Meditation, we all know its beneficial and we all know how amazing it can be for bringing harmony and a centredness back into our lives, but do we do it? Nope, or not enough anyway. I certainly don’ do enough of it.
A few weeks ago a saw a blog someone had written about meditating on forgiveness and I fully intended to give this a go. Did it happen? No. Well yes and no.
I made an alteration, and here’s how and why I found meditation plus visualization works more effectively for me.
Since returning from travel, Marcus and I have been starting a business, looking for work, paying off debts, living with parents and so yes we’ve had some stressful and worrying times and this has affected our moods and outlook.
But last week something changed. I couldn’t be bothered, I was tired of this game of negativity circling around us so when a bad mood came, I refused to give in. Of course the worries were still there and, being me,I awoke at 5am, thinking.
As I laid there in bed, I decided I would attempt this meditation.
I closed my eyes and remembered the idea of meditating on forgiveness and I tried, but it didn’t click. So I thought more deeply. Suddenly a saying sprung to mind, something about holding on to hot coals only burns you…
So I combined the two.
I visualized a hot coal in my hand and this coal was something needing forgiveness I quietly whispered why blame was useless, I whispered forgiveness and I let the coal go, it felt great.
I then repeated the process for each little thing, forgiving each mistake I had made, each thing Marcus had done which annoyed or hurt me, and I forgave the universe for all the unlucky things that happen.
I spent a little time then being grateful and allowing the positive things to flow back into my mind. To remember all the things negative thinking had displaced.
Afterwards I lay there, half asleep, I had a dream/vision of goddesses, welcoming me back. I visualized the norse goddess, Freya, Luna of the mooon, Gaia the earth goddess, and others I do not even know, supporting me and becoming me, it was a most enlightening experience.
Now I’m not saying these goddesses actually graced me with their presence, but maybe each is a mere reflection of a part of myself I had lost. I imagine Freya to be my strength, she brings to my mind a feminine power and hardiness. I imagine Luna to be my calmness and togetherness, and the other divinities t represent other aspects, my belief and faith in the future and in love, my connection with the earth and grounding, my wisdom and my energy.
I felt renewed and for the first time in so long I can barely remember, I felt myself. My actual self, not the version of myself I had recently been, not the weak, self pitying part of me, lacking in confidence and power.
I’m not sure if I had just reached a point where I was ready to find inner strength, whether the meditation was so fantastic or whether the full moon fuelled my enlightenment and I really don’t care what it was, it worked and when Marcus awoke and I explained my experience, he also seemed lightened. Like the weight of my negativity was also lifted from his shoulders.
It has been such a blessing and I feel so much more confident and happy, Marcus seems to have picked up on some of this as well and we are having a much more positive time, even though nothing has changed. The things which worried and stressed us are still there but they are not coming between us and our happiness. My being lighter and freer, seems to have really benefited Marcus almost as much as me. Its win win!
As you know if you have followed my blogs, I spent the majority of the last year travelling. I visited physical places such as America, the Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and India but I also visited places one cannot see or even aptly describe.
I visited places within myself, I discovered not only knowledge and traditions but also experiences and levels of my self I wasn’t sure existed. I became aware of my self, not just in the physical sense but I also leaned who I am on a more personal level and even where I am at spiritually.
I was pushed to my limits in so many ways, I accepted so many new challenges and jumped so far out of the comfort zone, I’m not even sure I have one any more. There were times I felt completely lost, physically and mentally and times I when I doubted everything I thought I ever knew about my body, mind and the world I live in.
But, through all these trials and tribulations I have discovered not only new methods, but new motivations, new mentalities and new meanings, leading to a revamp of almost everything I once practised.
Yes some of my trainings are very similar on the outside, but my mentality has changed, my mind is in a different place before, whilst and after I train now. I spend time and efforts working not only on my physical workouts but also on mental workouts. I practise exercises for the mind, some for meditation and calming effect, for stress relief and centeredness. I practise exercises to activate parts of the brain we rarely use, discovering new abilities and connections between mind and body.
I also practise cleansing techniques, for mind and body. Taking the time out of every day to look after every aspect of my well-being. I use a combination of Yogic practise, Taoist techniques and western ideas and methods at the moment, but who’s to say what’s next.
