Today is the one year anniversary of the first time we arrived here on our block of land in Northern NSW and I thought I’d mark the occasion with a blog.
It’s been an intense week! My sister and daughter invited me in via video link to hang with them during their blood moon ceremony they were doing last week. This is the second time now, that we’ve come together to do some family healing magic. The first time was on the 22nd of the 3rd, 2017. At the time, my husband and I were on the east coast searching for a new place to live. There was flooding everywhere and we got bogged! My husband kindly played the hero and I left him with the muddy saga while I caught the train to Brisbane and spent an evening doing magic with my sister and daughter. The date worked out nicely, seeing as we were keen to take advantage of the fact that there was some good number magic happening with our ages: 44, 33 and 22. I’m an 11, by the way, in numerology!
I have a range of 20 Herbal Chakra Tonics that integrate with the Aura Sprays, and are complimented by guided meditations and mindfulness meditations. These kits amalgamate my experience as an Aura Therapist with over 20 years experience in the trade, with my expertise as a Naturopath. By the time I graduated as a Naturopath in 2003, I had already clocked up hundreds or aura healings, readings and sketches since I began doing this work in 1996.
WHAT IS THE AURA?
Seen with psychic vision, the aura is a cloud of rainbow-coloured light that surrounds you. You could think of the aura as being your spirit-self or your energy-body. Aura colours can be ‘read’ by a practitioner such as myself. Each colour tells me something about a clients personality, feelings, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, experiences and interactions with others. The colours themselves come from energy structures in the aura called chakras. I ‘see’ around 100 different aura colours, all of which have multiple different possible meanings depending on the exact shade, where in the aura they are found, and the other colours they are found with. Continue reading “The Chakra Kits”
Hello! I’m just experimenting with creating a video blog. My first one ever! This was a spontaneous experiment that branched off from the playing I’m doing with video-creation in general at the moment, for the on-line courses I’m creating. Next time I’ll make sure the lighting is better, but it’s a good start; toe in the water, so to speak!
This video is a dear-diary business-catch up. I’ll do another one soon, because there are a few events coming up that I forgot to tell you about!
Healer, Reiki Master, Aura Card reader, and Spirit Channel for the written word
This has been a beautiful week, especially in terms of seeing the dreams of others coming to fruition around me. It started with my daughter Mikiah sending me a short Aura Card reading at the beginning of the week, and as usual, I was blown away by her capacity to channel the wisdom of Spirit, so succinctly, and accurately. I’ve often wished others could do for me what I do for them, and it’s particularly heart-warming to have this nurturing come from my own daughter. She has a knack for getting straight to the point, in a loving way, with a core message that is very easy to remember!
A few days after giving me the Aura Card reading, Mikiah melted me into puddles of bliss during a private conversation, where (not for the first time), she showered me with very authentic gratitude messages. It’s a beautiful feeling to be validated, celebrated, and reflected back in such positive ways by someone you love and admire. Have you told anyone what you appreciate and value about them recently?
Here is a poem Mikiah just wrote, about gratitude:
A blissful consideration of abundance, for all that we have.
A focus on what is there, rather than what is missing.
A positive outlook –
One that beckons me into the light, saying:
“See all that you have
See all that you are
See the beauty in all –
See as the child does
See that the World speaks,
Hear it Sing
Feel how still the moment is,
How at Peace nature is.
Understand how the mind complicates the simple –
How many stories are written, unwritten and written again
Either the same as the Past, or different.
Can you Be?
If you See,
If you Feel,
If you Listen,
If you Breathe and Taste
With caution not to waste these moments, and the silence in between
Then, you know.
And know you do – because you are.
In the present, we allow.
In the now, we surrender:
Narratives. Stories of the past. Predictions of the future. Concern for outcome. Worry about what was, is or will be.
Active participation requires presence
It is a step away from thought”
I am enjoying watching my daughter step into her role as a healer for others. She is a joy to mentor, and as my husband Stephen, Mikiah’s father, says, “She is a gifted natural”. Mikiah became a Reiki Master with me last year and has begun teaching others, with her spirit guides doing a brilliant job of shaping her unique approach to healing. Mikiah is currently living in Brisbane, and is available for one-one-one healing consults and Aura Card readings. She also works via distance. If you would love to read more of her spirit-channelled writing, or find out more about her work, check out her facebook business page: MIKIAH
The excitement of others can be soooo beautiful, and sooo infectious! I’ve loved watching the determined dedication my sister Tashka has brought to her latest project, one that has been brewing now for many years. My favourite part of this journey so far is the private video I woke up to yesterday. It totally made my day to see her bouncing up and down like a little kid. Like myself and our brother Kim, Tashka has a fierce work-ethic and there’s nothing more satisfying than having it pay off after so much hard work. Tashka got her first subscriber for her MUSICAL ME project; the first, am I sure, of many to come.
Tash is an incredible, passionate and motivated teacher who inspires others with her enthusiasm and her unique perspectives. She has an ability to think outside the square and come up with very clever, creative solutions that propel us forwards into realising our dreams. MUSICAL ME is a dynamic example of her ability to make learning bucket-loads of fun, whilst making sure it’s in alignment with your core values and is being incorporated into your day to day life in a grounded manner. Check out this amazing program if you would love to take your interest in music a little further, but you’re not quite sure how, or you are a music teacher and you would like some dynamic tools to help your students go from strength to strength. This is the prototype, before the official shiny version goes live next year, so in effect, getting involved at this stage of development means you will be helping to create the final product. And as a thank you for your support, you will be given a very special offer next year when the global roll out occurs!
