lammas why this anciet festival of gratiture is so important today danielle van de velde

Lammas: why this ancient Festival of GRATITUDE is so important today

Lammas: why this ancient Festival of GRATITUDE is so important today

The beautiful ancient festival of Lammas falls on August 1st (for the Northern Hemisphere) and as with all these turns within the wild, it raises within us energies, impulses and motivations that not only are felt collectively, but serve a purpose.

One of the wonderful benefits of teaching, guiding and holding space for healing with lots of people each week is that it is so clear that these meta-patterns, this stirring, is shared. It is the energy of this next turn of the natural wheel into Lammas that many others are sensing too, and when we work with it, we surf a powerful natural wave that makes putting new choices into action much easier to do.

The Lammas stirring has come through in many experiencing a strong impulse to once again clear their home space (like in springtime); to reorganise activities and stuff; to rejig their space by reorganising furniture, items and colours in their homes. I have had higher than usual requests for energy-body/auris clearing and guidance on smudging spaces.

In healing sessions, many clients have finally reached a point of a wholesale shift; a shedding of old paradigms and a reach for freedom from physical, mental and emotional disharmony; and many others are experiencing transmutation/physical healing. For me, I have experienced a powerful drive to complete projects, before starting anything new.

I have learnt that to deepen our understanding of how to engage with these junctures in the year, it helps to look to the festivals and rituals of the ancients. Within their actions and myths lie all the keys, which is the purpose of these blogs. How do we engage with these impulses that we feel at this time and translate them into modern life?

lammas why this anciet festival of gratiture is so important today danielle van de velde

Lammas, Lughnasadh or Lá Lúnasa is the first of the three harvests of the northern Wheel of the Year. It is named after Lugh, the Celtic god of wisdom and illumination. In northern cultures, it represents the transformation of the fertile Goddess into the pregnant Mother archetype and the Anglo-Saxon festival of “Loaf Mass” celebrates the cutting of the first corn of the harvest and the baking of bread from the first harvest. It is officially the first day of autumn and while the summer sun is at its zenith, especially here in Singapore, the Earth is shifting beneath and around us.

Like all the cross-quarter points of the Wheel of the Year, the shift is subtle, not obvious to the physical senses, but undeniable within. It presents as a deep stirring, impulse to action, a sense of urgency. It is felt, illogical, body-based and undeniable, and it requires action or can easily turn into frustration and anger. Lammas is a Fire festival, acknowledging Lugh and the full power of the sun. It is a reminder that we reap what we sow. It is a time of plenty and especially, gratitude. And even if we are reaping some not-so-great experiences seeded by dissonant beliefs, paradigms and actions, from a wider perspective, Lammas reminds us of the true nature of life and free will. If our bodies, feelings, thoughts or experienced reality in this harvest time is in some way ‘out’, we can change it. It is this spiritual reality that ensures our continued transformation and growth.

Ancient festivals at this time incorporated the blessing and storage of good seeds, for another planting season. Sexual dances celebrating the sacred marriage of Earth and Spirit, Mother and Lover, were dramatized to symbolise the seed stored within the belly of the Mother for life to continue. Celebrations of fresh bread, joy and inebriation abounded.

These beautiful sexy festivals, much misinterpreted, held no guilt or shame. Indulgence, sex, sensuality, dance and community celebration were essential elements to engage energy and awareness with the Earth-tide of the time.

What can we glean from this ancient gorgeousness? The themes and correspondent deities of the season: Loki, Sigyn, Odin (Wodin) and Frigg, all point us towards some clear threads.

This is a call to action and taking responsibility for our own actions. It is a spiritual harvest when we sift the good and not-so-good seeds. It’s a time to understand the dynamics of our inner fields and to celebrate the good within us and our lives.

We are all deeply affected by the ongoing pandemic in many ways. Every second of every day, our minds and hearts are reminded of an ever-present ‘threat’. The empaths amongst us are feeling deeply, the suffering and grief. The providers amongst us are feeling deeply, the uncertainty of the future, the inability to plan direction and the responsibility to provide. The activists amongst us are feeling deeply, the mixed messages of different world leaders, the obvious inequalities in our socio-economic platforms, the racism and division that rears its head when communities hit tipping points of stress. And then, there’s our children and our elderly. We are all, in our own way, feeling it!

