Joy is such an incredible feeling. It’s like warm butterflies in my chest and unshed happy tears behind my eyes. It brings a smile to my heart that makes its way to my face. I walk by the Bay and that smile radiates out to everyone I pass and almost always, they smile back, giving me even more joy.
I’ve been struggling with my shadow for a while now and its been hard. You see, people would ask me what was wrong, and I couldn’t explain what I was feeling, so I would talk about my past or my issues to try and identify what was causing so much pain and distress. Sometimes people thought maybe I needed therapy. More?! No, I’ve done a lot of work on myself and I’m a very different person than I once was. However, there was something I just couldn’t put words to and it was sapping all the joy out of me. I began to question my value. I obviously wasn’t doing enough! If I could just get the right project going or get really into a daily routine of meditation and reading and writing and exercise and eating properly and expanding my businesses… you get my point?! Then and only then would I feel complete, like I was of value, that I was doing my work and making a difference in the world.
Many people have offered help and comfort, advice and butt-kicking, support and even a little impatience. YES. It’s been two months and I was still struggling! Sorry, not sorry. One friend said to me, and I’m paraphrasing, “Stop trying to do ten things well. Focus on three and get really good at them.” I saw the value of what she said but I didn’t know how to let go of the expectations I put on myself.
I began to try to listen to the messages I was giving myself and at first, I found it difficult to hear the difference between good thoughts that were self-correcting and the ones that weren’t helping me. Let’s be honest, they were killing me! I’m stupid, I’m lazy, I don’t try hard enough, I never finish anything. There’s more but I don’t want to continue the litany because it’s a slippery slope. I can still get caught up in the spiral downward too easily and beating myself up is a habit that’s ingrained, to the point that I don’t even realize I’m doing it until its too late, and I suddenly find myself wallowing in depression. And once I’m there, it becomes a battle with myself to do what will help me get back out. Can you believe that?! I would refuse to help myself: to listen, to read, or to reach out for what could help. That’s how deep into it I have gone.
So anyway, I’ve done a lot of soul-searching and have realized that the expectations and negative self-talk are not my energy. They are merely the signals being sent as reminders that I’m actually just fine being me. I just wasn’t listening! When I began to listen to what I was saying to myself, some repeated over and over since childhood, I could see how it was making me feel – about everything!
And here’s what I learned. I’m pretty awesome just as I am! I do good for others, I love my work, and I feel better when I take care of my body in a loving way. I have aspects of myself that are not my best Self, but that’s okay. That’s the shadow side I’ve spent years and too much energy trying to hide for fear of judgement and rejection. You know what? Everybody has a shadow self! And you can’t find balance of you don’t love all of yourself. Those aspects will fight for recognition and acceptance to the point of driving you mad! Only the Shadow knows. Acceptance of all parts of ourselves is the work, and the work is life. And if you don’t commit to the work, you will never love yourself enough to relax and love life. Whew! This Dark Night of the Soul was a tough one. But I’ve learned so much and so much has changed, seemingly in an instant. And guess what? I’ve found my joy again! And for this I can say, thanks be to the Creator.
PS: Ironically, after writing this I opened Vanessa’s book, heart is where the home is to a random page, and this is what I read: Finding Peace & Joy May we all find inner peace, joy, happiness, and love. May we all seek to find understanding, compassion, and empathy for others and ourselves. Our purpose here isn’t to live in fear and angst, but to live a life that fills our hearts and satisfies our souls. Life isn’t meant to be complex. When we take it too seriously, we miss out on the gifts and opportunities we’ve given. Find time for solace and serenity. Admire the beauty and wonder of the world. Peace and joy is within your reach.
“Be joyful even when you have considered all the facts.”—Wendell Berry
Jennifer has recently been through a painful divorce and she’s not sleeping well. She’s having difficulties with her children, who blame her for the divorce. Her work life is rocky as well, and sometimes she’s unsure if she’s in the right career.
What she thinks:Yes, life is rough right now, but every life has difficult times. Really, I am so grateful to be alive, for my children, for my home, my good health, all that I have.
Robert has lots of everything—a nice apartment in the city, a well-paying job, new car, nice clothes. But he didn’t get that last promotion at work. His last vacation was a disappointment, and no matter how hard he tries, he just can’t save money.
What he thinks:I just don’t understand why things are going wrong. It just doesn’t seem fair when I work so hard. People don’t appreciate me and I deserve better than this.
