THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF YOUR SUGAR ADDICTION

Can you balance unhealthy compulsions without losing your appetite for pleasure? Emma Whitehair wrestles with the demons of alcohol, love, and sugar addiction, and asks herself: “What are you really hungry for?”

“Could I continue to sink my teeth into life with enthusiasm while learning balance around an unhealthy compulsion?”- Emma Whitehair

Ughhhh … Krispy Kremes. Never something I’d choose to put in my body. So why, when a colleague turned up with a box full of them, did my inner werewolf rear its head? A demon who was frothing at the mouth to demolish the lot, while my sensible side tried to argue the case to “go-halves” on one.

The demon won, leaving me to contend with a toxic dose of self-loathing. 

My sweet tooth kicked in with a vengeance when I quit booze over a decade ago, and I felt that this new appetite was part of my continued search for escapism and relief. Love, too, came under this dopamine-inducing umbrella. My hunger for gratification also showed up in romantic fantasies of that one magic person who’d be capable of making me happy forever after …

However, unlike sobriety, going cold turkey on sugar (and love for that matter) didn’t feel like the right approach. Isn’t fruit sugar? Not to mention nutrient rich blackstrap molasses and antibacterial raw manuka honey? Where to draw the line? I’ll admit that my justifications sounded a bit like the arguments I used to have against quitting booze. “I just want to be able to enjoy a nice glass of Rioja with tapas, or champers at a wedding.” I know where those odd glasses can lead me though—the tail end of a two-day bender.

With an addictive personality, could I become moderate in this one area? And how not to lose my wildly passionate side and my appetite for pleasure in the process? I set out to discover if I could continue to sink my teeth into life with enthusiasm while learning balance around an unhealthy compulsion …

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:: BELLY BACTERIA BALANCING ::
My first step was to go into my gut. An overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract can manifest as fatigue, a foggy head, anxiety and, most noticeably, sugar cravings. Overdoing it with alcohol, refined carbohydrates and sugary foods commonly causes this problem. Perhaps this was my werewolf’s lair?

I consulted Nutritional Therapist Claudia le Feuvre, who placed me on a course of Dida supplements and probiotics to tackle any pathogenic bacteria and to re-inoculate my gut with antimicrobials.

A few months later, I noticed my urge to bury my head in a bag of Haribo had disappeared. I now had the confidence that the issues were not tied to gut health. It was time to take my journey even deeper.

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:: IT’S ALL A METAPHOR ::
Claudia prescribed a reading list as a key part of my healing, and I consumed each title with gusto.

After living with the patriarchy for thousands of years, we’ve literally been starved of our divine feminine. The result? We’re now going wild with addictions and disorders as we fill our bellies to fill the emptiness in our hearts. Women Who Run with the Wolves and Eating in the Light of the Moon both have this concept at their core, and show how cravings can be metaphors.

The Gift of Our Compulsions inspired me to meet my compulsions with curiosity rather than resistance in order to get at what lived underneath them. By cultivating detachment from my thoughts, feelings, and sensations, I could witness my cravings.

When I declare ‘I’m hungry,’ I am identified with this experience. Whereas ‘this is hunger’ creates space for me to relate to what’s really happening, and ask if the statement is true. And in most cases, it’s not true at all. It’s more like ‘this is boredom/procrastination/loneliness,’ which I can either try to remedy or simply observe without needing to ‘fix.’

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:: A SESSION WITH THE SPIRITUAL NUTRITIONIST ::
The final part of my work with Claudia involved a 1-2-1 session where she called upon her spirit guide to help us “recode inner conflict” and used kinesiology to identify a potent mantra.

During our session, my arm suddenly gained strength from the words: “I am in tune with my body’s nutritional needs, and have no hunger for food beyond them.” This was then used as a mantra in a kind of Psych-k self-hypnosis meditation, where after about 10 minutes Claudia was shown by her guide, with a shiver through her body, that our work was done.

Although, I didn’t feel a bolt of lightning during the session, it’s like a spell has been broken. I feel relaxed around my usual triggers, and noticeably more tuned in to the intuitive whispering of my body.

Now, when I get the urge to eat when I’m not hungry, I often seem to instinctively know what tactic will help me ride it out. A few deep breaths, a drink of water, or a big stretch is usually all it takes.