Yet, still firmly within our ability and realm of influence, is how we respond, how we choose to relate to others, how we choose to better ourselves and our micro-communities…and Lammas invites us to engage!

Here are my top three actionable themes for this year’s Lammas:

lammas why this anciet festival of gratiture is so important today danielle van de velde

Sharpen your harvest tools

Sharpen abilities of drawing into presence and spiritual perception. Absorb uplifting content and company that provides new perspectives and approaches. Our awareness is creative and when we engage it with like-spirited circles, learn new inner practices or absorb enlightened content, we create this vibration within ourselves and our lives. 

I employ specific ‘harvest-hacks’ at this time. Inner decrees stated with determination are hugely powerful for this. If I find myself deliberating on a fearful outcome to a situation yet to play out, I catch myself and state clearly, “I now dismiss this possibility”. If I find myself in the company of someone who is draining my energy or trying to engage me in their drama, I quietly and compassionately remove myself and state, “this is not my story”. When I catch myself spiralling into judgement or comparison I arrest it and state, “I choose love”. The more we detach our awareness from old contracting patterns, the more they weaken and then dissolve into their native nothingness.

Engage in a spiritual-sift

The term ‘releasing’ is used a lot in spiritual lingo. But what does it really mean for spiritual practice and how do we do it?

When harvesting the fields, the ancients put a lot of resources and focus into sifting the good crop from the not-so-good. Seeds that didn’t appear and felt like they were humming with life-force were given to livestock as meal. The good seeds were blessed and stored for consumption and the next planting season.

Similarly, our spiritual-sift requires some focus and allocation of awareness too. Relationships, content, experiences that contract the spirit into smallness, feelings of victimhood, exclusion and low self-worth are worth examining. It’s not the experiences per se, but what they raise within that’s important. The mental tailspins, the negative emotions or the destructive behaviours, for example, are signposts to beliefs and patterned behaviours that should be thrown from the inner storehouse. To sift these out, the key is to first catch them and then choose a new script. Make the choice to remove them from future seeding. We do this by not reacting and projecting, but rather by acknowledging and arresting the reactive patterns that arise, owning them and then simply making a choice.  

Acknowledge gifts and blessings

The vibration of gratitude is the marker for Lammas. Guilt-free celebrations of life’s gifts and blessings help us draw towards the good seeds and attract more of the same. And in this current climate, I believe this is the most important prompt from Lammas this year, cultivating gratitude.

The psychological arena offers us so much wonderful information and research on gratitude. We know that consciously cultivating gratitude heals the body, lowers blood pressure, improves relationships and general wellbeing, regardless of external circumstances. Spiritually, the vibration of gratitude is highly magnetic. People who acknowledge the blessings in their lives, tend to attract more of them.

We are surrounded by blessings in our lives, but it takes a ‘grateful lens’ to sometimes see them and bank them in our hearts. Smiles from strangers, the abundance of life in colours, shared meals, perfumes, true friendships, acts of kindness, quiet moments to be with self and spirit are all rare and beautiful blessings; they are the bread of life. Lammas invites us to unashamedly indulge in the harvest that we have worked hard for. And even if that harvest may simply be an afternoon or even a lunch-break just for us, really indulge it. Switch off the phone, disconnect from anyone else who needs you, check out of your field and all its demands and be fully with yourself and the moment.

lammas why this anciet festival of gratiture is so important today danielle van de velde

Gratitude becomes active and manifests new realities when it is expressed. Make a point of it at this time. Thank your loved ones, reach out and make contact, cook delicious meals and share them with the people you are with, say a prayer of gratitude to the Earth and the wild field for Her beauty and nourishment of body and soul. These are the seeds to replant into your inner field for continued transformation and abundance of spirit, life and blessings.

Blessed Lammas, everyone.

If you have any questions or thoughts about Lammas and why this ancient Festival of gratitude is so important today, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.

the solstice upswing danielle van de velde

The Solstice Upswing Let’s raise the roof!

The Solstice Upswing

Let’s raise the roof!

June 20th/21st in the Northern Hemisphere marks the high voltage juncture of the Summer Solstice. Nearly every earth-based spiritual framework around the world, since ancient times, has honoured this seasonal turn in a myriad of ways. The Solstice is imbedded in the structural alignments of temples, pyramids, and stone circles. Fire rituals, feast days of correspondent saints and deities, community parties, dance, ceremony and the retelling of folklore are all part of the traditional mix.

