And, importantly, more time to practice Reflexology to help others find theirs. My own blog claims that I don’t want it all, I just want a bit of everything. And I think it is that ‘bit of everything’ that provides the balance in my life. I imagine it is the same for all of us, if we were to have time to think about it…

However, one question I haven’t asked myself until now is WHY I want a bit of everything. Why did I want a demanding City career, but also want to immerse myself in complimentary therapies and more ‘mindful’ pursuits? I thought that we were all meant to be one thing or the other, that we were meant to be left-brain or right-brain dominant. It is said that being right-brained means that you are more intuitive, thoughtful and subjective. Being left-brained is said to be more logical, analytical and objective. However, I think we are all a bit of, well, all of that.

Let us take something a lot of women have in common – being a Mum. As a Mum you are expected to be loving and kind, knowing by instinct what your child wants or needs. However, you also have to plan your days to the final degree so that all feeds are fitted in before bedtime, and so that the toddler has time to nap before a tantrum. This involves a huge amount of analysis and logic. And what about way back before babies? What did you do with all that spare time? Sport maybe. A film. Some shopping… These activities involve left brain analysis: which shoes to buy (!); the complex themes of the film plot; the opposition’s centre forward’s tactics. But you were probably still right brained – you were someone’s daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend – being which involved compassion and at least an element of thoughtfulness.

So, thinking about it, I wonder if there really is any substance to the argument that people are dominant on one side of their brain or the other. Life, and especially being a Mum, can leave you more imbalanced that a one sided see-saw, and I wonder if we are actually doing our brains a disservice by suggesting that one side of the brain is more dominant than the other. Maybe it is more clever than that and we are programmed to seek out interests and activities to balance each side of our personalities and roles in life. Maybe we are all meant to be a bit of everything in our own way.”

What do you think?

Own Your Magnificence – Nelson Mandela’s Inaugural Speech?

This is an amazing quote, something to think and talk about often.  It’s particularly helpful when making tricky decisions.

‘What would you do if you owned your magnificence?’ I say and ponder on.  It can be life-changing, life affirming and take the heat out of any situation because it tells you what you really want to be doing.  It can help anyone at any time.

It is famously and usually attributed to Nelson Mandela, a man who became President of South Africa after 27 years in jails there, before international outcry and campaigning could secure his freedom.  Some say he used it in his inauguration ceremony.  Others say he didn’t and records don’t back it up!

Its original source, it is claimed, is a spiritual work book of sorts called A Course in Miracles but, if this is the case, it has certainly also been brought to wider public attention by Marianne Williamson who spells it out in her book A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, and she is also commonly credited with it.  Apparently, the word ‘God’ is used purely for simplicity.

Add some power to your elbow with it anyhow:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

nelson mandela

Nelson Mandela – Anti-apartheid Revolutionary.

 

Anyway.

This really struck a chord with me recently.  It was reportedly found inscribed on the wall of Mother Theresa’s room in her Children’s Home in Calcutta and is apparently based on a poem originally by Kent M. Keith:

Thought it might inspire some of you too:

 

Anyway.

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centred;

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;

Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;

Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;

Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;

Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;

It was never between you and them anyway.

Healing our Children.

Children are awesomely susceptible.   They’re fantastic to work with – open-hearted, open-minded and open energetically.

They all have their ups and downs, like adults do too, emotionally and physically.

The only thing about getting older and having less energy is that we become more ‘blocked.’  We don’t really have less energy at all – it just becomes ‘stuck’ over the years.

Having worked with babies, ladies in their nineties and literally hundreds of people in between I can testify to how energy flow changes.  It becomes less efficient, but it’s still there.

As one clears blocks and stuck ‘stuff,’ the body’s energy works on a basic dam principle – clearing debris and emotions, flushing through toxins, becoming stronger as it gathers momentum.

Children are perfect examples of vitality.  It’s a shame to watch it fade, but if you think of a teenager, many of them lack that then.   Many don’t, also.

Some old people are full of it still.  I guess it’s not only what life deals you, but what you make of it – how you perceive it, how you cope.