Now this doesn’t mean I have gone completely soft, I still train hard and with regularity, I still use supplements and eat well. It just means I now have extra practises which enhance what I used to do, practises which make me feel more alive, more energized and healthier than ever before and yes, I am going to share my experiences and discoveries with you.
Not today though, today is a short introduction to what forthcoming blogs will entail. If you like the sound of what I have described and want to hear of the actual discoveries and practises, follow my blog over the following weeks to see my journey, to hear of my experiences and hopefully to ignite some curiosity for yourselves, to inspire you to do some more research and start your journey to a new you.
Please note I will only be describing the actual practises I use myself, that doesn’t meant there isn’t much more to the systems I take my inspirations from.
For instance I practise some shatkarma (yogic cleansing techniques) but not others. I will describe my use of the neti pot and nauli, but I don’t go as far as practising vasti (colon cleanse) so I won’t comment on the use of this.
My blogs are my personal experiences, not all encompassing teaching of the full traditions and systems. A taster of some techniques, if you will. They are to inspire you to take a further step on your own path, a starting point from which you can take any direction you desire…Its a big old world out there, so many variable and interesting ways to look at things and do things, don’t just limit yourselves to the philosophies and traditions of your own country ,get out there and explore! Whether you go physically or just via information researched from your own home, it doesn’t matter, the path you take is your own.
Follow up to last weeks introduction to Taoism.
Lets talk about the holistic jade egg practise. This and the Iron crotch for men is probably the most wondered about and even joked about part of the Taoist practise, whether out of curious unknowing, ignorance or just plain closed mindedness.
I cant say much for the iron crotch practise, the men’s version of course, I just don’t have the parts or that much information yet from the men I know who do use this practise, maybe I will gather some info and write something for you fellas at a later date but for now I shall stick with what I know.
So lets start at the beginnings. Initially I signed up for the course in a state of desperation, I needed to find myself and my path. During the 3 month then leading up to the course I actually did a pretty good job of getting myself back in…
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It seems, without realizing what I was doing, I have often been connected with Taoist practises. I have come across and used microcosmic orbit, I’ve practised self massage although more specifically for lymphatic system, or even on the whole body but not knowing where to focus my attention or why I was feeling better for It I have practised body brushing, mostly for my skin but also for the way it makes me feel. I have relied on inner smiling again without being specific to areas, to et me through some tough situations.
I have in many ways been channelling my chi without realizing that’s what I was doing.
So I would say this is the reason I was drawn to the course which gave me my first knowing meeting with Taoism. Somewhere inside me I was searching, I was discovering in whatever way I could and the divine/fate/destiny, whatever you want to call it, gave me that last hint and put me on the correct path to discovery.
I heard about Taoist practises through my partner/ex (its complicated), he has been doing a rather monumental journey of self discovery and upon hearing about his experience with Taoist practices I was instantly drawn to this ancient way of life. Although of course his first experience was male orientated and focused purely on male practices.
I will just say here, although men and women do a lot of the same practise, we also have a variety of different focus. Of course we are physically, emotionally and often energetically different so the fine tuning to our feminine/masculine sides needs separate work. It would be very difficult for the man to use the infamous jade egg for instance 😉 ha ha or indeed to practise womb breathing! But even more subtle than this, Its important to be able to express our feminine/masculinity and learn in a way which celebrates our differences and allows us to tailor our practise to our energies and also to use our chi to help balance our hormones in specific ways. This is another aspect we often differ in our needs, or a lot of the time anyway.
Anyhow, I am running away from my own journey here. About 3 months ago I was having a terrible time, if you follow my blog you will have read/sensed the collapse of my world as I knew it and witness my rebuilding. Well it was during my strive to rebuild I was browsing the internet, and came across the jade circle website. Having clicked, I instantly knew I needed to take the course! In fat I signed up for two consecutive weekends doing the basic and next step courses.
So…here I am!
I came to the magical green Isle of Ireland, and I met with the jade circle ladies last weekend. The connection with the ladies was fantastic, to be surrounded by such strong femininity and to be able to embrace and celebrate that so openly and unashamedly was such a mind opening experience.