As with all the seasons, the wilderness provides our human consciousness with powerful energetic shifts that we can work with. Far from being separate from the Earth’s cycles, we are part of them, and they are a part of us – both literally, energetically and spiritually. The seasonal turns of the planet support our lifeforce, our rest, growth and regeneration cycles, our food chains, and therefore, necessary natural food medicines our bodies need in each season. Our inner spiritual cycles follow the same cycles of growth, expansion, arrival, discomfort, shedding and deep stillness. This cycle of the seasons, the cycle of life, the cycle of the soul, is evident in the turn in each day, of each breath and heartbeat. It is the rhythm of creation itself. And of all the natural windows throughout the year, the Solstice calls us to recognise this the loudest. It’s a call to understand and respond fully to the interconnectedness, bounty and mystery of life; to move into Oneness.

Oneness Consciousness is the biggest aspect of my entire spiritual journey. It underpins my spiritual vow of service and I teach the concept of it and tools to train the awareness into it, in every single course I offer and private sessions I hold. Why? Because when we operate from a paradigm and felt knowing of Oneness, magic happens. And goodness…don’t we need some magic on this planet right now?

The easiest way to understand how the Solstice supports this conscious shift into Oneness, is to look first at the natural characteristics of the season.

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year and the shortest night. At this time, the sun is at the farthest north that it can get from the equator. It is sometimes called Midsummer, as it both ushers in the warmest season, and also reminds us of the archetypal pulse of life as the days start to shorten from this point onwards.

The key themes to this point in the year are: Awareness (Light), Oneness (natural midpoint), and Gratitude (full growth) and if we use the Solstice energies to focus on these themes, we are able to plant them deeply into our consciousness, bring alignment into our own cycles and change our experience of life.

Awareness

awareness the solstice upswing danielle van de velde

In all esoteric traditions, the day represents consciousness within our ordinary, on the ground, awake, reality. The night time represents our inner, meditative, spiritual reality. Light almost always represents the light of our awareness and its power to transform. At this time of the Solstice, the emphasis is on our ordinary reality; our day-to-day choices, relationships, thoughts and actions.

The Solstice calls us to develop and hone our present awareness and mindfulness. Every single action, thought, emotion, word and choice emanates creative energies which organise themselves into our life experience. It’s time to take stock of what we are experiencing, to bring the light of our awareness to what doesn’t sit well within our lives and to make the changes. The full light exposure of the Solstice is an invitation to take responsibility for everything in our lives; everything. The position of ‘the victim’ or passivity towards what we perceive to be ‘wrong’ with our selves or our lives is the ultimate in dualistic consciousness. Life is not being done to us; it is emanating from us – the good, the bad and the ugly. And every moment, every now, is an opportunity to transform.

Day-to-day mindfulness of our reactions, patterned thinking and the felt sensations that move through our bodies, is key to bringing awareness to the life we are creating. Meditation training and journaling are two of my tried and true ways to develop this capacity. Another beautiful practice to mark the changes we seek is to declare them to the Solstice dawn. This simple action, witnessed by our present awareness and the year’s highest light point, sends a ripple into the field which triggers change. And it’s a tradition that the ancients engaged with on the Solstice too.

Oneness

oneness the solstice upswing danielle van de velde

The natural midpoint of the Solstice is also regarded as a hugely powerful window for connection with Spirit, as the wild pendulum hits its zenith and then starts its swing into shorter days, less light and retraction into winter. This still point, before the entire direction of the wild field shifts, is a time to connect with nature, enter ritual and raise the energy body to connect with our true nature – our Spirit.

Many beautiful practices correspond with the solar energies of the day and our mind/body/energy systems. Surya Namaskara (sun salutations), Surya and Mushtika mudras combined with meditative visualisation of radiant light and strength, Solar Flare movement meditations, AUM mantra and Solar Breathing practices are some of my favourites to teach and use at this time.

Choosing to engage spiritually through ritual and inner practice merges our mundane aspect with our spiritual aspect – it moves our very being into Oneness Consciousness, that is, the realisation that we are a unique refraction within a whole. Life, self, spirit, nature and the energetic field that holds it all, is all one thing! And it is from this state that we consciously create our lives.

