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Why David Bowie and Iman inspired me to be an Interfaith Minister?

An open love poem of condolence to Iman and David for an inspirational love at a time of loss

I cannot know how great your love or your loss

It wasn't just your music or your collective talents

Or infinite breathless beauty that shone for me but

The Stella quality of your Union In a world where so called mixed marriage Is still taboo

The two of you Created a model for forbidden love

That had never been seen so publicly or successfully demonstrated before

A divine Union of equals In a world that assumes inequality or imbalance

You embody the yin yang Taijitu

The divine masculine and feminine

And now the paradox of life and death In eternal oneness

May the pain of your separation be eased by knowing you created perfection

Thank you

May all love surround you and your family now and forever

This poem was inspired by a deep love that arose with the death of David Bowie.  Iman and David were one of the inspirations for me in becoming an Interfaith Minister - to provide ceremonies and spiritual guidance for rebellious souls who shine fully like this beautiful couple.   Please like and share if this touches you too. Maybe, just maybe, we can weave a net of love to soothe the grief of all those who mourn the loss of this great rebellious soul.

Rebel Rev. Monica x ‪#‎RebelRebel‬ @TheNJourney

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Rebel Rev. Monica Douglas-Clark is a Transformational Guide, Nurturing Yoga Teacher Trainer and Sacred Business Rebel.  She works Online and In-person with individuals, couples and groups. She loves inspiring rebellious souls around the world to live life more fully, creatively and joyfully through the revolutionary businesses that she runs.  She's on a mission to support at least a million rebellious souls to love life in all it's seasons, cycles and appearances before she dies.  There is nothing she likes more than snuggling up with Mr DC, their cat Laskshmi and the dog Anubis that's on it's way.

Join Rebel Rev.Monica DC and the other rebellious souls at The Nurturing Journey for more inspiration to turn fear of change into a love of life in all it's seasons, cycles and appearances Join our family at: www.facebook.com/groups/rebellioussouls

Watch inspirational videos from Rebel Rev. Monica and click here to subscribe:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIiXCs4OgFDiLzYzX-vutPQ

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I look forward to travelling with you on The Nurturing Journey soon.  Until then, travel well.

Rebel Rev. Monica Douglas-Clark

Transformational Guide, Nurturing Yoga Teacher Trainer and Sacred Business Rebel

www.rebelrev.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebelrevmonica

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How to say No with Love

Ever been shocked when someone has said no to you?

Over the last few weeks I have shocked several people by saying ‘no’ to situations that I normally would have said nothing about or carried on with reluctantly. The situations have always been where something in my mind, heart and/or body has not felt, sounded or looked right.

I know that people have been shocked because they have told me.  They have expressed shock that I am not being my “normal” all encompassing “I’ll do it all” self.  They have told me that they expected me say yes because I “would have normally said yes to that’; they have assumed that I would have given them more time, more leeway, more guidance, more rope, more, more… They have expressed sadness that my behaviour has not been as “nurturing” as they have expected from someone who runs a business called The Nurturing Journey.

I’m writing this post to celebrate the clarity that I have about when to say no.  I am celebrating my realization that in order to live a life that feels like a yes in my body, sounds like a yes in my heart and looks like a yes in my mind I sometimes have to say no. When I say no it means I’m saying no with the intention of nurturing others and myself.

Nurturing doesn’t mean molly coddling or being a doormat for others.  My definition of nurturing is to help (something or someone) to grow, develop, or succeed and that can be through saying yes to something or no depending on what is the right action to take. For me it means being in integrity, acting authentically and having clear boundaries that you are willing to expand or uphold as necessary.

I believe that life is a series of nurturing journeys with inevitable ups, downs, transitions, endings and new beginnings. I also feel that when we step fully into our bodies, listen to the call of our heart, have clarity of mind and connect to our soul that we can find ways to navigate the Nurturing Journey of our life in all it’s twists and turns.

This is why I call my sacred business The Nurturing Journey.  I’m no longer rescuing people or nurturing people in the old smothering ways that encourage dependency.  I’m helping people to grow their own internal support and connection to Spirit so that they can shine their own unique light in the world. I can walk alongside you for a while on your Nurturing Journey and sometimes that means saying “No, I’m not willing to do that”.  I also encourage you to do the same when you are walking The Nurturing Journey with me.

