The Magic of Working With Difficult Emotions (part 1)

girl-107163_640We all experience challenging emotions at times. It can be all too easy to get caught up in our reactions to these intense and unpleasant feelings.

We might find ourselves getting irritable and taking out our anger on our loved ones. Or we might find ourselves spending a lot of time and energy disconnecting from ourselves in order to avoid feeling what we feel. This article will help you overcome and successfully resolve your feelings.

Imagining Another Way

But what if we could learn to welcome such emotions instead? What if we could learn to experience our difficult emotions as gifts, as opportunities to deepen our self-care and spiritual practice, as potential allies who have much to teach us?

If you are interested in pursuing this approach, here are several steps that you can take to befriend your pain and sorrow, your anger and fear. These steps are presented as a rough outline; feel free to choose your own path, to mix and match elements of them, to skip over or replace some of them or to work through them in whatever order makes sense to you.

Accept that you feel what you feel.

Before we can start to move or transform any emotion, we have to simply be present with it. We have to stop resisting, stop fighting, stop pretending that what’s happening is not happening.

Acceptance is powerful medicine. It’s the best antidote for all the convoluted snarls and tangles we can find ourselves stuck in. For many people (including myself), it’s so easy to start feeling bad because we feel bad.

I often find myself feeling angry or sad that some old familiar pain has resurfaced in my heart. I might start to believe false stories, such as that I’ve always felt this way or that my sorrow is never going to end.

This dynamic can also show up in different ways. For example, you might be scared of the intensity of your own anger. Or you might be ashamed of the depth of your grief. You might be frustrated because your emotional reactions don’t seem to make rational sense.

But you don’t have to beat yourself up for feeling how you feel. You can simply accept that this is where your heart is, in this moment, and trust that, no matter how lost you might feel, you are on a long and winding path towards wholeness.

Ask for help…

friends-204324_640We don’t have to deal with our pain and difficulties alone. We are stronger when we are interconnected, when we draw on the many resources that exist within and around us.

Asking for help can look very different for different people. It can also be quite different for one person at different times in their life. One important strategy is to cultivate a network of emotional support.

When you have a range of relationships with people that you enjoy and trust, you can often find great comfort and help. It can be challenging for most people to reach out when they’re overwhelmed. Because of this, it’s often a good idea to ask people beforehand if you can contact them for support when you’re having a hard time.

…From all your allies.

As magical practitioners, we have the ability to ask for help from more than human allies. Depending on your tradition and preferences, you might reach out to Gods and Goddesses, to faeries and elemental spirits, to your ancestors and/or to angels and spirit guides.

All of these can be great sources of healing, soothing and spiritual insight.

Some people also cultivate relationships to non-human allies who exist physically in this realm. For example, many magical people use crystals for a variety of emotional balancing purposes. You can also use herbal teas, plant-based remedies and aromatherapy oils in similar ways.

If you have rituals that you are familiar with, performing them during a trying time can be a great way to comfort yourself. Doing something familiar can also help you feel empowered and competent.

A Simple Prayer to Ask for Help

Emotions and Candle Ritual
Emotions Candle Ritual

Here’s a very simple ritual that you can do if you’re feeling overwhelmed and like you need to something quick and easy, or if you simply aren’t sure how to ask for spiritual help. Light a candle. Imagine that your heart is a bud, a tightly closed flower.

Say out loud, “Divine Beings, Spirits of Benevolence and Grace, I ask for help. I ask for support and comfort to enter into my life. I am willing to open and be changed.”

Imagine that the flower of your heart is opening and blossoming. Imagine that your heart is giving off a sweet, alluring scent that draws love and connection towards it. Allow yourself to see any images of support that might appear, like honeybees, to pollinate your heart.

Check back next month to read part 2 of this article, which will explore expressing difficult emotions and gleaning lessons from them!

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Qigong Secrets Home Study Course – Review

Qigong Secrets Home Study Course – Week 6 – My review

Qigong Secrets Home Study Course Review

So a while ago I told you that I had signed up to an online Qigong course called the Qigong Secrets Home study course, it’s been a few weeks in now, so how’s it going I hear you ask? Here is my review of my experiences, but first, just a little about how and why I found this course.

