Category Archives: Pain

Grounding and Alignment

In the past 12 hours I’ve had two powerful but very different sessions and both have been about grounding and being in alignment. One was a Feminine Power coaching session in person and another an online healing session. 

Grounding is often a buzz word but what does it really mean? I’ve shared before about grounding but today I’d like to talk about practical application – what I actually do.

Studies show how important it is to ‘ground’ – connect our skin to the earth – it reduces inflammation (by 60-70%*) and helps us to heal. So how do we do that? For me, I simply walk barefoot in our garden. It’s something I do regularly as we don’t wear shoes in the house so anytime I’m outside around the house, I’m barefoot.   Likewise, the other day I went to Stanton Drew stone circle which is nearby and stood barefoot in the centre of the stone circle. I love to walk on sand and paddle barefoot in the sea.

We also have a grounding sheet on our bed that’s connected to the house’s earthing system via a plug. I can feel when it’s on as my feet tingle.

My morning alignment practice is to connect in with my body before I get out of bed – I breathe deeply and do a ‘scan’ of my energy and imagine connecting to the earth. This is my way of ensuring my system is in alignment. Once it is, I set my intentions for the day and send Reiki. I might also give myself healing in this space. 

Water – I drink litres throughout the day. Vital for vitality!

Food – I’m curious about whether I’m using food to ground my energy. When I feel scattered and overwhelmed I reach for crisps as my comfort food. How interesting as they grow deep in the earth! When I’m eating organic natural foods I feel so much better – alive, vital and enthusiastic with spare energy. My morning practice for the past few weeks has been to have a quarter of a watermelon when I wake. It revitalises me immediately and sets me up for the day. 

I also wear barefoot shoes – while I can’t connect to the earth through their rubber soles, I am enabling my brain to receive the messages transmitted by my feet about the ground I’m walking on. This enables my body to constantly adjust to the surface and remain in alignment. 

This is just a short blog for now but this is something I’m really passionate about. I’m curious about our disconnect with the earth and our bodies and the daily impact that has on us. 

This week I invite you to touch the earth – soil, grass, sand, rock etc. Even if only for a few minutes. How does that feel? 

Be curious how my suggestion makes you feel… enthused, apprehensive, afraid? Isn’t that interesting! 

Be conscious of the foods you’re eating and how they make you feel.

Drink water!

Gift yourself quiet time to connect to your body and see how you feel.

Try it for a week and see how you feel ….I’d love to hear how you get on x

* Have a look at this 15 minute video for more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSNnIg2cVjc

Stepping out of PAIN and into POWER (pt 2)

Today I want to talk more about Stepping out of Pain and into Power.

The dictionary definition of pain as a verb is ‘cause mental or physical pain to’ . To that I’d include emotional and spiritual pain. I want to stress just how ‘painful’ pain is so I’ve created an acronym to highlight different sections of my lived experience of it. Of course everyone is different and this is just one option but it might be fun to play with different definitions to create your own PAIN. By having a different perspective you are choosing to see it clearly and to stand in a different place in relation to your pain. What opens up then?

My (current) definition of PAIN:

Powerless – that feeling of having no control, being powerless in the face of …. physical, mental, emotional or spiritual pain. Of feeling trapped, that there’s no way out, no hope, no future. Just more of the same.

Alone – no one else can understand your experience. They can have empathy and compassion but they are not you living this experience. It’s completely isolating. There’s a sense of disconnect from everything – loved ones, yourself and life too. It’s very hard to even find hope that things could be different.

Invisible – no one sees the real you – the ‘you’ that’s free to do whatever you want, without constraint. The you that longs to move, to dance, to be joyful and radiant. Or you may feel that you need to be invisible to survive – that it’s ‘best’ if others don’t see you, that you have nothing to offer etc. You may be invisible to your own feelings and needs. It’s so painful to be here.

Not – loved, enough, wanted, important. Just say those to yourself – do any resonate? How do they make you feel?

No matter what your pain, you are probably hurting on many levels. Studies show that physical pain impacts our emotions and increases anxiety and social isolation which will impact our emotional state.

My own experience of physical pain was that I ‘shut down’ my feelings as a safety mechanism to survive. At the time, I felt I needed to conserve all my energy to just exist. Going to university or work was all I could handle. Relationships were strained as I felt no one understood what it was like to be in constant pain and the sheer energy it took to move and function every single day. I didn’t plan ahead, I simply existed. And I disconnected from my body too – choosing to ignore the pain (as much as possible) which in turn isolated me even from myself and my joy. In those years, I was my pain.