Art: Sustici

:: THE FAST OF ENLIGHTENMENT ::
My newfound gut feelings also told me that the next step in this journey was to introduce a fasting practice to help me regain a sense of the true nature of my body’s hunger. Fasting is the most natural way to rest the body, giving it the chance to do the “housework” needed to repair cells and cleanse the itself, while improving immunity.  

When I started losing my appetite for a meal in the evening, I took it as a sign that my body wanted the benefits of some regular light fasting. So from around 5pm to late morning, I often stick to water and herbal tea. And although I sometimes go to bed feeling hungry, intuition tells me my digestive system needs this rest. I’m now sleeping more deeply and I wake feeling light and much less hungry than if I have a meal the night before.

I’m also committed to fasting at least a couple of days per month, usually over the New Moon—my version of the “Lunar Diet.” Near the Full Moon I often crave extra calories because of my cycle, whereas during the New Moon I feel more like hibernating. It’s also the ideal time to go inwards and set intentions for the coming astrological season.

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:: WHAT AM I TRULY HUNGRY FOR? ::
Using tactics to pause when I’m tempted to grab a substitute for what I really need has been a total (third) eye opener!

It’s given me the sense that my appetite is primal. We’re first comforted as babies through sweet breast milk and so sweetness will always be associated with mother love. An absence of that kind of nurturing can show up in dysfunctional relationships with comforting substances like sugar, alcohol, or the dopamine hit you get with the first flush of ‘love’.

So what to do in the present about a void from the past? Some sweet ass self-loving of course! We all have the chance, right now, to be the parent we needed growing up. Allowing feelings that have been buried in the past to move through us is how we evolve …

My epiphany about my constant low-level hunger? There’s fulfillment to be found by relishing my appetite, rather than chasing gratification. It’s summed up in this quote from one of my all-time favorite movies, Take This Waltz: “Life has a gap in it. It just does. You don’t go crazy trying to fill it like some lunatic.” I simply need to accept, and even celebrate, the fact that there will always be this hunger within me.

So when Krispy Kreme (a.k.a. my Soul Challenge on this journey) announced their new flavor (Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Crème, in case you were wondering) by sending a truckload to my office, I met my inner wolf with curiosity. I saw that she wasn’t a “demon” at all, and just a part of me wanting to be comforted. “Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance,” says Epicurus. So I enjoyed half a donut. Leaving enough room to still be able to taste the sweetness of life.

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Emma Whitehair is the founder of London based boutique lifestyle PR agency, WHITEHAIR.CO, which specialises in fashion, beauty, and wellbeing communications. 

COSMIC TIME TRAVEL: NO MORE KARMA DRAMA?

How do our past lives impact us today? Emma Whitehair embarks on some cosmic time travel…

 

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”

This quote from Cloud Atlas gives me goosebumps all over, and has me questioning the millennial take on carpe diem—‘YOLO’. What if we don’t ‘Only Live Once,’ as many mystical traditions believe, and in fact experience many, many lives.

We all have our soul tribe. Those folk who instantly seem familiar, as if we’ve met before. Or those ‘right person, wrong lifetime’ relationships, where you have an undeniable soulful connection, yet it feels like you’re just not meant to be. This time round anyway.

I’ve also come to believe we attract challenges into our life that we choose before we are born. But what if we can ace our pre-birth plan? Make amends, complete unfinished business or heal ancestral wounds/limiting beliefs, without the need for a karmic car-crash to get our attention.

Although pain can be a great teacher, if you are already half-way though your soul syllabus, perhaps suffering is not necessary in order to evolve. And once our lessons are learnt, we can transcend these karmic loops, to a more advanced level, like a cosmic computer game.

So with the intention of going beyond karmic dramas, to better understand this journey, I did some spiritual time travel. And here’s some of what I unearthed along the way…

:: RE-VISIT PAST LIVES ::

The feelings the soul may have departed a former life with, can show up in the present. But you hold onto your history at the expense of your destiny. Reliving and then releasing them however, can be game changing. Scott Murden is a Past Life Regression therapist whose clients often have seemingly unexplained fears, aversions and/or traits, which he believes to be linked to samskaras—imprints on our soul, from past lives.

