Tag Archives: Spiritual Development

Spiritual Eating

Spiritual eating is adopting a lighter, high vibration diet and eating more mindfully. It involves being more aware of what and how you eat. People choose to practice spiritual eating for a variety of reasons, namely to raise their personal energy vibration, improve physical health and mental wellbeing and to practice what Buddhists call non-harmfulness.

Raising your Energy Vibration

Food in its natural state – termed raw, living plant based food – has the highest vibration of all. It includes fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains that have not been cooked above 48 degrees C. Vegan food (no animal or fish products) is high vibration, as is food that is without pesticides, additives, GM etc. At the opposite end of the spectrum, manufactured processed food including junk food and food high in additives or grown with pesticides has a very low vibration. Anything you consume that is actually dead (ie. meat or fish) has no vibration at all.

When you consume food that is fresh and natural, you are absorbing that high vibration into your body. High vibration foods are fruit and veg (even more so when fresh from the plant), salad foods, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Fresh food has the highest vibration when eaten raw/cold. When food is cooked at high temperature through boiling, frying, grilling, barbecuing etc, much of the nutritional benefit and high energy vibration is lost as enzymes in the food are destroyed. Steaming and low temperature simmering are the best options for cooked food.

The main reason for wanting to raise your personal vibration is to improve your connection to Spirit and spiritual energies. If you are a Reiki or spiritual healer, a high energy vibration enables you to be a clearer channel for higher frequency healing energies. If you wish to develop your psychic and/or mediumship abilities, again the lighter and clearer a channel you are the better. A dense heavy body just weighs you down literally and metaphorically and you have to work extra hard to reach and communicate with your guides and angels. If you eat ‘lighter’, not only will you feel better physically and be more balanced emotionally, your head will be clearer so that you can more easily receive impressions and intuitions from spirit. Interestingly Doreen Virtue recommends eating pineapple to strengthen the pineal gland (relating to the crown and third eye chakras) to stimulate clairvoyance.

Many people like to incorporate a Rainbow Diet – a kind of full spectrum colour eating to energise the chakras. In other words, you need a balance of foods of all the different chakra colours to enable your energy body to be as balanced as possible. For example, red foods energise the root chakra; violet foods energise the third eye chakra.

You should also drink plenty of water, ideally 6-8 glasses a day. Water is a good conductor for psychic energy – which is why many of us receive insight and inspiration when lying in the bath!

Eating Mindfully

Being mindful of what you eat, when and how, is often included as part of a course in Mindfulness Meditation. Doing anything mindfully increases your self-awareness and makes you more present in all areas of your life, enabling you to be more grounded and effective in day-to-day life. When you eat mindfully, you are advised to chew your food very thoroughly in the mouth before swallowing. Chew each mouthful up to 40 times. This will help with the digestion process as food is then partially digested in the mouth before it hits the stomach. The body therefore needs to use less energy to digest the meal in the gut. Chewing food mindfully also makes you notice when you are actually full and need no more. It also heightens the sensory experience of taste and texture.

Most of the time people eat distractedly – watching television, talking to family/friends, thinking about problems or things they need to do, or just eating in a hurry because they need to do something else. Food is just shovelled down as quickly as possible with no thought to digesting it properly or savouring the taste. It is easy to eat more than you really need when you’re distracted. Eating mindfully both increases your self-awareness and improves your digestion.

Practising Non-Harmfulness

This Buddhist tenet is one that some people on a spiritual path choose to adhere to. Non-harmful eating includes products from animals that may have been killed or harmed in the process of providing that food. This would definitely rule out meat and fish and for some it would include dairy too.

Benefits of Spiritual Eating

This way of eating can be like a physical or spiritual detox. Eating higher vibration, raw, natural foods in particular can have a cleansing effect on the body. Digestion improves, allergies and intolerances are reduced, the immune system is boosted, energy levels improve and aches and pains including headaches are reduced. Physical health improves when you reduce or eliminate the unhealthy processed foods that cause inflammation and poor digestive health. Some people experience greater emotional balance and wellbeing – they are more tolerant, have greater ‘acceptance’ and less anger. A lot of negative emotions are caught up in what we eat and within our actual eating patterns which can gradually be released as we adopt a more healthy way of eating. Some people may find they have more intense dreams which can be a sign of a releasing of emotions on a subconscious level. Spiritual eating can also boost the depth and quality of your meditation practice.

Spiritual eating makes you more aware of what you are consuming. You start to see food as the fuel you give your body and sometimes you realise that the body isn’t running as well as it should. If you feel lethargic, low in energy, foggy headed or have digestive issues, eating more raw natural foods can make a huge improvement.

I have been on my own healthy plant based diet for 3 months now. In addition to losing a stone and a half in weight (which was much needed!), I have found a huge improvement in my digestive healthy and immune system. I feel ‘lighter’, more energised and more clear-headed. I also know I am being guided and motivated by Spirit and there seems to be a real improvement in the power of my Reiki treatments.

