I’m going on a Sleep-Out with 650 people!

Wow, this time has flown by, and tonight is the big Canberra Community Sleepout which is being held on the AIS Athletics arena…and apparently there are over 650 people registered!! So it will be an amazing experience and we will all learn a lo more about the actual plight of the homeless, how things change in their life so that they are in this situation and how  tough it has been for some of them.

Well it is only 1 more sleep in my snug, comfy bed until the big Community Sleepout on Friday 14th November! I am not sure what I will be sleeping on…though I am sure I will need to find something to put under my sleeping bag to pad my bony bits.open hands giving

I am very pleased to let you know that I have already passed my fundraising goal of $700 …when I checked the total a short while ago it was over $11oo which is awesome. And I have a little bit more to add in from some generous people I met today in some shops! (Including the lovely Bernie at Snap Printing in Fyshwick).

If you would like to donate please click on the link below and you will be taken to a secure site called GoFundraise which processes all the donations. Many thanks to you if you do donate!

http://sleepout2014.gofundraise.com.au/page/SuzieWilliamsSleepout2014

 WHAT ARE WE FUNDRAISING FOR?

All funds raised from the Canberra Community Sleepout will go towards Communities@Work and St Vincent de Paul, which provide a spectrum of services that provide immediate assistance to those experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness, including food, clothing, accommodation, mental health services, life skills, education and more.

For Example:

  • $10 provides back to school packs for two children in need
  • $25 provides an emergency pack containing food, medicine and personal hygiene products
  • $50 assists with clothing and specialised support for a vulnerable person to transition into the workforce
  • $200 gives a woman and child escaping domestic violence somewhere safe to sleep for one night
  • $500 provides meals and essential items to 3 families in need for a month, and rescues 100 kilos of food from going to waste
  • $1,000 prevents a family from being evicted from their home

Your fundraising will help us break the cycle of homelessness and create better futures.

 SUNRISE YOGA at the Sleepout! I am really looking forward to teaching the sunrise yoga session at 6am on Saturday morning! Please come and chat to me if you are there. Apparently there are over 650 people registered to sleep rough for the night…which is a huge show of support from the Canberra Community – this only the second time the event has been held and numbers have really increased which is fantastic. It is not too late to register if you want to join in and help the homeless of Canberra – the more the merrier.

 It could be anyone… even you… I remember chatting with a friend recently about a startling fact…many average Australian households are only about 5 or 6 paychecks from being homeless…it just takes a sudden change in circumstances with work or family, sickness or an accident and their whole world can change as they have no money to pay rent or mortgage, petrol or food. Others are victims of abuse, domestic violence or families that have broken down. Some are returned veterans with PTSD. Somehow they all find themselves homeless and searching for somewhere to sleep, for themselves or their family. One can only imagine how it must be so much harder to deal with being homeless with your children beside you. I know I always worry about how vulnerable people look when I see them sleeping on the streets.

Apparently in Canberra homelessness is a bit more hidden, we don’t see as many people setting up for the night in shop doorways or park benches as in other big cities. Here they sleep in their car, couch surf, stay in friends garages, or try to find a safe place away from harm – it must be so stressful thinking about it everyday – where will I be able to sleep tonight?

I know that some of the college students I have taught yoga to have also been homeless, spending a night here and there on couches in any home they can find. School becomes their only stable place to be and yet they often can’t concentrate on their schoolwork due to the stress and insecurity of having nowhere to live.

I guess we need to be compassionate and resist judging others before we know the full story as many homeless people were once successful, employed and fully functioning in our regular world of commitments, responsibilities, mortgages and  bills and  felt relatively secure and able to enjoy and celebrate life. These things must now seem like a distant dream to them. Apparently at the Sleepout there will be opportunities to learn more about how some of the people end up being homeless and how we as a community can help them.

I will tell you all about it next week!

 

The many faces and places of Dru yoga:

Some of you have asked about other classes that I teach… so I just thought I would let you know about some of the incredible opportunities I have been given to share the benefits and joys of Dru yoga with the wider community in this past few months, above and beyond the regular weekly classes.

* College: Currently I am running a Stress Management Program at one of the colleges for the Grade 12 students…I was rather surprised at the seriousness of the stress related problems in these beautiful young people. So it has been amazing seeing them relax with the yoga and breathing, learning some success principles for living a positive life and just enjoying being calm inside their own bodies.

