Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Learning to Live Positively: Step 1 Changing your inner language


 I'm sure everyone has noticed how much negativity surrounds us. It is like a virus. The good news is that is doesn't have to affect our lives. We all have the capacity to choose to live positively and in doing so, to improve the quality of our lives.

 Here's how to get started...

 In the first instance change your language especially the language inside your head.
Energy follows Thought
In other words, what you think is what you get. For example, if you wake in the morning telling yourself this will be a lousy day, that is exactly what you will have. On the other hand if you tell yourself this is a great day, the chances are that is what you will attract. At the very least you will be better able to cope with whatever comes your way.

 That is a two fold process. 
  1.  Firstly it hypes you up and lightens your mood. 
  2.  For those of you who still need the scientific explanation, it releases chemicals in the brain which make you feel better.
  3. Secondly it sends a message out to the universe and the universe will try to make it reality for you. Just remember, the universe always goes with whatever is for your highest good. So if it is not for your higher good to win the lottery this week, you won't. On the other hand if you don't buy a ticket, how will you know? 
  4.  You have the ability to harness your life with the strongest tool at your disposal, you mind.

Every thought you think is a point of power in your life.
Therefore it stands to reason that if you introduce positive language in your life and in your mind, positive things can happen. When you find yourself with a negative thought, turn it on its head into a positive one and see how much easier to cope with that is. For example turn chores into tasks; the second always feel more achievable than the first. It opens you up the possibility of enjoying an achievement rather than being dragged down by an obligation.

 Pick out several negative statements you use every day and change them into positive ones. Make it into a game with family and friends.

 One that springs instantly to mind for me is when you answer the phone and someone says, 'it's only me.' Why 'only'? Isn't it diminishing? By the simple expedient of leaving out one word the whole connotation of the conversation changes; if you like, it empowers the speaker - makes her stand taller, prouder.

 On your cheques where you write pay xyz number of pounds 'only' - change that to 'please' and it opens up your universe.

What others can you think of?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

10 ways to love yourself


LOVE from
Learning to love yourself is vital for self esteem. It isn't selfish, it is common sense. I've put together an easy to remember 10 point guide to help you learn to love YOU. 

We spend most of our time caring for other people and don't take enough time to think about caring for ourselves. The key to full health in mind and body is to learn to love YOU first and foremost. We have been conditioned to put ourselves way down the list but your life will work much better if you actually care about yourself. 

Remember how, on a flight the air-hostess tells you, if you are travelling with children and an emergency occurs so you need to use the oxygen mask, put your own on first? You would be of little help to them if you are oxygen deprived. So too in life - you are better able to care for others if you are in balance and harmony in your own life.  

                        Criticism never changes a thing.  Refuse to criticise yourself.  Accept yourself as you are.  Everyone changes - every single day.  When you criticise yourself your changes are negative.  When you approve of yourself your changes are positive.

                        Stop terrorising yourself with your thoughts.  It's a depressing way to live.  Find a mental image that gives you pleasure and immediately switch your scary thoughts to pleasant thoughts.

                        Be gentle with yourself.  Be kind and patient.  You are learning a new skill - you won't get everything right every single time but there is no need to knock yourself over the head every time you falter - that is setting you up for FAILURE - there is no such thing.  Treat yourself as you would someone you love very much and are helping to learn like a child learning to walk.

                        Self hatred is only hating you own thoughts.  Don't hate yourself for having thoughts - gently change them.

                        Criticism of any kind breaks down the inner spirit.  Praise builds it up.  give yourself credit for all the good you are - tell yourself how well you are doing even in the little things and really celebrate the big ones.

                        Find ways to support yourself.  Reach out to friends and allow them to help you.  It is actually being strong to ask for help when you need it.  Find ways for self nourishing.

                        Acknowledge that you create negatives to fulfil a need.  Now you are finding new positive ways to fulfil the same needs.  Lovingly release the old negative patterns.

                        Learn about yourself - what your needs are and how you can meet them.  Make it a joy not a chore.  Cherish and revere the temple you live in and it will reward you with joy.

9.         MIRROR WORK
                        Look into your eyes often.  Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself.  Forgive yourself while looking in the mirror.  Talk to your parents while looking in the mirror,  Forgive them too.  At lease once a day say 'I love you, I really love you' to yourself  looking directly into your eyes.

