Jenny's Articles

Articles that are thought-provoking and interesting ...

The Importance of Relationships
Ten Top Tips for Healing Ourselves

Dying, Death and Bereavement
Relaxation and the Breath of Life
Natural Energy Healing
Spirituality in Everyday Life

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" Think deeply. Speak gently.

Love much. Laugh often.

Work hard. Give freely.

Pay promptly. Be kind.

The Importance of Relationships

This article is based on a talk I gave in March 2013 to the Alister Hardy Society for the Study of Spiritual Experience (AHSSE) at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, Wales.
In my book, Healing with the Feminine Principle, in the chapter on Our Authentic Soul, I touch fairly briefly on building true relationships. This talk was an expansion of that section of the book.
The purpose of the talk (and therefore of this article) was to offer ideas for us to think about and build on as part of our soul’s spiritual development.
As always, with anything I talk or write about, the content is significantly practical because it is the practical that creates space for the spiritual within us. The material and the practical are the vehicles for the spirit to learn and experience, which is what we are here for. The material or physical, emotional and spiritual are all inextricably linked.
I believe there is no purpose for the material other than as a vehicle for our progress spiritually as a result of living our practical lives. There is a misconception here which leads us to put too great an emphasis on the material and this seems to be where our current difficulties in the world arise.
But first I will describe a general overview of the masculine and feminine principles that I have highlighted in Healing with the Feminine Principle.

Each of us has masculine and feminine qualities, or energies, within us regardless of our gender. The strength of each of these qualities varies from moment to moment, hour to hour, day to day, as it does on a global level.
The yin and yang symbol, showing the balance between these energies has become very well-known, perhaps too well-known so that it has become a cliché; unfortunately, there is nothing in western symbolism that is so elegant to demonstrate the masculine and feminine qualities within us.

The masculine (yang) quality is related to light and therefore to the seasons of spring and summer when we have longer daylight hours. It has an active, creative quality – it is a fiery energy and it is the one we tap into when we are competing. The fieriness of this energy can tip over very easily from competition into conflict because it is such a reactive energy; this is when we impulsively think and do things that may get us into difficulty because we have not given them sufficient thought.
When we tap into this energy, we tend to take everything on face value and we engage in activities and theories that are a means to an end – and the means do not much matter as long as we achieve the end result!
The feminine (yin) quality, on the other hand is related more to darkness and therefore to the seasons of autumn and winter when we have shorter daylight hours. This energy is cool, though not cold, and detached. If we think of the still water of a pond, this symbolises the feminine quality within us. When we tap into this energy, we are responsive – we stand back and think before we do anything, using our common-sense.
The feminine quality is about nurturing and using our intuition and inner wisdom to listen to what others need. It is a quality that yields – and often to the masculine principle.

These two opposing, yet complementary forces consume and transform one another in turn, which is why the balance is constantly changing.
In our early years, we use predominantly yang energy because it is the creative, fiery energy we need to grow and develop; as we go through the middle years of our lives we should have a better balance of yin and yang energy, although this seems increasingly not to be the case. In our later years, we have a greater level of yin, or feminine energy having established what we truly need materially and hopefully accumulated much inner wisdom. In the West, we tend to resist ageing and the Chinese say we use up too much of our yin energy in this; we should grow old gracefully!

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The change in balance between the masculine and feminine principles

I believe that, over the last few centuries, these two energies have become seriously out of balance. We cannot say that this is wrong but it has certainly not been helpful – and there is little that is positive about it in many areas of life. I believe we should genuinely address this issue and do things in a different way.
Nothing progresses smoothly. If we plot our evolution on a graph, it happens in fits and starts and one of the ways we do this is by, what we would term, revolutions.
In Britain, in the 17th to 19th centuries, we had unprecedented population growth and we needed to provide more food to meet our needs. Thus there was a revolution through the mechanisation of agriculture. In the 20th century, chemical fertilizers and pesticides were introduced, and these are still used even more extensively now in the 21st century. Here, we tapped into a deeply masculine energy, deciding that they were a means to an end: even if that meant creating further massive problems, at least we were growing and raising the food we needed.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, we ruthlessly exploited our natural resources and this, too, is still ongoing, although we are now finding that much of what we have exploited in the past is now creating huge problems for us environmentally.
In the 20th century, the electronic revolution blasted on to the scene and is still with us in the 21st century.
All of these revolutions were produced by the creative, fiery masculine qualities within us all, with the feminine qualities viewed as less important – and now we have reached our current point.

What is reality?

Our ‘reality’ is not what most of us think it is. A relatively small number of scientists, who are able to think in a more creative way, are discovering that the world is made up of energy.
Our reality is simply a huge number of bundles of vibrating atoms in the shapes we know as physical presences – tables, chairs, buildings, cars and so forth.
These structures are more energetic than solid – what makes them solid is the space between the atoms, which scientists have labelled a ‘field’. This is a simplistic way of describing quantum science, which has sometimes been defined as the science of what is not there!

This phenomenon is referred to in a slightly different way in the Chinese text, the Tao Te Ching. This text describes a potter shaping clay into some form of vessel. The benefit is derived from what is there and the usefulness comes from what is not – the benefit is the vessel itself but the usefulness comes from the space in the middle.
We could describe other aspects of life in the same way, for example, relaxation, one of the most important tools for good health and well-being. The benefit is in allowing the time for relaxation; the usefulness is in allowing ourselves the stillness to just ‘be’, rather than ‘doing’, within that time.
Life could also be described in this way. Life itself is the benefit but what we do within that life, from birth to mortal death, is the usefulness of it.

The reality of our bodies

Our bodies are also not solid structures but, like everything else, bundles of energy in the shape we know as a body. The reality is that our bodies are more water (about two-thirds of the total) and space than solid material – and, of course, water is also made up of atoms that are more free-flowing than in ‘solid’ objects.
Scientists have now demonstrated that intention (through thought) is key to bringing into being much of what most of us have believed was impossible. The reality is that our thoughts have a huge impact on us and the world around us, but we are usually not aware of our influence.

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The reality of our thoughts

There is a school in the West of Ireland that has the motto:

‘The mind altering, alters all.’

This is such a wonderful theme for the education of young minds – it allows them the freedom to think in every direction and to know that they will be supported in feeding their minds so that they can develop creative thoughts into adulthood.
This is a particularly important aspect of our existence here because for most of us the masculine principle has become so assertive that our thoughts have created more solidity in the illusion around us. We have come to believe not that our life here and the material or physical around us is a means to an end but that it is the end in itself – for many, there is nothing further.
The paradox here is that our perception of the material has increased and has been made more ‘solid’ by our thoughts, while our perception of the power of our thoughts has been reduced.
Everything here is made up of energy. This includes us but we have largely lost sight of our brilliance, our spiritual selves – even many of us who call ourselves spiritual have not really understood this.

The route to the ‘solidity’ of the material

If we go back to the point when we originally came here as souls, the only physical or material things were our bodies and the environment. Indeed, we were, and still are, an integral part of the planet – our bodies are made from the same material as everything natural around us and our bodies go back to the earth when our souls release to Spirit.
We had to be resourceful in order to survive in a physical sense and the masculine principle excelled in creativity. We made shelters for ourselves so that we could be as warm and safe as possible – but we were still in touch with nature and we worked with Mother Earth for our physical survival.
Fast forward to the last hundred years or so and we have become further and further detached from Mother Earth and Nature – and Spirit: we live, work and play largely within structures.
Our experiences of Nature often happen in vehicles of one kind or another. We spend little time walking in nature, exploring the plants, listening to birdsong, or marvelling at the wonders that Nature provides for us. Instead we use noisy 4-wheel drive vehicles, motor bikes, mountain bikes – we pit ourselves against nature.
Our relationship with the Earth has changed dramatically. Most of us have ceased to love Mother Earth and the nature upon her; where there is no love, there is no care, as we are now seeing in the damage we have done over the centuries.
We take our presence here as a right; if we viewed ourselves more as guests, we might have more care with the Earth – currently we could be described as the guests from hell!

The most important aspect of life here on Mother Earth

Despite all that we have created on a material level since we originally came here, the one thing that remains just as crucial as it was at the start is relationships.
Relationships between souls then and now are the core of our relationship with the world. They are the basis of our survival as a species; all our relationships have a deep and profound effect on us as individual souls and as part of a global community.
They are a means of learning at a deep level so we need to sustain them, but a large proportion of us tend to mistrust one another, as we know from the words we have created, like racism, sexism, ageism, elitism and homophobia. If we add to the mix, those who would seek to steal from others, defraud others, and harm others physically and emotionally, it becomes obvious that basically, we are living in fear of one another and what might befall us through the process of living life.
A few years ago, at a workshop, I asked everyone to write a list of everything they feared. All the lists were collated (anonymously) and we looked at it together afterwards. We were all surprised by the length of the list and I have since added to it as a result of discussions with my healing clients about their fears. The three fears that arise time and again are uncertainty, change and fear – these are the big fears and many of the others arise out of these.
This is a disturbing commentary on the way we live our lives and goes a long way to explaining why stress is at pandemic proportions, and also perhaps why we react as we do to many of those who govern us, who have power over us in all areas of life.
If we are to resolve many of our current crises in health and social care, politics, finance – in fact, in every aspect of life – I believe we have to change the way we engage in all our relationships.
We have tried just about every other solution to our problems and they have not worked. We have tinkered around the edges of changing the way we approach life but I believe it requires us to be much more radical – and it is much more urgent than we might think.

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The way we relate to one another

Everyone has a persona that they project out into the world; it is the way we want to be perceived by others. It is the ‘mask’ we all wear. Some people’s masks are very thick, almost impenetrable; others are a thin veneer. Others are on all points between these two extremes. But most of us would not sense this because we have lost the knack of seeing beyond the mask – in fact, we have lost interest in others for its own sake. We are self-absorbed. Most of us take people on face value – the habit of masculine principle.
In general, we no longer communicate with one another soul-to-soul, we tend to communicate more commonly mask-to-mask, not wishing to look beyond those masks. And yet, each soul is a mine of information and experience that we can learn from and this is part of our spiritual learning – but we have to be paying attention to become aware of this.
When we let the mask drop away, the face can reflect the presence of the soul within. Everything that has happened in a life is etched on the face as we get older – in the lines, the curve of the mouth, the shape of the face, the softness or hardness of the eyes. When all aspects of the face are brought together they show us the expression of that individual life; the atmosphere, feeling and thoughts of that individual’s life. It is a visible presence – if we choose to notice.
The way we walk, how we stand, how we use our bodies all tell us a huge amount about a person. The way someone uses their hands tells us a lot about them. If they snatch at things, if they grab them, it is often the way they live their life. If they touch things gently, or even caress them, they are often of a sensitive nature.
These traits are demonstrated in the many tasks we undertake in a day but if we have too much mechanisation or electronic gadgetry, much of that information is lost because we only have to press buttons.
The practise of writing enables us to form the letters more clearly and beautifully. We can tell a great deal from someone’s handwriting; if we spend too much time on a keyboard, this skill is lost very largely. How we write, how we express ourselves in writing, and verbally, speaks volumes about us as souls and, if we are paying attention, it enables us to communicate more openly with one another to improve our relationships.
This so important because each of us is a beautiful spark of the Source – we are inextricably linked one soul to another and to our originating Source.
We cannot gather much that is meaningful during a lifetime to take back to the Source, in order to enrich the whole, if we are not focusing and participating fully in all our relationships.

When we begin again to communicate in harmony with our souls, I believe this will go a long way to resolving the difficulties of the world.
Currently, we all have a degree of mental and physical awareness of one another. We have worked tirelessly on this for centuries now – dealing with what is in front of us but we still do not focus too closely on whatever has taken our attention.
We are usually thinking about the past and regretting many things, or worrying about what may come back to bite us in the near future. Or we are thinking about what we are going to do or, more likely, acquire next. This is happening often whilst we are doing two other things at the same time.
Focusing fully on what is directly in front of us or who we are interacting with, and nothing else, is what creates better relationships and better memories. When we focus fully on something or someone, we are engaging energetically.
Energy is never lost – it can only be transformed. We may not own something now that we did in the past, but that does not mean it no longer exists. Depending on how focused we were at the time and our ability to recall memories of events, we can mentally go back to a time and place to feel and experience an event once again. By doing this, the event becomes part of us and it is not lost.
Memories are treasures that can be retained for further pleasure at a later date – individually and, more importantly, by sharing with others to enhance our relationships. Many very old people find it upsetting that most of the souls with whom they shared their youth have passed over to Spirit. They have no one with whom they can talk about shared memories and this often makes them feel as if they are on the periphery of society.
It takes about eight seconds to transfer to our long-term memory something we are focusing on in the moment – many of us cannot even concentrate for that long!
Children, of course, find retaining memories much easier. They have little past to remember and they do not have the experience to be able to speculate on the future. I believe this has a great bearing on why older people remember their youth better than what happened last week. When they were children, they were fully focusing in the present; this is often not the case now, perhaps because they are trying to shut out a changing world.
The only way to cope with the faster pace of life and information overload we perceive we now experience is to focus on as much as we can in the present moment, take it all in and improve our filtering system for retaining what we know we will need and discarding the dross. And the information we retain includes that which we obtain through focusing on all those with whom we come into contact – this is the most crucial area because we are exchanging energy with everyone we interact with.
There is no relationship that is so trivial we have no need to focus on it – we pay attention as much out of respect for whoever we are interacting with as for gaining information.

