Tag Archives: spiritual journey

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.

 

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Getting Over Yourself and Moving into You

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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.

HEALING CORE BELIEFS

We all hold beliefs about ourselves and the world which determine how we perceive ourselves and life in general.

People whose beliefs are generally positive seem to flow smoothly through life, effectively dealing with whatever challenges arise, usually becoming successful, happy and content.  Those who struggle with negative beliefs about themselves, other people and the world in general, are more likely to suffer with low self-esteem and self-worth and achieve less success and happiness in life.  Many people are good at being positive on the outside but if they are struggling to cope or achieve success in a certain area of their life, it is very likely that deeply held negative beliefs are still present which need healing.

Negative beliefs are the ones that hold us back, convincing us that we are not as good as other people, making us believe that we are unworthy and unlovable. I have discovered that they are always untruths and often result from the negative projections of other people.  These are illusions that we have bought into, usually at a time in our lives (childhood/early adolescence) when our own sense of self and self-esteem were not developed strongly enough to provide the discernment we needed.

Discovering your Core Beliefs

The first step in discovering whether your core beliefs need healing is to ask yourself honestly how you feel about life. Do you feel life is hard or do you manage to face and overcome any challenges with relative ease, achieving your goals effortlessly? How do you feel about each area of your life? In which areas of your life are you not achieving all you would like to achieve? Now start to think about what beliefs you have that are preventing you from achieving the success you would like to achieve. Write it all down, let it flow, without censoring anything that comes out. It is also very insightful to think about who you envy and why – what do you perceive they can do that you can’t? This can reflect back to you your own issues that need healing.

I found my own core beliefs centred around lack of confidence. The phrase ‘I can’t do it on my own and as I’m always on my own, it doesn’t get done’ came to mind. I had to admit I was envious of people who have the confidence and self-assurance to do whatever they want to do and go wherever they want to go. Exploring the lack of confidence issue further, asking myself what lay behind this belief, I ultimately reached the underlying statement ‘I’m not good enough on my own’.

A lightbulb moment occurred when I recalled how many times I have said “It’s just not good enough”, whether about my business premises, my finances, my home, my own abilities, or even just getting 9 out of 10 instead of 10 out of 10!  When you examine the words you actually speak, you realise that you are constantly projecting your personal core beliefs onto other people and situations but the message is there, loud and clear, if you can recognise it. What you think about other people and situations is merely a reflection of how you think about yourself.

Now think about the events that have happened in your life that have contributed to your core beliefs.  Maybe you grew up in a very argumentative environment, receiving criticism about your perceived shortcomings and all the things you did wrong.  Many of us were bullied in our teenage years for whatever reason which reinforces the belief that we just aren’t good enough.

When you examine your negative core beliefs, the underlying theme is always a version of ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I’m not lovable enough’.  These beliefs were formed in your early years; subsequent events just reinforce this one belief. You perceive offends and insults through the eyes of your wounded young self (the wounded child archetype). Emotions will inevitably surface when you do this exercise and identify these beliefs. However just acknowledging them is enough for now because by acknowledging them you are no longer suppressing them.  Once you have identified your core beliefs, you can now start to examine them more closely through the eyes of your adult self.

Reframing your Core Beliefs

In order to heal, it is essential to change your negative core beliefs.  What you believe and how you feel about yourself determines the energy you give out.  The universe responds to the energy you give out, bringing you the people, events and experiences that reflect your core beliefs. You really are the centre of your own universe!  As above, so below. The universe is not cruel – it is merely showing you which areas of your life need healing and bringing you the opportunity to do so. If you can change your beliefs into something more healthy, you will give out a different, more positive, higher, lighter vibration of energy, that will attract different, more positive people, events and experiences into your life. You really do have the choice of whether to keep buying into the usual, habitual experience of pain or choosing to adopt a more positive interpretation.

Now let’s take the main core belief ‘I’m not good enough’. Think about the events that took place that made you believe that statement. Now interpret them as a kind, caring, mature adult would. Arguments at home are always unpleasant for children but ultimately I know now that they resulted from issues between my parents, not me. Maybe I misinterpreted parental criticism – instead of belittling me, they actually cared passionately. I also know now that the horrible things that were said to me at school in my teenage years were not true and were most likely the result of jealousy and the fact that I was too quiet and shy to stand up for myself.

