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Natural Connections : Finding A Deep Sense of Self Through Time and Place

I’m writing a daily series of blog posts for the next 21 working days.  I’ve joined Megan Macedo’s 2022 writing challenge, with the purpose of helping me understand the shift in my work from purely teaching Alexander’s Technique to also offering Classical Feng Shui and BaZi.  The truth is, all three of these holistic healing disciplines complement each other and have been part of my life for a very long time. 

I’m hoping that by the end of the series, I will, in the words of Steve Jobs, have been able to ‘connect the dots, backwards’.

If I’ve learned anything over the course of my life, it’s that everything makes sense in the end even if it does take an awfully long time for my understanding to catch up. 

I’m a simple soul really, only wanting harmony, connection and peace in my life and the same for everyone else in my life that I care about. 

But my life’s story has often taken many twists and turns, there have been many ups and downs, at times it’s often left me absolutely baffled and certainly at times very disappointed.  And the harder I tried to push things in a certain way, the less likely things were to work out the way I felt it ought to.  Actually I’m now very grateful for that! 

Now, at last, in my early 50s, with the life experience I now have behind me, I’ve learnt to TRUST The Universe.  And when I do that, life flows so much more freely and easily.

It strikes me that this is what my professional practice is all about.  The unusual blend of holistic disciplines are really an extension of each other.  I’ve needed to consciously learn all of it, in order to successfully help others achieve a better level of self acceptance and therefore find a deeper level of peace in themselves and greater sense of self.   In itself this offers comfort and solace in what can often be a confusing, fast paced and competitive world.  Who even has time to collect their thoughts these days, let alone process events and emotions that inevitably arise as part of our human condition.

Working in several eminent boarding schools as Visiting Alexander Teacher taught me just how important it is to have a strong foundation, and really understand who we are – my experience reflected Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  Without it we’re not able to fully self-actualise or if we do the success might be short-lived, or too fragile to be sustainable for any length of time. 

It was my pleasure to help my young pupils carve out quiet time away from peers, friends, teachers, classmates to enable them to come to a calm, balanced state, and deeply connect to themselves, hear their own thoughts, process emotions and happenings.  It’s no easy task in an institution with heavy demands on pupils, hectic schedules and many differing pressures. But how successful and rewarding it was, witnessing so many of my young pupils find their confidence and true nature without need to mask who they really are, and empower them with simple strategies to help manage anxiety, teenage issues, stress and busyness. 

During the pandemic, my school Alexander teaching went online.  Often it was very revealing seeing my pupils in their home environment, that explained everything about them as our home is a reflection of who we are too.  So this was a very insightful experience and gave an added dimension – Alexander’s Technique without the hands-on element immediately made my pupils more independent and able to apply it themselves more efficiently.  By their own constructive thinking, positive changes were brought about with only my observation and verbal instruction. this fast tracked their skill level and was fantastic to see. 

So why did I leave teaching in schools?

As much as I loved it, after 5 years, it felt like the right time to hand on the baton to someone new.  My BaZi also concurred, I was coming to the end of a challenging 10 year luck pillar, change was inevitable.  I find it’s always best to choose change before change is forced upon you! 

In my own life, I wanted to be more flexible with my time and able to focus on my own family when required.  Our two grown up daughters now live away from home.  It’s been wonderful assisting them with Feng Shui in their own homes, understanding their individual BaZi ( Chinese astrology natal chart – calculated from date and time of birth ) has helped them in a myriad of ways, selecting properties to suit their Personal Ming Guas, helping them utilise auspicious directions to enhance health, wellbeing, career success, healthy relationships and boundaries. 

Watch this space as I share my life’s journey from this 50-something perspective, through themes of connection, disconnection, space, place and time and also through the lens of intergenerational support and love, expatriate experiences, global travel.  It’s like an outpouring of Angela’s Ashes, what’s left in the wake of my life trail. 

Hope you enjoy reading!  Comments welcome, but please be kind, I’m a very sensitive soul.

Appreciation  

As the writing challenge comes to a close today, I’m FULL of appreciation for all the twists and turns my life has taken.

All the ups and all the downs have made for a very rich life experience indeed, totally in line with my destiny and soul’s choice.  

I’m actually very proud of my achievements, not in a big headed way at all, but from a place of compassion.  Almost like having a bird’s eye view of my life to date from a far.  I’ve been able to take another look and, in full gratitude, really take stock of it all. 

In total awe, it all connects seamlessly, by invisible divine thread, one aspect leading on to another, always more meaningful in the end, and in service to others, for the greater good.