One thing is for sure – everyone has a story.

Children live theirs for the day.  They live in the moment.  They are glorious in their full capacity to love, laugh and grasp life, dangerously and fearlessly for now. Later, they will be more wise, throw caution to the wind rarely and so be it.

Those who came to me – brought to me my their parents in my Healing Practice – would generally be doing so as a last resort, but I found them easy to help – so responsive, so quick to look inside to see what was going on, such fun!

There was an adopted trio, once, for example, with a troublesome middle child who had so much energy he basically ruined their family life.  When we ‘tuned in’ to see what was going on – he was very clear about what he could see and was quite disturbed by it.  We shut down his energy wheels (also known as ‘Chakras’) – he described them perfectly to me – like no-one else ever has in all my twenty years, he balanced them himself with breathing – just with a little intuitive guidance from me – yet I was totally led by him – and he sort of re-set them.

There was a vast improvement from then onwards, according their adoptive mum.   Just one more visit followed and, with the tools he needed within himself, plus the confidence to use them, he was much more settled and they were able to go on and lead lives as a normal, happy family unit.

He was eight.   He taught me.

The Loving Parent  writes a wonderful post HERE - do give it a read – about spontaneously ‘doing an accidental meditation’ with her son, Toby, when he complained of stomach cramps.  She just followed her intuition and he responded easily, without the battle of wills that can commonly be the case with grown ups and he said it helped him.   What a truly amazing gift to give him for life and what a brilliantly empowering experience for her!

My children see colours in their minds eyes sometimes.  I encourage them to be quiet and just wait for them (I’ll try anything that’ll keep them still for a while, especially before bed or first thing in the morning!) and, chalk and cheese that they are, they share their different blues, greens, pinks, oranges and silvers, or whatever comes to them at that particular moment, really quite enthusiastically- almost competitively.

The youngest (nearly four) has started to point out ‘spiders’ he can see, which no-one else can and I think they must be energetic clusters of some sort, a bit like invisible ‘cobwebs’ you can sometimes feel and my eldest (almost eight, but co-incidentally – ? –  nearly four at the time) could feel my labour pains approaching the birth of his younger brother.  Poor him!

Or perhaps not?  Is this is something we all have and can we hold onto it, if only we know how to retain that openness?  And is it possible to remain vital / re-gain our vitality?

What’s your story?  What do your children teach you?

 

healing children, healing, white flower,

 

Mindfulness?

On my last post we explored whether ‘Meditation’ is a taboo word and the results were surprising.  An alternative expression –   ‘Mindfulness’ kept coming up though, suggesting different connotations – not so spooky, or suggestive of chanting and behaviour we might find strange in this country.  Not that meditation is really like that – but it is a common misconception.

We are more used to the term ‘Praying,’  but, again, it can be off-putting for some.

Yet the need for quiet contemplation is universally acknowledged.  Our culture doesn’t readily accept  ‘Meditation’ as mainstream yet, so sticking with what other people have to say, in a genuine discussion of experiences, thoughts, feelings and practices, here’s what came up.  Please feel free to add yours.  This is an open ended subject  and I have no set direction with this blog.  I’m happy to see where it is led.

AISHA ISABEL ASHRAF – EXPATLOGUE .  Aside from a burst of trying to teach myself to meditate as a 15-y-o, my experience with meditation has been in the form of Mindfulness.  I’m diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I battled depression, eating disorders, self-harm and suicide for over ten years before I got the help I needed. I received Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and learnt how to manage my condition, but last year I had the good fortune to discover something I wish I’d known about years before.  I volunteered to participate in a research study into the effects of Mindful meditation on depression relapse prevention and mindfulness is now part of my daily life. It’s helped me to manage and deal with my emotions and brought focus and calm to my life. I documented the 8-session research program on my blog. If you think mindfulness is relevant to what you’re writing about, you may want to read through the posts. Here’s the first, I still have two left to write up, but you’ll get the picture!

