Is it Time to Build a New House?

One could be forgiven for thinking that Covid-19 is tearing our lives apart. We are living through rules and masks rather than faces greet us as we venture outside our homes. No-one knows what next week is going to look like, let alone what the future might hold.

Image by Engin Akyurt – Unsplash

If each of our lives is like a building, then the architecture seems to be tumbling down around our ears as ominous cracks appear in the ceiling and water begins to pool around our feet on the floor. At last we are coming to realise that walls made of greed, a ceiling made from over indulgence and a floor made of laziness are simply not built to last.

This is rather like the tale of the Three Little Pigs. The first little pig built his house from straw and the second little pig from sticks because they didn’t want to put in the effort of using stronger materials.

It was a mistake. A Big Bad Wolf was lurking round the corner just waiting for a tasty meal.

Image by Philipp Pilz – Unsplash

The Big Bad Wolf represents our shadow side and this can be anything that comes from fear: doubt, anger, hatred, unfair judgment, hopelessness, lack of trust etc. All it is taking to blow down our houses is a single breath. Much as all it is taking to stop the world is a tiny little virus.

Fortunately the third little pig was more conscientious and he built a house made of bricks. Once all three little pigs were safely sheltered inside, the wolf didn’t stand a chance. However hard he huffed and puffed, those walls and ceiling were just too strong for him to budge. So he decided to go down the chimney instead. Unfortunately for him, the third little pig had realised what he intended and had set a pan of boiling water in the hearth.

Image by Annie Spratt – Unsplash

Our lives are no less precarious than the houses built by the first two little pigs and this is why Covid-19 – another form of the Big Bad Wolf – is causing our buildings to fall down around our ears. Hedonism and play may feel attractive after millennia of survival and hardship but the human experiment in material indulgence has taken only decades to face us with collapse. Living in a culture in which pleasure is seen as the main objective has resulted in a ravaged planet and is turning us all into refugees from our lives, no matter where we come from.

In order to build a safer place to dwell, we need not only to find appropriate materials to use but also to put in the work. In other words, we need to build a house (aka life) whose walls, ceiling and floors are not made from greed but values.

Image by Sean Stratton – Unsplash

These values may seem precarious to start with but with work, they meld together and make us strong and it is strength that we need to choose values over pleasure. This doesn’t mean that pleasure is bad. Far from it – pleasure is absolutely wonderful – but not if life is lived entirely at its mercy.

Fortunately, we all have the capability of building strong foundations for our lives but it takes time, the making of many mistakes and a great deal of patience and perseverance. In the end, it is about quality rather than quantity and taking the time to be rather than just do.

Covid-19 has shown us that a flimsy life will be blown down. We need to be strong with healthy immune systems and a body built of good, fresh meals not fast, junk food and this takes time and effort. We must strengthen our emotions with gratitude and appreciation and let self-pity and greed go and this takes a lot of practice. By cleaning up our minds so that our head is not full of rubbish, we will surround our spirit with the space to expand and feel the vastness of the universe both outside us and inside us. And this takes silence and stillness.

Image by Harli Marten – Unsplash

If we do all these things, then we can build new, stronger and more durable homes. So let’s welcome the demolition of the old way of living in which our walls were hewn from inequality and its bricks from judgement. Let’s collapse the ceilings which were made of superiority and let the floors made of inferiority sink. Let’s get rid of the air inside the old house which was formed from sadness and a feeling of inadequacy.

By rebuilding our homes from values rather than inequality, we will replace judgement with kindness; superiority with acceptance and inferiority with compassion. We will breathe happiness rather than sadness and balance taking with giving. In this way, the Earth will have a chance to recover and instead of the long cracks in the dry riverbeds, we will once again have the rain of emotion. Instead of the trembling of mountains as we mine their foundations we will regain stability and strength. Instead of creatures in the sea dying agonising deaths from eating plastic we will have the free flow of creativity. And instead of viruses that stop us from breathing we will have a reforested earth that will willingly give us all the oxygen we so badly need.

So don’t grieve the house/life that you are losing or have lost but become inspired by the new one that you can construct. This is our chance to create a brave and compassionate world in which we all, plants, trees, animals and humans have a place where we can feel safe and enjoy this extraordinary journey that we call life.

Image by Mohamed Nohassi – Unsplash

Happy building!

Love Laurelle

Why some people are more susceptible to Covid-19 than others?

We are told that Covid is affecting the already ill, obese and elderly more than others. And yet this picture is already beginning to change as apparently previously healthy and younger people are now also catching it.

Why?

A possible explanation is resonance. We know that everything is energy and that energy is vibration. Vibration is resonance and this seems to be the key. Covid resonates at 5.5 Hz – 14.5 hz (cycles per second) and it dies at above 25.5 Hz.