Thoughts, emotions and health

Scientists have now established that there is a two-way communication between our thoughts and every cell in the body.
In my healing work, I find that most of those who come to me have emotional difficulties which have helped create their ill health. I am not suggesting that every illness is caused by our thoughts and emotions but it is very often the case. These same people have very limited spiritual awareness and they also have difficulties with relationships.
Spiritual and emotional awareness are bound up in one another and in our relationships – soul-to-soul communication can reduce or even eradicate fear and mistrust, which are two strong emotions that can cause ill health.
Fully opening to the soul in a human body, and allowing those two entities to have mutual respect, gives us a fuller and more rounded sense of who we are and to gather more insight into other souls.

Everyday life

So, I believe we have a mountain to climb here to bring us back to soul-to-soul contact as a routine part of life. And, at present, we seem to be doing many things in the most difficult way possible.
For example, using as much electronic communication as we are currently, often almost to the exclusion of face-to-face contact, means that we are missing out on the other languages that we use – those of the body and the intonation of voice. It is far more difficult to assess how someone really feels when we use electronic communication and we can be far more abrupt and rude when we do not have to communicate with someone face-to-face.
We stay at home a great deal more for our entertainment, often through electronic interfaces, like TVs and games consoles. This limits our opportunities for wider interactions with more souls to give us experiences from which we can learn.
Our everyday personal and business transactions are much more complex than they have ever been and, for the growing elderly population, this can cause great distress but even for younger people it can make life much more complicated than it needs to be.
The way we engage in intimate relationships has changed dramatically. The speed and order in which we pursue this kind of relationship now means that we have already moved in with someone and probably had children before we have got to know them. Nurturing children, or just having them living with us even if we choose not to nurture them, requires a great deal of time and emotional effort; it is almost impossible to get to know a partner when we have this level of distraction.
Consequently, these relationships are breaking down much more quickly and the whole situation is much more complex because it involves a large circle of other souls and, most importantly, impacts on the children in an intense way. Getting to know someone before moving in with them and having children means that if the relationship proves not to be viable, it is a simple process to simply call a halt to it and walk away with little effect on anyone else.
As a teenager in the 1960s, I agonized over how we were treating one another and what we were doing to the Earth, to the point where I actually lost sleep worrying about it. I talked about this to someone I knew who I would describe as a very wise woman.
She was very blunt with me and told me that I could agonize all I liked but I was not actually helping the situation practically and that there was a solution to it. She told me that I needed to keep my little patch of the world right by thinking and acting in a way that I knew I would be able to look back on comfortably. I needed to work at relating to everyone positively and constructively. She went on to say that if everyone did that, those little patches would eventually join up and things would get better but she warned it would be a painfully slow process – and she was not wrong!
There will always be those who will try to wage war and disrupt all the good that any of us does but I believe it will gradually become more difficult to do this as more and more of those patches join up.
I have kept to this philosophy as far as possible for the whole of my life. The occasions when I have forgotten and allowed people to provoke me are etched in my memory as ‘cringe moments’ and I try very hard not to give them thought energy, having learned from them and moved on.

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The grand scale vs the smaller scale

So, in all our relationships basically we need to follow something that has been around forever:

The Golden Rule: Treat others as you would like them to treat you.

But even this is problematic. The creative masculine principle has now brought us to the point where everything has to be big. When things are big they become impersonal and the feminine principle has more difficulty in surviving and thriving.
Our relationship with money is now fraught because sums of money are made and lost now that are so big we cannot imagine them as coins and notes. In one way, money has less value now than ever; in another way, it is the most powerful motivator for many people. Material possessions mean everything because the means to thrive and survive has become an end in itself.
We have lost sight of the fact that money is simply a symbol of the exchange of energy between souls for goods and services. When we deal with one another soul-to-soul, our relationship with money changes as does the value we place on those souls with whom we are interacting.
We are now so cynical about the providers of goods and services that we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that supermarkets and stores are only interested in profit. Companies try to deceive us into thinking they are offering us great service – but we know they only offer us enough to make us spend more.
And this is all because everything is on a grand scale. Bringing it back to a local level gives us a greater opportunity to deal with one another soul-to-soul. You cannot deal with your local supermarket manager on a soul-to-soul basis – it is impractical and he or she would not be interested anyway.
The recent horsemeat scandal shows the danger of the grand scale in the food industry. It has become clear that we now have massively complex food supply chains which make monitoring almost impossible. Tapping into the feminine principle means we nurture ourselves by keeping our food local and safer; we engage in creating meals rather than buying ready-prepared food and make it part of the ritual of eating together.
And most importantly, the feminine principle enables us to treat local suppliers with the respect we would wish to be treated. We can try to get to know them so that we improve our relationship with them and help them reciprocate. This cannot happen on the grand scale.
Our schools, universities, hospitals and other public services are operated on such a large scale as commercial businesses now rather than as services that the souls who use them no longer feel they receive personal attention. Each client is simply a commodity – just one soul in a sea of unfeeling souls.
Governments are alarmed to find that many more souls are now living alone which is another factor in the current housing crisis. We often hear the comment that it is so easy to be lonely in the midst of a crowd. Soul-to-soul interaction would help to alleviate this.
Soul-to-soul communication would take the mistrust and fear out of international negotiations so that we could all work towards the same end of taking care of ourselves only in harmony with taking care of the Earth.
We would never exploit any resource without knowing how we could deal safely with whatever residue it leaves on the Earth; and if we could not find a safe way of doing that, we would not use it at all. This would be the top priority of our scientists and engineers because soul-to-soul communication would necessitate thinking much more about the impact of whatever they develop on other souls.
We would have a greater chance of avoiding wars because we would understand that all of the Earth’s resources are here for us to use during our very temporary existence here; they belong to no one and to everyone. We cannot make war with other souls when we are content and happy with our lives – soul-to-soul interaction would help bring this about.

Soul-to-soul interaction in personal relationships

The biggest area where soul-to-soul connectivity would make the most difference – because it is where it starts – would be in our personal relationships with our family, friends and close circle.
Intimate partnerships are much more transient now – 2 to 5 years in a relationship is viewed as long-term. One of the reasons for this I believe is that we are not thinking in terms of our partners as true soul-mates in most cases. Soul-mates are simply best friends who have penetrated the masks and that is what a partner has to be – when the excitement of the physical reduces, we have to have something to sustain a relationship. Having your partner as your best and truest friend is the greatest relationship there is.
Because we are not embracing soul-to-soul relationships, we delude ourselves that the lives of our children are unaffected by the break-up of their parents’ relationship when deep inside we know it is the case. There is always some good that comes out of every situation but most of the emotions surrounding such a heart-breaking time are negative and continue to be so for many.
Soul-to-soul relationships also give us the will to try to understand our children and get a better quality of interaction with them that will last for the whole of this lifetime with them. It also helps our children to understand our concerns and our love for them which sometimes necessitates courses of action that seem harsh or heartless to them. If we communicate with them soul-to-soul, it reduces the likelihood of rifts within families – and this applies to all family relationships.
Soul-to-soul relationships enable us to support one another in all situations, from someone in our close circle, to work colleagues, to someone we meet fleetingly. Even our fleeting relationships are important though clearly not as intense.
If we balance the masculine and feminine qualities in this arena of relationships, the ripples go out to affect every other area in life. This is where it begins. Someone who has a close and loving relationship with their intimate circle usually has better relationships with everyone else they come into contact with, or at least they have better strategies and tools for dealing with difficult relationships more effectively.
For many people, learning again to treat those close to them with the love and respect they would like to receive would change them out of all recognition and change their interactions with everyone else in their lives.

Our need to belong

We are all little bundles of emotional frailty – even those we perceive to be strong, as a result of their impenetrable masks, have numerous areas of themselves that are obstacles to their feeling truly comfortable with other souls. These are also obstacles to enlarging their inner wisdom. The mask of the strong person gets in the way of their learning.
It is the human condition to want to belong in some way during our time here on the Earth sphere. Everything we do is targeted towards the ultimate goal of feeling a sense of belonging – not just fitting in and compromising at all costs but a sense of actually feeling comfortable with our visit here. The feeling of belonging is something we are all always seeking in whatever we do.
Reading the last few paragraphs of this article may have given you the feeling that you would like to tell me how naïve it all sounds and how soul-to-soul relationships cannot possibly be viable in today’s world, but the logic of my thoughts follows.

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The easy route or the more difficult route

For centuries our growing cynicism in all our relationships has led us to feeling more suspicious of one another, fighting more wars, given us shorter, less satisfying personal relationships, created protectionism, judgement and criticism of one another to make ourselves feel better or superior, leading to elitism and fear, and many more emotions that are difficult to live with.
I would suggest this demonstrates very fully the deeply unbalanced society we now have; one that is so entrenched in the masculine principle, particularly that of simply reacting without thought to others’ words.
I genuinely believe we come here to try to learn and experience in a way that enhances the Earth sphere in a spirit of love and co-operation, not in a way to damage or disrespect it. Successive generations have just spiralled down into a deeper forgetting of that purpose and cynical exploitation of their fellow travellers on this journey.

Many people might say, ‘But we need challenges in life – we need conflict to make life interesting.’ I believe that it is far more challenging, and ultimately more satisfying, to work out our differences lovingly and peacefully – and perhaps that is why we avoid it.
Deep inside we know it is far easier to fight wars, damaging and annihilating everything other souls have worked so hard to create, including lives and relationships. A pivotal minority have little interest in taking the more courageous path that requires more thought about how to resolve differences – ultimately using a greater intellectual and emotional capacity.
This forgetting has brought us to our current point and we will not be able to retrieve the situation and resolve our global economic and environmental crises with the same attitude as we got into them.
Just as we have to change our way of living to resolve a cancer because we cannot resolve it with the same lifestyle with which we created it, so, I would suggest, we have to change our way of thinking about life and by so doing bring a better balance of masculine and feminine energies to the world to resolve our difficulties.

A ‘spiritual shift’

I keep hearing about a ‘shift in energy’, a ‘spiritual shift’ that is taking place and is going to sort everything out. I have been hearing about it for years from those who claim to have some special connection with those in Spirit and receive messages from them.
It is interesting that those who have near-death experiences never return to tell us that this ‘shift’ is actually taking place. On the contrary, they tell us more about how we need to change the way we think and view the world.
This ‘shift’ is often talked of as if it is something some other power is going to do for us; that it’s effectively outside of ourselves. It is not. The responsibility is ours and we have to take it on joyously and passionately.
There will be no ‘shift’ until we make it happen. What many souls talk about is yet another illusion – or delusion. It seems to be a means to an end to keep us in perpetual hope without having to actually do anything productive to bring it about.

Our connection and our reconnection

The only realities on this planet are our souls, and the interactive connection between souls and with the Source.
Most souls are loving and compassionate – but as with all things, it only takes a minority that has great will and strength (and therefore hugely powerful thoughts) to tip the balance over and then a larger number of souls will follow on. That can work for good or not so good – the choice is ours.
Everything is tangled up together – what we do to ourselves, we do to other souls and to the planet because we are constantly exchanging energy with one another as a result of our relationships.
Because of that entanglement, good relationships offer us unending joy and fulfilment. There is nothing so wonderful as spending time with someone, learning about them, trying to understand their viewpoints (even if we disagree with them), eating with them, exchanging banter and afterwards feeling the satisfaction and warmth of a happy, enjoyable and honest interaction with the masks off.
And this can be with strangers – but perhaps we should be starting with our close circle. We can never know everything that goes on in another’s head but currently because we are communicating with the masks, we probably know much less about the people we are close to than we think.
Listening with the nurturing feminine principle means that we respond more sensitively to others and this encourages them to be more open with us. You need never have another boring conversation all the while you are looking for opportunities to see behind the mask and to communicate from the heart and soul.
I believe we have to make a radical change in our thinking so that we will understand the joy of the responsibility we have to every soul and everything else on this planet. Soul-to-soul relationships are the only way this will happen and the only way to heighten our enjoyment of our short time on this planet.
One last thought for you to ponder on in the coming days: I believe we are much closer to bringing about the destruction of the planet than we realise; but equally, I think we are closer to finding a resolution to our problems than we believe – if we could just allow ourselves to understand and believe in the power of our thoughts to bring that about.

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Ten Top Tips for Healing Ourselves

Written by Jenny Jones

(that don’t include advice on food, exercise, drugs, tobacco and alcohol !!!)