The students have all felt less anxious, more able to handle stressful situations such as exams, found it easier to fall asleep etc. Knowing how to manage your own stress and anxiety levels is a wonderful skill for life. I heard one girl say “the worst thing about this class is that it ends! I never want it to stop I just feel so good during the class”.Another said “this is the best thing I have learnt all year at school” and another said that he “now knew how to manage his anxiety before exams using the breathing techniques.” Young people have so much to deal with these days, and not always a strong network of friends or family group to support them. So the gift of yoga is really a skill for life.

Young woman doing Warrior pose

I would love this program to spread into all the colleges and high schools because it actually works and has a positive longterm impact. Some of the primary schools have classes for the little kids, which is great. Unfortunately for a lot of older students, cost is an issue. So if you have any contacts, connections, generous benefactors or ideas on how to access funds or funding to support a program at one of the schools – please call me! It will make a powerful impact on young lives.

* Disabilities: I am also teaching a delightful group of people with varying disabilities including brain injuries, strokes, severe autism and Downs syndrome. It is such a joy to teach these people, of all ages, who just laugh and joke and are totally present in the moment.

* Teens: And I have just been asked to do a program for young teen mums to help them with some coaching and life skills, and learning how to relax and manage their stress with Dru yoga.

* Carer’s: The weekly class on Tuesdays has become a bit of a lifeline for the regulars, they love knowing they have somewhere to come and “just be” and to have time out to breathe, stretch, laugh and truly relax with other lovely people. They all have such big, patient, kind hearts and live such complicated lives helping those they love and care for, I feel honoured to be able to provide a sanctuary for them, even if only for a short while each week.

* Alzheimers: A 4 week program on Mindfulness and Relaxation for the carers of people with Alzheimers …

So, as you can see, it is a very exciting and surprising journey that yoga teaching is giving me. I never quite know what to expect when I answer the phone!

If you would like to organise a one off session, or a program for yourself, your workplace – a Personal Development Day/Team Building/Stress Management and Wellbeing sessions, or if you know of a support group or organisation that would benefit from such programs, please feel free to call or email so we can tailor make sessions to suit your specific group. It is so worth it!

Re-treating Your Self

Abundant Potential have just finished a series of half day Dru Yoga Retreats overlooking the serene lake and gliding swans, to welcome in the new year, and to bring into focus the importance of taking time to relax, rebalance and reconnect. We all need time away from the everyday routine to really tune into ourselves. It is a real ‘treat’ for your spirit to retreat now and then!sitting in serene pose for meditation

It is amazing how quickly you can release tension and stress out of your body with some flowing movements, stretches and great yoga. Topped off with some soothing partner therapy, a wonderful, deep relaxation and  delicious afternoon tea, it is a perfect combination!

Everyone who attends goes through a rapid ‘unwind’. The softening of their facial expressions reveals how much more relaxed they are within the first half hour. The rest of the session just builds their awareness of how they are moving, breathing and feeling, enhancing their sense of inner calm and focus.

Taking time to ‘re – treat’ into your Self for even a short while enables you to shift into a different perspective on your life. Allowing you time to reassess what is important, and what you can easily let go. This sets you free to embrace all the amazing opportunities that lie before you!

Join us on a retreat soon, they will run regularly throughout the year.

 

 

Can kids have Bowen therapy too?

Recently I had a delightful young family travel from a country town several hours away to purchase Step Forward Orthotics. Both the Mum and one of the sons needed orthotics and while we were discussing the results of their footprints, we began talking about Bowen therapy. The parents had both had great success with their aches and pains being relieved by a local Bowen therapist in their town.

When I pointed out a few signs of possible pain in the young boy’s body from his footprint, they were amazed. The son had experienced injuries and pain in exactly those areas in his body from sport and minor accidents and falls when playing with his friends. When I asked if he had ever had Bowen they said “No, had never actually thought of it for him.  We didn’t realise kids could have it too.” So I asked permission to do some Bowen therapy on him, and up he hopped onto the treatment table, very excited about the whole idea!

Children love Bowen therapy, their little bodies are so open and receptive to the technique that a session is very quick. Their body just accepts the new information and goes about making the adjustments and realigning without having to wade through the toxins and tension that adults hold in their bodies. He thoroughly enjoyed his experience, said he “felt he was floating and was sooooo relaxed!” He said it was the best thing he had ever felt happen in his body. Once he was up and about he could feel his body was softer, moving easily and felt more even and balanced. I encouraged his parents to continue with another 2 sessions with their local Bowen therapist.

