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Relationship and spiritual writer, Shelena Aiyana, discusses how her experiences with abandonment and addiction helped her discover the advantages of conscious relationships, which she now shares with millions of people through her website, Rising Woman.

“Conflict is an opportunity for us to get to know our partner deeper, for us to learn how to get our needs met in a really honouring way.” – Shelena Aiyana.

As a child, Shelena grew up in and out of foster homes where she struggled with abandonment, addiction and abuse. Without a father present and a concept of what made a healthy relationship, Shelena developed a fear for men and became naturally drawn to unsafe partners.

But during her divorce in her early 20s, Shelena had a spiritual awakening that changed her life. She discovered how much she had been denying and suppressing her grief and childhood wounds and decided to make a change.

“I was in so much pain,” Shelena says, “I was struggling with this abandonment wound that had been ripped open and I never want to feel that powerless or that out of control ever again. I felt so much pain in my body that I thought I’d die in my sleep.”

But through a range of spiritual teachings such as plant medicine, ancestral and shadow work, Shelena turned her life around and now teaches millions of people every month about the benefits of self-awareness, reclaiming their true nature and having conscious relationships.

What is a conscious relationship?

“A conscious relationship is simply the act of witnessing our behaviours and noticing our stories. It’s noticing our minds rather than believing every thought we think,” Shelena explains.

“We’re no longer seeing our partner as somebody who is designed to meet all our needs and do the things the way we want them to but instead they are there as a partner in life, an ally in our healing.”

In a conventional relationship, if someone triggers you it’s automatically something they did wrong and there’s something that person has to do in order to fix you. Whereas in a conscious relationship you’re wholly responsible for yourselves, you’re there to support your partner not to fix them.

Often in relationships, we become co-dependent on our partner, which can be dangerous for our health and wellbeing.

Whether it’s from getting into the pattern of caretaking or putting others needs before our own, it’s crucial to remember we’re not responsible for saving other people.

“I think one of the most beautiful gifts we can give people when they’re suffering or struggling, is to remind them of their own power and that we trust them to do the work and heal,” Shelena explains.

“It allows us to create strong boundaries with ourselves and put our care and our own primary needs at the forefront because otherwise, we’re just self-abandoning.”

When we self-abandon, we don’t trust ourselves nor do we identify our boundaries or listen to our inner needs.

One could have a dream that’s really important to them to complete only to self-abandon it because it doesn’t work for someone else.

To avoid this, Shelena says one could ask themselves the deeper question about what that person represents for you and how together, you can heal.

“It comes down to having a compass where you know what your boundaries are as well as what your non-negotiable red flags are,” she says.

Classic, conventional relationships can be viewed in a way that tells us that somebody has to right and somebody has to be wrong, or somebody has to win, and someone has to lose.

We believe flighting, and not seeing eye to eye on things is normal because we weren’t taught otherwise. What we’ve failed to understand though, is that conflict presents the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your partner.

“If we know what we want in the relationship and we can speak that out, then we can actually qualify people before getting into a deep relationship,” Shelena explains.

“My husband and I had a lot of these conversations before we got together. We wrote letters, we revealed our traumas to each other and shared our life stories. We qualified what kind of relationship we wanted and what we needed to get there.”

While relationships can be difficult, seeking support doesn’t mean you’re failing but rather seeking an opportunity to improve and there are a lot of great support systems out there.

“Work with a teacher, therapist or somebody who’s aligned with your spiritual believes and makes you feel safe. I think it’s also really important to experiment with different healing modalities and find out what feels good for you,” Shelena says.

“There doesn’t need to be shame when you turn over a stone and there doesn’t need to be shame when you go into the dark. It’s about reclaiming and really owning who are and accepting all your parts.”

How to heal and prevent nappy rash in new-borns.

While common, the red and sore skin condition known as nappy rash can cause discomfort and distress for children under two.

If your child wears nappies, chances are they’ll develop nappy rash at some stage, so it’s critical you know how to deal with it.

How can it be caused?

Nappy rash can be caused by many things, but it mainly develops as a result of wearing a wet or dirty nappy for too long. When urine or faeces come in contact with a baby’s skin it causes a build-up of moisture which, along with friction and long wear, can cause irritation to the skin.

Wearing plastic pants or underwear can also cause and worsen nappy rash as it stops air from circulating around the skin.

