How to clear mind chatter and make space for useful thinking.


mind chatter

Jenny was stressed. She had several projects on the go and the added challenge of organising a family dinner with her partner’s relations. So many thoughts overloaded her mind, with some going around and round creating ‘thought demons’; each demanding attention. There was no space left for thinking clearly about any one thing. She felt she wasn’t capable and was overwhelmed by the constant mind chatter and her anxiety was at a peak.

Jenny decided that this wasn’t good enough for her since she wasn’t enjoying life, so she followed the steps that I’m going to give you here.

These steps are the beginning of a lifetime habit that will quieten mind chatter and make space for clarity, problem solving and creative thought.

  • Make a commitment to invest some time in changing your monkey chatter.
  • Recognise when your mind chatter appears – make a note of what it is.
  • Mind chatter loves attention – don’t fight it. Acknowledge it and change it.
  • Prepare for transformation – ready yourself with positive thoughts (affirmation) to replace the negative busy ones.
  • Create your vision of how you want to be – Have an image of how you are when thinking is clear and productive. It is helpful to have a symbol you can bring to mind easily.
  • Practice – Each time you notice mind chatter, visualise your symbol and say your affirmation.

“But I’m in a hurry”, you say. “I don’t have time for this!”

The truth is, you don’t have time for the mind chatter either. It’s unproductive. By dedicating a relatively small amount of time to commit to and practice this different way of thinking, you will find it will become an automatic reaction to mind chatter and your mind will have the space to problem solve and create.

Why not make a date with yourself today to begin practicing being in charge of your thinking brain?

 

 

Making Presents with Presence

What is your take on giving presents? Are you tired of feeling you have to meet the expectations of others when you choose presents?

Commercial gift

How can you make a present count?

What do you do if a person has everything? How do you choose presents that carry a message of your appreciation, gratitude and best wishes and intentions to the one it is meant for?

Present giving can be a minefield for stress especially at Christmas Season where the spirit of the time is about giving. To say the least, commercialism has a lot to answer for, for taking the spirit out of present giving.

Understandably, financial resources, the number of gifts to be found and the desires of the recipients become the focus and dull the joy of the giving spirit. Social and family culture is also a consideration during this time – ‘How it is done in our family’ – as families come together to celebrate.

Another way of approaching gift giving is to give a gift from your heart; to express all you feel and wish for this person in a present created by you.

Creating Presents from Your Heart

Q. What if I’m not creative? I don’t have a creative bone in my body!

A. Read my previous blog. It will help you understand the nature of creativity.

Q. How can I create a present come from my heart?

A. Creating from the heart begins with getting in touch with, and then listing everything that brings a heart connection between you and the other person. Remember all the things that the other person holds dear and is excited by. This will give you clues as to what kind of present you will create.

When you’ve decided what to create, gather the materials you require together. As you do this, you will consider the colours, shapes and textures that resonate with the person you have in mind.

You may have found a ‘recipe’ on the internet, in a magazine, or from your imagination. As you make the gift keep the person in mind, remembering all the positive things that you, and they, want in their lives. This will put your difference, uniqueness, energy into the gift. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Imperfections, like differences in relationships, are loved for their intention.

Q. What if I can’t make things? I’m all fingers and thumbs.

A. If you insist that you truly don’t want to dip into the full Monty of creating, then you can create by following the steps above, and purchasing, for example, a collection of things that reflect different aspects of the person. These will have the energy of your positive thoughts and will connect with the passions, colours and textures of the person.

Presentation.

Wrap your gift with the same intention, choosing colour and texture and style that reflects the spirit of the person or the nature of your relationship.

An Example:

I decided to create a present for a woman I had met a couple of times before. I wanted to show my respect for her. In making the present, I remembered the meaning of her name, her ethnicity, her love of nature and spirit in all things. I wrapped it in black tissue paper with a red ribbon – indigenous colours. When I gave it to her, she noticed the wrapping and then she took to heart the materials, the colours, the symbol – all that was important to her. We recognised the love and respect and connected in a way that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.


Wishing you a meaning filled Festive Season,

Blessings,

Betsy

Shamanic Wisdom ~ Walking in the East with Spirit.


horse - symbolism

I woke up feeling sad this morning.