I like that a LOT.

So glad for this experience, Megan Macedo.  THANK YOU.  And thank you too for the connections to the many beautiful souls sharing it with me in the Be Yourself Community.  How powerful it is to be true to yourself, allowing all aspects to come forth, coexist and ultimately shine through like a beacon.  

I’d be SO pleased to meet you one day!! Sharing these genuine pieces, on a daily basis, has shifted something in me and given me a lot more confidence to BE MYSELF in the world. 

Now I feel the only way is UP

How very like Alexander’s Technique, letting nature do itself, 

How very Classical Feng Shui too, using the millennia of observations from the many diviners before me to let nature shine through…….

and it’s all there anyway in our BaZi, our four pillars of destiny.  A literal, Tarot card spread, archetypal potential which is given and then we use our own free will to shape our life story.  

How cool! ❤

Annette

Today my daughter and her boyfriend have met the reality of what I might like to call ‘old school’ sales people!  

A ‘posh’ lady by the name of Annette took my daughter’s call this afternoon and after a quick chat told her there were no appointments at all available to view the flat this weekend whilst they were in the area.

Lol 

I suggested that even though it’s 2022, her boyfriend or her father might have more success with this annoying turn of events.

Hey presto, her boyfriend made a separate call just 10 minutes later and managed to get an appointment this very afternoon, despite speaking to the same lady.  I know, I know, I know, this REALLY shouldn’t be happening any more, alas it seems it does. 

Why???

To be fair, it’s not just Annette that might fall into the habit of ‘screening’ people out.  Perhaps they get a high volume of time wasters at the weekend or something?  Or if it feels just a little like hard work, the barriers come down? 

My daughter isn’t hard work whatsoever but she does have a flat to sell, so it wouldn’t be easy sales pitch with her.

To be fair to her, she did follow up my daughter’s call with all the relevant information very quickly, and suggested another weekend to view. 

We came across similar apathy however when we were trying to help her buy her first flat in Cardiff.  It took my husband getting assertive to even get an appointment to view a couple of flats the weekend we were there too.

So what’s going on?

Where there’s a will there’s a way.  I will look forward to accompanying my daughter’s boyfriend this afternoon to view a potential new home for them both.  He has two London job offers he’s considering and my daughter has yet to find a new job, so it’s really about options and areas for the right budget atm.

How fortunate that they have ‘Mystic Ang’ – that’s me btw – my youngest daughter has nicknamed me this as a result of all my holistic healing practices!!  

There’s nothing I like more than engaging with Classical Feng Shui and BaZi to help those I care about select a supportive property, in an area that they can thrive in and enable them to hold down busy demanding jobs in London.  

That’s my role, offering holistic help and support in whatever form you prefer.  AT is essentially physical help ( my daughter’s bf has asked for an AT lesson whilst he’s here this weekend in fact! ) and Classical Feng Shui is essentially environmental, BaZi is personal, timely and spiritual.  I like it best when they all combine, so I can truly unite Tian Ti Ren ( man heaven earth) – why not?  It’s our birthright to thrive isn’t it? 

Delivered with TLC too, especially for my family. It’s a mother’s special privilege to support her young. 

Mandy

Mandy was a British comic book for girls, published weekly by DC Thomson from 21 January 1967 to 11 May 1991. The majority of the stories were serialized, typically into two or three pages per issue, over eight to twelve issues.

I was a huge fan in the late 70s when I was 10 / 11 years old.  It was the weekly treat that would appear in the post, sent by my lovely Gran, just for me, when we were living in Dubai.  You couldn’t get the publication there at the time.  I was of course to grow to prefer Jackie magazine, but at this age Mandy was perfect for a bookworm like me!

Imagine my excitement when one of MY stories became published. 

How sweet is this little note written by very proud Granny on the issue it appeared in print!! And my response, written directly back as if she could hear it overseas!! 

I’m so glad my Mum is a hoarder.  Perhaps it would have been long gone in our house…Idk I am getting more and more sentimental in my old age too, keeping things that mean a lot seems to be de rigour for me atm. 

It genuinely is usually the little notes such as the one above that stick in the special memories section of the mind.  So important in later life, when the special person who wrote the note is no longer here.  The handwriting connects you to them in spirit and transports you back in time to that moment of joy, of receiving such a small but meaningful treat and the shared cross generational excitement of getting a story in print…..we never thought that would happen! 

It’s so cringe isn’t it, but it makes me laugh all the same. So innocent, all of it – the humour, the anticipation, the pride. Priceless!