Notes:-

If you are cutting out meat altogether you will need to take a Vitamin B12 supplement as this vitamin is only found in meat. (I have however recently discovered that apricots help the body create its own bioactive B12.) Vitamin B12 is available from health stores and I recommend Little London Herbal Stores on Trinity Walk, Nottingham.

Starting with the April Newsletter I will be looking at the Rainbow Diet, starting with the Root Chakra in April. I will be introducing a series of Chakra Shakes – a smoothie recipe to energise each chakra – as well as including suggested foods you can eat to energise each one. April starts with a delicious Cherry Berry Smoothie to energise the root chakra.

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Healer/Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. She is also currently studying Raw Food Nutrition to find out more about the healing power of natural food. Helen offers several healing treatments such as Reiki, Angelic Reiki, Faery Reiki, Angel Therapy and Fairy Blessing Guided Journey, as well as Usui Reiki and Faery Reiki training courses. She has been on the spiritual path for 15 years and has extensive knowledge of healing and the healing journey. For further information about her Reiki courses, therapies and workshops, please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or visit and ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics & Enchantment.

 

Deeper Chakra Clearing following Attunement

During the middle of 2016 I was drawn to Faery Reiki and given the opportunity to recharge my energy body on a much higher vibration. This attunement cleared my chakras on a deeper level than before, clearing out stuff that had developed in the years since my previous Reiki attunements. Along the way I gained greater insights into the purpose and role of the 7 main chakras. I now feel like there is a higher vibration of energy in each chakra – blocks have been cleared, resulting in the chakras now being filled with more light, consciousness and awareness. During this clearing I received messages from my guides and angels that related to each of the chakras, which I am including here in this blog.

 

Root Chakra

“Good solid grounding is essential for whatever you are trying to create or manifest.”

Clearing began with the Root Chakra. I had always been prone to anxiety (especially since my spiritual crisis in 2014/15) and living in my head a lot and therefore needed grounding and strengthening of the root chakra, the connection to Earth. Many spiritual people spend a lot of time in meditation and reciting mantras and affirmations but if your Root Chakra is weak or blocked, all that spiritual energy cannot flow down your central channel and out the Root Chakra where it can bring about positive change in the physical world. Instead it remains in the energy field around the head (as a mental activity) or around the heart chakra (if you are connecting with it emotionally). This was one of the most enlightening insights I received at this time. Many spiritual people neglect their Root Chakra and focus solely on reaching up to the higher dimensions but a balanced energy system with an open Root Chakra is essential if we want all our spiritual endeavours to improve our day to day life. In addition to practising Faery Reiki, I was drawn to try a Shamanic Reiki session, which was equally grounding, being focused in the dimension that is closest to the earth plane. Once we start on the healing journey, I am convinced we are drawn to what we need at the time for our own healing.

By clearing and strengthening the Root Chakra, anxiety can be practically eliminated or at least considerably lessened. When your Root is clear and balanced, you feel strong, safe and secure in yourself, able to cope better with any challenges or problems that arise. I also discovered that I had developed a much stronger connection to animals and a deeper appreciation of nature. There were still many aspects of my life I was unsure of but I was happy to go with the flow and let things unfold.

 

Sacral Chakra

“Stop trying to fit in with the norm, the expectations of family, society etc, and just be yourself.”

A couple of weeks after the clearing of the Root Chakra I was aware than a period of intense creativity had begun. I was receiving ideas and inspiration for new courses to take myself, workshops to run, a new direction to take my business in and plans for the future relating to life in general.

Issues of power and control are related to the Sacral Chakra and I had some old anger issues come up to be released at this time. I received messages from my guides about not worrying if some people appeared to be walking out of my life. Some friendships did indeed go but others deepened. When you are being yourself, and open about who you are and what you do, you vibrate at a level of truth. This attracts new people to you who match your new vibration. Fear of loss and rejection can stop you making healthy choices but healthy choices are essential to your wellbeing. I was initially rather reluctant to start promoting my work with the faery realm, worried that people would think I was literally ‘away with the fairies’ but the amount of new clients I attracted for my Faery treatments at this time was amazing!

On a physical level I was given to understand how gynae and digestive problems are connected: this is because our reproductive and digestive systems are both governed by the same chakra – the Sacral Chakra. A diet of sugary and/or processed food is bad for gut health/digestion and makes menstrual problems such as period pain and PMT much worse. This was a time to become more aware of what I was consuming and making a few changes to improve things.

 

Solar Plexus

“Stay calm, stand in your own power, stay strong.”

