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Part of being human is absorbing everything around you through your five senses - how does the world smell? What smells delight you and what disgusts you?  What can you see? What sights make you laugh and what makes you cry? How do things taste - physically and metaphorically? How do they sit on your tongue and in your gut (instinct)?  All of the unique sensations we feel through touching - whether that is an object, the cold sea, a warm bath or another person - and receiving contact from others - a tap on the shoulder, a helping hand, a warm embrace; then finally - hearing. How we listen to both ourselves and other people to make sense of the universe - how it works, its history, how the future might go, the news, directions, music, chanting, how we can interpret emotion in other animals and humans; pain, anger, sadness, joy and happiness. 

Every day we soak up more knowledge, information and opinion through these magical senses. It is our ears I want to focus on today. What we hear informs a basis for so much of our subsequent actions and processes. As a woman, it’s maternal/natural for us to share the emotional, often intricate and intimate details of our lives; our stories; who we are, what we’ve gone through and where we are going. 

While this is undeniably beneficial - the experience of others both good and bad can equip us and prepare us for the trials and tribulations of our own lives, and we often seek counsel from women akin to us, those who can relate to our own lives and situations. Sometimes, we feel it from women in entirely different  circles or walks of life, who inform us and inspire us, thanks to the sheer contrast of them to ourselves. At some point in all of our lives - and  often regularly -  we take on the stories of others. So instead of another impractical New Years resolution, how about a commitment to focusing on your own story? 

Energy is infectious - we all know that! Consider how a smile spreads, or a roaring laughter or good mood. The same applies for sadness, sorrow, and pain. So cleansing is important. Whether it’s job-related, family, children, or strangers whose stories you take on - be sure to cleanse and release them, to prevent them from impacting your own story too forcefully. 

For the New Year, think about how you can incorporate a cleansing ritual? This can be a daily or weekly practice, or however often sits right with you.  Here’s my top tips:

1. Salt baths - great for cleansing. I use Himalayan salt as I find Epsom too heavy. You can pour the salts directly under a running tap, or make your own bath salts using a combination of salts, essential oils and even some fresh herbs. 

2. Try meditation. It doesn’t have to be fancy or forceful. Simply breathe in and out, slowly, peacefully and mindfully. Enhance the exhale breath and visualise releasing anything you wish to be cleared - quite literally, you’re breathing that shit out of your mind and body. 

3. Give anything negative you are holding onto to Mother Nature by walking in a forest or wood, by the sea or up a mountain. Whatever works!  Allow the silence of the trees and tranquil surroundings to do the work. You can also take stones from a beach and give them your fears, negativity or pain by holding and then throwing them into the ocean. Again, focus on the cleansing act of releasing the negative energy out of yourself by literally throwing it away. 

4. Most importantly, self-care in any form. Everyone is different and this does not always equate to a fancy yoga class or spa day. Do what feels GOOD! Is that an extra hour in bed? A warming bowl of soup? A quiet hour in a bookshop? Cooking a meal from scratch? Finding a form of therapy in whatever way lights you up. See this as maintenance, and not just something to be done once negative energy and stress is piled high and burdening you. 

Another ‘story’ of sorts is the one we tell ourselves that being selfless is paramount - put everyone else before ourselves, that’s what a ‘kind’ or ‘thoughtful’ or ‘good’ person does. But in constantly putting others before ourselves, we must be careful not to neglect our own needs or stint our own potential. If your own energy is being exhausted by other people, it prevents you from being your best self, which is no good for you or them. Of course, caring and being there, but not if it is detrimental to your own growth and wellbeing. 

It’s important to consider how strongly or weakly we are engaged with our own intuition? Do you listen to your inner voice or quickly push it away and keep doing the things it’s telling you to stop? Are you emotionally overwhelmed but ignoring it? Are you using other people’s stories to avoid your own? 

The saying ‘we are what we think’ comes into play here. The idea behind manifesting is whatever you think about, you are manifesting into your life. If you are constantly thinking about other people, or the stresses of others, this is what you are inviting in. Instead, there are wonderful manifesting tools that can push us nearer to the truth of our own story. 

Everything happening in your life is a reflection of what is happening inside of you. Whatever you focus on will take shape and manifest into your daily life. Of course you know that not everything you think about manifests - otherwise everytime you thought of an elephant one would appear! That’s because the speed at which your thoughts manifest depends on how much resistance you have to their actual appearance in your reality.

For 2018 set your intention to allow life to simply flow through as well as with you. Be taken deeper…surrender and be guided by the greater, powerful, unseen dimensions, as much as the world you manifest and dream for.

Are you ready to live and tell only YOUR story for 2018?

Keep calm, keep cleansed, keep creating your story.

Happy 2018 you wonderful humans.

Pandora x