Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Magic Is In You – The Forest’s Embrace

Being amongst the trees is one of the most effortless ways to connect with nature.  We are literally surrounded by the magic of the forest, held in its gentle embrace.  There is the perfect balance of comfort and wildness, the canopy providing protection and shelter, and supporting a myriad of life forms.

The light is softened as it filters through the branches, and the sounds of birds, insects and rustling leaves form a gentle background murmur.  The trees connect the earth and the sky, creating a safe haven where life can thrive.  It is the perfect place to slow down, and take in the precious gifts of our surroundings.

Forest Meditation

Find some woodland to explore.  The intention with this meditation is to relax into this supportive environment.  Even if there are only a few trees nearby, this is enough to benefit from immensely if you take your time and allow the magic in.  Feel how the forest softens our thoughts and allows us to feel a little more comfort in our bodies.  Breathe in the fresh air, and soak up all of the enchanting beauty that surrounds you.

Appreciate the variety of shapes, textures and patterns in this hidden world.  Notice how your inner landscape is just as varied.  If we can observe our thoughts and emotions in the same non judgemental way, we can see their beauty, even when they are ‘negative’.  Allow the forest to be a sanctuary where it is easy to be peaceful no matter what your mental, physical and emotional state.

Know that the feeling of being held and protected is available to us wherever we are.  When you leave the forest, you can still return to this sanctuary within your own mind whenever you choose to.

Take a photo, or bring a leaf, twig or some reminder of the woods with you.  When you get home spend 5 minutes meditating with this reminder, recalling the sense of peace and relaxation you felt.  It may be easier to feel at peace when immersed in a beautiful natural environment, but with practice we can access this state wherever we are.

Do you find it easy to recall the peace of the forest?  Next time you are amongst the trees, what can you do to make the most of it and relax more fully, so that you can bring more of the benefits back with you?  Leave a comment below and share your experiences and inspiration with me.

 

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Recharge Your Batteries Through The Creative Process

Feeling tired or lacking motivation?  Come to life in just a few minutes, by tapping into your infinite creative potential, and letting it fill you up with energy.

After years of trial and error, I’ve discovered the essence of the creative process to be incredibly simple.  If a creative project is complicated, or something I’ve not done before, there can be all sorts of obstacles to overcome.  However, when stripped back to basics, the act of creation can relight your inner fire.

Handmade aragonite necklace pictured available in my shop www.etsy.com/shop/tessheaven.

Creation = Imagination + Action

When I’m struggling to find motivation, I frequently use this very simple process to get back into the flow of life.

Step 1:  Imagination

Take some time to dream.  Remember, this part is pure fantasy, so you can create anything your heart desires.  In an ideal world, what would life life look, feel and sound like?  What beauty, magic and miracles would surround you right now?  If you’re stuck for ideas, search for images online of beautiful places and things, listen to your favourite music, or follow the Instagram accounts of artists and other people that inspire you.

Don’t get caught up with the details, but focus on the overall mood of your heavenly scene.  What inspiring qualities does it have?  It may help to come up with a couple of words to remind you of your vision, so you can bring it back easily during Step 2.

Step 2:  Action

This is where the magic happens.

You may already have a medium of creative expression in mind, or you may prefer to let your ideas evolve with your vision.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t consider yourself as creative or artistic.  The aim of this process is not to be be brilliant at a particular skill, but to tune into the wonderland of your imagination and bring a piece of it with you.

Focus on the aspect of your dream world that inspires you the most right now.  The aim is to create something that embodies or represents this.  It doesn’t have to be the same as the image in your mind.  It is the energy that is important.

My dream world is a colourful place filled with light, where I feel serene, peaceful and in touch with nature.

On this particular day I may be most inspired by the vibrant colours of my imagined scene, because it reminds me of the freedom and joy of letting loose and showing all of my colours, like a rainbow.

My aim would be to create something tangible to channel this energy.  Being a jewellery artist, I may choose to create a bright rainbow necklace to represent the feeling.  There are countless ways you could express this freedom though, from putting together a wild outfit to wear, to painting a sunset, or simply writing yourself a beautiful note.

If the aspect of the vision that called to me was the connection with nature, I might decide to go outside and take some photographs, or write about a special time when I felt this connection strongly.

If it was the peace and serenity of the image that struck me the most, I may spend some time creating a beautiful altar or meditation space.

Your creation can be as simple or as involved as you desire.  If you don’t have much time, keep it symbolic and meaningful.  If you’re feeling adventurous, try something new or more complex.