When this chakra was activated a couple of weeks after the Sacral chakra, issues relating to conviction of principles and self-belief were highlighted. If someone challenged me in the past, the first thought that went through my head was always “Oh, I must be wrong then”. During the clearing of the Solar Plexus Chakra I was given a test when I really could have doubted my own abilities but it soon appeared that there were many other factors involved and it was simply a matter of the timing being wrong. My self-worth and self-esteem improved. I was no longer prepared to put up with certain types of behaviour so I developed some assertiveness strategies at this time.

 

Heart Chakra

“Get past your own hurts and see the love in others.”

Several teachings came through while this chakra was activated and cleared. It is essential not to let your ego stop you from doing something new or something different. After all, it may all turn out better than expected and you may be surprised at the kindness of others. How many times do we come out with excuses like “I can’t possibly do that”, “I’ll never be good enough” or even “I’m too old”. So often we just expect the worst, from ourselves and others. The lesson here is to get over your own ego and give others, and yourself, a chance.

“Know what’s in your heart – this knowledge is power.”

So often our egos cloud our connection to our soul, causing blocks to recognising and realising our dreams. This powerful message ‘Know what’s in your heart – this knowledge is power’ highlights the importance of knowing what is actually in your heart, ie. what you really want to do with your life. Knowing this gives power to set your intention. You are beginning to align with truth. Once you know where your heart lies, the energy from the heart centre can move up to the throat chakra to enable you to follow a new path. Until the Solar Plexus was fully cleared of blocks, I had had too many doubts in the Solar Plexus which impaired the flow of energy from the Solar Plexus to the Heart. Once these issues were cleared, I was free to follow my heart.

 

Throat Chakra

“Speak kindly of others – this purifies your Throat Chakra. Anything else lowers your vibration.”

When the Throat Chakra is clear you can put into action the creative impulses from the Sacral Chakra, free from the self-doubt of the Solar Plexus and the confusion of the Heart. When the Solar Plexus and Heart Chakras are clear, the energy of these creative impulses moves up the central channel free from the emotional wounds and limiting beliefs of the Solar Plexus, fully aligned with what is in your heart.

The teaching I was given (above) by my guides at this time is one we can all use to keep the energy in the Throat Chakra high and strong. This teaching can be very challenging at times but every action has a reaction and the energy we give out always comes back to us.

The Throat Chakra is concerned primarily with self-expression, living your truth and your path in life. While this chakra was clearing I was drawn to a book containing information which negated something I had been told several years back. I made a very interesting discovery relating to someone else’s erroneous belief that I had bought into, assuming that they knew more than I did. Discovering that I had been informed incorrectly helped to clear away a ‘limiting belief’ which had hindered my development in the area of mediumship/channelling which I really wanted to develop further. This is a strong reminder never to hand over your power to others, especially when deep down you know what they are saying feels wrong.

 

Third Eye

“Your path is unfolding. Don’t get side-tracked in other people’s lives and dreams; stay focused on your own. See clearly what is for you and what is for someone else.”

While this chakra was clearing I was drawing more like-minded people into my life and connecting with people with a similar vision – inspiring women with spiritual ambitions. Developing discernment is a major function of the Third Eye Chakra – understanding what is your path, in other words what is right for you, and what is someone else’s path. A clear, balanced Third Eye literally enables you to see clearly. It also enables you to detach from drama and all things which no longer serve you.

I was now beginning to feel much clearer about the direction I was heading in. I knew what I wanted to do, to raise my energy higher to achieve a stronger connection with Spirit, but sometimes when you are so focused on the big picture you want it all now without doing the work along the way and giving it the time it needs. My guides told me that I needed to deal with the small things and enjoy the steps along the way, rather than focussing on what I would be doing one day in the future. When you’re full of grandiose ideas, it is often very easy to neglect the boring day to day stuff of life. This was a reminder that being in the present is essential for bringing the grounding we need to manifest those great plans.

 

Crown

“See the underlying inter-connectedness in all things.”

Our external world can be regarded as a mirror of both our true desires and our fears. Have you ever noticed how often things keep going wrong when you are on the wrong path in life? In the symbolic language of the universe, things going wrong is a sign that you have veered away from your real path in life. Having a series of bumps in your car, for example, can be interpreted as the universe giving you a push or kick up the backside!

At this time I asked for a new spirit guide to help me on this next stage of my journey. I was then drawn to a book which helped me improve my connection to spirit and to take further energy attunements to raise my vibration higher. As my Crown Chakra cleared I also noticed an improvement in my manifesting abilities – things I really wanted to do suddenly became possible.

 

Overview

By the end of my journey of clearing through the chakras I understood how each chakra is affected by the energy of the chakra below it. Ultimately it all starts with the need for a strong, healthy Root Chakra which can provide a solid, stable foundation for future growth and happiness. Without this, the energy flowing up into the chakras above the Root becomes weak and distorted which prevents these chakras from developing and functioning as effectively as they should. The Root Chakra, I believe, is the most important chakra of all yet it is so easily damaged by trauma, emotional upheaval and not feeling safe in our early years. It is also easily neglected by those seeking to develop spiritually and ‘go higher’. It seems that healing is a universal process that virtually everyone here on Earth will feel the need to address at some point in their lives if they wish to achieve their highest and greatest potential.