Gratitude

gratitude the solstice upswing danielle van de velde

The Solstice is also the time for highest growth, seeding and birthing in the natural world and nearly all of the ancient ceremonies that mark the Solstice, celebrate the abundance of the earth and life through feasting, dance and all-night partying! I write about expressing gratitude a lot, as it’s one of the most powerful spiritual forces available to us. It creates joy. It eliminates comparison and envy. It improves heart health and immune function. It creates a state of wellbeing irrespective of external circumstances. It is a highly magnetic state, that is, it accelerates the creative mechanism between thought/feeling/will and what we experience. In other words, it brings in the good harvest and it seeds the next.

Knowing this isn’t enough. The state of gratitude needs to be nurtured, enabled and felt for it to wield its magic, and usually, this requires a conscious effort. But small steps in the day-to-day will start the gratitude engine running. Blessings before eating a meal together, keeping a gratitude journal or app, choosing to say ‘thank you’ more often, returning kind action with kind actions, sending that card or making that call to acknowledge the blessing of friendship, are all small, easy and potent actions that align with the Solstice energies.

I hope this article inspires you into action. Let’s not let this 2021 Solstice and all the beautiful meaning and energy that it offers us, slide by. If you’re nodding when reading this, then put the sentiment into action now and notice the shifts it creates.

Blessed Solstice, Folks!
Love,
Dani

If you have any questions or thoughts on the Solstice upswing or the energies it brings, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.

THE C-WORD SERIES: COURTESY, CONTENT & CONTAINERS A new take on the ‘C-Word’ in business!

THE C-WORD SERIES: COURTESY, CONTENT & CONTAINERS
A new take on the ‘C-Word’ in business!

My mentoring sessions are more and more steering towards small business coaching for individuals who have chosen to turn their long-held passions and side hustles into income-generating businesses. The perspectives and energy dynamics in doing this, are both my fascination and skill. It’s super exciting to be a part of and it is certainly shaking things up.

I have watched different businesses in my ‘sector’ flash, dazzle then fade, and others plateau after rapid growth, while some have continued to successfully evolve and grow beautifully in the time that I formally started my own meditation and healing business, seven years ago. And in the last 18 months, this activity has accelerated. 

What makes the difference between the ‘flash, dazzle and fade’ attempts, and the small businesses that gain traction and loyalty and continue to grow, even through a global pandemic? 

After much market observation and trend tracking, I am confident in saying that the answer, my friends, is that the winners always and consistently apply the ‘C-word’ in their businesses and dealings…eight variations of it, in fact!

In our first instalment of the C-word Series, you read about Clarity and Connection. In this second instalment, we’re taking a look at three essential C-words: Courtesy, Content and Containers.

Kicking off with what I believe is one of the most underestimated superpowers of small businesses:

Courtesy

a new take on the c word in business courtesy danielle van de velde

Common courtesies bring a human element into business and when you’re a small business in a crowded space like mine, always, without fail, you will be remembered by how you make a potential client or collaborator feel, rather than what you tell them. Courtesy exhibits empathy, respect and presence. It exudes confidence and professionalism, and in my experience, courtesy leads to more business. Establishing a rapport in initial communications is key, even if you are not selected for the gig. 

Graciously expressing gratitude for the opportunity to pitch or deliver; being generous with ideas and content; being on time; following up; doing what you say you’re going to do promptly; tagging people properly on social media when sharing offerings or expressing gratitude; not mass-tagging others to push your agenda (I can’t stand this…instant delete and block from me!) are all forms of common business courtesy. 

I know! I know! It’s obvious right? Well it’s becoming less and less common and it makes a point of difference in the market. Perhaps it’s the speed of the digital age? Or these small, but oh so important gestures are seen as old fashioned, but certainly in my business they make a huge difference.

I have won several large corporate programs in the last six months through referrals from other corporate clients, because of a great rapport. Other jobs have come in through service providers from previous jobs, who were managing the online events, and then recommended me to their other clients, because they gained a positive impression. Even pitches that I didn’t win in the past due to budget constraints or changed programming, have yielded in months following, because they positively remembered the interaction we had during the pitch. 

And I recommend others from a similar ‘felt’ connection. Last year, for example, I put the word out asking for recommendations for a personal trainer for my teenage daughter. I was inundated with names and contacts. Personal training is a massive scene here in Singapore and obviously competitive. Several potentials took to messaging me every day, asking if I had made a decision (not courteous). Once we had decided who to go with, I made sure I messaged everyone we had spoken with, directly thanking them and informing we were going with someone else. Some replied courteously with a lovely grateful thank you, but others disappeared after daily chasing. What the vanishing PTs don’t realise is that I was messaged by close to twenty other people asking for personal trainer recommendations. And yep, you guessed it, I passed on the names of the courteous trainers and not the vanishers! 

