Winter has called me deeply into the bosom of her stillness.
I began to feel her calling in Autumn last year after a particularly surprising and difficult time, navigating my way clumsily around some core wounds and unhealed tenderness. I would say that it wasn't a conscious decision initially go go inwards, more of a deep pull I followed, knowing and trusting that somehow this call was here to bring healing. I surrendered - I let go with a willingness to enter into those darker corners of my psyche and see what they held for me.
I'm still in part in that cave, allowing the flesh to fall from the previous form, to decompose back into the earth leaving only the bones of who I am and what I do. In allowing that, there is a sense that these bones, this skeletal form that's left is making ready to dance in new ways, and that feels exciting. It required trust, patience and faith. I made space for that trinity to take me wherever I needed to go.
Are you allowing yourself that time and space?
So many of us drive through these moments using the mind, pushing ourselves out of our true feelings, minimising them or telling ourselves they are 'silly' or a 'waste of time' - what even is that idea of 'wasting time' and where does it come from when it comes to self enquiry?
If I were to track this journey, I would see it as a mythical fairy tale where I am the heroine of my own story. I have left but a trail of crumbs leading me back home should I need to find my path once more, but somehow I also know that this trail isn't really necessary, and so like Persephone in her winter Underworld, instead I simply let go, accept and dive into the darkness, the unformed and the unknown, trusting that this act of surrender holds the true key to home coming....and it does.
In this DreamTime, my work is evolving into a much clearer message, into a deep knowing of how it is I can really be of service, not striving for the next luminous thing. The eclectic magpie-like appeal to the sparkle of newness has always been an issue for me, just like my father before me; uncomfortable in one place doing one thing well, I selected many, for variety and a sense of aliveness, afraid that not doing so was like a death of sorts, a painful lethargy...but in entering stillness, that's where I have found my true sense of aliveness and I love it.
I am going to be 58 in a month's time, just 2 years away from 60! I find this hard to believe sometimes as inside I feel so young. Ageing has offered me an opportunity to take a deep journey into self acceptance and it's not always been a pretty process. Gnarly, crass and petulant at times, it's been tricky. Older readers will recognise this, younger ones will not as this is an inevitability only of being that, being older, and not just imagining it.
I'm claiming my wisdom as an elder hence announcing my age now. I'm ready to be of service in this world and to make use of these life experiences which have been deep, rich and painful as much as they have been joyful, ecstatic and light. My dear friend Fran said when guesting on my 8 week course last night "I have come to accept that life is as painful as it is joyful" and I agree, but in resting besides those pains and allowing them, somehow we learn to befriend them. Even in one of my favourite series 'Vikings' last night Lagertha, one of the major (and now older) characters throughout was asked:
"What did you learn in your near death experience?"
She replied: "That life is suffering."
Her enquirer said: "How do I tell my children that life is suffering?"
Her reply: "Oh they will find out for themselves."
Although at first this seems perhaps a negative or pessimistic response, there is truth in this darkness. It stuck me that it's our ability to know that, feel that and develop a strong relationship to that which truly heals us. We take ourselves out of Victim and into Witness, we befriend death as much as we befriend life in all of her aspects, and the only way to get there is to surrender into it all, feel it all, and know that we are enough, that we always were and always will be.
It's my pleasure to offer my wisdoms out into the world and I love to connect and do this dance of life in the company of other seekers and dreamers. To discover more about my work, please go to my what's on page and join me in dancing with life in the only way I know, the embodied truthful way.
What do you do with a life well lived when so much of it feels as if it was scurried through, hidden through shame and secrecy, or simply ignored?
What do you do when that life story begs to be told, when you're not sure why, but you just know it's time; you sit down, you take a deep breath, and you take in every precious moment, giving thanks, remaining curious - where will it land, who will it help, and why does it even matter?
It matters because it's my life story and it may be yours too. The journey of one woman navigating her way through a complex well of thoughts, feelings and emotions, overcoming some pretty major hurdles and yet somehow always having a measure of what felt right or wrong, of being true to myself even when I didn't have the skills or life experience to find my way out of painful places.
It matters because it's almost certainly a reflection of many people's stories. So many stories untold, unspoken and trapped inside, yet when these stories are released without attachment to the drama of their origin, I believe they hold the potential for really deep healing on many levels.
