Click the link to go to my interview for MysticMag website, Sept 2022.
Click the link to go to my interview for MysticMag website, Sept 2022.
We have all been through difficult times and have people or issues from our past that may still be influencing us emotionally or mentally today. Below is a process that can help address these emotions and clear any blockages, allowing us to move on.
Begin by identifying the top three traumas or emotional situations you want to let go of along with the people involved. By letting go I mean transmuting the emotions into energies that can be dissipated. You will always have the memory but the emotional charge with it should be eliminated or, at the very least, reduced considerably.
So, let’s say you have three people or issues you want to work with.
Find something physical that represents the person/issue you are working with, ideally something from nature. Keep this item with you when you follow the below process. You will be letting this object go too, so make sure you are ok with that.
This first step is similar to the Hawaiian process, Ho’opono pono, but a rather more distilled version.
Firstly, find a safe and private space to “work” in (I call any spiritual and emotional healing or releasing work). Make sure you will not be interrupted. You can do this anywhere but, ideally, you should be sat at a table, preferably wooden.
Imagine and feel the person sitting opposite you. If it is an issue and not a person, visualise the issue or yourself as you were during the issue, sitting opposite.
Say to them (out loud or in your head),
Please forgive me.
I love you”
Do this slowly, concentrating upon and feeling each sentence.
“I’m sorry.” Feel repentance even if you know you were not at fault. Take responsibility for what happened. Somewhere guilt sits between you and the other person. Maybe you are clearing for both of you. If it is a situation, let any remorse take over you. Let any tears flow or sobbing come forth. Even curl up on the floor if that’s where the pain sends you. This is your time to release. Do whatever it takes to let it out from your body. Tapping the throat, heart or belly will help any release.
“Please forgive me.” This shows humility. Again, even if you are convinced it was not your fault, take the higher ground. And again, most definitely feel this. Forgiveness clears the past. You are also asking for forgiveness for yourself at the time. Perhaps for putting yourself in that particular situation. Spiritually we are children. We are allowed and meant to make mistakes; they help us grow.
“Thank you.” Be in deep gratitude. For the person, for the situation that has helped you grow, for the lessons learnt, for being you, and for being able to take this step.
“I love you.” Say this to the person or the issue, and send as much love as possible out into the Universe. Realise that by saying this, you are saying that you love yourself too. Accept this love back for yourself.
It may also be helpful if you can ‘see’ (in your mind) the other person and notice how they react when you say each of the above sentences.
When finished, blow any residual emotions, feelings or energies into the object and rub it on your body to draw out any further negativity. Find somewhere to throw it away where it will be lost, even if just in the dustbin. Do not throw it at someone, into a neighbour’s garden or where it can be found easily. Throwing it into the undergrowth, a quarry, a forest, a river, a lake or the sea are all good examples.
Do this for each of the people/issues you want to release energetically.
When you feel you have finished, spend some time in gratitude for what you have just accomplished and ensure you feel grounded before carrying on with your day.
My friend John (1967-2017)
In late 2016, I decided to go to India, and as I had recently moved out of my home in Billericay, Essex, my friend John kindly offered to put me up whilst I planned the trip. It took about three weeks to organise the visa, tickets, vaccinations, etc. and it was during this time that I met John’s sister, Teresa, and her grown-up children, Daniel and Matilda. Teresa had recently been diagnosed with cancer and was back in the UK, from her home in Sweden, to sort out some of her affairs. A difficult time for everyone, but John put on a brave face and tried to be bright and bubbly, however, the underlying stress was apparent.
As I spent time with John, he shared more of his worries and concerns that were depriving him of sleep. Not only his sister’s illness but work and relationship troubles. He had left his job at the family farm and was trying to take stock of his life and find a new direction. He even applied for a builders merchant manager’s job, for which he was way overqualified, but was unsuccessful.
He had split with his partner some time ago but still regularly saw his two girls, Isabella and Ayesha. John’s house had several rooms that were devoted to the girls, adorned with pop band posters, cuddly toys and the like, and the wardrobes and drawers were crammed with their clothes, ready for when they stayed. In the three weeks with John, I got to know his daughters a little and saw how he absolutely doted upon them. They wanted for nothing. Both the girls, although quite different in character, came across as intelligent, well mannered and considerate. They could even take themselves off to bed without a fuss. As almost teenagers, this was impressive.