I regularly meditate, but find it very difficult at times (in fact a lot of the time!) to clear the mind.  Active meditations (which can be anything from walking to something you always do) are ideal if you feel a bit restless when you meditate, and something like Qigong, Tai Chi or Yoga are excellent forms of doing this.

I was always intrigued by Qigong, but became interested when a friend taught me some of the moves. I was struck by the seeming simplicity, the joy I felt in doing it, and the powerful feelings of energy coursing through me. I scoured the newspaper and other local magazines for a Qigong course but there was none as it is not as well known as Tai Chi and Yoga.

When I found Marcus’s course I was very pleased and so got started straight away.  I am now on week 6 of the course. Unfortunately I got very ill for a few months and was unable to do the exercises so that is why it has actually been a good bit longer than six weeks since my last post.

Qigong Secrets Home Study Course – The Review So Far

Marcus’s Qigong teaching style

As soon as I bought the course I was impressed by Marcus’ friendly, clear and encouraging teaching style. In the first few lessons he explains some of the theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine, showing us how in this holistic conception of health, disease (dis-ease) is the result of energy blockages in the body, and Qigong is one way of removing these blockages, thus restoring or maintaining good health.

Each week he prepares an interesting handout with all the info on it, complete with diagrams and pictures.  Whilst all this info has already been given to you on that week’s video, its nice to have a quick way to recap what you have learned.

As well as the theory, lessons on the patterns of Qigong (the forms) begin straight away which is great as you feel you are getting stuck in to the practical side, and getting a feel for the martial art. Marcus encourages you to practice every day, but structures the homework so that it only takes a few minutes at first.

Getting the most from your practice and how long it takes

He gradually teaches you more preparation tools so that you get the most out of your practice, but even now it only takes me about 5-10 minutes a day to do everything that he recommends.  Some days I feel lazy and don’t want to do it, but I try and make myself because I feel so much better afterwards.

As well as showing you how to relax your body, one of the most valuable preparation methods he reveals is how to relax your inner self through a simple technique called ‘Smile from the Heart’. I particularly value this technique as it draws on much that I have learnt from many traditions (from Reiki to Hypnosis) about making yourself happy and healthy.

How QiGong helps me and how it can help you

So far I’ve learnt two forms through the Qigong secrets home study course – Butterfly dancing in front of flowers and Lifting the Sky.  These seemingly simple movements fill me with great joy to do, and after doing qigong I almost always feel lighter and happier, so something must be working.

Marcus gives you a progress tracker to chart your mood and general health, which I have been very naughty about and not done, (but I’m going to start from today, honest Marcus!) but even without that I can see that I feel better after doing Qi Gung and generally in better health and mood.

Physically I enjoy the (gentle) stretching and movements, particularly at night times where during the day I have been cramped in front of the computer.

Ultimately this course comes at a time where I feel I am changing and (hopefully!) growing as a person.  I’ve been feeling a desire to improve my self and my life by becoming calmer, being able to put things in perspective more and generally be more happy.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not generally a depressive stress head, but like anyone can suffer from sadness and worry under pressure, but I see that this does not help me much, and this Qigong secrets course is really helping me to be that person and it could do the same for you as well as keep you healthy!

So that’s all of my QiGong secrets home study course review for now, if you have any questions please do comment or get in touch.

Thinking of trying the course but still not sure?

Marcus is offering the first two weeks of the Qigong Secrets home study course for just $4.95 and there’s also a free video explaining more about him and the course, so do take a look, you’ve got nothing to lose and lots to learn even if you don’t take it further than these two weeks!

 

~~send2BL~~

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Healing – How does it work? My Thoughts

Crystals for Healing

As I write this I am recovering from a seriously nasty virus, so have been thinking a lot about healing (well I was thinking about it before but have had even more time now!) and what it is that makes it work, be it reiki, acupuncture, crystal healing, qi gung, self hypnosis or any one of the many other types of alternative and holistic healing.

First off I’d just like to point out that I’m by no means a healing expert or guru, but have a small amount of experience in that I have taken the first level of reiki training, have received different types of healing, and have been working with meditation and energy work for many years.

