suewen

Life, Death and Spirituality

Month: February, 2014

I’LL TRY ANYTHING!

When we lost Rowan in that tragic accident on Boxing Day 2012 I had little idea of what was out there in the ether for me to play with!

I started by reading and when I became a little more aware of ways to extend my enlightenment I tried so very many things.

My first foray into the spiritual world involved me trying to strike up a relationship with a pendulum!  I read that not every crystal would resonate with me so a tried a number.  I tried amethyst; I tried rose quartz; I tried moonstone.  The only pendulum that vibrated for me was one made from malachite – a beautiful green stone (anyone who knows my love of green could have predicted this) – not me though!  Money no object – HA!!  It took me a while to hit on my ideal.  I only had a vague knowledge of pendulums; the most prominent piece of information I had hidden away in my mind being that they could divulge the sex of an unborn baby!  I bought books all about how to use a pendulum.  I started my investigations in an extremely sceptical manner!  The first thing to resonate with me was the fact that the malachite pendulum did actually resonate!  I would sit with my elbow on the table dangling my pendulum from my thumb and index finger.  All the other pendulums I tried hung there motionless!  When I picked up the malachite and allowed it to hang there suspended between my thumb and index finger it began to vibrate.  This wasn’t a ‘slight’ vibration; it was an excited jiggling that turned into a circular, swaying motion that grew higher and higher until it was moving around in a wide circle.  As far as I am aware I was not making this crystal behave in such a way; it was taking on an energy all of its own.  My imagination couldn’t really see any further than asking it ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ questions.  I asked it to show me a ‘Yes’ and it swung forwards and backwards.  I asked it to show me a ‘No’ and it moved sideways!  I thought this was awesome!  I had some success with it and there were occasions when I felt Rowan was guiding the pendulum.  I asked questions that he knew the answer to but I was sorely limited to ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ answers and frustrated in a very short time.

My experience with crystal pendulums opened my mind a little to the fact that crystals may well have an inner energy built into them.  When I went to San Francisco and spent time with Jodie (please read earlier posts), this belief was etched further into my mind.  I experienced an amazing feeling when I casually picked up a large piece of selenite that Jodie had been showing her dinner guests.  I felt as if I had smoked a rather large joint – suspended in a sort of bubble!  When I exclaimed this to those present they all laughed at my amazement – unlike me they were all well aware of crystal energies.

I returned home and thus started my total fixation with crystals.  EBay became my friend.  I looked up categories in my newly purchased Crystal Bible 1 and Crystal Bible 2; categories like ‘Astral Travel’ and ‘Lucid Dreaming’ and ‘Dream Recall’ and ‘High Energy Crystals’!  I bought these crystals one by one by one – money no object – HA!!  I have had some awesome results with my crystals though.  I would definitely say ‘money well spent’.  If I want to have ‘lucid dreams’ and ‘dream recall’ I put a selection of crystals into a wee gauze bag and take the bag to bed with me at night!  I don’t ever stop and think that perhaps the clattering of these stones every time a turn over might, just might, disturb Chris’ sleep!  For those of you that have watched ‘Miranda’ and have heard about her ‘breast clap’; I stick my wee bag between my boobs and as I turn we don’t only have the ‘breast clap’ we have the ‘crystal clatter’ too!  I have had some awesome encounters with Rowan by using these crystal compilations though; encounters where we have talked and I have remembered on waking – awe-inspiring!

I have tried every method under the sun to meditate.  I have tried Angel guided meditations; the Silva Life System; the Higher Balance Institute; the Hypnosis Network; and any number of other guided meditations – and have had little success with any of these.  I may have made headway with one or two techniques but it has always felt like I’ve taken 3 steps forward and two back.  Perhaps my problem is that I don’t actually ‘know’ what it feels like to be in a meditative state.  Perhaps if I did I would find that I have actually managed it with all the systems!  Money no object – HA!!

Along the way I have met some incredible people and I have been gifted some special abilities.  I brought back The Wholeness Blessing from the United States with me; a Blessing gifted to Joe Crane by Archangel Michael.  This Blessing had a profound effect on me and I can pass it on to others.  I was gifted the energy healing modality of Universal White Time Healing through Jose Sanchez; something I couldn’t possibly of grasped mentally and emotionally until I saw how well it worked.  Every time I use this healing on people I retain a little of the energy for myself.  It is an awesome energy.

