Spiritual Awakening

March Energy Update: a Southern Hemisphere Perspective

It’s sometimes hard for me in the Southern Hemisphere, when I watch YouTube clips about what is going on in the world, to apply it to us Down Under. Most of the clips I see are from people in the US and they often talk about the seasons and how this affects the energy. This puts me off a bit, because we are always back the front.

It gets me wondering about the validity of the information for us down here. If they are talking about going into Spring and the excitement about the impending Summer, how does that translate to us if we are going into Autumn?

This happened in the clip I watched yesterday morning. It was Victor Oddo’s March energy update and he immediately went on about the seasonal shifts for them. I wanted to turn it off then and there, but I decided to accept what my ego was telling me and listen instead to my higher self and watch on.

Turns out he had a lot of good information and this is how it applies to me:

  1. Creating your reality: I am actually doing this more. I am choosing to see things from a different perspective, accept that I don’t know the truths people are acting from and deciding to do what makes me happy. This is creating my reality. No longer am I bound by my ego’s impressions and perceptions of the world and it feels great!
  2. Learning lessons faster: this one I have already talked about, but it doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. Situations are now coming up thick and fast and I am getting the lessons quicker and quicker, it’s kind of overwhelming. I do need to spend a lot of time alone to ensure they assimilate and that I don’t get too overwhelmed. I have to allow myself a ‘time out’. That part is about self-care.
  3. Learning to be more compassionate and forgiving: definitely this one. And in the public school system, it is a must! Teenagers do a lot of things on impulse and lack of understanding and it is important to forgive them and be compassionate towards them, especially if they come from a certain demographic. A lot of people forget this and judge them too harshly, myself included in the past. But more generally, I am finding I am more aware that I have no idea what is going on in the lives of other people. As an empath, I do have to be careful of how close I get, but that doesn’t stop me from showing or having compassion for that person and holding space. This is definitely something that is happening right now.
  4. Opportunity to be a masterful manifester: this one I have also blogged about before and I am sure continues to happen, there’s just not a lot that I need right now! I am totally trusting that the universe will provide what I need. Though it is a powerful reminder to let things go. I still haven’t got my flights booked for Cambodia next month. I was starting to freak out a bit and see if I could borrow some money to buy them soon as I don’t want to pay thousands for them when I can book them. This I will now leave to Spirit to guide me to – some cheap flights with a direct flight one way and a long layover in Singapore the other way, at a time where I can get out and enjoy the town!
  5. Looking after you health: this one I think links to our health and the realisation of our own inner soul and the importance of looking after the vessel it’s in. This has also been on my mind. I have been experiencing some IBS symptoms for quite some time now and I have finally got the ball rolling to see what’s actually going on in there. I need this body to be healthy so I am at optimal capacity to do my work, what I came here to do. Now more than ever, I realise the importance of looking after this meat suit so that I can have a long and happy life, and also have more time on this earth to do the work I am here to do.

So, it seems it still fits perfectly. It will be interesting to see what happens closer to winter, as we truly start to wind down and the Northerners start to ramp up for Summer.

What I do know from this is that my ego is getting quieter and my higher/true self is becoming stronger. I could have stayed in my ego, turned the clip off and not learned what I have, but my higher self spoke louder and it paid off!

If you want to hear his words for yourself and see how they relate to you, please follow the link above. I haven’t had a look at other forecasts as yet, but feel free to add any links to people you resonate with on YouTube below! I am always happy to share the knowledge!

Namaste 🕉

Spiritual Awakening

The Holier-Than-Thou Effect: overcoming self-righteousness.

We’ve all been there. At least once. It usually comes from something we’ve learned about ourselves, the world or spirituality.

We understand immediately that not everyone else knows this, or comes close to seeing it, and some of us start to feel superior. As if we are part of a secret club that is separate from and better than everyone else. We start preaching to people about how this truth will change their lives.

For others, including myself, this feeling of separation leads to intense loneliness. In an attempt to overcome this, we start trying to help people by preaching our truth to them, hoping they too see what we see and come and join us.

This is what I call the Holier-than-thou Effect. The self-righteous behaviour and attitudes that are the result of feelings of separateness or superiority through our own personal growth and healing.

The main behaviour sees us preaching our ‘holier-than-thou’ truth to all and sundry. We see that other people are struggling and, out of a desire to help, start providing unsolicited advice about what they should do to help themselves.

This is the key, it is unsolicited. We take it upon ourselves to point out what we see about other people’s behaviours and attitudes and how they are blocking them from reaching their full potential.

