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Demand for crystals has never been higher. But many can be traced back to dangerous origins in some of the world’s poorest countries. With little evidence to prove the industry will change any time soon, some wellness trends appear to be causing more harm than good.

Adele performs with them, Miranda Kerr sleeps with them, Victoria Beckham won’t leave her house without them. It appears that crystals have officially entered the mainstream. When Gwyneth Paltrow introduced her infamous Yoni Eggs – rose quartz and jade eggs designed to be inserted into the vagina and activated by “a Kegel-like physical practise” – the scientific community went nuts. She initially claimed that the eggs could be used to boost feminine energy by balancing hormones and regulating menstrual cycles, eventually leading to a (USD) $145,000 false advertisement lawsuit. Her website, Goop, now suggests using the eggs to feel better connected with your body.

Gwyneth Paltrow Goop
Goop is a wellness and lifestyle brand and company founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow in 2008. In the past decade, Goop has grown into a multinational powerhouse valued at more than US$250 million.

International NGO Global Witness found that the Taliban earns up to $20m a year from Afghanistan’s lapis lazuli mines.

But believers say that crystals do have the power to make real change. When used correctly, crystals are said to conduct positive energy which redress imbalances in the body, mind, and spirit. Non-believers, on the other hand, argue that any changes felt are simply down to the placebo effect – an immensely powerful tool in itself. At worst, they say, crystals will do nothing at all. But crystals aren’t exactly harmless. Like diamonds, the crystal mining industry is rife with conflict and exploitation.

Kachin State in northern Myanmar produces 70% of the world’s jade. It is a $31 billion industry there – nearly half of the nation’s GDP – and is now controlled by a corrupt military junta known as Tatmadaw. In fact, the industry fuelled the Tatmadaw’s rise to power in February 2021, when the group deposed the National League for Democracy (NLD) in a violent coup d’état.

Jade mining Myanmar
Workers searching for jade in a mining site in Hpakant.

The military coup has made reform in the industry near impossible. As one of the main beneficiaries of jade wealth, the Tatmadaw have little incentive to continue implementing the legal framework put in place by the NLD. This has had devastating environmental and social consequences.

Keel Dietz, the Myanmar policy advisor for Global Witness, says that “the military, in their desperate efforts to maintain control, will look to the country’s natural resource wealth to sustain their rule, to buy weapons, and enrich themselves.”

He goes on to say that “The primary concern is really the destruction of the local environment and displacement of local people. Mining happens right in the middle of villages, and they move the entire village out. Sometimes so they can blast huge areas with dynamite so they can harvest the jade.”

A mining site in Hpakant
Aerial view of a mining site in Hpakant. Taken by Zaw Moe Htet for The Guardian.

The mines are made especially narrow and deep to maximise space, making them prone to landslides which occur almost daily. In July 2020, a major landslide in the Hpakant region of Kachin State killed at least 200 miners in the nation’s deadliest recorded mining accident. The actual death toll will never be known, as most of the bodies will be left under heaps of rubble – only to be discovered years later, in search of yet more jade.

“At first it was so scary for me,” says one worker. “But it’s becoming natural … We started [to accept] that we could die in any situation.”

Most miners are unregistered labourers living in make-shift shelters, who come from all over Myanmar in the hope of finding a fortune. Their testimonies reveal a destructive environment in the community around the mines, with endemic heroin addiction, high rates of HIV, and the abuse of young women and girls.

“There are no jobs in Hpakant for women except for working as a maid or in a massage parlour,” says a 26-year-old woman living in the community. “The parlours are fronts for brothels, and many, many women are sexually abused.”

Jade inspection Myanmar
Buyers check the quality of large jade stones at the annual gem stone exposition in Naypyidaw, 2016

And it isn’t just Myanmar that is facing this issue. Mineral extraction is linked to severe human-rights violations and environmental harm across the developing world.