In our session, I was transported to the Frontier, where I was a Native American Indian…with a white man cattle herder as my forbidden lover. As you might imagine, my wild west romance didn’t have a happy ending. Our plan to elope with a stolen herd, was foiled and I was the one captured, then hung. This grim death perhaps explaining the throat chakra restriction I wrote of here.

Scott invited me to connect with the positive emotions from this past life—love against all odds, passion and adventure. I also felt the urge to say goodbye to my cow-boyfriend, and to tell him that we would meet again, in another life. And with this, I felt my heart open.

:: THE PAST & FUTURE AS WRITTEN IN THE STARS ::

I first encountered Astrological Counselling on The Arrigo Programme where I learnt that a snapshot of the universe at the exact moment and from the precise location we are born, creates a blueprint for our life story. We choose to be born when our karma is energetically matched with the stars, which provides our roadmap with its unique patterns and Jungian archetypal themes. And what I find most exciting about this idea, is that it reminds me that we are microscopic pieces of a incomprehensibly vast and interconnected reality—the Universe.

In my first reading I was shown that I’m an old soul learning advanced lessons. And my North Node (which identifies what one’s soul purpose in this lifetime) is in the fourth house —which is all about security and emotional stability. Sudden loss in previous lives also seemed to be triggering some fears.

Recently I was introduced to Sting’s personal astrological counsellor—Debra Silverman, who has a unique and fun approach combining soul-centered astrology with psychology. While on our call, Debra first asked what had happened in my life over years showing up as key “destiny lines”. She also saw that one of my soul missions in this life is to clear karma from my mother’s lineage. Apparently, the unhealthy feminine energy I had around me in childhood with, is now being healed with my new-found spirituality and joy. My story is being re-written. Hallelujah!

:: SEEING INTO THE FUTURE ::

My natal chart shows that I’m coming into a period of great transformation, and although this is predestined, there are many routes to the same destination. We’ve all seen Sliding Doors, right? So, I wanted to know if there was any advice or red flags I should be aware of in order to reach my full potential within this fresh cycle.

Teresa Symes fuses the psychic with the psyche and was once voted Britain’s #1 intuitive by ELLE magazine. As she reads for Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Kate Winslet, and is also near impossible to reach. When I finally persuaded her I wasn’t a tabloid hack, Teresa gave me a reading over the phone. Beginning by clarifying that the future is 70% free will, 30% destiny, she explained how people and situations are brought into our lives to get us on track, as long as we recognize and work with them.

To boost manifestation, Teresa also sent me this ‘Charming Positivity’ Rune Stone bracelet from her collaboration with Michelle Theodorou. Reaching into the velvet pouch is a process of divination, and a booklet with all the ancient meanings means I can get a window into my future while wearing the Runes that chose me for that week.

:: THE UNIVERSAL FILES ON ALL YOUR LIVES ::

If we were all in a state of amnesia, having lived many previous lives that we don’t remember, how are some able to recall the past, or see into the future? The answer lies in The Akashic Records. An energetic resource library for each and every soul’s human existence, throughout time.

The theory goes that since long before recording devices were invented, our spirit guides have been indexing every multidimensional detail over potentially thousands of years, ready for us to access, without the help of an expert or having any psychic abilities. Becoming empowered to read your files is just a matter of raising one’s vibration, having a pure intention and being open. It’s also worth noting that you may get a clearer answer with open-ended questions that get to the heart of the matter, rather than those that just require a yes/no response or idle curiosity.

Drawn to her scientific approach to this mystical subject, I spoke to Akashic Records Consultant Jen Eramith who explained that all past and future life information come from the same source, whether in the form of regression work, psychic readings or even dreams. This means there are no rules and many routes to accessing this universal library of information.

With permission (this part is important), Jen has learnt how to file through someone else’s records, to feel for information relating to specific questions. “I know I have opened a person’s Akashic Records when even though I have never met and know nothing about them, it feels like I’m falling in love. And the more each of us has a sense of Love, the more easily we access Akashic information through everyday intuition,” she told me.

Although you can gain great insight from a reading with someone like Jen, the beauty of these records is that you can access them yourself. There are thousands of guided meditations online, but from the few I listened to, they mostly seem to suggest a temple and white-robed librarian. I prefer to imagine that the records are filed digitally, like cloud storage.