There’s so much to pain and it will be unique to each individual but wherever you are with pain, it’s rarely a powerful place to be standing.

So what if we choose to stand in a different place? What happens if we choose and, are supported, to claim and stand in our power? What if we choose to not be our pain?

There’s so many elements and practices we can ‘do and be’ to be in our power. Here’s some simple ideas and practices to support you to claim your power, your way:

Possibility – what’s really possible in your life? What makes you feel that spark of life? What lights you up and makes you excited? If nothing could stop you, what do you most desire for your life? Think big!

Obstacles – what’s really in your way? Are they real tangible obstacles? How can you work with them? Such as skills needed for a new job, resources needed? A clear healthy food or supplement plan? Support through an emotional or physical trauma? Learning pain management skills?
Or are there hidden thoughts and feelings which are blocking you? Breathe into what’s stopping you and…

Witness – be curious and without judgement as you get clear on what’s actually present in your life. Are there false beliefs which are stopping you? Maybe you feel you’re not good enough or you’re too much? That you’re alone and trapped in your isolation and pain, that you’re invisible or powerless? These beliefs feel so real it’s hard to even witness them as false beliefs as they can be so insidious and pervasive in our life.

Energise – make a start – where you do feel energy? tap into it, use it to revitalise yourself. Where do you feel passion, desire, the energy flow in your life? Start there! If you can’t sense any energy in your life go back to possibility and play – imagine the life you could create if you had unlimited energy, support and resources … imagine you’re a small child with no sense of ‘impossible’ ….

Radiance – step into your power – use the energised feeling and expand it. Breathe into it and imagine expanding that energy throughout your whole body. Imagine walking through your day feeling this power and energy. You feel lit up from within, curious about others and the possibilities of your life. Shine and be Radiant. Even if you only feel one tiny spark – expand it a hundredfold and just imagine how it would feel to be fully Radiant in your life. And keep on expanding. Feel the joy and aliveness that comes with being yourself fully. If you can imagine it you can be it.

Is this easy? Yes! It will probably take lots of conscious practice, like strengthening a muscle – the more you do it, the more it becomes a habit and the stronger it gets. You may need support be that from family and friends or a coach etc.

Thomas Edison famously said: Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration

I’d like to add that the ‘journey’ or perspiration can be fun though! Take the time to connect to yourself and your inspiration before you start the journey so that you are clear where you are going.

As you claim your power, who will you be and what can you achieve in your precious life?

If this calls to you or you are simply curious about my ‘work’ please get in touch. I’m delighted to offer free 45 minute discovery sessions to connect to yourself, identify your pain and have clarity on how coaching can support you to achieve your wellness, radiance and joy.

Stepping out of Pain and into Power

What does pain mean to you? What does physical, emotional or spiritual pain mean to you?

Did you know that:

*women have twice as many pain receptors as men and are more likely to suffer from chronic pain
*Studies show there’s a link between chronic pain, depression, anxiety and social isolation
*Studies show that spiritual activities influence general life happiness and satisfaction for those in chronic pain

*Imagine feeling pain-free or greatly reducing your pain
*Imagine feeling connected to your body and joyfully alive
*Imagine having the confidence and resources to take control of your life and create the life you want

I am honoured to offer support to women looking to step out of their pain, whatever that may be. To connect to themselves fully, reduce or stop their pain, feel well and live their lives radiantly and joyfully.

I’ve turned pain into PAIN

Use where you are right now as your start point to a vibrant, radiant and joyful life.

I’ve shared my story a number of times on my website but I’ll share briefly here from the pain perspective:
I had surgery for a rupturing ovarian cyst when I was 23. I had deep trauma from the surgery and clearly remember shaking so much that I had to held down as I came out of the anaesthetic. I felt I was being ripped in half as nurses pulled me upright hours later. That’s when I found out that drugs, including morphine don’t work for me. But I am physically strong so I buried my pain and made myself get up and move around so I could get out of hospital. That really was my experience for many years. My whole abdomen is full of scar tissue (adhesions) from that surgery and they don’t stretch so every movement ripped them. For years, I couldn’t stand up straight so I held on to walls to walk. I had a disabled badge at university so I could continue my course. I got support after uni so that I could work. And I learnt my limitations while pushing them. Alongside the physical pain was the emotional and mental pain as I forced my body to move through the pain. I felt trapped in myself. I felt so alone and my lived experience was that no one understood what it was like being me. I withdraw from life a lot. I questioned ‘why am I here?’ and had what I’d now term a spiritual pain and crisis as I felt disconnected from myself, others and life.
I’m so thankful to my parents who insisted I have ‘something’ and paid for me to have hypnotherapy and reflexology. Those opened the world of complementary therapies and self empowerment to me and led me to Reiki which is my great love. Reiki is a spiritual energy system that includes healing on every level.

