Contact

Use the form on the right to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tasman Terrace
Port Lincoln, SA, 5606
Australia

The Healing Essence has been created as a place to support women on their journey of remembrance.

By creating a safe space for women to identify and heal old belief systems and negative patterns, you will be guided to step into the fullness of your beautiful self, helping you reach for endless possibilities and find inner contentment in your life.

Musings

Who attends a Sister Circle?

Jo Bell Cummings

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The Sister Circles attract all sorts of women at many different stages of life...

The Circles often appeal to women who are wanting to connect with their own inner wisdom, who are looking for change within their lives, who are seeking empowerment and women who are ready to take personal responsibility for their healing.

Some women are drawn to the Sister Circles because they love the magic and personal growth that happens either as a result of the evening, or over the course of the 5 week journey. Others are called to this work as they are processing or navigating some aspect of their life and are seeking support and wish to offer this support in return to other women.

Some women love to come to the Circles as they don't have this kind of space in their lives where they can share as deeply or as openly, and be heard with love and compassion and without judgement.

As we all know so well, life is a huge journey of ups and downs, and twists and turns and as women, we find it so much easier to navigate this with the support of sisters by our side. Many of us long to be heard and understood.

The Circles seem to 'call' to women, and you will know in your heart if you too have heard this call.

I keep the Circles small and intimate in order for us to all feel safe and secure as we open up our hearts and share. Your wisdom and all that you bring to the Circles will be lovingly held, appreciated and respected with so much love and kindness. Everything that is shared within Circle is kept completely confidential.

If you are hearing the call to share this sacred journey with women in our local community, or are interested in finding out more, please contact me.

Perhaps you will find that a Sister Circle may well be just perfect for you.

julie bell ~ mother, herbalist, doula and all-round inspiration

Jo Bell Cummings

guest interview with julie from blissful herbs

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My home-birthing sister introduced me to Julie Bell's website and led me to the herbal teas she lovingly creates. I tried one blend, then another, then another and it didn't take me long at all to realise I was fortunate enough to be in the company of a woman who is wise, authentic and true in her path. I have been honoured to sell her support teas and herbal blends in my community, and I am truly privileged to share with you this insightful interview.

Please pour yourself a pot of tea, find a comfortable seat and delight in the wisdoms and honesty Julie has to share. It is connections such as these that show me I am on the right path, and bring a satisfaction to my role that is beyond measure.

can you please share a little bit about yourself?

I am a 48 year old mother of 4 children aged 17 to 5, all born joyfully at home. I originally trained as a Registered Comprehensive Nurse (includes obstetrics, psych and some 'natural medicine papers') in New Zealand, before spending 18 years in Asia as a volunteer humanitarian worker, which is where I met my American husband. In 2004 we moved to Australia to make our home here and have settled in the beautiful Yarra Valley, where herbs and weeds grow in the sun, wind and rain, platypus swim in the river and deer and wombats think our garden is just for them.

I have served as a doula for over 10 years and my interests are social justice, reading, gardening, outdoor adventure and oysters... oh yes just a tad obsessed about oysters!

how did herbs come to be in your life?

Herbs have always been in my life, but growing up I took them for granted. Parsley, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Chickweed, Lavender and Calendula grew abundantly around our house in rural New Zealand. Coming from a long line of healers (my grandmother and mother were both nurses and midwives), it was routine to use dock for itchy skin, parsley to moderate menstruation, peppermint for headache and lemon balm to calm the emotions. "Run out to the garden and bring me some plantain" my mum would tell me, which we would pop in the bath with calendula and dock to sooth the itching of chickenpox.

When I did my own nursing training, it struck me that the older generation of nurses had a more holistic training, in the sense that common sense approaches to comfort and healing were still included in the knowledge, whereas by the time I trained, all but strictly allopathic and pharmaceutical approaches were weeded out. At my college, we had the option of doing some 'natural medicine' papers but I remember that these were scoffed at generally as being rather 'flaky' and 'not real medicine'. Nevertheless, I found it fascinating and it confirmed and consolidated knowledge I'd gleaned from my mother and grandmother.

In China I was mentored by a brilliant Chinese GP who also used Traditional Chinese Medicine. While travelling hard-seat on an exhausting long-haul train ride, this woman came up and, noticing my stress and fatigue, began massaging my head using her acupressure knowledge. Right away, I could feel her healing touch and knew I was in the presence of a true healer. My Chinese was not great and her English was limited too, but we struck up a lasting friendship. She was my first experience of a truly 'integrative' GP, one who knew Western medicine but also understood there is more than one approach to healing. 