The first thing that all these types of practices have in common is the use of energy (or Qi, or Chi or life force, or vital energy or whatever you prefer to call it/think of it as.

Practices such as reflexology and acupuncture work (as my basic understanding of it goes) by realigning the energy pathways, or meridians that flow through your body.  In common with so many alternative healing practices, these systems believe that many things (including physical and emotional events) can cause blockages in your energy lines, leading to illness and disease.

I once spent some time listening to a Paul Mckenna self-hypnosis CD which aimed to help you keep your immune system strong and healthy by learning to give yourself an endorphine boost.  He sescribes how the place where endorphines are released can be different for different people, but for me it was the heart chakra, the same place as the reiki energy fills up first before going on to heal the rest of me, interesting I thought….

The plot thickened the other day when I read that certain people believe that acupuncture works by stimulating your endorphins.

Things continued to get more confusing when I practiced a relaxation meditation that involves following the path of energy around your body, common in things like mindfulness, yoga, and also in Robert Bruce’s New Energy Ways.  I felt the energy course around my body, particularly in my hands and feet – very similar to what I have felt when practicing the tarot, but also when trying out QiGong.

Reiki, unlike say reflexology or acupuncture, is a passive form of healing in that the healer is merely a channel for a an energy source that exists outside (but also inside!) of our bodies.  My reiki healer would often say how much she liked giving reiki treatments since it was also a treatment for her.  Yet I began to wonder, since the feelings of energy, the burst of pleasure associated with endorphins, was pretty much the same as what I had experienced from all these other metaphysical practices.  Was reiki just a self delusion?  Tricking yourself that there is something greater when it’s all within you?

But then I realised the (perhaps obvious) answer – This energy, this Qi, Life Force, Love, Divine Light, Mother Nature, God even if you are religious, whatever you call it, is not only within us, but also powers the universe.  It is the thing that I think I have always believed makes the world go round so to speak.  And importantly, it’s all the same thing!  Whatever you call it, however you manipulate it – drawing it in from the world or redistributing it in your body, it’s the same, all is one!

The feeling of endorphins being triggered is a sign of us connecting to that universal force. love, whatever, and is a very healing thing.  Even before I connected all this I began to intuitively feel that whenever I triggered that feeling, I was getting some strong healing.

We love to be in love as that triggers that feeling, but a relationship can also bring negatives, but if, as someone once suggested to me, we can hang on to that feeling of love, regardless of there being a single object of it, we can be happy and healthy.

You probably know the way that when you start thinking of something it keeps coming up in new ways, (some people call this synchronicity) and having just started QiGong, the first exercise I am learning is called ‘Butterfly Dancing in Front of Flowers’ and is all about opening your heart to the universal energy – what a great time and place to start this journey!

What are your thoughts on this?  Was this obvious to you all along or has it made you think?  Do you have other ideas on the way healing (and energy) works?  Get involved below!!

StormJewel's Psychic Readings

Qi Gong – What is it and why do it?

Learn Qi Gong
Learn Qi Gong

A while ago a friend showed me some QiGong (aka Chi Kung) and manipulation of energy and I was very impressed and excited by what I had seen, particularly as I have been looking to add an active meditation to my range of meditations.  Qi Gong has been a very powerful influence in his life, helping him to beat a downward spiral of drug addiction, and also helping him to attain new levels of spiritual understanding and awareness.  Unfortunately there are no Qi Gong teachers local to me, so when I found an online course by a well respected QiGong teacher I decided to give it a go!

It’s 22 week online course that I’m very enthusiastic about, so I thought I’d write a little blog post about it and keep you updated as the course progresses!

So what is QiGong?

QiGong is an ancient Chinese form of active meditation. It is very similar to practices such as Tai Chi (although much easier to learn!).  It is part of Chinese medicine, other aspects including Chinese herbs and Acupuncture.

Literally translated:

Qi = Energy (and you may know this by the name Chi, but also Mana, Aura or many words depending on what part of the world you are familiar with)

Gong = Work

So put that together and you have Energy Work.  What does that achieve?  Well I’ll go into more detail shortly, but first, why practice something like QiGong?

