CategoriesEducational

The Immune System

Your immune system is a network of cells, organs, proteins and antibodies that work to protect you against bacteria, viruses and parasites. The immune system keeps a record of every microbe it has ever defeated, in the form of white blood cells. This means that if a microbe was to enter your body again, these white blood cells can destroy the microbe before it can multiply and make you feel sick. For example, you can only catch chickenpox once!

However, some infections like the flu and the common cold have many different strains. The white blood cells you’ve developed only work for one particular strain, which is why you can suffer from the flu over and over again.

So how can you support your immune system?

There are simple lifestyle changes that can support your immune system and cell function, and keep your body running correctly.

  1. Sleep is closely linked to a healthy immune system. Whilst you are sleeping, your body can focus its energy into cellular activity rather than movement or high brain activity. It is recommend that adults have at least 6 hours of sleep each night, the optimum time being 8 hours. Any less could result in your body not having adequate time to create white blood cells. This is also why you tend to sleep more when you are feeling sick, as your body knows it needs time to repair!
  2. Whole plant foods such as fruit, vegetables, seeds and nits are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, These antioxidants help decrease inflammation caused by unstable compounds called free radicals. Free radicals can be found in pollution, cigarette smoke and industrial components, and can attack the cells in your body and cause high levels of inflammation. This inflammation can lead to chronic diseases such as cancers, heart diseases and even Alzheimers!
  3. Fibre is also essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Fibre feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, known as gut microbiome. Having a robust gut microbiome can help keep harmful pathogens from entering the body through your digestive tract. Find fibre in wholegrain, broccoli, carrots and beans.
  4. Probiotics found in yoghurt, fermented foods and supplements are essential for a healthy immune system. Probiotics are found in your digestive tract and can help your cells differentiate from healthy normal cells to invader harmful cells.
  5. Moderate exercise is vital to keep your body healthy. Although prolonged, intense workouts can suppress your immune system, moderate exercise can give it a boost. It can reduce inflammation and provide energy for your cells to regenerate and repair, as well as removing any harmful bacteria from your lungs. You should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to ensure a healthy body and immune system.
  6. Stress and anxiety can affect your immune system. Stress can increase the cortisol levels in your body. Cortisol is responsible for creating the ‘fight or flight’ mode, meaning all unessential body processes are put on hold until the threat is dealt with. High levels of cortisol from continuous stress can prevent the immune system from working properly, as the body still thinks there is a threat to deal with first. Stress can be reduced with daily meditation. Meditation, even for just 5 minutes, can give your mind and body time to relax and refocus, reducing any stress you may feel.
CategoriesSpirituality Tips & Advice

An Adventure in The Making

Will (my husband) and I have always wanted to travel. We both like to be free, we are always up for and enjoy an adventure. Whether it’s a morning by the sea or visiting somewhere we haven’t been before, we have always enjoyed experiences over anything physical – ‘stuff’.

We had our daughters when we were in our 20s, life happened, we travelled a bit, but the idea still stuck in our minds; that we would travel when we were older. Over the last few years, conversations between us turn to our retirement, travel, we chat about what are going to do, daydream and come up with many ideas (shall we get a van, move to the country, let go of Quest or have a second shop, buy a house abroad, get a canal boat…etc), yet none of them have felt right and it just hasn’t been the right time. Will reached another decade last year (ouch) and we thought the time is really upon us to make some changes… But what would we do? Where we would we go?

Let us take you through our considerations. Quest is happy and the Quest Team is brilliant, so we know we don’t need to worry about it: it’s in good hands. Our daughters are happy and independent, our health is currently good, we are not materialistic, therefore we don’t need a big house and all that comes with its day-to-day running. We like adventure, we love nature, we would like to travel, experience different cultures. Even though it could be prudent to wait for another year or two until the pandemic is well and truly in the distant past, the current situation in Ukraine is over; we concluded there would always be something to stop us.