A movie I’m obsessed with, Interstellar, sums up what the Akashic Records boil down to—quantum physics and love. Two incredibly complex, destiny-steering forces. Watch this clip to see what I mean, and although our intention may not be to save the world, messages can still travel through time, when we illuminate the Love within.

MY MYSTICAL LIFE: GETTING READY TO #TUNEINPEACEOUT

A week that’s been all about finding and using my voice, as we get ready to #tuneinpeaceout...

The message, always!

:: MONDAY ::
OMFG finally did the Mayers Briggs personality test. OMFG mind totally blown. (And not just cos my personality “type”—Advocate—also includes MLK, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Theresa, lol. #TuneInPeaceOut)

:: TUESDAY ::
A Skype session with amazing Gail Schock, who’s work I’d been aware of, but had not connected with until we met in Croatia earlier this summer. Gail teaches Voice Freedom, and I need way more words than I have today to describe the serendipity of us finally getting to work together now, this week, with all that’s been stirred up for me during this particular Eclipse-season-Mercury-retrograde-999-portal.

Let’s just say, some karmic shiz been going down—much of it connected to all the ways I have not felt or allowed myself to be truly heard. Following some intuitive coaching, Gail took me into a Quantum Meditation, which she said would work to heal the memories keeping me stuck, quite literally, in my throat chakra, at a cellular level. And since we’re planning a couple more sessions, I’ll leave it there for now. To be continued…Read more about Gail and her work at: Gailschock.love

:: WEDNESDAY ::
And another angel floats into my life in the form of Carey Davidson, founder of Manhattan’s Tournesol Wellness. Again, there’s too much to write about this meeting of hearts, minds, and souls in this post, suffice to say (for now) that it seems this week for me is ALL about being heard, using our voice, and, yes, advocacy. Which makes a lot of sense since Friday’s Full Moon Lunar Eclipse is in my Pisces-ruled (healing/compassion) third house (communication). Having run several wellness-focussed non-profits, Carey has tasked herself with the not exactly humble pursuit of taking on the entire US healthcare system, to make alternative healing practices available to all. What can I say? I’m SO IN. Read more about Carey and her mission at: Tournesolwellness.com

:: THURSDAY ::
Published this amazing piece on how to heal your throat chakra by Emma Whitehair. Obviously.

:: FRIDAY ::
And would you just look at the line-up of events that’s coming together for next week’s #TuneInPeaceOut initiative for World Peace Day! You guys ROCK. And there’s still plenty of time to plan something—which could be as simple as a pot-luck dinner and gathering with friends to discuss ways to bring more peace to your family, community or workplace today. If you DO feel called to plan something larger then send details to [email protected] and we will share as many events as possible!

NYCPeace in The City with The Numinous + Urban Yogis NYC

ALBANY, NYTune In Peace Out with Shauntay SoulFlower Brandon

RHINEBECK, NY (the Omega Institute)—A Meditation For Peace with Sah D’Simone

NEW HAMPSHIRE—White Mountains Peace-Up with Jessica Fish of Shaktivism

ASHVILLE, NCKundalini Class for Peace with Ra Ma Kaur

SEATTLETune In Peace Out with The Hoodwitch + Holy F*ck

SAN DIEGOPeace Circle with TRIBE de MAMA (click here for more #TuneInPeaceOut events with TRIBE de MAMA globally)

LONDONA Guided Meditation to Radiate Love and Peace, with Chloe Isadora

WALESA Ritual to Create Sacred Space with The Wisdom Gathering

PARISPeace Out Paris with Alison Beckner and Melanie Moser

GLOBALFacebook Livestream from Sedona with Guru Jagat

DOWNLOAD#TuneInPeaceOut meditation from Wolf Sister

LISTENA Prayer For Peace from Elyssa Jakim

You can also sign up for a LIVE webinar + guided meditation for peace with Ruby Warrington and Alexandra Roxo of The Numinous, Bri Luna of The Hoodwitch, and Dori Varga of TRIBE de MAMA on 9/21. The broadcast will be at 12 noon PST /  3pm EST / 8pm GMT—and if the time doesn’t work for you, ALL those who register will receive a recording of the session. Click here to sign up!

