MABON The Season of the Crone

The Autumnal Equinox

Five beautiful ways to engage with the meaning and energy of the season

Over September 21st to 23rd the Autumnal Equinox swings into action in the Northern Hemisphere, peaking on September 22nd. It’s one of my favourite turns of the wild field. And even though the markers in nature are not as exaggerated here in Singapore, close to the Equator, what I find so fascinating with these windows, is that the archetypal themes of the season can be witnessed in the subtle shifts in the light and botanical realm, wind patterns and perhaps most fascinatingly, in people’s behaviours and impulses. There’s a wave of influence, that, when understood, we can all engage with in life affirming, positive ways. 

For our ancestors of the north, this time was all about completing the harvest. With the main grain harvest safely gathered in over Lammas in early August, the last grain stalks were cut and dried in the final weeks of warm sun and the harvesting focus turned to the final yields of fruits and vegetables. For this reason, the ancient festival of the Autumnal Equinox, known as Mabon, was also known in various northern traditions as the Harvest Home, The Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, the Fruit Harvest, the Feast of Avalon and the Great Feast of Thanksgiving.

These cyclical turns of the wild field are captured particularly in the ancient myths and legends of the Divine Feminine, given the interconnectedness between the feminine cycle, stages of a woman’s life, germination, growth and harvest, and the moon. Many ancient traditions honoured these shifts with veneration of the reflective Triple Moon Goddess. They are also seen in the Three-Person Goddess cults related to the Earth – Maiden (Spring), Mother/Queen (Summer), Crone (Autumn). In the Sumerian myth Inanna and in the ancient Greek and Roman legends of Demeter, Ceres and Persephone the Goddess eventually descends to the underworld with the waning strength of the sun (The Sun God) and growth and abundance of the Earth draws to a standstill (Winter). And at Mabon, the Goddess transforms to Her third aspect. 

We have entered the Season of the Crone!

The word Crone is commonly associated with the 13th century French and Old English entomology, a derogatory term meaning old and ugly woman. This meaning emerged through the 300 years of the Inquisitions. However, in the time prior to this, when the women were acknowledged and revered as refractions of the Goddess as her natural life cycle mirrored that of the wilderness, the youthful beauty, fertile nurturing mother and wise elder, the word ‘crone’ came from an earlier entomology meaning ‘crown’. The Crone signified the keeper and teacher of wisdom, mastery, healing, storytelling, the maintainer of meaning and ritual. The older post-menopausal women held the esteemed roles of counsellors, midwives, healers and seers. They were honoured and respected, cared for and deeply loved by their communities and dwelt at the centre of the family and community structures. They were crowned in age-accumulated wisdom and intuition.

This Season of The Crone, whilst captured in the Goddess mythos, is of course archetypal. It is not pegged to gender, age, race or religion. It is a metta-pattern that rises every year at this time and is one we are all invited to explore and nurture within us.

How we answer this beautiful annual invitation is by translating the themes and patterns of the season and festivals of our ancestors into modern meaningful actions; to don the Crone’s Crown. Here are five of my favourite ways to engage with the Season of the Crone:

Clear your fields

With the final crops being harvested before the winter months arrived, the fields were cleared and often burnt to allow the soils to rest and replenish over the winter. This movement of clearing and decluttering is absolutely in the air currently. I see more than usual ‘decluttering’ posts on social media at this time. The students in my transformative courses are clearing out old paradigms, fears and defunct beliefs that are holding them back. And lots of people are reporting the desire to clear the decks in the home space. Now is the time to clear our fields. 

Choose a weekend with the family to reorganise clothing, books, kitchenware and toys

Supermarkets are very willing to give you their empty stock boxes if you ask. Set each person in the home up with a ‘keep’, ‘sell’, ‘donate’ and ‘recycle’ box. You’ll be amazed just how many items a family can accumulate through the busy seasons of the year. You can even support each other and join forces to tackle one room together at a time. Put on music, open windows to fresh air and celebrate the abundance in your life as you do. Ensure anything in good condition is donated to others who can use it. There’s an important metaphysical principle here that cultivates a beautiful ongoing flow of abundance.

Clear your relational fields

Choose an important relationship that has faded or soured during the frenetic phases of the year and make an effort to forgive, restore contact or if required, to let it go emotionally and allow it to fade by no longer entertaining reactive feelings towards them.

Clear your physical field

After the summer months and especially the mid-year holidays, Mabon is an excellent time to clear toxins and unnecessary weight from the body. If you keep a sacred space or altar at home for your inner work, now is an excellent time to dismantle it, return natural items to the earth, cleanse and recharge crystals and power objects and allow the space to rest before the next wave of inner workings rises again.

Celebrate your journey

Our modern mindset and pace of life offers few windows to take a step back and celebrate our progress in all areas of our lives. The intense pressures of work and family and the western cultural focus on having more, doing better, staying ahead of the pack, totally devalues this incredibly important spiritual step.

Mabon is a celebration of the year’s harvests and our ancestors made a point of holding grand feasts and making offerings for the abundance of the year to date. At these festivals it was appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in style. 

The Druids call this celebration, Mea’n Fo’mhair, and honor the The Green Man, the God of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer were made at this time. 

I encourage all of my course participants to make time for doing this and my go-to way is to use journaling. Make some time in an uninterrupted window to run through each area of your life and write down your wins, expansions and new insights. Where have you grown within the roles you play in your life, as a professional, a parent, a sibling, a spirit-seeker or a creative, for example? What have you learnt so far this year? How have you healed, changed, expanded as a person? How has your offering to others matured? What qualifications or learnings have to attained? What have you released?

If you run a business or project like me, audit your growth. How many new clients have come to your door this year so far? What other products or services have you expanded into? How has your network of influence grown and reshaped? How has your income flow and income streams developed so far?