So, this year, in April we are leaving our home and downsizing to stay in a tiny cabin on the edge of Boxhill. I know some of you have already visited it on a Bliss retreat, healing / meditation session or an evening meditation. If you have, you would know it is literally on the edge of the world…. It’s in nature, with amazing views; we can go for lots of walks, every day breathe the fresh air, and the best thing is we can leave it at any moment, as it will take care of itself, so we can go on our travels to far and distant lands. The other upside is that, of course, we will continue being close enough for us to continue to work in Quest and run all my workshops, courses and more. Our daughter and her boyfriend will get to enjoy our home, whilst Will and I turn into carefree, non-materialistic nomads.

We have running water, electricity, but a camping toilet (yuck). We have to cross a field to get to the cabin which will be fun in the rain, and the mud, but hey ho we will be living the dream (so we hope)…

Currently, Will is busy decorating it. We have visitors that we hadn’t planned for and are trying to move those little visitors out… We have blinds up at the windows now, otherwise the surrounding neighbourhood might have seen more than they bargained for… We have also had hot water and a teeny weeny washing machine plumbed in.

If you have been to my home, you will know I am very minimalist, however the amount of stuff I have cleared out and let go of has surprised me. I cannot believe how much I have accumulated and held on to, we keep clearing and then clearing again, we have very little room as you will soon see and I have been asking myself what do I need? Like, what do I really need?

I realised, I don’t need very much at all.

Once I let go of all my possessions and started again from scratch, it felt good and it feels good now, clearing out things that I haven’t read or done or that don’t bring me joy any more.

So the countdown has begun, Spring is on its way, the clocks are springing forward and the warmer weather is on its way – thank goodness. We have some challenges ahead, and other things to consider, which I will share with you over the next coming weeks (with lots of photos of course). I will keep you updated with the fun, tears and antics of cabin life with my new series – Carolina @ The Cabin, across my social media; Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, blogs and more; for whoever would be interested in how one lives in a small cabin, like, a really small cabin.

Love, Carolina x
@thesoulcoach

This is from The Soul Coach’s fortnightly blog. Check the blogs out for yourself here!


CategoriesEducational Spirituality

The Power of Reiki

What is Reiki?
The basis of Reiki is that the body has an innate ability to heal itself over time. However when we are feeling stressed, ill or anxious, our bodies prioritise energy for critical processes and we are not completely healed.  Reiki is a non-intrusive healing treatment where the Reiki practitioner boosts the energy within a body, which can then be used to heal. This extra energy is known as the Universal Energy, and is the building block for every object and every living thing; from your dishwater to your thoughts. The Universal Energy is intelligent and works on all levels; the mind, body, emotion and spirit. Your body knows exactly where this energy is needed, allowing for total harmony and balance to be restored.

Where does Reiki come from?
Although there are many references to Reiki in ancient times, it was rediscovered by a Japanese born Buddhist monk, Dr Usui, in the 1800’s. Whilst Dr Usui was working in a Christian School, he became interested in the stories of Jesus’ healing hands, and he set out to obtain these healing properties himself. His travels took him across the World and he eventually ended up at the holy mountains of Kori Yama. Here, he fasted and meditated for 21 days in order to attain a high state of consciousness. On the last day, a spiritual energy come down onto the top of his head and provided him the knowledge of the healing. He called it Reiki.

Who is Reiki for?
Reiki can be performed on any gender, any age.  It is completely safe to use Reiki in conjunction with other complementary therapies and conventional medical treatments. Reiki has no religious connections or belief systems; it is available to everyone who may wish to receive it.  Many practices have adapted the Reiki principles, and the use of Universal Energy can now be seen in Yoga, and Tai Chi.

How can Reiki help?
Reiki can be beneficial in many situations. It is especially effective during times of stress, which many of us suffer from due to our hectic lives. When our bodies are stressed, our bodies are in a constant ‘flight or fight’ mode, meaning our energy is being used up unnecessarily to fight an invisible threat. This could result in a decrease in productivity and creativity and an increase in anxiousness when dealing with important decisions. All this has a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing.

