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LivingNow RELATIONSHIPS How to reinvigorate intimacy in your relationship

CONFRONTING OUR SEXUAL PAST PLEASE HOLD ME

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The two ingredients for a good, longlasting relationship

SEXUAL VULNERABILITY

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SEPTEMBER 2015/ISSUE 186 NSW / QLD

Break up with your past Mercury – avoiding a hidden toxin


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¸0RUV^7:@*/2LULYN`IHSHUJPUN [LJOUVSVN`PZLMMLJ[P]LILJH\ZLP[YHKPJHSS` JOHUNLKT`SPML4VYLPTWVY[HU[V]LY[OL SHZ[ML^`LHYZ0OH]LOLHYKMYVTO\UKYLKZ VMWLVWSLHYV\UK[OL^VYSK^OVOH]L \ZLK7:@*/2[VZ\JJLZZM\SS` [HRLJOHYNLVM[OLPYSP]LZ¹ Dr Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief

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EDITORIAL

EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT relationships. How can we not know when most everyone in the world is in relationship with someone else? If we don’t have a ‘significant other’ in our lives, we do certainly have a relative, or I hope you do. Yes, relatives are a blessing and a curse at times. They sure as hell know how to push our buttons, as does the significant other. It’s funny that while we are so practised with relationships, we are also very often totally inept at managing them. So I know that this issue will be of use to you in finding ways to better your relationships. There are some excellent articles, including a couple with sexual advice. We are lucky that these days people know so much more about sex, and are free to speak about it for the benefit of us all, and it’s a far cry from the advice given to many of our female forebears to ‘Lie back and think of England’. You know how I’ve rattled on so many times about Spirit providing us with a theme or feature, and that it pops up – and at the last minute quite often, and too late for us to really ‘go to town’ on a good design and layout. Well this month I thought I had jumped in first because I’d been noticing all the relationships articles coming into my in box over a few months, and then those funky pics that we have used, and voilá – a relationship feature ready-made. (Yes, I know that you might argue that Spirit was the one behind the articles popping into my in box in the first place – more about that later.) Anyway, right at the end of the production phase, ie, just a few days ago, I accepted a couple of new articles, and held a couple of planned ones for another issue. Yes, that’s right, they were both talking about similar things – pain and how it actually brings us a gift, and, if we are in pain, we have not learned the lesson yet. We already had one article that talked about the same thing – so three articles are enough to make a bit of a theme aren’t they? Therefore, the message that Spirit is trying to get through to us this month may very well be about

Dear Fellow Adventurers acknowledging and learning from pain – as well as learning from the way we do our relationships. Probably the one with the strongest message in those three pain articles is called ‘The beauty of pain’ by Ian Nesbitt. He’s a new writer for us, and I am delighted to be interviewing Ian and his partner Tracy at afternoon tea on the last Sunday of September. I hope you can come and join us if you are in Melbourne. If you are in another state, let me know if you’d like to have us come to visit there with our interviews, as we can organise something if the interest is there and you can suggest a nice private venue for afternoon tea. So I said I’d return to the subject of Spirit organising the emails that come into my in box. I don’t want you to laugh at me, but I had no intention to write that I would return to that subject later, but out it came. So I think I have no alternative now but to tell you that I have, over the years, come to the conclusion that there are no accidents, and that Spirit does in fact orchestrate this whole apparent charade. Oh yes, we might be given free will in little things, but I don’t think I’ve got much free will at all, and you probably have not either.

Little things like tying shoe laces are pretty obviously something that Spirit does not have to organise, but then, what about the little things that turn into a big one? For instance, what if you decide not to tie shoe laces and then you trip over and break your leg, which means you cannot get on that bus you planned to take at that time, and the whole succession of events thereafter gets changed? Hmmm… it makes me wonder about how much we ever decide for ourselves. With love

SEPTEMBER 2015 3


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06 The two ingredients for a good, long-lasting relationship PHONE: 1300 730 326 or 03 9842 1896 EMAIL: advertising@livingnow.com.au WEB: www.livingnow.com.au ADDRESS: 46 Tunstall Road, Donvale, 3111 Established 1989 SUBSCRIPTIONS: Visit www.livingnow.com.au or under and click ‘Subscribe’ in the top left of the home page. Or simply write to 46 Tunstall Road Donvale 3111, Australia, and enclose a cheque or money order made payable to Living Now Media Pty. Ltd. Subscribers can choose to be an annual ‘enthusiastic’ subscriber and pay $49 or an annual ‘passionate’ subscriber and pay $99. More details on page 46 of this issue. READERSHIP: Our reader surveys regularly show around 2.5 to 2.8 readers per copy, ie 180,000. DISTRIBUTION: Distributed freely in VIC, NSW and QLD to health food shops, holistic book shops, healing clinics and centres, theatres, coffee shops, bars and restaurants, clothing shops, etc. EDITORIAL POLICY & DISCLAIMERS: We provide a vehicle for the interchange of ideas and experiences by which we hope to inspire, nurture and empower the human spirit. We do this in a non–doctrinal way and therefore accept submissions and advertising from a broad spectrum of people. No responsibility is accepted by Living Now Media P/L for the accuracy of the information contained herein. Expressed or implied authors’ and advertisers’ opinions and beliefs are not necessarily those of the Editor and/or Publisher. It is up to you, the reader, to make your own evaluation and judgement and take your own path; and seek professional advice when appropriate. No responsibility will be accepted where publication is delayed or prevented by factors beyond our control. LIMITED LIABILITY: Our liability for any error is limited to the cost of the space and is applicable only to an error that materially affects the value of the advertisement. Further, we shall not be liable for damages if, for any reason, we fail to publish an ad. Advertisers agree to assume all responsibility and liability for all claims arising from their advertisements and will protect the publisher from same. SUBMISSIONS: Our intention is that by informing, nurturing and inspiring our readers, we can assist in their self-empowerment. We offer options for growth in areas such as: personal growth, complementary health and wellbeing, relationships, spiritual living, metaphysics, environment and social issues. We publish independent articles that contain a gift to the reader by presenting wellgrounded information from practitioners and researchers in their fields - as well as uplifting personal stories of empowerment - so that readers find techniques that they can immediately start to apply in their own lives. © 2015 Living Now Media Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. ACN 601 773 497. ABN 83 601 773 497. ISSN 1445-8381 INDEPENDENTLY PUBLISHED BY LIVING NOW MEDIA PTY LTD

4 SEPTEMBER 2015

by Liliane Grace Do you want to find someone you can grow with or someone who is already perfect? Do you have what it takes to rock your relationship boat in a productive way while you’re both sitting in it?

10 How to reinvigorate intimacy in your relationship by Eric Lyleson Intimacy is the most natural, effortless experience two people can have and yet it is also very difficult for many people to experience and to maintain in long-term relationships and marriage.

14 Confronting our sexual past by Emma Michelle Dixon The past can hinder our experience of physical intimacy in a relationship, but, for a relationship to thrive, we must constructively face our sexual inheritance.


contents 38

20

16 22 Sexual vulnerability by Janet McGeever Sexual vulnerability in the context of a loving relationship, means leaving aside the ‘games’ we play to protect ourselves, to get love, to perform, or perhaps look a certain way to our partner. It does not mean leaving you prey to abuse of any sort.

24 Please hold me by Joyce Vissell A gift that could make all the difference between their not thriving and truly thriving in this life.

HEALTH & HEALING

16 Love your shadow, for the dark is the light in disguise by Boris von Rechenberg Could it be that your pursuit of happiness, personal growth and evolution is actually distracting you from being well now? What if ‘The Secret’ is no secret at all; ‘hidden’ in plain view – a forest that can’t be seen for all the trees? Here we explore what we can do to be well and happy now, and whether there is a herb to support your journey home.

38 Computer work and reading glasses by Leo Angart Do you experience eyestrain, fatigue and muscle tension when using your computer? You may be wearing the wrong glasses or the screen may be too close.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT 20 The beauty of pain

by Ian Nesbitt The transformation of our relationship to pain.

28 Break up with your past by Tamsyn Rosenberg “I will never get over this...” Is that true? Finally the top ten secrets to finishing with life’s ‘unresolvables’.

METAPHYSICS

26 Padraig and the Pouca by Lora O’Brien A touch of faerie from Ireland

34 A wolf in wolf’s clothing

30

ISSUES

30 Mercury – avoiding a hidden toxin by Martin Oliver Mercury-containing products are already banned in Norway and Sweden, and are subject to restrictive regulation in the EU and the US. In Australia, where there is an emphasis on non-binding voluntary action by industry, proactive individuals can help make a difference by taking steps outlined here.

36 Advertiser news and reviews 43 Health & Healing feature

Are you looking to make a change in your health? Or maybe you want to shift your thinking on something. Here are ideas to get you started.

44 September Stargazer by Stella Woods Cecil the lion, and Jupiter in Virgo – from hubris to humility Venus turns direct – feel the love September new moon – dream big September full moon – take calculated risks Spring equinox – a burst of vitality September moon calendar

by Raym Richards Raym’s client seeks answers to a relationship riddle that unravels over thousands of years. She discovers that she was not always focussed on sweetness and light.

SEPTEMBER 2015 5


R E L AT I O N S H I P S

THE TWO INGREDIENTS FOR A GOOD, LONG-LASTING RELATIONSHIP Do you want to find someone you can grow with or someone who is already perfect? Do you have what it takes to rock your relationship boat in a productive way while you’re both sitting in it? by Liliane Grace

6 SEPTEMBER 2015

THE TWO INGREDIENTS for a good, long-lasting relationship are stupidity and low self-esteem – whoa! I’m writing this article because dear friends who recently became engaged have just decided to separate. We were shocked because they seemed made to measure – absolutely perfect for each other – so many aligned interests and values! How did this happen? As I heard some of the reasons for their separation, it occurred to me that today’s young people simply have too much self-esteem! In the past, if a relationship hit a rocky patch you just


where we didn’t even like each other any more. We were putting up with each other – enduring the situation because we had three children. (Not the best environment for them, either, and it showed: they were cranky, quarrelsome kids.) This sounds like an argument against my point, right? Fast-forward to today, and the picture is completely different: my partner (the same man) and I are very close and loving, and we have a very close-knit, caring family (the same kids ;). So was our inertia, our lack of confidence in separating, one of the factors in our longevity? When we look at many stuck and unhappy marriages around us it’s pretty easy to conclude that the x-factor for a long-lasting relationship is low standards, but what about a fulfilling, long-lasting relationship? Could time also play a role here? I suspect so. It seems to me that if we are too quick to fly the coop when things don’t seem to be working or don’t feel good, we miss the opportunity for that truly golden feeling of having worked through something together and taken it to a higher level.

Before it’s been through this ‘trial by fire’, a relationship is simply a friendship or an infatuation; it’s the trials that produce true love and a rock-solid connection, and time is often a factor in achieving that outcome. hung in there and hoped things would improve; today, if we hit that rocky patch we’re outa there because we ‘deserve better’. I can totally relate! It was that very idea, that I deserved better, that had me almost leave my primary relationship some ten years ago. Eventually I took action and things did improve – more on that soon. But there were many, many years when I hung in there feeling sad and disappointed and frustrated, and didn’t leave because I didn’t value myself enough to make the move. My partner and I got to a point

Time itself is not the x-factor, of course. We’ve all observed ‘dead’ relationships, where the couple is just ‘doing time’ together and no longer either in love or loving. Clearly, too little commitment or self-worth or skill and the relationship just becomes a dead shell. You have two people cohabiting and there’s no love in the equation. I’m not promoting that kind of stupidity or lack of self-esteem! What I’m saying is that we should apply our high standards and self-esteem and intelligence inside the relationship rather than to the exit process.