This can be an enormously satisfying Mabon activity. Not only does it provide a lot of helpful insight for yourself and your activities, it makes you feel fantastic. Try it and see…and then get the family, team or friends together and share a meal of celebration. 2020 has sped towards the Autumnal Equinox at warp speed. The impact of COVID has had many of us feeling like we’re behind the wave, struggling to keep well, keep active and purposeful. This year more than ever, a retrospective journey of how you have managed and thrived under incredible circumstances may very well surprise you and garner confidence in your inner-strength and enginuity.

Another beautiful way to connect with the season is to switch your grocery shopping to local farmer’s markets instead of the big super markets. Ingesting seasonal foods that are recently harvested is one of the highest forms of natural medicines. The mineral and vitamin content of late summer/autumnal foods is at its peak and the tastes and textures provide a sensory engagement with the season.

Cultivate Gratitude

With a clear understanding of just how far you have come in the year and what you have learnt and achieved, the only natural response is gratitude…and Mabon is the season for expressing it!

One gorgeous way to do this is with the whole family is to start a Gratitude Jar. Find a lovely big glass jar and once a week over a family meal, have each person share and write on a piece of paper, one thing they are truly grateful for that week. Pop the paper in the jar and then in the new year, as a family new year’s ritual you can take turns to pull out the blessings and read them to each other. It’s a very simple family ritual that can be embedded into your family culture easily and it has so many wonderful benefits. It cultivates joy and fulfilment, which in turn heals the physical body. It magnetises more of the same blessings into the family field. It counters victimhood, negativity and pessimism and it bonds the family in abundance. Divine!

Another beautiful Mabon move is to identify three people in your life who enrich it with wisdom, love and support and write them a thank you card. Yes, I realise this is old-school and possibly Jurassic in the eyes of today’s youngsters, but oh my goodness it’s a powerful action, both for the giver and the receiver. So just as the Druids made offerings to the Sacred Trees, identify the tall beautiful trees in your life – the people that offer nourishment, shade, sweetness and strength to you, and let them know how much you appreciate their presence in your life. 

And perhaps there is someone in your field who has not had a plentiful harvest this year; who’s doing it tough. You can let them know that they are loved and that abundance can take many forms by making and gifting them a typical Mabon cake…and there’s nothing that says ‘Mabon’ more than apples! Apples have long been associated with the Feminine Mysteries and Mabon for lots of reasons.

The Autumnal apples are bountiful, sweet and also store well. And beautifully, when you slice an apple horizontally the central seed formation is a five-pointed star, which is the ancient symbol for harmony between the elements and the Goddess! Apple cakes and pies were typical Mabon treats and gifting a freshly baked apple-anything is like giving a warm cinnamon kiss.

Seek Balance

At the Autumnal Equinox, the night and day are of equal length and in perfect equilibrium – dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, are in balance. We can use the energy systems of our physical bodies to cultivate balance across all of our koshas – the physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual. Yoga asanas are a wonderful way to do this. Whether you’re are an established practitioner or not, pick one of the balancing asanas and make a choice to practice and master it during the season of Mabon. Three of my favourites are Tree Pose, Warrior Pose and Crow. If you need some guidance, find an established and well-regarded local yoga teacher and ask for some tips. It’s worth it!

Another beautiful and accessible practice for establishing balance in the nervous system and brain activity is the breathing practice (or Pranayama) called Nadi Shodhana, which means alternate nostril breathing. I practice Nadi Shodhana every day for ten minutes during my dawn meditation and have done so for years. It is proven to bring the brain into coherence by synchronising the central nervous system. This allows a shift into present awareness and it is in a state of present awareness that The Crone truly rises with clearer intuition, revelation, insights, memory and physical restoration of cells and balanced chemistry. Nadi Shodhana and other life-nurturing practices are offered in my online meditation course RETURN.

Reverse the Flow and Fold in

Mabon is on the cusp of transition and from now the energy within the wild field begins to wane. The cycle of the natural world is moving towards completion. The sun’s power is decreasing and from now on the nights grow longer and the days become shorter and cooler (well maybe not here in Singapore, but certainly slightly further north). The sap of trees returns back to the roots deep in the earth, changing the green of summer to the gorgeous autumnal pallet of fiery reds, oranges and golds. There is a reversal in the flow of order, a drawing down and in. The season supports slower activity and more rest. 

Reversing the flow internally can be as simple as choosing a sharing attitude rather than a getting and holding attitude each day. You’d be surprised what experiences surface when you start each day with asking yourself “How can I be of service today?” Or if this feels a little clunky for you, choose one day each week over the Mabon season, say each Wednesday, and commit to being extra responsive to anyone or in any situation where you can help. I can guarantee that you will be put to use with this attitude. Experiences of service will appear, like helping an elderly person cross a road, to being called into a new project team for your experience and knowledge. It can be as simple as committing to smiling first when you have eye contact with people you pass during the day.

This flow reversal can be particularly powerful in the workplace. Perhaps this Mabon season you can enrol in the mentoring program at work, or get involved in HR’s induction program for new employees. You can be more generous with ideas and offering support, or simply affirming a work colleague on their great work or innovation. You can nominate someone for the employee achievement award or simply informally take a newbie under your wing and show them the ropes. With work teams still largely working remotely, these ‘softer’ interpersonal approaches add much greater value currently.

And as the light folds into darkness and the wild field turns towards winter, it’s an excellent time to reprioritise your downtime to include far more gentle nurturing activities, more rest and ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’. And this includes the content you’re taking in too. We live in an awesome age of open access to highly inspiring minds, through books, podcasts, film and talks. Feed your inner Crone with wisdom and inspiration!

So welcome to Mabon – the Season of the Crone! I hope you feel inspired to put some of these simple ideas into action and notice the beautiful benefits and deep engagement with the season. May the Crone within us rise!

If you have any questions about meditation or intuitive healing, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore online 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. 

Spirit Biz

Spirit Biz

Six surprising synergies between spiritual practice and successful business

Within the range of clients that engage me privately and attend my esoteric courses, there’s a vibrant community of entrepreneurs. These are people who are seeking to work with the energetic dynamics that create success in their business endeavours. It’s a form of engagement that I call ‘Generative Magic’. 

