Friday, 5 March 2021

Why autonomy is so important - creativity & diversity

Until I autonomously educated my children I didn't really know what autonomy meant to be fair. When I joined the thousands of people home educating when my DS turned 5 and didn't go to primary school, it became apparent that we were going to be a radical unschooling family, who autonomously educated or unschooled our children. 

Our children lived autonomously - deciding what they wanted to do, eat, when they wanted to sleep, what passions they wanted to pursue, etc. - all within the boundaries of our family unit: they self-governed as the Greek roots of 'auto' (self) and 'nomos' (law) stated.

I never thought that the idea of autonomy would become such an important value or ideal within my business. But it is because I want EVERYONE to be their best, intentional, amazing, unique selves. I want people to regain their power: be their own Emperor, Hero, Boss, Sovereign - as stated in some of the 'tag' lines I am now using in my business.

These 'tag' lines that are in the diagram above I believe come from my neurodiverse, dyslexic mind which I mentioned in my FB 'live' on 4/3/21 - (an exciting date by all accounts for a mathematical geek like me!) You can watch that on FB here or on YouTube here. To help my short-term memory issue I often help myself using alliteration, wordplay, acronyms and symmetry to help me.

These are some of my quirks along with my fascination with symmetry, palindromes, as well as my linking of interests in elemental work, the chakras, the directions (above) and puzzles. I also enjoy poetry, lyrics, harmonizing music and none of these things I do particularly well but that isn't the point.  

These are all important aspects of me and things that I often bring into my spiritual, healing work. By acknowledging and honouring these things in me and trusting that it is important for me to be truly me I feel that that allows me to honour you and those parts of you that are truly part of you when I do any healing work.

Owning your individuality or even our idiosyncrasies isn't always an easy thing to do, I don't think. But I think it is important. As Ken Robinson mentioned in his TED talk Schools Kill Creativity (or it might have been one of his other talks), creativity is one of humanity's natural resources and that as a species we are destroying it via our school system. 

Creativity is the way we all see the same thing but view it differently

Creativity is the way we can hear the same thing but experience it differently

Creativity is feelings arranged with words, sounds, colours, but different people who all experience things differently

Creativity is all our brains firing different neurons in different ways based on our experiences, our culture, our upbringing, our unique take on the world. 

Creativity is autonomy expressed. It is sovereignty expressed. It is diversity expressed. And vice versa!

We have to take back this autonomy/creativity and rediscover these self-governing rights that we have over our bodies, emotions, thoughts and higher power

I spent many years via my shamanic training and afterwards, retrieving power that I had lost at school, during my childhood, in unhealthy relationships, etc. That helped me realise my unique place in the world and that my neurodiverse, quirky, non-binary, geeky way of looking at the world was not only ok but was important, valuable and that I had a right to express myself authentically.

Don't get me wrong, I still have more power to reclaim and more things to learn. I also accept that not everyone wants to engage with my quirks. That's ok. You might not totally get what I am trying to explain here. That's ok. 

What isn't ok is people feeling that they can't take up their space in the world or that they have to hide who they are or they don't have anything to contribute.

Take back your sovereignty over your soul. Be the emperor of your emotions. Be the hero of your health and be the boss of your body. And feel free to do all those things your own way.


Friday, 26 February 2021

How to never feel imposter syndrome (or never again)

Imposter syndrome is the belief that you aren't as competent as others perceive you to be despite external evidence to the contrary. It also includes the fear of being found out as a fraud. But it seems that actually, pretty much everyone feels like that regardless of whether we are talented, experienced, a newbie or a seasoned veteran. Either that or they hide it well OR maybe there are actually people out there who don't care and get on with what they are doing regardless.

To be honest, I don't mind if you are actually an imposter in some ways - so what if you are pretending that you know more than they do, so what if you are winging it or slightly faking it to get ahead. I don't mean actual fraud or deception tor fraudulent gain or conning people. I mean slightly bending the truth ("I passed my Maths GCSE!") to get ahead in something you love so that you can learn on the job or get that step up that you need to prove or improve yourself.