In Afghanistan, Global Witness has found that the Taliban and other armed groups earn up to $20 million a year from ancient lapis mines. They produce almost all the world’s blue lapis lazuli – supposedly one of the best stones for activating the mind. It accounts for the second largest source of income for the Taliban, and if left unchecked will drive further corruption, conflict, and extremism across the country.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where children are forced to work in the cobalt and copper mines, other stones such as citrine and smoky quartz are found as by-products. These precious stones, thought to bring positivity, are then bought by Western retailers and sold at a huge mark-up to the consumer.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, seven-year-old children work in the cobalt and copper mines, where crystals are found as a by-product.

Diamond mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Congolese workers search for rough diamonds in a Kangambala mine in Lunged, in the south west region of Kasai in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo taken by Lynsey Addario for Time Magazine, 2015.

But it’s hard to find a retailer who can specify the origins of individual stones, let alone find ones that are ethically sourced. Besides, there are no laws that require them to do so.

As the crystal market continues to grow, so does the need for change. In 2000, campaigning from organisations such as Global Witness fuelled a resolution from the United Nations to regulate the diamond trade. The establishment of the Kimberley Process in 2002 virtually eliminated blood diamonds and associated conflicts. It’s possible that the government could bring in similar regulations for crystals.

For now, the future of the industry depends on consumer behaviour. When demand starts to change, so too will supply.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Compare prices across shops and avoid the lowest-priced crystals.
  • Ask sellers about the origins of their products. If they can’t give you a straight answer, look elsewhere.
  • Talk to your friends and family about crystal mining issues to spread awareness.
  • Write letters to government officials advocating for stricter labour and mining laws.

In a world flooded with global disasters and mental health conditions like eco-anxiety on the rise, author of the bestselling self-help book, Slow, Brooke McAlary, unveils the pitfalls of neglecting personal care in her new book, Care.

Brooke McAlary’s own experience with post-natal depression was the catalyst for her self-care journey and marked the beginning of her career change from business woman to self-help author. After the overwhelming success of her 2017 international bestseller Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World, Brooke returns to share her latest tips to live a slow and joyful life, through her latest book, Care: The Radical Art of Taking Time, published by Allen & Unwin.

After receiving her post-natal depression diagnosis following the birth of her second child, it was Brooke’s therapist who first recommended slowing down. This wake-up call prompted Brooke’s change of pace and her ensuing move to the Southern Highlands with her family. Burned out by her past career running a jewellery business, along with raising two young children and juggling excessive commitments, the self-care author reveals how she knew something had to change.

Brooke says, “Looking back, I can see my mental health started to take a dive…I write about slow, because I need slow, it’s not something that comes naturally.”

Self care is important for mental health
Photo Credit: Nikko Macaspac on Unsplash

In her book, Brooke tackles the exploitative nature of the wellness industry. The industry has high stakes in profiting from the growing market for self-care, reeling in nearly $4.5 trillion and representing 5.3% of global economic spending.

With increasing mediums for internet users to be inundated by advertisements and marketing campaigns, it is becoming easier for corporations to exploit the rising population of people seeking solutions to stress and burnout. Brooke says, “If you are buying into certain elements of self-care because you think there’s something wrong with you, you become vulnerable to that marketing message.”

Wellness services have flooded the market, many of which have been accused of charging exorbitant fees and exploiting desperation. Brooke challenges the exclusive tactics of self-care corporations, and offers a more accessible path to wellbeing in her guide.

“Everything I write about needs to be accessible to everyone, regardless of finances, geography, abilities,” Brooke says.

It helps if you’re already well, you’re slim and you’re 25, that kind of mentality is what has attached itself to self-care.

“In keeping with the idea of accessibility, I really wanted it to be achievable for people who are busy, which is a lot of people. If you’ve got thirty seconds, you can spend those thirty seconds looking out a window at a green view, you can write down one lovely thing that you saw today or you could hold the door for a stranger.”

