What Katy Louise Did...

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Katy Louise writes about health, wealth, happiness and relationships, and the spiritual insights she gains along her path. She is currently editor of Top Sante magazine (www.topsante.co.uk). Prior to that she was editor of Bodyfit magazine (now Your Fitness www.yourfitnesstoday.com) and the launch editor of Soul&Spirit magazine (www.soulandspiritmagazine.com). Katy is also a certified Fitsteps and STOTT Pilates instructor. She is the go-to girl for all matters relating to health, wellbeing and spirituality.

Friday 17 June 2011

14 reasons to buy the July Soul&Spirit!

The July issue of Soul&Spirit is on sale NOW!

Angel Answers: 15 signs these celestial beings could be around you, and how to spot them!

Find Perfect Love: These five steps will have you manifesting your soul mate in no time. All you have to do is become an energetic match – find out how, inside the magazine

Horoscope Heaven: Know what’s in store for you this July, plus: how the mighty planet Jupiter moving into the pleasure zone of Taurus affects your love, cash and career this year!

Oracle Wisdom: Discover the mighty gods and titans oracle cards and how the wisdom of these powerful male energies can guide you

Also inside:
         Barefoot Doctor’s Taoist wisdom
         A cosmic ordering holiday in Lanzarote
         How to improve your meditation
         Psychic love and life guidance
         Win! Ghost hunting tickets with Ian Lawman up for grabs

Manifest your heart’s desire
Start living your dreams from today with these top cosmic ordering tips that really work!

Find true happiness
Feeling upset, emotional, nervous or depressed? There is a way out, says Dr Mark Atkinson, who says everyone can terrain themselves to than their brains to discover lasting happiness

Do you Hoodoo?
Learn about ancient hoo doo magick, including spells and ceremonies to bless your home, find love, attract wealth, offer psychic protection, and boost health

Going your own way
What do you do when your new spiritual lifestyle choices bring more criticism than connection with those you love? These five tips can help you create harmony and cope with the questions 

Vote now!
The S&S reader awards are open
Click here to cast your votes and win an angel weekend for two!

Visit www.soulandspiritmagazine.com

Thursday 16 June 2011

Dalai lama joke

OK, today for something lighthearted...

this is so funny. shame the Dalai lama didn't get it as it's not a bad attempt! only in Australia...

pizza shop joke...

ps - I don;t know whether this link works as I've never tried to put a video in a blog before so not entirely sure how it works! let me know if you can't click on it

Wednesday 1 June 2011

The yin and yang of Ibiza

The Pool at the villa
Ginger the house cat!


I just got back from the White Isle (so called for its salt trade some centuries ago), where my deputy editor, Naz, and I spent seven heavenly days at a glorious, historic villa in the north of the island, overlooking the pine-covered hills. It was far better than any modern-day villa because this place had character: lots of old stone steps and over-head beams inside the house itself, with beautiful, well-established gardens surrounding it. Sitting sunning ourselves by the pool was a favourite pastime, as was attending the yoga sessions each morning with Arun, a knowledgeable, highly spiritual teacher who moved from London to Ibiza last year for a change of pace. 

The patio where we enjoyed canapes and drinks on our first night

But our main reason for being there was to attend Hazel Lee’s psychic development course – the final retreat of the spring, hosted by Psychic Retreats – that took place over three intense days of teaching. During that time, we were all challenged to do tarot readings for each other and strangers, often being pushed out of our comfort zones. At times I wanted to give up as I had only ever received readings, and never given them myself; but Hazel believed in us all, and told me I was a natural psychic – I just needed to stop thinking so much. ‘Thinking is bad for you!’ she would bark at me over and over. And she was right. By the time it came to psychometry, I did far better at getting ‘hits’ i.e. accurate information, when I relaxed and just said what had come into my mind, rather than trying to force something to come through.  

Flowers on the terrace overlooking the surrounding hills

The intense teaching was balanced out with relaxing trips to nearby scenic places of interest, such as two beautiful beaches at either end of the island. And at the end of the retreat, we tagged three nights of partying on to our stay. So it truly was like experiencing the ‘yin’ of the relaxed retreat environment, discussing philosophy, life, love and death, with the ‘yang’ of the drinking, partying, up-til-the-crack-of-dawn lifestyle Ibiza is probably best known for. And though I love dancing, I now realise I mostly crave a quieter, more contemplative way of life. I’d choose a week at Psychic Retreats over a week of hard partying any day. Dancing on a beach watching the sun set, to the beat of dozens of drums, was far more enjoyable than sweating away in Space nightclub, being trodden on, having drinks spilled over me and having to fend off lots of weird men! Not good.

