Tag Archives: Soul

Inquiry As A Tool For Transformation

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ForestLightIt’s been a combination of different things that have come up over the last couple of weeks that have reminded me of how powerful Inquiry is a Transformational Tool

One was a call from my shaman to open up and deepen into my inquiry of “What I am called to do in the world?”.  There are times when I feel clear on the answer to this question and at others more uncertain.  I view Life not as a linear path but more of an upward spiral. I find that as I grow and change, the answer to this questions shifts. Perhaps I am still moving toward to the deeper truth of “Who I am?”.  

One thing I have learned is that it is in being open and willing to the practice of asking questions and deep listening that our inner wisdom and guidance emerges.

Knowing oneself is a key to transformation and healing.

Using a process of inquiry is seen in many spiritual traditions and cultures around the globe as a way access a deeper truth.  There are many ways we can work with this. Some questions may be ones that we have answers to – that can help us to know ourselves more deeply and inform our healing process.  Others may be quintessential questions that we may never have the answers to; and yet, by being willing to practice asking and listening, we allow ourselves to enter into the unknown, to perhaps expand into a bigger truth than our rational mind allows and to open to possibilities that we have not yet imagined.

Many shaman or indigenous healers begin with a process of questions when someone comes for healing.  In my practice, I often use a combination of questions. Some come from the Bach Flower Essence System of Healing and others are more traditional questions that I’ve learned from my shamanic teachers.

I first learned the following four questions from one of my favorite teachers – anthropologist and author, Angeles Arrien.  (Check out this wonderful TedxTalk featuring Angeles Arrien from August 2013… The questions she shared, which she found were universal questions used in indigenous cultures around the world as part of a journey of healing include the following:

  1. When did you stop singing?
  2. When did you stop dancing?
  3. When did you stop being enchanted by story?
  4. When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?

Our responses to these questions can be indicators of when we lost our voices, disconnected from our ourselves and/or may have experienced soul loss in some way.

Exploring them can also be a way to come back to ourselves!  

Asking questions also helps to bring us more fully into the present moment and opens a doorway for expanding our conscious awareness of who we are and how we are experiencing life.

Be curious! Ask, explore and listen for your inner wisdom to emerge!


Discover The Healer Within

 

If you feel you’d like some personal support in exploring Inquiry as a Tool for Transformation or in your Journey of Healing, I am available for one-on-one Integrative Shamanic Healing sessions by Phone/Skype or at my office in Annapolis, MD.  

Schedule a complimentary phone or Skype consultation today to explore what’s possible. Schedule Now…

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Day 28 ~ May For Metta 2016: Metta As Medicine For Heart & Soul

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“ONE GREAT QUESTION underlies our experience, whether we think about it consciously or not:  What is the purpose of life?  I have considered this question and would like to share my thoughts in the hope that they may be of direct, practical benefit to those who read them.
 
I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy.  From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering.  Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affect this.  From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment.  I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves.  Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness…

From my own limited experience I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion.”

– H.H. Dalai Lama on Compassion and The Individual

We are getting near to the end of our daily journey together through May is for Metta 2016.  It has been an opportunity to explore ways to create happiness and peace in ourselves, others and the world.  As the Dalai Lama indicated above – at the core of being human is the desire to be happy.  This is a bond we share as human beings, regardless of our outer differences.

Our sense of separation, from ourselves, others and the world, is an obstacle, which most of us face as we try to create happiness in our lives.  By developing and deepening our connection with our own heart and generating a foundation of loving-kindness and compassion, we have begun the process of bringing more happiness to ourselves and to all beings.

In a sense, we can view our practice of Metta, of loving-kindness and compassion, as the “medicine” that brings happiness into being.  What better medicine can there be? In many cultures, the term medicine refers not only to drugs or substances, but to wisdom and the guidance of spirit.  Metta is medicine for the heart and soul;  it’s natural, it’s free and it’s beautiful to experience.  And, as we work with the “medicine” of Metta, it’s energy pours over into others and the world.  As we heal ourselves, we heal our world!

Daily Practice:  

As we move towards the end of May Is For Metta 2013, I hope you will take some time to honor the efforts you have been making to be more loving and compassionate.  Do you foundational practices.  As you begin your practice today, take a few moments to reflect on any changes you may have experienced since you began May is for Metta.  How has your ability to connect with and generate the qualities of loving-kindness and compassion evolved?  Spend some time in your circle of loving beings or imagining a time you were held in unconditional love.  Really allow yourself to feel those energies enveloping you.  When you feel ready, repeat the phrases for yourself:

  • May I be happy.
  • May I be peaceful.
  • May I be free of suffering.
  • May I have ease of well-being.

When you feel ready move onto the other categories as you feel to for today:  Benefactor, Beloved, Neutral Being, and Difficult Person.  Acknowledge that in practicing for this being, you have benefitted by becoming more open-hearted and loving.  As you begin each category, say, “Just as I wish to be peaceful and happy, so does this being wish to have inner peace and joy.”   Repeat the phrases for each category you are working with remembering to come back to your own heart center for a few moments between each category:

  • May you be happy.
  • May you be peaceful.
  • May you be free from suffering.
  • May you have ease of well-being.

If you become distracted or difficult feelings arise, use the Switchback, returning the practice to yourself until a sense of calm returns.  When you feel ready, return the practice to where you left off or move on to the next category.   When you are ready move on to the category of All Beings.

When you feel complete, move on to the broader category of All Beings.  As we extend out our practice today, let us remember the words of the Dalai Lama, that at the core, all beings wish to be happy.  Let us dedicate our practice for the benefit of all beings without exception:

  • May All Beings be happy.
  • May All Beings be peaceful.
  • May All Beings be free of suffering.
  • May All Beings have ease of well-being.

To complete your practice, return yourself to your circle of loving beings or envision yourself enveloped in the energy of loving-kindness and compassion.  Let every atom and cell of your being be filled with the energy of loving-kindness and compassion.  Feel these qualities filling you and surrounding you.  Know that you have created a strong foundation of loving-kindness and compassion within yourself and you can now carry that wherever you go.  You are a beacon of loving-kindness and compassion.  Take a few moments to dedicate the merit of your practice. 

Take some time today to reflect on your practice and to explore how you would like to continue as we prepare to move into our last day of practice together. 

Daily Journal Reflection: 

Take some time to reflect and journal about any experiences, feelings or awareness that arose during your practice or throughout the day today.  

  • Are you able to embrace the idea that all beings wish to be happy and free from suffering.  
  • What does Metta as medicine mean to you? 
  • What have you noticed about yourself and your practice since you began?
  • How will you work with Metta going forward?
  • What other practices would you like to explore?
  • Have you taken time to honor yourself for your efforts?

Have a happy, peaceful and loving day!

Namaste.

Beth


Writing To Heal September Program Starts 9/22 Plus 7 Day Writing Challenge Starts Monday on HOA

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“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.” 

~ Rumi

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As I shared prior to the June Writing To Heal Program, writing and journaling has been a tremendous blessing in my life. As a child and teen struggling with an incredibly chaotic and dysfunctional family life, I found my journal and writing poetry to be a way of staying connected to myself, of exploring a world beyond what I knew and a safe space to express who I was when there seemed little room for that in the life I knew.  As an adult, writing has become an important part of my life and my work.  It is at the top of my list of “healing tools” and one I recommend to all of my clients.  Even after many years addressing trauma, I’ve found that writing and sharing stories has allowed me to heal on a much deeper level; and, it is something I continue to do.  It is a joy to be able to support others in exploring this powerful healing tool as well. I am excited to be continuing my journey of co-facilitating with Andrea Hylen, founder of Heal My Voice, for a September Writing To Heal 30 Day Online Writing Program beginning on September 22nd. I’ve shared all the details below if you’d like to learn more or register to join us!

