It all starts from within...
It was as I was falling asleep to empowerment mantas, I realised I was a cliche. You know the one… the girl who has her heart broken and turns to spirituality in a bid to heal from the inside out.
Yep, I’ve joined the throng of women who turn to something bigger than themselves for meaning and guidance. It doesn’t matter where you’re deriving your strength from, whether that’s religion, spirituality, yoga or meditation, the important thing is to find an avenue that resonates with you and empowers you to become a better version of yourself. Essentially, you need to find something that aligns with your soul.
Not sure what that is yet? It’s okay, breathe, and let it find you. Don’t copy what works for your best friend’s cousin, find what makes sense for you and your situation. Listen to your gut. If it feels right, you’ll feel empowered, confident, strong. If it doesn’t, you’ll dread your appointments and feel a gnawing feeling in your stomach. It’s important to listen to how your body responds, it knows far more than our ego-dominated mind most of the time.
So many readers reach out and ask me what kinds of things I’m doing to help heal myself, as it *looks* like I have my life together (ha! Isn’t Instagram brilliant like that? Here’s a game - try and pick the photo I had been crying for 2 hours just before taking… I bet you can’t! That’s why I never believe anything I see on social media anymore, it’s a make-believe fairyland).
The methods I use found me. It was also pointed out to me that each practice is healing a different area: one for the body, one for the mind, and one for the spirit.
To help you on your path, I’ve put this list together of the people and practices enriching my soul. Who knows, they might be exactly what you’re needing in your life right now. The women I’ve connected with, most of which happen to be single mums, have inspired me to become a better person. I have my moments, of course, but on the whole I have changed an enormous amount since the start of the year, and learnt more about my strengths and weaknesses than I ever did. I credit that to these practices and the women who’ve encouraged me to seek more, dig a little deeper, and appreciate the lessons in every hardship.
Moni Barry - www.monibarry.com
Moni reached out to me after reading a post I’d made in a business group promoting my copywriting business. She read my blog and said she felt a pull towards me and before she knew it, she’d sent me an email and asked if I was interested in trying out some life coaching with her. I was unsure how it would work as she’s in New Zealand, I’m in Australia. But after our first Skype session, I felt the same pull right back towards her. I’d never considered life coaching, but of course, it is exactly what I needed. It’s like counselling with a spiritual spin. Based on the principles of the Law of Attraction, your coach helps you manifest the life you desire, and puts in place the steps to help you achieve that. It focuses on solutions, rather than problems – which is what separates it from psychology-based therapy. Moni and I discuss career, family, love, relationships, self-worth, spirituality and everything in between. Many of the goals I set when we started in August have come into fruition. Most of our sessions run overtime because we get so caught up laughing and chatting! We just “get” each other. Her advice is invaluable. She pushes me to delve deep to understand the root of why I’m feeling how I am, and how I can better manage it next time. We’re in the process of changing my mindset and thought patterns to break free from old habits, and step into a new and better version of myself. I now consider her a dear friend and someone I count on when things turn pear-shaped. I’ve texted her at ridiculous hours and she always puts so much love and thought into every response and truly wants the best for me. At the completion of every session, I feel empowered. I feel very grateful Moni is in my life, I always tell her I would be lost without her, and I truly mean it. She's a gift, and if you are lucky enough to snare a spot with her, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without her as well.
Insight Timer App
I discovered the incredible insights gained through meditation at a yoga retreat a few months ago. Ever since then, I’ve tried to meditate at least once a day. The mental clarity it’s given me is invaluable. Meditation helps me see situations for what they are, learn from them, and grow. It also helps to quieten the mind and connect to the spirit. This app is awesome – you can select meditations based on what you want to experience, for example there are entire sections dedicated to letting go, others to self-love, and abundance, just to name a few. Best bit - it’s free. As Tony Robbins says, if you don’t have 10 minutes, you don’t have a life.
Janelle Green - www.janellegreen.com
I didn’t even know what kinesiology was or what it did, but one morning I woke up with the reoccurring thought that I needed to do it. Pronto. I was put in touch with Janelle Green, who is usually booked out for months in advance. But of course the day I contacted her, she had just someone cancel their appointment the following day. Synchronicity. When you're on the right path, things just work. Anyway, kinesiology has roots in Chinese medicine, and is based on the belief the body has the ability to heal itself, but sometimes, it just needs a little help to clear imbalances and dis-ease. A kinesiologist uses muscle testing to identify blockages, and utilises a number of techniques from massage, to meditation, to reiki to help correct it. For all the sceptics out there, it’s backed by science. As soon as I met Janelle, I felt like I’d known her all my life. I told her everything without fear or judgment, and she listened and gave me the most amazing, insightful advice. Some of the things my body has “told her” have been so accurate, it’s actually a little scary. After each session, I leave her clinic feeling lighter and happier and my mind feels clear. I’ve also been known to text her at absurd times and she responds with acupressure points to massage, rituals to practice, and things to consider before reacting a certain way. She is a truly special soul, and just like Moni, I’m so grateful to know her.
Chi Nei Tsang (Abdominal Massage)
Ikuko Hosoya - www.ikukobodyworks.com
I’ve been interested in this form of massage ever since I read about it 6 years ago. I couldn’t find anyone who does it here in Melbourne, so I would give up on it, only to have the niggling idea that I really need to get it done as soon as possible, if not sooner. According to Chinese Traditional Medicine, emotions like stress, tension, resentment, anger, fear, sadness, frustration are stored in the abdominal organs, and manifest through stomach aches, IBS, skin conditions, acne, mood swings. More and more research is proving how closely intertwined our gut is to our emotions, so much so, it’s now referred to as our second brain. When this area is out of whack, our body’s energy is blocked too. CNT therapists massage your abdominal region to release negative emotions balance the body once again. It’s also fantastic for anyone who suffers from digestive issues. Be warned: this is certainly not a relaxing, pleasant massage. It hurts. I actually break out into a sweat. It especially hurts if you’ve been through a tough time and the organs are flared up. I feel a huge release at the end of each session, and I’m physically exhausted for the rest of the day. Iku works out of her apartment on Sundays and Mondays, and has the most beautiful healing energy. She’s brilliant at what she does and is one of the few CNT therapists in Melbourne.
If you’re serious about healing yourself, you need to put in the hard yards.
I also practice yoga, immerse myself in nature every day, use crystals and essential oils, listen to podcasts and write in a journal. There’s no easy way out. It costs time, money, and it can be painful emotionally. I certainly still have lapses and I wonder whether I've evolved at all. But then it's in the moments I react in a more positive way, or let things go far quicker than I would've a few months ago, I realise I've come along leaps and bounds. I now have a toolbox of tricks and tips I can use to diffuse situations. I owe this positive growth to all of the incredible people I surround myself with who bring out the best in me.
I’ve learnt the harder you work on improving yourself, the more the universe rewards you by leading you to the right people and opening up doors to new opportunities. You can't just sit there and expect to magically feel better one day. As Moni said to me once, it's just not true that time heals all wounds. Unless you change your mindset, you will remain lost in the labyrinth of anger and resentment forever and you will literally never move on from your past. But by taking baby steps in the right direction, you will have the strength to let go... and that's when a life you never could've dreamed of will present itself to you.