Robert’s approach is about holding a grievance—about what’s missing or wrong. Jennifer’s is about being grateful for all you have. Gratitude isn’t a new idea; most spiritual practices and philosophies emphasize gratitude and compassion for others. But in recent years gratitude has shifted from being an idea to a concrete tool that people can use to become happier and healthier. This practice focuses on appreciating what others have done for you and de-emphasizes being angry or blaming others for your problems.
“When we develop a sense of appreciation for those around us and cultivate a sense of gratitude for life itself, we are relieved of the burden that comes with seeing ourselves as ‘victims,’” writes Greg Krech inGratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection.
Krech calls this state of appreciation “grace,” a term used in many religions. However, grace as a practice is not a belief as much as a shift in thinking. Or as Krech puts it: “It’s the difference between seeing life as an entitlement and seeing it as a gift.”
However it is practiced, gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Yes, pain and injustice and cruelty exist in this world. But when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well-being. We often feel more energized to reach out and help others; we feel we have some power to positively affect our world. This again leads to a feeling of well-being…and gratitude. It’s a self-sustaining cycle!
In her bookRadical Gratitude, author and speaker Ellen Vaughn tells the story of a soldier in Vietnam, imprisoned as a POW for seven years. When he returned to the United States, he was startled at the small things people complained about. He decided then he would never stop being grateful for everything in his life, no matter how difficult.
Of course, most of us don’t have such extreme experiences to help us count our blessings. In their bookSeasons of Grace: The Life-Giving Practice of Gratitude, authors Alan Jones and John O’Neil write that practicing gratitude can be as simple as writing a thank you note, working in the garden, walking on the beach aware of nature’s gifts, telling someone you love what you appreciate about him/her. According to them, it’s even more than what you do, it’s the attitude with which you do it.
Consider the following exercise for putting gratitude into action in our relationships with people close to us, whether they be spouses, friends, children or business partners:
Find 10 minutes to tell the person what specifically you appreciate about him/her.
It may help to ask yourself a few questions in advance:What were some of the highlights—the fun times when you laughed—when you first met? What specific qualities do you admire about him/her? What efforts by this other person have helped your relationship make it through difficult times?
Share the results with the person, requesting that he or she not make judgments or negate any of the appreciative comments.
This simple exercise helps you stop taking the important people in your life for granted and can effectively reawaken an awareness of the gifts of your relationship with that individual. Now try it on yourself!
To help you on your gratitude journey, here are 8 ways to have more gratitude in your daily life.
Don't be picky: appreciate everything. ...
Find gratitude in your challenges. ...
Practice mindfulness. ...
Keep a gratitude journal. ...
Express yourself. ...
Spend time with loved ones. ...
Improve your happiness in other areas of your life.
I really recommend keeping a gratitude journal. Every day write at least 3 things that you are grateful for. If you write these just before going to bed you fall asleep with that feeling of gratitude which will attract more of that feeling into your life. It is all about having the energy of gratitude every day. The more you feel grateful the more you will have to feel grateful for.
Cultivate your attitude of gratitude!
Written by Wanda Davis, M.Sc., B.Sc., B.Ed. Reiki Master/Teacher | Professional Speaker | Co-Author of International Best Selling Book, Are You Missing the Piece and Getting Well: Mind, Body and Spirit. www.WandaDavis.ca 226-374-9045 firstname.lastname@example.org
Why it’s OK to get your kids’ backs when the going gets tough.
I’m a mom of a boy, and any moms of boys out there know that there’s something special between moms and sons. But it wasn’t until I had a son of my own that I truly understood that bond.
When he was a baby he was my everything. He still is, but it’s taken on a new meaning. While I still have to meet his needs as a mom, I realized a couple of years ago that as he gets older I need to meet his emotional needs…times a thousand. It’s not just about hugging and kissing when they have a bad dream. Hold on to your hats, parents. It gets harder.
I haven’t shied away from talking about Cooper’s struggles in grade one. He didn’t adjust well to the transition of play-based learning to the structure of the primary grades. I watched as he grew more and more angry and frustrated, full of anxiety about doing school work. It escalated to him throwing things around the classroom, wiping things off the principal’s desk and getting sent home on a regular basis. Emotions ran high as we were all trying to figure out what was going on in his tiny head to make him so angry. We followed the teacher’s plan to consequence him at home if he had a troubling day at school. AFTER he was consequenced all day by the teacher. He was sometimes afraid to see me after school.
I watched him become sad and confused. He called himself a “bad boy.” If he wasn’t in tears, he was angry. If we were confused as parents, I can only imagine how confused he was. No one was listening to him and he was in trouble all the time. He felt he had nowhere to turn to.