7-Day Writing To Heal Challenge Starts 9/14!

Additionally, I will be offering a 7-Day Writing To Heal Challenge starting on Monday, 9/14 right here on The Heart of Awakening Blog.  This will be a way to explore writing as a tool for healing and change and offer an introduction for anyone interested in the full 30-Day program.  So stay tuned for posts starting on Monday morning with reflections and daily writing prompts to jumpstart your own writing to heal! I hope you’ll join us!


I invite you to join myself and Andrea Hylen for a 30 Day journey to explore writing as a tool for transformation and healing…

Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss and Change

A Heal My Voice 30-Day Writing Program (With Teleseminar Support)

September 21st – October 22nd, 2015

Joining a Heal My Voice program is a bit like embarking on a vision quest.  It is a journey into the core of our being.  In traditional cultures, this is done through time alone in nature; in Heal My Voice our vehicle is writing.  The intention of the Writing To Heal ~ Transforming Our Grief, Loss & Change 30-Day Program is to create a space for exploring writing as a vehicle for transforming and healing.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to:

  • receive daily support for your writing for 30 days
  • explore your own life and uncover a story that wants to emerge
  • connect with a community of authentic women and men on a journey of self-exploration
  • get to know yourself more deeply to reclaim personal power
  • discover your inner gifts
  • alchemize your pain into remembrance, honoring and joy; and
  • explore or reconnect with the Heal My Voice program to see if our upcoming 9-month book program is a right for you!

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This 30-Day program with teleseminar support offers an opportunity to get to know yourself on a deeper level through the Heal My Voice process of Listening, Discovering and Exploring.  As you take this time to reflect on grief, loss and change in your life, Heal My Voice facilitators Andrea Hylen and Beth Terrence will support you in uncovering and identifying experiences and stories that wish to be expressed through self-reflection, writing and community sharing.  This program creates a container for you to go within, gain insight into your life experiences and access the gifts that emerge as we shine a light on our tender places.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

This 30-Day Program includes:

  • Three Weekly Teleclasses with exploration and discussion on grief, loss and change
  • HMV’s Sacred Sanctuary Writing Space (12 audio recordings of inspiration and silence for writing)
  • 30-Days of prompts to inspire and jumpstart your writing
  • A Secret Facebook Group for sharing and discussion

Teleclass Time: Wednesdays, 3 PM Eastern time with a special Autumn Equinox Ceremony to open the space and set intention on Monday, 9/21 at 3 PM.

Location: Accessible by Phone or Online Listening; Audio replay will be available

Investment: $97 for Full 30-Day Program 

or $197 for Full Program plus one Individual Coaching Session with Beth & Andrea.

To learn more or register, visit http://healmyvoice.org/30-day-writing-program/.

Here are some of my stories featured in Heal My Voice book projects for you to explore…

Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman

I’m Okay, Really!

Join Me For A Healing The Shadow Shamanic Journey Teleclass Group on 6/27

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Healing The Shadow Shamanic Journey
Monthly Teleclass Group

Saturday, June 27th at 11 AM ET

  • Do you feel stuck in certain areas of your life?
  • Do you feel that you keep repeating the same patterns again and again?
  • Are you struggling to find your life direction or soul purpose?
  • Do you want to feel greater joy and well-beng in your life?
  • Are you ready to discover the healer within?

Join us monthly to explore connecting with your inner wisdom through the Healing The Shadow Shamanic Journey Process developed by Shaman Ross Bishop.  This powerful tool will open the gateway to self-healing on a deep level.  

You will begin a process of uncovering and transforming limiting patterns, feelings and beliefs, which keep you from moving more fully into the truth of who you are.  This time will support creating a foundation to move into greater love and compassion for your self and all beings.  

Cost: $25 per session*

*Registration will offer access to the live teleclass as well as an audio replay. 

For additional information, contact Beth at beth@bethterrence.com or call 443-223-0848.

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Join Me For A Free Teleseminar ~ Actualizing The Power Of Intention on 2/2 at 7 PM ET

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I am excited to be offering a free teleseminar on one of my favorite topics, Actualizing The Power Of Intention, on Monday, 2/2 at 7 PM ET.  This is a something I’ve shared on in prior posts here on HOA, through workshops and at other events.  Although most folks have defined their resolutions for this year, I find taking time during the winter months to go within is very important for creating intentions from a place of stillness and inner wisdom.  Also, we will be in a period of Mercury retrograde in Aquarius from Jan. 21st to Feb. 11th.  This is a wonderful time to explore our visions and dreams; and reflect on the life we would like to create for ourselves and our world.  I hope you will join me to explore what’s possible!

Actualizing The Power Of Intention

Free Teleseminar With Beth Terrence
Monday, 2/2 at 7 PM
As we bring our intentions into the forefront of our experience and work more actively with them, we begin to create changes in our consciousness, our energetic field and in the world. In a sense, we become a beacon carrying that energy both inwardly and outwardly into all of our experiences. We all have our own personal intentions that we can work with and we also have the opportunity to carry intentions that support ourselves, others and the world.  Embodying qualities such as peace, happiness, respect and serenity can become a part our active intentions thus assisting in our own personal transformation and shifting our world into a new paradigm.  
Join me for an exploration on actualizing the power of intention.  Together we will explore:
  • Exciting research on the power of intention
  • How to create intentions that come from our deepest essence
  • Ways to work with intention to create alignment in your life
  • Utilizing the power of intention to become a catalyst for change in the world
This is one of my favorite topics to explore.  I hope you’ll join me for this creative exploration.

Eventbrite - Actualizing The Power Of Intention Free Teleseminar With Beth Terrence

 

Discover The Healer Within

 

Also, if you haven’t signed up for my Discover The Healer Within E-News, take a peak at the January issue to see if it’s something you’d like to explore.  I share monthly on a variety of holistic and transformational topics, upcoming events and special offers.  Usually you’ll receive about 4 – 5 emails per month, not more.  If you like to sign up to receive it, click here

Bach Flower Of The Month: Sweet Chestnut ~ Easing Anguish & Sorrow

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Sweet Chestnut

The Bach Flower Remedy System Of Healing is composed of 38 different flower essences developed by the visionary Dr. Edward Bach.  The system is based on Dr. Bach’s philosophy developed from learning that came through a long career in medical research, working as a physician and from spiritual studies.   This simple, yet powerful approach is based on the idea that humans are all innately perfect and at the core are spiritual beings.

Dr. Bach saw disease as the result of a conflict between our spiritual and mortal selves.  He held that in order to achieve health, happiness and ease of well-being, we must be in harmony with our own essential nature and follow the path that we feel most called to in our lives and our work.   According to Dr. Bach, 

“Disease is the reaction to interferences.  This is temporary failure and unhappiness and this occurs when we allow others to interfere with our purpose in life and implant in our minds doubt, or fear, or indifference.” 

