The Sacral Chakra
The sacral chakra is the second chakra and is located a few inches below our naval in the centre of our belly, just above our root chakra.
In Sanskrit it is known as the swadhisthana chakra - swa meaning self and adhistana meaning etablished - where your being is established.
This chakra is associated to our relationships - towards ourselves, to others and to the world. It is where we feel our emotions and sexuality. It is the centre for our creativity.
When our sacral chakra is out of balance we may feel fearful, closed, lacking creativity and overwhelmed or depressed.
Don't worry we can bring balance and health back to this chakra!
Here are some simple tips to try.
The element the sacral chakra is associated with is water.
The musical note it is aligned to is D.
The colour it is associated to is orange.
The seed sound mantra is Vam.
So following what we learnt in our last blog....
Chanting the mantra Vam in the note of D will be beneficial and healing.
Listening to music in the key of D will help heal and bring balance too.
Eating orange foods and wearing orange clothing especially on the lower part of our body is good.
Think Carrots, Squash, Pumpkin, Red Lentils, Oranges.....
The element for this chakra is water, so spending time in or around water is recommended.
Being around water balances the water element in our bodies which is connected to our emotions, so it will help to bring calm and cool to our emotions.
Swimming, sitting by a lake or the ocean, or even simply placing glasses of water around you when you do your practice will have a positive energetic influence on this chakra.
The sacral is our centre for feelings, emotions and creativity so finding exercises which have an outlet for these elements will help to bring balance too.
Drawing, painting, writing a diary, dancing and getting creative positively benefits this chakra.
If you practice yoga you may include hip opening exercises to keep this centre clear.
Stones for this chakra include all orange stones.
These could be Carnelian, Jasper, Tangerine Quartz and Amber.
You can make an elixir which you can learn about here
for greater healing benefits.
All the chakras benefit from stillness and meditation.
By finding stillness and peace at some point of each day we can create more space in our bodies.
We are bombarded on a daily basis with so much information nowadays.
Since the dawn of smart phones it seems we never switch off and our energy easily gets lost outside ourselves and this can be very depleting in itself.
Daily sitting, even for five to ten minutes in peace and stillness, focusing in and on our breath just gives us some much needed time to return to ourselves and to listen to our body and soul desires.
You can find our guide to a grounding and centering meditation here.
The sacral chakra is the seat of the self. It is our relationship to ourself. This is where we make our own self-worth and self-love.
Working with affirmations for this chakra is highly recommended. They anchor us in to ourselves and positively influence our state of mind. They are very useful towards reprogramming previous destructive thoughts and behaviours.
Affirmations such as
" I am that I am "
" I am enough "
" I am the soul "
will all work towards strengthening our sense of self and our overall energy field.
Use your intuition, find an affirmation or mantra that speaks to you and see how you feel working with it.
Working energetically doesn't have to be a hard or long process.
If you sit down to watch telly today....you can bring some health and light into your Sacral centre by just acknowledging it. You may sit with your hands on your belly and consciously give it some love and attention!
We spend so much time running around in this world....remember to give some time for yourself....your body....your mind......your soul.
You deserve it! xxx
Wishing healing and health to all of you reading. xxx
The Kalu descendants.....Champa, Frags, Spike, Guts & Dotty. xxx
So...where were we?
Well we have met Kalu in our first chapter. Here are some members of his family whom we have loved over the years.
This litter was a very outgoing and social pack. Kalu had a few litters we knew of over the years and these were the only ones who were not too timid to befriend.
Before we go on, let me tell you a little about where they live.
Kalu lived out the front of a long row of shops. Mostly motorbike hire shops, chai shops, a clothing shop and of course, our old silver school.
The road in front is a dusty, busy part of town with buses, camels, cows, motorbikes, rickshaws and taxis constantly going up and down it! Luckily, behind the row of shops is a large, closed compound. It's a bit like a giant sandpit for the dogs and wonderfully safe. The only downfall is the difficulty for them to find food...especially when the town's tourist season comes to an end.
In India, much less now, but back when we first started going in 2001, generally most Indians were not such huge dog fans. You would see them being shooed away, sometimes beaten or having rocks thrown at them, and not many people would give food to street animals. ( apart from the cows of course! )
Now, you must understand, India is a poor country so food is not taken for granted, and it is also a country that still has a rabies problem, so both these factors make it easier to understand the general attitude and fear of street dogs amongst the people and children of India.