We've all at some point been the age in my photo above; innocent, sweet, unspoiled by life's disappointments, hurts and traumas, and yet as we emerge into adolescence and then adulthood, and as we develop opinions and perspectives on life, moulded and shaped by our surroundings and our primary care givers, all too often we move from innocence towards judgement (including self judgment), criticism and blame. Much later down the road, it then becomes our life's work to 'find our way home' again, and this is the beginning of me sharing my personal path back to the truth, highlighting a fair few funny stories (and some not very funny ones) along the way.
My friend and breathwork teacher Anthony says I have an "insistence upon the truth" which is interesting to me as it's not the first time in my life I've heard this reflection of myself through another's eyes. It showed up often as a part of me that is extremely driven, often attached to 'causes' and a burning need for 'justice' 'righteousness' and 'transparency'. I'm not comfortable in falsehood and untruth, secrecy and lies; I can 'feel it' and I can't see the point!
A co-worker and boss once told me "ex addicts (I am one) have remarkable observation skills! They've usually had to engage these skills or die, and this 360 degree awareness is what has often kept them alive" and I believe this to be true, it certainly was in my case.
The shadow side to this constant alertness is that we can all too often remain in hyper vigilance, always expecting the worst, and so the guards we maintain never truly allow us to fully trust in life, love or other people. That's why these days I let myself feel it, speak it, and then let it go. Of course like many others, I don't always follow my own guidance on speaking out, and sometimes that's most definitely been a good thing! It's a good thing because without finesse and the marriage of diplomacy, self awareness and great timing in there too, we risk becoming a brash bludgeon of truth rather than a subtle instrument of it, and I know which I would rather be.
Since clearing many of my past stories, I've come to recognise that something I really love is hearing other people's stories - the stories of life; they 'why' people have for doing what they do, the 'what' is the driving force behind the vehicle of self identity, and the reason people are who they are. Now it's time to release my own stories into the world to see what this brings to my door. Knock with respect and you are welcome to come in.
My story will be told in many parts or else it will be too long to encourage readers to plough on through.
We will navigate the terrain of addiction, sex work, broken relationships, criminality, being a teenage runaway, living almost constantly with trauma and shock and more. We will witness those stories explored through activism, the dance upon life's edges, the pathways to self enquiry, and at the end of it all, I will invite shares to my YouTube "Inspirational Speaker" series so that I can share in your stories too.
I believe people's stories and achievements need to be celebrated and shared, it makes us all feel less alone, more human, and more forgiving of ourselves and others. It's my passion to use this pithy supply of words we have at our disposal to attempt to do that and I promise to remain as humble as possible throughout it all! Still here? Read on....
Those who insist they've got their 'shit together' are usually standing in it at the time." Stephen Levine - A Year To Live: How To Live This Year As If It Were Your Last.
It takes time to come to terms with one's sufferings - it's a process, a journey often akin to the mythical journeys undertaken by the Heroes and Heroines of mythology and folk tales from all over the world - everyone relates, and why is that? because on some level or other we all suffer and we all overcome.
Suffering is universal; it's the denial of it that creates tension and problems in our world. Bypassing hurt to brush the metaphorical 'dirt' under the carpet doesn't work; we have to do a proper clean-up job if we are to really feel at peace in our world and we can only do that by seeing to our own 'shit' first. It doesn't always have to be painful either although inevitably 'pain' will arise as a result of having the courage to 'go there' and to dig into those stories and heal them, and that's ok. I believe we are stronger than we allow ourselves to believe we are as long as that strength is born of staying in our hearts and our willingness to be vulnerable and to admit it.
So back to my story and why it wants to be told now. I don't know is the honest answer; all I know is that I am responding to a deep calling from within to be still and listen; to feel deeply and to share the wisdom gained along the path in new ways - ways that are born from the receptive reflections of inner stillness rather that the active principle of 'pushing' through stuff which has always been my way until now. Perhaps it's the action if my children leaving home, my time being my own, my life being quieter now, or perhaps a natural process that comes with the wisdom of being present to the mystery of ageing, whatever it is, it seems to be here with me now.
My intention is for these stories to help others heal their own stories; find the right support and mentors, teachers and guides along the way. Bookmark my page and join me as we set sail into the journeys of Life!
When 2018 began I had a great feeling about it. Dreamed up on my New Year's eve, choosing to stay in and feel into the vision I had for myself, I managed to visualise, tune in and create a 'map' of my year to come as if it had already happened. Much of it was realised, some of it not, but then I always make space for "this or something better" - trusting in all that wants to work through me.