After many years of treating patients, Dr. Bach abandoned all conventional medical treatments instead choosing to use nature’s “medicine”.  He felt that the healing benefits of flowers and plants were a divine gift and that no special knowledge or medical training was needed to find relief from suffering.  He believed it was necessary to treat the whole person not the disease and he defined seven main categories of imbalances which include:

  • Fear 
  • Uncertainty
  • Insufficient Interest In Present Circumstances
  • Loneliness
  • Oversensitivity To Influences & Ideas
  • Despondency Or Despair
  • Over-Care For The Welfare Of Others

He also identified seven stages in healing disease:

  • Peace
  • Hope
  • Joy
  • Faith
  • Love
  • Certainty
  • Wisdom
  • Love

The Bach Flower Remedies bring these positive qualities vibrationally into our energy field and help to transmute interferences and limiting patterns, feelings and beliefs so that we may connect with our true essence of perfection.

In my work as a Bach Flower Remedy practitioner over the last 15 years, I have come to see 5 specific remedies as being beneficial for what we might term “depressive” feelings.  I’d like to stress that in the Bach System and other holistic modalities, we look at indicating factors but are not treating based on a diagnosis whether for a physical or mental health related condition.  Rather, we are addressing the whole person and looking for areas of interference or imbalance to support a return to wholeness. 

The remedies which I consider when someone reports experiencing feelings of depression are:

You can learn a bit more about each of these remedies in “How To Beat The Seasonal Blues With The Bach Flower Remedies“.

In a consultation, all aspects of a person are considered.  Often even though the motivator for seeking support may be “depressive” feelings or another specific emotional state, it is essential to consider other emotions or personality traits to ultimately uncover the root cause an individual’s suffering or discomfort. 

With 38 different remedies, there are actually over a million possible combinations and it can be beneficial to seek the support of a practitioner or take a course to initially to learn how the remedies work and how to treat with them.

It’s been a few months since I have included a Bach Flower Of The Month post.  The intention of these posts is to offer a way to learn about the remedies and explore working with them.  If you feel you need additional support, I am available for consultations by Phone/Skype or In Person in Annapolis, MD.

Today, I would like to highlight Sweet Chestnut.  This remedy is in the category of Despondency Or Despair; I would add that it is one of the stronger remedies in that category.  It’s indication according to Dr. Bach is as follows:

“For those moments which happen to some people when the anguish is so great as to seem unbearable.  When mind or body feels as if it has borne to the uttermost limit of its endurance, and that now it must give way.  When it seems there is nothing but destruction and annihilation left to face.”

This came up for me this month when I learned of the sudden passing of a dear friend.  Like many of us, I have gone through some periods when losses were compounded.  Since then, I have found that a new loss can easily stir those feelings and at times put me into a state where I feel I have endured all I can.  Often, this state is more acute and doesn’t last too long, especially when supported with Sweet Chestnut remedy, but when we are in it – it is overwhelming.  Any state such as this may dissipate on it’s own but the remedy can help to ease through the extreme anguish that can arise.  At some point, a shift happens into a lesser state of emotion but still the feelings of loss and grief are at the surface.  This is what I experienced this month and found that by taking Sweet Chestnut I was able to move through my emotional experience more easily.  I then continued with Star of Bethlehem for loss and grief.

Here are some of the indicating factors of Sweet Chestnut:

  • Extreme mental and/or emotional anguish
  • Intense sorrow
  • Feeling you have endured all you can bear
  • Uncontrollable crying or tears
  • Feeling forsaken by God/Creator
  • On the verge of a nervous breakdown
  • Overwhelming feelings after a huge loss or life challenge
  • Fear of being abandoned
  • A sense of emptiness due to bereavement
  • Utter dejection
  • Feeling depleted of energy due to emotional overwhelm
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Overwhelming loneliness

Some of the benefits that come from working with Sweet Chestnut include:

  • Freedom from despondency and despair
  • Optimism
  • Peace of mind
  • Recovery of faith
  • Access to inner strength
  • Feeling heard and supported by God/Source
  • Ability to face external struggles with positivity

To learn more about my work with the Bach Flower Remedies, visit www.bethterrence.com.  Bach Flower Consultations are offered in person in the MD/DC area or by Phone/Skype.  Bach Flower Consultations are available as an individual modality or as part of an Integrative Transformational Healing Session, which is a customized session based on individual intentions, combining transformational resources such as Shamanic Healing, Bach Flower Remedies, Body/Energy Healing, and Meditation.

New Offering ~ 30 Minute Bach Flower Q&A Session $50 or try a

6o Minute Bach Flower Consultation Including A Custom Blended Remedy ~ $100

Learn more…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 ~ May Is For Metta 2014: Offering Loving-kindness To Ourselves

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“During the Buddha’s last months, he always taught, ‘Take refuge in yourselves, not in anything else.  In you are Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.   Don’t look for things that are far away.   Everything is in your own heart.  Be an island unto yourself.’ 

Whenever you feel confused, angry or lost, if you practice mindful breathing and return to your island of self, you will be in a safe place filled with warm sunlight, cool shade trees, and beautiful birds and flowers.”Thich Nhat Hanh

May Is For Metta 2014

Everything is in your own heart.  Creating that safe and peaceful place is something that needs to happen from the inside out.  We cannot hope to find peace in the world unless we have peace within our own self.  Today is one more day to practice Metta for your self.  For those who are having trouble making the time to practice or are struggling with the practice itself, I encourage to spend some time just being present with the feeling of loving-kindness and compassion.  Connect with your heart center.  Call upon your circle of loving beings. 

Do this as often as you can remember to as you go about your day.  Part of this journey is learning that although formal practice benefits us in many ways, what we are really working towards is carrying this quality and a more conscious awareness with us wherever we go.  Still, I hope you will try to take even a moment or two to sit and practice.   This helps to create a foundation and build new patterns.  Consistency is something that is needed for the heart to open and for loving-kindness to deepen.  What a gift you are giving yourself each time that you sit and practice Metta or drop into the space of the heart wherever you are!

Daily Practice:

Do your foundational practices.  This can include other practices that you work with if Metta is an addition to your regular meditation practice.  Begin in the same way.  Get settled in a comfortable position, spend a few minutes just being present with breath, let any tensions of mind and body melt away with the breath and begin to cultivate that feeling or quality of loving-kindness and compassion.  Also, get really comfortable in creating and working with your Circle of Loving Beings.  This is a powerful support to generate loving-kindness that you can call upon in any moment or any situation. 

Once you develop this foundation, it is easier to call upon the energy of loving-kindness and compassion as you move about in the world.  There may be some days it is easier to do this and others that are more difficult; that’s okay.  Just notice and remember to be gentle and loving with yourself no matter how your practice goes.  When you feel immersed in the qualities of loving-kindness and compassion, then, move onto the phrases.  Continue with the same phrases as yesterday or try some others for today.  This is still a time for exploration.  As we move on to the next category, it may benefit you to work with the same phrases for the rest of the practice.  I tend to work with these phrases most of the time:

  • May I be happy.
  • May I be peaceful.
  • May I be free from suffering.
  • May I have ease of well-being.

Daily Journal Reflection:

Take some time to reflect and journal about any experiences, feelings or awareness that arose during your practice or throughout the day today. Have you found phrases you are comfortable working with?  Do the phrases help to create more of anchor for your mind?  Have you been able to find some way to practice daily or at least explore cultivating more loving-kindness toward yourself?  What can you do today that would be really loving for yourself?

Most of all take some time to really honor yourself for the efforts you are making to be more conscious, loving and compassionate.  In whatever way you are practicing, you are moving into greater self-love and understanding. Congratulations.