LISA PEARSON – MUMMY WHISPERER.   I’m a big fan of anything that gives me a break from my ‘brain noise’so ‘moving’ meditations work better for me like yoga or even going for a walk. I think that lots of people make it over complicated, and much too time consuming.  I can’t ‘ohm’ in a corner; my brain will be immediately writing a new blog post. I also hate ‘guided’ meditations. I’m normally swimming in the sea by the time the ‘guider’ gets to the beach. In my book I recommend starting with a little zen type meditation every day when making a cup of tea or taking a shower – it just means that you notice the sounds, sensations, smells, and what you see as you make the tea and become aware of your breathing. It’s easy to do and fit into life whenever we need a break.  Zen sounds like Mummy Barrow’s ‘Mindfulness.’

TANYA - MUMMY BARROW.   I LOVE meditation. I follow Headspace and their app and they refer to it as “Mindfulness” rather than mediation per se. I went to a workshop that Andy ran and we did a chocolate meditation. Holding the bar, feeling it through the wrapper, imagining the cocoa on the tree, who picked it, breaking a chunk off and hearing that noise and then putting in our mouths and letting it melt. The meditation that I do is a ten minute one. Every day. It grounds me. It brings me back to the here and now and it is what keeps me sane.  It is fab.  And Andy, who is Mr Headspace is an incredible man. Spent many years as a monk. I could listen to him talk for hours.

LOUISE R TURNER – ALL THE CAMPING GEAR. More than happy to add my weight to Headspace. The free app is great (I just keep doing the same days again and again!) It is the only thing that cures my insomnia. 10 mins & I’m off, thoroughly recommend it.  We have this CD which we’ve used a couple of times with both kids (they are 6 & 3, the youngest is less sold) and we’ve been using a kids meditation book with Mimi (oldest) to get her off to sleep too and she loves it!  I wouldn’t say it’s the most professionally done book in the world – and it’s more a booklet in length – but it’s done the trick!

 

Having never previously heard of this company called HEADSPACE, I dutifully trundled off to check it out.  It is these people who offer ‘Meditation for Modern Living’ and ‘The World’s First Gym Membership for the Mind.’

This is what they say:   Although most meditation approaches were developed as part of various spiritual disciplines, in recent years, many non-religious techniques have been created to bring the tangible benefits of meditation to people’s lives, outside of a religious or spiritual context.  

They keep it simple and succinct.  Their FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Page is FANTASTIC.  They also mention the  SCIENCE  and offer a free TAKE 10 programme – ten minutes guided mindfulness for ten days, which is definitely worth checking out.  I’m impressed and like what they seem to be about.  The New York Times says – ‘Andy Puddicombe is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food.’

 

In my opinion Meditation is multi-layered and Mindfulness can be just the beginning.  Anything that brings you back to yourself  is healthy, will automatically bring about a more relaxed, calm state of mind and body and the method is neither here nor there.  I’ve compared what we see on the surface of ourselves with what we first see of the sea – and what can be seen by looking a little deeper (and it’s not difficult!) – on this post here.

I was going to nominate three bloggers who openly admit to struggling with this sort of thing or being unfamiliar with it, to see if they could give themselves just ten minutes a day to practise ‘Mindfulness’  or ‘Meditation’ in whatever way they’re most comfortable with and then share their findings with us in a fortnight or so, but perhaps volunteers might be better?  I shall put myself forward in my capacity as Older Single Mum  and, for the record, I was thinking of Helen Neale – Stickers, Stars and Smiles,  Ellen Arnison – In a Bun Dance,  and Helen Wills – Actually Mummy – there’s no obligation – none of us needs any more pressure!

What do you think?

Thank you again everybody.

NEXT – Healing our Children.

 

mindfulness, meditation,

Meditation?

Is ‘meditation’ still a taboo word or has it become fashionable?