This technique is one we use every year in our Dream Quest events, something I have run now for 8 years, in collaboration with my colleague, co-creator and dear friend Sarah Rose Bright, and it works! Every year we create a personal mantra to encapsulate our year and last year, mine was 'limitless potential' - I felt it, I uncovered it, and along the way, I walked through a fair few caves and fires in order to fully reveal it. Quantum leaping isn't a new technique, it's been around for millennia, and its' effect is really quite remarkable. We have seen our participants make huge life changing shifts in their world as a result of this work, and of course we have been applying it to ourselves too, to really up level our work and our lives.
This year, I'm excited to dream up the next level of my work; a process I have already started committing to more fully. So what does full commitment look like?
As a coach, I truly believe in the value of coaching! It may seem like an obvious thing to say, but far too many coaches and healers don't get their own coaching and healing. For me, this is the way I grow - I look to others who may be further on the path than I am, those I admire, respect and seek to emulate, and then I pay for their time and expertise. This is my investment in myself.
Remember the scene in Chicago where Velma tells Roxy she "just can't do it alone" - well think of it like that. With a strong vision for where I intend to take my work and my life, I need others to help me see what I can't see, to help me learn what I don't know, and to bring to awareness that which remains hidden.
So last year I manifested my dream job; a job I had been waiting to take up since the previous year in Bali, working alongside my beloved breathwork teacher and his wonderful school. Of course nothing is ever quite that simple though, and often times the greatest challenges we face are both unexpected, and extremely enlightening, yet when we choose to stay present to these life lessons we are gifted an opportunity to really come to know ourselves well and to move beyond expectation into truth and acceptance. Grace and ease: Let's meet there....
So for me, this year has been one of growth, travel, letting go and calling in. My work scaled up hugely, my last child left home, and I was free to explore the world without obligation and to re-connect with my own flow. In that flow, a great deal revealed itself.
There are probably a ton more, but for now, that's a great start.
So going forward, I take those lessons, every single one of them into 2019 as my teachers and my guiding light. I pledge to continue to look after my health, to listen to my body, trust my gut instinct, and value my heart as my true teacher. I will apply discernment, claim my authority, value my work, and share as much as I can that may light the pathway for another human being. I've worked hard to transform my own stories, I've gone from being a heroin addicted hooker to a fabulously funky teacher and coach and I love that these stories did not become me, they simply became my 'medicine' in this world.
I am starting a 21 day one juice a day challenge on Jan 1st 2019. It's not about fasting, or cleansing, it's about committing to yourself. It's about creating a healthy new habit routine, so if you would love to join us as we juice up the internet (!) come and sign up in my Facebook Group and have fun with others doing the same - no previous experience is necessary and you can do it with a juicer OR a blender, it's more important you just join in than find the reasons you can't.
Watch out for more amazing work and offerings in the coming year too; this is my year and I'm claiming it! Are you?
To ask about my work, please drop me a line - your inquiries are most welcome.
I've learnt some valuable lessons in life recently; interestingly perhaps, they began just at the point my youngest child left home. I see this as life's way of re-adjusting things; calling things into question as suddenly the space open up to do that; to contemplate.
When my son left, I found I was already thinking about the labels we apply to ourselves and others and reflecting on why we do that. Does it make it easier for us to categorise difference rather than seeking 'sameness'? Is it easier to protect our soft and tender places when we make a decision that someone not the same as us must be 'wrong' about the world,and therefore 'wrong' about us too just because they are different? Why do we separate, segregate and need to be 'right'?
I began to recognise two things; one, that labels create tension and tension creates dispute, and secondly, we can find ourselves backed into tight corners when adopting these 'labels' for ourselves, and once wearing that label, we may just realise it isn't actually right for us any more, and perhaps it never was.
It's easy to label people, and much harder sometimes to keep an open heart and mind, to truly listen to another person's experience without needing to jump in an offer an opinion before even really accepting what has been shared.
Over time, the labels I have applied to myself or which have had applied to me have changed a great deal; trouble, addict, sex worker, slut, whore, bitch, ballbreaker, entrepreneur, business woman, employee, mother, breathworker, vegan, heterosexual, bisexual, vegetarian, teacher, shaman, coach, etc; the list is endless! Some were reclaimed words, others not. Some levelled at me in anger or hate, others not. Some gave me the comfort of belonging, the feeling of tribe, of community, others left me distinctly an 'outsider', but the one thing they had in common was that somehow, in some way, they created separation or identity, neither of which are especially helpful.