My new fascination is known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping.  On 24th February 2014 the 10 day 6th Tapping World Summit commences.  You can register for this Summit free of charge and experience first-hand the benefits that ‘Tapping’ can give you.  I have registered and I can’t wait!  I have spent some time looking at the www.thetappingsolution.com website and I have done a little tapping myself.  I have already managed to rid myself of some pain issues around my pelvis (no doubt caused by too much sitting at my computer surveying the contents of the ether)!

Tapping has been called ‘acupressure for the emotions’.  It is, like my affirmation expedition, a self-empowering tool.  It can help you overcome fear, phobias, pain, guilt, anger, stress, anxiety to name but a few and is excellent in helping to clear any old fear patterns and resentment issues you may have enabling you to forgive and forget.  I intend to try this ‘Tapping’ on my phobia about spiders – watch this space!

Tapping uses meridian points on the body that ancient Eastern acupuncture therapists have used for centuries and makes enormous sense to me.  How about giving it a try? I don’t think Rowan is laughing at me when I consider this modality!

A book written by Nick Ortner, co-host of the Summit explaining the Tapping procedure can be found under My Choices at my website, http://www.spiritualus.com

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THE GRIEF JOURNEY

Everyone grieves in a different way.  As I said before Chris and Francis’ experiences are entirely different to mine (although I have probably bombarded them with an overload of thoughts and ‘learnings’ enough to drive them crazy)!

I made a conscious decision to learn as much as I could after Rowan died and I have had a colossal amount of help along the way.  My first helper, Raewyn, the funeral director who looked after Rowan just after he passed, suggested I read Lisa Williams, ‘The Survival of the Soul’.  Lisa is a renowned medium in the UK and Australia.  Her two books (the other being ‘Life Among the Dead’) created an interest in me that snowballed.   A colleague of mine at Statistics NZ, suggested I read Elisabeth Kübler-Ross MD, ‘On Death and Dying’.  In this book Elisabeth talks of the now famous five stages of grief; denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  These five stages can be applied to someone who learns that they are dying or to the people left behind after a death.

I think that we learn through suffering and not through love.  The suffering, although a by-product of love, is the finger that fires the starter pistol on this journey.  The trials and tribulations, after the initial bitterness, send you inside yourself and you have to depend wholly on your own vision of things rather than allowing someone else to tell you what is fact and what is fiction.  Hence there is a need to read and research and formulate a balanced view of the tragedy.

How did my initial grief feel?  The best I can describe it is that it felt like fear – I wasn’t afraid because the event had occurred and hence fear was superseded – but I had the same horrendous fluttering in the stomach, the cold feeling that stretches from the throat to somewhere near your heart, the restlessness, the constant need to swallow, the shallow, rapid breathing.  I felt as if someone had placed an invisible muffler between the world and me.  I felt as if my world was spiralling out of control.  Nothing felt real.   The emotions I experienced were those of numbness, anger, shock, despair, disbelief, anxiety, a yearning for what we had lost.  I think this is the first time that I have actually analysed how exactly I felt at the time.  I was totally overwhelmed.  I was in the middle of a short term contract and I still had to function normally.

How did these initial feelings of grief manifest in my behaviour?  Again this is something I haven’t really analysed.  The restlessness was definitely a feature; settling to any one thing was damned-near impossible.  Forgetfulness was a large part of my life for a number of months (add grief forgetfulness to menopausal forgetfulness and you have pea-soup)!  I had some amazing colleagues who helped me through this phase; running around after me like mother hens!   I suffered a loss of confidence.  I lost interest in things that I normally loved doing like cooking.  I avoided people.  I avoided places that reminded me of Rowie.  Many people struggle to sleep, have difficulty going to sleep or find themselves waking early.  I found myself waking early.  My doctor asked me if I needed some sort of medication to help.  I said that I didn’t – I needed to feel every emotion clearly and understand it for what it was as I worked my way through the pain.