Perhaps it’s somewhere in-between at present. I asked around about people’s thoughts / experiences and this is some of what they said:

PENNY ALEXANDER – ALEXANDER RESIDENCE.
I always thought it was much more involved and complex than it actually is, that I would have to go to classes for weeks. I finally read a very short guide that came free in The Guardian when I was ill at Christmas and realised how simple and effective it was. Just bolting together a couple of relaxation exercises we have probably all tried at some point. The term meditation has lots of connotations I think, which don’t make it seem accessible or achievable, which is a shame as it really is an amazing tool. Relaxation exercises is a good term?

HELEN WILLS – ACTUALLY MUMMY.
I find meditation impossible! I’ve tried to do a little through yoga, but I was always too distracted by my thoughts – not so much my surroundings, but my irritation with myself that when I was told to tune out the outside world, the first thing I focused on was the sound of a bus outside! Then I would spend the whole session trying not to think about the things I knew I shouldn’t be thinking about, and chastising myself! The closest I’ve ever come to meditation is listening to my slimpod in bed, and ususally falling asleep, believing the message that my subconscious is still listening, even if I’m not! This is why I liked what you said recently about trying to still the mind and just be in the moment. I can do that if I focus on actively engaging my mind with the joy of what I’m seeing or doing or hearing, but not if I’m trying to actually empty my mind.

MARIANNE WHOOLEY – MARIS WORLD.
I went to meditation classes years ago when I was living in Italy I suppose you could say it was deep breathing, a little yoga and freeing the mind of all the crap we carry in there every day. We were a class of about 6 and each day (it was a five day course two hours a day) one of the participants broke down and cried which I thought odd that it had this effect on them until I surprised myself by having a breakdown on the final day. I had finally let go of all the pain I was holding onto subconsciously at that time and the result was tears. But those tears were strangely very comforting and I felt as if I had passed a barrier. I felt MUCH better after that and wished the course had continued as I may have dug deeper and understood even more of myself and my errors. Who knows? I just wish I had the time to implement it more often today as I think it was very healing.

RUTH CAMERON – DORKY MUM.
I think I mentioned this in a comment on the blog, but I started to see a new acupuncturist a few months ago, and he’s the first one I’ve ever seen who does a kind of meditation/deep breathing thing as part of the session. I was a bit mortified to open my eyes the first time I was there and realise that I had tears streaming down my cheeks & had been crying through most of it. It’s the first time I’d really thought about my breathing since pregnancy and birth, and it really reminded me that something very simple can help you release tension, emotion and stress that you don’t even realise you’re carrying. For me, meditation doesn’t mean vacating your body, it means really inhabiting it, and thinking about it with more focus that you do normally. If I have something like period pains or a tension headache, I can alleviate it a lot just by lying and doing some relaxation exercises and trying to really focus my energy on those parts of the body that need some love and attention to heal them. I also find it really good for helping get to sleep, and if I’m having a bad day and can’t make time to do anything approaching ‘proper’ meditation, it can help so much just to take five minutes to go and stand at a window and do some deep breathing.
Also, I completely relate to Marianne Whooley’s point above, about it helping you have a healthy and productive kind of cry.

KATHRYN BROWN – CRYSTAL JIGSAW.
In my paranormal life, I occasionally meditate though not like I used to. I have epilepsy and meditation is quite dangerous (as is hypnosis) because it relaxes the brain so much so, it can cause seizures. Also, you know the slimming thing where you listen to a slimpod thingamajig? Well, I looked into that and spoke to a consultant about it as was told it isn’t something epileptics should experiment with because of the relaxation effect on the brain. I’ll just have to stop being a pig instead!!

LISKA –  CONSCIOUS MUM (AND NEW MUM ONLINE).  Liska kindly made this video. She was a yoga teacher for many years and takes a more traditionally perceived approach to her practice, which is quite structured.  You can watch it HERE.

MICHELLE PANNELL – MUMMY FROM THE HEART.
As a Christian I often find other Christians don’t like the word meditation, they associate it with new age/ spiritual disciplines, but personally I have always thought meditation is a very good thing. The bible teaches us to meditate on God’s word (contemplate, chew it over) and thus I personally think time mentally away from the rush of everyday life to just be is so important. I just need to do it more now!