Of course some labels can be useful; 'what do you value in the world XXX?', or 'what do you offer?' Questions that can be asked to get to know a person better, but when does that knowing become a label, then become a 'decision' about the person?
I have built a fair amount of my career around healthy eating, clean food and eventually plant based living. Prior to that much of my career focussed on addiction services and sexual freedom campaigning. Many different labels!
Inevitably when I came to change some of those labels recently, several things began to happen; firstly people felt it was ok to challenge my personal process. I'm ok with that, I have some very public social media pages so discussion is welcome, but what I'm less ok with is people telling me I'm 'wrong', and that they therefore must be 'right'.
The thing that really disturbs me about this is that the older I get the more I realise that there are as many versions of 'right' in this world as there are people, and that the only thing that's truly certain in life is change and death! We experience the world and we are changed by it, and when we aren't open to that possibility, we stagnate, freeze or become rigid in our thinking. We become so attached to our own worldview that suddenly, that view becomes dogma.
This list above - number one on the list of synonyms is 'teaching' and surely teaching is about sharing knowledge and allowing discussion? A principle and an ethic can be a great pointer to the values and choices we make, but the words laws, rules, beliefs and convictions leave me a little less comfortable. These suggest rigidity, and punishment for breaking the 'rules', and whilst to a degree we all have to learn to live within society's rules, when we start making our own sub-sections of 'rules', it's game over! More fighting, more dispute, more dogma.
Recently, a person tagged me in an Instagram post pointing me to a long winded rant about what was good for the body and not good (food wise). This was done to disprove some current things I'm exploring personally, and yet it's fascinating because on another page in the very same feed this morning, there I saw the long-winded advice person heralded as 'right' by my friend, being called out as a charlatan and a scammer by another nutritionist in the same forum, and the truth is that none of that matters because I'm doing it for me...not for you, not to prove anything, and definitely not to be 'right'!
Go there and go down a rabbit hole folks!
My best advice to all in my work is learn to listen to your body, find what works for you. Listen to your heart too, and use the mind for discernment only, and not for judgement or criticism and segregation. What's right for one isn't always right for another.
Today's post is to make a plea for us all to take a moment to step out of attachment to our ideologies before they become dogma; as the saying goes, "you do you and I'll do me". Let's listen more, and judge less.
Have a beautiful Sunday, and whether your particular 'church' is a religious or spiritual place, hanging out in nature, dancing or some other healing place of sanctuary for you, wherever it is, be there and be there with love, compassion and understanding...
...and always keep an open mind.
Every year at Christmas, three things usually increase; our weight, our stress levels and the prevalence of depression. This of course means our physical, mental and emotional health are all being impacted by the pressure to please, consume, over-eat, be enough, do enough and give enough!
We are bombarded from as early as late October with Christmas adverts promoting plush gifts, expensive food tables, and a kind of shark-feeding frenzy of consumerism and pressure to join in the many wild office or personal parties out there, whilst inside perhaps all we want to do is curl up and nourish ourselves in other ways.
This pressure creates a tension that I'm sure many relate to and affects our sense of peace, wellbeing and balance, so let's look at some ways we can avert this 'crisis' before it hits us.
The Danes have a lifestyle concept called 'Hygge', a 'concept which can't easily be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cosy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. If you've ever enjoyed reading a book indoors on a rainy Sunday or a cup of hot cocoa on a snow day you've experienced hygge'. If you love to curl up in home made dens, nestle with blankets and hot water bottles, and simply gaze into the fire, this is Hygge, but actually, this more widely put is just great self care.
Hygge is a prevailing sense of stillness and peace in the present moment, and an appreciation of a deep and nourishing sense of cosiness. Sounds great right? For most of us however, we get caught up in consume, consume, consume and we lose our centre in the crazy whirlwind that is this time of year; a far cry from the rest and hibernation nature shows us is more appropriate in these dark days and long, cold nights.
If you are prepared and if you are mindful, you can avoid the common pitfalls and really 'have yourself a merry little Christmas', so here are my top tips for a wonderful Christmas season.
Lastly, befriend Winter! The video below is from one of my new absolute favourite people. Listen with awe as Jonna Jinton explains how she is learning to make peace with the darkness and the cold.