The reason for it is one I don’t need to share except to say that it involves the behaviour of another…. and discussing it is not an option at this time. So, what to do? I could, as I have in the past, spiral downwards, become more upset and try to manipulate the situation with my emotions, or I could draw upon all my Shamanic wisdom and resources and be responsible for myself and my reactions.

How I took action.

I decided that the best thing to do was go for a walk. Walking shifts the energy in my body while it gives me the opportunity to ask Spirit to help me out. In the past, I would have indulged in my thoughts; they say this, they said that and I felt this and that etc. and in this way, put things into perspective in my mind. I would become very emotional and allow my emotions to fully expand and explode. Now I find I do it somewhat differently. Today I stepped out calling upon Great Spirit to help me with this situation; to put it into perspective and show me what to do and how to be.

On the Sacred Circle Map, I was walking in the East; in Spirit. Previously I would have been in the South, indulging my thoughts or the West with my emotions or maybe in the North looking for practical solutions. The North was helping me out with physical activity of walking to help me connect with Spirit. This means that I was walking mindful of my surroundings with my mind quiet and the issue resting with Spirit. I breathed in the air, the scents, sounds and sights and felt and acknowledged the great sadness within me, while feeling gratitude for the beauty around me.

Message from Spirit.

When I arrived at the field where beautiful horses graze, I found my solace. Today there were five horses (the number for my name) – usually there are four. Four of the horses were standing facing away from me in the shade. Sitting on the warm gravelly sand next to the small pond was a dapple grey looking straight at me, as though to say, ‘Yes, this is it! Take note!’ Then he proceeded to lie down and relax in the warm sand, then sit up and look at me again. Then he did it again but this time he turned his tummy to the sky and lavishly wriggled in the sand before sitting and looking at me again.


Horse symbolism

The Meaning.

When receiving messages, it is important that you have a clear intention in the first place so that you know what it is referring to! Today I stepped out calling upon Great Spirit to help me with this situation; to put it into perspective and show me what to do and how to be. Here was a clear message to ‘Chill out and relax!’ Tummy to the sky – vulnerability – I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable and this is important; now things will have the opportunity to shift. Sitting by the pond – look at your reflection; know who you are and what you want that will serve your higher good. Also, be aware of the other’s reflection – it is different from yours. Take care of yourself, enjoy and relax. Horses are earthy and grounded. They take us on journeys as they take us for a ride. They are playful, intelligent, independent and yet giving. These are qualities that I also bring into my message.

Further along the track, a little stick called me to pick it up. It is a beautiful wand and reminds me of the magic within me and that I am responsible for making the magic happen.

Wand symbolizes the magic.

Conclusion

On my return journey, the horses had dispersed and were munching grass in the sun. I had my answers and will take time to allow myself to process how they will manifest from in my life.


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Walking in the East:

  1. Make a clear decision that you are going to walk with Spirit and that you will release your mind/brain.
  2. Set a clear intention.
  3. Walk mindfully, noticing if your brain engages in deep thought. If it does, thank it and tell it you are looking at nature in this moment.
  4. Notice what grabs your attention and take in all the details.
  5. Sit quietly, breathing into your belly and this will help you absorb the meaning that arises from the symbols you’ve collected.

Collecting Colour Reveals Hidden Treasures.


Rene and Priscilla digging out 'yellow dye' roots.

My recent journey to the Northern Territory promised to be an adventure but turned out to be so much more than I ever could have imagined or hoped for. The outward purpose of the journey was to learn about how fibre is processed and weaving techniques while immersed in indigenous culture, but the purpose for my world within would be the powerful outcome of the journey.

Collecting Colour in the Bush.

My adventure begins with collecting colour. Priscilla is our guide and as she sits in the front seat of the four-wheel drive, her sharp and practised eyes are scanning the bush for signs of plants that will become dyes for our fibre. The bushland here is different from where I live in Queensland and the types of trees seem to be in pockets; changing as we drive along.

Priscilla directs us to the visitor centre where she knows there are some ‘pink dye’ plants. Armed with bags, we set off into long spindly dry looking grass with bunches of tiny seeds at the top. This is what we are collecting to make pink dye. When we have collected as much as we can find, Priscilla uses the shovel to show us how to harvest the roots. As they are lifted, the shovel grazes the surface to reveal a rich red/orange colour. Such beauty hidden in the earth! These roots will make ‘brown dye’.