Reiki healer, Huna Masseur, Rune Card and Book developer, and Aura Card reader
Tristan worked with me as a psychic healing student for many years before becoming one of my first Reiki 1 students last year. During the attunement process, I was astonished when one his Reiki guides stepped in and insisted I include a series of rune symbols during the initiation process. It seemed an entire new branch of Reiki was unfolding in front of me, with Tristan being chosen as the channel for this unique modality.
Tristan has been hard at work creating a set of Rune Cards and a book to go with them, and it’s been fantastic watching meditative creativity blend with methodical step-by-step development. Tristan’s prototype deck features a circular splash of colour inspired by the Aura Cards, with the rune symbols over the top of this. Runes are an ancient alphabet- a series of symbols that have been used in divination, magic and healing for many centuries. They were a first love of mine on my healing journey, so I feel rather honoured to have been used as a channel for heightening Tristan’s spiritual connection with this ancient tradition.
Tristan is at prototype stage, and needs some support! If you would love a Rune Reading, or an entire handmade deck, check out his KICKSTARTER campaign. I still have the rune reading that Tristan did for me during a difficult time in my life. The wisdom he channelled through was beautiful, and spoke to my soul. Tristan is gentle and wise and his rune creation will deeply honour the lineage he has been initiated into by his Reiki and Rune guides.
Healer, marketing consultant, copywriter and editor, improvisation performer and trainer, and creator of The Playground of Possibilities
My day yesterday started with my sister’s bubbling excitement and ended with my Aunty Kay’s wonderful news about her Playground of Possibility cards having arrived from the printers. Some of you attended the workshop Kay ran here in Darwin and might remember the cards. They ask the question “What might be possible for me if….” and each one ends differently. I love these cards! Kay and I sometimes do Skype sessions where I’ll pull a colour card or a flower card for her and she will pull a Playground card for me. The questions always get me thinking deeply about my life, and realising how my beliefs and not-so-helpful storytelling about myself and life might be interfering with my happiness!
This is a profound tool and I’m so excited that Kay is sending me my very own deck for the clinic. I’m hoping I can stock these but you can also contact Kay directly if you would like to get your own deck. Go to NEXTCHAPTER. Kay says: “Even though my crowdfunding campaign is finished, you can still order and pay for a deck there. For one deck, choose the “Transform” reward (or check the other rewards for 3, 5 or 10 decks, or 1 deck plus a Skype call with me).”
Many years ago, I created a Chakra Meditation book, filled with chakra meditations and contemplation questions. There were 20 in all, with two meditations and contemplations for each colour. While I use the traditional 7-chakra rainbow system, I recognise extra colours for the base, heart and crown chakras. Here in this picture, for example, is one of the contemplation pages for BROWN, which I consider a second frequency associated with the base chakra, alongside the more traditional red colour used to represent this centre.
Some years after that, I began experimenting with drop-dose liquid herbal medicine, where small doses are used to tap into the energetic properties of plants. At first, I made a few mistakes and it took a bit of experimenting to get the dose right. If you go too low you can trigger symptoms that herb would normally treat. Nettles for example, might helps us release old resentments and stored anger from the solar plexus, but if the dose is too small, it might trigger a physical healing crisis with a hot red rash appearing on the solar plexus area.
Once I got the dose right, I began to see and feel the frequency of each herb with greater accuracy. For many years I used the herbs during chakra/aura healing work, by rubbing them over my hands and allowing the spirit of the plants to guide me. All of this research has now culminated in the creation of 20 Chakra Tonics that align with the chakra meditations and contemplation exercises in the book I’d written years earlier. I hadn’t realised until recently that these two projects were going to merge as one!
For a few months now, I’ve been playing happily with the Chakra Tonics and am delighted with how effective they are. It might take me a bit longer to pull everything together as a full package, but you’re welcome to come have a dabble on the closing down day. Shuffle the Chakra Meditation card deck to find out which Chakra Tonic is right for you, or tell me a little about physical, emotional and psychological challenges you are facing and I can help you choose the right blend, or the right combination of Herbal Chakra Tonic with Aura Spray.
HERBAL STOCK TO CLEAR
I’m about to begin travelling back and forth between Northern NSW and Darwin, which is another reason I’ve wanted to condense or down-size my product range. Being a chakra/aura therapist, I couldn’t resist grouping the ‘herbs for sale’ according to chakras. Each chakra section on the sale day will include liquid herbal ‘singles’ and ‘blends’. Singles are one herb on it’s own, blends are a combination of herbs working together.
In the Brown Base Chakra ‘single herb section for example, I have horsetail, which is rich in minerals, especially silica… a beautiful, earthy herb that builds strength on a musculoskeletal level. Astragalus builds deep strength into the immune system while also improving tone and resilience, being an incredible preventative for colds and flus and a brilliant remedy for prolapse of any kind.
In the blended section for this chakra/colour I have some energy restorative blends, full of herbs that restore depleted adrenal function and help rebuild us when we’ve become run down or are recovering from illness. There’s also a blend of herbs for restoring and strengthening the immune system.