At the end of November, with a six-month visa and no real plan in mind, I left for India. Some healthy food, walking, a little sightseeing and yoga was as far as my intention went.
I swapped whatsapp messages with John and sent the odd photo of my travels but then, in early January 2017, he sent a message saying he had been diagnosed with cancer.
The shock I felt must have been nothing compared to that felt by John and his family. From then on I was in regular contact with both John and another close friend, Kevin, who kept me abreast of the situation. Speaking with John on the phone, I was surprised to hear how upbeat he was but understandably that didn’t last. As his situation worsened he became more accepting and reflective.
During one of the many email exchanges we had, John replied with the below, after I had written about some of my spiritual thoughts and beliefs:
That was a very thoughtful message.
Believe it or not, I don’t think what you have suggested is something I don’t believe in.
As I said to you, my body has been out of alignment with its natural state for years. Essentially I realised that I’m not a hard-nosed businessman in pursuit of untold riches. I pursued a life that never suited my personality. I’m not a greedy and selfish person deep down. I now believe following this path has led to my illness.
The stress this has brought has caused me untold damage.
I think you knew I wasn’t well when you were here. I was quite sure there was something wrong hence my visits to doctors. It was a virus that triggered the cancer off over Christmas. It was almost like it was waiting to be kickstarted. If you remember I told you I couldn’t breathe in the pool in Sweden while at my sister’s.
Stupidly I didn’t push the doctors for a simple X-ray and just listened to them saying there was nothing wrong.
I guess now I’m facing the daunting task of operations, chemo and radiation treatments. Basically, a sledgehammer to open a walnut.
I do now need a deep healing within my body to withstand this onslaught. I’m looking at ways to meditate and find peace with myself.
As you can imagine, I have just told my children the news and the devastation I feel inside is a pain I cannot explain. My head at night is in turmoil. Sleep, as you well know, is now a precious commodity.
All my dreams, hopes and plans are distant memories. We talked about riding across America on a Harley, finishing my flying course, etc.. Now I face the fear and emptiness of this long dark road. Time suddenly feels like it has stood still while I watch everyone move forward past me.
It’s almost like you have stepped into God’s waiting room.
To make things worse I had to break the news to my sister who is dying that I cannot give her stem cells to fight her disease. We both get cancer within months of each other. I was already suffering her burden in my mind and now she is staying looking after me!
If you believe in fate then I left work 5 months ago and maybe something has given me this time to reflect before I face this trial.
I just hope I can face this with dignity and not let my daughters suffer watching me waste away. I hope you find that peace and end the pain of the Tinnitus. I can assure you my sister and I knew you were going through hell with it. Again, unless you live it for a day you cannot understand the torment.
I want you to have a good life and find a woman to share life with. At times like these you realise only love, friendship and happiness really matter.
Enjoy your trip and hopefully, I’ll still be around when you come back.
The girls are here and they said hello, as does Teresa.”
I held a couple of shamanic ceremonies for John on the beach and upon a clifftop, near where I was staying in India. They seemed to make sense to me, and I got confirmation back from the universe that I was on the right track in the form of acknowledging sights and sounds – a local man asking for a photo with me, just as I finished the small ceremony on the beach (I had been discreet and he had not seen me conduct it), a bell being rung in the distance when I completed the clifftop work and a multitude of eagles swooping around the cliff face and soaring on the updraft.
During my time in India, I spent a week in the city of Trivandrum, Kerala, where, as serendipity would have it, Amma, “The Hugging Mother”, was holding an event. I went along and took a sacred stone that I was using in the work I was doing with, and for, John, said prayers for him and left it in the temple. Again this felt right.
However, after a few weeks working shamanically, it felt as though I could do no more where I was and, as I had been thinking about flying back to the UK to be with my friend, I booked a ticket back.
I returned in early February and stayed at John’s house. Teresa was there nursing him as best she could, and many other family members and friends came to help and offer their support. But John had deteriorated rapidly. I worked with John using my teachings and was there to help out as necessary, even if that only meant making cups of tea for the many visitors. My ideal, of course, was to be able to help him battle the disease and cure himself, but that seemed out of the question now as destiny had other plans.