Walking outside is a form of self care
Photo Credit: Юлія Вівчарик on Unsplash

Brooke unpacks the ideas of ‘Big Care’ and ‘Small Care’, and their significance in the past year where ‘Big Care’ has had a major global impact of “upheaval and collective grief,” with the climate change crisis and the COVID19 pandemic. While she acknowledges that these two types of ‘care’ don’t exist in a vacuum, she also identifies why we need to prioritise the ‘Small Care’ sometimes.

Brooke says, “I realised I had spent so much time and energy caring about all of these big, important global collective issues like climate change, COVID, the national grief we’re all feeling as a result of last year’s bushfires, but what I had neglected was the other end of the spectrum of care, the small acts of care.

“That is the genesis of the spectrum of care I talk about in the book. The reason we need to start spending more time on the smaller end of the spectrum.”

Brooke’s call for greater self-care and mental health awareness is all the more pertinent, with stress and burnout rapidly increasing among the population. Asana’s global study found that 4 in 5 Australians in white-collar jobs suffered burnout in 2020.

While a variety of symptoms are reported, the main signs often include:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Brain Fog
  3. Maladaptive Daydreaming
  4. Lack of Motivation
  5. Sleep Issues
  6. Frequent Illness

With smartphone users clocking in 3 hours and 15 minutes a day and technology infiltrating all aspects of people’s lives, Care brings to light the role technology plays in exacerbating burnout and stress.

Fighting the temptation to keep scrolling on social media is hard when “it feels good in the short term because it releases dopamine”, Brooke says, but she maintains the need to substitute internet usage with more fulfilling activities.

Our phones, our laptops, our screens can be viewed much more like a tool… something you use for a job and then you put it away.

Brooke advises people to partake in hands-on activities outside of technology, suggesting that physical activities like yoga can positively affect the brain and even just “looking into the eyes of animals can release oxytocin”, also known as the love hormone.’

Looking into the eyes of animals produces oxytocin
Photo Credit: Nachelle Nocom on Unsplash

Brooke says, “If there’s an opportunity to go for a walk, or to sit and do something tech-related, I use that information for motivation.”

In her own life, Brooke has implemented this concept for her family, with her children creating a technology-free ‘slow room’ to help reduce outside sources of stress. She says, “I started experimenting and started to declutter and was astounded to find the impact it had on my mental health.” It was this realisation of how switching off can bring joy that inspired Brooke to share this practice with her children.

Practising self care as a family
Photo Credit: Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

Brooke also outlines how ‘Small Care’ can affect our perception of time, revealing how anyone can harness the ability to “bend timeand alter their experience of its passage.

“As I get older, as my kids get older, I feel like time speeds up. That made me curious about why there were times in my life where time seemed to feel like more,” Brooke says.

Research shows that our perception of time changes as we grow older. When we’re a child everything is new.  As a result, time feels like it goes on for longer… That is the simplest way to bend time.

Brooke says when people’s lives become monotonous and repetitive, the brain doesn’t hold on to those memories, thus creating the illusion of time passing quickly. In Care, Brooke encourages individuals to embrace the sense of play and wonder from childhood, to slow down their perception of time and make space for ‘Small Care.’

Featuring Brooke McAlary, author of Care: The Radical Art of Taking Time.

 

If you’d like to learn more about Brooke’s work, watch our exclusive interview with her below.

It’s tropical season and coming into the summer months is the best time to look at new fruits to introduce into your diet. These are the most popular fruits of this season and their well-documented benefits for children.

PINEAPPLE

It’s November and pineapples are finally in season! To tell if they are ripe, sniff the stem and if it smells sweet, it is the one! Pineapples are rich in Vitamin C, B-6 and magnesium. Since they have a high content of Vitamin C, they are an essential tropical fruit that will help boost your baby’s immune health and help their body absorb iron from other foods.

