As we head into the last couple of weeks before the Winter Solstice, where the darkness of the evenings seems to stretch on and on, it is easy for our health and well-being to slip under the radar. What is easy is hibernating!
As celebrants, we’re self-employed and that can often mean working seven days a week.
Here are a few thoughts to bring you back into your body and live more consciously during these darker months.
Do you ever find your voice trailing off before you finish a sentence? This is a sign of low iron levels. You need a good level of iron in your blood for communication stamina, so be sure to include foods like kale, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin seeds, tofu. Regardless of the nature of your communication style, you can improve the strength of your delivery by improving your hormonal system. The thyroid is vital in communication health because it is contained within the throat muscles that the voice box is in. To improve your thyroid, eat kelp each day, as well as nuts and seeds. Other natural modalities to support communication include regular chiropractic, osteopathy and neck massage. Transdermal (through the skin) magnesium will support your spinal health. Contrary to popular opinion, magnesium (not calcium) is the real bone builder.
Do your eyes twitch?
Twitches can last a few seconds, or continue for a few minutes. If your eyes twitch, this is a good indicator of nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. B12 is essential for healthy nerve function. Vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption, which, if low, can also lead to trouble with muscles. It’s understandable that our Vitamin D levels can wane during this time of year. This is a supplement that’s definitely worth taking.
Macrocarpa (Australian bush flower essence)
This remedy is perfect for the adrenal glands, and is used for energy, physical endurance and vitality. Use this remedy to bring balance to your endocrine system. By taking this essence, the user will feel more inclined to take the rest that is needed. The benefit is that afterwards, they’ll feel more alive. Use this remedy if you’ve been convalescing or have been feeling overworked and run down.
A good reason not to paint your fingernails is because the nails are a wonderful indicator of body health. White spots indicate zinc deficiency and often show up after a stressful event. Vertical ridges indicate B12 deficiency, and tend to be more common as we age. (Try B12 skin patches if you’re not absorbing it well through diet or supplements). Horizontal ridges indicate blood-sugar issues, such as undiagnosed diabetes.
An Apple a Day
Keeps diabetes at bay. Apple skin contains the important mineral chromium which is vital for balancing blood-sugar levels. So, be sure to eat an apple a day. If possible, make it organic.
Like most things in our culture, when something becomes common it is considered normal and, by default, considered natural. The idea that constipation is when you move your bowels three times a week or fewer is just one example. Constipation to this extreme is an indicator of a diet far removed from what is suitable for the human body. Constipation is when you don’t have a bowel movement for each meal you eat. Do you eat three meals a day? Then you should have three bowel movements each day if you’re eating body-appropriate foods.
Nature’s Hormone Balancer
A large raw carrot eaten every morning will help to balance hormones and ease PMT and menopausal symptoms.
Have you ever noticed how differently you feel when you’re out in Nature compared to when you’ve been in the car for a while or in a shopping centre? All around us are molecules, invisible to the human eye, known as negative ions, which are tasteless, have no odour, and that we breathe in. By breathing in these ions, a biochemical reaction happens once they reach our bloodstream. In turn, serotonin is released which allows us relief from stress or depression, and lifts our energy. Most people notice this when they’re at the seaside, but the beach is just one place rich in negative ions. It has long been known that salt water has remarkable healing powers. The sea water is rapidly absorbed by the skin, and is rich in essential minerals: magnesium, sodium, potassium, and calcium. Breathing in ocean air strengthens the immune system and is understood to help regulate the thyroid gland. Negative ions help to increase the flow of oxygen to our brain. When this happens, we feel lighter, alert and have more mental stamina. Many people have become desensitised to the artificial nature of the life they live. If you’re someone who must have fresh air in a room, you’re sensitive to negative ions and often feel euphoric when in the heart of Nature. They are felt most tangibly after a thunderstorm, near falling or flowing water, waves lapping on the seashore, photosynthesis, Summer rain, snowfall, in sunshine, and when plants produce water evaporation.
You might think the word positive means ‘good’, but in the case of ions, the opposite is true. These ions range from germs, viruses, dust, bacteria, pollen, cooking odours, to toxic residues from furnishings and pets. It is important in any building, to ensure the windows are opened each day, all year around (even if just for a few minutes, in the depths of Winter). Beeswax candles are known to emit negative ions and clean the air. Science shows us that they stimulate the pituitary gland. Burning beeswax candles rids the air of many positive ions.
At the base of a waterfall
Up to 3,000 cubic inches
Small city (little pollution) 18
Large city (with pollution) 3
Positive Ions (also known as free radicals)
Chemicals & toxins
Chemicals from furniture
Daily Rituals for Peace and Calm
Bringing peace and calm to our day is a choice. Regardless of what life throws our way, in any moment we can choose how to react. This is where our power lies. Developing daily habits to support your quest for peace will stand you in good stead for those not-so-easy days.
Start the day with some deep breathing. You can do this while still in bed. Allow each breath to be deep and deliberate. Alternate nostril breathing is very effective for balancing the hemispheres of the brain. Hold the left nostril down while inhaling through the right one. Exhale. Then change. Do at least five repetitions.