Michelle is right.   It’s not only Christians who are put off by the word.  An alternative one that kept cropping up from others, which they were more comfortable with is ‘Mindfulness,’ so much so it deserves its own post. We’ll hear from LISA PEARSON – MUMMY WHISPERER and TANYA - MUMMY BARROW – who introduces us to an organization that sells (inexpensively) ‘The world’s first gym membership for the mind’ and ‘Meditation for modern living,’ – including an App! Plus, we’ll get the SCIENCE and AISHA ISABEL ASHRAF - EXPATLOGUE tells us about a study she volunteered to participate in, researching the effects of Mindful Meditation on depression relapse prevention.

Isn’t this exciting?  How do you perceive the word ‘Meditation?’

Please share your thoughts and experiences. You can email or comment and / or place them on the special Page for Your Stories.

Thank you everybody!

 

meditation, mindfulness, lilac flower,

Awareness is the Key.

‘Meditation.’ Let’s take a look at that word before we start. We can skirt around it, make it complicated or embrace it.

It has certain connotations that might involve sitting cross legged in the middle of a lotus leaf and making strange ‘Om’ sounds, but the truth is simpler. It is really allowing oneself the luxury and power of a still mind.

Once you’ve cracked how to sit quietly and breathe more deeply than most of us do, running around like a headless chicken more often than not, then you’ll find yourself meditating more naturally.

Think of supermarket queues, traffic jams, just waiting somewhere with nothing particularly in mind, sunbathing, that sort of thing, or just going about your daily business – driving around, calmly doing your relentless housework – all these things can produce what is a meditative state.

This is when you begin to ALLOW – allow your thoughts to move more freely and your intuitions to pop in. You know I call them ‘inner-tuitions,’ because that’s what they are!

Taking long journeys, particularly on a train, can be enormously restful for the brain. Sometimes more distance can produce more distance for us too – from our daily rubbish, worries and concerns. The most amazing ideas can ‘pop in’ to a quiet mind and let’s not forget how important it is for children to benefit from the art of doing nothing too.

Simply by being still, mentally, then the awesomeness that is you can process everything on every level. For some this can be helped by being still physically, but it is absolutely not essential because people who regularly go running or swimming admit that the benefits include loving the ability to take time out and ‘clear their heads’ while they’re doing their thing.

I believe the body is the mind and if you listen to it, it will guide you. I can’t explain it, but years of experience have convinced me. We know when something feels right and when it doesn’t. Our awareness is the key. This awareness of the body’s information comes from not ‘trying’ to meditate, but by ALLOWING ourselves to just switch off the mental clatter.

Babies do it automatically – they stare into space quite regularly while they’re meditating, as do day-dreamers. They’re not ‘trying’ to still their minds, it’s happening naturally. A fairground ride can do it, as can some films (particularly horror ones, [Ugh]), but a really good laugh can work wonders at settling ‘Scatterbrains’ too.

And from within will be the messages of our soul – that which is always pulling at us in a certain direction, despite other people’s opinions, sometimes. It makes you want what you want. This is not a luxury, it’s vital to who you are and to who you want to be!

So. Awareness is the key. A still mind / meditation / relaxation / breathing – and paying attention, pausing and waiting, ALLOWING ourselves to be and listening, can not only be very healing, but liberating and profoundly empowering.

[Don’t forget how to vocalise what feels right, or doesn’t vs. what you think is right or isn’t – help and details HERE!].

pink flower, meditation,

Grief Can Make You Fat.

We all grieve. There are varying degrees and some of it can be mind-numbingly shockingly awful, completely consuming and life-changing, but the only permanent thing in life is ‘Change’ so we are all grieving sometimes, but at different levels.

Grief itself has well documented stages – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. We can get stuck at any one of these at any time, fluctuate between them all and endure an entire emotional catalogue to boot too.

When we have lost someone or something we have come to treasure, there seems to be a certain time-frame that we are expected to suffer for. After that, depending on the severity of it, we are supposed to pull ourselves together – the harshest person of all on us normally being ourselves.

