How on earth do we cope with terrorism and atrocity?

I am writing this in response to yesterday’s horrific actions in Brussels. This, along with the daily reports of atrocities around the world, have left many of us reeling. Although we try to distract ourselves from the pain, we know that the suffering will not go away if we continue like this. It doesn’t help that we are me are masters of distraction. Beginning as a baby when we try to shut off our sensitivity because we can’t handle the intense energy and emotions of others, we only add more and more ways to distract ourselves as we grow up.

But the emotions we try so hard to avoid are stored in the cells of the physical body and become part the Collective Consciousness – the part of us that we all share. That negative emotion then adds fuel to our thinking, creating a personal electromagnetic field which acts like a magnet. This means that by feeling the fear engendered by terrorism, we are enabling that energy to return again and again.

But how do we stop such a natural reaction? It takes extraordinary strength and stamina to resist the low energy tsunamis in the Collective Unconscious caused by terrorism, yet that is exactly what we have to do if we are to climb out of the vicious circle of low frequency negative energy. It is only by neutralising low frequency negativity with high frequency positivity that we can stop being victims and claim back our power of free will and choice.

There are many low frequency forms of energy such as hatred, anger, worry, anxiety, despondency and hopelessness but fear resonates at the lowest frequency of all. Conversely, there are many high frequency forms of energy such a joy, co-operation, honesty, forgiveness, trust and compassion with love resonating at the highest frequency of all. Unfortunately the word “love” has become somewhat hackneyed and misused. However, in its purest form, it is also the most powerful frequency in the universe. Therefore, if only we can find a way of feeling love as our primary frequency, we will raise the vibrations of the Collective, negativity and fear will cease to rule us.

Being in the frequency of love means seeing the beauty in everyone, whoever they are and whatever they are doing. Like all frequencies, we need to practice endlessly so that it becomes our predominant frequency. That may not be so hard when we live relatively happy lives, but if we are involved in atrocities such as terrorism, feeling love instead of hatred will be the hardest challenge we will ever face. The place to start is by taking our minds off ourselves and really being present with whatever or whoever we are at the time. Then search for and honour the beauty in them, having the discipline to stop ourselves the moment we see negativity or start judging and criticising. With practise, seeing the beauty will become a habit and once we are re-entrained to the positive, it becomes about what we expect.

This brings to mind a true story told to me by a dear friend. When a young man began teaching at a failing school, his pupils all began to do extraordinarily well. The Head came into to ask what the secret was. The teacher smiled and pointed to the register. “Look, here are all their IQ levels – they are all extremely bright. Of course they are doing well.” The Head stared at him in astonishment. “These are not their IQ levels,” he exclaimed. “They are their locker numbers!”

It is extraordinary but it seems that when you see and then expect the best in everyone, they come up trumps. You can still send your heart out to those who are suffering, but by concentrating on the positive frequencies not the negative. Learning the stamina and strength to uphold high level frequencies and energies is a journey for all of mankind, but it is a journey that begins with each one of us. Remember, you can see a candle flame in an ocean of darkness but you won’t even notice a smudge of darkness in an ocean of light.

Wishing us all love and peace

Laurelle

How can we choose our behaviour when 95% of us is unconscious?

We are a strange species. Watch a cat napping comfortably on a sofa or a dog stretched out blissfully in front of a fire and you won’t see a creature ruminating on why it is here or what its purpose is. Yet we humans agonise endlessly over such questions, convinced that finding answers to them is key to living a happy, fulfilled life.

The difference between animals and humans is supposed to be the ability to choose. Yet with anger, greed and vengeance raging both inside and outside us, sometimes it seems as though no intelligent free will is being engaged at all.