I am currently working towards completing a BSc degree in Western Herbal Medicine. I am doing it part time as I juggle the wearing of quite a few other hats, so it is a slow but steady progress and I will get there!

can you share a little about your work as a doula and how you use herbs in this work?

I was still living in Asia when I had my first 3 children. I used to order my homebirth kits from an organisation in the USA. The kit included some wonderful post-natal bath herbs to speed the healing after childbirth. Well, that fragrant, soothing herbal bath became my favourite part of the birth process - the hard work was over, my petal-soft little newborn in my arms, both of us soaking in the fragrant herbal water together. I wanted my Australian birth clients to have the same blessing. I considered importing the herbal packets, then I realised that if I sourced my own herbs and made up the blends myself, it would be more economical, more eco-friendly and the herbs would be much fresher. So after considerable research and consulting with midwife and herbalist mentors, I put together my own blends, had some willing 'guinea pigs' try them out for me, and eventually, began offering the Post-Natal Bliss bath herbs to my doula clients. Then someone asked "And do you make tea for breastfeeding?" and so in 2010, my 'cottage industry' home business, Blissful Herbs was born.

If you could share a cup of herbal tea with anyone, who would it be?

What a great question! At the moment it would be American herbalist, Sue Sierralupe, who is the founder of an amazing organisation called "Occupy Medical", offering comprehensive, integrative health care to homeless and marginalised people in Oregon, USA. I heard her podcast on Mountain Herbs free radio and it was one of the most inspiring talks I have heard in a long time.

"People are entitled to care. Love heals. Care heals. People deserve love, and they deserve care - no matter who they are." Sue Sierralupe  

How do you manage your life when things slip out of balance?

At first I get as scratchy and as friendly as a cactus - this part is not fun, but it is my wake-up call. Recently I posted a meme that said "Your relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have....." When I push and put pressure on myself, do I end up hurrying and rushing my loved ones? Yes, I believe it's true that commitment to your own self-care is the most important priority in caring for a family.

Nature is my retreat place. Straight out my back door is a beautiful, wild, tree-cloaked mountain with all kinds of paths and trails. This is where I go to walk, run or sit. My garden is another place. Weeding can be so therapeutic. Music is another solace. I sing with a group of amazing musos and I also like to bang the heck out of a bodhran (Celtic drum).

I wrote down some words to reflect this once:

The surge of the ocean, the pull of the moon, the rise of the tide, and the blaze of the full moon,

The sweet of the suckle, the cool of the shade, the moist of the moss, and the hair of the maid, 

The still of the dawn, the bark of the log, the damp of the dew, and the swirl of the fog, 

The sharp of the gravel, the soft of the grass, the keen and the dim, of memories past,

Confetti of blossom, the glitter of rain, the tinsel of wattle, and the comfort of pain, 

There will I wander, there will I lie, out in the open, under the sky.

what is it that inspires you?

The abundance of nature inspires me. The healing of love. Common kindness in everyday folk. The love and connection Aboriginal people show us with the land. And God, who made us all and made all around us.

what are you thoughts around the divine feminine?

Well I have just mentioned "God". I come from a Christian tradition, so my belief is that the feminine and the masculine both reflect something of what/who "God" is, and both are equally needed for us to conceive the fullness of God. So, to my mind, God is our heavenly father AND our heavenly mother, and mothers reflect the heart of God for people just as much as fathers. I believe that Jesus, when he walked on earth, showed us an example of a person with integrated wisdom of the feminine as well as the wisdom of the masculine. I also think that patriarchal culture devalues and dishonours the wisdom of the feminine, and asserts the wisdom of the masculine as superior or more 'valid'. I also believe that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom, and the wisdom of the feminine finds her voice again in that freedom and she... begins... to ROAR!!! 

What are a few of the herbs that you can't live without as a woman? 

Red Raspberry Leaf and Nettle. Those two are life-long friends to all women of every ages. Chaste Tree is a blessing too - a brilliant hormonal balancer. Oats and oatstraw - a wonderful tonic for the nervous system, and schisandra, that magical berry from China. 

Do you have any advice for women who are finding their way in life? 

The stages of our womanly life are: maiden, mother, maga and crone. My advice would be - find your mentors. Have a mentor from each stage ahead of you, and be a mentor for a younger woman in each stage behind you. And keep in mind that you will learn as much from those you mentor, as vice versa! Look to the elders, the aunties, the older women in your life.