Good for you for having a go. If the vast majority of people are feeling like they are imposters then we can all join the party and be in it together and if there are people who are faking it because they love what they do good for them. I'd rather be an imposter in something I love doing than a veteran in someone I hate doing, as long as I am not hurting anyone. 

So what if you know less than the next person? How do we even measure this?

So what if there are people out there who know more than you? They aren't you and the way they implement their knowledge may be very different to you!

So what if you have less experience, so what if you are a newbie? Everyone has to start somewhere before they can become competent.

Here's the 'live' I did on Facebook about this subject - https://youtu.be/BPiT4Dz9jfYI start most of my 'lives' on Facebook with "hello beautiful people" and I finish most of my lives with something along the lines of "remember you are an amazing, unique person and there is no-one else like you." because both of those statements are true. I am not talking about external beauty although I believe that everyone is externally beautiful! I am talking about the amazing, beautiful, unique people we all are. There is no-one else with your brain, your talents, your skills, your thoughts, etc in the way that they are arranged in you

So really you are an expert and uniquely qualified for at least one very important task. 

Being you

So let's forget about imposter syndrome, let's forget about competency, let's forget about what others think about you. 

If you are doing something that brings your joy and adds value to one other person's life even indirectly, brilliant. What others think about that is irrelevant and what you think about what other's think about you is also irrelevant and is also frankly a waste of time because they are too busy worrying about whether you have noticed that they are imposters or they haven't even noticed you at all.

Be you, be unashamedly you, be successfully you, be effectively you and by default you will be competently you and as Yoda would say "you an imposter cannot be!"


PS. If you would like some help accessing or exploring your personal power or are inquisitive about how you let allow outside factors influence your wellbeing arrange a call with me where I can tell you how I could help as a core shamanic practitioner. Book a call with me.

If you are into essential oils spearmint and bergamot are just two oils that can help you find your true voice, confidence and allow you to embrace your fabulous awesomeness. Arrange a call if you would like further information (use the button above.)

PPS. I have added my logo to this post because it was designed from a doodle I did after a shamanic journey I went on about my business. If you look at the way that it has been drawn it spells B ME with a backward B. This is the basis of my Essentially Shamanic business. I want everyone (including myself) to be truly themselves. 

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Dad's book legacy

An A6 book with a star-covered homemade jacket
Dad's book had robins on it.
The day before my Dad found out he was dying, I gave him an early Christmas present. I had been at a Xmas fair that day sharing my essential oils with people and I had bought a lovely homemade covered A5 book from a fellow stall owner. 

I returned home and found out that Dad had been to the hospital and because they thought he had an infection they had kept him in. I went to visit with my Mum and thought it would be nice for him to have his Christmas present early as he was an avid writer. 

Little did I know that the only thing he would write in that book would be his 'bucket list' after he got his terminal diagnosis.

One of the things on his list was to get his most recent book finalised and published. He never got to see the finished product but he knew it would be published before he died on Saturday 25th January 2020. 

He wanted it to be free to anyone who wanted it and he managed that too. The icing on the cake for him was the fact that my daughter Indie's drawing was used on the cover. 

My Dad started his writing career coming up with Letten courses for Scripture Union but later on in life, he put pen to paper and wrote various storybooks. Since his death, Mum and I have catalogued what copies we have left of his various books and so here is a chance for you to get your hands on some copies if you would like.

I am going to tell you a small bit about each book and how much the books are including p&p. Any money that we receive over and above costs will go towards Dad's wish to help his Grandson, Zack, go to Kenya (hopefully Summer 2022) to honour our ancestors. 

If you would like to read more about Zack's adventures you can visit my post that talks about it here. There is also a newspaper article about it here. If you would like to donate directly you can here. If you shop online you can also help for FREE here


Sophie's World was my Dad's last book. It is about Sophie who's Grandad has just died and is wondering what death is all about. 