It was as if we were already sisters, we shared so much including the start of an incredible journey into self discovery and…well I feel like I want to say control of ourselves and our lives, but in actual fact its more that we learned to lose the control, to allow the divine to guide us, to listen to our bodies, our intuition, our spirit and our chi, our life force, our energy.
We discovered ways of assessing our hormonal balance, how and when to balance the yin with the yang. We connected with our bodies and spirit, we learned all about healing sounds, self massage and womb/kidney breathing as well as some qi gong and microcosmic orbit.
We also connected with the jade egg, learned the first steps of practise with this and how to treat our bodies, to worship our sacredness and be the goddess we all have inside us.
OK so now I know I’m starting to sound a little…well…fluffy. It can’t be helped, Taoism is something best felt and not described. It feels anything but fluffy. It can be the most grounding experience, it makes you feel and see things which are very real. It really does help to discover the power we have within us.
And don’t worry guys, the men have just as profound practises and this weekend had a class of their own with Kris, Anamartas partner. Anamarta was the beautiful goddess who showed us the way in our first course via Jade circle (you can find them online and facebook).
Next weekend we meet as a mixed group to recap, to take the practises to the next level and to learn a little about the opposite sex, we must of course understand their energies as well if we are to have harmony in our relationships. Don’t worry though, you can just learn by yourself, if your partner isn’t ready to do the course of even if your single, the learning will benefit you immensely and prepare you for your next relationship. As well I must say that this system is useful for same sex couples as well. We all have yin and yang and every relationship has a balance of both, same sex couples may have the balance a little more evenly but the energies will still be there and can be worked on and understood.
I will write more about particular practises in future blogs, this was a general introduction on my introduction with Taoism.
Basically I feel like I have come home. This way of life really calls out to me and I intend to take this further, to journey as far as I can into this and maybe even one day help others find their connection to Taoist practises as well. Who knows what the future holds! 😉
Time to focus on the journey and on manifesting the life I desire, and am meant to live.
I haven’t written a blog in quite some time. Not because I have had nothing going on, more the opposite in fact. I have had so much going through my mind it has been impossible to get it out in a sensical manner. I am still not quite able to discern where one article should end and another issue begin but I shall get something out over the next few days…
I am currently in Ireland studying Taoism (yes including the jade egg), I’ve gone blonde, yogad my little heart out, surprised myself with kettlebell progress and…shh, dont scare them away…I have biceps, so I really do have some interesting bits to get out there before heading to India at the end of the month. I hereby promise to get my brain In order and share my most exceptional experiences of this course and my more personal trials and revelations…
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I thought Friday the 13th was supposed to be a bad day, well for me its definitely Friday the 6th. I have to say yesterday was one of the most frustrating days of my life. Well of my recent life where I can remember how I actually felt.
Still it was pretty damn intense and I was doing my utmost to stay positive and keep this new, upbeat version of Kirst In charge. So, it went a little something like this:
First thing in the morning everything was great, I prepared my protein smoothie for lunch, the birds were singing, the sun was shining and I walked to work with a spring in my step.
Upon arriving at work and spending the morning working away I stopped for lunch, got out my protein shaker and opened it up, took one spoonful and…..well….something was wrong with it. Took a few moments to realize I had forgotten to put the protein in the protein shake…Duh!
But no, its fine, I will add protein and eat it when I get home, I have fruit for now.
About an hour later, as I turned and was about to lower myself onto the lavatory I heard a loud plop and yep…..mobile phone out of the pocket and into the toilet!
Needless to say I was rather annoyed here seen as I have zero money at the moment and phones can be rather expensive but I managed to find the funny side and decided it must be the way of the divine, interfering to make sure I have a good, working phone for my upcoming travels. My old phone was 2 years old so may well have been due a break anyway. And so on my walk home, I once again enjoyed the birdsong and sunshine with a smile….
And then I got home to a letter from the dreaded tax man. It seems I didn’t do my tax returns from the end of my being self employed which ended 18 months ago. I had fine, I also was informed I needed to do my tax return and there would be further fines for all the time it was now late. Damn, they were right. I was not in the best place last year, after stopping my self employment I literally just put everything aside, DONE and did nothing more with it. The scary part was I had also ditched pretty much everything I owned before travelling last year so I wasn’t even 100% sure I would have my receipts etc…. I mean I don’t THINK I’m that stupid but as I said, I wasn’t in the best place.
