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Category: Insights + Inspiration


THE (WEDDING) GRATITUDE DIARIES

THE (WEDDING) GRATITUDE DIARIES

Posted April 12, 2013

My feet have finally touched down post-wedding and I’m feeling grounded after the most magical and love-filled weekend that was our wedding. I’ve never, EVER, felt so much love in one space. It’s hard to deny ‘energy’ when you can literally touch and feel it – buzzy, electric, warm. I have so much gratitude in my heart that this post is as much about voicing and offering up that thanks as it is to share our wedding dress shopping experience with you. But, mostly, these Gratitude Diary posts are here to inspire you to FILL your life with gratitude. Start putting your attention and focus on that which you are thankful for and watch how your life (your mindset, your attitude, your experiences) changes and blossoms into something quite special. 1) Christopher How could I not offer up thanks to the universe for delivering me such a beautiful man. He is my best friend who shared my vision to create a ceremony that was all about LOVE. Not just for us but to invite our family and friends to revel in it. The one thing that matters most. LOVE. 2) The Ceremony Holy batman. As I mentioned, we had a vision of what we wanted our ceremony to be… well, it was all that and so much more. The weather had been miserable the day before and on our wedding day, it was cloudy with pockets of sunshine. As I stepped onto the grass aisle with my father the clouds literally parted and the sun torched down on us. Magic. Not only that, the ceremony was RICH and multi-layered. We had our rings blessed by all our guest. There were so many happy tears, including our own, we had my nieces and nephews calling out ‘Princess’ to me the whole way through and there was lots and lots of laughter. It embodied LIGHT and LOVE. 3) The Speeches From my father, my brother and Christopher’s dad, to our bridesmaid and bestman and then to us. It wasn’t forced or awkward it was like a relaxed conversation 4) The Band We only hired them 8 weeks, we’d hardly heard any of their work but we just followed our instincts. Oh My. There was dancing. Fist pumping. Jumping. Screaming… it’s exactly what we wanted. We ditched the cake-cutting, the bouquet throwing and all those little moments (none of which I love anyways) so we could dance harder and longer! 5) My family  + friends I had more than enough willing helpers in our family and friends. Everyone helped out in their own little way. From collecting our flowers, to setting up the room, to driving my parents around and keeping them calm (thanks Tommy!) to dropping off bags, doing my hair, to seating our guests. I was so overwhelmed that we had such amazing people in our lives who actually WANTED to help! 6) The MC Duo Christopher’s cousins Marcelo and Christian went above and beyond. It made me so emotional to witness how much effort and love they put into the experience. Marcelo even learn how to congratulate and welcome us in Arabic! They were natural, warm, inviting, humorous and just simply incredible. Not to mention their matching bow-ties. **************************** I could go on. Truly. It was magic. And it made me realise that real happiness and therefore your wellness, the balance within your internal compass, your health and the way you view the world comes from appreciating the little things within the big moments. To soak it up, to smile, to laugh and to share it all with loved ones. It’s all about the heart-to-heart connection. We didn’t have alot of money (we did the flowers ourselves, the styling we crafted and made, my dress was pretty cheap, we didn’t have cars or a wedding cake either) but it was the most spectacular experience because it was real, honest, loving and ALIVE. Ask yourself right now – what are you grateful for? Where do you find love in your life and how can you experience more JOY. Real joy. love + light to you, Cx Read more

10 WAYS YOU CAN MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY + MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER TOO!