The decision was made to move John to a hospice, and I agreed to spend the first night with him so he was not alone in a strange place. Teresa could also try and get some rest, as she had been in constant attendance since coming over from Sweden.
As night fell, the hospice became quiet and all I could hear was the sound of the oxygen machine, rhythmically pumping out life to a slow morbid beat. I lay awake on the bed in John’s room as he drifted in and out of a medicated consciousness in the chair just around the corner. I may have grabbed some sleep but mainly I lay and meditated and prayed. I did some more shamanic work with John, again hoping in some way it would help him or, at least, to try and overcome any fear of death. But there was little, if any, energy left in him.
Around noon the next day Teresa returned with her dad and brother, so I left, saying my heartfelt goodbyes to John in case I didn’t see him again and returned to his empty house in Southend.
I did more shamanic work that night and realised I needed to do some anger-releasing work with him when I returned to the hospice the following day. I have a piece of broken mirrored haematite in my mesa, or medicine bundle, that represents anger which I use with clients. This healing was confirmed when I noticed another smaller piece of haematite stone under John’s empty massage chair, a stone given to him by another friend who had offered his spiritual support.
The next day I packed my mesa and shamanic “tools” into my backpack and made my way to the hospice.
But I arrived to the sad news that John had passed earlier in the morning.
I supported the family in their grief as best I could without being intrusive. Whilst sitting talking with his Teresa, I offered to conduct a shamanic style soul release ceremony for John, to send his spirit off to wherever it goes next, even though I had never done one before – I’d only been taught it. I told his sister this but she asked me to do it anyway. So I did. His whole family came into the room where John was laid out and I carried out the ceremony.
Teresa and other family members thanked me afterwards and said how beautiful it was.
Sometime later I walked along the beach near the hospice with the small piece of mirror-like haematite in my hand. I knew I had to release it into the sea and was drawn to a monument, an obelisk about thirty metres out from the shore, but reachable due to the low tide. I think it is a World War II monument but I’m not entirely sure [subsequent research in 2023 tells me it is called the Crowstone and marks the limit of the jurisdiction of the Port of London], however, I knew the stone had to be placed there, for the tide to come in and wash away. It was also within sight of the hospice so the connection was strong. As I walked out on this wonderfully becalmed day, I looked down to see a small mirrored heart lying on the stoney foreshore. I knew that this was to come with the stone and I placed both of them on the side of the obelisk, said goodbye to John in spirit again and left feeling somewhat lighter amidst such a tragedy.
Farewell, my friend. Safe travels wherever you are.
It didn’t go unnoticed to me that the place where I received most of my shamanic training was almost directly opposite the hospice in Westcliff and my stepmother, Margaret, had volunteered at the same hospice. Yet more synchronicities confirming to me a connection to something bigger
April 2017 (updated 2023)
The below was written a few years ago but it feels ok to share it now. As a little background to the events, my mum passed in 1998 after a car accident in the UK. This was obviously a hugely traumatic event for me (the biggest by far), as well as for my dad, sister, rest of the family, friends and the others involved directly or as witnesses to the accident. The first part of my medicine wheel shamanic training dealt with the past and traumatic events. So this, unsurprisingly, was number one on my list to work upon. Part of the shamanic process is to use a stone to represent the trauma. I won’t go into details as to how that happens, as it is part of the training, however, suffice it to say that the stone became part of my mesa (medicine bundle) and was used in healings with clients. Then, a couple of years after my training had begun, I knew the trauma stone and my work with the tragedy was moving on…
Sunday 29th Sept 2013 – The scene of the accident
I had planned it to happen today and made sure I did not forget by putting the mesa trauma stone in my pocket.
Having spent the weekend with friends who live just outside Ipswich, I was returning home on the A12, just as Mum and Dad had been doing after visiting their friends, John and Marion in August 1998. I’d passed the accident spot many times, where a car had taken off from the oncoming carriageway and collided with Mum and Dad’s car head-on, resulting in Mum passing almost instantly – Dad thinks she died in his arms as he held her in the wreckage – and dad being badly injured. I had stopped in the same lay-by near the scene a few times to grieve and release but this time was different.