Maybe we need to put the brakes on departure; to question our model of relationship and put more energy into building the kind of relationship we want. My son attended a wedding recently and reported that the whole congregation was in fits of laughter over the priest’s comments about marriage. He apparently said that marriages that last consist of ‘two stupid people’, marriages that last but include an affair are made up of one stupid person and one smart person (the smart one being the one who has the affair), and marriages that break up are the marriages of two smart people. I was staggered when I heard this – not only was it my theory exactly, but it was coming from someone who was surely supposed to be promoting the sanctity of marriage! I had to ring that priest to discover how he’d arrived at his conclusion. He explained that, when he was referring to being smart, he was talking about our state today of being highly individuated, our culture of intelligence / intellectualism, our ‘me-ism’ and entitlement – my rights, my freedom, my choice… It’s not that those qualities don’t have a place, he assured me, but a good marriage requires that we go beyond ‘smartness’; it calls for ‘selfgiving for the sake of the other’. Christianity often uses marriage as a metaphor for the sacrificial relationship between God and His people, and Jesus’ sacrifice as an example of ‘God dying for his people’. Theology aside, where human marriage is concerned, would you die for the one you love? Let’s redefine ‘die’: would you stop straining at the leash for your freedom and greener grass and deservingness of ‘better’, and apply that smartness and self-worth inside the relationship and make it stronger? There is widespread agreement that today we live in a throw-away society. In the past if something was broken it was repaired; today we simply replace it. Are our relationships becoming caught up in this model too? Are we moving on more SEPTEMBER 2015 7


R E L AT I O N S H I P S

rapidly than we would have in the past simply because we can, because we are so well educated, so aware of what else is available that we consider our opportunities to be endless?

Why don’t we hang in there and tackle our differences, especially if the relationship began from love? Is that love really gone or just deeply buried? Billy Joel’s song ‘Just The Way You Are’ comes right out and says, ‘I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble’ because both the good and bad times are part of the journey. I used to be rather dismissive of the wedding vow ‘for better or worse’; I was addicted to ‘better’ – I wanted the ‘happy ever after’ and didn’t want any part of ‘worse’. Perhaps those Hollywood happy endings are to blame for this illusion since so many of us have fantasies about the ideal relationship. Our lists of the dreamy qualities our ideal partner will have don’t take into account the universal law that for every positive there will be a negative… so it’s only a question of time before the negatives show up and we find ourselves experiencing the nightmare opposite of our initial fantasy. Well, I certainly did. I was looking for Mr Perfect and I found him – but the perfection wasn’t in a laundry list of positive qualities; it was in how perfectly he provided the life lessons I needed! Dr John Demartini often refers to this ‘paired’ dynamic: whenever we have a rose-coloured picture of something, we are committing ourselves to discovering its seamy underbelly, but that seamy underbelly reveals a rich seam of gold, if we dig deeply enough… Marriage is a deep, rich, unfathomable mystery, the priest said. What does it take to hang in there through the hard times when you ‘deserve better’? Is this selfless sacrifice the form of ‘stupidity’ he is talking about? Self-esteem can be interpreted in two ways: as the self-worth we need to live creative and fulfilling lives, and as a ‘fullness of self’ that dominates or 8 SEPTEMBER 2015

pushes others away. What if we were to apply our high expectations, our sense of entitlement, our starry eyes and self-esteem to transforming the relationship we’re in? What if we made a commitment to that, and called our partner to meet us in it? There’s no doubt that some people are not equal to this sort of growth, and in that case moving on is the best option, but the couple I’m talking about were both equal to it, and that was what was so shocking about their separation. I applaud the decision to set high standards that reflect our worth, but let’s be careful about applying that self-worth to leave relationships that could be healed and restored. Besides, which part of us is leaving, the part that is playing out our childhood programming or the part that has genuinely outgrown the relationship? (We’ve all heard of the effect of those patterns: ‘Dad left when we were three so we (unconsciously) can’t sustain a relationship beyond three years’.) Or is the part driving the departure some sort of addictive reaction? Our food cravings are often the cravings of the parasites or bacteria or fungus inside us rather than a healthy body’s desire for nutrition. Is something like that going on when we feel the urge to call it quits? Are we addicted to drama or change, and so we whirl away, not realising that we are moving on from a relationship that is rich with potential?

I’m not suggesting that anyone stay in an abusive or damaging relationship and I’m not suggesting that we should not trust our intuition that a relationship is over, but often our deepest and most certain feelings are still not the whole story. I know this because some ten years ago I had literally arrived at the point in my relationship when I was thinking of leaving every day and often no longer even liked my partner. Yet today I love him deeply and feel grateful that we are still together.

How did the change occur? To begin with, I did value myself more, and when my energy changed, the whole nature of our relationship had to change. We could no longer relate to each other in the old ways because I had genuinely changed; so the chemistry between us was completely different. Rather than applying my greater self-worth to the business of leaving, I stayed put and we worked through our issues together. I’m blessed that my partner rose to the occasion, though I’m also clear that he did so because I had genuinely changed. My previous threats that I was leaving had barely caused a ripple in his behaviour. It wasn’t until I was 100% congruent that he also changed.

When one person makes a profound change, the ‘chemistry’ of the whole relationship has to change and will change. As a couple we are not now ‘smilingly set in stone’; we are a living couple and so new issues are continually coming up, and who knows what the future holds? But I hope that we continue to grow together in honour of the original spark of love, in honour of our children, and in honour of the principle that the deepest love is buried the most deeply. Does this also speak to you? What if we collectively have the courage and smarts and self-worth to rock our relationship boat in a productive way while we’re both still sitting in it? After all, do we want to find someone we can grow with or someone who is already ‘perfect’? What a pest that person would be! Here’s to owning the mirror and the journey. Here’s to a dash of ‘stupidity’ and a dose of low self-esteem… and golden relationships that transform. n Liliane Grace, author, speaker, writing coach and creator of The Mastery Club® personal development books and programs for youth.


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HOW TO REINVIGORATE INTIMACY IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP

Intimacy is the most natural, effortless experience two people can have and yet it is also very difficult for many people to experience and to maintain in long-term relationships and marriage. by Eric Lyleson

INTIMACY CAN BE experienced in different ways including through touch, verbally, sexually and eye contact. However, touching, talking, lovemaking and eye contact are necessarily intimate. We have all had conversations that weren’t intimate or been touched in ways that weren’t intimate. Who hasn’t had sex that wasn’t very intimate? The degree of intimacy experienced in any situation is determined by the degree of openness and engagement each person brings to the interaction. 10 SEPTEMBER 2015

The essence of intimacy between lovers is the experience of really being with one another, the keyword being ‘being’. The more we can really let ourselves be, the more we can really let ourselves be with another person. Our sense of being is our sense of presence. Our ability to be aware in the here and now to our inner experience and to our immediate experience of our partner determines how intimate we feel.

Intimacy depends on honesty, and the honesty begins within yourself. You can only be as honest with someone else as you are with yourself. We feel closest to the people we have secrets with and most distant from the people we keep secrets from.


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LIVING & LEARNING

People have a hard time being honest with themselves and others when they fear the ramifications of their actions, feelings and desires, or they think what they are experiencing is wrong, or they fear the other person will judge them negatively. To allow ourselves to experience greater intimacy often feels like a risk. It means admitting things to ourselves that we may have learned to deny. Then opening up to another person, knowing they may not respond in kind or like what we share with them. There can be intimacy at different levels of experience. • Intimacy can come with the sharing of ideas. This occurs when people are openly sharing their ideas and are open-minded to hearing the other’s ideas. • Intimacy can come with the sharing of emotions. This occurs when people are openly sharing their emotions and are open-hearted to hearing their partner’s emotions. • Intimacy can happen in sharing a hug. This occurs when each person allows their heart to open and body awareness to enjoy the warmth and human presence of their partner. • Intimacy can happen with any sort of touch, but the touch is only as intimate as the presence in the touch and the presence the touch is received. This is also true for sexual touching and intercourse. Routine is a great dampener to intimacy. Intimacy is always fresh and in the moment. Intimacy is lost when we are going through the motions of what we shared before. Intimacy occurs when we are open to the uniqueness of this moment and what is arising within us in relation to the other. It is common for couples to become less intimate over time. This generally occurs when the idea of being together has become more important than the quality of their being together. For fear of upsetting their partner they are less honest with things that might be bothering them or asking them for something that is out of the ordinary. Everyone has limits on how comfortable they are with intimacy. Overtime we exhaust the novel ways we can easily share with our partners. For intimacy to continue it must deepen. What was an intimate sharing at one time eventually becomes just an old story, or a broken record emotion or a worn out sexual routine. However the degree of 12 SEPTEMBER 2015

intimacy is not determined necessarily by what we say or do, but the degree of presence we do it with. Saying ‘I love you’, gazing into your partner’s eyes or sharing a hug are simple activities that can feel dead or really come alive depending how much of ourselves we bring to those moments. To become more intimate with our partners we must become more intimate with ourselves. We must be willing to find out who were are when we are not caught in the social conditioning we have adopted to adapt to living in a world that has not always been receptive to our speaking, expressing and acting what is true for us. People who grow up with parents that are more concerned with obedient behaviour and keeping up with appearances will have more difficulty being intimate than people whose parents were genuinely concerned about their children’s uniqueness and emotional well-being.

The desire for intimacy is the desire to know and experience ourselves deeply and to be known and experienced deeply by another. This is simple because it requires our simply being ourselves in close proximity to another, but it is one of the most difficult things for us to do because it requires us to face all the shame, fear, hurt and resentment that get in our way of open and undefended relating with ourselves and others. To support intimacy in your relationship • Make time to be together. • Commit to being honest. • See your relationship as a vehicle for getting to know yourself and heal old emotional wounds. • Practise bringing your full attention to your heart and hands when you touch or hug. • Take time on your own to meditate or write in a journal, and then share with your partner what you get in touch with. • Play and have fun together. • Make gentle eye contact, let your mind settle and allow for silence. • Show your vulnerability. • Ask for what you want and ask your partner what you can do for them. • Hug until relaxed and keep relaxing until you enjoy the hug. • If you don’t feel close, let your partner know that you want to be more intimate, and share what is getting in your way. Or ask them what is getting in their way. • Commit random acts of kindness. • Get help from a good relationship counsellor who communicates with you and your partner in away that promotes intimacy. • Ask your loving heart to show you the way. n Eric Lyleson established the Healing Relationships Centre in Dee Why in 1988. He is a graduate of Sonoma State University in California where he specialised in Marriage and Family Therapy and Gestalt Therapy. He has been a member of the Australian Psychological Society since 1988. He is author of Essential Wholeness, Integral Psychotherapy, Spiritual Awakening and the Enneagram and the eco-psychology book Reflections from Down Under, Getting Lost and Finding Yourself in Nature.