The word ‘Magic’ has all sorts of connotations and misconceptions surrounding it. For many, there is very little in common between what they perceive magical practice to be, and hard-nosed, on the ground, measurable ‘business’. However, the dynamics of business and magic have a lot more in common than what may be understood and it’s a growing area of interest in my world and offering that yields incredible results.

So what am I talking about when I say ‘Magic’? The understanding of ‘Magic’ is so often skewed by its trappings, the rituals, the objects, the famous characters and the encoded language that has developed to keep its secrets safe from persecution. However, at its heart, ‘Magic’ is a state of being and a way to engage from an expanded perspective on what the human system actually is and the true energetic nature of life. There’s a third aspect to the human physical/psyche system, which is the spiritual aspect, and the disruption of 2020 has more and more people seeking to connect with it.   

When we operate from our full, integrated self in our personal lives and also in business, a whole new program uploads where we consciously create our experiences. All forms of ‘Magic’, at their core, hold a process of ‘inner alchemy’, an alignment between all aspects of the self – the mental/emotional field, the body and actions, and the energy/spirit field. When this inner alignment is achieved and applied to a given goal, change is generated.

This happens because the magical perspective on self and life is that our inner terrain and our experienced terrain are actually one self-organising system. The well-known axiom ‘as above, so below, as within so without, as the universe so the soul’ is worked with as a literal set-up. Understanding this, changes the rules of engagement completely. And, rather than experiencing life, relationships, business, events, opportunities as ‘happening to us’, instead we are put right back in the driver’s seat and work with experience as ‘issuing from us’ and ‘happening for us’. 

Magic is about consciously aligning the engine of self – Intent, Desire and Will, and from that central state, generating patterns that our outer experience then rhymes with or reflects back to us. It’s the only way to roll! It requires work and taking full responsibility for everything…but Magic or not, isn’t that the truth of each of our lives?

So how does magical practice work in a business context? Here are six key synergies (of many) that can help illuminate the dynamic.

Business Vision AKA Field of Intent

In typical business practice, the translation of Vision to Action is largely a linear one. The founding team will gather and define the vision for the business, which then translates to the strategic plan, which translates to the business plan, which translates to the action plan, measures, accountabilities, and KPIs. Yet within the linear translation, so often, the passion for the original vision can get diluted and become somewhat disconnected to the activity, until the next team away day when the vision is resurrected and redefined.

The requirement for a vision is key in any magical working, however, with one major difference. The vision is generated as a living Field of Intent. That is, it is activated energetically and becomes a governing field of influence over every thought, feeling, word, action, and choice. Rather than a linear process, the Field of Intent sets up the hologram of activity and energy that influences all activity and brings the result to bear. It is the end result, in etheric form.

Alignment AKA Core Intent Discovery

Finding and connecting with the key motivational force of the vision in business is fundamental, and often misaligned. This step is in the arena of what Simon Sinek beautifully teaches, about ‘finding your why’. The ‘why’ is where the passion engine resides. And I often see entrepreneurs state their ‘whys’ according to what they feel might be acceptable or in line with the latest buzz thinking in their sectors. But the ‘why’ is deeply personal to the founders of the business or practitioner. It’s not how it appears that’s important, it’s how it feels and whether it is tapping the key motivational force for all activity. It’s the lifeline that keeps the energy moving through the company and the working.

When working with business clients, I give them the license to state their truth in this area. For some, their start-up is all about giving back, making a difference, changing the world. If there’s a strong 100% voltage in this, they’re ready to roll. However, so often when this wonderful altruistic-sounding ‘why’ feels misaligned, I will guide them through a process called Core Intent Discovery. Very often they will find that what they thought was their key motivation is actually one of several measures of their success, and their Core Intent is far more basic and raw, like, to make a six-figure turnover within the first year of operation, or to dominate the sector for their offering, or to satisfy a long-held desire to personally succeed. 

Our inner dimensions of Intent, Desire and Will are a lot like different teams within a business. If the visionaries, passionate creatives and action-oriented doers are out of alignment, productivity falters and conflict arises. It is the same with our minds, hearts and wills internally. These require alignment, collusion and mutual space and respect to fire on all energetic cylinders.

Whatever the individual core intent for the vision is, it has to be honest and on the mark. When it is found, the Field of Intent is connected with its power source and this generates movement towards the goal.

Accountability AKA Uniting the Will

Accepting full responsibility for all experienced events, whether they be personal or in business, is perhaps the area of Spirit Biz that requires the most introspection and work. In businesses, accountability is mandated through linking KPIs and performance reviews to reward; a kind of carrot and stick approach. In spiritual practice, a ‘United Will’ is the only state through which generative patterns can be strongly emanated to affect change. This process, in esoteric practice, is known as Metanoia – to ‘reverse the flow’. It is a form of inner alignment and transmutation of beliefs and fears in relation to the experience of our goal that has inhibited its realisation to date.

We may have a well-crafted vision of bringing a new and unique offering to the market. However, if somewhere within our system we are buying into a belief that we may not have the ability to do so, or we may not be ‘that unique’ or perhaps we hold a fear that success will expose us to the public or disrupt our lives, then the pattern we emanate into the Field of Intent is dysmorphic and will yield less than optimal results. Metanoia requires the practitioner to jettison stories of ‘why’ their desired field has not manifested, to jettison blame or victimhood, and accept fully their ultimate creative capacity, even if they have been creating less desirable results to date. 

This process creates an inner alignment and recentering into the power of the self and the Field of Intent. When Intent, Desire and Will are working in collusion, in equal measure and emanation, a highly magnetic force is generated which shifts reality. 

Networks of Influence AKA Fields of Influence

When starting any new business venture or start-up, networking and associations with like-minded, successful commentators, operators and influencers in the related field and markets of the business, are essential. All savvy entrepreneurs know and do this. A very similar synergy is worked with in spiritual business practice, in the external relational networks, but also, and more importantly, with energetic Fields of Influence.

