Tag Archives: spirituality

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.

 

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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.

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.