While I wanted to get to the root of the problem, the teachers were after something else. One teacher told me he was the “most aggressive child we’ve seen without a diagnosis.” He was six. At six years-old they were looking for a diagnosis, and we knew what that meant. Test him for ADHD. We refused.
It wasn’t until April of that year, that the struggles came to a head, and I truly became the mama bear. Things weren’t getting better with Cooper, so we were called to a meeting at the school. I remember sitting at that table with the school principal, vice principal, teacher and special education teacher, telling me and my husband that our kid didn’t fit in a box. Eluding and to the fact that he needed to be tested. I remember saying, he’s only six! In my mind, jumping to the ADHD theory before examining all other angles wasn’t the answer. I know many parents have tested their kids and had great success. I just wanted to make sure it was the right choice, with my doctor too. Plus, as a mom, you kind of just know there’s more to your kid!
We left the meeting with a safety plan and IEP, and a lump in my throat. How could they say my son was something at school that he wasn’t at home? Why wouldn’t they work with me to find other solutions? Most of all, why was everyone else against this kid, except me? I was livid, hurt and so confused.
That day ignited something in me that I hadn’t felt before. I knew right then and there that no one would be his advocate more than me. No one would be his biggest fan more than me. Two years later, that is still true. I now take a huge role in his academics. I work with his teachers (all who have been absolutely wonderful) to ensure we are on the same page and agree on how to handle my son. I am fierce in my way of parenting which is positive and firm but offer a lot of love. I don’t consequence at home if he is in trouble for something at school that is handled by the teachers. We talk about it but he won’t get second consequences at home. I want him to feel safe at home, emotionally and physically.
Over the years he has taken great strides and has eliminated the IEP and the safety plan and hasn’t been sent home. His behaviour problems have gone away and he thrives with some great friendships with peers and teachers. Is that because he felt like there are people on his side now? We have no clue, but whatever happened, it worked.
I’m still a mama bear. That will never go away. I’ll always be his biggest advocate and I won’t apologize for it. And if he is a mama’s boy when he’s older, that’s ok. I’m married to one, and he’s a pretty good guy!
Sarah Lajeunesse and Apryl Munro became fast friends while working together as news Videographers with Rogers TV in Simcoe County in 2004. They covered countless breaking news stories over the years and learned so much about the area, the people and the community as a whole.
Vanessa Marie Dewsbury
Reiki Master | Spiritual Life Coach | Best Selling Author
"heart is where the home is"
Available on Amazon.ca & Amazon.com
The Magic Of The New Moon
The New Moon is magical to me. I love connecting with the powerful energies it brings forth as I take the opportunity to set new goals or renew past goals, and connect to the powerful energies that flow within me, and around me. I like to perform a New Moon Ritual, which I share with you here.
New Moon Significance Sun and Moon When the Moon is new, the Luminaries -- the Sun and Moon -- are aligned in the same Zodiac sign. That makes it a charged time with concentrated energies of that sign. A New Moon is a symbolic point of attention, and a symbolic portal for new beginnings.
New Moon Intentions
A New Moon is the perfect time to set new goals and intentions and to be clear about the visions you hold and wish to manifest into your reality. In the New Moon's energies, you can be open to receiving and allowing spirit to bring you any messages you may need at this time; it's important to be still and listen. When we are still and silent, we can better tap into the messages from the Universe, and from our own intuition as well.
New Moon Ritual
Prepare a space for your New Moon Ritual, preferably a place where you won't be distracted or disturbed. Cleanse and clear the space with sage or essential oils, and bring in any crystals or sacred pieces you would like to have present during your ritual. If possible, place the crystals/stones on a window ledge and allow the New Moon energy to cleanse them during your ritual. Light candles and or incense if you wish, as it can add a peaceful energy to the space. Be mindful of leaving your candles lit and be sure to blow them out!
Get yourself grounded and calm as you tap into the New Moon's energy. Breathe in its clear, powerful and abundant energy and breathe out any self doubt and negativity you may be holding. Review and reflect on your future goals and intentions or if you would like to renew old goals, envision those as well and see them in your mind as if they have already come to fruition. After you have spent time reflecting, write them down in a journal or note pad.
Also write down the intentions and actions you plan to take in the manifestation of your goals and dreams as well as the Why. Your Why is the reason you want these particular dreams and goals to manifest, and if your Why isn't clear and precise, it will be reflected in the outcome. And remember, we co-create our reality with the Universe, think of it as team work. It's never just a matter of stating what you want and then not taking action, it's about taking part and full responsibility in achieving all that you desire, and the Universe will always be there to support you!