Patriarchy would have us despise and dismiss all women who are deemed to not be sexually relevant. Eschew that! Strong inter-generational connections are how women survive in a patriarchal society. Don't fall for the "divide and conquer" strategies of those who fear the collective of women. Don't fall for the "generation gap" rhetoric. Having mentors from the older generations is a blessing. In honouring them, and in validating their life wisdom, we contribute to healing for all womanhood.

The best way to choose a suitable mentor? Look for unconditional love. Look for authenticity, for truth. Trust your instincts. Use your boundaries. Don't give up on finding yourself a mentor - they are out there. Your wise mentor loves herself, she loves women - and men too of course, but she has learned to LOVE women despite the programming of patriarchy. Your mentor will love you too.

I also want to mention the healing power of story. We are maxed out with information overload - "just the facts, ma'am". But the wisdom of the feminine is ignited by story. "Anecdotal" evidence is considered inferior in the medical model, which is strongly in the wisdom of the masculine. There is nothing "bad" about the wisdom of the masculine, it's just that for an organism, individual or organisation to thrive, we need a mutually honouring balance of BOTH the wisdom of the masculine AND the wisdom of the feminine. You will find that your soul yearns for story and the wisdom it can bequeath you. That is part of the way you will know your mentors - they will have a story for you. Don't be impatient... listen to the story....

How does a woman use herbs to support her when finding her way?

It will be a different herb for each woman. When you sit down with yourself, or with another wise woman to reflect with, the right herb for you at this time will become clear to you. I know that if I was to sit with you for a while, or we walked through the garden together, eventually your instinct and mine would make it clear which herb is for you at this particular stage of your journey. I bless you to awaken your instinct, your inner wisdom and to trust it. 

How do you believe that we as women can support one another when going through major life changes such as pregnancy, birth, new motherhood and mothering as the family grows?

In a culture of separation, connection is so precious. Look at how we have lost our village, our community, our extended family and our circles of women. We take a woman from her home. We even used to separate her from her husband. We give drugs to divorce her from her own mind and body. We cut the cord. We take the baby from her. We whip out the placenta. We wrap the baby and we place it in a crib - separation, separation, separation. Isolation. Disconnection. So to respond to this, we look to the work of oxytocin, the hormone of love, bonding and empathy. We do everything we can to support the peak flow of oxytocin, to heal wounds from oxytocin-depravation and to foster healing connections. This is truly the work of building communities and safe places.

What are some of the best ways to incorporate more herbs into our daily life?

My advice would be to start with planting a herb garden. Herb knowledge is freely available on the internet and you can start learning more with each herb that you plant. The herbs themselves will teach you, if you take the time to be with them and centre your attention and energy on them. And of course, find the herb mentors close by. They are excited and passionate and love to share their knowledge!

I warmly recommend the book by Australian herbalist Isabell Shipard: "How can I use Herbs in my Daily Life". A copy of this book, and some herbs growing in your garden or pots - and you will be off and away. Eat herbs with every meal, in salads, stews etc. Dry herbs to store in glass jars for years. Add handfuls of fresh herbs to your baths. Add dandelion greens to your green smoothies. Add herbs to your kombucha and your elderberry cordials.

But most of all, go slow and enjoy the journey!

 

 Learn more about Julie Bell's wonderful offerings at Blissful Teas or Facebook.

 

Image © Amir Kalijikoviv / Stocksy United

 

The difference between Flower Essences and Essential Oils

Jo Bell Cummings

what are flower essences?

Flower essences have been used throughout history dating back to the 12th century.

Many moons ago, alchemists believed that the dew drops that were collected overnight on the leaves of the flowers and plants contained magical powers. As time went by, ways were found to capture these drops of the plants in order to support healing.

Flower essences are the liquid signature of the flower and they work through out meridians to shift our vibration. Flower essence remedies help to treat a specific emotional state and work to heal the emotional, mental and spiritual levels of the body. There are hundreds of different remedies and each one helps to treat a specific emotional state. When the emotions are balanced, the body is able to heal. You can work with a particular remedy to help to support whatever it may be that you are wanting more of in your life... whether it be more love, motivation, joy or freedom, or less stress, worry, anxiety or fear. Flower essences, being a vibrational remedy, help to realign your system with the frequency of those desires that you are wanting more of in your life. 

Some other vibrational medicine healing modalities that are perhaps better known than flower essence therapy are homeopathy, acupuncture, crystal healing, reiki and energy work. All of these modalities have been used throughout history for hundreds of years.

Flower essences are most commonly taken internally and they have no smell, nor do the essences contain any plant matter.