I’d like to offer another post for you to explore 7 Ways To Cultivate Love And Compassion For Yourself.

Have a beautiful and peace-filled day.

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If you are interested in additional support to develop or deepen your meditation practice or work on cultivating greater loving-kindness for yourself, consider one of the optional levels:

Level I: Blog Posts + Daily Audio Message/Guided Meditation Practice ~ $31

Sample Day 2 Of May Is For Metta Audio Message

Level II: Blog Posts + Daily Audios +  One-On-One Integrative Transformational Healing Session with Beth Terrence in person in Annapolis, MD,  or by Phone or Skype  ~ $108

Register Now!

Poem Of The Week: Be Still By Beth Terrence

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Be Still

By Beth Terrence

Be still as a tree
 whose leaves rustle in the breeze
 standing firm in the ground
 reaching to heaven above
 rooted in both worlds
 connected
 strong 
 unshakable

 

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Beth Terrence is a Shaman, Holistic Health & Wellness Expert, Speaker and Writer.  Writing and reading poetry is a practice that feeds her soul.

She writes regularly on this blog, The Heart Of Awakening: Searching For A New Paradigm, which offers online transformational and holistic resources, including a “Poem Of The Week” Post.   Her story, “Lost & Found: The Birth Of A Shaman”, is part of the collaborative Heal My Voice book, Inspired Voices: True Stories Of Visionary Women.  The poem, Be Still, is published in the Spiritual Writers Network Anthology, Reflections Of The Soul.  Both are available on Amazon.

Currently, Beth is developing and facilitating a pilot program with Heal My Voice and Chrysalis House, a long-term residential addictions treatment program for women and their children in Maryland.  The intention of this program is to support women in healing and recovery through writing and sharing their stories in weekly writing circles and monthly creativity workshops.  

Learn more about Beth at www.bethterrence.com.

A Winter Solstice Exploration And Meditation

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Osprey nest
full of snow,
the trees around it
bowing under white.
Again the cycle
gives us North –
will be bend
or break this time?
The beauty,
ache and clench of tired body, both familiar and
impenetrable –
small fire within
with which to meet
this power.
The mountains become
stronger in winter,
the snow their shaman’s
cloak, clouds and gale
their spirit allies.
This land
speaks to me, asks
what medicine
I have brought
this time.
Loren Cruden, from Compass of the Heart

Today, December 21st marks the time of Solstice.  For those of us in the northern hemisphere this is the Winter Solstice.  It occurs at 12:11 PM EST and 5:11 UTC Solstice marks the shortest day of the year with only 9 hours and 32 minutes of daylight to be experienced.  The Winter Solstice is celebrated in many cultures and traditions around the world as the Return Of The Sun.  Although we are just entering the depths of Winter, from this point onward, our days begin to get longer and light begins to expand in our world.

Through the autumn months up until this Solstice day, there has been a journey into the darkness happening around us and inside us as well.  Whether or not we have been conscious of this or not, many people experience an intensity this time of year, deep seated feelings can come to the surface, our energy can feel chaotic, and we often need lots more rest.  In essence, there is a very strong compression of energy that has been occurring which often feels like a heaviness but is actually an alchemical process of transformation.  As the light has been diminishing in our experience, we are challenged to face more of our “darkness” or our shadow self.

If we observe the natural world throughout the autumn months, there is a process of going in that occurs.  Plants that have been above ground during the spring and summer die off and remain alive underground.  Animals, such as the bear enter into a cycle of hibernation each year.  Living in a modern world allows us to overcome our place in the “natural” world in many ways.  We “create” artificial light which in many ways keeps us from connecting with our natural rhythm.

Winter is most often associated with North and Wisdom is an attribute of the North.  When we are willing to listen to our own natural rhythms such as the need to rest more, to be still, or to journey within, there is an incredible opportunity to connect with our own inner wisdom, too.  We do this through our attention and receptivity as we listen deeply to the stillness of self.  Just as the bear goes into hibernation each year, we too have the opportunity to go within and to seek counsel with our own true selves, to look into the depths of our own heart and soul.

So, why do we resist this journey into the darkness knowing it carries with it a deeper wisdom and a fuller knowing of ourselves?  For some there is a natural fear of the darkness or a fear of being still.  Also, as I shared above, during this time not only are we experiencing more darkness outside and inside, but there is a strong compression of energy and emotion.  Feelings are intensified; there is in a sense a natural cleansing process taking place in our being and we are often faced with the parts of ourselves that we wish not to see.  This journey into the darkness can be an uncomfortable one, but choosing to work with it in a more conscious way can “lighten” our experience of it.

Winter is asking, or rather, demanding that we go within to journey on the inner planes and uncover a deeper sense of who we are.  Winter Solstice is a powerful time to be present with ourselves and to explore where we are holding resistance.  Remember, this whole process of compression and contraction is occurring so that as the light begins to return to our life and the world, we can hold more of it in our being.

A few years ago at this time of year, I was called to do a shamanic journey to the Darkness.  As I was led through the underworld into the darkness, I felt a tremendous sense of comfort.  This is where my energy longs to be this time of year.   I asked what I could learn from the darkness.  This was the guidance I was given:

“The Darkness allows you to see what is real,

it guides you within,

the truth is to be found within,

your vision comes from within,

the light is always there,

even in what seems to be the blackest moment.”

So, this moment of Solstice is really a time to honor the darkness and to look within, especially if we haven’t done so as of yet this season.  Too often we seek answers to questions outside ourselves rather than explore our innate wisdom. We often seek advice from others, from books or even go to Google for our answers.  Winter is a time to begin to journey from the inside out, to look within our heart and soul for our answers, and to connect with the wisdom and guidance, which lies within us.

It is in embracing the darkness that we access our true essence and allow more of our light to shine in the world.  In many cultures, the Solstice celebration occurs over a period of days from December 21st to 23rd.  I hope you will take some time during this Solstice time to journey within, to honor the Darkness and then to welcome the return of the Light.

After I have taken some time to honor all of the wisdom that has come from my journey into the Darkness, I use this short meditation to release what needs to be released, to celebrate the return of the Light and to access the new wisdom coming into my life:

Find a quite place to practice.  Move into a comfortable position either sitting or lying down.  Take a few deep breaths, breathing in for a count of five and out for a count of five.  With each cycle of breath allow yourself to let go of any tension or discomfort in your body.  Let your breath flow into it’s own natural rhythm.  Notice any busyness or worries in your mind and send them out with the next few exhales.  If at any point your mind wanders or distractions arise, just return to the next breath, breathing in and breathing out.

Move your breath and awareness into your heart center in the center of your chest.  Just notice how it feels to be present in the heart, the center of love, compassion, gentleness or mercy for yourself and for others.  Does it feel open, spacious?  Do you feel resistance or constriction?  Just notice.  No judgment.  Spend a few moments just noticing how it feels to be in the center of your heart.

Now imagine that the center of your heart is a like a cave that you have drawn all of your energy into during this Winter “hibernation”.  Even if it’s uncomfortable, allow any feelings, patterns or beliefs, which may have been stirred up with the compression of energy to come into your conscious awareness.  Tune into what you feel ready to release.  Create some type of hole or opening in the cave that you can send these “discomforts” out through.  Take a few moments to use your breath and awareness to release them.  You may wish to do this one by one or all at the same time.  When you have a sense of clearing or relief, move on to the next part of the practice.