In some chakra sections, there are herbal tablets for sale, and some dried herbs.
If you need a herbalist/naturopath while I’m away, let me introduce you to the lovely Michelle Brown Some of you may remember meeting her when she was apprenticed to me years ago, while completing clinic time for her degree. Michelle is very intuitive and insightful, and shares my passion for holism, both in her whole-person approach to naturopathy and her grasp on the importance of whole-plant synergy and food as medicine.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been testing out my new Wish-Pillows, which are soooo much fun! My inner child really loves them. I keep mine beside the bed and some night I snuggle up with it. I love breathing deep the scent of Schisandra, Shatavari and Rose Petals, while I make my wishes.
Schisandra has a ‘Synchronicity Pink’ frequency to it… for anyone who doesn’t have an Aura Card set, this means it’s a magical herb that helps us to have more faith in (and attunement with) divine timing. And in all the ancient textbooks, Shatavari (wild asparagus), comes with a warning: “Do not use if you don’t want flying dreams’. I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to have flying dreams? Perhaps if you were scared of heights….
…but really, whether or not you have flying dreams isn’t really the point here. The flying dreams are a metaphor for freedom; for rising above what you might otherwise by mired within. Like an eagle looking down from a great height, Shatavari gives us the capacity to let go, step back and see the bigger picture. It’s this letting go, this detachment, that is such an important and often overlooked aspect of reality creating. Intending without releasing is like deciding what you want at a restaurant but forgetting to tell the waiter!
Another oft overlooked aspect of reality-creating, or making good wishes, is the ability to come from the heart. Rose-Petals centre us within the heart chakra and help us tap into the high-frequency positive emotions that help empower intent, like gratitude, forgiveness and unconditional love.
I’m madly packing for the big move at the moment, but hopefully once that’s done I’ll have time to write up the Spell-Scrolls that go with the Wish-Pillows. And me being me, I’ll naturally make sure there is a practical side to all of this, with a quality guided meditation that helps you focus not only on the more esoteric side of making wishes, but the grounded actions you can take to make your dreams a reality.
HOMEOPATHIC EMOTIONAL 1st AID KITS
This small kit of five remedies can be used for emotional emergencies. Gelsenium, for example, is brilliant for performance anxiety, where we freeze up while on stage, speaking publically, or being interviewed for a new job. It’s particularly good for anticipatory anxiety, where we are trembling and having trouble with our breathing because we’re getting ourselves worked up about something we are dreading.
Nat Mur helps us with grieving, where the grieving state has become stuck and unable to resolve itself. Nux Vom is the premier bear-with-sore-head remedy, perfect for terrible hangovers and the grumpiness that comes from burned-out, stressed workaholism. Silicea is for weak boundaries and empathic/emotional over-sensitivity, while Chamomilla is the famous teething remedy, great to use when we are acting like an impossible-to-please child who’s having a tantrum or whinging because we can’t get our own way or we’re in pain. I’ll soon be adding a wee scroll to the kits describing how and when to use each remedy.
BOOKS AND CARDS
The big aura book and most recent Aura Card deck are temporarily unavailable, pending a wee make-over sometime next year. In the meantime, I have a few guidebooks left and have rummaged up some old decks, for various prices depending on whether or not I’ve had to replace missing cards with hand-drawn ones.
There are a few Transformation books left, and plenty of the Flower Spirit card and book set. For more insight into the later, check out my flower spirit site. The flower site features the book and blogs about my wildflower spirit journeys, and the two people who fostered my deep love for wildflowers and wildflower photography, my grandmother Anne and grand uncle Peter, who have both passed away now.
I also have some books to give away on the day of the closing down sale, a mix of old and new, that need good homes. Topics range from the natural environment through to Aboriginal art, with the odd fiction book and magazine thrown in. There’s a laminator, a deck of cards, and so on.
For many years now, my husband and I have been dreaming about ‘what next?’ The conversation started in 2013, after our youngest left home for university, and for a while, the ideas came thick and fast, one crazy idea being replaced with the next. Move to Edinburgh or Prague? Sell up, get a motorhome, and explore Australia? Move to the east coast, or back to Alice? At first, I found the idea of uprooting myself unsettling. Professionally, it would mean starting all over again, or doing something completely different, and I wasn’t quite ready to shed my skin and step out of my comfort zone.
Nor, it seems, was my husband. He became engrossed in a local project, so we stayed put and the dreams took a momentary back seat. When the project came to an end, the ‘what next?’ obsession kicked back in with a vengeance. This time, my husband really was ready. Me? Not so much! And yet, I knew from all the signs and whisperings from Spirit that I was being asked to let go of who I was… to have the courage to lose sight of the shore so that I might discover new horizons. Somehow I made it through last year in one piece, but there were many times I broke down in tears because I was afraid and my husbands enthusiasm was pushing me to my limits. I felt like I was trying to stop him from leaping empty handed into any void he could find whilst simultaneously coaxing myself closer to the edge.