So what is the answer? The journey of human life seems to be about power and how to handle it. Do you decide to have power over others and cause pain or power over yourself and develop your qualities? It shouldn’t be difficult choice because 95% of our minds is unconscious, we simply do not seem to be able to make the sensible choice. Unconsciousness reveals itself to us in many ways but one of its most obvious methods is through our behaviour. The ways in which our buttons can be pushed tell us much about who we are and have become but unless we find a way of responding (conscious) rather than reacting (unconscious), we are likely to be in for a lot of unhappiness and trouble, both on a personal and global scale.

In order to communicate with the Unconscious mind, we need a language. One such language was discovered by Jung and developed by the likes of Joseph Campbell and Caroline Myss. The language of archetypes is a way of understanding the behavioural patterns in our unconscious minds. We first come across them in fairy tales and myths: Cinderella, Snow White, Peter Pan, the Wicked Step Mother, the Queen, the Bully, the Prince, the Free Spirit etc. They are rather like filters, or stage lights that colour your energy in a certain way, determining how you live your life and what you do with it.

Archetypes are made up of light (that which we know) and shadow (that which we don’t recognise/admit to) and they form the foundation of our personality, drives, feelings, beliefs, motivation and actions. It is vital that we integrate both light and shadow if we are to be conscious enough to act from free will and choice.

According to Caroline Myss, our unconscious mind works through a basic twelve archetypes, four of which are common to every human being on the planet. In the next four newsletters, I will be discussing each of these – the Child, the Victim, the Saboteur and the Prostitute (yes, a tough word, but we all go through it in some form or other).

Learning to speak the language of archetypes sends us on a fascinating journey into the mind, shining light on parts which may have lain hidden for a very long time. As a bonus, learning this language also helps us to understand why others behave the way they do.

In preparation, try observing your behaviour over the next month. Write down what you do, especially when your buttons are pushed. The more you understand about what you do, the easier it will be to discover why you do it.

Wishing you a peaceful, insightful and joyful March,

Love Laurelle

We’re in for a rock ‘n roll year!

The Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey will start on February 8th and this monkey’s going to shake, rattle and roll 2016! A hyperactive, strong-minded, intelligent, witty, and inventive animal, the monkey likes to solve problems. As an independent achiever who is nimble, playful and youthful in nature, he loves a variety of activities and having fun. However, while monkeys symbolise curiosity and creativity, they are also tricksters and their very intelligence enables them to play pranks because, free from inhibitions and guilt, they display little conscience. This means that, while anarchy may raise its head, at least the economy should improve.

Fire monkeys are extremely lively and charismatic so this could be an interesting year for relationships. They love to be centre of attention and are excellent teachers but they do want everyone to think the way they do. Their imagination is lively and their intuition rarely wrong but they can be suspicious of other people’s motivation and very jealous.

Some of the famous people born in the year of the monkey are Leonardo da Vinci, Mick Jagger, Charles Dickens, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor, Sylvia Plath, Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole.

To make the most of this irrepressible, inventive energy, you need to be experimental and allow yourself to think as outrageously as you can. Personal effort rather than the group collective is the key here. The monkey is an opportunistic tactician and you need to keep abreast of events which will happen quickly. Monkeys are excellent communicators and brilliant at business, but be alert for deception, trickery and feelings of insecurity and base your decisions on fact rather than emotion if you don’t want to get caught out.  Don’t take anything for granted, whether politically, financially, professionally, domestically or emotionally and beware of trusting too easily. The monkey can be faithless and unscrupulous and he loves nothing more than to catch you out. Creating new inventions, taking risks and being courageous will propel you forward but you may have to learn to bluff your way out of trouble if you don’t want stress to get the better of you. A regular regime of strong physical exercise will help you to deal with stress and survive this fast paced year unscathed. It will be the year for education and self improvement so take some new courses and invest in yourself.

If you run with your ideas, are inventive and rely on yourself, you should have a lot of fun in this year of individual success and creativity. Just make sure that you love what you do. Otherwise, the monkey may well jump out at you and trick you!

Enjoy the wild ride!

