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Yasmin Boland is read by millions of people each week via her astrology and New Age columns in publications including the Sunday Telegraph, Closer, Red, Cleo and Yahoo! Australia and New Zealand. She’s the author of several books, published in Australia, Canada, India, Portugal and the UK. Her next book Angel Astrology 101, co-authored with Doreen Virtue, will be published in February 2014.

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Archives for February 2010

LOUISE “Heal Your Life” HAY – Mental Wellness

LOUISE L. HAY is the author of the international best seller “You Can Heal Your Life”. I was lucky enough to interview her at her home in San Diego. When I called to apologise for running 30 minutes late, she told me very calmly “All is well…” This is her catchphrase. She’s a cool dudette – and proudly in her 70s.

Metaphysical heath expert Louise L Hay admits she was “terrified”, when was daignosed with cancer in her 40s.

“I went into total panic. I went immediately to my (spiritual) teacher and he said ‘Louise, you haven’t done all the work you’ve done on yourself to die of cancer. Now let’s take a positive approach’.”

And so she did.

“I did everything; nutrition, prayer, affirmation, meditation, visualisations and therapy. I think one of the big things that really helped turn the thing around was learning to forgive. That was tremendous, because that helped me release the resentment and rage that was in there.”

Louise L Hay, as any serious New Age-er knows, is the author of the rainbow covered self-help book You Can Heal Your Life. First published in 1984, it’s been translated into 25 languages, published in 30 countries and is almost ‘the’ basic handbook for anyone interested in self-development or healing.

Most strikingly, it contains the claim that different physical ailments – from simple planters warts to cancer and even AIDS – are physical manifestations of emotional blockages and negative beliefs and attitudes.

She writes, for example, that gall stones may be caused by bitterness or pride, neck problems represents a lack of flexibility, while cancer is about deep hurt, resentment and carrying hatreds. Simplistically, ‘bad’ thought patterns make you sick, ‘good’ or ‘healthy’ thought patterns keep or make you well.

Hay’s fans say she makes a lot of sense. The medical fraternity – although the first to acknowledge that around 60% (at least) of physical illness is stress- (and thus mind-) related – have a harder time embracing her ideas. Critics say that putting the ‘blame’ for illness on to an already-sick person might only make them feel worse.

Louise can only speak from experience – her own and others. As a child, Louise was raped by a neighbour, abandoned by her father and abused by her stepfather.

“I had a heavy duty childhood. There was just a lot of sexual stuff. When I left home I was just so glad to get out of there and I just wanted to push it all away and not think about it and I did what a lot of people do and just shoved it down.

“Little wonder, then, that I manifested cancer in the vaginal area.”

Louise claims to have cured herself of cancer without surgery, although she would never recommend that people eschew medical help.

“I think it’s important to go to the doctor – a holistic doctor – because you need to get to the pattern which contributed to creating this disease, so it doesn’t happen again.

“It’s perfect that the cancer came along for me when it did. After my years of study, it was as though I was safe enough to deal with it. Once I came out of it, I was very strong in my convictions that if you’re really willing to do the work you can change almost anything.”

Not for one second, though, does Hay claim to have invented the idea of the mind-body-wellness connection.

“They are ancient ideas. They come from ancient India and other cultures, and then they got lost somehow. I don’t know why they got lost, just as I don’t know why they’re coming up again in this century.

“I first heard about them when I was studying. It was 1972 and I went to a lecture and they said something which blew my mind. They said ‘if you change your thinking, you can change your life’.

“It was the first time in my life I was ever interested in a subject. I was a high school drop out and never studied anything, until my 40s. Also, I had no religion as a child so I didn’t have anything to unlearn. I could grasp ideas and they just made so much sense to me.”

During the 80s she worked extensively with AIDS patients and claimed to have witnessed many total remissions.

“Yes I’ve seen people go from HIV positive to negative but the thing with AIDS is that there’s so much public stigma that those that do get well go back into the woodwork about it.”

She brushes aside criticism that her ideas put the burden on the sick for having caused their own ailment.

“That’s one way of looking at it. I don’t buy that at all. I think (my methods give) people a tremendous opportunity to make changes. If they don’t want to, that’s fine. I am very careful about not selling my ideas. If you come to me as a person who wants to learn, I will share some ideas with you.”

Louise stresses that her methods go beyond positive thinking to actually changing the way we think.

“Remember, it’s not just about healing you body, it’s also about healing your life and everybody has issues. No one gets through life without any problems but I think it can put you in a mental frame where you can handle the issues which come up.”

The way Louise L Hay sees it, if there can be such a thing as psychosomatic illness, why not psychosomatic wellness?

A special meditation from Louise. To be spoken aloud – preferably into a mirror – in the morning

“Take a nice deep breath and just let all the tension go and just notice that your scalp needs relaxing. Let’s release all fears, all stress, all anxiety and let’s just take a moment to know the truth for ourselves. I am a Divine, magnificent expression of life and all of life loves me. I am open and warm and receptive. I bring good experiences into my life. This is a day I have never lived before. I will rejoice in every moment for I know I shall never live it again. I affirm for myself good health, wonderful relationships. I know that my prosperity is expanding, my income is constantly growing, I prosper wherever I turn and I am at peace. I express myself creatively and I have fabulous relationships/. I now open my consciousness to bring some wonderful new people into my life. People I can laugh with and have fun with and can exchange wonderful spiritual ideas with. I know and affirm that I am treated with respect at work. People appreciate what I do and I am well paid. I go forth to meet this day rejoicing in all that I am and all that I have and all that shall unfold before me. I am safe and all is well. And so it is.”

CHART
From Reiki to energy healing, the mind-body connection is a broadly used paradigm. The right side is generally accepted to be about the male, the left about the female. For example, a problematic ankle, whether caused through a birth defect, through illness or accident, would be connected to a problem with direction/moving forward/receiving joy. So if a person had a bad left ankle, it might reflect problems with receiving joy from a woman. The left and right side can often reflect mother or father issues, stemming from childhood.