The year started innocently enough, with me finally tackling the unfinished paint-job in the upstairs bathroom. Before I knew it, my husband had arranged for the entire house to be painted professionally… and within a month, the new coat of paint somehow evolved into a complete renovation: kitchen, floors, built-in wardrobes and more. Blink, and I have a new house! My husband certainly doesn’t drag his feet, but I dug mine in fiercely when he started talking about selling up and buying property in places he’d never been to. Tasmania, Tasmania, Tasmania… was the echoing mantra being whispered in my ear. He wanted to be cold. Understandable, when you live in Northern Australia!
We compromised. He promised not to suddenly buy a property he’d never seen in a place he’d never been to and I happily agreed to moving, as long as we could go travelling and get a feel for the places he’d fallen in love with while surfing for properties on-line. Tasmania, it turns out, wasn’t it. Neither was East Gippsland, but we had to go there to work this out. You can read more about this epic 5 week adventure in a series of blogs I wrote on my wildflower site. (Wildflower site? For me, travel = finding wildflowers)
For me, this 5 week journey wasn’t just my favourite adventure so far (it hands down beat all the overseas travel), it made the idea of moving real. Finally I was able to picture myself in a new place, living a new life. Tantalising hints of a new identity and new possibilities coaxed me out of just humouring my husband and holding space for him, into full-blown enthusiasm and hunger for change. Finally we were on the same page, but we both knew that we hadn’t found our new home yet and some financial realities were kicking in; this meant dreaming smaller and thinking outside the square.
Come March, we were off exploring again. My husband had finally relaxed the reins on his relentless mission to ‘get cold’ and we set off on a journey to check out northern NSW. There was one tiny little place Stephen had discovered on the map that just kept calling him back, time and time again, and it was time to meet this beautiful place in person. Enter Nymboida, stage left, dressed in misty cloud and soaked in heavy rain. Gorgeous!
The first property we visited, we left the car on the side of a dirt road and waded thigh-deep through two fast-flowing river crossings in drizzling rain, not game to risk taking the car through, especially given we didn’t know how much higher the rivers were going to rise. Are we going the right way, we wondered? Was the property even within walking distance? The craziness of it all was the best part of the fun. There was no phone reception so we traipsed on, hoping we were taking the correct turns at intersections and then suddenly… there it was!
A charming octagonal wooden house, with the owner smiling as we puffed our way up her steep hill. “You passed the first test!” she called. We had no idea what she meant until she explained that she gets city-goers visiting who think “What a sweet house!” but they have no concept at all about the reality of living remote, getting cut off when the roads flood, the very small power system, the outdoors compost toilet and so on. We were soaked to the bone but the weather hadn’t put us off, which was a good sign in her books. This lovely lady was a feng shui consultant and a healer, in a very down-to-earth kind of way. My kind of person.
We had a warm cup of tea, and then our host gave Stephen a healing because he’d slipped off the edge of one of the river crossings and bruised his thigh. “One of the best healings I’ve ever had,” he declared the next day, surprised at how quickly his body was recovering. We loved this octagonal house because it reminded us of the house my father had wanted to build at Lothlorian, but we were ideally hoping to find larger acreage with more bushland on it.
The next day we went to inspect the second property on our list, bhe real estate agent got us lost. He had no idea, really, where he was going. We were disappointed and dropped him back to his car at the intersection and went exploring in the mountains. On the way back, a car seemed to be following us. Then it began flashing its lights at us. We pulled over and discovered it was the real estate agent, excitedly explaining that he’d worked out where our property was. We went back to the intersection and he climbed into our 4WD and showed us the way.
We thought all our Christmases were coming at once until we got bogged in the very long driveway that led to the block. “Go forwards and try to get up on the bank” said the real estate agent, so we did and became even more deeply wedged in the oozing mud that was hidden beneath a deceptively firm road surface. So began the mammoth task of digging ourselves out. Our first round of rescuers got themselves bogged and unbogged three times before getting anywhere even close to our car. All hail the cable winch, and the friendly locals who helped us!
Being claimed by the bog monster meant staying put much longer than we’d planned, and it was a few days before we managed to get down to the block itself and see it in person. In the meantime, we went to visit a third property. The land itself was stunning, with cliff-face, running streams and adjacent nature reserves. I was in love, but at the same time felt slightly intimidated by the majestic scope of it, and not confident we could convince a bank to finance it.
I pushed that puzzle to the back of my mind and took an impromptu train-ride to Brisbane to do some magic with my sister and daughter, who had pointed out that the three of us were 44, 33 and 22 years old in age, so it might be a good time to do some ancestral family healing (on the 22nd of the 3rd, no less!). By the time I came back, all filled up with sista-love, Stephen had seen the bog-property and encouraged me to take a walk and check it out. He did his best not to seem too excited, because he didn’t want to influence me, but I got the feeling he liked it.
The walk took me up and down through small valleys over little bridges and finally led to a raised area that was cleared, with a tiny little modern hut on it, built top-end style. I felt isolated and nestled in, with trees all around me. There were no people-sounds, just birds singing and the wind blowing through the trees. The block had been cleared some 40 years earlier and this fit nicely with my dream of protecting native land and/or rehabilitating damaged land. More than anything, there was a feeling of being home; some special, indescribable something that went ‘click’. When I came back and told Stephen what I’d felt, he told me he’d felt it too.
