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. 

Reiki and Intiutive Healing Danielle Van de Velde

The role of Reiki in Intuitive Healing

The role of Reiki in Intuitive Healing

Singapore is a fantastic city for meditation teachers and energy healers. In some aspects, the country is strongly regulated and conservative, which we all practically benefit from every single day – like clean, modern, precision public transport, hospitals and public spaces, super low crime rates and super high safety for example. Yet at the same time, it has an innovative and very progressive vibe in education and organisational cultures. Especially when it comes to wellness initiatives and, in particular, the acceptance of meditation training and energy healing modalities.

Perhaps it is because the collective understanding of meditation, natural medicine and healing has many of its ancient roots in Eastern frameworks. This knowledge, held over time, manifests in modern culture as acceptance and ease with inner practice and spiritual approaches like Reiki, intuitive guidance, naturopathy, traditional medicine, and meditation. And it’s growing. I have seen a marked increase, over the last few years, in interest and engagements with schools, organisations and industry bodies on the topics of meditation and healing.

Amongst my private client base are established psychologists, chronic pain specialists, international coaches, nutritionists, naturopaths, therapists and other energy healers. And many more of my students are referred by practitioners such as these. There is a much easier relationship here between science-based and spiritual/energetic healing systems, which is the zone that I love and that I am constantly fascinated by.

One group that is increasingly seeking regular Reiki is the savvy city-based executive. This is becoming a serious client group for me and I can definitely say that more and more successful people are adopting energy modalities like Reiki as integral aspects of their self-care – alongside their fitness, diet and mental wellbeing activities. During the months of isolation in Singapore, the client group that grew the most for remote sessions were home-based executives. 

The increased screen time, minimised movement, uncertain business outlook and changed team, leadership, and communication dynamics, are having a marked effect on people’s mental clarity, vitality and sense of direction. 

Reiki and Intiutive Healing Danielle Van de Velde

What I teach and offer in private sessions is a combination of Usui Reiki treatment and Intuitive Guidance. The combination of the two is key to sustained healing and expansion. 

In energy healing frameworks, when we experience physical illness or dissonance/blockage in our mental, emotional or energetic fields, it is our system messaging the requirement to change perspectives and take action to allow a movement into wholeness.

Sometimes we perceive this messaging internally or in the body, and other times we perceive it within our external reality as a repeated negative pattern in relationships, situations and events. Once the messaging has been received and the inner shift created, then the illness or dissonance is no longer required and the system realigns into wellness.

A major aspect of my work involves helping individuals read this messaging and expand their perspective to allow healing to occur. 

Reiki immediately alleviates the feelings of this dissonance or ‘messaging’, whether it presents in pain, anxiety, low mood, low vitality, etc. The intuitive guidance and suggested expanded perspectives, meditations, energy practice and rituals that come with the intuitive guidance and support materials, help generate a sustained shift internally, so the healing occurs fully. 

Over the years, I am more and more infrequently asked the question ‘what is Reiki?’. However, I find that some people still don’t have a clear understanding of what Reiki is, and how it works.

So, what is Reiki? 

In an unregulated industry flooded with semantics and varying understanding of the modality, this is how I explain it to clients. Reiki is a way to channel Vital Life Force into the system. It is lifeward, harmonising and works across all aspects of the physical, mental, emotional and energetic, depending on the area of greatest need in the client.

Reiki induces an immediate feeling of calm and relaxation. It is incredibly effective in easing mental tension, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and stress, which manifests as bodily pain and tummy upsets (to name a few common complaints). 

Studies show a slowing and lengthening of brainwaves during a Reiki session, similar to the shift in brainwave activity in deep meditative states. This shift is felt and kicks-in almost immediately or within a few minutes of the session starting. In other words, Reiki plunges awareness into ‘the deep now’. The breath deepens and lengthens and clients will often spontaneously sigh and then their bodies soften and release.

They will often report that the feeling is like slipping into an ‘in between’ skimming state; a calm stillness between being awake and aware, yet so relaxed and at ease that they can’t or don’t want to move or overthink. Clients who are under the ‘pressure pump’ or experiencing a high-stress patch at work, will rapidly fall into a very deep sleep. I always suggest not to fight this, if this is the body’s response. A Reiki-induced nap is one of the most replenishing mini-naps available. It is widely accepted in Reiki schools that a one-hour Reiki session has the equivalent regenerative effects of a three-hour sleep. While I’m uncertain how this statistic is measured, I can certainly see effects that would validate it.

Reiki creates a dissipation of skittish thinking, an increase in mental clarity, and a circuit-breaker to stress and anxiety patterns. The system becomes better oxygenated and the brain shifts into coherence which allows both the logical and creative functions to work together. Often, solutions to problems or new approaches and ideas come to mind immediately after the session or within the following day or so.

Reiki and Intiutive Healing Danielle Van de Velde

Reiki also plays into relationships and interpersonal interactions in the office or home. A raised, feel-good vibe has a knock-on effect on those around you. Communication is improved and intuition is able to play a greater role in team, leadership and relational dynamics. 

Here are some of the common questions I am asked by people new to my sessions:

How long is an ideal session?

An ideal session of pure Reiki is around 60 minutes. There are traditionally 12 centres of the body that the practitioner will ‘treat’ and more seasoned practitioners may have developed others. Ideally, the treatment should be 5-10 minutes on each centre.  However, to suit a tight timeframe, 45 minutes provides a beautiful session, deep relaxation and replenishment, especially if the Reiki practitioner has a honed sense for which centres are drawing a greater flow.

Will I feel anything?

The experience of Reiki is different every session for everyone and varies widely amongst practitioners too. However, the straight answer is yes! This is an energy healing modality that interacts with the energy system of your mind/body/energy complex. You feel it and it is equally perceivable in distance or in-person sessions.