Now, imagine a lighting a small flame right there in the center of your cave and in the center of the your heart.  With each cycle of breath allow the flame to get a little bigger and a little brighter, and bigger and brighter.  Let it expand so that it fills you, your whole body and then even beyond your body.  Let it be so big that you are now dwelling inside this flame, you are this flame ~ know this bright light is your true essence.  Feel how bright you are.  Feel how clear and strong you are.

Ask your flame self “what wisdom do you have to share with me now?”, “what insight can help me with on my journey?”  and “what new energies are you bringing to my life?”  Take some time to be still and simply LISTEN!  Continue to open your heart with your breath and awareness.  Listen for the wisdom.  Slowly allow your flame to move back inward until it is once again in the center of your heart.  Feel that the wisdom, the guidance you received dwelling in the center of your heart.

Ask for a word or image to emerge from this flame deep within the center of your heart that will represent all of the wisdom you have just received.  Carry this word or image with you as a reminder, a Power Symbol to help you reconnect with your true essence in any moment.

Happy Solstice, Beautiful Beings!

Poem Of The Week: Halloween Night By Beth Terrence

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Happy Halloween

Halloween Night

by Beth Terrence

 

Winds blow wildly on this fall night

Leaves glisten in supernatural light

Spirits soar and witches fly

In the eerie Halloween night sky

 

Darkness foretells autumn’s end

Inviting its chilly winter friend

Ancient stones call it New Year’s Day

From times of living a pagan’s way

 

Fairies and goblins fill the air

Frightening children with a scare

The dead come home to see their kin

Sit by the fire and warm their skin

 

We mask ourselves in costumes all night

To hide our souls and dwell in the light

Bonfires glow and show us the key

Divining our fortune and destiny

 

Trick or treat

Candies and sweets

Jack-o-lantern blues

We parade and dance and party until

The saints come marching through

Bach Flower Of The Month: Star Of Bethlehem ~ The Remedy Of Comfort

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Star Of Bethlehem

“Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.” ~ Arthur Golden

I have been feeling to bring Star Of Bethlehem into the monthly posts and now is the perfect time as the energy and support it brings can really be of benefit this time of year.  As I shared in my recent post, Autumn Tips For Happy & Healthy Living, this season is one that can bring feelings of sadness, loss and grief to the surface.  Dr. Edward Bach, creator of the Bach Flower Remedies, referred to Star of Bethlehem as “the comforter and soother of pain and sorrows”.   It is one the five remedies that is part of the well-known Rescue Remedy®, which is the only pre-made composite Bach Flower Remedy designed for use in emergencies and for acute stress and it is an essential part of any holistic medicine cabinet.

In the Bach Flower System, there is a category of remedies that are indicated for Despondency and Despair; Star of Bethlehem is in that group.  This can also be defined as remedies that may support “depressive feelings”.  I say “depressive feelings” because in the Bach Flower System and other holistic modalities, we do not treat a specific disease or condition such as depression or diabetes, but we focus on the whole person.  As Dr. Bach would say, “We treat the person, not the disease.”  These types of feelings or traits are an indicator of where a person is experiencing some type of imbalance or disharmony that needs to be addressed.

In determining what Bach Flower Remedies would best support a person, the practitioner and client work collaboratively to identify emotional states and personality traits that are present at the surface.  It is by addressing this outer layer of experience – i.e. what is at the surface or being experienced on a daily basis that we begin to access where a person is out of harmony with their soul and ultimately, the greater whole.  The remedies help to soothe our imbalances and like beautiful music, bring in vibrations that harmonize our being.  As we address one layer, then another will surface, bringing to light others areas that are in need of attention and healing.

In my own healing journey and my work with others as a practitioner over the last 15 years, I have found Star Of Bethlehem to be one that is often needed.  Star of Bethlehem is indicated when there are feelings of sorrow, grief, sadness or loss at the surface as well as when there are old losses coming up that we have not grieved.  Also, as the remedy of shock and trauma, Star Of Bethlehem is highly beneficial for anyone who has experienced trauma, and although it is this can occur in varying degrees, most people have experienced some shock or trauma that has gone unresolved in their lives.

Trauma can exist on all levels – body, mind, emotion and spirit.  And, it is something that creates an imprint in our being that often stays with us until we attend to it.  Some traumas resolve themselves naturally, however, it is not uncommon for those energetic imprints to remain and lie dormant until something triggers a re-awakening signaling it is time to be resolved.  This is often experienced when we have a loss occur and the new feelings arising tap into the great pool of unresolved loss we tend to carry within ourselves.

We may think of this only in terms of emotional trauma, but this can even be seen in the case of physical traumas or injuries when suddenly the pain or restriction of an old football injury or childhood accident resurfaces.  And, from many of the case studies of Dr. Bach, it was seen that unresolved shock and trauma on any level might later manifest into a physical condition.  Star Of Bethlehem is the remedy indicated to help resolve these patterns that may be affecting us on many levels.

Dr. Bach shared the following words about the Star Of Bethlehem remedy:

“For those in great distress, under conditions which for a time produce great unhappiness.  The shock of serious news, the loss of someone dear, the fright following an accident and such like.  For those who for a time refuse to be consoled, this remedy brings comfort.”

Here are some questions to see if Star Of Bethlehem may be beneficial for you at this time:

  • Are you experiencing feelings of sorrow, grief, sadness or loss?
  • Have you had a recent loss or one from the past that you are still struggling with?
  • Do you have a tendency toward feeling despondent?
  • Have you experienced trauma or abuse?
  • Are you working to resolve the effects of past trauma or PTSD?
  • Are you in a state of shock or numbness?
  • Do you feel a sense of agony that comes from what you have experienced?
  • Are you in a grief period or in the process of healing or grieving prior losses?
  • Do you feel like you carry a thread of sadness that won’t leave?
  • Are you experiencing a seasonal type of depression with feelings of sadness, loss and grief bubbling up?

Star Of Bethlehem has many benefits that support our ability to move through shock, trauma and loss.  Here are some of the ways this remedy can provide support:

  • Neutralizes shock in any form, current or past, from bad news, accidents, losses, etc.
  • Helps to clear and release trauma
  • Eases feelings of sorrow, grief, sadness and loss
  • Supports inner child healing
  • Brings us a deep sense of comfort
  • Helps to bring us back into the body and awaken us after shock or trauma

In thinking about losses, we tend to focus on the loss that comes through a death.  It is important to consider that there are many types of losses that can affect us – the loss of relationship, a job, a home, or a phase of life.  Even when we have an experience that is positive, such as getting married or having a child, it is possible that we feel some sense of loss due to the change in our lives.  It is natural to need to give some time and space to the feelings of loss that may arise in response to the constantly changing aspects of our lives.  In these cases, Star Of Bethlehem can provide a support as can Walnut, which helps us to ease through our transitions.

Also, I’d just like to mention that Star Of Bethlehem can be highly beneficial for animals that have suffered any type of abuse or trauma.  In my work with Rescue animals, their histories are often uncertain.  Whether they have experienced abuse in their prior situation or merely the trauma of being moved from one situation to another, Star Of Bethlehem can support them.  Rescue Remedy is always a good starting point for “Rescue” animals, but treatment with Star Of Bethlehem can be a great support in the resolving the trauma an animal may be carrying and can help them to settle into a new situation with greater ease.

I’d love to hear your experiences with Star Of Bethlehem or any thoughts, reflections or questions that may arise in response to the post.