And I hope I can look forward to a day that I can share my own, future, yet to be born,  young grandchildren’s small moments of joy, obviously when and if the time is right.  That thought brings such a huge smile to my face. 

My work is about connection, and the human spirit.  There it is in print.  A beautiful reminder of a bygone era.

Thanks Gran! 

The Book of Changes

Last night I was on a group call with my mentor Richard. I love this group, such a wonderful collection of folk. Over time we’ve got to know each other quite well, and a healthy respect has built between us, as we’ve shared previous learning experiences, and they truly have been divine in all senses of the word. 

Yesterday’s class was the beginning of a new series – a  monthly, year long course studying the I Ching, The Book of Changes.

We were all asked to cast a hexagram on a particular question we had. And each month one will be studied.

Hexagram 60 was cast by another member of the group. Water over lake. 

Chieh / limitation ( Wilhelm translation) :  Restricting (Alfre Huang translation) 

It breaks down into two trigrams, the bottom trigram, dui (lake) relates to the third or youngest daughter. The top trigram, kan (water) relates to the second son. 

Even though this wasn’t the hexagram cast by me personally, isn’t it funny however, that everything of course relates to everyone?  

Overnight I realised just how relevant to me this particular hexagram is for me too. I hadn’t asked the question but The Universe was also talking to me. 

Water over lake is an awful lot of water.  Water is my element, it’s my day master, I’m Yang Water 壬 ( my Mum always did say I’m deep as a drawn well! Spot on!) It was a very emotional call. Water is emotion, water is communication.  Water is always trying to find other water. 

Traditionally this hexagram is about tradition and obeying rules and the way people live in roles.

The restriction of communication is totally right for the situation I’d been subconsciously sitting with.  My cousin Michelle, is severely mentally handicapped.  She turns 60 this year. She’s 6 years older than me and is the third and youngest child and second and youngest daughter.  So this hexagram is directly relevant for her in our family. 

When we used to visit, I would be terrified. Michelle would make a beeline for me.  When I was very young I would hide behind my Nana’s chair to try and escape her.  She would always see me and laugh, and I would try and accommodate her, allow her to touch my hair.  First she would stroke my hair, and that was ok, then she would start to pull my hair.  She was sooooo strong.  Inevitably it would really hurt.  Trying not to react, I would just try and take it.  The situation was challenging for all.  And I knew everyone was trying their best to include Michelle and just continue the family gathering.  Other times she would pinch my skin and draw blood.  Now I realise she was trying to communicate with me.  It’s actually quite an honour now I think about it again.  At the time however, I was fearful and worried what was going to happen.  It all felt like it could become very volatile and out of control. But I loved seeing my other cousins and Auntie and Uncle and my grandparents.  In true northern style, everyone tried to make light of it.

‘Go and play on the M6 Michelle’, my Uncle would say and laugh.  But OMG did he love her.  He was the best at handling her I think.  My Auntie was so tiny, and Michelle so big and strong, physically it was more challenging for her to manage.

My cousin Nigel, her brother, the second child was brilliant with her too.  He would look after her in later years while my Auntie and Uncle would go out for dinner every Thursday for an evening off. Wow.  It must have been so challenging day in, day out, handling the situation.  But they did stoically until they couldn’t manage any more. 

Now it falls to my older cousin Jacqueline to manage her day to day affairs, which she does brilliantly without complaint. It’s an awful lot.

She wasn’t expected to live beyond 20 years old.  This year she completes a whole Ganzi Cycle, and turns 60 in December.  My Auntie and Uncle are both gone now.  She’s cared for in a specialist home. 

Back to the I Ching.  We notice that the hexagram has equal yin and yang in number, with most yang ( weight) at the bottom. The water on top is imposing itself on the water underneath.

We came to the conclusion ‘you can’t watch all of your kids all the time’ and so it is.  My Auntie and Uncle totally did their best all the time that they could.  We all did tbh, Michelle was included as much as possible. It speaks of good intention and I believe that’s true of our whole family.  Everyone trying their best. But it’s a huge amount of stress, in a sense too much. 

The Book of Changes is of course about just that, change!  Everything changes all the time. 

The person who cast this hexagram had two changing lines. The third and fourth line changed so the hexagram becomes and transforms to Hexagram 43, breakthrough.

There’s a huge build up of yang and something has to give, perhaps in a time frame of 6.

The trigrams break this hexagram down into the lower, which is Qian, heaven or father and the upper which is dui, lake again, youngest daughter.