To extract the healing that the plant has to offer us,  a piece of the plant is placed in a bowl of water and left in sunlight to infuse for a period of time. Once this has taken place, the water infusion is bottled with a small amount of a preservative - usually brandy. The Essences work on an energetic level in the body and work primarily to rebalance the emotions to create harmony.

....and how are flower essences different to essential oils?

Essential oils are oils that have been extracted from the plants and are most commonly used outside of the body. They are used in Aromatherapy and are known for their beautiful fragrances and healing benefits.

My flower essence blends contain many different essences from all over the world. The flower essence tinctures are made up of the essences, spring water and brandy which acts as the preservative.

My selection of healing elixirs contain a combination of therapeutic grade essential oils (Young Living Essential Oils), flower and shell essences, spring water and colloidal silver which acts as the preservative. Each one of my products is made with love and blessed with energetic symbols and sound to enhance their healing potential. You can find my line of products over at my online store.

I use flower essences and essential oils daily in my life and they are the foundation of my wellness.

I hope this helps and answers any questions that you may have about the magic of these glorious remedies and gives you an insight into just how much they have to offer us on our path to healing and wellness.

Jo xx

 

 

 

foods to support your body in Spring

Jo Bell Cummings

Spring is here.

We begin to emerge from our winter hibernation to a feeling of new life all around, and our spirits feel lifted and renewed.

The skies are blue, the sun is beginning to shine and warm the earth and flowers are in bloom.

In my garden the air is full with the scent of jasmine, the bluebells and orchids are not too far from opening up and gracing us with their beauty, and the little honeyeaters are busy flitting from flower to flower enjoying the nectar. There is such a beautiful buzz in the air.

Spring is the beginning of the next cycle of life; it is an awakening of sorts in nature and for us as well. Springtime is considered the first season of the year and it brings with it a sense of renewal, creativity, inspiration and expansion. It is a time for new beginnings.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring is associated with the wood element, which is related to the liver. The liver has got a huge role to play and one of its major functions is to process toxins from our bodies.

Emotions such as anger, resentment and frustration if not dealt with, are stored in the liver and create disharmony within the body. These negative emotions lower our vibration, and have the potential to lead to disease.  Flower Essences can help to dissolve anger and rebalance the flow of energy within the body to create harmony and flow. 

Spring is a wonderful time to purify our liver and as a result we feel lighter in our spirits and our bodies as well. There are many different ways that we can support our body's cleansing systems, and one of them is through choosing foods that nourish and heal.

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" hippocrates

Below are 5 different foods for you to incorporate into your diet to support your liver and improve your wellness this Spring. 

1. Leafy Green Vegetables

Loaded with plant chlorophylls, greens are able to neutralise heavy metals, chemicals and environmental pesticides and also help to purify and cleanse the bloodstream. Greens are some of the most supportive foods you can incorporate into your diet to support your liver. Think of leafy greens such as rocket, spinach, bitter gourd, dandelion and mustard greens. These bitter greens increase the flow of bile, the substance created by the liver that removes waste from the blood.

2. Apples

These humble little guys are super high in pectin, which is a type of soluble fibre that helps the body to cleanse and release toxins from the bloodstream. Apples also contain vitamins, minerals and are loaded with beneficial phytochemicals which are used in the body's detoxification process. 

3. Lemons

Full of Vitamin C, lemons stimulate the release of enzymes and help to break down fats and toxins and convert them into a form that can be easily eliminated from the body. Need another reason to start your day with lemon water?

4. Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, garlic, cabbage, leeks and radishes, are full of sulfur which is a mineral that helps to rid the body of toxins. Sulfur is a building block for the production of glutathione, which is the most important antioxidant required by the liver during the detoxification phase. 

5. Walnuts

Full of the amazing Omega 3 fatty acids, which are little super stars for our health, walnuts also contain a high amount of arginine, an amino acid that supports the liver to detoxify ammonia which has the potential to cause disease. Walnuts also help to oxygenate the blood and their extracts are often used in liver cleansing formulas. 

By choosing to nourish our bodies with seasonal foods from the earth, and learn from ancient systems of healing, we can take care of our beautiful selves and live happy, whole lives.

Jo xx

 

Image © Marija Savic / Stocksy United

 

How to raise your vibes

Jo Bell Cummings

One thing I have learned so far on my journey is that we are the creators of our own reality.

Our thoughts and our feelings affect our experiences of life.