Fast forward to now, and we are packing up the home we have lived in for the past 19 years and I am loving every moment that takes me a step closer to a new life. August 2017 will be my last month of work in our Palmerston home, with a closing down sale on the 2nd of September. Then we will be driving off into the sunset, for some retreat time at our new Nymboida home, which we are affectionately dubbing ‘Lothlorien Valley’. While we are there, I’m hoping to finish the biography I’ve been writing about my great uncle Peter, famous for his plant walks at the Rock and his role in the Western Desert Art Movement in the early 70’s. Sadly, Peter passed away recently.
We’ll be back in the new year, ready for business as usual at a new premises in Darwin (location yet to be announced). I might be able to do some Skype work before I get back, but I can’t make any promises! And come sept-oct next year, we’ll most likely drive off into the sunset and do it all over again… retreat no 2, another biography, another happy Om returning to work in Darwin in the new year with batteries recharged.
I just got through two paragraphs, reading a blog about relationships, and suddenly realised my husband and I have been together for almost 27 years. “Why are we so happy with each other, so happy together?” my husband asked me earlier today. I shrugged. “We’ve worked on it. Most people don’t.” I sincerely believe relationships are an art that needs to be practised, a skill-set that can be developed, like anything else in the world.
That might not sound incredibly romantic, but if grounded pragmatism bores you I can broaden the scope and tell you that I also believe my husband and I dreamed each other into being, beginning in childhood. We already ‘knew’ each other before we met. We were brought together by a star that has kept us orientated on one another, so we don’t lose out bearings. But that stuff is our private magic, the sacred stories we share in the right moment at the right time, around a campfire with friends.
Let me tell you instead about the practical magic I feel can be applied to any relationship to help it bloom and flourish, and seeing as most of what I’ve learned I’ve learned from my husband, I’d better check in with him and convey to you what he thinks are the secrets behind a good relationship. But he’s watching the football now, so I’ll let him soak up that joy while I immerse myself in the bliss of the written word and I’ll ask him when he comes to tell me about the game.
My husband and I have learned that you have to meet each other half way. You aren’t in a relationship if you aren’t willing to do this, you are just pretending. Relationships are about compromise and negotiation, about being prepared to give a bit because you love the other person and what you have together. Half way. That means don’t be a stubborn pain the neck, and or let the other person act like a spoiled brat. Love doesn’t do that. Love cares about itself AND the other person.
Find a middle ground, or take turns. It really is that simple. You aren’t right all the time. Neither are you wrong all the time. You can’t have what you want all the time, but neither should you constantly sacrifice your needs like some heroic martyr. The beautiful thing is, that when two people love each other, beyond speaking up to express your needs and feelings (with kindness and respect), you don’t usually have to argue your position much or fight for what you need, because the one who loves you will hear you and meet you half way, at the very least, just as you will do for them.
Good relationships are about kindness. My husband and I don’t always agree, but we have learned to argue (debate) with kindness, and with respect for one another. We don’t tear each other to shreds, but we do express hurt, disappointment, frustration and so on. You can do all of that without fighting dirty. Don’t do or say what you will regret later. Don’t damage the relationship, because arguments are just arguments. They pass.
And it helps to have a wee bit of a sense of humour. It truly can be hilarious when you realise you’ve heard it all before (your own carry on) and your partner is finding clever, light-hearted ways to point this out to you.
My husband finished the game. I just asked him what the secrets to a good relationship are. “Having fun together. I could give you an entire list. Sharing experiences together. Having children together. Travel…. I think honestly is important. That means being able to be yourself and letting each other be who you are. You find you mould each other into perfection anyway, in the end.”
Anyway, that’s his wisdom for now, and mine, because now we’ve got some great conversations to have together.
Another thoroughly enjoyable work week is wrapping up. In a way, it all started on Monday, the public holiday, with a scrumptious Skype catch up with my Aunty Kay. Kay and I are both passionate about learning, growing and creating tools that help others, and we spent some of our conversation finding ways to help each other take another step deeper into our passion. Kay has an amazing card set she made called the ‘Playground of Possibilities’ which she used to help me, and I used my Aura Cards to help her. Funnily enough, our questions were essentially about how to take our card sets to the next level.
The card Kay pulled for me from her deck was “What would be possible for me if I did it, even if I felt afraid?” which I thought was hilariously apt, given I’d just the week prior running a couple of workshops on “Finding Courage” and was busily recording courage-based meditation resources for my students and clients. The Universe always arranges for us to be in the right place at the right time, huh? Here is a link to a blog that shows you how Courage and Synchronicity appear to me visually when I am reading the aura (keeping in mind the colours for me are multi-dimensional, with movement, layers, sparkle, etc… and that’s just on the visual level!).
This question was really helpful for me because it helped me to realise that my feeling of overwhelm in regards to the smorgasbord of creative projects I have in front of me was a form of fear. I was afraid I didn’t know where to start, afraid that I was going to drown, somehow, in all the noise and chaos of possibilities and end up treading water without swimming towards any definable outcome. Talking with Kay I made a few decisions. First was that I needed to create some vision-boards; I needed to map out the various projects in a visual way so I could see them clearly and see the steps that needed to be taken. My original question had been ‘where do I start?’ and the answer that came to me was that I just need to have all the projects laid out in front of me with their sequential steps mapped out so I can float between them. I’m always at my best when I allow my inner child to take the lead, and she LOVES floating between projects. As soon as I get bored or tired, I change gears and it keeps me fresh and inspired.