I believe that the most compassionate, loving thing you can do for the world is be fully you.  When you’re being truly you by looking after your body, listening to your heart and watching your mind you can connect to Spirit - the unconditional source of love and abundance that flows through you.  You can then choose to give and act from that place generously knowing that this is the right action for you to take right now.   This sometimes means doing less, letting go of things that are no longer in alignment and saying no. When you truly do this you can be grateful for all that you have, give and be of service.

So if I say no to you, know that it’s for a bigger, higher purpose and I hope you’ll not be shocked by it.  If you say no to me because something doesn’t have integrity for you I will honour and accept it in the same way.

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Rebel Rev. Monica Douglas-Clark is a Transformational Guide, Nurturing Yoga Teacher Trainer and Sacred Business Rebel.  She works Online and In-person with individuals, couples and groups. She loves inspiring rebellious souls around the world to live life more fully, creatively and joyfully through the businesses that she runs.  She's on a mission to support at least a million rebellious souls to love life in all it's seasons, cycles and appearances before she dies.  There is nothing she likes more than snuggling up in bed with Mr DC, their cat Laskshmi and the dog Anubis that's on it's way.
For more inspiration to turn fear of change into a love of life in all it's seasons, cycles and appearances join Rebel Rev.  Monica DC and the other rebellious souls at The Nurturing Journey by visiting this link: www.monicadc.com
Watch inspirational videos from Rebel Rev. Monica and click here to subscribe:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIiXCs4OgFDiLzYzX-vutPQ
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I look forward to travelling with you on The Nurturing Journey soon.  Until then, travel well.
Rebel Rev. Monica Douglas-Clark
Transformational Guide, Nurturing Yoga Teacher Trainer and Sacred Business Rebel
www.monicadc.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thenjourney

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How I Healed my Womb and Unleashed My Inner Goddess

In 2000, I was working in a Local Authority, earning good money, and on track to be a Council Chief Executive within 5 years.  I was practicing and training in yoga, as an escape from the mundaneness and stress, when I had a realization that something wasn’t right. I had irregular, heavy, and painful periods. I was bloated, snappy and unhappy for half of the month, and knew I had to do something. For years, I was able to manage how I was feeling. I made progress by giving up my regular job and training to be a yoga teacher, NLP Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, and more. (It’s a huge list).I changed what I ate, and I took initiations and trainings galore.  Many of these trainings and practices worked, yet at some level I still didn’t feel whole and complete as a woman. At this time, I was guided by various teachers, all of them male, on how to make personal and spiritual progress. They all advised me to look within.  I’m incredibly grateful for that advice because this is what I did. I looked at my life in all its aspects.I committed to thousands of hours of yoga practice, teaching, and meditation. I reviewed my partnership with my now husband, and I looked at my relationships with my family and friends. I transformed what I was doing with my work, and started going for my dreams.I met some amazing people. I grew my wellbeing business, and also supported my husband in growing our family business.

Then I got pregnant. It was a year where all of the women of childbearing age in my family fell pregnant. My father said something very telling, “at last you’ll be a woman now”. It was as though the route of mother was the only valid way to be a woman. I felt somewhat aggrieved by this. I wasn’t even trying to get pregnant. Then I had a miscarriage. As a result of the scans, I discovered that I had fibroids. It was clear that I was completely detached from my feminine body, its creativity, and potential. I met my maternal needs by training in pregnancy yoga, and by teaching hundreds of women to nurture their unborn babies and themselves, during pregnancy and labour. I tried conventional and unconventional methods to reduce the fibroids. I took medicinal herbs, had Mayan abdominal massages, and further refined my food and exercise. I even had a uterine embolisation to shrink them. (It didn’t work and it was a painful and damaging decision for me).

I became a-symptomatic – no pain, discomfort, or heavy periods, but despite all of the work the fibroids kept growing. They grew to the size of a 24 week gestation womb – 3 large grapefruits and small pineapple. I remembered that what I needed to do was go inside of myself.  So I did. I wrote in my journal, I meditated, and I prayed. The message that I received was that my fibroids were my womb telling me about my unfulfilled creative potential, and I needed to step into my truth.  I decided to have deeply healing surgery where I’d keep my womb, but have my fibroids removed and acknowledge the gift that they had bought me.