Eye Problems: Not liking what you see around you
Neck: Problems with flexibility, refusing to see two sides of a story
Breasts: Problems connected to mothering and nourishing
Arms: You capacity to hold life’s experiences and reach for your goals
Elbows: Accepting new challenges in life and taking new directions
Stomach: Fear. Unable to digest new ideas
Legs: Support, fear of the direction you’re heading in
Knees: Problems with authority, pride and ego
Feet: Your ability to ‘keep your feet on the ground’, to ‘stand on your own two feet’, your life path

Click here for Louise’s excellent site

C Yasmin Boland 2001

Sports Psychology: Think Like A Winner

How To Think Like A Winner
By Yasmin Boland

Applying The Principles Of Sports Psychology To Everyday Life

Imagine being the best…

Imagine being Venus Williams. You’re a set down and your opponent is at match point. If she wins her next serve, she wins the match. You know you can bounce back. But it’s been a long road and just getting this far has taken it out of you. How does a champion like Williams overcome such an awesome challenge, not just once, but time and time again? How does she turn potential defeat into victory with such apparent ease?

It’s called positive thinking and discipline. And it’s also called sport psychology.

1. Visualisation
2. Staying In The Present
3. Relaxation
4. Positive Affirmations
5. Making Physical Changes

These days, no athlete worth his or her salt, would even contemplate competing at world class level without a qualified sport psychologist by their side and every great athlete – from Williams to Tiger Woods to Brett Favre – has a ‘sport psychologist’ on their team.

Using simple and extremely effective mental techniques such as positive affirmations, relaxation and visualisation, this relatively new breed of psychologists teaches competitors how to go one step beyond their talents so they not only play but also “think like a winner”.

Mr Jeffrey Bond, the head of sport psychology at the Australian Institute of Sport (and the man who trained Pat Cash to his 1987 Wimbledon victory) – says that at the AIS, mental toughness is acknowledged as being at least 60% of the battle to win.

Now psychologists are looking into how to translate these successful ‘confidence tricks’ for use in day to day life – so the rest of us can also learn how to think like champions.

Sport psychologist Trevor Dodd, who has worked extensively in the area for nearly 10 years explains: “The principles of the psychology of peak performance can be applied throughout life.

“Anyone who wants to enhance their performance – be it on the playing field, in the boardroom or in the bedroom – needs to think about their mental approach.

But it’s not so much about ‘pschying out’ your opposition as about ‘psyching up’ yourself.

“Studies have shown that up to 70% of our thoughts are negative in nature, even if it’s something as simple as ‘it’s going to be one of those days’ or ‘I’m so stupid because I can’t remember people’s names’,” says Mr Dodd.

“Sport psychology deals with replacing those negative thoughts with positive concentration.”

The Five Basic Principles Of Thinking Like A Winner:

1. VISUALISATION

Visualisation is a tool used by sportsmen and women the world over to mentally prepare for their event. But it can just as easily be used to prepare for an important job interview, a major presentation to a boss at work or even for a date with someone new who fills your stomach with butterflies.

Says Mr Dodd: “The first use of visualisation is that it takes the worry out of something potentially ‘scary’ by making it familiar.

“Our Olympic swimmers for example, have already been shown photographs of the swimming arenas where they will compete in Atlanta. This means they can actually visualise the day of competition in detail. They can imagine what will happen when they arrive on the day, work out where changing rooms and toilets are, where they’ll chat to their team mates and warm up.

“Then they’ll go one step further and imagine the actual race, visualising the scene and even imagining the smell of the chlorine, the sounds of the crowds cheering them on, the feel of the water.

“When the actual day of competition dawns, they1ll have a lot less to worry about. It will be that much less of a shock to the system,” says Mr Dodd.

The rest of us don1t always have the swimmers’ advantage of being able to visualise our future environments in such detail but that doesn1t mean we can1t use visualisation to ‘train’ our mind for important events – be they personal or professional.

EXERCISE:

Before a job interview, for example, you can visualise how you would like the interview to proceed, using your imagination to fill in blanks about where the interview will be or who you will be speaking to, if need be.

“Visualise yourself responding confidently and well to all the questions that you are likely to be asked, what body language you will need to use, what you1ll wear, how you’ll sit,” says Mr Bond.

“Also spend time visualising how you will cope with any difficult queries, questions about pay and so on.

“Not only will you feel more familiar with the situation when it happens for real but you will create a memory blueprint of how you want to behave in the interview.

“If you have practised this mentally in detail often enough, old, bad habits – bad body language, nervousness and being tongue-tied – are less likely to re-emerge under pressure.”

2. STAYING IN THE PRESENT

As we said at the start, how often do we watch a champion like Monica Seles or Steffi Graff pull herself together to win a match only moments after being on the verge of losing? How do you stare defeat in the face and turn it around? How do mere mortals like the rest of us put our past failures behind us – promotions we’ve missed out on, targets we failed to meet, even men we1ve failed to seduce? – to function at our peak when the pressure’s on in a meeting, an interview or even a dinner date?

The answer, according to sport psychologists is to “stay in the present”.

Explains Trevor Dodd: “All of us have a little voice inside our head which chatters away to us non-stop, often dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. We need to become more aware of this voice and to learn to control it.

“You can indeed learn from the past and plan for the future but while you1re actually in the middle of a race – or an important meeting or even a candle lit dinner you1ve been dreaming about – you must focus on the present.

“Recently I worked with an AFL player who, in the closing moments of an important match, had an easy kick for goal to make. If he got the goal in, his team would win, if he missed, his team lost. He kicked and missed.

“Several days later I had the chance to ask him what he was thinking about as he kicked and he admitted that instead of ‘focusing on the now’ and lining up the ball with an object behind the goal posts as he usually did, he was imagining being carried off the field as a hero by his team mates. That was his mistake.”

EXERCISE:

Says Jeffrey Bond: “It’s called ‘task and outcome’ focus. There is a lot of pressure today on ‘outcome’ but when you1re actually in a pressure situation, you need to focus on the ‘task’ at hand.”

In other words, don’t concern yourself with what your interviewer thinks of you, what your date is going to say next or whether your mascara has run. Concentrate on what is.

“We talk a lot about having positive thoughts but sometimes it’s better to have no unnecessary thoughts at all. If you become distracted with thoughts – even positive ones – you can lose control of ‘the now’.”

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3. RELAXATION

For athletes, relaxation of the body is obviously very important. If your body1s too tense, there1s no way you can play effectively. So athletes learn how to relax âEUR~on demand1, even during actual competition.