10 WAYS YOU CAN MAKE SOMEONE’S DAY + MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER TOO!

Posted April 11, 2013

I recently spoke about Paying it Forward and Random Acts of Kindness in a recent VLOG. You can watch it HERE. The idea is simple – do something (anything!) that is kind, generous and thoughtful for someone else. Not to get something, not to feel good or generate a particular response… totally 100% selflessly do something for someone else, just because you can. That someone else doesn’t have to be your partner or closest friend (although there is nothing wrong with that), it could be a total stranger, your barista, your bus driver, the taxi driver. Just offer up a little slice of kindness. Why does this matter? How does this affect your own wellness? Oh my – the list is long! From a vibrational perspective kind, positive thoughts and acts run at a higher frequency. When we create and emit a higher vibration and share that with others the positive effects spread like wildfire – passing on from person to person. You can literally change the way you experience life, interact with others and in turn affect the lives of others. Sweet deal I think! Paying it forward also helps to cleanse you of past karmas – you are undoing the negative in your life by giving to others. Instead of doing something with an end goal in mind – how does it help YOU – embracing the idea of giving, being generous and injecting joy in others lives truly makes a profound difference. And without ‘trying’ you will start reaping the rewards – a happier mindset, manifesting your dreams, attracting the right kind of people, experiences, circumstances. So, when you stop focusing on what YOU want all the time you actually get what you really NEED. And… I have to mention that real, true health is about HAPPINESS. No amount of food in the world is going to bring you true contentment, which we all desire (let’s be honest, we do!) But giving of yourself starts to cultivate that happiness and what follows – real HEALTH. Honestly. I know it. I’ve experienced it. Here are some suggestions on how to give more and make someone’s day: Drop a $20 note at your local coffee spot and ask them to shout the first customers in the door a free coffee – just because Write an anonymous love note and stick it on the window of your friend’s (partner/parent/anyone!) car Offer to help your elderly neighbour take out their rubbish each week Let 5 cars cut in front of you each day… slow down and smile! Send an organic food box to a friend when you know she/he’s broke Give your loved one a back massage and say no to one in return Bake some healthy treats and take them to work – share them on a ‘non-birthday’ day! Drop random love-bomb texts to your friends Donate money to the people you normally avoid on the street SMILE at random strangers and say ‘Good Morning!’ ************* Now, in the spirit of Paying it Forward, I want to send some love back to someone who helped me earlier this year. You might recall back in February I ran the super-awesome Bundle of Love Valentine’s Day competition. Included in that competition was a delicious hamper from the gorgeous Rachel Gorney and her lovely business – From My Kitchen. Rachel was so incredible helpful and I know that the winner (Samantha!) really loved her hamper of delicious, healthy treats. Now, From My Kitchen has a new offering that’s inspired by the idea of Paying it Forward. . The Pay It Forward FMK style goes something like this: In every hamper that’s ordered you will receive TWO (yep, not one, but TWO!)  extra little goodie bags. The first one will include a lovely ‘pay it forward’ card so you can pass this goody bag onto a well-deserving loved one, friend, colleague, random stranger… you get the idea. Basically, anyone that’s going to appreciate and enjoy that random act of kindness. And because Rachel is super generous the second goody bag is a little extra gift from her to YOU – her way of saying thanks for being a gorgeous customer. For the moment this one is just for Sydney (Australia) based peeps – apologies if I just got you excited, but I am betting FMK is going to go BIG in the future. Watch this space. Now, I’d like to hear from YOU! Can you share below ONE suggestion of how you are going to drop some kindness into someone’s lap or pay it forward? I can’t wait to hear your suggestions. There are HUNDREDS of ideas! love + light to you, Claire x Read more

WHERE DO YOU FIND HAPPINESS?

WHERE DO YOU FIND HAPPINESS?