The existence of large energetic morphic Fields of Influence is acknowledged in most spiritual frameworks. In Shamanism, they are acknowledged through the elemental and animal medicines. In religions, they are represented through pantheons of gods and goddesses, saints and prophets. In Western Magic traditions, they present in planetary deities and nature spirits; in Eastern traditions, they appear in Core Fields, avatars and spirit guides.

Fields of Influence are like living repositories of expertise that can be connected with, for guidance and influence of affairs. They are accessed within, through the deep mind in certain forms of meditative practice. Some examples of Fields of Influence I have personally worked with to reinvent my business offering during 2020 have been: Creativity, Expansion and Reach, Enablement, Activated Communications, Deals and Contracts. Working with Fields of Influence wakes up latent expertise within and can vastly affect connections, collaborations and the emergence of new pathways.

Logo AKA Sigil/Seal

The development of the symbolic representation of any business is, for me, one of the most enjoyable processes of any new venture. Brand architecture and the resultant logo design is in itself a wonderfully clarifying process and there are some incredible brand outfits who have mastered the art.

At the outset of a new business venture, it is often an outlay that requires a commitment of faith before revenues can justify the spend. And for this reason, the symbolic representation of the vision can so often get short-changed. However, in the world of Spirit Biz, the logo takes on a whole new dynamic. 

The word ‘sigil’ is an old English word that derives from its Latin root ‘sigillum’ which means sign or seal. Sigils marked the banners, wax seals and castles of the ancient world and not only represented lineages and tribal cultures, but held within them the power of the sovereigns that owned them. They are regarded as activated representations of the power of their originators, a force within themselves. They are evident in every spiritual framework around the world. Hieroglyphs, yantras, runes, planetary symbols, religious symbols, even our alphabet and symbolic art are all forms of Sigils. 

In spiritual practice, Sigils are creative enfoldments of intent, energy and correspondences which, when activated, generate energetic shifts in our lives. They are one of my favourite tools for creating change and magnetising outcomes, especially in business. When a logo is understood in a spiritual context, it gives a whole new impetus to branding.

Responsiveness and adaptability AKA Flow

If 2020 has taught the business world anything, it has been that agility and adaptability in strategy, direction and momentum are paramount for success. All of us, in many ways, have had to assess what elements of our business needed rerouting or changed formats to keep operating and retain existing client bases and perhaps access new ones. 

For my business, it has meant shifting offerings on-line, into new creative formats and across varied platforms. It has also required a massive and swift upscaling of my website, content, rankings and social media presence. All of which, I engaged with through Generative Magic.

In a year that has seen the sad demise or shelving of many new businesses, my small business has gone online, gone global, jumped in rankings, nearly tripled its client base and managed an increase in revenues. And this is despite the larger paying work of in-house corporate and school programs, retreats and large group gatherings being suspended for the most part of the year. My offerings are now listed on Spotify and InsightTimer app and I was approached and signed by one of the biggest spiritual trade publishers in the world for a four-book deal recently. 

In periods of high uncertainty, Spirit Biz works best, because from a magical perspective, when everything is uncertain, everything is possible. The energy of wholesale disruption can be leveraged and directed with greater power. The key to working with this dynamic is to remain entirely in energetic flow. And to do this, a perspective of command and ultimate trust in the axioms of Magic must be embodied. It takes some work, as very often it’s a deconditioning of well-carved reactive patterns as to what we previously would have perceived as ‘a dead end’, ‘a block’, ‘an obstacle’.  Once the process is imbued with Spirit, every single event is within the process, even if it appears to counter it. Our ability to maintain positive energy, to welcome all events, to perceive changes in direction as necessary new pathways, ‘obstacles’ as necessary redirections, and deadends as invitations to choose alternatives that are in line with the vision, helps us maintain a strong energetic field that holds the manifestation potential of the goal.

Another tried and true spiritual aspect of successful business flow is in active altruism. The spiritual perspective on giving also takes on a whole new dynamic when we engage in giving as an aligning, abundance-generating activity. I have written more about how this works here.

If you are a female entrepreneur, embarking on a new business venture, or reinventing an existing one, and you’re drawn to understand how to spiritually engage in the dynamics, you can join me and a suite of incredible speakers at this year’s Online Spectacular Business Symposium 2020 from the 10th-12th November, hosted by The Daisy Chain Group. I will be talking more in depth about Generative Magic and I am in great company with speakers from around the world who will impart:

  • what you need to create passive income
  • how to turn your knowledge into an online course
  • the power to have a podcast with a punch 
  • understanding legacy and purpose
  • how to shift your money mindset to wealth and growth
  • How to achieve and build an engaged community that trusts your brand; all whilst following you.
  • the 8 traits of successful women!

If you have any questions about the synergies between Spiritual Practice and Successful Business, 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.

What is Intuitive Healing?

What is Intuitive Healing?

How does it work and why is it so effective?

There are many varied reasons why people book me for a private session. For some, it is to lift them from depression or anxiety, low vitality, or lack of mental clarity. For others, it is to find ways to bring love and joy into their relationships and family dynamics. Many clients use the sessions to treat all manner of physical complaints, from autoimmune disorders and unexplained physical pain to low immune function, digestive issues or cancer. Or, to navigate through a particularly intense life experience like divorce, grief, trauma, or preparation for death. I support a lot of women to conceive and journey into motherhood. Many others book in whenever they feel like a lift and expanded perspective, even though life is going smoothly and they are well. 

The biggest shift my new clients make, in their healing journeys, is into the realisation that nothing is ‘wrong’ or ‘blocked’ – even when they present with physical conditions or mental unrest, or difficult and repetitive life experiences that are challenging. I often say that perspectives alone act as either ‘cages’ that keep us in a current unwanted reality or ‘keycodes’ that unlock new possibilities.

The basic premise that I work with and teach in these sessions is that every single, experienced event and situation is generated from us, is happening for us and has an energetic cause. It is this shift in perspective that unlocks the momentum to becoming whole, and keeps us moving forward. 