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SEPTEMBER 2015 13


R E L AT I O N S H I P S

CONFRONTING OUR SEXUAL PAST The past can hinder our experience of physical intimacy in a relationship, but, for a relationship to thrive, we must constructively face our sexual inheritance. by Emma Michelle Dixon

SEXUAL INTIMACY IN a relationship matters vitally. As I wrote in the June issue of this magazine, a strong sexual connection is critical to lasting happiness, with as much as 32 percent of divorces relating to sexual issues. Unfortunately, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t often admit when this aspect of our relationship is unsatisfactory. Often, we are in denial about it. There seem to be just too many hurdles to overcome, from the internal emotional/psychological barriers, to the practical challenges of planning for intimacy in the midst of an overscheduled life. Desire discrepancy (that is, when one partner wants sexual intimacy much more) is the most common problem 14 SEPTEMBER 2015

in terms of marital sexual issues. Sometimes, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s indeed a problem of ageing; changing libidos and hormones can affect performance and/or lubrication.

However, desire discrepancy can in fact conceal something else, something potentially festering and ultimately destructive over time: an unresolved past. Sexual inheritance

Sexuality is as much a social fact as a physical or biological expression, and this is where as humans we are vulnerable in our relationships.

Animals behave purely instinctively in this area, whereas we humans have managed to layer sexuality with shame, fear, social etiquette, and much more. We all have a history of influences on our relationship to sex, from the moment we are born. We bring this inheritance to the relationship. Sex is not something we routinely discuss at the dinner table, and culturally we are only just starting to discuss it directly with our partners. The past can be a very deep wound that we prefer not to re-open. Or ignorance (lack of an adequate sex education) means that we are missing some basic information about the sexual anatomy of pleasure, how to read and


Reasons

• You have inherited shame about sexuality from religion, society, or family culture. • Your past includes sexual abuse or trauma. • You have had inadequate sexual education (you do not know about the g-spot, prostate, how the clitoris works, multiple orgasm, etc.). • You do not have a good relationship with your body (you don’t see it as a source of sexual pleasure).

Steps to take towards healing Shame and past abuse or trauma

respond to arousal, and the delicate dance of communication that the best intimacy involves. Some signs that you would benefit from re-addressing your sexual inheritance: • You and your partner have a very unbalanced desire for sexual intimacy. • You feel an aversion to intimacy, or experience pain or discomfort or a sexual dysfunction. • When intimate, you have uncontrollable memories or emotions from negative past experiences. • You more often default to pornography or erotica as a sexual stimulant, rather than seeking intimacy with your partner.

If this is the demon of your sexual past, it is important to get some counselling, because telling your story is the first step to releasing its hold over your present life. You might find that telling the story a lot can help you to feel validated, to allow yourself emotion, and to grieve. After some time telling it, you will benefit from relearning to associate pleasure with intimacy. One means of re-associating sexuality with pleasure is by using NLP and hypnotherapy. A simple way to start on your own is to build on what we know from studies in neuroplasticity, and develop new habits that grow your brain’s synapses and rewire your physiological responses. Sleep on the wrong side of the bed. Learn a new physical skill (a sport or artwork). Crucially: self-pleasure in an exploratory, non goal-oriented manner (see below).

Sex education

There are so many classy sources of good sex education, but don’t just Google it. Find a reputable online bookstore and read reviews. You will be surprised, if you haven’t fully explored this topic, to learn all kinds of amazing things we now know through science— about the female orgasm, for example (including ejaculation), about male multiple orgasms, about using bondage for fun, and much more. Read as much as possible, and playfully initiate exploration with your partner. It’s never too late to learn new techniques in the

bedroom, and it’s a wonderful way to reconnect if you’ve been having a hard time in that department.

Learn to love your body

This does not refer to appearance; it refers to loving your body for the pleasure it gives you. So often, people see their body as an object to work out (to look fit), to adorn (if you are fashion conscious), or something which gives them a rush of endorphins during exercise. You might just see your body as something that gets work done—from breastfeeding to lawn mowing! People who love sex have something in common: they love their bodies for the pleasure their bodies give them. This kind of selflove is attainable for everyone.

You can fall in love with your body’s erotic potential, but like with any love relationship, it takes time, gentleness, and getting to know yourself well. Find ways to enjoy your body. Get to know yourself naked, first, and start to enjoy sensation, without pressure for sexual pleasure. Just explore, very slowly, every single part, and not just the obvious ones. Over time, you can increase this to genital stimulation, but don’t rush there. Full erotic pleasure involves much more of the body. Finally, consider exploring tantra, OM-ing, or other mindful sexuality practices that help you get in touch with what is essential in your intimate self (rather than follow some society dictate about what is sexual). It’s never too late to reassess your past, and take steps towards a fulfilling sexual future. Most of all, be kind to yourself, and enjoy the journey. n Emma Michelle Dixon, PhD, is a sexuality and relationship coach, bodyworker, and workshop facilitator based in Sydney. She regularly presents workshops and talks on matters of sexuality as well as facilitates retreats on sexual healing. SEPTEMBER 2015 15


H E A LT H & H E A L I N G

LOVE YOUR SHADOW, FOR THE DARK IS THE LIGHT IN DISGUISE Could it be that your pursuit of happiness, personal growth and evolution is actually distracting you from being well now? What if ‘The Secret’ is no secret at all; ‘hidden’ in plain view – a forest that can’t be seen for all the trees? Here we explore what we can do to be well and happy now, and whether there is a herb to support your journey home. by Boris von Rechenberg

HAVE YOU EVER rummaged around desperately for your keys, only to find them somewhere obvious? I once looked for my sunglasses, only to find them on my head! Duh.. It seems to be a human trait to get so wound-up with the day-to-day, that we are like a passenger on the train of our life, rather than its driver. You’ve probably noticed that most of us seem to be steaming straight from the past to the future; never really fully present. In the process of ‘getting stuff done’, we habitually reject the now, and when we’re not flat-out, we recover with other ways of not being still. It was at a Vipassana retreat (silent ten days) that I recall one of the first moments I fully faced pain. Day 3 we 16 SEPTEMBER 2015

were told not to move any more – to be perfectly still – and observe. Oh, the pain. It was then I discovered that we’re always adjusting, fixing, repositioning, scratching, sniffing, clearing our throats, etc. After an excruciating few days, we learned how to allow discomfort, and then tune into something subtler, and boom, the pain was gone. It’s like we’re subconsciously wired for comfort – right? We retract like a tortoise or a snail the moment things get a bit uncomfortable. That’s what really became clear at the meditation retreat – our incessant running from discomfort towards comfort; from pain towards pleasure. So it would be rather counter-intuitive then if we were to learn that, in order to

have lasting happiness, we must first learn about suffering… Or that the path to the light leads us straight through the dark. Doesn’t sound like fun at all and yet, I can assure you, that it is in ‘the dark’, and in ‘our shadow’, where we find all the juicy goodness, which can help us transform our lives.

Our larger consciousness attracts situations – which may appear at first to be misfortunes or problems – to heal that which is not as yet whole in us. Our difficulties are called into being by our wish to heal and become whole.


8 HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS TO ASSIST ACCESSING YOUR LARGER SELF: • Tulsi / Holy basil • Brahmi gotu kola • Brahmi bacopa monnieri • Ashwaganda/ withania somnifera • Ginkgo biloba • Polygala siberica / milkwort • Passion flower • COQ10 You may find these herbs as powders or teas, or blended into supplements, either as pure herbs or extracts.

I propose we flip the whole pain topic on its head. What if most pain is nothing more than the fear of it?

What if we create pain by resisting the bits of life, which, in our short-sightedness, look unacceptable, but, from a larger perspective, actually are happening for a good reason, which may even be important for our growth? Just imagine if we were to allow our hurts long enough to discover the underlying cause of why we’re resisting. Once an underlying cause has been discovered, it may be simply allowed

and released, meaning that it won’t cause us more of that kind of pain. So let’s reframe and rename what we call ‘pain’, what we call ‘problems’, ‘situations’, ‘issues’ and ‘things gone wrong’. For they are really portals of transformation that may well facilitate personal transformation, and serve us with long-term benefits. But of course, we’re more used to ‘fixing problems’ aren’t we? Although this can be a useful skill in some instances, they can make our problems worse, larger, and ‘more real’ in psychological terms. Most fixes are temporary at best, and the issues often come back ‘bigger and badder’. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, to solve a problem, you need a mind of a higher dimension, than the dimension at which the problem occurs. You know the feeling: someone says something that irritates you, and you lash out. That’s our ‘small me’. When what the other person says doesn’t bother us, that’s ‘big me’. We tell kids to ‘be the bigger person’. Well, the same principle works in healing and psychology. What we really need to fully resolve our problems is a mind larger than the mind that maintains the problem. A small mind battles with the problem – gives it more energy. A larger mind enjoys an overview, whereas a smaller mind does not. The ‘small me’ tries to ‘under-stand’ problems, and thereby stands under them, makes them bigger, places them above itself, and can’t ‘get over it’. Near death experiences are a beautiful example of greater perspectives, as experienced by a bigger self. Our soul is at a far higher dimension than everyday reality, and has the ability to see our entire life in a glimpse. In the same way, the most profound healing or shift can occur with just one glance from a larger mind.

So, how do you access larger states of mind?

Meditation, yoga (not ‘gym yoga’), heart focus or heart breathing, reiki, kinesiology, Feldenkrais, chi gong, tai chi, pranayama, and other techniques which access and promote ‘mindfulness’, are fantastic, effective ways to help you work through issues. Check out

the exercises mentioned in Jan’15 ‘A Younger You in 2015’ and March’15 ‘Peace of Mind’ articles. If you are new to all of this, or have subconscious blocks you’re struggling to get past, then hypnosis, theta healing, Reconnective healing and transformational healing, will introduce you to the method, which you should be able to self-facilitate after a few sessions. You can also explore process-oriented psychology.

Is there anything I can take to access larger states of mind?

Yes and no. You still have to do the actual ‘work’ of expanding your mind, but there’s certainly many ways to assist this and make sure that your body, nervous system, and brain are prepared. One primary way of assisting expanded awareness, is to treat our physical body as if it were a precious gift. Besides gentle exercise and stretching, consider what you put into your system. I’m not talking about some kind of guiltladen, self-denying diet regimen. The approach I suggest is simply eating with awareness, and favouring food that is as natural and alive as possible. My greatest leaps in personal growth, have mostly coincided with times of eating well, and a little less; especially food that is alive, like living vegetables, fruit, activated nuts, seeds, grains, and sprouts, which I grew at home. The supplements and herbs listed above have supported me, and may also assist you, facilitating the ideal physical conditions for your growth and personal evolution. Detailed descriptions of these can be found in these articles: Jan’15 ‘A Younger You in 2015’, and March’15 ‘Peace of Mind’. n Boris von Rechenberg, DoCH, is a transformational energy healer, coach and educator; combining holistic psychology and transpersonal hypnotherapy with quantum source energetics. Based in Melbourne, he helps others rediscover true self, life purpose, ease, abundance, radical forgiveness, peace of mind, youth and wellness through whole being. SEPTEMBER 2015 17


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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

THE BEAUTY OF PAIN The transformation of our relationship to pain. by Ian Nesbitt

I WAS RE-WATCHING Matrix Reloaded the other day, the second ‘difficult’ movie in the trilogy, and for the first time I realised I disagreed with one of the many brilliant quotes in that movie. The quote was “Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.” I disagreed because in my experience for myself and in working with many others in the area of transformational change, I feel pain is the source of our greatest strength and our greatest weakness. ‘Know thy Self’ was written on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo 20 SEPTEMBER 2015

at Delphi. It beautifully sums up the challenge of life and the journey we all go on to arrive at a deeper understanding of ourselves and how we operate and what it means to be a human being, rather than a dog being or a bird being. Yet within our current paradigm, and when I mean current I mean at least the last 100 years, the mantra would probably be closer to “whatever you do, don’t know your Self”. Don’t listen to yourself, doubt that inner guidance and, whatever you do, don’t follow it because, if you do, you will be looked upon by others as crazy. No, it is much better to let us, the authorities, the

institutions, the corporations and their public relations and marketers, tell you what is okay to think, what you should do, how you should be and what you should believe. Is it so surprising that many of us have no idea or very little skill in how to connect to our inner wisdom, our inner guidance? Even if we do, there is often shame or guilt or embarrassment around it. One of the great embarrassments of following our guidance is the often absence of a ‘why’. Our need for meaning and whys for everything is often not fulfilled till after we follow our guidance, and very rarely before.