10 WAYS TO CLEAR YOUR THROAT CHAKRA

Heal the instrument of your voice to not only speak but also live in your truth, says Emma Whitehair… Artwork: Dr Steve Hinkey 

The throat is a physical bridge between our body and mind, while its chakra governs our communication and search for truth. It’s the most powerful but also the most vulnerable of all seven chakras, and with so many of us struggling express our true needs, a blocked throat chakra is more common than a cold these days (even if the “symptoms” could feel the same).

If this chakra does not have a healthy flow, not only will your relationships with others be difficult but you will not be receiving clear guidance from your intuition. On the other hand, however, once beautifully balanced, negative experiences are transformed into wisdom and ultimately you are open to a higher level of consciousness.

My business is PR and writing, and no one who knows me would think I had any blocks in the area of communication. However, what can’t be seen is that I’ve had a pretty much permanent, choked up feeling for, I don’t know, months, years…lifetimes! It’s hard to tell as I only properly noticed it early this year, when I started to really get tuned in to Self.

At its most intense, it’s an energetic constriction like a noose around my neck, but mostly it’s a lump in my throat, like I’m on the brink of tears—even when there’s no apparent reason for it.

After googling ‘throat cancer’ and ‘thyroid problems’ then giving myself the all-clear (with a deep sense of relief!), I found myself drawn to a chakra workshop with James French advertised at the Yoga Loft in London—I was ready to find out if this throat funk was a spiritual malady.

On this two-day course, I discovered that Vishuddha (the Sanskrit name for the throat chakra) has a developmental age of 7 to12. Probably no coincidence that this was when my parents divorced and I was packed off to a strange boarding school. I also learnt that the corresponding sense of this fifth chakra is hearing, giving me the excuse I was looking for to connect with sound healing practitioner, Ashera Hart, who I had met a few days before.

Ashera had hosted an incredibly powerful sonic breath + gong bath event, that had been listed by The Numinous, which had helped open my throat and started to stir things up in that area. Wondering if my unbalanced Vishuddha could be realigned further with the power of sound, I made the most of the opportunity to have a one-to-one session with Ashera in my home, while she was in London (rather than her usual base of Bali).

After this session, I met up with my healer, psychotherapist Fiona Arrigo to help me process what my body had shown me. She explained that traumas to the throat chakra are often connected to early childhood issues; when, if we experience emotional pain, we encounter separation. She commented that my adult vocal personality—which “on the surface is ballsy, clear and wise” is in juxtaposition to the inner child—who swallowed down her tears, and never expressed how she felt.

I asked by subconscious to say out loud the stories I may have been holding onto, and one resonated deeply: “no one is taking care of me…I’m alone.” And with that tears of relief fell down my cheeks. It all suddenly made sense—that part of me, the child, who had swallowed her sadness, was physically manifested like a bitter pill, stuck in my throat for over 30 years.

Fiona reminded me “to meet the understanding that we ARE alone in this life.” She also explained that the feeling I encountered during the sound healing, of being held, was the Universal holding, and in that moment, I had flipped my scratched record. Rather than archived pain, I had experienced something way more profound—a spiritual embrace so meaningful it had helped heal that source fracture.

My journey with this continues. Read on for 10 STEPS I’ve investigated to help with starting to CLEAR YOUR THROAT CHAKRA.

:: STEP BACK IN TIME ::
What unexpressed emotion or story are you holding on to? Once that’s understood, then it’s important to try and change the record, in order to free yourself. Byron Katie’s The Work might do it for you. Alternatively, perhaps you story is more complex—could it be from a pre-verbal era, or another life?

I spoke to Sue Minns, who’s book ‘Bodies & Souls’ touches on the throat chakra (as well as the others) and she explained the following to me:

“Chakras are like micro-chips of soul information that are links to our past experiences on earth, and connection to where we came from. The throat chakra, if holding negative memories, will become a bottleneck, a block to our true Self expression. Many of us (especially as women) have had gruesome deaths as a result of speaking out, spreading the word, saying the spells.

The throat is the chakra of secrets and lies, whispers and screams—and of speaking your truth without fear. A historical ‘block’ will obstruct cosmic, divine energy coming through the Crown and Third Eye to reach the Heart. It will short circuit at the throat if it cannot pass through. The central column (Sushumna) needs to be an open conduit between heaven and earth so that we can remember both our source and our purpose on this earth.”