Children are very resilient, and often after a fall or injury when playing, they just get up and keep on playing, not wanting to miss out on any fun. However, lots of these little (or big) incidents over time can build up into areas of tightness and pain.

I always made sure I gave my own sons  Bowen/NST therapy whenever they had a fall or hard contact when playing sport etc, just to release the memory of that injury from their cells as quickly as possible. Some clients comment that they have memories, sensations  or flashbacks of when they had the original injury, as their body works its way back through the events and releases the trauma. Such an interesting, fascinating technique!! And one that is still revealing its power through research and testimonials from around the world.

I have treated many children and they all respond quickly and love the way it makes them feel.Bowen can treat all sorts of sore spots in the body, shoulders, knees, back, headaches, asthma, digestive issues, sinus. Now that you know all this, remember you can bring your children for Bowen/NST to keep their bodies happy, healthy and aligned too!

What is different about Dru Yoga?

People always ask…what is different about Dru Yoga? It is a little hard to explain and so much easier to experience! I am always in awe of the transformation that occurs on the faces and within the bodies of students in my classes. This is often called the magic of Dru! Peaceful, happy, calm faces and relaxed more flexible bodies are the end result of an hour or more of Dru yoga.

Everyone enjoys the activation to music at the start to loosen up the body and shake away tension and stress. The deep breathing and postural  alignment then helps to bring them into their centre, ready to move through the  subtle yet powerful Energy Block Release (EBR) Sequence. This is one of the main points of difference. The EBR is unique to Dru Yoga, and is designed  to clear blockages in the energy system  and activate your whole being in readiness for the yoga movements that will follow.

The beautiful, flowing movements create feelings of peace and calm that wash through both your physical body and your mind, releasing tension and stress. You will feel clear and focused with a sense of inner peace and freedom.

A deep relaxation completes the class. This is a special time to truly relax and surrender into the blissful, relaxed REAL  You!

At Abundant Potential the benefits of Dru Yoga blend beautifully with Bowen Therapy and all other modalities to support the body. Once your body has released the pain and restriction with Bowen/NST, the many effective yoga stretches and postures allow the body to strengthen and become more flexible. Many clients find they are able to then manage their former problems (such as back pain or neck pain) very well with ‘regular doses’ of Dru yoga. In future posts I will elaborate on the finer details of Dru Yoga and other modalities. Talk again soon!

Namaste,

Suzie

How do Australian Bushflower Essences work?

I have just finished another Australian Bush Flower Essence Workshop, and again am amazed at the plethora of uses of these humble little essences! The different Australian Bush Flower  Essences can be used singly or in combinations to restore health and harmony in our organs and  systems of the body as well as working very effectively at releasing negative emotions. They are so simple to use – either taken as drops under the tongue, or applied to directly to the skin or added into sprays, creams, or a bath.

The more we understand how these negative emotions affect our mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, the more important these very safe Australian Bush Flower Essences become as vehicles to help us  let go of negative thoughts  and outdated old family patterns that no longer serve us.

There is such a beautiful symmetry within the Doctrine of Signatures (this is a well known term in herbalism, and also food,  explaining how the physical appearance of the flower correlates to specific areas of the body, or the actual illness or imbalance. This gives a clear indication of how it will be useful to the body or mind in triggering a healing response).

Studying the essences also makes you realise how perfect our universe really is, with all the intricate details contained within each flower. Flowers aren’t just here on earth for us to admire their beauty in a garden or a vase, they are here to help us to heal ourselves, and our planet!

I will continue to add more specific information on the flower essences over the coming months as well as  case studies of various problems: hot flushes, skin and digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances, learning difficulties etc. The list of issues that can be addressed is endless!

NST/Bowen = Fast Pain Relief

Neuro Structural Integration Technique ( an advanced Bowen Therapy) is constantly amazing both myself and clients with the rapid pain relief they can experience within a session. I have recently had an influx of clients with severe back and neck problems, where they have suffered long term pain for years, often work place injuries or car accidents. Some have had surgery (with ongoing pain after surgery), others have tried many different therapies searching for some pain relief.