1. The Breath of Life
2. The awesome power of thought
3. Living in the present
4. Accepting our bodies
5. Forgiveness
6. Gratitude
7. Generosity
8. Being
9. Life as a series of experiments
10. Healing the world

We have access to a large number of organizations and individuals we can contact when we have a health imbalance or even if we are just lacking in energy. We can also access lots of information about how to keep ourselves healthy through diet, exercise, recreation, reducing our alcohol intake, avoiding tobacco products, and much more. All of this is useful and valid if we wish to keep ourselves healthy.

But there are other aspects to maintaining a healthy body and mind that are often not covered in the information about health that is available to us. These are issues that may, at first glance, seem irrelevant but they are often the most important factors in achieving a good quality of life.

Before we think about specific issues that help us to heal ourselves, we need to have a basic respect for our body. The body is a wonderful creation that is resilient and responsive so much of the time. It often takes a long time for the body to succumb to our ill treatment of it, whether we are aware of what we are doing or not. Even prescription drugs taken for a health imbalance when it manifests in our body can cause serious side effects that, in some cases, create more imbalances than they resolve!

The one fact that we have to keep in mind is that our body has to last us for the whole of this lifetime so we have to treat it with respect if it is to remain in as good a condition as possible until we no longer need it. If we are not prepared to do this, and accept that this usually means a very poor quality of life in old age, then it’s fine because it's our choice. Many of us want to party until we drop when we’re young and then live a serene and healthy life in old age – but for most of us that’s an impossible dream!

The following tips are the result of working with many people on their healing, my research on healing and how the body responds to our treatment of it, whether that treatment is good or not so good.

1. The Breath of Life

Breathing is an automatic response for all of us – if we don’t breathe, we die. But it’s the way we breathe that is so vital to improved health for all of us.

Breathing efficiently is the first and essential practice for self-healing. On a physical level, breathing effectively allows oxygen to penetrate every cell in the body so that these cells can work at optimum efficiency. At an emotional level, breathing deeply and easily brings us a sense of peace and calm, and makes it easier for us to cope with life generally. Take a couple of deep breaths now and breathe out with a big sigh – feel the renewed sense of calm that this brings.

To find out more about how to breathe more effectively, click here.

Breathing through the belly area maintains calm because it is very difficult to be tense when we are expanding and contracting the muscles here, so it is a good exercise to remember when we start to become tense for whatever reason. Focusing on how we breathe takes our attention away from the tension, gives clarity of thought and a greater sense of calm.

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2. The awesome power of thought

Everything is energy – all the objects around us that look so solid are, in fact, bundles of molecules and particles vibrating with energy. We ourselves are individual masses ofvibrating light. Nothing is static; everything is constantly on the move and full of energy.

Thought is no different – it is energy. And every cell in the body is responding to our thought energy. The power contained in this phenomenon is vital to our health and well-being. If we visualise our own individual body as unhealthy and diseased, this is the message we are sending to our cells and they will respond to comply with this picture. If, on the other hand, we visualise our body as healthy and whole and we live our lives through this visualisation, our cells will receive this positive message and respond healthily.

Even if we are currently experiencing ill health in the form of one of the numerous chronic diseases that are so prevalent, we can improve our health. It takes many years to create a chronic disease in the body so it may not be possible to heal ourselves completely of such a well-entrenched imbalance. However, we can improve the quality of our lives by our thoughts and help ourselves to cope better with these diseases.

But thought energy doesn’t just help with chronic diseases, it can improve, speed up the healing or even heal completely less serious conditions, such as colds and flu, headaches and skin complaints. We just have to visualise our bodies as whole and healthy and allow that picture to guide us as to the actions we take to bring ourselves back to fitness.

What we focus on is attracted to us, so maintaining healthy thoughts about ourselves is vital to our ability to heal ourselves of whatever ails us.

Thought energy can be equally effective when we think about other souls who have health imbalances or emotional issues. Again, we only allow thoughts of them that give us a picture of health because every single thought or word is an energy that goes out into the universe and affects everyone and everything on the planet. Repeated destructive or negative thoughts cause disruption.

This is equally important in healing the planet. There are many people around the globe who are holding a picture of Mother Earth in their minds as a planet of balance and harmony, in the environment and the people that inhabit it.

The power of our thought energy is a great responsibility for each and every one of us both in terms of how we influence our own behaviour and how we impact on others.

Our thoughts create the quality of our lives – we really can think ourselves healthier than we currently are. The choice is ours.

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3. Living in the present

Many people – and particularly younger people, surprisingly – talk about how poor their memory is. This may well be due to the fact that they are not concentrating on each moment as it happens – how can you remember anything if you’re not taking it in at the time? We all have a selective memory but that is very different to having a poor memory.

Living in the moment allows us to focus fully on each activity so that we do everything much more thoroughly and learn new activities more easily. Giving part of our attention to anything does not lead to quality actions or outcomes.

We also give our full attention to those around us, affording them the respect they deserve just as we deserve their full attention. Our loved ones would benefit greatly from our full attention more often – particularly our children who often miss out on our time and interest because we are rushing off to the next thing. And that next activity is just one more on which we will probably not focus fully!

People who live in the present for most of the time enjoy life so much more and are therefore much healthier – life is to be enjoyed, not to be endured!

There is no point in living in the past or the future – one has passed and the other is completely unknown. And the present is fleeting – what you were thinking a moment ago is now in the past; that is how fleeting it is. For most of the time the present moment is good and if it is not, it lasts such a short time that it is not really a problem.

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4. Accepting (and preferably loving) our bodies

Most of the things we perceive to be wrong with our bodies are as a result of our abuse of it – they are our responsibility. The body that has to last us the whole of our life needs to be nourished with healthy food, fluid, sleep, rest, recreation and exercise.

This is not difficult if we listen to our bodies when the cells communicate with us. If we experience pain, we usually stop doing whatever is causing us the pain. So if we find that something we put into our body is causing us pain, discomfort, indigestion, joint pain or any other difficulty, we simply need to avoid that substance, whether it is food, alcohol or drugs. We need to be kind to our bodies – but it is a choice!

Every cell in the body is responding to whatever thoughts we allow ourselves to have. If we constantly regard our body as ‘not good enough’ either in appearance or function, our cells will respond by creating a body that is always falling short of our wishes – but not our expectations! If, on the other hand, we view the body as fit, healthy, attractive and able to cope with whatever we need it to do for us, the cells will respond positively and co-operate with us to bring this into reality. It really is a case of being careful what you wish for!

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5. Forgiveness

Throughout our lives we usually find that we perceive that many people harm us by what they say and do; equally, of course, we do the same to others. The majority of people who seek healing have been harbouring angry, resentful, or painful feelings asa result of these situations, directed at others and at themselves.

Forgiveness is a very effective healer. We all need to let go of the emotions that arise when we remember these situations and, better still, move on in our lives by choosing not to remember them at all, having forgiven ourselves and others for whatever was said or done.

Letting go of these emotions also allows the person to whom they are directed to move on – that thought energy will be doing its work if we hold on to grudges, although our target may not be aware of it! In many cases the person we feel has treated us badly in thought, word or deed is not even aware of it. So, while we are going over and over a situation and getting more and more angry and resentful, they are often blissfully unaware of our distress. This means that the only person suffering as a result of this perceived ill treatment is us! What a waste of energy!

Planet Earth is not an easy place to live so we have to remember that:

Everyone does the best with the knowledge, wisdom and experiencethey have at any given moment.

Remembering this helps us to forgive others more readily. It also helps us to forgive ourselves because our own actions can often cause us greater distress than those of others. We can beat ourselves up for years about something that would probably seem trivial to others. It is almost impossible to forgive others effectively if we cannot forgive ourselves for our own actions. Lighten up by learning from the situation, letting go of the burden and moving on! We are all only human and we’re all learning every day – that’s what we’re here for!

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6. Gratitude

We are all so very lucky, even when we think we are not. Most of us in the western world live an extraordinarily privileged existence. Pardoxically, those who are not so fortunate are often much more grateful for the few good things they have in their lives than those who have so much.

There are many jokes about this next suggestion, and it may seem trivial, but counting our blessings and being grateful for them before we sleep can be a great healer. A significant number of people who seek healing have no insight into their own blessings and often experience ill health as a result. Their anger, resentment, envy and dissatisfaction eat away inside of them and can create health imbalances that may be impossible to resolve because of their attitude to life. Their interaction with their cells is far from healthy!

At the very least, thinking happy thoughts last thing at night will help us to sleep better. Trying to sleep when we are holding on to negative and destructive emotions can be very difficult.

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7. Generosity

Being grateful often leads us on to become more generous. Whatever we have or have not, being generous with everything in our lives helps us to focus on something other than ourselves for a while. And this is not about money necessarily, although financial generosity is valid as a way of passing on positive and creative energy to others. But it’s equally valid and helpful to be generous with our time, our patience, our encouragement, our willingness to help and our creative thoughts about others rather than always thinking the worst first.

Being generous with our love is one of the greatest healers. Unconditional love is vital to all of us – and this is not a sentimental love. It is a practical love. Unconditional love embraces all of the suggestions above and anything else you can think of.

It is easy to show our close family and friends unconditional love, although that is not always the case for some souls. But it is much more difficult to demonstrate such love to those we don’t know as well, or perhaps not at all. Read the paragraphs about Forgiveness above and the nature of unconditional love becomes clearer. Those families who have lost loved ones during wars and terrorism, and who forgive the perpetrators of these atrocities as soon as they possibly can because they wish to bring peace, understanding and love to the world, are a wonderful example to us all. Anyone who can forgive such dreadful acts is a very special soul.

They have learned to separate the individual from the deed. They understand, knowingly or unknowingly, that we are all here to learn and that some souls find the learning more of a struggle than others. We are all from the one Source so we must try always to be generous in our opinion of others, knowing that they are doing the best they can with what they have.

If we were all to learn to give unconditional love to everyone and everything on the planet, there probably would be very little illness and certainly less, if any, violence and war. But it is not easy and, if it were, it would not be, what I believe is, the ultimate meaning of our lives here on Mother Earth. It takes understanding, willingness and courage to be able to offer unconditional love to all souls.

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8. Being (instead of doing)

Activity in the world is speeding up and we are all feeling the pressure that this creates. If we are not engaged in some form of activity, we seem to feel we are wasting our time, but this is a fallacy. Taking time to sit quietly and go into deep relaxation every day for 10 to 20 minutes is a very effective healer and gives us more energy to accomplish the tasks of the day

Twenty minutes of deep and complete relaxation is equivalent to two hours sleep, although it should never be used as a substitute for our full quota of sleep each night.

Sleep is not necessarily the time when we are at our most relaxed. If we think of those who, as they sleep, grind their teeth, talk, walk, move around excessively in bed or wake several times in the night, it becomes obvious how little deep relaxation sleep can bring.

During deep and complete relaxation we allow our thoughts to flow through our minds but do not follow them with further thoughts other than checking that each part of the body is fully relaxed. (See Relaxation)

If we can do this once – or perhaps even twice – a day, we will start to feel the benefits in a short time. The mind becomes clearer. We can concentrate more easily and for longer. We become less irritable, calmer and more at peace with the world.

If we have a health problem, this may well improve and, giving ourselves this time for ourselves, can improve the immune and other systems in the body. Blood pressure can also be reduced.

We are giving ourselves a greater chance of being generally more healthy and alert, less tired and more serene. We give the body a chance to regenerate so that it can operate at a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness.

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9. Life as a series of experiments

I believe that we come here to learn and that every experience is like an experiment from which we can learn. Scientists are detached from their experimentation so that they can gain the most insights from them. Without losing our compassion or love for life and other souls, we can do the same with our own experiences.

This may be difficult for some people to accept because it may seem as if I’m suggesting we stop caring about our lives and others around us. But when we take a step back from our lives – detach at some level – we are able to be much more objective about what is happening and what we truly desire in our lives.

Viewing life in this way can take the ‘sting’ out of the unpleasant events in our lives and we can live more effectively and without the stress of taking everything personally, because most of what happens to us is not necessarily aimed at us personally but is just available to us to learn from.

Concentrating more on what we can learn rather than how dreadful we find the actual events can offer great healing and can help us to avoid uncomfortable situations in the future.

Together with living in the present, detaching to a certain degree from the emotional roller-coaster that life can become also allows us a greater capacity for being true to ourselves in all that we think, say and do. We can give ourselves the space to be able to decide what, in fact, is being true to ourselves, which offers a calmer and more harmonious way of living.

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10. Healing the world

We are not separate from each other or from the rest of the flora and fauna on the planet. How we think and live has a direct impact on everyone and everything around us whether we accept it or not.

Whilst we are focusing on healing ourselves, the suggestions above will also help us to heal those around us. We are all inextricably linked with one another and with the Source – whatever we do to ourselves, we do to every other soul on the planet. If we are behaving in a creative, rather than a destructive way, in all our thoughts, words and deeds, this benefits us – but the spin-off is that it also influences and benefits everyone else.