New Moon Reflection
The New Moon energy is also a wonderful opportunity to empower yourself. To release any self doubt you have been harboring within. It is a time to let go of all that is holding you back and it's a time to step into the power of who you really are. A beautiful, brilliant and bold soul who is ready and willing to stand in your own light and embrace all that you are.
See yourself standing tall and confident in a serene field of flowers with the warm sunlight pouring onto your shoulders. Feel how it would feel to love and accept all that you are without worry of what others may think. Understand that you are a unique being and there never has, nor will there ever be, another You. With the New Moon, you can tap into the New You.
After your New Moon Ceremony, express your gratitude to the Moon's energy and be thankful for bringing to you all that you need in order to turn your dreams into physical reality.
“In order to live a healthy, happy and prosperous life, and fulfill the reason we are each here – our mission and purpose – we must return to our natural state of being, centered in and identified with spirit.” Heidi DuPre
Vanessa Marie Dewsbury
Reiki Master | Spiritual Mentor
Author of, "heart is where the home is"
Available on Amazon.ca & Amazon.com
Mindful Breath Meditation, as I refer to it, is the act of practicing Meditation guided by your breath.
Many of us tend to have a bit of difficulty practicing Meditation. Being still and silent can be tricky in a world where we are constantly being bombarded by distractions at our every turn. So to sit and be still with ourselves, and to quiet our thoughts can be some what of a challenge. But with practice. patience and perseverance, it can be done.
Mindful Breath Meditation is simply using your breath as your guide.
I intentionally prepare the space for my Meditation by dimming or turning off any lights, lighting a few candles, cleansing the room with sage or lighting incense. I like to play the sound of gentle water trickling down a stream as my background noise. Creating this environment each time unconsciously and consciously tells my body that it will be entering into the act of connecting within to mind, body, soul and spirit.
I begin my Meditation practice by doing what I call a "Chakra Awakening." I do this by tapping each Chakra starting at the crown (top of head) seven times each until I reach my base/root Charka, (bottom of spine). I then do a "body scan" and see where I may be holding onto any tension or stress and I relax the body parts that were holding on. I visualize pure, clean and clear white light filling up my body starting at the crown on every in-breath and on each out-breath I envision all stress and tension from the day leaving my body through the bottoms of my feet.
Anytime a thought comes up and my mind wanders as it definitely does, I simply observe the thought then "wave" it away. I remain from any judgment or expectations of self and I just let it all be, exactly what it is, in that moment.
I also like to hold smooth crystals in the palms of my hands during my Meditation. The stones act as a reminder for me to return to the breath when my mind has wandered off. Because our unconscious mind is so powerful, I set the intention of using the stones as reminders when I begin my practice.
I truly feel that we can master the art of Meditation by making it a ritual and preparing ourselves each time. The preparation of the ritual will become ingrained into our cellular memory and begin to create a habit.
It's also important to remember that there is no "right" way or "wrong" way to practice Meditation. I believe many people avoid Meditation because they think of the Buddha sitting in perfect posture with his mind clear of thoughts. But the truth is, we can't clear away all of our thoughts and empty our mind but we can certainly slow the thoughts down. And like all things, it takes a lot of practice, time and intentional effort to achieve any goal we wish to meet.
Starting off with a Mindful Breath Meditation even five minutes a day can begin your journey to a beautiful and soulful Meditation practice. Consciously connecting within to our mind, body, soul and spirit can ultimately be life changing and have powerful and profound effects in your internal, and external world.
"If you can resist the impulse to claim each and every thought as your own, you will come to a startling conclusion: you will discover that you are the consciousness in which the thoughts appear and disappear." – Annamalai Swami
Reiki Energy Healing is one of the most gentle and non-evasive forms of healing.
Reiki is the method of tapping into the Universal Life Force Energy that surrounds us and using that energy to heal the imbalances and blockages we can hold within our bodies. These blockages can be caused from stress, illness, past pain, trauma and more.
When we hold onto the energy of emotions we experienced in our past, it remains present in our unconscious energy field and travels throughout our body like "free radical energy". Reiki helps to release these blockages by allowing the body to go into a calm and relaxing state by connecting with our mind, body and spirit. The white, loving light of Reiki travels from the crown chakra, (the top of the head), down to the feet. Many people report feeling a release through both their head and feet, as well as a feeling of lightness within, like a weight has been lifted.