I renewed my commitment to fulfilling my potential. Yet, I still didn’t feel whole. I took myself on a fertility journey in a quest to get pregnant, and become a woman in the eyes of my family. I had 4 rounds of IVF before I realised that I could be a woman without being a physical mother.  I knew I had to recognise the validity of the parts of me that meant I could be a multifaceted woman in my own right, on my own terms, mother or not. Although I knew it, I didn’t know how to do it.  I remembered again that all I needed to do was take time to go inside to connect with my inner wisdom.

And I did.

This time, I took a sabbatical with my husband in Barbados.  A period of deep reflection, relaxation, and discovery. I did The Artist Way – a 12 step process for discovering and recovering your creative self. I uncovered my creative potential. I practiced daily mantra, yoga, affirmations, and journaling to take me deep within.  I made the commitment to be fearless in the realization of my authentic self. Then I had a breakthrough, a breakdown, a healing transformation, or enlightenment experience. (It doesn’t matter what you call it). I had an irrefutable, unforgettable experience of being one with everything, of being part of the divine feminine and masculine, of being whole – ONE. It was the most scary, joyful, and expansive experience of my life. I knew that I needed to live my life in a way that could connect the divine feminine and masculine within me in a permanent way. So, I sought out female guidance and support as a balance to the masculine paradigm that I had been living in.

I started teaching yoga from a nurturing, loving perspective that blended the masculine and feminine aspects.   I re-read “Women Who Run with the Wolves”, and all of the new and old classics. I sought out female company. I made friends with women who had been on a journey of discovering their sacred femininity of becoming whole.  I practiced and discovered sacred sexuality with Tantric approaches and Taoist practices, including the Jade Egg. During that time I fell back into the trap of needing to be a superhero - The Nurturer.

I found myself repeating old patterns of trying to save and mother others all of the time. I needed to find a path that would remind me that the mother archetype was a valuable aspect, but not the only way to be a woman.  That was when I came across Miranda’s work with Red Moon and The Optimised woman. In these books, Miranda opened up the possibility that I could live my life as a multifaceted woman. I could integrate and work with the four phases of energy that I felt - the Reflective, Dynamic, Expressive and Creative, in powerful and useful ways. I recognised that I had the four archetypes of woman within me – the Maiden, Mother, Enchantress, and Crone. I could use these archetypes to live a whole, complete, and fulfilled life that celebrated all of me.

Through this work, I have discovered a gentle path for integrating my feminine energies, completing the healing of my body, and have now trained to support other women to do the same.Over the last 2 years, I have stepped into a whole new way of being me, of nurturing myself to wholeness. I gained the courage to set up my retreat space in Barbados, and I have made radical changes in the way that I live and work. My work and home life are now set up in a way that honours the wisdom of my womb, and works with the power of my female energy cycles.I’ve practiced and experimented with various paths over the last 15 years, but I have found the Womb Blessing path with Miranda Gray to be one of the most universal and open paths for me to connect to the sacred feminine power within me. Women around the world are reconnecting with the power of their feminine energies. I know that this work can help, and I want to share this work with more women as an act of gratitude and appreciation for all that it has done for me

Throughout my own journey, I have practiced techniques and carried out training to heal myself and my womb, and reclaim the power of my female energy cycles. One of the training paths that I have carried out was Womb Blessing Training with Miranda Gray, Author and Founder of The World Wide Womb Blessing, to become a Moon Mother. Since then I have deepened my understanding and learning and have become an Advanced Moon Mother. As an Advanced Moon Mother, I have been asked many questions about this type of work and the training. I have created this talk so that you have a clear idea of the support and training available on this Womb Blessing path.