I had plenty of clients and personal business to take care of on Tuesday and Wednesday so I didn’t get a chance to do my mapping until yesterday and oh my goddess did I have fun doing it! I went through some recent diaries I had handy and pulled out all the pages that were covered in creative-ideas brainstorming, and I collected all the loose leaf pages covered in the same that were floating about, and proceeded to wrestle them into line. The night before, during one of the many soul-quenching conversations I can never seem to get enough of with my husband of 27 years, we realised that an older vision we’d had for the colour books would fit perfectly with some of my more recent ideas. Light-bulbs were exploding in my mind. My husband, bless him, quickly grabbed paper and pen and waited patiently while it all poured out of me.
It’s hard to describe, but I suddenly realised I’d been thinking about it all wrong. It felt like my brain was now looking at the puzzle from a horizontal, rather than a vertical perspective. Instead of columns of separate projects, I was now seeing the interconnected links between them… I was seeing rows that connected the columns together. So now I have the beginnings of a master plan!
Aside from creative-project planning, my week with clients has been a particularly rewarding one. It makes me so happy when I see a client for their one-month follow up and they tell me their anxiety evaporated after our last session. It’s also lovely to see clients I haven’t seen for a few years, seamlessly picking up where we left off, as though no time has passed. I’ve seen quite a few children and teenagers this week, and it has struck me again, how important personal space is for our young ones. They are often overloaded with stimuli from school and then again at home with noisy siblings and shared bedrooms. No wonder they have trouble winding down, finding stillness and sleeping. A lack of personal space is particularly stressful for introverts. As an introvert myself, I very much understand this need for privacy and time out.
I really enjoyed doing an aura sketch on site for a client. Two things about the sketching amaze me. First is that I get to the end of my 60-90 minute long speech and ask “Are there any questions you might have had that the sketch didn’t answer for you?” 98% of people say no! How incredible is that?! The second thing that amazes me is that even though I bumped the on-site price up to $190.00, and am offering a Skype version for $150 and an emailed version for $120, most clients are still opting for the on site version. It wasn’t until I had my back injury and was taken out of action for a while that I realised just how much energy it requires to do my thing, as a psychic. And of all the services I offer, the aura sketching is the most energy intensive. It took a long time before I was able to offer this service again and this has helped me see that I was undercharging. For similar reasons, I’ve bumped the Spirit Guide Sketch up to $200 and can only do one of these per month. Have you seen the spirit guide sketches? Here’s one of my favourites:
I have some clients who have recently begun working with me weekly, because they are going through difficult times and really need the support, or they are highly committed to their personal growth. I’m seriously considering putting a cap on how many people I do this with at any one time, because there’s only so many spaces I have available every week. The booking load is in a nice space at the moment: only about two weeks in advance. I’m working on setting up some booking-rules so that Skype and distant clients are given priority, because I’m still very determined to get a significant portion of my business on-line.
My husband and I have just become the proud owners of a beautiful 100 acres of land in a little place in northern NSW called Nymboida, and we are hoping to transition into a lifestyle where we come and go every six months, between Darwin and Nymboida. My local Darwin clients who get their heads around the value of distant work will still be able to work with me while I’m away, and I’m putting some hard yakka into streamlining some efficient on-line products and services to make this even easier.
Anyway, I think that’s enough yabbering from me for one week! I’ll write with another update soon.
My father died when I was 15 years old and the upside to the funeral was discovering uncles and aunties I didn’t know I had. We lost contact for a while afterwards, but in the last few years they have been popping back up in my life again and we are about to have our first family reunion since the funeral. I’ve been having visions of medicine wheels a lot in the past week and this visit seems like a medicine wheel in and of itself, with my father’s four siblings each coming from a different direction: one from southern Australia, one from Western Australia, one from eastern Australia and one from Hong Kong.
It’s been amazing to discover the parallels in our lives; the mutual interests and skills in particular. I’m sure I’ll discover more about them and myself during the reunion but in the meantime I would like to introduce you to my Aunty Kay who lives in Hong Kong. Aunty Kay loves words and writing just like me, and she is passionate about using creativity and storytelling in healing, just like me!
Kay is a marketing consultant, editor, copywriter, healer and performer with over 30 years experience in these fields. She is also the Head Tour Guide in The Playground of Possibilities. The common thread that links all three of her passions (marketing, performing and healing) is: Storytelling – the stories that people tell themselves and the world, about themselves and the world. So Kay helps people to find, craft and tell juicier, more resourceful stories about their past, present and future.
So Kay! Tell me a story! I would love to hear how the idea of the “Life is a Playground of Possibilities” workshop came into being. Have you run this workshop before, or is the session on April 23rd in Hong Kong the first one?
I’ve run it three times. Before I went to the conference of the International Applied Improvisation Network in Montreal last September, I did a beta-test version of the workshop with 12 friends here in Hong Kong. I asked them to volunteer as guinea pigs and I did it for them for free. Most of them were life coaches or people who were interested in personal development and healing. None of them were improvisers. They absolutely loved it!
Then I went and presented it at the conference in Montreal, twice, because there was a demand for me to do it a second time. Now I’m going to be offering it here in Hong Kong as a public workshop, on April 23rd, and then in Darwin on May 9th.
