Category Archives: Spirituality

20/20 Vision: Contagious Ascension

A vision for what remains of 2020 and beyond

He was just days old.  Our beautiful new baby boy, swaddled and sleeping soundly in his crib whilst I relaxed in my hospital bed, blissfully reverent of the miracle of nature (and a little smug despite the lingering pain and discomfort) in the afterglow of having birthed my 10lbs babe through my marvellous body.  I was also revelling in the restful lack of nagging responsibilities facing my husband and I, that would otherwise be filling our minds if we were at home, not being fed and tended to.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, the silence was broken with an unexpected, seemingly misplaced, divinely adorable sound.  Stunned and confused, my head whipped in the direction of my baby, then my jaw dropped in amazement; my newborn boy was doing the seemingly impossible: asleep, and obviously dreaming, he was emitting a fit of giggles.  Giggles!  Those sweet baby giggles that melt your heart in the way only the laughter of a small child can.  It lasted only a few seconds, but there was absolutely no mistaking it.  My husband and I were in a state of delighted astonishment, realising our bundle of joy had just expressed he was exactly that – joyful.  It’s a precious memory that warms my heart in the most profound way, knowing my baby boy was, from the very beginning of his earthly journey, beyond all logically understood capacity, joyful in his beingness.


Back at home a week or so later, I retrieved the borrowed name book from the bookcase. Given we’d chosen our baby’s name simply because we liked it, it occurred to me to look up the meaning before returning the book to its owner.  I flicked through the pages, until I found it:

Isaac: from the Hebrew name Yitzchaq, meaning “he will laugh, he will rejoice”1.


This remarkable tale makes me both smile and awe at the mysteries of life.  I love that I have such a wondrous anecdote to share, guaranteed to amaze and delight.  But more than that, I love how this experience is such undeniable – to my mind – evidence of the mystical nature of how the Universe/God/Source/Higher Power communicates with us, if we’re open to receiving. I can see how easily such an occurrence – a newborn living up to his given name in such an improbable manner – could be written off as mere coincidence or fluke, how it couldn’t be scientifically validated as meaningful.  No doubt there’s someone out there willing to burst my bubble and give me a logical explanation of why it wasn’t actually legitimate laughter or true expression.  And yet something of its incredibility, synchronicity, and mystery appeals to a deeper part of me; it fascinates me, and feels sacred and significantly meaningful, and in its way it imprinted the healing my relationship with my beautiful boy brings me every day.

A few years after this experience, I learned about the concept of “nominative determinism” from Rebecca Campbell, who describes the phenomenon as “when people’s names fit their calling or purpose in life, like little clues from the heavens.”2  It reminded me of the experience with my son, and the idea appealed to me enormously, so I began investigating the meaning behind my own names.

Rachael (given name): Hebrew for ewe, a female sheep3.

Louise (middle name): Feminine form of the French Louis, from the Latin Ludovicus, from the German Ludwig (composed of the elements “hlud” meaning famous and “wig” meaning war or battle), from the Germanic Chlodovech; Louise means famous female warrior.4  A warrior is defined as a person engaged or experienced in warfare, or alternately a person who shows great vigour, courage or aggressiveness.5  Courage is defined as the quality of bravery that enables a person to face difficulty without fear.6  It’s derived from Middle English corage, from Anglo-French curage, equivalent to coer meaning heart, from the Latin cor7; this etymology explains an earlier definition of courage: the heart as the source of emotion.8

Barker (maiden surname): An English occupational name for a tanner, derived from the Middle English bark(en), referring to someone who converts animal hide to leather using the bark of trees as a tanning agent.9  Tanning involves a process which permanently alters the protein structure of skin, making it more durable and less susceptible to decomposition, also possibly colouring it.10, 11  Another (informal) definition of the word tan is to thrash or whip.12 Barker is also an English occupational name for a shepherd.13

Stella (married surname): Italian (derived from Latin) for star.14  Dictionary definitions of star describe self-luminous celestial bodies, visible in the clear night sky as fixed, twinkling points of light.15

At the time, I didn’t have the insight to decipher and apply these meanings thoroughly, but my basic attempt was I used to be a follower (sheep), and as I matured I rebelled (warrior) and began to forge my own path toward the light (star).  And all along the way, as regularly corroborated by the many people who told me “You’re so hard on yourself!”, I was adept at giving myself a darned thorough mental flogging (tanning).

Whilst I’ve long appreciated symbolism and hidden meaning, and deep thinking has always come naturally, my spiritual path has allowed me to develop a capacity to decipher the messages available in virtually anything I perceive.  I recognise I can utilise my intuition as a guide in discerning meaning, from amongst endless possibilities, that resonates with truth for me.

Reviewing the meaning and etymology of my names, with the increased insight time and experience have gifted me, I have a renewed take on my nominative determinism:

Rachael: In the early years of my life I followed the crowd, not quite fitting in but desperate to be just like everyone else.  I was terrified of my weird uniqueness being exposed, believing it to be shameful, and so I denied and endeavoured to hide it.  I attempted to blend in like a sheep in the flock, in the best way I knew how, hoping desperately it would offer protection from my mortifying strangeness being revealed.  My efforts felt excruciatingly in vain; my peculiar physical appearance regularly drew notice and comment, I felt like I didn’t know how to behave and conform to social norms, and I had a confusingly conflicting yet uncontrollable urge to put myself within the centre of attention.

Louise: As I learn and evolve, I’m becoming a warrior; my strength and courage is in forging the self-acceptance to come out of hiding and speak my mind by telling all of my heart.  I increasingly recognise my need to be seen is a valid and valuable aspect of my purpose as I use my voice, distinct from the urge to be in the spotlight that was a manifestation of denying and suppressing my need.  I’ve found my flock where I feel I truly belong, whilst concurrently owning my uniqueness as part of my power.

Barker: In the beginning, my (Barker) family of origin shepherded me in my sheep-like ways. They also gave me the gift of experiences that served to thicken my skin, and coloured much of my perception of life through familial conditioning and loving.  I used to psychologically self-flagellate, but as I spiritually and emotionally evolve I gradually depart from the habit, as I have relinquished the use of my maiden name and increasingly identified with my married surname.

Stella: I have grown to recognise my inherent divinity.  In doing so, I radiate my inner light that then guides others as they navigate their way through the dark to discovering they too possess the same divine light within themselves.


This stuff is utterly fascinating to me.  It’s not a precise science, but rather a playful intuitive exploration, and the interpretations derived are variable and dependent on the interpreter.  I could have elucidated from the meaning of Louise I’m a fighter, destined for warfare.  But that didn’t resonate; I reject the notion of taking sides, and I don’t even believe in fighting “the good fight.”  Instead I looked deeper and sought a meaning that did resonate.  The definition of star included “a hot gaseous mass that radiates energy” – that could be interpreted in a most unflattering light, so I chose not to take that onboard!  Whilst I’ve relinquished the use and much of the symbolism of my maiden name, that doesn’t mean all other Barkers are doomed in their nominative determinism – there are positive interpretations available, relevant to the uniqueness of the individual.

The point is, we all make sense of our own individual experience of life from our own one-of-a-kind perspective.  The internal stories we create through our various perceptions give meaning to, colour and inform our experience of life.  As author Andrew Holecek describes so succinctly, perception is creation.15


As I’ve grappled with the challenges borne of the global events these past weeks, I’ve yearned for relief from the uncomfortable and unpleasant emotions triggered with regularity. Whilst traversing the lows of the emotional roller coaster, a part of me is desperate to get off the unpleasant ride and move on.  And yet another part of me knows the roller coaster can’t be avoided, and there is meaning to be derived from my emotions, worthy of being understood and acknowledged rather than eliminated in a rushed attempt to alleviate my suffering.

During a recent dip, I recognised I was secured in my roller coaster seat and unable to get off mid-ride, so I would be better served by accepting what was.  I decided to sit with my emotions and observe what they were and what was triggering them.  I wrote it all out, for completeness and clarity.  I pondered the symbolism.  What did each emotion represent?  How could I honour the inherent meaning?  Each emotion was about something deeper than what appeared on the surface.  Anger was about asserting moral superiority in order to feel virtuous. Grief was about resisting what is.  Anguish was about fear of the unknown.

Giving my emotions this space and permission to be, rather than judging and resisting them, gradually reduced their potency.  Understanding their meaning made them feel valid and acceptable, even if not necessarily helpful, and therefore less painful to feel.  Sweet relief.

It was only then I was truly ready to transcend my negativity and suffering, and transmute it into healing.

I recognised we’re all living within an internally created story of the global situation.  An illustration of this point came to me in the form of this video,17 a coronavirus themed parody of the well-known children’s story book “Where is the Green Sheep?” by Mem Fox.  From what I’ve observed via social media comments, it seems there are two main interpretations of this story (though there are no doubt more).  To some, it’s a cute representation of our current experience of life amidst the pandemic, the green sheep representing the hero scientists, hidden away in their labs developing the vaccine that will end the crisis.  To others, it symbolises a sheep-like mentality of the masses who are seeking a saviour.  Same story, different interpretations.  People often don’t realise there is more than one way to interpret a story; with blinkers on, they only see the version that aligns with their views.  I’m fairly certain even the makers of this video didn’t perceive the subtext they’d created, hidden in plain sight.

