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.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Autumn equinox - a time to let go and shed the past

Are you ready to let go and prosper? It's time to get down to some serious autumn cleaning and clearing as the equinox is upon us. Mabon, as the Pagans call it. Today is the day of equal day and night, when, in the northern hemisphere, the nights now grow slowly longer until we reach Yule, on December 21st. It's the time to let go of what no longer serves you.
The Autumn equinox is where we reap what we've sown in the first part of the year and, in traditional farming terms, the fields offer up their bountiful crops. It's also the time for clearing out and making way for a more restful winter period. I'm sure I've written about this subject before, and definitely did when I was editing Soul&Spirit magazine, as autumn is just as good a time for a life laundry session as spring. It brings with it a theme of shedding: leaves falling away from trees, plants slowing down their growth, animals beginning their hibernation process.

12 months of change
I've been reflecting on how much has changed in my life in the past 12 months, and the current process I'm going through of 'tidying up my life' so to speak, physically, financially, emotionally and spiritually. Firstly, I left permanent employment as a magazine editor to pursue freelance work and set up a fitness business. The latter has been a challenge to say the least, as until now I'd only done dance as a hobby. Now, I make money from it and so am faced with the same issues as all new start ups: drumming up new clients, client retention, costs of advertising etc etc. But letting go of my old job wasn't easy; it was a scary thing, and I often wondered whether I'd made the right move. But you have to 'carry on carrying on' as I once heard someone say. Move forward and trust in the new things coming.

Growing up and letting go of childhood
Also, my parents moved out of the house they'd lived in for 30 years (in Feb, close to Imbolc, another Pagan festival), which had been my childhood home. I felt serious pangs of sadness when they left, as that home was a massive part of my life. I equated that house with my physical, emotional and spiritual home. It was where eI felt safe. Where I'd experienced ups and downs, been ill, cared for, had fun, birthday parties etc. For them to move felt for me like losing a part of myself. Or so I thought. I cried after I left the house for the last time, but soon realised it was the best thing for my parents as they are so happy in their new, better home. And, now I don't miss the old place. It just showed to me that nothing in life is permanent and change is the only constant. Holding on the past just slows you down. And really, it's the people that make a place, not the actual place. I get the same warm feeling at my parents new house, it's just I didn't grow up there.

Becoming a new person!
Then, on the summer solstice, I got married, which was by far the biggest change! Adapting to a new surname, living with someone, being part of a committed relationship: all these things were totally new to me so I had a period of readjustment, feeling at first as if I was losing the old part of me, and wondering who I would now be. I went through times of mourning my childhood, which sounds a ridiculous thing to say as I'm now 35, but I was still holding on to some earlier dreams of things I'd wanted to do in my 20s, which were now no longer appropriate. I had to reconcile two conflicting parts of myself, and realise I could still 'be me' and do what I love to do, AND be with another person. But at times, in the months between our engagement and wedding, I felt 'lost in transition'. But then I realised that, as with the house, you can't hold on to the past, even if it was happy, and you have to make way for the fresh, new exciting future. So here was this momentous event in my life that was both exciting and slightly scary, only in that it meant having to 'grow up' (and I think I still felt quite childlike in my mind). I always associated being grown up and getting married with something 'old people' did. And here I was, doing just that. So, I guess now I'm old (another readjustment).
Anyway, the wedding was fabulous, I could't have asked for more. All my family and friends attended, and my husband and I had the perfect English country wedding where we all ate cake and danced - well, I did! - into the early hours.

A time for consolidation
And then onto finances. I decided it was time to sell a property I've co-owned for a while. It felt the right thing to do, to cash in while the market is buoyant and consolidate my finances. In fact it's going on the market right now - perfect timing I hope.
This process of consolidating and conserving my physical energy (not dashing up to London at every available opportunity and spending all my available income on dancing and buying whatever I like) has meant I've had time to look at my life and realise I've created a lot of loose ends - bits of money here and there, the odd share certificate, direct debits for things I no longer use, unused credit cards and bank accounts that could probably all be cancelled in order to simplify my life. The house sale is by far the biggest thing, and though intellectually I know it's the right thing, I was still surprised, when I went round there, to feel an emotional attachment. Again, there are lots of memories attached to that place, not just for me but all the tenants who have come and gone over the years. It's a lovely property with pretty park views, and I felt peaceful and tranquil sitting in the living room, doubting my decision slightly and wondering should I keep hold of it and wait another ten years for  the market to hopefully improve even more? But I'm not going to live there again. Why hold on? As much as it's a lovely place and so part of me wants to hold on, it's not part of my life anymore, so it has to go. It barely breaks even, and renting it out had become a bit of a hassle, so selling it will be one less things in my life to have to deal with.