Physically my asthma seemed to worsen.  I had stress reactions manifesting in feeling jumpy, like sort of waiting for something to happen.  I had hideous, recurring invasive pictures of Rowie’s accident.  My stomach constantly churned, my heart raced and I was hypersensitive to sudden noises.  I had nightmares.  I piled on heaps of weight.  I was constantly tired.

I think I have more or less worked my way through the five stages of grief even though sometimes it feels like I have taken three steps forward and two back!  I have accepted the reality that Rowan has moved on.  The pain of grief and feelings of anger and high distress have lessened.  I am struggling a little adjusting to an environment where Rowie is missing.  I have little rituals that I perform every day that bring me closer to him.  I periodically suffer a sinking feeling; a flatness of emotion.  This week is hard.  His friends who were still with us last year and constant company during their final school year have moved on.  Most are starting their University lives this week – a continuation of their awesome journeys.  We look forward to hearing about their experiences but obviously wish Rowie could be sharing their excitement too.  I don’t believe that my grief will ever disappear although my heart has done some healing; I believe that I have expanded my life around the grief to allow me to continue living a relatively ordinary life again.

I am still very sure that I will be able to catch up with Rowie one day soon to ask him all about his life at the other side of the veil.

As I travelled this journey I found that I bounced from one thing to the next as I tried to learn about my soul purpose and spiritual path.  I wished that I could find things all in one place.  I have started a website that contains all the things that I found helpful during my journey last year; recommended books, crystals, candles, Angel cards etc.  Please pop and look if you have the time, http://www.spiritualus.com

A LOSS IS A LOSS IS A LOSS

I’m continuing my theme of positive affirmations here because I think these are hugely important in our quest for a more enlightened and joyful existence.  Couple the positive affirmations with expressions of gratitude and we are on the right track.

When you hear someone has suffered ‘a loss’, your immediate thought is that they have suffered the death of a loved one.  Loss encompasses many things.  A break-up of a relationship is a loss.  A divorce is a loss.  A death is a loss.  All these things started with a unity, an affiliation, a liaison and as such their termination can cause severe grief.  There are many other types of loss that we can experience in our lives; the loss of a pregnancy; the loss of a pet, the loss of a job, the loss of our youth, our figure, our agility, our self-respect to name but a few – and these all cause varying depths of distress and grief.

When Rowan died in such a tragic and unexpected accident I never thought that my heart would ever heal.  I know that it still hasn’t healed but I am now aware that healing is possible. It is all down to me at the end of the day whether I do or I don’t heal.  My intention is to remember Rowan with love, not with sadness and regret.  The more time I spend telling myself how badly done to we are, the more I spiral down into the depths of despair and misery; and how self-serving am I being?  It’s so much easier being miserable.  Believe it or not this is true!  I can stay in bed all day, drift in and out of sleep and be despondent; feel wretched and depressed; close myself off from the rest of the world; stay at home, watch TV, read books, play on the computer…..and then, when I do go out…….people feel they still have to tread carefully with me because the pain is still so very visible.  So I return back into my shell and hibernate with my miserable thoughts once again.  Easy!

How much harder the alternative is.  You paint a smile on your face and go out to meet people face on.  Over and over again you do this.  It is hard for the first few times but you suddenly realise that the painted smile is no longer painted, it is becoming a reality.  The little things that made you cry before – a visit to the supermarket – walking past the cheese I always used to buy just for Rowan, was a generator of unhappiness.  You find that they suddenly become warm memories instead of desperate heart-aching triggers. You suddenly begin to see the positive things in life again. 

Life has gone on without you.  It doesn’t stop just because you want to get off the treadmill.

Our thoughts create our experience.  The grief of losing Rowan is very real but the way I think about it shapes the experience and feelings that I have.  Does that make sense?  We all have different ways of thinking so we all experience the same grief in a different way.  Chris and Francis’ experiences will be entirely different to mine. 

You start off by saying things like ‘this is the worst thing that could ever happen’, ‘how will I ever live without him’?  These are the negative affirmations I talked about before……  The pain of the initial grief is bad enough but here you are compounding that grief by adding negative affirmations to it.  To say things like ‘my life has been beautified by having Rowan in it’ or ‘Rowan taught me how powerful my love is’ is adding positive affirmations to a dire situation. 