                        Don't wait until you get well or lose weight or get a new job or relationship.  Begin now and do the very best you can.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Self Care: Taking Charge of YOUR Life


Jump Start from
I've said it before and I'll say it again - each and every one of us is 100% responsible for ourselves. Forget about the caring and sharing that is different. Ultimately the buck stops here. YOU and no one else but you needs to take charge of your life and make all the decisions, all the mistakes and take all the opportunities.

Just taking that first decision to take charge, to stop being a victim is liberating. It's hard, yes I know it's hard, but ultimately it is the only way you can live your life. Take help and advice where ever and whenever you can, talk to people, to guides even, but know that whatever road you do take, it is your decision to take it.
As an aside, the reason they are called guides, is because that is their job, not to take charge, but to guide your path, to give advice, comfort even. If a guide makes the decision for you, he, she or it needs to be fired.

Acting on someone else's advice only gives you another target to shoot at if it doesn't turn out as you expected. You cannot pass on the responsibility for yourself. You can shift the load for a while maybe, but somewhere down the road it will all come back to you.
And remember the road NOT travelled may well have to be travelled another time, if not in this lifetime then in another one.

And the positive spin on all that? Isn't it exciting? Life as an adventure with an endless variety of paths to tread and all of them here just for our own lesson, our own individual achievement so that we can each evolve as a human being and as a light being? At the end of this life, you will be able to appraise it and be able to say 'OK is wasn't always easy but I learned this or I learned that.' Or even, ' I choose not to learn that this time - maybe I will the next time.'

I can fly - by annmackiemiller

How do you take charge of your life?

  • First and foremost you need to learn yourself. Be totally aware of what your body, your mind and spirit are telling you. You have the most immense wisdom within you and you do have the capacity to access it.
  • Physically know what foods your body responds well to. Take the time to work out those that hinder your health, for example, dairy products, wheat, yeast or sugar. You don't have to produce severe symptoms or allergic reactions to have a sensitivity to certain foods. You can tell by really listening to how your body reacts after taking these foods, try one a time to eliminate them.  For example you might feel slow and sluggish the day after eating lots of dairy products and so on. 
  • Further look after the physical body by taking some exercise. It doesn't need to be strenuous, start with 5 minutes a day with simple stretching and breathing exercises, Tai Chi or Yoga. Take a 20-minute walk 3 times a week or swim 3 times a week, both gentle exercise but two of the most effective in stimulating the whole body. Once you overcome the initial inertia that we all suffer from, you will find the more you do, the more exercise you want to do.
  • Know when to rest. Pushing yourself to the limit isn't wise. If you don't take time to relax you will find nature will find a way to force you into it.
  • Play. Just as important as work.
  • Pamper yourself occasionally - you deserve it and you need it. It doesn’t need to cost anything. simply having a bubble bath or taking a night off works.
  • Learn to listen to your inner self with meditation or with divination. These are tools to help you hear yourself. Meditation can be simply sitting quietly and allowing your breath to be relaxed, you enter a sort of half waking state where the right side of your brain, that is the intuitive side, can come to the fore. At first it may only appear as flashes but as you continue to exercise your mind in this way, the messages will become clearer.
  • Find out some simple forms of divination - there is nothing spooky about it all, it is all rather magical - and you can use anything from a dictionary to animal guide cards to crystals. All you need do is be aware that you are asking for some message, hint or tip for that day or that situation. Then pick up a dictionary or other book, open it at random and read what your eye fixes on first.
  • Learn to trust your instincts. Usually the first thing that pops into your head is the right one for you at that time. It is usually when we start to intellectualize things that we introduce doubts and make it more difficult for us to reach decisions. For me, the telephone seems to work really well but I seldom seem to trust it. I KNOW in my heart of hearts that if I can't get through on the phone there is a reason for it - maybe I need to think things through more, maybe it is not the right time for me to take action, maybe I need to leave someone alone. I find if I persevere until I do reach that person, something doesn't quite click, they will tell me they can't meet me as I want them to, or that this is a bad time for them. The same goes with the Internet which is really just another phone line isn't it? A community website I edit was 'stuck' showing only the home page for three weeks, until I took out the page telling the world I was selling the post office and it published first time. The universe does it's very best to save me time and effort. It's not its fault if I am sometimes slow on the uptake.
  • Keep a journal or diary. This is an excellent way to getting to know yourself or at least at listening to yourself. It doesn't have to be elaborate - it doesn't even have to be grammatical. No one else will ever see it but it is revealing to keep going back to it after several months. You'll be amazed at the journeys you have taken.