This blog is purely my own experience of energy cycles, and following the Womb Blessing and Moon Mother path. It is not intended to teach you practices or techniques, but to be used as an informational tool to find out more…

Contact me at monica@monicadc.com if you:

  • Want to learn how to connect to their feminine nature and female energy cycles in a practical way
  • Want support with the healing of their womb (whether you have a physical womb or not) from pain, disease, chronic conditions, post-operative disconnection, and negative association
  • Are drawn to the work of Monica Douglas-Clark, Miranda Gray, The Worldwide Womb Blessing and/or Moon Mothers
  • Are considering attending Red Moon and/or Womb Blessing Training to become initiated as a Moon Mother
  • Want to know more about what it means to be a Moon Mother or an Advanced Moon Mother
  • Want to clarify how to learn more about this Womb Blessing path

You may:

  • Be completely new to this type of work
  • Have participated in the World Wide Womb Blessing or been to a Red Tent or Women’s Gathering
  • Have read “Red Moon” or “The Optimized Woman” and feel the need to put this knowledge of your cycle into practice
  • Be experienced in this work already through working with women with their menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, and/or fertility
  • Feel drawn to be part of this global movement, dedicated to serving women all over the world to heal their wombs, be whole, and happy

“I feel that we, women, are being called to reclaim our sacred female power, our feminine energies and cyclical nature. I know from my story that we need help and support to do it. “

- Monica Douglas-Clark

 

 

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From a Fear or Scarcity to an Abundance of Love

I have had the word 'scarcity' running through my head all weekend, since the events in Paris. For me, the events are not just about Paris. They are a stark and scary reminder about our whole world and the destruction, fear, and terror that is being inflicted all over our planet, under our noses, and on our watch.

I feel that a mindset of scarcity is at the centre of the tragedy that we are living in. If we have the courage to change our mindset, we can create a more abundant view of the world.

Scarcity is defined firstly as an 'inadequate supply; dearth; paucity of something'. In the gym, at the shops, walking along the street, and in other places that I have been this weekend, I have heard various conversations that focussed on scarcity and lack.

I have heard conversations about there being inadequate supply of security, protection, government action against terrorists, money, land, food, and infrastructure. I have heard people say "there is nothing we can do".

The recurring message that I have been hearing is that we are powerless. There is not enough 'x', you are not enough 'x', and I am not enough 'x' to resolve this problem.

I know for myself that whenever I get into this mindset of scarcity and lack, I paralyse myself from acting to move towards a resolution. I have seen how this operates in my family, with my friends, my teachers, my business, and in institutions that I support and am a part of.

A scarcity mindset restricts the flow of love that wants to pour from my heart and mind.

So, I choose to believe in abundance. A state where there is more than enough love, land, food, money, infrastructure, compassion, and care to change our world for the better.

Just to be clear, I am not talking about the wasteful overconsumption and hoarding that is being peddled as abundance. I am talking about a recognition that amongst all living creatures on this planet, there is more than enough for us all.

Providing that is, that we choose to protect life, our environment, and communities from destruction, and exploitation, and we choose to live in harmony and cooperation with each other.

When we cultivate a mindset of abundance, we recognise that we have more than enough people on this planet who are committed to action and changes in our individual behaviour and consciousness, to bring a counter balance to the fear and terror.

We are powerful beyond measure in our bodies, hearts, and minds.

I have been heartened by the people who are praying, sending love, supporting one another, and saying "What can I do to change this?".

What can we do?

We can step out of the media indoctrinated responses. We can choose to remind ourselves of the abundance that we have all around us and share it with others. We can make the effort to live in a way that has integrity. If we choose to do this, we will start to believe in the power of small changes and individual action to influence the wider world.

Scarcity is also secondly defined as a 'rarity or infrequent occurrence'. Our media want to keep us in a state of fear, so they have us believe that nothing good ever happens in the world.

Think of the ratio of doom and gloom in the news, to the one 'and finally' bit of light at the end of the broadcast. Let us also remember that although tragic and devastating, bombings such as those in Paris this weekend are thankfully an infrequent occurrence.

There are wars all over the world, yet the majority of people do live in relative peace.

The majority of people live in harmony with their neighbours, and some even act as genuine caretakers for the land, animals, and people that they live with.

Let us remember to tell those stories too.

Let us remember that we have a choice whether to be paralysed by scarcity, or act towards bringing an abundance of love back into the world.

I am going to invite us to share stories of abundance to bring some balance into the messages of scarcity we are seeing and hearing on social media. I have decided that over the next 10 days, I am going to share personal stories of when I personally have experienced an abundance of love, and I challenge you to do the same?

Share your story with the hashtag #abundanceoflove and tag @thenjourney so that we can share your stories to bring some balance into the world.