:: SOUL MANTRA ::
“The 1st Law of Healing—all disease is inhibited Soul Life. The job of the healer is to lift the downcast eyes upward unto the Soul, and the Soul does the work” – Dr Steve Hinkey

So how do we allow the soul to work its magic? Mantras should allow the soul to take position naturally and Steve gave me these to use to unblock the throat chakra:

Because ‘I am…’ is so powerful, and soul infusion the ultimate achievement: “I am the soul infused throat”.

To use if starting to experience, or resist tension in the throat: “I am wanting to know my soul’s process, as it expresses itself through my throat chakra”

As no-one evolves without loving what they have, including dis-ease, this as a good all-rounder:

“I love myself as I am”

:: SOUND HEALING ::
Ashera Hart hosts The Frequency Shift solfeggio journeys, which encourage a Theta brainwave state, through healing vibrations, helping you access intuition, transform limiting beliefs and most especially—clear energy blockages.

I attended one of her ‘Sonic Immersion’ events (at Kind Yoga in London) which was a blissfully relaxing 90-minute experience. With the Zobet (solfeggio) healing frequencies along with sounds of the ocean, the cosmos and nature, Ashera accompanied this with an ethereal vocal invocation, tuning forks, chimes, shamanic drum and percussion.

We were told we may have dreams that night, that might reveal what is unresolved and one of mine was quite interesting. The throat chakra’s traumas can include alcoholism and yelling—both themes which were visited while in an abstract and gentle dream featuring my much loved childhood pet dog…

:: CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION ::
Which means honoring your feelings, understanding your needs and kindly requesting that they are met. With authentic expression however, comes responsibility. There’s also a delicate balance between being honest and tactful, and on some occasions silence is golden.

Voicing irritations and raising one’s voice, for example, can pollute the throat chakra, as can gossiping, blaming, criticizing, or any other type of negative communication. If you start thinking in these terms, try to raise the vibration before saying anything. Also use this checklist:

  1. Is what you are about to say true?
  2. If so, is it necessary to be said, and does it need to be said by you?
  3. If the answer is yes, ask yourself if what you are about to say is kind/compassionate/loving.

Hearing is the fifth chakra’s sense and therefore listening is one of its most important realms of communication. That means listening to both your inner voice, and the voice of others. I think I may have an overactive Vishuddha, as I speak super fast (often with no filter) and sometimes feel impatient while listening.

With this in mind, I have made a conscious effort to start listening more intently, giving the other person my full undivided attention, putting away any devices and waiting (patiently!) to hear the them out completely before jumping in. This helps me to read between the lines and decipher others’ real needs, in order to respond in the right way.

:: THE AH MANTRA ::
To cleanse and purify any impure energy of speech, let the “AH” sound fill your throat for a few minutes.

One of the most powerful mantras on the planet, this sound is found in the name of most deities: Tara, Buddha, Krishna, Yah, Yeheshua, Saraswati, Wakantanka, Quan Yin, etc., along with many of the sacred words (Amen, Alleluia, AUM).

‘AH’ is also a sound related to the throat chakra, so it’s no coincidence that ‘AH HEM’—is the sound unconsciously made when a person clears his/her throat. While on a more conscious level, the Buddhist mantra ‘OM AH HUM’ is explained by my yoga guru Cat as “translating to body, speech and mind—speech being an integral part of having a harmonious co-existence with all living beings and speaking up for those who may lack a ‘voice’.”

:: USE YOUR VOICE ::
As long as the intention is pure, ANY way that you use your voice will help draw fresh energy through your throat chakra. I touch on the benefits of singing in this story and you can also hum, whistle, groan, sigh—ask your body what sounds need to be released, and just go for it, dialing up the volume if need be.

:: TEAR JERKERS ::
The throat is where I store my tears, and those that came with discovering my stuck story were beautifully cathartic. And as I know there are more to come, as part of my healing I chose my moments to indulge in deliberately triggering a little cry, with film.