The top line is yin and often indicates connection to spirit.

I wonder if this relates to Michelle perhaps passing this year?  I wonder if she was trying to communicate with me again over night through my dreams.  Certainly feels like it to me. 

It’s youngest daughter and father, maybe she’s joining my Uncle in the next realm. 

The stage inbetween, before it fully transformed to Hexagram 43, was Hexagram 5, water over heaven, translation patience, or waiting, and there’s certainly been plenty of that over the years from all concerned.

In my dream state last night, I wondered what Michelle would say to me, or us, if she could – and ‘Good girl’ came through.  She had very little language but the two things she could say were ‘Mama’ and ‘Goo Gaa’ which meant good girl.  She would often look across to my Auntie for reassurance when she was getting loud and a bit too much and say ‘Goo Gaa’ – isn’t it heart breaking?

What would I say back to Michelle if she could hear me?

Two things came to mind 

1 – The ho’oponopono prayer which goes like this: 

I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, I love you.” 

And I would play this song to her 

2 – Michelle by The Beatles 

Michelle, ma belle

These are words that go together well

My Michelle

Michelle, ma belle

Sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble

Tres bien ensemble

I love you, I love you, I love you

That’s all I want to say

Until I find a way

I will say the only words I know that you’ll understand

Michelle, ma belle

Sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble

Tres bien ensemble

I need to, I need to, I need to

I need to make you see

Oh, what you mean to me

Until I do, I’m hoping you will know what I mean

I love you

I want you, I want you, I want you

I think you know by now

I’ll get to you somehow

Until I do, I’m telling you so you’ll understand

Michelle, ma belle

Sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble

Tres bien ensemble

And I will say the only words I know that you’ll understand

My Michelle

All Roads Lead To Home  

16th Sept 2020,  the day I received this email from the ENT surgeon.

Dear Mrs Bradshaw,                

I am very pleased to let you know that your MRI scan is normal.  There are no tumours and your sinuses are normal.

Hopefully you will be one of the third of patients whose sense of smell fully recovers.

Thank you very much for having been so patient.

With kind regards

Julian

What a relief!  The sense of smell is such an important one.   Without it, I was quite bereft – not only are there are many dangers eg I couldn’t smell gas / the bin / rancid butter / low level ‘unpleasant’ smells escaped me completely, but I just didn’t feel like myself anymore. 

I felt suspended in a surreal world where the absence of my sense of smell left me vulnerable to all sorts of potential issues such as food poisoning, compromised health and safety at home, and even our log burning fire held less allure as I realised how much of the enjoyment of fire for me is its smell as well as its heat and gorgeous flames.

I felt incomplete. 

I tried smell training, yes, how the ENT surgeon laughed at that!  I could see his smirk even though he was wearing a mask during my visit to determine if there was another cause other than the supposed result of Covid-19.

Luckily for me, there were no other physical issues present, and as he said in his email, he hoped I would be in the 30% of patients whose smell fully recovers, and that it might take up to 3 years. 

Wow!!

Having previously had a really acute sense of smell, I became quite depressed at the consequences the lack of this sense was bringing. 

When it started to return, everything smelt ‘wrong’ – food that I previously found appetising would smell awful – or just bland. 

The sense of taste had also completely disappeared at first. 

I lost weight!  There didn’t seem to be any point in eating as I couldn’t taste or smell the food.  It became functional, eating to satisfy real hunger rather than to satisfy another craving and soothe away emotions perhaps I didn’t want to feel or maybe as a pleasant distraction from stress. 

It was actually such an informative time. 

I realised just how much the nose knows.  

And how its so related to the gut. My gut felt quite exposed, without passing the smell test was this food ok? I started to really look at sell by dates and not go beyond them, just in case. 

I became anxious about it.  What if it never returned?

I found a new level of compassion for cancer survivors as anosmia (a lack of a sense of smell) is also a symptom following cancer treatment.  I really identified with Jo Malone’s story on this subject.  Imagine how that must have been for her, her business was in creating signature scents!

I also learned that Ben and Jerry’s textured ice cream came about as Ben Cohen has severe anosmia, and so relies on mouthfeel and texture to provide variety in his diet. This led to the company’s trademark chunks being mixed in with their ice cream.

Well!!

A whole new world.  But not one I really wanted to be part of. I really wanted my sense of smell back, fully, as it was before. 

Slowly but surely it has started to return. 