Image by PublicDomainPictures – Pixabay

In other words, it cannot survive vibrating about 26hz.

Because the Earth’s total average frequency resonance is now 27.4 hz, Covid cannot last long on this planet. So as long as we keep resonating higher than 25.5hz, we should be okay.

Unfortunately, some places lower our resonance. For example, resonance can drop to well below 20hz in hospitals, prisons, near power lines, in vehicles, shopping malls, offices and pubs.

Worse still, are negative emotions. Pain, fear, resentment, irritation, anger, pride, abandonment and superiority can take us down to as low as 2hz.

Image by Michal Jarmoluk – Pixabay

Negative emotions are often a result of refusing to face what we really feel. Indeed, they take us in a loop round and around and around. We know that something is wrong but we don’t know what because we have tried to bury it. The result is that we are in a permanent, or near permanent state of dis-ease.

If keeping our resonance high means eating healthily, exercising sufficiently, being outside in nature for part of each day and being in a positive state of mind, we should be okay. And yet Covid is causing many of us to feel out of control. Globally, nationally and personally, our lives are causing us to be triggered negatively every day because there is so much change and uncertainty.

The science of emotions is clear on this. When we allow ourselves to feel openly, like a child, our cell receptors remain open. When we repress our emotions a chemical reaction blocks our cell receptors. Blocking means stuck energy and stuck energy means a lowering of our resonance. Stuck energy also means that the memory stays inside the cells so that when they regenerate the memory regenerates with them.

Image by Arek Socha – Pixabay

Fortunately for us, cells renew themselves at an extraordinarily fast rate. Skin cells renew themselves every three weeks – as we can see from that fading tan! Liver cells renew every six weeks. The stomach lining renews every three days and eyes every 48 hours. That means that the eye you had two days ago is not the eye you have now. Astonishing!

This also means that, even if we are feeling bad for a while, soon all of our cells will have renewed themselves and we won’t have to carry on feeling that way. Doesn’t it? But this only works if our cells regenerate perfectly and don’t replicate that stuck memory.

And if we don’t want to replicate that stuck memory, we have to release it.

Our job then is to ensure that our cells renew from their perfect, energy flowing state, not their stuck energy, dis-eased state. This means cleaning them up and getting all that stuck energy moving again. It means facing all those emotions we have tried to bury. It means becoming as vulnerable as a little child again. It means daring to shake and cry and do whatever it takes to get that stuck energy moving again and releasing from our cells.

Image by LIAN30 – Pixabay

There are some socially acceptable ways of getting back in touch with our repressed emotions but most of them are vicarious and work through other people’s emotions rather than our own. For example, we can watch a film and cry. Or we can read a novel and live through the emotions of the characters. Or we can have an episode of road rage and scream.

But to release emotions safely and completely we have to turn inwards and look inside to the part of our body that is storing the stuck energy. Our bodies are wonderful communicators. They tell us exactly where we are hiding repressed emotion because they hurt. By looking at that hurt we can identify the cells that are holding the negative memories and ultimately release them. Then those cells will be free to replicate themselves perfectly again.

Music is also really potent in its ability to bring memories back to the surface. Indeed, much work is currently being done with Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients to help them reconnect with hidden memories and thereby reconnect with their lives.

So how about seeing Covid as a positive opportunity to enter the pressure cooker and face the emotions it is forcing us to feel? Not only will this attitude help to keep our vibrations high, but it will also set us on a path to emotional healing. Dare to take some time to really feel those emotions and watch the images that come up to see where the feelings originated. Dare to go as far back into our memory as the stuck energy takes us and rip off any lids that might be trying to hide the feelings. Dare to uncover the higher resonance that exists naturally inside a healthy cell and lose all that anxiety and depression, stress and overwhelm, fear and loss of control that covers it up.

In other words, dare to keep your resonance high enough that you can avoid dis-ease. Learn to be vulnerable and talk to friends and family. Seek a therapist who can give you a safe space to do the work. Allow yourself silence so that you can go deeply within yourself and learn to understand what your body is telling you.

Dare to resonate highly and be well.

Joy 2 – Image by Jill Wellington – Pixabay

Is Your Inner Life as Important to you as your Outer Life?

We have been looking at fairy tales and the way they show us hidden aspects of our human lives.

Although there are still many stories to look at, this month I’d like to introduce you to one from Ancient Greece.

Image by Margit Wallner – Pixabay

In Ancient Greece, stories were written to explain the difference between divinity and ordinary mortals. Around 700 BC, the poet Hesiod offered the first written version of Greek Mythology.

In the beginning, seven gods (the external world) and seven goddesses (the internal world) lived on Mount Olympus (the conscious mind). Down below was the human world (the unconscious mind).