Love Laurelle

 

The Need for Balance

Christmas is a time for stories and winter for gathering round a fire to tell and share our tales. Storytelling is a vital part of human life from tales told to children to help them to sleep, to web-weaving our lives into some kind of tapestry that can be told. Storytelling balances us and helps us to understand the incomprehensible.

Mythology grew up with such an aim in mind. Common throughout the ancient near East and the Mediterranean were tales of a male god who died and, as a result of the great work done by his female consort, was reborn. The male represented the sacrificial lamb while the female represented eternity. Together, they described the cyclical nature of birth life and death. From Ancient Egypt there is Osiris and Isis, from Mesopotamia Tammuz and Innana-Ishtar, from Lebanon Eshmun and Astarte, from Palestine Baal and Anat, and from Britain Taliesin and Ceridwen. Each male god was killed, often more than once, and after being put back together by his female consort, eventually reborn.

The Christian story of Jesus has many parallels with this ancient myth except that the female consort was removed. In an attempt to redress this imbalance, the church was portrayed as the missing female part but this didn’t satisfy the people who also wanted a female deity. Mary Magdelene, whom many are beginning to believe may have been the bride of Jesus, was denigrated to the status of a prostitute. Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, was put in as a substitute for the consort but even she was toned down when worshippers began to place too much importance on her.

Removing one half of the heavenly duo has led to a dangerous imbalance and the denial of the Mystical Marriage has resulted in two thousand years of Christian patriarchy. Women are still seen as second class citizens in many places and, even in the UK, a land of many freedoms, it is anticipated that equal pay between men and women will not be achieved universally until 2050.

Nowhere do we find Jesus saying that women are second class citizens so isn’t it about time that we restored the Divine Female to her true place, by the side of the Divine Male? With the atrocities that are being committed against both men and women around the world today, we desperately need the classic female qualities of compassion, nurturing and forgiveness. If we are to get through this dangerous time and come out the other side in a more balanced and caring way, then each of us needs to restore the male and female elements inside us before we will be able to see more harmonious results in the outside world.

Wishing us all a more peaceful, united and balanced 2016.

Love Laurelle

 

 

 

Why is having a purpose so important?

In the film “Suffragette”, Maud started working in a laundry factory when she was seven and worked there full time from the age of eleven. By the time she turned twenty three, she had been burned, scalded and sexually abused. Nevertheless, she went about doing a full day’s back-breaking work scrubbing, cleaning and ironing before going home without a word of complaint to look after her husband and young son.  When she was arrested for peaceful protest, she was put in prison, force fed and had her child taken away from her. Shockingly, that wasn’t enough. It took the death of Emily Davison under the feet of the King’s horse in the 1913 Derby to bring the cause of women to the world stage, and even then it took a further fifteen years for all women to get the vote in Britain. In Switzerland, women only got the vote in 1971.

Society in the Western world is very different in the twenty first century. Thankfully, most women don’t have to return to the days of scrubbing boards and laundries. There are women MPs and prime ministers and women head some of the biggest companies. Not that the victory is yet complete: official figures show men in the UK earn 14.2% more per hour than women and, at the current rate of change, it will take another 50 years to close the gap.

Yet despite such hard won freedom and wealth, depression is alarmingly on the rise. The qualities of stoicism and tenacity that our sisters of old had in spadefuls seem to have disappeared. We complain about the smallest things and rely on screens to entertain us so that we don’t have to think for ourselves. (It has actually been confirmed that we go into a state of mild depression when we watch sitcoms.) It would appear that when life is handed to us on a plate, we become passive and cease to engage.

A story about a lizard confirms this. When a chap bought an exotic lizard as a pet, he could not persuade it to eat despite offering it a huge variety of tasty morsels. In a last ditch attempt, the man tried to feed the starving lizard a ham sandwich. When the lizard refused this as well, the man gave up, put the sandwich down and started to read his newspaper. When he had finished reading the first section, he tossed it on top of the sandwich. Immediately the lizard crept towards the paper, shredded it and gobbled up the sandwich. Apparently, the lizard had needed something to stalk before he would eat.