The irony of this being published after my Dad's death was not lost to my daughter Indie, who designed and drew the front cover and then lost her Grandad (and her first grandparent.) 

It is 14 pages long and was written to help children or younger people deal with the death of a loved one. 

My Dad wanted this to be free to anyone who needed it so this is £2 for p&p in the UK. If you would like a copy please contact me or pay via Paypal here adding which book/s you would like with your postal address.


My Dad wrote Sally's Angel for his, at the time, five grandchildren (his publishing company was called Bizz-B books using the initials of those 5 grandchildren!) 

It starts "Discovering that you can see angels is not an easy way to remain calm on a hot summer's day. To find your first one propped up against a bollard on a traffic island in the middle of the High Street makes it even worse. That's what happened to Sally Jenkins, who was 11 years old and loved in Burlington."

The rest of the book follows the adventures of Sally, and her friends when Sally discovers that she can not only see but talk to Michael, the angel. It is a story full of the magical and often extraordinary world that children can live in. 

This book is 44 pages long over 7 chapters and is priced at £4.50 with p&p being an extra £2. If you want both this and Sophie Wonders the p&p goes up to £2.50.

Again if you would like a copy please contact me or pay via Paypal here adding which book/s you would like with your postal address. 

Then there is The Seeker and The Guide, a wonderful book of reality and dreams, surprises and reflections, memories and meaning. It is a book that takes you on a wonderful journey of discovery. It is 77 pages long and is priced at £5 excluding £2 p&p. I would say that this is more pitched at adults but believe that an older child would find it interesting and enlightening.

Anyway again let me know if you would like copies of any of these books or just pay via Paypal here adding which book/s you would like with your postal address. 

If you want this book and Sally's Angel then postage and packing is £2 but if you want all 3 books it is £3. Any other combinations would need me to work out how much p&p would be. 

There are limited copies of the books but at present, we have over 50 of each so please share this page with others if you can think of anyone who would like copies of any of them. Thank you so much for reading.


Here's the beginning of The Seeker and Guide to whet your appetite.

A Seeker came to the Guide's door and asked where he should begin his journey. "What is your destination?" the Guide asked. "I do not know anything except that I must begin to travel in order to discover another way," the Seeker replied. "Then we shall begin from here" said the Guide. "Look at yourself and tell me what you see."

"I see one who has wandered for many years," said the Seeker. "I have been to all manner of places and have seen wonderful and amazing sights. I have owned houses and valuable things, taken a wife and fathered children. I am very well off and want for nothing. But in all of this, I recognise that I have discovered no clear path. I have grown older but have nothing more to say except that I have been to more places and acquired more things. 

For many years I dismissed the possibility that there were things to be thought about which did not depend upon what I could buy or afford. Now I'm not so sure. I see others who ought to envy me but they only look at me with sadness. They should look for my approval and friendship for I could benefit them but they seek their fellowship elsewhere. They seem to say to me 'there is another way', and it is this that I wish to find"

The Guide pointed at the river which ran through the valley in which his home stood. "There are" he said, "some in this village who have never left its boundaries. When they come to the banks of this river you could ask them where this river comes from and where it goes, and they would tell you that it is a mystery. If I told them that the river begins in the hills fifty miles from here they would be no wiser, and if I said that it flows into the sea, it would mean nothing to them. So it is with the Way you seek: it is a mystery."

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Alternative healing for dogs - stressed, separation anxiety, etc.

Shamanic Healing

As a shamanic practitioner, I believe that everything - people, animals, plants, stone, etc. - has a spirit or soul. 

When something happens to humans such as trauma, shock or even just stressful life circumstances, the soul can fragment and a bit of it can leave. This loss can be expressed through the physical body and mind, manifesting as such problems as illness, confusion, apathy or just feeling 'out of sorts'. 

This can also happen to pets if something traumatic happens like an animal attack, accident or even being affected by how their owner is feeling. Separation anxiety or a change in routine can make a dog feel great loss and result in troubling behaviour.