Follow this with a forgiveness ritual, letting go of any person or situation you believe to have upset you. Hooponopono (www.hooponopono. org) is an ancient Hawaiian prayer:
I love you
Please forgive me
You can say this in your mind or out loud.
Incorporating a Nature walk into each day, even if just for a few minutes, will allow you to connect with the Earth.
Develop a Morning Pages ritual, whereby you write down three A4 pages each morning. The idea is to write down anything that comes to mind, no matter how mundane. This isn’t a journal as such, but a way of ridding yourself of anything that’s getting in the way of you enjoying your life. See The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
Allow yourself time to be creative, whether it’s cooking a meal, making a Nature mandala or scribbling with pens or anything else that feels good to you.
If you are on social media, choose positive and uplifting pages to follow. My favourite one is Live Life in Colour. The images nourish me.
Allow yourself to notice peace all around you: clouds, trees, waterways, a sleeping baby, the stained-glass windows of a cathedral, Winter sunlight.
Include physical activities such as Pilates or yoga, cycling or walking through a woodland.
Ensure you do a little bit in your home or office each day to keep it uncluttered.
When looking at yourself in the mirror, learn to see what you love rather than focusing on your perceived flaws.
Practise affirmations such as:
I am calm.
I am peaceful. Or, I am at peace.
Make time each day to have fun and play with those you love.
Where possible, eat your meals in a peaceful environment so that you can digest your food calmly.
Don’t underestimate the power of water: start the day with a soak in the tub or a steamy shower.
Less is more. Do you really need to cram so much into your day? Learn to simplify.
Read uplifting poetry, prose or inspirational stories.
Allow yourself a half hour before bed free from electric lighting or computers.
The secret of a healthy life is to consciously create days which have meaning for you. I believe the secrets of creating this for one’s self must include: purpose, passion and pleasure. These are individual, and no one can decide them for you.
Purpose means knowing your calling; what you came on Earth to do.
Passion is having a fire in your belly, a desire to pursue your purpose.
Pleasure is in the detail; in the way your senses are nourished and nurtured.
Take an inventory of exactly what and who you have in your life right now. What is already good, great and amazing about your life? Own it. Honour it. Celebrate all of it! The most soul-nurturing practice you can bring into your life, if you’re wanting to make real changes, is that of identifying what you’re grateful for, and doing so every single day. I begin my day, before I have even bounced out of bed, by mentally giving thanks for my body, my loved ones, my passions, my life, a new day.
Keeping a gratitude journal whereby you write down at least five things at the end of each day is deeply transformative. Even when life feels rough and troubles seem never ending, there is always something to be grateful for. Maintaining a connection to the part of us which is grateful and appreciative opens up new doors. We literally create room for more good to come to us when we acknowledge the gifts around us. Life is cyclical. No one has it fabulous all the time. Use the up times to put credit in your emotional and spiritual bank. A bad time doesn’t mean a bad life. Close the door on bad experiences and move on.
One of my favourite sayings is: the grass is greener where you water it. Don’t waste precious energy being envious of someone else’s celebrant life, health, relationships, creativity. Be the master of your own destiny. Create the world you want for yourself.
When you’re tired, rest. It’s simple, and yet this basic remedy for rejuvenation is overlooked and ignored. The human body isn’t a machine. We can’t make the best choices when we come from a place of exhaustion. I’m amazed how easily humans will override warning signs from the body, such as thirst or exhaustion, and just keep going. To create a charmed life, you have to enjoy living in your body. Tiredness and exhaustion are not the foundation on which to build passion, pleasure and purpose, though they might indeed be the wake-up call you need for finding balance.
Connect with Nature
Take time to marvel at the stars
Praise the Sun each morning
Walk barefoot on the grass
Hug a tree
Bring more beauty into your life.
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savour you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may for it will not always be so. One day I will dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”
~ Mary Jane Irion.
Veronika Robinson and Paul Robinson are a husband and wife team whose boutique celebrant training Heart-led Celebrants (also known as Celebrant Training UK) attracts people from around the world. Heart-led Celebrants has earned a reputation for excellence in celebrant training, and those who are certified exemplify the highest standards in the industry.
Veronika has been officiating beautiful, bespoke ceremonies since 1995. She is a certified Infant Loss Professional; founder of Penrith’s first Death Café; is a celebrant for the charity Gift of a Wedding; and mentors celebrants around the world.
Veronika is the author of many books including the popular Celebrant Collection: Write That Eulogy; The Successful Celebrant; Funeral Celebrant Ceremony Planner; Wedding Celebrant Ceremony Planner; The Blessingway. Three more titles will be added in January 2024: The Gentle Celebrant’s Guide: Funerals For Children; The Discrimination-free Celebrant; The Celebrant’s Guide to the Five Elements.
Award-winning voice artist, Paul Robinson, has had a whole career centred around his voice and other people’s. He’s highly experienced as a celebrant, trained actor, drama coach, voice-over artist, singer, broadcaster, compère, and ventriloquist. Paul is an excellent communicator and teacher, and has a sixth sense about how to relate to individuals, groups and audiences.