Autumn Tips For Happy And Healthy Living

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Happy Autumn

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky,
which through the summer is not heard or seen,
as if it could not be, as if it had not been! ”
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Each season moves us through a period of transformation.  Autumn and spring tend to be the times of more intense change and it is a powerful time to harmonize with the energy of the season for happy living and healthy well-being. Traditionally, autumn is the harvest season.  It is the time for our bodies to harvest and gather energy for the colder months ahead. The yang/outer energy of summer gives into the growing yin/inner energy of the approaching winter.

The days are getting shorter and cooler and as we are transitioning we may find that we are more tired, emotions are surfacing such as loss and grief and we may even feel a sense of overwhelm.  Although it may not seem so on the surface, there is an intense shift happening as we are clearing the excess heat from summer and then, we quickly need to begin warming the body the against extremes we will experience in Winter.  The strong, drying winds of autumn and the falling temperatures help the leaves to fall to earth and also, begin to push our own energies in and down as well.

In Chinese Medicine, the organs most active in this season are those of the Metal element – Lung and Large Intestine, both of which have strong functions of absorption and elimination.  With the Lungs this has to do with respiration and with the Large Intestine, it has to do with digestion.  The emotions associated with this season are grief and loss and it is not uncommon to experience a lot of sadness bubbling up this time of year.  By moving into harmony with what is natural arising in our being and nurturing these parts of ourselves, we can support ourselves in creating greater joy and ease of well-being now and as we move into the stillness of Winter.

Here are some tips to help you harmonize with the season:

  1. Rest & Renewal – It is natural to feel a sense of tiredness or fatigue as the seasons are changing.  This shift affects us in many ways and living in a modern world with electricity and technology can make it easy to override our natural rhythms.  The feelings of the yin energy coming in can be a heavy feeling, like we are being pulled down and it can be one we want to resist in order to get things done.  Be sure to listen to your body, mind, emotion and spirit and follow the messages you receive in terms of getting adequate rest.  You may be feeling to go to bed earlier or sleep in later in the mornings.  You may feel like taking nap in the middle of the day.  Your body is telling you what it needs; all you need to do is listen.  Getting adequate rest now is a precursor to having strong immune function during coming the winter months.
  2. Letting Go Of Clutter: In & Out – Autumn is the season of letting go and releasing.  We see this in nature as the leaves turn and begin to fall back to earth.  We see this with the Lung & Large Intestines as well.  We can use the energy of the season to support us in letting go of things that are no longer serving us.  This may be the clutter in our office or home and it may be beliefs we are holding that no longer serve us.  You may find that things you’ve wanted to clear or de-clutter and felt stuck on move more easily as you attend to them this time of year.  Taking time to create clearer space, both inner and outer, supports you in preparing for the stillness of winter.  Think about what you are ready to let go of.  Where can you focus your energies to create more space in your life?  What are you ready to let go of today?
  3. Connecting With Nature – Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are a part of nature.  Taking time to be present and connect with the natural world can help us to connect more deeply with our own essence.  Spend some time in nature just being.  Perhaps a walk in the woods or even just around your neighborhood.  Take some time to notice the changes that are abounding this time of year – the leaves turning color and falling, the squirrels busily preparing for winter, and the roots vegetables peaking that can support us through Winter.
  4. Warming Your Body & Soul – As the weather begins to cool and the air becomes drier, we need to find ways to warm and soothe our body and our soul.  In Chinese Medicine, Autumn is a powerful time to strengthen our Lung & Large Intestine function.  Drinking hot beverages can help to keep your body hydrated and warm.  Teas such as Rooibos, Green Tea, Fenugreek, Chamomile and Licorice can be beneficial.  Also, warming herbs such as Ginger, Cinnamon, Cloves or Cardamom can help warm our whole system.  Honey can be helpful as it supports yin function making it the perfect sweetener for this time of year; it can be used in tea or just in warm water to soothe a sore throat.  Try this simple ginger tea is incredibly warming and supports digestion as well:  Wash ginger root. Slice thumb sized pieces of ginger and place in 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer for 10-20 minutes and drink while warm.  Add honey if you need a sweetener.  Also, taking hots baths can help to keep the body warm and release toxins that are ready to be let go.  Try infusing your bath with some herbs such as lavender, chamomile, calendula, comfrey, clary sage or create your own blend.  Make a hot water infusion with 10 ounces of dried herbs in cups of water, steep for 15 – 20 minutes, strain and add to your bath; or you may wish to put the herbs directly into in a cheesecloth bundle.
  5. Honoring Our Ancestors –  In many cultures around the world, Autumn is seen as a time when we turn our thoughts turn to those who have left us; we think about their legacy and what they have left behind.  Often this “remembrance” arises naturally as feelings of sadness, loss and grief come to the surface.  It said that the “veils” are thinner this time of year and that our ancestors often come home to visit their loved ones.  This is a powerful time to honor our ancestors through ceremony & ritual.  It can also be a good time to allow ourselves to release feelings of loss and grief that we have been carrying that is ready to be released.  Sometimes we need to come to greater completion with our ancestors or loved ones.  Take some time to think of your ancestors.  Is there someone who has passed that you need to work with to move to a place of greater peace in your life?  Perhaps there are feelings you need to share or work through that are unresolved.  Now it the perfect time to do this type of soul work.  Is there is a pattern or belief you have become aware of in your ancestral lineage?  What can you do to begin to transform that pattern?  Perhaps simply asking your ancestors for help is the place to begin!

I hope you will take some time in the coming weeks to harmonize with the energy of the season.  As always, feel free to stop by to share your experiences and reflections.

Happy Autumn!

Visionary Voices: Dr. Edward Bach

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I thought I’d share this post again today in honor of Dr. Bach’s birthday tomorrow, 9/24. Dr. Bach’s writings, teachings on healing and the Bach Flower Remedies themselves have been a powerful gift in my own life and in my work with clients over the last 15 years.  I am excited to be sharing more about this on my Free Teleseminar today at 12 PM ET ~ “Discover Emotional Balance & Well-Being With The Bach Flower Remedies“. In celebration of Dr. Bach’s birthday, I will be sharing more about the Bach Flowers all week long. If you’d like to join today’s teleseminar or receive an audio replay, visit https://discoverbachflowerremedies.eventbrite.com/ to register or email me to receive a link.

The Heart of Awakening

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, when we realise that Love and Unity are the great foundations of our Creation, that we in ourselves are children of the Divine Love, and that the eternal conquest of all wrong and suffering will be accomplished by means of gentleness and love…” – Dr. Edward Bach

One of my intentions in writing The Heart of Awakening is to share information on the teachings and philosophies which have inspired my life and influenced my work as well as to offer practical resources which support transformation and healing both individually and collectively. I have found both in my own personal journey and in working with others for over 16 years that it is vital to find tools and resources, which resonate with the individual. Each person is different, unique and there is no single formula for healing and change. Even in accepting that there are…

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Bach Flower Of The Month: Walnut (The Remedy Of Change & Transition)

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WalnutI have been utilizing the Bach Flower Remedies since the late 1990’s when I began working with a practitioner to help in my healing of Fibromyalgia and emotional pain.  I had been on a near decade long  journey in healing through Fibromyalgia.  With little help from conventional medicine, I began an exploratory journey into alternative and holistic treatments.  After making many changes including diet, supplements, exercise as well as spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation, I found tremendous relief from my symptoms.  I would say by the point I came to work with Bach Flowers I was about 70% symptom free.