Sometimes it can take years to understand the why. ‘Why did you stay in that relationship for so long?’ ‘Why did you come back to Australia?’ This is where the beauty of pain kicks in. If we look closely we notice that when we don’t have an answer that is authentic for us, we have a jolt of pain. That shame or guilt or embarrassment covers up a deeper feeling of pain, the pain of not knowing or understanding why. Often in those situations we may fob people off with a made up ‘fob-off why’. But we forget that those close to us most likely can spot an authentic why from a fob-off why, even if that fob-off why sounds well thought out and makes sense; and those that care about us, and are willing to challenge us, will let us know. ‘Your why... smells a bit fishy. I’d dig a little deeper if I were you.’ So how do we know we have found the authentic why and not just some ‘makes sense why’ created by our logical mind? As a transformational coach I know that if the person I am working with has a really good, well thought out, rational and reasonable reason for why something is so, and it makes sense, then a little alarm bell goes off in me and I know, more often than not, that they are avoiding their feelings, they are avoiding the pain. I see this is often what we do to justify our actions and avoid the pain that is there to face.

Why do we avoid facing our pain?

I would say because we have been taught to trade short, intense pain for mild, long-lasting suffering and somehow we believe that that’s a good trade off! We are conditioned to believe that pain is a sign that there is something wrong with us, in a negative sense. In other words it is a source of weakness, an embarrassment, selfindulgent or shameful. This avoidance of accepting the pain we have experienced in life and feeling the pain that is there to feel is at the core of our deep insecurities and is deeply debilitating. It is my experience and belief that when we reject and avoid our pain, we miss

out on learning from one of our most valuable teachers in life. We miss the lesson of pain.

Pain is an amazing teacher that always delivers exactly what we need. Pain cracks us open to a new level of authenticity and eventually brings us to that line between living an inauthentic conditioned life and living a fully authentic unconditioned life, following our calling, sharing our unique gift and genius with the world. Life – our higher self, that higher intelligence – can often be ruthless in its determination to bring us to that line, often kicking and screaming, trying to hold together the crumbling of our existing structures. Yet, when we let go, when we surrender to the unfolding discovery of the mystery of who we

really are rather than cling desperately to the remains of who we think we are, we step into a new reality, a new realm of being, a new uncharted terrain in our journey. From this unfolding discovery we understand that pain plays a role in our growth and refinement. It teaches us a deeper acceptance of our limited sense of self and allows us the opportunity to expand beyond who we think we are. I write this article because I strongly believe that this dynamic of trying to hold together the remnant of who we think we are and the increasing pain that desperation creates is what more and more of us are experiencing in our lives. The journey to deeper authenticity can occur like walking through a furnace and having the excesses we have accumulated over time burned away, revealing a raw, vulnerable present human being. As my friend loved to say, “There’s light at the end of the funnel! Because sometimes this journey feels like you’re being sucked backwards through one.”

When we transform our relationship to pain and we begin to acknowledge and own the pain we have experienced in life and the lessons we have learnt, we tap into a strength, a resilience, a deep spiritual power that is a beautiful gift to ourselves and the world we serve. Pain is not something we need to seek because it will always be provided when a lesson needs to be learnt, when a deeper level of authenticity is required of you, and that lesson is always perfect in its timing and in its delivery. That’s the beauty of pain. n Ian runs ‘Being the One’ transformational courses in Melbourne with his partner, Tracy Marcuzzi. Elizabeth Jewell Stephens will interview them at afternoon tea on Sunday, 27th September, in Melbourne. SEPTEMBER 2015 21


R E L AT I O N S H I P S

SEXUAL VULNERABILITY Sexual vulnerability in the context of a loving relationship, means leaving aside the ‘games’ we play to protect ourselves, to get love, to perform, or perhaps look a certain way to our partner. It does not mean leaving you prey to abuse of any sort. by Janet McGeever BRINGING THESE TWO words together – sex and true, authentic vulnerability – may seem scary. It’s a bridge that many don’t want to cross. Yet its richness is so rewarding. So what does it truly mean to be sexually vulnerable in a relationship?

It means becoming aware of all the strategies we use to get love or to manipulate another or ourselves to get the things we want for pleasure, safety, security, love or power – or to stop ourselves from being hurt – yet again. Sexual vulnerability cannot exist without emotional vulnerability. They are two 22 SEPTEMBER 2015

sides of the same coin. Resisting vulnerability creates a protective armour. Opening to vulnerability means taking the armour off and laying down your weapons, your defence mechanisms, your pride, and your ego, for love. It means being willing to meet all the feelings of resistance when we are making love or moving towards making love. It means not just going through the ‘act’ of lovemaking but fully participating with your heart, and being willing to meet any uncomfortable feelings that may arise, including pleasure! It also means speaking what’s true and real for you in any given time, even when you fear your lover will not be happy. It means to STOP the talking where there has been too much talking, causing a lack of presence.

It means being willing to allow the body to soften. Once the body softens and relaxes, so much opening is possible. Sometimes tears flow – a release of the held-in tension. Healing of your past is possible. A whole chapter of your sexual past can then slide away. It means letting go of agendas and goals and simply opening to the moment as it unfolds. It means keeping to an agreement to making time for love. Allowing yourself to be sexually/ emotionally vulnerable to a trusted lover means that you are willing to be present in YOUR body – to be present to the first most important person in your life – YOU.  In fact, while it may seem that one is putting up a protective barrier to the other, the truth is that you are actually caging your own heart, to yourself, to life... and hey, that’s painful isn’t it – when love can’t get in and love can’t get out.

The sweetest, most beautiful thing in life that makes it worth living is when you can feel love in your heart, and in every cell of your being, and there are no barriers to love. Being sexually vulnerable means choosing love and being willing to meet these inner barriers with love. And Rumi said it all those centuries ago: ‘Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.’ n Janet McGeever is presenting The Making Love Retreat in Montville, Qld., in September, with her partner, Gene Thompson. A speaker and mentor in women’s spirituality, sexuality and relationships, Janet is Australian presenter of The Making Love Retreat, with her partner Gene, supporting couples to create a deeper connection and harmonise their sexual relationship.


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R E L AT I O N S H I P S

PLEASE HOLD ME A gift that could make all the difference between their not thriving and truly thriving in this life. by Joyce Vissell

your room.” I never remember being held when I would cry. I was always sent to my room. It was incredibly lonely to be crying alone. I felt as if no one understood me and I had the horrible feeling that there must be something very wrong with me.

One day, when I was nine years old, I was crying in my room after being told to go there. I cannot remember what had happened in my family, but I do know that my tears were flowing in abundance and I felt very sad. WHEN I WAS a little girl, I remember getting my feelings hurt by different things that would happen in my family. Perhaps it was my brother’s teasing, or my father’s tone of voice, or some words from my mother, or a tension I felt over a circumstance I had nothing to do with and yet could feel. I was, and still am, a sensitive person. I felt very loved in my family and at the same time occasionally I felt hurt to the point of crying. As soon as my father saw my tears, he would point his finger at my room and say, “Those feelings are private and you need to go to 24 SEPTEMBER 2015

It was at this point that I had my first experience of God’s love. I remember an incredibly loving presence coming to me and surrounding me in peace and assurance. And then these words were spoken to me, “Right now there is a boy growing up who will know how to hold you when you cry. You will recognise him as he will be tall with dark hair and will become a doctor.” At the time, what stood out to me was that someone would actually hold me when I was crying. That one fact brought such a joy to my child’s heart. My life was completely different after


It is to this woman’s great credit that she tried one more time to be with a man. She finally found a man who could hold her while she cried. He had no idea why she was crying and he had no idea what he should say. In silence he just held her and told her that he loved her. This action of his healed the other experiences and she was able to truly open up to this man and be vulnerable and feel trusting. That relationship After the experience of being told that I After experience ofwould being know told that meet really worked. There were great wouldthe meet a boy that howI would to a boyme, thatI started would know howand to hold me,sixI started qualities in the men of the other hold to thrive within to thrivethis anddoctor within told six months this that doctor relationships, but the fact that months my mother he told my they either ignored, got angry or mother that heconcerned was no longer concerned about was no longer about me. The fact shamed her for her tears caused that this fact boy that was going to was be a going doctor, me. The this boy to or be a doctor, or the break-up. With the last man, was tall or had dark hair, had no effect on me until I whom she married, he accepted me untildating. I started child,thing the only started Asdating. a child,As thea only that mattered her tears and held her. That thing that mattered was that he would hold was that he would hold me and accept my tears.  is how important it is to hold me and accept my tears.  someone when they cry. This kind of holding applies to all relationships, family I met this wonderful boy nine years after this experience and members and friends, as well as intimate, romantic we have been together now for 50 years. Barry holds me when relationships. You do not have to know what to say when I occasionally cry and it is such a wonderful feeling to be held someone is crying. You do not have to know how to fix them or when tears come to my eyes. I feel so safe and understood how to bring a smile to their face.  The worst thing to say while just being held. It is so important to me and makes all the holding them is something like, ‘If you would have listened to difference in my life. me, this wouldn’t have happened.’ Or, ‘I know exactly what you I once saw a woman in counselling who was with a man who should do the next time.’ Or the worst thing of all to say is, ‘I ignored her tears. If she was crying he didn’t say anything think you are too sensitive.’ negative, but he walked out of the room. I coached her to ask The very best is to just reach out and hold them and let them him to hold her, but he said he just couldn’t and continued know that they are loved. Accept the tears and know that you to walk out of the room. It was so painful that her tears were are giving a very high and noble gift to this person. It is a gift ignored that the woman left the relationship. Then this same that could make all the difference between their not thriving woman was with another man who got angry when she cried. and truly thriving in this life. I am living proof of that. n He felt as if her tears were his fault and it angered him greatly to see her cry. He was a physically strong man and would stand over her in a threatening position and tell her to stop crying. Joyce & Barry Vissell, a nurse/therapist and Even if she told him her tears were not his fault and she just psychiatrist couple since 1964, are counselors wanted to be held, he got even angrier. Once again she left this near Santa Cruz, CA, who are widely regarded relationship. Then she was with a man who also did not like her as among the world’s top experts on conscious tears. Every time she cried he would say, “This relationship is relationship and personal growth. They are the not working. Look how I make you cry. We should break up.” authors of The Shared Heart, Models of Love, Risk to Be Healed, And he did break up with her after one of her times of crying. The Heart’s Wisdom, Meant to Be, and A Mother’s Final Gift. that experience, as I always trusted that in time my tearful feelings could be held. Up to this point my paediatrician was concerned about me. As he held my little hand and looked into my pale thin face he told my mother that I was not thriving and that something must be wrong with me. Even now I remember hearing his words and wondering what was so wrong.