But Ibiza has had this dual personality for decades, and will continue to do so. That’s not to say one way of life is wrong, or one is ‘better’ than the other; to say that would be dualistic and limiting. Sometimes a bit of hedonism can be fun after all! But life is always full of choices over where and with whom you spend your time; it all comes down to priorities, which change as you get older and learn more about yourself. And though I can’t predict the future, despite developing my psychic and intuitive skills somewhat, I know I want to return to Ibiza and to the beautiful villa – even though one of the rooms is supposedly haunted by the guy who built the place! – because it was an incredible holiday I’ll never forget.

Katy and Golnaz stayed in Ibiza courtesy of Psychic Retreats. Week-long and four-day weekend courses will be held this Autumn, beginning in October. For more information, visit psychicretreats.com or call Lucia Diamond on +34 615 471 587. There will be a full write up in the August issue of Soul&Spirit magazine, on sale July 15.

Monday 18 April 2011

White feathers from the angels?

It’s been over a month since I blogged! I end up feeling stifled creatively, somehow, when I don’t blog for a while, as if I need to let my views out for others to read so they are ‘out there’ in the universe in some form. Today what prompted me to do it, finally, was a white feather. Oh, and a butterfly.

I had ventured outside for my lunch, and found a perfectly secluded spot down by the river, which was a nice little sun trap. So there I was with my feet up, basking in the warm rays and eating my sandwiches, and the thought came to me that I have been so manic, both physically and mentally, of late, and really need to find inner peace (which only last week a spiritual healer had told me I needed to do, while staying at the new spa resort Lifehouse, but more of that later). So, when I had finished eating, I decided to close my eyes, relax my shoulders – they are almost permanently up around my ears – and feel thankful to be in this glorious moment, right now, enjoying the sun, the sounds of the birds and the traffic, everything about my current situation. And, having done a lot of research around cosmic ordering of late, the thought came to me that it is only when most relaxed and happy that the ideal circumstances can manifest themselves. There’s a lot going on in my life at the moment, and at times I get uptight and find myself trying to force things somewhat, or being impatient that things are not happening yet. So, with this in mind I let go of the tension and just allowed myself to be grateful. And that was when a tiny white feather floated down and landed at my feet! Now, I know most people would say, ‘Well it’s only a feather and they are blowing around all the time’. But as editor of Soul&Spirit, and having read numerous times about how feathers are signs from angels, I couldn’t help but wonder... Even if it wasn’t an angel sign, it was a good reminder to me that sometimes, if you sit still and calm, then things land at your feet!

The butterfly effect
But not only that, later as my eyes were shut, I felt a light touch on my left foot; this was at the precise moment I had just decided to be present to my experience, to stop thinking about the past or future, and to enjoy the sun and the surroundings. As I opened my eyes to see what was touching my foot, it looked like – through my sunglasses and with the sun glaring into my face – a big black object, and my immediate reaction was to kick my foot to get this thing off. But as I did, I saw the fluttering wings of a butterfly! Yes, a butterfly had actually landed on me as I was being all Zen and calm. So then I spent the next five minutes wishing I had not kicked it off me and realised what it was. But, then it came and landed on the pavement less than a meter away, so I got to enjoy it basking in the sun too, before I fluttered in front of me again and flew off.
This I felt was another nice reminder of how, if you are still and centred, things come to you because you pose no threat and you are being in the now. And, I thought about how I need to apply this to my own life and career. Rather than worrying about situations or running round like a mad woman trying to get things done, it would do me some good to spend time cultivating peaceful states, and allowing the universe to bring me what I cosmic ordered back in December. Because I know it will; it is already starting to happen. I just have to relax and go with the flow, which is an over-used phrase I hear often but am only now beginning to understand and implement

The May issue of Soul&Spirit magazine is on sale now! Visit www.soulandspiritmagazine.com to find out more and see where you can buy or subscribe.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Tick Holistic!

Has your census landed on your doormat yet? If so - and you don't know what to put for 'religion' - then consider writing 'holistic' to encompass an all-round approach to spirituality.
Spiritual author and holistic campaigner William Bloom is one of the champions of this idea to get as many spiritual practitioners as possible to write 'holistic' on their census, so as to reflect the diverse, changing, non-religious nature of the country's people.
Visit http://www.holisticmap.org/about/campaign.htm to find out more!

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Period power!