Reach out if you're struggling; I will be offering my one to one sessions throughout some of the Christmas and New Year Period, and if you are really struggling, please refer to the helplines on the Integration Protocols page of my website.
Have a lovely run up to Christmas everyone, with love and health! Steph x o x
Many of you know that I'm just back from about 2 1/2 months of travelling and adventure. Prior to leaving the UK, my youngest child left home and I spent some time feeling into these new spaces in myself, and in my life. Then, BOOM! suddenly it was done...my 'grieving' felt as though it had moved through me and a sense of freedom began to grow. Was that it, I thought? How present you have been to this Steph, I thought. No! I had simply made space for more 'stuff' to reveal itself.
Today, bumping into some dear friends and laughing about life, we pondered "is there always more stuff"? YES! We decided there is, and this, in essence is the nature of being human, staying authentic and allowing oneself to:
A) Be vulnerable
B) Be present to all that arises
C) Not act like an arrogant sod!
But this is not the same as getting stuck there, taking root, becoming comfortable in that space of habit. It's more that as we increase our awareness and bring it to presence, we have the chance to rub off the sharper edges, soften the rough surfaces, and our core wounds and sufferings become easier to navigate and lighter each time they surface.
Es Vedra, Ibizan rock of magic and mystery. How you tested me Ibiza! I won't go into story here, save to say that every part of me was forced to really feel, and I mean really feel my weak spots, my sore points and my deepest insecurities. It probably came on the back of the three weeks I had just completed in Mallorca with my dear friend Fran. We were hosting two back to back detox retreats, and detoxing does that, it brings E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G to the surface! Physical, mental and emotional...all there served up on this enormous platter called LIFE!
We were also both calling into question much of what we have learnt or believe in as detox and nutritional coaches and healers. What if everything we know is wrong? Always a great question to ask....
I was posing this question to myself this whilst also reading Dr Joe Dispenza's amazingly inspiring book "Becoming Supernatural" - it was having an effect - I was questioning my habitual behaviour, beliefs and thoughts, and consciously working to change them. I was experimenting with myself if you like.
All of this felt something like vigorously shaking up the sand in the bottom of a lake, and combined with the trauma release training we were doing as part of our graduating student's Alchemy of Breath Breathwork training, stuff was most definitely moving and I did not feel comfortable one bit! How can I push this down, pretend it's not there, make it smaller, I asked myself? 'Can I fake it until through the other side' I asked myself, but I couldn't, and if I tried, the energy leaked out in other ways anyway and just made everything worse. So surrendering to what needed to be felt and released, I practiced what I preach and just allowed myself to be raw as f**k, wide open and lost.
When lost, before long, one finds oneself....
And so, passing through the eye of the storm I came home, still open, raw and vulnerable, to begin the integration process, a part of the journey so many people skip, and possibly the most vital element of self mastery.
Every night since I got home, I have dreamt of my time in Ibiza; every single night until a couple of days ago! This tells me my sub-conscious mind is processing deeply, and I'm grateful for the autumnal darkness and hibernation possibility of this season. I can go within and 'take stock'. It's not just been about letting go of my son, my previous life, or my sense of 'self' (ego), it's been about being willing to face my deepest fears and let go of EVERYTHING. Then, and only then, can we walk through the fire and see what's left in the ashes.
My work is evolving most clearly as a result. My diet is changing, my path is revealing itself and my self awareness has come full circle into self acceptance, an acceptance that meets me exactly as I am. I wish that we would all give ourselves this gift of both vulnerability AND integration. I wish that we may all find the courage to be less than perfect; the world would be a better place for sure in doing so, and in being so.
I have already begun the task of re-writing my website, re-structuring my work and I know that more will evolve over winter. I welcome you all to these quiet months; go within and seek solitude and stillness. Grow yourself and most importantly, question everything to you think you know! It's a very humbling process!
Hey Gorgeous Readers!
How are you all doing as the season begins to visibly change once more? I hope you're shining and if not, I hope you're being gentle with yourself. I've had a lot of new things to assimilate into my life of late, which is when self care becomes even more important, but it's also paradoxically in these moments in which rather than increase our self care, we self sabotage right? Drown the feeling in the habit etc!
So, if one of your sabotage patterns lies with food, here's a simple idea for a quick, easy, nutritious and delicious breakfast which is actually delicious any time of day!