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M E TA P H Y S I C S

PADRAIG AND THE POUCA A touch of faerie from Ireland by Lora O’Brien

THERE WAS A young man in Clare, a miller’s son, whose name was Padraig. He worked hard for his father, for they hadn’t much, but every day he went to the mill he would have to shout and shuffle the lazy labourers out there to get them to do even a tap of work. One of the days, when they had a big order on, he couldn’t even get them to raise a toe, never mind a finger, and when he went to check at end of day, didn’t he find them all fast asleep –

“For those who would embrace a life based on heart-breaking Freedom; I am here” – Adi Da Samraj (1939–2008).

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and not a bit of the corn was ground for the order. Frustrated and furious, he walked out along the stream for a bit, and was sitting head in hands when he heard a fierce snorting behind him. Turning, he met a large black bull, pawing the ground and about to charge. Now, Padraig knew there was no such bull with his family nor with the neighbours, and his own mother was a fairy woman, who’d been telling him old tales since he was born – so he


could well recognise a Pouca no matter what form it was taking. He stood and said that if the Pouca would help his family that night, he’d give him his own thick coat to wear, for it was fierce cold. He laid the coat over the shoulders of the bull, and it rested down meek as a lamb, then lumbered off back up to the mill. Padraig sat for a while by the stream, his head much quieter, and waited, for the fairies don’t like to be disturbed in their work. After a time, he saw an old man leave, away into the scrubland behind. The poor thing was skin and bones, and cold even with the heavy coat draped over him, for he was dressed only in rags beneath. When Padraig went into the mill though, he saw the corn all ground; a week’s work had been done in a single night and it certainly wasn’t the labourers who’d done it, for they were still snoring. The next night, Padraig was back by the mill at the same time, with a drop of whiskey and a bit of a cake his mam had made, and left them by the door. Sure

enough, it wasn’t long before he heard the mill working away, and he knew again it wasn’t the labourers, for they were all still down at the pub. He went and dismissed the lot of them, and was back in time to see the Pouca leave the same as the last night.

This happened every night, and the family grew very rich, for the miller was getting a week’s work done in a night, and he never had to pay a wage other than the whiskey and a bit of cake of an evening. But Padraig grew tired of seeing the Pouca heading off through all kinds of weather with not even a shoe on his foot, nor trousers to keep his skinny old legs a bit warm. So he got a superb suit of clothes made up, and left them out one night in place of the usual whiskey and cake. He watched the Pouca find them, try them on, and preen as he examined

himself looking like a fine gentleman. Indeed, he must have thought himself such, and fine gentlemen don’t labour each night in a mill. So he took himself off to see the countryside, and laboured no more. But Padraig didn’t mind, for they were wealthy by then, and sold the mill for good profit. He made a match after with a lord’s daughter, and had a fine wedding party with all the trimmings. At the feast, he found a grand golden cup laid up at the top table, and knew it to be a gift from the Pouca, so he insisted that only himself and his bride drink from it that day, and every day thereafter. The couple never had a day’s bad luck in their lives from then on, and their descendants went to many adventures with the fairies. But sure, they are all stories for another day. n Lora O’Brien is an Irish journalist, author and freelance writer, with a professional and academic background in psychology, spirituality and Irish heritage.

SEPTEMBER 2015 27


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

BREAK UP WITH YOUR PAST – THE ART OF FORGIVING “I will never get over this…” Is that true? Finally the top ten secrets to finishing with life’s ‘unresolvables’. by Tamsyn Rosenberg WHAT DOES IT mean to be going through one of life’s unresolvable experiences… a divorce, loss, deep betrayal, health crisis, whatever it is for you? It means you have found a doosie. Life will throw at us a series of experiences, trials, and challenges to test our resolve, help us learn what we need to learn, and clear our karmic debts. Every now and then we will come across one of these ‘doosies’ — a big one that feels like we will never get past it; that the sun will never quite shine the same; life is forever changed. 28 SEPTEMBER 2015

All this really means is that you have met a game-changer. This is one of the most horrible and terrible gifts you have been given so far… welcome to the big leagues. With all the resources you have gained to date you do not currently have what it takes to make it through this – and it can feel like a death. Now here’s the secret; life will now give you everything you need to make it through, and even come out on top. So get ready, notice the teacher in this experience, and be greedy. Milk it for every lesson you can get. Really

get it. Once you have really received what it’s there to teach you it simply finishes. Sometimes it comes gently in waves over years, and others just like an explosion all at once. It isn’t in your control how this will behave or teach you — it is just the roller coaster of life. You didn’t ask for this, and you won’t notice when it’s all done; so just surrender to it. Save your energy for taking all you need to learn and transform into the person you are now becoming. What you will notice is that, out the ‘other side’ of this, a new version of you emerges, full of new strength, courage, wisdom and the gift of perspective. It won’t kill you, but it really will transform you – if you allow it to. This is the game-changer…


How do I finish with game-changers?

1

Accept that this will take whatever time it needs to. Surrender to the gifts of this great and terrible time.

2

Trust life, yourself and whatever is happening that somehow it’s happening in answer to a prayer you have. It’s happening for your best you to emerge from the ashes of this experience.

3

Be willing to say yes to it. Open your hands to the experience and let it be your teacher. Change your relationship from fighting with it, wishing it were different, to simply saying yes, this is here; I’m going to take what it’s here to teach me. This is possible no matter how dark, devastating, and twisted the lesson is that has come crashing into you. Some change requires us to walk into the darkest places.

4

Feel everything you are feeling, all the way to the end. Don’t tell a story about it and don’t push it away; simply sit in the river of feelings and let them all come and all go, without touching any of them, or making any of them mean anything.

5

Take every opportunity to speak in honest openness, sharing your feelings. Resist the need to talk about the story. Just share how it all makes you feel. Talk out loud to the people involved, as if they are there, and say EVERYTHING. Even if you can only do this while you are alone walking on the beach, still get all your words, feeling, tears and foot-stamping out of your body.

6

When you are ready, it’s time to forgive. You are not forgiving for the other person’s benefit; you are doing it for you. It doesn’t change what is happening or the past, but it does shift your perception internally. This allows you to take that big stonking rock out of your emotional back-pack and put it down. It will come time to lay it to rest. All of the pain, resentment, hurt and grief will slowly leave in time once that decision to forgive has been made. Forgiveness doesn’t make the action or behaviour okay. It doesn’t mean you even want the person in your life again — it might — but it doesn’t mean that. It means that you understand they were doing the best they could, with who they are, and that it’s time to forgive them, and LET IT GO. So ask yourself, can you forgive them? Can you really let go? If you can’t yet, it simply means you have more ‘emptying out’ to do; more truth speaking to them in person; or out loud on your own somewhere pretending you are speaking with them — it’s the same result. When it’s all been said, forgiveness will be the natural place you arrive in your own time. So cry your tears, feel the rage, hate the hate, and then, when it’s all said and done, forgive.

7

Learn the life lesson, what it’s here to teach you – and listen. Really get the many lessons this was showing you. It will show you what you are, and what you are not. You will handle things you thought would kill you; you will get up and dust yourself off when you thought you would crumble; you will find a fight in you that you didn’t know was there.

8

As you rise share ONLY what you learned. Let the experience truly finish; don’t keep resurrecting it

in stories, but share your incredible lessons, and let these grow and deepen and let others learn from what you have found.

9

Finish the games, the patterns you have cycled around in. Let these change – you have evolved, and this will translate into your life. Allow it all, every bit of it, to be used. If you discovered you have a game of being too attached and identified through a relationship that you lost, next time learn to stay centred in who you are even while you fall in love. Whatever it has shown you about life, let it change your patterns.

10

Most importantly trust. You may not see the whole picture along the way; so simply trust. Whether you know it or not, your are unlimited — you are all potential. Life will continue to help you discover this again and again. That’s the agreement it made with you. So it will take your relationships that you cling to — it will take what you think you are, and throw it up against the pricks of life that will pop all this. It will make you lose the things and people that you have started to mistake for ‘me’ and strip you bare at times. These are very sacred times, these game changers. In the bare moments, with nothing but the ashes of who we are around us, we glimpse our infinite potential, and we rise, forever transformed by what we discover … more light available, more of what we really are than has ever been. So when this visitor arrives at your door, greet it on your knees with gratitude for the sacred time you enter as you allow your greatest teacher in. Let the gamechanger be the game finisher you have prayed for. n Tamsyn Rosenberg is an international speaker and author, and founder of Get Real International, Australia’s leading youth and family support organisation for emotional wellbeing and empowerment. She is also an internationally recognised expert in mental and emotional health. SEPTEMBER 2015 29


LI SI V I NE GS & L E A R N I N G SU

MERCURY AVOIDING A HIDDEN TOXIN Mercury-containing products are already banned in Norway and Sweden, and are subject to restrictive regulation in the EU and the US. In Australia, where there is an emphasis on non-binding voluntary action by industry, proactive individuals can help make a difference by taking steps outlined here. By Martin Oliver

THE ONLY METAL that is liquid at room temperature, giving rise to the name ‘quicksilver’, mercury is a remarkable substance that has fascinated humankind through the ages. Its colourful and strange history includes an important role in the practice of alchemy. The alchemical substance cinnabar, a red powder containing mercury sulphide, was used by the wealthy in ancient China as a shortcut to achieving immortality. A mercury treatment for syphilis is considered to have been the cause of Mozart’s untimely death at the age of 35.

Mercury releases by a chemical factory on the west coast of Japan led to ‘Minamata disease’, named after the city where it occurred. From 1932 to 1968, mercury bioaccumulated in seafood, leading to birth defects, poisoning and death. Thousands were affected.

Health impacts

It is neurotoxic, causes kidney and heart damage, and results in loss of IQ. Effects are multiplied synergistically when it is combined with lead or aluminium. Low-level effects of mercury toxicity can be insidious. It accumulates in the organs, and to some degree blocks enzyme pathways and protein function, disrupting the neurological, endocrine, gastroenterological, and immune systems. Some types of people are genetically far more susceptible to harm from mercury.

From ancient times, mercury was also known for its toxicity, being dangerous in both its liquid and vapour forms. From the 17th century to the early 20th century, hatters commonly used mercuric nitrate to prepare the felt used in hats. This led to the development of neurological disorders, and the saying ‘mad as a hatter’. Among hat workers in Danbury, Connecticut, tremors were so common that they were known as the ‘Danbury shakes’. 30 SEPTEMBER 2015

Many informed people attempt to avoid mercury exposure where possible from sources such as fish, dental fillings, and industry. Mercury represents a particular risk for pregnant women, babies and children.

Where is mercury coming from?

According to United Nations figures, about 70 per cent of mercury emissions are from human activities, with the remaining 30 per cent from natural sources such as volcanoes. While usage in Western countries is dropping, in the developing world it has been steadily rising: South East and East Asia now represent about 40 per cent of global emissions. Most human mercury air pollution comes from industrial sources, with coal- and gas-fired power stations very close to the top of the list. Mercury is also released in cement manufacture. In these cases, it occurs as a natural contaminant in coal, gas and limestone. Some older chlorine and caustic soda manufacturing plants still use a mercury-based chlor-alkali process, although many have changed over to the modern mercury-free membrane cell process. Rather bizarrely, tests on high fructose corn syrup (recently sneakily renamed by the American food industry as ‘fructose’) have identified mercury in low concentrations, probably coming from caustic soda used in the production process.