The presence of the shops in front of the compound meant that we were not the only travellers to know and love this pack and between Tony and I and one very lovely Italian man who spoke no English, we tried to ensure these dogs always were being looked out for. We would buy huge bags of dog food to leave for 6 months whilst tourist season was low, and we found some very kind Indian friends to give the food. This is no small feat as, as I have said, Pushkar is a pure vegetarian town and nobody wants to touch or smell animal meat products....so we are always eternally grateful for their help.
The compound used to have an old granny that lived in the tiny room on the grounds, however we never got to meet her, I think she had passed on years ago and nothing had been done with the land or the tiny room. The dogs were born in the compound, their mother having always stayed in there herself. She is a shy old girl and knows how to take care of herself. We see her catching birds and sneaking in and out of the compound being careful to avoid humans and any dangers!
Meet mum n dad!
Kalu & Momma
Now for the little 'ens!
We shall start with the biggest personality but the runt of the litter.......Champa!
Champa, otherwise known as smiles, was a very pretty and gorgeous girl.
Mischievous, naughty, bossy and dainty are my best words to describe her. She was loved by the Indian shopkeepers the most ( being a lucky black coloured dog ! ) and she was the most like her pops in her nature too .
Next up we have Dotty.
here is Guts...!
Guts was called Guts because, as I think you may have already guessed...she liked her food...and everybody else's food too! Guts was a speed eater...gobbling down her share of curd chapati and moving on to the next bowl - ain't nobody getting in her way! The biscuits would come out and be scattered across the sands and she was like a canine hoover mowing them all up! As you can imagine the rest of the pack didn't really get on so well with her and she was quite outcast, although she truly held her own and was highly independent.
Now on to the boys...let us introduce you to the handsome Mr Spike.xx
Spike was a true gent! He was gentle in nature, always well behaved and very very soft to pat!! As you can see he was a beautiful brindle boy and was a true Rajasthani dog with his tribal colours and patterns! He was never grumpy and was a friend to all his brothers and sisters, he tolerated Guts the most too!
last but certainly not least....is our Fraggy xxx
Fraggy is the biggest of the pack but definately the softest! I have literally caught him once jumping out of his skin at his own shadow in the sand! He is a peaceful giant with a soft, loving and loyal nature. He is passive and loves nothing more than love and pats...he will happily bypass a meal for just an hour of pats and cuddles!
In India survival is tough for everyone, ( maybe not too much for India's billionaires but.! ) it is survival of the fittest. We hope and pray the other dogs either left the compound and have found their own way or have departed this Earth without suffering.
Dogs in India have a hard life. They are not welcomed and can be severely mistreated, even by those who do take them into their families. I won't go too deeply into such worlds with you, however, we are so thankful to one fantastic organisation we came upon whilst living in Pushkar.
They have helped us with many dogs we have brought to their hospital and shelter and have a fantastic neutering and rabies program for the town as well as free treatment for animals from the poor. They have a wide variety of animals at their shelter including camels and pigs!.
We first got to know them through our care for Kalu and his family. All our pack were neutered by them for free.
This charity and our experiences with them will be the focus of our next blog.
TOLFA - Tree of Life for Animals.
In this series we are going to take an in depth look at the chakras.
For a basic guide to the chakras and what they are you can read about them here.
This series will go through each chakra individually. We will explain the best ways to balance and heal each chakra using gems, flowers, foods, mantras and exercises.
The body has many chakras, in this guide we will focus on our seven major ones.
The root chakra, also known as the base chakra, is located at the base of the spine.
In Sanskrit it is referred to as Muladhara - Mula meaning root and Dhara meaning to sustain.
This chakra is our survival instinct chakra. It is the place where we feel secure, grounded, emotionally fulfilled and rooted to the Earth. When we are out of balance with our root chakra we can feel disconnected, ungrounded and insecure.
So what can we do to work on this chakra?
Starting with the basics
The element the root chakra is associated to is Earth.
The musical note it is aligned to is C.
The colour it is associated with is red, brown and black.
The seed sound mantra is LAM.
