Tag Archives: healing

For the love of power naps

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I discovered power naps fifteen years ago, and now I’m self employed with no dependents living at home, I can use them to gain even more constructive time in my day.

Four years of IBS left me thin and weak, and then I discovered bellydance. If I wanted to dance, I had to eat, but also be as rested as possible, to give me the best chance of dancing the hour and a half session. How could I fit it in? I was so tired and yet, daily household tasks needed to be done and the children needed collecting at 3.15pm. I chose to power nap from 1.30pm to 2.10pm, rising from my bed, driving straight to the school able to spend almost an hour in the car writing my first novel.

I loved bellydancing and wanted to dance more. There was another hour and a half session the following evening. Could I manage two nights of dancing? It wasn’t just the overwhelming fatigue I felt every minute of every day, but the pain was often excruciating, leaving me drained and nauseous and ready to give up on life. I tried the classes and with the help of my regular nap, I was able to bellydance twice a week.

Sticking to the routine was easy for me; it helped with pain and tiredness and enabled me to do the things I wanted to do. I had so much more energy for the children too, making getting them to clubs after school so much easier.

The power nap combined with bellydance changed the course of my life. Before I had my children I ran an Offshore Funds Settlements Department in London; in 2007, at the age of 44, I created Phoenix Bellydance and began teaching Egyptian dance to women and girls, as well as continuing to write. I had articles published in dance magazines, interviewed dancers and musicians and wrote their stories, but it was around 2009 that I knew I wanted to write magical novels, having discovered the stories of Dion Fortune.

My mind was opened to all sorts of possibilities, but managing the IBS was still a problem. I’d taken on two cleaning jobs for friends, just three hours a time, but with teaching in the evening, and attending classes and workshops myself, I struggled to manage my pain and the fatigue again. And then I discovered reiki. I’d signed myself up for an aromatherapy massage course, hoping to learn more about essential oils and their healing properties, but there weren’t enough people so the reiki course was suggested as a stop gap.

Learning about chakras gave me the frame work to heal my own body and mind. I attended a later aromatherapy massage course too, and proceeded to Reiki 2 training. My naptime took on even more relevance, a time not just to rest but to heal. Around this time, I realised a sense of ‘self’ I hadn’t known before. I discovered American Tribal Style® Bellydance and around the same time, greater confidence working magic on my own or with close friends and my daughter.

Throughout this time, I discovered that a power nap wasn’t called Forty Winks by accident. Forty minutes was the perfect length of power nap for me; any less, I didn’t feel refreshed after and any more, I felt heavy and lethargic and struggled to get going. I was allowed to press the snooze button though, as it gave me ten minutes if I needed it, to come round slowly.

Now, especially if my partner is working away, I use power naps to make my day even longer. Up before 6am and out walking by half past, if I nap before 3pm, I can still have energy to pull brambles, dance, research or write until about 11pm…I feel like I’ve fitted two days into one! It’s not possible to use them every day with work commitments, but if I’m up early and fading by 11.30am, I’ll always try and fit in a power nap…or sometimes a cat nap if a kitten comes to join me.

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Why Awakened Bellydance™?

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Sunlight glistened on the snow topped mountains. Eleven women embarked on a journey of a lifetime, guided and supported by Katie Holland.

We breathed, we feared but we trusted and within the safe, protected space of our room, we danced, allowing the music to shake up our bodies and free our minds. We let go and the layers began to peel away.

Every day, we learned, shared, discussed and laughed and then we danced again, fear, judgement, disempowerment and pain, relinquished from our bodies and minds, into the earth to be transmuted to the love we craved.

Together, we healed, allowing our minds to be free to think, to create and to manifest and to step closer to our bodies, to feel the emotions and energy rising through us.

Deeper we delved into the closed off parts of ourselves, removing all obstacles and reinstating the power of the goddess, the women we truly are.

We reached up, beyond ourselves, out into the universe, to the stars from whence we came.