 

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Healer/Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. Helen offers several healing treatments such as Reiki, Angelic Reiki, Faery Reiki, Angel Therapy and Fairy Blessing Guided Journey, as well as Usui Reiki and Faery Reiki training courses. She has been on the spiritual path for 15 years and has extensive knowledge of healing and the healing journey. For further information about her Reiki courses, therapies and workshops, please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or visit and ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics & Enchantment.

 

 

FINDING YOUR LIFE PURPOSE

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After many years practice of meditation and connection to my guides and higher self, I have come to realise that my life purpose is simply ‘to heal’ – from emotional wounding in this life and even past lives. And the most simple and amazing thing of all is that your life purpose will be exactly the same as mine. ‘To heal’ is all that is required of any of us because when we heal all our natural strengths, talents and passions will come to the fore. Nothing gets in the way of this happening. No-one else hinders you. When you are healed you have no blocks, so life circumstances present no blocks to hold you back. When you experience negativity from others, this is actually a reflection of your own doubts and fears. When you are free to follow your passions, your life path naturally unfolds but, before then, if it’s not happening, you need to heal – to release and clear blockages.

Our life purpose then is actually very clear – to heal and to love. As part of our healing journey we learn to love ourselves through self-nurturing and honouring our own needs and to love those who have hurt us – lovers who have betrayed us, people who have let us down and those who have deliberately hurt us. Once this pain has been released through acts of forgiveness and understanding, we allow the space for a broader love and compassion for humanity to emerge.

Asking for Help

Most people waste hours, months, years worrying about what they should be doing. All this just puts unnecessary pressure on us and uses up valuable energy that would be better spent letting go of the past and living in the present. By all means ask your guides and angels to show you the way and guide you into your life mission but, if you do this, it is essential that you are able to recognise the signs of guidance. Very rarely will you be shown the bigger picture or told exactly what you should be doing. It is far more likely that you will be led first to the ‘next step’, ie what you need to do in order to heal and release any issues that are holding you back from moving into your life purpose in the first place.

Challenging situations and crises occur at some point in everyone’s life and these situations serve to reflect back to you the aspects of yourself that need healing. Bad things do happen and we all wonder why bad things happen to good people. Recently a friend of mine went through a horrendous ordeal of wrongful arrest after being framed for something she didn’t do. I discovered that she was carrying the energy of guilt in her aura from her relationship with her mother which had left her feeling like whatever she did, she could never do enough. According to the Law of Attraction we can only attract what we already have, for example happiness creates more happiness. Likewise guilt attracts situations where we are made to appear as the guilty party. The universe is not cruel but simply mirrors back to us the aspects of ourselves that need healing.

As part of moving into your life purpose, your guides, angels and higher self may also lead you to a healing modality that can help you release whatever needs to be released. These can include Reiki, Angelic Reiki, Faery Reiki, Crystal Healing or one of the many other forms of energy healing available today. I was led to Reiki 15 years ago when I first began my healing journey, then more recently I was led to Faery Reiki which cleared out my chakras at an even deeper level than before. I just simply know that this is preparing me for the next stage of my journey.

The Never Ending Journey

Personally I was very lucky when it comes to finding my life purpose because many years ago in meditation I heard a big booming voice, that sounded both within my head and outside of me, say “You will be a spiritual healer”. This felt ‘right’ at a deep level and this conviction has kept me on my path despite there being many occasions when I could have abandoned it for financial reasons!

Even when you feel that you are on the right path and have got to where you want to be, there is still further to go. It is still possible to move deeper into your life purpose and take your work to the next level. I want to help others heal on a deeper soul level. I don’t yet have all the answers regarding how I am going to do this but I have already seen the powerful shifts that can occur when you are able to heal the soul or spirit and this is my passion. Moving further into this kind of soul level healing is my goal for the future. And each time I release more of my old emotional ‘stuff’, the deeper I will move into it. Maybe it is time for you to start your own journey too…

Practical things to consider when moving into your Life Purpose

Your life purpose is ultimately about how you can best serve humanity based on your particular skills, talents, personal qualities and specific interests. To find your life purpose you must follow your passion, in other words, whatever inspires you and makes you feel like you are doing something worthwhile. Your life purpose is usually connected to that nagging feeling of longing which comes from your soul. Often people do have a good idea about what they would like to be doing – it’s more a case of addressing the ‘if onlys’ and moving past perceived blocks. A good indication of your life purpose is what you would do if you were totally free and left to your own devices if you didn’t have to worry about money, where to live, other people’s expectations etc. So identifying your passions is a good place to start. Then start to identify all the issues that prevent you from doing this including mental/emotional issues such as lack of confidence and fear of failure, as well as practical concerns such as lack of time or lack of money to pay for training. Try to determine how many of these issues are actually excuses the ego makes to keep you where you are, ie. stuck in a nice, safe little rut. The real blocks lie hidden underneath the excuses and these are the emotional issues that need healing.

