Inner Peace Exists. And it's not unreachable, I promise ✮☾
Through greater self-exploration and since taking the slow-er road, I've gotten more in touch with that inner sanctuary that I talk about. And I tell you, it's been life changing - in every way possible. I know now, through practice and inner observation, that there's a realm of peace within us that remains constant, despite what's going on in the external world, in our bodies and in our minds. This realisation, alone, excites me so much.
Realisations happen in good timing. You have to be ready to notice. When I was in my 20's, where I was all about that non-stop go-go mode driven by restlessness and a need for more achievements, feeding off on what I now know was a lack of self worth, I wasn't close to ready.
I've always been interested in consciousness, ever since high school where I studied psych at uni and practiced as a Counsellor prior to beginning Hippie Lane. Although I learnt a heap of invaluable info on psychological practice and theory, and spiritual insights, there is no shortcut or substitute for continual and dedicated practice.
The main barriers in my practice of going deeper in those years was my fast-paced lifestyle, my unhealed past and the modern 'pop' wellness movement, which I saw as a source of pressure. Not because there's anything wrong with meditating or manifesting, as I do both, I just don't use those terms.
At every opportunity, over the last decade and particularly in the last 2-3 years, I have been reflecting, practicing stillness, getting in nature and delving deeper into self exploration. Each day, I am more loving, compassionate and accepting of myself, and of others. Surrendering to what is, accepting life flow, and letting go of suppressed emotions has resulted in a softness that has been my biggest turning point.
Through my journey, I've found practices that have been instrumental in helping me find myself, heal my past, and stay connected to my true self so that I can live life in a whole and meaningful way. A life that is not dictated by preprogrammed beliefs, transference of past experiences, attachment, expectations, desires, negative thoughts, feelings and / or beliefs.
I've also been heart-deep creating custom healing products for you. Just a short-list of boutique wellness-inspired products that have helped me incredibly. I will touch on this as I write this post, and will share more over the coming months.
Nothing can motivate me to transform my mindset and shift my awareness quite like a good read. Over the course of my studies at uni, I have read countless books and texts on psychological theory and practice, as well as 100's of self-help titles in my twenties, and countless spiritual reads throughout my thirties. I'm often asked who I'm inspired by, and whether I follow a particular spiritual leader or guru.
The authors I go to regularly for my inspiration are David Hawkins, Esther Perel, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra and Michael Singer.
I take in an much information as I find relevant from the words of experts, but I don't lock into a particular philosophy as I prefer to stay consciously uncertain and allow for openness in my beliefs. I notice too often that we idolise or become obsessed with others for their attributes, and in this case, for their intellect, so much so that we give away our own ability, and our power, to work through our processes. I think in doing so, we devalue our own ability to find solutions as we race to follow the next big thing and lack the confidence to trust ourselves.
With this said, I think it's crucial that we learn, that we take in and act on reliable information that resonates with you, just be sure to leave room for your own interpretations.
Getting still is another term for meditation - I like to call it stillness 'cause I find it resonates better with me and takes the pressure off.
It took me a while to get into a regular practice of stillness. I would become anxious about it as I 'thought' too much about how to do it, and felt I wasn't doing it properly which made me avoid 'trying' altogether.
When I dropped my expectations, I was not only able to drop into silence quicker, I actually began to crave it.
Overthinking, seeking a result and / or judging your performance is exactly what you need to avoid to make stillness a part of your regular routine. In short, this is your ego doing what it loves to do, that is, to judge, to compare and to seek gains. The more you practice stillness, the better you get at observation. You learn to observe your thoughts which leads you to the lifechanging realisation that you are not your thoughts. For many, this is a true game changer in perspective as you are finally able to view your ego in action, and gradually learn to lessen it's power as you choose to observe rather than get caught up in it. In this way, stillness or meditation is about calming yourself but also looking into yourself. It is about learning who you are by observing your mind from within.