Shamanic healing can address the spiritual aspect of these issues whether in the animal or the owner. Animals are particularly responsive to shamanic healing because they live in their soul / spirit much more than we, as humans, do. They understand the spirit world intuitively even though they are very different from their wild cousins.

If you would like further information about how I can help you and your pet please book a free Spiritual Health Check call with me or contact me here

Essential Oils

Essential oils can also be used for pets and as their worlds often revolve around scent, aromatherapy can work really well.

Firstly though remember that animals tend to use their sense of smell of lot more than humans. For example, a dog's nose has 40 times more scent receptors than humans which means they are very sensitive to smells.

Secondly, there is a well-known phenomenon in animals where they self-medicate called zoopharmacognosy. This is where non-human animals select and ingest or topically apply mosses, lichen, grasses, plants, soils, clays, insects, etc when out and about. 

So when working with oils, self-selection is really important and diluting the oils is equally important. (Essential oils are diluted in carrier oils such as almond oil or fractionated coconut oil.)


Some oils that are great for stressed /  anxious dogs

Spikenard, lavender and turmeric are great oils to try with anxious dogs and the doTERRA blends Serenity, Balance and Peace can also be very supportive. 

If there are underlying health concerns or conditions that are causing issues with your dog then there are supplements and oils that can help with:
  • digestive issues
  • the cardiovascular system
  • the liver, kidneys and urinary tract
  • the nervous system 
  • immune support 
  • oral health
Dr Janet Roark is a licensed veterinarian who uses doTERRA oils with animals and there you can find out more here Using Essential Oils with Animals podcast (with transcript)

Please be aware I only use doTERRA oils (see below*) so cannot comment on any other blends or makes of oils.   


How do you use the oils - Self-Selection

There are various ways you can do this. 
  1. Put an oil you feel drawn to in the diffuser and see what your dog does
  2. Grab a bottle of essential oil. With the lid still on and the label hidden, offer your closed hand to the dog
  3. Pick a bottle of essential oil, take the lid off and leave it near your dog 

With all these methods you are then watching for signs of positive body language such as:
  • lots of lip-licking
  • yawning
  • coming and sitting in front of you
  • nudging you etc 
You know what signs your pet gives you that are positive. If you see this sort of reaction then that is an acceptance of the oil. 

Please be aware there are essential oils that are not good to use with pets and that all essential oils are NOT the same. I only use doTERRA oils (see below*) so cannot comment on any other blends or makes of oils. I would strongly suggest that you buy some of the resources to help you feel more confident (see below **)


Dilution

The general dilution rule for canines is to mix one teaspoon of carrier oils with 2 drops of essential oil (or a 2% dilution). Obviously, if your dog is a smaller variety then dilute more. 

If diffusing essential oils then having a diffuser like the doTERRA Lumo diffuser with a 10-hour setting with intermittent time on/off is a great way to diffuse 3-5 drops of essential oil. There has to be a way for the pet to leave the room though.

Another way to affect animals is for the owner to wear the oils in diffuser jewellery or on the skin or clothes and the animal can benefit that way and you get a 2 for 1 benefit with your oils.

You could even add the diluted oils (15ml of almond or coconut oil with a drop of essential oil for example) on the dog lead before going for a walk or massage it down the spine from neck to the top of the tail if the dog needs to be calmed. 

If you would like further information about doTERRA oils please get in touch and we can have a chat. I am also more than happy to send you a sample to try with your pet before you buy. Contact me here or connect with me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/vckidd or via messenger here.

There are some great resources out there for you to find out more. 
Here are just a few:

PETS and essential oils - this is a 51-minute talk about using doTERRA oils with horses, dogs, cats and even rats!!

Pamphlet on using oils with cats & dogs - £8 written by Dr Janet Roark**


These pamphlets and leaflets have information about what oils to not use with dogs (and cats) so definitely worth the investment!