Having attended the Flying Solo 1 workshop in Glastonbury the weekend before last at Healing Waters (time is certainly flying for me as it seems like ages ago now, as I’m fully entrenched back into my manic work schedule), I wanted to tell you all how amazing it was. Lead by Gabriella Guglielminotti Trivel – who calls herself the flying witch because as a child, she always thought it would be cool to fly on a broomstick to travel speedily and easily from place to place, and because she IS now taking flying lessons! – I learned so much about my menstrual cycle, and how, if I keep track of it and the changes in my body, I can learn so much from my own inner wisdom and that of nature. I was struck by a few interesting insights as the day progresses, including how I had been suppressing my natural hormones – and therefore, according to Gabriella, my intuition – for so many years in my 20s when I was taking the contraceptive pill. When you’re young, you try to be responsible and do what you think is right, and you are never given any alternative advice from healthcare professionals – who are only too keen to get you on the pill – about how perhaps there is a more natural way, i.e. methods where you track your bodily changes to work out when you’re ovulating. So this for one has given me food for thought.

Seasons of change
But what was most immediately gratifying and enlightening was learning how to liken each stage of the monthly cycle to the seasons of the year. So, for pre-ovulation, it’s your spring: this is a time for ideas, outwards energy, initiating projects etc; then when you are ovulating, this is your summer: a time for being a social butterfly, reaping the rewards for your hard work in spring, being active and ‘out there’ including being more receptive to potential partners; then, when you are premenstrual it’s your autumn phase: this means the energy is turning inwards now, decreasing, you feel less like going out and may be tetchy with people; it’s also a time, I discovered, when the inner critic can be strong and you doubt yourself and your decisions (I laughed when I heard this and asked what you could do if you thought you were in a perpetual Autumn, as I have suffered severe bouts of doubt and indecision in the past!). Finally, menstruation is your winter phase, when the trees are barren and you turn inwards towards yourself; it’s a time for rest and recuperation, and when psychic impressions, intuition and dreams are said to be stronger.

Knowing yourself
The whole point in learning this knowledge – which you track for yourself on the worksheets Gabriella gives you as hand outs – is to get to know when you are in which phase, and to understand that some times might be better for certain activities than others. Already I can see this helping in my life; I look back to a few weeks ago when I made a major decision about something which at the time seemed right, where as now, in my ‘autumn phase’ I have had plenty of doubts creeping in. But now that I am aware that this is a natural tendency, I can just acknowledge those doubts and, as Gabriella suggests, say to them, ‘Thank you for your concern, but I choose to stay on this path, or stick to this decision’ or whatever it is. It was so interesting too see how these thoughts of positivity and optimism changed to ones of doubt and uncertainty when in the latter half of my cycle. 

That’s just one of the great things I learned. To find out more about these Flying Solo workshops, visit Gabriella’s website at www.flyinginspiration.co.uk, or email flyinginspiration@yahoo.co.uk. I attended the workshop at Healing Waters Retreat Centre in Glastonbury, but she also does them in the Luton area.

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Why menstruation should be celebrated!

Did the title of this blog catch your eye? Did you wholeheartedly disagree with it? Well, I'll admit I do to, at the moment at least. But this coming weekend my deputy and I are heading to Glastonbury for what promises to be an incredibly enlightening workshop run by a lady who calls herself the 'Flying Witch', all about how to get in tune with your menstual cycle and come to view it as a positive, energising thing in your life, not a negative 'curse. 

The Flying Witch
The 'Flying Witch' (real name Gabriella Guglielminotti Trivel) says on her website that women need to learn how to get in touch with their inner feminine power, and how to use understand and use their cycle to their advantage. The testimonials on the site were enough to convince me that this was a lady I needed to meet, and from whom I could probably learn a lot. Being a real head-based person, I want to get in touch with that inner intuition and feminine knowing, that I am sure is buried deep insied me somewhere. Maybe Gabriella is the one who will help me tap into it! And if it helps me understand my feelings and emotions, then so much the better.

Natural childbirth
The whole subject of periods and even natural childbirth is one that fascinates me at the moment, having read a book by Ina May Gaskin all about natural, drug-free childbirth, and how much better is it for the baby and for the recovery of the mother. Ina May has been a midwife for somethind like 40 years (I forget the specifics) and I felt that what she wrote about in the book was the truth: that birth has become so sterile and treated as an illness, i.e. 'what can go wrong', where as it is actaully a totally natural process that most women can go through without intervention. Having also subsequently watched One Born Every Minute, and heard plenty of negative comments from other women I know, about how dangerous birth can be, I think it is a sad state of affairs that we have gotten into in the West. Women are so divorced from their bodies and their natural processes: they just want to drug themselves up and get it over with (and yes, I admit I have not had a child so how can I comment on such a thing, and by the way I am not judging anyone for the choices they make - until I go through it myself I dont know how I will respond). But I just felt strongly that there needs to be a cultural shift back to the way things used to be, when women gave birth at home with midwives who knew what they were doing. Where it was more relaxed and the woman was respected and worshipped, not drugged up hurried along because her body was 'taking too long' to do its job.