When we watch weepies, it releases not only emotion, but also oxytocin, aka the love or cuddle hormone, which also regulates crying. A boost of oxytocin gives feelings of bonding, empathy, trust and maternal behavior, and it can’t differentiate between actual human beings and flickering images of them. If, like me, you have stuck emotion to release, this 10-minute supercut of tear jerking movie moments should have you sobbing in no time, letting those loving feelings wash over you. You’re welcome!

:: MUSIC ::
As sound is Vishuddha’s sense, music can also be a powerful activator. Partly down to some of the lyrics, melody, story or my personal associations, these tracks seem to resonate with the emotions stored within my throat chakra, allowing me to feel and heal.

What would be on on your Vishuddha playlist?

:: YOGA ::
Correcting one’s posture is key when re-aligning chakra’s, and these two yoga asanas, should help open up and/or activate the throat:

Fish (Matsyasana): Not only does this stretch the neck, it also strengthens the neck muscles needed to balance and stimulate the throat chakra.

Shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana): considered the Queen of all yoga poses, because of its amazing healing abilities. Doing shoulder stands regularly is an excellent way to keep your thyroid healthy and helps sufferers of asthma (like me).

Two Pranayama exercises that also bring heat and stimulate the throat chakra are the Ujjayi and lion’s breath.

:: HEALING ROCKS ::
You can re-balance Vishuddha by stimulating its reflex points in the feet and hands: the connection point of the big toe with the feet, and halfway down the thumb. I’m taking this a step further by wearing a memento mori, which I had made by Zoe & Morgan, that hits this point of my left thumb. A gold ring depicting a skull with diamond eyes on angel wings. A little reminder of both my mortal and immortal self—to help me be more conscious and stop sweating the small stuff!

Zoe & Morgan have also created this beautiful throat chakra ring. Featuring Aquamarine, the stone of the sea, which helps the throat chakra to open, and communication to flow like water.

Other stones that are good for rebalancing the throat chakra include: lapis lazuli, blue topaz, turquoise, chrysocolla, sodalite and my favourite—sapphires, which I wear on a necklace and ring. Try wearing these stones so they sit on your throat chakra for the full healing benefit.

:: TRUE BLUE BABY I LOVE YOU ::
Considered a hue for health, blue’s calming effect helps restore balance to the throat chakra, and for me, my blue healing comes from connecting with the ocean. My happy is getting out under blue skies (ether—the throat’s element) whenever I can, and in the sea at least every few months. However, when that’s not possible a pool also does the trick. So treat yourself to a spa day, and the immersion in water as a kind of soul soothing, spiritual cleansing.

HOW I BECAME MY OWN REBOUND RELATIONSHIP

Rather than indulging in a post-break-up rebound with another person, engage in a fling with yourself says Emma Whitehair…  Artwork: Maja Planinac

The first thing that “rebound relationship” googles up is: “an attempt to fill a hole in your life… to avoid the pain of a breakup.” And there’s few of us unfamiliar with that visceral craving to have something, or someone, fill the void left by the ending of an intimate human connection.

Even though my last breakup didn’t involve a breakdown, letting go of a lover often leaves me feeling bereft. That special closeness lost, gone forever, with them having known me so intimately.

So I grieved a little, before my gut suggested—actually shouted pretty loudly—that I needed to treat this hole as space for growth. This was my time to face my fear of being single, pack up my emotional baggage and elope. With myself.

Unlike the quick fix of a fling, or a replacement insta-relationship, rebounding with yourself is about so much more than simply avoiding heartache. No one else can offer the same level of security, unconditional love or acceptance, as a divine relationship with yourself.

As I have discovered, this kind of self-generated love allows your life to flow with joy, and for things to start magically falling into place. In the words of Oscar Wilde: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance”. So, how about a three-way with mind, body and soul; be part of the self-love revolution!

There are many routes to saying a passionate yes to yourself, and while each person’s path is as individual as them, here are a few things that helped ignite a romance with the soul mate under my very nose. Literally.

:: TUNE IN TO YOUR INNER WISDOM ::

A.k.a. your intuition, as only it knows what your true needs are, and how to go about getting them met.

‘Focusing’ was a technique I learned on a course at the West London Buddhist Centre. A reflective practice that involves taking a curious awareness into your body and listening for messages, simply close your eyes in a quiet place, as you would to meditate, but instead, sense what needs your attention.

