Therapist Livvy Adams who has recently teamed up with Juniper was asked to offer some healing to an equine therapy herd based in Sherborne called The Healing Herd. Livvy who founded Paintedhorse understands the value of keeping the horses and ponies who work in this line of work mentally and emotionally sound. ‘Horses, such as my own – Gunner, can be very stoic and take on board a lot of the emotional pain from the person in the therapy session and store it up without it showing, but it does start to affect their well-being over time’ Livvy explains, ‘offering healing on a regular basis can help horses like Gunner re-balance and let go of anything that doesn’t belong to him’. Livvy works intuitively using Reiki, crystals, massage, sound and Essential Oils. If you would like to discuss any aspects of her healing work for your own horses or to book a session please get in touch.
See Blog: Be with the Herd
We were asked to explore Beginnings, Middles and Endings in counselling recently. Beginnings can be a little bit nerve wracking as we establish a new relationship, the Middles all about developing the relationship and the Endings are often a little sad as we say Goodbye to a relationship. It got me thinking about Endings in general. How do we feel at the end of a great book? At the end of a good movie? A bad movie? How about when we are expecting one more sweet in the packet and realise we already had the last one? Does it help to know an ending is coming?
I think back to my childhood where I said goodbye to people every two years, always to be the new girl somewhere else. I knew the ending was coming as most of our things would be packed up in MFO boxes for weeks before the event. I tried to lessen the blow by having a lot of pen pals (way before mobile phones and social media if I have any younger generation reading this, it was harder to stay in touch). One day my dad left, without a goodbye. Boxing day. I was 10 years old. I recall that experience left me with a lot of questions, trying to make sense of things for years and coming up with my own conclusion, or ending. Whilst on duty as a Special Constable patrolling the hospital grounds I had a feeling that I needed to pop into the ward to say a goodbye to my grandpa. He had gone in for a hip operation but suffered a stroke. I said a goodbye that night, and he had died the following day. I am glad I listened to that feeling. I think mostly it helps to know an ending is coming. Maybe its more the deterioration that hurts and the ending is a relief?
I can’t help thinking change is constant, endings are inevitable and every story has a happy ending – depending on where you stop the story. ‘Happily ever after’ is a nice way to stop the story in the middle but avoids the real end. I guess that’s why its in every fairy tale going and we feel happy about the ending. Apart from the Grimms brothers tales, I recall being quite disturbed by some of their endings. In real life we know that even princesses don’t have happily ever afters, and endings can be abrupt and shocking. I recall the end of my marriage, I knew we were having issues but I did not know we couldn’t overcome them. Until I did know, and it was over. I think that ending was an ending to prepare me for all other endings, nothing has ever floored me like that again. Within a month our house had sold, I packed the car with just the things I came with, handed in my notice at work and headed to another part of the country to start over. It took me a while to accept that things had changed that dramatically. That’s when I figured out what endings were about, embracing change. It was a hard ending, but there were so many positive beginnings that came from it. I guess we are all here to evolve not to stand still.
In those wonderful moments of finding love its hard not to want the world not to stand still when you know about endings. It can be hard to stay in the moment of the beginning and the middle and not get worried, fearful or upset about the end. When a relationship ends, the change can be very painful and as John Seeley says it can bring up a lot of self worth issues; especially if they have started another beginning before you were done with your ending. My mother always used to say it would have been easier for her to deal with if my father had died, not left. Her memories wouldn’t have been tainted. But then sometimes on a death bed you may receive confessions that do just that. It’s my sisters birthday today. I lost my sister to psychosis, she’s somewhere in the world both literally and spiritually, but I don’t know where, both literally and spiritually. So maybe the common thread with endings is change and a way of coping with change?
In life as we all know, noone gets out alive, so can we stay in the present moment and enjoy it? There have been enough signs in my life so far to accept that death isn’t really the end, it’s a change. Once I was receiving Reiki healing when I was told that a maternal figure from the other side was here to help, the healer corrected herself and told me the spirit had said “I’m not dead yet you know” and said she was between worlds. I knew that would be my gran. She had Alzheimers. Even science tells us we can’t create or destroy energy, it can only change form. The energy inside us (a spirit, a soul) therefore changes form, whilst our biological body breaks down, becomes part of the carbon cycle and we are recycled in the world too. Dr Brian Weiss explains in his book of the same title that only love is real. It transcends lifetimes, so we can take love with us. This may be a belief of mine that softens the blow of endings – like writing pen pal letters to people I will never meet again. I guess one day we will all find out. For those out there who are going through a difficult ending right now, remember there will be a beginning that follows, that love is always with you even if it doesn’t feel like it and that…
“You may not control all the events that happen in your life, but you can decide not to be reduced by them” Maya Angelou
I recently attended a 6 week Tarot Card Reading Workshop with Lorraine Tricksey. During my reading, there was a card that suggested that my inner child does not have any fun any more. I blinked away wet eyes as that hit a chord with me. The wall light also flickered on which suggested that either there was an ethereal presence in the room that strongly agreed with her words or there was an electrical fault – that also agreed. So it was agreed, my inner child doesn’t have any fun. When did I stop her having fun? I could list some life events that made it difficult, but I don’t think that’s really the point to that question. When did I lose the thread of humour in life, stop recognising the simple joys? Am I the only adult feeling this way? I doubt it.