If nothing else, it will help us to feel less sad... as though we can bring a little light back into the world.

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Full Moon - Half Moon - Total Eclipse

Are you starting to think that maybe there might be something to all of this talk about the affect of the moon on human behaviour?

Yesterday, I stayed up to observe the supermoon 'blood moon' and total eclipse along with hundreds of thousands of other people around the world. I am still struggling to put into words how I feel about it all.

Over the last few years, I've been observing whether my energy levels are affected by what is happening with the moon and the seasons. It's been fascinating for me to see how the moon affects my moods, my energy and my menstrual cycle.  Its been fascinating to work with others too and see how it affects their behaviour differently or in similar ways.

I'm more interested in felt experience than the cognitive process and scholarly articles. I'm no astrologer, astonomer or scientist but I am a keen observer of behaviour and a long time energy worker.

I know in my bones that we are part of the cycles of nature including the rhythms of the moon.  I have seen how tracking energy cycles and circadian rhythms can be insightful and useful for women with or without a menstrual cycle and also men who notice large fluctuations in their energy levels.  My own experience with this work has taken me from erratic energy, pain, disease and disconnection to balanced cyclical energy, healing and deep connection (that story is for another blog).

For me personally,  this supermoon marks the beginning of a new phase. I feel energised and renewed. It marks the start of me talking to people about my experience of working deeply with ceremony and rituals around the phases of the moon and making myself more available as a Transformational Guide for people in midst of transition, transformation and growth.

What about you? Did you stay up to watch the eclipse?  How are you feeling today? What are your thoughts and experiences of energy fluctuations and the moon?  Would love you to comment below... Or send me a personal email and I'll get back to you...

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Miranda Gray: Thank you for inviting us to embrace our cyclical nature.

Around the world, women and men struggle to connect with their own essential nature. We are taught to deny our true selves and fit into concepts of a very unbalanced world. This affects our relationships with ourselves, our loves ones and the world.

I'd like to give gratitude to Miranda Gray, the founder of the Worldwide Womb Blessing which connects over 100,000 women and supportive men, five times a year in a blessing bringing greater healing worldwide. I've experienced first hand my own awakening of my own divine energy through her work.

I am so grateful to Miranda Gray for sharing the womb blessing and womb healing practices with me over the last few years. It's been such a healing, joyful, and powerful experience to train as an Advanced Moon Mother and to reclaim all aspects of being a woman; I embrace my dynamism, my openness, my fierceness and my inner wisdom. I am also grateful to myself, for saying yes to the training, and doing the work of a Moon Mother. You can find out more about what it means to be a Moon Mother by clicking here.

It has been such an honor to give Womb Blessings, Womb Healings, Female Soul Pattern Healings and The Gift for Men.

Last week, I was in The New Forest preparing to join the ceremonies at Stonehenge and Avebury Stone Circle, with women from all over the world preparing for the Worldwide Womb Blessing, Moon Mother Training and associated healing rituals. I have been relatively quiet about this until now, but seeing the commitment of the women who have travelled for days to come together last week from Argentina, Colombia, Canada, US, UK, Germany, Thailand, and many other places to be part of this, I feel that it's my duty to start shouting about it too.

I know from personal experience of fibroids, miscarriage, fertility treatment, major abdominal surgery, and from working intensively with this process, how deeply healing and empowering it can be. It was an amazing experience to spend a whole week with women from all around the world in training, celebrations, and ceremonies, leading up to the full moon ceremonies at Stonehenge, Avebury Stone Circle, and Glastonbury Tor. The energy was AMAZING !!!

The purpose of the blessing at the heart of these ceremonies is to enable more women to be healthy, comfortable, whole, and well at the level of their body, heart, mind and spirit. This changes everything in the way we relate to ourselves and each other as women, in our partnerships, family, and work.

Do you know someone who has fibroids, polycystic ovaries, endometriosis or pelvic pain? Or perhaps who has had abdominal surgery, caesarian, sexual abuse, miscarriage, abortion, difficulties with menstruation or fertility, or is menopausal, and who isn't acting like herself fully?

I want to share this post with you because there is a free and powerful process that I know has the power to help them move towards recovery and wholeness.