 

Helen Shortland is a Healer, Spiritual Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. Helen offers several healing treatments such as Reiki, Angelic Reiki, Faery Reiki and Fairy Blessing Guided Journey, as well as Usui Reiki and Faery Reiki training courses. She has been on the spiritual path for 15 years and has extensive knowledge of healing and the healing journey. For further information about her Reiki courses, therapies and workshops, please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or visit and ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics & Enchantment.

 

Getting Over Yourself and Moving into You

facing fear

We can all think of things we would love to do in life and we can all think of a hundred and one reasons why we can’t do them. But how many of these reasons are excuses and how many of these excuses are just our fears?

When I first started doing my complementary therapy work, I would often be invited along to various groups to give talks about what I did. I had always been a very shy, quiet person so, needless to say, I would be  extremely anxious for several days beforehand but always made myself do it because “it was good for business”.  Just accepting the invitation was a hurdle; showing up on the day even more of a challenge.  I did several talks over the years, just bumbling my way through in the beginning.  Eventually I began to find it easier and, dare I say it, the last one I did, in a care home, I actually enjoyed. The funny thing was, once I’d got over my fear, the invitations dried up. I didn’t need to learn that lesson any more.

Around that time I came across a statement in a book I was reading that rocked me to the core:

“Being shy is the greatest form of self-obsession.”

As a shy person, I was rather indignant about this! However the more I pondered those words, the more I realised, albeit grudgingly, that they were right. By being shy and holding back from others, you are not sharing. You are more concerned with what people think about you. It’s all about you. Your mind is filled with “I really can’t do that”, “I hate being centre of attention”, “I’ll start jabbering and dry up”, “I’ll do this wrong, I’ll do that wrong”… in other words, “It’s all about me, me, me!”

The moment you bring your own fears and dramas into the situation, you make it about you. The ego is going frantic, telling you that you can’t go through with it. The ego feels threatened and will do its best to sabotage any efforts you make towards personal growth.

Now, more than 10 years later, I can look at this from a more objective point of view and try to rationalise my former irrational reaction. If you really cared that much about what people thought, you wouldn’t speak or voice an opinion/viewpoint at all. When you think about it, whatever you say, in whichever environment you’re in (work, home, with friends etc), some people will agree with everything you say, some will agree with part and disagree with part and some will disagree with you whatever you say. And that really doesn’t bother you when you’re with people you know well! Public speaking is just speaking on a bigger scale than you usually do. There will still be the same ratio of those who agree, those who part agree and those who disagree.

The challenge in life is to be yourself and let go of worrying about how you will be received. When you are being yourself you reflect the true you. You will then automatically attract the kinds of people who genuinely resonate with you and need to hear what you have to say. Every one of us possesses a unique set of gifts, passions and life experiences. All you need to do is share them honestly. After all, people can’t like or admire the real you if they never get to see it. Doubts and fears are normal. Try stating your fears out loud – it makes them a little less scary.  When you have fear, you are afraid to be you. But if you can conquer one fear, then another, then another, you’re well on your way to finding and living your soul purpose. In other words you have moved out of ego (solar plexus chakra) and up into the heart.

Helen Shortland is a Spiritual Consultant, Reiki Master Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. Helen has been on the spiritual path for 15 years and has extensive knowledge of healing and the healing journey. For further information about her Reiki courses, therapies and workshops, please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or visit and ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics.

New Year, New Vibrations

In my work as a Healer and Holistic Therapist I meet many people who say they are “too open” and absorb too much from the people and environment around them. The problem of course is the negativity they are absorbing rather than the positive. The key here is to rise above and deflect the negative and be aware of and open to the positive.

Many healers, therapists and readers take on the lower energy vibration of their clients. Other people worry about the state of the world, their loved ones and their own problems, all of which lowers your vibration. The solution is to be at a high frequency but not so open that you lose energy to others. When you look at highly spiritual people like the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and Amma, you can see it is possible to remain in a high vibration state.

The biggest issue we have to face during our time on earth is overcoming the dense vibration of fear. The aim is to live without fear, replacing it with love. This can only be achieved by working through our own individual fears. So our challenge is to reach a high vibration and stay there, not letting other people, situations, worries and fears drag us down. We can all call in white then violet light with the intention of psychically cleansing the energy body and use psychic protection techniques such as surrounding ourselves in a gold, blue or violet bubble of light. From an energy perspective, rising above negativity literally involves getting over ourselves (ego/Solar Plexus chakra) and up into the heart centre where we experience love for others. After all, how can you inspire others to rise up out of their own darkness if you are sharing the darkness with them?