And we value our advice. It came from years of experience. What better advice is there than from someone who has ‘been there, done that’?

But our advice falls on deaf ears. We become frustrated at our thwarted attempts to help these people. We question over and over why they can’t see what is plainly and clearly in front of them, sometimes within them. We don’t understand why they just don’t accept what we are telling them and commit to our suggestions for moving forward.

The truth is that what worked for us, and hopefully continues to do so, worked because we are who we are. It worked because we were ready to hear the message. It worked because we were ready to do the work.

What worked for us may not work for other people, because they come with their own unique set of programs, patterns and experiences. Reiki changed my life. That doesn’t guarantee that it will for my neighbour. Essential oils have helped me with so many physical and emotional issues. That doesn’t guarantee it will for my sister. Being vegan changed my life and allowed me to fully accept and love myself for who I am. That doesn’t mean it will for my best friend.

These things worked because they are igniting a part of who I am. They are tapping into my own individual soul’s vibration and unlocking the blocks to my own happiness. It is my own recipe for peace.

Someone else’s recipe might be kinesiology, nutrition, counselling, theta healing, crystals, angelic reiki, past life regression work, dance, Kundalini work, medication, art therapy, yoni massage, yoga, Zumba, chakra clearing… The list goes on.

What worked for us may not work for someone else.

Being self-righteous and preaching our truth to people who don’t want to or aren’t ready to listen only drives a bigger and bigger wedge between them and us. In some cases this wedge becomes that large we can no longer reach each other.

We must learn to wait until they come to us. We must be patient and compassionate with people who we know are clearly in need of healing. They must come to the path of their healing journey on their own. We must also accept that they may never be ready.

All we need to do is hold space for them when they are ready.

Spiritual Awakening

Veganism and Spiritual Awakening

I have recently celebrated my first vegan anniversary, my Veganniversary. It has and continues to be an interesting journey.

There were a few things I expected to change. I expected to shed kilos. I expected my palette to change over time. I expected to have more energy, although this last has been sporadic for reasons that will become clear shortly. I expected to experience better overall health.

Other things happened that I wasn’t expecting. The negative reactions to my choice. The amount of ‘assumptions’ I had about diet. That people continue to accept these assumptions, despite my best efforts to the contrary. The judgement both inside and outside of the vegan community.

Most of all I wasn’t expecting the spiritual side of me to gain momentum. I have been on a spiritual journey for at least 5 years, intentionally cultivating my skills and growing as a person. Not in all that time have I had such profound and fast changes inside of myself and with my skills.

These are some areas in my spiritual life that have changed in the last 12 months:

  1. Becoming more sensitive to energies and emotions: I have always been highly sensitive, an empath. I had just learned, through years of bullying and being told I’m too sensitive, to shut it down. Now, since removing animal products from my diet, it’s all flooding back to the surface. I am way more sensitive than I ever knew, which certainly brings its own challenges. Despite this, I feel that now I am filling my body with high energy foods, my channels have opened up further and I am becoming way more aware and sensitive to energies.
  2. Quicker Manifestation: Along with this comes the other amazing characteristics of a spiritually awakened life – manifestation. I am manifesting things so much quicker these days! Obviously the smaller the desire, the easier it is to come to you, but I am manifesting sometimes within hours! I am vibrating at a higher rate, which is allowing all the positive things I always wanted to come to me. They are now attracted to me, rather than being repelled.
  3. Accelerated Personal Growth: This is perhaps the negative or lesser known side of manifestation – manifesting situations that trigger your crap to be healed! When events or situations occur now though, I am getting the lessons quicker. This is allowing me to move forward at a much faster pace, which means the lessons also come quicker. My brain is not foggy anymore, so I can see my own patterns and behaviours much clearer. I have released so much this last 12 months, and as I continue to delve deeper into the onion of my inner self, I become stronger and stronger, able to deal with the really deep, traumatic stuff. This has lead to me being sick for most of the last 12 months and experiencing bouts of low motivation and fatigue. As I release the emotions, trauma or patterns there is a physiological reaction as the energy leaves, usually cold or flu like symptoms, headaches and general lethargy. Then I get a nice break for a few weeks where I am walking tall!
  4. Increased Intuition: My intuition has really kicked in, stronger than ever before. It is not being dampened by negative or lower energy foods, so it is able to get my attention more. I am still working on the habit of rationalising my nudges and learning to trust it, but I am able to hear it clearer in the first place and that’s a huge step for me.
  5. Deeper Meditations: I have been meditating for a few years now and have had some amazing experiences. None of them prepared me for what most often happens now. I don’t go anywhere or see anything much anymore, I used to go on some amazing adventures with dinosaurs and fairies and the like. Now, I mostly just sit in the energy and listen to the music. What is deeper is the change after I meditate. I immediately notice the change in my own energy, even after a short 15 minute meditation. Now that I am not clogging my body with low energy or processed foods, my meditations have a more profound effect on my energy, clearing away negativity and promoting higher increases in my vibration than ever before. I feel so much more calm and at peace after a meditation and I am totally grateful and happily surprised by this change.