If you are introducing pineapple to your child’s diet for the first time, try it in small doses to see how their system reacts. Pineapples can be introduced to your baby’s diet from six months old. They work well as a basic mash or even a puree, added to yoghurt or cereal.

Pineapple has been known to:

  • Improve hydration. Pineapples have 85 grams of water per 100 grams. This high level of water content not only makes pineapple a juicy fruit but helps to fight dehydration.
  • Regulate bowel movement. Pineapple also contains a good amount of fibre to help support healthy bowels and keep constipation at bay.
  • Help support a healthy heart. Pineapples contain bromelain, enzymes that have cardioprotective benefits when consumed regularly. Bromelain also has analgesic properties that can help relieve pain or control inflammation.

field of pineapples

MANGO

Talking tropical fruits that are in season, mangoes are one of the best fun fruits your child can consume! Named ‘king of fruits’, the mango is recognised as the most popular fruit in the world. When picking the best mango, squeeze them lightly to judge ripeness rather than looking by colour. If they give a little, they will be a good pick.

They are a good texture for babies. Good for babies who might be teething, as they can be frozen and soothe sore gums. As mangoes are full of fibre and digestive enzymes, they will help break down foods and prevent constipation.

There are various benefits for introducing mangoes into your child’s diet.  These include:

  • Promoting good health. Mangoes contain colourful phytonutrients, compounds that help maintain good health. Their high levels of fibre also promote a healthy gut.
  • Improving eyesight. Due to a high level of vitamin A, mangoes help foster good vision as this nutrient prevents multiple eye related issues.
  • Great skin. Vitamins A and C present in mangoes have been shown to improve complexion and moisturise the skin.
  • Improving memory. Glutamine acid is present in mangoes, an amino acid that assists in brain development and proper functioning.

mangoes and mango smoothie

PAPAYA

Papayas are often thought of as an exotic or rare fruit but have been used for centuries, particularly to treat worm infections. You will find them next to mangoes and pineapples when in season.  Papayas should be introduced in small amounts when your child is around seven to eight months old. Caution should be taken when introducing papaya if your child is prone to allergies, so ensure to watch for side effects such as irritations or stomach aches.

There are different benefits associated with papayas, including:

  • Healing properties. Due to a high content of vitamin A, papaya pulp offers medicinal properties that may reduce the visibility and burning sensation of skin sores and rashes.
  • Preventing macular degeneration. Papayas contain zeaxanthin, a carotenoid which helps protect the eyes from light-induced damage and oxidation. This can help to combat the harsh blue light rays that emanate from devices.
  • Preventing allergies. Papayas contain a high level of papain, a proteolytic enzyme which can help reduce pain and swelling, and boost overall health.

papayas and pomegranates

AVOCADO

Since smashed avo has become a trend, avocados have been at the forefront of the fruit and veg section. This is a trend you might want to buy into, because the nutritional value of the Hass is worth introducing to your child’s diet. Avocados are easy to prepare, making a good guacamole or addition to a salad and will ripen quickly in the fruit bowl.

woman with open avocado

There are various benefits for including avocado in your child’s diet, and it makes a great first food due to its texture and versatility.  Some other benefits of avocados include:

PASSIONFRUIT

Passionfruit is a healthy option for babies when ripe. It is a good alternative to unhealthier desserts as it is still sweet and tart and goes well in yoghurts or smoothies. They also hold a low GI value, meaning they will not cause a steep increase in blood sugar after eating.

There are several benefits of including this tropical fruit in your diet.  The most notable include:

  • Good bone health. Due to a high level of minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and phosphorus, eating passion fruits may improve bone strength and density. A high content of iron also helps prevent Anaemia.
  • Supporting the immune system. Passion fruits are rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids and cryptoxanthin and vitamins A and C. The seeds in particular contain lots of these antioxidants which can promote positive heart health.
  • Anti-carcinogenic properties. The antioxidants present in passion fruits help to eliminate free radicals, which mutate the DNA of healthy cells into cancerous cells.
  • Reducing anxiety and stress. High levels of magnesium present in passion fruits have been shown to minimise triggers of anxiety and stress.

passion fruits

Spirits and signs, how do they shape your life? Psychic Helen Jacobs shares ways we can connect with our spirit guides, notice the signs and find our life’s purpose.