Zeus was the king of the gods but he decided that he wanted the Masculine to be more important than the Feminine.

He achieved this by throwing Hestia – his sister and the most important of the goddesses – off Mount Olympus and down to the less important and unconscious human world. Moreover, he told her that the only way she could continue to be worshipped was if she no longer went out into the external world but stayed by the hearth where she would only cook and look after children.

Photo by Alex Iby – Unsplash

Now a gap had appeared up on Mount Olympus which needed to be filled so Zeus put Dionysus – god of Wine and Chaos – in Hestia’s place.

So now there were eight gods and only six goddesses – patriarchy.

What has been the result?

In 2020 we find our external world in chaos. Addiction, hedonism, pleasure-seeking and chaos reign when there is no internal world to heal it. Dionysus is in Hestia’s place.

However, the chaos that we are experiencing this year suggests that Dionysus is already in the process of being thrown back down to Earth, thereby leaving a gap again on Mount Olympus.

Does this mean that there is at last room for Hestia to return to Mount Olympus and restore equality?

Image by Couleur – Pixabay

Yes, but it means that we will have to acknowledge our internal world (Hestia) as being of equal importance with the external world (Zeus).

And facing ourselves is never easy.

But it seems that we are just going to have to because Covid-19 is forcing us to do just that.

The looming environmental catastrophe is bringing our over-external way of life to its knees and if we continue to distract ourselves away from the necessary internal work, we will have a disaster on our hands.

So how do we bring our internal, sacred world (Hestia) back up into our conscious minds (Mount Olympus)?

Well, it’s time to face all those demons inside – the wounds we have carried for too long; the humiliations and the resentments. But if we can find the courage to do that (Zeus), then we will find wonderful qualities inside us such as love, compassion and forgiveness (Hestia).

But there’s still a fundamental problem here.

Traditionally we have seen Mount Olympus/God/the Sky/the Universe as being higher than the Earth. We’ve also seen the conscious mind as being more important than the unconscious mind, even though the latter forms 95% of our minds.

So, rather than bringing Hestia back up to something ‘superior’, would we be better to re-evaluate and bring Mount Olympus and the Earth/human world onto a level playing field?

To balance ourselves, do we in fact need to balance our divinity with our humanity?

Do we need to see the Earth as being as important as the Sky?

Do we need to recognise that our internal lives are as necessary to us as our external lives?

Image by Richard Gatley – Unsplash

Perhaps this is one of the benefits of Covid and the lockdown. It has forced many of us to stay at home rather than go out to work. Many of us have developed a richer relationship with ourselves as we have been forced to withdraw form others and socially distance.

In the end, it’s all about balancing the Divine Masculine – Zeus – and the Divine Feminine – Hestia – so that, as they were originally meant to do, they can stand side by side and help each other.

And perhaps then we will at last manifest a balanced internal and external world and finally understand how to save ourselves…

Image by Roman Kraft – Unsplash

Beauty or Ugliness – Which do You Choose?

Television, films and the media insist that we have to be beautiful or handsome in order to be a successful human being. But what if we’re not? And what is beauty anyway? In some countries being fat is seen as beautiful; in others being thin. In some country stretching necks with rings is considered beautiful; in others stretching ear lobes. There is no absolute definition of beauty and yet it is something that most of us crave because it makes us not only acceptable but also desirable.

The story of Beauty and the Beast tells us that it is possible to find beauty if only we look inside ourselves and each other.

Image by Donald Teel – Unsplash

Once upon a time, Beauty lived with her father and two sisters. After their father lost all his money, he went away to try to recover it. When he asked his daughters what they would like as gifts, Beauty simply asked for a single black rose.

On his way home, the father became lost and wandered into a castle, seeking shelter. When he saw a black rose he picked it for Beauty but, as a result, was captured by an ugly Beast. The father begged for his life, explaining that the rose was for his daughter but the Beast would only let him go on the condition that she would come to the castle to be his companion.

At first, Beauty was very frightened of the Beast, but over time she realised that he was kind. When she dreamed that her father was dying, she pleaded with the Beast to be able to visit him. Reluctantly, he let her go and her father began to recover.

But whilst she was away, Beauty dreamed that the Beast was dying and returned to the castle only to discover that he was indeed gravely ill. Realising the depth of her emotions, she declared her love for him. Her words broke the curse that had entrapped him when he had been young and foolish and he immediately transformed back the handsome prince that he had been before he had been unkind to an old woman.

They fell into each other’s arms and lived happily ever after.

Love – Image by Mayur Gala – Unsplash

The tale, written by the French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve and published in 1740, was specifically intended to prepare young girls in 18th century France for arranged marriages to much older men. It told them that they would be kept in a castle where they would dress up for dinner and do little else apart from having children. Villeneuve wanted to reassure the girls that the husband did not have to be handsome or even immediately likeable and that the situation could be turned round if only the bride took the time and courage to get to know him.

