Loving Yourself- How Awareness Is Key

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A healer and yoga teacher for over twenty five years, Lorraine now enjoys writing about spirituality and healing, inspired by her long-standing meditation practice of Ishaya’s Ascension.

Spiritual traditions teach that God or Source is love, but how do you feel when you are told that you yourself are love ? Does this make sense to you in a world full of competition and striving? This teaching often falls between the cracks of our not yet complete understanding or acceptance of who we really are.

Thoughts and Judgements

Life has a way of masking the truth about our mistakes, making them seem like faults rather than the way we learn and grow. Surviving in today’s world throws up so many challenges that it’s easy to start judging ourselves when we perceive we have slipped beneath our own ideals of what it is to be a spiritual person. When this happens we may try to make ourselves more attractive, successful, popular, and ‘good-enough’.

Often, our judgments about ourselves come from what other people have said about us and are

buried very deep. We may also judge others to make us feel better about ourselves, but the judgments that we hear in our heads about ourselves or others are just old thought-patterns looping around and around in our minds. If we attach importance to them it makes them ‘real’.

Thoughts are like clouds of energy that float through and around us taking on our own particular ‘flavour’ as they go. We pick them up from others and think they are our own. As we move more into the awareness that we are all One, this begins to make more sense. Thoughts morph into judgments; some of them stick, and we think they are ours too. Healers and bodyworkers may be

familiar with the phenomenon of picking up a client’s thoughts or emotions when working with them, and being startled when they realise that they are not their own. However, when thoughts roll in, whatever they are, we can just observe them without taking them on. They then loose their power.

Witnessing – An Act of Self-Love

When we stop latching onto every thought that passes through our minds, it is a powerful act of self-love. When we cease to judge ourselves, we invite unconditional love into our lives. The

universe is made of love, something ancient seers have always known. If the Universe is made of love, then so are we, as we all originate from Source. If love is what we are, why should we not love ourselves? Love is acceptance, non-judgment, and forgiveness and it’s for us too.

Whatever may have happened in our lives, all adversities, all mistakes, arose while we were learning to live life more fully. If no judgment is attached, then we are in the happy state of knowing that we were not ‘wrong’ – but just learning. Sorrow, regret, and sadness over past decisions can then melt away and acceptance can take their place.

Coming Full-Circle

Love is something that those on a spiritual path often direct outwards to the world or creation, but coming full circle, this love must ultimately return to us. Spiritual teachers say we must love ourselves first before we can truly love others, and this is true, but we must navigate around the obstacle of judging our ‘personality-self.’ By realising that our true nature is the Divine-Self or Source, we can then build our peace.

If you want to build something, you follow the instructions, keep at it, and sooner or later you have results. As a practitioner of Ishaya’s Ascension’s ancient yet timeless techniques you are given the method to build your peace – a direct and simple approach for connecting with Source – no beliefs necessary.

Ishaya’s Ascension: www.thebrightpath.com

It’s an Inside Job

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I met with a woman today who felt the weight of the world on her shoulders.

She felt all the cruelty and injustice reaped by her fellow humans in a personal way. She wanted to make everything ok, but felt helpless. Her body showed and spoke her pain.

I remember once seeing an info-graphic which showed a pyramid with different coloured layers and words printed on each one.

It went something like this:

Bottom layer   –   ‘Everything is sh!t’

Second layer   –    ‘A lot of things are sh!t’

Third layer      –     ‘Some things are sh!t’

Fourth layer    –    ‘Sh!t! some things are perfect!’

Pyramid top    –    ‘Sh!t! everything’s perfect!’

To see everything as perfect is a big ask for most of us, and to scramble to the top of the pyramid of perception for this wonderful view is unlikely to happen in one day. Baby steps are needed.

One of the best ways out of the mire of the dark forlorn world is to be grateful for the very smallest things. As we are all connected, this attitude starts to re-focus our lives and to re-arrange the universe while it’s at it.

Organising campaigns, getting signatures, and galvanising people into action are wonderful ways of lightening the darkness, but it’s not everyone’s path. The smallest shift in perception will move mountains to heal ourselves and our world, because everything is actually an inside job. What we do on the inside heals the ‘outside’, because there really is no outside.

I saw her spirits lift a little when I talked of this, and she reminded me of myself once, a healer archetype, lost in the pain of trying to heal the cruel world.

