The right path for you?

mountain path largterA holiday in Greece is a break I very much needed – an opportunity to have some quiet, quality me time. To recharge my batteries and to think.

So there I was swimming casually in the beautiful sea, with mountains all around me when I am drawn to the mountain straight ahead. I feel my guides drawing my attention to a clearly defined cross on the hills and ask them what they are showing me.

No, they say, not a crucifix cross, look again, look more carefully. Ah yes, it’s like a crossroads of paths.

Let’s go to the centre, that’s where we must all begin. Now you have four directions to choose but what does each offer?

Straight ahead you will see a steep path, leading upwards. That path will be hard, and see the path turns slightly the higher you get so you are walking into the unknown. That can be scary and you need to trust if you wish to walk that path. But when you get to the top it is an amazing experience, a great achievement and wonderful view. The rewards will be many.  But remember you have to reach the top, overcoming the obstacles that might hinder your progress, because if you get lost and give up, you will end up back where you started – having learnt nothing, having achieved nothing.

Then there are the paths that go left and right. Both circle the mountain and get right back to where you started.

The path isn’t that hard but there will be a few bumps along the way. The path to the right is the one you will take when you keep making the same mistakes in life. You go round and round, never getting anywhere, never progressing and wondering why.

The path to the left is when you choose to stay where you are in life. This may be because you fear the unknown and think that to change anything will not be good.

Or it may be because you need to take a rest right now. Perhaps your last few journeys have been up the steep path and you need a breather.

Or it could be for other reasons you need a fairly calm path and to maintain the status quo – carer duties, children, supporting a partner are but a few reasons why.

Or maybe you happy where you are in your life right now and have no wish or reason to make any changes.

Finally there is that slippery slope down which is far more painful when you fall and keep sliding down, unable to stop. And what happens at the bottom? Maybe you’re too hurt to even look up and find yourself in total despair, or you look up and the path back to centre is just too hard.

But you can make it back. It takes time, effort and determination but you can do it and will do it when the time is right – not when someone tells you but when you know it’s the right time for you.

So what path are you on in your life right now? If you know it’s not the right path and it’s not getting you to where you want to be – look at why and what is stopping you. If you would like some help getting back on the right path, I may be able to help you.

photo credit: DSC_2172-1-2 via photopin (license)

Reflections of suicide

The pain I feel when the one I love is hurting so much emotionally and mentally that they cannot hear it and that you cannot help.

The worry when calling home from work and getting no reply. The feeling of dread that he has attempted suicide again.

Telling myself I can’t keep rushing home because more often than not there’s a logical reason.

Trying to keep calm, not panicking.

Then that last traumatic year as his pain never recedes, there’s no relief for him and he starts to shut down totally.

The day I had just got on the bus home from work when I get a call saying “I’ve taken an overdose, it isn’t working”

The day I hear the dogs barking in the garage and open the door to find him unconscious on the sofa having taken an overdose again – my warning that the end was near. I knew it then although his words afterwards were “It was a mistake. I won’t ever do it again, it hurts you too much.”

The last kiss goodbye as I left the house for a rare Saturday morning in town with a friend.

The worry as I kept calling but getting no reply. Finally that last conversation when he says he isn’t well this morning and won’t join me for lunch.

Opening the front door and seeing him, not hanging there thank God, but sitting with the sash of my dressing gown round his neck.My offer to come straight home declined yet as I sit with my friend and chat over coffee, I am worried and cannot concentrate on our time together so I leave early. Willing the bus to move faster, stop less, just to get home.

He is asleep I think, another cry for help. But I can’t wake him and immediately I realise he has left our world.

I’m in shock

I’m devastated

Yet I know he is finally out of the emotional and mental pain he had suffered most of his life, that had become too hard to bear.

They want me to give him mouth to mouth. I can’t, I say but they don’t understand. I can’t because he is out of pain. I can’t because I must let him go. It’s his time to leave. His suffering is over.

Yet when the paramedic arrives and tries to resuscitate him, the older one realises I don’t want them too, yet when he asks if I want them to stop, I just can‘t get the words out. I can’t say yes.

So gently he rephrases his question, to help me give the answer I want.

And that is it.

I have nobody to be with me, to support me.

Mental health isolates not just the sufferer but the family too.

The police arrive, the lady from the coroner’s office. People are everywhere it seems.

“Who can we contact to come and be with you?”

“Nobody” I say

Finally its late afternoon, they leave. The dark night stretches relentlessly before me.

My dogs are anxious, worried. Of course they don’t understand but they know they need to be with me. They stay close, anxious faces looking to me for reassurance that I really don’t have the strength to give.

It’s just me now.

The next day is Sunday. The lady from the coroner’s office calls to see if I’m OK. That small but amazingly kind gesture is the key to my first tears.

Tears of grief, tears of sorrow, tears of isolation and aloneness, tears that I cannot share with anyone what has happened. Tears for what is no longer, tears for all that is lost, tears for my soulmate and the love of my life.

 

__________________________

NOTE: I watched a recent programme on BBC Life After Suicide which explored what drives people to suicide, I made some notes thinking that I needed to write something to show the side where one lives with the worry of someone who has attempted suicide many times, explaining the differences of those experiences with the ones in the TV programme, which had focused on unexpected suicides. However, the next evening the Universe decided that the above was needed to help others and work towards breaking the stigma around suicide. The words and style were channelled to me – and those who are spiritual will understand that. For others that means that although the emotions and thoughts what I had experienced and felt at the time, the words tumbled onto the paper and I could barely write fast enough to get them down . I haven’t changed anything that was given to me by my guides but they are very much the emotions and thoughts that I had to work through in the earlier years. Now, over six years on, I find joy in the memories I have. Yes sometimes sadness jumps up unexpectedly but anyone who has lost a partner or someone very close to them knows that is just as it should be. Just allow that sadness to come and be kind to yourself.

 

You can read more about how I created a new life in my article on Starting Afresh – My Personal Journey

“Who is a healer?”

Well I am – I’m qualified as a spiritual healer and also offer healing as an Angel Reiki Master, and healing in other forms, including talk healing such as counselling.
But am I really a healer. I would dispute it because the healing is not come from me. With the treatments I offer the healing is being transmitted through me from the higher powers of angels and ascending masters, it flows from them through me and to you by way of my hands.
And with talk therapies – counselling and sometimes, but not always, angel card readings – I will describe myself as a facilitator. Why? Because I believe that we all know what is right and good for us; what our difficulties, problems and fears are and how to deal with them. Now many of you will be saying but I don’t that’s why I’m coming to you or why I am seeing another wellbeing specialist. But what I do is simply help you to unlock the answers that are there but have become buried and hidden deep within you. I help you release all that is good.

And remember we are all healers – or rather facilitators of healing – in one way or another – the mum that rubs the nasty graze on her child’s knee, the words of kindness and understanding to a distressed friend – all is healing.

Indian Head Massage with Louise Clare

Indian head massage is probably the most popular treatment I offer. It is enjoyed by both men and women, and I am able to offer this treatment to youngsters too providing a parent comes with them. It is a wonderful way to relax and de-stress, and let go of  the busy, hectic world for just a short while. I had said previously that I love the flexibility of it. Great to take out to holistic fairs, workplaces, networking events etc where the massage can be given fully clothed – either 20 minutes or a short 10 minute taster. But by far the best way is a full 40 minute Indian head massage, given with oils in my beautiful tranquil treatment rooms, which start the relaxation process the minute you walk in.

I use a wonderful range of blended oils from Purple Flame aromatherapy – Inner Calm, Head Soother and Unwind. Before you arrive, I sit quietly for a few minutes and meditate on the treatment. I then choose the oil I feel is best suited for your needs. However, before the massage commences I will ask you to smell the oil to make sure that it is the right one. If you don’t like it then we try one of the others. I have a number of Mums who have bought their daughters for Indian head massages, and for them I will use a light blend of Mandarin and Sweet Almond oil as Mandarin is one of the gentlest essential oils. If you’ve not been to me before I will need to take some basic details and short medical history. I will then ask what you want from the treatment and explain the massage to you before we go through to the inner treatment room.

Here you will sit in a comfortable chair, the white wicker chairs in the photo, while I sit behind you. There will be gentle music playing during the massage. If at anytime you don’t like something – perhaps you are cold, the music is too loud or something in the massage is uncomfortable then just tell me and we can adjust it for you. The most important thing is this is your time and you need to enjoy it totally.

When I have finished I will gently touch your shoulder and you can take as much time as you like before joining me in the outer room.

None of my clients are rushed so there will be time after to ask any questions and to book another appointment if you wish to.

You can learn more about Indian head massage in one of my earlier blog articles.

If you would like to book an appointment or discuss setting up a de-stress afternoon at your workplace  then contact me.

I am based near the Sovereign centre in a quiet street close to buses and with easy parking. There is also off street parking.

Starting Afresh – My Personal Journey

In November 2008 it felt like my whole world had come to an abrupt halt. I realise looking back that my life had become just a struggle to keep both myself and my husband, John going. I knew John had mental health problems when I first met him although he was not diagnosed with bipolar disorder until he was in his mid 40s. However, over the years, his ability to cope became less and less, and I found myself having to take responsibility for an ever increasing number of things in our lives, including making a simple doctor’s appointment for John. I was trying to cope with a full-time job as well as struggling with Chronic Fatigue and I sometimes wondered how I could keep going.

John had a history of attempted suicides and in November 2008 his 3rd attempt that year resulted in his death by suicide. I can recall the shock and horror of it all when I arrived home and found him, yet a total certainty that this was the end and that was how it was meant to be. That certainty helped me to cope but nonetheless I was left feeling bereft, dazed and shocked. I remember the lady from the coroner’s office being so concerned that I had nobody to be with me that she called me the next day (a Sunday) to see how I was. Then on the Monday two work colleagues arrived bearing bags of food from M&S – it seemed a life saver as was the company and the chance to talk to someone face to face. The weeks up to Christmas were a real blur and I felt I wanted to be at home for Christmas with my three wonderful dogs so had arranged to visit my father on 28th December, But my loss was compounded when the day before I had a policeman arrive at my home to tell me my father had died peacefully at home.

So that is how I was at a point in January 2009 where I was going to need to start afresh. I remember over the first twelve month I saw a lot of a very old friend and now we laugh at how I was a bit like the Churchill nodding dog saying “Yes Yes” to whatever she suggested as I moved through that first year almost mechanically, dealing with my down days the best I could. Yes, it was hard, very hard, but as time went on I began to rediscover Louise – not John’s wife, not my father’s daughter but me, Louise.

I admit it’s still not easy sometimes but I’ve learnt a lot on my journey from then to now. Sometimes it’s been painful, uncomfortable, rocky – but at 51 I knew I still had a good number of years left – a third of my life if I was lucky – to live and live then I would. I couldn’t change what happened but I could take responsibility for how my life developed as a single person.

So is my personal journey complete now? Most definitely not as I don’t believe we ever stop growing and developing. And you may be wondering, how I feel about my life now? Well overall it’s pretty darn good – yes I get sad moments, reflective moments, wistful moments, which often creep up on me unexpectedly. There is much joy and fulfilment now too – I love my work, my life and have some wonderful friends around me. I have rediscovered my love of live music and dancing. I go out to the theatre, socialise with friends and enjoy eating out or just grabbing a coffee both with friends and by myself with a notepad to write or good book. If any of you reading this are friends with me on Facebook you will see I grab life with both hands and have lots of fun. But I also have lots of quiet moments too, I write sometimes, meditate regularly, do a daily (or almost daily!) short yoga practice and I swim a couple of times a week. I also get periods where I feel low and I constantly struggle with the feelings of aloneness, such as when something goes wrong in the home or, as recently, one of my dogs is unwell. But that is all part of me, what I am and I hope that I can help some others in Starting Afresh when they feel their life has come to a halt whether because, like me, they have been widowed, or for another reason.

 

Have we lost our creativity?

At the very core of our being is love, creativity and spontaneity. We enter this world with all three of these in great abundance and unfettered. But as we grow it seems to disappear so as adults, is it still there?

