Happiness and Authenticity

by Helen Williams

Did you know that happiness and authenticity join hands in our lives? Happiness is a by-product of the other ingredients that are necessary to feel at ease with ourselves, our choices and our daily lives. Authenticity is one of the most important!

It’s hard to be truly authentic because fear often prevents this. We grow up needing approval, validation and comfort in order to feel secure and loved and so the fear of not receiving approval can mean we create an inauthentic self as a way of protecting ourselves. Learning to be true, real and vulnerable takes courage, practice and support from those around us. Especially the notion that we must be who we’re not in order to be loved. This is the most open secret shared by everyone – that we do not and cannot honour our true selves for fear of rejection.

Vulnerability means taking a risk to really put ourselves out there – to embrace ourselves as we are and risk being uncomfortable, seen, experienced and still stay open to ourselves and to others.

Ask yourself some questions!
Who am I really? What am I afraid will happen if I show you who I really am? What does being authentic really mean and why do I struggle with who I am?

Everything is about love and approval – about being wanted, feeling special, being visible, and feeling safe in the context of a relationship.

Come and join our Authentic Living workshop for the month of February as we explore questions like these and while finding self-acceptance with a group of like-minded people.

Contact us to book

Authentic Living February_Social Media Art 1

You Need Only Water, Light and a New Pot

By Isabel Galiardo
I have a plant in the living room that I rescued from the garbage several years ago. It is giving flowers and full of life. It oozes beauty and joy. For me, it is a metaphor for what happens when we accept and take care of ourselves.
To throw the plant away because it has dead leaves and is growing crooked may seem the most logical thing to do. We think that if it is no longer useful, it is better to buy a new one.
We often do that with ourselves. We want to get rid of our faults and imperfections because they cause shame, pain and fear and make us “look bad”. But the difficulty and pain show us aspects of ourselves that need to be taken care of and accepted.
When you deny your fear, your anger, your shame or your guilt, you are mutilating yourself. It is not about wallowing in pain, nor about living as a victim of the past, but looking at it from a broader and more comprehensive, more compassionate and conscious perspective.
Do not try to get rid of the dry leaves or the parts that have grown uneven or deformed, on the contrary, welcome them and give them water and light (love and consciousness).
Bring light to the aspects that are in the shade. Orient yourself towards the light -remembering your true essence and elevating your vibratory frequency through spiritual practices will give you a greater awareness of yourself.
If you need a new pot, move to a larger space that allows you to continue growing and give flowers. Dare to consider life in broader and more expansive terms.
The most important task facing humanity is learning to love. Love starts with oneself and has nothing to do with a narcissistic or egocentric attitude, but with the ability to accept what I am at each moment without resistance or attachment. Letting life flow through me, letting LOVE speak through me.
Self-love and love for others are two sides of the same coin. What I do not tolerate of myself will be a source of conflict when I see it in the outside world. My own personal war immediately moves to a war with the world.
Let us make peace with what we are and we will begin to give flowers of hope, creativity, joy and unity.
“The goal of this work is not ‘get rid of your story’ but to have a more flexible relationship with it.”
– Matt Licata
Isabel

Fear or Intuition?

By Isabel Galiardo 
How can we distinguish between our inner voice, which we call intuition, from the voice of fear?
Fear helps us recognize and prevent dangers. It is there to protect us, without it we would behave recklessly and ignore our own limits. When it takes excessive prominence it makes us defensive, aggressive, isolates us and makes us perceive the world as hostile.
The voice of fear is linked to the past and is part of our conditioning. Our biographical experiences and those accumulated by our predecessors allow us to manage the world in a more predictable and safe way. But when our old childhood fears take hold of us we go back emotionally in time and perceive reality through the lens of our inner child, who feels helpless, terrified, incapable, … it measures our capacity based on past experiences, moments in which we had fewer resources.
Our inner voice is connected with the present and with the future, it guides us in the most appropriate direction for our growth and evolution. It shows us creative and original ways of being ourselves, freed from our conditioning and our old wounds, inviting us to express our potential and contribute to the totality of existence.
Our inner voice expresses our essence and is connected with our deepest truth, which is timeless and universal, but which is expressed in a unique and personal way in each one of us.
To listen to it, it is necessary to create a minimum of silence and quietness. This voice speaks subtly, almost in whispers, while fear is more reactive and speaks loudly.
Give yourself time to connect with yourself and to listen to yourself, to create a dialogue with this voice that speaks from certainty and knowledge, from a place of inner knowing. Then, take some time to assimilate the information and to understand it and finally, gather your courage and strength to put it into practice.
Our inner voice asks us for coherence and courage to reach our full potential and therefore challenges and mobilizes us to leave our comfort zone and explore new possibilities. This is not always easy but it is certainly immensely rewarding.