Anyhow, after getting my flu ridden dad to find out my stuff he had packed away for me before I went away, we found the paperwork, phew! But I had completely misplaced my log in details for thee online tax return site, and so had to apply for more, which may take 7 days. I leave the country in 11 days…and the anxiety starts again. Will I be fined more for the delay? What if I don’t receive the letter? ARGH! I called them but after waiting for 35 minutes decided I was wasting my time, I would just take some breaths and let things be.
So I trundled off to tesco to buy a ne phone. After deliberating for 20 minutes on which one to get, I was told at the counter its not in stock…brilliant! I got another.
I got home, dropped the toilet roll in the toilet…dropped my Selenite crystal(for calming, stress relief) and, yep, smashed it, I proceeded to struggle getting new phone connected because of course it wont just be simple for me…by this point I decided to just go to bed, I was starting to think making it through the day alive would be a massive accomplishment.
So I bent down to give my dad a goodnight hug before leaving, my feet slipped and I ended up just falling onto him on the sofa, luckily it was quite a slow motion fall and so was relatively funny but still, perfect fail to the end of the biggest day of fails…of my life….I’m fairly sure I’m not even exaggerating there.
Alas! Today is a new day, I am up early. I am in my fitness clothes ready to make up for my lost exercise yesterday, I am feeling positive it is going to be a better day than yesterday…watch this space!
I’m currently sitting on a coach on a 14 hour journey. I have been watching some TV series I downloaded with these friends, they are going through some intense stuff together and apart, from the viewers vantage point I can see who’s lying to who and for what reasons. I know Its not real, but it gets me to thinking how well do we really know those closest to us, how well do we know their intentions? How much do we taint, in our heads, to make situations more to our advantage? do we ignore signs to the truth? Do we lie to each other to protect them or ourselves? Or do we lie out of fear, or an inability to accept the truth? Are we all as lost as each other, and instead of being truthful and honest we are only keeping each other in the dark? Are any of us truly honest, with others or with ourselves?
Of course TV accentuates situations and people but when I look around me, really think about the people in my life, experiences in the past when things are revealed and I can’t help but wonder.
There are people in my life whom I wonder about sometimes. All sorts of people, and I wonder what I mean to them, how much is real and how much is tolerance, how much is people keeping up appearances because its just how society tells us to behave… But I also wonder about my reactions to people, my tolerances. How many people do I truly relate to and want to know and how many do I just allow to stay in my life, never really caring enough to put much into the connection but feeling its rude to just cut them out, or maybe I don’t want to hurt people, or maybe its just that there’s no reason not to have them around so they stay.
Surely with life being a thing so short on time and precious, we should at least value it enough not to want to waste that time and energy, ours or anyone else’s. Should we not be more selective about how we spend our time and energies? What connections are worth nurturing and which have no future. Should we not spend time knowing ourselves and ensuring we are honest and true to our feelings and expectations towards people, in turn making it easier for them to understand and read where they stand as well?
The time I have spent trying to analyse what I mean to people, if anything. Are they worth the energies, or are they a waste of my time. I remember times in my own life when I have pushed away good people and lost great connections through confusion or immaturity and there are times I should have been more honest and ruthless with people, cruel to be kind and all that.
Why is it such a confusing matter, its one of life’s great woes. People, relationships, friendships. How do we get it right? We are all chasing the dream of having those perfect relationships, the partner with whom to spend our life, the friendships to endure lifetimes even the dynamics of work relationships are difficult to navigate, its like everybody’s playing some big game if poker, keeping their cards close to their chests, a lot of the time were not even sure if we have a winning hand ourselves yet so we bluff and bet our way through. But there are very few winners in poker.
Surely there is an easier way? After thousands of years of evolution, I can’t help but think it so backwards that we are not more apt at connecting. Are we teaching our children the same poker tricks and faces and preventing evolution in this or is the lack of real connection evolution in itself? Is the future a place where its every man for himself, where people are as dispensable as a car, a home or a job. Will there be an end to truly deep connections?
This sounds like a very sad future indeed.