Take one large empty jam jar, mason jar or bowl, then start by putting in a layer of your favourite fruit at the bottom. I used papaya for this one, the seeds are a great anti-parasitic by the way but don't put them in your bowl, they're quite bitter!
Then add a layer of coconut yoghurt, I used the KOKO one but you can use any non dairy yoghurt of your choice. I emphasis the non dairy here as dairy can be extremely mucous producing in your system and can trigger eczema, psoriasis, catarrh, hay fever and more. Try a week without and watch your sniffles disappear!
Then add another layer of fruit, I used blackberry and blueberry because the dark berries are renowned for their anti-oxidant properties and are super yum.
Then smother in de-hulled hemp, hemp seeds or any superfoods of your choice, cacao nibs can be nice, goji berries too! More yoghurt, then a fruit and superfood topping.
If you stir in chia seeds you are adding to the good protein, and the gut cleaning potential too. It's so quick and easy and takes literally 5 minutes to prepare, and is way better for you than toast and cereal, our usual go-to!
Let me know how you get on loves! #nomshanti and stay juicy!
Growth is painful!
I've come to the realisation that it doesn't matter how or where you enter growth phases in your life, the stage before the growth is almost inevitably painful! Nature reflects this too.
When a caterpillar enters the cocoon preceding its transformation into butterfly, two things happen; firstly the caterpillar COMPLETELY dissolves, becomes liquid, loses its previous form and effectively dies before being reborn, and secondly, if we help it through the painful re-emergence stage by poking a hole in the cocoon to allow easier exit, we are actually harming that rebirth process and here's why.
When the butterfly is ready to emerge, this pushing and straining against the confines of the cocoon are what strengthen the new wings and form of the butterfly. If we, with all of our goodwill, try to 'help', the butterfly before it's ready, it is deprived of this strengthening opportunity and will more than likely die as a result of our intervention - WOW! Now there's a metaphor for life right?
As human beings, most of our growth, be it physical (remember 'growing pains' as a child where your limbs felt like they were betraying you because they were so sore?), emotional (teenage angst) or mental (entry into adulthood), all of this 'growth' usually necessitated a preceding sense of loss, grief and anxiety. Often these feelings could include uncertainty beforehand and in the past, perhaps some doubt or regret afterwards, and yet growth is as inevitable as the cycle of the sun around the earth, so why resist? Why do we imagine that one 'wrong' choice in the past will represent all of our choices in the future?
Most human beings want connection, love and intimacy in our lives. We want to be ok, we want to go beyond survive and into thrive, and yet we fear the unknown so greatly that sometimes we choose to stay in our safe confines never risking failure or rejection, upheaval or loss. The only thing guaranteed with that philosophy is that without risking those very things, we will truly NEVER get to see what our potential may be, to experience what else may be waiting for us on the other side of fear and change.
So my loves, as I personally arrive at yet another threshold of change (The Hero's Journey epitomised) here I am questioning my ability to leap into a new abyss. I welcome this opportunity for growth and therefore I accept the fear and the pain. I hear many of my colleagues and friends expressing similar fears and sufferings, yet none of us would stay still through fear would we? Perhaps so, but ask yourself; can you face those growing pains and see how far you can fly in your own lives too?
You are greatness in essence and you are unlimited potential.
Let's do this together! Let's have each other's backs?
Drop me a reply - what do you dream of that sacred you right now? Name it and watch it diminish in doing so, we are listening.
with love and passion, Steph xox
Hello everyone! I was going to create today's post with recommendations for the best kind of juicers today, but then something happened. I was making my breakfast earlier, pootling around in my kitchen and I had put this Max Strom TED talk on in the background.
The more I listened, the more I resonated and just knew what everything Max says is so spot on so I had to share this with you - breathwork changes people's lives! If you have not experienced this kind (and other) forms of conscious connected breathing, then I really REALLY recommend you do! I don't think I've ever seen such profound shifts in people as I have with rebirthing breathwork, and this includes years of working with plant medicines, shamanism, yoga and bodywork, counselling and therapy and many many other modalities of healing. The breath it seems, is our most readily available and yet most under used resource!
For me, breathwork is a shamanic practice offering a deep form of soul retrieval. It allows us to access inner landscapes which may have been long since buried, trapping trauma, shock and stress in our autonomic nervous systems without us even realising how those trapped thoughts, feelings and emotions still run our lives.