You don't have to practice stillness / meditate for a long time each day to experience the benefits. 10 -20 minutes once to twice per day is enough to calm your mind, improve your mental clarity, reduce feelings of stress and tension and give you perspective.
There are many ways to practice stillness. I like to take deep breaths until I feel inner calm. Within minutes, I become the observer as I notice sensations in my body and thoughts coming and going. I revel in the quiet space between thoughts.
A comfortable peaceful space, in the sunlight, is my preferred environment. Sometimes, I like a dark space. There's no right or wrong way, do what feels comfortable for you. There are apps, websites and books that help you achieve a meditative state. I use Calm app every so often, and I listen to the authors on the Louise Hay Podcast occasionally, but mostly, I like to sit in silence.
The quietness of stillness practice brings me a profound sense of peace, and it's truly one of the most practical and incredible ways to detach from your body and mind and find your inner soul-self. I use my energetic essential oil sprays as well as my dropper oils to assist in my practice. I have consulted my-long time energetic healer to prepare these custom-made products that have been instrumental in my stillness practice and healing process. They will be available for you, very soon.
Heal Your Past
Stillness has become the foundation of my spiritual practice, not only for it's calming and life-altering effects, but also for enabling me to conjure up past events and to finally let them go.
Over the years, with self reflection and consistent feedback from trusted therapists, my holistic chiropractor and energy healer, I have come to the awareness that I hold a lot of my past pain and tension in my body. Through talking and body work, it became obvious that in order for me to be clear my past tensions, I need to revisit my past and process unresolved issues.
The thing is, as far as I was concerned, there was nothing major in my past that I felt I had supressed. Every time I tried to identify what it was that I needed to heal, I felt at a loss as to what I could be holding on to.
I consider myself like an open book when it comes to my personal stuff. I'm open to relaying my significant life events to myself, to friends and to family, and even on social media so it really baffled me when my intuition kept leading me to the notion that there was past stuff that I had to dig up.
One of the most profound reads that I came across during this time of self exploration was' Letting Go' by Dr David Hawkins. Through his explanation on the process of letting go and surrendering to your emotions, I was able to identify that perhaps there was some work to do with trapped emotions that required a conscious exploration. It was becoming clear that letting go of past hurts requires more than simply talking about them. The healthy flow and processing of emotions, such as anger, sadness, shame and fear, is essential to healing from past trauma as an adult.
Hawkins talks in detail about levels of consciousness which is truly one of the most enlightening reads. Through his many passages of wisdom, it occurred to me that when identifying with lower vibrational conscious states such as guilt, a consideration of suppressed past emotions is key, as is the need to identify them and surrender to them, in order to free yourself from guilt.
I've been tapping into David Hawkins' Letting Go technique for some time which involves surrendering to the feelings of the past or present without any effort to modify them in any way. It's a simple and very powerful technique that I can't help but share.
In Letting Go, I sit as I do with stillness practice, with my eyes closed, and bring up a negative experience that I remember to have had an impact on me. This could be an experience from childhood, adolescence, adulthood or present - a past or present experience that comes up over and over, one that you talk about as significant or that you see replaying in your life.
In stillness, as I bring up the past event or experience, I envision it fully. I take deep breaths in and out as I notice feelings attached to the experience. I ask myself questions, probing questions that allows me to connect with the emotions attached. I don't label the feeling, I simply notice the sensations in my body. If I feel tension in my throat, I allow it to be there without modification. I allow feelings to come up, I allow myself to cry if I feel sadness, and I allow myself to fully feel whatever comes up for as long as it takes to feel and let go.
In the process of surrendering to my feelings, I forgive myself for any mistakes I made in the past, for the wrongs I experienced that were not in my control, and also for keeping these feeling locked in for as long as I had. I accept myself for all that I feel and send love to my inner child for the hurt and pain she experienced. With sincere forgiveness, you are able to move forward with grace and self respect. David Richo's book 'When Past is Present' taps into this notion beautifully.