* I can only recommend doTERRA oils as I know that they are 100% pure from the tests that they undergo. To be labelled as pure however essential oil bottles only need to contain a small amount of the actual oil. doTERRA bottles all have a number on the bottom of the bottle where you can go to sourcetoyou.com and see all the tests that that oil passed to be put in that bottle. All essential oils are not the same.


Wednesday, 29 July 2020

A different blog post - lockdown time warp lessons

At the beginning of the lockdown, I had grand plans. I was going to get all those courses I signed up for over the years done, get back to writing regularly, blog every week and be more present on social media. 

Having had a minor car accident in December 2019 I had taken a break from face-to-face shamanic healing sessions due to a knee injury. I was in the process of moving my business online and I was furloughed from my part-time job so I had more time on my hands. So that was the plan and then reality hit! 

I was still grieving for my Dad following his death in January 2020 and as I wrote in a previous blog post it was tough grieving whilst in lockdown. Although I have many useful ways to support my emotions via my essential oils and shamanism, I still noticed that I felt more stuck than usual - like my grieving was on lockdown as well. 

For me, time changed over lockdown. I have a very frenetic lifestyle with not much structure. Taking my son to college; my daughter being out on Fridays; attending networking events and my part-time job were the only really static things in my life. I fitted my self-employed work, hobbies and time out with friends around those events but when they were gone, my days merged into each other.

But I still had that extra time and I wanted to make the most of it and so I planned. I felt that the more I tried to be rigid with my time, the more I was not getting anywhere and not even getting things that I used to get done, done. What was going on?

So I tried even harder and I started to succumb to that little voice telling me I wasn't good enough. Social media told me everyone else was doing ok? Why was I finding it so tough? 

So I ripped up my plans and I stopped. I felt very apathetic but I did some shamanic work with a friend, got my emotional oils strategically placed around the house so I could grab them wherever I was and I decided to just go with the flow. 

 

I rediscovered my joy for doing silly things like changing the lyrics of a song for my fundraising challenge and writing for the joy of it rather than for a blog post. I stopped expecting more of myself just because I had more time. Instead, I gave myself permission to just be in that extra time. I came to realise that lockdown was not a time to expect more of myself but to fully realise that I am ok as I am. 

I feel that time has changed over lockdown. In some ways, it slowed down but in other ways, it speeded up and as I write this I can't believe that it is nearly August. My Dad died over 6 months ago but it seems only a few weeks ago. So I am going to continue to be aware of that time distortion as I continue venturing out. But I am also going to remember to take care of myself, slow down and take a breath when I need to and to fully embrace that everything is as it should be because of who I am not because of what I have (or haven't) achieved over the last 4 months. 

I know that going back to work, getting out and about more is going to feel equally surreal and weird so I am taking this realisation of what I need into those future times with me. 

So this was not the blog post I was going to write. I was going to write one that would help the re-launch of my business in September. But this is the blog post that called to me and so here I am going with the flow and writing what I feel needs to be written for me and anyone else it touches.

And following on from my post about grieving being tough in lockdown, I know that I am finding it easier to grieve now that I can do some of those honouring things I spoke about. I attended York Minster's Eucharist service last Sunday with my Mum and gave myself the space to cry whilst lighting a candle for my Dad. I also attended a wonderful Talking About Loss event last Saturday which also gave me the space to cry about my Dad in a safe space and away from my immediate family. 

I'm going to celebrate these moments as well as the fact that I did indeed get one course finished. I managed to honour my Dad and my Black ancestors with my crazy fundraising challenge and sharing my love of oils with people over the internet rather than face to face. I got to enjoy my garden more and spend time more time outside and walking with my family. I have decluttered stuff that doesn't serve me anymore and some of those courses on my list are never going to get finished because I don't feel the need to do them anymore.