You can break free from years of limiting belief, addiction, stress and anxiety and more by simply committing to the breath. It's not quite the same as yogic breathing, another really useful healing tool for sure, but with conscious connected breath, we move personal 'story' rapidly, shifting it from our system by bringing it to the light to be felt, seen and released. Every time I lie down to breathe, perhaps thinking there is nothing to breathe into today, something unexpected and wild inevitably occurs, from childhood memories resurfacing, physical pain revisited, knowing and feeling my true essence in every single cell or anything else, it always surprises me!
If you feel called to experience this for yourself, do come to one on my monthly breathwork sessions or call ad book a one-to-one today. Sessions can easily be offered online and are equally powerful working this way. Meantime, breathe deep and let go! Steph xox
It was several years ago now when I first began to dream about travelling to Bali. I noticed that every time I browsed images on the internet for temples, landscapes and places to visit, my whole body would come alive with a tingling sense of excitement and anticipation that went beyond a usual 'holiday plan'. I couldn't particularly explain what was happening, all I knew was that I felt it; in every single cell of my body, I felt it!
Of the images above, the two on the left were the kind of images I began to save; places I wanted to go, experiences I wanted to have. The photo on the right was taken by me, in that same place 12 months later! Now you may say 'ok but that's not so unusual right'? Many people have dreams they achieve when it comes to foreign travel, take photos there with a thumbs up in front of a favourite monument, and I would agree. However for me, it went one step further. I would keep vision boards of these places in locked parts of my instagram or pinterest accounts. I would share on social media how I would be going there soon and allow myself to really dream these moments into being, so much so, that when I got there the year after I first started imagining it, it felt like 'home'. What unfolded for me led to a chain of remarkable events that have changed my life (but that's another story), and that's the magic I want to share with you, because you can do that and have that too; if I can, there's no reason you can't!
Again, the photo on the left was taken from the internet, (i.e., the Dream), and the photo on the right, taken less than 12 months later was my own. You're getting the gist of it yes? Dream it, feel it, believe it!
"You feel it when you know it, and you know it when you feel it."
I've always experienced some form of resistance to all this new-age manifestation stuff! I somehow felt it was disingenuous to just believe it was enough to 'think something into being', to focus so hard on the thinking of it, it would magically appear. To me, that approach felt cut off from the soul of the thing, the heart of the thing, somehow seeking greedily another instant fix in life, and yet for sure there is something in the essence of what's being presented with this 'law of attraction' stuff! If we don't believe at heart we deserve something, or we hear ourselves saying "I could never see myself doing that" and therefore we just settle, then sure as mustard that's invariably what shows up for us. In doing this, in a way we are effectively reverse investing by placing our bets on failure and resignation, two not very inspiring qualities, so in that case, why not start focussing on attracting some more fun options? It's often said that the subconscious mind cannot distinguish between reality as we know it and a strong visualisation, indeed some athletes now use these techniques to enhance their training by running marathons in their mind, and my feeling is, if they can, I can!
Every year for eight years now I've run a Dream Questing event, five of those eight years with my dear friend and colleague Sarah, and this sh*t works let me tell you! It's full moon, I couldn''t sleep so I just got out this years 'map' and was amazed to see that two things I wrote in January have actually just happened! THE EXACT THINGS I WROTE! I don't know why I'm amazed, I see this happening over and over in my life and in this practice, and yet still sometimes I forget.
When we allow ourselves to dream, to meander through the pathless woods, we ignite our spirit and souls by creating space to feel what brings us to life. As a child I did this naturally, all too often chastised for being a 'daydreamer' and then in later years the more harsh "you'll never amount to much if you're just a dreamer", and yet a dreamer is most definitely what I am and that brings me enormous pleasure and some great success! I live my life on my terms doing what I love with people who inspire me daily, whilst those who conform to other people's expectations and dreams rarely get to feel that feeling.
Dreaming our lives into being is the path of the Warrior Heart! Why so? Because most people falter when things don't go the way we may have hoped, when obstacles arise, or when we are over attached to outcome, and so we stop dreaming and return to our comfortable places, staying safe and playing small. If we don't do that, then we have to be prepared to make our mark! To stand resolute in the face of crushing disappointment, to trust in the process unfolding and more importantly, to dream new dreams. Dreams are like tiny seeds; they need watering, feeding and light, they need our attention. If we give that to them, and if we start to develop our own body wisdom, then these things really do being to happen - try it for yourself and see, and if you cant really feel it, it's probably not the right dream....
CHANGE YOUR LIFE!
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