I've had many clients tell me they felt like their brain was "whooshing" around in their skull. Others say they could feel the energy moving from one side of their head to the other. When working on the crown chakra, Reiki Practitioners are working on balancing the right and left brain hemispheres, so it's no wonder people can feel what is energetically taking place.
During a treatment clients often feel the Reiki Practitioner's hands places they are not. The theory is that it is the hands of Spirit Guides and/or Angels we call upon to assist us during the treatments. I've had clients open their eyes to see where I am because the sensation of the hands on their body feels very apparent. The sensation is not unsettling, but rather soothing, loving and comforting.
Reiki also helps with injury and pain relief by traveling to the point of pain and dissipating the accumulation of energy. Often the client will feel the pain more intensely when its been "awakened," but soon feel relief once the stuck energy is releasing.
Reiki has also been known to help with stress relief. We live in a society where we can feel bombarded by the stresses of our jobs, our home life and even those around us. We hold onto this stress and carry it around with us like a weight on our shoulders all day, every day. The beautiful thing about Reiki is that it can help relieve this stress by allowing the body to relax into a deep state and releasing from our conscious and unconscious energy what simply does not serve us purpose. It allows us to put our life into perspective and helps us understand that all that stress and those little worries aren't always as "important" as we think they are.
Stress can do damage to our bodies. I believe it is the root cause of many illnesses and dis-ease. It can even interfere with our cortisol and hormone levels, and affect our bodies ability to conceive. I've treated six clients who were dealing with infertility issues. After receiving continual Reiki Sessions (about four sessions), they were able to conceive after releasing their stress and balancing their hormones. It's pretty amazing! You can read more about Reiki and infertility HERE.
There are so many wonderful things to be said about Reiki Energy Healing.
A lot of times a Reiki Practitioner isn't even aware of what's happening "behind the scenes". We just hold space for our clients, visualize loving and healing light, send positive intentions for the person, and allow the Universal Life Force Energy to do its magic.
"A healer does not heal you. A healer is someone who holds space
for you while you awaken your inner healer, so you may heal yourself." Maryam Hasnaa
If you have any questions about Reiki or if you would like to share your own experience or book a session, please get in touch with me or comment below.
I look forward to connecting with you! email@example.com
What do you Love? What fills you with joy and excitement? What makes you lose track of time? What makes you lose track of yourself? What makes your heart sing?
We often find ourselves wondering how we arrived at this place and space in time, wondering who we are and where "we" went. We question where our dreams have gone and how they escaped our hearts without a sound nor trace of the magic we once held so dearly.
It's life. Life gets in the way of our dreams, our desires, and of our truth.
We work away our days, waiting for them to end, only to begin and end again. Each day that falls behind us is yet another day we swim through the rough waters without our dreams in tow; we leave them behind at the shore only to be washed away by the tides and lost among the salty sands.
Is it the roles we take: husband, wife, mother, father? Is it the stress of life that rips our dreams so abruptly from our hearts? Or is it the expectations others place upon our backs that make us put aside what we love? Do we let go of who we are to become what others want us to be?
The importance of doing something you love is as important as the air we breathe. It's a necessity, it's how we thrive, how we feel alive. It literally pours within our cells a feeling of pure bliss and happiness, and it's what makes our heart beat faster when we're engaged in the moments of doing what our soul seeks to fill itself full.
Doing something you love doesn't have to be a career, it doesn't have to take up your whole day if you don't want it to, but it should fit into a part of your day like any other "important" task.
What if you're not passionate about something; how do you find out what moves your heart to joy? You play. You create, invent, be curious, try as many new things as you can. You take ideas and sit with them, and then run with them, as fast as you can. Maybe it's helping others within your community or a friend redecorate their home - if you look long and hard enough, you will find it.
Your dreams and passions lay dormant until you do something to wake them. Sometimes the thing we love is only a song or painting away.
We aren't here to just work our lives away, we are here to enjoy all the gifts we were given and embrace the treasures that were born within us. We're here to bask in the fruits of life before we pack up our souls and leave this life for good.
Take the time to discover, or rediscover what you love. Make it as important to you as the air you breathe because nothing can bring you more happiness then sharing what you love with the world.
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
I was completely terrified during our plane ride home from Mexico back in March.
We usually fly in the morning, in the daylight, which seems to make my 'flying anxiety' less intense. On this trip, however, we took off in the dark.
As I sat upright in my seat, watching the misty clouds whizz past the windows at great speed, my fears began to take over. My heart started to pound as I looked around frantically in hopes of finding someone else who was sharing my fears so I wouldn't feel so alone. I looked at their faces and their body movements, anything to signify they were afraid like me, but everyone around me was doing their own thing, opening their books, adjusting their pillows and plugging in their headphones.