There are several ways to achieve a higher energy vibration which are also highly beneficial for our wellbeing and relationships with others. Here are some suggestions:-

  1. Look for the beauty in everything. Nature is truly awesome if you stop and take the time to look.
  2. Practice gratitude. Write a list of all the things you are grateful for or happy about, whether it is supportive friends, a loving family or simply an act of kindness you witnessed that day which reminded you that there is kindness in the world. When you start looking for positives you become a more positive person. On occasions when you have a negative thought about someone or yourself, it is said that you have 17 seconds to turn that negative thought into a positive one before it turns into a negative energy pattern, ie. you experience the negative impact in your energy body.
  3. Look for something new every day which will increase your sensory awareness. It is amazing how much more you notice when you actually start looking, especially if you are someone who is usually rushing around living a very busy life.
  4. Practice meditation to restore the energy body to do guided visualisations to a place of peace and serenity which you are observing nature with your inner sight, hearing and feeling.
  5. Avoid speaking ill of others and stop yourself when you hear you are putting yourself down. When you see others as less than ideal, you are being judgmental and lowering your vibration because you are focussing on what is “wrong”. Accepting others as they are, and yourself as you are, is a form of unconditional love which keeps you in your heart centre. When you are coming from a place of love, your vibration is high.
  6. Work through and release your own issues and energy blocks. This will help you distance yourself from similar problems in others, preventing you feeling low afterwards. Empathy is one thing but wallowing in mutual misery is another! You can help people far more if you can let them know what has worked for you and how you came through your own challenges.

Despite many appearances to the contrary, we are not meant to live in fear or in a state of manic busyness where we are too exhausted to cope. The greatest gift you can give yourself this New Year is the awareness of how negativity affects you and making time for spiritual practices you can use to improve your wellbeing and personal growth.

Helen Shortland is a Spiritual Consultant, Reiki Master Teacher, Holistic Therapist and Angel Therapist based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. Helen has been on the spiritual path for 15 years and has extensive knowledge of healing and the healing journey. For further information about her Reiki courses and therapies please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics.

The Fall: The Descent of Consciousness through the Chakras

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Recently I was reading an article which mentioned The Fall and the Garden of Eden. There are several theories about the concept of The Fall, such as Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden of Eden or fallen angels being cast out of Heaven, but it got me thinking…. what if The Fall is a metaphor for the descent of our consciousness through the chakras with each incarnation? It is generally accepted that the development of the physical body proceeds from root to crown but our spiritual self or Higher Self descends downwards from crown to root. At the beginning of each incarnation our spiritual self leaves the consciousness of the bliss of unity to descend down to the consciousness of the earth plane. Could it be that The Fall is actually this Fall of Consciousness?

The Garden of Eden is likened to the bliss of unity with spirit, which is a good description for the 7th chakra, the crown chakra.  Many who journey to the afterlife in meditation or near death experience describe being in a beautiful garden.  Many spirit communications have also reported existing in a beautiful garden.

As we descend from the unity of the 7th chakra, we enter the duality of the 6th chakra, or third eye chakra, which is represented by the dual forces of Chokmah and Binah on the Tree of Life.  At the third eye, our energy splits into conscious and unconscious.  I have always felt that the forces of light and dark play out very strongly in this chakra. This idea is depicted perfectly in the High Priestess tarot card with the two columns Boaz and Jachin, one black and one white, representing the subconscious and conscious minds.  Does the dark pillar contain all the issues/karmic patterns we come into this lifetime with, with the aim of bringing them into the light of consciousness for healing? Here lies the duality of good and bad – our potential for greatness and healing along with the destructive elements of the shadow self.  This chakra is where we have the opportunity to exercise our free will with our choice of action.  The question to ask when considering which action to take should always be ‘Is this action in line with my truth, with love and with my highest good?’  If yes, we stay on the right path. If not, we lose our way and suffer the consequences of not living as we should.

We are making choices throughout our whole lives. Even in childhood we are learning the consequences of the choices we make.  It can take years to undo the damage caused in terms of lack of self-worth and self-confidence and find our way back to Truth and Light.  When we understand that the dark Boaz column signifies negation and the light Jachin column signifies beginning, this makes perfect sense. This journey back to Truth and Love, otherwise known as the healing process, is the clearing out of the negative energy created when we chose the path of illusion over love.

At the 5th chakra, the throat chakra, we are learning to express ourselves and define who we are.  At the 6th chakra we had the choice to be true to ourselves or live in line with the demands or expectations of others. Here, the 5th chakra, is where we express the energy of that choice. If we have chosen the path of illusion and false beliefs, the shadow self is exerting its influence and we are afraid to be ourselves and we end up living according to other people’s paths, not our own.  If we are able to express our Higher Self using the energy of light from the 6th chakra we will make healthy life choices that support our growth and our truth.