Reiki will help add calm to your life and restore balance. Your body can use the Universal Energy to clear your mind, opening it to new ideas and possibilities. You can have an increase in productivity and stamina. Reiki can also be focused on a specific part of the body, such as an injury or discomfort, and can speed up recovery and relieve any tension. Other Reiki benefits also include;

  • Reduced fatigue
  • Improved sleep
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Deeper connection to your higher sel

Everyone’s Reiki experience is different, and your benefits may differ from others depending on what your body needs. These benefits may be felt instantly, or more than one session may be required.

At Quest, we offer Reiki treatments by our experienced Reiki Masters Carolina, Alison and Liz. Find out more information here!

And if you wanted to learn Reiki yourself, check out our Reiki Training Courses here!

CategoriesSpirituality

My Journey to Spirituality

Firstly, a big hello and welcome to my first blog. So for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Louise…or Lou to my friends and family.  I’m happily married to my husband Alex and we have two beautiful daughters, Emily (11) and Esme (8). I’ve been on quite the journey these past 12 years and I’m going to share my story with you now. May it inspire you and give you the strength and courage to pursue your dreams too.

I’ve always been a very spiritual person and would say that from a young age it’s somethings that’s felt very much part of me. As a teenager, I used to love going to the little spiritual shop in Croydon (the name escapes me at this moment).  Buying mood rings and looking at all the witchy stuff with my friends. I absolutely loved it! As a young adult, I’d dipped in and out of spiritual groups and yoga but that was pretty much it. Then life, as it so often does, got busy and my spiritual journey was put on hold.

The past 12 years of my life have been quite the roller coaster. My dad was diagnosed with cancer the year before I married Alex. During the time of his very short illness, I also became pregnant with our first daughter. We all lived in hope that he’d make it to meet his grandchild and be present at our wedding. However, he sadly lost his fight just a few weeks before Emily was born and several months before our wedding. We had some ‘signs’ on the night after Emily’s arrival that he was very much present and that gave me comfort. Emily will never know, just how much her arrival got me through an incredibly difficult time. She was my rock!

The summer after my dad passed and with Emily just a few months old, Alex and I were married. We could have postponed it, but I knew that my dad wouldn’t have wanted that. We had the most beautiful day surrounded by our friends and family and the sun was shining gloriously. We raised a toast to loved ones who’d departed, but I KNEW my dad was with me that day. I felt his warmth in the sun and his closeness with the gentle breeze. It was those little things that brought me comfort and reassurance.

Life changes when you lose a loved one, but it does have to go on and so did I. I went back to work full-time as a primary school teacher and worked hard to provide for my little family. We found out we were expecting Esme when Emily was just 2.5 years old. We had such wonderful plans for our future together. Sadly, just half way into pregnancy Alex’s father passed away very suddenly and without warning. The months that followed were another of mixed emotions. Grief, sadness, joy and happiness at the arrival of our second daughter. Then two weeks later my nan sadly passed away.  I literally was riding the roller coaster of emotions. It was also during this time that we also started to notice my mum’s mental health wasn’t as it should be. Little did we know then, that two years later she’d be diagnosed with a very rare type of dementia, known as Posterior Cortical Atrophy.

It was in the summer of 2016 that we received the news of her diagnosis. In the three years that followed, I was juggling the roles of mother, wife, part-time teacher and main carer. I cannot put into words the toll it took on my mental and physical health. I was in physical pain and seeing a counsellor privately for my mental health. When my mum sadly passed away in October 2019, my world that I’d tried so hard to keep together just seemed to fall apart. I felt lost. I felt empty. I’d lost all sense of who I was and what I was here for.  This phase is sometimes referred to as dark night of the soul. I was signed off work for a few months and in that time I went back to spirituality. I began searching for reiki courses, as it was something I’d considered years ago, but just did nothing about. That’s when I found the wonderful Carolina – The Soul Coach and my life started to change. 

I remember booking to do my level 1 in March 2020. It just so happened it was the weekend before the first lockdown happened here in the UK. I remember being a little apprehensive because of what was happening in the world, but with the encouragement of my husband and sister, I did it. Words cannot express just what an incredible experience this was for me.  I can hand on heart say my energy completely shifted on my first attunement. I will never forget that moment. I knew after day 1 that reiki was something I wanted to pursue further.