Posted March 14, 2013

It’s a funny question, isn’t? Where do you FIND happiness? It’s almost as if you could pop over to Westfield and drop into the Happiness Store to top-up your happiness. But I think that’s how, sometimes, we see it. We must DO something to get happiness. LOOK somewhere else to FIND it. Buy something, or think, look and behave in a certain way to get happiness. Let’s be honest – work is a huge part of our lives. We are dedicated to it, we commit to rising each day and being there for 40 hours a week. We interact with our work colleagues (or if you work alone, with yourself!) for the best part of your day. We enjoy our family and friends less than we’d like because we work. So how can we not look to our work and careers for happiness? I’m not about to tell you to quit your day job to seek our greener pastures and happier times. (Although if your heart wants you to I will definitely say GO ON! Go get it, find your passion and LIVE IT. SING IT. BREATH IT!) I’m bringing this up because I have many clients who have changed their lives with the realisation that work was detracting from their happiness. BUT I also have many clients who has said that changing their career is not an option but they want to find happiness, regardless. Power to them. So, this brings me back to the original question. Where do you FIND happiness? The answer (in my humble opinion) is within. I was inspired to write this post after realising that my morning routine of late, which is relatively simple, has actually cultivated a deep yet contented happiness within me. Tomorrow in my 5 on Friday VLOG I talk you through my routine. But in a nutshell it involves ayurvedic and spiritual practices, yoga and meditation. Super simple. Very humble…  happy. Why? Because I’ve carved out some ME time. I’ve started the day with gratitude in my heart and I’ve moved my body and settled my mind. I’ve gone within. Even just for a moment or two. Other ways I cultivate happiness: A clean home. A walk in the sunshine. A swim in the ocean. A chat on the phone to a friend. Reading a book. Cuddles with my fiance. Lunch at my parents. Trying a new healthy cafe. Waking to the sunrise. Playing with my nieces and nephews… You get it, right? Simple. Real. Honest. It hardly costs anything but space and time. So if you are on a quest to feel happy, try this. First, let go of the IDEA of what it looks like. Let go of the expectations around what happiness should be. Then begin to embrace the smaller examples of happiness. Little day-to-day changes. Over time you’ll find that space allows you the opportunity to tap into BIGGER ways of feeling happiness. Maybe you discover a new interest, or something buried comes back up for you that’s important. Perhaps the seed of an idea like exploring a new career, or following a passion is planted. And maybe, just maybe, when you are enjoying these little moments of happiness that somewhere in there you notice the fear that often holds us back, you FEEL it (acknowledge it) but you decide to do what your heart desires – to respond to those interests, passions, ideas that crop up. You feel the fear and do it anyway! So much can come out of nurturing and loving yourself through gentle acts of happiness. It’s not just mundane and silly to enjoy a good book and to be sacred about your time. It’s bigger than that. It’s creating an electrified connection to you! It’s not about perfection, oh lordy,it’s not! But it’s about looking past the imperfections, blurring them out just a little so you can focus on the good and invite more of it to you. You have a choice. Leading a happy life is based on your decisions to embrace the positive, to see the good, to focus on the silver lining. Go, on then. Find your happiness within. It’s already there, I promise. Tell me, what do you do already to cultivate happiness and tap into your heart? Saha to you, Cx Read more

LEARN TO MEDITATE + 6 WAYS IT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

LEARN TO MEDITATE + 6 WAYS IT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Posted March 12, 2013