Equally, if we consciously work to heal Mother Earth, this can also have a beneficial effect on us and everyone else. Everyone can make a difference by sending out creative and positive thoughts and words into the world as often as possible.

Before sleep at night, turning our thoughts to a vision of the planet as whole and healthy with peaceful and loving inhabitants will eventually help to make that happen. We have tried the other way and it has been a failure so what have we got to lose by thinking in a different way? We can all be peace warriors, regardless of our age, ability or state of health.

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Dying, Death and Bereavement

Written by Jenny Jones

There are no limits to how spiritual healing can help us. We do not have to have a specific illness or condition that we wish to have resolved; experience has shown that healing works equally well on emotional challenges and indeed this is the origin of many of our health challenges.

Healing into death

You may have read in other places on this website and elsewhere that the healing energies help to calm our emotions and to give us greater clarity to deal with whatever health or other challenge comes our way. When a healer is asked to channel healing to someone with a terminal illness, the benefit of the healing lies in the effect it has on our ability to accept our illness, to make our final years, months, weeks or days more serene and calm and to ease our passing, or death as many people prefer to call it.

Many people who receive healing just before their passing make peace with themselves and those around them, often after years of turmoil, discontent and disharmony. So it is never a waste of time to request healing at this time - distant or hands on. The healing can also help to ease the pain that some suffer at the end of their lives because of their illness. Loved ones and others who are left behind find it much easier to accept a passing that is accomplished without torment

Our beliefs about what happens after our physical body wears out and gives up can be crucial in how well we cope with our own passing and that of someone close to us. My personal belief is that our soul does go on and that dying is a great deal easier than being born, from a physical and emotional point of view. Birth is a very traumatic event for both infant and mother - this trauma can be reduced by the environment in which it happens and the support mother and baby receive from others but it is nevertheless a dramatic event.

When we pass over, I believe we simply drift back easily to the source from which we originated, and reports of 'near-death experiences' support this view. I believe that returning to Spirit is a homecoming to our true home, having lived a life of learning lessons that encourage our personal spiritual and emotional growth, which serves to support all other souls, incarnate and disincarnate.

This may not help some of us who cannot accept that this could be the case - and they are entitled to their opinion, which I respect. However, the following poem was sent to Sheila Hancock after John Thaw's death and it was reproduced in her book about him. I think that it could be a great comfort to many in their grief after the loss of someone close to them.

You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he’ll come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he’s left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see him
Or you can be full of the love you shared.
Or you can be happy for tomorrow and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he’d want.
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

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Healing for the bereaved

Healing can, of course, also be of great benefit to the bereaved, whether it's the loss of another soul, a much-loved animal, a job, during divorce, a home, a limb, an ability, or anything else. We grieve over the loss of many things other than those we love because we give of ourselves in many different ways so that any loss will be distressing to us.

Grieving for anything is a natural process and one that we have to go through but it is our choice as to how we respond to it, like any other situation. It cannot be rushed; there are no shortcuts. We have to allow ourselves to feel the emotions that naturally arise one by one until we reach a point where we have not forgotten our loss but we remember them (or it) with affection and gratitude for what they brought to our lives and the lessons they helped us to learn.

This acceptance of our loss often happens without our awareness - we just realise one day, perhaps on waking in the morning or when we're doing something totally unrelated to our loss, that we have accepted it and moved on.

Spiritual healing can often help to ease the pain of loss and gives us greater clarity about our relationships, both with those who have passed over and those who are still with us. It allows us space to grieve in a constructive and creative way, making it another experience that we learn from. We can keep the soul who has disincarnated close to our hearts so that we can add to our emotional foundations and use this strength to help us to live our lives from that point in a slightly (or perhaps radically) different way.

This doesn't mean that, during the healing session, we become very emotional, although that can happen with many people and it is often a relief to be able to release those emotions with someone unconnected with our family and friends. Frequently, however, people find that the release comes later when they are alone - and this release can often have a different 'feel' to it than any emotion they have felt before. It can be like a cleansing that helps us to release the deepest emotions that we have not been able to let go of up to that point.

Spiritual healing can offer great calmness and serenity in dying, death and bereavement. It is a natural way of dealing with natural situations so that our loss does not become a focus for our lives for longer than it has to.

I believe we are here to enjoy our short stay here on the Earth plane with the tragedy, loss and disappointment being the dark side that helps us to appreciate the light. We are not here to wallow in destruction, pain, anger and self-pity - what would be the point? When we focus on our serenity and contentment we are much more open to the joyous part of life, the creative side of our lives, and the love and acceptance that we can have for ourselves and others.

For many people, this can translate into setting up trusts and charities in the name of the person they have lost to try and improve the lives of others, and this is a wonderfully creative way of dealing with loss. But it's not for everyone; others need to come to terms with their grief in a quieter, less public way. But healing can help, whichever route we choose to experiencing all that life has to offer once again.

This poem is from the book, ‘The Smoke Jumper’ by Nicholas Evans, and it gives a really creative view of loss.

If I be the first of us to die,
Let grief not blacken long your sky.
Be bold yet modest in your grieving.
There is change but not a leaving.
For just as death is part of life,
The dead live on forever in the living.
For all the gathered riches of our journey,
The moments shared, the mysteries explored,
The steady layer of intimacy stored,
The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,
The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,
The wordless language of look and touch,
The knowing.
Each giving and each taking,
These are not flowers that fade,
Nor trees that fall and crumble,
Nor are they stone
For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand
And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.
What we were, we are.
What we had, we have.
A conjoined past imperishably present.
So when you walk the woods where once we walked together
And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow,
Or pause where we always did upon the hill to gaze across the land,
And spotting something, reach by habit for my hand,
And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you.
Be still.
Close your eyes.
Listen for my footfall in your heart.
I am not gone but merely walk within you.

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Written by Jenny Jones

This article is based on a free lecture Jenny gave at the Vision For Living Health Show in Cardiff on 19 April 2008.

Everything is made up of energy. Everything material - all our possessions, the buildings we live and work in, the vehicles we drive - is simply a mass of vibrating particles and atoms. Our physical bodies can be viewed as bundles of light energy, seen as solid on the Earth plane.

Energy cannot be destroyed but it can be transformed, and energy is infinite. So, if we feel we have little or no energy for most of the time, it's either because we are allowing our energy to drain away before we've used it effectively, or because have a health imbalance - often brought about by allowing our energy to drain away.

The more energy we use, the more becomes available to us, so the phrase 'use it or lose it' means a great deal in this context. We know that, from a physical point of view, if we are feeling tired (but not completely exhausted), doing something physical like a brisk walk, gentle jogging, swimming or cycling, makes us feel energized afterwards. Energy is there for us to use if we choose to.


One of the greatest ways to expand our energy is to relax deeply. Allowing ourselves between 5 and 20 minutes once a day (or preferably twice a day) to really relax has a huge effect on the way we respond to the events in our lives. It is a wonderful investment of time to commit ourselves to focused relaxation on a regular basis.

The relaxation exercise that follows can give you the type of deep relaxation that is so beneficial, and which can lead into meditation if you wish, but relaxation is the main focus here. You need to find yourself a time and place each day where you will not be disturbed by anything and allow yourself this vital re-energizing session. If we do this on a regular basis, those we live with soon accept that it is 'our time' and leave us alone - but only if they can see that we are deeply committed to the practice!


Sit in a comfortable upright chair and push your bottom into the back of the seat and allow the back of the chair to support you.

With your feet flat on the floor to keep you balanced, place your hands loosely in your lap or flat on your thighs.

Close your eyes, if you can, or if not direct your gaze downwards to a point a few inches in front of your knees.

Take a few deep breaths, breathing out any initial tension you can feel. You are going to relax down through the body using the breathing to release any residual tension.

Allow your breathing to return to your normal level.

Focus on your face and allow any tension in the jaw and mouth to be released as you breath out.

Moving down to the neck and throat area, breathe out any tension in the muscles here.

Focus on the shoulders and, as you breathe out, allow them to drop by a couple of millimetres as you relax them.

Feel your spine supported against the back of the chair.

Check that your hands and fingers are also relaxed and that they feel a little heavy in your lap.

Focus now on your hips and feel the chair under your body and the weight of your body on the chair as you breathe out.

On the next out-breath, let your thighs relax and allow your knees to move apart to allow these joints to relax.

Breathe out any tension in the ankles and feet and let your heels and all your toes feel the floor under your feet.

Finally, take a deeper breath and feel any tension leaving your body and flowing down into the Earth.

The only thing that matters at this moment is now - there is nothing that cannot wait for our attention until we have completed our relaxation session.

Know that you are safe in your own space and that you are allowing yourself to focus on relaxing and re-energizing over the next few minutes.

Promise yourself that you will simply observe the thoughts about your life that might come into your mind while you're relaxing - nothing will remove your serenity.

When you feel comfortable that you have relaxed for long enough, keeping your eyes closed or your gaze downwards, gently wiggle your fingers and toes.

Feel your body once again on the chair; feel your feet on the floor.

And when you are ready, open your eyes and just sit for a few moments making sure that you are fully aware of everything around you before you get up from the chair.


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Living in the present

When we focus on relaxation, we are living in the present moment. We are not concerning ourselves with the past or the future.

The present is the best place to be, even when life is unpleasant, because it lasts for a very short moment. We can adjust to cope with anything that only lasts a moment. If we have a block of unpleasant moments, living just in each particular moment allows us to adjust gradually. We are very resilient if we allow ourselves to be so.

Agonizing over the past and the future is one of the greatest drains on our energy. And it is futile because we cannot change the past, and we don't know what's going to happen in the next few minutes let alone the next day, week or year.

Our influence on the future is greatest when we live in the present for most of the time, making the best use of it by learning from every single experience in our lives.

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Our thoughts

Our thoughts provide us with the greatest potential for expanding our energy and the greatest potential for allowing it to drain away uselessly. We have hundreds of thoughts in an hour - we can choose to think creatively or we can choose to think destructively.

There is a two-way communication between our thoughts and every single cell in our bodies. When we think creatively, our cells respond healthily and collaborate with us in living our lives in the best way for us as individuals.

Whatever we think is reflected in our outer lives - as within, so without. So, for example, if you feel a relationship is not as good as it could be and you continue to hold this thought, the relationship will probably continue to be disappointing. Conversely, if you think before an interview that you are the best possible person for the job, you multiply your chances of getting that job.

Experiences are attracted to us because of what is within us - they are a reflection of our inner selves.

But how do we talk to ourselves in our heads during the constant chatter that is our inner thought process. What's the tone of voice we hear? Is it a teacher, parent, carer or boss who criticizes us at every opportunity? Or is it a loving friend who gently encourages us to be the best we can be?

If we are constantly criticizing ourselves, we are allowing our energy to drain away without using it creatively.

If we remember that each of us does the best with the knowledge, wisdom and experience we have at any given moment, the voice in our head can become that of the loving friend. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. After the event, we have moved on in our growth, development and knowledge and we would approach any situation differently now.

But now is a great time to be living - we have a fast pace of life that allows us so many opportunities for growth and development, but it can also be a fearful time for many people.

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This is another huge drain on our energy reserves, and the planet is fear-based right now, consciously and unconsciously.

There are many things that souls tend to fear on a daily basis, for example, failure, success, unhappiness, happiness, loss of a job, financial insecurity, lack of friends, intimacy, life ... and even fear itself. This is just a very small list of the numerous fears that many souls have. When channelling the healing energies I have frequently felt the fears that people have, most of which have actually impacted on their physical health.

The best way to reduce or eliminate fear is to identify exactly what our fears are and this can be difficult for many people because they are often well disguised by our subconscious. We often bury our fears deep inside us so that we don't have to deal with them. Instead we just start to feel uneasy and edgy when they start to surface as a result of a trigger. So this requires great honesty and courage for many souls.

Once we have identified our fears, it is helpful to try and understand the origins of our fears, which are frequently found in our relationships with other souls. Painful past experiences can often be traced back as far as our childhood in many cases, but it can also be related to events or situations in the more recent past, which can make the process of identification easier.

As children and in our adolescent years moving through to our early twenties many relationships, situations and events can cause us great pain emotionally, which can remain with us into our later years.

But once we have identified our fears and understood where they come from, we can take back control of our responses so that our fear levels are gradually reduced or perhaps even eliminated.

It is a fact of life that most of the things we worry about - or fear - on a daily basis will probably never happen. We often use up a huge amount of emotional energy worrying about and fearing future situations and events only to find that they either never happen or are much better than we had anticipated.

If we can learn to accept that every single thing that happens in our lives is simply there for us to learn from, we take the emotional sting out of them and allow our fear to gradually disappear. We have not come here to the Earth plane to suffer; we are here to enjoy the life experience.

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If we wish to be more active physically in reducing our fear levels, we can do this through our breathing.

Many of us tend to breath by expanding and contracting the chest only to allow for the expansion of the lungs. This is a very labour-intensive way of breathing because we have to expand the ribs, which are quite cumbersome to move.

