Mental Health Mantra 38/365
Crying is OK.
This kept coming up for me this week, there have been lots of tears and letting go.
My Dad has been tested positive for Covid and is now on his 6th day of isolation in his room - extremely hard for an elderly person who has vascular dementia and doesn't quite understand why they can't sit with their friends. Today he's very sleepy and lethargic. I hope his immune system is forming a response - he is a tough cookie.
Crying is OK.
It's okay to cry and sob for people who have passed.
The wave hits, it's okay to let the sob move through you.
I sat and watched a memorial service last night of a wonderful woman in our community who suddenly and devastatingly passed away aged 63 a week ago, leaving her husband, 7 children and 17 grandchildren. She was a humorous and kind hearted soul, her community meant the world to her, as did all her family. I knew her via one of my oldest school friends and the family connection. The service was incredibly moving, with speeches given by her children and brothers. I sobbed my way through it.
Feeling the feelings of loss and letting it move through me.
Loss and what that means to me, with losing my Mum and all that's happening in the country and the world.
Crying is Ok.
Crying is energy in motion - why it's called e-motion.
Today's Mental Health Mantra is a reminder that it's ok to cry.
What I know as a holistic counsellor and spiritual life coach, if it feels more support is needed, reaching out and seeking help is a strength, releasing and talking about what's behind the tears is crucial so that these tears and sadness don't remain in the body where it generates stagnated energy and can cause dis-ease and inflammation.
We can cry and be strong all at the same time.
'Art with Heart - Calm your Mind, Soothe your Soul.'
People often ask me how I integrate and weave Reiki into Muse Mantra Portraits
How can a 2D piece of paper/canvas absorb Reiki and what does that mean anyway?
I find myself talking about this a lot, so I thought I would share my ritual, whether I’m working with paper or canvas.
If you’re not familiar with Reiki, it is a wonderful energy system that can be used in any part of your life. It's pronounced “ray-key” which means Rei “spiritual” or “sacred ” and ki “energy.”
Together they are translated in the West to mean “Universal Energy.” Ki has the same meaning as Chi in Chinese, Prana in Sanskrit, and Ti or Ki in Hawaiian, however, whatever you choose to call this energy, it’s the same vital energy force of all things.
Energy in Art
Have you ever looked at a piece of art and felt the energy within the painting?
Or perhaps been drawn to an image on a greeting card in a shop?
Are you pulled to certain colours and felt soothed by them?
As a Reiki Master and having worked with it for the last 15 years, I know that everything is energy; you can feel it, hear, see it and sense it.
Ultimately I am infusing the 3 of the symbols I use into the paper. You've heard of using a proxy when giving Reiki, often we can use a teddy bear, or plant or a photograph to send the Reiki, in drawing an illustration of you, I am weaving in the symbols directly into the pencil, pens and markers. You won't see it in the finished piece, but you'll feel it.
Any Muse Mantra will become a totem or a talisman for your daily journey.
The more I use Reiki in my creative process, the more messages and stories I pick up, which I now pass onSo what do I do?
There are three parts:
1) Setting up the Space:
I always take time to set up the zone and space where I’m working.
As I gather my things together, and lay them out, I will light incense, a candle and put on some mantra music – I love Snatam Kaur and Deva Premal.
2) Quiet Time:
Sitting down, ready to start, I get quiet, and relax. Here I will invite in my Reiki, Spiritual and Animal Guides. I activate my hands with Reiki and ask for it to flow freely within the sketch/or the colour. I wrote my own private prayer so this is where I’ll say it.
After I have done this, I then cast my eyes over the collection of photographs that I have of the person I'm drawing. The photos are for me to get a sense, a feeling of who they are. I never create the same image from a photo.
3) The Creative Act (sketch/colour)
I now just let this process flow – I begin to sketch. I note down any thoughts, feelings or messages I’m getting, which I can share with them when we connect later. Whether this is for an individual or for a family, the process is the same. During this time, I like to listen to any sonic music, sometimes classical. After I have finished the sketch I then move on to the colour-fill.
I make sure to haven lemon water by my side. I’m never without lemons : )
When I’m happy with the finished illustration I will invoke the distant healing symbol within the piece, sending a blessing to the person who I’m creating, even if they have passed over. I also create portraits of animals and do the same.
In the past couple of years I have been choosing crystals, laying the illustration down on a crystal grid - the crystals add more insight to the process and I love discovering the ones I have chosen and their meaning.
The more I use Reiki in my creative process, the more messages and stories I pick up, which I now pass on.
What Is Stress?
Stress is your body's way of responding to any kind of demand. It can be caused by both good and bad experiences.
What Causes Stress?
Many different things can cause stress -- from physical (such as fear of something dangerous) to emotional (such as worry over your family or job, relationship, bereavement etc...)
Identifying what may be causing you stress is often the first step in learning how to better deal with your stress.
Some of the most common sources of stress are:
Survival Stress - You may have heard the phrase "fight or flight" before. This is a common response to danger in all people and animals. When you are afraid that someone or something may physically hurt you, your body naturally responds with a burst of energy so that you will be better able to survive the dangerous situation (fight) or escape it all together (flight). This is survival stress.
Internal Stress - If you catch yourself worrying about things you can do nothing about or worrying for no reason - then you are dealing with internal stress and it is one of the most important kinds of stress to understand and manage.