In the circles I move in, meditation is pretty common-place. I’ve had to remind myself though that not everyone meditates… (even though the world would be a better place if we all did). I’d say 90% of my clients don’t meditate when they first start working with me. At least half end up doing so during their program. I’d like to get that number higher. It occurred to me that perhaps ‘meditation’ is a little too obscure for some. The concept might seem a little woo-woo or hippy, or make just simply, the idea of sitting down in silence seems a little ridiculous – “how is that going to help me?” – which is fair. How is it going to make a difference? So I’m not going to list 5000,0000 reasons why meditation can benefit you. Although I actually have at least 100 of them I can rattle off now. I’m going to give you 6. Two physical, two psychological and two spiritual reasons why meditating can help you. But wait there’s more (steak knives?) … I’m also going to teach you a super simple technique you can try at home – mantra meditation. Physical Benefits: 1) Enhance your immune system – do you always suffer from irritating little colds and flus? Meditation, by relaxing the nervous system, can help you manage stress better, strengthening your fight against bacterial and viral illnesses. 2) Increase energy and stabilise your weight – By reducing the cortisol (stress hormones) within the body you are going to get more our of your day, improved your performance during sport and exercise AND shed excess weight or stabilizing to your ideal weight Psychological Benefits: 3) Get happy – increases your serotonin levels which affects your mood and behaviour. Happiness really does come from within. 4) More creativity and emotional stability – you are calmer, more focused and less ‘erratic’ which has countless benefits, including more ability to tap into your creative juices Spiritual Benefits: 5) Self-actualisation – come into being the best possible version of yourself. Find your passions, live and breath in the way you were meant to – within your personal power and true greatness. You can achieve and be anything! 6) Synchronicity – those moments that we used to think were random coincidence or luck happen more and more. The Universe (really YOU, connecting in) literally throws opportunities and ‘perfect moments’ in your lap. Life happens as it should. Perfectly. That’s a pretty awesome list with a whole lot of ‘get-me-summa-that’ happening! If you want the other 94 reasons I have let me know! Are you ready to meditate now? Ok, check it out. We are talking Mantra Meditation. Mantra meditation is an ancient practice made a little more modern and accessible by TM (transcendental meditation) or PSM (primordial sound meditation). The basis of all these meditation techniques is the mantra or the ‘sound’ or the ‘vibration’ to help still the mind. We use sanskrit (ancient language) mantras due to their sacred sounds. One simple little sound can have such a profound impact on the mind. Take for example the word THUD. In any language, whether you know what it means or not, you get a clear idea of what is implied, because of the sound it makes. Flip that around and do the same with the word LULL. Again, a clear idea of the implications. Both these ‘sounds’ have different qualities. Irrespective of their meaning, you KNOW what they feel like – the texture, the effect, the underlying meaning, the impression on the mind. So, we use a mantra that has a vibration or a sound that helps to quieten the mind and draw your focus to it, instead of the perpetual monkey mind. Let’s begin. Try out this meditation with one of these two mantras – So Hum or Hum Sa.If you are keen to explore meditation further below this post I’ve linked you to two teachers I can highly recommend to learn your own personal mantra to meditate with. Find a comfortable seat – sitting on a chair, feet flat to the floor or on a cushion. Make sure your spine is upright Gently close the eyes Soften the muscles of your face – relax your frown, your jaw, your eyelids Allow your breath to be soft, even and natural Without trying to find a rhythm simple and quietly within the mind repeat the mantra – So Hum or Hum Sa Exert little effort, don’t over focus on the sound, let it be soft and floaty and fluid When thought bubbles pop up just let them be without following the bubble, without creating a story and ‘thinking’ Come back to your mantra each time you notice you have strayed with little judgement, just a gentle knudge to bring yourself back Aim for 5 minutes to begin with and work up to 20 minutes Simple, right? Not so. Somedays it’s like there is a battle in your mind. That’s OK! Other days you are very still and settled. That’s OK! Sometimes you can barely handle 20 minutes. Also, OK! Get it? Whatever happens is OK, exactly as it should be. Part of the process is acceptance, awareness and respect. I invite you to give this a shot. Don’t wonder if ‘it’s working’ just be diligent with doing it everyday and overtime you’ll reap those 6 benefits and MORE! If you want to learn through a teacher here are the two I recommend. Carolyne Gowen from Still Your Mind – I learnt PSM through this amazing soul during a 4-session face to face experience. And Tom Cronin from Science of Stillness has created the most amazing online platform and experience to learn meditation comfortably from your home. I LOVE both these teachers. They are two of the most amazing human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Do you meditate now? How has your life changed? Or are you interested in meditating and haven’t quite taken the step forward? Really looking […] Read more

WHAT UNHEALTHY ATTACHMENTS DO YOU HAVE? 3 WAYS TO BREAK THEM.

WHAT UNHEALTHY ATTACHMENTS DO YOU HAVE? 3 WAYS TO BREAK THEM.