Courtesy comes from a vibration of generosity, and generosity is highly magnetic!

Content

a new take on the c word in business content danielle van de velde

In my space of coaching, holistic and alternative health and wellbeing, you ARE your brand and it is essential to align your content authentically to who you are and what you stand for. Now more than ever, content is king. Content is how people find you and then decide whether there’s a fit. Fresh content maintains search engine optimisation and social media planning turns sporadic posting into a weave of messaging that draws people to your offering. And it takes planning!

When I engaged Marie Nadal Sharma from Them You & Me Digital last year, this was the first thing we tackled. I had reorganised my business structure from a previous sole proprietorship called The Meditation Teacher, which naturally had an excellent Google ranking, to my own name, Danielle Van de Velde (as my offering had substantially expanded from teaching meditation), and overnight, I disappeared off the search engines.

Marie reviewed all my blog posts and social media and distilled from it all, patterned messaging. We set about defining the pillars of my offering (and me) and then put in place a blog posting and social media plan accordingly. It was a relief to know that I had been instinctively doing this with my messaging, but my goodness, has the forward planning and structure made a difference. My community has grown substantially, as have my engagements, and as yet I have not paid for any advertising. I have been interviewed and invited to many talks and last year attracted a book deal off the back of my blog posts. 

Get clear on what you stand for. Write authentically in your own unique voice. Generate regular fresh content. With a good bank of content, you can repurpose it down the track in many different ways to maximise the leverage from the effort. And if you need help, engage someone like Marie, who can give you the structure and smarts on how the digital marketing machine actually works. It’s worth it!

Containers

a new take on the c word in business containers danielle van de velde

One of the main reasons I love captaining my own business ship is the autonomy and self-determination in my direction, messaging and offerings. And the cues for where to steer my ship, whether to accelerate or slow down, re-launch previously popular offerings, or invent new ones, almost always come via conversations and interactions day to day. 

Clarity and connection activate a radar in the system for themes and new directions. Often, you will see repeated themes jumping into awareness through conversations, encounters, and other content, signaling to you that this is important and could be met with an offering. Repeated feedback from clients and your community is like gold for strategic planning and unless you are executing a formal client survey (which is also worth doing in a planning cycle), then this information comes through as a dawning realisation. The key is to catch it.

There are wonderful data collection and collaborative platforms available that are constantly getting finessed as we continue to operate in a largely decentralised mode…however even the Notes function on your iPhone will do it. The trick is to set up containers where the ideas can be easily captured, in context of your offering and what you stand for. I also include in my containers, links to relevant articles that I can reshare later with my own commentary, memes that speak directly to me as well as photographs of experiences I have had that have yielded an insight or revelation. All of this is excellent raw material for your social media planning and also generation of offerings. I have a specific bucket for blog post ideas. You’re reading now an idea that started forming about three months ago. Every time I encountered another C-word in business, or witnessed one in action, I popped it in my ‘Blog Post Container’ with a short note to remind me of the point. I have enough ideas in there for around twenty new articles and every week I add in new ideas. 

Courtesy, Content and Containers, three C-words that give your small business a serious edge.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the C-word Series for a look at Completion and Clans!

If you have any questions or thoughts on Courtesy, Content, Containers, Clarity and Connection as being essential to small business success, do get in touch. You can also book the online or in-person private sessions on Intuitive Healing and Mentoring. 

Visit my website to explore other courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.

clarity and connection for business success danielle van de velde

The C-Word Series: Clarity & Connection A new take on the ‘C-Word’ in business!

The C-Word Series: Clarity & Connection

A new take on the ‘C-Word’ in business!

The BIG C-WORD that has dominated global language for the last 18 months is changing business landscapes, in how we work, how we ‘pivot’ and grow, and the rush to online offerings. And within all this change, one interesting observation is the rise in innovative small businesses, especially in my space of coaching, holistic and alternative health and wellbeing. It appears that the combination of corporate downsizing and reorganisation, and a pandemic-enforced search for meaning, has released onto the scene a wave of talent, clever ideas, and with it, greater competition for loyal customers. 