This is only our first stop in collecting colour, but already I have the sense that this is so much more than the ‘outer world’ story I am telling here. I am aware that whereas before I wouldn’t have noticed the little black seeds, my eyes are open and are keenly seeking them out. I am aware of the environment around me and how my body feels as I work with my companions. I am grateful for the feeling of awe when I see the truth of the colour of the roots as they are lifted from the earth.

Driving on towards Gunbalanya eyes are peeled for kapok trees with their spindly tall thin trunks with green pods riding at the ends of the branches. “There’s some! … and some more!” …  but I can’t see them! It isn’t until we stop and walk a little way from the road that I see what has been described to me and now they appear everywhere.

Harvesting is as easy as shaking the tree or pulling the branches down and plucking the pods – that is, unless they have been colonised by stinging green ants. I noticed that the pods on this kapok plant look rather ‘hairy’, being covered with the ants, and Priscilla is timely in rescuing me from their stings as she says it’s better to choose one with no ants!

With a dilly bag full of kapok, we are now looking for yellow dye; the root of another spindly looking plant with yellow flowers. In the Northern Territory heat digging out the roots is no easy task, but we dig down to the roots and follow their contours to chop out the biggest parts. Black dye comes more easily in the shape of shiny green leaves nearby.

 


Kapok pods

Crushing kapok seeds turns the white fibre inside bright yellow.

Roots of 'pink dye' plant

Kapok Pods

The white fibre and seeds from inside the pods are crushed exposing a brilliant yellow colour.

Sylvia is chopping ‘pink dye’ plant roots for brown dye.


Cooking up dye

Pink Dye -photo Renee Bahloo

Dyes simmering over the fire

Dye cooking on the fire.

Pink dye seeds. Pink dye cooking on the fire and pink dyed pandanus fibre.

Yellow dye and green dye cooking on the fire.

Connections are being made. With the Earth, the plants, each part of the plants and so too we are connecting with each other; local women, guide and adventurers. Helping each other, watching, listening, learning, accepting, enjoying each other’s joy and enthusiasm; sharing heart connection.

Treasures Revealed

Being out in the bush collecting these resources was new to me; different from the walks I love to take in the bush. We were there with a clear intention, and the dyes we would be able to make depended upon what we found and could collect. But it wasn’t only the feeling of achieving our purpose and learning about the plants and how to collect.

Driving past nondescript bush and taking it for granted is no longer an option. I know there is a treasure trove of things to be discovered there! I have acquired an acute awareness of ‘being’, of feeling grounded and feeling connected to the land and people. It is as though the very earth has become ingrained in my spirit and will stay with me forever.

My recent journey to the Northern Territory promised to be an adventure but turned out to be so much more than I ever could have imagined or hoped for. The outer world purpose of the journey was to learn about how fibre is processed and weaving techniques while immersed in indigenous culture, but the purpose for my world within would be the powerful outcome of the journey.

Interested in Rene Bahloo’s journeys? You will find all the information about her workshops and journeys to Arnhem land on her

website: http://weavery.com.au/ or join her on

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/weaverywork

Injalak Arts has cultural information: http://injalak.com/

Look out for my next story of Arnhem Land !

Blessings to you

Betsy

 

Raging Waters Have Symbolic Meaning

Have you ever noticed how the nature reflects the pattern of your life?

Have you noticed how the weather affects your moods?

The recent deluge of rain caused a very significant flash flood in our local creek with the water inundating the park and walking track. Tonnes of gravel was shifted from the creek bed to cover the path and river sand covered the park. Trees had been undermined by the force of the water and some had fallen. Their branches and other debris remained where the water had left them; choking the bridges and wrapped around the plants and posts that had caught them.

As I walked down the path after the event, I felt the great power that had been unleashed and I knew that this was significant for my life. I felt like a weight had lifted from my shoulders and the emotional confusion that I have been feeling had been washed away.

When you walk in conscious awareness you come to notice everything around you and you notice significant things; symbols that will add meaning to your life. The unconscious part of our brains is many times larger than the conscious part and we aren’t able to access this information directly. When we dream our brain waves have slowed down allowing messages in symbol form to rise to our conscious brain. This is why dreams often entertain us with their funny or fearful stories. In the same way that we can interpret these dream symbols, we can also interpret the symbols that we notice through conscious awareness.