Ironically, by the time I was referred to a pain clinic, they told me I could teach them from my learning.

And yet there was still a gap. An unnamed pain as well as the daily chronic pain. My husband Steve has propelled me forward in so many ways as he’s my rock and greatest advocate: seven years ago he insisted I take the Feminine Power 7 week online course. It totally transformed my life. Not only with its amazing content and deep principles and practices but because it comes with a community, something I was severely lacking. One of the teachings is: we can’t become ourselves by ourselves. That’s so true. And that’s why I’m a stand for women, wanting to emerge from their pain into their power, into their aliveness and radiance so that they can have a joyful life, no matter what the circumstances.

If this calls to you or you are simply curious about my ‘work’ please get in touch. I’m delighted to offer free 45 discovery sessions to connect to yourself, identify your pain and have clarity on how to achieve your wellness, radiance and joy.

Read Stepping out of Pain and into Power (part 2) 

Birth Day

Our son was four recently. We had such a lovely family birthday marking this milestone but also our own as his parents. How we’ve grown and changed in these years and how strong our alignment in how we raise our son and where we’re going on our parenting path.
It was also a time of reflection: on that day four years ago when we birthed our son very much together. It wasn’t the beautiful natural experience we wanted. It was filled with pain and anxiety and feeling that we were being pushed by the medical professionals. Yet through that we were together, parents already. Steve massaged my back for 36 hours. He never left my side. He calmed me through the pain that I can’t take medicine for. He held me as I had an epidural and was later rushed to theatre. He held my hand as I was prepped for a caesarean, while I begged doctors not to as I would put down more adhesions that had caused nearly 20 years of chronic pain. He was there with me as our son was helped into the world with forceps and struggled to breathe. We were together as our son was placed in his fathers arms minutes later and declared healthy. I can’t describe the relief after being told he’d need to go to a special ward. The joy was amazing but the trauma was present for a very long time.
I’m so thankful for the support we received those 36 hours but equally I’m aware of how I felt powerless and ‘trapped in the system’. I had glimmers of power as I managed the pain through self-help techniques and drawing upon Steve’s strength. But at the end of the day, I felt forced into the operating room despite my protests. That hurt. A lot. For a long time.
Well wishers said ‘but you have a beautiful child’ but that didn’t stop the shaking, tears, anger and the fear that rose through my body every time I remembered his birth. I gave myself lots and lots of Reiki. I used the Feminine Power practices to ground myself, to listen to myself, to respect my feelings. And I opened myself up to the possibility that I could heal even though it felt impossible.
Then life beautifully gifted me the opportunity of an EFT session with an amazing woman who supports women through their birth trauma. That 90 minute call was filled with laughter and caring as we processed through the experience. I can’t thank Manal enough for that gift and the subsequent sessions we’ve shared on different topics.
Just writing this triggers me slightly as I remember our ‘birth day’ but it gives me energy now – I know I can get through anything, that I have the resources and power to do so. Equally, I can see where I’m giving away my power in my life and choose not to. This can be done softly and respectfully. This is where Feminine Power coaching really supports me – to soften, listen to my intuition/deeper knowing and trust in possibility – it’s an active trust though – choosing to believe there’s always possibility and options if I take a moment to breathe and listen with all my senses.
I am so grateful for our son who enriches our lives immeasurably. Equally I’m so grateful for the life and experiences I’ve had.

Pain

I want to talk about pain as its so prominent in my life right now.

22 years ago I collapsed and was rushed to hospital. Days later I had abdominal surgery and I clearly remember coming around from the general anaesthetic and being held down as my whole body shook. In bed, I tried to sit upwards and felt as if my whole body had been sliced in two – well there was an 8 inch cut. I soon realised the morphine wasn’t working and I had 10 blissful pain free minutes after being given Pethidine but my reaction to it was so extreme that I was told I’m allergic to it and never to have it again. So began a long and interesting ‘journey’ to learn how to live with constant pain (both physical and emotional) caused by extensive scar tissue from the operation throughout my abdomen.