It doesn’t matter what you create, as long as it represents your magical vision.

Your dreamscape may be completely different from mine.  From a desert island, to a crazy festival, or an alien world… the possibilities are infinite.  You may choose to express your vision through playing an instrument, creating a yoga/dance sequence, making a collage, or compiling a playlist of songs.  Even cooking up a magical meal, or giving your home environment a little love can serve as beautifully creative acts that work wonders.  The only limit is your imagination.

The most important thing is that you take what inspires you, and make it real somehow.  When you get the hang of creating in this way, you will find that it fills you with energy.  You will also have the added bonus of a physical reminder of your dream world, which is now part of your reality.

For more inspiration relating to visualisation and creativity, read my previous posts The Super Power Of Visualization and How To Create Your Own Heaven.

What does your mystical dream land look like?  How will you bring it to life?  Let me know your ideas and share your creations in the comments below 🙂

 

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The Magic Is In You – The Mystery Of The Night

There is something so comforting about darkness.

The parts of ourselves that like to stay hidden from the world can relax into the shadows and feel safe once again.  The night contains all of these secrets effortlessly.  Everything is accepted and absorbed, never judged, leaving us with a sense of freedom rarely felt in the day time.

This ability of darkness to contain absolutely anything can also bring fear.  Our imaginations run wild.  This could be a good thing and bring much inspiration, but often we imagine the worst.  We start to believe that maybe something out there wants to harm us.  We don’t know what is hiding under the blanket of darkness.

The point though, is that we don’t know.  This unknown is an infinite space in which anything is possible.  It is a MYSTERY.

Darkness Meditation

Your task is to find the sweet spot between fear and comfort as you become encased by darkness.  Choose a place where you know you will be safe, but allow yourself to feel the mystery of the unknown.  Taking a walk in semi darkness can be good because your surroundings change, but the darkness remains a constant that is with you the whole time.  You can also keep it really simple and sit in a darkened room, as most of this experience will be with your imagination.

As you feel the darkness envelope you, notice any changes in your body.  Do you feel calmer or more on edge?  Fear is our ally in this case, because if you can feel the fear you are closer to experiencing the mystery of the night.  Know that your fear is because of the infinite possibilities that lurk in the shadows.  Allow yourself to melt into these possibilities, knowing that there are more than you could ever imagine.  As well as the infinite number of terrifying scenarios, there are an infinite number of wonderful things that could happen.

Glastonbury Tor at night

If you naturally feel comfortable in the dark, enjoy the freedom this brings you.  Move around and explore, without self consciousness.  As you slowly explore your mysterious surroundings, notice how this brings you closer to the sweet spot we are seeking.  You start to feel a tiny spark inside you.  You are no longer in your comfortable bubble, but are beginning to reach out to the mystery beyond.

Once you have experimented with finding the balance between comfort and fear, allow yourself to dissolve into the night.  Feel the liberation of being temporarily free from the penetrating light which exposes us.  There is no need to be any particular way, you can just let go.

Enjoy this feeling for as long as you wish.  When you have finished the meditation, write down a couple of sentences or words which will help you to keep a little of this mystery and freedom with you.

The more we practise connecting with the magical aspects of ourselves, the easier it becomes.  Feeling abstract things such as mystery and freedom can be difficult if our minds are busy.  With all of these meditations, the main priority should be to relax.  In time, and with regular practise, I have become more able to tap into these feelings through visualisation.  I hope that my suggestions can help you to do this too.  Don’t be too rigid with yourself, and have fun with it.  Please feel free to share anything you find inspiring or helpful in the comments below.  Thank you 🙂

 

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Blissful Solitude In La Sabana, San Jose

I’d made my first proper friend since leaving the UK, and now that they were gone I felt much more alone than I had at the start of my trip a couple of weeks ago.  We had plans to meet up again, but I was left with a feeling of loneliness that was far more complete than during my initial days of exhilarating isolation.

The thought of a journey with no end date that had brought me so much joy when I set foot on the beach in Miami, now left me feeling empty and lost.  Having no fixed plans and total freedom to follow my heart wherever it took me had been the best feeling in the world.  I would never have to compromise my desires for anyone else’s, and the future was a beautiful mystery.

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, Costa Rica

Now I was a little way into my amazing adventure, alone for the first time in several days, the dark side of this freedom began to sink in.  Expansive anticipation was replaced by a crushing sadness, and the weeks ahead that had been so full of promise now seemed bleak and daunting.