Another area of concern is some energy-efficient lighting. While a tiny amount of mercury vapour is found in compact fluorescent lamps, using higher-wattage halogen globes in their place will, paradoxically, result in greater mercury emissions due to the extra coal burnt to power them: compact fluorescent lamps can also be recycled so that the mercury is recovered. LEDs, which are mercury-free and highly efficient, are the best solution. Mercury is also found in fluorescent tubes, metal halide, and high-intensity discharge (HID) lights.

In addition to some button batteries, older alkaline and carbon zinc batteries can contain mercury. Battery recycling facilities are available at Battery World, Aldi (for non-button batteries only), and some local councils. Mercury-containing lights can often be recycled by local councils, and at a range of other locations on the Recycling Near You website. For other items, talk to the council.

Where one of these is accidentally broken, safety recommendations warn that you should immediately open a window and then leave the room for 15 minutes so that the mercury vapour can disperse. Even better would be to require a warning insert to accompany these products. Today, perhaps surprisingly, mercury is still being used in some new products on the market including a few types of medical equipment, thermometers, barometers, thermostats, switches, and some electronic components including relays and contactors. Collecting items with mercury for recycling prevents it from being released into landfills, or being burned in a waste incinerator, generating toxic ash that will typically have to go to a secure landfill.

Vaccines on the whole are widely touted as mercury-free, but this is a little misleading. Traditionally they used very low levels of thiomersal, a chemical preservative that is about 50 per cent mercury, but which has been removed from some vaccines due to public concerns about its safety. The only two remaining vaccines in Australia that contain thiomersal are JE-VAX (for Japanese encephalitis) and Q-VAX (for Q fever), neither of which are on the children’s vaccine schedule. Cinnabar, in addition to its use in ancient China, is still part of Traditional Chinese Medicine today. While the toxic risk from mercury sulphide is relatively low, long-term use of this medicine may cause health problems. Mercury compounds are still found in some skin lightening creams, topical antiseptics, stimulant laxatives, nappyrash ointment, eye drops, and nasal sprays. In the ingredients list, mercury can be hidden under the name ‘calomel.’

Dental uses

However, it is in the world of dentistry that mercury use is perhaps the most contentious. Amalgam fillings are about 50 per cent mercury, with the remainder a mixture of silver, tin, and copper. Advantages of amalgams include mercury’s inhibition of bacterial growth, and the fact that they are more durable than most other filling options. On the downside, amalgams are aesthetically unappealing, and can require the

Looking to improve your well being? At Dental Wellness we are passionate about not only enhancing your dental health, function and aesthetics but helping you achieve optimal longevity and wellness. Our patients enjoy an integration of natural health philosophies and holistic dentistry to eat, breathe, sleep and smile with confidence. Isn’t it time you thought differently about your dental health?

Dr David Cowhig

p 07 3511 1399 The Gap, Brisbane www.dentalwellness.com.au #adifferentwaytothink

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SEPTEMBER 2015 31


ISSUES

together. Fresh coriander leaf and garlic also have mercury chelating properties. Dental mercury is finding its way into the environment, being the largest source of mercury contaminating waste water and sewage sludge. Dentists can avoid contributing to this problem by using amalgam separators. Because these are expensive and not yet mandatory in Australia, not every dentist has one; so ask whether yours has one installed. Crematoria emit, on average, ten kilograms of mercury a year from amalgam fillings.

destruction of extra tooth structure, including healthy parts of the tooth, to fit them in. They also expand and contract with heat and cold at a different rate from teeth, which can cause cracking.

For the duration of the filling, mercury continues to enter the body in vapour form, generally as a result of chewing, brushing, and exposure to hot liquids. Levels are highest when the filling is being placed, or removed. Some people with amalgam fillings experience fairly marked health symptoms that can mimic those associated with MS. Amalgams are slowly making an exit, being banned in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Russia, and restricted in Japan, Italy, Spain, Finland, Germany, and Austria. Here in Australia, they are still promoted as safe, but the percentage of fillings that are placed as amalgams has been shrinking over the years. Among the benefits from seeing a holistic dentist, one is the absence of mercury vapour in the surgery, which often exceeds occupational safety levels. In one Scottish study, dentists were found to have urine mercury levels that were more than four times higher than control comparison subjects.

Amalgam removal

Many people who visit holistic dentists opt to replace their amalgam fillings, usually with composite materials. This procedure is not endorsed by the mainstream dental community, which sees it as unnecessary, but some patients report dramatic improvements in various health conditions after having their amalgams removed. For safe amalgam removal, it is recommended to follow a protocol, the top priorities being a rubber dam to prevent amalgam particles from being swallowed, and rinsing out the mouth before new fillings are placed. Afterwards, mercury is often removed from the body by taking chelating agents such as alpha lipoic acid, DMSA, and DMPS, often combined

Polluting the oceans

It is in the oceans that mercury from human activities is having the greatest effects. As smaller fish are eaten by predator fish, mercury and other contaminants are biomagnified up the food chain. Consequently, large predator fish such as tuna generally have higher concentrations than small fish such as sardines. Food Standards Australia New Zealand recommends fish intake of up to two to three serves a week, with greater restrictions on consumption of orange roughy (sea perch), catfish, shark, swordfish, broadbill and marlin. However, when visiting the fish counter, this advisory is nowhere to be found.

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32 SEPTEMBER 2015

Dr Fred Karalis

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Mercury levels in the oceans, and in seafood, are increasing. A 2015 study looking at yellowfin tuna found that concentrations in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii have been rising by 3.8 per cent a year between 1998 and 2015. Other tests by environment groups and NGOs show how this ocean pollution is translating into human exposure. The Japanese are keen fish-eaters, and hair samples from volunteers living in Tokyo were found with an average of 2.7 parts per million (ppm) â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to exceed a hair mercury level of 1ppm associated with the US Environmental Protection Agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (EPA) expected safe intake dose in 95 per cent of cases. In the Cook Islands, insulated from industrial civilisation by thousands of kilometres of the Pacific Ocean, hair samples had an average of 3.3ppm, with 89 per cent exceeding the EPA level.

Curbing mercury pollution

Realising that the mercury problem was starting to get out of hand, in 2013 delegates from around the world signed what is known as the Minamata Convention, a UN mercury limitation treaty that was the culmination of three years of discussions. It has since been signed by 140 countries, including Australia. It involves a phase-out of most nonessential uses of mercury (fluorescent lamps, soaps and cosmetics) by 2020, and in other cases to reduce usage or emissions (coal-fired power stations, industrial sources, and dental amalgam.) NGOs and campaigners generally saw the agreement as being too weak, but a step in the right direction. Many aspects are voluntary, and there is no certainty that overall mercury emissions will be curbed. While those from existing coalfired power stations are to be reduced, there is nothing in the agreement to prevent this gain from being eroded by the construction of new power plants. Our best hope is that they will be reined in by action on climate change.

Mercury-containing products are already banned in Norway and Sweden, and are subject to restrictive regulation in the EU and the US. In Australia, where there is an emphasis on non-binding voluntary action by industry, proactive individuals can help make a difference by steps such as avoiding dental amalgam and other products containing mercury, responsibly recycling these items, switching over to GreenPower, installing solar panels, and considering going off-grid. n

Resources

Mercury Policy Project www.mercurypolicy.org Australians for Mercury Free Dentistry www.mercuryfreedentistry.com.au Recycling Near You www.recyclingnearyou.com.au Martin Oliver is a writer and researcher based in Lismore.

From a Health Centred Practice that puts your health first...Philosophy of Treatment

1 Minimisation of the daily exposure to new toxins. 2 Optimally safe detoxification of already accumulated toxins. 3 Repair and regeneration of tissues and organ systems already damaged by toxicity by allowing the body by design to heal itself. A Total Dental Revision (TDR) is the most important intervention for the vast majority of people. For many people, dental toxins represent the greatest daily exposure to toxicity, and daily toxin exposure seems to be the greatest cause and aggravator of nearly all degenerative diseases, especially cancer. Mercury, incompatible dental metals, cavitations, failed or failing dental implants, periodontal disease/ infection, and infected root canals must all be vigorously addressed.

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Many patients can expect little long-term improvement even if they can get their immune systems effectively stimulated, as long as the continuous exposure to unaddressed dental and environmental toxicity continues to compromise and weaken their regulation system on a daily basis. We are dedicated to getting consistently positive clinical results which do not presently appear to be available anywhere else. Nutrition Diagnostics and Eric Davis Dental believes it is no longer acceptable for dentists to ignore the oral-systemic health relationship, or to simply give lip service to nutrition and dietary advice. Dentists should either give advice in relation to systemic health matters to prevent oral health issues or the reverse, or refer the patient to someone who is aware of this uniquely intertwined relationship. Before electing to undertake such a programme, patients are fully informed and are made aware of any relationships and pecuniary interests existing between Nutrition Diagnostics and Eric Davis Dental. 116960

Eric Davis Dental in conjunction with Nutrition Diagnostics has a goal to optimise the health of the patient with advice and action through three basic approaches:

SEPTEMBER 2015 33


M E TA P H Y S I C S

A wolf in wolf’s clothing Raym’s client seeks answers to a relationship riddle that unravels over thousands of years. She discovers that she was not always focussed on sweetness and light. by Raym Richards

ELIZABETH IS A MATURE, poised, witty and attractive woman who has had great difficulty attracting and keeping a male partner who truly values all she has to offer. She has come to me to find out the deeper reason behind her present situation. My apprentice sits close to us, her curly black hair framing a mischievous grin, that makes her barefaced cheekiness tolerable. She will track and

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observe the session both in and out of an expanded state of consciousness. The mandala of crystals around us does its work and we are soon in no-timespace. We scan Elizabeth’s etheric body and it immediately becomes apparent to me where the challenge lies. I wait for her to become aware of its location. After releasing traumatic past life deaths and the minor attachments that go with them, she becomes aware of a major blockage in her heart. It has been there for a very long time. Oh, that is not nice. Even when telepathing her enunciation is perfect. There is something hidden in my heart! I observe as it presents itself as every fear-based trigger that could induce fear in her — a personalised invitation to collapse into panic and helplessness, thus slipping further under its control. It appears a mixture of hybrid scary things in an attempt to frighten her, with little effect. Finally it reveals itself as a tall sinister man in a dark cape. “A shape-shifter!”, my apprentice’s excitement is uncontainable. I see these images when I am trying to sleep. They keep me awake. Horrible. Elizabeth telepaths. Don’t be afraid. I am OK. I remember your advice to stay calm — but this is not pleasant.

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Shamanic journey using a sacred crystal mandala

Elizabeth. My apprentice will help you with this. It won’t take long. You are about to become totally free… “I will be making a cup of tea. Let me know when you have finished.” I open my eyes and sit up observing my normally relaxed apprentice with a look of total concentration on her young face. “No pressure.” I smile to myself as I head to the kitchen. n Raym is a shaman and teacher of shamanic teachers, he also teaches his Crystal Dreaming™ technique worldwide. His stories are based on actual, real life experiences.

SEPTEMBER 4 – 6, NEWCASTLE OCTOBER 2 – 4, WILLOUGHBY, N. SYDNEY Crystal Awareness Learn to use the magic and power of crystals; train your intuition.

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“He is ready to leave and when he does Elizabeth’s life will change forever. It is time for you to put what I have been teaching you into practice. You can deal with this situation and finish the session.” I hand over to my apprentice.

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Oh my, she telepaths, are you seeing what I am? He has something attached to him! “An entity feeding of another entity. Wow!”, my apprentice mutters to herself.