But mental relaxation is just as high a priority, particularly for those prone to nervousness under pressure.

Says Jeffrey Bond: “A relaxed mind thinks more clearly. One of easiest ways of learning to relax on demand uses a technique we call âEUR~Favourite Place1. 3

EXERCISE:

With this method, we need first to think of a time where we were most relaxed and happy – perhaps on a beach side holiday in our teens, for example. Remember the sights and sounds, the feel of the sand, the smell of the ocean.

Mr Bond then advises sportsmen and women to slip into this ‘favourite place memory’ even just for a few seconds – when they feel nerves start to overcome them. The rest of us can conjure it up as we sit nervously waiting for an appointment or meeting.

“This technique works well for nearly everyone. If you can master the art of being able to relax quickly under pressure you will give yourself a great advantage over our opposition.”

4. POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

To explain the value of positive affirmations, Trevor Dodd tells the story of a tennis player he was working with at the time that ‘tie breaks’ were introduced to the game.

“This player was in the world’s top 50 but he just couldn1t win a tie break. It was driving him mad with anxiety and as a result he lost seven tie breaks – and seven matches – in a row. He realised that there was no point in competing at an international level unless he could beat this bete noire.

“I taught him to brainwash himself in reverse cycle – into believing he could play tie breaks.

“He did this by, in relaxed situations, convincing himself that in fact he loved tie breaks. He stuck notes saying ‘I love tie breaks’ on his bathroom mirror, so they greeted him first thing in the morning, he repeated ‘I love tie breaks’ over and over to himself throughout the day and scrawled this mantra on whatever paper he could find, even on serviettes in restaurants. He won the next nine out of eleven that he played.

“What’s important is that there is no way that he actually believed that he loved tie breaks when he started the ‘brainwashing’. He programmed himself into believing it.”

EXERCISE:

If we tell ourselves often enough that we’re useless or a failure we start to believe it. By the same token, if we tell ourselves we’re successful, quick thinking, sexy or interesting often enough, we start to believe it – and believe it when it counts. Promise yourself you’ll tell yourself what it is you need to here 10 times a day. Don’t feel stupid about it. Just do it and watch the results.

5. MAKING PHYSICAL CHANGES

Obviously, we all perform better when we feel good. What we must remember is that feeling good is our responsibility.

Says Mr Dodd: “Tests which monitor chemicals and hormones in our bodies have proven that ‘putting on a happy face’ (ie: smiling) actually releases chemicals which make us feel better about life within 10 seconds of us breaking into a grin. Contrariwise, when we fall into depression, our bodies release different, misery-making chemicals.”

In other words, we can cheer ourselves up, at least to an extent. Correcting our posture – shoulders back, chin up – has also been shown to help ‘trick the brain’ into feeling happier.

In its simplest form, this means we can control our emotions when it counts most, even if we1re suffering from tiredness, PMT or simply feeling low.

EXERCISE:

If, for example, if you are about to walk into a room filled with people you have never met before – either for business or pleasure – you can give yourself an instant and scientifically proven pick-me-up in as little as 10 seconds, safe in the knowledge that you will get results.

Says Mr Bond: “The challenge is to take responsibility for your emotions. There’s no need to perform badly just because you’re ‘having a bad day’.”

As Jeffrey Bond says: “Even for champions, there are only so many tactics and technical shots they can play, there’s only a certain level of peak fitness they can achieve.”

What sets champions apart from the also-rans is their ability to go beyond these physical basics and to perform well mentally.

And these rules apply to life. You can be a strong person, someone with a lot to offer, well dressed, smart, confident and well prepared. But unless you have the ability to take all that strength with you wherever you go – personally or professionally – opportunities are going to slip away from you.

The mental toughness that our elite athletes show is something everyone can achieve. And many of us live out the basics of ‘thinking like a winner’ without even realising it.

But it also takes repetitive practice and determination so that, like a perfect serve in tennis, or the ability to kick a winning goal, these confidence skills never let us down when we need them most.

As they say at the Australian Institute of Sport says, “If you take care of your personal best, the winning will take care of itself”.

c. Yasmin Boland

This article first appeared in Australian Women’s Forum

Predict Your Own Future

by Yasmin Boland

Who hasn’t thought of reaching for the nearest 1900-dial-a-psychic line when life gets too confusing? Yasmin Boland shows you how to predict your own future.

“I use my Higher Self for advice for clothes shopping, for haircuts, to make sure I get everything I need at the supermarket …”
– Kerrie Higgins, Sydney psychic skills teacher

It might not always feel like it, but many of the great esoteric minds of our time (Chopra, Walsch et al), insist we all have the ability to get in touch with our own inner wisdom, with our Higher Selves, with the bits of us which transcend mere mortality.

So next time life seems pear-shaped and you’re not sure whether to reach for the 1900-dial-a-psychic line or the Chardonnay, stop right there âEUR¦ Instead of allowing decisions about your future to rest on your best friend’s advice, the random turn of a Rune or on the utterings of some (possibly deranged) psychic, go within to speak to the person who cares most about you âEUR¦ yourself âEUR¦

All the answers to all the questions you have are said to be lurking inside your soul, and just waiting to be unleashed …

Accessing your inner knowledge is a bit like listening to the radio. First you have to turn on, then you have to tune in âEUR¦

METHOD 1: TALK TO GOD

A few years ago, US DJ Neale Donald Walsch was feeling very peeved. His love life was in the toilet, his professional life sucked and he felt emotionally barren. So Neale sat down to write a letter of fuming complaint to the highest authority he could think of; God. Imagine his surprise when God actually replied.

“In this letter, I asked God a series of very angry questions; ‘What does it take to make life work? What have I done to deserve a life of such continuing struggle?’ and ‘What are the rules here? I’ll play, just give me the rule book’. I wrote those questions as a sort of amateur self-help therapy at 4.20 one morning. After I had finished writing, I heard a voice very clearly over my right shoulder which said ‘do you really want answers to those questions or are you just venting?'”

The result of this ‘uncommon dialogue’ – a series of questions to and answers from ‘God’ – became NDW’s best selling book Conversations With God, a tome well worth reading.