When you've let go of the burden of the past, allow the trauma to pass through you. Envision the hurt leaving your body. You will notice a feeling of lightness that ensues. Your thoughts are fewer, the tension is less and you feel a natural rush of energy.
I have used this technique repeatedly for minor and major past experiences*, and for issues that come up in the present. Things that you never before thought were possible will all of a sudden be revealed to you. You are able to look back without pain. You are more alive in the present, with increased energy and a desire to live mindfully and lovingly. I rely on my custom-blended heal candle, infused with essential oils, botanicals and healing crystals to provide the atmosphere conducive for healing and balance, to allow me to move deeper into the energetic space ideal for healing and restoration. More on this soon.
*Note: when practicing the letting go technique, start small and move toward bigger or major traumas once you have have mastered the technique and feel comfortable with it. I recommend working with a trained therapist for major childhood traumas ie abuse, serious neglect and abandonment, as timing and readiness is crucial when it comes to facing repressed childhood traumas.
Retrain your thoughts / beliefs
“Thoughts become things.”
This one of the most common phrases in the personal growth world and a constant reminder how our thinking shapes our personal reality in each moment.
Quantum physics teaches us that our thoughts are vibrations of energy that can influence what happens to us. Joe Dispenza and Wayne Dyer believe in the power of manifestation - that by deliberately directing your attention and thoughts toward the outcome that you desire, you can be or do or have anything that you choose.
Many of my friends and peers follow the works of Joe Dispenza and advocate for his methods. As I said earlier, read widely and come to your own conclusions based on what resonates wth you, your intuition, and extensive trial and error. I'm more into letting go of control, of surrendering to what is and allowing life to flow. I'll talk about this in the next subheading.
Whichever way you look at it, we can change our thoughts to work for us, not against us.
How we talk to ourselves on a daily basis, and the impact this has on us is enormous. Our inner critic, the nagging negative voice of self-judgement, has a huge impact on the way we feel, and how we approach our life.
Mindfulness and presence through your stillness practice creates a distance between yourself and your thoughts, allowing you to view yourself as separate from your thoughts and to see them as thoughts, not facts. Awareness of your thought quality is essential in identifying what requires retraining, and how you can switch to a positive frame of mind.
We need to do more than just silence the inner critic. It’s about taking the limiting perspective of that repetitive voice and turning it around with positivity and compassion. One of the simplest ways of doing this is by allowing true self compassion. When you learn to ignore the negative programming of the inner critic, you can debate the truth of the unrelenting stream of thoughts with consistent and dedicated awareness and courage. Notice the thoughts as seperate from truth, and begin to doubt their validity. By fully approving of yourself, the inner critic loses it's power. Compassion for self and a desire for inner peace is the key to making positive changes in your mindset, along with healing the past and releasing suppressed emotion. With a willingness for forgiveness and self compassion, you can achieve a change in mindset.
Be aware of your triggers. Certain people, situations, and circumstances may set into motion a seemingly endless stream of negative thoughts so it’s important to be aware of them. Become aware of people who trigger you. Surround yourself with positive people. When you're feeling down or in a negative state of mind, change your environment - call a supportive friend, take a walk, put on some music, do something you enjoy. Whatever you need to do to feel well, do it and see how it shifts your mindset.
Putting feelings down onto paper is a great way to not only unload your thoughts but to also learn more about the nature of them. Oftentimes, you aren’t aware of how negative your thoughts are. Negative thinking patterns become habitual over time, typically without you even noticing. By writing them down, you can more easily identify the areas that require your attention.
Journalling in the morning, first thing after you wake up, is the ideal time to transfer your stream of consciousness onto paper. I talk more about this here.
Positive phrases, quotes or affirmations are a great way to be in the present moment. They are a powerful way to affirm the positive and to have you, in seconds, change your perspective. You can choose any word or phrase that resonates with you, or that will help bring you into the present. You can repeat them in your stillness practice, as mantras, write them down in your journal daily, or listen to podcasts / meditative programs that reinforce them daily. The late Louise Hay has some powerful practices that I highly recommend through her podcast.