Reframing events in this way dissipates the painful emotions attached to them, releasing years of anger and resentment. Hard as it may seem, if you can hold the person/people who caused you harm and pain with compassion and understanding, you can start to turn your beliefs around.  Consider other explanations for their behaviour. There is always another, less painful explanation. It is all down to what you choose to believe. Remember that some people always see the good in others – try to emulate them; it is by far the kinder option – to yourself, not to them.

A Healing Choice

Disconnecting yourself from negative core beliefs enables you to set yourself free. Understand that only you are hurting; the other people involved have long since forgotten and moved on. When you make a different choice through reframing, you do not necessarily have to forgive the other person/people involved. You only need to find and accept a less hurtful explanation.  Most people who cause pain to others act on auto-pilot anyway, never really realising the consequences of their actions. It is up to you to choose not to let the mindlessness of others hurt you and stop you being all you can be.

At the end of the day the choice is yours. You can choose whether to buy into other people’s issues and let them create your reality or you can think to yourself ‘stop right there, that is about you not me’, and refuse to take it on board. Stay true to what you, as a mature adult, know to be true about yourself and detach from the rest.

Your life will change considerably for the better when you change your negative core beliefs. Taking responsibility for yourself is essential for healing. It makes you realise just how powerful we all are: our thoughts really do determine our reality.

Reframe → Reinterpret → Rebirth

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Holistic Therapist and Meditation Teacher based at 15 Wheeler Gate in Nottingham city centre. Helen has been on the spiritual path since 2001 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.

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.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Meditation: Is it really bad for you?

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An article has been published in several national newspapers this week stating that meditation can be a dangerous practice, leading to anxiety, panic and depression.  In the article the author, Dr Miguel Farias, clearly states that the problem lies with excessive meditation practice, the kind done for hours on end such as you would find on a meditation retreat. However once a statement gets into the mainstream media, it is all too easy for claims to be exaggerated and the entire subject of meditation to be viewed in a very negative light.

First let me say that the claims made would pose no problem for people who meditate fifteen or twenty minutes a day, maybe a couple of times a day, or for those who take a five or ten minute breather out of the day to re-centre and refocus.  We need to maintain perspective here and bear in mind that potential problems only arise when practices are taken to extremes.

The true goal of meditation is to go into the space between the thoughts with a view to expanding the sense of self and your concept of reality. It can take you beyond the mind and the ego and therefore beyond your sense of self. The ego is a construct of your beliefs and life experiences through which you define yourself. When you go beyond Mind into nothingness, the ego disappears and we lose our sense of self and who we are. Psychological breakdown can occur when you do not know what is happening and are not prepared to deal with it. The resulting ‘breakdown’ can send you in to what is termed ‘spiritual crisis’, some symptoms of which include anxiety, panic, fear and depression. Other symptoms include muscle spasms and jerking, ego inflation, confusion, vibration in the body and rushing/roaring sensations in the head.

Spiritual crisis is the extreme end of spiritual awakening. Many people are awakening spiritually at this time, exploring various healing modalities, crystals, meditation among others. Spiritual awakening itself is a journey of healing past trauma and wounding.  It is a process of learning, growth, healing and purification; learning to love yourself and forgive others who have caused pain and wounding.  A spiritual awakening can turn into crisis however when it happens too quickly, the person is no longer in control, and it is all happening too much too soon. The crisis can be triggered by excessive spiritual practices such as meditation and qigong as well as taking too many Reiki/energy attunements in too short a space of time. The speed of the awakening is unmanageable and the person is left experiencing terrifying symptoms of mental breakdown.

During intense meditation, the meditator opens up to the transcendental state beyond Mind.  Unresolved trauma and wounding that has been suppressed, repressed and denied over the years comes up to the surface seeking to be resolved and healed.  The inner wold takes over and the person often finds it hard to cope with everyday tasks.