 

If you read my blog regularly you will know that I am very keen on meditation and energy practices for a range of reasons, here are some of the main ones:

  1. Relieves stress and anxiety
  2. Deepens spiritual awareness
  3. Improves psychic & healing ability
  4. Keeps you both mentally and physically healthy

QiGong brings extra benefits, as explained by Marcus, my online teacher for the next 22 weeks – a sincere seeming guy who has been taught by masters in China and practicing for over 10 years.

So what are the extra and specific benefits of practicing Qi Gong?

  1. To improve your health and vitality
  2. To increase your longevity, in other words to help you live a longer and happier life
  3. To increase your internal force – this will help provide you with amazing stamina and endurance and can also assist you in practices that require energy manipulation such as healing and psychic ability
  4. To expand your mind – like with any good meditation practice, it can help improve your memory, creativity, intelligence, awareness and your ability to articulate your thoughts.
  5. To take you further on your spiritual journey – meaning to help get you in touch with your inner self, but also with the universe, other people, and understanding and enjoying your place within that.

 

Energy Work and Health

Chinese and Japanese medicine and in fact most alternative forms of medicine believe that we have energy lines or meridians flowing through our bodies.  If these flows of energy become blocked, many unfortunate things can result, from emotional conditions such as depression, to physical illnesses and dis-eases.  Energy work keeps us healthy and happy and is the key to almost all alternative forms of medicine I have come across, including Reiki, a form of healing I am passionate about.

Ok well that’s enough for now, so far I’m really impressed by the info and explanations that Marcus has provided about Qi Gung (there’s written material and videos for each week) and I’m off to practice the first form of the course which is called, most poetically ‘Butterfly dancing in front of Flowers’.  This form is all about opening your heart and body.

Do you or have you practiced QiGong?  Is is it something you are thinking about?  Why not join me on my journey and we can learn together!  If you are keen to learn more about the course Marcus is offering, you can try a two week trial of QiGong and see what you think!

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Deep Relaxation Hypnosis

www.hypnobusters.com – This hypnosis session is designed to aid you with relaxation. It has been recorded by Jon Rhodes DHyp of HypnoBusters. If you would like a relaxation hypnosis MP3 then please visit www.hypnobusters.com
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Visualisation – Yes you can do it! – Here’s How

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Have you tried visualisation and think it’s very difficult?
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Maybe you think you can’t do it?
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Well guess what, you can and I’ll tell you why & how!

Rainbow Meditation and Visualization

Recently I’ve been trying to learn how to astral travel.  I’ve started reading an excellent book by Robert Bruce about NEW or New Energy Ways – a system that doesn’t rely on getting to the awake/asleep point to travel (something I just can’t do!) but anyway more about that in a future post!  Early on Bruce points out that many people believe they have difficultly with visualisation, but that this is due to a mistaken concept of what visualisation is.  He explains that visualisation is NOT seeing the scene you are trying to picture, running like a movie in your head, but instead is ‘Mind’s Eye Visual Ability’ in other words

Visualization is NOT a visual skill. You are not supposed to actually see what you visualize. If you do see something it is then no longer classed as visualization. It then becomes a Mind’s Eye vision type of ability.’ (Robert Bruce, New Energy Ways Manual.)

When I first read this I thought to myself, ‘well I can see what I visualise’, but then I remembered that years ago I thought that I couldn’t visualise, because I did believe that you were supposed to view almost like a movie in your head (there are a select few people who do this but these are in a very small minority).  Bruce explains that visualisation is actually using your creative imagination – have you ever day dreamed or fantasized about something? Yes? Great! because this is what visualising is!  He gives a simple way to test it.

Excercise

Try to use your mind's eye to see things.
Try to use your mind’s eye to see things.