The starting point of this process is a meditation and 20 minute distance group healing called the “Worldwide Womb Blessing” that happens 5 times a year. The next one is happening on Tuesday, 27th October, with around 100,000 people attending. www.wombblessing.com

You can register now to to receive the blessing on in October, and you can receive the blessing wherever you are, at the times listed on the website. Men are also welcome to support this process too, and there are specific meditations for men.

Email me at hello@monicadc.com if you’d like more info, and I'll let you know how you can access this path to wholeness and wellness.

If you know someone who could do with this kind of support, please share this post with them, and encourage them to check out the page www.wombblessing.com or put them in touch with me.

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Anyone else wondering - How did we get to February so quickly?

So, I’ve had the most inspiring, challenging and heart expanding beginning of the year. I had big plans for January 2015. I had written them down in my Shining Year 2015 workbook and everything! Did any of it happen? Well... What I’d planned to do was to ace my Interfaith Ministry ceremonies and assignments; build amazing, relationships with my husband and family; run an excellent and transformative retreat at my retreat space Zion House; set up for the global launch of The Nurturing Journey, recruit to my six month Study and Sadhana Course, prepare for the moon wisdom ceremonies and support my Assistant and Apprentice Jordan to step fully into her role. I’d planned to do this all while remaining serene, calm and contented, of course! Ha ha!

What I experienced was a full on mix of the known and unexpected, which stretched me physically, mentally and emotionally and made me chuck many of my control freak plans out of the window. I pulled the card Surrender from my soul journey pack and that’s just what I had to do. It started with shock and grief and a deep need to support my darling husband with the unexpected death of his father including repatriation from Europe, family reunions and funeral; The delivery of an awe-inspiring 10 day retreat for world-changing women in Barbados then dealing with the aftermath of the burglary of my home on my return to the UK.

 

The ceremonies and assignments for my Interfaith Ministry have not been the ones on the syllabus but I have been doing the work. Actually, I have been living the work. I spontaneously created a baby blessing but not a usual one. Inspired by my own experience and the experience of friends of mine a blessing ceremony was created for those soul babies who only come into our lives briefly and whose lives we experience fleetingly through the experiences of fertility treatment, miscarriage, abortion, or still birth. And then, I was asked to plan the funeral, prepare and deliver the eulogy for my father-in-law. It’s been an honour, blessing and privilege to be called to do this work and it’s all been a bit much really.

 

Well yes, the retreat was awesome and so was the feedback. I thank the women involved for their wholehearted acceptance and embracing of The Nurturing Journey process and their trust in me to hold a safe space for their transformation. I was completely blown away by the experience and the radiance of the women at the end of the retreat.

 

My husband and our family have been truly amazing. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such love and support. The funeral also brought our family closer. The Douglas side of the family all turned up to support the Clarks in their time of grief and the Clarks were inspiring in their growth and use of the funeral to heal old wounds and reconnect. We are definitely the Douglas-Clarks - two families now one.

 

On the work front, we have had to relax our pace on plans for The Nurturing Journey and Jones and Clark. I thought I would be supporting my apprentice, Jordan. Turns out she was ready to step up and support me! What a star! I am in awe of her ability learn, her growth and developing maturity. I am truly grateful for all that she has done this month to support me personally and professionally. Something tells me she’ll be soon ready to shine very brightly in the world. I am honoured to have her on my team.

 

February has started well. Today, I had a wonderful core group for the Nurturing Yoga Study and Sadhana Course Introductory day. I have attracted people who are committed to developing a personal practice, integrating yoga into their daily life, sharing what they know with others and perhaps even becoming yoga teachers. It feels relaxed, inspiring and right. I feel that we will have a excellent group of students when the course starts on 1 March 2015.

 

I have to admit I haven’t managed to be consistently serene, calm and contented. I think that would be too much to ask. I have managed to maintain a sense of being “alright” amongst the exhilaration, tears, the fears and overwhelm. I’ve been taking my “Impatiens” flower remedy, thanks to Deborah Lovell, but I have also been eating quite a lot of cake! Hmmmm.

 

Let’s see what the rest of February brings and who else is called to step up on The Nurturing Journey. I’m determined to stay in a place of gratitude and to have the courage to let the universe do it’s best with me. I’m letting the full moon shine a light on it all this Tuesday. It all begins with the  FREE worldwide womb blessing on 3 February 2014.  There is still time to register.