I love to be precise with my words; the dictionary and thesaurus are my friends, etymology intrigues me, and I’ll gleefully be magniloquent18 if I feel it’s justified!  Also, as is no doubt obvious, analogy and symbolism turn me on, they are my language.  I don’t even care I’m guilty of mixing my metaphors, I love the magic they conjure through painting a clearer picture of the essence of what I’m attempting to convey.  Whilst we don’t necessarily think of them as such, words are, in fact, symbols used to transmit meaning.  A word is a meaningful group of symbols (letters and corresponding sounds) that represents a thing or concept, and learning language is learning to decode the meaning inherent within these groups of symbols.

Inspired by other thoughts on the symbolism of the global situation,19,20 it occurred to me I could create my own more positive story from my personal perspective.  I could redefine how I perceive this whole state of affairs and create a new positive vision and narrative that would serve me.  I could apply my own brand of nominative determinism to coronavirus.21

Please note: in no way do I intend, through this reframing, to disregard or downplay the tragedy of each individual death, the grief of loved ones left behind, the challenges faced by those suffering with severe cases, the commitment, efforts and caring of the healthcare workers, or the suffering of the multitudes of humans who have been affected in a variety of ways by this entire situation.  There are fellow human beings experiencing utter devastation as a result of coronavirus, and my heart aches for them. I acknowledge my suffering barely even begins to approach that which others have experienced, and I am incredibly grateful for my blessings and the privileged circumstances I find myself in. One person’s suffering doesn’t discount another’s; I honour all experiences, and I look towards the light from which these shadows have been cast, as a means of healing all suffering.

Corona: Derived from the Latin, corōna, meaning garland or crown.  In anatomy, the word describes the crownlike upper portion of a body part or structure, such as the top of the head.  Corona is also used to describe a crownlike appendage.  Other dictionary definitions describe a corona as a circle (or set of concentric circles) of light around a luminous body, a halo, or a luminous ring around a celestial body such as the sun.22

Virus: Derived from the Latin, vīrus, meaning slime or poison.  A virus is an ultramicroscopic infectious agent, not considered to be a living thing in the conventional sense.  Virus is also defined as a corrupting influence, including on morals or intellect.  In computer science, it’s a self-replicating program that damages or shuts down computer operations, systems or networks.23

So, what is coronavirus from my newly defined perspective?

The corona definitions bring to my mind the crown chakra – the seventh centre of the body’s energy field, located at the crown of the head, perceived by those who see energy as a luminous circle or sphere of violet light.  As such, I’m choosing to see coronavirus as contagious ascension.  It’s a global healing occurring through a corrupting influence on the morals (or lack thereof) and intellect that are at the root of the self-destruction of humanity. This influence is driven by ascension into the crown chakra where one connects with inherent divinity and oneness.  With every individual who claims this evolution, the resultant ripple effect is the infection of others through the higher vibrations being generated, healing all and shutting down the outdated and destructive paradigms now rendered obsolete as we experience this new way of being.

That’s a contagion I welcome with open arms.


So why does this matter?  What relevance does my personal perspective, intentionally chosen, have for the lived reality of what is playing out in the world?

Before I begin to answer that question, I think it’s important to consider who’s asking it.  I imagine you fall into one of three categories:

  1. You’re nodding your head in eager agreement as you read my words, because you and I are like-minded, and that’s what drew you here in the first place.  You’re fully onboard with redefining your perception of 2020 and coronavirus (if you haven’t already), and you recognise the hidden, deeper and more profound impact of conscious intentionality.  You already know why this matters.
  2. You catch my drift, and you think it’s a cute idea, but you’re not certain this is quite the sort of thing that floats your boat.  You’re open to pondering it for a bit, and you’ll consider giving it a whirl, but you’re not fully committed and there’s a good chance you’ll forget about the whole concept after a while.
  3. You’re not entirely sure how or why you made it this far through reading, because this woman who identifies simultaneously as a sheep, a warrior and a star is a bit too woo-woo for your liking. You dwell in reality, and this redefinition business sounds like crazy talk.

Given you’ve come this far, don’t let any differences between you and I put you off.  My intention is to offer you something of value that makes meaningful sense in your world.  Your new story doesn’t need to be as flowery or esoteric as mine.  I’ll attempt to clarify the idea as logically as I possibly can, with real life examples of how the concept plays out in everyday life.

There are multiple realities

When we look at the world, we believe what we see is unquestionable evidence of reality. Ponder then, what we see is a function of the design of our organs of sight; our eyes. Other animals, with differently designed eyes, have different sight perception to humans; when looking at the same thing, what they see is a different reality to what we see.24  Additionally, various imaging technologies can show us what we cannot perceive with the naked eye. Therefore, it’s incredibly presumptuous to assume our version of what we see with our human eyes is the only true reality.  Instead of confining ourselves to our automatic perception of what we assume is reality, we can rewrite the story of our reality by selecting an alternate way of viewing.

Visual perceptions of reality

Your perception may be incomplete

Horses are sometimes made to wear blinkers, intended to control and narrow their focus to keep them on track and prevent them from being distracted or spooked.  What they can’t see is still there, but it’s no longer part of their reality.  The fun animated short film Snack Attack25 beautifully illustrates how easily we can forget there’s potentially something we haven’t seen when our focus is narrowed, and the consequences of such, particularly in our interactions with others.  It’s always worth asking the question, “Is there something I’ve missed?”

Source unknown

There is always a different interpretation available

The law is perhaps thought of as black and white, definitive, a set of enshrined rules, clear cut contractual agreements designed to ensure certainty.  Legal experts are paid handsomely to draft painstakingly precise legal documents, the more complex ones in a highly organised fashion, with the intention of effectively eliminating any skerrick of ambiguity in meaning or potential for misinterpretation.  And yet we all know legal experts are also well paid to argue the complexities in interpreting legal matters and their loopholes, often in lengthy, drawn out cases.  This example highlights no matter how carefully we attempt to approximate perfection in communicating meaning, there is always potential for an alternate interpretation.

Which story is worth choosing?

You might be of the opinion overcast, rainy weather is unpleasant; you might even describe it as horrible.  Consider the truth that a beautiful, sunshine filled day is happening concurrently with any given moment of inclement weather, except it’s temporarily hidden from view behind the veil of clouds currently spread across the portion of the sky below which you stand.  You may well have a valid preference for sunshine, but you can recognise clouds and rain have their valuable and essential place in the cyclical nature of our environment.  You have a choice in which story you live by, and my suggestion is you consider which perception is helpful, useful, and valuable; which one makes you feel better, irrespective of external forces outside of your control?  When you feel better no matter the weather, you are better able to experience and create positivity in the world.

You can’t avoid challenges – and you wouldn’t want to

Please don’t be mistaken I’m suggesting it would be useful or helpful to ignore, deny or avoid anything that arouses discomfort or negativity within you – big or small.  Recall I sat with my uncomfortable unpleasant feelings about the current global situation, intentionally allowing myself to find a way towards accepting them before I could transcend and transmute them. 

Ponder the concept of driving from your current location to a desired destination some distance away.  Your route will likely include a mix of 2 types of roadways: larger highways and motorways where you can surge ahead towards your destination with speed, ease and few hindrances; and smaller roads and streets that require you to make slower progress as you observe speed limits and negotiate your way safely through intersections, traffic control, and past pedestrians and various landmarks.  To get to your destination, you need to traverse each type of roadway appropriately.

Similarly, in life, whatever your desired destination, you must recognise along with the free-flowing good times on that journey, there will also be times of challenge that arouse negative feelings.  Attempting to barrel through, denying and ignoring these challenges in an effort arrive at your desired destination of good times sooner, is like ignoring all the road rules and speeding through the suburban back streets at 100kph – you’re pretty well guaranteed to come to a crashing halt at some point, wreaking chaos and destruction in the process.  Avoidance of challenges can be likened to encountering an accident along your route and driving on by, hoping or assuming someone else is sorting it out because you don’t want the inconvenience of getting involved.  This sort of behaviour has implications for those you’ve avoided, as well as your conscience.

Taking the time to negotiate the slower roads will ultimately show you they hold beauty that would otherwise be unseen in the blur of motorway speeds.  Accepting challenges are a necessary and valid part of the journey, that take time to be carefully traversed, means a slower journey, but your patience will ensure you arrive at your destination in one piece, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Sometimes, road accidents are unavoidable, and we can wind up suffering injury. At these times, we can’t just get up and walk away as though nothing happened; we might need emergency medical assistance, road clean up, car repairs, time to convalesce. The necessary degree of assistance and time to recover and get back on the road varies depending on the severity of the accident. Similarly, the length of time it takes to come to acceptance of suffering in life is often a function of the degree of intensity of the emotions involved; if you’re experiencing immense or overwhelming suffering, it would be unwise to expect you could wake up tomorrow with a brand new shiny perspective, ready to move on. Patience, and willingness to seek and accept help and support is key.

Learning and practising how to appropriately traverse challenges, through the acceptance that comes with finding a way to perceive them in a positive light, provides you with a set of skills akin to having a road map that allows you to plan your journey to make best use of the freeways, enjoy the slowed scenic portions of your drive, avoid unnecessary traffic, and have an alternate route up your sleeve should an unexpected road block arise.