Irrespective of gender, humans and animals alike need purpose in order to live satisfying lives. Having nothing to fight for, being spiritually starved, having food available 24 hours a day, too much convenience and the continual seeking of pleasure is making us weak. We need challenge if we are to grow and be fulfilled. We need to get out into the world and DO something with this precious gift of life that we have been given.

Christmas is a particularly apt time to think about purpose. Whilst we are having fun and feasting, let’s reflect on the birth of a child into a family forced to become refugees, a subject of so much relevance today. Let’s remind ourselves that, however comfortable we might be, we can still fight for peace, justice and compassion. Finding a cause to support will not only gives us purpose but also stir the altruism which, ultimately, makes us happy. Let’s develop some of that wisdom and courage that were so much in evidence in our tougher forebears and rediscover those old qualities of stoicism and tenacity.

Wishing you a peaceful but purposeful Christmas

Love Laurelle

 

 

Could ethics be more important than religion?

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In a world in which refugees are seeking safety in ever greater numbers, the Dalai Lama, the world’s most prominent refugee, purports to know no enemies and feel no hatred. Even though the Chinese have occupied Tibet and taken away his homeland, he still prays for them and their leaders. He also says that ethics are more important than religion because, while we don’t arrive in the world as a member of a particular religion, we are born with a sense of ethics.

The ethical qualities of love, compassion and peace are at the basis of all religions but mankind is doing his best to kill them with his desire for power over others, causing cruel war and the desperate plight of refugees.  Ethics, on the other hand, demand power over oneself. Power over oneself isn’t easy. Living ethically demands practice, patience and self-discipline with an ample helping of learned self knowledge. It also asks us to question our new Western religions of overindulgence, money, excessive materialism and our worship of the numbing god in the corner of the room, the television.

Ethics, the Dalai Lama suggests, leads to happiness, and modern research into neuroscience certainly backs him up. It would seem that altruism is not only more rewarding than egotism but also that the human brain is actually programmed to be happy. The fact is that we like helping people – it makes us feel good. Moreover, we can’t bear seeing others hurting. The horrific photographs coming out of Syria have begun to shock us out of our complacency but we need to act more ethically if we want to begin to transform suffering in a meaningful and lasting way.

Most of us in the Western World have far more than we need – if we have a roof over our heads and food in the cupboards we are in the top 8% of the world wealth. We can afford to share out some of our good fortune and we will even get a shot of happiness as a result. Choosing to see the influx of refugees as an exciting opportunity rather than a threat could be fascinating. Celebrating a world in which Christians, Hindus, Seiks, Muslims, Jainists, Buddhists, Jews, Agnostics, Atheists and Pagans all have a safe place to live, could bring some much needed colour into our lives. Working together towards education for all, respect for each other and acceptance of our differences could open up whole new worlds to many of us.

A few new beliefs wouldn’t go amiss either. How about – What is in your interest is also in mine. Or – What serves you, serves me, serves all of us. Sounds better than shouting fearfully to keep everything for ourselves, doesn’t it?

Have a happy, compassionate and loving November.

Love Laurelle

How connected are you?

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As we continue our exploration of the chakras, let’s now look at the seventh, the crown chakra, which is situated at the top of the head and develops between the ages of 42 and 49.

Physically, the crown chakra is concerned with the eyes, upper skull, hair and central nervous system. It also houses the pineal gland, the only part of the body which is in direct contact with, and brings in, the soul. Problems with this chakra may manifest as migraines, brain tumours, coma, amnesia, insomnia, skin disorders, Parkinsons and Alzheimers etc. The major emotional imbalance of the crown chakra is anxiety. However, confusion, depression, senility, fear of success and lack of inspiration can also occur. Mental imbalances may show up as feelings of separation, learning difficulties and autism. Spiritually, this chakra is all about connection: connection to the Higher Self and to the Divine. Artists and psychics often see a developed crown chakra as a halo of light around the head.