The answer is yes but as we begin to grow from baby to toddler, from toddler to young child the unconditional love, creativity and spontaneity start to be eroded and as adults we have often lost these great gifts to a lesser or greater degree.

“You mustn’t do that, it’s naughty” a parent tells us.

“You must do it this way” a teacher tells us

“You’ll get into trouble if you do that” says someone in authority

So we begin to stifle these wonderful gifts, start to become fearful, think twice about doing something.

Now this isn’t about criticising those teachers, parents or others in authority because as children we need that guidance and do need to learn boundaries. But if we can just think a little more about how we teach our children those boundaries, the rights and wrongs then perhaps we can preserve a little more of those wonderful gifts of unconditional love, creativity and spontaneity.

 

Marie Curie Blooming Great ……..

Marie Curie Blooming Great Tea Party

Or rather a Blooming Great Coffee Morning which I will be hosting on Wednesday 26th June between 10am and 1pm and you are welcome to drop by. We will have lots of lovely prizes to win and some great cakes. Also lovely Jewellery from Fripperies4u, gorgeous gifts from Whichcraft4U? and a delightful selection of greeting cards from Purple Butterfly Crafts

Let us Care

Let us care deeply about people

For each one of us is unique and different.

Let us value that uniqueness and love those differences

Let us not chastise or criticise people for thinking differently from us.

For it is their heritage and right.

Let us shed love, light and acceptance upon all the human race

So that we can move away from our pain and darkness.

For it is love that helps us to accept ourselves

It is light that allows us to become aware of our very being

And it is acceptance that makes us realise we don’t have to be perfect

We are loved for who we are not who we try to be

Indian Head goes Mobile

What I love about Indian Head Massage is that it’s so versatile.

For clients that book a full 40 minute Indian Head Massage with me, they are able to receive the maximum benefits of the treatment which is carried out in my treatment room in Langney Point, Eastbourne. Here I will work with oils and the client has a choice of whether oils are used in the hair or not – as nobody wants to go onto a business meeting with lank oily hair! I find that clients will totally relax, often going to sleep for part of the treatment.  And as a healer, there is naturally an element of that healing going into the treatment. As a result some clients feel emotional issues being acknowledged or lifted. One such client said it was like a ‘massage of the soul’.

On the other hand, it is a highly portable treatment too, as you can see in this picture. All I need to go out to such events as wellbeing fairs and pamper evenings, are two stools and a bottle of essential oil just to make everything smell good.

Very little room is needed to carry out the treatments which are ideal as short de-stressers for those busy business people and the photos in this article were taken at EBO Networking breakfast (Eastbourne Business Owners) where breakfast attendees were invited to a short 10 minute stress buster Indian Head Massage before heading off to work. It is also ideal to take Indian Head Massage into offices in this format and it is something that I will be offering very shortly.

What can I expect During an Angel Reiki Session?

When you arrive, we will sit and chat together for a short while. I will gather a few personal details from you and we will discuss any concerns or health issues, and I can answer any questions you may have. However, unlike some therapies I offer, Angel Reiki is usually safe for anyone to receive.

After that we will go through to a very calming and tranquil treatment room. You will receive the Angel Reiki fully clothed whilst lying on a treatment couch. However, Reiki can also be given seated in a chair if mobility issues don’t allow you to lie on the couch. I will usually have some incense burning and some relaxing music playing ,and you can close your eyes and totally relax. There is nothing you will have to do.

During the treatment I will work partly hands on and hands off. However, if you would prefer me to work totally hands off I am happy to do so. During a treatment you may feel a lot of heat coming off of my hands as the energy healing takes place. You may also sometimes sense my hands remaining on a certain chakra when you know they have moved to another point. This is not at all unusual. You may also be aware of me moving around the couch during the healing but you will know at the end of it that I have finished because I will touch you gently on the shoulder.

Read a review about an Angel Reiki session that the editor of Seaford Scene had when I was working out of Peacehaven.

Louise Clare works from her home in Eastbourne, East Sussex as the healing space there is truly magical and relaxing.