A lot of my Reiki clients have a behavioural reaction when energy cleanses the sacral chakra (that’s the one under your naval which is linked to passions and energy – the type you have a child). Intestines grumble away as clients release something – and I seem to be writing for a friends sceptical husband when I add, yes the noise could well be the digestive system doing what it does best and that’s it. However, I am open to the idea that other layers of body surround the physical body: emotional, mental and spiritual, and any one of the layers can pass on any blockages or dis-ease (e.g. not being at ease). If we stop having fun, does that impact on our emotional body first and then over time effect the physical or perhaps mental and spiritual bodies? I often wonder when I observe the behavioural reaction, is this another adult’s inner child wishing to have some good honest fun?
Eric Berne the creator of the Transactional Analysis (TA) counselling model explained that we have all have 3 ego states: Parent, Adult and Child (Similar to Freud’s Superego, ego and id). Staying with the basic TA model, the Parent is split into Controlling/Critical (CP) and Nurturing (NP) and the Child into Free/Natural (FC) and Adapted (AC). All four have positives and negatives associated with them, such as the CP may shout at a child who is in danger therefore coming from a place of caring, whereas constant criticism or put downs come from a persecutory place. The positive NP cares and allows a child room for development and growth, again coming from a place of caring. In contrast the negative NP smothers growth and dis-empowers the child – hence the nickname ‘smother mother’. Our positive AC may have manners and behave appropriately within society, whilst our negative AC is perhaps shut down from the CP (externally or internally) and the AC is not being true to their real self or congruent if you prefer. Our negative FC perhaps does not appreciate any rules of society or consider any feelings of others and can be unsafely reckless, whereas our positive FC can have good honest fun. Which ego state do we spend the most time in? Which people trigger which ego state response? Could figuring that out be a way of bringing the positive Free Child to the forefront? At least every now and again?
My Inner Child (Free Child) having fun – what would that even look like? I can see in my Parent ego state it may look like being excited for my niece embarking on adventures I used to enjoy at her age, and also some that I didn’t. Watching the sheer joy on her face makes me feel the same. I can see in my Adult ego state, in the here and now, being content to be in nature and with animals. My Child? Can I imagine doing that standing in the rain pose of the child above? Perhaps after a little alcohol? Is that to do with losing inhibitions? Judgements? Who is judging? My Critical Parent – the internal one – well my external one may have something to say about it too (hello mother?). There is probably a more healthy way to achieve this than drinking alcohol. Perhaps by sending the CP ego state to the background whilst letting the Child out to play? I think to all the amazing things I have experienced, the jumping off cliffs into water, abseiling, canoeing, skiing, bungee swings, horse riding in the ocean, and so on – yes that brings the child out for sure, but most cost money and so often there is a long time in between endeavours. Can I experience the joy in simple things every day, play with sunlight as it splits into a rainbow of colours, sing like noone can hear, get up and just dance to my favourite song? Can I let my child do something fun ‘just because’, instead of getting caught up on a ‘better use of time’?
I’m about to go and get her and find out!
The actual words ‘Rei’ and ‘Ki’ are thought to originate from ‘Raku-Kei’ and are from the Japanese language. ‘Raku’ is the vertical energy flow (universal energy) and ‘Kei’ is the horizontal energy flow through the body (Life force). Raki-Kei is the art and science of self-improvement used by ancient Tibetan Lamas and Buddhist monks dating back thousands of years. Reiki was later re-discovered in the 1800’s by Japanese scholar and traveller Dr Mikao Usui and subsequently known as The Usui System of Reiki.
The physical body has layers of energy around it and flowing within it. Blocks to the flow of energy can be caused by negative and repetitive thought patterns, emotions or reactions to experiences and can cause dis-ease or illness. Reiki energy is a powerful, high vibrational energy that works by raising the problem to be dealt with by the person, so that they themselves gain an understanding of their condition and the root cause of it. It can be a very liberating process.
This month I have been involved in creating a Reiki manual in preparation for my first Reiki students. It has been therapeutic experience and reflective as I remembered my own Reiki journey. I remember I started off quite sceptical after my first attunement that nothing had happened. That was until I met a horse called Shushtar who was far more sensitive or connected than I was. I had gone to see natural horsemanship and he came over to investigate who was watching him. He sniffed both hands, then excitedly sniffed again before putting his head down for some healing. I obliged, a little bit taken aback and after 10 minutes he took a deep breath and walked away. I ended up doing a painting of Shushtar for his owner a year or so later and noted that Reiki seems to have improved my connection from the animal to the canvas, which I don’t think I had before.
It has been lovely to be involved in so many healing journeys since then, both animals and people, and to observe that everyone reacts differently to healing. I have been mindful that some people do not wish for healing even, they remain with their dis-ease as it is serving them with a life purpose, and its not for me to judge what that may be. I am excited about the next part of my Reiki journey, attuning students to start their own self healing journey. Those drawn to healing often want to get started on healing others but Reiki level I is about healing self, once you are healed, you will have more overflow energy to heal others. This can bring up some feelings about self worth for people in the sense of putting themselves before others. One of my favourite writers offers the following affirmation:
Nourishing myself is a joyful experience and I am worth the time spent on my healing – Louise Hay
If anyone in and around the Dorchester (Dorset) area is interested in a Reiki session for themselves, their animal(s) or becoming attuned in Reiki (Usui System) please contact me for more details via the contact page. Thanks.