The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Sahasrara which means one thousand. The image for the crown is therefore the thousand-petalled lotus. The lotus is a surprising flower which grows out of muddy water and yet produces a beautiful bloom. This means that we don’t need to be perfect but can lift ourselves out of the murk of ignorance into our souls and the clarity of enlightenment. By cleansing ourselves and letting go of what no longer serves us, we will rise up out of the depths and see the light.

So how do we work on the crown chakra? First, there is colour. Violet has the shortest wavelength and highest vibration of the colours of the visible spectrum of light and aids us in cleansing, letting go, feeling whole and moving towards a feeling of unity with others. You can also work with crystals. Diamonds, white tourmaline, white jade, snowy quartz and celestite help to strengthen the soul and provide enhanced insight. Essential oils are also most useful. The quietening fragrances of sweet and bitter orange, neroli, lavender, clary sage, and frankincense help to produce a more peaceful mind while pine, rose, tea tree, cedarwood and lemon help to cleanse the thoughts.

However, the most powerful way to develop the crown chakra is by silent meditation. Silence is an odd concept in our noisy world. It is virtually impossible to get away from environmental sound whether it is in the form of piped music in shops, traffic noise on the roads or aeroplane disturbance in the skies. Even our bodies make noise: the bloods thrums, the nervous system whistles and the digestive system groans. But the fact is that we cannot do without sound. When men first went up into space, it was discovered that they could not function after they had left the ionosphere because the Earth hums at an average of 7.813 hertz, or cycles per second. This resonance is as vital to us as oxygen so now a little black box resonating at this frequency is put onto all space modules thus enabling the astronauts to live as though they are still on the Earth.

It is not surprising, then, that silence is so challenging. Try this: sit comfortably with your eyes closed and tone Om (or Aum) for a few minutes. Then allow yourself naturally to become quiet. Listen to the resonance which has been set up in your body and watch it fade from sound into feeling. When you are ready, let go of the doing and simply be. A few minutes spent like this will do much to develop your ability to be silent and, if you keep on practising, you’ll find yourself in a state of bliss.

So now we have come to the end of our exploration of the chakras, I do hope that you have enjoyed the journey. Working with these energy centres will help you to understand your body, emotions, minds and spirit and also to create a life which is peaceful and fulfilling. Please email me if you have any questions.

Meanwhile, have a peaceful Autumn and enjoy the silence whenever you can find it…

Love Laurelle

I am a qualified Sound Therapist, teach meditation and chanting, and run workshops on Confidence and Archetypes. I also write music and fiction and currently have recorded 12 CDs. Contact me at laurelle@laurellerond.com for more information or phone 07964 161527.
 

How mindful are you?

Laurelle Himalayan roses

Do you trust your intuition? Do you use your imagination? Do you  fantasize too much?

As we continue our exploration of the chakras, let’s now look at the brow chakra which is situated between the eyebrows and often known as the third eye. It develops between the ages of 35 – 42 years old, concentrates on perception, imagination and visualisation and is the seat of the mind which is 95% Unconscious and largely responsible for our behaviour.

Physically, the brow chakra is concerned with the base of the skull, the hypothalamus in the brain, the eyes and the autonomic nervous system, (responsible for heart beat, lungs, kidney function etc.). On a mental level, the brow chakra is concerned with the imagination, psychic abilities and spiritual awareness. A developed brow chakra will enable us to see that the outer world is a reflection of the inner world and that, if we want to heal what is happening around us, we need to heal ourselves first.

The health issues of the brown chakra are poor memory, worry, being spaced-out, poor concentration, headaches, eye problems and neurological problems. Emotional imbalances are the constant need for escapism and fantasy. Mental imbalances are indicated by the inability to visualise and conceptualise.