Posted February 12, 2013

I remember, after I’d been practicing yoga for a year my teacher started purposefully moving me into different spots around the room. He had noticed that I would auto-pilot my way over to the same corner of the room and of course, he wanted to break that habit. When someone challenges you to break the habits and patterns you’ve formed it’s difficult because we are often totally blind to them until that moment. Then  we realise how attached we had become, say, to that ‘spot’ in yoga class and how, scaringly, it was what left you feeling ‘normal’ or ‘calm’. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to frequent the same spot in a yoga class, but I could see my teacher’s point. I was getting attached and that attachment was a security blanket. By being so ‘attached’ it meant that when I was put out of my comfort zone – simply asked to go to the other side of the room –  I couldn’t kick up into a handstand. Some fear, or discomfort had arisen in me and I no longer could do something I normally did with ease. Funny, that. Attachments can cloud our judgement, our vision of our true self and perhaps give us a false picture. Ask yourself these questions What are you attached to? Is there a person that you rely on to feel ‘happy’… Is there something that you do that makes you feel ‘normal’ and without it the rest of your day is not the same… Is there a ritual in your life that feels almost obsessive? Do you habitually think, say or do something without considering an alternative? It’s not that having a ritual, habit, routine, pattern is a bad thing. Lordy knows that I am the QUEEN of routine. I love my morning yoga followed by a home cooked breakfast. I have to meditate once a day and If I don’t I feel a bit dis-jointed. But they become unhealthy when by not doing them I berate myself or if I do it too much then I’ve not left myself open to a different perspective, alternative or a spontaneous be-in-the-moment opportunities. Every now and then I notice when I’m getting attached… when I consider that thing/person/situation to be my life-line, then I know I need to step back a little. Sometimes others do it for me – my teacher moving me into a different spot, my partner asking me to skip yoga and sleep in, or not check instgram. I’ve also come up with 3 sure-fire ways to break or at least ease-off those attachments. 1) Identify what it is your attached to – be honest about your relationship to this and your ‘perspective’ on it. Pull out a journal (pen and paper will do!) and write down how you feel about it, why you are so attached and how your attachment might (either now or in the future) block you in someway. 2) Be soft with yourself. No one is judging, except you. Practice some gentleness by allowing yourself the chance to understand the emotion. Are you afraid if you change something you will fail? Once you’ve got a clue into the emotion, then consider an alternative to your attachment that would respond to that emotion. E.g I love this spot in class because I feel comfortable here. Instead, try a different spot and channel into the feeling of comfort – cultivate it in your breath and body instead of the space your in. 3) Enjoy a self-imposed break – Try something different in replacement of what you are attached to. Balls it up and get shaky with it. Don’t just delete your said attachment… the key word is ENJOY a new experience. E.g – go to a different yoga teacher, or take a day off from your usual routine and meditate instead. Eat something different for breakfast, don’t wait for happiness to come with your favourite person, find it for yourself. Do so with a watchful eye – do it as an experiment to just ‘see what happens’. Develop some awareness and be OK with whatever comes up. Be light with it. If you fall out of the handstand, don’t get frustrated, just see it as interesting and try to face the emotion that came up for you – you feel uncomfortable, confused and displaced. It’s a wall, the same as the other one – just kick-up! In yogic terms, non-attachment is known as Vairagya. It’s about learning to actively encounter and explore the many and varied attachments in our life – physically, emotionally, mentally – fears, aversions, false sense of self, unhealthy emotions – which all cloud your true self. This is a long journey me thinks, trying to undo every impression, habit and emotion that we’ve identified with. But we can start with the little things simple to become a little more aware of who we are and who we are not! Happiness is not a product of what you do, how you do it, who you do it with… it’s already in you. You are perfect and whole and complete as you are. I’d love to hear your own experiences with being attached. Is there something you are attached to right now that might need addressing? Saha to you, Claire x Images * Zentips.com *Main image. Read more

A CASE OF THE BAD MOODS – A VIDEO BLOG QUESTION FOR YOU!

A CASE OF THE BAD MOODS – A VIDEO BLOG QUESTION FOR YOU!