Period power!
Another lady who inspires me is Dr. Christiane Northrup, whose wisdom I was listening to on a Hay House audio CD the other day. It was one with Wayne Dyer - Tao te Ching expert - and I forget the name of the CD now as it's at home, but Dr Northrup is also advocates the work of Ina May Gaskin, and in getting women to become more in tune with their bodies and be wary of Western medicine.
I could go on about this subject for ages, but suffice to say that my journey on the path of discovering the 'power of my periods' will begin this Saturday, Fenbruary 26, in Glastonbury (where else!)

I reckon it's going to be a great workshop so I wanted to share the details. Visit
www.flyinginspiration.co.uk to find out more. It costs £75 for the day and is at Healing Waters retreat centre (www.healing-waters.co.uk or call 01458 835859) though she also runs the workshops elsewhere.

Monday 21 February 2011

Find your soul mate!

Can you find love on line??? this is the subject of a talk I have just listened to on the Soulmate Summit website (see below for details). The Soul mate Summit has been going on since Valentines day and is on for another couple of days and it’s basically daily seminars on line about relationship and dating advice – basically how to prepare yourself for love and find the best kind of guy for you (or girl, but it’s mainly aimed at women).
I’ve just listened to the seminar by Evan Marc Katz, all about online dating and how to set up a great profile that will make you stand out from others, and get great results. And I wanted to share a couple of really important points he made, which are actually about the dating process, not so much about online dating specifically. 

Get smooching
1) Decide what sort of dates you want to have. i.e. are you really happy with afternoon coffee dates? Evan says kissing is an important part of determining chemistry, and how can you kiss someone if it’s the middle of the afternoon in a cafĂ©? He suggests trying to arrange things so it’s a Friday or Saturday night, so you don’t have to worry about work, and letting the man make the arrangements. He is by no means advocating falling into bed with someone on a first date (he goes into this in more detail) but says if you can’t even kiss someone – if you want to, that is – you might miss out on knowing whether they are right or not as you can often tell a lot from a kiss.

Be still, open and receptive
2) He says that as a woman, you have to stand still with your arms open (metaphorically) and let the men come to you. That’s right – don’t run towards them when you sense one is coming to you, i.e. taking the man’s role, and don’t run in the opposite direction, hoping he will chase after you and this will create more attraction, i.e. as in what The Rules advocates. Instead, be open and receptive to love, and if a good man comes along he will make the effort with you and it will be easy. If something is not easy and you are over analysing his behavior, why he hasn’t called, making excuses for him, etc, it’s probably not going to work out. 

Put in some ground work
3) If you want to meet a guy, put in around half an hour a day onto online dating, just like you would spend half an hour doing hair and make up, or making a meal etc. make it a part of your routine, get a great profile, and realise that a guy isn’t; going to just miraculously find you if you just hang out in all the same places and with all the same married friends. You do have to put in some effort, usually, to be available to men. So if you do this, he says, you will definitely find someone by the end of the year. 

Oh and he also says not to be so choosy, as we can get incredibly picky when it comes to looking through on line profiles and often rule people out who might be great for us!!!

Again, I’m sorry I didn’t share this earlier as the summit has been going on for at least a week already. Personally, I am in no place to be giving out relationship advice (as my friends will attest to!) but the people on this seminar programme know what they are talking about. So take note!!!

Visit www.soulmatesummit.net/event. Marc’s talk will probably only be live for another few hours (they are all only available for 24 hours) but there will be more tomorrow.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

Vote ‘holistic’ on the next Census

What will you classify yourself as, with regards to religion, on the next census? One organisation has set up a campaign to urge those who think of themselves as spiritual, rather than religious, to state ‘holistic’ on the next Census.    

Robin Robinson, Head of Communications for the Foundation 4 Holistic Spirituality, which runs the WhyHolistic project, said: “The Holistic Census Campaign will encourage people to declare themselves as 'holistic' on the 2011 Census religion box. This is a crucial step forwards in achieving representation for unrepresented spiritualities and to assist in lobbying work at government level.
“Fundamentally it is all about generating a voice and platform for the first time, in order to support and legitimise everyone already working with this holistic approach.”