I hope I have explained this last one effectively. All of these changes have lead me to a deeper connection to myself and Spirit, whether it be my guides, angels, deity or whatever the reality of Source actually is. I feel way more connected in general and I can only attribute it to the change in diet. Doreen Virtue talked years ago, in a book I can no longer remember the title to, about the negative effect of meat on your vibration, I just didn’t think it could be this amazing.

Please, if you have experienced similar or different changes, I would love to hear about them. 😁

Good luck and happy vibration raising!!

Spiritual Awakening

Practising the Art of Surrender

When you start your journey of personal growth, one of the first things people tell you is to ‘surrender’. ‘Let it go’. ‘Hand it over to spirit/god/angels/insert-your-chosen-deity-here’.

As if it was as easy as brushing your teeth.

For me, it was far from easy, or simple.

I struggled for years with this concept. Even read books about it. Letting Go: The Path to Surrender by David R. Hawkins was one such tome. A couple hundred pages about just letting shit go. Sounds simple right? Nope… not for this little control freak!!

(It was a good read despite my lack of comprehension and application of the core message, so if you struggle with surrender, give it a go!)

I just couldn’t figure it out. How was I supposed to let go of something I couldn’t physically hold on to in the first place? How do I surrender my goals to this unknown yet totally powerful force? What is it that one actually does? How do I let shit go?

You don’t have to do anything

This was my first big lesson. As a ruling 4 who lived almost entirely out of her masculine self, total Knight of Wands type, I always felt I had to do something. Turns out the exact opposite is required here.

Don’t do anything. Just be. It took Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, to help me understand the art of being. I didn’t have to do anything, just be. Bring myself to the present and ask myself the question ‘what do I have to do right now?’ Or ‘what is my biggest problem right now?’ More often than not, the answer was ‘nothing’.

This was the first step to understanding the art of surrender.

Stop trying to figure it out

This one was always a problem for me. My natural go to default is to try and figure it out. As a ruling 4, I thrive on working out the principles and mechanics behind something. ‘Show me how it works and I’ve got it!’ Or ‘tell me why and I’ll understand!’ This just doesn’t work for some things. Especially surrender. There are no mechanics, no moving parts, no major principles to be understood. It is a complete and simple concept right from the outset. Let go.

I suppose one component could be ‘don’t worry’, but that just brought a whole host of other questions along with it. Namely ‘how?’ How does one ‘not worry?’ And for a Reiki Master, you’d think I’d have this one sorted by now, right? ‘Just for today I will not worry.’ Yea, right! Turns out Being is a good answer for this one too.

Acceptance is key

I had to learn this one the long way around. It wasn’t until I explained it to a friend that I realised I understood it and was able to assimilate it. Stop trying to force things into being. Stop trying to make things the way you think they should be. See things as they are and accept them. The time will come for you to change them, but often you can’t because they involve other people who are as stubborn as you are! Or more so!!

Again, bring yourself back to this question: ‘what do I have to do right now?’ And if there’s an answer, great! Do it. If not, just be.

Maybe another way to word the question would be ‘what can I do right now?’ This one helps with decisions that have been made for which you don’t have a clear path. This one I have used a lot in the last few weeks. Stable work was suddenly turned back into unstable work and I started to see other possibilities for my future. I also started to worry about finding money for my Cambodia trip that needs to be paid for in 2 weeks. I had spent all my savings through the school holidays on sea kayaks, tattoos and yoga retreats and I was counting on this stable job to get me there.

I had to bring myself back to the present by asking myself ‘what can I do about it right now?’ ‘Nothing’ was, and still is, the response. At least until next pay day when it becomes ‘pay off the trip’, at which point I will do. Until then, I will do ‘nothing’.

In the meantime, I have to accept that I no longer had a stable income and that there was not a damn thing I could do to change it. There are no jobs going this early in the year. I’ll accept the 4 weeks notice they have to give me for the end of my contract and do my best to do what I need to with that. I’ll accept my trip for whatever it turns out to be. Even if I have to watch what I spend while I’m there.