If you relate to 2020 as the year from hell you’d rather escape and forget, if you relate to coronavirus as a disaster and something to fear or be angry about, what does that do for your mood?  Your emotions?  Your stress levels?  Your health? How does that affect your loved ones? How does that impact your relationships? How does that affect the way you show up in your work and communities?  Does relating in this way produce positive outcomes for you and others?  Or negative?

Everything in our experience of life is subjective.  The way we perceive our individual reality impacts our thinking, emotions, choices and actions in the world.  These all have ripple effects, influencing – whether directly or indirectly – all that is.  When we perceive our world from an empowering and positive perspective, our thinking, emotions, choices and actions are positively influenced.  If we live in anxiety, anger or fear of coronavirus, we spread anxiety, anger and fear. If we live in trust and faith there are opportunities available within our chosen perspective of coronavirus, we spread trust and faith and opportunities.  It’s a deceptively small step with mammoth long reach implications.

Andrew Holecek puts it eloquently:

“We are not the […] helpless, hapless victims of the world.  We are the victims of our projections, our imputations, our hopes and fears, what we bring to that world … We can transfer that power back to ourselves, and realise that we are in fact the ones that create these versions of our hardship.”26

The circumstances of your life are not always within your control – such as with many aspects of coronavirus.  Lockdowns, mask mandates, remote learning, foiled travel plans, industry shutdowns, job loss, illness or loss of loved ones – the list goes on – these situations are largely outside of your command.  Your supreme power lies in how you choose to experience these circumstances through the lens of your perception, to then impact your response and the resulting effect.

I’ve said it before,27 and it bears repeating: opportunities for personal development, which have always been available but often go overlooked, are being thrust in our faces in 2020, as though some higher power is desperately attempting to grab our attention and initiate the next step in our evolution.  The way I see it, it’s these most extraordinary challenges we’re faced with this year that present extraordinary opportunities to evolve.

Will you see your circumstances amidst coronavirus as problems, injustices, hardships, or battles?  Or will you see them as opportunities and growth experiences?  Perhaps you will simply see them as neutral situations to make of whatever you will.  Whether you realise it or not, you’re the author of the stories of your life.  And your story impacts the larger story of the world and all that is.  It’s not about living in an imaginary fantasy land of rainbows and unicorns; it’s about crafting a vision, grounded in acceptance of what is, that sets the stage for positive, aligned action.

As Eckhart Tolle says, “You are here to enable the divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are.”28  The story you are writing for your life is the story of the Universe. That might sound intimidating – no pressure! – but the simplicity is you have complete creative license.  Realise it’s as simple as a change in perspective, and all you need to do is turn to face the light.

I for one intend to hold firm in my vision of contagious ascension, guiding me forward in my actions.  I trust as I do so, global healing is becoming the pandemic that shifts the world into alignment.


Recommended Reading & Listening

  • As mentioned above and per the footnotes:
    >>> Andrew Holocek: Perception is Creation: Discovering Emptiness
    >>> The Coronation by Charles Eisenstein
    >>> The Truth Virus by Kim Anami
  • Anything by Dr Zach Bush MD – I’ve listened to a number of recent podcast interviews with him which have lit me up in the most beautiful way. He has the ability to logically, clearly and passionately explain the current devastation and self-destruction of humanity, whilst concurrently imparting tremendous hope by way of the path forward being enlightened by the lessons of our mistakes. His qualified perspective is heartening. Find his statement on coronavirus here.
  • For a positive perspective on how to proactively care for yourself and your family at this time, Professor Marc Cohen (Dr Marc) has written a peer reviewed academic paper and was interviewed on the Evolve podcast with Pete Evans in a great discussion with just the right mix of woo-woo, science, and practical solutions.
  • Dr. Edith Ubuntu Chan: A Trillion Points of Light (E50) on A New and Ancient Story: The Podcast with Charles Eisenstein. A beautiful and fascinating discussion, covering altered experiences of reality, stories and perceptions of coronavirus and more.
    >>>”We live in a time now where … it sure is confusing if you look at the world outside of you and you only listen to one narrative, one perspective, and you only go into intellectual analysis and don’t listen to your heart, or only go into your emotional or intuitive states and don’t listen to logic, this is a time now where we are being challenged to integrate all those dimensions.”
  • Amy Lansky: Synchronicity and the Impossible (E02) on A New and Ancient Story: The Podcast with Charles Eisenstein. This interview took place in 2015, but it’s SO pertinent to the current global situation. It includes discussion on synchronicity, perceptions within science and openness to paradigm changes, expanding your view of reality, conspiracy and more.
    >>> “I don’t think of these other realms as nebulous or metaphorical, I think they’re just deeper forms of science that we just don’t know about yet.”
    >>> “There isn’t an objective reality out there … the basic elements of reality are not hard physical Newtonian objects but are themselves stories, narratives… there are no facts, there are only stories.”
    >>> “Things aren’t as bleak as they seem… synchronicity is just a different form of causality at a higher level or a deeper level of reality, and so the world is more mysterious than we think, which should give us hope … we don’t have to follow the prescriptions that everybody is telling us.”
  • The Power of Myth — The Hero’s Adventure with Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers (#456) on The Tim Ferriss Show (transcript available here). A fascinating conversation about how myth and story can be a model for life.
    >>> “JOSEPH CAMPBELL: You see, this thing up here, this consciousness, thinks it’s running the shop. It’s a secondary organ; it’s a secondary organ of a total human being, and it must not put itself in control. It must submit and serve the humanity of the body.
    (Clip from “Star Wars”)
    DARTH VADER: Join me, and I will complete your training.
    JOSEPH CAMPBELL: When it does put itself in control, you get this Vader, the man who’s gone over to the intellectual side.
    (Clip from “Star Wars”)
    LUKE SKYWALKER: I’ll never join you!
    DARTH VADER: If you only knew the power of the dark side.
    JOSEPH CAMPBELL: He isn’t thinking, or living in terms of humanity, he’s living in terms of a system. And this is the threat to our lives; we all face it, we all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now, is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity, or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes?”
  • This interview with Robin Wall Kimmera on the On Being podcast with Krista Tippett (transcript available) has a profound message about our perspectives on and connection with nature (note we are nature, as are viruses). The discussion is both scientific and magical, and covers the way in which language influences our relationship with the natural world.
    >>> “Science polishes the gift of seeing, indigenous traditions work with gifts of listening and language … What I mean when I say that “science polishes the gift of seeing” brings us to an intense kind of attention that science allows us to bring to the natural world, and that kind of attention also includes ways of seeing, quite literally, through other lenses — that we might have the hand lens, the magnifying glass in our hands that allows us to look at that moss with an acuity that the human eye doesn’t have so we see more. The microscope that lets us see the gorgeous architecture by which it’s put together, the scientific instrumentation in the laboratory that would allow us to look at the miraculous way that water interacts with cellulose, let’s say. That’s what I mean by “science polishes our ability to see” — it extends our eyes into other realms. But we’re, in many cases, looking at the surface. And by the surface, I mean the material being alone.
    But in indigenous ways of knowing, we say that we know a thing when we know it not only with our physical senses, with our intellect, but also when we engage our intuitive ways of knowing, of emotional knowledge and spiritual knowledge. And that’s really what I mean by listening. By seeing that traditional knowledge engages us in listening. And what is the story that that being might share with us if we know how to listen as well as we know how to see?”
    >>> “Tippett: Another point that is implied in how you talk about us acknowledging the animacy of plants is that whenever we use the language of “it,” whatever we’re talking about — well, let’s say this. We don’t call anything we love and want to protect and would work to protect “it.” That language distances us.
    Kimmerer: It certainly does. And the language of “it,” which distances, disrespects, and objectifies, I can’t help but think is at the root of a worldview that allows us to exploit nature.”
    >>> “In a way, we’ve been captured by a worldview of dominion that does not serve our species well in the long term, and, moreover, it doesn’t serve all the other beings in creation well at all.
    So we are attempting a mid-course correction here. And I think that it’s really important to recognize, that for most of human history, I think the evidence suggests that we have lived well and in balance with the living world. And it’s, to my way of thinking, almost an eyeblink of time in human history that we have had a truly adversarial relationship with nature.”

Footnotes & References

  1. https://www.behindthename.com/name/isaac
  2. Campbell, R (2015) Light is the New Black, Hay House Australia Pty Ltd, p.13.
  3. https://www.behindthename.com/name/rachael
  4. https://www.behindthename.com/name/louise
  5. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/warrior
  6. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/courage
  7. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/courage
  8. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/courage
  9. https://www.ancestry.com.au/name-origin?surname=barker
  10. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/tanning
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanning_(leather)
  12. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/tan
  13. https://www.ancestry.com.au/name-origin?surname=barker
  14. https://www.ancestry.com.au/name-origin?surname=stella
  15. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/star
  16. Andrew Holecek: Perception Is Creation: Discovering Emptiness, Sounds True: Insights at the Edge podcast with Tami Simon.
  17. Nash-Gilchrist, J. & I. (2020) Where is the Green Sheep Coronavirus Edition, video accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx5SuUejlqY
  18. He he he – I learned a new word!  Magniloquent is defined as “speaking or expressed in a lofty or grandiose style; pompous; bombastic; boastful.” Accessed at https://www.dictionary.com/browse/magniloquent.
  19. Eisenstein, C (2020) The Coronation, accessed at https://charleseisenstein.org/essays/the-coronation/
  20. The Truth Virus, Orgasmic Enlightenment Podcast with Kim Anami.
  21. For the formal definition and etymology of coronavirus, see https://www.etymonline.com/word/coronavirus, and https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coronavirus.
  22. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/corona
  23. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/virus
  24. See https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/how-do-other-animals-see-the-world.html and https://askabiologist.asu.edu/colors-animals-see
  25. Verastegui, E (2016) Snack Attack, accessed at https://youtu.be/38y_1EWIE9I.
  26. Andrew Holecek: Perception Is Creation: Discovering Emptiness, Sounds True: Insights at the Edge podcast with Tami Simon.
  27. The story of a law-abiding, confrontation-avoiding, people-pleasing approval-seeker who raged against the system, by Rachael Stella
  28. Tolle, E (2011) The Power of Now, Hachette, Australia.