The plane shook for the first half of the flight. I felt so tense that I wasn't able to sit back in my seat for more than two hours. I felt angry that I put myself in a situation where I didn't have any control, a situation that I perceived as "unsafe." I felt I was risking my own life, and I was mad at myself for doing so.
The thing with fear is that it may not be "real" as some may say but in moments of fear-induced anxiety, it sure as hell feels real. It may not mean its "really" going to happen or become "reality" but those fears, those thoughts, that anxiety, it all feels more real than anything in the world; it's the height of reality for those who suffer with anxiety. It feels so real because all of your senses come alive: you feel, hear and sense everything around you more intensely; even the most normal sounds can become frightening. Your fight or flight response is activated.
Shortly after taking off, a woman sitting in the front seat caught my eye. She was casually talking to her daughter and husband, who sat an isle away, and she did this with such ease that she became my main focus. My partner was listening to music beside me and was almost asleep and I didn't want to disturb him. So I let him be.
I decided I needed to talk to the woman, to ask her questions because I so desperately needed respite. I wanted her to tell me things that would help make me feel safe. I wanted to know I'd be okay and that I wasn't going to die.
I got up from my seat and made my way over to her. I approached her with openness and honesty as I shared with her how terrified I was feeling and that I was hoping she could help me.She told me that she had flown many times throughout her life and that turbulence was completely normal, like bumps in road. All the foreign sounds I was hearing that triggered my adrenaline were typical sounds, and nothing was wrong with the plane. She mildly eased my mind and my fears for those brief moments.
I didn't receive the complete relief I was hoping for from her but looking back I have realized something very profound for me. I realized how courageous being vulnerable truly is.In my moments where I was feeling my weakest, were the same moments I was acting my strongest. I didn't fear her reaction or her rejection and I was not afraid to ask for help from a person whom I've never met before. She was ready and willing to help me in any way she could, and I believe most of us would respond the same way; we would all understand and do our best to help someone in distress, someone in need of emotional relief.
But I don't think we ask for help enough. We often alone endure times of fear, anxiety, depression, heartache and trauma because we're afraid to ask for help. We're afraid to appear 'weak' and we fear being rejected or misunderstood.But there is an undeniable power in vulnerability. It holds a reservoir of courage and strength.I wasn't weak that night, my fears didn't concur my courage, I was brave and bold because I asked for help when I needed it the most. And I truly didn't care how I appeared to others that night, I didn't fear their judgment.
It's okay to not be okay, we need to accept and embrace that we don't have to be perfect and have it all together because nobody has it all together, all the time. If people showed more often all the parts of themselves, especially their "dark parts," we would know we're truly not alone, and maybe it would help us become more understanding and compassionate with ourselves and with our own hearts.
I'm sharing my story in hopes of encouraging others who need help but are afraid to ask or too scared to reach out. Most people don't see vulnerability as weakness, they see it as an opportunity to help others because we've all been who I was in those moments on the plane that night.
It's okay to reach out and to ask for help from others.
It's okay to be brave.
“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”
I recently had a Reiki treatment with Vanessa Marie Dewsbury, Soul Alive Barrie, and I loved it so much. I have always been drawn to alternative health care techniques, but I had never tried Reiki before. I thoroughly enjoyed the Reiki treatment and the benefits that I felt afterward. If you have been considering Reiki, Vanessa shares with us what you can expect, how Reiki works as well as the kinds of energetic or emotional responses that one may have after a Reiki treatment. Thank you Vanessa for sharing with us!
Reiki is described as “a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.” Can you describe a typical Reiki treatment, how it works and what one can expect from a treatment?
Reiki is a gentle, non-evasive form of healing therapy. A Reiki Practitioner is a channel for the Universal Life Force Energy to flow through into the patient. I hold space for my clients allowing the flow of energy to move through their body bringing balance back to their energy system. During a session clients are laying down on a massage table while powerful music plays as they go into a nice meditative state, sessions are generally an hour long. Clients can expect at the very least to be left feeling very relaxed however most often people experience visions, sensations through their body and it feels as though a heavy weight has been lifted as a release of stress and emotions take place during a session.
Can you tell me about your journey to becoming a Reiki Master, and how you realized that this was your path? How did you first realize that you had this gift of being a spiritual healer?