 Interestingly, the brow is also where the masculine and feminine principles meet. The pituitary gland is under the influence of the brow chakra. Situated behind the third eye and the size of a pea, it does much to control hormones. The pineal gland, which is controlled by the crown chakra, the chakra that we will look at next month, is vital in its role of balancing the pituitary. Where the pituitary holds the masculine charge, the pineal holds the feminine. The brow chakra is where they can both meet and “marry” within each of us. When these two glands work together, the male and female energies within each of us mingle and balance each other.

So how can we encourage development of this extraordinary area? First, use the colour indigo. If you find this difficult to imagine, you can visualise and/or wear deep purple instead. Specific breathing exercises are also useful. Alternate nostril breathing will help us to balance the female and male energies within us. Because the left nostril is directly connected with the female principle and the right to the male, by isolating them one at a time, we can learn to breathe equally through both. Try blocking your right nostril with the thumb of your right hand. Now breathe in through the left nostril, take your thumb off your right nostril and put your ring finger on the left nostril, and breathe out through the right nostril. Repeat several times and swap over. You can use your left hand to do the blocking and unblocking if you prefer.

The brow chakra is intimately connected with the imagination and if this sense is not working properly, then we will have vastly reduced life satisfaction. To develop this skill, close your eyes and breathe deeply three times through both nostrils, concentrating on the middle of your forehead. Now visualize number one a few times. Then number two, etc, all the way up to number ten. You can also colours instead if that appeals to you more.

One of the most beautiful meditations for this chakra is to create a sanctuary in your mind where you can retreat to at any time. Close your eyes and go into your mind through your third eye. Now visualise a room which is totally safe and only for you. Decorate it any way you like until you have achieved a place that feels like your personal sanctuary. You can come back here as many times as you like and rest. Each time you come out again, you will feel refreshed and restored. You will also have developed your brow chakra.

Have a happy, wise and joyful Autumn!

Love Laurelle

 

How good are you at communicating?

 Do you like the sound of your voice?
Do you ever feel choked by emotion?
Have you forgotten how to listen?

 
These are some of the questions that relate to our next chakra, the throat. The throat chakra is located in the base of the throat and develops between the ages of 28 and 35 years. On a physical level it governs the neck, mouth, tongue, ears, neck and throat as well as physical, mental and speech development. On a mental level, imbalances show up as identity problems and communication difficulties. On an emotional level, it can show up as suppression, compulsive lying, isolation and aloofness. On a spiritual level, it governs expression and communication.

The body has an uncanny way of forcing us to confront our problems via our health. When we are confronted by any of these problems the sound of the voice can change, becoming weak and dull or over loud and raucous. Speech difficulties, ear infections, thyroid problems, a sore throat, laryngitis, neck problems, cervical spine issues, eating disorders, tinnitus and hearing loss are all difficult to ignore, however hard we try. They affect our behaviour too. Gossiping, substance abuse, over-eating and being obsessive can test our friends to the limits, as can either incessant chatter or a refusal to speak.

So what can we do to help our throat chakras? Part of the challenge is to find a balance between speech and silence, talking and listening. Try spending part of every day out in nature listening to the myriad of sounds. This trains us to listen to ourselves in silence and show us what our extraordinary intuition and gut feelings have to say.

Fortunately, we have an in-built healer in our bodies – our voice. Singing is our birthright and it can help to keep us healthy. Ignore any fear that you sound like a cat when you sing. Cats are much more clued up than we are. They purr not only when they are happy but also to heal themselves. Trust that if you can speak, you can learn to sing in tune. All you have to do is to learn to listen deeply. Then try joining a choir and experience the amazingly heart-warming feeling of singing with others.

Chanting and toning are ancient methods of healing which can provide seemingly miraculous cures. Try chanting the Sanskrit word HAHM, either out loud or silently to the self, and feel the voice strengthen and the throat chakra come back into balance.