Exciting! So are there stories you can tell me from one of the workshops you’ve done so far? Did any beautifully touching moments or magic unfold?
Yes! One of the participants at the Montreal conference had a lovely experience. One of the improvisation games we played in that workshop is my version of a very famous improvisation exercise called The Story Spine. It’s also a very good writing exercise too. It’s an 8-sentence story structure devised by an improvisor named Kenn Adams. Each sentence starts with a very particular phrase and each one is different. It’s the classic, mythological, archetypal story structure that starts with “once upon a time”. (See Appendix 1 below)
I adapted the exercise to fit more with the philosophy of The Playground of Possibilities, where we transform people’s stories from an old, limiting belief or story to a more more resourceful, useful one. We did that exercise a couple of times as a group, with people standing in a circle. One person would stand in the middle of the circle and would share a true limiting, unresourceful thought or belief or story that they have about themselves. Let’s say the person in the middle was called John, and his limiting belief was “I’m not good enough”. The person in the circle who starts the story would say “Once upon a time, John believed that he wasn’t good enough.” Then the next person in the circle would improvise the next sentence, and so on around the circle until all eight sentences have been spoken. Along the way we’d see the transformation of John’s belief and John’s life, from the limiting belief into something more useful. The people in the circle don’t even have to know John very well, they just make up the story as they go around the circle.
The final time we did this exercise was amazing. I don’t remember what the person’s old belief was, but by the time we got to the last sentence in the story, everybody in the circle was almost in tears. It was so beautiful! The way the last person finished the story was so magical that everybody was touched. And to see how that landed with the person in the middle of the circle was so moving. His story was being told in a new way and he could suddenly see what was possible for him.
That was the highlight of the conference for me.
Thank you! That really does bring it to life!
Well to make it even better, we were standing outside on the grass on a beautiful warm sunny day, right next to a playground. It was perfect!
One of the coaches who came along to my test run in Hong Kong said at the end of the workshop that she thought she had been coming along just to do me a favour, and she was so grateful because she got a huge amount out of it for herself that she wasn’t expecting.
So tell me, how did your concept The Playground of Possibilities come about?
It was a long time in gestation. I’ve been studying personal development and healing and reading about quantum physics and the nature of reality for many years. I’m fascinated by these topics and over the years I kept hearing about concepts such as “the quantum field”. Different people give it different names like “the field”. And then I heard a podcast by Pam Grout, who referred to it as “the field of possibilities” (see Appendix 5). I thought this phrase described it better, but it still didn’t seem quite right to me.
What is this field?
It’s a field of energy, the energy that we are all part of. Sometimes I can feel it in my cells and I can feel that I’m connected via this field to the entire Universe. Being connected with it, my thoughts and words are sending out vibrations that are connecting with, affecting and being affected by the vibrations of the Universe. And when I do this consciously, my life flows better.
I sometimes say to people that I can’t absolutely prove that there’s a God or a higher intelligence or a higher power. All I know is that when I behave as if there is, my life flows with more ease and grace and joy.
Beautiful! I get the sense as you speak that this is raw creative energy and you are describing the process of shaping this raw creative energy into building blocks, grounding the energy into physical reality with your words and beliefs and stories.
Yes! Out there in this field of energy, the Universe is offering us infinite possibilities to choose from and it’s up to us to choose. The universe wants give to us. But it’s not just about dreaming and imagining or even saying affirmations. We have to make choices and take action. In this physical world we have to physically take action and take responsibility for our choices.
Another factor was a workshop I did several years ago in Tucson, Arizona. It was a marketing/branding workshop with a focus on personal and spiritual development, bringing heart and soul into your marketing. In one of the exercises we did we were asked to draw a picture. I don’t remember the exact instructions we were given but I drew what felt like the entrance way into a fairground. It was a very basic childlike drawing because I’m no artist. In the picture the entrance was an archway made out of a rainbow, and I wrote on it “Welcome to the Adventure Playground”.
I kept the picture. It stayed in the back of my mind and then about 3 years ago now, it all came together and the phrase “Playground of Possibilities” popped into my mind. I like the alliteration. Almost immediately I thought “Oh! I want to make a deck of cards.” This was the first manifestation of my idea that I thought would be perfect and not too difficult to do. So I sat down on my living-room couch and started writing questions that began “What would be possible for me if I…..” for people to ask themselves.
I wanted it to be a deck of 52 cards. In what felt like a download from the Universe I frantically jotted down 52 questions and every day since then I keep thinking of more questions.
I’ve noticed that! Every day something inspires a new question in you.
Yes! Those questions that I post up every day on Facebook and Twitter are questions that have been inspired by something in my life, something I’ve read, something I’ve heard…sometimes I repeat questions from the past but that’s okay because they’re still relevant.
After I wrote the original 52 questions I drew the picture of me on the swing with the rainbow, to use on the cards. I printed the sketch onto the cards and then coloured them in by hand. Then I typed up the text for the questions. I handmade the prototype card deck and had the cards laminated so that I could start showing people the concept. And everyone who has seen the deck and picked a question loves it. Now I’m planning to do a crowdfunding campaign to get the cards designed and printed.
And why is the word “playground” so meaningful for you?