From this guide we can now work out how to eat, listen to music and meditate with our Root chakra as the focus.
Balancing the Root chakra with foods.
This chakra is balanced well with nourishing, wholesome and earthy foods.
Root vegetables, brown lentils and legumes are all beneficial when working with this chakra.
Choosing red and brown foods and root veggies will work the best....beetroots, strawberries, potatoes etc etc.
Foods should be warming, heavy and nutritive.
According to Ayurveda, this area is the Vata home. The attributes associated to Vata is lightness, dryness and cold. Eating foods that have these qualities aggravates this part of our body so we need to choose warming, heavy and oily foods.
Salads, crisps and crackers and snacks such as popcorn are all best to be avoided when our Root chakra is out of balance.
Herbal teas for this chakra include Dandelion, Hibiscus and Valerian.
Working with sound.
The sound for this chakra is the musical note C.
In this way we can choose to listen to music in the key of C, or to sing ourselves in that key.
The seed sound mantra is LAM so we can choose to use this mantra, in the note of C, for a daily chant for optimum benefits.
The root chakra also enjoys primal beats. Drumming and dancing to drums is an excellent and extremely fun way to bring health to our base!
Exercises for this Chakra.
This chakra is well balanced by walking, dancing and calming, restorative yoga positions such as forward bends, child pose and squat pose. Lying flat on the floor with you arms by your side ( in Savasana ) is also extremely good.
Connecting our feet to the Earth consciously and spending quiet time in nature are all activities to bring balance and peace to our Root chakra.
Crystals and Gems for the Root Chakra.
If feeling ungrounded go for Black Tourmaline, Smokey Quartz, Jet and Pyrite.
If feeling insecure go for Tiger Eye, Pyrite and Red Jasper.
If you are feeling low on energy and generally need a boost of health and vitality then go for Garnet, Coral and Ruby.
Flowers and Plants for the Root Chakra.
Choosing beautiful red plants and flowers for our home is another lovely way to keep working on our chakras in a subtle manner.
Poinsettas, red roses and hibiscus plants are great choices for around the house!
You can choose to wear red, black or brown, especially in a skirt or pant that sits over your Root Chakra.
Whilst in meditation you may also visualise these colours to boost the energies you are working with.
The meditation referred to in my last post for grounding is perfect for this chakra too.
Take me there.
It is important for us to keep this chakra as healthy as possible. This is our first chakra and the health and balance of this chakra affects all the rest of the chakras in our bodies. This is our base, our foundation and our connection to the Earth. From this place begins everything else, and this foundation needs to be strong and healthy for the rest of our bodies overall health and well-being.
The next post will be focusing on our second Chakra - The Sacral Chakra.
So stay tuned!!!
Welcome to the first ever edition of The Doggy Tribune!
We wanted to create a place to share and honour the amazing and very special dogs that we have encountered upon our twenty years of travel, and to include some of the excellent humans and charities we have had help from, and have sometimes helped.
These are our firsthand experiences with street animals throughout Southeast Asia and the charities that I will mention in the coming blogs are places we have also had personal experience with, and whom we think are wonderful.
We first met Kalu, which means black in Hindi, back in 2008 in Pushkar, India.
This is a place where Tony and I have lived much of our lives together. It is in Pushkar that we first started learning to silversmith and we would return year after year to study with our teacher and visit our human and animal families!
It is a very holy town in the state of Rajasthan and many Indian pilgrims come from all over India to visit the lake which is the central heart of the town. The lake is said to hold Gandhi's ashes.
Every dawn and dusk the town is filled with the sounds ( sometimes very very loud sounds at 4 am in the morning! ) of bells and prayers and worship. The lake has many different ghats. These are the areas and temples around the lake which have steps leading down onto the lake and are each associated to various castes, tribes and rituals.
It is a magical place in India which we hold very dearly in our hearts. This has been the first year we haven't lived there for our few months in many years, and our hearts and prayers go out to all the people and animals in the hope they may be managing well at this time.
Now then, back to Kalu!
He was always a scraggly boy, full of desert dust and road gruel, and as we got to know him over our five years of friendship he had dreadlocks and all - like the true sadhu baba dog he was!