Posted February 08, 2013

Let’s talk about bad moods. Aren’t they sneaky, shady little characters. And by characters I mean our alter-egos, because I certainly do not recognize nor do I like myself when a bad mood comes to visit. In an attempt to understand bad moods a little more I need your help. I’ve asked you a question via this week’s video blog… You might like to read this article I wrote, recently published on MindBodyGreen – it builds on the idea of ‘Leaving/Changing/Accepting’ which I mention in the video above. My hunch is that my question raised in the video – how do you tackle bad moods – is one that there are plenty of us out there that would love some tips, guidance, suggestions and encouragement. I am so eager to hear how YOU turn a bad mood around. Can we throw a bone out to help each other learn and grow? Please share in the comments below or via facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you! Hoping you are in! Saha to you, Claire x p.s If you want to see how I shook off my bad mood the other day have a little peak at my home yoga practice. It did the trick! Read more

ALWAYS MAKING EXCUSES? 5 THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS TO BREAK THE HABIT!

ALWAYS MAKING EXCUSES? 5 THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS TO BREAK THE HABIT!

Posted January 31, 2013

You can imagine that as a health coach and yoga teacher that I hear alot of excuses. I listen to many individuals are they find ways to navigate away from the truth. Let me tell you, they do it well. We all do. Me included. We are experts at avoiding what needs to be done. Imagine if we applied that much focus and skill to that which we need to get done. It’d all be much easier! We talk about wanting to get up early and go to yoga. We talk about wanting to quit sugar, eat less crap, drink less booze, be kinder to ourselves, practice more self love… and on it goes. But somehow we rationalise and analyse ourselves into a circle until we are back at the beginning with the wheels of change stuck, motionless. Let me just say, I get it. Truly I do. I’m human and I have the same thoughts and the same desires. I also have the same blocks, battles and lack of motivation. But let me just say this, at one point in time, my desire to change became stronger than my desire to avoid… or should I say my perceived need to stay where I was in mind, body and spirit no longer held up. Also, that desire to change was something that CAME to me… I was shown where I was headed for and my body found a way to yell out, loudly. It got my attention and I finally responded. We all come to that moment in our own time. But for many of us, we’ve had that moment and yet we still make excuses. Do I sound harsh? I’m not trying to be, I just know that most of the things we are all after – health, happiness, balance – are all so easily achievable. It’s not rocket science. It just takes dedication for transformation to come about. Patience, determination and the desire to live as the best version of yourself. So, I have a few questions for you and I’d like you to pull out a pen and paper and answer these as honestly as possible 1) What do you really want to change? 2) What’s stopping you – honestly? Are your excuses genuine? 3) What are you afraid of? 4) Do you believe in yourself? If not, why not? 5) What are three easy, simple things you could do to set this change in motion? How did you go? Did you discover something that you already know but weren’t willing to face up to? Ok, so let’s be straight up with each other. Who’s kidding who? It’s time to ditch the excuses, the story-lines that restrict you and it’s time to move FORWARD. 2013 is your year. Go and get it. What you want is already in you, just let your light shine and be the best you! You want it, right? Saha to you, Claire Read more