I talk about death because that is the loss that I have experienced but you can apply this to relationship break-ups, divorce etc. by saying things like ‘I am open to loving again’ or ‘my life is always full of loving relationships in every form’.  Replace the old ‘I’m not worthy of love’ or ‘why did he leave me?  It must be my fault” with these positive statements and you are well on the way to healing that heart.

Yes, I have discovered that I can heal my heart if I try and I will try because I owe it to Rowan.

SPIRITUAL JOURNEY/ASCENSION – POSITIVE VERSUS NEGATIVE

I would never have thought about my ‘spiritual journey’ before Rowan’s accident.  ‘Spiritual journey’ sounds so pompous; so in-your-face pious.  I would never have classed myself as spiritual, mystical.  I would never have classed myself as religious, devout.  I would never have classed myself as intuitive, insightful.

Life throws you a curved ball and all your previously cosy, contented thoughts and precious insulation suddenly wither and turn into dust.  What are you left with?  Please believe me you are left with absolutely nothing.  You have no cushion to bolster you up whatsoever; you are left in a huge chasm of despair and disbelief and doubt.  At this point you can give up completely and retreat into a dark, unforgiving place or get angry and start demanding answers from the Universe, from God, from whoever is responsible for such a callous act as taking away one of the most perfect, breathtakingly beautiful gifts in your life.

When we think of a loss like this, the idea of finding meaning or anything beneficial from it seems completely bizarre.  Grief is not an illness to be cured but a natural part of life.  A broken heart becomes an open heart and when you understand this, the spiritual journey starts in earnest.

When you start on this journey you are effectively starting on your ascension process; the expedition that leads to enlightenment and full consciousness.  There are many, many triggers that can set someone on this journey.  Each of us may have a different trigger; maybe a breakup of a relationship, a divorce or, of course, a significant death. Whatever the prompt we suddenly realise that there is more to be found; a drive to expand our awareness.  The ascension process sounds wonderfully grand.  I had visions of the ascension process allowing me to float my way up to Heaven to live in eternal happiness and peace without ever having to experience pain again – but how would we know what contentment is if we didn’t experience pain and heartache?

Once again your own sense of self-worth and self-love comes into play.  Most often in this results-driven world self-worth is judged on what you have achieved, how big your house is and how many cars you have.  True self-worth is based on your human qualities.  Can you demonstrate humility, love, tolerance, patience, forbearance, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, self-discipline, kindness, charity, mercy to the rest of mankind?  Ascension begins when we can consistently show these virtues in our everyday lives.  Once again His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaches the world so much, if only we would listen to him.

Along with the building of a feeling of self-worth we need to view the curved ball dealt to us with a different mind-set.  I am still telling myself in the mirror every morning that I love myself!  I am still practising my reasons for ‘gratitude’ every day (and I’m really grateful to those of you who have been doing this with me).  Positive thinking is my latest passion and I am trying affirmations to change my life.  Affirmations are statements that reinforce a positive or, for that matter, a negative belief.  We need to raise our awareness of the negative ones and gently introduce positive ones into our lives.  After a life-changing loss our thinking is usually distorted and we end up repeating very negative affirmations to ourselves; this is so unfair; we didn’t deserve this; I can’t live without him/her; I’ll never be happy again; I can’t go out with friends because they will want me to be happy; must cancel my hair appointment cos I can’t face talking etc etc. 

Now, just think for a minute.  These negative affirmations are really easy to believe aren’t they?  We unconsciously repeat these negative affirmations, being cruel and punishing ourselves over and over.  They are untrue but we have no problem in feeling them.   We intentionally and determinedly need to change these negative affirmations for positive ones; I will grow from this experience; I release my anger; his soul is free and in a loving place; I am happy with so many wonderful memories; I am grateful for all the beautiful photographs I have; his last year was an awesome year, full of love, fun, happiness and new experiences.

I am repeating these positive affirmations and my head and my heart are most certainly in a different place now to where they were 12 months ago.