To walk in conscious awareness, I first decide upon a question or a problem that is troubling me and ask for guidance around it during my walk. I ground myself, breathe, call my guides, and ask my question. ‘What can my walk tell me about what has been happening in my life?’ I then walk, with my mind relaxed and open to anything that presents itself.

The day after the flood there were several significant things that presented them to me. Water is often described as symbolic of emotions. As I have mentioned already, the atmosphere, the energy surrounding me, was very powerful. It contained the power that had been expressed by nature the day before and had a strong feeling of everything being flushed clean and renewed.

Gravel was swept in a small mountain range across the path; fresh small rocks piled into a form that I had to step through and over as I couldn’t go around. For me this symbolised fresh new things coming across my path that I can’t avoid. I will experience them and emerge on the other side better for the experiences.

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The evidence of the power of the water was everywhere. The flattened grass and weeds showed the ‘going with the flow’ of the water and surviving. The debris under the bridge and against the trees spoke to me of holding onto the old and the message to release and let it go with the flow – keeping only that which will serve me well.
Ducks were in their element as they paddled happily in the tranquil ponds left by the flooding rains, finding lots of juicy grubs to eat. Ducks work hard paddling under water while they look serene as they glide along – hard work creates serenity through organisation and planning for it. Enjoying the flow, the emotions both overwhelming and calm, seeing out the storm and reaping the benefits are other messages here.

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Walking in conscious awareness this way connects me with my guides and intuition. The messages are very confirming about what is happening in my life, give me some clear directions for moving ahead and hope for the future.

Here is a pattern to follow.

  1. Breathe and ground yourself and ask for your guides to be with you.
  2. Set a clear intention for your walk
  3. Walk with your mind relaxed, not thinking or wandering; allow it to take in your surroundings.
  4. Notice anything that presents to you.
  5. Write these down on completion of your walk.
  6. ‘Listen’ to how each of these sound to you when you write them. What do they mean for you with regard to your intention?
  7. How do these come together to make a story to answer your intention?

So, next time you go for a walk, why don’t you set your intention to find answers to something that’s been bothering you and see what happens. I wonder what you’ll discover?

Sensory Communication


Sensory Communication

We communicate in many ways!

Have you ever thought about

Sensory Communication?

Sensory communication brings greater depth of connection with the world around us giving us greater meaning and richness of experience. I  would like to share with you a ‘moment of Clarity’ that I experienced this week when I was preparing myself for my meditation group. It was a profound moment of realisation for me and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of communication expressed in this way before.

We are very conscious of our ‘brain talk’ and this communication is always in words. In fact we mostly think of communication as being in words or signals given in body language or specific movement signals.

As I opened myself to dream the session as it was going to happen, I picked up a piece of sodalite and held it in my hands. I became aware in an instant that the crystal was communicating with me. NO! it wasn’t talking. There were no words in my head. I was AWARE; aware of the weight, aware of the coolness, aware of the roughness and the shape of it. I opened my eyes and drank in the colour. I was AWARE; aware of the colour, aware of the white veins threading through the crystal. No WORDS were there or required. Communication was purely sensory.

This has brought a deeper meaning about communication for me that I wanted to share. Taking space to absorb the messages from our senses gives us the ability to communicate; to receive sensory communication that has the capacity to enrich our every experience. Each of our senses; sound, sight, touch, taste,smell and also our energetic field, is communicating with us in every moment.

The ‘real’ world of hustle and bustle and ‘brain talk’ blanks out this awareness; this sensory communication.

Mindfulness is a modern term for being aware of these senses and is certainly a great skill for being aware in the present moment. However, I rather think that what I am describing is more akin to mindlessness. It felt more like I am empty and the crystal is giving me information; replacing words and thoughts.

  • Do some relaxation breaths.
  • Take a moment.
  • Decide to hold something or stand near it.
  • Take a breath and let go of thought and mind talk.
  • Notice.
  • BE AWARE.
  • What sensations are happening?

Take in your awareness of the sensations before your brain engages and begins to put words to the experience and treasure the moment.

In my next blog I will take this further where the communication becomes clearer and meaning is processed through symbolism.

Thank you for reading and please comment your experience below.

In Love and Light,

Betsy