6 LIFE LESSONS FROM BALI

6 LIFE LESSONS FROM BALI

Posted November 02, 2012

So, as you might know I was recently in Bali. I had an amazing experience – attending a friend’s wedding, scooting around Seminyak, eating amazing food. But what really stands out for me was my trip up to Ubud. The spiritual centre of Bali, likened to a little India. We headed up to Ubud to experience something different from the tourist strips  – western hotel pools, beach clubs, sydney-priced shopping – and surprisingly the drive to and from Ubud was where I learnt the most about Bali. Having hired a driver to take me to Chokorda Rai (a local healer – more on that in another post) I didn’t expect that the driver, himself, would offer up so many nuggets of spiritual insight. Pearls of wisdom and if I may I’d like to share these with you today. His name was Putu. He was a gentle, kind and open souland clearly, as most Balinese do, sees the world in a different way to most of us. Here are a few life lessons from Putu and a few notes from myself. 1) Just go with the flow. If everything is heading in one direction, you have to decide if it makes sense to turn around and swim against the current. So, if going in that direction doesn’t make sense, first, step out of the way and take a moment to be still. Figure out what it is you want, where you want to go. Don’t just do an about face and head backwards. You’ll just end up fighting against the flow. 2) Balance is important. It’s everything. Every person has their place, their role and everything has a place, a role. Sticking to this creates harmony in the long term. We were talking about positions within the family and the ‘compound’ – the Balinese way of living – and Putu provided insight into the necessity of create balance within the family environment and within the roles. For example, the mother has a clearly defined role – to care for and raise the children and run the household. The father – the breadwinner, the decision maker. A very traditional structure, but Putu’s insight  was intriguing -“the father is tired from working, so if he gets too involved with the matters of the children he will rule them with anger and frustration. It’s better that the mother disciplines and raises the children because her approach is softer and will not damage the children”, 3) Read the eyes. Trust your instincts and respond to what you sense, not just what you see. Then you can follow the instructions after. I asked Putu how he avoids serious accidents in such crazy traffic (Bali has serious traffic jams!) He responded that he notices the street signs around him second to the eyes of his fellow drivers/riders. “Their eyes will tell you what they want and where they want to go. You can do this in any situation. Not just when driving” 4) Don’t be mad. Don’t be mad at the street. Why be mad at something that only just that morning you asked it to protect you and guide you. If I am mad at the street I am bringing bad luck to me. Again, talking traffic, I mentioned that road rage in Australia was much more apparent than Bali, despite how much worse their situation is. Putu, straight to the point, explained the Baliness belief in remaining calm in the face of frustation and testing times. A spiritual way of living with the knowledge that like attracts like. Your anger, in traffic or anywhere else, will only bring you more of the same. 5) We must always ask for a lucky day. It will bring us happiness and love. We were chatting about marriage, buying homes and more. Putu explained the Balinese culture of choosing an auspicious day from a local priest to ensure that luck was always on your side. It made me realise that we don’t tend to connect with anything higher than ourselves – because perhaps many of us don’t believe that everything is connected as the Balinese do. 6) Just relax. Don’t worry. This doesn’t help anything. After visiting a healer, which had me in tears, we were discussing my diagnosis over Lawak (coffee from the mongoose cat!) Apparently ‘worry’ coming up quite strong within my body. Putu very calmly told me – in the same tone as one would say “take the 372 to coogee’ – that worrying is pointless. Just let life happen, worrying isn’t life. It does nothing good. It’s an understatement to say that Putu had me thinking, alot. Some of his little pearls were so simple, things I had read/heard many times but it was in his delivery. This calm, matter-of-fact way that made me realise he wasn’t reciting some concept he understood intellectually, in theory. He was sharing his life practice. The Balinese way of living and being. I can’t wait to go back so I can explore this complex, yet simple culture even more. Have you been to Bali and experience the people and the culture? Did you learn anything that you still remember today? Saha to you, Claire Read more