To get there, it helps to have an alternative understanding of what healing actually is. Our modern view of healing and illness is largely formed by scientific materialism and serious conditioning towards synthetic medication. What this means is that our accepted paradigms of health and healing go something like this:

  • We view health and healing from the perspective of the physical and mental system only. Treatment is either focused on symptoms, or causes that can only be scientifically observed and measured. 
  • ‘Illness’ indicates that something, somehow is broken or wrong with the human system and needs to be fixed, and this creates a fear of illness and intolerance of discomfort.. 
  • Healing of the mind and the body is done so in a mechanistic way.

However, in the world of energy healing, almost the opposite understanding applies. With energy healing we see the human system as an individuated expression of consciousness that has aspects which cannot currently be observed or measured by modern medical or psychological sciences. We see the human system having finer layers of existence, beyond the body and mind, including energetic and spiritual dimensions. We view illness as an expression of a proper functioning system that is signalling a misalignment in a state of consciousness. We see the human system as self-organising and constantly reaching for harmony and alignment. We see and accept that the human system comes from, is animated by, maintains wellness and harmony, and is held within vital life force. And we see that human beings, at their core nature, are creative, that is, rather than the experience of illness happening to us, it is being created by us and for us.

At the most basic level, all disease – which is made up of two words ‘dis – ease’ – is the product of separation consciousness. What that means is that we are believing in and operating from a paradigm:

  • that we and our experienced reality are separate
  • that we and our bodies, minds, feelings and spirits are separate
  • that disease and healing are separate, when in fact they are poles on the same continuum – disease is part of the process of becoming whole and well.

Dis-ease or dissonance triggers or signals when a person holds beliefs or paradigms of separation which go against our true divine nature of oneness. Separation causes a feeling of dissonance, resistance, contraction, hardening, chaos, interrupted flow, and stagnation, in varying degrees. It does this to catch our attention; to signal that something is off or something is out within our view of life and self. This can present as pain, defined illnesses, mental disquiet, anxiety or depression, or simply strong urges for greater, wider understanding.

The system is working perfectly fine with dissonance, as it is signalling a misalignment or a limited perspective for us to place our awareness onto. There are many reasons for the presentation of dissonance. These can be for example, past trauma, familial beliefs, held fear, shame, or guilt, and in some cases karmic. The causal root of the dissonance is always reliably communicated through the client’s physical body and energy system. It’s just that we are no longer taught how to read this signalling for ourselves. Having said that, when the guidance is relayed to the client at the end of the session, more often than not, the information is not at all a surprise, and with the connections made,  the focus then turns to what can be done to shift the pattern. 

A major aspect of my offering is working with individuals to read this messaging and expand their perspective to allow healing to occur. My private energy sessions create the space and focus so people can not only experience the healing capabilities of their system, but also be enabled to work with them on their own. 

My private sessions allow a deeper, personalised and intuitively guided experience to understand the energetic and karmic patterns at play within the client’s current life experiences, sense of wellbeing and body. The sessions also provide specific bespoke meditations, rituals, introspection tools and perspective shifts to lift, heal, resolve and expand. I call this ‘Spirit Homework’.  Many of my clients around the world prefer this more personalised approach to their transformative inner work through private Intuitive Healing and Mentoring sessions.

I combine the modalities of Usui Reiki energy flow and intuitive reading. During the sessions, the client will draw Reiki energy through their system to ease dissonance, and useful information – both thematic and practical, will be received from their etheric field. This is then relayed in a recording with suggested meditations and inner practices to generate self-healing.

Healing happens in four key ways, through:

  • an increased flow of life force
  • the vibratory presence of the healer and the space
  • the perspective, desire and choice of the one seeking healing 
  • expanded paradigms, beliefs and actions of the seeker

Usui Reiki is one of the many finely-tuned proven modalities to increase the vibratory flow of life force. It works on dissonance in amazing, measurable and felt ways. Also, the increase in flow enables clear guidance to understand the underlying separation paradigm, and release it, therefore releasing the requirement for the system to signal dissonance in the first place.

So, both the modality of Reiki and Intuitive Guidance are equally important for healing. I also collaborate with a small but excellent group of alternative practitioners who I can recommend if other approaches may support the healing process more fully, like psychotherapists, nutritionists, naturopaths, and movement and sound experts.

If the client is ready and has been on a journey of inner enquiry, the dissonance heals during the session or in the days following. There is a clear relationship between inner enquiry and our ability to heal. Which is why I teach these tools in my other courses and sessions. And for these clients, often, a mentoring session is all that is required to adjust perspective and be coached in alternative energy practices to unlock the situation they are experiencing.

Very often I will intuitively read events that are yet to be experienced, which gives the appearance of the sessions being predictive or psychic. I admit, I love getting the feedback from clients when something ‘seen’ in the session, which was at the time outside of their own boundary of awareness, comes to pass. However, in my view, nothing is fixed. Nothing is fated or predestined. Everything, all the time is vibrating and moving and we determine what we experience.

We live in a giant animated field of potential, and it is what we give energy to, whether unconsciously or consciously that collects and arrives into our experience-field. Often, what I will perceive arriving for the client is that field of potentiality being moved and arranged into possibility and then probability, given what lifeforce they are feeding it. And this is where the Spirit Homework comes in. To change the resultant experience, we must first change the emanating patterns from what we think, intend, feel and choose. When the client applies the tools and activities given to them, a different reality is experienced, whether that be relief from pain, conception of a longed-for child, a house sale or new job offer, or a return from anxiety to presence and joy. If the probable experience arriving is what is desired and intended, then we work on methods and practices to bring it through with grace and ease.

Nearly every new client asks when they can come back and experience another session. These are of course the words I love to hear. However, with everyone, my suggestion is that they let the energy integrate, listen back to the guidance, make the changes suggested and notice the shifts they are able to generate. Then, once they have started to generate change, and they would like to keep moving or feel they need further support, to come back in.

The biggest delight for me is when regular clients make the shift from needing a session, to booking-in for excited and motivated spiritual exploration. This is when I know they are back in their own power and these sessions are great fun. 