Practise, not Practice

The basic idea with surrender is to accept what is, be present and stop trying to figure it out.

It is something you have to work on every moment. It becomes easier to catch yourself, but you will always have to ask yourself those questions to bring you back to the present.

This is why ‘practise’ is a verb, not a noun. Surrender is something that becomes part of your daily practise. It is something you may never be perfect at, but you can be perfect in the attempt.

The weirdest part of all of this is the subtlety of the lessons. There was no big flash of insight. No bright light smacking me in the forehead and downloading the information. No booming voice.

Just a series of small events that provided pieces of the puzzle that eventually just fit.

It wasn’t until two events in January that I realised I had surrendered.

The first was the drenched tent at my yoga retreat. I was totally calm throughout the whole ‘ordeal’, whereas a couple of months ago I would have been a dramatic mess! The answer to ‘What do I have to do right now?’ was ‘fix the tent pegs, because the outer layer is touching the inner layer allowing water to get in easier’. Camping 101.

So, I fixed it, despite the pouring rain. Later the answer became ‘sleep in a dry place’ and I went and asked one of the retreat guests if I could stay in her room.

Then it became ‘dry my mattress and get protective tarps in case it happens again.’ You get the picture. I surrendered to what was, allowing me to easily find solutions to the problem.

The second was the job thing I mentioned earlier. Even as I write this the answer is still ‘nothing. Just go to work until your contract officially ends.’ I have to stop trying to figure out what losing the job means in terms of me moving to another line of work. Is it time? Does this mean it’s meant to be? What is spirit’s plan? I am still falling into the ‘I have to work it out and have a plan’ pattern. Apparently it’s a process. One that I am determined to follow through to the end.

Whatever. Que sera, sera.

 

Spiritual Awakening

Loneliness and Spiritual Awakening

There is a lot of information out there about the loneliness phase of the spiritual awakening process. If you don’t know what these two things are and how they are connected, go to YouTube and put ‘loneliness’ and ‘spiritual awakening’ in the search and take your pick! Don’t worry, I’ll be here when you get back! 😁

So, the loneliness phase. I went through it, and pretty much all of the people who write about spiritual awakening have as well. We survived it. So will you.

For me, the hardest part was the feeling that I didn’t fit anymore. Who am I kidding? I never let like I fit! But it’s even more evident now as I look around the world and observe people.

The more I awaken to my true self, the more people in everyday situations don’t interact with me. The more I shine my light, the more people shy away.

I kind of had an inkling about why this is, but this morning it just hit me like a tonne of bricks. Ok, maybe not that hard. More like a pillow in the face. Subtle, but you know it’s there. And the feeling lingers.

People don’t interact with you when you’re whole, because they can no longer get anything from you.

This is why some friendships die off. In essence, you no longer feed into their control drama, so they avoid you. Sometimes these friendships will end in an explosion of anger and tears, other times they’ll just die off like a fire with no kindling. Either way, you end up alone.

People can not get your energy, nor give you theirs, because you are filling up from a different source, Source itself. You are no longer on the hamster wheel of energetic exchange, and people don’t know how to cope. So, they avoid you all together.

This can be lonely, but also liberating in that you are totally free to be you.

It also leaves enough time and space in your life for those people who can handle your energy. Who vibrate at the same frequency. Who will shine and grow with you, rather than try and keep you at their level.

If you’re going trough this, just know it won’t last forever. My advice is to learn to be your own best friend. This way you are never alone.

I also hope that this revelation helps you to understand what is happening on a deeper level. You might be totally aware of what is going on with you, but understanding people’s changing reactions can help soften the blow.

We just need to keep reminding ourselves to have compassion – for them and for ourselves. We are going through a major change and need to go easy on ourselves. The people around us are often still asleep, and they need our compassion, for they know not what they do, or why.

Just don’t get back on the hamster wheel. You’ve come too far to turn back now!

Spiritual Awakening

Masculinity in the 21st Century

It seems my views on masculinity have changed of late. Very recently in fact.

Last week, I was holidaying in Byron Bay and it would seem that there are a lot of tanned, muscular men who don’t own shirts living there.

A couple of months ago, last week even, this would have awakened a deep desire in me that my lack of self-confidence would never have allowed me to explore.

This time though, there was none of that automatic attraction. None of that lustful desire I have always felt.

It took me a few minutes to realise why.

Over Christmas I have been listening to a podcast by a very knowledgeable and down to earth woman by the name of Rebecca Dettman, called Soul Doctor. The specific podcasts were a two-parter on the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine, the second of which talks about the current perception of masculinity as the warrior archetype and how it leads to Manorexia (as she puts it).