However, the tale is about far more than romance. The moral of the story of Beauty and the Beast is that we should value inner characteristics such as kindness over other superficial qualities such as vanity. The Beast is symbolic of the ugly behaviour we are all capable of. Originally, he was a handsome prince but he was unkind to an old lady who then put a spell on him which could only be broken by love. We are all potential princes but if we don’t act kindly, then wisdom (the old woman) will put a spell on us and we will be forced to see our inner and external ugliness.

Image by Reimund Bertrams – Pixabay

Each of us has light and shadow characteristics and it’s up to us which we develop. Psychologically, we can divide ourselves up into male and female but this has nothing to do with gender. Male light qualities are assertiveness, courage, analytical thought, strength, vitality, decisiveness, focused attentiveness and a desire for achievement whereas male shadow characteristics are cruelty, tyranny and authoritarianism, being opinionated, aggression, ruthlessness, argumentativeness, domination, mechanistic behaviour and withdrawal.

Female light characteristics are feelings, emotions, tenderness, relatedness, commitment, fidelity, friendship, love, compassion, imagination, gentleness, romance, creativity, intuition and a sense of aesthetics whereas female shadow characteristics are moodiness, sentimentality, hysteria, bitchiness, disempowerment, possessiveness, vanity, smothering and a fear of intimacy.

As humans, we all have a choice: do we put our energy into the light or the dark? Unfortunately, it is easier to live in the shadow. Look at the book – Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Given free reign and anarchy, the shadow personality wants power over others; it want to be the best at all costs. In the end, it’s all too easy to become a Beast.

 Image by Andre Tan – Unsplash

What Beauty shows us however, is that being in the light means being more concerned with altruism than power. For example, she only asks for a black rose when her father goes away whereas her sisters ask for jewels and clothes; she agrees to live in the Beast’s castle as his companion to save her father’s life; she nurses her father back to health when he is ill; and she returns to the castle when she realises that the Beast is ailing. She doesn’t do any of these things for her own pleasure but because she wants to help others and this is the true message of the tale.

Image by Peter Pyw – Pixabay

Beauty and the Beast tells us that love has a different type of power and that, when it is turned into service to others, it has the ability to shine light onto the shadow and thereby change it. This is why Beauty is ultimately able to turn the Beast back into a Prince – light is always stronger than the shadow. She lives by values not her desires and embodies courage, energy and commitment; self-discipline, determination and, at times, discomfort. Beauty learned to love the Beast despite his frightening appearance and she shows us that we can all learn to love our shadows, too, and turn them into the light.

All it takes is perseverance, love and compassion. Then the prince reappears, we are released from our prison and at last free to become our true selves.

Image by Jill Wellington – Pixabay

When the Emperor is Caught Naked…

How would you feel if you were caught naked in the middle of a street? And what if you were being watched by thousands of people and a little child started laughing at you? I suspect that you would run as far away and as quickly as your bare feet would allow you.

Image by M.T. EIGasssier – Unsplash

This is exactly what happens in the tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen:

Once upon a time, there was an Emperor who was so fond of clothes that he couldn’t stop buying new ones. Two swindlers came to the city and let it be known they were weavers. However, they explained, the amazing fabric would be invisible to anyone who was either unfit for their office or who was stupid.

Excited by the prospect of yet more new clothes, the Emperor paid them handsomely to start work. After he had sent several ministers who reported back favourably – although they had been too scared to admit that they in fact had been able to see nothing – he eventually decided to see this magnificent cloth for himself. When the cloth proved invisible, he was shocked that he might be either unfit for his office or stupid so, desperate not to be caught out, he gave the fabric his highest approval.

When the day came for a grand procession, he allowed himself to be dressed in his new garments. As he proudly processed in the streets, no-one dared to tell him that he was naked. Until, that is, a little child whispered that the Emperor had nothing on. When a second child said the same and then a third, the whispers grew louder until they had travelled round whole city. The Emperor ignored the whispers and continued processing with his head held high, as naked as the day he was born.

While all the children began to laugh…

Image by Pezibear – Pixabay

Hans Christian Andersen might have published this in 1837 but it holds just as many terrors for us today. Stripped to its core, the story is both about greed and feelings of unworthiness. Before the lockdown, retail therapy in the Western World had become a major hobby with a greed for more and more and more clothes, whether we wore them or not. The result of this was that the fashion industry has become the second largest polluter in the world after the fossil fuel industry.

As the lockdown eases and shops open again, we are being given a stark choice. Are we going to dive back into our old habits or are we going to do what the emperor should have done in the first place and see vanity for the illusion it is?