Helen Jacobs, psychic and author of You Already Know – a comprehensive guide to spiritualitychats with Wellspring editor, Kate Durack, discussing a framework for living more intuitively in order to see your path clearly.

Before she practised as a psychic medium, Helen was a successful PR executive. Upon the advice of her spirit guides, she was able to make this change. Helen suggests that everyone should connect with their own spirit guides to give direction to your life’s path.

A busy mum of two, Helen transformed her life’s outlook, staying grounded but believing that her spirit reaches beyond her roots. She knows the challenges life brings and taps into her psychic senses to let spirits guide her, inviting and urging others to do the same.

sunset and serenity

Spirit guides

Helen began her journey with guides in 2001 after a spirit visitation from her Aunty. After this, she began to really connect with her inner and higher guidance.

Helen has relied on spirit guides to help her through many life decisions. After studying business and journalism, Helen realised the importance of communication. However, only later and likely due to her self-proclaimed naturally curious manner, did she realise how important spirit communication is, and how it would change her life.

Helen suggests that guiding spirits are present to be called on at various times, whether that be a transitional period such as becoming a parent or other challenges in life. She knows that every life has a purpose and urges others to realise they are here for a reason, and you will be guided towards this if you use those around you.

Everyone has at least one spirit guide, who is assigned to them for the entirety of this particular lifetime.

Instead of just one spirit guide, Helen posits that everyone has access to a spiritual support team, likened to a board of advisors in a business where each spiritual guide plays a different role.  According to Helen, spirit guides do not possess a physical body and knowing they are present is not the same as sensing when someone is in the same room as you.

Their energy can be as close to us as we wish to invite it in.

girl in nature watching path

Use the ‘psychic senses’

Helen believes that everyone has psychic senses in the same way that we have the physical ones of taste, sight, smell, etc., but in a metaphysical sense.

The way that spirit is going to communicate with us is not necessarily through our physical senses, but the metaphysical.

Do the hairs on the back of your arms often stand up? Helen suggests events like this are signals that there is a lot of energy around. When you get dizzy, she likens this to a spirit being present as energy moves in circles, making you feel as though the world is spinning.

There are so many clues that our body is giving us that someone non-physical is trying to get our attention.

Colours, animals, numbers are also symbolic and can be relaying messages from the spirits around us, says Helen. Most of the time we are not even paying attention to the clues that indicate that spirits are trying to grasp our attention, she continues.

Through our intuition we can sense, we can feel that the energy in the room shifts, Helen says.

She believes in not hiding your truth and following these hunches.

tarot cards

Look backwards

Intuition plays a big role in how one expands and challenges themselves. Helen believes that everyone has a path, but this is not necessarily set in stone. Instead, listen and follow the signs around you to do what will ultimately benefit you. This intuition, she says, will help you navigate through your life’s journey.

Life will present us signposts with choices of directions and our job is to figure out, by using out intuition, which one of those directions we want to go in.

To determine what has shaped your life, Helen suggests looking at things that have shaped your life experience, as they will help inform you about how you have gotten where you are, and importantly what you will do next.

Looking backwards is one of the best ways to realise what your signposts look like.

Helen warns against getting caught up in fear-based thinking, as despite its intention to keep you safe, it might make you retreat or hide from what is presented in front of you. Instead, she encourages us to follow our intuition despite this not always being easy. In doing so, she hopes, you will be guided on your journey by the signs around you that you might be missing.

girl meditating at sunset

Ask for a sign

Once you start looking for signs, Helen says, you will find them.  Then, she believes, you will be able to see how much life is working for you. Don’t be so specific, Helen warns. For example, if you want to quit your job and ask for a yellow car to drive past as a sign, you might be waiting a while. Spirit guides can do a lot, she says, but “maybe not that.”