As a daily reminder to stay positive, surrender to the moment, have faith in yourself and to flow with life, I have created a small batch of ceramic mugs that include short affirmations. Each time you drink your coffee / matcha / tea or whatever you fancy, from your mug, you are affirming this belief. I love this concept so much, I can't wait to share with you. Here's a little look!
Your negative thinking patterns have been in place for years and are a work in progress. Changing your belief systems will take time and dedication, so be compassionate and patient with yourself as you work through them.
Let Go / Surrender
For those who have been believing in the hustle hard message, where there’s a focus on over-working, pushing, and forcing to achieve, this may be your time to think about another way. It's a challenge, but it's worth it.
Letting go in practice is surrendering to the essence of life, and allowing life to unfold at it's pace, with an active willingness to move with it rather than against it. Surrendering is primarily about letting go of control.
For people who are comfortable with being in control, this is not easy. I know this too well. The process of letting go is an act of rebellion against the ego, who loves the control. The more we become present through stillness practice, the more we live in the now - or in the moment. This is mindfulness in action. And the more we practice, we realise that we do not need to be in control to achieve what we want. This is in direct contrast to the ego's plan. When we choose to embrace the moment for what it is, surrendering to it, instead of following the ego blindly, the closer we become to being in flow. This is goals for me.
Throughout life, there will be periods to achieve and periods to receive. When you tap into yourself regularly through self exploration, stillness and mindfulness, you will notice whether you're pushing or allowing, and whether or not it’s serving you. If you’ve been striving for too long, it might be time to surrender to the flow. This has been an invaluable lesson for me. This knowing has given me the confidence to trust, which in turn has allowed me to take breaks from work without guilt or worry that I'll get left behind if I don't keep grinding.
Keep in mind, that letting things flow is not resignation, or giving up, it’s simply letting go of the fear that drives control, which is wrapped up in our everyday behaviours and in all it’s disguises such as feelings of urgency, stress, worry, anxiety and depression.
We can still work towards our dreams and life purpose. Letting Go doesn’t mean you don’t take action. It's about moving in the direction of your purpose, but with a looser grip to the outcome. Set your vision free into the universe and trust it will happen in its own time. Get out of your own way and be open up to receive what is meant for you. I truly believe this is the ultimate point.
When letting go into the flow of Life, there’s an immediate a sense of lightness and peacefulness. Surrender is what allows life to flow again as we are not driving it with force. The freedom that comes from accepting things as they, and the energy is it frees up within, is truly incredible.
When you have done all that you can do, and there’s nothing left for you to do, give it up. Give it up to that thing that is greater than yourself, and let it then become a part of the flow.” – Oprah Winfrey
Invest in Yourself
True, unconditional acceptance and love of self is the foundation for finding contentment within and for having the capacity to be fully present and available for yourself and others.
I've talked self love many times on my blog and my instagram because I think it really is the most essential of all if you want to lead a a whole and meaningful life.
If you want to learn more about how to work toward loving yourself unconditionally, read my post here.
I also talk about self care and it's importance here.
Self-love is a life journey. It takes dedication, devotion, and repeated practice. Resolve to love yourself fully each and every day and watch your best self blossom and your capacity to love, grow.
I hope you have found this blog of benefit. The information I offer has been a 20+ year process of learning, inquiry, experimentation and practice. There's no one way to approach wellness, but I do know the power of simplicity and how the basic methods I bring forward here have the power to profoundly change your life experience.
I'm so excited to bring you the custom Hippie Lane products that are currently in production. I have created them out of my need to share more with you. I want to be able to help you transform the way to connect wth yourself and the world. My motivation? To witness how they make an impact on your life, your mindset and overall welbeing and to know that I am working toward living my purpose, which has always been assisting you to live your best life. This is my personal and professional goal, all in one.
Thank you for being here.