It is the magic of the law of attraction. We attract the things that we resonate at the same frequency as. Have you ever noticed when you're feeling uplifted, life seems to flow with a sense of ease and grace? You see beauty all around you and have an amazing sense of clarity. Things feel brighter and there is a lightness in the heart.

On the flipside, there are times when it seems a cloud of darkness is hovering over you, tainting your every waking moment. Your thoughts are negative and the whole world has a heaviness to it. You attract people of that same vibration and the energy is draining. Simple things go wrong.

"as you think you vibrate, as you vibrate you attract"               abraham hicks

The wonderful news is that we can shift our vibration, to be in that beautiful state of upliftment and lightness and it really is quite easy. Simply having awareness is a powerful first step.

We as a collective are going through a transition. We are evolving as humans.

Many of us are noticing shifts and synchronicities that are happening throughout our days and these little messages have grabbed our attention. We are seeing the numbers 1111, 222 and 333 quite often. Our conversations are changing and we are becoming interested in alternative ways of approaching things such as our food sources, our health and our lifestyle. We are looking for authenticity in our lives wanting to let go of the things that are no longer serving us.

We are hearing the voice of our soul gently whispering that it is time for transformation, and we are being offered an opportunity to let go. Like a snake shedding its skin, we have a chance for renewal. By raising our vibration we can more easily manifest the changes we are wishing to integrate into our lives by harnessing the power of the law of attraction.

Simple ways to raise your vibration:

1. When you rise in the morning, set the tone for your day with a feeling of gratitude or a positive thought. Write this thought down or say it out loud to give it energy. If you find that you wake up in a negative frame of mind, try switching your thoughts to something positive, for example by acknowledging something you are grateful for.

2. Be mindful of the food you fuel your body with. Processed and highly refined foods are of a lower vibration and offer your body very little nutritional support, and can lower your mood quite quickly. Choose to eat nourishing, whole foods and you will notice how much better you feel in your body and your mind.

3. During the day, be aware of when your energy drops or your mood shifts. By being mindful of your own energy in this way, you may gain an insight into whether this change was due to food, fatigue, emotions, thoughts or being around certain people or places.

4. Make an effort to get to know yourself. Are there old belief patterns and an inner dialogue you may be subconsciously holding onto, that lowers your energy? These negative patterns can be lodged within our cellular structure and can prevent us from living a wonderful life. Flower Essences are a beautiful and gentle way to help to dissolve many of these old and limiting thoughts and belief systems. Yoga is also a wonderful practice to help shift chronic criticism or negativity that is part of habitual thinking. 

5. As best as you can, find ways throughout your day to be present and mindful. If you find your mind wandering, bring yourself back to the now by using conscious breathing. A deep diaphragmatic breath can bring you back to the present moment, and studies have shown that one conscious breath can release endorphins. For me, being aware of breathing mindfully is a really great way to keep me present and focused, and supports the body by oxygenating the brain.

6. Commit to daily meditation and watch the wisdom and insight flow from your Higher Self once your mind chatter has been silenced. Meditation can come in the form of gardening, a quiet walk along the beach or simple daydreaming. Everyday activities like hanging out the washing or doing the ironing can become practices of mindfulness if done quietly and with intention.

7. Invite Spirit into your life and ask for help and guidance in any areas that you may need support in. Look for signs and symbols you may be gifted with from Spirit that serve to let you know that your prayers have been heard. Your Higher Self will recognise these signs as they cross your path.

8. Create rituals that keep you feeling connected. It could be flicking an oracle card for the day, intuitively choosing a crystal to pop in your pocket to support you, or by creating a little altar in your home.  This can be as simple as a small area in your home with a little table, a flower and a stick of incense, and then each time you walk past it you are reminded to connect with your breath. Throughout my home I have little pockets of sacred space that include items that are special to me such as fresh flowers, photos, crystals, shells and feathers. All of these serve as a point of connection for me and they raise my spirits whenever they catch my eye. When your spirits are raised your heart sings, and when your heart sings, your vibration is lifted. 

9. Before bed each night, intentionally ask that all energy that does not belong to you, to please be returned to its rightful place. Thank the Universe for the lessons you have learned throughout the day and ask that your day tomorrow be filled with joy. 

"If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration" nicholas tesla

Perhaps you can aim to add some of these simple techniques into your life one step at a time. By practising these small but regular acts of mindfulness throughout your day, you will soon start to notice many shifts in the way you approach your life. Your energy will become softer, you will appreciate beauty where you hadn't recognised it before, and you will notice feelings of warm contentment radiating from within. Things won't seem to bother you as much as they may have in the past, previous worries will start to fall away. Others will recognise the beautiful light that you are radiating and you will inspire them to also light up.