Featured image by Harry Quan on Unsplash


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Everything is Perfect

Beautiful girl, it’s ok. Really. Everything is just fine, and nothing is wrong. In fact, everything is perfect. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. And any which way you go will be the perfect way, too. 

You haven’t failed, expectations are worthless, and you don’t need to do anything. Really, not anything. You are worthy as you are, simply because you are. You don’t have to earn your worthiness; it’s inherent. And you don’t owe anyone anything. Not anyone, not anything. Nothing at all. 

It’s ok to relax. It’s safe to trust the process. Your journey will give you everything you need to learn and grow.

And that journey, it has no destination. There’s nowhere to arrive. It’s all simply an experience. An experience filled with both light and dark. It helps to remember that the dark can always be transmuted by the light. 

You are perfect, whole and complete, right here, right now, as you are. You are so loved. Unconditionally. And nothing can change any of that. 

You are already playing your role – perfectly – in enabling the divine purpose of the Universe to unfold.  It’s incredible and breathtakingly beautiful. And it’s impossible to mess up.

Let go. Breathe. Everything is perfect. 

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Your Medicine & Magic

Writing is my medicine, my magic. 

It is the tool through which my challenges and muddled thoughts alchemise into alignment, clarity, and wisdom.

Speaking the words doesn’t have the same effect for me – with the right person, it can be helpful to a degree, but the clarity fully crystallises only when my words are expressed in written form. 

It works best when I share it. My most potent words refuse be hidden in my journal. I no longer question the urge to share – I just know it’s a given, a force that effortlessly moves through me. To not share would be a challenge – it would require effort to halt the impulse. I used to do battle with my ego, who would tell me I’m an attention seeker, a show off, an exhibitionist. But the urge always won out anyway, and the replies from those who read suggest that my sharing is of value, is meant to be. 

My take on this: God is using me. The urge comes from Source. The felt impulse is God’s way of communicating with me, encouraging me to do that which is in alignment with Source energy. The love that the Universe is comprised of, wants to expand. And the more I align with the Source within me, the more the words flow. 

I’m learning to own it. 


That God uses me as a vehicle for the expansion of the universe makes me no more or less special than anyone else.  

We are all of God, and so the intelligence of the universe flows through us all. We all have our own unique medicine and magic. 

This Source of which we are all a part, is in constant communication with us, encouraging each and every one of us to embody our gifts. Even if you don’t believe you have anything special to offer, you do. There is medicine and magic within you, and it is unique to who you are. 

That thing you love to do. That thing that makes you smile. That thing that lights you up. That thing that you get lost in for hours. That thing that feels like home. That thing you find yourself absentmindedly gravitating towards. That thing that comes so easily to you. That thing that takes effort and practice and persistence, but that you joyfully persist with. Perhaps even that thing that you kinda suck at, but you love so much that you revel in sucking at it.

Even if you believe that none of this is part of you’re experience … there is something. You’ve simply lost your way, forgotten.  You’ve fallen out of alignment with your soul. It’s possible (and probable) that your “thing” is right in front of your nose, but you’ve fallen out of alignment to the degree that you’ve become blinded. You can’t hear the whisperings of your soul over the raging of your ego.

When you learn to find alignment with your soul, you can’t help but hear the messages that Source has been whispering to you all along.  With alignment, you recognise what it is that lights you up, feels so good, and contributes to the healing of the world. 

You were meant to thrive. When you feel good, that’s God’s message that you’re on track, because you’re in alignment with with Source instead of resisting God’s will. 

You possess medicine and magic within you. Own it, and thrive. And in doing so, you allow God to work through you. 

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Do you modulate your light?

I’ve been recognising a pattern in myself lately, that I teased out in a kinesiology session with my miracle-worker Sarah from Ignite Kinesiology (note: I do acknowledge that our sessions are actually a collaboration 😊) .  

I’ve been a people pleaser, I’m an introvert (some would scoff, but it’s truth!), and I often experience (mild) social anxiety. The truth is, on some level, I’m kinda scared of people (or more accurately, the power I give others to determine my self worth is scary). I’ve recognised lately that the combined energy of these traits has me modulate the way I interact with people, in an attempt to accomodate their energy, and therefore avoid being negatively judged. 

A simple example is when I’m taking my morning walk.  A while back, I decided to be brave and to greet passers by, something that felt like an uncomfortable stretch. The friendliness/volume/energy of my “hello” to passers-by will depend on how I assess their energy – Do they look friendly? Are they likely to reply? Will they think I’m a weirdo? … I’ll offer a hearty greeting to the person with a big smile and a jaunty step, I’ll be brave enough to mumble a “Morning” to the quiet-looking person minding their own business, and I’ll keep my mouth shut if someone looks grumpy or judgemental.

I acknowledge the importance of situational energy assessment and behaviour modulation in relating with others. But I think there’s a line to be drawn between appropriately managing/negotiating an interaction, and dimming your light. 

It’s so easy to shine your brightest when you feel confident in being well received. When another person is on the same page, likes you, supports you, and openly demonstrates all this, you feel held and encouraged to be your best. 

It’s not so easy to bring your best self to a situation if your ego feels threatened or vulnerable. If someone doesn’t like you, is focused on their own problems, or holds strong opinions in opposition to your own, there’s a good chance that your ego will take a battering if you share yourself in all of your fullness. 

But what has become more apparent to me recently, is that when I allow my egoic protection mechanisms to modulate how brightly I shine my light, a beautiful opportunity is missed. 

What if, I took a chance, recognising that an ego slam isn’t death, and opened my heart, despite the fear?  

I could be laughed at. 

I could be ignored. 

I could have to engage in an uncomfortable conversation. 

Unpleasant experiences perhaps, but not the end of the world. 

Or …

I could brighten someone’s day. 

I could remind someone to smile. 

I could make someone feel good. 

I could re-ignite the light in another. 

I’ve been avoiding these opportunities, allowing my ego to dictate my actions. Survival mechanisms are hard-wired, and it takes a willingness and conscious effort to move beyond them. 

But as I clarify my desired energy, experiences, interactions and impact in this lifetime, I can recognise that letting my ego steer the ship doesn’t support any of that. Engaging with others from a higher perspective – a soul perspective – is what will. As Sarah helped me to realise, when I’m embodying my desired energy, people receive my light, and this is the driver of my possibility. 

So I’ll start with my morning walk. And I’ll continue experimenting. 

How about you? Do you modulate your light?

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Desire is of the Divine

For the longest time, the negative voice in my head, that I had always thought was me, ruthlessly scolded and shamed me for my dissatisfaction, for desiring more. And for the longest time, thinking that the voice was me, I believed every word. And so, for the longest time, I felt so much guilt. I thought it meant I was ungrateful for my blessings, and undeserving of more. I felt so guilty and ashamed, that the very idea of ever actually attempting to achieve that “more” would be immoral. And of course, when I worked up the audacity to try anyway, subconscious self-sabotage reigned.

But now that I know that the negative voice isn’t me, now that I’m recognising that I can hear it and disagree with it, I’m realising something else. I perceive bodily sensations that come along with these thoughts, and I realise, in hindsight, that they’ve been present all along.

My body bristles, seething in rebellion against the restriction of denying my desires. I previously mistook the discomfort of these feelings to be confirmation that my yearnings for better and more were wrong and should thus be quashed. But I know now, on reflection, that this visceral sensation is my body communicating to me that my thoughts about my desires are out of alignment with the divine source within me.

Desires are meant to feel good. Their purpose is to drive us to achieve or obtain something. They’re the motivation behind virtually everything we do. Even when we’re pursuing seemingly selfless aims, we do so because we know that doing the “right” thing will make us feel good (or at least prevent feeling bad), and we desire to feel good and avoid feeling bad. Desires are part of our design; they are of the divine.

Nothing is inherently good or bad, right or wrong. It is our critical mind, with all its conditioning, that makes judgements of right from wrong, good from bad. It is only when this judgemental mind gets involved that we work ourselves into a mess over our desires. We load them with meaning, heaviness, and struggle.

By all means, use the gift of your critical thinking to assess and confirm whether a desire is truly in alignment with your highest good. But once you’ve confirmed that it is, leave it at that. Continued analysis is likely to be that critical voice, hijacking your desires.

Dream your dreams. Revel in your wishes. Fill your imagination with the glories of all that your heart and soul desires. Allow yourself to feel the light-hearted, deep joy that their manifestation will bring. It’s all a part of your divine purpose.


Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

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Weaving webs of consciousness

My heart aches.  A dull and persistent ache.  I feel it distinctly, physically, and yet I know, with a quiet confidence, that it is not from some physical pathology.  It’s an energetic, emotional ache.  I’m well practised, as I believe so many of us are, at ignoring it.  At getting on with things, relegating it down to the bottom of the list of priorities, because life is “busy”.  From time to time I notice it and acknowledge it.  When I get still and quiet, there is space for it to be felt and acknowledged.  I question where it comes from.  At times it builds to a seemingly “out-of-the-blue” and unexplainable fit of anxiety.  I do my best to squash it, to make it go away.  But it doesn’t.  It stays.  Waiting for me to listen to its message.


The morning was cold and foggy.  After the rigmarole of school drop off, I rugged up and headed out for my morning walk, looking forward to moving my body in the crisp cool air.  Not long after reaching the wetlands, a 2 minute walk from my front door, I was greeted with spider webs.  Hundreds and hundreds of dew-drop covered spider webs covering almost every tree, bush and plant along my trail.  Web covered branches reminded me of fairy floss sticks, wrapped in the gauzy layers of spiders silk.  Single strands stretched loosely from bush to bush.  Spectacular orb webs were to be found here and there, and every corner of every railing was decorated in patterns of strung pearls.  The spiders had spent a very productive night.

 

Whilst I marvelled at the beauty of their creations, it struck me that the Spider, one of my Soul Essences, hadn’t occupied my thoughts in quite some time.  Always seeking to understand the communications of the Universe, I wondered “Is she speaking to me now through this marvellous display?”  Surely she must be; it seemed so blatantly obvious that she was pulling out all the stops to garner my attention with such an extravagant exhibition laid out before me on my path where it would be virtually impossible to ignore.  Whilst I’m always seeking to understand the messages of the Universe, there are plenty of times when I succumb to downplaying or dismissing them out of laziness or doubt.  It can be easier to ignore them, feign ignorance, or justify their meaninglessness, allowing me to sit in my familiar comfort zone and go on pretending that I don’t know what I need to do rather than having to get uncomfortable taking new and unfamiliar action.  Not today – she was in my face, staring me down, almost daring me to ignore the voice of my soul.

The messages and symbology of my Spider are many and varied, and I have a tendency to psychoanalyse them til the cows come home, which is really not the way that soul communication works.  But putting aside the intricacies of who she is in my life, today her message was loud and clear: Slow down.  Take note.  Go within.  Listen.  The answers are within.  Your effect on the world is determined by your consciousness.

I’ve been hearing these whispers the past few months, but they’ve been quiet enough that I’ve managed to override them with reasoning that seems so sensible that it’s been easy to follow: You’ve got work to do, you don’t have time to slow down.  You can get to that later.  You’re building a new business.  And you love it, you’re committed to it, it’s in alignment with your desires and values and visions, you have a purpose now, so you’ve got to get on with it!  Action action action!  Just do all the things first, then you can get back to the business of soul alignment.

Ha.  You’d think I would have learnt that lesson by now.  It turns out old habits die hard, especially when they’re upheld by societal trends and norms.  And what has the outcome been for me?  Anxiety.  Unnecessary stress.  Lack of flow.  Anguish.  Despair.  The pain in my heart.

As I began more deeply exploring the spiritual path a few years ago, I thought that the answers to my yearning for a purpose-driven life would be neatly spelt out for me with step by step instructions handed to me by my soul.  In hindsight, it’s no surprise that I struggled with that soul journey, and have as yet been unable to complete it, given how ego driven it was.  Because here’s the thing: the soul’s journey operates in a completely different paradigm to the ego’s desires.

Purpose is not necessarily a fixed task.  A God-given mission does not necessarily align with modern ideals of a stellar career and financial “success”, however you define that.  And whilst it is perfectly possibly to create these successes in alignment with your divine purpose, I’m coming to realise that much of my soul searching and yearning has in fact been an ego driven desire for significance, recognition, specialness and worthiness.  I’m quite certain I’m not alone in that.

My Spider was reminding me that consciousness is the only way forward.  The quality of my consciousness impacts my experience of life, impacts those I interact with, impacts the world, indeed the Universe.  My heart chakra pain had a message for me, and I needed to face it square on, acknowledge it, feel it, accept its presence, and bring the full light of my consciousness to it, for it to be transmuted.  Continuing to avoid the pain would have prolonged it and made it worse as it grews in an effort to make itself heard.  My body, my soul, the Universe, were all telling me that I was off course, because the truth of my desire is that I want to weave webs of consciousness that will positively impact the Universe.


So many of us are disconnected.  From our bodies, our environments, each other, our souls, the Universe.  Our culture does not support a way of being in which we can tune in and connect and be guided towards healing and deep satisfaction.  We are so heavily scheduled, rushed, pressured, and distracted that we become disconnected and disengaged.  It strikes me that so many of us are so disconnected that we don’t even notice our pain.  It blends into the background.  We don’t realise how sick we are or how unwell we feel, until it grows to a point where it’s impossible to ignore: disease, severe pain, catastrophic life events.  We don’t realise that our bodies, our souls, the Universe, are constantly in communication with us, offering warning signals that we’re heading down an unfavourable path and that we’d be wise to course correct.  We’ve forgotten how to receive and interpret that communication.  We’re too distracted and focused on externalities to hear the quiet whispers.  We have bought into the modern mantra of busy-ness, constantly doing and striving.  We don’t even realise that we could feel so much better than we do, we aren’t even aware that we’ve accepted that feeling pretty crap is just how life is.  So many of us are deaf and blind to what is possible, how good it can be.  We don’t take action to improve things or even acknowledge what isn’t working, until we reach breaking point and crisis hits.

We’ve forgotten that:

  • We are inherently lovable, loved, and worthy, without needing to earn it.
  • We are of God/the Universe, therefore all the answers we seek are within.
  • Working and striving and seeking won’t bring answers. Getting still, quiet, and going within will.

This doesn’t mean that we should all sit around navel gazing and twiddling our thumbs.  What it does mean is that when our minds and our lives are overflowing with chaos and confusion and endless distraction, it’s an act of courage and commitment (and ultimately, productivity) to consciously slow down and turn inward.  If we are to live lives of meaning and contribution and fulfilment and divine purpose, the action that achieves that must be fuelled by connection to our divinity, which is found by going within.  It cannot come from a sense of duty or obligation or pressure derived from external sources.  Soul alignment doesn’t happen through blindly following societal norms, or even forcing yourself to conform to someone else’s idea of conscious living.

So give yourself a break.  Stop pushing so hard.  Take a stand for your life and your legacy and opt out of the disconnection.  Become aware of the unending impulse to be numbed out with mindless entertainment via ever-available devices and their social media rabbit holes designed to lure and capture us with distraction and quasi-connection.  Remove the overwork, over-scheduling, overwhelm and busy-ness from the pedestal that society seems to have placed it on – it has no place there whatsoever, and it’s killing us.  I dare you to slow down, get quiet, and listen.  Listen to your body, feel its sensations.  Notice your thoughts.  Cultivate an ability to cut through the thoughts so that you may hear the voice of your soul.  And discover a life worth living.

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Consciously Cultivating Calm this Christmas

I’ve been so challenged recently with keeping grounded, maintaining my self-care practices, and maintaining calm and order amongst so much “busy-ness”.  As Christmas draws nearer, there are moments when anxiety and fear of not being able to “get it all done” sets in.  In truth, there are times when it’s tempting to admit defeat and resign myself to a sea of overwhelm.  Sometimes it feels like it would be so much easier to throw my hands in the air, give up and wallow in self-pity and victimhood.

But I’ve come far enough on my path to know that what seems the easier option in these moments, actually ends up feeling so much worse.

I’m keeping my head above water, and I know what to do to help myself to rise above these challenges.  I come back to my spiritual practices.

Meditation is the basis of my spiritual practice that keeps me sane during good times and bad.  As I shared recently on my Facebook page, it’s often during the more challenging times that we find it increasingly difficult to commit to or keep up with a meditation practice, when in truth, these are the times when we need them the most.  It’s so easy to believe the excuse of “I don’t have time”, especially during the festive season, and yet prioritising the time to commit to this action actually has this seemingly magical effect of opening up more time – it never ceases to truly amaze me.  Then on the other hand, when things are going smoothly, it can be easy to fall into the trap of letting our practice slide here and there because we’re feeling good, and it doesn’t seem to urgent or necessary.  However, it’s important to maintain our practice so that when challenging times do arrive (as they inevitably do if you’re human!), then you have the resilience to face whatever comes your way with more ease and grace.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers.  I don’t pretend to be the perfect example.  And I most certainly do not wish to make you feel that you’re inadequate or a failure if you don’t add my suggestions to your list of “Things That I Really Should Be Doing”.  Been there, done that.  And I’m pretty sure that your To Do list is more than long enough as it is.  I share based on my experience, with the intention of inspiring you, because I want you to feel better.  I invite you to take some serious consideration of the possibility that prioritising meditation can literally turn your life around and create the space and calm you crave.

So today I’m sharing some resources that can help make meditation a regular part of your life.

