The Celtic Cross of Journeys & Meetings

The Celtic Cross of Journeys & Meetings

Doodling connects us to our unconscious mind; the part below the surface. This part of our mind works with symbols, images and metaphors. 

There are many ways we can connect to this part of ourself through the trance state: through drawing and making, through thought and reflection, through unconscious writing, yoga nidra, hypnotherapy, through listening to and playing music.

Getting in touch with it connects us to our deepest self, and this can be tremendously therapeutic. So I wondered at the meaning of the cross that appeared in this drawing I made.

I was reminded of the words of Kathleen Smyth, a sculptor from Wild Goose Studios, who put it perfectly on the back of one of her beautiful Celtic crosses, based on an image found on a stone, carved 1,000 year ago.

“On the journey of life our paths cross many opportunities, the most challenging can be those with other human beings. The meeting that may bring us fulfilment or even frustration depends on the most startling chance and circumstance. The cross, joining vertical and horizontal is a symbol of the importance and the pain of the encounter. Once achieved there are so many obstacles in its path amid the prosaic and petty demands of life. Unions missed, unions broken, uncompleted unions, disasters, misunderstandings, estrangements. The journey from the very first meeting to true union and love is long and arduous.”

I often wonder at my own life: why was there this encounter and not that, about the magnitude of consequences coming from some meetings, whereas other encounters withered. We yearn for meetings and unions that bear fruit, but sometimes it is the seemingly inconsequential meeting or the painful one that teaches us something clear and unmistakable. It is often many years before we come to terms with our encounters and the questions they have raised; the difficulties and the challenges.

All of our yoga classes at Samye Centre are taught in circles; symbolically, a circle represents inclusiveness, the completion of cycles, and a movement that never ends towards self-realisation.

Here I am reminded that the cross of journeys and meetings is also etched in our psyche.

My offering of hypnotherapy is a bid to bring together the 0s and Xs; to work with the inclusiveness of systems and to acknowledge the importance of the encounter.

From June 6th, I will be offering hypnotherapy sessions in my own home in Newark-on-Trent, and via Zoom. 

As a hypnotherapy student, I will be insured to work with clients in the same way as a fully qualified hypnotherapist, but will charge much less whilst I complete my training.

For more info / to book Hypnotherapy :: CLICK HERE ::

For more info / to join us for our Weekly Women’s Yoga Circle starting 10th June :: CLICK HERE ::

#hypnotherapy #womensyoga #samyecentre

On Fasting

On Fasting

I first felt the need to fast at about 31. Over the years I’ve done intermittent fasting, fasting on water, fasting on juice, and more recently fasting with plant medicine. Each time I have learnt something new.

Fasting is a form of deep yoga and it is there in all cultures. It is a way of seeking answers, of asking for change, of going deeper, of healing ailments, of cleansing the body, of doing prayer.

On a physical level it releases all the energy that would be spent digesting and breaking down food and reinvests it in your system. It can help you see more clearly if you need to know what to do. For me this is one of the most powerful aspects of fasting.

It’s always good to fast for the first time with guidance. This might be in the form of a book or an experienced guide, and is important if you have a medical condition. Sometimes it is just good to press pause.

#samyecentre #waterfasting #juicefasting #plantmedicine #intermittentfasting #beyourownhealer

Yoga for the Perimenopause & Menopause

Yoga for the Perimenopause & Menopause

The menopause is the time when a woman stops bleeding. This and the up to 10 years leading up to it (the peri-menopause) is a time of tremendous transformational potential in a woman’s life, when her kundalini energy awakens. It is often misunderstood and experienced only as a time of anger, sorrow and loss. In fact it is a time of huge change, akin to the teenage years (a bridge between the child and the adult). The menopause and the 10 years before it is a bridge between the younger fertile woman and the older wise woman. It is a time when our unresolved health issues may need addressing. Yoga at this time harnesses our kundalini energy and enables the transformation of our true self. We can deny it or embrace it!

How do I know if I am Perimenopausal?

The average age for the menopause, is between 48 and 51 years (depending on which source you read). This means that many women are entering the perimenopause in their late 30s. As women are having babies later than ever before (several generations ago, the average age for having a first baby was 21; it is now 28), women are often exiting their postnatal years directly into the perimenopause.

Some indications that you might be perimenopausal:

  • Changes to your menstrual cycle / symptoms
  • Hot flashes
  • Irritability & mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • loss of sense of self

How can yoga help?

Yoga has a good track record in supporting women through the menopause. It can help:

  • Activate and stimulate the hormonal system (thyroid, ovaries, hypothalamus, pituitary)
  • Positively channel the energy behind difficult symptoms (e.g. hot flashes, mood swings)
  • Uplift your emotions
  • Promote joy and acceptance

It can give you:

  • Increased energy
  • Better flexibility
  • Less anger
  • Better sleep
  • More creativity
  • An improved sense of well-being
  • Unleash your potential

A good yoga teacher will also help you with unresolved health issues (e.g. weak pelvic floor, PCOS, endometriosis, chronic fatigue) and can offer supportive practices to women who have undergone surgery.

It is never too late to start! An investment in a regular yoga practice during the perimenopause will pay dividends!

Which classes can help?

Weekly Women’s Yoga Circles

Yoga & Hypnotherapy Workshops

Women’s Yoga Weekends at Boggle Hole

#menopause #perimenopause #yogaformenopause #yogaforperimenopause #womensyoga #samyecentre #womensjourney

Tracing our Matrilineal Inheritance

Tracing our Matrilineal Inheritance

Matrilineal means relating to tracing ancestral descent through the maternal line. When Max Dashu was told by a college professor that matrilineal societies were unimportant to history, this set her on a lifelong journey to find and document women’s history and contributions.

As the scribes of history were employed by rulers and priestly hierarchies, and there were: ‘certain interests encoded in their world view.’ Max had to look further and deeper. What she found, in her own words was:

‘The further back you go in time, the stronger the female iconography becomes.’

Why would that be, if our female ancestors were unimportant? Could it be that the history of women has been suppressed?

Suppressed Histories

Max founded the Suppressed Histories Archive in 1970, with the purpose of restoring women to cultural memory.’

In this recent podcast interview with Amy Dempster of Following Hawks, Max talks about her work:

‘.. in the last 15 years there is a desire from many women of many backgrounds for ancestral recovery’

‘….. we women have been so starved for images about who we are in the world’

‘.. the further back you go in time, the stronger the female iconography becomes’

‘.. having heritages, having ancestral memory to recover… we need that in order to reimagine ourselves’

‘When I began working with images there was a visceral reaction women had to seeing these images…. realising you’re not supposed to see:

The goddesses

The female warriors

The female medicine women’

These are our ancestors, our inherited memories; it is only by reconnecting with them that we are able to reimagine who we are. 

Podcast & Archives

To listen to the full podcast, please visit Amy Dempster’s brilliant website Following Hawks and listen to podcast number 57.

To visit Max Dashu’s Suppressed Histories Archive :: CLICK HERE ::

Connect with us

Join our weekly Women’s Yoga Circle (starts 25 April)

Book onto a Yoga Workshop (Yoga & Hypnotherapy – 18 April)

Attend a Women’s Yoga Weekend by the Sea (Spaces June 17-19)

#matrilineal #ancestralhealing #womensyoga

You do not have to be good

You do not have to be good

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver