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The Truth About Meditation – Sometimes it hurts

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing, and Uncategorized

Want to know why you keep sabotaging your daily meditation practice with distractions and excuses?

I don’t know how to tell you this, but one of the cold hard truths of meditation is that sometimes it really sucks. I mean, it’s mostly a self-nurturing and emotion-soothing activity.  Mostly.

It’s just that one of the most beneficial effects can also be one of the most upsetting and destabilising for those of us who have a past and have emotions.  Oh, that’s you? Yeah, it’s me too.

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Put simply, there’s just no running away from your true feelings about anything when you’re a regular meditator.

And when life is going off the rails and it feels easier to just abandon your meditation practice ’cause you’re “too stressed”, well I hate to sound like your mother, but that’s when you need MORE meditation, not less my dear.

Just because it sometimes makes you feel worse rather than better, doesn’t mean it’s not doing you good.  I sound like a health tonic peddler from yesteryear; “drink it all down now girlie.”

If you’re anything like me, when the stuff hits the fan it gets swallowed down so there’s only the faintest taste left in your mouth. And yet, you think you’re dealing with it and subsequently, you think you’re feeling okay.

Just last month I had to process some sad family news that left me reeling in ways I found quite surprising given my rigorous self-care regime and pretty healthy emotional state.  It was a few days after I was told the news that I woke up feeling very flat and sad.  I knew I had to take some time out to meditate and sit with the feelings that were weighing me down.

So I sat for about 20 minutes.  I later realised that this was nowhere near long enough because upon emerging from the room after my meditation, my husband asked me a simple question and then he responded with mild disappointment to my response and, well, I completely lost it.

There was some screaming and crying.  It didn’t last for long but it was pretty scary and exhausting for us both.

I’m sharing this with you for a couple of reasons.  Firstly to reassure you that I’m just like anyone else when placed under stress (perhaps even more sensitive than the average peep). Secondly to declare that emotional outbursts are sometimes necessary and healthy as a marvelous release of pent up energy.

And also, to acknowledge that had I been a little more in touch with the depth of feeling that was there that day, I would have sat in meditation for much longer and probably accessed the tears that needed to be shed in a much more gentle way.

Which way is better?

As my 12 year old daughter often says, “Meh? (shoulder shrug).”

Who knows.  Nothing we experience is actually wrong or bad, it’s just that with the benefit of hindsight we can reflect on what happened and then make a different choice next time around.

What I want to express here though is that although meditation taps into our deeper emotions which can make us feel less than calm and Zen-like, avoiding feeling them is not a great alternative.

What we’re dealing with here is a genuine human need to slow it all down and be REAL.

Our culture leads us to believe that distraction is the answer to everything that upsets us:

  • Eat something
  • Buy something
  • Watch something
  • Be outraged
  • Be critical of others
  • Talk non-stop
  • Overwork
  • Plan another holiday….

Sound familiar?

These distractions don’t serve us really though do they? They neither heal us, resolve our problems nor make us happy.

I don’t need to outline our mental or physical health stats do I?

They just mask what’s really missing and that for me is; inner peace, trust in a higher power and the wholeness inherent in every moment.  Plus the reality that we humans have emotions like fear, sadness, grief and anger.

How come we can feel it for a television show character but not for ourselves?

Something to ponder <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start Living Your Passions and Watch Freedom Blossom

Posted in Live Your Passions, and Uncategorized

How important is it for you to have a clear plan and sense of purpose each day?

Do you seek structure, routine and responsibility to help you to feel safe, supported and worthwhile?

Has it occurred to you though, that the very structures, rules and conventions of a ‘normal life’, might actually be holding you back from real achievement and fulfillment?

Let’s peel back a layer or two and have a close look at what we create in order to feel safe.

I used to think my value as a person was completely enveloped in what I did, created and achieved.  Who would I be if not for my qualifications, job title, relationship with another or earning capacity?

Who indeed?

My working life before I had children was a complex web of illusion and projection with regard to who I thought it made me.  And then becoming a mother I was gifted a new role I could cling to like a flimsy raft on the ocean of uncertainty that is real life.

But when we peel away all the roles and concepts of who we are that are bound up in serving others, keeping others happy or protecting our own fragile ego, who are we?

Scary isn’t it?

The older I get, the less I am distinctly this ‘me’ I once thought I was.  It’s at once a return to who we were as little children and also a complete release from all that we have evolved into from the moment we were conceived in flesh and blood.

It’s a coming home to the soul’s desires.

When we connect with simple pleasure to what we most love doing and we surrender to our own inner song and rhythm, we melt into this new type of existence that demands less of us and more of us at the same time.

The demands of maintaining false-feeling beliefs, protective facades and self-deluding roles are lessened.

The demands of being truthful, authentic, patient, generous and loving to ourselves and ALL others are increased.

So please…let me lay it on the table nice and simply.

Spend more time every day doing what you love and sooner or later, you will feel that ALL you are doing every day is what you love.

So hold on people, I’m not suggesting you quit your job, go on strike from household or family responsibilities or drop everything and disappear into the wilderness….

What I AM saying is that when you spend even 30 minutes each day engaged in something that is your passion and absolute pleasure to do, you make yourself happier and then all the other stuff that needs to be taken care of doesn’t seem like such a burden anymore.

This is where I began eight years ago and my evidence for how this simple-sounding act can change your life is the blessed life I have now where I get to choose my daily activities and spend more and more time doing what I love.

Having no set plans for a day ahead used to make me feel anxious and unimportant, now it feels like a precious gift of freedom and creative possibility.

My sweet husband bought me a fancy new camera for my birthday last week and yesterday, I followed my intuition and devoted an hour in the middle of the day to wandering around a local patch of forest looking for native orchids to photograph.  There weren’t many orchids out yet, but it felt really magical to just be on my own in the bush taking it all in and enjoying the silence of my mind.  This for me, is bliss.

Donkey orchids
Donkey orchids

I realise that for some of you, even knowing what your passions are feels like a puzzle because you’ve been separated from that deeper experience of yourself for quite a while.  It’s okay, help is here:

Four Steps to Finding Your Passions

  1. Meditate each day to get in touch with your deeper self.
  2. Spend some time journaling or talking to someone close to you about what you loved doing as a child.
  3. Ask the universe for guidance and begin noticing what activities you feel most drawn to you that gradually begin presenting themselves via emails, suggestions from friends, invitations and community newspapers and notice boards.
  4. Try something new or pick up an old hobby but most of all be open to new experiences and approach them all with fun and lightness in your heart.

Alternatively, make a booking with me and I’ll provide you with my intuitive guidance to assist you in gaining true clarity about your natural gifts and talents.  Click here for more information...

Love whatever you are doing and it will love you back. Blessings, Tricia

A Moon Of Change

Posted in Uncategorized

There was a brief lightening and brightening in the cosmic energies this week. Did you feel it? Phew, I did and I enjoyed breathing out fully for the first time in months.

We are now under the influence of gathering full moon energy (with a lunar eclipse too) which can be very energising and creative but can also contribute to us feeling weighed down, tense and more intense about everything in our lives.

Full moon at Windjana Gorge in the Kimberley
Full moon at Windjana Gorge in the Kimberley

I’ve birthed some changes in my life in the past couple of weeks.  I’ve commenced my women’s meditation and sharing circle in Dunsborough.  We’ve met twice. Next week I’m adding a new session on a different day.

I’m loving the creative process involved in facilitating these gatherings and have so enjoyed meeting some new women in my community.

I’ve also changed my business name to Tricia Woods Soul Purpose Counselling.  This name change has been a long time coming and it felt at times as though the final decision and the commitment to a new image would never come.

The whole process was an amazing lesson in trust in the universal flow of life.

If you would like to connect with me a little more regularly in facebook, then please to go to my business page and ‘like’ it.  My aim with this page is to post three or four inspirational messages each week and occasional news about what I am up to.

Along with these changes has come wonderful new clients and a more pacey feel to my usually quiet life. And although I’m enjoying doing more work and having such a fulfilling collection of creative outlets, I have to admit, a little bit of stress and resentment has crept in around keeping up with the household tasks.

Here is a beautiful quote that helps me when those feelings of annoyance over the washing, cleaning and cooking threaten to derail my peaceful outlook.  It’s from a wonderful book called Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn and it helps me remember that even the mundane can be sacred.

“…master the twenty four hours. Do it well, without self-pity.  It is as hard to get the children herded into the car pool and down the road to the bus as it is to chant sutras in the Buddha-hall on a cold morning.  One move is not better than the other, each can be quite boring, and they both have the virtuous quality of repetition. Repetition and their good results come in many forms.  Changing the filter, wiping noses, going to meetings, picking up around the house, washing dishes, checking the dipstick – don’t let yourself think these are distracting you from your more serious pursuits.  Such a round of chores is not a set of difficulties we hope to escape from so that we may do our “practice” which will put us on a “path” – it is our path.” (G. Snyder, 2004)

Capitalise on the power of the extra special full moon (called a ‘super’ moon, as it is as its closest point to Earth), this weekend by reflecting on what is not serving you in your life right now and making fresh contracts with yourself for positive change.
The more brutally honest with yourself you are, the more fruitful this time will be.
Enjoy the ride and make sure you step outside and look at that beautiful orb in the sky.
Blessings to all.

The Healing Power of Dance

Posted in Uncategorized

To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak  – Hopi Indian Saying

I’m getting really excited (and just a teensy bit nervous) about running my first Red Lily Dance class next week.

Since beginning the process of ‘playing’ at (rather than ‘working’ at) creating this class and having fun with it,  I can already feel its healing power having a wonderful affect on me.  I have never felt so in tune with, or strong in my body.  My mind has been clearer and I have felt much calmer in my heart.

And the lovely thing about all this is I’m just doing what comes naturally! I’ve always loved to dance and now I’m making it a regular part of my week.

I’m drawing on my background of attending a pretty wide variety of dance classes over the years since going along to my first jazz ballet class at the age of eleven and loving it.  I took up classical ballet for a year when I was 15.  Since then it’s been mainly jazz and contemporary styles that I have been drawn to.  More recently, my regular yoga practise and a healing dance class called Wu Tao I attended regularly a couple of years ago, have both inspired me to create this class.

Red Lily Dance combines graceful, flowing (and fun) dance with breathing exercises, gentle stretching and a meditation to finish each class. The music I am using is varied, but songs by Deva Premal and Chris James are a featured strongly, as I have had first-hand experience of the healing power of these artists.

It is my belief that song and dance are natural to us all. All of the ancient cultures I can bring to mind, dance and sing each day. Dancing allows us to balance and revitalise our energy pathways, move our attention from the mind (where many of us dwell too much) back into the body, and express our feelings; joy, sadness, anger, love!

Yet doing this naturally and from the heart is something we’ve largely lost in modern western culture.

Well, I’m bringing it back and giving the women of Dunsborough and Busselton the opportunity to join me in getting back in touch with this aspect of themselves. Margaret River and Busselton classes coming soon!

Stepping way out of my comfort zone to create this class has been a wonderful process for me.  I’ve received some lovely encouragement from friends and anyone I’ve told about it really.  And a couple of weeks ago, I received a loving nudge from the universe to keep going when I met (by chance) a local woman producing a community theatre musical. Upon hearing about my class, she asked if I would be able to help her with some choreography for the play.  Of course I said yes and on the weekend I went along to their Sunday rehearsal and helped her pull together one of the song and dance numbers.

It was great fun and a wonderful validation that I am absolutely on the right track.  Yay!

It just shows me how when we are ready to pursue what is truly our heart’s desire, then all of Heaven and Earth will pull together to support us.

Are you ready to take a leap in the direction of your heart?

love and light,

Tricia



Making Friends With My Body

Posted in Uncategorized

From The Dance Buzz blog. (not a photo of me, but how spectacular!)

Ugh.  Even writing that title brings up some discomfort in me.

How thoroughly we western women were raised to critique, disconnect from and even hate our bodies.

Since throwing myself whole-heartedly into creating dances and warm-up and stretching routines for my classes, I have begun to get to know my 41 year-old body in a whole new way.

I’ve always had a pretty healthy body image (thanks Mum), I do a yoga class every week and I get outside for a walk most days, but I haven’t really pushed my body too hard in recent years.

Now, thankfully the dance classes I am creating are gentle, flowing and although will raise a sweat, are not about huffing and puffing or straining, so the chances of any sort of injury are remote.  However, the ways I am moving my body are a little different to the other activities I have been doing lately, so I’m feeling a little tender here and there.

These physical sensations have brought some interesting beliefs to the surface in me such as a fear of not physically being able to keep up the new pace I am setting,  a fear of not being a good enough dancer or teacher and of course fear of no-one turning up.  Most of all, I have become aware of how I still lack true love and appreciation for my wonderful body.

But hey, I’ve got to acknowledge how far I’ve come already.

I started telling myself in my early thirties that I was too old to contemplate integrating dance into my working life in any real way.  When I was 38 I ended up running music and movement classes for mums and toddlers for a year or so and made a success of it.  I didn’t really know why I was doing this in conjunction with starting my natural therapies work, but now it all sort of makes sense.

The kids’ music classes gave me confidence in arranging, promoting and managing this style of business.  And three years later, here I am doing it again!  But this time it’s really coming from my heart and it’s all me.  At 41 I’m actually feeling looser, stronger and more confident than I did at 31.  Plus, it just feels right.  I’m ready and I know my body is going to faithfully carry me through this next part of our journey together.

Take a moment now to tune into your body.  Maybe focus on your feet.  When all is working well, we taking these amazing  instruments completely for granted.  Just being able to walk, run, dance and skip whenever we feel like it is a huge gift!

Feel your feet on the floor, wiggle your toes, look at them, thank them. Being present, in gratitude, with a part of your body or your whole body for a few minutes each day  is a lovely meditation.

Breathe in, breathe out.  Haaaaahh.

Dance on,

Tricia

Getting On With Life

Posted in Uncategorized

A winter-flowering Silver Princess. The Silver Princess Essence helps to clarify life purpose and direction

I’ve felt a strong sense of ‘getting on with things‘ happening for me in the last couple of weeks.

Anyone else feeling an increase in their momentum, a gentle push forward, an encouraging pull from up ahead?

Since deciding to run my first ever dance class for women and taking action to make it happen, like booking a venue and getting help from my lovely designer Lou to put a flyer together (Aahh! Am I really doing this?!!), other aspects of my life have started to flow better too.

It feels as though now that I am truly doing what my heart desires, the universe, my spiritual supporters and my own inner self are rushing forward to support me and keep me on track.

I feel stronger and healthier in my body, I am more peaceful and easy-going and I feel a strong sense that creating this dance class is an important door to step through along my life’s pathway.

I am still loving seeing clients in my work as intuitive counsellor, kinesiologist and flower essence practitioner.  It feels as though there will now be three components to my working life: Individual client work, dance teaching and writing.  They will all fit together and flow and mingle as my fully expressed, uniquely ‘Tricia Woods’ life.

Many of the women I meet in my practice have an unexpressed inner yearning to do something (usually creative or artistic) in their lives that they are afraid to do.  I’ve been afraid to be a dancer, even though it is one of the first words I have always used to describe myself in private.

I return yet again to the way our children are who they are.  They just are!!

Perhaps by looking into our hearts and feeling into what we loved doing or being as a child, we can reveal our true purpose?

Try this as a meditation and see what comes up.  These deep truths really can set us free because when we do what comes naturally, all of life feels that much easier and sweeter.

More about Red Lily Dance next time…

Love and twirling around for fun,

Tricia

If I Weren’t Afraid I Would…

Posted in Uncategorized

A rainbow after the storm in Dunsborough June 2012

Like my rainbow? I love how it looks like the rainbow is supporting the grey cloud and the blue sky is protected underneath. Here’s another…

Beautiful rainbow colours

Well, the second half of the year has begun,  and don’t underestimate the power of June becoming July to jump-start your goals for the remainder of 2012.

With the solstices (winter down here in the southern hemisphere and summer up there where the majority of humans dwell), occurring the week before last, comes a New Year feeling in terms of the energetic influence they bring.

Here in Australia we are welcoming the gradual lengthening of our daylight hours and the accompanying increases in energy, motivation and productivity, in place until our summer solstice in December.  Hey, I need some of this because June turned out to be just as slow and unproductive for me as May was.

Although I know we need that time of turning inward, rest, reflection, processing and planning, I just don’t enjoy it.

So with that early winter shedding of the old and outdated, over and done with, I’m feeling ready to move forward and create!

This is a wonderful time of the year to begin new projects, revive old ones that need joojshing and move ahead with your life in general.

I recently confessed to a friend that what I really want to do now is create a dance class for women in my local community.  Wow!  That was easier than I thought.

I’ve had the dream of dancing with other women in a style of my own creation to healing music, for a couple of years.  Sharing it with my dear friend felt a little scary, but with her loving encouragement plus allowing myself to sit with it for a week, it feels completely natural to be writing about it here now.

It’s reminded me of an exercise the amazing Sonia Choquette gets people to take themselves through when they are in need of remembering what they love the most in life and what they would like to do with their lives.

She says, “Ask yourself this question: If I weren’t afraid I would….? and fill in the blank”

Sonia recommends doing this over and over again to see what comes up into your mind most strongly and most often.

For me, the answer most consistently and actually quite patiently as been “dance”.

So, it feels as though the time is right for me to move forward with this dream and make it happen.  I’m very nervous and unsure about how it will unfold, but I’m feeling ready to explore, trust and open up to whatever comes.

Perhaps you are ready to pose this question to yourself?

Enjoy the lengthening days!

Love and laughter,

Tricia

The 2012 Annular Eclipse

Posted in Uncategorized

Annular solar eclipse over Qingdao, China.source: news.national geographic.com

Just a quick one.

A powerful solar eclipse is occurring in just under 24 hours.  This one will only be visible in the Northern Hemisphere but its effects will be felt the world over.

I’ve already been feeling a buzzing sensation in my body for a few days and the occasional little jolt of energy in my arms, legs or abdomen while I am resting or meditating. I’ve also been feeling in turns; tense, elated, apprehensive, excited, energised and weary in quick succession.

To read about the cosmic and spiritual meaning of this eclipse, click here to read an article in The Rainbow Scribe .  Recommended by the lovely Christine Kloser.

The eclipse will be happening for us Western Australians in the early hours of tomorrow morning, Monday the 21st May.  It will be at it’s maximum eclipse at 7.54 am in Perth. That’s 9.54 am for you Eastern States dwellers.

source: NASA

To make the most of the energetic and spiritual expansion offered by this event, I recommend between now and when you go to sleep tonight, make time to acknowledge any old, outmoded beliefs and attitudes you would like to release. Then claim for yourself from this night forward, all the new ways you would love to live and BE yourself in your life into the future. Write it all down for extra effect.

This is a wonderful opportunity to consciously open up to some big transformational energies sweeping our planet in the next day or so.

Smile, breathe and dwell in your heart.

Love to you all,

Tricia

Letting Go to Create Anew

Posted in Uncategorized

The Australian Bush Flower Essence’s Bottlebrush Essence helps us to cope calmly with change

What’s becoming really clear to me at the moment is that a really big part of moving forward as a human being is letting go. A couple of weeks ago I went to an early morning (well, not that early, 7.15) yoga class, leaving the man to get the kids ready for school and deliver them with all the important stuff in their bags like hats, water bottles and library books.