As part of the research for this article, I called NDW up myself. Surely, if he had the Ear Of The Almighty, he must be able to predict his own future – not to mention everyone else’s. I asked him, for an example, that if someone split up with their boyfriend, could they ask God if their boyfriend was coming back? NDW was underwhelmed with my question, to say the least.

“I do not use God to predict the future,” he fairly blustered at me. “I use it for God to place in my hands the tools with which I can create my own future. I don’t ask frivolous questions about my future, like ‘Will my lover come back?’. I ask deeper questions like ‘How can I become successful?’ ‘What is the meaning of relationship?’ ‘What is the purpose of life?’ I never get into carnival side show questions.”

But surely we can ask God anything? I persisted, meekly.

“Yes, you can, but if you ask ‘will my lover return’ God will probably say ‘I don’t know’ âEUR¦ God would never say ‘Yes, he is coming back’, or ‘No he’s not’ because that answer presumes that the future has already been decided âEUR¦ God would cause you to know that the future has not been decided and that you can create the future that you want. ‘Will my lover come back?’ is not a modern woman’s question, it’s a 1936 question. It’s the deeper questions which take us into the future by allowing us to create our future.”

EXERCISE: Perhaps NDW has a point. So if you want to know about your ex, ask not ‘will he come back?’ but ‘what do I need for a fulfilling relationship?’. By the same token, if you’re curious about if/when you will meet someone new, ask ye not ‘Will I meet someone?’ but ‘What would it take for me to form a great relationship?’. If you are with someone you love, don’t ask ‘Will we stay together?’ but ‘What would it take for us to stay together?’ I’ve used love life examples here, but you can apply these NWD-esque questions to God to any aspect of your life.

Adds NDW: “A question deeply asked in the purity of one’s heart will be answered, whatever process you use – a pen and paper is good or you can just pose the question in your mind while walking in the park âEUR¦ Afterwards, notice and watch and listen because the Universe will provide the answer in the most extraordinary ways – for example, you could be led to read the most extraordinarily right article – like the one you’re reading now …” Schpooky.

And don’t be afraid to write a Dear God letter. It worked for NDW. He’s now a happily married, multi-millionaire best-selling author.

METHOD 2: TALK TO AN ANGEL

This is a nice, (fairly) normal website, not one of those www.spook-city.com zones. So it’s with some trepidation that I hereby suggest that – next time life gets tough – you also try talking to your spirit guides and angels for help. Yes, as in your Guardian Angels. (Just by the by, I once read on the Internet about a man who thought he’d ‘channelled information’ from a rather large tomato plant âEUR¦ so if you think suggesting you talk to your guides and angels is weird, you ain’t read nothin’ yet, baby).

How to talk to an Angel:

Allow yourself at least 15 minutes. Go to a quiet room. Turn off your mobile and shut the door. Sit quietly with a pen and paper in your lap, either on the floor or at a table. Centre your thoughts and focus your mind on your question. Put pen to paper with the words:

“Dear Guides and Angels, what do I need to know about situation x?”

or

“Dear Guides and Angels, what do I need to know to make blah blah happen/to avoid blah blah?”

It’s important to phrase your questions in such a way that you will get a comprehensive answer. Ask long range questions. Keep the answers a secret. It’s said that even though no one knows if our futures are destined or subject to free will, we can at least ‘tune in’ to next week, which is far enough into the future to give you a fair idea about which direction you should set your life’s rudder.

This might sound like the biggest load of codswallop you have ever heard and I won’t deny that I know people who’ve tried this method with absolutely no results at all, but I also know of others who swear by it as a way of tapping into the best advice and reassurance that they’ve ever received.

METHODS 3(i), 3(ii), 3(iii) and 3(iv): TALK TO YOURSELF

No, not ‘start walking around mumbling to yourself under your breath’. Take a leaf out of the various esoteric leaders’ books and just have a word with yourself.

(i) USE YOUR BREATH

When healer Brandon Bays (see www.brandonbays.com) needs to make a decision, she listens to her breath. Ten years ago, Brandon was diagnosed with an enormous tumour in her stomach. Using diet, meditation and the processes she has come to call The Journey, she managed to defy medical opinion and clear herself of the cancer without surgery. She has since dedicated her life to helping others achieve their aims.

“I believe that the body is a barometer of the soul, so if I want to know something about my future, this is what I do:

“I sit down and breathe into my heart or gut and mentally ask the question – should I do A? I breathe into my heart or gut and if it feels good, I come back to neutral. Maybe I should do action A. Then I ask myself – should I do B? If I get a catch in my breath, or if it feels tense or I feel a twinge, I do not take action B. Not here, not this moment, maybe never. But I will think about action A more deeply. If you get a catch with your breath asking both questions, ask ‘is there a third way?’ Infinite intelligence knows âEUR¦signals to you by giving you signals through your body.”

(ii) GET IN SYNCH

If Brandon’s breathing technique not for you, try the Deepak Chopra approach and ask the Universe for some answers, using Synchro Destiny. Synchro-destiny is when things “fall into place”; when events seem “fated”; when you feel as though the Universe is “trying to tell you something” and you “go with the flow”.

“I believe our destiny is influenced by synchronistic events,” says Chopra. “Most people just brush unlikely events, saying ‘oh, that’s just coincidence’ but I don’t think so. I think every coincidence is meaningful.”

Eg: You’re not happy in your job. For the first time in months you check out the newspaper employment section. Your dream job is advertised.

Says Deepak: “Anytime an improbable event occurs – and that’s anything which is outside the realm of statistical probability – that’s a clue or omen. After any improbable encounter, meeting, relationship, situation, circumstance (such as seeing the job of your dreams advertised or bumping into a long lost friend the day after you think of them), ask yourself ‘Why did that happen and what is the deeper meaning?’ And as well as looking for signs about where you should go, watch for omens that you are on the right track.”

(iii) ASK THE FIRE

This is a white witchy spell has its origins in the Middle Ages. If you want to know where your life is heading and you have a log fire handy, give it a go. It’s from Sheryn George‘s wonderful new book Love Story (Harper Collins) and is so spooky it might just work!