There is a saying in Reiki circles, when you heal yourself, you heal the world. This is only the beginning.

This is part of the self-care programme Your Life in Your Hands from Ann Mackie Miller MA(hons) RGN, SCM, GSSR which will appear in book form later this year. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Introduction to Meditation

meditation from
I mention meditation several times and it has been pointed out to me that not everyone knows what I mean so here we go with some sort of an explanation. Just remember this is MY truth, not the ONLY truth.

Meditation doesn't have to be sitting cross-legged with burning candles, incense and 'Oms' although that is very pleasant. Neither is it in any way complicated. A meditation is any time when you quiet your mind, even if it is only for a minute. It is a form of mental exercise and like any exercise it takes practice.

Everyone is very familiar with the constant chatter in your brain. Meditation tries to clear the chatter and allow the quiet, intuitive side of the brain a chance. 

The brain is divided into two hemispheres, the left and the right. The left side of the brain is the logical side, the side which believes it is in charge and never stops chattering. The right brain is the intuitive side, the 'Eureka' side if you like. It provides the answers although you may not be quite sure how you reached it. The right side of the brain cannot communicate in plain language. As in dreams it comes in the form of symbols and images and you can have great fun interpreting them.

If you do find yourself receiving images, don't try to analysis them while you are meditating, write them down after you finish and take your time reading the signs. As with anything involving symbolism, the interpretation is very individual; what it means to you personally it the important thing. 

Scientists reckon we use 10% of our brain function which gives us 90% of exciting possibilities about what else we can do.

What you are doing in meditation is gaining access to the right side of your brain.  You are quieting the chatter of the left side of the brain and you do that by boring it into submission. For example if you concentrate really hard on counting each breath, say to a count of 10 breaths, the left side of the brain will kick in with the latest shopping list or the conversation you had with someone last week. However, if you gently bring you mind back to counting each breath starting again at 1, the left brain will eventually quiet. At first you may only succeed for a second or two but each time your mind wanders just gently begin your count again and eventually your clutter will clear for longer and longer periods. The idea is to allow that chatter to just pass on by without you taking much notice of it. 

Huh, I hear you say what is the sense of all that? I don't get images or flashes or anything. That's OK; there is nothing wrong, at this point you are just trying to condition your mind to a state of quiet and relaxation. Even with the simple exercise you are taking the first steps in Self-Care and while you do that you are also learning to relax. That slows your heart rate, brings down your Blood Pressure, and allows hormone levels to settle and relax and release toxins from your muscles. In our present stressful society that is no mean thing. You will feel better.

The power of your mind is a big as the universe. Exploring it in different forms is fun, challenging and exciting. It opens whole new worlds of possibilities. This is just the start.

Cleansing Meditation
woman meditating from
Try this 
read it over a few of times first
remember this is only a suggestion; let your own mind give you direction. If you find your mind wandering just gently bring it back to the light.

  • Find a warm quiet spot where you will not be disturbed.
  • Sit upright in a chair with your feet on the floor, hands resting comfortably on your knees.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Take 3 really deep breaths, filling your lungs completely and emptying them completely. In days to come this will form a trigger to get you in the right frame of mind.
  • Let your breath settle by bringing your awareness (your attention) to the centre of your chest.
  • Watch your breath forming a calming circle, you breathe in, pause, breathe out and pause, then breathe in. You do not need to force it. Just note how some breaths are short, some long. Forming a circle.
  • In your mind's eye see a tiny figure of yourself sitting in your heart space. If you can hear your heart beat.....and the breath entering and leaving your body.... you are peaceful and calm....and totally aware of that.
  • With one breath you can transfer your awareness to that small figure.
  • Allow the figure to stand up and look around.
  • Ahead of you is a door. It is made of wood, beautifully carved with flowers and trees, butterflies and birds.
  • As you watch the door opens and beyond it is light. For you it might be pure white or any other colour it needs to be, it may be shot through with rainbows. Allow it to take its own form.
  • Step through the door into the light.
  • Let the light surround you.
  • Allow yourself to feel the light.
  • Breathe it in through your mouth, through your skin.
  • Stand in the centre of this light where there is no guilt, no anger, no judgement, just pure, unconditional love, peace and contentment.
  • Let the light cleanse you. Let it sweep away all your traumas, all your cares and allow it to leave you feeling renewed, strengthened and refreshed. able to cope with anything.
  • Take that feeling with you as you return through the door and sit again in your heart space.
  • Let your breath settle.
  • Become aware of your physical body.
  • Move your hands and feet.
  • Gently come back to the room feeling refreshed and invigorated.

