The story so far: how One Grounded Angel was born

Woman with angel wingsOne of the questions I get asked from time to time is: “When did you know you could communicate with angels?” I wish I had a dramatic story to share, but unfortunately I don’t. I haven’t had a near-death experience. There was no lightning-bolt moment where I suddenly knew I had the ability to tap into the angelic realm. Mine was a very slow spiritual awakening, and it took years before I trusted that what I was sensing was legit. And it’s only been very recently that I’ve developed the confidence to pass those messages on to others. Here’s how it played out…

By the way, this story is kinda long, so you might wanna put the kettle on and make yourself comfortable. Take off your pants if you want to. (Actually on second thoughts, please don’t do that. I feel weird about it.)
When I was 25 and working for a major national magazine in Sydney, the editor introduced an angel card column, where readers could send in questions which would be answered by Doreen Virtue, a US clairvoyant known as the Angel Lady. If you haven’t heard of her, she’s written a million books about communicating with angels and has even appeared on Oprah. Although I was vaguely aware of the concept of angels before this, they seemed like mythical figures to me. But my curiosity was piqued and I sent in a question of my own, which Doreen answered with startling accuracy. 
Me at Newgrange tomb, Dublin, 2007
Two years later I was travelling overseas when I noticed a deck of Doreen’s angel cards in the window of a Dublin bookstore. On a whim, I forked out about 15 euros and took the cards home to Auckland with me. I started drawing a card whenever I encountered a problem and even though they didn’t always help me resolve things (in hindsight, because I wasn’t listening properly) they were always reassuring.
In late 2013, living back in Auckland, I was going through a low period in my life, feeling stuck, when I saw a Facebook post from Doreen saying she would be leading an Angel Intuitive workshop on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. I was looking for something to bring me hope, and I needed to get out of town. I booked flights and told my friends I was on a “meditation retreat” as I didn’t want them to think I was a weirdo. (I’m pretty sure they’re well aware, haha.)
Doreen’s workshop was awesome and it really taught me how to identify and trust the messages of my intuition. I met lots of normal people who communicate with angels. Yes there was a significant portion of the stereotypical New Age types – you know, the purple hair, the velvet clothing, won’t stop rambling on about how enlightened they are (yawn)...  but connecting with people who dressed and spoke just like me made me realise talking to angels was for everyone, not something reserved for kooky middle-aged women.
It was during this workshop that someone gave me a reading telling me I needed to move back to Sydney. I was annoyed. I did not want to move back to a city I thought I was done with. But, as often happens in angel card readings, it hit a nerve. I realised I was miserable in Auckland. Plus, I’d known for some time I’d needed to move on, because I’d been getting the ‘move’ card in my own readings for the previous few weeks but hadn’t really wanted to face it.
Leaving Auckland
I sat on the decision for several weeks. I knew the move was right for me but I was scared of starting over – particularly since I thought there was nothing ‘wrong’ with my life. (This was a lie I had been telling myself because I didn’t want to overhaul my life – more about that in this post.) It was an agonising decision. Wanting a neutral perspective I went to an angel card reader in Auckland, the wonderful Melissa Bult-Burns. Even though I draw daily cards for myself, I always book Melissa to do readings on the bigger-perspective stuff – it helps to hear the messages relayed by someone who can be objective. She confirmed that if I moved to Sydney my life would transform dramatically. Incidentally, I still have a picture of the cards she drew for me, and everything she pointed out has come to pass. 
After moving to Sydney in April 2014 I continued doing my own angel card readings, and my intuition was starting to nudge me towards the idea that working with the angels would be part of my life purpose. To that end, in November I flew down to Melbourne to attend Doreen’s final international workshop, at which I became a Certified Angel Card Reader. Still I had no plans to read cards for people professionally. At this workshop a card reading indicated I had strong energy healing abilities and would do well to train in something like reiki. The card reader showed me, in a really simple way, how to run energy, and I was amazed by how much heat was coming through my hands. This was encouraging. For some time I had been wanting to change careers. I had been growing disenchanted with the magazine industry and the way it now stifles creativity in favour of a formulaic ‘content factory’ approach. Plus, after 15 years I was bored. A whole new career path was opening up.
(Are you still with me? Kudos if you’ve managed to read this far. We’re almost there!)
At this workshop I also got messages from two separate people that I needed to be using my writing talents to help people. The angels were indicating that my struggle to find meaning in life would resonate with others, and that I needed to chronicle that in a written form. Sceptical but willing to take a chance, I came home and started this blog. I did not want to give the blog my own name because no one can spell it (lol). So I chose the name One Grounded Angel to separate myself from the airy-fairy peopleI wanted to talk about spirituality in realistic terms, with a good dash of humour. My mission was to empower people – without judgment, preaching or rules – to connect with their hearts and souls in whatever way feels right for them. I’m not saying I’m nailing this every time but I’d like to think I’m at least on the right track. I also didn’t want to present myself as any type of authority, so I went with the prefix ‘One’ rather than ‘The Grounded Angel’.
I told no one about my blog at first – I was too worried about being judged. My online following happened organically, and I have no idea how people found me in those early days. As always, the angels were right – my themes seem to have resonated with some of you. It’s certainly helped me, in just about every area of my life. I’ve derived significantly more satisfaction from my content on this blog than anything I’ve ever written in my journalism career.
My practice - lots of purple!
Fast-forward to March 2015, when I completed training in Reiki I, then Reiki II a few months later. I realised I could offer angel card readings and reiki within the same business model – the two modalities were a natural fit. I also realised that I had an advantage because I could easily communicate with clients’ angels to find out where they needed healing. That would be my point of difference. So I opened up my practice in Rozelle, Inner West Sydney, in July.
So that’s how I got here. It’s been a year of monumental change, and as with all stories, the best is yet to come. It’s the same for you, by the way – none of us knows how our stories will play out. The most important thing is that if you want a bigger, more meaningful life, you have to start a new narrative. None of this was planned, but all of this is perfect. Don’t focus on the ending – just start. 