I have had facial acupuncture, continued with the smell training ( sniffing essential oils with difference scents ) and two years on I am pleased to say my sense of smell is broadening out again, and deepening.  It feels like it’s a spectrum actually.  And I’m now learning to be patient on this journey home back to full sense of smell and taste. 

I’m once again rewarded with the power of nature and the wisdom of the body. 

My Alexander Technique training has helped me view this situation with interest.  Previously I would have labelled it VERY BAD indeed. Curiosity has helped me lean into the experience and learn more about it. 

When it happened to my daughter too, I could help her make food choices that perhaps would give some relief from the boredom of nothing tasting right.

I am trusting that my body’s own wisdom is doing its best to heal the situation, I know it always wants to return to health and balance. 

Strangely when I had Covid-19 I couldn’t think about logical things at all, abstract ideas eg Classical Feng Shui and BaZi made much more sense, so I’m grateful for that, perhaps it enabled me to progress and deepen my understanding there. 

Whatever the purpose, it just is anyway.  Maybe try Loving What Is as Byron Katie says and teaches. 

Perhaps all of life curveballs are just helping us find our way home, back to ourselves fully, wholly intact and in line with our soul’s desires. 

Suddenly my life’s journey is now making complete sense. Living as an Expat in the UAE / returning to Cheshire and it didn’t feel like home / Radiography / Sonography / Being a Mum / Alexander Technique / Classical Feng Shui / BaZi / Tarot all pointing me back home to myself. 

Can I help you journey home?

Balance

Be In Balance – that’s the title of my book.  It came about following my TEDx.   After the talk, it seemed obvious that I needed to write a book in the same sort of style too.  A simple introduction to Alexander’s Technique.  The type of book I’d wished was around when I was learning it.  I needed a sort of ‘idiot guide’ – because even though there were already many fabulous books written on Alexander’s Technique – they had all seemed so far beyond my level as a complete beginner, that I found it difficult to connect with them.  So I thought it was my duty to write an easy read, an accessible sort of handbook for people like me, who needed to be gently introduced.  

I had no idea where to start.  I had no aspirations to be an author.  I don’t feel like I’m a natural writer either.  I just wanted to create a guide to help other folks who otherwise might not find AT approachable.

I will forever treasure this picture, such a wonderful gift, and given to me by my illustrator Claire, on the day of my Book Launch. The illustrations are an important part of my style, I’m very visual and need to literally picture things before they make sense.  

It was a really hot day in May, when we held a small gathering at home for everyone involved in the launch of my book.  Friends, family, clients, my publisher, all came over to support. There was so much LOVE in the house that day.  There were flowers and cake and an excited vibe of hope filling the air.  I was on cloud nine. 

And it strikes me today, that on reflection, the title still stands for my work now.  I help people find balance in their lives. Beyond Alexander’s Technique, every aspect of my professional practice helps settle energy, so we can work across all three realms, Tian Ti Ten.  Heaven Man Earth. 

And it’s delivered in the style of my Book Launch – consider yourself invited to work towards balance in your own life. 

I can help you with Alexander’s Technique, Classical Feng Shui or BaZi. And the basis of my practice is grounded in respect, delivered with dignity, and love for wherever you’re at.   

It would truly be my pleasure to assist. 

RSVP when you’re ready.  I also believe in Universal Timing.  Everything happens when the time is right, follow your divine plan. Nature is a very powerful force.

Smile

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through
for you

Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile what’s the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you’ll just
Smile

This song reminds of my darling Granny – wonderful lyrics – we had it at her funeral, although at the time I was so devastated I couldn’t have handled the Nat King Cole version on the day itself – we went with Charlie Chaplin’s instrumental instead. In a way it was more appropriate, he wrote the melody for his movie ‘Modern Times’ and it was first released in 1936, linking to a time when my Gran would have been in her prime. 

We also played the Coronation Street theme, as she was a massive fan from its start and hardly ever missed an episode! That and Emmerdale…….

 ‘Do you watch Emmerdale?’ she would ask all of my friends!! Always caused great laughter!! Usually the stock answer was ‘err no ….

It certainly was the end of an era. 

It was fitting that it absolutely poured with rain the day of the funeral. She hated funerals. In fact she hated them so much, she rarely went to one. Including my GranDad’s. Too upsetting. 

We were all at hers. 

Dunham Church was packed. She was born in a local cottage and went to school very nearby. She’s buried with my Grandad in the churchyard opposite- such a beautiful place – I feel very at home there. 

We’d play on all the gravestones while she was tending my GranDad’s grave, and get told off!! 

