Positivity: How to change the consequences of things you cannot change.


Emotional responses
I leant into the cupboard to retrieve my art materials. As I came up to standing, I was at first curious and then shocked, as blood streamed across my vision – my eye was bleeding inside. Just like that! I was blind in one eye and even though I knew it wasn’t permanent, my life for the next months would be severely impaired. I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t see anything on my left side. Reading was a challenge – to name but a few of many things I now couldn’t do normally. Suddenly I had joined the ranks of the partially disabled. How could this have happened to me?

Emotional choices

Emotional choices

Emotional choices

Emotional Choices: How do I want to be?

Having a vital part of you taken away, whether it be physical or situational, is a recipe for disaster and deep depression. I was blind in one eye. My perfectly healthy body had let me down. I couldn’t change the fact that my eye was blind. Everything was a chore. Going to the shops was even more unappealing than it was before – dizzyingly so!

Luckily for me, I have had an amazing life where I have been intensely curious about my emotions and feelings. I choose to live my life in a ‘shamanic’ way, and the guidelines of this path remind me to ‘live in the light’ and to ‘create joy’. This is what saved me from going down the depression path. I made a clear and conscious choice to make the most of my situation and be POSITIVE.

How to be positive in a negative situation.

It’s one thing to make a commitment and another to make it happen. How did I achieve being positive in what appears to be such a negative situation?

¨       I made a choice.

I used to think that emotions and feelings just happened to me. I now know this – I can make a choice about how I feel and dissipate the emotions that arise from negative feelings. I decided that I could choose to be miserable, or I could choose to shine the light on all the positive aspects of being forced to live my life differently. I discovered that, although I had previously been excited about my plans for the year ahead, I had quite a few projects I had put off for a long time and needed to complete. I now had purpose – I had found the positive outcome of my situation.

¨       I made a commitment.

Making a clear and determined commitment is needed to help you follow through. This is true for any changes you choose to make. When make a commitment, there are two main things to consider. Firstly, write it as though it has already been achieved, and secondly make it concrete – write it down and put it where you can see it.

¨       I had a vision.

Every morning I take time to vision my day or something of my choosing. In my situation, I came to vision myself feeling contented and happy doing the things I wished to complete. Visioning is traditionally thought of as having a visual image, but it is more than this. When you vision, bring your feelings into your vision – so visioning myself creating a dreamcatcher became – me feeling the joy, curiosity, serenity, inspiration as though I was present, doing it, in my vision – focus on the positive feelings.

¨       I transformed the negative.

Shamanic practice has taught me to be consciously self-aware. This is such a great tool. It means that I notice when I’m feeling negative before it can get too much of a hold on me. I have learnt to feel into it; acknowledge the feeling and its details. Acknowledging it brings it to the light – out into the open so that I can choose that this is not how I want to be, and change my direction.

¨       And looked for positive.

In her book “Positivity”, Barbara Frederickson says that moments of positivity come in tiny windows. None of us are positive all the time, or we wouldn’t be able to operate in this world. What I have learnt from her research, is that you can catch the fleeting moment when positivity occurs. (conscious self-awareness) MAGNIFY it. CELEBRATE it. CREATE JOY with this moment.

Taking action.

Throughout life things happen to you that you cannot change. It is easy to fall into despair and become immobile.  If you’re feeling like you’re falling into a great hole, falling often feels like the path of least resistance because you have no resources to do it differently. Doing it differently requires you to step up and do something to change the consequences of those things that you cannot change. Stepping up means that you have made the choice to find the benefits and illuminate them and bring them into being. The steps above are designed to help you to act to become positive – in small do-able parts.

Because it is difficult to action new ways of being without knowing what it feels like to be that way, Life Healing Journeys provide you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in this process with compassionate guidance.

Life Healing Journeys come in many forms; individual sessions, small group circles and workshops. These are advertised on lifehealingjourneys.com.au and by newsletter.

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

 

Courage or Fear


Courage

COURAGE

is

STRENGTH  and DETERMINATION

in the face of

FEAR

Courage comes easily when we are feeling good about ourselves. We are confident and fear stands out of the lime-light.

When I’m feeling courageous everything is bright and possible.

Yellow is my colour for courage.

When things seem to be too hard and I’m questioning my commitment, I know that fear has taken over. That means it’s time to take out the Yellow flag of courage. In these times courage is drawn upon in the face of fear which can be difficult to do especially if it isn’t a situation where our values or empathy are being seriously challenged.

With courage I can attempt anything and while I’m trying new things I’m learning and growing. Success is knowing I’ve tried.

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