My mentoring sessions are more and more steering towards small business coaching for individuals who have chosen to turn their long-held passions and side hustles into income-generating businesses. It’s super exciting to be a part of and it is certainly shaking things up.

I have watched different businesses in my ‘sector’ flash, dazzle then fade, and others plateau after rapid growth, while some have continued to successfully evolve and grow beautifully in the time that I formally started my own meditation and healing business, seven years ago. And in the last 18 months, this activity has accelerated. 

What makes the difference between the ‘flash, dazzle and fade’ attempts, and the small businesses that gain traction and loyalty and continue to grow, even through a global pandemic? 

After much market observation and trend tracking, I am confident in saying that the answer, my friends, is that the winners always and consistently apply the ‘C-word’ in their businesses and dealings…eight variations of it, in fact!

And whilst the ‘C-word’ for some may seem out of date, old school, even obsolete, it is the lack of it in business which is why so many small businesses and solopreneurs get left in the dust. 

This C-word Series explores each, in no particular rank. They are all essential to small business success.

clarity and connection for business success danielle van de velde

Clarity

Clarity of intent, clarity of motivation, clarity of market, clarity of measures, clarity of mind! Clarity can and must be cultivated. It may seem obvious for some, but I am continually amazed by the extent of blurry vision I encounter when engaged for mentoring to help people convert a fantastic idea into an income-generating offering.  

Admittedly, the BIG C-word is holding our longer-term vision to ransom still, however, short to medium-term clarity is ours if we claim it. 

From an energetic point of view, a clear aligned intent is not a simple statement at the top of a business plan. It is a powerful organising field of energy that influences perspectives, decisions and action. 

Our ability to ‘be clear’ needs to be maintained primarily in our inner-terrain, through daily simple meditation and energy practices. Breathwork, contemplative meditations, and journaling are all proven to carve out greater psychic space, therefore honing our ability to envisage our desired outcomes, to describe them and feel into them. Clarity of our business intent, our vision and goals require honing. For some, it is simple and clear. For others, it requires many iterations to get a clear concise intent defined in a way that can be articulated easily and clearly to anyone, especially the self. 

Perhaps, most importantly, a clear inner terrain allows us to read the intuitive prompts that are continually being given through an activated intent. As soon as we’re clear internally on our business goal, that goal starts to communicate to our deeper senses. Promptings for action, new directions, people to contact, and people not to contact, come flooding in, and without a clear inner terrain, we miss them. 

There also needs to be a clear wholesale alignment with the self and the intent. I guide my clients through a process called ‘Core Intent Discovery’, an introspective exercise through journaling that drills down to the key motivational drivers for engaging in the business in the first place, and tests alignment with it. Without full alignment, there is a diluted authenticity in your content and ‘voice’, which potential clients and collaborators can sense.

Connection

Any good business coach will ask at the outset of planning a business idea, “Who else is doing this currently?”, “Who’s doing it well?”, and “Who has tried and failed?” and “WHY?”

Market research not only allows an understanding of the appetite and trends in your desired field, but it is also key in defining the positioning of the potential offering and the unique differences in your own. 

And with all the C-words, as we’ll discover in this series, there is a powerful energetic dynamic at play with connection too. Through market research, keen observation, following the popular ‘voices’ in your field and absorbing the commentaries, it deepens the thought-form of the business idea. Better still, is to make contact with the winners in your field of interest and start dialogues with them, lend your opinions to their commentaries on social media, and/or join related forums. 

Everything that we generate and experience exists first as a thought-form and what we focus on, we become. 

clarity and connection for business success danielle van de velde

By steeping our awareness into ‘the field’ of the idea we want to bring to bear, we energise its birthing. Researching similar offerings elsewhere, reading about how people engage with the offering, the language of the sector, the commentaries, and the voices behind them are both interesting and important energetically and will feed the creative impetus behind your own idea. 

In my own experience, it has been the connections made during the creative planning windows of my offerings which have often yielded fabulous referrals and collaborations down the track. And if you are a sole operator like me, connecting with like-minded communities can make a massive difference to what otherwise can feel like a solitary slog. Not everyone needs to be viewed as a competitor. Converting ‘competitors’ into ‘connections’ smooths the playing field considerably.  

Read our next instalment of the C-word Series for a look at Courtesy, Containers and Content!