Image by Greg Montani – Pixabay

It is time for us to change our ways. Sustainable fashion is at last becoming trendy.

KOCO – Knit One, Change One Life – in India is a brilliant example of how hand-made, quality garments that are beautiful and a joy to wear are becoming sought after. When Danielle Chiel travelled to Tamil Nadu in India from her native Australia, she was appalled by the poverty she found amongst women. To help them, she first taught ten of them how to knit beautiful garments which she then sold globally through big designer brands. She also started teaching the women how to read, write and do maths and gave them choice for the first time in their lives. Now hand knitting has become a new language of global connection for more than 200 women and with each garment containing a label with some information about the knitter, the buyer is able to form a kinship while knowing that they are helping someone rise out of poverty. KOCO’s details can be found at www.koco.global

Image by 272447 – Pixabay

Poverty inevitably leads to a sense of unworthiness, the second moral of The Emperor’s New Clothes and yet a lack of self-worth is hugely prevalent in all societies, privileged or not. Over the past twenty years as a therapist I have noticed that almost everyone has a belief that they are not good enough. As a result, we either tend to hide away and become as small as we can, or our egos go on the rampage in an effort to make us appear grand, or we suffer from imposter syndrome and, just like the Emperor in the story, dread the humiliating moment that we will be found out by our peers.

Shame – Image by Сергей Корчанов – Pixabay

It is time to create a new, post Covid-19 normal and give the planet a chance of survival. If we are to do this, we are going to have to change the monetary greed that has been at the top of the global agenda for too long and replace it with values such as collaboration, kindness and the wellbeing.

Interestingly this change is already beginning to happen and it is being led by women such as Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand. It is also notable that it is the female leaders of the world who are bringing about the most successful response to Covid-19.

The recently published book Women Leading, edited by Jo Baldwin-Trott, is a collection of chapters written by both male and female global thought leaders about how we can bring values into a leading position and start to create a more sustainable and ethical way of living.

As one of the contributing authors, I am absolutely thrilled to be part of such an exciting, relevant and much-needed book, whose forward and a chapter has been written by Danielle Chiel of KOCO. All proceeds will go to the KOCO charity.

If you would like to read about how collaborative, compassionate and empathetic female leadership is starting to redefine the way we live, Women Leading is available in both Kindle and Paperback and will soon be available in Audible. (Ignore the ‘Temporarily Out of Stock’ notice for the paperback on Amazon. It is in stock and can be bought straight away.)

We only need 21 days to change a habit and the lockdown has given us more than that so let’s replace polluting fashion with sustainable garments and quantity with quality. If we do this then no-one will be able to tell us that we are unworthy or stupid because, like KOCO, we will be changing lives for the better wherever we are across the world.

Image by truthseeker – Pixabay

What happens when we refuse to grow up?

As we continue our journey into fairy tales and the wisdom they show us, let’s look at Peter Pan or The Boy Who Would Never Grow Up. This was written by the Scottish dramatist JM Barrie and published in 1904 and describes the natural transition from childhood freedom to adult responsibility and what happens if we refuse to grow up.

Image by Lalelu2000 from Pixabay

In this period of lockdown, we are all facing the consequences of not growing up and so this seems to be a particularly pertinent fairy tale for our times as the story warns of the balance we need to achieve between personal freedom and social responsibility.

The story tells of Peter Pan’s life in Neverland where he looks after his gang of Lost Boys, the youngsters who have fallen out of their prams in Kensington Gardens. When he meets Wendy, he asks her to fly away with him to become the boys’ mother as they need looking after. Together they have many swashbuckling adventures but when Captain Hook tries to kidnap Wendy, Peter eventually summons his courage and kicks the evil Captain into the jaws of a waiting crocodile. This enables Wendy to return home to her relieved mother who agrees to adopt the Lost Boys, including Peter himself. But Peter refuses to be cared for because living in a family would mean finally having to grow up so he chooses solitude and flies away on his own.

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay

There are many symbols and lessons for us in this vivid tale. Peter himself was named after Pan, the Greek god of woods and mountains who played the pipes and was rather wild. The word pandemic comes from this god and it is this that we are facing at the moment.

In our modern society there are lots of Peter Pans who live in Neverland and refuse to grow up, whether it be physically or simply as a human being. Michael Jackson even named his ranch Neverland and his use of cosmetic surgery to hold back the natural aging process is legendary.

So what happens when we refuse to grow up? It means that we refuse to learn wisdom or face the consequences of our actions. It means that we allow aging people to become invisible because they are no longer productive. It means that we never fully open our hearts and therefore only think only about ourselves. How short sighted is this! Our current hero, Captain Tom Moore, has been an inspiration to us all by raising millions of pounds for the beleaguered NHS and he celebrated his 100th birthday yesterday. Growing up means embracing age and the grace, wisdom and courage that it so often brings.