It became obvious that there is just as much push from women for men to embody this role of muscular warrior as there is from men for women to be the skinny, beautiful model. This is a sweeping generalisation, but looking at society it’s hard not to make it when that is all we see portrayed on TV, movies and in magazines.

As I looked around the crowd of people enjoying some Saturday afternoon music on the beach, it struck me that many of these men worked hard to become this type of man. Very hard. Did they do it in an attempt to meet society’s expectations? They would probably never admit it, even if they were self-aware enough to see it. Sure, for some it is the expression of their true self, but for many it is a forced lifestyle that can lead to steroids, or worse, in an effort to keep up. They too are under enormous pressure to be a certain way and it was heartbreaking.

It was a major realisation that ‘muscular’ no longer guaranteed ‘masculinity’ for me. It is no longer a healthy archetype to apply to all men, and probably never was.

For me, the question is what does the Divine Masculine look like now, if it ‘looks’ like anything at all?

I think it, like the Divine Feminine, lies in a person’s awareness of who they are as a person, an ability to be truly intimate and vulnerable, to learn and grow from life’s experiences and just BE. Just be themselves. Their true selves. With an understanding that the feminine and masculine reside in us all. It is our job to balance both and see what this means for us.

And it is time society started giving us the space in which to explore our own masculinity and femininity for ourselves. We also need to stop dictating to men and women who they should be and how they should express themselves. Stop telling boys not to cry and girls they aren’t brave enough. Stop telling boys and men they need to be physically strong and girls and women that they need to be petit.

Let each person work it out for themselves and give them the space and opportunity to do so, and when they do, the freedom to express it.

In this, we can finally learn to access and express our own divinity.

Vegan Cooking

10 Must Haves for any Vegan Kitchen

In the short time I have been vegan, I have found many new recipes for amazing foods that I never thought I’d be able to cook, let alone enjoy eating! I have also found that there are a few items that you must have in your kitchen at all times. These may be for nutritional purposes, they make an excellent base for most meals or simply because you love them.

beans

  1. Beans: I usually have a few tins of baked beans, four bean mix and chickpeas in the cupboard. I will often add the chickpeas straight from the can to salads and add a tin of the four beans to savoury nutmeat (see below), salsa or bolognaise. A quick, cheap and easy meal has been baked beans on toast with baby spinach, nutritional yeast and chia seeds. This allows me to be lazy while attempting to get all protein and iron* I need in one meal.
  2. Nutmeat Casserole: I am a huge fan of Vegie Delights Casserole mince. I usually make a savoury nut-mince, just like my Great-Grandmother used to make. Well, almost… Cook some onions, zucchini, mushrooms, peas, corn, beans or any other vegetable, add some veggie stock or vegan gravy to the nutmeat and serve on toast or mashed potato. I have recently started adding Nutritional Yeast to the mix and it has been amazing! I have also use the original nutmeat version to make a stroganoff, but I find it tedious to get out of the can and I am nothing if not a lazy cook! It was worth the hassle in the end though…
  3. Zucchini: I am not 100% sure what the nutritional information is for this most versatile vegetable, but it is green, so it has to be good right? I put it in everything from spaghetti bolognaise to salsa! I just love the taste and texture and it is easy to cook! Baked zucchini is my absolute favourite though… (Apparently Americans call this a courgette, just to confuse the situation even further!)
  4. Spinach: this little baby is amazing and I have added it to everything at least once! A great source of iron, I usually go for the baby spinach variety, but any will suffice. It is a tasty addition to morning fruit smoothies, lunch salad or wrap, and pasta or savoury mince. Again, I put it in everything and see what happens. It is also quite nice in fried rice! Just don’t cook it too long, because I read somewhere that over cooking changes the chemical make up and effects its iron levels (I can’t remember where I read/heard this, but correct me if I’m wrong…)
  5. Tofu: I have been on a nice little love affair with this amazing food! I have used silken tofu to make sour cream for my nachos and salsa. I have scrambled it and eaten it on toast for breakfast. I have even simply fried it and added it to my salad! It is a great source of protein, calcium, iron* and a host of other vitamins and minerals that keep our bodies healthy.
  6. Coconut milk or cream: This is my go to substitute for cream in traditional recipes, so we can still enjoy potato bake, pasta, lasagne and soup!! Also, you don’t get that nasty film of fat that other creams give when cooled. This also helps with the transition, as it allows us to eat what we always have so the change isn’t as drastic.
  7. Mushrooms: As my most favourite food in the whole world, I usually don’t cook a meal if it doesn’t have mushrooms in it. Even then I usually just add them and see what happens! Mushrooms are a good source of protein* and many other vitamins and add a beautiful flavour to any dish. But, I may be biased…
  8. Oats: A wholegrain that is a great source of iron and fibre*. Most Australians will eat these as a hot porridge for breakfast, but I have recently discovered the overnight oats craze, which is much nicer on a hot Australian morning. For overnight oats, add 1:1 ratio of oats and plant-based milk into an airtight jar and place in the fridge overnight (i.e. I cup oats to 1 cup of milk). I also add a tablespoon of peanut butter, a teaspoon of maple syrup, a couple of shakes of cinnamon, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of cacao powder and a generous pinch of desiccated coconut. In the morning I will add dried blueberries or sultanas (which are also a good source of iron). Just be careful that your plant-based milk doesn’t have high calcium levels, as this can impair the absorption of iron in the body (this information came straight from my Doctor, who I suspect of being plant-based…).
  9. Nutritional yeast: This is a recent addition to my list of must-haves, I often add it to hot dishes just to see what will happen! It is one of the main ingredients in my tofu scramble that gives it a cheesy flavour without all the pesky cruelty to animals! This is a good source of protein and B vitamins, including natural B12 (according to the label)!
  10. Herbs and Spices: Herbs are a great source of antioxidants*, especially parsley. Tumeric* has also been shown to help fight cancer cells and is easy to add to any dish by simply cooking it with the pasta or rice. It will change the colour of the food, but not the taste! Just start playing around with tastes and see what you like.