There is real magic in watching how the signs come to you, and what the signs are that come to us.

Helen suggests taking a step back and becoming an observer in your own life, so that you can notice what has shaped your life’s journey and start to see this “serendipitous, synchronistic life” that we are a part of.

man meditating in nature

Be present

Don’t spend too much time wondering what you purpose is, Helen urges. “Each and every moment is of purpose,” she claims, and “if there are millions of moments in a lifetime, you have already offered so much.”

Life purpose is a moot point because you don’t know what the purpose is until your life is almost is complete.

She ends the interview with an important message, reminding us to trust your intuition and its guidance.

You know more than you think you do, and when you trust yourself, your whole world can change.

Watch the full interview below or on our YouTube channel.

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.

 

Look for the Good – What is a ‘gratitude jar’ and why do we all need one?

The newsfeed on TV and our social media seem to be filled with disasters on both a large and small scale. We face a constant barrage of awful stories from the most remote corners of the globe.

Gloom and doom seems ever-present each time we power up a device. It seems like we are surrounded by bad news everywhere we look.

I think to be fair, in the past we had less exposure to news items. There was the daily paper or the 6 o’clock news broadcast. Any truly important newsworthy items could be found in one of those two sources.

“The newsfeed on TV and our social media seem to be filled with disasters”

Now that we have a 24 hour a day 7 days a week news-cycle, the content in these feeds need to be constantly added to and updated. Items that in years before were considered local news now find their way into the worldwide news feed.

It has been shown in the research that anxiety and depression is on the rise among all age groups – but particularly in teens. This is a world-wide phenomenon. It isn’t limited to our street, our neighbourhood or our community.

“Anxiety and depression is on the rise…particularly in teens”

This worries me as an individual but it worries me so much more as a mother.

You see, our kids live their lives on their mobile devices – laptops, iPads and the ever-present mobile phones, which means that they see this negative narrative constantly.

“Our kids live their lives on their mobile devices”

I read recently that the greatest weapon we have in our safeguarding our mental health is choosing our thoughts wisely. This resonated with me.

We can choose to look at, and focus on those dark and awful news stories or we can choose to refocus and shine a light on the good and positive things in our lives. I know that sounds like a really big task but it can be as simple as very small daily or weekly ritual or habit.

For years now I have tried to help my kids with looking for joy and light in their day – every night at dinner we each share our “three good things” about our day.

They don’t have to be great achievements or world-changing events. They can be as simple as being grateful for a lovely meal cooked for them or sunshine on their face on the way to school or a kind word from a friend.

All those tiny little good things add up!

So last year we had a tough year. Not massive big disasters, but seemingly many little small scale challenges and hardships that just wore us all down little by little. Wow, were we happy to see the end of 2018!

So over the Christmas break I made a gratitude jar for my desk. My idea was that each time we have cause to celebrate we pull out one of the little tags inside and write down our good thing and drop it in the jar. Once again, I am not talking Nobel Prize winning type occasions.

“Each time we have cause to celebrate we…write down our good thing”

“As simple as  a girls lunch or coffee with lovely friends or getting joy from meeting a stranger’s puppy on the beach, finding some lovely sea glass, watching rosellas on our bird feeder whilst we eat brekky, or one of our fabulous  kids coming home from university for the weekend!”

“I am not talking Nobel Prize winning type occasions…[it can be] as simple as a girls lunch or coffee”

All good positive events – I bought a fab pen to drop inside and added a bunch of blank cards ready to collect our good moments.

At the end of the year (or hey, before then if we are having a really bad day) we will pull out all the little tags and review our pile of golden sunshine!

Re-focus!