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Elizabeth dies an honoured member of her community, to reincarnate many times, with a clear focus on service to humanity. Her partner, feeling betrayed and abandoned, dies alone and angry, locked into despair. Fearing punishment for his actions, he remains earthbound, refusing to return home to light. Elizabeth realises that he can be with her now as she has never dissolved the agreements she freely entered into with him, when they were alive. He has her ongoing permission to stay with her, indefinitely. In every subsequent incarnation, he has found her and attached himself to her, his jealousy and possessiveness creating a barrier to deep intimacy with every possible partner in all of her lives since then. Rising above her initial revulsion, Elizabeth feels compassion for this sad man whom she once loved so deeply. She releases him from all contracts and agreements, and it takes a great deal of persuasion for him to truly understand that he can find peace, without fear of retribution. Elizabeth is very emotional as we call on the beings who love him unconditionally, they include his mother and ancestors. Just as he is finally ready to leave, Elizabeth notices something else holding him back.

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Tell him you love him and you can help him. But… Try it. She does so, and this calms things down a bit. He can only be here with your consent. Ask him to show you the moment you gave him permission to be here… At this point things get really interesting. We travel into a distant past. She sees herself as a wealthy, refined and well educated woman with time on her hands. Her husband is a man of striking good looks and charm, and they are deeply in love. Bored, they decide together to embark on a deep study of the occult. They become aware of the power of magic and their ability to harness it. It looks like I may have abused my power. Elizabeth is mortified and stunned at both the clarity of the recall and the implications of her actions. We witness playfulness turning into the serious manipulation of innocents as they both flex their magical muscles. Then Elizabeth comes to her senses and decides she will work only for the greater good. Her partner chooses the opposite path and their relationship quickly disintegrates. Separation is painful, neither understanding the choice of the other.

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ADVERTISER NEWS & REVIEWS

ARE YOU THE BEST YOU CAN BE TO YOUR LOVED ONES? Relationships are key to life. Life is about being in relationship – we are in relationship with friends, family members, partners, children, colleagues, neighbours, even ourselves. Every man, woman and child who has ever walked this planet craves open-hearted love and affection. Sometimes circumstances in life are such that we don’t always receive love and affection the way we deserve. We want to protect ourselves from the immense pain. We respond by closing our hearts and begin to look outside ourselves for happiness. Our hearts are broken. From that exact moment, the moment when we feel let down, the mind takes us on a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs. One minute we feel ecstatically happy and the next we feel depressed and discouraged. We forgot that we closed our hearts and left the most important part of ourselves behind. Over time the lows can outweigh the highs. We become discouraged. Once we lose ourselves we project our greatness and our most selfish qualities onto other people. We do this with everyone. It is more exaggerated with lovers and authority figures. This creates endless relationship dramas - especially with those we love. The ego mind always wants to place the blame outside the self. How often do you do this? Sometimes we project our issues so instantly onto others we don’t realise that the pattern is completely unconscious and difficult to change. If you could grow to the point where you could detach from your mind through observation and letting go, then you could centre your consciousness and personality within your own heart. From that moment complete happiness and fulfilment in this lifetime would follow. So would a great relationship. Remember that birds of a feather flock together. When you become authentically heart centred everything and everyone around you will change. You will attract a loving and available partner to the degree you possess those qualities. When you open your heart once again and fall in love with yourself so will everybody

else. They will not be able to resist you. That’s because you won’t be able to resist you. Everything you need is within. By gaining this deep respect for yourself through love it forces everyone else to treat you the same. They will have no choice. THE HEART OF RELATIONSHIPS – 2-day workshop, 12-13 September The Heart of Relationships workshop is a powerful program designed for you to create the loving, passionate and fulfilling relationships your heart desires. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, this workshop is important if you want to be best partner, parent, friend, coworker, family member and, most importantly, the best friend to yourself. Its purpose is to teach you how to create a field of attraction, giving you the tools to re-ignite the passion and intimacy with your partner, so you can both feel loved and connected on a much deeper, more satisfying level.

“I’ve attended a numerous personal development workshops over the last 15 years and Robert’s “Heartfelt Relationships” workshop was one of the most life-changing one for me. Robert is a master at creating an environment where powerful change happens and his ability to get to the core of things quickly. Finding a suitable partner was something I has struggled with for many years and I can honestly say that Robert’s work has been the biggest key to be able to attract a loving and passionate relationship into my life. I’ve been with my partner Alex for nearly 7 years now and I’m so grateful to have come across Robert’s workshop back in 2004.” – Camille Thurnherr

36 SEPTEMBER 2015

This workshop is for you, if: • You’re currently single and you’d love to be in a loving relationship • You’re in a relationship, but the passion has gone and you’re not sure what to do about it • You’re still feeling heartbroken about a past relationship and are struggling to move on • You would love to experience more joy, pleasure and connection in your current relationship • Having a passionate, loving and romantic relationship is a priority for you You’ll discover how to: • Let go of feelings of unworthiness and feeling “not good enough” • Dissolve barriers to passion and true intimacy with your partner • Deeply connect with your authentic self and feel empowered again • Let go of old guilt and shame and experience more joy and love • Feel more vibrant and alive, so your energy becomes more magnetic • Create equality with your partner, or potential partner, which is the foundation to intimacy • Gain powerful insights around your energy field and become more grounded, open and connected within minutes • Re-ignite passion and playfulness in your current relationship • Get clear on what kind of relationship you’d like to attract if you’re single • Allow to receive love on a deeper lever — you can feel more fulfilled • Communicate from a space of humility, grace and authenticity, to create more trust and respect with your partner About Robert Kirby After starting his career leading large teams in the aerospace industry, Robert realised his greatest skills as a leader were in helping people unlock their potential for success in business and life. Robert brings to his practice academic qualifications in psychology and business; as well as decades of practical experience in both. In the last 26 years, Robert has worked with individuals and groups around the world. His clients have gone on to achieve extraordinary success. Course information You are invited to attend this free 2-day workshop on 12-13 September in Sydney. Book at http://bit.ly/1H09u6G with the code LIV0715. This is a free course, as my gift to you.


ADVERTISER NEWS & REVIEWS

THE POWER TO HOLD PEACE By Shakti Durga Peace is the ability to be calm and serene and to hold that vibration despite what our given circumstances might be. Many people can feel peace when they are in a peaceful environment but not when the going gets tough. It is understandable to feel a mixture of emotions if terrible and challenging things are happening to us. There is an Indian scripture story about Lord Krishna, whose king was his evil uncle. The king had been told by a seer that his kingdom would be stolen from him by the child of his sister Devaki, who was Krishna’s mother. At that time Devaki had many children. The King killed them all, and then put her in a dungeon with her husband. More children were conceived and each one was taken from the birth chamber and killed. Lord Krishna was born in these circumstances, but on account of his Divine nature, various miracles occurred by which he survived and was smuggled out of imprisonment. Lord Krishna blessed his mother such that she became fully aware of her own divine nature. From that time onwards until several years later when she was released from the dungeon, she was in perpetual bliss. She was able to take her consciousness anywhere and experienced

true freedom, love and ecstasy. She was in deep peace despite her shocking physical and family circumstances and all of the violence and ugliness to which she was subjected. The moral of the story is that within each one of us there is a deep place of connectedness, profound peace and a power so amazing that we can go through the depths of despair into bliss. We don’t always need disaster to feel stressed. Sometimes stress and anxiety rob us of peace even when things are relatively peaceful externally. Peace will be elusive if our personality suffers from needing to be right, having to have the last word, having to always control people and things. Life is unpredictable. Controlling everything doesn’t work as most of us have already discovered. So, the better approach is to find our wellspring of inner peace and learn to be able to tap into it regardless of what is happening on the outside. The soul’s power to hold peace once we find it is stronger than the mind’s tendency to destroy it. With spiritual practice, we are enabled to be peacemakers no matter what the exterior world might be doing. As peacemakers, like Devaki, we can bring the gift of peace to any situation. Om Shanti!

Shakti Durga, founder of Shanti Mission Shakti Durga will lead two spiritual intensives to India in November and December. Details, Retreats & Seminars – www.shaktidurga.com Shanti Mission - Path of Ease and Grace personal transformation seminars, meditation, retreats, Ignite Your Spirit healing, satsangs, kirtan. www.shantimisson.org (02) 4977 3300.

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SEPTEMBER 2015 37


H E A LT H & H E A L I N G

COMPUTER WORK AND READING GLASSES Do you experience eyestrain, fatigue and muscle tension when using your computer? You may be wearing the wrong glasses or the screen may be too close. by Leo Angart MOST OF US SPEND a lot of time working at our computers. This means we’re looking at a screen for most of the time. The usual distance from eyes to screen is around 60 cm. Normal reading glasses are designed to be used at an optimum reading distance of 30-40 cm.

In other words, reading glasses are not designed to be used for the distance from the screen. It follows that when you use regular reading glasses for computer work you are actually straining your eyes. This will most likely lead to a worsening of your vision and, consequently, the need for even stronger reading glasses. If you must use reading glasses for computer work, they should be fitted for the distance to your screen. There is another important vision function involved here – the natural resting point, which is the position at which there is no visual input. For example, at night your eyes will find a resting point from where there is no effort in converging or directing your eyes. This resting point is normally about 50–80 cm away from your eyes. If your resting point coincides with the position of your 38 SEPTEMBER 2015

screen, then there is very little effort involved in looking at your screen. However, when the resting point is in front of or behind the screen, you have to constantly use muscle power to force your eyes to converge on the screen. This, of course, leads to fatigue, eyestrain and eventually headaches. For this reason, the best position for the screen is as far away from you as possible. Research shows that you make fewer mistakes when the screenis one meter away than when the screen is closer. To sum up. Firstly, glasses for computer use should have a lens power that gives you optimum vision at the distance of your computer screen, not for the visual distance you need for reading a book. Secondly, the convergence – the centre-point of the lenses – should be at the computer screen distance and take into account that your angle of sight is on the screen. In this way, there will be a minimum of stress on your eyes. Often optometrists do not take enough time to take all these measurements meticulously. If the centre of the lens is off by even a millimetre, the plus lenses become prisms that will further strain

your eyes while reading. Furthermore, the angle at which you view your screen should also be taken into account. Your near point of clear vision becomes closer as the reading angle moves downwards. If the computer screen is straight ahead of you, your computer lenses should be fitted so that you get optimum vision when looking straight ahead. In other words, the centre of the lens should be right in front of your eyes when you are looking at the screen. Offthe-peg glasses are designed for reading books only. Bi-focal or multi-focal lenses require you to turn your head upward in order to look through the right portion of the lens. Holding this position for long periods of time may lead to neck and shoulder tension or pain. The above article was excerpted with permission from Leo Angart’s book, “Read Again Without Glasses” n Leo teaches ‘Throw away your glasses’ workshops all around the world. He is back in Australia again for another series of workshops in September, 2015.