Nappy rash can also occur consequently from a child having another skin condition such as eczema.

Sleeping baby.

Tips for treating nappy rash

The underlying, good thing about nappy rash is it generally goes away within a few days, provided you do some of the following.

Give your baby nappy-free time.

Airing your child’s bottom every day is a great way to avoid nappy rash because it helps the skin to dry out and heal.

You could try leaving a dry nappy or towel under your child for a couple of hours or even fasten the nappy looser to allow air to flow.

Change nappies frequently.

Check your baby’s nappy every hour or so, where possible, to ensure they’re not sitting in a mess and change it straight away if they are. Frequently changing their nappy means the area will stay dry and will start healing.

Mother playing with baby.

Keeping their skin clean.

After every nappy change, use lukewarm water and a delicate cloth to gently clean your baby’s skin.

Where possible, avoid using disposable wipes which can irritate children’s’ skin, especially if the preservatives are causing an allergic reaction.

Using a soap-free baby wash that’s gentle on the skin when bathing your baby is also beneficial.

Baby in bath.

Cloth nappies.

Reusable cloth nappies are problematic when it comes to nappy rash because they’re less absorbent than disposable ones. Plus if remains of soap or detergents are left on them it can cause the nappy rash to worsen.

However, if you prefer the cloth nappy, you can avoid these issues by thoroughly cleaning the nappy after every use and rinsing them in freshwater after they’ve been washed to remove any leftover residue.

Tip from a mother of four: If you want to use a cloth nappy but the moisture is an issue, try placing a woman’s pad inside the nappy for extra absorption.

Cloth nappies.

Creams and treatments.

Applying a gentle barrier cream such as Sudo, after every nappy change can be beneficial in eliminating the rash as they stop moisture from hitting it.

You can either purchase these at your local supermarket or drugstore without a prescription or contact your baby’s GP for a recommendation.

Avoid using talcum powder. It’s important not to put powders on your baby’s skin during this time as it can actually trap the moisture inside, preventing the rash from healing plus, it can be a breathing hazard for children.

A home remedy from a mother of four: “I used cornflour after a cream. Cornflour helps absorb moisture and stays on the surface, so lightly sprinkling some over your baby’s skin can help reduce the rash.”

However, if the rash continues after a few days, talk to your GP to find the right course of action.

Father changing new-borns nappy.

 

From the moment we are born, every experience and emotion we have ever felt is stored in the part of our mind called the subconscious. Intangible, immeasurable, and for the most part inaccessible, this portion of the human mind is complex and extremely important to our individual personal identities.

 

Our mind is like an iceberg. Floating in the ocean, we can only see what is above the surface of the water – and while this may be colossal in size, it only makes up a tiny ten percent of the total size of the iceberg. What is hidden underneath is nine times larger. Our conscious mind represents this ten percent of the iceberg in view, above the water, and our subconscious represents all that is below. The conscious mind is only a tiny portion of what is going on underneath.

The conscious mind is responsible for collecting information in our day-to-day life through our senses, which it relays back to the subconscious. The subconscious encompasses those activities we take for granted such as breathing, blinking and monitoring our temperatures, but it also stores every past experience, emotion, and thought we have ever had. Like the iceberg under the water, we can’t see or readily access the true depth and size of our incredibly powerful subconscious mind but it plays an extremely important role in all of our lives.

The capacity of the subconscious mind is incredible, with few limitations on how much it can store. According to motivational speaker, renowned self-development expert and author of Focal Point Brian Tracy, “By the time you reach 21, you’ve already stored more than one hundred times the content of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.”

smell taste touch neon sign

The subconscious mind is constantly active and responsible for an incredible amount of our human functions, actions, choices and personality. In psychological terms, the subconscious is a secondary mind system that stores everything we receive through our senses in a kind of data processing memory bank. It monitors information coming in from our conscious mind such as sight, taste, hearing and touch.

The two aspects of the mind – conscious and subconscious – communicate all the time. The elements that are processed by our conscious mind only stay in the subconscious if they are intensely emotional experiences. This is partly what makes the subconscious so powerful and important in its long-term effects on us as individuals.

What does the subconscious mind actually do?

The subconscious element of our minds covers more than just suppressed desires and forgotten traumatic memories that we are often told about at school. It is responsible for all of those day-to-day movements and activities that we take for granted or don’t even consciously recognise doing. For example, breathing, blinking and regulating our body temperatures are all acts we do subconsciously.