The mesa stone that had been with me since the South training on the medicine wheel was ready to leave. It had made this known a couple of times recently, by falling out or jumping out of my mesa medicine bundle. The stone, multi-coloured rainbow jasper, had served me well as the ”trauma” stone, representing the car crash, the way its colours mingled with each other, and its use had helped me deal with the tragedy. However, it was time to give it back to mother earth and see what final work it had to offer.
I came towards the Witham bypass and the parking area and, as is often the case, the musical accompaniment was a wonderful gift acknowledging that “they” were there. The song playing as I pulled in was Heatwave’s 80’s soul classic, “Mind-blowing decisions”, which has the line “mind-blowing decisions causes head-on collisions”. I can’t think of any other song that has “head-on collisions” in the lyrics? How prophetic, apt and magical that it is playing as I arrived at the lay-by. I am so used to this kind of coincidence, synchronicity, spirit message (call it what you will), that I wasn’t phased by it at all. I had work to do, I knew that. This was confirmation that the universe was working with me, and maybe God or Spirit was close.
I turned the car stereo off and sat holding the stone in one hand and my mastery stone, received only a couple of weeks ago after completing the Masters Shamanic course with my Shamanic teacher, Skie Hummingbird, in the other hand, and closed my eyes. I allowed my thoughts to flow and put my face into a wailing/keening pose to aid the release until it happened naturally. Images of the car wreckage, Mum in Dad’s arms, a last embrace and thoughts for the others involved in the accident, including the driver of the other vehicle, his wife and children in the back seat, all of whom were not seriously hurt, but have grown up with the accident in their consciousness. My thoughts even turned to those that had witnessed it or helped. They too have it embedded in their psyche. I energetically unwound Mum’s chakras, or body energy centres, and felt her across my lap as Dad had. I felt a group of shamans and tribal folk swaying and slowly moving forward in lines on either side of Mum who was laid out in the middle, similar to how I saw her at the hospital when I was asked to identify her body. Images came and went. Emotions surfaced and tears flowed.
When it was over, I left the car and walked to the embankment at the side of the lay-by overlooking a freshly ploughed field, startling a rabbit from its resting spot and down a tunnel in the undergrowth. Am I going further down the metaphoric rabbit hole? It felt like it. Ploughed fields always remind me of my pledge to the shamanic path, taken a few years back at the end of the Sacred Trust Darkness Visible retreat in Dorset, by removing my blindfold after three days of darkness next to a ploughed field and taking a step forward, signifying my commitment.
I sat on the bank facing south, out of view of the road and looking over the field. Two crows took off in front of me as I called in the directions N, E, S, W, Mother Earth and Father Sky. More tears. I looked down to the ground between my feet to find a spot to bury the stone, and there I noticed a piece of rusted metal poking out from the earth. I pulled on it quite firmly to shift it and it came away from the entangled grass and dried mud. Could this be a part of the wreckage from the crash over 15 years ago? As coincidences go this would be a doozy. One to tell the grandkids! Looking closer at the fragment I saw some old paint and yes it was of the same colour as Mum and Dad’s car, a brown/grey Toyota Corolla. Maybe it is that car, maybe it isn’t. It doesn’t matter. It represents the crash to me. I added a dab of blood from a recent graze on my finger onto the metal and placed the stone under it, to be left here to rest, as its job with myself and Mum is now over.
I spent some time afterwards picking up rubbish that was dotted around the place and got back in my car and drove off feeling quite blessed. When I turned the stereo on again the next tune was “Yah Mo B There”, by James Ingram and Michael MacDonald, with the lyric “Heavenly father…just reach out and call his name”. ‘Yah Mo B There’ is a derivation from Hebrew and supposedly translates roughly as “God be with you.”
I like the way the colours match – another synchronicity.
2016 (revised 2023)
I have always trusted science and the proofs and truths it has afforded me through my education. However, through my spiritual work, I now understand that science does not explain everything. In time, its envelope will increase to encompass what is currently unclear, such as the quantum world, the human brain, consciousness, black holes, dark matter, etc., and maybe even some spiritual techniques. But it will always be a subset of what humanity (or some of humanity) already know, and this, in turn, is just a part of “what is” or how things are (see below pdf). Gravity, for example, was never discovered. It has always been there doing its thing. Perhaps other forces are there too, just waiting to be detected, measured and recognised by science. Maybe some of them can be felt and used in healing. Perhaps there have always been people using these forces or energies to help others.
Shamans think so.