If we can allow the diaphragm to move downwards to give room for the lungs to expand, it requires less energy. And the way to allow this is by expanding the belly area as we breathe in and to contract it as we breathe out. On the out-breath, the contracted belly area encourages the diaphragm to rise again and allow a full out-breath.

Breathing effectively in this way makes the best use of the air we breathe - it allows more oxygen into the blood, the brain and every cell of the body. This gives greater clarity of thought, more physical energy, and greater optimism about everything in life.

Another advantage to this type of breathing is that it is impossible for the belly and solar plexus muscles to remain tense, and this is the area where fear tends to reside. Releasing the physical tension helps to release the emotional tension.

If you practise this type of breathing until it becomes your natural method, you will prevent the tension of fear before it gains a hold.

The three core certainties of life
These are the certainties that many people tend to fear:

Uncertainty: we never know what the future will bring

nature is constantly changing through the tides, the cycles of the sun and the moon to bring day and night, the weather, the seasons - these are natural processes that we do not question. So it is inevitable that we, as souls evolving on the Earth plane, should also change and bring change constantly. Change is what promotes our growth and development.

Death or disincarnation
from the planet.

And the order of priority for these three certainties is different for all of us.

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Change is happening at breakneck speed right now and it can be a huge drain on our energy or it can expand our energy. Many people tend to either resist change instead of going with the flow and conserving energy, or they are rushing around trying to keep up of get ahead of the changes, thus creating tension in their lives which drains their energy.

If we are to expand our energy, we need to accept change as a natural part of our learning process and allow it naturally into our everyday lives, so that we can enjoy the many changes that can be very exciting. We can never stop change but we can adjust our response to it so that it rarely knocks us off balance.

Taking responsibility

When we think about this, it can sound as if it is a heavy load to carry but, if we take responsibility for everything in our lives, it can make us feel lighter because it is part of living a full and rounded life. The only time it becomes a burden is if we take on responsibility that is not ours, for example, that which should be taken on by others.

If we accept that we always have a choice in all that we do, we can choose how we respond to what's happening to help us flow with our lives instead of resisting.

We always have to remember that it is our choices and decisions that have got us to this point.

Taking responsibility means being honest with ourselves by identifying and understanding our fears, identifying what gives us security, satisfaction and joy, and which issues are, in fact, our responsibility. This includes being honest with others without causing hurt, although this may not always be possible.

Taking care of our body is our responsibility by not putting things into it that we know damage it or leave us feeling drained of energy, and working our bodies in the right way for us as individuals. If we honour our body as the vehicle for our soul in this lifetime, we will naturally do everything that is necessary to keep it in good condition.

We need to be true to ourselves by being the sort of person we want to be, not what our friends, family, teachers or others want us to be. This is what enables us to participate fully in our lives rather than holding back all the time because we don't resonate with the way we live our lives.

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Going with the flow

However much life changes, we need to go with that flow and that means making sure we take care of our selves by being kind to our selves, which is not something that many of us do.

Giving our selves time to assimilate the many changes into our lives instead of expecting that we will just bounce through life from one crisis to another conserves our energy. Regardless of how we have lived in the past, we do have time to stop, absorb and adjust to change - the relaxation exercise above is one way of achieving this.

Allowing our selves to experience a passion for life, not by rushing around trying to fit as much as possible into this life - quantity rather than quality - but by slowing down and actually appreciating the infinite beauty around us. Valuing our relationships with family, friends and co-workers, accepting our children as miracles and viewing it as the honour it is to nurture them in this life, appreciating the beauty of nature, art, music and literature. There is beauty all around us if we stop and look for it and when we find it, our energy expands with the awe of what we discover.

We live in a wonderful age where we can have or do almost anything we like - it is the stuff of miracles and yet we take it for granted.

Reminding ourselves to be grateful for everything in our lives is another wonderful way of lifting our energy levels. Briefly running through all that we have to be grateful for just before we go to sleep creates a serenity and joy that can bring us a sound night's sleep surrounded by the light of love for everything in our lives.

We also need to remember to be grateful for everything that has happened to us up to now - the good and the not so good because the lessons we learned have brought us to where we are today - all the choices we have made have provided us with lessons to help us grow and develop.

Learning to say 'no' in a loving way when we know we cannot take on anymore is the kindest thing we can do for our selves and others. Our energy is not used effectively when we either fail to do what we promise or do it poorly for lack of time.

Going with the flow means learning to just 'be' rather than constantly 'doing'. Taking a little time each day to simply relax and 'be' re-energizes and rejuvenates us, if we commit ourselves to doing it with a passion.

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The global picture

Up to now, we have only considered ways of expanding our energy on a personal level but looking at the global picture can also expand our personal energy and that of every other soul on the planet.

Whether we acknowledge it or not, everything and everyone on this planet is connected - every plant, tree, animal and soul. And we are all part of this incredible universe.

Building good relationships with all those with whom we come into contact, and particularly those closest to us, is essential and it would not be overstating the case to say that this is a lifetime's study for every soul.

I know with every fibre of my being that we are all also connected to the Source from which we originated - the Source of infinite love.

Whatever we do to ourselves or another soul, we do to every single sould on the planet. So whilst you may think that what you have read up to now does not apply to you - think again. You just still view yourself as separate!

We need to honour everything on this planet and treat it with respect. The animals and plants give themselves up so that we can be nourished. Any mistreatment of them or waste of food is a dishonour to the sources of our nourishment and only serves to allow our energy to drain away without effective use. Wherever possible, only eating food raised or grown by those who respect the living organism, preparing food with loving care and taking the time to enjoy it fully in a focused way is how we expand our energy.

There is a significant energy drain from most of us because we forget that we are all one.

We engage in behaviours that separate us - elitism, sexism, racism, competition, wars. We are allowing our energy to drain away because we are not using it creatively in looking for the many, many things that connect us. We are inextricably linked and when we accept this and live our lives accordingly we have a healthy exchange of creative energy with all other souls.

Putting aside the spiritual aspects for the moment, logically we are all connected:

We all breathe the same air - for example, some believe that we all have a molecule within us of the air Socrates breathed!

Our physical bodies are the same.

We have to work together to be able to live on the plant - those countries where there is disharmony and war are impoverished so the evidence is there for us all to see.

We all feel the same emotions - happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, contentment, joy - and particularly love.

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The greatest energy expander of all

I believe that our purpose here - and the reason why we keep reincarnation - is to learn unconditional love for everything and every soul on this planet.

Every time we give love to another, our energy is increased.

Every time we feel compassion, our energy levels rise.

Every time we feel the welling up of love for those closest to us, we can feel our energy expand.

And, most importantly, every time we love, accept and forgive ourselves and others for any perceived harm, disrespect or disagreement, our energy expands the most.

All loving exchanges create love energy, which is the most powerful there is.

This is the Spirit of Oneness.

Relaxation and The Breath of Life

Written by Jenny Jones

The Breath of Life

Our breathing is controlled by our autonomic nervous system and, as the name suggests, it is an automatic response - we don't have to think about each breath, our brain and body does this for us. As a result we tend to take for granted the air that gives us life and the response that allows us to breathe.

The first thing a baby usually does when it comes out of the womb is to breathe. And we need to go back to our first few days, months and years in order to learn again how to breathe in a way that is easy for our bodies and which is relaxing.

If you watch a baby sleeping, you can learn again the best way of breathing, which is the natural, unforced method of breathing using the belly area. When we breathe in, our bellies expand and when we breathe out, our bellies contract. This allows the diaphragm to move downwards giving a greater area into which the lungs can expand, and thus a larger amount of air is sucked into the body.

It is fascinating to see people in workshops returning again to this form of breathing - the studied facial expressions while they try to master this forgotten skill are quite comical. Many of us find it very difficult to achieve this because we have spent so much of our time breathing through the upper chest. Expanding the rib cage is much more labour intensive because of the cumbersome nature of the skeleton.

The reasons for our change in breathing to using the chest area are interesting:

Life has become so fast-paced now that we don't take time to slow ourselves down properly at any point.

Whether we are aware of it or not, many of us live in a state of stress, at one level or another, for most of our lives so we breathe in the same way as cavemen would have done when they were hunting - 'fight-or-flight' mode. In other words, we are deciding all the time whether or not to stand our ground and deal with the many and varied situations that arise in our lives or whether to back off and deal with the frustration that it causes.

For women, we have been urged for many years to make sure that we have flat stomachs. And how many times have we heard someone say when they're trying to squeeze through a small space, 'Breathe in'?

Whilst this kind of stress is harmless for very short periods of time, lengthy periods keep adrenaline pumping around our system for too long and can do a great deal of harm. Breathing through the upper chest is a symptom of this situation and also a primer for further stress - it's a vicious cycle.

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How often do we need to relax?
At least once a day and preferably twice a day, and it's helpful if we can arrange one of these sessions for the period just before we go to bed so that we're in the right frame of mind to sleep soundly and effectively.

Trying to get a good night's sleep after working or studying during the evening is very difficult for most people. It doesn't allow time for the brain to go into a state of lower activity so that it can wind down ready for sleep. Equally, many people find that doing strenuous physical exercise not long before bed without effective 'cool down' and relaxation periods prevents them from settling down easily and/or sleeping through the night. Although some people find that exercise before bed actually helps them to sleep!

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Preparation for relaxation

It is important to make sure that you won't be disturbed during your relaxation session because it can be quite a shock to the system if the telephone rings or someone rushes into the room. So, if you live with other people, you need to negotiate with them for some privacy and quiet as far as possible, or perhaps arrange your sessions for when no one else is around. They will soon get used to the idea that this is 'your time' if you show that you are committed to it.

It's best to be in an enclosed space of some kind - a room with a door that you can shut or a garden that is secluded and as quiet as possible. To shut out surrounding noise, you might consider playing quiet, relaxing music and perhaps use headphones.

An oil burner containing aromatherapy oil contributes to a relaxed atmosphere if you're in an enclosed room - lavender or rose are good for relaxation.

A comfortable chair that supports your body all the way down your spine is essential; otherwise, you'll tense up in those areas where you're not supported. Take some time to get yourself comfortable before you start so that you don't have to make any radical movements during the session.

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The relaxation session

Before we can genuinely relax, we have to learn how to breathe in a relaxed way; otherwise we'll just get more and more frustrated at not being able to completely relax.

So start by closing your eyes (or looking downwards to a point a few inches in front of your knees) and focusing on your breathing and take slightly deeper breaths - taking very deep breaths tends to lead to over-breathing which can induce as much tension as breathing through the upper chest. Notice what happens to your body as you breathe - is it just your chest that is moving in and out? Is it a little difficult to breathe?

Shift your focus to your belly and place your hands over this area. Allow your belly to expand as you breathe in - if you're not used to this way of breathing, it can be helpful to actually push your belly out gently. Feel your hands lifting and then softly falling as you breathe in and out. Your chest should only expand at the end of an in-breath and even then it probably won't be a significant expansion.

Once you've mastered this mode of breathing, you'll begin to feel very relaxed and you can then let your breath become more shallow and light so that you are not working hard at breathing at all, and you can allow your hands to relax in your lap.

Now imagine there is a ball of warmth under your feet - feel it warming your feet and feel them start to relax into the warmth of the ball. Allow this ball of warmth to travel up to your ankles and feel them relax also.

Allow the ball to travel up your calves and feel the muscles loosen as the warmth fills them; then allow it to travel up to your knees, through your thighs and hips, and focus on the warmth flooding your muscles with relaxation.

Let the ball work its way up your spine, warming and relaxing each individual disc and making the fluid between the discs warm so that it lubricates your back and makes it feel flexible. Feel the ball spreading its warmth across your shoulders and down through your arms into your hands so that they feel heavy in your lap.

Now feel the ball moving up to your neck, spreading the warmth up into the back of your head and allow it to stay there on the back of your neck so that the warmth and relaxation you feel throughout your body lets you relax the muscles in your face and your throat.

Visualize all the tension from your body flowing down through your feet and into the Earth.

Feel your whole body relaxed and heavy on the chair and, in this relaxed state, focus again on your breathing without trying to change it in any way - simply observe your breath. As you breathe in, think about calmness and serenity; as you breathe out, think about letting any tensions go from your body down through your feet into the ground.

Sit like this for as long as you're able or, preferably, for as long as seems right to you and, when you're ready, with your eyes still closed or your gaze downwards, become aware of your feet on the floor, your body on the chair and picture in your mind the room or garden around you.

Wiggle your toes and fingers gently and then gradually open your eyes and return to the scene around you.

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After the relaxation session

Clearly, when we've been in a state of deep relaxation, it's not a good idea to leap out of the chair and do anything strenuous. We need to gradually ease ourselves back into normal life and, if we've been relaxing before sleep, the next thing to do is to just get into bed and allow ourselves to drift off to sleep.

But if we're relaxing at some time during the day, it is a good idea to view the easing back into normality as a part of the relaxation process so that we gain the most benefit from the session.