Chakra Cleanse Meditation

If you’ve been reading my words for a while, you’ll know that I love and recommend Belinda Davidson’s Chakra Cleanse Meditation, which is my daily practice.  It is incredible, and it has changed my life.  Having a guided meditation recording makes things so much easier in my opinion.  I personally have found it easier to focus when concentrating on the guidance of Belinda’s words and instructions than simply focusing on my breath, which finds my mind wandering almost instantly.  And, of course, this particular meditation is specific to cleansing and strengthening your chakras, so whilst you’re getting all the regular benefits of meditation, you’re also intentionally creating a strengthened energetic/vibrational state from a chakric perspective.  This version is 35 minutes.  Read more about chakras and Belinda’s work here, and about my experience with Belinda’s School of the Modern Mystic and my chakric journey here, here and here.

Meditones

If, the concept of meditation is new to you, or you’ve tried it and it all seems too hard, then another incredible tool that I love and recommend is the amazing work of Tahlee Rouillon of Sonesence.  Tahlee incorporates binaural beats into her divine meditation tracks that she’s dubbed “Meditones”, which in layman’s terms basically means this: listen to her Meditones tracks through headphones, and you effortlessly get many of the benefits of meditation.  Tahlee’s music is truly heavenly, and I adore listening to it in the evening before bed as a beautiful way to wind down.  If you’ve attended any of my essential oils classes, it’s Tahlee’s music that I play on loop as gorgeous background tunes to help set a high-vibe tone.  I love recommending Tahlee’s work, because it essentially means that there is NO EXCUSE!  Anyone can sit back, relax, and listen to music through headphones.  You can find out more about Sonesence meditones here and visit Tahlee’s online shop here.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is another pillar of my spiritual practice, which for me is more about the way in which I go about my day, rather than a specific period of time when I sit down with my eyes closed.  Mindfulness is actually quite a broad topic, but to begin with, it can be described as being aware of the thoughts that you are thinking.  People often get caught up in thinking that they’re no good at meditating because they can’t focus, they drift off, and spend their time in meditation thinking about what to cook for dinner or the million things on their To Do list.  The truth is, meditation is not about emptying your mind of these thoughts, but rather being aware that you’re having them, and then re-focusing your attention onto the object of your meditation, whether that be your breath, a mantra, one of your chakras, or something else.  Simply becoming aware that you’re having these thoughts is progress in mindfulness!  So please, don’t give up.

My mindfulness practice sees me aiming to be aware, as often as I can throughout the day, of the thoughts that I’m having.  I found this very challenging initially, and it’s taken a lot of practice.  When I’m doing something as common as washing the dishes or having a shower, I notice with more regularity what I’m thinking about.  When I notice this, I automatically disconnect from the thought, and then I do my best to focus instead on the experience I’m having: the feel of my hands in the gloves, the scent of the shampoo.  The effect of this practice, over time, has been phenomenal in keeping me calmer, and dealing with my children with less reactivity.

A great book to start with as you embark on your mindfulness journey is The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris.  It’s a simple, easy read and very practical.  The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is an incredible and much loved “bible” of many a spiritual seeker, but it is definitely a more challenging read, and perhaps not ideal if you’re in a state of overwhelm or new to the spiritual path.  Please don’t dismiss it, but perhaps keep it on the shelf and know that the time will come when you’re ready for Tolle’s enlightened wisdom.

Essential Oils

How can I not mention the new loves of my life as such a beautiful way to support you with a meditation practice?!  I love diffusing my dōTERRA essential oils every time I meditate to help me focus, to help me feel grounded, and to connect more easily to the spiritual realms.  In addition to the physical therapeutic properties of essential oils, there are also the more subtle emotional effects that their chemical composition has on our brain.  When you inhale the aroma of an essential oil, the scent is processed in the olfactory system of the brain, which connects to the limbic system where emotions and memories live.  As you breathe in the scent of the essential oil, the limbic system creates a response in your brain based on memories associated with that particular aroma.  Many times, the responses triggered by the limbic system can be emotional responses that are calming or uplifting, depending on the unique chemical structure of the oil as well as the your unique memories associated with the aroma, so each person can have a slightly different response to a particular oil.  However, essential oils have specific chemical elements that can create a desired benefit.  The following images from dōTERRA illustrates the properties elicited by an essential oil based on its chemical constituents.

I particularly like to use my oil blends with grounding and soothing properties during meditation, such as InTune or Balance, but it also varies depending on my emotional state and what I’m wanting to achieve.  Frankincense is a favourite, but if I’m tired I’ll add an energising oil such as Peppermint.  I’m also finding that aromatic use of essential oils are contributing to my mindfulness and presence practice, as they help me to be less in my head and more in my body – they give me something experiential to focus on.  I become aware of the aroma of the oils in the diffuser, or the scent of the oils I’m wearing topically.  In addition to these beneficial effects, they’re just such a yummy addition to my day and give me a little boost of motivation to sit in meditation and enjoy them.

Find out how to purchase dōTERRA essential oils here.

Delete or Delegate

So my last suggestion is not so much a resource, but a tip for you.  If life is so full and so busy and so overwhelming that not one of the suggestions and resources above seems possible for you to incorporate into your life, please don’t feel bad.  Try this: commit to removing at least 1 item from your To Do list.  In our overstimulated and overworked society, we have the habit of over committing and often overcomplicating things.  It doesn’t need to be this way.  Take a look at your list, and find something – anything – and delete it.  There is something that you can say no to.  There is something that you can delegate to someone else.  You don’t need to do it all.  Just lightening your load that little bit can make a difference to how you feel.  And if you make it a practice to delete 1 item from your list monthly, weekly, or even daily, it will soon add up and free up some space for you.  This practice will help you to consider what you put on your list in the first place more thoughtfully.  It’s about prioritising, about asking for or accepting help, and about knowing and believing that your worth is not determined by what you accomplish.  You are enough, you are worthy, just because you exist.


Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through these links, I may receive an affiliate commission.


Main image credit: Road meditation by Nickolai Kashirin via Flikr.  Used under license.

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Perfectly imperfect – the bumpy ride is better than no ride

Oh it’s been a bumpy ride so far, this new business venture and adventure!

I’ve been so challenged with finding balance, because I’m so lit up by this “work”, and I just want to do all-the-things and share with everyone!

I’ve been so challenged with staying true to my why, to my intentions, with staying aligned.

I’ve found myself so easily falling into the dark holes of FOMO (fear of missing out), rushing to “get there”, comparison, and trying to emulate my mentors instead of sticking to my own path.

I’m loving what I’m doing, and I’m on fire with the message of the oils, the empowerment of the business opportunity, and the philanthropic heart of the company I’m partnering with. This is not the issue.

The issue is falling into old habits and thought patterns, allowing my ego to creep back into the driver’s seat intermittently.  I find myself with a scarcity mindset, feeling fearful, being in a lack mentality.  I find myself worrying, I find myself operating from a place of fear of failure, which has me slip into desperation mode.  This all drives me into old behavioural patterns of poor boundaries, working late, and getting inadequate rest.  This leaves me feeling tired (or exhausted), overwhelmed, ungrounded, forgetful, and foggy, and all this leads me become at risk of triggering or worsening my health challenges, and making poor choices.  This becomes a perpetual downward spiral, and sees me focusing on unaligned goals out of a desire for validation, approval, and praise.  And then, I recognise all this and I feel bad that I’m doing this to myself, and that it has a negative impact on those around me.

Gosh, that’s draining just to write!!

So why am I sharing this story of woe with you?

Because, as always, I know that if I’m experiencing it, someone else is too.  Because in my lessons, you may find lessons relevant to your own path.

None of us is perfect.  We each have our “bad” habits, tendencies, and negative programming that keeps us stuck.

We each have the voice of our ego telling us that we’re inadequate and doomed to fail, that we may as well give up.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t do good in the world.  It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a go, that you shouldn’t give it your best.  It certainly doesn’t mean that you will fail.

What it does mean is that you’re human.  Every single human, including all those out there who appear to be “successful” (however you define that for yourself), have an ego that tells them just these kinds of thoughts every day.  The key is, not everyone listens to it.  Not everyone believes what their ego has to say, or allows it to dictate their actions.

What it does mean is that the road may be a little (or a lot) bumpy.  You will no doubt make mistakes.  No matter how much your inner perfectionist strives for impeccability, it won’t all be perfection.

The point is, it doesn’t matter.

When you notice your mistakes, fix them.  When you recognise the voice of your ego, don’t believe its words, or allow them to dictate your actions.  When you see you’re stumbling or veering off course, pick yourself up, re-establish your footing, and course correct.

Keep coming back to your why.  Keep coming home to your soul.

The universe is forgiving.  You won’t be marked down for getting sidetracked or swept up in egoic delusion.  Every time you return to your soul, all is forgiven.  The slate is wiped clean.  Just ask for guidance and help, and trust that the answer is given before the request is even made.

You don’t need to be perfect, or get it all perfect.

I’m so glad that I’m in a place energetically where I don’t allow these challenges to stop me.  I’m so glad that I can recognise and observe what I’m doing, forgive myself, and course correct.  I’m so grateful that I have my spiritual tools to keep me on track or to get me back on track.

Do what your soul guides you to do, and it will all be perfectly imperfect.  It’s all part of the human experience.


Image credit: via Death to the Stock Photo, used under license.

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A New Direction: Why I’m So Lit Up

I’ve been searching for such a long time. For so long, I’ve yearned to know what it is that I should be doing with my life, how I should be of service, what my life purpose is, what my soul came here to do. This yearning has led me down many deep dark paths, feeling that I’m not good enough, not doing enough, that I am wasting my life away.