As our energy moves down from the 5th chakra to the 4th, our heart centre expresses how we feel about the life choices we have made.  If we are living our truth, we will live in joy, contentment, inner peace, abundance and harmony.  If not, there will always be an underlying sense of dissatisfaction and frustration; happiness and inner peace remain elusive.

At the third chakra, the solar plexus, the energy of the 4th chakra descends and expresses itself as self-acceptance, self-worth and self-validation – or the opposite, self-doubt and low self-esteem.  If you are happy in yourself and with the choices you have made, you naturally value yourself much more highly that if you are anxious and depressed. The solar plexus chakra carries the energy of how we really feel about ourselves.  If you are living according to your highest potential and expression, your self-esteem and capacity for contentment and love will be high.  If you are struggling to find your path and struggling to separate truth from the illusions you have bought into over the years, it will always feel like you are struggling to find yourself.  How we think about ourselves affects how we relate to others.  Solar plexus energy stresses that our primary relationship is with ourselves.  If that relationship isn’t happy and healthy, other relationships we subsequently forge will reflect that lack of inner harmony.  That is why external relationships can never bring us the contentment we seek; that contentment has to come from within, at the solar plexus, first.

The focus of the 2nd chakra, or sacral chakra, is relationships with others and creativity.  Consider your relationships – are they healthy? What do the people in your life reflect about you? The people you meet and situations you encounter externally in life reflect how you feel about yourself and about what is happening within you.  When the sacral chakra is functioning well, your creative juices will flow. This creativity can take a variety of forms including creating plans and bringing new ideas to birth, creating art and craft work, singing, dancing and writing, as well as creativity in the form of fertility at the physical level.  When this chakra is blocked, the energy isn’t flowing down from the solar plexus at a high enough frequency. In other words, if our self-esteem and self-worth are low and we do not properly value ourselves, we are either not able to express ourselves creatively at all or it may be expressed in unhealthy ways such as violent or subversive tendencies.

Finally the energy reaches the base or root chakra, the 1st chakra, and fully merges with the dense energy of the earth plane. In most cases, the energy is now de-spiritualised, focusing solely on work, money and security. Life revolves around making ends meet, the hardships of life and the endless treadmill of working to survive.  However if the energy has remained high and healthy and is in line with the Higher Self, it can create a trust in the universe to provide for our needs, faith in a higher power and a career that is more of a vocation or labour of love.  You are now living your true purpose while here on earth.

To summarise this journey through the chakras then, I believe that The Fall is not a fall from grace at all (as was traditionally believed) but rather a fall of consciousness into the heavier density of the earth plane. We can make our journey a lot easier by aligning with our truth and living from our own higher spiritual ideals rather than buying into the illusions, prejudices and falsehoods of the society we live in. Wherever we are now, we can return to the energy of the 6th chakra and make a different choice and follow a different path.  Connecting to our own truth is essential for the great healing potential it holds.  When we make choices in line with our growth, we are choosing the path of love and light and making positive, life-affirming choices.  Our energy will start to flow more freely and naturally, attracting greater potential for happiness and wellbeing.

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Coach, Holistic Therapist and Meditation Teacher based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. Helen has been on the spiritual path since 2001 and, following a recent spiritual crisis, now finds she has a clearer, more intuitive communication with her spirit guides and angels who have encouraged her to share her extensive knowledge of healing on a broader scale than before. For further information about her Reiki courses and therapies please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics.

LIFE ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH: HIGHS AND LOWS AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

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There is currently a greater awareness of spirituality than ever before and many different paths to follow. But why would you necessarily want to be spiritual? If you are drawn to this subject, it will feel like an inner yearning for deeper meaning in your life, a searching to understand the purpose of it all, an intuition that it can improve our lives in some way, a knowing that there is more to life.  More and more people are waking up to realising that the material world does not hold all the answers to our problems and that maybe, just maybe, we can do something to help ourselves and transform our relationships and the world around us. The knowledge that was once in the domain of only a privileged few is now becoming available to each and every one of us.

From April 2014 to April 2015 I went through my own personal spiritual crisis when many things I took for granted and believed in, most predominantly my health and my supposed abilities as a Reiki Master Healer, fell apart but towards the latter part of this time I ended up learning my greatest spiritual lessons.  When someone asked me at the beginning of this year how I was feeling, the only word that came to mind was ‘broken’.  Now, having built up my energy body with Reiki self-healing, mindfulness meditation, seed sound mantras, colour visualisation and plenty of walks in nature, I have discovered that I am channelling a greater amount of healing energy than before and have a clearer, more intuitive communication with my guides and angels who have inspired me to put together this list of what to expect along the spiritual path – and, yes, I do think this includes a spiritual crisis of some sort for us all at some point as part of this process, almost as a test to see how we cope and whether we have fully integrated what we have learnt, because when you think about it, most of our spiritual practices like meditation and reading spiritual books remain at the mental level without being brought down fully into the physical, material realm.  Now when I look back, I believe that my own crisis brought me to where I need to be in order to start the next stage of my healing work.