The thought of calling anyone back home, or socializing with fellow travellers, didn’t appeal to me at all.  Despite not wanting to feel so alone, part of me knew it was exactly what I needed.  La Sabana park in San Jose was the perfect place for some quiet contemplation.

I took out my note book, and as I sat at the picnic table trying to write, I felt the steadiness of the nearby rocks calm me down.  The soothing green lake gently eased my mind, and I started to feel some inner peace trickle through the gaps in my worried thoughts.

I always spend a lot of time by myself, and am content with my own company.  However, being so far from home for an unknown amount of time, and no real plan, left me feeling a deep loneliness that I’d not experienced before.  But as I walked around the hazy green park, I began to appreciate the gift of this opportunity to confront one of my biggest fears.

The stillness of the water helped me to find a little stillness in my mind.  From this place I realized I had a choice in how to respond.  I could let my loneliness upset me, or search for a distraction.  Or I could face the feeling, and deal with it in a calm and rational manner.

It is perfectly natural to be afraid of isolation.  As humans we need each other to survive.  The fear of being alone is a very primal one, but at this time my survival did not depend on having friends or family around me.  I had only been away a couple of weeks, and had already made at least one friend that I knew I would stay in touch with.  I had been away for long periods of time before, and my family and friends at home always welcomed me back with open arms.  I was in no immediate danger of becoming isolated in any way that would be detrimental to my life.

The intense feeling of being alone was very real, but the worries were not.  After realizing this, I was slowly able to release these worrying thoughts.  I focused on soaking up the magic of this idyllic haven as I continued my walk around the lake.

My fears gradually dropped away, and I was left with the same sense of being completely alone, but now I perceived it differently.  Instead of fear, the feeling gave me peace.  The aloneness was an opportunity to experience a deeper part of myself that had been afraid for so long.  In accepting this part of myself, I felt more whole, which brought me a feeling of blissful solitude that I hadn’t experienced for a very long time.

Knowing you can feel content without anything external to ground you is an empowering realization.  You feel an unshakeable peace that stays with you wherever you go.  It is so much easier to make friends and be sociable when you’re perfectly happy being alone.

Every time I travel solo, I come back with a little more inner peace.  It’s a wonderful thing to know that we are capable of creating our own happiness from within.  We can use this happiness to bring joy to others, or enjoy it all by ourselves.  It is ours to do whatever we want with.

This wasn’t the end of my struggles with loneliness on my solo travels, but it was an important moment that I wanted to share.  Remembering how I felt at this time, and how I overcame it, helps me reconnect to this feeling of peace with being alone.  Another thing that helps me is knowing that millions of people all over the world experience similar feelings.  If you are able to, I would love for you to share your experiences in the comments below.  We are never really alone.

 

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Merge With Nature

Of course we are already one with nature.  That’s how we got here in the first place.  But we are very good at acting as separate beings.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact space and isolation can be amazing for allowing new inspiration and creative ideas to flow.  But feeling our connection with all of life can do wonders for expanding our minds too.

We may experience this connection spontaneously when our surroundings and state of mind are just right.  Perhaps we are visiting an amazing waterfall, or are relaxed at the end of a day spent in a very beautiful and peaceful place.  In these kinds of circumstances we are very open, and are able to feel the external world in a profound way.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

We can also consciously choose to cultivate this connection.  It may be as simple as intentionally creating situations for ourselves that are conducive to experiencing the natural world on a deeper level.  Planning to do something we don’t normally do, such as snorkeling, or visiting a new place can really open us up to a stronger connection with nature.

As always, remembering our intention is the most important thing.  When we are in the water, or up in the mountains we have to remember why we are there.  We are choosing to FEEL our surroundings as part of ourselves.

A calm mind and heart are essential ingredients, so meditating with nature can be the perfect way to deepen our bond.  Find a rock, tree, river or anything you choose to focus on.  You can tune into the object with your hands, whole body or whatever feels right for you.

Stay relaxed, with your eyes open or closed.  Embrace the object with your heart, and feel its subtle qualities wash over you.  It doesn’t matter if you feel nothing whatsoever.  Quieting your mind enough to try, and being out in nature, will bring benefits regardless of the outcome.

With a commitment to this practice, you will inevitably be able to feel more of the world around you.  There is no rush, as it is a beautiful never-ending process of falling in love with the universe, and uncovering its treasures.

Do you find it easier to connect with one aspect of nature more than any other?  Do you already feel a deep bond with your environment, and how do you nurture this bond?  Let me know in the comments below ♡.

 

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