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT3 – ACUPUNCTURE

MY EXPERIMENT IN SURRENDER PT3 – ACUPUNCTURE

Posted October 26, 2012

With a small hamstring strain, lower back injury, shoulder strain and trying to fight the lurgy that was flying around I was keen to try something… anything! I remembered my osteo had previously told me about this fantastic organisation – Experienced Community Acupuncture – who provide 1 hour treatments for $25 with experienced acupuncturists. Experienced Community Acupuncture (ECA) is passionate about making acupuncture accessible to the general public. And I think that is a noble thing to do. My dad used to suffer from severe back pain after spending hours, alone all day at work, lifting and carrying heavy boxes. Acupuncture was the only thing that made a difference for him – but the cost of it was often a boundary. ECA moves to different suburbs throughout the week making it even more accessible and at $25 a pop, what do you have to lose? Well, that’s what I thought… and I lost nothing. In fact, I gained an education into Chinese Medicine and it certainly helped to alleviate the pain in my body. The needles didn’t necessarily hurt as they were inserted but I was told that there were quite strong blockages in certain areas due to the intensity of the ‘ache’ I would feel during some of the sessions. Particularly with anything related to my back. I’m looking forward to going again to see if these have cleared. To bring to life acupuncture a little more Ray Ford from ECA has kindly answered a few questions which I hope will give you a clearer picture. What is acupuncture? The word acupuncture can be divided into two parts “acu” which means needle and puncture. Therefore acupuncture is the insertion of the tips of very fine sterile needles into the body at strategic sites. What is qi and meridian channels? Qi is the vital force that flows in the channels/meridians and enervates the body it is also translated as “vapor” suggesting an essence derived from food which supports, sustains and nourishes the body. The channels OR meridians are energetic pathways that flow in set patterns within the human organism. The Chinese have identified and mapped the meridians for at least two thousand years.  How do these affect our day to day lives? Qi travels in the 12 main channels and does one complete cycle every 24 hours. Each channel has a high energetic “tide” of 2 hours.When there are problems, blockages or deficiencies it will often show up in the body at the time appropriate to the channel or organ involved.It may also show up in the opposite 12 hour period.An example is that people with a Liver disharmony often wake up between 1-3 am which is the high point of the Liver energy.  Can you describe an acupuncture session An acupuncture session involves the practitioner listening to the patient, looking at signs such as complexion and asking about symptoms. The pulse is taken to assess disharmony and where it may be located, the tongue is observed to reveal the condition of the digestive and inner organs. The abdomen or other parts of the body may be palpated to check for restriction or tenderness.  After this, a diagnosis can be made and acupuncture points will be chosen that are known to balance the particular imbalance/pain/injury that is present. As acupuncture stimulates the body’s internal regulatory system, acupuncture points can stimulate a natural healing response without directly having to treat the site on an injury or imbalance. This is why points may be far away from the area involved in the injury /illness. Why the use of needles? What effect does this actually have. Needles are use because they are metal which have the effect of conducting the energy in the body, redirecting or unblocking it. Acupuncture has an advantage over manual systems that do not use needles in that with acupuncture we can combine several points at the same time. How can someone be sure that their practitioner is good? Practitioners must be a member of a recognized association that has standards of competency. The public are entitled to ask the practitioner about their experience and qualifications so they can make an informed decision. This may also be on their website if they have one, in other words look into a practitioners education,qualifications and experience. Acupuncture is an acquired skill taking years to refine. Reading the classics or pulse diagnosis take time, dedication and application to master. By application I mean having the experience of actually performing many thousands of treatments to gain experience, this cannot be fudged, there are no short cuts. Are there any risks? In the hands of competent experienced and well trained practitioners acupuncture is a very safe procedure. What are some of the results you have witnessed yourself? I have witnessed breech babies turning many times. Prolapsed lumbar discs which were said to need surgery have moved back into place after acupuncture verified with MRI. Completely healing debilitating migraine headaches in some patients some of whom had been suffering for more than 20 years Many cases of “infertility”  in women and men as diagnosed by western medicine have been “reversed” with acupuncture and resulted in numerous healthy children over the years. Immune system disorders and allergies helped significantly Debilitating neck, back, shoulder pain completely removed. What is the history of acupuncture? The History of Chinese Medicine in general goes back at least 4000 years and even as far back as the mythological Xia Dynasty. I think it is such as vast subject that cannot be answered in a question and answer format such as this. I think if I did that most of your readers would be asleep or in a deep trance. Some people have taken four years and obtained a PHD and only slightly answered this question so you can see its a very big topic. (I suggest a google search if you are keen to know more!) Learning how to surrender with needles in you was a task in itself, but long […] Read more


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