Say three times:

Fire red and burning well

Into your depths I cast this spell

Knowing that where I now dwell

My future soon to me you’ll tell

Then poke the fire once, twice, three times. Notice the sparks which fly up the chimney after you finish poking and your incantation. Fast plentiful spits and sizzles mean a hectic start to the new spring, with heaps to do and barely enough time to do it in. Several loud pops mean shocks to your current way of life, so be prepared for change. If one of the pops is very loud, be prepared for a new and very powerful love interest in the spring. Slow burning hisses mean you’ll have time on your own to contemplate what’s been happening in your life, and where you want to go. Keep warm, and put out the fire safely. This spell is extra good as no one thinks you’re doing it – it can all be done in your head…

(iv) ASK YOUR HIGHER SELF

And if you think the Universe, your good Self and the fire aren’t vaunted enough authorities to rely on, try talking to your Higher Self when you need answers.

Spiritual teacher Kerrie Higgins works with the Holistic Healing Company in Sydney and says that she regularly ‘goes within’ for information. (In fact, during the course of our conversation, she pauses and asks me to “hang on a minute while I tune into the other side for an answer to that one âEUR¦” more than once.) What she’s actually tuning into is her Higher Self – the part of us which is allegedly attuned to the great, mysterious Universal source from which all information cometh.

Kerrie teaches her students to listen to their Higher Self/intuition using meditation.

“Information comes through as words or pictures, or as a ‘knowing’ âEUR¦ the more you listen to it, the more powerful it becomes âEUR¦ but you can ask for whatever you like. I use my Higher Self for advice for clothes shopping, for haircuts, to make sure I get everything I need at the supermarket. Sometimes I might even buy stuff and I think ‘why did I buy that?’ then I need it later in the week.

“My Higher Self recently gave me two warnings on financial problems, and proved entirely right. I was in class at the time that the message came through. My students were doing a psychometry exercise and I got a message saying ‘there will be two financial shocks coming up, but I don’t want you to worry because both will be resolved’.

“The first happened when my ex-partner walked in the door a few days later and told me he didn’t want to pay his half of the mortgage any more, because he was going overseas, in three weeks. The other was that the tax department rang and said they couldn’t find two of three dossiers I’d sent them, which was very worrying.

“But as predicted, both issues were resolved – the tax department found my dossiers after 6 weeks looking and I came up with a refinancing solution to my mortgage dilemma.”

EXERCISE: Find a quiet space and sit down. If you’ve already learned how to meditate, begin your practice as usual. When you have finished, stay still and silent for a moment. Ask a question of your Higher Self, either out loud or in your head or on paper. You can phrase it: “I ask my Higher Self – what do I need to know about situation x?”. Wait for the answer, which will almost certainly come. Test the answer against your instincts. Does it feel right? If you haven’t yet learned to meditate, simply sit quietly, breathing gently, with your eyes closed for 15 minutes and then ask your Higher Self the question, as described above.

Get a full astrology reading here!

Deepak Chopra: What Every Woman Should Know

by Yasmin Boland

In 1970, with just a few hundred dollars in the pockets of his flares, an Indian doctor named Deepak Chopra moved from New Delhi to the US of A to start a new life. He began work as an endocrinologist (ie: an endocrine system expert) but that was thenâEUR¦

Today he is known as (. . . drum roll please . . .) SPIRITUAL ADVISOR TO THE STARS.

In a nutshell, he’s now the world’s number one New Age advisor. His books – from Unconditional Life to The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success to The Path To Love – have been translated into 25 languages and he’s had more books on the New York Times best sellers list than most of us have had love affairs. He’s an expert in Finding Your True Self And Spirit, in Mind-Body Medicine and General Spook Stuff. And he doesn’t mind sharing.

Before I met Deepak at his San Diego, California health spa, I wondered what theories he might have for women. He seems has theories for just about everything else (he’s currently working on a book with the working title What Is God Thinking?). How can we cement who it is that we’re going to/want to be. Life is full of non-stop emotional growth – we just nee to decide what we want to do with life and to start to building confidence in ourselves as we set our goals.

So: What Should Every Woman Know?

1. LIVE IN THE PRESENT
Deepak’s first reply was slightly unexpected; he said that while preparing for the future is a Very Important Thing, it’s not the be all and end all. The reason is simple; while we need to consider future options, (eg: Finishing Studies Vs Starting Work Vs Travelling The World Vs Getting Married Vs Starting Your Own Business), too much forward-planning can actually “hinder” rather than help our cause. Because if we’re always thinking about the future (or regretting the past), we might just miss out on noticing what’s happening in our present, where you building blocks for the future are being set up.

“Any time is a good time to develop yourself, and the best way to prepare for the future is to be very present in the present,” he explained.

So we should live for the moment, enjoy the day and stop worrying about past mistakes, next month’s finances and/or if you should join the workforce/become a Buddhist monk. Stop angsting over whether or not that bloke will ever call or what the future holds. Live in the ‘now’ as Deepak (and a whole herd of psychologists) call it, and your past errors will fade from memory while your future sorts its self out because of your actions today.

Tip: Sports psychologists have a simple method for helping clients get back into ‘thinking in the now’ when their minds wander. If you’re drifting off thinking about the past or future when it’s more appropriate to live in the ‘now’ simply draw breath and have a look at your surroundings. Notice what’s on the walls around you; is it wallpaper or paint? What colour is it? Can you smell scents or odours? What can you hear? This simple technique will bring you back to the present.

2. GET IN TOUCH WITH THE BEAUTY IN AND AROUND YOU

You probably spend hours in front of the mirror, preening yourself, smiling, checking for new wrinkles, trying out various make-up methods and so on. You probably even make an effort to keep your room/flat tidy – hey, how great does it feel to slip between clean sheets in a well-ordered bedroom? Maybe you have a Spoil Yourself after-shower/bath oil ritual or you allot one night a week for deep conditioning your hair/you make one fashion investment a fortnight/you get pedicures. If you do any of these self-indulgent activities, you’re on the right path to getting in touch with the beauty within and around you. And according to Deepak, you are doing exactly the right thing.

Wimmin’s Lib notwithstanding, he says that women should enjoy their femininity, express and live it, pampering themselves in between being a worker, friend, and maybe girlfriend. After all, what’s the point of having two genders if we all act he same? No one’s saying we shouldn’t take out the garbage/mow the lawn/become an astronaut if that’s our fancy, but we shouldn’t forget to pamper our inner female too. (For the record, this works for men equally – they would be well advised to get in touch with their feminine side every now and then, but that’s another story.)