I had some life events happen around that time that really raised my awareness of the need to address the emotional body as part of the healing process.  I had done therapy at that point, but hadn’t really addressed emotional healing in an energetic or integrated way.  The Bach Flowers really opened the door to a whole new understanding of emotions and their role in healing; and, also offered me a foundation to do some deeper emotional healing work.

After one year of treatment focused on emotional healing, which included ongoing work with the Bach Flower remedies, emotional release work and some deep inner child work, I found myself symptom free of Fibromyalgia for the first time in over a decade.  I had already been working in the field of holistic healing doing bodywork, energy work and teaching meditation.  This experience really expanded my understanding of dis-ease and the effects that emotions play in how we experience health and well-being.

I share this because this month’s remedy is one that I feel was highly beneficial in my own healing process. It continues to be one that I use personally and is one of the most frequently used remedies in my work with clients.  It supports both adjusting to existing life changes as well as moving out of old patterns, feelings and beliefs, which are keeping us from creating the changes we desire.  Although all flower essences assist with change, I consider Walnut to be the official remedy of change and transition.

Dr. Bach shared the following words about the Walnut remedy:

“For those who have definite ideals and ambitions in life and are fulfilling them, but on rare occasion are temped to be led astray from their own ideas, aim, and work by the enthusiasm, convictions, or strong opinions of others.  This remedy gives constancy and protections from outside influences.

Walnut is the remedy of advancing stages, teething, puberty, change of life.  For the big decisions made during life, such as change of religion, change of occupation, change of country.  The Remedy for those who have decided to take a great step forward in life, to break old conventions, to leave old limits and restrictions and start on a new way.  This often brings with it physical suffering because of slight regrets, heart-breakings, at the severance of old ties, old associations and old thoughts.  A great spell-breaker, both of things of the past commonly called heredity, and circumstances of the present.”

Just as the shell of the walnut is very hard and protects it’s softer center, the Walnut essence helps to strengthen and stabilize our energy field so that we are more able to hold our center and engage in the world with clarity, focus and intention.  In a sense, Walnut offers a shielding quality that helps us in holding center, maintaining our choices and flowing with changes that are occurring both inwardly and outwardly.

Walnut has many benefits that support our ability to move through change and transitions.  Some of the benefits include:

  • Provides a shielding quality that supports creating & maintaining our boundaries and borders
  • Helps protects us from the effects of outside influences
  • Eases emotional and energetic sensitivity
  • Helps to adapt to periods of change and transition including life changes and development phases
  • Helps to let go of or break old patterns, limiting beliefs and core issues which no longer serve us
  • Aids in resolving dysfunction stemming from family of origin
  • Helps acclimate to new ways of being, such as new phases of life, work, family, etc.
  • Supports spiritual transformation and growth
  • Protects from the influence of suppressive energies or parasitic infestations (including physical, mental, emotional & spiritual)
  • Supports finding and holding our center and connecting more fully to our soul purpose

Here are some questions to see if Walnut may be beneficial for you at this time:

  • Do you find it difficult to adjust to change and transition?
  • Are you feeling disoriented, out of balance or having difficulty adjusting to change?
  • Are you currently experiencing changes in life or environment such as work, school, moving, etc?
  • Are developmental changes a factor such as puberty, menopause, aging, etc?
  • Do you feel drained by other people?  Are you aware that you take on other people’s energy or emotions?
  • Are you overly sensitive to ideas and influences of others?
  • Are you moving through a time of spiritual growth and transformation?
  • Are you committed to breaking old patterns or let go of beliefs, which no longer serve you?
  • Are you actively working on healing dysfunctional family or ancestral patterns?

Working with the Walnut remedy can greatly help to ease periods of change and transition, whether we initiate them through personal work or are going through a period of life change that arises on it’s own.  Whether you choose to work with Walnut or not, I hope you will take some time to explore current transitions in your life or consider changes you might like to make.

  • Do you need to change your self-care based on recent transitions?
  • Do you need to take time to connect with nature?
  • Do you need to spend more time going within?
  • Is it time to find new tools to support transformation and healing in your life?
  • Do you have a clear sense of your soul purpose at this time?
  • What choices you are making or would you like to be making to engage in the world in a more intentional way?

Walnut reminds us that one of the ways that we can move more easily through change is to be present with it in a conscious and loving way; and, that by returning to our center, again and again, we are able to allow our deeper essence to emerge.

I’d love to hear your experiences with Walnut or any thoughts and reflections that arise as you explore change and transition in your life at this time.

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For additional information on the Bach Flower Remedies and Dr. Edward Bach, visit http://www.bachcentre.com.

If you are interested in a Bach Flower Remedy Consultation & Treatment, I offer these sessions in Annapolis, MD, by phone or by Skype.  I have found the Bach Flower Remedies to be one of the most beneficial transformational and healing tools that I utilize both personally and in my holistic healing practice.   I have worked with the Bach Flowers for over 15 years and I am a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner through the Bach Centre, home of Dr. Edward Bach.  Please feel free to visit my website or contact me if you would like to explore how the Bach Flower Remedies and an Integrative Transformational Approach may benefit your own process of transformation and healing.  (www.bethterrence.com)

Also, you might like to explore the following posts on the Bach Flower Remedies:

The Bach Flower Remedies: A Tool For Transformation

Visionary Voices: Dr. Edward Bach

Bach Flower Remedies For 2012 Transitions: Walnut

Bach Flower Of The Month: Agrimony

Bach Flower Of The Month: Pine

Bach Flower Of The Month: Rockwater

Poem Of The Week: The Journey By Mary Oliver

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Poetry has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a child I wrote short poems and that evolved as I grew into a teen and adult. I always loved to read poetry, too. Some of my favorite poets include Wordsworth, Dickinson, Cummings, Naruda, Rumi, Stafford and the list goes on and on. That is part of the inspiration for sharing a poem each week.

As a writer, I find reading poetry to be such a powerful inspiration. And, as a seeker and healer, I find the words expressed in poetry often open a doorway to deeper feelings and insights that may be difficult to access on our own. “The Journey” by Mary Oliver is one of my all time favorite poems and one I tend to bring into many of my classes and workshops as it really speaks so beautifully of the journey of life, of stepping out of old paradigms and of moving more fully onto the path of authenticity and self-empowerment. I hope you’ll take some time to explore it in the moment or as a prompt for writing and for life over the coming week.

The Journey

by Mary Oliver

ForestLight

One day you finally knew


what you had to do, and began,


though the voices around you


kept shouting 
their bad advice–


though the whole house
 began to tremble


and you felt the old tug
 at your ankles.


“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.


But you didn’t stop.


You knew what you had to do,


though the wind pried
 with its stiff fingers 
at the very foundations,


though their melancholy
 was terrible.


It was already late
 enough,

and a wild night,


and the road full of fallen
 branches and stones.


But little by little,
 as you left their voices behind,


the stars began to burn
 through the sheets of clouds,


and there was a new voice


which you slowly
 recognized as your own,


that kept you company
 as you strode deeper and deeper
 into the world,


determined to do
 the only thing you could do–


determined to save
 the only life you could save.

Poem Of The Week: A Ritual To Read To Each Other By William Stafford

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The Way of Council

It’s only Day 4 of the 31 Day Blog Challenge and although my list of ideas is growing, I am finding the writing is slow going.  One of the things I have wanted to do is share more poetry as regular part of the Heart Of Awakening Blog.  So here goes with the first official Poem Of The Week Post.  I can’t guarantee how things will unfold but look forward to seeing weekly poetry posts and if you have suggestions or favorites please feel free to share your comments.