ADVERTISER NEWS & REVIEWS

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also has the capacity to provide a platform for building ďŹ nancial wealth. Living a fulďŹ lling life is a process, I believe, of experiencing wealth both within and without. To connect with your brilliance and master your domain. One of my greatest joys is to see my clients breakthrough their limitations, unleash their greatness and create a life of unparalleled success. And by ďŹ&#x201A;ying, they give the rest of their friends & family wings as well. If you would like to realise your full potential, own your home sooner, create a passive income stream and live a spectacular life, then I invite you to attend the educational seminar, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unlock Your Wealthâ&#x20AC;?. In this unique event, several guest speakers will be sharing various strategies including: *How to connect with your highest potential *How to increase your borrowing capacity *How to manufacture more equity *How to create a passive income stream from your home We invite you to accept our call to greatness and join with the other heroic souls who have committed to improve the quality of not only their life but the lives of those around them as well. Next event: 9th September, Gold Coast. For more dates, details & registration: www.unlockyourwealth.net.au

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CAN YOU IMAGINE giving yourself a 5-day immersion into a pure yoga experience in the unique and pristine bush surrounds of one of Australia’s premier retreat centres, Govinda Valley? What would it be like to awaken each morning to the lilting sound of birdsong, just prior to starting your daily yoga practice, led by Australia’s leading Master Yoga Teachers? The second annual Super Retreat, to be held in October this year, promises to provide an exciting and unique yogic experience, specifically designed to deepen your personal experience of yoga both on and off the mat. The brainchild of the head of Yoga Vision, Andre Melis, Super Retreat was initially created with a vision “to bring the yoga community together, combining an intensive program with a genuine retreat experience.” Andre says that he wanted “to create a program with the depth and intensity of a teacher training, however with input from our most prominent, highly skilled and qualified teachers”. This kind of retreat is unprecedented in Australia. Andre’s vision has been enthusiastically supported by twelve of Australia’s leading yoga gurus including: Simon Borg-Olivier from Yoga Synergy, John Ogilvie from Byron Yoga and Leigh Blashki, former president of Yoga Australia, who, along with others, will be presenting during the course of the retreat. Over the five days, each presenter will provide 2-3 hour workshops, inviting participants to dive more deeply into the theoretical and experiential aspects of yoga, awakening to higher levels of consciousness, all in an environment filled with like-minded yogic souls. It is a recipe for bliss!

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To give you a ‘taster’ of what is on offer: Andrew Mournehis will be “Bringing the Myths to Life,” as he explores and deepens our understanding of the universal messages, wisdom and truth inherent within the Hindu and Yogic myths, revealing how we can translate their messages into our own lives. Ultimately he hopes to bring us to a space within of Higher Divine Love. Leigh Blashki takes a contemporary approach to the ancient art of yoga nidra – deep relaxation. His practice, iRest Body Sensing, develops mindfulness and enhances whole body-mind sensitivity, allowing you to move from a sense of separation to non-separation while opening you to deep, joyful restoration. In his workshop you are invited to both movement and stillness, to containment and spaciousness, to both the momentary and the timeless. Above all, you are invited to welcome yourself, just as you are! And of course, there is so much more… Super Retreat 2015 is going to be a special time for yoga teachers and experienced practitioners to step outside of their day-to-day activities and into an oasis of serenity that is Govinda Valley. Here you have the space to ‘breathe,’ to refresh and enhance the creativity of your practice and to focus on those parts of yourself that so often take a back seat to routine commitments. You will also have the unique opportunity to interact with other yogis as well as amazing teachers who will be available to connect with you and

answer your questions. Following our evening celebrations of food, in the form of Govinda Valley’s renowned nutritious and delicious vegetarian cuisine, we will be diving deeply into the bliss of yoga music and kirtan, with world renowned Bhakti artists Sri Prahlad, Sacred Earth and The Spirit of Bhakti. Kirtan is a form of active meditation that opens the heart and awakens our capacity for everdeepening experiences of divine ecstasy. What a way to end each day! Michelle Merrifield, one of the Super Retreat’s keynote presenters had this to say about the 2014 Super Retreat: “This is such a phenomenal experience. Collectively, I would say there are hundreds of years’ experience, drawn from a variety of yoga backgrounds such as Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bhakti and Tantric yoga. There is so much diversity among the teachers, a wealth of knowledge.” A mini yoga village, complete with café, massage and a yoga shop corner are also provided to ensure that all of your needs are taken care of. In this way we hope you will be able to focus entirely on your retreat experience. Super Retreat is more than just a yoga retreat: it is your opportunity to be part of an interactive, intimate and holistic celebration of yoga in its purest form. While here, you are also invited to participate in a panel to discuss the future of yoga. If yoga is important to you then this is your invitation to be part of something truly special. Don’t miss out! For more information or to make a booking go to our website: www.superretreat.com.au Or you can call Akash at Yogavision on: 0412 735 108


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ASTROLOGY

September Stargazer by Stella Woods Cecil the lion, and Jupiter in Virgo – from hubris to humility “Who can doubt the nature of the monstrous lion, and the pursuits he prescribes for those born beneath his sign? The lion ever devises fresh fights and fresh warfare on animals, and lives on spoil and pillaging of flocks. The sons of the lion are filled with the urge to adorn their proud portals with pelts and to hang up on their walls the captured prey … and count it gain to kill.” [Astronomica, Manilius 1st Century AD ‘Those born under the Sign of Leo’] Walter Palmer, the American dentist who shot and killed Cecil the lion (star attraction of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park) no doubt rues the day he decided to live out the Leo archetype so aptly described by Manilius 2000 years ago. Palmer and his family have

gone into hiding, his dental clinic has closed down and he’s probably the most vilified person in the world right now. Whatever you think of Palmer’s lion hunting exploits, he is hardly alone in his love of trophy hunting – Safari Club International, the world’s leading competitive trophy hunting club, has more than 50,000 members, and according to Palmer, what he did was perfectly legal! So why has he been singled out and made a scapegoat for everything from being rich and privileged, to being a cruel and corrupt animal killer to being convicted of sexual harassment ten years ago? Perhaps we can look to Leo the lion for answers? Palmer shot, killed, skinned and beheaded poor Cecil in July when Jupiter was transiting the final degrees of fire sign Leo. Jupiter is the king of the gods and Leo king of the jungle – put these two

together and ego energies are bound to run high, though those in the background who are neither kings nor gods may start to feel resentful. The Latin word for ‘head’ is ‘caput’ with its derivation ’capo’ meaning ‘head’ or ‘chief’. When we cut off someone’s head, or ‘decapitate’ them, we symbolically take their power and become the new king. This surely is the underlying motivation behind trophy hunting and indeed behind the mass beheadings by ISIS, many of which have occurred under Jupiter in Leo. Another historical period marked by mass beheadings was the French Revolution when disenfranchised and angry Parisians decapitated kings, queens and noblemen with the guillotine. The French Revolution (slogan Liberty, Equality & Fraternity) began in 1789 when Jupiter was in Leo. Last month (August) Jupiter shifted into humble earth sign Virgo, a zodiac sign where he is considered to be ‘in detriment’ meaning ‘not fully effective’. The king’s power is weakened and his hands tied. But is this such a bad thing? If Jupiter represents our collective consciousness (Jupiter spends approximately a year in each sign of the zodiac), we are currently shifting from Jupiter in Leo (glitz, glamour, ego-consciousness, creativity, exciting possibilities, feeling special and unique)

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In the past couple of months: • UK Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to step up government efforts to protect wildlife. • Nearly 400,000 people have signed a change.org petition asking for Delta Airlines to stop allowing hunting trophies as cargo. • US Senator Bob Menendez announced he would introduce legislation to discourage trophy hunting. Cecil’s death has also started a public debate about trophy hunting’s relationship to conservation, and who really makes money off the practice. It has brought up issues about the role of elites and land reform in Zimbabwe – and it has made people ask why a lion’s death has attracted more attention than other more important Third World issues. With the shift from Leo to Virgo several of our own Australian politicians and sportsmen have been forced to face difficult questions about their own sense of privilege and entitlement. Helicopter ride anyone? In the future lion killers and fat cats like Mr Palmer will eventually go the way of the French monarchy while those who adopt an attitude of service to the sacred and help heal planet earth and her precious resources will be the new kings and heroes. RIP Cecil (whose name means ‘blindness’).

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A partial solar eclipse occurs at this month’s new moon on 13th September in mutable earth sign Virgo (20-21°). A solar eclipse always packs a punch as the moon comes between the sun and the earth, interrupting the flow of energy and provoking a flow of lunar consciousness, forcing us out of habitual behaviour. Plant practical seeds at this springtime new moon and make sure you dream big!

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On 25th July love goddess Venus slowed to a standstill and began her six-week retrograde phase, which completes this month on 6th September. As Venus is the planet of love and values, her retrograde periods are times when we re-assess exactly what and who we value, which can involve revisiting past relationships and dealing with unfinished business, or simply coming to a deeper understanding of our own emotional needs. On 1st September Venus meets up with passionate Mars at 14-15° Leo. Early September is therefore a good time to declare your love, show your true colours or put an end to any relationship that has run its course.

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to Jupiter in Virgo (healing, nourishing, sharing, humility, respect, environmental consciousness, service and mindbody balance). The symbol for Virgo is a maiden holding a sheaf of grain, representing her connection with the land, the harvest and the food we eat. On a broader stage, the fixed star Regulus, a royal star of Persia, sometimes called ‘The Lion’s Heart’, has also recently shifted from Leo to Virgo for the first time in over 2000 years. Many astrologers have written about this change in archetype from proud masculine Leo to the more humble feminine sign of Virgo and what this might mean for humanity over the next two millennia. Most of us know that we have to take better care of our planet, or risk driving ourselves and other species into extinction, and the ‘feminine’ as a spiritual archetype is gradually beginning to be embraced and integrated into many religious traditions. Meanwhile, powerful elites and societies ruled by money and power are coming under the microscope (cf USA Federal Reserve) and protestors are taking to the streets. With Regulus and more recently Jupiter moving into Virgo, we are all being called to create a better world. Ironically, Cecil the lion’s untimely demise has been a catalyst for some of these changes.

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ASTROLOGY

September full moon – take calculated risks

The September full moon falls on 28th September in fire sign Aries (4-5°) accompanied by a lunar eclipse. Eclipses traditionally mark endings and new beginnings, both internally and externally. Coinciding with Saturn’s re-entry into fellow fire sign Sagittarius, this Aries full moon encourages you to take some calculated risks and then work hard over the coming months to bring your dreams to fruition.

Spring equinox – a burst of vitality

The 23rd September marks the spring equinox when the sun moves from Virgo into Libra, a dynamic and inspirational time of year when the days become longer than the nights. Symbolically this is a time to remain open physically and emotionally to prevent stagnation of energy and consider what changes or improvements you would like to see

Date Sign Element Moon phase 1st-2nd Aries Fire 2nd-4th Taurus Earth 4th-7th Gemini Air Third quarter 7th-9th Cancer Water 9th-11th Leo Fire 11th-14th Virgo Earth New moon 13th (partial solar eclipse) 14th-17th Libra Air 17th-19th Scorpio Water 19th-21st Sagittarius Fire First quarter 21st-24th Capricorn Earth 24th-26th Aquarius Air 26th-28th Pisces Water 28th-30th Aries Fire Full moon 28th (lunar eclipse) 30th Taurus Earth in your life over the coming months. Many people opt for a healthier lifestyle or change their diet. Others engage in a burst of spring cleaning and decluttering. Whatever you do, make sure you welcome the spring in style!

September moon calendar

Launch projects at the new moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the Full moon to the Third quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next new moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the Full moon or when the moon is in the same sign as your sun (or star) sign. n Stella Woods is an astrology teacher and consultant based in St Kilda, Melbourne. Contact Stella for private readings and course details on 03 9534 5021 or stella@stellastarwoman.com or  www.stellastarwoman.com or  www.facebook.com/stellastarwoman Visit www.livingnow.com.au/column/ astrology-stellar-stuff for Stella’s online column.

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