I challenge you to write down all the things you have achieved, however 'small', unplanned or weird. 
  • What new joys have you discovered? 
  • What old joys have you rediscovered?
  • What have you let go off that doesn't seem to fit your life anymore? 
  • What are you not going to go back to after lockdown?
Now take the time to celebrate those things

If you want to know more about using oils whilst grieving here is a video I did for Dying Matters - Dying Awareness week - May 2020

                 


Thursday, 18 June 2020

My crazy fundraising idea

I am going to be doing a sponsored walk with a

difference:

  1. to raise money for Black Lives Matter

  2. to raise money for my son Zack’s 2021 Summer trip to Kenya with Camps International

  3. in honour of my Dad who died January 25th 2020

  4. in honour of my ancestors

During lock down, my hubby bought a swimming pool for the garden. Whilst using the pool for hydrotherapy for a minor knee injury, I suddenly thought it would be a unique way to raise money. 

So here's the crazy idea - on the 25th June, I am going to jog 25 lengths of the 4-metre pool.


On the 26th June, I am going to jog an extra 8 lengths and will continue to add a further 8 lengths every day until the 25th July. This is perfect because on the 24th July I will break the 1km mark on what would have been my Mum and Dad’s Emerald (55th) wedding anniversary.


On the 25th of July, 6 months to the day after my Dad died, I will run / jog / walk 1060 metres and over the whole event, I will have jogged 17,688 metres, in memory of my Dad and his ancestors.


Here’s the back story as to why Black Lives Matter and Zack’s Camp International trip.


Picture of Viv Chamberlin-Kidd's great-great-grandfather and great-great-great grandmother
This is a picture of my Dad's (and my) ancestors.

My Great-Great-Grandfather, John Vieria is on the left with his mother in the middle. 

 It is believed that she was the first one of her family not born into slavery. However, not much else is known about them and this is only one of 2 pictures that survive of John. 
  
My Dad only heard about his Grandfather very occasionally from his Grandmother because my Nanna (Dad’s Mother) and her 12 siblings didn’t talk about their black father. They didn’t want to be ‘tarred with the same brush’ and face racial abuse. 

One of the reasons Zack was drawn to doing the Camp International trip to Kenya was because he felt the draw to Africa where these black ancestors came from. He is also going in honour of my Dad which you can read about in this York Press article.


I am also taking this opportunity to read ‘Me and White Supremacy’ by Layla F Saad, which contains 28 exercises designed to be done daily. If anyone would like to join me that would be amazing so that we can all become ‘good ancestors’ together (Layla's reason for making the 'challenge' and turning it into a book.)  


All there is to do now is:

  1. hope the weather is good as the pool is often only 14 degrees when it's cold and running in water takes longer than you think
  2. Raise money for free here when shopping online at Amazon, Ebay, Currys, etc. There is also an app to you can fundraise for free from your phone! https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/zackchamberlinkidd/
  3. Go sponsor Zack at  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/zack-kenya-2021 
  4. Go sponsor Black Lives Matter at https://www.gofundme.com/f/ukblm-fund
  5. Let me know if you donate here and I will add you to a prize draw for essential oils  
  6. Keep an eye on my FB page here for videos of me looking daft running in a 4m back garden pool


Monday, 15 June 2020

Power - a shamanic practitioner's view

Photo of lightning striking a building taken by takenbytablo from Pexels
Power is a tricky word. It’s linked to electricity such as with power lines or with the unit of power, the
watt. It is the rate at which work is done. Then there is the idea of having power within us, such as being empowered or having power over people or someone being in power such as politics (authority), sovereignty (‘the powers that be’), domestic abuse (power over others), etc. 

This can make it problematic when the premise of your business is based on the idea of bringing power to someone or giving them a power animal. What are power animals? What can they do for us? If I bring power back for someone does that mean they could abuse it or just give it away again? 


When I have a shamanic session with someone who hasn’t had shamanic healing before I always bring them back a power animal. It is a part of their soul that is now their link to the spirit world if they choose to learn more. However regardless of the shamanic path that animal is there to remind them of their power and to use it wisely. It is also a reminder that we are animals regardless of what we think. We are part of an amazing eco-system, the earth, and we are guardians of our planet. 