‘get up and go to the kitchen, get a drink of water and then return to where you are now. As you do this, take note of everything you do and see and feel along the way. After you have done this, sit down and close your eyes and relax for a moment. Remember what you just did from the very beginning and recreate this entire sequence of actions with your imagination; in your mind’s eye. It is important to feel everything as if you were actually doing it. This is exactly like creating a fantasy based upon real life events. Remember yourself getting out of the chair and standing, and how the room looked as it moved around you as you turned. Remember your steps as you walked towards the kitchen, what you saw and felt when you arrived. Remember how your hand looked and felt as it reached out for a glass, filling and drinking it, and how the water tasted, smelt and felt. Remember returning the glass and walking back to your original position and then sitting down again. Do this in real time, taking roughly the same length of time recreating this in your mind’s eye as it took you to actually do it.’

As I read this I realised that I have come to associate visualisation with this kind of creative thought activity.  Whilst I can somewhat picture things, it is in my mind’s eye, and sometimes I ‘see’ myself as if I am looking down from above.  What has really helped me to develop this skill is doing audio meditations by Meditainment.  They do beautiful ones for all different reasons (eg to help you sleep, relax, deal with anxiety, give up smoking etc)  and each one is a different scenario from going down the river in a boat and entering a meadow to taking a bath in a coloured pool, or escaping an arctic storm to ‘chill out’ (sorry, cheesy pun) in your igloo.  The great thing about the meditations is they have lots of sound effects which help create realism, and they encourage you to use your senses, from smelling the flowers around you to imagining colours, feelings textures etc.  You can try out a full secret garden meditation mp3 here, you do need to give your name and email but it is well worth it.  I will speak to Meditainment and see if they will let me put a quick sample of one here.

Anyway, it’s not necessary to use audio meditations to practice and develop the visualisation skill, but it is fun and encourages you, and can be very beneficial for your health, and for me has definitely helped dramatically,  I’m very glad I discovered them.  But you can always practice by yourself, and now you don’t have to worry or feel you can’t do it because you can, everybody can!

Here is a more creative visualisation to try out again from Robert Bruce:

‘With your eyes closed, remember what it feels like to walk barefoot across a beautiful lush lawn on a lovely sunny day, with trees and shrubs and flowers all around you. Construct this from your memories, in your mind’s eye, and feel yourself as being there inside your fantasy creation. Remember a time when you actually did something very like this, or remember a scene from a movie or TV that you can use for this purpose. Feel yourself walking across the lawn towards a massive ancient tree with heavy, leafy branches hanging down all around. Some of these branches are touching the ground.

Sense the tree getting bigger and bigger as you approach it. Walking through a small break in the branches, you now move into the restful shade within its stately boughs. You find yourself standing in a secret clearing. You can smell the living wood and leaves of the tree, intermingled with soft, earthy smells like moss, bark, rotting leaves and damp earth. Walking closer to the great bole of the ancient trunk you see the shape of a comfortable looking chair molded in the living wood of the massive root structure. Soft green moss is everywhere and you can feel its friendly touch underfoot.

Moving closer you sit in this great chair and relax. Leaning back with hands clasped behind your head, you close your eyes and listen and feel and smell the secret world all around you. You hear the wind gently whispering and murmuring through branches. You hear small birds fluting and insects humming and fluttering all around, calling and chirping sweetly to each other. Smell and feel the wind, the flowers, the tree, the leaves, the moss and the grass all around you. Sit here awhile, feeling totally relaxed and at peace with the world, letting all your cares and problems drift away into nothingness. After a timeless moment you take a deep breath and return to your other reality, gently stirring your physical body back into wakefulness.”

If you’ve given this visualisation a go, congratulate yourself (you may want to record your voice saying it to make it easier) you’ve constructed a complex visualisation using memory and imagination with not just images but smells, sounds, textures and touch.  Well done!

What’s your thoughts? Can you visualise? Do you see a movie style thing or is it a case of using your creative imagination or something else? Have you tried any meditainment or other good visualisation/guided meditation tracks? Let me know about your experiences! x StormJewel

StormJewel's Psychic Readings

Tibetan Singing Bowls

Tibetan Singing bowls create a beautiful sound resonance that helps to clear and purify the mind and is frequently used in alternative healing, and also in mindfulness meditation.  Below are some virtual singing bowls, not quite the same but somewhat fun and soothing, and also strangely addictive! Give it a go! :o)

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