Looking back I can honestly say the timing of my reiki 1 was just perfect – 6 months after losing my mum and just a matter of days after completing reiki 1, we go into lockdown. Grieving, whilst home-schooling two children, working as a teacher online and having a husband who had to go out to work every day would have previously tipped me over the edge, but no! I spent the time healing myself. Healing my grieving children and supporting them in the best way I could. Reiki became part of me. It became part of my life. It gave me joy and purpose again. I continued with my reiki journey and did my level 2 training in September 2020.

2020 for most was hell, but for me it was transformational! It gave me time to heal and grow. I made the decision to return to teaching full-time in September 2020. I’ve always loved working with children and felt that being full-time would bring purpose to my life. Yet, several months in and another national lockdown and I knew this wasn’t me anymore. The job wasn’t the same job I signed up to almost 15 years before. The relentless jumping through hoops was taking its toll on me, my family and my health. I knew I wanted to pursue my reiki professionally, so I made the decision to leave teaching. My colleagues thought I was mad. I had no other job lined up. I hadn’t finished the reiki 2 requirements to allow me to practise professionally but I knew what I wanted to do and I wasn’t prepared to let anyone stop me.

So in the summer of 2021, I left my career, had no job and still hadn’t finished my reiki 2. I knew with every ounce of me, that’d I’d figure something out. I took a HUGE leap of faith and trusted the universe. Let me tell you…the universe did not disappoint! I had three job offers in 1 week. One of which was a job at Quest (which was of course the one I took). I’ve now been at Quest for 7 months but it feels like so much longer, in the best way possible. Carolina and the team there are simply the best. I’ve never worked with such strong and empowering people before. As cheesy as it sounds, we are like family.

What about the reiki? Well I achieved my professional practitioner status in November ’21 and went on to do my masters that very same month. This year I’ve started working towards Master Teacher qualification under the guidance of Carolina and Alison. I’m so excited for what the future has in store. There is so much more in the pipe line. My life has honestly changed for the better. I can feel the magic that spirituality brings every day of my life and I’m so incredibly grateful for finding Carolina. She’s helped me transform my life!

Remember that when you go through trauma in life you have two options, you can sit and let it consume you OR you can rise from those ashes and make your life beautiful. Don’t feel like you have to live a life in the way that society tells you. You do you. Listen to your intuition.  Let your soul guide you and you won’t ever be disappointed.

Love and Light,

Lou xx

Follow our incredible Louise for Reiki & inspiration!
@spiritandsoulreiki

CategoriesCrystals Educational

Crystal Shapes & Their Meanings

Not only do crystals come in all different colours, will all different properties, but they also come in all different shapes! These shapes have different meanings too, and whilst they don’t change the energy the crystal emits, they do change the way you receive said energy. Here are some of the common crystal shapes and their meanings so next time you’re choosing a crystal, you know it’s going to pair well with your intention and enhance the energy!

Tumblestones
The most common way for a crystal to come in is in a tumblestone. These are just pieces of crystal that have gone through a tumble machine to create a small and smooth piece that is excellent to keep in your pocket or in a dish at home. They tend to be less expensive than other pieces, so they are great for beginners or those starting their crystal collection. Even for the crystal pros, tumblestones are a must have for keeping in your pocket so you can feel it’s energy whenever you need it.

Points, Towers, Pyramids & Obelisks
These pieces can go by different names but the main principle is that they have a flat base and a point at the tip. As the name suggests, these pieces help keep you sharp and on point. It helps you keep you focused, especially on a goal or intention, making it an excellent tool for manifestation work. The flat base works as an anchor for your intention, whilst the point helps direct your intention and radiate it out through the Universe!


Spheres
These crystal pieces are perfectly round and smooth – reminiscent of the world. This is why they are excellent tools at helping us feel connected to the Universal Energy all around us and reminding us that we are a part of something greater. As they are evenly round, it also helps emit energy equally to all sides helping us feel balanced. They are great for meditative work as they fit nicely in the palm of your hand.