Below are guidelines of things to expect when you start to develop your spirituality. They can also be regarded as a paradigm for a new way of living as the planet emerges through its current chaos into the new promised golden age of peace. One important point to note is that spirituality and healing go hand in hand. As you develop spiritually, you will start to release a lot of the old hurt, anger and pain that was held in your energy body which is contributing to current health issues.  This hurt, anger and pain is what is often referred to as ‘negative energy’, ie. energy that is not vibrating at the correct frequency, which can cause blockages in the chakras which eventually leads to dis-ease and illness mentally, emotionally and physically.

So what does it mean to be spiritual and what can you expect as you progress along your spiritual path?

  •  First and foremost, to me being spiritual means looking at the world in a completely different way. It is seeing the things we have in common as human beings rather than focussing on the differences that cause and perpetuate the illusion of separateness. It is seeing what connects us rather than divides us as human beings. This implies seeing things from a higher viewpoint, through the eyes of the soul. When you develop this higher level of sight, you will become aware of karmic patterns in your own and other people’s lives; how people seem to attract the same kind of experience until they address it in a different, better manner and the lesson is learnt and the karmic issue resolved.
  • An interest in and regular undertaking of spiritual practices such as meditation and/or prayer, as well as interest in crystals, Reiki and/or alternative medicine/holistic therapy. There is a subconscious knowing that we are all made up of energy vibrating at different frequencies and can use forms of energy medicine to bring about balance and healing.
  • The ability to practice forgiveness of yourself and others, recognising that holding onto past grudges or indulging in self-blame is futile and takes up valuable energy that can be put to better use in the present moment. Recognising when it is time to ‘let go’ of a situation that is draining you and offering it up to a higher power (God or the angels), asking it to be resolved for the highest and greatest good of all.
  • A belief in a higher force guiding our lives which we can actively work with through intermediaries such as angels and spirit guides.
  • Recognising that people play certain roles in our lives to give us opportunities to learn lessons we need to learn or to instigate changes we need to make. We are all actors playing roles in each others’ lives, with no real conscious understanding of what we are doing and why. People often feel compelled to do things without knowing why. Maybe we don’t have as much free will as we think we have! I do think it is important not to demonise others too quickly for playing the bad guy: these roles are determined before we even incarnate. If you bear in mind that our greatest enemies can be our greatest teachers, it helps you to look at your situation in a more empowering way rather than from the place of victim.
  • The development of greater tolerance, compassion and inner peace.
  • A growing desire to be of service to the world and to humanity. Self-interest, greed and materialism lose their appeal. Along with this comes a growing interest in peace and humanitarian causes, human rights issues and peaceful spiritual activism.
  • Many people are drawn to healing in its many varied forms, on a personal and/or global scale.
  • Increased sense of personal responsibility for your actions in terms of how they affect you and others. A greater understanding of the law of cause and effect.
  • Increased inner strength and self-worth as you honour your role and contribution to your community and the world, however large or small that may be.
  • Honouring and living your truth is essential: you can no longer live with what is not right for you. As you align more and more with your truth and ultimately your higher self, you start to move into your life purpose. This leads to a stronger sense of the importance of truth and authenticity in all your relationships.
  • A growing maturity and not taking things so personally. Staying strong when people appear to behave badly towards you, accepting that everyone has their own issues to work through.
  • Letting people go with love, not anger, when they move out of our lives. Not everyone can stay with us for ever. Some may only be in your life for a short time but have a massive impact in terms of lessons in love, forgiveness and self-reliance or to help you move onto a new path.
  • Attracting tests and crises to give you the opportunity to put what you have learnt intellectually into practice and, ultimately, to deepen your spiritual awareness and understanding.
  • Understanding that surrender and release bring the greatest peace and always, eventually, the greatest result. Relinquishing control can be a very difficult thing to do but sometimes you have no choice if you are to stay sane; fighting is destructive and resistance uses up valuable energy that can be put into other things. Offer difficult situations up to God to sort out for the highest and greatest good of all concerned and new solutions may just miraculously appear.

An ability to look at the world in this new way implies that you are developing greater spiritual sight and understanding. The third eye chakra is activated, enabling you to see the inter-connectedness of all things and see the situations in your life from a higher perspective.

If everyone starts to adopt at least some of these principles, we can all contribute to both healing ourselves and creating more peaceful, spiritual communities and countries and, ultimately, a more peaceful world.

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Spiritual Coach, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. For further information please visit her website http://helenshortland.com or ‘like’ her Facebook page Helen Shortland Holistics.

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