Animal totems

Totem animals are animal guides in spirit form. Shamans are possibly the biggest believer in totems, but many other religious groups also believe and reach for comfort from them including myself.

We all have totem animals watching over us and offering protection, and these animals can vary between those that stay with us for a lifetime, and those that come to help us through specific periods or challenges within our lives. They can come through by various means, and I normally see them in dream form where they visit me frequently over a short space of time until their message has been received. (And I can be slow on the uptake!!)

Recognising animal guides is easy if you’re receptive to the belief that we all have them. Sometimes images of a certain animal will keep cropping up throughout your day or as you meditate or dream, or you might be left with a really strong feeling that something is watching over you after seeing repeat pictures in a magazine or on TV. The big cats in particular like to come to me in dream form though and I’m always aware they’re in the background of whatever dream I’m experiencing.

These guides are quite often here to convey a message that reflects their character in real life so a lion may be wanting to offer courage or remind you that you have it, a dolphin might come with a message of compassion or a message of community/communication, and a bird might come as a symbol of desired freedom. It’s up to you to recognise visits from your animal totems and trust your instincts about what they are trying to share with you.

I generally use my instincts to interpret messages but as a general guide to animal totems Animal Spirit guides is a pretty good website 🙂

Letting go of ego

Anyone who really wants to challenge themselves both spiritually and mentally ought to have a go at dropping ego.

Ego is that little voice and feeling that drives us all to achieve and accomplish no matter what the cost to ourselves and those around us. It’s that little voice that insists we have what our friends have, that voice that pushes us to achieve so that we can justify our place, our success and our worth, and that little voice that refuses to let us rest during times we’d rather just check out instead of doing what’s expected of us.

Ego is the voice that cares what others think and expect of us, and ego is the voice that overrides the little spiritual voice that is whispering for us to slow down and lighten up. Ego expects to be taken seriously and makes a serious business of life instead of allowing the joy to flow through it…

But giving up on listening to ego is a damn sight tougher than it sounds! It’s hard giving up on letting our jobs and our posessions define us in favour of just being.

Because if we just be, then that leaves most of us in a vulnerable state in which we have no identity and others have to accept us in the moment, just as we are.
If we just be, then we just live in the now, aware that all we have in this one moment could well disappear in the next.
If we just be, then people might not value us quite as much for we might not be quite as driven to achieve and therefore our achievements might be less recognisable…

Oh yes, stamping that ego voice out in favour of listening to spirit and to what would really make us smile is hard. Letting go of the expectations we have for ourselves as well as those that others have for us is majorly tough, especially if you feel that chasing the joy and the smiles is unproductive and pointless…

But when you achieve that letting go, even for a brief moment, it is amazingly freeing.

Next time you feel stress, ask yourself if it’s ego driving you. If it is, then today might be the day to slow it down just a little 🙂

Chakras, a quick intro

Our bodies are made up of several energy centres named chakras. These chakras rotate in a clockwise motion, spinning energy and balancing everything from health to emotion. When these chakras spin with either too much or too little efficiency however, our moods and our health can become unwell. The good thing is that with meditation and some work on each individual chakra, we can rebalance our energy centres to create better health.

Each individual chakra has a job it’s designed to do, and each has various colours, scents and crystals it relates to. Below is a quick rundown of the seven most important chakras and how to look after them. (There are more chakras dotted around but these are the main ones a beginner wants to concentrate on!)

1)The Root chakra is found around the pelvis area. It develops between the ages of 0-5 and is of a red colour. It relates to the earth element, and focusing in on the root chakra by visualizing a clockwise ball of red energy spinning can help with grounding emotions.

2)The Sacral chakra is found just below the belly button and can be visualised as a clockwise ball of orange energy spinning. This energy develops during the ages of 3-8 years, and represents sexuality and how secure we feel within our own bodies. Tune into this chakra for rebalancing when insecurities arise and for aiding with relationship issues.

3)The Solar Plexus chakra can be found around the rib area and is a yellow ball of spinning energy which develops between the ages of 8 and 12. Tune in and rebalance this chakra for help with both physical and spiritual eyesight, and use the citrine crystal to aid with this. To rebalance, use the scents of bergamot and ylang-ylang.

4)The Heart chakra develops between the ages of 12 and 15, and a well balanced chakra at this point allows us to tune into the touching/feeling sensations with more ease. Sandalwood and honeysuckle scents help to balance the heart chakra, as do jade and rose crystals. It’s predominant colour is green.

5)The Throat chakra is found around the throat area and relates to our ability to express ourselves. It develops around the ages of 15-21 and its energy is blue. Visualise this chakra during meditation to improve hearing and expression. Lavender and white musk can help with rebalancing, as does the crystal lapis lazuli.

6)The brow chakra is of an indigo colour. It relates to our ability to connect with our spiritual side. Amethyst in crystal form and floral scents can help with tuning into this ball of energy. A good, balanced throat chakra can help with connecting with spirit guides.

7)The crown chakra is of a violet and is linked to our soul. By tuning into this chakra, visualising it’s colourful energy spinning, we are tuning into our higher selves, our intuition, and our connection to God. Diamonds and celestine can help with tuning in, as can rosemary and amber.

To access all or any of these chakras, find a quiet space, imagine your protective block around you, and slowly work up your body, visualizing your chakras spinning. I like to imagine breathing in their colour, sending it to the correct energy points and then breathing it out into the universe. Doing it this way allows me to feel my energy connecting to source and nature without giving it away!