The reality is that we are designed to be well, thriving, fulfilled, loving and abundant. It is our sovereign right and our entire mind/body/energy system is able to create these states. Yet sadly, due to our modern state of non-presence, stress, and conditioned beliefs around abundance, worth, limited supply and life as something to be feared, we disrupt the natural rhythm and harmony of our systems and life experience. A good intuitive healer can illuminate where and why this is happening and give you the tools to bring it about. 

If you would like to learn the art of Intuitive Healing you can start with the Intuitive Healing Level 1 course. However, if you would like to experience Intuitive Healing you can book a one-to-one session here. For Singapore-based clients, you have the option to attend private, in-person sessions on a Monday or Thursday. If you are based outside of Singapore, and want a mentoring session, these are available on Wednesdays via remote sessions.

If you have any questions about Intuitive Healing and Meditation, do get in touch. You can also 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 top 5 misconceptions about meditation

Meditation Myth-Busters

The top 5 misconceptions about meditation

There is no doubt that ‘meditation’ and ‘mindfulness’ have entered the mainstream mindset along with reams of research into the physical, mental and emotional benefits they offer. In much of the commentary, these terms are used interchangeably. 

But despite the buzz and the daily posts on social media sites, there remains a lot of misconceptions about meditation and what it actually entails. Like any popularised practice, sometimes the smarts behind the actions can fall away. Yoga would be a good case in point. Many students are surprised to learn that the original purpose of yoga asana is to prepare the body and mind for meditation and inner work. The fact that regular practice gives you lean limbs, core strength and a tight yoga butt, is a happy side effect of aligning the energetic systems of the body. However, it’s not the main game.

The approach to meditation is the same. Many come to it to relieve stress or improve sleep for example, which of course it does, and relatively quickly with regular practice. But settling the central nervous system is simply the first turn of the key to unlocking the potential of meditation practice. Once you are able to settle the nervous system and alter brainwave patterning at will, you can enter this inner space consciously and really get to work. The physiological changes – yes, structural changes, that take place in the mind/body system through regular meditation, enable the practitioner to alter their state of consciousness, and therefore, their experience of life. 

There are five commonly held misconceptions about meditation that I have encountered through my years of teaching. Sadly, they appear to be the main reasons why many try it once or twice and then let it go. To dispel them, I find it useful to understand what meditation is not. 

Busting meditation Myth 1: Meditation is emptying the mind of all thought

Meditation is not about clearing the mind of all thought. If you have ever tried to clear the mind of thought, you soon realize that you’re on a hiding to nothing. The mind is thought. So, I find, a better way to view it is that meditation combines the use of the breath, the posture and a single point of focus, to draw in a dissipated mind. When we do this, we experience the revelation that there’s a difference between our awareness and our thought-field. They’re not the same thing. By regularly practicing meditation techniques we are able to lengthen and smooth out the brainwave patterning. This in turn calms the frenetic thought activity of the mind and weakens the tugging action that our thoughts have on our awareness.

Meditation is a way to gather our awareness into the present, the here and now, the only living reality. Our past has happened and our future is yet to be. Our only reality is the here and now, this moment. When our awareness is gathered into the deep now, and our mind and body align and calm into stillness, the immensely powerful heart and energy centres activate and align with the still mind. Your spiritual engine starts up!

Busting Meditation Myth 2: Meditation requires denying the body

Another thing I see quite a bit in meditation circles are keen practitioners forcing their legs and hips into a stiff, unsustainable lotus pose, or holding their arms and hands aloft in some sort of flashy mudra, and often both. There is a common misconception that we must hold the posture of an ancient yogi and then muscle our way through numbed limbs into stillness. It’s pretty hard to achieve inner calm when circulation to your lower body has come to a grinding halt. 

The idea that we have to somehow deny our physical aspect as a trade-off for higher awareness is both erroneous and damaging. The idea that Spirit and body are diametrically opposed couldn’t be further from reality. The body is integral to the process of meditation and the body and Spirit are inextricably linked. I see them as one total system, with aspects simply vibrating at different rates. And when I say ‘the body’ I mean all physical aspects – the physical form, the brain, the central nervous system, heart, chemistry, the cells and the space that holds them, the breath and the senses. 

It is true that certain meditation techniques allow a temporarily loosening of our association with the physicality of the body, but to enter those deep states we must work with the body and its energy systems. Diet and hydration also have an impact on meditation practice and are wonderful elements to experiment with when getting started. The main postural consideration is a long, supported spine and felt connection with the Earth. 

Our bodies are already present. They occupy a physical space and they are in the moment. Our bodies are here and now. The body is the perfect anchor to draw in the mind. 

Busting Meditation Myth 3: Meditation is a religion or opposes religion

Sometimes when I am commissioned for corporate workshops and talks, the HR team will make the point that they have a number of employees of different faiths in the office, and while they’re keen to bring meditation into the workplace, could I please keep it one hundred percent secular. The fact that I am asked this tells me that there’s a very close association made by some, that meditation is some form of religion or may be offensive to the religious.

Meditation is not a religion, even though nearly all major world religions and spiritual frameworks acknowledge meditation as a vehicle for prayer, ritual/ceremony and spiritual evolution. As meditation enables deep self-enquiry, it makes sense that it is a practice used in spiritual enquiry. And while some of the best-known meditation techniques are from the Eastern Traditions, they are not exclusively the source of this practice. Meditation is a human practice and very beautiful meditation practices are offered by all world religions and spiritual frameworks, right back to our most ancient Earth-based Shamanic roots. 

The changes in brain activity when we meditate enable feelings of deep connection, slipping out of time, acute awareness and bliss. For example, in deep states of meditation, sections of the pre-frontal cortex go into what’s called ‘temporary hypofrontality’ which is a super impressive term that I throw around occasionally to appear, well, super impressive.

It just means that they temporarily deactivate – in particular, the part of the brain that clocks the past, present and future and places self-awareness somewhere in that context. When this happens, you have the sensation that you have deeply penetrated the present moment. It brings an acute sense of awareness and self, and many equate this with a religious experience.