By finding ways to raise our own vibration, we can make the world a better place. 

Jo xx

 

Image © Alexander Grabchilev / Stocksy United

My journey with Flower Essences

Jo Bell Cummings

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My journey with flower essences began many moons ago.

I was first introduced to them in my very early 20's and was fascinated by their mystery and their seeming magic. Over time I found myself often drawn to them when life faced me with a challenge.

It was during a particularly difficult period of my life that once again, the flowers began to call me. At this time I was at a crossroads - feeling lost, confused and unsure about my purpose. Looking back, I can see that I had lost my connection to my inner self and to the Earth.

I began to dream about flowers and they would send me messages during my sleep. One night spirit sent me a message about a very distinct flower. I remember waking and knowing that this dream was of huge significance. After months of searching I finally found the essence of this flower and I began the healing and transformative ritual of taking the drops. This essence gave me back my life force and almost instantly I received the message that I had no need to keep searching because I had finally found what I was looking for. It was my job to share the wisdom of the flower essences... and so from here, I immersed myself in learning all that I could about the healing of flowers.

what are flower essences?

Flower essences have been used throughout history dating back to the 12th century. The flower is the most highly evolved part of the plant, and the ancients intuitively knew how to capture it's essence to support healing. However, it was Dr Edward Bach who in the 1930's, brought them back into light and reminded us that the essences of flowers and plants were available for us to use to heal ourselves. Since then, there has been great interest in flower remedies and there are now some wonderful people making essences from flora, shells and crystals all over the world.

Flower Essences are the vibrational imprint of the life force of the flower. They work on an energetic level in the body, activating our body's own innate ability to heal itself. The essences empower us to listen, and to follow our intuition. They are catalysts to unlock our full potential. Flower Essences nurture our body and mind and evolve our soul.

These glorious remedies have been created to help to support and manage the emotions and stress of every day life. People recognise the intrinsic link between our emotional and physical health, and more and more studies now focus on this mind-body connection. The essences work to harmonise and resolve old belief patterns to create harmony and wellbeing. They dissolve and release any negative and limiting beliefs that are subconsciously held within the body and help to heal old wounds. They help us in feeling fulfilled, empowered and happy, and when we feel like this, we are resonating at a higher vibration and we begin to automatically attract better things into our world.

Flower Essences have completely changed my life. They continue to keep me centred and connected to my own self. The essences have built my confidence in my own abilities and have helped to heal many old wounds I had been carrying. Over time, they have helped to awaken hidden aspects of my soul.

If you are hearing the call to begin your own flower essence journey, I would love to walk alongside you and support you during your transformation. 

Jo xx

 

 

a simple yoga practice to connect you to your inner wisdom

Jo Bell Cummings

guest post by karlie bell

Nowadays we can access a vast array of information at the click of a button. Within seconds an internet search may yield thousands of results - some of them useful, others not so helpful. Sifting through this information can be time consuming and bring on feelings of inadequacy, overwhelm or helplessness. 

Gone are the days where women lived and worked together in close proximity - washing clothes together by the river, supporting a family member through pregnancy and birth, our door always open to the children of the village. Our sense of community is different nowadays.

Whilst we are connected more than ever through phone and internet, we now find ourselves feeling isolated and cut off from the wisdom and knowledge from our ancestors. We lack basic knowledge about how to nourish our family, how to carry out rites of passage through the stages of womanhood, and what to do when a community member loses their way.

We see political leaders making decisions on our behalf that don't reflect our core values, and we witness the suffering of others when rights to autonomy and self-determination aren't honoured.

Amidst the chaos and calamity, calm and connection can always be found if we centre ourselves and look within.

This simple practice requires five minutes at any time of the day and will give you the space to allow your inner wisdom to flow.... 

In a seated position (either cross-legged, or kneeling on a pillow or bolster) bring your attention to your breath.

Notice the length of your spine. With each inhalation, feel your chest expand and notice the space that is created in your abdominal area.

With each exhalation feel you are letting go of tension.

Remain here for 5 - 10 breaths.

Affirm within yourself "I accept and love who I am"

Bring your hands behind your hips to the floor or a pillow/bolster across the heels. On an inhalation broaden and expand your chest, lift your hips away from the floor, and allow your eye gaze to move upwards (camel pose). Take a breath in this position and then come back to the floor on an exhalation.

Repeat for a total of 2 - 3 lifts, with a full breath between each round.