Ancient wisdom says we can choose to see the world as a jewel or a curse.

I know which I prefer.

At The Level of the Mind

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I’ve got a long, long way to go.

To roll a kayak over in deep dark water while staying seated in it, is not something I can see myself doing.


If you are upside down in dark water in a kayak, how do you turn back to the surface, even if you manage to remember where ‘up’ is?

The idea of facing my fears and doing it anyway have fallen by the wayside. Never mind wayside, my bravery has rolled down the road, fallen into a ditch, sunk deep into the mud, and I’m not even interested in finding it again.

The positives are that we had a great family day out at the leisure park: I did manage to climb the climbing frame higher than I thought possible, and I gained huge respect from my sixteen year old granddaughter when I managed to unfreeze her iPhone.

Back to the kayak: I did try a half turn holding onto the front of the instructor’s kayak in order to pull myself back up. Not possible. Not remotely possible. ‘Just flip it back up with your hip’ he said.

I had to be rescued.

Time to apply some timeless wisdom from my favourite Ascension teacher – ‘So What?’
I can’t roll a kayak over? ‘So What?’ I feel a failure, I couldn’t even do a half turn. ‘So What?’ I will never over come my fear of water. ‘So what?’

My conclusion? In time of need, just slide out of the thing splash-deck and all, if you capsize, and float to the surface – that is if you really wanted to go through all that, and I didn’t. I was happy to watch my husband and my ten year old grandson having a go.

At the level of the mind these thoughts bother me, but at the level of the spirit they don’t. If I just watch them, feel the feelings and judgements that go with them, they float in my awareness and loose their sting. I can be at peace with the fear without judging it.

Thank goodness for meditation, I might have drowned otherwise.

Feel The Fear …and all that

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I’ve always been cautious, safe.

A yoga mat is about the most extreme piece of equipment I own.

Nevertheless, I was once strong-armed into going white-water rafting by family in Canada. My protests of ‘I’m really scared! – no really! – really scared!’, seemed to go unnoticed among everyone else’s excitement.

I got fitted into a helmet and a life-jacket that was pulled so tight that I could hardly breathe. I sat as low as I could in the boat where I could still manage to work my oar, following the shouted instructions of ‘left back!’ ‘left forward!’

I concentrated as though my life depended on it; (it did), to row in the required direction at the required time. One other person who was almost as scared as me kept asking the guy doing the shouting about the size of the waves – ‘was this a number 5, or a number 4?’ I didn’t want to know the answer.

I survived.

If they had told me that someone had drowned there the week before, I definitely would not have gone, but (this is the bad bit – they told me afterwards!)

Since then, cycling and walking is quite extreme enough for me, and even then only on a good day. It happened to be a really good day on my birthday recently, and I just wanted to be outside enjoying the weather.

My husband who is great at planning cross country walks planned a route in the Cotswold countryside, and we stayed out most of the day because we were enjoying ourselves so much.

We walked twelve miles – much more than I thought I could do. The strange thing was, I wasn’t tired. I was so wrapped up with the beauty of the day – warm gentle breeze, scudding white clouds, blue sky, endless green fields and gorgeous villages, that I just wasn’t aware of feeling tired – instead, I just felt energised, elated.

If had known I was going to do a twelve-mile walk, I would have said I couldn’t do it.

The next day was just as lovely, so we had a bike ride.

Usually, the day after going on a long walk I wouldn’t entertain the idea of a bike ride, but I decided to go for it.

Cycling is fine but going up hills is not my strong point, but I have a strategy – don’t look up, keep your eyes down and pedal.

On this trip, I added another strategy. At the steep bits, I took no notice of the thoughts that said: ‘you’re really tired, for goodness sake you walked twelve miles yesterday, what are you trying to prove; you’ll pay for this tomorrow; you had your 64th birthday yesterday, do you want to make your 65th?’ and on and on.

Instead, I imagined my body filled with energy.

I made it up every hill.

When my husband said ‘did you realise we’ve done nearly thirty miles?’ I was stunned, I thought it was nearer fifteen.

If I had known beforehand I was going on a thirty one mile bike ride, I would have said I couldn’t do it.

Sometimes not knowing is empowering – it’s the ignorance is bliss thing; but ‘knowing’ something can also limit us. Bit of a conundrum, that.

I’m going to be taught how to roll a kayak next week – a family outing with grandchildren. I’ll keep you posted.