Harness the equinox energy for yourself 
In what ways could you have an autumn clean up? Even if it's on a small scale like clearing out your make up bag (which I've also done and it feels amazing to have it all organised and clean!), chipping into those credit card bills, cutting back on some things you no longer need, or even just spending a few more nights in to conserve energy and reflect on what you've achieved so far this year, and what you need to do for the next few months. It makes you feel lighter and more energised to clear the clutter. I started on some old photo albums the other day, as next time I (and now we) move house, I'm determined to haul much less stuff than I usually do.
Letting go is hard, sometimes even with small things, especially if you have hoarder disorder, which I do a little bit. But a streamlined life is so much better for your energy. Holding on to things from the past just clogs you up on all levels.

Friday 19 September 2014

Your Journey to a better life starts NOW!

FREE meditations and satsang this Thursday with Brandon Bays, creator of The Journey
Click here: Journey Global Gathering

Ever feel overwhelmed and in a total rut? Or does the past weigh you down? If you find yourself wasting hours a day re-hashing past mistakes, decisions, actions or non-actions and are fed up of not knowing what to do next, or feeling crushed by the perceived weight of your situation, then it's time to banish negative behaviour for good and begin to see the light (which, by the way, comes from within yourself, not some far-off paradise).

Re-playing events and wishing you'd done things differently, or getting mad about things you wish you'd said, only keeps you trapped in the past, cycling round and round. When you do this, you're missing the moment and stopping potentially wonderful outcomes in their tracks.

I know how this feels. One of my worst habits - which I'm working on changing - is to beat myself up on a regular basis for not having achieved more in my life; for making certain decisions and thinking they were wrong in some way; for feeling so incredibly frustrated with myself that I stay locked in a cycle of negativity instead of seeing and using all the positive things around right NOW.

Yeah, I've read the Power of Now, and loads of Buddhist books about staying in the present moment, allowing negative emotions to pass through like clouds in the sky, but it's easier said than done! Especially if you're on your own, reading a book, wondering how the hell any of it is going to have a direct effect on your, as you sit alone in your living room. Change often seems unachievable.

Putting knowledge into action - your Journey to freedom
That's why having assistance from others, and from practical processes, helps you shift your energy. It's no good just reading books over and over as I've done, and not applying what you are learning.
One way to really make a quantum shift in your life is with something called The Journey. It was developed by Brandon Bays, who healed herself of a massive tumour at the age of 39 thanks to a process of forgiveness, releasing, letting go and moving on.
Back in 2008 I came across this process and wrote about it in www.soulandspiritmagazine.com, which I was editing at the time. During the 2-day seminar, in which 300-or-so people came together for what can only be described as mass healing, I learned how to peel away layer upon layer of excuses and fears to leave me open to creating life afresh.

Feel it to heal it 
On The Journey, you come to realise that if you don't deal with your rubbish/baggage/past call it what you will, then you'll haul it around with you until it becomes so heavy it breaks you. The process they teach allows you to rid yourself of negative beliefs, sabotaging behaviours and old emotional wounds in a safe environment. You may not even realise that what a teacher told you at age five has been having a detrimental effect on your career all this time, or that something your mum did when you were a child has impacted upon your relationship with food, or even men.
So, if you keep repeating a negative relationship pattern, or money is a constant word, or maybe you feel trapped in a destructive cycle with food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, anything, then The Journey may be able to help, as it has for thousands across the world.

The Journey Intensive comes to London this autumn (11th Oct in Cardiff, and 15th Nov in London), and as someone who's tried it and benefited, I wanted to let you know about it. This type of work is challenging and will push your buttons, but if you dare to take it on, and face all the fears and repressed emotions you've buried inside for far too long, then you'll reap massive rewards.

You can experience The Journey and what the course has to offer this Thursday, September 25th with their first ever Global Gathering event, which is online and available for everyone to attend. Meditate, break through limiting blocks, and get a feel for how The Journey might be able to help you. All for FREE :-) Click here: Journey Global Gathering