In the story of Peter Pan, it is Wendy who represents altruism. Captain Hook wants to capture her precisely because she is a “Princess of Heart”. He knows he lacks heart, but rather than develop it in himself, he thinks he can just kidnap it.

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay

Opening our hearts takes time, effort and often emotional suffering. We can’t simply take it from someone else. We have to earn the right to feel deeply for ourselves and others. Often, it also means recognising our shadow – the one Peter Pan lost when he tried to escape and which Wendy reattached.

We are all made up of light and shadow, the opposites of good and evil, and part of growing up is learning how to recognise and integrate the two. If we refuse to grow up, we only acknowledge our light and become over-indulgent. Then the shadow grows bigger and bigger until it finally leaps out to claim us and forces us to recognise it often with brutal clarity.

Image by Emily_WillsPhotography from Pixabay

The environmental crisis that we and the planet are now facing is a result of our having refused to acknowledge our shadows and take responsibility for our actions. As a result the oceans are clogging with discarded plastic, the air is chronically polluted and our forests – the lungs of the earth – are being destroyed. It is perhaps no coincidence that Covid-19 is also attacking our lungs; an apt symbol for the devastation our greed is causing.

To be a child is to fly free within our imaginations and dreams. This is wonderful and magical but, as we grow up, we must balance this part of ourselves with learning responsibility, understanding consequences and facing our shadows.

The tale of Peter Pan shows us on one hand that, to defeat evil, we need equal helpings of imagination, courage and appropriate action. But we also need to accept growing up gracefully and we most often open our hearts to do this by learning how to look after each other. We are not separate beings as Peter chooses to be, but part of a human family which has a responsibility of care. It is this care that teaches us how to live with heart. These lessons come with caring for our children, the vulnerable, the sick and the elderly. We also need to learn how to care for our environment which, after all, is our larder and our home. The tale of Peter Pan might show us what happens when we refuse to grow up but it also shows us that we can balance our dreams with our shadow.

Next time, we’ll look at Beauty and the Beast and what happens when we are forced to face our mind and all the craziness that happens inside it.

Meanwhile, Happy May Day and here’s wishing that we all take this extraordinary period in our history to learn how to move towards a more sustainable, caring and balanced future.

Love Laurelle

Coronavirus – attack or opportunity?

If someone had told us at Christmas that in only a few weeks, the world would be on its knees and that many of us would no longer be able to work and be forced to stay in our homes, we’d have ridiculed the notion as something out of a science fiction novel.

Image by Stefan Keller – pixabay

And yet that is exactly what has happened. Covid 19 – short for “coronavirus disease of 2019” has become our enemy.

But it doesn’t have to be. As long as we stay virus-free, we have a choice about how we view the situation that the Coronavirus has created. We can see it as an attack on our way of life and our bodies, or we can see it as an opportunity to change the way we live so that, when we leave lockdown, the social norm will be different.

The Earth has given us an extraordinary opportunity to slow down and even stop but if we go back to the way things were before the pandemic, our over-consumerism and self-serving ways will destroy us. Instead, we have the opportunity to consider the bigger picture and allow this microscopic virus to give us the breathing space needed to turn things around and save the planet on which we live.

Image by WikiImages – pixabay

Change often only happens with extremes and in this light, we have gone to war, not as one of a few countries but as a global community. For those who choose to view the pandemic as an attack, it’s a war of fear in which language such as ‘the front line’ and the sick fighting their way to victory is used. For the medics working night and day in horrific conditions in hospitals, it is a war of endurance. For those who are succumbing to the disease, it is a war of life and death. For those in poverty, this is a war of survival. And to most of us, it’s a war we want to end so that life can go back to normal.

Image by Alexander Antropov – pixabay

Covid-19 is a disease-driven war which affects us internally as well as externally. It is not about bombs but about an attack on our cells. It is not about weapons but about an attack on our way of life. It is not about taking hostages but about an opportunity for us to clean up from the inside out.

The climate catastrophe is on the brink of no return so, for our children’s and their children’s sake, we must do some serious thinking and Covid-19 has given us an opportunity to pause for reflection.

So here are some of the questions we could be asking ourselves:

Are we prepared to share our resources? There are some surprising statistics available. For example, I had no idea that only 6% of the world’s population has ever been on an aeroplane. Also, if we have a roof over our head and food on the table, then we are in the top 8% of the world. 26 of the world’s richest people own as much as the poorer 50% of the entire world, and the richest 1% own half of the world’s entire wealth. This degree of inequality is unsustainable and will continue leading to unimaginable suffering if we do not change.

Image by Mona Tootoochinia – pixabay

Next, are we prepared to alter our views about what really matters? In other words, which are we going to put first – earning money and a desperation for personal advancement, or values such as love, community, health and education?