Let me know how your January has been.  I'd love some more company on this unpredictable path. Bring it on…

 

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As Darkness turns to Light

On Sunday 21 December we experience the Solstice, the longest night of the year.  It's a beautiful time which marks the beginning of the winter, Christmas and New Year festivities for me.  

We feel the warm, silky darkness of the night and know that we are about to allow the light and growth back in. It's a time for connecting to mother earth and her cosmic, deep, abundant giving through her womb.  It's the perfect time to recognise how far we have nourished ourself over the year, weed out anything that we no longer wish to grow and plant new seeds of intention for the year ahead.

Here at The Nurturing Journey we are preparing for a Solstice ceremony and setting the intentions for our Transformation Retreat which starts on 1 January here in Barbados.

As part of my gratitude practice, I want to say thank you for your love and support over the last year during my transformation. So I offer you this impromptu Solstice Meditation recorded in the early hours today on the deck.  CLICK HERE FOR YOUR SOLSTICE MEDITATION

Use the noises of nature to keep you present... ;) <3

One Love, One Heart

Monica x

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What we can all learn from Thanksgiving even if we don't celebrate it...

I love this post from Mind Valley. I am a huge advocate of gratitude and gratefulness.  I live in the UK and Barbados and although we don't have a formal day of thanksgiving I want to challenge us to bring more of the power of gratitude into our lives. What do you think of the graphic?  What difference does gratefulness make in your life?  

With love to and from http://mindvalleyacademy.com  x

12 Steps to Thrive

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When Beauty, Love, Peace and Action come out of Tragedy

Last week, I had the humbling honour and privilege of leading a burial and memorial service for Louise Laurens – Lou. She was an extraordinary and inspirational woman.  I want everyone to hear her story because the tragedy of a young mother dying from breast cancer also has the potential to bring about a seed change in the life of all who knew her and all who hear about her.  

Lou died at 41 from inflammatory breast cancer, a rare form of breast cancer, which was diagnosed shortly after the birth of her son Rupert, who is now 16 months old.

 

I am feeling increasingly saddened and alarmed at the number of young women who are being diagnosed with cancer. I wish to support women and their families who are navigating this devastating diagnosis and trying to make sense of it.  Although I don’t have all the answers, I think that we need to be proactive and support each other.  We need to find a way to walk this life as a nurturing journey even when this disease is having an impact on our lives. Let us all take inspiration from Lou’s life and let it be a call to action so that we can inspire others throughout our lives and beyond.

 

Lou’s committal service was a quiet and beautiful family burial in unexpected, gleaming Welsh sunshine. The site and the ceremony were chosen to reflect her respect and love of nature, her grounded spirituality and her deep connection to the land. The words used were developed specifically to blend the beliefs of Lou’s partner, her mother, father and sister.  Traditional and contemporary readings  were chosen and simple ritual was used to provide a beautiful and supportive funeral to meet the wishes of Louise and her family.  The family chose to have the funeral and committal they wanted. They had the committal ceremony first as a private event outside, rather than in a chapel of rest or church.

 

We often do not think it is possible to have the funeral that suits our wishes. We spend years getting our weddings “right”, for ourselves and our families, but spend little or no time thinking about our funeral.

 

Lou’s burial ceremony is a reminder to us all that we can have the funeral and burial that we want. We should all feel free and able to tell our loved ones what our spiritual beliefs are and what kind of funeral we want. Knowing our wishes will help them with the grieving process and make life easier for them at a difficult time. Have you told your loved ones what your wishes are?

 

The love and support for Lou and her family was palpable throughout the committal ceremony.  Lou’s close family were able to affirm, show and tell Lou just how much they loved her at the ceremony and also support each other at her funeral. Through the last few weeks of illness Lou’s mother and father had to nurse their daughter in a way that no parent every imagines they would have to. Their dedication and love for their daughters and each other has been completely inspirational to observe.

 

Family and friends have rallied around the family to support Lou’s partner and baby providing food and gifts to try and make things easier. Lou had said that she truly felt how much she was loved by the overt displays of love, support and kindness during her illness. How many of us are sure that we are loved and supported? This depth of love and dedication can inspire us all is to remember to affirm, show and tell our family and friends just how much we love them whilst we have the chance.  When was the last time you truly showed love and appreciation for your family members and friends outside times of need?