Meditation can produce great highs and feelings of Oneness, inter-connectedness with all things, blissful inner peace and love but it can also be followed by great lows. When you have let more light into your energy body, more of the shadow self is exposed and thrown into that light for healing. Life can start to feel like a constant inter-play between the themes of light and dark. Ultimately however the goal of the psyche is always to heal, transform and move towards wholeness. Spiritual crisis is part of that process, albeit a painful one.

For those people who want to practice meditation as safely as possible, I believe Mindfulness to be the ‘safest’ form of meditation. It is body-focused, particularly on the physical senses of taste and touch. It is very grounding and is excellent for bringing you back into your body if you have a tendency to zone out and be carried away by your own thoughts and worries. For this reason it is very beneficial for anxiety and mild depression. If you want to try it, start off with something very simple: next time you have a cup of tea, eat a sandwich or brush your teeth, focus entirely on the sensations in your hands and mouth. Follow the sensations in your body as you drink the tea or eat the sandwich. If you can become totally absorbed in what you are doing, you are being mindful. With Mindfulness there is no attempt to go beyond the realm of mind into the space between thoughts; you are simply absorbed in what you are doing in the physical realm.

I hope I have provided some reassurance that meditation is perfectly safe when practiced sensibly and in moderation. There are great benefits to having a regular meditation practice (including lowered blood pressure and stress levels, managing anxiety and mild depression, and improving clarity, focus and creativity). It would be a shame to tarnish the reputation of such a beneficial spiritual practice unnecessarily.

Notes:

1. Help and resources are available for anyone who believes they are suffering the symptoms of spiritual crisis. Visit www.SpiritualCrisisNetwork.org.uk for further information.

2. Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Holistic Therapist and Meditation Teacher 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.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SPIRITUAL TODAY?

The word ‘spiritual’ derives from the Latin ‘spiritus’ meaning ‘breathing’ or ‘the breath’.  The spirit is the animating or life-force principle.  Spirit is the spark of life we have within us.  It is often said that we are spiritual beings living in a physical body.  There is a part of us, a spiritual essence, that co-exists with our physical body which connects us to the spiritual or life-giving energy of the universe.

Spirituality can be defined as:-

  • Becoming aware of our spirit and thereby becoming aware of our potential for growth and enlightenment, sensing that our lives have a purpose.
  • Recognising the God force within us and therefore our connection to the Source/Creator/All that is.
  • Recognising that we are no longer separate and alone but are in fact all connected to one another.  We learn from each other, attracting and reflecting the experiences, people and situations we need in order to learn and grow.
  • Recognising that we have a spirit that needs nurturing through meditation, positive thoughts and acts of love and kindness.
  • A willingness to practice forgiveness and develop tolerance and compassion, knowing that only love can heal and bring peace to the individual and to the world.

What Spirituality is Not

The proof of spirituality is in how you live your routine day to day life.  It is not about how many attunements you have had, courses you have attended, how many Reiki treatments you’ve received or given, or even how psychic you are.  Some of the most spiritual people live quiet lives, simply taking responsibility for themselves, and being honest, modest and kind to others.  Taking responsibility for yourself simply means making your own decisions, taking credit for your successes and being answerable for your mistakes.  In other words, it is living your life, making mistakes and learning from them.  The end result is a much more well-rounded person who has acquired a sense of what is truly important in life.

Personal Responsibility

We are living at a time of great awakening.  Spirituality is no longer seen as only going hand in hand with religion.  Enlightenment and the experience of oneness are no longer only available to a select special few.  Much is changing in our world at the present time with the decline in traditional religion and the burgeoning interest in spiritual practices such as meditation.  Spirituality connects us to the sense of oneness and unity that lies behind and beyond all the different religious traditions.

Spiritual awareness and the responsibility for personal growth are coming back to rest upon the individual.  We are responsible for our own spiritual development.  Our potential for enlightenment, our spirituality, lies within, and through our own inner work we will find it.

A Final Note Regarding Spiritual Teachers

There is a well-known saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”  When you find your spiritual teacher, it is important to remember not to give away your own personal power.  You should always discriminate and take responsibility for yourself and not just take for granted anything anyone tells you, whoever they seem to be.  What is true for one person will not be true for everyone else.  Only take from them that which resonates with you and rings true at the time, for that is what you need right now.  You already have within yourself everything you need – a teacher will only help you to find it.