And if we are prepared to put values ahead of wealth, then what changes do we individually and collectively need to make, to allow for these values to thrive?

We all need to learn how to love ourselves and our communities and live simpler lives without an excessive need for material possessions and this means cleaning up our act, not only the cleanliness of our hands but also the cleanliness of our minds and Covid-19 is really helping us here. Since the lockdown, air pollution in the UK has reduced by a massive 60%. Now boats are no longer polluting the Venetian canals, dolphins have reappeared. Now we can no longer shop for that temporary fix of retail therapy, we are becoming more creative and inventive and enjoying physical exercise in nature.

Image by pasja1000 – pixabay

For the privileged, there are some gentler opportunities as well. We are being given the time to breathe a little more slowly and deeply so that we can become healthier and enjoy life again. We can learn how to take better care of ourselves and each other with cleaner nutrition, rest and exercise and accept that a happier you means a happier me. We can put ourselves aside and learn how to enjoy having more quality time with our children and families. We can use this time to recreate our businesses and find new ways for them to operate which will help the many rather than the few. We can choose to start a new, creative project that we haven’t had time to consider before in sufficient detail. We can give thought to how people who have far less are coping. And we can volunteer our services to those in need.

Image by Ashely Barli – pixabay

There is no doubt that, if we accept the challenge, Covid-19 is giving us the opportunity to do all of this and more. It is bringing us into the present moment because the past is obsolete and, let’s face it, we have no idea about the future. So let’s use the lockdown as an opportunity to create our future in the unknown.

In the space of a few short weeks, the Earth is already showing signs of regeneration in this time of human crisis. If we take the lockdown as an opportunity to open our minds and change ourselves for the better, then perhaps we can create a plan for the future which will enable us to step forward positively and collaboratively.

And if we take this time to think, dream and create new visions then maybe, just maybe, we can join together across all generations and all countries to find sustainable ways of living that will enable the Earth’s and our own healing to continue and create a fairer, more just, more equal and, at last an exciting future that will be in the interests of all.

Image by Luisella Planeta Leoni – pixabay

Support During These Challenging Times

As we find ourselves in such a challenging and unprecedented time, I am looking to offer help to any of you who are feeling anxious or stressed. Being in isolation can be very lonely but fortunately the brain cannot differentiate between seeing someone on screen and seeing them in person.

I therefore propose to run a meditation and relaxation session on Monday evenings from 7.30pm – 8.30pm via Zoom while this situation continues. This will not only enable you to ‘see’ friends but also give you some helpful techniques which you can take away with you and use to keep yourselves calm. The fee will be only £5 and will include email back-up if you need it. If you would like to join this session, please email me – laurelle@laurellerond.com – and I will send you a link and my bank details.

I am also running therapy sessions for individuals over Zoom for an hour which will enable you to discharge any anxiety and during which I can balance your chakras, thereby enabling you to deal with whatever you may be experiencing at the moment. In acknowledgement of the financial difficulty that many of us are facing, this will only cost £49. If you would like to book an individual appointment via Zoom, please also email me and we can discuss dates.

Let’s embrace this strange time together and help each other to move forward. And remember, growth only happens when we are out of our comfort zones so let’s support each other in welcoming in the much needed change!

Looking forward to hearing from you and hopefully ‘seeing’ you, too.

Be well.

Love Laurelle

How do Hansel and Gretel teach us the meaning of Love?

As we continue our journey into fairy tales and the wisdom they show us, let’s look at Hansel and Gretel. This well-known German fairy tale was published by the Brothers Grimm in Germany in 1812 and belongs to a group of European stories especially popular in the Baltic regions in which children outwit ogres who want to eat them. It is also a profound story about physical union. However, the origins of this tale shine a rather different light on its meaning. It started in the medieval period of the Great Famine (1315–1317) when desperate people abandoned young children in order to survive. When the stepmother decides to leave the children in the woods, the Grimm brothers portray her as wicked, but might she simply have been trying to increase the odds of her and her husband’s survival by dividing their scant food rations between two rather than four?

Image by b0red from Pixabay

Once upon a time, a poor woodcutter lived with his wife and two children but the children’s mother was dead and their stepmother was very cruel to them. Because they had so little food, the wicked stepmother persuaded her husband to take the children into the forest and leave them there. Confused and frightened, the children wandered away from the path for many hours until they arrived at a cottage made of sweets. Starving, they ripped at the walls and roof and ate as much as they could.

But they didn’t realise that this was the home of an old blind, crippled witch. When the witch invited them into her home and gave the exhausted children beds to sleep on, they willingly agreed but when they found they had been tricked. Hansel had been put into a cage to be fattened up so he could be eaten while Gretel was now forced to become a servant and do all the cleaning and cooking.