My plan is that at the end of the year I will buy a cheap and colourful little notebook and glue the tags in to make a collection of all of our highlights and to clear the jar ready for the year ahead. I can see this jar is going to bring us much joy in the years to come.

So we know that life is full of challenges and celebrations …. moments good and bad.

Life is good, not perfect, right!

Our gratitude jar is not about having no hardship or having a perfect “instagrammable” life  but simply about choosing to focus on our blessings.

Our little gratitude jar has now become a favourite gift for friends and family. The kids drop a few tags into the jar before we gift it telling the person some of the things they LOVE and are grateful for about the person

There is no greater gift than the gift of being loved and appreciated.

Our Gratitude jar is enriching not only our own days but the strengthening the relationships we build.

Kathryn is a wife and mother to 4 children. The family have now settled back in Australia after time spent in Hong Kong and The United Kingdom. Her aim was always to have the children raised in an Australian household – even if that was overseas. The challenges faced and blessings enjoyed whilst living in foreign cultures and adjusting and adapting helped to shape her gratitude focus. Kathryn is a medical sonographer and in addition to working in her chosen profession she also works in the family business. She is passionate about photography and enjoys capturing the beauty of the coastline in her local area in her free time. Her passion for photography and travel have also combined to see her published on the topic in online travel publications.

 

Spiritual healing practitioners, Yvette Clarke and Brenda Pitout, formed a unique alliance more than six years ago, successfully combining their individual abilities and together healing hundreds of clients who could not be helped by modern medicine – proving two heads and hearts are better than one and sometimes we’ve got to go deeper to achieve real change.

Sceptical but desperate clients with diverse conditions including addiction, trauma, anxiety, depression and eating disorders have come for and received “transformative” healing in the nurturing hands of this remarkable pair.

As a Clairvoyant and Light Worker, Yvette, is able to clearly see, hear and feel her client’s subconscious emotional blockages. Before finding Brenda, she felt powerless to help her clients heal the painful manifestations of these emotional blocks that she was able to discern.

With a, “nothing left to lose attitude”, Hayley, who was feeling depressed, anxious, suffering from insomnia and in deep despair, attended her first session with Yvette following the death of her grandfather.

 

“The first few appointments blew me away, as Yvette has the ability to see into what is going on in your system emotionally and what has or is causing it to happen.”

“She is able to read into and settle your system down with one of her amazing prayers,” explains Hayley.

Kylie first attended a session with Yvette 14 years ago describing it as, “the most unique and mind-blowing experience I have ever had.”

In this and subsequent sessions Kylie explains, “Yvette was spot on tuning into whatever was happening to me (emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically) and understanding all the micro emotions that make up me, inspiring me with the confidence and skills to create the reality I truly desire.”

Yvette, a self-proclaimed “blunt practitioner”, is often compelled to reveal difficult but necessary information to her clients for healing to take place.

Rather than “leave me to just sit in my heightened emotional state,” Kylie explains, “Yvette would always provide options for further support and assistance.”

Before finding Brenda, however, Yvette often felt powerless to help her clients heal the painful manifestations of their emotional blocks.

In 2011 she found Brenda Pitout, “an astounding BodyTalk practitioner”, who was both capable and willing to use her clients’ notes to continue the healing process she had started.

“Really, it took over a decade to find Brenda, who unlike all others before her, was prepared to work with my findings and not dismiss them due to the restrictions of her healing modality or ego,” Yvette reflects.

Yvette sought Brenda’s help for excruciating endometriosis which was debilitating. After only a few sessions with Brenda, the symptoms dramatically improved. She also sought Brenda’s help to release a lifetime of trauma and anxiety.

“It was after this astounding healing experience, I began referring clients to Brenda to recalibrate, restructure and realise their own healing,” Yvette explains.

Yvette was now satisfied she could truly fulfil her manifesto of providing people with an “emotional channel for the higher good of humanity by shifting them out of their cycle of suffering and abuse.”