This often happens when we worry about things we can't control or put ourselves in situations we know will cause us stress.
Environmental Stress - This is a response to things around you that cause stress, such as noise, crowding, and pressure from work or family.
Identifying these environmental stresses and learning to avoid them or deal with them will help lower your stress level.
Fatigue and Overwork - This kind of stress builds up over a long time and can take a hard toll on your body. It can be caused by working too much or too hard at your job(s), study or at home.
It can also be caused by not knowing how to manage your time well or how to take time out for rest and relaxation.
This can be one of the hardest kinds of stress to avoid because many people feel this is out of their control.
Stress can affect both your body and your mind.
What are your stress levels?
As you read these statements, think about the answer in terms of .......
Always, Sometimes or Never
If you have answered Always to 6 or more of these statements, then this may be a time to seek out support, perhaps first stop is to chat with your Doctor, it may be helpful to chat to them about your responses.
Perhaps you have asked a member of your family to answer these statements, it's important to encourage them to seek out someone to talk to i.e. their Doctor and not to continue to feeling this way.
I was commissioned to draw Barry's Muse Mantra. (What's a Muse Mantra, I hear you ask?! - you can find out here.)
Receiving Reiki is relaxing, soothing, calming and wonderful for releasing stress. Add to this your own Muse Mantra to anchor and what you get .... is truly magical. (if you're new here, watch this short video that explains Muse Mantras.)
I love that men are stepping forward and I would love to encourage you to gift this healing to a male in your life.
Barry wrote me this below and I feel it's written for you. Thank you Dear Man. Very blessed to have met you.
When I first asked Julia if I could participate in the process of producing my Healing Muse Portrait I wasn't sure what it meant for me.
As the process began and Julia updated me, something changed.
I have been on my path many years now and sometimes we come to a crossroads or lose sight of what we first set out to do.
I had reached this place but I began to feel a sense of warmth and change.
My mind began to clear and I was able to see my vision again.
At that time I was not sure where the process was up to.
It's only now that I came to understand that the woven healing in my portrait was taking place.
When I first viewed the first images, I felt that warmth, that healing washing over me.
It was so powerful I had to take several hours to take it all in.
After a while I was able to send my feelings to Julia. We had connected in such a healing way.
I would encourage all people, more men especially, to take part in this process.
Open your heart and soul to the total experience.
Feel the healing begin and let it flow through you.
Relax your thoughts and be accepting of the love and healing that will open up your mind and heart.
The art is the bonus you get to keep, to remind you of your journey, to look at and remind yourself of the light and power you possess.
Julia will help you discover it.
I also created a video of the entire drawing from start to finish.
When we make decisions and take responsibility for our own wellbeing, we try to create systems that support us, whether that's eating a different diet, moving much more, bathing more, taking time off.
Over the past six months, clients have been coming forward to discover more about getting clear and listening to their inner compass. Meditation and quiet time practice has become part of the journey for them.
For me, having a consistent 'quiet time, be still kinda practice' (call it meditation, call it relaxation, call it being still) is just as important and is a vital system to support, nurture and ground me, especially as I'm working with clients.
However meditation seems to conjure up all sorts of feelings for people.
They try it and it doesn't 'work'.
People have a go at trying to empty their mind of all thoughts, which is actually a reeeealllly difficult thing to do, and so when it doesn't happen, (**hello thoughts**), they believe they 'can't meditate', they give up and don't bother.
Here's the thing, meditation means setting aside some quiet time every day to sit still
What you do during the 'sitting still' can be up to you.
* Some people just focus on being mindful of their breathing.
* Some people count their breath, hold it and then exhale.
* Some people use a prayer or an affirmation and say it in their mind.
* Some people use a Sanskrit mantra to help the mind to stop whirring.
* Some people will look at a candle flame.
* Some people will listen to music and lie down/sit in a chair/on the floor.
Meditation is code for 'Stopping.'
It will be different for everyone however the gem of meditation is finding the time and setting this aside as part of your daily practice.
One of the ways that works well to soothe the mind is to choose a particular mantra or phrase.
Saying this over and over to yourself, you'll find that you may suddenly remember an item for your shopping list! if you do, say 'thank you' and return to your mantra/phrase.
If you remember that you need to call a family member, say thank you and return to your mantra/phrase.
Sitting still is an accumulative practice, it builds up within your body, mind and spirit and you suddenly find, after a month of doing it, that if you miss one day, you'll miss it.
Plus add in a Mantra, your unconscious will thank you.
I am feeling Calm
I am feeling Confident
I am feeling Courageous
So Hum (Sanskrit for I am )
Time out in your day, every day, is taking responsibility for your own well being.
Whether you choose to meditate every morning before your day begins, or whether you meditate early morning, find somewhere in the morning space to sit still for 3 minutes.
You will find your own way.
But you have to practice.
Make the space every day to sit and invite quiet time in.
Try this ...
Find a chair that feels comfortable for you, somewhere you won't be disturbed, wrap yourself in a blanket, feel warm and cosy.
Turn off your phone sound and set the clock timer for your desired time.
Choose a gentle reminder tone. I love 'slow rise'.
Start with 3 minutes and build up every week until you get to 13 minutes.