Affirm within yourself "I acknowledge all wisdom within me, and all wisdom that surrounds me"

Bring yourself down into child's pose, knees wide, big toes together, arms extended forward with your forehead resting on the floor on a blanket, pillow, or resting on your fists.

Affirm within yourself "I give thanks for all that I am"

Be open to memories, emotions or physical sensations this practice may bring to the surface. Be the observer of your breath - without any judgement or criticism. We possess all the wisdom we need to live happy, healthy and connected lives, and by taking time out daily to honour ourselves, we can easily access this reservoir of knowledge.

 


Over the past 20 years Karlie has lived with teachers in India and New Zealand and tried many different style of yoga. Karlie has been drawn to the physical strength and precision of Iyengar. However with two young children, much of Karlie's yoga practice these days takes place 'off the mat'. She is currently studying a Diploma of Pre and Post Natal Yoga Teacher Training with IYTA and hopes to continue further studies in the future. Karlie is thrilled to be involved with the Port Lincoln School of Yoga
Image © Jovo Jovanovic / Stocksy United

The journey so far...

Jo Bell Cummings

I am continually reminded that life is a journey.

Creating this website, and stepping out into the world has been exactly that for me... an ever evolving path of twists and turns as well as ups and downs. This whole process has been so much more in depth than I ever dreamed possible. I feel like I have been required to check out of my life and completely immerse myself in this online world to create this space. 

Launching my website has been filled with moments of creative inspiration, as well as those of self doubt and resistance. An introverted person by nature, there have been many times when I have had to dig deep and step over the negative feelings that would quite happily keep me bound forever in a place of security and quiet. Yet to listen to that voice of fear and uncertainty, would keep me stagnant and not offer any space for personal growth.

Writing about who I am was such a huge and personal process for me that brought up so many mixed emotions. The realisation came to me at one point that this space isn't really about me, or any conflicting emotions that I may have. It is about something bigger. The Healing Essence is about growth and sisterhood and has been created as a place to share.

And as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give others the permission to do the same - Marianne Williamson

I have got so much respect for the lovely people who have helped me to bring my website to life and I once again I have been reminded, that we need not ever feel that we have to do things on our own. My dear family have been so supportive and patient over the past few months and given me all the time and space I have asked for. My beautiful sister has cheered me on from the sidelines and proof-read every single word I have written. My web designer, the ever so amazing Joanna and her team at The Healthy VA, my wonderful photographer Michael at Michael Bolenski Photography and my beautiful designer Claire at Ville Creative. This group of creative geniuses have been an absolute dream to work with.

So for now, I can't tell you how lovely it is to finally have this website all done...and to be in a place now where the real work can begin! My goal is to send out monthly newsletters that I would love you to sign up for and have land in your inbox. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram where I love to post little pieces of wisdom and motivation.

My hope for this space is to be one of inspiration for you...a little sanctuary that hopefully touches your soul and drives you to reach even further. I aim to share little pieces of me, tips on healthy living and nutrition, natural remedies and self care..... all of those earthy and wholesome ingredients that are so crucial for a beautiful and balanced life.

Thankyou so much for being here,

Jo xx

 

 

How hula hooping helps you to connect to your sacred self

Jo Bell Cummings

There is something so enchanting about hula hooping.

Recently at my beautiful daughters birthday party, I was transfixed by two gorgeous little sprites twirl and whirl their hips, hoops spinning wildly around their tiny waists. I was in awe of their grace and of the dance with the hoop that seemed to come so naturally.

As women, many of us are drawn to what we now know as hula hooping.... I believe that it is the divine feminine within us that recognises the importance of this sacred movement. 

Our ancestors from so long ago intuitively knew what to do if their bodies were out of sync.

In order to reconnect themselves to the rhythms of mother earth, they would twirl their hips to restore natural balance. This same movement has also been used in religious ceremonies dating back to the 13th century.

Nowadays more and more of us are longing to find a sacred connection. There is something missing from our lives and our hearts yearn for it. Ancient wisdoms that were once passed down from woman to woman are now lost, and we are left on our own to navigate our way through the chaos of life. 

Many of us have lost that connection to ourselves, to the earth and to our tribe. We go off trekking through mountains and travelling through wild countries in search of it, not realising that it was within us all along. We forget that we can find everything that we are looking for in moments of stillness, in nature and in sacred movement.

So, what about the hula hoop?

Perhaps we can all try to hula hoop our way to inner peace and contentment. We can establish a connection to ourselves through this ancient dance.