I went through several years of health issues and I was always drawn to natural healing methods. It wasn’t until my partner asked me how I always knew where he was experiencing pain when I placed my hands on his back that I started to look into “healing hands.” I posted about it on Facebook and I was told it was called Reiki. So, from there I researched, booked a Reiki Training course and three years later, here I am having treated well over 300 clients.
I recently had the opportunity to have a Reiki Session with you and I have to tell you that it was a wonderful experience. From the moment that I walked into your treatment space, I immediately felt welcomed and relaxed. It was like I could feel the calming energy of the room. Do you consciously decorate or place significant objects in your treatment room that would have an impact on the energy of the space?
That’s so wonderful to hear you felt that way Jen! Yes I definitely create spaces with intention. I do this by going within myself and feeling how I would feel in the space around me. I like things to look clean and organized as I feel a cluttered space can cause a cluttered mind, so it’s important to me that I provide a clean, joyful and calm space for others to enter into. I have had young children just step foot in my house and they comment on how much they like our home without actually seeing most of it. I place crystals and Buddha’s in most of the rooms so that always brings a feeling of calm and serenity.
At the beginning of our session, you performed a smudging to cleanse the energy of the room. Can you tell me the significance of this technique and how it works?
I use beautiful White Sage to cleanse the space before and after a client has visited my treatment room. Sage is known to attach itself to lower/negative energy of a room, object or person and the smoke carries the lower energy away and sends it back up to the Universe. The smell of White Sage also brings an instant calm to the space and has the ability to relax a client right away.
After my Reiki session with you, I felt extremely light in the sense that I didn’t have any tension in my body, and my mind was cleared of clutter and I was simply present and content. Can you tell us about how Reiki can positively impact both physical and emotional healing?
We tend to carry excessive amounts of stress with us from the past and from our present life situations and we live mostly in my minds and often neglect the importance of the Mind, Body and Spirit/Soul Connection. When we overuse or “abuse” our minds, our bodies start to send us messages that it needs our attention too. This comes in the form of physical pain, illness, dis-ease (your body not at ease with itself) as well as anxiety, depression and constant stress overload which can eventually affect our organs and we need those working at optimal performance. Stress can also have a very profound impact on a woman’s ability to become pregnant. Because stress affects our Cortisol Level and Hormones, it can put our system out of balance. I have successfully treated five women thus far who have come for Reiki sessions in hopes of Reiki helping them with infertility and all of them conceived and a few of them have already birthed their children. Some were also on IVF treatments and others simply were only using Reiki. It’s pretty amazing. If you can visualize a beautiful and powerful abundance of white light flowing through your body and clearing away things that no longer serve you purpose, that is what Reiki does. It clears away lower and negative energy that is stored in our energy system.
People often have varying emotional or energetic responses to Reiki treatment, which can also include seeing visions. Recently you shared on your Facebook Page, Soul Alive Barrie, that several clients had described seeing a single eye during their treatment. Can you share with us what one can expect to feel after a Reiki treatment, the types of emotional responses or visions that can occur? What is the significance of seeing a single eye?
Yes, the Third Eye vision is pretty interesting! I’ve had several more clients see a single eye since I mentioned that. When treating a client I work on the Third Eye Chakra which is located in the centre of the brows and is purple in colour which is why that most clients see the colour purple when I’m working on that area. It is connected to perception, intuition, knowledge and mental organization. I believe that clients are seeing the single eye because I’m setting the intention of activating their Third Eye and enhancing their intuition. The visions people see are very random and they literally pass by you very quickly at times and soon enough another “random” and odd vision pops up, it’s almost like you’re just laying there watching a movie but you’re not understanding the significance of it. It’s kind of like when you have a dream and certain parts of the dream symbolize something else so I believe that the visions people see are symbols of stored emotions being released. Some people do see visions that bring them great clarity and they can connect it with a current of past situation. I also see people who have passed away and who are alive, I can describe them right down to the suspenders and types of shirts they always wore to the pretty tea cups Grandma liked to collect. I believe I am tapping into their energy and I can become so connected that I can see loved ones as well as past events that may have been traumatic for them because the energy of the emotion is still very present in the energy system and has not yet been released or dealt with.
I am very inspired by the content, inspirational quotes and personal insights that you share on your blog and social media. You have a very positive message of healing, self-care, and personal growth. What inspires you to share your story, your insight and positive messages of growth with the world? Can you tell us about the book that you are writing?