Wands
These crystal pieces can vary quite a bit but the principle is the same. They may be double terminated and have a point at each end, or they may have one pointed end and one smooth end, or they could be smooth both ends! Wands allow energy to flow and be directed – the energy can travel up and down, in and out. This makes them excellent tools for healing! You can release any negative energy out whilst bringing healing energy in. You can use them to intuitively scan the body to locate any blockages, or to move any energy between the chakras.

Hearts
These crystals have been carved in the shape of a heart. As the name suggests, these pieces resonate with the heart and are excellent at opening your heart chakra to all kinds of love! The energy these pieces emit are more loving and softer, making it excellent if you need gentler healing. They help us feel at peace and in harmony, free of any emotional trauma or wounds. They can also be used to enhance the energy of your relationship corner and can facilitate loving energy between two partners!

CategoriesEducational Spirituality

The Spring Equinox

In ancient times, humans all across the world would celebrate the cycles of nature and the seasonal changes. Without advanced technology, such as telescopes and satellites, humans would use the stars and sun to identify these transitions. Even though we are in very different times now, we are all still connected and influenced by the movements of the Earth. By tuning into these shifts, we can harness the Earth’s energy to help us grow, progress and transform.

The Spring Equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the equator – this will be on March 20th this year. This means the Northern Hemisphere tilts more towards the sun, resulting in longer days and warmer temperatures. In earlier times, the Spring Equinox signified the beginning of the new year as it brought regeneration, growth and abundance. Below are our favourite rituals to do at this time as the energy is perfect for them!

Spring Clean:
You’ve no doubt heard the expression ‘Spring Clean’ before, but it’s more than just cleaning your home. The Spring Equinox celebrates new life and rebirth, so honour this time by clearing both yourself and your home so you feel ready to move forward. Look closely at your environment; is there anything that is no longer serving you? Donate old clothes that you don’t wear anymore or fix anything that’s broken. Notice any habits or thoughts that are cluttering your mind and work towards clearing these away. Let your intuition guide you: what do you truly need to release to move forward?


The Time for Creation:
Spring is closely associated with new life and fertility, and brings the arrival of blossom, budding plants and new-born animals. Harness this energy and set out to achieve the new life you dream of. Whilst the Autumn provides the opportunity to clarify your intentions, Spring is the time to act. How can you achieve your goals? Create an action plan that you can follow that will help you reach them. Plant some flower seeds in the garden, focusing on your intentions and goals. Nurture your seeds and let their growth remind you of your potential.

Appreciate the Outside World:
With Spring comes warmer weather and longer days. Even if the British weather brings us rain, there will be signs of Spring all around us. Spending time outside can enhance your wellbeing dramatically, especially after spending the Winter inside, and is known for reducing depression and boosting your mood. Go for walks, sit in the park, have a BBQ or simply let the breeze flow through a window and you will feel uplifted, motivated and full of love. When you are outside, really appreciate the moment by noticing everything around you. Use all of your senses. Can you smell the flowers? Can you hear the birds chirping in the trees? Can you see the baby geese along the pond? Can you feel the warmth of the sun on your face? Bring the outside in by creating an altar in your home with items you find along your walk – a flower, a leaf or a pebble – to remind you that, whatever happens, the Outside World remains constant and available to you.

CategoriesSpirituality Tips & Advice

Your Inner Guru

This is from The Soul Coach’s fortnightly blog. Check the blogs out for yourself here!

Five years ago, while we were visiting Goa, I was drawn to sit in Satsang with the Guru ‘Sam Darshi’. I thought I would just go once, but I ended up visiting a few times. Will, my husband would sit and read in the café nearby, and I would go off for Satsang and to chat with the Guru.

Satsang simply means ‘in company of others sharing the truth’. We sat in the open air, with a canopy over us, and there were 20 or 30 people in attendance. Sam, the Guru, was dressed in white and sat in a white chair with flowers to one side. We took our shoes off, sat on the floor and listened to music – beautiful music that had a beat and was very calming. Some songs were by Deva Premal, others were quite chanty and I loved them.

I was really uncomfortable during my first visit – my back ached, I fidgeted, I was judging the people around me and my mind was in overload.