Katie is woman, dancer, teacher and healer and I’m blessed to have been part of this unique, transformational experience, shared with a group of awesome women who I now call sisters and friends. With Katie’s guidance, I look forward to sharing with the beautiful women of the world, helping them to be free of the constraints that bind them and imbuing them with the power that is truly their own.

 

Join me for my course here in Wales https://www.facebook.com/events/384660835330530/ 

or for more information about Katie Holland and Awakened Bellydance™, go to the website https://www.awakenedbellydance.com/

 

The road to Samhein

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The Sacred Wheel turns. The leaves turn to russet, drifting to the ground and swirling in eddies like golden dancers. As the end of the pagan year approaches, it’s time to look back, time to mourn, time to celebrate and time to remember. At this time of year, opportunities abound and while I try to decipher the emotions and challenges that battle in my mind, one rises to the surface. Fear.

dsc_0060Where does fear come from? I’ve battled it for years, surprising myself at what I can achieve when I can overcome it but now is the time to go deeper. My fears come from voices of the past…’You’re a fairy elephant! You can’t dance!’…’Ok, you passed nine but you failed one!’…’Where did that notion come from? You’re too stupid to have thought that up yourself!’… ‘If you can’t stand up and speak in a room of future teachers, how do you expect to be a teacher yourself?’…As I type, my throat closes up.

This week, as well as teaching my ladies and editing my first WitchLit novel, I’m healing myself. I’m going back to my roots, deep within the Root Chakra, Muladhara is where I came from and where these voices lurk and where I shall confront my past. I’m sick of fighting, whenever a challenge is put before me.

Healing is magic, bringing together the physical and the unseen, the body and the mind in balance with the Universe.

I want to be the ‘me’ I know I am, without these voices haunting me. This is not the ‘me’ of ego but of self. Time to start believing.

 

Why I write magical realism – my place in time and space Part 2

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In 2005 a woman came into my life. I had recently joined a bellydance club and she joined too. I saw her as strong, in control of her life, forging forward on a path of which she was certain. I embraced the opportunity to do the same. She liked me. We danced together. I had a new friend.

100_0852Making friends was a challenge for me. I started primary school in a class of children who already knew each other from playschool and here began my life as an outsider. The pattern continued through my school and teen life; make a friend, laugh, share and be unceremoniously dumped, jeered at, ridiculed and bullied.

I was certain my new friend was different. In a safe space, she led me on my first path working. Here are the notes I made immediately after. ‘I’m in a temple. Columns rise around me and I sit on a vast stone seat. Looking up, icy fire bursts from the tops of the columns far above me. Someone is standing behind me. I am not afraid. He is Michael, the Archangel, protector and friend. A cloak of strength and wisdom protects me now, as it has always done. I look down at the creature sitting by my right foot. I see bulbous eyes, pointy nose and ears and many jointed fingers and toes but I feel I know him too and the mischief behind his eyes. The light is changing, sweeping around the columns, growing brighter until my body is full of a green-white, refreshing light. I feel my feet reaching down, pressing through the soft rich earth until I stand on ancient rock.

I see the Goddess of the Land, of Nature herself. I know her. I have always known her.

My Angel protects me, I need never fear.

My pixie shows me all sides of what my eyes see. I no longer feel in the dark.

The force and power of Nature, the Goddess, fills me and I know this magic is my path.’

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For the first time in my life, I knew who I was and where I belonged. I saw myself for the first time. I am the sum of all that has happened to me in the past but much more. The contentment I felt, coming back to the ‘real world’ is the peace I strive for today as I write, dance and heal. I am now blessed with true friends in my life.

On the beach with my home girls

On the beach with my home girls

My writing became inspired by the magic that was mine, the love, joy and energy of nature that I wanted to share.

An interesting addition: after this pathworking, my relationship with ‘my friend’ began to change. I ‘saw’ her and she knew it. The friendship ended, not by her hand but mine and after months of manipulation, bullying and rudeness, I said ‘no more’. I then stood firm against her abusive emails and attempts to retain contact.