If you have any questions about using your chakras for good health or anything else, do please ask and I’ll do what I can to help X

My mental health toolbox

Sometimes we all need a bit of help focusing on the right things to keep us on the right track. Life can be full of hassles and I think it’s all too easy to get swallowed up in negativity. I have a little toolbox for fixing any negativity and low points, and my tools of the trade are below 🙂

1)Exercise. I love Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred [DVD] because it’s a 20 minute workout which achieves fantastic results over a 30 day period. It hurts to do the video, but thousands agree that it’s worth the effort! And don’t we all know that exercise improves our mood?! If you really don’t have 20 minutes though or are super duper unfit, 5 minutes of star jumps of an evening (works out to about 300 of them!) is enough to get your heart racing.

2)The Secret, both on DVD and in book form is probably my favourite reference for working on the art of gratitude and remembering that we attract what we focus on. I am a huge believer in the law of attraction, having seen it in action and working for me time and time again. The Secret teaches you how to apply the law of attraction to your own life and include gratitude into your daily moments. When we focus on the positive we always feel better.

3)Success coach Anthony Robbins has helped me massively over the years. His enthusiasm and passion for life is second to none, and in his book Awaken the Giant within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Life he teaches step by step actions, thought processes and beliefs which will help you apply yourself and achieve your own goals.

4)Meditation helps me relax and is something I do every single day. Meditation really helps you to live in the now and forget all worries of what may or may not happen in the future. My favourite guide to meditiation is this one; Meditation & Dreamwork and as I type this it’s showing on amazon as being only 99p! If you can sit outside in the fresh air to practice your meditating, then all the better!

5)And finally if you have 101 things to do each day, you might want to consider getting yourself into some sort of order or implimenting a system. David Allen is famous for his productivity and organising systems. Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity is the book you need to get your hands on to learn more.

My crystal toolbox

I love love love the power of crystals. Once they’re tuned up, there’s no end to the good energy they can bring into your life. I sleep with them under my pillow, I meditate with them, and I carry them around or wear them as jewellery for a boost during the day.
But crystals can be expensive, especially as there are so many available. You could spend a small fortune looking for the right crystal for you, even in tumble stone form. Below you’ll find the five crystals I use the most and the ones I would never be without.

Green Aventurine:
I think probably this is my favourite crystal just now and I use it for its calming powers. It’s a crystal known for soothing anxieties, helping with overcoming obstacles, and calming moods. With 2 dogs and 2 children in the house, I keep my green aventurine with me ALWAYS!

Lapis Lazuli:
Lapis is my choice of crystal for increasing psychic energy, and I keep a tumblestone under my pillow at night to aid with dream work since it’s believed to help with spiritual insight. If you have insomnia Lapis is a good one for under your pillow too since it’s said to help with insomnia.

Citrine is said to be the success crystal, or the abundance crystal. It’s said this crystal aids in making things happen and giving the user the confidence to live life fully and take a chance now and again! I often wear citrine in ring form since it’s not only a powerful crystal, it’s pretty too!

Rutilated Quartz:
Rutilated Quartz is said to be the stone for letting go of the ego. It works by encouraging clear thought and relieving anxiety, and is also good for easing negativity. It helps bring clarity and peace of mind, allowing for clear, unemotional decision making. Rutilated Quartz is also good for easing tiredness, mood swings and depression. If you use this crystal in your spiritual work then it will help ward off any negative energy. I like to wear this one in bracelet form most days.

Finally I use Amethyst a lot in contacting spirit. I have an Amethyst pendulum for example. Amethyst is the crystal said to enhance communication with the spirit world and guard against dark energy. It’s particularly good to use when contacting the angels. Carried around with you day to day it’s said to calm the mood. If you’re pregnant, this is also the crystal for you since it’s said to help ease pregnancy symptoms and increase the good health of the immume system. This is the crystal I send to all my pregnant friends!

How to use a pendulum

Not everyone likes using the pendulum method of prediction because it can be a little unreliable, but there are was to make it more accurate and if you use the pendulum as an extention of your intuition, you’ll get better results from it.

*Any* heavy object hanging from thread will work as a pendulum but I prefer crystal pendulums simply because they are more personal. I’d stay away from clear quartz though because quartz tends to absorb emotion and any answer it gives you might be influenced by your own moods.
Use whichever crystal works for you – my preference is lapis lazuli due to it’s psychic enhancing and chanelling properties.

To get your pendulum working alongside you, cleanse it first in salt water. Set your bowl of water in a window sill in direct sunlight, and allow the water to wash away any outside influences for you. Once that’s done, charge the crystal with your own energies by either wearing the crystal close or keeping it under your pillow whilst you sleep. With the crystal charged up, you’re good to go.

I like to sit with my elbows on a steady surface, give the crystal about 5 inches to hang from, and loop the thread around my middle finger just the once. I then meditate for a few moments to calm my breath, and ask for white light protection as I work the pendulum. Before you ask your question, always ask the pendulum to give you a clear signal for yes, and a clear one for no. Usually for me yes is back and forth, and no is left to right, and there’s no mistaking the movement. Once you know how your pendulum plans to answer you, ask a couple of test questions you already know the answer to so you know it’s working before you ask the big one.

When you ask your main question(s), ask once, and accept the answer. The worst mistake you can make is to keep asking the same thing over and over as you’re then in danger of influencing the response.
If the pendulum doesn’t give you a really clear response it might be because it doesn’t know, but accept whatever you’re given. You can always reword the question or ask again at a later date.

Once you’re done asking, thank your pendulum and come out of your meditation.