I choose to wear my soul on my sleeve so to speak because I believe that we are here to be of service to others. To inspire, motivate and help others on their healing journeys. My passion truly is my purpose. My intention is to help bring joy and Love into the lives of others. I am writing a book which I plan to release in October 2017. Currently, it’s called “Magic, Miracles & Manifesting” Affirmations and Words Of Empowerment for Personal Growth, Relationships, and Business. The name could change when I finish however I am partial to the name at this stage of my book. Affirmations were life changing for me, rewiring my unconscious mind and “reprogramming” it with positive words made my self-esteem and confidence go from about 4 to a 9, there is always room for improvement! I wanted to write a book sharing my words of inspiration as well as Affirmations to help others re-wire their past unconscious conditioning and to help change how they view themselves and even others by dissolving limited beliefs. I am also a huge believer in the Law of Attraction and I have manifested a life that I love, I share insight in my book on how others can manifest happiness, joy, and success into their lives so that they can live their best life. Change your thoughts, change your life!
I recently had the pleasure of joining you in your first group meditation that was held early this summer at Sunnidale Park. It was a lovely experience. How can group meditation affect one’s personal meditation practices, and how is it different than solo meditation? Will you be offering more group meditation?
Meditation definitely helped change my life. I wanted to provide an opportunity for people who were interested or curious about Mediation to experience it in a group setting with other like-minded people who choose to live a positive life or who are on a journey of seeking a more balanced, mindful and peaceful life. Group Meditation can be powerful like anything in large numbers can be. Sitting in a space with people of like intention and connecting with them, and their energy can be very powerful as you become One in that moment of unison and connectedness. It’s beautiful. Solo Meditation is just, well amazing! I listen to Meditation every single day, it helps begin my morning and taper off my day as I drift off to sleep.
Can you share with us how one can learn the practices of Reiki natural healing techniques? Do you offer Reiki Training and Certification?
Anyone can learn Reiki, as we all have the ability to heal ourselves and assist others in their healing. I don’t view myself as a healer however, I see myself as a helper of healing. A person has to have a desire to heal themselves otherwise their mind won’t allow them to be healed. I’m a facilitator of helping bring change in others. I do offer Reiki Training and Certification and I have an upcoming course coming this September 24th. Details for that can be found HERE.
Follow the pull of your heart. Avoid if you can the need to push that which resists.
How can you tell when something is destined to be? You feel an internal pull, an excitement, it motivates and inspires you. You yearn to seek more and when you follow the pull, it becomes effortless and graceful. You approach it with sheer joy and curiosity. It just feels right.
When you are pushing, you feel resistance. You lack the energy but still muster up strength to try to put the circle through the square. It can feel forced, draining, time consuming, and it almost feels in vain. When you push, you push against the grain, hence the resistance and hesitation you know your heart feels, but your mind sometimes denies.
We do this in relationships, friendships, business, careers and in many aspects of our lives. We try to push to gain control, but truthfully, what isn't meant to be, isn't meant to be.
The need to control can stem from fear. Perhaps you felt you had no control in your childhood or in your past relationships so you consciously and unconsciously decided that in order for things to work the exact way you want them too, and in order to avoid ever experincing pain or failure, you try to control. Truthfully however, we can't avoid pain, it's actually needed for our soul development and the more we try to control what is out of our hands, the more frustration, disappointment and anger we experience. When we resist what persists, we can potentially miss an opportunity for growth and change and it's going against the natural flow of the Universe.
It's important to follow the pull of your heart, to allow it to lead you to where it needs to go. When we surrender to what is, instead of focusing on what isn't, we begin to align ourselves with our journeys truth. When you follow the pull, and allow the flow to engulf you, the magic begins to happen.
How do you surrender to what is? By accepting the moment as it is. We learn to surrender by trusting the moments we can't control and by breathing into the moments when we feel helpless and hopeless. Trust and belief will be your biggest savor, the affirmation, I trust in the moments I can't control, can send a message of reassurance to your internal self which can help you in moments of panic or anxiety. Meditations can also help with this process and meditation can be truly life changing.
Releasing control will bring you closer to your higher self, the house of your intuition, the self that wants to help guide you and wants the best for you. When you let go of the attachment to the outcome, you won't experience disappointment. Be okay with the fact that not everything will go the way you planned it too, and not everything is supposed too. Think of all the things you tried to control in the past and how you're probably better off that most of it didn't work out the way you intended it to. Life certainly has it's own agenda!
Believe that everything is created for your highest good and to serve you purpose in some way, trust that all will be okay, even when it's not, in the moment.
"Fall into the ocean of the pull, be taken by the waves of the flow, cease to swim the other way. It's much easier to allow, than to control.
The flow beholds freedom, a peace of mind, and a sweet joy of life."