He was a very playful character! When Tony and I would arrive in the morning for class he would literally go ape and run about like a lunatic for a while...much to our delight and the crowds of Indians who would stop to watch and marvel at his behaviour!
He was forever stealing the milk for the chai breaks...you'd turn around, milk bag has gone...and so has Kalu! He also enjoyed an actual cup of cold chai too...he was an Indian dog after all!
He was very very happy when we ordered a pizza at break time! ( Pushkar is a pure vegetarian town so a typical doggy diet on the streets of Pushkar includes milk, chapati and biscuits....and occasionally pizza....hopefully with extra cheese! ))
He wasn't as keen on everybody though...he had a bit of a love/hate relationship with his Indian families that ran the shops where he lived and most people were quite intimidated by him and his wild eyes, yet many would feed him. Black dogs are considered lucky in Pushkar. ( lucky him! )
He was quite fussy and certain about who he liked and didn't like. He didn't seem to like sadhu babas all that much, these are the wandering spiritual seekers of India who would wander past with their long dreadlocks and robes. Some foreign tourists he would wag for and others he shouted mightily at and some local people he liked and respected and others he just ignored and generally snarled at! We felt very lucky to be able to love him and be loved by him!
Kalu will have fathered many puppies in his day, and we were fortunate enough to meet and love a few of his litters.
These five Kalu descendants ... Fraggie, Dottie, Champa, Spike and Guts shall be the focus of my next blog.
Kalu died around 2013. He lived a big and happy life. He was the king of the row of shops and had them all to himself, all other animals giving him his territory. He was known by many and is still joked about to this day between our Indian friends who still have their shops on the strip.
x With love to Kalu x
All of us at the moment are living with uncertainty. There has never been a time like this, certainly not for our generation, and for most of us it is a highly challenging time - emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.
I am going to share with you some basic practices that I use to keep myself grounded and to clear my energetic pathways.
I will also share with you a ritual I use for protection.
Currently I am far away from my family and friends and feel rather helpless and scared for their health and safety. By doing this ritual it provides me with some sense of relief and empowerment and hopefully is creating an energetic protective web around those whom I love.
I hope it will do the same for you too. xx
To start with, let us try to clear our energetic pathways and become a bit more grounded. With so much information everywhere, with the changes to our normal daily lives, and with the amount of fear that is being held within the Earth consciousness right now, we can easily find ourselves ungrounded.
Signs of being ungrounded include restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, fear and disconnection.
Much of these feelings and emotions, unless we are doing a regular practice of some sort, will eventually end up trapped in our energy systems as we try to make sense of them or we try to ignore them and just get on with it. We don't realise until we have had a healing, or done some yoga or practice, just how heavy these energies can make us feel and the impact they have on our well-being.
This easy practice you can use and it can be done in as little as 5-10 minutes or you can really go for it and spend a couple of hours with it. Even 5 minutes a day will be helpful so don't feel daunted....
- To begin, simply place a chair in a space in your house where you feel relaxed and the space feels clear and not heavy.
- Within this space we are going to use our intention and ask that only energies within this space which are kind, helpful and healthful may be absorbed into our energy field, and that for any other energies may they be kindly sucked down deep into the Earth where they may be absorbed, neutralised and transformed back into a positive force.
- Sit on the chair with your feet flat on the floor and take a few conscious breaths.
- Become aware of your body, where are you holding tension? Where feels tight? Are there places that feel numb or you can't feel into?
_ Work through your body. Starting from the top of your head gradually expanding your awareness down, so feeling the crown of your head, then feeling the front of your face, back of the head, front of the neck, back of the neck, down to your shoulders....etc...etc...
- As you are doing this you will feel the places that are ' holding ' some denser energies.......stay with that place, and give it a few breaths.
- I like to visualise myself breathing in pure love and light, which I use my intention to guide into the place of tension, and I use my outward breath to expel all that tension or dense energy that has gathered.
- Again I use my intention at this point so that the energies I have expelled may be completely sucked down deep into the Earth and absorbed, neutralised and transformed back into a positive force. ( By doing this we are protecting our home space from keeping these energies trapped in - you can use sage or other methods to keep yourself and your space clear but this way is available for all of us without the need for any extra tools! )
- Work your way down to your feet, keeping on finding those places of tension and breathing into each a few breaths.