Yvette says clients often come to her when they are at their lowest and feel “all else is lost”. To conduct her session she must enter their sacred space (the room of their soul) and she will therefore only do this with permission.

Upon invitation she enters this space by tapping upon her song bowl that resonates with a strong and unwavering pitch that carries with it the anticipation of what a client’s soul room may reveal.

While immersed in the soul room, Yvette is able to pick out what she calls “the carrots from a stew” – the most relevant subconscious messages from which she scribes pages of notes that enlighten to the reason the client’s soul has presented to her on that day.

Brenda then uses these notes as a platform to optimise healing.

BodyTalk uses the body’s own innate wisdom to heal itself. I merely facilitate this process by using neuro muscular bio feedback and intuition to bring change to the governing blueprint through its healing priority,” explains Brenda.

She enters “The Zone (where she) interfaces the left brain’s pragmatic and practical knowledge with the right side’s intuition to bring about shifts of consciousness.”

“Tapping on the brain enables us to focus on reprogramming of formula and tapping on the sternum enables access to the heart and storage of the information,” she continues.

Brenda discovered the BodyTalk healing modality in desperate pursuit to end her own intermittent battle with depression and her daughter’s suffering with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

She believed this cured them both and was her impetus to train in the modality – “something anyone can learn”. She is now dedicated to the ‘ongoing study of humanity at the “University of Life”’.

The healing duo have given hope, health and happiness to hundreds of clients with a broad spectrum of ails, healing where modern medicine had failed.

“It’s ‘Out There’, but it works,” excites Doctor Matty Moore, MD FAAFP FACRRM EM Cert, who, once sceptical, last year sought immediate resolution of issues that counselling and therapy could not provide. Unfamiliar to his Western Medical training, he tried to remain open and allowed Yvette to “identify” blockages and Brenda to “rewire” his subconscious.

“My repair was immediate, dynamic, and life-changing, for which I am enormously grateful,” says Dr Moore.

The practitioners describe distance and time as “mere concepts”, so when Yvette referred Hong Kong residents, Sean and Evania, who had “tried everything and had nothing to lose”, their sessions, unlike any other therapies previously tried, provided “immediate and life changing results”.

“Whilst cliché, Yvette and Brenda have made a huge improvement to both of our lives which we never thought possible and we would highly recommend both of them,” says Evania and Sean.

A curious Perth Psychologist, recently experiencing relationship issues, gushes about an “astonishing first session with Brenda resulting in profound shifts in thinking and feeling.”

“The combination of a skilled and warm therapist delivering a kick-arse modality was a winning formula for me,” she says.

A major depressive disorder, severe anxiety and an eating disorder had “steadily consumed”, dubious but desperate scientist, Lauren, for many years who was “sold” after her first session with Brenda.

“An expert practitioner, she navigates the blueprint of your body and mind with the precision of a skilled surgeon to find, and hand you, the key to self-love, acceptance and your full potential,” she says. “She achieved for me what an army of GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists and medication were not able to. She saved my life. It’s as simple as that.”

“An expert practitioner, she navigates the blueprint of your body and mind with the precision of a skilled surgeon to find, and hand you, the key to self-love, acceptance and your full potential.”

Seven years ago a desperate young female on the residential rehabilitation wait-list for addiction to crystal meth-amphetamine, conquered a lifetime of addiction and eating disorders with Brenda, later herself qualifying as a BodyTalk Practitioner and Nutritionist.

While their clients present with varied physical conditions, Brenda identifies consistencies in their underlying emotional causes.

Testament to the success of their relationship, built on mutual admiration and skill collaboration, after six years, Yvette and Brenda continue to join their hearts and heads together to identify then rewire subconscious blockages and optimise healing outcomes for their clients.

For more information contact clairvoyant Yvette Clarke yvetteleahclarke@gmail.com or BodyTalk practitioner Brenda Pitout bodytalkwa@gmail.com