 I look forward to sharing more meditations with you.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

What is divination? How to use it for self help

Rhododendron in bub
Rhododendron in bub
 Photography by annmackiemiller

Divination as a tool of self help and development

I believe the Universe provides us with all the help we need to achieve growth as a human being  - to help us achieve our full potential.  First is simply common sense and an ability to think,  to imagine and  to explore.  Second is our ability to develop self-awareness.  Anyone can learn to use simple forms of divination to achieve that end.  All you are really doing is tuning in to your inner self, that part of you that is wise and already has all the answers you will ever need. 
All of us are constantly asking questions.  What should I do next, is this the right job for me, is there something more I could be doing, what's it all about, am I on the right path?  It is part of modern society that we seem beset with the questions and don't really trust ourselves to know the answers.  We have abdicated our responsibilities to others, to those we feel are superior to us in some way.  They'll not, they just shout louder than your inner self.  
In a way I suppose it comes down to self esteem and the realization that no one outside of yourself really knows what is best for you and for your highest good.  The answer may not always be the one you want.
Often it seems that we are flailing about in the dark, muddling though with no real idea of where to turn.  The where to turn is easy - inside.  At first it seems difficult to access that inner self, but in the end it is like pressing the right buttons on your computer, strike the right key and hey presto - a document appears.  In self divination, press the right internal button and hey presto - you have within you an accessible tool that will never let you down.  Just remember no decision is ever a WRONG decision, it is just a choice, it may mean you take a bit of a detour, but there are always lessons that you will learn along the way.

Simple divination methods

from pixabay

Pick a word for daily inspiration or guidance

Simple, easy, instant. Use this method for everyday work - you aren't asking for an answer to a specific question, just general insight for the day.  As always, it is your intention that is important so, if in your mind you are looking for a little guidance that is what you will receive.  Use a dictionary or any other book, maybe a favourite of yours, maybe one with inspirational quotes like meditations for women who do too much.

I have a dictionary handy so in the morning I open a page and the first word that catches my eye is usually the one that is most relevant for that day. I don't believe in coincidence, I believe something comes to you for a reason. Often it is something I need to look at in myself - today for example my word is "mislead". I didn't say it would always be something you are comfortable with and I confess I did feel uneasy when I spotted that one. It is tempting to look for another you like better but that is just avoidance. So - now I will take some time to do a meditation on that word - is it me who is being led astray, it is me who is doing the leading, am I misleading someone or being misled? Don't forget that the person I might be misleading is myself - am I kidding myself about something? Only I will know and once I recognise it then I can take steps to work with it.

my affirmation cards

Daily Affirmation Cards

These are cards printed with a positive message. There are lots of affirmation cards available to buy - I've collected quite a few over the years. Some of them are simple positive statements, some are inspirational quotes or poems I have picked up. I keep them in a basket near my telephone. Then I can either pick one out every day or when I am on the phone.  I often find myself idly flicking through them when I am talking to friends and it never fails to surprise me that a card I pick out on those occasions are relevant for them. 

I trained to facilitate Louise L Hay workshops so as always some of my favourite tools for self help come from her.

And of course, you can make your own! It can be something as simple as typing out a list of positive saying, printing them out and cutting into individual slips you can shuffle around. Personally I use business card templates and print them out on business cards - I'll show you how I do it in another place soon. It's in the development stage :)  I've done with animal totems and with crystals. 
photography by annmackiemiller
bowl of crystals
photography by annmackiemiller

Daily Divination with Crystals

As I am a crystal therapist and reader it is no surprise I use crystals for divination too. I have bowls of crystals all over the house and pick out one to carry most days. The crystals that turns up for you is usually relevant for that day. Tomorrow it might be something completely different. 
You can find sources online if you need - be discerning and pick out the ones that seem to ring true for you. Like anything, interpretation is what is means to YOU, not necessarily to someone else. This one is quite good but there are others you might browse through. - A-Z of crystal meanings

Divination is something we will explore in more depth as time goes on but for now I hope this little introduction has given you something to think about. 
Bright Blessings.