Sometimes it feels that we think we have power over the earth but we are so much more powerful working with the earth and those that live on it than trying to control it. I could talk about this so much more, but the important thing is that we are all powerful - with unique skills, views, compassion and so much more and if we use those skills and uniqueness for the benefit of everyone and everything the world would be a better place. That is what shamanic healing can do - it can bring balance, power and ultimately peace to everyone.


The Norwegian language has different words for power. ‘Makt’ relates to power in the form of might or force - control over people or manipulation. ‘Kraft’ means powerful or strengthening - being effective or flowing with power or energy and lifeforce. With regards to shamanic work and healing, kraft is allowing the Spirits to work and bring back power whereas makt is controlling and demanding rather than acceptance and is not the way to bring back power that is truly power-full.


No-one ever found inner peace or contentment from having power over people or by manipulating them or controlling them. I want everyone to be power-full so that we can all be peace-full. I want everyone to have the inner strength to be who they were truly meant to be. Then we would all know we are enough and we would see the world for the amazing, beautiful place that it is.



If you want to book a free 20-minute spiritual health check with me please book one here.


Friday, 15 May 2020

My thoughts about death and grieving during lockdown

Things have been so surreal since my Dad died at the end of January. I suppose things were always going to be weird, strange, odd, even discombobulated (as I said in a FB 'live' after his death.) And so it was and is: there is a Dad shaped hole in my life. Nothing can change that.

However just as I was getting back to a 'normal' routine after his death, Covid19 hit and suddenly we were in lockdown. And since then, my grieving process has got sort of stuck in a time warp.

I can't visit my Dad's grave.
My Mum hasn't been able to order a gravestone.
I can't easily do any of the honouring things I had in mind to help with my grieving journey.
I can't visit my Mum easily or any of my relatives.
Holidays when I was going to do something 'honouring' have been cancelled.

These feelings have sent me back in time to when I had a molar pregnancy miscarriage at 19 weeks pregnant in 2003. I was monitored for 8 months following the termination to check that I wasn't getting cancer which a molar pregnancy can become. Although I felt devastated I didn't grieve because I was busy dealing with the trauma of the follow-up. Years later I had a major breakdown when I saw a painting of a 7-year-old girl (which is the age my daughter would have been at that time) because I hadn't really acknowledged my loss and I definitely hadn't processed it as I was too busy dealing with my potential cancer diagnosis and then life took over.

I know I am so lucky in so many ways. I got to attend my Dad's funeral in February and his memorial service a month later in March. I got to say goodbye reading a poem at his graveside. I started the grieving process whilst he was still alive and was supported by friends and family. I got to talk to my friends and family face to face after his death. I got to cry and get hugs in person.

My grieving process is harder now. I can still talk to those friends who have supported me but there are no hugs and crying is so much harder over the internet. I have found being brutally honest with the few friends I trust to hold that space for me has really helped but it is more tiring to deal with the aftermath on my own in my house. My essential oils have really helped and I have a creative outlet for some of my grief via poetry. I have had shamanic healing that has helped. I learnt a lot from looking back at the experience of my miscarriage and what helped me and what didn't and that knowledge has helped me. As I said I am very lucky.

My heart goes out to all of those who have lost a loved one during this time. Grieving is such a personal and odd process at the best of times but in lockdown, our 'normal' has gone: the routine that we could grieve around is dead. We are untethered.

So now is the time to find people who you can vent to, cry with, or just be in silence with over the internet.

Now is the time to plan to meet up with those who will truly 'see' you or can be ok holding your pain for as long as you need.

Now is the time to plan those honouring celebrations and rituals that will help you take the memories of those who have died forward with you.

Now is the time for us to all start talking openly and honestly about death and dying so no one ever feels alone or not seen when a loved one has died.

If you would like any support around grieving using the amazing healing power of essential oils please get in touch using the contact form or visit my free Essential Oils for Grief & Loss product here to access a free eBook & watch a video of how I helped myself whilst grieving.