Since travelling I have discovered myself on many a long and arduous coach trip, whether its to/from airports, around foreign countries or, as I am right now, visiting parts of the UK.
How does one stay sane when travelling long distance, alone on the buses (or even planes and trains)? Well I have a few tactics I find work quite well:
1) Other people. Now there are several things other people can be interesting for. Firstly if they are of interest and free to chat you could engage I conversation, I often find myself meeting some quite random types having conversations I wouldn’t usually end up having. I recently got talking to a guy who was travelling across country visiting his girlfriend, a girlfriend he had met only once before, to give her his phone number and yet he was so in love and prepared to do so much to be with her, it was quite heart-warming…although my cynical side did have a few queries.
You may also find just listening in to other people talking can be rather amusing. Overhearing some overly chatty types or couples bickering etc…I can be entertained quite some time with this but I think my favourite thing when on long journeys is catching people sleep!
I recently found myself awoken via dry mouth as I had managed to doze off with it wide open and upon waking felt quite embarrassed, until I turned and saw the girl next to me was doing the exact same thing…Brilliant!
2) I ALWAYS bring my laptop with me. This provides entertainment in many ways, especially now they have plug In points at every seat so you never need run out of battery! Firstly there is the standard watching your downloaded films, TV programs or playing computer games. Actual hours of entertainment. But also you can prepare and use both your computer and time quite effectively. I will often ensure I have lots of downloaded fitness information, guides, training programs etc. and can therefore research and educate myself on matters I may not always get around to when I have the internet available.
Lastly, you can of course still use word and such programs to blog, write your journal, or make plans and to do lists. (I am literally writing this as I start a 14 hour coach journey home (Cornwall) from Wales)
3) Books, books, books! (or magazines) Because sometimes looking at screens for hours is bad for the eyes and also reading is good for you. By god if more people read the world would be a much better place, whether its autobiographies, fiction or factual, reading is a wonderful thing and definitely needs to be done more.
4) Lastly, ensure to have a good travel pillow and enough food and water. Sleep is a fantastic way of passing the time and for ensuring you are not left feeling tired and groggy after a long trip. Plus it can save you the indignity of falling asleep on someone or in an undignified position and having some stranger take pictures and laugh at your expense 😉 ha ha. The food and water are also essential not only for keeping you refreshed but also because time can pass extremely slow when you are hungry or thirsty and it can be difficult to concentrate on anything else…the last thing you need is food rage when stuck on a moving vehicle!
So there you have it, Kirsts recommendations for those pesky long journeys, if you have any additional advice, feel free to share!
So I am in Wales, visiting a friend and after doing Snowdon, my next Welsh challenge was to rock climb. My friend and her friend who I went with are both instructors and so I was able to partake in safe hands without having to go in some big group of people and wait ages to take turns etc…boring!
So we went to some slate rocks an they gave me a debrief, set up and away we went. The first one was relatively easy, a warm up and was rather enjoyable. The second was hard. After watching Kate struggle up certain parts of it, and she’s a good climber, I was sure I would barely make it up a quarter of the way but with their great encouragement (and at certain points I think Damien was actually pulling me up on the rope), I made it relatively near to the top. Id say just past 3 quarters up.
It wasn’t easy, even with the help. I had to stop and assess where I could go next a few times, mentally prepare myself to push up or to get my leg on a certain grip and there were times my hands were so damn cold I couldn’t even feel if my fingers were still attached any more, never mind if they were gripping anything and there was a lot of doubt but surprisingly not as much fear as I thought there would be. Of course I didn’t really look down and I knew I was safely roped on but I still expected to have some fear, especially as it was rather high and the grips were quite hard at time, hanging on to cracks and nooks where I couldn’t have thought it possible to get grip. I suppose in comparison to my 65 foot tree climb in Australia where we had no ropes, safety nets or trained professionals helping, it was still a little tame on the danger front but still a challenge and something outside of my comfort zone.
Another experience tackled well, no tears, no failure, no embarrassment. Another survival skill to add to my apocalypse set I have been growing over the last year along with chicken beheading, tackling mountains in both tropical and snowy temperates and of course learning to hand-wash clothing properly…Boy that one will be important when the zombies come for us!