Relaxation is a valid part of taking good care of ourselves - it has nothing to do with being lazy (unless, of course, you're doing it for most of the day!).

When we get used to making these sessions a routine part of our day, we will start to experience the real benefits:

a more relaxed way of living so that we actually achieve more in our days than we did before;

a better relationship with our selves and those around us - fewer situations irritate us and we learn to go with the flow of life more easily;

our minds are clearer and sharper;

we appreciate life more - the fun, the laughter, the beauty, the serenity.

Relaxation is not just an option ... it's an essential part of a balanced life. Try it and see for yourself!

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Other websites related to health and wellbeing:

Natural Energy Healing

Written by Jenny Jones

Natural Energy Healing

If you would like to have distant healing sent to someone or for yourself, please click here.

I am a member of the Universal Association of Healers - for more information, and for distant healing requests from all members of the Association, please go to

Healing is probably one of the most natural activities in the world. We all do it to one degree or another: comforting those left after losing a loved one; allowing someone the space to talk to us about a problem; giving a child a hug when they fall over and hurt themselves. Whenever we offer help to another soul in whatever form, this is a form of healing because we have the intent to soothe their spirit - to help them to know that the world is not as scary a place as it might seem at that moment. We are all healers.

But some of us have the need to take this to a slightly higher level where we consciously channel healing energies to other souls. Often, healers channel consciously for the whole of their current life, or they just feel the urge to find out more about it and find that it seems 'right' to practise, or others have had some tragedy or enlightening experience at some point that nudges them into channelling healing for the rest of their lives.

What is Natural Energy Healing?

Natural energy (or spiritual) healers draw through their bodies the healing energy that is all around us and channel it to others. The source of this energy is a matter of the healer's own particular faith (which does not mean religion). Examples of how it is viewed by different healers are: as a universal consciousness; Divine Spirit; universal spiritual field; God; Jesus, the Goddess, and many more origins. Wherever they believe it originates, it is a universal belief that this energy triggers the self-healing function within the person receiving the energies. Natural energy healers do not use their own energy to heal; they allow themselves to be used as a conduit through which the healing energies flow.

These energies work on emotional and physical challenges and it is not up to healers to decide which areas the healing energies will effect, although they may place their hands close to where they feel the imbalance might be located. They only know that the energies will work for the highest good of the person receiving them.

Natural energy healers have a two-year probationary period of training and practise that allows them to learn how to channel the energies effectively and to resolve any emotional issues that prevent them from being an open channel. This can be emotionally quite gruelling because healers have to commit themselves to this process and work hard to achieve a balance in their lives that allows them the peace and serenity to open themselves fully to these energies. (Click here for more information about training)

Choosing to accept the gift of being a healer is not, therefore, a life path to be taken on lightly.

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The healing session

This can take from twenty minutes to an hour to complete. The healer will usually take a brief medical history first, discuss any particular difficulties that the client is having, and explain what will happen while the healing is taking place before starting the healing session itself. Time is set aside for discussion and questions afterwards.

The healer will also advise you to visit your doctor to discuss your health concerns if you have not already done so.

Most healers will indicate that the healing session has started by placing their hands gently on the client's shoulders, and then place them there again to indicate when the session is over. This allows the client to relax totally and the healer will often take them through a relaxation exercise at the beginning, particularly if they feel there is difficulty in releasing some tension.

Many people fall asleep during a healing session and find that they sleep very soundly!

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Potential effects of healing

Everyone has a different response to receiving the healing energies - from a slight to a more radical reaction. But the most common reactions, felt either in various parts of the body or all over, could be:

slight pressure
heat or cold
seeing beautiful coloured lights in the mind
slight movement within the body
mild pain
no reaction at all

All of these responses are perfectly normal and it is unlikely that any of them will be so pronounced that they become alarming.

After the healing session it is advisable to avoid any strenuous exercise or stress because the healing energies will continue to work after the session is over if the client remains relaxed.

For some conditions, the healing can actually take place later because that's the best time for the body to absorb the energies and gain the most benefit.

Some people will feel nothing happening during a healing session but will have some minor effects afterwards, like thirst, lethargy or mild pain.

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Claims about healing

As with all complementary therapies, no genuine healer will claim to be able to cure anyone of any disease or condition.

We are all here to learn particular lessons during this lifetime and illness is a great teacher. This may seem harsh but many have found that their illnesses have shown them wisdom that they would never have accessed in any other way. Equally, those who experience ongoing ill health act as teachers for others.
Healing can still help those who don't experience a resolution to their health challenges. Because healing works on emotional issues as well as physical, the healing will always help everyone to cope more easily with their symptoms.

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Belief in healing

Many people expect that natural energy healers will be members of a church, and often a Spiritualist Church, but this is not always the case.

Religion and faith can be too entirely separate issues: there are many people who practise a religion but in reality do not have a faith in God - they just attend church because it's part of their family tradition or because they want to be seen to be religious. Equally, there are very many people nowadays who are disillusioned with religion and choose not to attend a church, but still have a very deep and abiding faith in a Higher Power. Many healers fall into this category and indeed some are pagans, believing in the Goddess and God and in nature as sources of healing energies.

No genuine healer will wish to convert anyone to their own particular faith or beliefs, within or outside of a church. They simply want to help others by channelling the healing energies to them for their highest good.

There is also no need for the client to have a religious faith for the healing to work. It is, however, sensible to have faith in the abilities of the healer. We don't take our cars to be serviced without a belief that the garage can do the job effectively and efficiently so why should it be any different when we're looking after our bodies?
If we seek healing, it is sensible for the us to open ourselves to the full effects of the healing, in the same way as the healer is opening up to channelling the healing energies. If we don't believe that the healer working with us is not the best healer we could have or we're seeking healing because we've been forced into it by family or friends, the effects will be minimal.

Healing, like other complementary therapies, requires engagement between the healer and the client in an atmosphere of trust to gain the optimum benefit.

Pharmaceutical drugs and surgery are so radical and invasive that our minds don't have to engage for the effects of the treatment to be manifested, often masking symptoms rather than treating the root cause. Regrettably, we have now become so used to handing over our bodies to doctors, nurses and consultants that we've become apathetic about making an effort to contribute to the healing of our bodies. Healing and other complementary therapies require that we are active and take responsibility for the temples that are our bodies - the vehicles for our souls in this lifetime.

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Distant healing

Many healers offer healing at a distance because the healing energies are not subject to time and space as we perceive them. As with contact, or 'hands-off' healing, physical and emotional imbalances can be helped.

Each evening at around 9.30 pm, I sit and ask for healing to be sent to those wish to receive it through me. When I am at health shows and events, I leave free healing rosettes on my stand for people to take who would like to receive healing or who know others who would benefit.
These rosettes are useful in focusing attention on the healing energies, so I suggest, on the back of the rosettes, that anyone who needs to receive healing sits quietly between 9.30 pm and 10.00 pm on any evening and know that the healing energies are coming to them to help them to heal themselves. But you can also receive the healing in the same way by sitting quietly without the rosette.
The issues for which healing is requested vary from those with cancer, heart disease or injuries from accidents to those who are caring for sick loved ones, those who are grieving for someone and people suffering from depression and other mental imbalances. In fact, as with one-to-one healing, the energies can help with any imbalance of health or emotion.

If you would like to have healing sent to someone or receive healing yourself, please use the Contact Us page to let me know and I will send healing to them with my love and blessings.

This is just a brief overview of natural energy healing but if you have any queries or comments on what you have read here, please contact me at I'd be happy to hear from you.

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For more information about healer training courses, contact the National Federation of Spiritual Healing by visiting their website,, or the Universal Assocation of Healers (

Important Note: All the advice and information that appears in this website has been researched and much of it is also the result of my personal experience during healing sessions. But if you have any challenge with your health, you should always speak to your GP first to get his or her advice.

The pictures you will see in this website are all original. They have been taken by my son, David, and I during our travels around Wales, Sussex and other parts of the UK, and also Australia.

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Spirituality in Everyday Life

How far can we take it?

Before we consider this question we have to define what we mean by ‘spirituality’. In an everyday context the definition of the word ‘spirituality’ follows the traditional line that spirituality cannot be experienced unless it is within the context of religion. One could view this as an anachronistic definition of the word in today’s world because there are so many of us who no longer follow a religion but pursue our own individual beliefs, either separately or as part of a non-religious spiritual group – and this is the core of my definition of spirituality.

There are key components to exploring our spiritual selves but what follows is by no means an exhaustive list of components for everyone because, above all, spirituality is a very personal issue. I believe these are the core components in the view of living spiritually that those who think about it and act on it incorporate into their philosophy.

I believe spiritual intelligence, like general intelligence, is something we are born with; the level varies considerably from one soul to another. In other words, we are all at different stages of spiritual development when we’re born and, just like general intelligence, this diversity is part of the joy of life. We can learn to use it as well as we can, whatever our starting level. Learning to listen to our intuition and learning to assess how well we are listening are a couple of the ways in which we can enhance whatever gift we had at birth as part of our development while we are here.

Throughout this exploration of spiritual awareness, I’ve tried to keep things as simple as possible. I believe that philosophers, psychologists and others who try to explain our intelligence often make it all too complex for most of the rest of us to understand. For the purposes of this subject, I’ll refer to spiritual (SQ), general (IQ) and emotional (EQ) intelligence, all of which I believe overlap with common sense. Common sense is viewed by some today as just our general intelligence but I have met and worked with a huge number of people who have been acknowledged as intelligent and who, at times, show very little common sense so I cannot subscribe to that viewpoint on the basis of my own experience!

Emotional intelligence could be described as being able to identify and assess our emotions and be able to control them, where appropriate – without totally suppressing them – for most of the time. In other words, being aware of and acting on our emotions without becoming screwed up.

The first part of the description of being, or seeking to be, spiritually aware is to have faith in something that is not always obvious or clear but which, as part of our interest in spirituality we constantly seek to understand. There is a great deal of faith involved in our spiritual development and this is what many scientists either struggle with or completely dismiss as a result of their scientific training. It is much easier if we come here with a conscious awareness of the innate sense of the mystical being a part of our life here on Earth, as a few very souls do. But even then we have to use common sense to a certain degree.

Throughout the ages, people have exploited the gullibility of others less worldly-wise than themselves – most commonly to make money out of them but also often to manipulate situations to their advantage. So, whilst we may wish to act in a spiritually generous way, we still have to be aware of, and take steps to reduce the impact of, those whose morals are questionable. It requires that we look within, rather than out into the world, in many instances. But we must still seek to understand how the world works so that we won’t be taken in. It’s a thin line we walk when bringing spiritual awareness into our daily living to maintain what security we can for ourselves.

The next suggestion again requires faith. First, we have to really know, that we are all one with each other and everything else in the Universe through our faith and, only when we really understand this can we move on to the next step which is to learn to have faith in and love ourselves as an integral part of that Universe.

We’re saying that the Universe (or perhaps more accurately, energy) is forever sustained in one form or another, and science tends to back this up, and that we are part of that so we must be sustained in one form or another. These are huge leaps which are not easy even when science supports a part of it.

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But if we use our common sense, we know that, from a material point of view, Nature never wastes anything so, as we are part of that, logically we cannot be wasted. We know that our bodies go back to Mother Earth when they can no longer support us and that our souls cross over to Spirit after our material existence here. There is daily mounting evidence through contact with Spirit, using scientific methods to eliminate fraud, of each life being a part of a ‘journey’.

I have a friend who tells me that she would love to believe all of this but she just cannot bring herself to do it – I think she is describing a large number of people in the world, although I do believe that number may be decreasing. But I wonder if the difficulty in accepting this may have something to do with the fact that the manic life many of us now lead makes loving ourselves a challenge – we’re competitive, driven in many areas of life, and judgement or criticism are used as a matter of course. And this brings us on to the next of my suggestions.

Treating all of those around us as equal but different in their talents and beliefs and showing respect for this diversity, using honesty and integrity in all that we do. We would hope this is a worldly or material view as much as it is spiritual. Isn’t this the way that all of us would wish to be treated? So, integrating it with spirituality need not be such a difficult process if we use our emotional intelligence here – understanding that for everyone’s emotional security, treating others as we would wish to be treated is common sense for a harmonious world. In reality, of course, that doesn’t happen because many people can treat others appallingly in all walks of life and all arenas.

The next suggestion falls into the same category: to experience compassion towards ourselves and towards others, and practise this loving kindness always as far as possible so that we allow others to learn and experience life in their own way, provided it does no harm.

But the seductive effect of having power over others creates the opposite situation in many cases. Historically, religious fervour, greed for territory and wealth, and political imperative have caused great harm to millions over the centuries. Even in a religious sense, and perhaps particularly where religion is concerned, spiritual consciousness can be completely absent in the frenzy to change others to a particular way of thinking. Seeking spiritual consciousness for ourselves opens us up to understanding how important it is for others to be able to make their own decisions and decide their own path, and that we do not have the right to inflict our views or behaviour on others if they’re not willing.