This all began to change just over three years ago when I came across Belinda Davidson. I was incredibly drawn to her “School of the Modern Mystic” (SoMM), and believed it was the answer to my prayers. “Change your energy, change your life” claimed Belinda. I was certain that if I learnt how to change my energy, everything would magically fall into place and I’d have all the answers I was searching for. I felt a deep confidence within me that the teachings of this course could pull me out of the cycle of depression that I continued to find myself in.

This course and the spiritual practices it taught me that became the foundation of my life certainly did have an incredible impact on my life. But 1, 2, and approaching 3 years in, I still felt like I was floundering. I’d even progressed to the Level 2 course, in which one accesses the cosmic chakras to discover their soul’s purpose, but I still felt lost and confused.

Early this year, something began to shift for me. During a live Shadow Working event with Belinda, I realised that despite my diligent efforts, I had been stuck in an incredibly strong negative mind-pattern of yearning, searching, self-doubt and comparison. I could see that I was firmly entrenched in a belief that this is who I am, that I can’t find my way home to who I am on a soul level. Admittedly, despite this realisation, I left the workshop feeling somewhat dazed and confused, but I resolved to work on my mindfulness practice, to let go and to accept what is. I realised that if I could train my mind to stop trying so damn hard, the theory was that it would eventually all come together.

Five months passed. I continued my devoted spiritual practice, but I gradually shifted it to be less of an effort and a striving to achieve some preconceived outcome, and to just allow. Around August, a few things happened, which in hindsight seem divinely orchestrated to bring me to the place I’m at today.

Firstly, I began seeing an incredible kinesiologist, Sarah Cox of Ignite Kinesiology. I knew Sarah from our association with SoMM, and I felt drawn to work with her, and the timing was just right. I was looking for someone to help me with ongoing hormonal health issues that I’d been unable to resolve with other practitioners, and it just felt right to work with Sarah. Our session, via Skype, was fascinating, enjoyable, and relaxing. It was my first experience of kinesiology, and I loved it, I felt incredibly held and supported by Sarah, and I trusted her implicitly. I booked my follow up session for a few weeks later.

Just prior to session number 2, I fell ill with influenza, along with half the population of Melbourne this winter. I spent days in bed whilst my rock of a husband took over parenting duties. I felt so unwell, but there were some days where I was well enough to read, and read and read. And read I did.

During my reading frenzy, I cleared out my overflowing inbox, and came across an email about essential oils, and specifically, dōTERRA. Something about this email struck me as significant, and sparked an interest in me that hadn’t been sparked before. I’d been following Tara Bliss for a number of years, and I’d observed her journey with this company from afar, but my attitude had always been that whilst I was somewhat envious of this seemingly incredible tribe of lightworkers who were doing work they absolutely loved sharing and educating about essential oils, it just wasn’t for me. You see, I’d appointed myself the World’s Worse Salesperson, having endured casual jobs throughout my teens in sales roles in which I completely sucked. The whole idea of selling anything made me feel nauseous. It turned me into an instant ball of self-conscious angst and inadequacy. I was 100% certain that I had absolutely no ability to convince anyone that they should buy anything, and I was wracked with worry that if I tried to, they would judge me to be an inauthentic and unworthy human being. Yep, I had a LOT of hang ups.

So the idea of joining a network marketing organisation, and having to take full responsibility for earning my own money by selling something wasn’t exactly within my scope of possibility. There have been a couple of opportunities along my path in which I’ve been invited to join similar organisations, but I eventually declined for numerous reasons which primarily included my lack of belief that I was capable of success in such a venture.

So, why did this email pique my interest? I wasn’t sure why, but by now I’ve learnt to follow the crumbs of interest and see where they lead. The empty days in bed with the flu gave me the perfect opportunity to research this further. And I researched with gusto. The further I got into it, the further I plunged into the possibility of an opportunity that was increasingly lighting me up the more I read.

Amongst this period of research, I had my second kinesiology session with Sarah, and whilst the initial intention behind seeing her had been my hormonal imbalance concerns, this session felt much more about the opportunity being presented to me, and that this bout of illness was a significant metaphysical purging of old, outdated energy and beliefs. I feel with certainty that the energy work that I did with Sarah was the final push over the line that I needed to transmute the negative belief systems that had been holding me back for so long, and this opened up the way for me to move forward with dōTERRA. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly did the work: 3 years of almost daily chakra cleanse meditations, working with the White Light, and practicing mindfulness. I’d also been dabbling with some EFT Tapping as well as devouring podcasts, books, videos and websites on topics around money mindset, energetic blocks to abundance, manifestation, and belief systems. I’ve been hard at work 🙂

So following the kinesiology and some conversations with Tara, I was ready to jump in wholeheartedly to this exciting new venture. I still had to find the cash to get myself started (as small as the initial investment was), and I went into action to do that. Some effort plus a few miracles along the way, and I was soon thereafter an official dōTERRA Wellness Advocate.

So, why dōTERRA, you ask. Let me share.

This company has stood out to me for a number of years now. I didn’t really know why, but they were appealing. I’ve dabbled with essential oils on and off throughout the years, but in recent times, they’ve felt like an expensive extravagance that didn’t fit within the budget of a stay at home mum (now I know better!). I am very health conscious, and I strive to provide my family with natural solutions before resorting to medical interventions, when and where appropriate. I value natural and organic, and I avoid using toxic chemicals in our home wherever I can.

I’ve watched various women in the online space share about their collaboration with this company, all women I respect and admire. So when I felt the pull to look at this business as a potential avenue for me, I was excited.

As I researched, I learned that dōTERRA (Latin for “gift of the earth”) see themselves as stewards of the earth. They take what nature has to offer, and share it with us as a natural alternative to commonly used synthetic remedies. Essential oils are not meant to replace conventional medicine – in fact, dōTERRA is doing everything they can to bridge the gap between conventional and alternative medicines, through their research partnerships with universities and hospitals.

In my research, I discovered that dōTERRA essential oils are of the most pristine purity, every single batch of oil undergoes multiple third party testing to assure that purity, and they are unparalleled in their quality.

In addition to their incredibly high standards, dōTERRA is a company with genuine heart. Their sourcing practices are nothing short of incredible, resulting in superior chemistry in their product as well as ensuring that the communities from which they source the oils (including many in developing nations) are supported and nurtured to ensure their wellbeing and long term sustainability.

It gets better. dōTERRA have also set up a charity, the Healing Hands Foundation which does breathtakingly inspirational humanitarian work, as a result of the many horrific issues facing these communities. So much so that when I share about this aspect of the company, I often end up in tears. And this isn’t just a surface level ploy to appear as a good corporate citizen – every single dollar donated to their charity goes to those in need, and any executive, employee or Wellness Advocate who goes on one of their humanitarian missions does so at their own expense. The management of the charity is funded by dōTERRA, not by Healing Hands.

I had the privilege of attending a dōTERRA event last month which featured founding executive Emily Wright.  Listening to her speak and share from the heart, being in a room filled with so many people filled with passion for this company and this mission, confirmed everything I’d been feeling and reading about.  This is an organisation with a mission to change the world, not just make a profit.  I shared more about this evening on Instagram.

Then there’s the team I’ve joined. Team Bliss is just incredible, and it just fits me like a glove. The women are so generous, supportive, loving, positive, and high-vibing, and the training and mentorship on offer is amazing. I’ve been beautifully nurtured from the very beginning.
I’ve come to learn that the network marketing model, and the way it works specifically within this organisation, is the most incredible opportunity and beautifully supportive business model. dōTERRA is primarily a company that sells a product to customers – there is absolutely no obligation for customers to sell product or build a business, and customers should not feel pressured to do so. The investment to build a business is minimal and so accessible, especially when compared with the investment required for other business start ups. The compensation plan is so generous and full of potential for those willing to put in the effort required to build a business. This is about empowering (mostly, but not exclusively) women to achieve financial independence and freedom. There is also incredible beauty in the way this model sees (mostly) women supporting other women to rise. There is no sense of competition, it is all about collaboration and support.

via GIPHY

And the oils … well they are divine, and smell like heaven. What’s not to love?

I read an email over the weekend in which dōTERRA Blue Diamond leader and member of Team Bliss, Alice Nicholls, shared the following, which spoke to me so deeply, and confirmed yet another reason why working alongside this company and these oils feels so right:

There is a subtle bio-energy that flows through all organic life. It goes by many names and is sometimes referred to as Chi or life force. This energy is expressed as an electromagnetic vibrational frequency (for you data/science lovers) – and pure essential oils have the highest frequencies of any measured natural substance.

The healthy human brain vibrates at a frequency of around 68-78MHz.

Rose, Frankincense, Helichrysum, and Myrrh essential oils vibrate at a frequency over 300MHz.

So, let’s say that instead of less than 1% of our country having a dōTERRA account and using these oils, ALL of us did. We would literally raise the vibration of the entire country. 

So, it was all of this that sold me. The fears and negative mindsets around selling melted away in light of how lit up this product, this team, this company makes me feel, and the good that I know I can achieve through this business. All that energy work of the past 3 years has paid off and I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. I see the beauty and the possibility in the network marketing model, and my results thus far indicate that energetically, I am not the woman I was 3 years ago. I am manifesting something magic.