 

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. Please ring her on 07748 591690 to book a treatment or visit her website http://helenshortland.com for further information.

 

 

What is “Healing”?

We are all accustomed to hearing about the healing journey, spiritual healing, energy healing, Reiki healing etc but what exactly does ‘healing’ mean?  The term ‘healing’ means becoming whole, ie. being aware of yourself on all levels (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually) and accepting, expressing and integrating all that you are. It is not denying aspects of yourself and living your life according to the expectations and needs of others but loving yourself enough to be who you really are.

The word energy is derived from the Greek words ‘en’ meaning in or inside and ‘ergon’ meaning work, force, power or effort.  Healing energy can therefore be interpreted as doing our inner work so that we can become whole.

Physical Healing

We have all had aches and pains, cuts and bruises, infection and illnesses. We may have needed antibiotics, stitches or painkillers to help and taken time out to rest and recuperate but essentially our bodies heal themselves.

Emotional Healing

We have all suffered emotional pain and injuries too.  We have all experienced unpleasant painful feelings such as anger, fear, sadness, loneliness and rejection.  Our natural response is to deny these feelings as we are too ashamed to admit to them. After all, emotional pain is harder to see and therefore easier to ignore.  However when these feelings are suppressed in the subconscious mind, the body always responds in some way – muscular tension, pain and stiffness, and the autonomic nervous system floods the body with anxiety-stimulating stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol.

We learn through experience that society does not deem it appropriate to express painful emotions and we even call them ‘negative’ to reinforce the idea that they are unwanted.  However, when these emotions are not expressed, they become stored in our body, energy system and unconscious mind.  When painful emotions are suppressed or denied, the act of suppression leads to anxiety, worry or depression, physical illness or addition. People usually turn to painkillers, medication or self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.

Pain from the past continues to affect the present.  It can take years to even acknowledge that painful emotions exist.  But until we can finally admit to ourselves that something is wrong, we will find it very difficult to heal.  We remain in this pattern of suppression and denial until we are ready to release and transform.

Becoming Whole

Becoming whole means being in good health and balance of all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  Wholeness involves acknowledging and accepting all that we are.  First it is necessary to discover and accept the more ‘negative’ aspects of our character and all the painful emotions we carry.

Few people genuinely love or understand themselves enough.  It is so much easier to judge ourselves and find ourselves lacking in some way, not being worthy enough or lovable enough.  Understanding is key: understanding where those painful emotions came from and the beliefs we have around them.  We must forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made and we must also forgive others for the mistakes they have made towards us.  If you cannot forgive, you must at least learn to detach from the pain and let it go.  It is the only way to heal, the only way to set yourself free from the pain of the past.

Moving Forward

The best way to develop love, understanding and forgiveness is through a spiritual practice such as meditation; a form of healing such as spiritual, energy or Reiki healing; healing meditation connecting with the energy of love; or even counselling.  Meditation helps you enter the witness state of detachment from thoughts and feelings and experience stillness and clarity of mind.  Healing treatments can help you connect with the divine energy of source, make you aware of what’s in your heart and fully experience your feelings.  Counselling can help you identify painful emotions and explore their origin.  By making the connection with your heart, the soul is more able to connect with the body and infuse the body with more light, or soul energy, that helps you release and move forward.  I do believe that the body wants to heal itself; we just need to get out of the way and let it happen.

A Life-long Process

Healing is a life-long process.  It involves learning about ourselves and being willing to change.  I believe that meditation is one of the most profound methods of self-healing we can do and is something that can be practiced regularly by everyone.  You can meditate upon your thoughts and emotions and discover where they came from. Vipassana Meditation teaches you how to choose and master your thoughts, thereby influencing your moods and feelings, which has a direct bearing on the physical body.  If you practice healing meditation, you can direct a beam of bright white light into areas of tension, pain or illness and visualise the body healing itself.  By being willing to change, accept and integrate all parts of ourselves, we can all lead healthier and happier lives.

Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. For further information about her courses, workshops and therapies, please visit her website at http://helenshortland.com.