Part of our ability to understand these ideas and access further ideas ourselves so that we can develop in our own way is the next suggestion: to regularly engage in some form of silence, whether this is complete relaxation or meditation to look within. This is also strongly linked to the next suggestion, which is to practise as much as possible living in the present – trying to give our full attention to everything we do.

When we practise being in silence for periods of time, we learn to be in the present moment and this spills over into our daily lives. In some Eastern mystical traditions, it’s said that we can live our whole life as a form of meditation if we really engage fully in our structured times of silence. I can attest to this because I know that there are days when I’m fully engaging with life but I know that I’m still in a low-level meditative state – those are the days that are blissful and fulfilling! Life flows freely through me!

An area where we can very fully bring spiritual consciousness into every part of our lives is in the next suggestion: to listen to others, not necessarily to offer any advice but just to let them know that we are listening and acknowledging them as part of the oneness.

When we do this, we are acknowledging that we are all perfect souls struggling with issues in life; it’s not just a case of common courtesy – we are empathising with other souls. That’s what we mean by truly listening. Obviously we can’t do that all the time when life is so fast but if we can consciously try to do it for most of the time, we lighten the load of those around us because they know, for sure, that they’re not alone.

Human beings are social creatures and yet we have a larger percentage of the population now living alone than ever before by a significant margin. Market research carried out by Euromonitor International in 2012 showed that the number of people globally living alone rose from about 153 million in 1996 to 277 million in 2011, an increase of around 80% in 15 years. In the UK, 34% of households have one person living in them and in the US it's 27%.

Many people feel alienated by the societies of which they could be a part. We hear a great deal today about bullying in schools, workplaces, families and on-line and it certainly appears to be increasing. At this point in our evolution, the human species has made the greatest strides in communications ever known, and yet our communication skills are becoming ever more inept.

Simply talking to people, whoever and wherever they are, whenever we get the chance rather than being as insular as we have become is perhaps something we could cultivate. Asking benign, open questions initially can draw people out and then if they seem comfortable, we can discuss something a little deeper, and above all training ourselves to listen to the answers so that we can respond meaningfully could benefit our communication skills.

Perhaps, as a nation, this would help us to integrate with our fellow souls, and particularly could help integration between ourselves and those who have migrated to Britain. It would also be much harder for terrorists to operate if everyone was taking an interest in those around them. These misguided souls are exploiting our lack of interest in each other and our surroundings.

Having worked our way through my suggestions, I think the last one just falls into place: from a human point of view, as well as a spiritual point of view, to practise all of the above in a way that we really enjoy by using our spiritual intelligence to discover the most satisfying way of practising them. If we start to live in the ways I’ve suggested so far, I believe we automatically find the best ways of practising our spiritual awareness and our lives can become happier and more satisfying as a result – it’s a cause and effect relationship, which impacts on our material life as much as it does our spiritual.

So, how do we integrate this spiritually conscious approach into daily living? In honesty, it’s not easy when there are so many other elements of life clamouring for our attention in our western culture. Clearly, I’m not offering a panacea for all our social ills here; I’m making suggestions to encourage everyone to give it deeper thought and see where they could perhaps change the way they think and act to facilitate a more spiritual way of living. I’m going to explore just a very few areas of life and I hope that it will be relatively easy to extrapolate from these for other situations in the future.

Spirituality in Education

Can the education system, in the UK at least, be adapted to encourage a more spiritual approach rather than simply seeking good exam results regardless of the standards on which these are based?

Currently, there is a dichotomy between those parents/carers who see their role as one of nurturers and educators in co-operation with their children’s schools and those who see these roles as part of the school’s responsibility alone. The latter group’s knowledge or involvement in their children’s education is probably quite sporadic. The range of parents’ attitudes towards their children’s futures is massive so schools face a difficult challenge of mixed abilities, attitudes and financial backing.

In the Spring 2013 issue of Network Review, the journal of the Scientific & Medical Network, Anthony Seldon, Master of Wellington College in Berkshire, wrote an interesting article in which he states that ‘exam success is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for being an educated human being’. He believes that good character lies at the heart of all they do; that they seek to open their students’ hearts and minds.

In his conclusion, he suggests that prioritising character means that students will: respect the teacher and each other; will want to learn, rather than being made to learn; will want to behave rather than being made to behave, and that they will probe beneath the surface learning to the depths of subjects because they will be more reflective people.

I found this heartening because he also believes it can work in state schools as well as public schools and, indeed, it already is in a very few areas. Education Minister, Michael Gove’s recent speech on how he wishes to radicalise and improve state education was redolent of this ethos (although we would not all necessarily agree with everything he plans). This approach is not surprising as Anthony Seldon is one of Michael Gove’s advisers. This comes close to a spiritual way of viewing the nurturing and education of our children, to make them into caring and compassionate citizens when they go out into the world. By taking this approach, we allow them to access their spiritual consciousness as an integral part of their lives.

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Changing our rituals

As we grow older we accumulate more attachments in our lives – more souls who influence our behaviour, more possessions, more responsibilities and more activities. In the absence of the religious rituals that have been traditional, we practise other rituals, although we don’t see them this way, and some are benign like reading the newspapers every Sunday morning in bed or washing the car every week on our day off.

There are, however, many not-so-benign rituals like shopping every weekend to buy things we hardly use and don’t really need whilst running up large debts; getting drunk on a Saturday evening and perhaps being disruptive to others; lighting up a cigarette when we’re bored, stressed, or simply when our addiction makes it impossible to resist; eating throughout the day without thinking about what we’re eating to keep our bodies healthy; ensuring that we are not cowed by others by bullying them as a matter of course, giving us the comfort of control in an otherwise scary world, and so forth – they become habits or rituals.

I even know many ‘spiritual’ people who indulge in some of these rituals, considering their spiritual life to be separate from their material life, and they cannot even think about how the spiritual might enhance the material because it would mean giving up the booze, cigarettes and whatever else they perceive gets them through the day.

These activities are engaged in largely without meaningful thought; they just happen – in the midst of everything else that is going on around us. The general population is seeking pleasure and some form of happiness – and why not? We are here to enjoy life but many of these rituals or habits are intrinsically harmful to us in one way or another. And many of us have little or no insight into the reasons for indulging in them like perhaps boredom, frustration, fear, unhappiness or information and activity overload. It is only human to look for displacement activities when life doesn’t seem to be flowing through us fluently.

There’s much talk of seeking happiness nowadays but, from a material point of view, the main sources seem to be food and sex – you can only eat so much food before it makes you ill and sex lasts for a relatively short time when measured against the rest of our daily activities. So the two main sources of happiness are necessarily fleeting – as are things such as sports, films, books, travel and many other activities that can give us brief happiness.

Fitting in everything for our personal happiness recipe

So we have to find out what combination of these many options can make up our personal recipe for happiness and everybody’s recipe is different. And in the midst of all of this we have to earn a living so that we can afford to pursue these sources of happiness because most of them cost money, and many of us just don’t have the money to spend on the things that we perceive would make us happy. Equally, working takes up much of the time we would spend on those things so we are constantly juggling our time.

I believe this is why life has become so fast and furious; we’re trying to fit in as many of those things that will bring us the elusive happiness we seek and there are just not enough hours in the day. We have become ‘human doings’ instead of ‘human beings’ to accommodate these ‘satisfying’ activities; and most people perceive there is certainly no time for pursuing spiritual development.

And technology has not perhaps helped in this because it seems to have created more work rather than less as we were told it would – it’s just different types of work. In some ways, it seems as if it’s introduced a greater degree of boredom into the workplace than even traditional factory or labouring work. In many companies there is little or no face-to-face communication, just contact through electronic interfaces.

Outside work many activities are similar like, for example, on-line gambling, on-line shopping, social networking and computer games. So spiritual seeking in these arenas is not really viable except for those who specifically visit spiritual websites perhaps – and many of those are dubious.

Suggesting these activities lack a spiritually conscious element might label me as old-fashioned and out of touch – and I could guarantee that the majority of those who would have this view would be younger people because the current challenges in meaningful communication and mindful use of technology are born out of activities that younger people have grown up with. Many of them have rarely experienced what it can be like to talk to – and crucially really be listened to by – those with whom they come into contact; this is obvious from the films that are so popular nowadays that have constant action and violence but little dialogue or plot. Many younger people are too busy playing with their electronic toys to really engage with those who are actually sitting opposite them at the time.

No one can blame them for not understanding how conversation and communication are skills to be cherished. Discussions about spirituality and what it means in everyday life are not on the list of interests of most of them, although I would stress,however, this is by no means all youngsters, giving us some meaningful hope for the future.

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How do we bring about change?

But perhaps all these challenges, and the many other simple and knotty challenges I have not mentioned so far, could be tackled and even resolved quite quickly by bringing spiritual values into the equation if we had the will, because we have to allow ourselves to bring spirituality into our lives; we cannot force it to happen. And they don’t even have to be called ‘spiritual’ because they are simply common sense in most cases. I’ve already mentioned talking to people but there are other strategies that can also help, like:

a) always making the effort to speak to everyone face-to-face, if possible, rather than emailing or using the telephone, particularly those closest to us. Skype is wonderful if you have relatives in other countries or at the opposite end of the UK but within and outside the workplace, spending a little less time on electronic interfaces would offer more human contact.
b) within family units, having meals together in the same room, with no other distractions, so that conversation can flow, making each meal a point of contact for as many of the family as possible, and perhaps even consciously appreciating the sustenance that Mother Earth gives us.
c) when we want to speak harshly to someone, stopping and thinking about how we would feel if someone spoke to us in that way, and perhaps moderating our tone and the words we use.
d) Never trying to belittle or exclude someone from a group because they are different or because we disagree with their viewpoint. Instead we could think about what we can learn from them, and again, how we would feel if we were in their shoes. As part of this, we could try really listening to others’ concerns and understanding what they are feeling using our emotional intelligence rather than projecting our own, perhaps cynical, attitudes on to them.

If these were the only things our children were encouraged to do by parents, carers and teachers, this might make a significant difference in a relatively short space of time – and it is a ‘spiritual’ approach. If we could go this far, perhaps we could go much, much further. It would still be a huge challenge but nothing worth having was ever achieved without struggle.

Seeking out beauty

One of the easiest ways of bringing a spiritual dimension into our lives is placing ourselves in the presence of beauty as often as possible, whether that’s listening to any type of music that moves us, a piece of artwork that inspires us, poetry that resonates with us, or just being in the countryside and enjoying Mother Nature.

We destroy so much that is beautiful when we wage war, or when we ignore history by ruining books and artefacts that we consider we don’t have room for, or when we want to modernise buildings and other spaces that hold an energy of history and loving deeds. One of the primary sources of our spiritual development is the appreciation of beauty and there are so many ways we can bring this into our lives.

So these are just some of the many ways we personally can raise our spiritual awareness, and influence our local community and perhaps even our whole country. But what about the way we interact with the world on a wider basis?

Our involvement with the rest of the world

We are now very firmly living in a world that is connected by technology in terms of the instant information we receive through the news media originating from almost every part of the globe. When there are whispers of a coup in a country on the other side of the world, reporters and commentators are on the spot within a very short time sending back news packages about the situation.

In the West, we are always looking for opportunities to exploit untouched regions of the world in some way; we seem to have an evangelical need to spread capitalism, just as we were about sending missionaries to spread the Christian religion centuries ago. It seems we have never learned to put our own house in order before involving ourselves in other people’s business. And there is an arrogance in the way we often view ourselves as being ‘experts’ in everything.

My perception of the reason for this is that the West comprises probably the least spiritual nations in the world.

Ladakh is a prime example of arrogance and greed outweighing common sense. Situated in India in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, on the Tibetan Plateau, it is affectionately known as ‘Little Tibet’ or ‘Mini Tibet’.

Helena Norberg-Hodge first went to Ladakh in 1975 as part of a film crew. The Indian government had recently made a decision to open up the region to development. The Chinese government started to promote tourism in the area opening it up to western capitalism. The traditional culture was still very much intact at that time: they grew what they needed to sustain their community; they only had as many children as they could comfortably support as a community, and they lived happily and harmoniously with very little contact with the outside world. Before the 1970s, Ladakh had experienced little change.

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Norberg-Hodge has spent a great deal of time in Ladakh living with the Ladakhi people and documenting the changes that have taken place. The people here have now been subjected to the external forces of capitalism in many different guises. The ‘invaders’ have been trying to modernise the area and exploit its resources which has caused massive and rapid disruption. There have been changes at every level – environmental, cultural, economic, social and psychological. Norberg-Hodge notes that, "When I first arrived in Leh, the capital of 5,000 inhabitants, cows were the most likely cause of congestion and the air was crystal clear. Within five minutes' walk in any direction from the town centre were barley fields, dotted with large farmhouses. For the next twenty years I watched Leh turn into an urban sprawl. The streets became choked with traffic, and the air tasted of diesel fumes. 'Housing colonies' of soulless, cement boxes spread into the dusty desert. The once pristine streams became polluted, the water undrinkable. For the first time, there were homeless people. The increased economic pressures led to unemployment and competition. Within a few years, friction between different communities appeared. All of these things had not existed for the previous 500 years’.