If you're finding it a challenge, ground your feet and move your hips in a figure 8. This movement will ground you and re-connect you to the earth. It will balance the left and right hemispheres of your brain and restore the mind body connection.

Once you master the flow of the movement, you will find that hula hooping is a wonderful for of active meditation. It is a beautiful, sacred way to get our bodies moving. The rhythmic movement connects you to your divine self and will open the door to your soul. 

jo xx

 

Image © Melanie DeFazio / Stocksy United

 

​How gratitude can change your life

Jo Bell Cummings

Gratitude is the simple act of acknowledging and taking notice of all of the really wonderful things about your life. It means to be thankful for the many blessings that you receive each day. It helps us to focus on what we have, rather than what we don’t have.

Gratitude is really important for a happy and healthy life. Our thoughts affect our attitude and how we experience life. Practising gratitude is a lovely way to remind us of just how much we have got to be thankful for and helps us to break the cycle of negative and toxic thinking. Once you get started looking for things to be grateful for, you will notice just how abundant your life really is.

Gratitude rituals to include in your life:

I love the concept of a gratitude jar. At the end of each day, write down 3 things that you are grateful for and fold it and pop it into the jar. These little love notes are always really lovely to look back on.

Begin a gratitude journal. Write down a minimum of 3 things that you are grateful for each day. You will soon begin to see how full of blessings your life is.

Write a gratitude letter to someone who has touched your heart. This letter can be to written to anyone. Imagine their joy as they read your words of gratitude. This is such a nice way of spreading the love.

If you have a morning routine, incorporate gratitude into this. Picture something in your minds eye that warms your heart and that you are grateful for. You can do this while the kettle boils for your cup of tea, while you are having a shower or while you are brushing your teeth.

A favourite of mine, before dinner have everyone at the table say something that they are grateful for. This always sets the tone for a really lovely conversation.

Once you start to look for all of the things in your life to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. You will no longer take things for granted. It will start to turn negative thinking into positive, and you will look for the good in each situation.

Your awareness will start to finely tune itself and you will start to notice the feelings that simple things give you, the sun warming your face as you collect the washing, the feeling of joy when you spend time with your friends and family, a feeling of calm after you go for a walk or a trip to the beach. You will notice the happiness that little things bring you, things you may have overlooked in the past. Focus on these feelings and find ways to bring them into your day.  

Make your own magic. By bringing gratitude into your daily practice, you open the doorway for abundance to flow and your world will be so much brighter.

jo xx

 

Image © Amy Covington / Stocksy United

8 Simple Ways to Bring Balance Into Your Life

Jo Bell Cummings

Being a Libran, I am constantly seeking balance in my life. Something I know for sure, is that maintaining a healthy life balance just simply works. For many years my life was very much out of balance. I was juggling too many things at once and life felt chaotic, heavy and full of burdens. My path to wellness has taught me the importance of having everything in balance, and as a result, I am a much happier, grounded and calmer person.

Balance is about taking control of your life... Letting go of the things that perhaps you have outgrown and no longer need in your world.

Here are 8 simple ways you can bring some balance into your life...

  1. Self care. Look after your beautiful self. Take a step out of life every now and then to relax, recharge and rest.
  2. Spend time with your tribe. Those people that make your heart sing. For me this means spending quality time with my family each day. Making time each week for my girlfriends and those people that are supportive.
  3. Take one day at a time. Focus on being in the present moment. Try to not waste energy thinking about the past or the future; worrying about things we have no control over.
  4. Breathe mindfully. Bring your awareness to your breath and focus on breathing deeply down into your diaphragm. This will slow you down, and bring calm to your mind and body. Breathing relaxes the mind and body by oxygenating the brain and reducing anxiety.
  5.  Increase the amount of healthy foods in your diet. Aim to eat a rainbow of colours each day. Include healthy fats and drink more water. Start to crowd out processed foods and refined sugars by increasing the amount of live foods to your diet. You will feel so much better by doing so.
  6. Honour yourself. Start practising to say no to situations and people that don’t resonate with you. We are all busy and we don’t want to waste our time and energy on events and interactions that aren’t going to bring us joy.
  7. Identify areas in your life that may need tweaking. Chat with an honest and trustworthy friend or make time to see a professional who can support you in making changes. Connect with me to see how I can support you.
  8. Exercise daily. It will energise your body, clear your mind and give you a whole new perspective on things. The endorphins released after you move your body will help you to feel amazing.

 How can you seek more balance in your life? You really do deserve it.

jo xx

 

Image © Javier Pardina / Stocksy United

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