By the way, I’m the one on the far right next to the man in the blue helmet!

The Unknown

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I’m not a natural traveller.

I know that there’s beauty all around the world, and wonderful people to meet, but there is just this awful unknown quality about it. Will I miss my flight, will I miss so much sleep that I can’t cope, will I have to eat food that I hate, or miss my cup of tea, or will I feel so homesick that I just want to turn around and go back home?

In the present day globe-trotting world, my defence is that my birth sign of Cancer makes me a natural home-lover, but I’m also aware that I need to leave my comfort zone sometimes for my personal growth.

There’s nothing wrong with being a home-lover, but I wouldn’t want to stay put for ever. Why doesn’t the thought of huge foreign cities, and strange, beautiful places draw me – or is it more than that?

Our imaginations or thoughts can run riot and cause us a lot of problems, and I certainly have negative thoughts around travel, and added to the above list is ‘will I get back home OK?’

So where is home? Is it a place, a state of mind, or a state of peace? My intellectual answer after many years of spiritual exploration and meditation is: ‘a state of peace’; but my emotional being is way, way, behind.

Awareness is everything, so if I’m aware intellectually that ‘home’ is peace of mind, but emotionally I’m still not buying it, then I have something to work with.

Enter one of my favourite spiritual teachers Eckhart Tolle, in the guise of his book ‘Stillness Speaks’. Living in the moment and feeling the ‘isness’ of now, whatever might be happening, is his message.

If I can accept everything as it is in this moment, I am at peace – I am home. Thoughts do not then rush into the future with ‘what-ifs’ and dart back into the past with ‘if-onlys’.

If I could stay in ‘the now’ if I travel, then perhaps the negative thoughts around it will be silenced, or at least witnessed and let go of.

Another favourite spiritual teacher of mine, Narain Ishaya, told me once that I needed to learn to love ‘what is’. It really ruined my day at the time, but I’ve come to realise that he was right.

If you can allow life to unfold exactly as it is in the eternal now, the infinite magic and love of the universe is yours.

Awful things can happen of course, and I got stuck on this, until Eckhart came to the rescue again with ‘be at peace with your non-peace’. This simple statement still completely undoes me, and delivers me into peace.

I believe my reticence for travel comes from fear of the unknown. My Ishaya teachers say: ‘let the unknown be love’, and of course there is no reason why it shouldn’t be. What a marvellous way to help dissolve the fears and negative imaginings that can plague our lives.

Suddenly, traveling seems a little less threatening; perhaps outer Mongolia can’t really be so bad?



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I remember as a child asking my mother if it was possible think without words.

She was very puzzled. It seemed to me that thinking happened that way sometimes, and other times I had words in my head that formed the thoughts.

As someone who loves words, I’m aware of the power they hold. Words spoken to another can literally change their lives positively, or negatively.

Words have an effect on our minds and our feelings. Just repeat the word ‘death’ several times in your head and you will see what I mean. Then try the word ‘peace’ and see the difference.

Each word we speak is saturated with meaning, feeling, and images, that we have absorbed from our parents, and then the world at large.

No matter what language you are using, every person who has ever spoken the word ‘tree’ can experience an image, a feeling, a smell, a sensation or an emotion connected to that word. Each time we interact with trees in any way we will enrich this word further with our own experience.

Of course we all have to know what words mean so that we can communicate, but once our minds are imbued with their meaning, what happens then? The words can get out of control, and go around and around in our heads in the shape of thoughts.

Our bodies respond to each and every thought that we have, whether it’s peaceful or not, and usually they’re not. Research has shown that we have between 60 – 90,000 thousand thoughts every day. A lot of these are repetitive and negative, causing us stress, so it’s no wonder that so many people suffer from anxiety.

Words are powerful and shape our reality. I once studied Siddha Yoga based on an eastern philosophy called Kashmir Shaivism, and it said that there are three ‘malas’ or impurities that contract our knowledge; the first is to think that you are imperfect, the second is to see duality in the universe: good or bad, and right or wrong; and the third is the sense of doing good or bad actions. According to this philosophy, these three impurities are brought into being just from the power of the word.

Words can limit us, but they can also set us free. All it takes is to be aware of their power, and then have the intention to choose them wisely. We can start by listening to others in a different way, being aware of the feelings and images that words create within our minds; watching rather than reacting, being present, and not one step ahead in a conversation; we are then able to respond more appropriately.