- Once you are at your feet you should feel somewhat refreshed and lighter and more grounded. To enhance your grounding practice, stay with the awareness at your feet and just see if you can let go that little bit more. So taking in some more deep breaths, and consciously allowing your body to drop down and feel heavier with each out breath.
- To finish take another three deep breaths. Keep your awareness with your feet touching the Earth and with each out breath imagine roots coming out from your feet and going deep into the Earth like roots of a tree. Let yourself go. The Earth has always and will always nourish and strengthen you. Be aware of this and give your thanks. xxx
We are now at a point of having done some work to clear our system and to connect us to the Earth and feeling grounded.
Depending on how long you have sat for, you may wish to get up and have a little stretch. We have created some space in our bodies now and let yourself intuitively have a little stretch and movement to further awaken these places.
Now for the Protection Ritual.
For this ritual we are using our intention and visualisation abilities.
We will be calling in protection energies from the universe, and for those of you who believe, you may also ask for help from your guardian angels, spirit guides, ancestors etc.
- Come back to sitting. At this point you may choose to sit on the floor, or wherever you feel comfy.
- This practice again involves the use of our visualisation and intention. This may be difficult for some of you at first but as you continue your practice it will become more easy and fluent to you...so keep going! xx
- We shall start with ourselves. Again, sit with your body and energy system in awareness and ask the universe to place you in a protective circle of light. In my mind this is a blue/white light circle of protection that I visualise like a barrier around my body.
It is like I am in a great big hula hoop made from the strongest protective force that is impenetrable.
- I say to this barrier I am visualising to please only allow in energies that are for my absolute highest good, highest health and highest healing, and may all other energies be sucked down into and absorbed by the Earth to be neutralised and transformed back into a positive force.
- It takes me a few minutes....I like to imagine it really strong and gleaming around me and I give my thanks to any help I may be receiving from higher forces.
- Next, well I usually go to do my parents....so I hold my mum firmly in my mind's eye, and do the same for her....calling in and asking for help from the universe and my guides and protectors, visualising a bright white/blue protective circle of light around my mum, and asking that only helpful, healthful and healing energies may be allowed into her energy field and that all other energies bounce away from her and are sucked down into the Earth.
- This practice can take as little as five minutes, or as long as half an hour, depending on how many people I wish to include on the day and how long I spend visualising and implementing their barrier!
- If you are doing this practice everyday then you will eventually only need to do it for five minutes every time as you would have built up a strong energy field that only requires a daily boost!
I don't know about yourselves, but I am quite erratic in my devotion to my practices! Sometimes I will do it religiously, everyday, for months on end......and sometimes I haven't done a single thing for months on end!
I am always joking to my sister and friends how odd it is that to do something for someone else is always easy for me, I love to help and will go out of my way to help another, yet when it comes to myself, I will find a million reasons not to find that 5-10 minutes a day which would truly be beneficial to me!!
I'm starting to accept myself. ( years and years of being angry and disappointed and frustrated at myself later.....and I'm still not there yet! )
I realise that everything goes in phases, I'm starting to try to trust more that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be and I'm trying to be more kind and supportive to myself as opposed to judgemental....which in turn leads us to being more kind, understanding and compassionate to others too - a double bonus!!
Do what you can, when you can!
In my next blog we will be exploring which crystals and gemstones to use to accompany and enhance these practices shared above.....so stay tuned!
Elixir....such a beautiful and enticing word that summons up thoughts of ancient wisdom and forgotten magic!
Literally it means a magical or medicinal potion, and what we are going to write about here is how to make a gemstone elixir.
Why make an elixir?
By creating an elixir for yourself or a loved one using your own crystals and gems, you can harness the energy of the stones into water, which when consumed has a more profound healing effect on the body's energy systems.
The water can be consumed throughout the day on a daily basis and will keep infusing your system with the healing power of the stones you have chosen to work with.
There are two ways to make an elixir.
Some stones are non-toxic and for those we use the ' direct method. '
Other stones are toxic and require a ' non-direct method. '
Both ways are easy and effective.
The very first place to start......
Having chosen whatever issue or ailment you would like to work upon, you must then research which stones are going to be the most helpful.
You can do this by reading about them online, or from a crystal book, and the more intuitive souls out there may use their own intuition to guide them.