I would define this experience as connecting with Spirit, but it’s not the doing of some strange god that might or might not agree with other gods, or worse still, the effects of the devil…yes I do get that sometimes as well. This is an inner neurological effect of changing brainwave patterning into deeper and longer waves and it’s very, very, good for you to experience it on many levels, regularly. 

Busting Meditation Myth 4: Meditation is a selective skill that not everyone can do

It surprises lots of people to learn how mainstream meditation has been for quite some time in the western world. And it surprises me that many still hold the view that meditation is a hippy woo-woo activity practiced exclusively by new agers and the holy men of India. Thankfully, due to meditation’s renewed trendiness, this misconception is slowly fading. However, I find I do need to address it in my talks and courses.

Meditation and mindfulness practices are used extensively in the medical and psychological arena for treatment of chronic pain, depression and addiction and have been for decades. It is used in trauma and cardiac wards as a recovery process, with amazing results. It is used effectively in palliative care and the support of the elderly.

Meditation is a critical enabler in underprivileged schools and for troubled students around the world and is now accepted as a key practice in building resilience in children and teens. It is common practice in law enforcement in some progressive countries like Canada and in the sports psychology practices of the professional sports arena. A few years ago, Singapore hosted the Rugby Sevens players and I was thrilled to see the South African Rugby team meditate together before training and games. I have to admit that I find this enormously attractive! 

I also offer prenatal meditation guidance and it is a beautiful, natural way to enhance body chemistry during pregnancy and conscious connection with the baby as it forms within and during the birth process.

There is a plethora of empirical evidence, studies and research now that has followed the different applications of meditation and the effects that regular practice yields in all sorts of settings for all sorts of people living busy modern lives. 

Meditation doesn’t require a specific space or method; it just requires intent, choice and action. There are a couple of very useful things you can do to help establish a regular practice easily by working with your meditation space, starting-ritual and regularity. In any case, everyone can meditate, because we are naturally designed to do so.

Busting Meditation Myth 5: Meditation is the end game

I find it fascinating that the more we meditate, the more our system changes to enable deeper and better meditation. It’s a natural virtuous cycle that evidences the fact that we are designed to meditate. 

With regular meditation, we change our default perspective for viewing life. We start to observe ourselves and we start to see the cause and effect of our thoughts, feelings and actions. We start to see the thought and emotional patterns we are bound to and therefore open up a field of choice as to whether these are serving us or not. This is the realisation that mindfulness brings. It triggers us to reach for ways to feel again, to choose different lifeward responses and to connect with the flow of life.

If we continue to nourish this ability, to witness ourselves and our lives, and therefore mellow our reactive responses to events, positivity and calm ensue, which then ripples into our relationships and exchanges. We feel a connectedness with our life field and more importantly, with our self. We can also then perceive our energy bodies and a broader realm of energy that this aspect operates in. We start to perceive information and patterns beyond the physical senses. We start to read situations better. We start to feel spontaneous gratitude, loving-kindness, generosity and love. These beautiful higher feelings are harmonising, soothing, restorative and blissful, and they gently change our behaviours. 

We start to work with the flow of life. We give of ourselves more. We smile more. We want the best for others and we try to help them. We forgive more and jettison our past hurts, grievances and regrets more readily. We choose our friends differently. We choose to expose ourselves to life-supporting, positive content. This beautiful shift is where we heal and where we start to connect much more palpably with the energetic nature of the self and life.

Our meditation sits take on a new aspect as we become very aware of the energy moving through the body, thought-field, feelings and of the connection with Spirit. We become enabled and with that comes an ability to engage in dialogue with Spirit, to read the patterns, to sense the movement and to participate energetically as an active co-creator of ourselves, and our life experiences. We become creative. We cross the bridge into experiencing a Spirit-led life, into living within our divine design and power. We upload spiritual living. And this is the end game of meditating.

You can begin your transformative journey through my online meditation course, or sign up for my fortnightly meditation sessions and guided practice

If you have any questions about meditation or wish to dispel your misconceptions about meditation, 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. 

altruism in business for good danielle van de velde

How cultivating a Spirit of Giving is good for business

Generating Flow

How cultivating a Spirit of Giving is good for business

Businesses, by their very nature, are conduits for flow. They connect solutions to challenges, supply to demand, talent to expression, people to community, production to end-use, investment to returns. Yet many businesses don’t ‘invest’ in the energetic principles of flow through giving as cultural imperatives in their communities. 

Recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Alex Loh here in Singapore as part of his Community Builders Speak series (links to the transcript and full YouTube video at the end of this blog). The interview revolved around the key elements I employ in my business, that cultivate a loyal and vibrant community. 

The conversation turned to giving as a catalyst for flow. I have complete certainty that my commitment to gifting a significant chunk of revenue each month to causes that support underprivileged and at-risk people in communities, and the environment, has a direct impact on both the vibrancy and growth of my community and revenue growth. It’s an energetic principle that I live and work by very consciously.

But it’s a tricky topic, which Alex brilliantly asked about. How can you be truly altruistic, knowing that when you give, you’re attracting growth? Doesn’t the motivation affect the act?

It was a good question, and I believe it’s a matter of a paradigm shift on the nature of abundance and how motivation and goal align through action. Sharing abundance and attracting abundance are not mutually exclusive; they are aspects of one movement of giving.

The sharing of abundance is a principle that exists in nearly every spiritual framework and in many, it is mandated. One could easily make sense of this as a societal survival strategy. That is, as a society and as communal creatures, there’s an inherent responsibility to share wealth and skills so the most underprivileged of us have some form of support and possibility to change their circumstances. This, after all, is the mechanism of economic fiscal policies the world over…how effectively this is managed can be debated, of course. However on a global scale, with such apparent polarisation of wealth and opportunities, it’s difficult to see this communal responsibility being taken seriously. I believe this is because we have a limited view of the true energetic nature of abundance and generation through flow

Our profit-driven models are based on an assumption that there is a finite supply of abundance. Therefore it must be competed for, captured, retained and leveraged. From a mundane world-view, this makes sense. However, from a spiritual view, this paradigm is counter to the true nature of abundance, be it in revenues, clients, innovation, creative ideas, or talent, all of which operate, through flow

Flow is when our bodies, minds, hearts and spirits are aligned and connected with our life field, consciously, with purpose. The same principle can be observed in the collectives of people, like in a business. When we are in a state of flow, we are happy and in my observation, people and businesses that operate in flow are well, vital, grateful, successful, purpose-driven and fulfilled. Being in flow doesn’t mean we don’t experience challenges; this is simply the nature of life. However, it does mean that we move through them quite differently – with presence, grace and ingenuity.