Raising Conscious Energy

by Helen Williams

Our conscious awareness is what we bring to our attitude toward life – our consciousness of the energy flowing within us is not about what we are thinking, but rather about the vibration of our emotional charge.  As we learn to notice the energy that is flowing in, around and through us, we come to see that we can participate in consciously raising our own energy awareness – practicing being present to the moment, noticing when our energy dips, watching the emotional charge our thoughts are creating, attuning ourselves to awareness of how we want to feel.

Another word for mindfulness is conscious awareness – the level of awake awareness you bring to the different facets of daily living.  Did you know that it’s not your thoughts that attract to you what you want, but the level of your energy?  Are you aware that your subconscious mind is about 95% of your energy and that if this energy is low and dense, then that’s your emotional charge?  You do have the ability to make a change with this, however.

It’s easier to think about it this way – what do I want to feel like?  Energised, present, focused, clear, peaceful, joyful, content?  Now there’s a good recipe! So how to do that?

Mindfulness is about noticing what is here right now, allowing the thoughts and feelings to be present without engaging in the stories about them, choosing to focus on the energy that is already here, aligning ourselves with intention toward our highest best.  Remind yourself to attune to the emotional energy state of what you want, not on what you don’t want.  See if you can focus on how you would like to feel, and then notice how you are feeling.  Is there a difference?

Energy is about vibration – that’s about the emotional charge that you bring to your life – cultivating the energy of what you actually want for yourself is like watering the seeds of future growth and possibility.  Allowing what is, accepting this moment and all that it brings and meeting it with clear intention and without judgement or expectation will enable you to raise your conscious energy vibration.  You will know this is happening because you will feel it.  Energised, present, focused and clear.

Come and enjoy our Mindful Living workshops where we discuss many different aspects of mindful awareness and the cultivation of conscious energy.  You’ll be most welcome. Click here to register.

Mindful Photography

by Cindy Stocken

When I think back to how I learned Mindfulness it takes me back to a time of carrying heavy camera bags and spending days shut in the darkroom. It takes me back to the smell of developer and fixer and to the alert awareness of witnessing the world through a lens of my choosing. Studying photojournalism helped me begin to witness myself as I observed what was happening around me, and made me aware of the frame that I was choosing to make sense of it. Now days my camera comes with me on walks of awareness – a mindful practice in itself. The act of photography can teach us core mindfulness principles and understandings through a creative medium. As we hold a physical camera (or phone) we acknowledge ourselves witnesses – separate and at the same time absolutely connected to the world around us. We choose what to photograph and how to do it. We choose the stories that we tell and frame. Most of all we connect with a vibrant awareness of the world in the way we compassionately observe patterns, light, people, animals, colour, stories, whatever is happening right now. We are alert and alive to the moment because we are aware of it’s shifting nature and don’t want to miss a great photograph.

Bring your camera or phone and join us on the 11th June to explore what lessons are held in the witnessing, clarity, framing, vibrant awareness, connection, editing and sharing.

 

Silence, please

by Isabel Galiardo

TV series, WhatsApp messages, Skype conversations, Facebook posts. News, news, comments, chats,…Breakfasts, meals, coffees and teas, brunches and movies.

We are part of a culture that promotes noise. We live permanently bombarded by stimuli that make it difficult or almost impossible to internalize and connect with our interior. The lucrative business of entertainment keeps us alienated, absorbed in information, audio and visual messages of all sorts, keeping us distracted and disconnected from our selves.

We are afraid of listening internally. Afraid of encountering our insecurities, unresolved issues, loneliness and emptiness. We keep focusing our attention on something external to avoid the pain, but in doing so we are missing the connection with our essence, a place inside of us in which we can find the peace, clarity and strength we are yearning for.

Why is it so difficult to remain connected if we have all those treasures waiting for us in the depths of our being? Because first we need to fight the dragon protecting the door.

The dragon is the symbol or our fears, limiting beliefs and painful wounds. We need to confront him. We don’t want to kill him but make him our ally. We can make peace with our past. How? By accepting and embracing it, which will gives us the power to transcend it.

When we have the courage to fight the dragon, when we break through the layers of our conditioned mind, we access an inner space where we can experience the joy of just being.