Deepak reckons that getting in touch with inner beauty helps build confidence as a woman.

One day a week, wear something very sensual. Velvets, lace, jewelry, whatever most suits your fancy. Enjoy your femininity.
Lash out on essential oils/incenses/flowers for your flat or bedroom. Luxuriate in their scents.
Have candle lit bubble baths. If you’ve read this one million times in magazines and never done it – treat yourself!
Make a list of five all-time-classic books you plan to read in 2000 and stick to it. Educating your mind will boost your self-esteem.
Give someone you love a massage. Enjoy the feeling of giving someone else pleasure.
Get someone you love to give you a massage. Learn to receive sensual pleasure.
Dance alone in your room with the curtains closed and the stereo on high volume. Go for a mix of slow, trance-like tunes to something energy boosting.
Look in the mirror once a day and love yourself, rather than noticing your spots/too big/too small nose/funny chin/thin/fat lips.

3. LOVE YOURSELF
Now to your inner self. Gulp. Of course, when you meet Deepak, it has to get down to Your Soul or Your Spirit, eventually. As Deepak puts it, we are all just “a bundle of consciousness” and we need to get in touch with that bundle.

“You are not just a human being. You are a being having a human experience,” he explains slightly cryptically.

The first step to getting in touch with your spiritual side is to find calm. Deepak, in fact, suggests going further and learning to meditate. Either way, a regular relaxation session will de-stress you – not because it takes the stressful events out of your life but because it equips you to better cope with them.

Of meditation versus sitting quietly he says: “As a start, sitting quietly is not the same thing as formal meditation, and doesn’t take you to the same level of awareness, but it will help you relax.”

Learning to meditate is about as complicated as learning how to fall asleep and there are dozens of free and middling-to-exxy courses around, so check one out if you’re serious about calming your inner (feminine) self.

Deepak recommends designating a week when you decide to concentrate on your own inner beauty via meditation. To do this, pamper yourself heartily (try one of the ways described above or something that’s tailor-made for you by you) and then once a day, find 15 minutes to sit quietly breathing easily and/or meditating, contemplating your feminine wiles. If you have time, he recommends meditating twice a day; you can plan out your day in the morning session while the afternoon/early evening one helps release stresses built up along the way.

“If you did a week of harnessing (your inner beauty), it would take you very far.

“Meditation is the best way to expand the mind. It’s the only way to consciously accelerate evolution. One day it will be taught in schools.”

4. LOVE OTHERS
Now to the really good stuff; love. When it comes to this, Deepak’s from the “dance like there’s nobody watching” school of thought. Love joyously, he says. If you follow his advice about living in the present, you’ll be able to learn from past mistakes without dwelling on relationships that went nowhere and/or tore you apart. You’ll enjoy the new ones and if you really relax, they might even be fairly plain sailing (either that or it will be crystal clear that they are going nowhere, dammit!)

Deepak says there are seven stages of love: Attraction, infatuation, communion, intimacy and sexuality, surrender, passion and ecstasy.

“Ideally speaking in a love affair or a romantic relationship we should have the experience of all seven states, but most people don’t get beyond having the first four.”

Let down your barriers and ‘love like you’ve never been hurt’, as the saying goes.

“Courtship allows trust grow,” he adds, so make it romantic.

And if along the way you do have a few heart-shaped bruises, take strength from Deepak’s philosophical attitude to broken hearts.

“They are helpful – that’s how you grow up,” he says. With is OK for him to say as he’s been happily married for years and probably can’t remember the last time his heart was wrenched from his chest. But he also has a point.

“You learn through broken hearts, and without them you could never appreciate good music, arts, beauty or poetry. So much comes from broken hearts. It’s part of growing up and something to learn from – and yet it can be very devastating, if that’s how you feel it.”

5. LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY

In the mind-body-spirit paradigm, of course, once you’ve looked after your spirit (expanding it by loving everyone) and your mind (calming it by meditating), you’re going to have to look after your body. Which means no smoking, no getting pissed until you throw up (well, not too often anyhow), no eating a beef burger and fries when there’s an organic chicken burger and roasted-not-fried wedges joint just down the road. And so on.

Deepak is the first to stress that it’s not about denying your body, but nurturing it. As a practitioner of Aruveydic medicine, he likes nothing better than a bowl of Dahl (tasty yellow Indian lentil soup) for lunch. But he also drinks coffee and quite possibly even eats the odd bit of white meat or fish at those glitzy Hollywood functions he attends with his celeb mates.

One thing he doesn’t do, though, is smoke. And as a former two-pack-a-day man, he isn’t being a martyr. He knows all about the tyranny of nicotine and suggests;

“A good way to stop smoking is to ‘smoke consciously’ which means that when you’re about to smoke, take your cigarette out and don’t do anything else – don’t be on the phone, don’t read, don’t talk to anyone, don’t have a coffee. Sit alone and smoke the cigarette and be totally aware of what’s happening in your body and even ask your body if it likes it and you will get a strong ‘No’.

“Smoke consciously and you will stop.”

Click here to visit Deepak Chopra’s excellent site …

c. Yasmin Boland 1999 www.flowerofastrology.com

So you want to call a 1900 Fortune Teller?

Body & Soul Feng Column – Psychics Schmyics
by Yasmin Boland

Several years ago I had a run in with a psychic, who called me to ask if I’d write a book for her. I agreed to help with the proposal – I thought I had nothing to lose and that it’d be fun to work with a ‘see-er’. I got to know her quite well over the phone. She would call me once, twice, three times a day, to chat.

At the time she called, I was involved in a doomed affair of the heart. In fact, the very day this psychic – let’s call her Soozie – first rang, I’d decided to end the ‘romance’, as it was causing me more pain than pleasure. During that first phone call, though, Soozie cautioned me strongly against ending it, telling me this man was my soulmate and we just needed time. This was music to my ears – I was fond of him, despite myself.

My friends – who’d heard about this guy’s wily ways from me – thought he was a dog and that I was mad for continuing with him. My parents thought I’d taken leave of my senses, putting up with a scoundrel who made me so miserable. Even he thought I should ditch him, now I think about it.