What was going to happen? Am I going to be changed? Will I feel nirvana? What is nirvana? Will I feel a presence from the Guru?…

I felt quite anxious, yet excited – but by the end of the first session, I also felt quite underwhelmed; I didn’t get a huge feeling of love. The Guru looked at his watch and actually looked quite bored, which irritated me, and I was wondering what this was all about? (He rambled too, which I found boring and irritating.)

I went back and talked it through with Will, as I was disappointed with the whole experience, but at the same time, and rather strangely, I wanted to go again – something was drawing me back. The next day I went back and the same things happened. Will sat in the café and I went off to Satsang.

I was a little more comfortable this time, perhaps because I knew what was going to happen. A larger group of people had gathered and I felt more at ease. I enjoyed listening to the music, but my mind was still active and I was secretly amused that some people were kissing the Guru’s feet… This time he didn’t ramble. He told stories, laughed and chatted about Spirituality. At the end of this session we danced, which I loved even though I felt a little self-conscious, and I enjoyed watching the others let go and become one with the music. The next day I went back again and felt a deep sense of peace. I felt bliss, happiness, a connection to my stillness. I felt love, I couldn’t explain it but I liked feeling this way…

I went back a few more times, loving the opportunity to sit in a safe, sacred space, in good company and although I never actually spoke to anyone else, I listened, observed and soaked it all up. On my last visit, I asked a question to Sam. That question was: ‘How do I feel bliss like this 24/7? It’s easy to feel it here but when I go back to work, it will be hard’. He answered in six words ‘The mind is a powerful thing’. To be honest I was disappointed by his answer at first. It certainly wasn’t an earth-shattering revelation… Another time he told a story about how he ‘took a group of people on a trip and they stopped on the top of a cliff, where they were eating lunch, dancing and having lots of fun. Someone decided to jump off the cliff into the sea, and they all did it (including Sam) bar one person who flatly refused to jump. They were cajoling him, putting pressure on him to jump, and in the end, he did, but he broke his back as he landed on some rocks. Sam went on with the story of how the man got better over several months and how he didn’t grumble but accepted his fate. He didn’t judge anyone or blame anyone for what happened’. This was a ‘wow’ moment; the man took full responsibility for what had happened to him but, at the same time, I thought ‘if he had listened to himself in the first place, he could have avoided all that’.

During my time in Satsang, I learned a couple of things. Firstly, to be my own guru as only we know what’s right for us. At the Satsung, people were worshipping the Swami as if he was a God, and they were giving their power away to him. My belief is that you need to be your own Guru: listen, observe and reflect. Secondly, the Guru was right: the mind is very powerful. We are manifesting our reality every day, so we can tap into the Bliss, Stillness and Love 24/7 if we choose to.

Now, on reflection, when I first went to Satsang, I realise that not only was my mind on full alert, but my Soul was too and my Soul had recognised something at the Satsang that my mind hadn’t – there was an access to Stillness here and my Soul wanted to rest; it wanted my brain to give up and surrender. My Soul wanted to connect the outer parts of me to the deeper part within me; it wanted my mind and the physical part of me to feel what it was like to be connected to Source, Love, the great Unknown, God (whatever you are drawn to call it) and I’m so glad I listened. Every day I’m finding that the more I connect to my Stillness, the more peace I feel; the more I surrender to what’s happening in the moment, the more still I feel; the more still I’m feeling, the more I am connected to Source.

If you would like to join me in exploring your connection to Stillness and Source and to connect to the guru within you, I am running a workshop on Sunday, March 13th at the beautiful Hartsfield Manor in Betchworth. Click here for more details!

CategoriesOthers Tips & Advice

The Importance of Self Love

“Self-love, self-respect, self-worth: There’s a reason they all start with ‘self.’ You can’t find them in anyone else.”