Today is our Independence Day here in the U.S. and there is a lot of focus on Interdependence as well.  There are many benefits that we experience here in America.  I know as a woman I have had many opportunities and privileges that I may not have now, had I grown up in another country.  For that I am grateful.  And, there are certainly many areas for growth and change as well.  As we are existing in a more global system, it feels so important to focus on connection today and how we relate with one another in our own countries and in the world.

So, the poem that I felt called to share is one of my absolute favorite poems.   It speaks of the need to be open, honest and authentic as we relate with each other.  It is called, “A Ritual To Read To Each Other” by William Stafford.

A Ritual To Read To Each Other

by William Stafford

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail,
but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider–
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

Bach Flower Remedy Of The Month: Rock Water

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I am sure some of you may be wondering how the Bach Flower Remedies fit into the vision of The Heart Of Awakening Blog.  The mission of The Heart Of Awakening Blog is to support:

Living from the Heart

Embodying Awareness, Authenticity and Purpose

Integrating a Holistic Approach to Being

Embracing the Interconnectedness of All Things

Honoring and Respecting the Sacredness of Life

The actualization of this is done through sharing explorations, ideas, and tools that support this vision.  I have found the Bach Flower Remedies to be one of the most powerful tools for transformation.  I use them personally in an ongoing way and also in my sessions with clients.  I see the benefit of the remedies as essentially being three-fold:

1)   The Bach Flower Remedies provide vibrational and energetic support that facilitates a strengthening of our overall energy field; this is the case with all flower essences, which in some ways work similarly to homeopathic medicine.  This type of support is critical in the world we live in today where we encounter toxic, unbalanced and chaotic energies often on a moment by moment basis.  Finding ways that stabilize our energy fields is necessary for us to move into a place of greater authenticity, wholeness and soul purpose.

2)   The Bach Flower Remedies in particular are one of the best tools I have found, both personally and professionally, to support balance in the emotions and the emotional energy body.  Each specific remedy addresses an emotional state or personality trait that is out of balance or is taking us out of alignment with our soul purpose.  The remedies bring in a positive energy or vibration to help transmute a negative feeling or state.  For example, if we are experiencing fear, a remedy that would address that might bring in the quality of peacefulness or calm to our energy field and begin to transmute our feelings of fear.  In a sense, this is very similar to working with affirmations, except we are benefitting from the vibrationally energy of the flowers and mother earth’s vibrational force.

3)   One of the other reasons I feel so strongly about the Bach Flower Remedies as a tool for transformation is the process of self-reflection and deepening in a self-awareness that arises as one works with the remedies.  I often utilize a Bach Flower assessment as the primary discovery process in my work with clients as it provides a clear, workable framework for identifying patterns, feelings and beliefs an individual is carrying.  Also, this is a very collaborative process and it gives an individual the opportunity to self-reflect and self-identify areas of imbalance or disharmony in their lives.  Both through assessment and actually working with the remedies as a treatment, individuals deepen in self-awareness and begin to cultivate their own process of transformation and healing.

Last month we focused on Pine, which is the remedy of the inner critic.  This month’s remedy is Rock Water, which can have some overlap with Pine; many of the remedies do have crossover properties and subtle variations, as we do as human beings.  Interestingly, Rock Water is the only one of the Bach Flower Remedies that is not actually a flower but rather is water from a natural spring that is protected by nature and unaffected by our modern world; it is often known as a healing source.

According to Dr. Bach, Rock Water is indicated for:

“Those who are very strict in their way of living.  They deny themselves many of the joys and pleasures in life because they consider it may interfere with their work.  They are hard masters to themselves.  They wish to be well and strong and active, and will do anything, which they believe will keep them so.  They hope to be examples which will appeal to others who then may follow their ideas and be better as a result.” (The Twelve Healers, p.23)

In a previous post, From Comparison To Compassion, I compared Larch, Pine and Rock Water, in relation to patterns of perfectionism, which is clearly a key component of the Rock Water type that is evident from Dr. Bach’s description above.  It is these very high standards and ideals that drive someone with a Rock Water personality or pattern to push so very hard.  One of the biggest patterns someone needing this remedy exhibits is a feeling that there is always pressure that something needs to be done.  This is so strong, to the degree that a person is really never feel able to relax fully.

In addition to perfectionism is another aspect, which is actually the pattern of “Drive” itself.  There are several remedies, which we might include in a category of drive remedies; this includes Rock Water, Vine, Vervain and Impatiens.  Being driven is something that can be an asset and is certainly viewed as a strong point is our society.  However, just like everything else, our “drive” needs to be in balance.  If we are too driven, we can easily deplete our energy and may not be able to achieve our goals and even if we do, we may not be able to enjoy them as we proceed on to the next task.  For this reason, Rock Water types may be known as “harsh taskmasters unto themselves.”

As I shared in the overview of the remedies above, balance is a key component in transformation, healing and living a life of joy and ease.  Rock Water is highly beneficial in returning a person who is over-driven, steeped in perfectionism, high standards and rigidity to a place of balance and ease.

Here are some questions to help consider if Rock Water may be beneficial for you:

  • Are you extremely hard on yourself?
  • Do you push yourself really hard?
  • Do you have enough fun?
  • Do you always feels pressure that something needs to be done?
  • Are you strict in your way of living, denying yourself many of the joys and pleasures of life?
  • Do you have very high ideals, standards and expectations?
  • Are you a perfectionist?
  • Do you experience mental rigidity?
  • Do you believe that worldly desires inhibit spiritual development?
  • Do you experience a lot of tension and stress in your physical body?
  • Do you tend to adhere to a particular dogma or discipline even when it is not really working for you or causing considerable distress?

Some of the positive qualities that the Rock Water remedy may bring include:

  • Adaptability
  • Open-mindedness
  • Realistic expectations
  • Balanced self-discipline
  • Ability to relax and enjoy life more fully
  • Becoming kinder and gentler with oneself
  • Learning to have fun

It’s funny that I felt to bring this remedy in just as summer begins.  It feels like the perfect time to let go a little and if this remedy seems beneficial, it could be a great exploration to see what “fun” Summer might be like with a little less pressure to get it all done.  Also, it is often in heat of summer that we go into the water to cool off and refresh.  The Rock Water remedy offers us a way to let go on an inner level, to relax and refresh, and become more fluid with the flow of life, like water itself.

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For additional information on the Bach Flower Remedies and Dr. Edward Bach, visit http://www.bachcentre.com.

If you are interested in a Bach Flower Remedy Consultation & Treatment, I offer these sessions in Annapolis, MD, by phone or by Skype.  I have found the Bach Flower Remedies to be one of the most beneficial transformational and healing tools that I utilize both personally and in my holistic healing practice.   I have worked with the Bach Flowers for over 15 years and I am a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner through the Bach Centre, home of Dr. Edward Bach.  Please feel free to visit my website if you would like to explore how the Bach Flower Remedies and an Integrative Transformational Approach may benefit your own process of transformation and healing.

If you’d like to learn more about the Bach Flower Remedies or find an index of previous Bach Flower Remedy Of The Month posts, visit www.bethterrence.com/bachflowerremedies.

Also, you may enjoy these posts:

Transforming Your Inner Critic Into Your Inner Cheerleader

7 Ways To Cultivate Love & Compassion For Yourself