The long and the short of it was that he was unfaithful to me – several times – before I realised that the only person telling me to stay with Mr Dog was Soozie. Looking back cynically, I realise that she told me what I wanted to hear âEUR¦ while I tried to help her get her book published. Thankfully, during one beautiful, rational moment, six arduous weeks after I’d originally planned it, (and a few days after her book proposal had been rejected), I ended the relationship. Everyone I knew sighed with relief; I vowed that it was over for me and psychics and that henceforth I’d only ever listen to my ‘inner voice’.

One of the easiest ways to do this is through meditation. If you have a pressing question, and have been thinking about calling a 1900 number, try this first. Sit down in the northeast of your home – the inner knowledge section. Relax. Breathe deeply. Then take a pen and write to yourself, asking your (Higher) self what you need to know. Write whatever comes to mind. It’s so crazy it might work âEUR¦ and it has to be better than listening to someone else’s ramblings. You’ll almost certainly know if you’re faking it, which can’t be said for dealing with paid soothsayers.

Enough about fenging … tell me about your book

© Yasmin Boland 2001

Jessica Adams

S-S-S-S-S-POOKY!
by Yasmin Boland

Jessica Adams knows about charity – and has to be one of the spookiest people in Australia

SYDNEY: December 1999 A few weeks ago, writer/astrologer Jessica Adams had to make a rather difficult phone call back to her boyfriend in London. She was ringing to tell him that she was ‘coming out’. As a medium.

Like Princess Diana’s medium Rita Rogers, the much-loved Doris Stokes and Australia’s Margaret Dent, she claims to communicate with dead people. This has been happening on and off, she says, since she was a school girl, but recently the pace has been upped.

“I rang him just to say, you know, ‘I’m going to be doing a lot of media and I’m going to be talking about my work as a medium’ …”

He was very supportive. “He’s very broad-minded and he’s very sympathetic and curious,” she says.

He and her friends are used to the twists and turns of the dark-haired 35-year-old’s brilliant career. So she talks to dead people? So they are supportive.

Jessica, who grew up in Swan Bay, in northern Tasmania, and went to Brooks High School, now lives in Sydney, Bellingen and London, in three monthly cycles. Having left Tasmania for Sydney at the age of 21 to attend the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, she is now best known for her work as an astrologer. She’s been casting charts since she was 14 and working as a professional astrologer since she was 23. For the past three years, she’s been the Daily Telegraph’s resident astro expert. The thousands of charts she’s studied over the years must have revealed some special encoded information regarding the secrets of success, because Jessica, once a journalist, has had a run of accomplishments which are turning her into the Helen Fielding Rolled Into Mystic Meg of Australia.

As well as writing astrology columns read by more than a million people around the world each week, she now also writes fiction, as well as astrology books. Her first novel, Single White Email, topped the best seller lists in Australia and the UK. She’s just launched a series of twelve sign-by-sign astrology books – Handbag Horoscopes. She’s also “writing my next novel, Tom, Dick and Debbie Harry, my next astrology book Astrobloke, my columns for Cosmopolitan and Woman’s Own and the Daily Telegraph and I am working on Warchild, Warchild, Warchild. I’m working 6 days a week.”

Warchild is a charity and her current lovechild. Their mission is to help the kids affected by war around the world and Jessica is helping set up their Australian offices. Her website (www.jessicaadams.com.au) has a link to theirs. Right now she is organising an anthology including Kathy Lette, Karen Moline, Candace Bushnell, Nick Earls, Jane Green, your truly and, of course, Jessica Adams.

She hasn’t written her own submission for the collection yet, which has been sold in the UK and goes up for auction in Australia this month, but says “in my wildest dreams I hope it will raise $1US million”.

Note: Since this article was written in December 1999, the Girls Night In book Jessica co-edited with two UK authors, Fiona Walker and Chris Manby, has raised more than a million Australian dollars already, with the profits still rising as she works on Girls’ Night In books two and three. See end of page*.

Jessica is also donating part proceeds from her Penguin advance and sales to Handbag Horoscopes, helping to fund a small business selling fabric flowers, to raise money for Warchild.

“I believe in Joseph Campbell’s paradigm ‘follow your bliss and give back to your community’ and I just thought, ‘I am following my bliss’. I’m very lucky to love what I do. Without making a drama about it, I just think it’s time to start giving back to the community. I think it’s part of the law of the Universe. It’s like if you eat a lot of tomatoes, chuck a few seeds back in the soil to grow – it’s that principle – if you’re doing well out of life, chuck some stuff back because you can – don’t just sit on it. Buy a Tiger Lilly fabric flower for East Timor, even if you’re not interested in fashion.”. Or buy a copy of Handbag Horoscopes, even if you’re not into astrology.

While Jessica’s happy to talk about her work, and Warchild, she’s not so forthcoming about her private life. Having written Single White Email – a novel indirectly about the delights of being Single In Sydney – she was briefly in danger of being typecast as the voice of single women around Australia. Right now, though, she is “seeing an guy who lives in London”. And that’s all she’s saying.

So does she analyse the astrological chart of each and every new man in her life?

“I used to do that. But I’ve no idea what his birthday is. His human qualities are more interesting to me than his chart. I can guess his chart. It matters more to me that he’s a decent human being and he’s got a brave and good heart.”

And he doesn’t mind her channelling, either, which must say a lot for a bloke.

Jessica’s work as a medium started when she was 11-years-old.

“The first time I remember being aware of it was walking home from school and I saw my cat Maisy, a tabby, about three kilometres from home. I thought this was quite strange, because Maisy didn’t usually wander that far. I bent down, made a fuss of her and then headed home. I’m vague on my memory of if I expected her to follow me, or what, but when I got home, my father told me Maisy had been run over and killed by a car the same morning.”

Being a medium – or channelling – humans who “have passed” means that she makes “contact with spirit”. Which has happened a lot lately.

“I was flying back from Melbourne three days ago. I was reading and had my ear-plugs in, as I can’t stand noisy flights. Just as we were about to touch down, the woman I was sitting next to tapped me on the shoulder, made me take the earplugs out and said ‘I’m so sorry. I’m English and I don’t normally do this sort of thing, but I felt I had to speak to you.’ I said sure. She said ‘I’ve just come from a funeral’ and she burst into tears.”

Jessica says she was able to make contact with the spirit of this woman’s friend in a way that was meaningful to her. That gave her proof that although her friend was dead, he was with her in spirit.

“I have been in denial for most of my life because – like most people – I’m terrified. I viewed it as weird, scary, negative, all those bad things and that’s such a shame.

“When I do a lot of media, the journalist who’s talking to me often wants me to look at their astrology chart or do a psychic reading. Whenever I do radio, the switchboard lights up because everyone wants to know what’s in store for them. My job is being made easier by being able to cross over to these peoples’ guides, talk to their guides directly and pass this information on. It can be something as extraordinary as survival evidence of someone who’s died who you thought you had lost but who in fact is still around you, to something as incredibly useful as advice about your job situation.”

She says what’s she’s feeling is nothing special.

“Everyone has their own story. You know, they say: ‘I was driving down the street and a little voice in my head said “turn left here” so I turned left and avoided a five car pile up.’.” She says these impulses are “people in spirit” – our guides – talking to us.

So, out of curiosity, how do the voices come to her? How does she receive this information? In words, pictures, feelings, sounds?

“All of those things, and you can add the sense of smell as well,” she says, screwing up her nose matter-of-factly.

Her unreal stories have a ring of truth which can send a shiver down your spine, literally. I have a Sixth Sense that’s the secret of her excellent success.

* In England, Girls’ Night In and Girls’ Night Out – Boys’ Night In have already raised 400,000 pounds, including advances and foreign rights sales. That figure will rise, obviously, as soon as Girls’ Night Out – Boys’ Night In is released in June. In Australia, the total from sales and advances for Girls’ Night In and Girls’ Night In – Gentlemen By Invitation, is $100,000. So basically, the two books have raised over $1 million Australian already, even before the sequel is actually published. War Child have made so much money that they were able to fund a new children’s school project in Dili, East Timor, this week. Next year’s book, Big Night Out, will be published in the second half of 2002 in America, Australia and England.

C Yasmin Boland 1999

Hagar Qim – a rare eclipse experience in a Goddess temple

A RARE OPPORTUNITY

For the past few years, I’ve been studying the Goddess. It came to me in various ways. Partly due to finding Narayani Amma, my spiritual teacher in India who represents Narayani, the triple Goddess made up of Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga; partly due to my interest in (love, passion for) astrology.

In 2009, I was lucky (blessed?!) enough to be in Malta at the time of an eclipse. The July 7 Full Moon in Capricorn. I made my way to the obvious place – the world’s oldest building, Hagar Qim. It’s older than Stonehenge and older than the Egyptian pyramids. Yes indeed. And chances are you’ve never heard of it? Right?


The island of Malta, just south of Italy, is known by Goddess scholars as “the home of the Goddess”. One of the reasons for that is Hagar Qim, this amazing freestanding building which was once a temple used 6000 years ago for worshipping the Goddess.

I’d mentioned on my site that I’d be there to meditate through the eclipse and amazingly, a reader from Finland, Ebba, found me and introduced herself. Together Ebba and I sat down in the heart of the temple, closed our eyes and slipped into a 15 minute meditation.

I don’t know what Ebba experienced but my meditation was quite profound. I’ve never really told anyone about it, partly because I wanted to verify it before I talked about it, to try to work out if I was totally imagining things or if somehow the past was still resonating in the present.

What I saw and felt was a large number of woman dressed in gray clothes. Not at all bright. Nothing too sexy. A lot of women, moving and chanting together. A repetitve chorus. A little droning. It was a very strong impression. I could make out the words but the sounds were low. It wasn’t scary at all but it was certainly nothing “ethereal” either.

And that was that. I felt very moved. Afterwards, Ebba and I stood up and went to join our families who’d adjourned to the nearby cafe together, while we sat. Later that day, I came down with fairly acute tonsilitus which is all about clearing out toxins. That made total sense to me, given that I’d experienced the eclipse – associated with purging Pluto – in such an intense setting.

All in all, a wonderful experience and memory to treasure.

Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol & Theories about 2012

While I was reading Dan Brown’s book THE LOST SYMBOL, I got sort of stuck on the following lines which seem to echo others’ ideas about what 2012 is all about.

They say: ” It’s not the end of the world but the end of the world as we know it.” Will we all discover that the idea that we create our reality with our thoughts is not New Age mumbo-jumbo but rather fact? That’s my hope!

“According to legend, the sages who encrypted the ancient Mysteries long ago, left behind a key of sorts âEUR¦ a password that could be used to unlock the encrypted secrets. This magical password âEUR” known as the verbatim significatium âEUR” is said to hold the power to lift the darkness and unlock the Ancient Mysteries, opening them to all human understanding âEUR¦

“Legend holds that the verbatim significatium is buried deep underground, where it waits patiently for a pivotal moment in history âEUR¦ a moment when mankind can no longer survive without the truth, knowledge and wisdom of the ages. At this dark crossroads,. Mankind will at last unearth the Word and herald in a wondrous new age of enlightenment âEUR¦

“…this prophecy of a coming enlightenment is echoed in virtually every faith and philosophical tradition on earth. Hindus call it Krita Age, astrologers call it the Age of Aquarius, the Jew describe the coming of the messiah, theosophists call it the New Age, cosmologists call it Harmonic Convergence and predict the actual date âEUR¦ December 21, 2012.

– Chaper 111, The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

Ask the Nirvana Cards

Nirvana Cards


Instructions

This is a Nirvana Card. It brings good luck, love and light to all those who gaze upon it and know the transformative power of joyful thinking.

If you have a Major Life Question you want answered, focus your thoughts as you stare into the spinning wheel. When you’re ready, ask your question of the Universe, and click on the Nirvana Card for your answer.

Moon Meditation: “Lots of love”

Moon into Aries

Today we still get the left over gorgeousness of the Venus/Jupiter link. Venus is the planet of love and Jupiter is the planet of amplification so put them together and there’s a very good chance for love to grow. The one thing to remember if you’re involved with someone and it’s a bit OTT, there is such a thing as TOO much love! Try not to smother your partner. Also, watch your budget! There’s also an astounding link between Neptune and Chiron. If there’s something which happened to you recently which hurt, healing can now start.

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