I’m not going to make light of this subject, but I want to move on to what often remains when the worst has passed: Sadness. This can make you fat.

Feeling fat makes us sad. Feeling sad can make us fat.

Being January and everywhere I look loads of us are trying to lose weight, I want to be brave and say it doesn’t matter how much dieting you do, how much weight you lose, if you’re holding on to some grief, you will want it back on. Not consciously, I understand that, but unconsciously.

The subconscious is very powerful. It will want you to feel cocooned i.e. comforted and protected from your residual pain.

Actually, in your heart, you will want that too, so it won’t feel or be ‘the right time’ for you to lose weight.

I’m not talking about when grief is still raw – we can all lose shed loads then, I mean when time has passed, things have changed and you can’t settle. It’s easy to ‘comfort eat,’ not to mention ‘comfort drink!’

This might be nothing to do with the death of a loved one. Grief comes in many forms and from many places. So my advice to you, if you want to lose weight and you are feeling rather sad about it, is to focus on any grief you might be holding onto, stuff you may not have moved on from, that is stuck in your soul.

This is easier than you might first think. Remember your breathing and sitting quietly? When you’ve got the hang of the simple things like those, let your mind wander around your body. See what you can sense, which memories surface, how feelings flow. Let them all come. Have a good cry and a strong, sweet cup of tea.

Whether you have a biscuit is up to you. You’ll undoubtedly deserve a couple! And when the time is right, when you have let go of the extra sadness you were holding onto – because some of it will rightfully remain sometimes – you will be able to let go, loosen up and lighten up, literally.

Do let me know how you get on with these meditations / visualisations. Any problems, just holler. You can leave a comment or e mail me privately at any time regarding this or anything else.

Plus, I have introduced a new page for any spiritual stories whatsoever. They are always interesting and back up my work here, so please feel free to share!

 

flower, healing, meditation,

Healers – They Come in all Shapes and Sizes.

spiritual signpost, sign, spiritual, There are some ‘Healers’ who walk around in a uniform and we know they will help us – Nurses, Doctors, Surgeons even, for example.  Some walk among us without realising the healing effect they have on everyone they meet.  Some are strangers we will never know, who make a passing comment at a bus stop, but their words stay with us for ever.

We turn to people who love us at times of crisis and they can be very healing. We all try to heal our children from any kind of hurt – indeed there is a book entitled  ‘All Women are Healers ‘ – which I’ll check out for this blog shortly – and there are those who practise in the Art of Healing or Healing Arts, natural medicine and Complementary Therapies, who we automatically expect to have that certain ‘something’ we are, perhaps, lacking elsewhere in our lives or selves.

Yet, in all walks of life there are charlatans, con men and women and scoundrels.  There are terrible journalists, teachers, corrupt policemen and politicians, not to mention ‘partners’ – people we could assume were trustworthy and automatically acting in our best interests, but, who, unfortunately, aren’t.  Even some Doctors and Nurses are better than others.

Sometimes we can be so desperate we can become vulnerable to those few who think nothing of exploiting our innocence and need for help, so we need to be discerning in our choice of confidant.

I’ve met some barking mad Therapists in my time – truly off their rocker and completely mad, masquerading as an authority. I’ve been taken for a ride, taken in and talked rubbish to enough to make me quite cynical about anything to do with ‘Alternative’ stuff.

On the other hand, I’ve met some rather unique individuals whose insights into my soul have left me under no illusion that they are exceptionally gifted.  Many, many therapists from whom I’ve been blessed to have bought treatments have unwittingly convinced me of the power that is within us all to see that little bit further than most of us try to as we hurriedly go about our every day lives.

There are Healers in the blogging world – those who respond to calls of distress – who take that little bit more time (or alot more, Annie Mammasaurus Spratt) to help those who can’t keep up with the others, who see that little bit further and offer that little bit more understanding, without being patronising, harsh or critical, who’ve got that extra vision, who might have found their calling.