If you have any questions or thoughts on Clarity and Connection as being essential to small business success, do get in touch. You can also book the online or in-person private sessions on Intuitive Healing and Mentoring. 

Visit my website to explore other courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

The Spirit of the Dawn: Lessons from 426 consecutive sunrises

The Spirit of the Dawn: Lessons from 426 consecutive sunrises

One of the most common questions I get asked is, ‘what is my daily practice?’ These days, it changes depending on my inner enquiry and what my system needs. However, I remain true to one principle that I have upheld since I started regularly meditating around thirty years ago, and that is, I stick to any new practice until I have mastered it and it becomes familiar, loved, and enables shifts and changes.

Around February 2020, like many of us, my sleep patterns became disrupted. I have always woken early, but this was a new kind of early, around 4.30am every morning. Rather than resist the change, I decided to make the most of my disrupted sleep pattern and go exploring on my bike, allowing intuition to guide my travels in the dark, whilst the city slept. An extremely beautiful window opened up for me which I wrote about in my blog post, ‘The Art of Cultivating Detachment to Dance with Disruption’.

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

Speed, movement and adventure proved a fabulous balm to my caged spirit. There’s nothing like gliding in darkness, whilst the island still sleeps and before the day comes rushing into mind. Moreover, whilst the direction and areas I rode through changed each day, the consistent energy move was being up, aware and participating in the burgeoning light and promise of a new day. What transpired was a deep and abiding engagement with the dawn itself.

In Shamanism we acknowledge that all things, all phenomena, at their essence are a ‘Principle Idea’, a ‘Spirit’. There is an organising field of energy and information that informs everything we experience, including ourselves. In February 2020, I committed to connecting with the ‘Spirit of the Dawn’, every day.

At the time of posting this blog, I have met and energetically engaged with 426 consecutive dawns. So I think it’s fair to say that my daily practice currently and for the last 426 days is that, ‘I do Dawn’.

Sometimes it’s in the Botanic Gardens before my Qigong class. Sometimes it’s sharing a ride with my friends, sometimes it’s through a wild tropical storm, or at my altar in meditation. In the main, most days, I wake early, excited and expectant for what the dawn holds for me and ride the 37km round trip across the island to the East Coast and back. Coming from the East Coast in Australia, the sights, sounds and scents of the sun rising over the ocean make me hum. The atmosphere is charged with all the elements and this allows an incredible somatic, full-body immersion into my dawn meditation and energy practices. Dawn, on the sealine, is a double ‘Dragon Point’.

These junctures where different powerful signature energies meet are described in the Taoist tradition as Dragon Points. They are the point at which one form of Chi (vital life force) meets another. In nature, for example, it is where two rivers merge into one or the mountain peaks scrape the sky. They are where the ocean meets land or when the light emerges in the darkness at dawn. When dwelling on a Dragon Point, the awareness can easily enter into a deep trance state where intuitive guidance and revelation abound.

These areas and moments in nature are considered to be extremely powerful and if you recall those moments in the wilderness when you have been truly moved, and your consciousness spontaneously altered, when you have had a glimpse of the majesty and the mystery, I am willing to wager that you were dwelling in a Dragon Point. In most ancient cultures, the most sacred sites are either on or near natural Dragon Points like most ancient world temples, the pyramids or stone circles.  

In Shamanism, these ‘in-betweens’ are where the Shaman accesses ‘The Spirit’ of things, the ‘Principle Idea’, which also includes the day that is yet to unfold for me. 

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

How I greet each dawn when I am on my own varies. I usually engage in breathwork, some Qigong, Kabbalist energy practices, meditation, stillness and mantra. I find it good to have a selection of tried and true practices in my ‘medicine bag’ and to be responsive to what Dawn and my system are calling for. 

And I’m not alone! There are other dawn lovers out there, and whilst we’re all engaging in different ways, the one thing we have in common is a recognition of the moment and a mutual respect that The Spirit of Dawn has drawn us all there together. 

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

I have filled a journal with the revelations, insights and lessons that 426 dawns have given me and they are far too numerous to list here in this blog. So here are ten of what I believe are the most useful for everyone:

1. Commitment met with effort and then completion, is one of the best mental health hacks there is. 

In an extended and indeterminate time of holding patterns, pivots and shelved plans, creating a new and beautiful focus that requires some discipline and effort, and which results in personal achievement, is enormously satisfying and confidence-boosting. Just do it…whatever it is.