Self Love has become a popular topic recently, but it’s hard to understand what it really means. A lot of people see self love as only being achievable through a makeover, a diet or a new set of clothes, which is not the case. Of course, these things make you feel good and confident at the time, but that feeling fades, and once again you’re left with a sense of unsatisfaction with yourself. This is because self love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself on a psychological, spiritual and physical level. It’s being proud of your abilities and talents, grateful for your health, happy that you get to wake up every morning and take on the world. You don’t need to change in order to feel self love, you just need to learn how to appreciate everything you are and everything you can become. Here are some tips on where to start on your self love journey!

1) A great first step is to create a gratitude list or journal. Spend some time to think and write down everything you are grateful for in life, no matter how small or mundane they seem. This will help you embrace all the positivity in your life and why you deserve your love.


2) Remember to treat yourself with kindness. It’s easy to look at yourself and see the ‘flaws’, but this behaviour does nothing but ruin your self esteem. Challenge yourself to look in the mirror and find the things you really like. This isn’t being self absorbed or vain, it’s about appreciating yourself. Change how you view the features you don’t like. Instead of wishing you had bigger eyes, think about how grateful you are to be able to see.


3) Set yourself boundaries. Don’t be afraid to say no to work and activities that deplete you or harm you emotionally and spiritually. If you arranged a meal with your friends but when the day comes around, you’d rather stay at home, then tell them this. Your friends and family will understand that you have limits.


4) Forgive yourself. We punish ourselves when we make mistakes, and relive moments that we regret. To really love yourself, you have to accept that you are not perfect. Practice being less hard on yourself and remember that you can learn and grow from your mistakes.

5) Use crystals to help amplify the loving energies within you. Keep them in your pocket or wear them in a piece of jewellery to remind yourself that you are worthy of love. Rose Quartz helps boost your self love and Carnelian can help you find and release your inner power.

CategoriesEducational Spirituality Tips & Advice

The 7 Chakras

The Chakras are 7 energy points within your body. They start at the top of your head and go all the way to the base of your spine. The aim is for all these points to be open, balanced and in harmony. You want energy to be able to flow freely within your body so that there is harmony between the body, mind, and spirit. If any of these points are unbalanced, then it can affect you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In Sanskrit, Chakra means ‘Wheel’ and that’s essentially it; wheels need to be balanced in weight to work properly!

The Root Chakra

Just like a tree, the roots ground and support you. It helps your ability to overcome challenges, gain independence and feel safe and secure. When this area is blocked, you may suffer from anxiety, fears and nightmares. If your root chakra is underactive, you may feel anxious and not in control. For an overactive root chakra, you may feel overly attached to something that is unhealthy for your wellbeing e.g. a job.
Location – Base of your spine
Colour – Red
Crystals – Red Jasper, Hematite

The Sacral Chakra

This chakra houses our emotions, passions, and pleasures. When this chakra is aligned, you feel great: you’re friendly, full of joy and creativity. When your sacral chakra is blocked, you may feel uninspired and emotional instability. When it is underactive, you may lack ‘joie de vivre’ and a low libido. When it is overactive, you may experience emotional fluctuations from high highs to low lows.
Location – Above the pubic bone and below the navel
Colour – Orange
Crystals – Carnelian, Tigers Eye, Sunstone

The Solar Plexus

This chakra is believed to be your source of individual power and is responsible for your self-esteem. It boosts your self-worth, willpower and commitment. When it is blocked, you may suffer from low self-esteem, which in turn can lead to anger and procrastination. An underactive solar plexus may mean you struggle to show your authentic self and make decisions. When overactive, you may be power hungry and show maniac behaviour.
Location – From the navel to the ribcage
Colour – Yellow
Crystals – Citrine, Pyrite, Amber

The Heart Chakra

This chakra is all to do with love and influences our ability to give and receive love. It’s where the physical and spiritual meet, allowing forgiveness and compassion to flow freely both to and from you. A blocked heart chakra will bring up feelings of jealously and betrayal. When underactive, you may be emotionally closed off and struggle to get over past hurts. An overactive heart chakra may mean you are too dependent and needy, with a lack of boundaries.
Location – The centre of the chest
Colour – Green
Crystals – Rose Quartz, Malachite, Jade