According to psychologist Havan Parvez, of PsychMechanics, the subconscious is always active, even when we sleep. It communicates with us through images and symbols in our dreams, relaying information we have encountered during the day or even from many years ago – the subconscious storage bank goes back as long as we have been processing information through our senses.

 

 

Another key function of the subconscious relates to our behaviour. It regulates our reactions, actions, decisions, and physical choices to fit with those it has previously established as ‘ours’. It keeps our thoughts and beliefs consistent, establishing our comfort zones and deeming what activities would suit them.

Brian Tracy, self-development author and motivational public speaker, states that the subconscious mind is what, “Makes (our) behaviour fit a pattern consistent with (our) emotionalised thoughts, hopes, and desires.”

Man and woman in love sitting close

 

Psychology blog, Mindsets, also claims our natural intuition arises from the subconscious, which uses our previous experience, emotions and memory to help us assess situations. If you have ever felt a ‘gut feeling’ or inexplicable sense about something, this is your subconscious mind communicating with you and sending you signals based on your own previous knowledge.

According to Yvonne Oswald’s book, Every Word Has Power, the subconscious mind does the following:
  1. Operates the physical body.
  2. Has a direct connection with the Divine.
  3. Remembers everything.
  4. Stores emotions in the physical body.
  5. Maintains genealogical instincts.
  6. Creates and maintains least effort (repeating patterns).
  7. Uses metaphor, imagery and symbols.
  8. Takes direction from the conscious mind.
  9. Accepts information literally and personally.
  10. Does not process negative commands.

How can we harness its power?

It is important to know the ways in which we can harness the power of our subconscious minds. Think about emotional experiences you have had that have impacted your future life. Can personal issues with trust, relationships, certain habits, that you currently have be traced back to an incident or experience you had in the past? This is your subconscious mind acting based on the intense emotions you felt during that time.

Woman looking into the sunriseOne of the most significant reasons why we should endeavour to use the power of our subconscious for our mental health is to clear emotional blockages and for the purposes of personal healing. According to Joseph Drumheller, award-winning author and leader in meditation, healing and education, we must be in the proper state of mind before exploring our subconscious. He suggests practising some detachment when considering our emotional charges or particular feelings in isolation. Distance your rational mind from these emotions. Then it becomes easier, and safer, to push into these feelings a little deeper.

Drumheller says that letting yourself explore and feel your emotions as they arise or as you consider certain aspects of your life is important when working on your subconscious. Through your detachment from these emotions, start to think about them more critically. Take mental note of when a certain thought, image, noise, or memory triggers a particular emotion. From this point, we can start to ask ourselves why we feel this emotion, and if from our space of mental detachment, we can see that it may not be warranted, we can start to let the feeling go. As the emotion grows fainter and less raw, we are letting go of this emotional charge and clearing some weight from our subconscious.

This method is useful to try, but the results can differ from person to person. Drumheller suggests that if we are stuck with a particular emotional charge that is difficult to shift, or we begin to lose ourselves in the feelings of that emotion, then there is another method to try. Visualise a large scared object or symbol such as a flower or a cross hovering directly in front of you. Imagine that it holds immense power. Start to think about each of your emotions and visualise this object pulling the force of these emotions out of your heart and mind, drawing them into itself. In this way the power has been transferred to the object rather than your mind in releasing the emotional charge and is a good method for beginners or those struggling with release.

Further suggestions

There is an extensive array of literature, podcasts and other resources available for information and guidance regarding our subconscious. Several books written on the subject are available as audiobooks which can be a fantastic way to engage with the material.

Based on readership ratings, the following books are recommended:

  • The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy
  • Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman
  • Beyond the Power of your Subconscious Mind by C. James Jenson
  • The Subconscious Mind: How to Use the Hidden Power of Your Mind to Reach Your Goals by Linda Siegmund

Exploring your subconscious is something that can be done privately but is also worthwhile when done with the assistance of a mental health professional such as a psychologist. Those trained in this field can guide you, provide suggestions, and offer support should you need it.

Therapies for your subconscious such as Private Subconscious-mind Healing (P.S.H) are also available for more guided or targeted exploration of the subconscious. This therapy is non-invasive, extremely gentle in its approach, and is designed to assist in resolving underlying subconscious problems that are affecting our day to day lives.