Each day, the blind old witch would ask Gretel to give him one of Hansel’s fingers to see if he was becoming chubby but Gretel outwitted her, giving her a bone to feel instead so that he never appeared to put on any weight. Eventually the witch grew tired of waiting for Hansel to grow fat so she ordered Gretel to heat the oven so she could finally cook her feast. Gretel did as she ordered but managed to push the wicked witch into the hot oven and kill her instead. She rescued her brother from the cage and, reunited at last, they returned home.

Image by Couleur from Pixabay

There are many teaching morals in this story. One is not to trust strangers and another is not to disobey your parents but it is also about unconditional love. Hansel and Gretel demonstrate trust and loyalty in a committed relationship and they also show us how to balance physical and spiritual love. There are also many symbols in the story. Hansel represents the spirit – the eternal consciousness of a human that exists even after death, while Gretel represents the soul – the divine spark in each of us. The father represents weak willpower while the step mother represents selfish desires. The woods are the unknown paths in life world which take us away from the straight and narrow. They lead the children to the cottage made of sweets which represent the temptations of the material world.

Image by Pipeman from Pixabay

As for the blind, crippled witch, she symbolises the dark parts of the intellect which are blind to the nature and growth of the eternal in the human being.

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Most importantly, however, is the story of the deep union we all seek with another person which requires us to open our hearts and develop unconditional love. We can see this either as the divine marriage of male and female within ourselves or the sticking together of two people through thick and thin, no matter the trials before them.

So, in this month of St Valentine, look at your relationships, see which are worthy of enduring love and then do all in in your power to enrich them. Be discerning about who offers you things and what it is they offer you and don’t be greedy. Oh, and by all means eat some sweets and chocolate but be careful where they come from…!

Next time, we’ll look at Peter Pan and what happens when you refuse to grow old. Meanwhile, happy Valentine’s Day and enjoy February!

Love Laurelle

 

How does our Inner Wizard help us to find our true power?

As we continue our journey into fairy tales and their wisdom, let’s look at the role of The Wizard. The word ‘wizard’ comes from the Middle English word wys meaning ‘wise’ and first appeared in English in the early 15th century. Irrespective of gender, we all have an Inner Wizard but connecting with it demands courage because that wizard will show us our true inner power.

Image by pendleburyannette from Pixabay

Connecting with power is a huge responsibility. History has shown us far too often what happens when power is abused and the saying ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely’ has unfortunately become the mantra for most leaders. Wizards decide what their values are and stick to them, however powerful they become, but it is a rare few, like Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Theresa who manage to keep their integrity intact when they play with power.

Image by 41330 from Pixabay

Another word also describes modern wizardry. Wyrd is an Old English word meaning ‘fate, destiny’ which derives from the Proto-Indo-European base wert which means to turn or wind. Nowadays, Wyrd is used to refer to the direction of Source/God. It has also been turned into ‘weird’ to describe someone who walks different paths from the normal.

It takes courage to be different but if we are to find our true selves – our Inner Wizard – then we need to question what society requires of us and make up our own minds about who we wish to be. Finding our wizard-self means understanding that we are made up of body, mind, emotions, spirit and soul and giving each part of us sufficient attention. In this context, spirit refers to the Eternal Consciousness that exists outside our body and that continues after death while soul refers to the Divine Spark/Higher Self that lives within each of us.

It can help to construct a ‘cloak of protection’ as we discover our Inner Wizard. This will help us to remain strong in our convictions and, at the same time, balanced. The tree is a potent symbol for many modern wizards because the strength of roots that grow down into the earth keep us grounded while the branches that reach up into the sky allow us to express ourselves with confidence.

Photo by Brandon Green on Unsplash

One of the most famous wizard symbols is the dragon. The word ‘dragon’ derives from the Greek word drak which is a form of the Greek verb derkesthai, which means to see clearly. Dragons are made of the same five elements that we are: earth, water, air, fire and spirit. Most importantly, they can fly and breathe fire.

Photo by Thomas Despeyroux on Unsplash

Unfortunately dragons have been vilified over time and turned into shadows, becoming creatures that represent hatred, fear, rage, guilt, jealousy, depression, powerlessness and hopelessness. Wizard energy is needed to counteract this negativity and turn the shadow into light, love and wisdom so that we can evolve and grow in consciousness. Fortunately, a truer image of dragons is beginning to re-emerge so that once again dragons are being seen as spiritual helpers which help us to have a direct connection with Source.

Part of our human journey is to find our Inner Strength which requires us to access our personal power but we must always ensure that this power stays in line with our values and ethics so that we can help both ourselves and others find light and spiritual connection.

So enjoy discovering your Inner Wizard but remember to keep your wits, and your values, about you!

Love Laurelle