I’ve learnt how powerful we are as human beings, how our bodies can create far greater ‘drugs’ than the medical profession can provide. The power of the mind is real and, over time, I learnt to ignore the background hum of pain so that I could live my life. It was only when the pain reached a certain level that I’d consciously register it and then take action or usually non-action to heal as complete rest works best for me.

In the past few years I’ve embraced my body far more and learnt to listen rather than ignore which was my default for many many years. Now I check in with myself – what am I feeling? What do I need? And I listen to the answers. It may be that in that moment I can’t ‘do’ what my body needs but I can soften and be aware of my needs. Sometimes, that awareness is all I need to feel better. This softening to myself also stops blame and shame or making myself ‘wrong’.

I’ve adapted – from rolling to get out of bed or a seat rather than going straight up to having my car seat tilted back so that I’m not in an upright position but more, literally, laid back.

I’ve paced myself – certainly in the first 10 years I had to be very careful not to overdo things – so while working, I rarely went out at night. I certainly didn’t go out two nights running.

I treasure sleep. Sleep is a great healer and I respect that. In some ways having our son and the broken sleep that’s followed for over three years has been worse than anything else. Lack of sleep deprives us of healing and repair time for mind and body. I know I’m a lot slower mentally now.

I like swimming and walking. As the years have passed walking has become a lot easier so that I can now climb gorges or walk in forests for hours with our son on our ‘family Sundays’. Swimming is still more of a challenge. Before surgery, I was swimming 5+ times a week, now I can do far less but I treasure those swims.

I’ve become aware of how I’m standing or walking etc. How often do we pay attention to that? I remember doing a walking exercise on the Thought Pattern Management training course and my partner noticed that while my legs moved, the upper part of my body moved independently. Like I’d been ‘cut in the middle’ were his words. How true! That insight helped me to see myself as whole again and to consciously work with my energy in the top and bottom of my body so that it flows again now. Simple things like imagining a waterfall flowing down through my whole body and out through my feet, imagining that I can clear away any blocks so that there’s a strong flow. Sitting with my hands on my abdomen and imagining love and healing flowing into that part of my body.

Knowing that ‘this too shall pass’ helps me as I breathe into the pain. Being present to the pain, witnessing it and loving it makes it part of me rather than something that is separate to be ignored. For years I tried to ignore the pain and it got worse and I felt that I had nowhere to go and could see no possibility of it ending. Being present allows me to still be in the flow of life, knowing this pain will come and go, while I continue to be me. My pain isn’t me but it’s part of me and as such I send it love rather than making it separate and the enemy.

Gratitude is such a big healer. Instead of focusing on the negatives of pain, I’ve found that expressing gratitude to myself, the injured part of my body, brings me back into flow and possibility.

Be kind. To yourself and others. Being kind like gratitude, softens us, brings us back into flow.

Reiki has helped me so much on all levels. It allows me to ‘heal myself’ – I put my hands on my body or ‘think Reiki’ and it flows. It calms me, it gives me focus amidst the pain. It connects me to an energy that is far bigger than me – Reiki means Universal Life Energy. It brings calmness, peace and connectedness and enables me to ‘do’ something while bring physically still.

Meditation is such a fantastic practice – whether it’s simply stopping for a few moments and consciously breathing, following a guided practice or doing it as part of Reiki or a class for example tai chi or yoga. The more we practice meditation, the more our brain becomes wired for it and the easier it becomes to relax, to become present to ourselves.

Connecting with others – it’s so easy to become disconnected from others when we’re in pain, whether physical or emotional. Yet we need others. Reach out, share, be authentic about who you are and what is happening in your life. Join local or internet groups, seek out like minded people. Find your ‘tribe’. Be yourself.

These are just some of my thoughts and practices around pain. If you would like to know more about the power of our minds and bodies I totally recommend William Bloom’s The Endorphin Effect and all Dr David Hamilton’s books and website. I’ve been lucky enough to train with both of these amazing men and their work has been life changing. Louise Hay’s ‘You can heal your Life’ is a classic.

* This is my experience. Obviously if you have pain, you should always see a Doctor.