Flow allows a momentum, which steers us to higher possibilities because flow brings the realisation that we, our life field, our relationships and all that we experience are inextricably linked. Flow also enables greater flow. Just like the way a healthy, flowing river shapes and widens its banks, flow expands our awareness and capacity. It vastly changes our inner landscape and connection with life and business, our markets, clients and employees. 

In my own business, I can see the vibrant effects of flow each month in a number of ways. Every month I donate all proceeds from my fortnightly meditation drop-ins and women’s circles, as well as a portion of revenue from courses, talks and private sessions. I usually choose to support the vulnerable, usually children, women, and the environment. If there is an immediate current need that presents, like victims of a natural disaster, or COVID or supporting awareness and advocacy for anti-racism, then these causes take priority in any given month. The Goodwill page on my website can tell you more.

When I set up my business in Asia six years ago, I set up this goodwill flow. My motivation for doing so was pretty simple. The polarization of wealth in the region is just so apparent. Within Singapore itself, and in surrounding countries within a stone’s throw in any direction, there is great need. For me, it felt important. It was also a way I could honour this region that was hosting me, my family and our businesses. At the start, the donations were small, and I also started donating my time at a local children’s centre for underprivileged and at-risk kids. As the revenue grew, so did the support I was able to offer. And very quickly I could see the direct correlation.

Now I can maintain a discretionary fund to sponsor sessions with clients that may have had their finances drained, yet are strongly drawn to energy work. Cancer patients who have lost work, or have undergone extensive expensive medical treatments are an example, or people needing emotional support during a challenging divorce and have been denied finances. With an understanding of the dynamics of flow, I am able to open access to energy healing and inner practice guidance to people who arguably need it most. 

People in my community are engaged for many reasons, but I believe the main underlying reason is that they sense an alignment of values. They feel like they belong to something that satisfies their own sense of altruism and flow. Everyone is aware of the donations and they readily pay the drop-in amounts or discretionary donations for the circles very generously. For my corporate clients, I believe the knowledge that a percentage of the program fees is being donated to help others in the same region where they operate, also makes a difference when engaging me. 

But perhaps slightly harder to explain, yet observable every single month, is when I release the pledged funds to the nominated cause, that is, when the money is released into flow, every single time, there is an influx of bookings and enquiries within the days and week that follow that release. 

So returning to Alex’s question, my motivation for giving has always been altruistic. However, in putting that ‘Spirit of Giving’ into action, I have observed that it also generates growth in my community and business activities. Goals, motivation and action have aligned. It’s an observed movement that the Buddha once referenced when asked if the motivation for self-mastery, which is intrinsically selfish, in any way defeated the action. He responded that it doesn’t really matter what the initial motivation to better oneself is, because the action and results will correct the initial motivation. Giving and flow bring alignment. 

In esoteric practice, on an individual level, vitality, love, abundance and fulfillment are aspects of flow and giving them unconditionally and consciously triggers their movement into and through our life experience. And, it has a multiplier effect.

For collectives such as a business, these four flows could be translated to:

Vitality = Cultural and business vitality, innovation, creativity, problem-solving, inventive collaborations, workspace vibe, employee enthusiasm, business expansion

Love = Loyalty, mutual respect, diversity, non-judgement, empathy, environmental respect, customer sovereignty, honesty, clear communications, enrichment

Abundance = New markets, new business, healthy pipelines, expansion, revenue growth, client-base growth, profit-share, R&D investment, cultural investment, wage growth, brand equity

Fulfillment = clear vision, core values alignment, purpose, social and community responsibility and giving back, employee satisfaction and wellbeing. 

The Spirit of Giving in business can be expressed in so many different ways. There is the obvious way of donating a percentage of revenue or time and talent to a worthy cause within the communities and environment where the business operates. But it can also translate into other smaller, yet highly meaningful actions. 

Within the employee community, for example, a culture of affirming and recognising talent, great ideas and work well done can be cultivated consciously. And this is contagious. Creating opportunities for the entire team, regardless of role and responsibility, to put forward ideas for business and process improvement is also a form of giving and always yields fantastic insights into better, more streamlined approaches.

With client communities, a focus on providing an excellent experience and service at every single point of contact generates customer loyalty and referrals. It’s not rocket science, I know, but it’s amazing how many small businesses do not employ this form of giving.

Simply going through the exercise of identifying where the business can employ the Spirit of Giving, internally and externally within the communities that host and hold the business operations is worthwhile in itself. It’s an action that starts the process of alignment, which then enables flow.  

For individuals that I mentor, I suggest that they start with those aspects of their lives they feel are lacking. Here are the clues for where to give. The same exercise can be employed by business teams. What aspects of the four areas of flow are stagnant or shrinking? This exercise can identify a series of adjustments to employee and client engagement and social responsibility, which can yield measurable results. 

The Spirit of Giving is actually a lens through which to view our life or business and our connection to it, and it is one of the most potent forces we have at our disposal to generate flow.

In this year of total disruption, the biggest invitation we have is to explore new paradigms for self and business and redefine how we operate. With the playing field shifting for all businesses, now’s the time!

If you would like to discuss altruism in business and explore ways to cultivate the Spirit of Giving in your business culture, please get in touch

You can also visit my website to explore courses and useful content to guide you along your journey to healing, self-discovery and mindful living.

As promised, this is the YouTube link to my interview with Alex Loh from his Community Builders Speak series, and this is the transcript.

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.