Describe out loud what you are experiencing. Is your chest tight? Stomach heavy? As I described my constricted throat the words resonated deeply, and the words that followed flowed, like a stream of consciousness. with my body, not my head, leading. “There is so much sadness I need to release…talk about….to heal…”

Then the visuals came. I saw an anxious, pining Wolfhound—frantically scratching at a locked door and whining to be let out. It took a few days to process this but eventually it dawned on me: this was a clear message to step away from the door to the outside world, and deepen my meditation practice.

:: UP YOUR MEDITATION GAME ::

As Einstein said: “I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.”

Although I previously had a vague meditation practice, I wanted to try a new technique in order to get a better connection to my inner self, and Transcendental Meditation was the gateway.

From the first session, I noticed how effortless it was to meditate using a mantra as a stepping stone. And a few weeks in, I had my first experience of transcending, which will stay with me forever—I was hardly using the mantra at all, my breathing became shallow and I felt a melting sensation, like I was disappearing into unboundedness. My head become weightless, like a helium balloon before I felt an an ecstatic rush. It was the feeling of falling in love, with myself. Grinning from ear to ear, I was hooked.

The more I meditate, when negative thoughts and emotions inevitably creep up, I have the tools to observe them with curiosity and acceptance. So regardless of what’s happening in my life experience, I can get to some serenity. Not quite cosmic consciousness yet, but slowly and surely getting a little closer.

:: DEAL WITH THE JUNK IN YOUR TRUNK ::

And I don’t mean sorting out your loft, although that of course can help too (just speak to Marie Kondo). Most of us have issues holding us back in one way or another, and a breakup is the perfect time to find the right professional to help with some emotional sat nav.

For me that person was Fiona Arrigo. With a background of 30 years in psychotherapy, Fiona runs haute holistic healing retreats in rural Somerset, where she carefully assembles a crack team for bespoke programs. Orchestrated treatment by treatment, the therapists all compare notes to ensure the next session works with the discoveries from the one before.

Checking in with me each day of the retreat, with just a little guidance during our chats, Fiona helped me untangle my past, understand some of my triggers and shift a lot of the sadness I have been carrying around since the ‘dark ages’.

Note: aside from Fiona’s healing retreats, she also has clients from all over the world she ‘sees’ for skype therapy sessions.

:: EXPERIMENT WITH HOLISTIC HEALING ::

Be open to finding multi-discipline healing techniques to help you feel more integrated. The investment in yourself is worth it.

My The Arrigo Programme retreat gave me the opportunity to try everything from Acupuncture, Kinesiology and EFT to Soul Fragment Retrieval. Astrological Counselling being the biggest eye-opener—helping me understand recurring obstacles, life lessons and talents.

On this retreat I also hit a sweet spot with Tibetan Pulsing—an energy work using a diagnosis from the iris of the eye, which gives a feeling of such deep peace. Transformational Breathwork was another game changer, and Matrix Re-aligning allowed me to have a conversation with my deceased mother’s spirit, releasing some of the grief I’d been holding on to for years.

:: HAVE A SING-ALONG ::

From Kirtan Kriya to church choir or karaoke, the benefits of singing are scientifically proven. Encouraging deep breathing, it uplifts your spirit and gives a sense of well-being

Personally, I prefer warbling along into a hairbrush at the top of my voice, in the privacy of my own home. Get it all out by wallowing with Adele or having a rage-along with Alanis. Then move on by creating a feel good playlist of songs such as State of Independence, Ch-Chng and Love Me. Or take the anthems of co-dependence, and change the object of the lyrics adoration to Self. Let It Go may or may not also be on repeat. Sorry neighbors.

:: TALK TO YOURSELF ::

Not like a crazy lady, but like you would talk to your lover—using words of self-appreciation not depreciation. Develop an affectionate conversation with yourself and respond to any negative thoughts with compassion, acknowledging them but not letting them linger.

Be reverent, congratulatory and give compliments regularly. Look, really look at yourself in the mirror, hush the critical voice and observe with the eyes of love. Thank your body. Be your own cheerleader.

Deepen your self-love practice at out next Club SÖDA NYC event, Sex, Lies & Alcohol, August 23 in NYC. Details and ticket info here.