Speaking beautifully also works wonders. Interestingly, Pythagoras used to encourage any poorly pupils to recite poetry and then watched them heal themselves. Reciting helps us to treat words as sacred sounds rather than taking language for granted. Thoughtless, unnecessary speech expends energy unnecessarily whereas speaking mindfully and positively reveals the true beauty of the voice and leads to a peaceful contentment.

If, however, you need therapeutic help, then either music or sound therapy are perfect for the throat chakra. Music therapy uses organised sound whereas sound therapy uses unorganised sound, thereby bypassing the left hemisphere of the brain. Both are beautiful ways to release issues. Colour is also helpful. Colour is 40 octaves higher than sound, both being on the spectrum of light. The colour for the throat chakra is sky blue so try wearing blue, walking under a blue sky, or by a blue lake, or the blue sea. Perfect for the summer!

So enjoy the summer, the blue skies and the sea. Hum, sing, speak and listen mindfully and when you return back home you’ll be amazed at how much better your throat chakra will feel, your voice will sound and you will be.

Happy holidays!

Love Laurelle
 

 

Have you the heart for life?

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Do you allow intimacy with another person?

Have you withdrawn from other people?

Are you comfortable with being alone for some of the time?

These are some of the questions that relate to our next chakra, the heart. The heart chakra is located in the middle of chest and develops between the ages of 21 and 28 years old.

On a physical level it governs the heart, lungs, blood, circulation and blood pressure. On a mental level, it is here that we experience difficulties with decision-making, social skills and opening to love. On an emotional level, it is here that we feel jealousy, envy, self-hatred and grief. On a spiritual level it is here that we learn about compassion and love.

As the integration point for the seven chakras, the challenge of the heart chakra is learning to live in both the internal – the upper three chakras – and the external – the lower three chakras. Bitterness, lack of forgiveness, feeling alone and despair will lock us into the lower three chakras of power and fight and it is only by learning to love and forgive ourselves and others that we can move successfully into the upper three chakras.

High blood pressure, circulation problems, disorders of the heart, chest pains, angina, and blocked valves etc. all demonstrate a need to work on this area. Lung issues are no less important. Breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia also indicate the need for work as do problems with the shoulders.

There are many ways to work on the heart chakra. As the related sense is touch, massage can be helpful. Getting out into nature can also be most beneficial as the related colour of the heart chakra is green. Try one of Stuart Mabbutt’s wonderful sensory walks. Stuart runs both a nature radio show and also local nature days – www.stuartmabbuttgardeningltd.com

The element of the heart chakra is air so correct breathing is absolutely key. Try putting one hand on your chest and the other on your belly and seeing which one moves the most when you breathe. If it is your chest hand, then you are in fight and flight, which means that you are over-stressed and holding on to repressed emotions. To put this right, place both hands on your belly and breathe into them. Make sure that your belly comes out as you breathe in and back in as your breathe out. Too many of us learn to keep our tummies sucked in and, as a consequence, reverse breathe, causing chronic stress. Once you have ensured that you are breathing correctly from your diaphragm, make sure that you are breathing through your nose. Tiny hairs in the nose trap viruses and germs, preventing them from entering the lungs.

Alternate nostril breathing will also help to calm you. Close your right nostril with your right thumb and breathe deeply through your left nostril for a count of six. Pause for a count of two. Remove your thumb and cover your left nostril with your ring finger, exhaling completely through your right nostril for a count of six. Repeat several times before swapping hands and doing the other side.

If you’re really tense, inhale sharply five times through your nose without exhaling. Pause for five counts. Then exhale completely through your mouth as if you’re fogging up a window—slowly and evenly. Repeat as often as necessary.

Finally, you can use your breathing to establish an internal mantra. Silently say “I” on inhale and “can” on exhale, or “re” and “lax,” or “slow” and “down.”

So don’t be heavy-hearted. There are so many ways to ease the pain of this chakra and move into a more pleasurable life. It is a beautiful time of year. Take heart, stop judging, learn to love and enjoy all.

Love Laurelle