mushrooms

Mostly, this is a list of the things I like to keep on hand at any given moment. I’m not one for meal planning, as I tend to just eat what I feel like at the time. Often if I’ve pre-cooked something I won’t want it later, not sure why, but this list has helped me to stay on the vegan path and made the transition easier.

Have I missed anything? Feel free to add your must haves in the comments below!!

 

 

*Dr Michael Gerger’, How Not to Die. A very basic reference, I know. Definitely not Harvard worthy, but google the book’s title for more information! Also, Dr Greger has a website for further information.

Spirituality

The Amazing Blessings of Reiki Healing

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I’ve recently been attuned as a Reiki Master again. I had to do it again, because my attempt to do things an easier way backfired, just like everything else I have tried to do the ‘easy way’. It looks easy, but it turns out it is the hard way for one reason or another. Long story short, I tried to avoid extra work, but instead made extra, extra work for myself!

So, I went back and did it the ‘hard way’. What I now have is a stronger connection with Reiki energy and perhaps myself. I understand my ego self on an entirely different level, one that I never imagined possible, which is an amazing blessing. I know I always had to go about it the way I did, or else I wouldn’t have learnt the lessons I have, and I am grateful. What it taught me is that the (my) ego is subtle, manipulative and extremely impatient. I would not have said I was in ego at the time, but it’s clear to me now that I was.

Like I said – Grateful.

As for the Reiki energy. Wow. Just… wow. It seems I am still adjusting to the energy and the last principle, assimilating it on a deeper level. But the results are just amazing.

I have an emotional meltdown about something (see, still assimilating that last principle!), send myself some Reiki while I sleep and the next morning I’m calm and strong enough to tackle the problem head on.

More recently, my car had yet another leaking issue. I sent the situation Reiki and the solution is found before 8 am the next morning – in time for me to get my car before work!

This solution did cost me money, but I was ‘oddly’ ok about it. I did also have to do something about it, it didn’t fix itself, but I went about it calmly and rationally. Best of all, I awoke that morning ready to stand up for myself if they again tried to bullshit me with some crap about leaves and berries in the sun roof’s drainage system. Turns out it was the seals on the windscreen all along, but the point is I was calm and strong enough to stand up for myself if I had to. I was ready to. This is something I have always struggled with as I never wanted to be a nuisance or appear bossy or pushy or bitchy or demanding or any of the countless other reasons strong women are vilified. But, this is another story…

It’s odd that it’s taken me almost 5 years to really understand this, but Reiki works. Not always in the way you expect it to, but it works.

You just have to release expectation and attachment to ‘how’ and ‘when’ and let it do its job.

After all, it is Universal Consciousness and we are simply fallible humans.

Veganism

5 Tips for Transitioning to a Vegan Diet

I know there are already heaps of hints and tips out there for transitioning to a vegan diet. Mine will hopefully help with a slower transition, as some of us can’t do change overnight. We like to wade around a little first to see what the temperature is like and how big the waves are before we dive in. We will eventually dive in, it just takes a little more time for us to get used to the temperature.