2. Regularity leads to familiarity which enables emotional/vibratory engagement.

The beauty of regular practice, especially one that engages the wilderness, reveals that even though the action seems the same, every single sunrise is not at all. I can honestly say that I have a deep and abiding emotional ‘love’ of the Spirit of the Dawn, and it is this vibratory state that allows the Dawn into my own Spirit, to stir, teach and guide.

3. Every single day is unique, and experiencing this uniqueness engenders deep-felt gratitude. 

426 dawns have leant me into the subtle differences in the feel of the waking day. All the elements of each dawn, down to the bird call, temperature, colours, and scents, will never, ever be repeated in that same combination again. This is true of every second of every day. That deep connection with the uniqueness of every moment opens the heart and floods it with gratitude. The high resonance of felt gratitude is proven to heal the body, boost immune function and lift the spirit.

4. Dawn air is fantastic for Pranayama (conscious meditative breathing).

As the first rays of sunlight touch the botanical realm, it triggers all plants to switch to their daytime breathing cycles, and they exhale a sigh of pure oxygen. The air at dawn is clear, light and highly oxygenated. Here in the tropics, it is also laden with the evening perfumes of frangipani, jasmine and ylang ylang, just to name a few. Bliss!

5. Wild beauty is medicine.

The colours, pheromones, light, sounds, scents…provide delight for the soul, unmatched by any architected man-made beauty, and it heals.

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde6. It’s bigger than me…

No matter what worries, concerns, deadline pressures or client cases might be weighing in my mind, the massive energies of the Spirit of the Dawn put everything, every time, into perspective. Dawn short-cuts me back to humility and insignificance in the scheme of the wild, and there’s an undeniable peace that rises with this.

7. The reliability of nature is a balm.

Day always follows night. We know this, but to participate in the energy of it, directly and consistently, shifts paradigms of entanglement in a current state or the belief of being ‘stuck’ or ‘blocked’. Everything is always changing and ‘this too shall pass’.

8. Playing with the Dawn engenders mental agility.

Sometimes, in meditation at dawn, I play with perspective shifts. Rather than engaging with a rising sun, I will move my attention to the Earth beneath me and ‘feel’ the other truth of dawn, which is, the Earth turning on its axis towards the sun. These shifts provide an agility of mind that is super useful for life and work.

9. Dawn provides practice in detecting subtle energy shifts within the energy body.

At the true point of dawn, there’s a palpable shift in the atmosphere and a distinct, very light movement in the air. It requires stillness and an open heart, but it’s there. I have an app on my phone which tells me the true point of dawn each day. However, I have taken to not looking at it, but rather entering into a deep state of awareness and letting my body detect it. I have it down now and can pinpoint the exact moment of the dawn. This drill practice in detecting energy shifts within my energy body is key to perceiving intuitive information and my energy healing work.

10. Tapping the highest potential of each day.

Beneath and beyond words and thought, is a state of ‘beingness’ that the dawn slips me into, and I can locate and connect with the highest potential of the day. The day is yet to play out, but within that potentiality, at the dawn, it can be found, sensed and drawn in. On the days that seem impossible to pull off, that have me feeling tight and contracted, like for example overbooked healing sessions, or launching a new course (with new tech involved), I have been able to sense into the highest track within that day, before it has started, and stay pegged to that potential. It yields, every single time.

In May, my goodwill donations always support Mother Earth, through endangered species adoption and reforestation drives. This May, I am delighted to start sharing my Dawns with those who are eager to tap some of this divine magic. Dawn Dreaming, open-air meditations start in May. Once Twice a week, I will meet anyone who is keen, at certain locations around Singapore to greet the rising sun and guide a practice. Group sizes will, of course, be limited due to restrictions and we can swing the distancing via my Vox sets that allow you to hear my voice at a distance. $20, and all proceeds will be donated to the monthly causes…all Earth-loving initiatives. Email me here if you’d like to be notified of dates, times and locations. 

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde
the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde
the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

the spirit of the dawn and lessons from 404 consecutive sunrises daniellevandevelde

If you have any questions or thoughts on the Spirit of the Dawn or about Dawn Dreaming, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you on your path to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. 

If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it, I request that you please credit Danielle Van de Velde as the author. I do not authorise repurposing or republishing without my written permission. You may email me for the same.