Or it’s in the way they write, or what they write and in the laughter they may bring. Consider the throng that came together to support newmumnline’s #Healing4Kerry appeal and the response, trending twice worldwide on Twitter.

For a more conventional approach, it doesn’t matter if it’s a G.P., Reflexology, Shiatsu or Massage, it is the person behind the treatment / therapy that will bring the healing through.  The therapy itself will be an avenue.

We all have our own avenues. Friendship can be an enormously healing two-way one and family can be too.

Healers, they walk among us.  They are us.  And all our avenues / paths can cross at any point with other peoples’ – famously, for ‘a reason, a season or a lifetime!’ We all need to be shown the way sometimes.

Healing comes in all guises and shapes and sizes. It doesn’t need a uniform.

What do you think?

Dear Anya,

I used to run a sort of intuitive Agony Aunt column for a local paper years ago and a blog like this invites questions that people are not alone in asking, so I thought why not give it a go here?

You can e mail me privately and we can publish it here on the blog, anonymously or not, it’s up to you.

Here’s the first from Lisa Burn (@lisaburn1964) who blogs at 4os chic.  She actually read a post on my better established blog Older Single Mum – called ‘Is Life Like a Sat Nat Drive?‘ where I raised a question about whether we are we guided from within.

Dear Anya,

I have come to your blog late and have just discovered this old post, but I am at a point in my life where it really speaks to me. For yearslisa burn, the healer, healing, life changing decisions, I have rejected the idea of fate and pre-determination, otherwise, what is the point in trying anything if your future is already mapped out? But, more and more as I get older I wonder if there is a path we are supposed to follow and moving from that path, is there something dragging us back? I’m on the cusp of making very important decisions in my life that will affect my whole family – am I selfish? Do I have any reason to upset the status quo and uproot everything? Shouldn’t I just shut up and accept my life as it is, after all it is not bad? I don’t know if it’s my intuition, my rationale, my practical self or my dreamer self, but there’s a fight going on inside me and I don’t know what voice to follow or what path to take. It is good to read somebody else’s perspective – it clarifies a little what I’m going through.  

I hope I don’t come across as too down about life, I don’t mean to. It’s weird but since I’ve been struggling with the decisions I have to make I’ve come across so much writing like your own that has really helped me – why I have come across it at this particular time I don’t know, but I’m glad I found it.

I have subscribed to The Healer already and have read your posts – I’m still thinking and feeling, the question is, which one do I run with?

Gosh, we all come to a point like this at some time in our lives, usually when we’re feeling trapped.

I always feel the answer is to go within and ask yourself the same questions.  The answers will come. The more quiet you are, the clearer and sooner they will be.  When I was in a very unhappy marriage with a young son I kept telling myself that, one day, I would know what to do and, actually, I didn’t have to do anything.  My husband had to go and work away, which meant we were secure but he wasn’t around and then, one day, his temper did all the talking and I had no choice but to tell him to leave.  By this point, I was ready and, not being used to living together full time any more, it wasn’t too much of an ordeal for any of us.  I still haven’t had to do anything as things are taking care of themselves nicely.

I couldn’t have predicted any of this, or planned it any better to be honest, but I did honour all my thoughts, feelings and processes for a long time, which is my advice to you.  You don’t need to choose ‘which one to run with,’ just honour them all.  Speak to a counsellor if it helps, and anyone else who might be involved if you feel that’s appropriate.

Another thing is to tune into your intuition – or inner tuition as I call it – and ask to be shown the way.  If you have any kind of faith, tune into that and ask the same.

Your answers will surprise you.  My feeling is that you are frustrated above all else and it is possible to remedy this.  An additional top tip is to list how you feel.  You can do this in a special book or just on sheets of A4.  This works for anything, any time and can be quite cathartic.

Thank you for subscribing.  It’s people like you – perhaps all the trappings of happiness on the outside, but something missing on the inside – that are the reason I am here.

Do keep us all posted (see what I did there?!).

Anya X

And let’s see if our readers have anything to add?