And, it can be daunting. Veganism is more than a diet, it is a way of life – hence the ‘ism’. If you’re doing it to lose weight, you’ll more than likely go back to your old habits once you hit that magic number and, like most of us do, put it all back on again. If you’re doing it for health, you’ll be good most of the time, but again you will find an excuse to eat the cheese or ice cream or T-bone, because you’ve been well for a while now so maybe a little wont hurt? And the more ‘the little’ doesn’t hurt, the more you’ll eat it and eventually you too will be back at square one. I am speaking from personal experience here, because this second one was me with cigarettes and nearly was for veganism.

The only way I’ve found for this to truly work is to incorporate an ethical philosophy into your choice to change. If it’s not about something bigger than you, it wont work as effectively.

So, it’s a lifestyle choice. Are you ready for a change? If you’ve read this far, I’m guessing you are. So, here are my 5 tips for transitioning to a vegan lifestyle:

  1. Go easy on yourself. Most people will put this last, and the article I read it in did too if memory serves me (and it doesn’t on the source unfortunately!). I’ll put it first because most people only remember the first and last thing they read (as science has shown time and time again) and I think it is the most important part. You wont get it 100% right 100% of the time, especially at first. I know I didn’t. And when you’re out and about and starving, do your best to avoid animal products. If your best is smashed avocado with feta on sourdough, because that’s all there is and they already put the feta in, don’t beat yourself up over it. Do what ever ritual or say whatever prayer you need to to thank the animal and move on. Guilt doesn’t help anyone, it weakens your resolve and eventually you will give up because it gets too much. And if you make a mistake, as you almost certainly will, and eat something you found out later to have animal products (like white sugar, red lollies or some hashbrowns) same deal applies – GO EASY ON YOURSELF! 
  2. Adapt your existing diet. Big changes are more easily made in small chunks and familiar surroundings. One friend of mine did it overnight, but most of us just aren’t built that way and that is perfectly acceptable. So, do it one meal at a time. Stick to your already established routine, but make adjustments. Substitute mince in spaghetti bolognaise with grated zucchini. You only need one, so it’s cheaper as well as healthier! Swap cows milk for soy or almond milk in your tea or coffee. Be careful here and experiment, because I’ve found some milks can curdle in instant coffee. It doesn’t taste bad and won’t hurt you, it just doesn’t look appealing. I have also found I need less sugar in my tea because the milk is already sweet! Exchange thickened cream in soups and carbonara dishes for coconut milk. The texture will be a little different, but the taste is as good, if not better due to the lack of oil that tends to pool at the top of some pasta dishes. These are a few things I did, but it is easy to find more. Just google for a substitute to your meat and dairy and you’ll find heaps of examples. I live by the simple rule of more veggies over meat and plant-based over animal dairy. This also makes most new recipes easy to adapt too.
  3. Research, research, research. Most vegans will learn all they can about how harmful animal agriculture is for the planet and our own bodies. This is great! People definitely need to be aware of this. What I found most interesting, and eye-brow raising for my carnist loved ones, was to find out how certain foods heal the body and what impact others have on our health. In fact, it was this search that lead me to giving up dairy almost a year ago, before ever even considering becoming vegan. One book I found particularly helpful was Dr Greger’s How Not to Die. So much so I ended up buying a copy, despite my minimalist tendencies. The library copy would only let me renew it so many times! There are others, but any general research from reputable sources on nutrition will help. And this knowledge will bring an interesting addition to the inevitable ‘discussions’ with carnists. 
  4. Watch, watch, watch. Perhaps this should have gone in spot 3, more for continuity’s sake than anything. Still, here it is and here we are! There are a multitude of documentaries out there now, especially on Netflix, about sustainable living and the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and our health. Go, be a sponge! A Netflix and pyjama day is a must! For me, this was the turning point from ‘maybe’ to ‘never again’. I remember the scene quite clearly, and if you’ve also read The Day I Chose Me you will already know what’s coming. I can’t remember which one it was now, probably Cowspiracy. There was a scene in a dairy farm with a dairy cow being lead back outside after being milked. I don’t remember what was said, but my eyes were drawn to her udders, dripping blood and pus. I was horrified. Maybe I empathized with her, woman to woman, despite not having yet had my own children, but knowing the pain she would be feeling in such a vulnerable part. Maybe it was my logical side kicking in, knowing the blood and pus would surely be in the milk we would then drink. If not, I wasn’t keen on drinking the chemicals they would need to use to make it drinkable either. So, this was my ‘never again’ moment. Since visuals are often the quickest, most effective way of imparting information – watch, watch, watch! And if you’ve already had your ‘never again’ moment, the worst that can happen is gaining more knowledge, which is certainly never a bad thing.
  5. Find out what works for you. This I can’t stress enough. As someone who has spent her life up to now living as others expected me to, I have finally learnt that you have to honour yourself first. Find a philosophy that works for you. Mine comes from a line in the Wiccan Rede – ‘Do what you will and harm none’. So, I live my life however I wish, as long as I am not hurting anyone or any being. So, if I chose to still consume some animal products, I will make sure no animal was harmed in the process. I, and a few vegan friends, still consume honey for its healing properties. Me, usually only when sick, and one friend more regularly as a preventative. Our philosophy leads us to sourcing organically grown honey that does the least harm to the bees when sourced, none if possible. As long as no bees are killed, maimed or otherwise hurt through this process, I am happy. Many vegans wont agree with me, but they don’t have to. I have made an informed choice and this is what works best for me. So, discover your own philosophy and do what works best for you.