The Census is run by the Office for National Statistics every ten years. The next one is being carried out nationwide on March 27th of this year.

WhyHolistic is a project of The Foundation 4 Holistic Spirituality, a non-profit community interest company not aligned with any particular religion, belief, faith or spiritual path, but which support an approach that is open-hearted, open-minded and welcomes diversity.

For more information on the Foundation 4 Holistic Spirituality, visit www.f4hs.org. And to find out about the Holistic Census Campaign and to add yourself to the Holistic map of the UK, visit www.whyholistic.org.

This story is featured in the February issue of Soul&Spirit, on sale January 21st.
If you subscribe this month yo will receive a free pack of Lovers Oracle Cards worth £19.99! Visit www.soulandspiritmagazine.com to find out more.

Saturday 8 January 2011

You CAN change your life

Can you change your life merely through choosing different throughts? How powerful is your mind when it comes to the choices you make and how you live your life? And how much of your life are you living on autopilot? these are some questions I have been asking of myself, having just watched Derren Brown's Hero (on Channel4 OD). And I've become a bit of a Derren addict. So much so that after watching this programme I watched a few more shows and am now on to reading his first book, Tricks of the Mind.

It was Hero that first got me going, though, as in a nutshell, he selects a member of the public - a regular, ordinary 'Joe' who has a boring job, low self-esteem, no ambitions, still lives with his parents etc - and turns him into a hero within 30 days. And the way Derren does this - with the assistance and compliance of the unsuspecting man's family - is to implant suggestions into his mind. It amazes me that Derren is able to wake this guy - Matt, I think his name is - and yet keep him in a slumbering, half awake half asleep state - and tell him and show him things that, once awake, inform his choices in life. One example is that Derren is able to pursuade Matt to get out of bed in the middle of the night, follow him into a car, then in a field, and put his hand on an aligator! Derren is showing him the power of nature and of this beast, who has tenacity and determination: qualities he wants to instill in Matt. How Matt does not remember this and puts it down to a dream I have no idea (and I'd like to think I'd not be as open to suggestion, and as gullable, though I fear I probably would be, but yet I like to think I'd be smart enough to work it out).

Anyway, over the course of a month, Derren plants certain situations and objects into Matt's life that give him opportunities to choose to engage with life, to help people, to come closer to his own family, and not to stay the same reclusive, sitting-in-his-bedroom-night-after-night kind of guy he has always been.
The show ends with Matt in an aeroplane, believing he is becoming a hero by landing it after an 'emergency' situation. You have to see it to believe it.

But why I am mentioning all this is that this show really had a profound affect on me, which I presume was Derren's intention (OK, not to influence me, specifically, but anyone watching), and, in a small way, made me immediately engage with life, insofar that I had arrived home, exhausted from a very busy day in the office and had thought I could not be bothered to go to my regular dance class - the first of the New Year. I was feeling sluggish, lazy and listless I suppose; but having watched the first half of this show, and listening to Derren implant the information in Matt's head that it's a miracle any one of us is here, as it's all dependent on our ancestors all meeting and falling in love and a particular egg and sperm meeting, added to the messages that life is precious and surely we are here to engage with it and follow our passions, it was enough for me to think 'right, I'm going out to my dance class' and so I did. OK, maybe a small example of engaging with life but a start! and it lifted me, incredibly, out of my tired state.

I finished watching it when I got back and ended up going on to also watch his Messiah programme, where he goes to America and dupes a number of religious and spiritual people into thinking he has psychic powers, but I'll write about that another time.

My main reason for writing this post is to encourage you to all watch Hero, as it was truly inspiring to see how powerful the mind, and suggestions placed in it, can be. An average guy can be turned into a hero through his actions and beliefs. For it is our beliefs that determine what we do, whether we believe we can do something, and how many risks we take to fulfil our dreams. However, it is also useful to note that if we are affected by positive thoughts the same is true for negative thoughts. Derren, I presume, could have easily made someone depressed and suicidal by implanting thoughts of hopelessness and dispair, but then he would never do that. But, this is a good reminder to be aware of what you expose yourself to, the messages you take in, because if we are all so susceptible and impressionable, we can all be programmed with negative thoughts. This is why it's so important to be mindful of who you spend time with, what you watch and listen to, what you read, and who you trust. We are all impressionable to a lesser or greater extent; but knowing this can give you the power to sow seeds of positivity and courage into your subconscious and go out and live a fantastic life.