In meditation we are taught to watch our thoughts instead of reacting to them; to let feelings drift past and leave, and to find the peace that remains. There is only One Consciousness, and we share it; it is the true part of us that can stand back and witness all the thoughts that we have. If you can witness the thoughts or the words, you are not that. You are that which witnesses, the One Consciousness.

So, after many years of practising meditation, do I still think its possible to think without using words? All I know is that there is a spaciousness when they are not there and a peaceful presence. When the words start again, it’s an opportunity to watch them and notice any reaction that I may have, and then return to the silence.

It’s taken me all these years to recognise what I already had as a child.

What A Character!

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Do you like characters that are larger than life?

If so, perhaps this is why reading novels is so rewarding. We experience how our heroes react to their interesting and sometimes dangerous lives from the safety of our own armchairs.

When they show us their dark side we secretly identify with them, and when they try to overcome their conflicts and learn from them, our inner hero soars to heady hights with them. Sounds a bit like life doesn’t it?

I always think that reading a good novel is like living someone else’s life vicariously. If the writing is good, we are pulled into it with all our senses; we live it as though it’s real.

It’s not really real though is it? Or perhaps it’s only as real as we want it to be. We can certainly learn from our hero’s journey as though it has really happened, and in a sense it has.

Many writers say that once their characters have taken shape, they completely take over and virtually dictate the story themselves, which is a great place to be if you are a writer.

With the end in sight for research on my follow-up novel, I wanted to develop my characters and I thought I would try something different – I would interview them.

This of course is a leap into the mysteries of Consciousness – something that I looove!

I’ve practised meditation for over thirty years and this practice gives you a bit of an edge when it comes to intuition, imagination and creativity.

I started with Ajax, the father of my hero Alejandro in my first novel, and I’ve realised his place in the next is very important.

It’s the strangest thing to type a question to a character in your head, and get an immediate response that you didn’t expect!

When I asked him what was the first thing he thought of when he woke up in the morning, he replied:

‘The sky. The sky always represents the emotions, thoughts, and turmoils of humanity and other lifeforms, therefore I must know by looking as soon as the dawn calls, to see the state of play of the world.’

If you have read ‘The Children of The Law of One’, you will know why his answer could hold a lot of conflict for him!

The marvels of Consciousness are endless.

I’ve heard it’s possible that we have alternative selves in multiple alternative universes – perhaps this is what writers are tapping into.

But there is one thing I am sure of, and that is that what we see, hear, taste, touch and smell with our senses is not all there is.

Spiritual teachers have said that the world we live in is just a shared dream that we have all created, and that our true nature is divine spirit.

Therefore, perhaps the characters in a story are just as ‘real’ as we are!


I Simply Am

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Ever heard of self-sabotage?

I’ve been there.

As a yoga teacher I was frequently told I was a good teacher, but in my mind I fought demons trying to be better and better, doing one post-graduate course after another.

As a healer/therapist I was told by many clients how much I had helped them, but I was much more inclined to take notice of the no-shows.

I would listen in admiration and awe to other people talking of their successes and never notice that I didn’t.

I just didn’t seem to trust my own abilities.

I juggled working, caring for an elderly parent, helping out with my small grandchildren, while coping with the menopause. I loved it all (not the menopause); probably because to feel needed is a great elixir, but I spread myself too thin. I still wasn’t good enough you see.

For the first time in a long time I realised how much I had been doing, and cut right back, exactly as I would advise any of my clients when I saw exhaustion in them. I decided to spend more time on meditation and writing.

I followed my passion for researching ancient civilisations, and spirituality. I wrote a novel and published it. I went on meditation retreats, deepened my spiritual practice and met wonderful people.

However, when it came to publicising my novel I could feel my old ‘self-worth’ issues re-emerging – I wanted to cringe up into a ball and hide behind the sofa. I’m still not a lot further on than this, but the difference is – I’m aware of it.

Awareness is everything – when you are aware of something you can change it. Have you been watching ‘Humans’? If you have, you will know what I mean. ‘Synths’ or synthetic humans have received a code into their systems that makes them aware and feel emotions.

Perhaps we all have codes in our systems that make us believe we are less than we are? Could it be that we have learnt from birth a story that keeps us in this illusion? The books ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz and ’The Fifth Agreement’ by Don Miguel Ruiz and Don Jose Ruiz, point out that what we think of as reality is in fact an illusion that we all create, and refers to it as ‘art’.