One of the funeral directors nearly fell in her grave on the day of the funeral, it was so wet.  It did make us laugh though. She would have laughed!! 

What a great sense of humour!! 

She was our rock – a long life, very well lived, she was born 21st September 1917, the fourth daughter of seven children. She was particularly close with her two younger sisters Bertha and Edna – we nicknamed them the triplets!! They’d share recipes and holidays after their husbands all passed on. 

I think it was after she passed that I really started to embrace my spiritual side more openly. I happened to be on a Tarot course when she died. What a blessing.  It was enormously comforting to have the regular reassurance of ancient wisdom and of the archetypes to help me navigate my way through that year. ( 2015 wood sheep 乙 未 )

At the end of that year, actually on my birthday, a dear friend also died, completely unexpectedly which sent more shockwaves of grief through our family. Thanks again to the Tarot. I had thought the Death card we were on that day hadn’t delivered any endings. Weirdly I’d received a message from the card that morning. ‘There’s no mercy’ and that’s certainly how it felt when later that evening we got that shocking news. 

But death is part of life. 

We’re not so good at handling it, yet it’s inevitable. 

Tarot helps me with difficult times. 

Alexander Technique too. 

And now Classical Feng Shui and BaZi.

All these disciplines are ancient wisdom that can be so helpful to our souls as we deal with the human experience. 

Yesterday I knew my Gran was around when I heard ‘There’s no-one quite like Grandma’ by St Winifred’s school choir. When that was released, Christmas 1980, we were living in Dubai, it made us cry then, as we were missing her presence. 

But whatever the distance, different country, different plane now,  she’s still there, connected always. I love that.  

The circle of life. 

Life isn’t all hahahehe – it feels like my life purpose now is one of helping others through difficult times – enabling a safe space to help you move through the turbulent times. In your self.  In your environment.  Spiritually too. 

And I’m very comfortable with that idea.  I love that too. 

‘Who Loves Ya Baby?’

I think I was slightly in love with Telly Savalas, even though I really was very young ( around 6 yo)  when the series ‘Kojak’ was on TV in the UK.   It was definitely a highlight of my week! 

 He was just so cool and ‘sexy’ or something, whatever that meant to me at the time.  It was all so exciting, and I do love a crime / detective drama.  They’re not like they used to be though!! Lol 

I just loved the way he said ‘Who Loves Ya Baby?’ whilst sucking a lollipop and then the humorous follow up ‘I do’ 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear someone say that to me, I used to think to myself. 

And maybe not much has changed in the intervening almost 50 years!  

I think I just like honesty and for me, I literally need to know, if you love me, or not.  And if not, that’s fine.  

Over time I’ve come to accept that I am a bit like marmite.  

People either love me or hate me and there’s rarely an in-between. 

I used to find that upsetting.  I always wanted people to love me.  

I used to ask my Mum all the time if she liked my friends, and did she like their parents?  It was clearly important to me from being very young that people got along.

I am always seeking harmony.

So when someone doesn’t like me – I used to find it deeply disturbing. 

I would torture myself with why that was?

And I used to bend myself right out of shape in order to be liked.  I got rather good at it and could even get people I didn’t like at all to like me.  Ooooooppppphhh, why??

Thankfully, I’ve stopped doing that!!!!! 

Through understanding my BaZi,  I now really see why I’m just too much for some people.  I’m rather yang you see, and deep.  I have a lot of water in my chart.  I’m actually quite quiet and shy, so I’m not loud and overbearing.  But I guess I’m intense at times.  So people can find that aspect of me overwhelming and perhaps it’s scary sometimes ( I’m never trying to be scary!) and unnerving.  People don’t always like it.  And I now respect that.  

Elements are always at play.  

Some elements don’t play nicely together at all – it’s just how it is.  It’s nature. 

Children are very forthright with this knowledge and boldly go up to others to tell them they don’t like them.  I used to wish I could do that, it makes life so much easier in some ways doesn’t it? No pretence. 

Nowadays I like to take a word of mouth recommendation from folks I know, like and trust, and use my own personal judgement on how I feel when I talk to that person / company.  

I’ve learnt to trust my gut.  It’s very wise.  

I’ve even started dreaming ahead about things / situations before they even happen, and I’ve started to trust my intuition too.  It’s never wrong. 

I tune in.  Try on the options, physically.  How does it make me FEEL?

And I honour that.  

In these days of faceless corporations, automated messages, robotic online chats, I’m finding PERSONAL HUMAN CONTACT is essential. It doesn’t matter about the communication method.  It just needs to be with another actual human being.  