So, I hope these tips help you in your transition. Feel free to comment any thoughts, experiences or questions below. I would love to hear what worked for you!

 

 

Veganism

My Struggle with Change

This is a post from an old blog I had. I needed to re-blog it here because, well, we all have cycles and we all change and new beginnings need to be adhered to. Plus, it is way more relevant on this blog than my last one. 🙂

I’ll start this by saying outright – I did become the opinionated, lecturing vegan no one likes. Even other vegans. Luckily for me I have a loving, honest mother and a natural tendency towards introspection.

Still, this period of change appeared to be a challenge for me and my nearest and dearest. I found myself constantly defending my choice to no longer consume animals in any form from questions like ‘where do you get your protein?’ and ‘but you need calcium for strong bones, where do you get that from?’ Then there was the ‘what would you have eaten 100 years ago, because you had to eat what you were given.’ I informed them that 100 years ago the world was in a pretty bad state and the only thing there was to eat were the vegetable in the family backyard – no one would have wasted a cow by killing it for meat, they were too expensive and the milk much more precious.

protein

Worse still where the statements like ‘cows get killed everyday anyway, so why bother?’ and ‘plants have feelings too! science proved it!’ (as an aside, science doesn’t prove anything, it merely shows correlation so there’s the first flaw in that, and any similar, argument. Always be wary when articles say ‘proven’, especially if there are no references. But, I digress…)

I don’t know what was worse, the people trying to tell me I was wrong or the fact that my loved ones used lawed logic to justify their own carnism (I love this word!)

But we got through this and we are… well, as intact as we are ever going to be. The questions have stopped and we just go about our business. I think there are probably three reasons for this.

Firstly, and I think most importantly, I stopped lecturing. I still share the odd statistic, but I have a natural inclination towards teaching and I think my family and friends know and understand this. I have stopped talking about it constantly, which I’m sad to say was what I was doing. I tend to get obsessive and over-excited when I discover new truths or subjects and just want to share with other. It quickly becomes all I can thin about for a time. It does subside, eventually. Also, I have had this life long urge to show people, not just the ‘error of their ways’, but that there is another way. this has gotten me in trouble before – my need to fix what I have no business fixing – and you’d think I’d learn! well, I did. Eventually…

vegam10mins

The second think was probably my honesty. I think years of being honest with students when they ask questions about History and I don’t have the answers has kept me somewhat humble to the fact I don’t know everything. I have realized there is no shame in saying ‘I don’t know, but I’ll find out and get back to you.’ And I do. When my loved ones posed a question or statement I hadn’t thought of, I would simply say ‘that’s a good point. let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.’ This allowed me the space I needed to organize my thought and emotions, sit in stillness, maybe do some research, and find (or be shown) the answer. It hasn’t failed me yet.

Thirdly, I think learning acceptance helped to let go. I accepted that my family doesn’t see things the way I do. they don’t think the way I do. if I’ve given them all of this knowledge and (in my view) proof, and they still choose to consume animals, then at least they are now making an educated choice and not living blindly and unconsciously. Sure, they’ve probably filed everything I have said as ‘nonsense’, but it’s there now and can’t be unlearned. I have learned to accept that I have done all I can and that I can’t force change upon others.

I am grateful for the challenge this change has given me as I am stronger for it. Also, all the questions and statements posed to me have helped me formulate my own value system and made my choice clearer in my mind, not jut my heart. I feel now I am ready for any challenge people can present to me, no matter how absurd.