What they have found with NST/Bowen is they experience almost immediate deep relaxation within minutes, and then feel their body releasing the restrictions that are causing the pain. When they stand up they feel “my body feels freer and more open”, “more flexible and easier to move”, “I feel lighter and taller”, “I’m able to stand up properly and walk more evenly”, “able to move my head and neck further than I have in years”, “I can get my shoes and socks on by myself”. When they return the next week , they have slept better, had more energy, and moved about with little or no pain. Some have reduced their strong anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers down to a minimum, and others have been able to come off them in a few sessions. While this may not happen with every person, as it depends on the individual’s actual  injury or problem, most are happy to just be taking less  medication and feeling clearer in their minds.

Each client is assessed and given stretches, relaxation and breathing techniques to help them feel better and more in control. The difference in their posture and general wellbeing is quite remarkable over a period of just a few weeks. They have found this enhanced awareness of their whole body really helps, and is often overlooked in their usual medical care.

Healthcare Savings and Research While everyone has individual responses to the NST/Bowen therapy, the vast majority have positive results very quickly. It is a shame that Australia often lags behind in recognising innovative health solutions that are developed here in our own country. It is also somewhat frustrating for clients  that some of the health funds and the workplace insurance companies don’t look into the research being done on these techniques more thoroughly. It could save  thousands of dollars on post injury care!

Between 2004-2006 a research study was conducted in Milan, Italy. A combined effort of the World Health Organisation, Psychosomatic Institution and Northern Italian government revealing NST had a rapid effect on relieving back and neck pain and improving quality of life and sustaining it for long periods of time, (months to years). Clinical studies worldwide have shown 95% of people have a positive outcome after receiving NST with 80% having total resolution of symptoms in 1-5 session! No wonder it has spread so rapidly in the last 16 years through Europe, Middle East, United Kingdom, Canada and US and is now taught to osteopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapists and medical doctors in well known health institutions with outstanding results.

Remember to lobby your health funds to include more of the complementary therapies that you use and find successful. They will then hopefully expand the range of therapies included in their range of services covered when they see such great results. Ultimately it can save them money too!

The Joy of Learning Reiki – why we all need to learn Reiki!

Many people are familiar with the word Reiki, but not altogether sure what it really is, or how it works. Reiki is basically a short course where you learn how to help heal your self, and others,  using  the Universal Energy that is readily available to us all. Thankfully, Reiki is no longer relegated to the ‘woo woo’ section of complementary therapies. It is readily available nowadays in many hospitals, hospices and nursing homes around the world. This is due to its safety and effectiveness. Reiki is self adjusting and cannot cause any harm. When an area of the body has received enough energy, it  just switches off and doesn’t receive any more. This indicates to the person doing the Reiki that it is time to move to another area of the body.

People usually feel the Reiki energy as a lovely warmth that is very relaxing  and comforting. Many amazing stories of healing have been documented. The Joy of Learning Reiki is that it can work on physical and emotional healing – resulting in the experiences that people talk about.

Since I have been teaching Reiki, I have been quite delighted to find that all the students have reported major transformations within  their own lives. They feel an incredible sense of joy and peace which pervades all aspects of their life. They feel content within themselves, and relate to everyone with a deeper sense of compassion and awareness. Their happiness levels have skyrocketed, and they live with a sense of gratitude and awareness of all that is good in their world. They have had increased success and enjoyment in their careers, and seem to be a magnet to others, who just like to be around them. Since they have experienced the Joy of Learning Reiki they have found great satisfaction in being able to help others in a safe and practical way that gives the recipient the tangible benefits of great pain relief, deep relaxation ( where healing occurs more readily) heightened awareness and inner calm.

While teaching a recent course on the weekend, I was truly humbled listening to the the students stories. I realised the profound and far reaching potential of Reiki within the workplace, the medical field as well as everyday homes of everyday people. Most people want to feel as if we are making a difference or can help in some way. Reiki is a simple and effective way to help others and your self.

Towards the end of the course we gave a Reiki healing to a lovely man who has cancer. It was amazing to see him surrender to a deep, relaxed and very calm space inside himself…he called it “bliss” and he lay there for nearly an hour in a very relaxed state and said he “felt as if he could feel his liver cleaning itself, and  his brain and nerves tingling  with life and energy ” while he was lying there. It was a wonderful experience for everyone present to see this, especially his wife who was learning Reiki in order to help him.

More on the Joy of Learning Reiki another day!