Our true nature is eternal spirit and we are having a human experience; when we arrive at this realisation, the greater awareness gives us more perspective.

I am aware that I have self-sabotaging tendencies; therefore I intend to create more positivity about what I do. Sound a bit hollow? Well, the dark space behind the sofa is beckoning – but – I’m aware of it, so that’s OK. I have a strategy.

Writing for me seems an indulgence, a kind of guilty pleasure; however if I share it, it seems to justify my efforts. So, I’m sharing that I have started to ‘interview’ the father of my hero in my follow-up novel. If this sounds strange – it is. But I’m telling you about it. How brave is that? I might even tell you more next time!

Staples Stuck To My Knees In The Light Vortex

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I am lucky enough to have a work room.

Here, I practise yoga, meditation, write, and give healing treatments.

I am also lucky enough to have several lively grandchildren.

My work and spiritual practice has taken place in my special room for twenty years. After all this time it has acquired a certain ‘feel’ or energy, as do most places when they have accumulated spiritual energies.

Being at the top of the house I have always fancied there is a vortex of healing light coming in through the roof – in fact many times I’ve sensed it as I do treatments or meditate.

Meditation has the effect that wherever it is practised it lifts the energy so a higher vibration can come in. Beautiful places in nature have a similar effect.

My daughter’s three children are drawn to it like a magnet. Often, when they arrive they ask to go up to my room straight away. Out come all the yoga mats, blankets and blocks and they spread them over the floor as ‘beds’.

Out come all of my writing materials from my desk (with permission of course), and out comes the stapler and the staples and the special folder where I keep their paper creations.

They all like producing their own books. Paper is cut to size and the clippings don’t usually make the waste bin. Stories are written on the white board, then copied into the books, then drawings and illustrations are done on coloured paper and lavishly glued in.

Then comes the stapling. The thickness of the books usually requires many staples which don’t always snap in successfully every time. And there you have it.

The floor is littered with staples. My husband comes in to see what’s happening and is subjected to a game of doctors and nurses. He has to lie on the floor (on one of the ‘beds’) as a patient to be examined. My granddaughter who is eight then dons some glasses that have no glass in them, sits down at my desk, and takes out my old computer to ‘write her diagnosis’.

By now, my room is beyond recognition – but we’ve had a great time. When they return home I reclaim my desk and re-position the yoga mats and blankets, but I never quite manage to find all the staples, and they often end up stuck to my knees and hands during my next yoga practice. It just makes me smile as I remember the fun we had.

As I settle down at my desk again, all this creativity has given me a great idea how to get to know the characters in my follow-up novel more – I’m going to interview them!

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Long Time No See

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I used to have a guilt complex. If anything went wrong it was bound to be my fault.

I used to justify and defend myself, but now it’s my good fortune to know that I don’t have to attack myself like that any more.

I was starting to feel bad about not having blogged for a while. I was told I needed to do one a week if I wanted to sell my book, but I don’t think I’ve ever done it that frequently.

However, when I started blogging I found I really enjoyed it. It’s good to share a bit about my life and hard-won insights on consciousness and spirituality that have stuck with me over the years.

Oh, and the book, well, I trusted that the Universe would help people to find it, even though I may well have just written it for me; (people do buy it by the way).

Anyway, Iife got interesting and threw in a challenge, and I also got busy redecorating my house. I like painting, it’s very meditative and rewarding. Seriously, though, ideas for articles, short stories, and how to start the sequel to my novel just kept flooding into my mind as I painted, not to mention finding the book on healing I had started years ago in my filing cabinet.

The creative muse doesn’t seem to be linear for me. Ideas bounce around from point to point rather like one of my grandchildren on the trampoline in their garden.

I therefore now have five folders on my desk named, ‘Sequel’, ‘Short Stories’, ‘Articles,’ ‘Blogs’, and ‘Non-Fiction Book on Healing’. When ideas come, I scribble them down in the appropriate folder. It could be a long time before all the files come to fruition – and the sequel is winning at the moment. But I no longer feel guilty about my sizeable gap in the blogosphere.

We create the circumstances in our lives with our thoughts, so it’s a waste time feeling guilty about anything. Recognise a guilty thought for what it is – just a thought, and turn it around into something positive. Who knows, your creative genius may emerge and surprise you!