Whether you view this from a spiritual or a material standpoint, it is horrendous – that the life of any region could be changed so dramatically, negatively and quickly by outsiders with such a materialistic philosophy seems to me to be morally reprehensible. It is a completely selfish act by those ‘invading’ this little region and shows no spiritual or emotional intelligence.

Wars are raging in many areas of the world. If we choose, we can be fully aware of all of these places where nations are at war with each other or waging civil wars and, crucially, we can be very aware of the plight of the innocent individuals caught up in these wars, suffering deprivations, displacement and violence. Like the Ladakhis, most souls in the world just want to lead their lives peacefully and quietly without being oppressed or forced to live in a war zone.

With the approval and encouragement of various organisations representing groups of countries, nations may send in troops to help in some way, as in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have been fighting government troops in Iraq and insurgents in Afghanistan, and then trying to bring back some kind of normality for the populations there.

From a humanitarian point of view, it ticks all the boxes to swoop in as heroes and put the country to rights. At that point, governments conveniently put to one side the strategic and economic reasons why they would make this huge effort. I make no apology for being provocative here because I really want you to think about this from a spiritual point of view – I am not suggesting the above course of action is right or wrong. I am simply offering it to you for consideration and raising questions about our approach.

These countries have very long histories of violence and living with tyrannical rulers; the indigenous peoples probably have no true idea of what democracy is. I would suggest that our own knowledge of this in the West is limited, but yet we feel we should effectively invade these countries and bring to them a system of capitalism that we have admitted is not working that well for us – but we can see no other alternative to capitalism at this point. The economies of many western nations are not that strong.

Of course, the difficulty is that people in these economically poorer countries may not have food, clean water and the sort of freedoms we are used to but they do seem to have relatively easy access to the internet and they can see an, albeit, edited and skewed version of our democracy – material wealth, freedom of movement and freedom of expression – and it is very seductive. It seems unfair to them if we refuse to help them get the same freedoms and wealth. Many of them have strong religious or spiritual beliefs but these may not be as seductive as the material pleasures of the world they see through computer and TV screens.

So, this is what we see when we involve ourselves in countries that are at war and deprived (because generally the two go together – governments and oppositions fight while the citizens of their countries experience the fall-out). What would be the spiritual way of looking at these situations? We need to ask ourselves some challenging questions to assess what would be a more spiritual approach.

By entering these countries and attempting to facilitate such radical changes to their cultures, governments and economies, are we denying them the opportunity of learning through change within their own country by their own people, whatever that may bring? In other words, are we interfering in their natural spiritual evolution? Gradual change can be far less disruptive than sudden, violent change, and the results often have much more chance of being sustained.

Are we being genuine in our wish to help these countries or do we have an eye on the natural resources in their regions that could become available to us more cheaply by taking them over, or at least having a greater influence on their distribution? I doubt any government or group of nations has this factor as a low priority. From a spiritual point of view we are being disingenuous when we speak more or less exclusively about our altruistic motives?

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Spiritually, we would certainly feel it would be better not to wage war under any circumstances, so that we avoid becoming part of the taking of the lives of so many innocent people. Perhaps it would be better simply to put our energies into guarding our own borders. From a material standpoint, people would view this as an isolationist approach but the issues we face are these: for cultures in other countries, no matter how violent, oppressive and unjust they may seem, that have been living with this ethos for so many centuries, is change likely to be achieved as quickly as we think it will, or at all in the long term, by our intervention?

How much chance is there, after all the loss of life on all sides and the destruction of so much that has been built up over the centuries, that any form of democracy will take hold? Is democracy what they truly desire, if they only see a limited view of what it can offer?

This is particularly pertinent when we discover that in very many cases, the aid sent by other nations to these countries fails to reach those who need it but only serves to strengthen those who are violating and abusing them. We are also aware that our own and other governments have often supplied other nations with the arms that they use against their own citizens and also subsequently against our own troops – another example of supposedly intelligent people, in government in this instance, who show no common sense.

We think we’re astute in our strategies but time and again we’re caught on the back foot and more innocent people and soldiers are annihilated while strategists and politicians sit smugly in their offices directing operations. The evidence is that war is much more complicated than even politicians and the military can comprehend and handle, which is why atrocities can happen.

Do we keep returning to try to force changes on people who traditionally and culturally are used to their own way of life, however tragic that may seem to us? Is it a spiritual act to keep trying to change them to our way of thinking?

How can we be sure we are right and they are wrong? Do we have the humility to address that issue honestly?

These are the dilemmas and this is one of the many areas where integrating spiritual consciousness into our material lives can be extremely challenging.

Spiritual consciousness begins at home

Perhaps before we rush off to bring peace, justice and equal opportunities to other countries, we should examine the attitudes we have in our own countries in the West.

I would suggest there is limited spiritual consciousness in some of these examples:

• increasing the population in the UK (and most other countries) at such a rapid and exponentially high level when we know that Mother Earth’s resources are already largely depleted;
• allowing fraud, inequality and poor working practices in our public services and the political arena, and exploitation in private companies in the pursuit of profits for shareholders and bonuses for managers – all of this at the expense of individuals who are expected to trust in their integrity;
• pursuing the idea of establishing whether life could be sustained on other planets when we already have the unresolved challenge of sustaining life on this planet. Is this a valid use of scarce resources when people are starving and dying on this planet – perhaps it’s a way of trying to escape the hard truths of living on Mother Earth.
• using any form of power/fuel that will eventually irretrievably deplete Mother Earth’s resources or will leave a legacy of massive quantities of toxic and harmful waste, with no true idea of how long it will remain that way.

These are the stuff of everyday material life within which spirituality sits whether we acknowledge it or not. Our spiritual evolution is not separate from these issues but an integral part of the way we live and, in so doing, develop spiritually – or not.

We have seen at the start my suggestions as to what the core elements of spirituality comprise and most people who have given it any thought would agree with the descriptions I have given with, I’m sure, some amendments and additions for personal choice. If we consider the content of daily life in the light of spiritual values we start to think about everything in an entirely different way.

Some issues are, of course, just too big for us to deal with individually and those I personally pass to the Source to surround them with love, knowing my limitations here on the Earth plane. But I believe we can still influence all of them, however big they are, by our thoughts and actions on a daily basis, living in a way that raises our spiritual consciousness.

From Andrew Marr’s series, Britain from Above, it became obvious early on that we’ve made life so complex now that we’re constantly on the brink of chaos. We are trying to control everything and it’s just not possible, as we’re seeing in the current extreme weather patterns which are in part our responsibility. We have had a role in creating these as a result of our behaviour as a species.

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Our spiritual home

I don’t believe it was originally any big deal for individuals to come to the Earth plane but I believe it has become the case now. I have no proof but I think it’s more than likely that when a lot of souls return to Spirit now it takes intense work to retrieve every part of their true souls.

While we’re here on the Earth plane with the greed and manipulation, aggression and violence, cynicism and excess, and crucially the lack of insight into the reasons for our behaviour, many of us thoroughly suppress our true souls. I accept that we all have a light and a dark side and these are certainly both there to be explored, but, again, it seems we are taking this, like everything else, to extremes.

For the most part, governments, large institutions, corporations, religious movements and nations are not focused on raising spiritual consciousness, which is probably why the world is such a difficult place in which to live and why we are always on the brink of chaos. This is a sobering thought when we think about the future but there is one vital factor that gives us all hope. All of these entities are made up of individuals and that’s where we have to focus to have any chance of truly living in conscious spiritual awareness.

I think it is essential for the rest of each individual’s journey to bring spirituality much more fully into our lives at a very personal level. This is where any changes in the world have even the remotest chance of taking place, through what we do at a personal level. In many situations we can disregard those who don’t wish to participate in this and reduce their impact on us as far as possible. As part of raising our spiritual consciousness, we hold them in our hearts with love and hope that our example helps them in some way. But the population is just too big now for any individuals to reverse the current trends on a global scale and we have long since passed the point of meaningful co-operation between nations. It can only be achieved at a personal level.

A potential solution

Let’s return to the original question: how far can we go in incorporating spirituality into everyday life? The answer revolves around our ability to allow ourselves to take it as far as we can. For some it is a frightening prospect to open themselves up to something so awesome and all-encompassing. To others it is so simple to be spiritual, aware and receptive when they go off somewhere for a retreat or they’re talking with others of like-mind. But bringing it into the fabric of our lives is another matter altogether.

I believe there is a way that anyone, regardless of their level of development, can achieve further development because it can be taken at the pace that is comfortable for all levels. It relates to, what I see as, the only goal we have in living each life here on the Earth plane. If we work towards this goal and this goal alone, it is likely that everything else in our lives will more or less fall into place. It sounds simple and that’s because Spirit is simple – but the challenge abides in the fact that it’s not easy. It requires effort but, as I said before, nothing that is really worthy of being in our lives, that offers us meaning and removes the boredom and frustration from life, will ever be achieved easily. We seek happiness and contentment all the time but it is always fleeting; my contention is that focusing on this goal can give us lasting happiness and a sense of fulfilment that cannot be offered by any other activity or approach to life.

It is a practice that is based in Eastern mystical philosophies and, again, it is a simple practice but one that bears fruit more readily when we engage in it on a regular basis. It is also an exercise that can test whether or not we are truly making progress in our spiritual development, which is why it can be daunting. But equally, when we practise it regularly and see the changes it can make in our lives, it can be more uplifting than anything else. It is part of finding a regular time for silence, preferably once a day, and it goes like this.

This is something to practise when you have put yourself in a state of complete relaxation whilst still remaining alert.
• You bring to mind someone currently in your life whom you love deeply (alternatively, it could be someone you loved in the past) as long as both bring a ‘warm connection’ rather than evoking tears of sadness. Really feel the love for that person at a deep level; think of how, whatever they did or said, you would not stop loving them. Feel them as part of you and feel yourself as part of them, not in a slushy, sentimental way but as a part of the oneness of the Universe. This is the unconditional love you feel for those you love deeply. I would suggest that if you don’t feel this, you need to do this part of the exercise as many times as it takes you to feel that deep, unconditional love. When you truly feel it, sit with the feeling for as long as you feel comfortable.

• The second step is to think about someone who is neutral in your life, whose presence makes no real impact. This could be a work colleague, someone who is on a committee with you, your postman or anyone who is not an essential part of your life. Now project on to that person the same love that you have for the first person you thought about. This can be challenging and it may be as far as you get with this exercise for a long time. You may have to repeat these two steps many times before you feel you can go further.

• Once you are comfortable with the first two steps, you can start to radiate the same love you felt for the first two people out to the rest of your close circle of family and friends, then all the souls in the road where you live, in the village/town, in the county, in the country, in the world and then to Mother Earth and all her flora and fauna. This is the one that will take the longest to master and most of us will never master it, or perhaps we’ll feel it fleetingly now and again – but it does not mean we should not try, and keep on trying!

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My perception is that unconditional love is the only thing that matters while we are here in each lifetime. Logically, therefore, I would suggest that it must be the only thing that indicates whether or not we are truly spiritually conscious. I have given this a great deal of thought and I find it difficult to see any other benchmark by which we can assess our progress in living a truly spiritually conscious life. This is what brings us to the feeling of true oneness with all souls.
In practising this exercise regularly and often, whether we succeed or not in feeling genuine unconditional love, we can increase our spiritual awareness and we will automatically start to treat ourselves and others more lovingly.

This is the trickiest part because, whilst we can do the rest of the activities of living here on the earth plane without knowing whether or not we are engaging fully in spirituality, unconditional love is entirely different. You cannot practise unconditional love without really feeling it; it has to come from deep inside us and it has to be understood at a profound level. Just like everyone else, I struggle with this but it’s actually a struggle I enjoy most of the time because I am using my spiritual, emotional and general intelligence to engage in it – and there are very few other activities we can pursue on the Earth plane that offer this.

The whole purpose of living lives here on Earth could be said to be that, from the moment we arrive here, we are set on a course of awakening to our true spiritual selves through the experiences we have while we’re here. The description of the material plane as mãyã, or illusion, ‘that which is not’, is that the Earth plane is not our real home but simply somewhere we come to experience and take back what we learn to the Source.

All of this is not easy while we live on Mother Earth because much of the Western population feel separated from their fellow souls and, crucially, from any kind of spirituality. Those who actively seek to raise their spiritual awareness are viewed as strange or weird and those around them can become quite uncomfortable in their presence. It does take courage to sustain an honest exploration of our inner selves and our connection to the oneness.

In this case, we may have answered the question: how far can we take spirituality in our everyday lives? We can take it as far as we wish because, as with everything else, we have free will. All we have to do is allow ourselves to bring spirituality into everything we do – not easy, but so simple!

This is the text of a talk given at a meeting of the Scientific and Medical Network, in Lampeter, mid-Wales, in February 2014.

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