Because life is meant to be fun! And playful! And bringing that childlike innocence and joy into your life and having playmates around you to play with. And being physical. So it’s not just a mental thing; it’s very much about being very aware of what’s going on in your body physically and emotionally. It’s about not just living in your head; its also listening to the messages from your body and breathing and moving and dancing and singing or whatever you need to do to build up your vibration. Because that is the vibration that’s going out into the Universe. And other people sense that.
And improvisation? Can you tell me more about this as a therapeutic tool?
Improvisation helps us to step boldly into the unknown, to embrace that uncertainty, and to trust that everything will work out. The improvisation journey will take you somewhere you didn’t expect and it will probably be better than anything you could have planned and scripted yourself. The number-one principle of improv is “Yes, and”, which is about saying yes to the possibilities being offered to you by the Universe or your fellow players, and building on them.
Another key principle is “Make your teammates look good”. It’s all about playing as a team-member.
When we go through life with an improvisational mindset, we make bold choices, take action, make our teammates look good, say yes to the offers, step into the unknown even in the absence of complete information and trust that it’s all going to be okay. These are the principles I apply to my daily life, and I find that they make my life and business work better.
Thank you so much! I love looking at the connection between what you might learn from a creative skill or sacred play, and how this can be applied in a practical way to improving your actual life.
I’ve been performing with my current improv team here in Hong Kong for about eight years now and I very quickly realised that the improv principles absolutely apply in my everyday life and my business. It’s helped me to be more open to opportunities and trust that everything is going to be okay. It also makes me a better team-member because it’s never about one person being the star of the show and being in the spotlight. What I love about the “Make your team-mates look good” principle is that when I do that for them, I’m also trusting that they’re doing the same for me. If we all lived and worked like that then life would work so much better.
And when I go through life with the “Yes, and” philosophy my life works better. “Yes, and” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to like or agree with everything that’s happening, what it means is that you accept that it is happening.
Yes, because once you accept reality you can get on with working constructively with what you’ve got. Is there anything else you would like to add to this interview before we wrap up?
Yes I’d like to reassure people who might be thinking about coming along to the workshop that it’s not about teaching them to get up on stage and be improv performers. We will use some improv games and processes that help us transform our stories about ourselves and the world, but you don’t need any improv or acting experience at all to attend the workshop.
Thank you so much! I’m looking forward to it!
Note from Om: Here are some extra resources:
Appendix 1 : The Story Spine exercise
Kay has a short video (2m 36s) in which she explains the “Story Spine” exercise. The 8-sentence Story Spine structure (devised by improviser Kenn Adams) goes like this:
Once upon a time, … [You set the scene.]
And every day, … [You establish the current “normal”.]
Until one day, … [Drama/conflict – an inciting incident that breaks the usual routine.]
And because of that, … [The consequences.]
And because of that, … [Further consequences.]
And because of that, … [Further consequences.]
Until finally, … [The climax.]
And ever since then, … [Resolution. The new normal.]
Kay did a 27-minute radio interview in Hong Kong on April 15 about her “Life is a Playground of Possibilities” concept, her card deck and the upcoming workshop. Here’s the recording.
Appendix 4 : Kay talking about feedback from workshop attendees (Montreal)
One woman at the conference whose husband did my workshop came up to me later and said “You’re a legend!” And one participant at the conference who didn’t even do my workshop commented on my “litupness” (she said that meant charisma). Wow!
Over the following few months, one woman who did the workshop wrote to me with several comments:
“Collective magic, under your careful guidance, at work! What a lovely thing to participate in!” (She posted that on Facebook.)
“The work you do and the person that you are exemplifies the thriving life and future I imagine and aspire to.”
“This was my top workshop from the AIN conference.”
“This was a *great* workshop! And a lovely story spine experience. It really helped us see how shifts in our beliefs can shift our lives.”
One man wrote: “I very much liked your workshop.”
Another woman wrote: “Working with you at the Circus School and also taking your workshop gave me my most gratifying conference experiences.” The day before the conference officially started, some of us participated in a half-day “Learning Journey” where we visited several circus-related organisations in Montreal, including Cirque du Soleil and the national circus school of Canada – a teacher and some students at that school led us in a basic skills workshop. I did a lovely pairs exercise with the woman who wrote that comment.
Appendix 5 : More about the Field of Possibilities
Excerpt: “It all starts with intent, the force that lies behind everything. It’s the energy, the fuel, the electric charge that sets up a resonant field and sends out probability waves into the FP (field of possibility). Esther Hicks, who facilitates the Abraham-Hicks material, calls it “launching a rocket of desire.” “Giving it attention adds mass.”
And it’s Deepak Chopra who uses the phrase “the field of potential”.
Appendix 6 : The philosophy behind The Playground of Possibilities, by Kay Ross
The True Spirit of the Playground of Possibilities work is
to invite people into the ease, grace, joy, curiosity and freedom
that come from
Knowing that life is a playground of possibilities,
Tapping into the energy and vibrations of the Universe,
Transforming the stories they tell about themselves and the world,
Improvising new, more resourceful ways of being,
Being grateful for the abundance of choices that are open to them,
Acting boldly on their choices,
Taking responsibility for their choices,
Surrendering to the safety of the loving embrace of a Universe
that is conspiring on their behalf,
full of people and forces that want the best for them,
Feeling blessed by the support of their playmates, and
Trusting that even if they don’t know exactly how,
things will unfold even better than they could have imagined.