The Throat Chakra

Your fifth chakra is all about communication and being able to speak your inner truth. You should be able to express yourself clearly, as well as being able to fully listen. A blocked throat chakra may result in feeling unfocused and afraid of being judged. It also can manifest itself as a sore throat and/or thyroid issues. With an underactive throat chakra you may yourself ‘swallowing your words and feelings’, unable to express yourself. An overactive chakra will portray as being overly critical and judgemental of others, and well as being domineering in conversations.
Location – Throat
Colour – Blue
Crystals – Lapis Lazuli, Green Aventurine, Blue Lace Agate

The Third Eye

This chakra is believed to be the bridge between you and the outside world. It allows you to see the clear picture, as well as enhancing your intuition and your ability to tap into it. If your third eye is blocked, you’ll have trouble trusting your inner voice and learning new skills. If your lower chakras are unbalanced, chances are your third eye is too – resulting in you acting more introverted and judgemental. With an underactive third eye, you may overthink and intellectualise things without trusting your intuition. An overactive third eye can lead to an overactive imagination and a mind that wanders too much.
Location – Between the eyebrows
Colour – Indigo
Crystals – Amethyst, Labradorite, Fluorite

The Crown Chakra

This chakra represents our spiritual connection to our higher selves and the Universe. With this, we can access pure consciousness. Unlike the other chakras, the crown is often only opened fully through meditative exercises. Because of this, you may not notice if this chakra is blocked as you may just feel like your regular self – just not in a state of enlightenment. An underactive crown chakra may have you feeling disconnected, with no real direction or purpose in life. An overactive crown may have you desiring material things, yet never being satisfied.
Location – The crown of the head
Colour – Violet
Crystals – Selenite, Clear Quartz, Lepidolite

Although each chakra has its own properties, they all work together as a system. If one is out of balance, then the rest are affected. The goal is for everything to be balanced and working in harmony. It is completely normal to have one or more blocked chakras, and there are plenty of ways to establish harmony within you.

By understanding what each chakra represents, you can figure out if any of yours are unbalanced. Then you can focus on that chakra with your crystals, healing and meditative work. There are also products out there that work on all the chakras simultaneously, which is ideal if you are unsure on what is out of balance. Check out some of our favourite chakra items below!

CategoriesEducational Spirituality

The Origins of Valentine’s Day

On the 14th February people across the globe exchange gifts, send cards and spend the day with their loved ones. Although the focus is on romantic partnerships, this day can also be used to express your love to family and friends. Whether you celebrate it or not, you can’t deny that love is definitely in the air during this month. But why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? Where did this tradition come from?

Valentine’s Day is shrouded in mystery, but we do know that it’s in celebration of St. Valentines. Unfortunately, there’s been at least 3 different St. Valentine or Valentinus.

One of the legends say that Valentine was a priest during the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made for better soldiers, so he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine didn’t agree with this, and defied the Emperor by performing marriages for young lovers in secret. When Claudius discovered this, he sentenced Valentine to death.

Another story see’s a Valentine imprisoned in a Roman prison, where people were often beaten and tortured. The legend goes that this man had recently fallen in love with a young girl, and during his time in prison and just before his death, he sent her a letter confession his love. He signed it ‘From your Valentine.’

Although we will never know which one of these stories are true (if any) they all have similar themes – that St Valentine’s was a sympathetic, heroic and most importantly, romantic figure.

Whilst some believe that the 14th February marks the death of St Valentine’s, others claim that the Christian Church chose this date in an effort to ‘Christianise’ the pagan celebration of Lupercalia.

Lupercalia is celebrated at the ides of February (15th February) and was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. The festival consisted of Luperci priests sacrificing a goat for fertility and a dog for purification, and then taking the sacrificial blood and covering both women and crop fields with it. The blood was believed to make the recipient more fertile in the coming year. According to legend, all the young women would then place their names in a big urn. The bachelors would then choose a name out of the urn and become paired with their chosen woman for the year. These matches often ended in marriage! This festival was eventually outlawed with the rise of Christianity.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, you can’t ignore it’s popularity. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent out each year. This is the second largest card sending holiday, just falling short of Christmas!