Someone who CARES about ME, my situation, my family, my home.  

I hope the same goes for you too.  Can you let that be your guide?

Who Loves Ya Baby? 

And if you work with me, rest assured it’s because I do!!  

I no longer work with people my gut says no to.  And it’s such a liberating action! 

When the student is ready…..

….the teacher appears.  

And so it was for me.  I was in my 50th year when I first made my acquaintance with my mentor Richard Ashworth.

It wasn’t my intention to take on further study.  I’d asked him around, to do a minimal survey on our house with a view to selling it asap. 

The Universe had another plan!! Haha

I almost couldn’t believe my ears when he explained that this house was the perfect home for all of us…..huh????

This late Victorian detached house sits North/South or Quai/Ding at 192.25’N; a pretty good orientation. Furthermore the house belongs to the East Group which means that it suits all four of you. This is unusual and beneficial.’

What now?  

We duly listened, and over time realised that it was the people before us, not the house itself, that had given us the issues.  

I got the sense, from our first meeting, that I needed to learn much more about this subject.  I had experienced a very similar sense at my first ever Alexander Technique lesson. 

Funnily enough, Richard had one space available to teach me!   I signed up to take both of his courses –  Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars of Destiny [BaZi]  and The Wind that Stops at the Water [Classical Feng Shui]. Happy 50th Birthday to me!!  This was my gift from my husband – after all I didn’t need any more ‘things’, I just wanted to learn about this.

So began my deeply immersive journey into Chinese Metaphysics – essentially to expand my knowledge of  Tian Ti Ten ( the heaven, man , earth union ).

It wasn’t easy to learn, Eastern thinking is very different to Western thinking AND I’m terrible at languages, so it was difficult for me to learn the Chinese Characters. But persistence is key and practice.  It took time, but I’m very glad I persevered. 

I thought I was just learning this for myself, as a personal hobby that would benefit our family and friends.  

Again, The Universe had another plan. 

I got the strong sense I should be doing this.  But what about Alexander Technique??  I didn’t want to give that up, I also LOVE that.  So how could I do everything?  

Something had to give, as I knew I was too busy currently teaching at the schools and managing home life and family.  

During the pandemic, with lockdown changing all of our routines, it suddenly became clear.  I could finish teaching at the schools and that would free up the time I needed to enable me to practice all 3 professionally, and still be flexible and able to look after my home and family.  Win-win-win. 

Feng Shui for Fifty somethings has a certain ring to it don’t you think?

And I feel like it’s such an important time of transition for many, especially women.

It’s a time of shifting sands.  

Now also in my 50s I can appreciate the difficulties, having moved through many of them and found Classical Feng Shui and BaZi the missing link to managing the really severe storms that can arise at this time of life. 

Alexander Technique is a physical go-to, yes, but sometimes you need metaphysical support.

Ageing parents, ill health, caring for them from afar, dealing with dementia, siblings in other countries, death of parents, and death of my beloved grandmother. These were just some of ours.

Children flying the nest.  University years, getting onto the housing ladder, relationship issues etc all challenging times that we share with our children.  And as the saying goes, ‘You’re only as happy as your unhappiest child’…..true that!

Menopause – brain fog, anxiety, palpitations, visual changes and a host of other unpleasant symptoms as a result of hormonal flux. Yes, I know that one too!!

Adult kids living at home.  There’s conflict.  Timekeeping.  Tidiness.  Chore sharing.  It’s like house sharing again only this is your house?  And when they were younger it was easier to have house rules that everyone could operate with.  Not any more!! Uh huh!

You need a new plan, Stan!!

Can I help you settle the energies

  • in you
  • in your family
  • in your home
  • in your work
  • in your relationships

This is what I’ve been doing professionally, and it’s so rewarding.

I create a full report in an easy format that you can refer back to, I make it affordable and accessible as I know how scary the 50s can be.

We can have a free 15 minute discovery call to identify your areas of need and be sure we’d like to work together.  We decide how best to move forwards and arrange a suitable time and date to work, whether that’s online ( AT is only online with me now) or if you’re fairly local or willing to pay travel I will come out to your home / place of work and take the accurate compass measurements required to create a comprehensive full Classical Feng Shui report and make suggestions for improving the health, wealth and happiness of all the occupants.  

It’s spiritual and physical support.

Home is where the heart is. 

Is your home feeling like a safe haven?

A place where when you walk in, you feel like it’s giving you a hug?

Where you can recharge and replenish your energy, close the door and feel safe, secure and supported?