Have my prayers been answered?  Well, not in the way I had originally been hoping for.  I thought that I wanted to discover my purpose so that I would know exactly what to do to make me feel happy and fulfilled.  I thought that there was a neat little answer, a step-by-step guideline of where to go and what to do.  That is not what I found, but I do believe that God answered my prayers.  I’ve learnt along that way that by changing my energy, and raising my vibration, I come into closer and closer alignment with my soul, that part of me that is my connection to the divine.  As I continue my practice, l discover how to communicate with my soul more and more, how to hear it’s whispers (or even it’s shouts that I’ve historically been so deaf to!) and follow it’s guidance.  I have a trust that in doing this, I’m following my destiny, I’m fulfilling my souls desires, I’m living my purpose which doesn’t fit into a neatly defined description.  As I follow what lights me up, that feeling of being alive and on fire with passion and joy is my signal from the universe that I am on the right path, and that there isn’t a specific destination that I must arrive at.  There is no striving, no hard and fast goals, just a trust that I am being led in the perfect direction.

Image credit: Fire by Zdenko Zivkovic. Used under license.

So, that’s why I’m shifting focus. I feel as though this new venture (and adventure!) is in perfect alignment with who I am at a soul level. Even others see it: my sister-in-law exclaimed amidst my first workshop that she had suddenly had a vision – this “work” has my inner witch – one of my soul essences – completely on fire! These little potion bottles of Mother Nature’s magic set me alight, and I’m so filled with gratitude that I’ve found myself in this place where I can share a gift with anyone who’s open to listening and learning.


You can read more about essential oils, dōTERRA , and how to purchase, on my Essential Oils page.

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Forging Faith

Forging Faith

Faith.

What does it mean? What does it mean to you?

I’ve been pondering this a bit recently. Through the inevitable ups and downs of life, the ebb and flow, I’ve questioned the strength of my faith, and even whether I have any at all.

The Oxford Dictionary defines faith as “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”, or “strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”. For me personally, in this context, faith is my complete trust, confidence and conviction in my spirituality, my spiritual practices, and the spiritual teachings I follow, regardless of any proof or lack thereof.

So, the question I’ve asked myself lately is, do I possess unwavering trust and confidence in my spiritual journey?

The answer, I’m afraid, is no.

But it’s not a terrible thing, and it’s something I’m constantly strengthening with my daily devotion. Let me explain.

When things are great and I’m flying high, it’s so easy to have faith, to trust that I’m headed in the right direction, and that my spirituality is my guiding light. But on the down days, when life feels like a slog, it’s so easy to ditch that faith straight into the rubbish bin, convincing myself in my negative downward spiral of ego-identified suffering that “this sh*t doesn’t work”.

I’ve found myself there many a time. With infuriating frustration, I agonise over why it’s not working for me, why I’m failing despite my dedicated practice, that I must be defective because it’s working for everybody else. I get enmeshed and weighed down in expectations and comparison. I throw my faith out the window with the temperament of a 3 year old throwing a tantrum.

But I am determined. I claw my way back, eventually, into the upswing. And when I do, I laugh at how my descent into suffering is not only part of life for the unenlightened, but that when I’m down I rub dirt into the wound by failing to be vigilant and on guard with one key spiritual practice: mindfulness. I identify with the ego who tells me all these sickening lies, and I believe them. I might sometimes manage to observe my negative thoughts, but even when I do, I often find myself forgetting to disidentify with them, and believing them regardless.

The key here: this is a practice. I’m realising that faith isn’t something thta is necessarily unwavering, is something that I need to practice, just like my spiritual practices. It doesn’t matter, in the scheme of things, if my faith seems to waver from time to time as I descend into an ebb, because I’ve embedded my spiritual practices deeply enough into my everyday living, through devoted repetition, day after day after day, that I KNOW I will come out the other side, rising like the phoenix from the ashes. And I trust – I have faith – that with more practice, I’ll increasingly improve my ability to disidentify from my ego, and those ebbs will become less dramatic, and be fewer and further between.

But there is another aspect to this faith question that has arisen for me. The catalyst for my foray into my spiritual path was my recurrent struggle with mental health, which, amongst other drivers, was largely fuelled by a persistent yearning to find my way, to know and live my purpose for being here in this life. As such, whilst I’m coming to terms with the fact that this doesn’t necessarily look the way my ego wants it to – a concise job description that, if I follow it, will definitively bring me joy and complete fulfilment from now until my last breath – there is a part of me that has continued to seek a specific level of connection to God that will guide me on my correct path. To put it more specifically: I’ve been waiting for my intuition to kick in and ramp up, so that I can make confident choices and take actions that feel aligned with my soul. I’ve had faith that through working on my energy, through strengthening my chakras, I’ll learn to connect to that inner guidance, that indwelling divinity. I’ve had faith that I’ll become strong in my certainty that my third eye intuits with accuracy and precision, that my solar plexus communicates to me definitively. That my heart communicates with clear distinction from my head. That I can access my chakra eight and communicate with my soul with ease and clarity. Almost three years into my journey, I’ve questioned why I’m not there yet, as though the spiritual path has a final destination with a due date. I’ve had such faith that this path is THE path for me, but the test of time has strained that faith. I’ve been impatient. I’ve questioned why, after so much devotion, I’ve still felt so lost. It’s hard to keep the faith when you aren’t getting what you want in your anticipated timeframe, when you’re stuck in egoic thoughts about what should or shouldn’t be happening. But like I said before, I’m determined, and I’ve clung on to that faith.

Something about this quandary has shifted significantly for me very recently. I could attempt to attribute it to one of a number of specific things, but ultimately I think it’s a culmination of everything leading up to now – my continued devotion to my spiritual practice, some energy healing work I’ve done with a few practitioners, my readiness to begin working with intention setting, all the self help and spirituality books and podcasts I love to gorge on, the affirmations I’ve been repeating, the EFT tapping I’ve been experimenting with, divine timing, external conditions, perhaps even the full moon lunar eclipse and this lions gate thing everyone’s been banging on about! I’ve recognised that some of my negative subconscious programming has been rewritten. Areas in which I’ve previously felt so blocked have suddenly become free-flowing, unhindered, non-issues. It feels miraculous and magical. I’ve found myself doing certain things, without having given them much (if any) thought or effort. I’ve found myself unconcerned with potential challenges and stumbling blocks, inherently knowing that I’ll find any necessary solutions, but not consciously thinking through this as a strategy. I’ve then found myself, at random times (like when I’m on the toilet!!!) instantly coming up with solutions to challenges that I didn’t even realise I was attempting to solve. I’ve found myself taking constructive actions almost impulsively, which previously would have taken much self-coercion and motivation mustering. Things that previously I allowed fear to hold me back from, now I’m boldly marching towards with conviction and FAITH that it’s the right direction to move in, and that even if I fail, it’s all part of the journey.

What I’m coming to realise is that surrender is a big part of faith, that letting go and allowing the natural intelligence of the universe to flow unhindered through me is key. When I have faith, I know that there’s no need to strive, no need to worry, no need to push. I trust that I’m guided, and that even if I take a wrong turn, I can get back on track and appreciate the detour for the lessons that it gave me. But previously, surrender has felt infuriatingly elusive. How does one simply “let go” of trying to do everything we can to obtain something we want so desperately?

Six weeks ago I began working with the “Lunar Abundance” practice created by Dr Ezzie Spencer in her book, “An Abundant Life: Flourishing with the cycles of the Moon”. Ezzie’s practice provides a framework whereby you set a feelings based intention at the new moon, and then use the lunar cycle as a natural time keeper and self reflection tool to manifest your intention. At the last new moon, I found myself setting my second ever lunar abundance intention:

I feel safe, held and supported, trusting and knowing that the divine within me is constantly guiding me towards living my souls purpose.

Little did I realise what I was conjuring with this intention. The setting of it arose organically and intuitively through the process, and I assumed it was about my ongoing desire to discover my souls purpose. But I was also actually asking to find my faith. Following the practice, in which I intentionally felt and embodied those feelings of safety, of being held and supported, of trusting and knowing that I’m being guided by God towards my purpose, I was manifesting. I was making magic. It felt so sublimely good to feel the way I wanted to feel, and by intentionally doing so, I believe I flicked a metaphysical switch that had me realise that I’m now feeling the feelings because I already am being guided. I realised at the full moon that I didn’t have to imagine the intention manifesting in order to feel the feelings, because the intention already was manifest, and the guidance had been there all along – I just hadn’t recognised it before. I just need to feel the feelings and then remember that the divine is always working through me. It was around this time that the shift took place, and things began to flow. Like I said before, I believe it was a culmination of multiple contributing factors that brought me to this shift point, but this specific aspect felt particularly relevant and enlightening, highlighting for me what had changed. It was so easy. I’m in awe.

So am I insured from ever again losing my faith in this respect? Well I’m not sure, probably not. As in my more general spiritual journey, it’s possible that there may be times that my faith will waver, but I believe that I have the tools and practices that will always bring me back into alignment and back to my sense of faith. Faith therefore isn’t something I have to feel obliged to perpetually uphold in an attempt to maintain a spiritual identity, but something that I can trust will always be available to me when I’m ready to come home to myself after the inevitable missteps into suffering.


Main image credit: Rainbows 526 by Rocky Raybel via Flickr.  Used under licence.

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