Now it’s not as though he hasn’t been around to help with the morning routine for a couple of months.  It’s just that I am usually the one in charge and the last defence when it comes to checking that everything is sorted.

Just before I cycled off to yoga I couldn’t help myself making some little preparations. I got the lunch boxes out and carefully placed April’s reading book next to her diary on the table, making sure there was a pencil there ready for her to write with.  I then crept into the bedroom where Dad was still dozing and casually mentioned what needed to be done with the diary, being careful to seem relaxed lest he detect any unease about leaving him in charge.

I loved my yoga class and having a break from the school morning palaver was sheer bliss!  What really surprised me was the low level anxiety mixed in with a little bit of loss I felt about not being at home to make sure everything was done right.

My conscious self is ready to share the parenting more evenly with my partner but ten years of doing a lot of this day to day care of kids and home on my own has clearly had a deep affect on my psyche.  It feels like I need to nurture myself through letting go of this strong role I have created for myself so I can become more balanced and more able to enjoy other aspects of my life.

My husband is going through his own process of letting go of his role of being the sole provider of the family income and adjusting to being more present in the domestic sphere.  It all feels right and better for us as a family but we are certainly going through an adjustment phase as we find our feet in our new life.

Going to my second morning yoga class the following week was easier and who knows, one day I might even walk out the door without so much as a thought about where my daughter’s homework folder is.

It’s funny how it’s not until we make some changes in our lives that we realise how attached we are to our roles and habits.  For me it all comes back to the idea that we are whole and perfect regardless of what we “do” in the world.

I’ve said it before and I offer you this chance to do it again with me.

Sit down right now and take a couple of deep breaths letting the exhalations out with a little sigh.  Say lovingly to yourself, (out loud if you like):

“I AM”

Focus on your heart space.

“I AM”

This brings a smile to my lips and a feeling of peace to my heart.

How about you?

All is well.

Namaste ( I like the interpretation “The light in me sees the light in you”)

Tricia

A New Life Slowly Unfurls

Posted in Uncategorized

Image

Good morning from the golf course. See if you can spot the boy (Harry) in the shot above.  This is my favourite tree.  We can see it from our house and all the local birds fight for resting spots in it. Just looking at it brings me peace.

I am realising more than ever (now we are living with nature all around us), just how important trees, flowers, rocks, plants and the bare earth are to our basic well-being.

One morning this week I went for a walk through the bush to a little hidden bay I recently found. It was a bit cool and windy so I found a rock to sit on in a sheltered spot and let the morning sun warm me as I meditated. I sat and listened to the waves rolling onto the beach, the wind moving through the trees and softly swirling around me. I felt myself sinking and settling down onto the rock and into my deeper self.

To stop and just BE.

I am finding that the more I do this, the more I feel like ME.

Meeting the new clients who are coming to see me in Dunsborough has challenged me to remain centred in how I work, and to realise that I now have no choice but to be completely myself in my efforts to be of service and in the whole of this new life we are creating.

Something I have noticed in myself and in many of the women who come to see me is that much of our unhappiness, struggle and ill health comes from a fear of being ourselves.Of course, for many of us the first step is to discover who we really are and then embrace her, celebrate her, love her.

Take a look at this blog, My Smiling Heart for a beautiful illustration of one talented young woman’s journey.

I’m feeling energised and calm.  I’m ready to make some other small changes in our lives such as taking my son and I off dairy foods, (the other two in the family can tolerate milk better).  I made my first batch of almond milk yesterday.  It’s great on my muesli but as I sit here with my Yallingup Wood Fired Bread fruit toast and a cup of tea, having it in my morning cuppa might take some getting used to.; )

Let me know if you would like a recipe and I’ll email it.

A lovely weekend to all,

Tricia x