* Once you have selected your stones you must cleanse and program them ready for use. *
* How to do this is explained in my previous blog here on our website. *
What you will need...
A tall glass or ceramic water jug.
A glass that fits inside ( this is for use with toxic stones )
Clean, filtered or spring water.
After the stones have been cleansed and programmed you may fill the jug with water and place the stones inside.
Let it sit, covered, on a windowsill where it may see some light for at least 24 hours.
After 24 hours you may transfer the water into another receptacle and do over for as many batches as you like!
This is the ' direct method ' to use for non-toxic stones.
For toxic stones, or raw delicate stones, we use the ' non-direct method. '
This involves placing the stones into a glass within the jug so they are NOT touching the water directly. It works just as well and is a perfect method for use when you have any doubts as to if your stone is safe or not.
Generally all Quartz type stones, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine, Clear Quartz, are all safe and non toxic.
Stones such as Malachite, Chrysocolla, Pyrite, Cuprite and raw minerals can be toxic and are best used with the non-direct method.
If you are uncertain, best to go with the non-direct method just to be sure.
Elixirs are a brilliant way to enhance your own well-being. They are also a lovely gift to make for a loved one.
Remember some stones work well for skin conditions etc so an elixir can also be applied topically as well as internally!
Please remember to give your thanks and respect to the stones you work with and whom you hope to receive healing from.
In love & Light and sending many blessings to all of you reading. xxx
Ok. You've just bought a beautiful new crystal or jewellery item with gems, and you bought it because it sounds like what you needed....but how to get the best from your crystal?
It is incredible to think of the journey your stone has been on to make its way into your hands! Add to that the hundreds of thousands of years that they have been forming within the Earth and it's literally mind boggling! This is why it's a good idea to give your stone or jewellery piece a nice cleansing, freeing it from all previous vibrations so its lovely and fresh for you! There are different methods, I will share three with you here.
This method is only for loose crystals and tumble stones, not for jewellery.
Use a ceramic or glass vessel and fill with salted pure water - a tablespoon should be fine.
Place your crystals into the water and leave for 24 hours.
Take out, rinse with fresh water.
Pure, filtered or spring water is best.
Not suitable for Moldavite or Selenite or delicate raw minerals.
If you have any Sage, Frankincense, Palo De Santo or Sandalwood incense, you can use the smoke from burning and guide it over and around your stone or piece of jewellery asking for it to cleanse and purify your stone of all previous vibrations and to be filled with pure love & light. Keep guiding the smoke towards your stone until you feel to stop.
Intention & Visualisation
Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor with your crystal in your hand.
Imagine yourself being surrounded by light and then gaze at your crystal using your intention to guide the light into the stone. Keep visualising the light going into the stone and cleaning and clearing, asking that any previous vibrations be grounded back to the Earth. Do for as long as you feel.
So your stones are cleansed. We are half way there! Now it is time to program them.
When a stone is programmed, it targets the energy more specifically, so if you would like to work with your stone for a specific issue, then this is a great idea for you and it's super easy!!
Simply hold your stone or jewellery in both hands in a prayer position at heart level and simply feel the stone and let it know you. Having read up on your stone and knowing specifically what it is you want it to work on, use your intention and focus your thoughts into the stone. It can be a few things you wish for, simply keep focusing them into the stone. When you feel to stop you may give your thanks to your stone and share some love!
Your stone is now programmed! Anyone can touch and play with it - it will now only resonate for you and stay working for you!
Now don't forget to cleanse it again after a few weeks or a month or so. If you feel the stone has been working a lot for you and is possibly absorbing lots then I recommend once a week cleansing.
If your stone or jewellery item doesn't want to go out with you or be worn that day - do listen - usually I can feel when a stone necklace who may match my jumper but just doesn't look nice to me today even though I usually love it - then its energies are not helpful for you at present - and it may even go walkabout on you!! ( Honestly I've lost many a beautiful stone in my time by ignoring what I felt! )
Thanks for reading - I do hope you have enjoyed and that it is helpful for you.
Next blog going to be........ Elixirs.......... xxxxxx
x holly & tony x
With twenty years of experience working with stones, we are happy to share some of our knowledge and tales with you here in our blog!