 

At the public memorial, the impact that Lou had on the local community and beyond was clear. She was an incredibly talented vocalist, performer, musical director and choir mistress. She was a creative, yet subtle community activist who inspired others to live fully and burst out of their comfort zone through music.  The venue for the memorial, the Small World Theatre, was full of friends, family, choir members, artists and performers, who were all inspired by Lou in life.  Three of her choirs combined to sing amazing and inspirational songs.

 

Poems were read; a heart opening, honest and beautiful eulogy was given, dedications, silent prayers, and love filled thoughts poured into the space. Then guests were invited to eat, drink and add to the beautiful beach shrine that will adorn her grave.  This Siegfried Sassoon poem was one of the readings and sums up the feeling of the ceremony.

 

Everyone suddenly burst out singing; And I was filled with such delight As prisoned birds must find in freedom, Winging wildly across the white Orchards and dark-green fields; on--on--and out of sight.

Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted; And beauty came like the setting sun: My heart was shaken with tears; and horror Drifted away ... O, but Everyone Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

 

One of the most generous and beautiful gifts that Lou left as a legacy was her final response to her illness.  Lou had taken a very difficult journey and had gone through so many difficult emotions during her diagnosis and treatment.  However, she stated that she had reached a state of peace during the last few weeks of her illness. She stated that she had reached a “state of love” and acceptance.  Although many will find it difficult to accept the loss of her physical presence in their lives, her expression of peace, love and acceptance will support people to cope with this transition.

 

It is my hope that Lou’s life journey will inspire more of us to reach a state of peace, love and acceptance in our lives.  It is a challenge to use the tragic and difficult moments of life to take us to that place.  It is a strong and difficult call to action but I feel that Lou brings that gift to our door.  We have a choice whether to open the door and accept the challenge. Are you willing to take up the challenge to find peace?

 

Lou’s funeral service was the first full funeral that I had ever supported as an Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counsellor in training. I felt humbled to support this process for Lou and her beloved family. Lou and her family have changed my life.  I cannot be grateful enough for putting their faith and trust in me and the process.

 

This year, I had already made a commitment to my yes, yes, yes life.  Even with this commitment - I had been procrastinating about getting my programmes out, saying what I do in the world and what is important to me.  I love my family and friends.  I love ritual and ceremony. I love that I can see the balance of light and shadow in others and myself.  I have spiritual and emotional gifts to share which help people navigate the inevitable ups and downs of life.

 

I hope that Lou’s story will inspire people to live their lives to the full and make preparations for an unknown future. Her story is a reminder to: tell our family and friends how much we love them; sort out and share our spiritual beliefs and wishes with our families; know that it is possible to create ceremonies that meet the needs of all religions, faiths and none; arrange our wills and personal affairs; find peace amongst the ups and downs of life; live our lives fully and expand our comfort zones.

 

Let us be honest about the grief, pain, joy, relief and full range of emotions that we may feel with the death of a loved one. Let us find ways to open up to a state of peace amongst the pain and sadness. Let us speak out about our hopes, fears and aspirations with those who want to support us.  Let us commit to loving our loved ones, the world and ourselves completely.

 

Thank you Lou for the gifts that you have given to me and the world.  I wish to share these gifts with others.  I feel that Lou’s story can help and inspire so many people.  Lou’s family asked for donations to Marie Curie instead of flowers.  If you wish to donate to Marie Curie in Lou’s honour please click here. For more information on interfaith ministry and the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation providing support for people of all faiths and none through ceremonies and spiritual counselling click here.  

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How The Nurturing Journey Helped me Heal My Relationship with My Mother

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One Spirit Seminary Weekend

I have arrived back in the UK. All is well but I am feeling knackered from the flight.  Straight back into London.  Remind me not to do this full on emersion so quickly next time, it  is all too much.  This month's seminary topic is Christianity. It reminds me of the picture that was in our living room throughout my childhood.  A picture of beautiful red roses and Jesus's words "My Peace i give unto you" from the book of John.  That is my spiritual practice for the month to cultivate peace and share that with others.  i will see how that works and let you know. :)

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