If not, there are things to be done.  

And in yourself if you feel your spark has gone, give yourself a gift, book a Feng Shui survey or BaZi reading or both and start understanding you, as you are now.  Or an AT lesson, or all three!

Things change all the time, and we need to adapt and embrace them.  Resistance is futile.  The other side of the discomfort / pain is a pathway to ease and joy.  

I’m the bridge

Go on, say YES to yourself, invest in you. You’re worth it, and deserve it. Honour that.

From The Heart

These recent messages made my heart sing!!    

“ Happy Chinese New Year!  Love your report and it’s giving much food for thought.  Really profound xx”  said H

[abridged]

Hi Angela,

What an amazing report! I was blown away by the thoroughness and detail of your observations.

Thank you so much for doing this, it must have been a huge amount of work and so beautifully presented too. What amazing introduction to this ancient tradition!

You are a woman of many talents!

See you soon,

K

Xx “

This was indeed music to my ears.  I LOVED doing this work. I had the honour of doing the Classical Feng Shui report on my friends’ property earlier this year.   I really enjoyed it and that’s not just because they’re very dear friends, it was just such a treat to work with creative, open and intuitive people who follow their heart, open their hearts to people in their work and all nature of other interactions too.

I think their wedding was one of my all time favourites.  We all brought cake to share and women needed to wear red –  the invite wording says it all

Please join us in our LOVE celebration.  LOVE for each other, LOVE for our families and LOVE for all our friends and if there is someone you LOVE who you would like to come, please bring them too xxx

See, such generous natured souls!

As I try to connect and articulate this addition of Chinese metaphysics to my working practice, chatting to Hilary just this morning affirmed my earlier thoughts – and entails an intention to consciously work with someone towards unifying the trinity of Heaven, Man and Earth – Tian Ti Ren.

Alexander Technique is working on the ‘man’ aspect of this trilogy. A huge amount of detail is in a person’s body language.  Working together, we identify where we might be interfering with our natural vitality and poise, and impeding our energy and strength.  It’s holistic education in our own health and wellbeing.  Nature is a force, and we can work with or against her.  AT helps us tap into our personal natural wisdom and benefit, and that radiates outwards too helping us communicate better, be more authentic with our communications and connections and gain a strong sense of self too.  So its power and therapeutic effect extends beyond the physical into the realms of emotions and feelings too. I would even go so far as to say it lifts the spirits.  I personally find it has a spiritual aspect, but then I am a spiritual person. So perhaps it just enhanced that side of me.   In case you’re interested there is some new research on this very subject,

How Does AT lead to psychological and non physical outcomes.  A realist view. 

A Classical Feng Shui report entails a lot of detail.

Anatomy of a Classical Feng Shui Report – 8 mansion, Flying Stars, Imperial Heaven Stars and Ming Guas

My intention is to bring together the trinity of heaven, man and earth and boost all the positive elements further. Soulful connections to the heavenly directive. I facilitate. The energies are revealed and understood and we all work together to improve and elevate positive energies present.

 A full Classical Feng Shui survey holds deep meaning within it. Identifying the energies in a landscape and in a building, how the land lies and what the orientation of a building is.  If we know how and where to look, it will be so helpful  – giving us huge amounts of information on specific energies and elements present.  

How we as humans respond to the energy depends on our own make up.  

Eight Mansion theory helps us discover how the entrances and gates are placed and we can know and identify the positive sources of chi as well as the more negative influences,( sha chi ) too.  

Our Personal Ming Gua, helps us identify if we’re East or West group and which are our auspicious directions, helping us understand how compatible we are with our home and its own energy. And how we might orientate to thrive at work, whilst we’re sleeping, eating, studying, working and also in relationships.

Further details are held in our natal BaZi charts, these are the elements present at birth.  The four pillars tell us a lot about a person, and what their life might hold.  They are pillars of destiny if you like, but of course we all have free will too and can also make our own independent choices.  

Additionally, time cycles also play an important role in how we are, where we are and who we are in that particular moment / period of time.  We have cycles of luck pillars throughout our lives too.  There are cycles of 60 ( the Ganzi cycle) that repeat too, these are pairs of elements that, together, influence pockets of time.  

All 3 are vast subjects in their own right.  AT, Classical Feng Shui and BaZi are all deeply meaningful disciplines. 

I’m in full gratitude that I know them all and are accredited to work with you using any individually or all 3 if you wish!  

It may feel like a leap of faith, but truly it’s just Nature at work.  I’m always in awe.  How about you?