Thank you for joining me on this journey  xx

Speak your truth - the way you use your words is so important. This is how the throat chakra works

Small boy with letters coming out his throat

When you were a kid, did your mum often utter these fateful words? “This is the last time I’ll warn you about this!”  And did she follow through on that threat? 

When our words and actions don’t match up, that can signify an imbalance in the throat chakra, which is the energy centre concerned with communication. 

Spiritually, our words are very important because they connect us to the Universe, so making sure we don’t misuse them can really help us create the life we dream of. Essentially, what we say is a direct reflection of who we are and what we want. And if we can’t express ourselves well, that will adversely affect our relationships too.

While the base chakra’s adversary is fear and the heart chakra faces up to grief, the throat chakra’s challenge is lies. That’s because this energy centre is about how our words align (or not) with what we really mean.

Obviously speech is important when it comes to the throat chakra, but so is listening – which is a major component in healthy relationships, because when you think about it, all any human being really wants is to be heard. If you deny someone that right, ideally you would have a good reason (perhaps their words are detrimental to you, for example). 

Cartoon frog with enlarged throat

When this chakra is in balance, you’re able to ask for what you want without apologising for it. You don’t need to yell or use a lot of words when you communicate with people. You listen – really listen! – to people instead of mentally preparing your response while they are still speaking.

The most common way an imbalance in this chakra shows up is when your words don’t match up with your behaviour – you don’t pay people when you say you will, you don’t ring them when you said you would... that type of thing. 

People who are deficient in the throat chakra might demonstrate these attributes:

* They can’t say no to anyone, even when they really want to

* They never say what they really think

* They have a quiet voice or an uncertain tone

* They give mixed messages (which is why nothing in their lives works out the way they want it to).

People who have excessive energy in the throat chakra might exhibit these qualities:

*They interrupt and talk over people

* They talk too much, for too long, and repeat themselves constantly

* They gossip regularly

Symbol of the throat chakra

(Image: the throat chakra symbol)

* They use bullying and overly critical words

* They are uncomfortable with silence.

Physically, throat chakra imbalances show up as issues with the throat, ears, jaw, sinuses, glands and thyroid (a gland which, in eastern medicine, is connected to your ability to express yourself).

To bring the throat chakra into balance, practise actively listening. If the energy in your throat chakra is deficient, finding ways to express your truth, such as journalling, can be beneficial. It if is excessive, undertaking periods of silence would help your throat chakra greatly.

Also, this sounds weird, but singing is actually really good for clearing the throat chakra, because it helps you find your voice. For yoga devotees, shoulder stands and plough pose target the throat chakra. 

Take heart. How to feel, give and receive more love

Heart-shaped tree in field

The heart chakra, located in the centre of the chest, is the energy centre that’s all about how we give and receive love – to all people, not just our partners, and to ourselves. 

People who have blockages in their heart chakra can be judgmental or they could be prone to jealousy. They might be unable to forgive someone or they might be grappling with grief.

As the fourth of the seven chakras, this is the meeting point of the energy centres that are associated with the physical world (the basesacral and solar plexus chakras) and the three chakras representing the spiritual world (more on each of those in future posts). To get a bit airy-fairy, it’s where heaven and earth meet. 

When the heart chakra is balanced, we’re compassionate, empathetic, peaceful, loving and able to help others without depleting our own resources (i.e. we don’t overcommit). We’re also able to honour our feelings, crying when we need to, but also administer self-care when we need it – that’s everything from drawing ourselves a bubble bath to simply speaking kindly to ourselves. We’re also able to receive love easily – we don’t say ‘no’ to people when they offer to help and we don’t put up barriers when people who we like get close to us.

What I think is so significant about the heart chakra is that while the solar plexus was all about shame, this chakra’s enemy is grief. If you think about it, it is loss of any sort (not just bereavement) that makes the heart hurt. Because self-love is so strongly emphasised in this chakra, this loss might be to do with your attachment to ideas about what your life should look like or who you thought you should have become.

Repressed emotions really come to the fore in this chakra – particularly for people who suffered deep hurts in childhood such as a death in the family, bullying or abandonment by a parent.

Two hands forming heart shape

People with deficiencies in the heart chakra might be:

* anti-social

* lonely

* fearful of intimacy

* narcissistic

* judgmental (including racist, sexist, homophobic etc)

* lacking empathy

* unable to let go

* unable to forgive

* struggling to accept help from people

People with excessive energy in the heart chakra might be:

* co-dependent

* jealous

* demanding of their loved ones

* needing to be needed

* fearful of betrayal

Physically heart chakra blockages show up in heart problems (obviously), circulation issues, asthma and lung issues, low immunity, high or low blood pressure and tension between the shoulder blades. 

Any issues with the arms can be related, too – and when I’m clearing this chakra in a reiki session people often report tingling in their hands. That’s because this chakra is all about touch – and that’s a key way we show love to people, right?  

To clear blockages in the heart chakra, one suggestion I’ve heard is to try and go a week without criticising anyone, which will really help you examine how accepting you are.

· Remember that love is about giving AND receiving, so look at how you can increase the amount of love you’re giving out – that’s anything from smiling at people regularly to giving compliments and donating to people in need.

· If you’re into yoga, back bends, bridges and the wheel pose are great for targeting this chakra – and yoga also helps you to sit in the present moment, which is beneficial for your energy field as a whole.