For my clients, Reiki is a palpable energy flow that is felt physically, mentally and emotionally. It is experienced in temperature and high heat, and it can feel cold between centres, especially if inflammation is present. Often, people will feel a subtle zipping electrical current that presents in different parts of the body, especially if there is a physical injury, tension or condition. If tension or low-vibe emotion has been held in the system for some time, the client’s body will sometimes spontaneously softly quiver or jerk in limbs, hands and feet and then settle. More visually-oriented people will perceive colours, visual patterns and movement in their inner vision.

Will I be spaced-out afterwards?

As Reiki alters the state of consciousness during the session, it is important to ground yourself before stepping back into day-to-day activities or the workplace. Clients usually feel invigorated and light after the session and will always feel an immediate lifting of mood and a release of pent-up emotions and thoughts. Sometimes, a large, long-held pattern emerges as the cause of the ‘messaging’ experienced by the client, like trauma, for example. Then, the client can feel the need to fold-in and rest and nourish their system for a day or so following the session. I always provide support materials and suggestions to do this. 

A good Reiki practitioner will close the session with the appropriate practices to ground and seal the client’s energy body. I always advise my clients to drink a lot of water for the rest of the day and eat something light, like nuts or a piece of fruit to activate the digestive tract and come fully back into their day. Reiki does stay within the system for one to two days after the session and people may be extra sensitive to stimulants and alcohol during that time.

Will you be intuitively reading me as well?

In my training and approach and the courses that I teach in Intuitive Healing, which includes traditional Usui Reiki training, permission to intuitively read another person’s energy system, is paramount. The client’s permission is key in allowing the intuitive reader access to the deeper intelligence of their system and to be open to what is revealed. And certainly, in my framework, intuitive reading is a sacred privilege and breaching that privilege by operating without someone’s permission is unethical. It does the whole industry a massive disservice and can only be self-serving. It also results energetically in the intuitive reader losing their ability to intuitively read.

I do have regular clients who book-in for just the energy component of the Reiki treatment, and this is all that I provide. However, the majority of my clients use the sessions for the combined effect of the energy flow and guidance. 

There are some instances, when I am giving Reiki without the read, when a flash of information will come through regarding the client when they haven’t asked for it. If it feels very important to relay I will simply offer what I have received. If it feels like a ‘random tune-in’, I will let it go and refocus on the flow of energy alone.

How often should I have Reiki?

You can’t overdose on Reiki! I think the best approach is to take a session or two from a practitioner who has been recommended to you, and just observe how it makes you feel and how long the effects last afterwards. Did it create any permanent shifts? Are there signals you can identify when your system could do with some Reiki?

I have clients that book-in weekly or monthly, and others, whenever they feel like a boost generally or to help them deal with a certain situation or symptom.

We live in a fantastic age where we can access such a wide array of wisdom and techniques to maximise our health and inner journey. Reiki is a beautiful, proven and effective approach to healing and the only way to fully understand its lifeward benefits and power, is to actually experience it. 

If you want to know more about the healing practice of Reiki, book a private session with me. If you’re a practitioner and would like to deepen your energy healing art with Reiki and Intuitive Reads, register for my Intuitive Healing Course.

If you have any questions about Reiki and Intuitive Healing, do 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. 

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 Search for Self Awareness During the Pandemic - Danielle Van de Velde

The search for self-awareness during the pandemic

How the pandemic has fueled the search for the missing piece of self

A new meaning beyond the mind/body awareness

It is a fascinating time in the human story to be alive. It’s also increasingly disconcerting. There’s a quickening afoot, and unless you have been living under a rock in recent years, you can’t deny it. As the world seems to be wobbling with increasing uncertainty, at the same time, there appears to be a mass awakening taking place.

More and more of us are starting to really question this state of modern living. The continued focus and relentless mass content around material gain and accumulation, fame and celebrity, body image, time and ageing, just to name a few, are soul-numbing. And in 2020, the overlay of a global pandemic which has forced us back into our homes, ceased the relentless pace of work and life, and engendered a serious distrust of our governing systems and media content, has increased this desire for meaning even further.  

The Search for Self Awareness During the Pandemic - Danielle Van de Velde

The state of our ‘modern’ world is triggering a deep, unavoidable desire to regain central balance within the hearts of many. Every single day we are being challenged with the questions: Who am I within this current world? What is it that I stand for? What is my purpose within it all? More and more of us are seeking to understand our true nature, our purpose, and to embody that truth. Perhaps most importantly, there’s a growing sense that something is missing, and the search for answers is taking us within.

I am one of these people and I teach and mentor thousands of others like me. The people I work with are strong, clever, successful, and very able. Some have a natural leaning towards the spiritual side of things, others don’t. All of them have a deep instinct that there’s more to themselves and life itself. Many have chosen to reject the structured religion of their childhood yet yearn for spiritual knowledge and expression; many have returned to the religious structures that they know and are engaging with them in new ways. Nearly all the people in my community, more than anything, yearn for spiritual empowerment.

The purpose of my offerings is not necessarily to fix something that’s broken, nor to heal something that’s injured, although the energy sessions, talks, and courses here will sort these requirements out if that’s what is needed. My offerings are for anyone who has the instinct and the desire to make some sense of it all; to find that missing piece in their quest for self-awareness. They are for those who are ready to claim their own natural spirituality.

Inner practice is enjoying an unprecedented resurgence, in particular, practices that keep the centre of command firmly in the hands of the practitioner and not a third party or agent. We are living in a time when we have open access to wisdom, techniques, knowledge, and experience from other teachers, guides, and traditions from all over the planet and from our ancient past. The learning, revelation, and practices are available, all the time, now.

Our ability to observe and measure the invisible processes in the body when we engage in inner practice, and the explorations into quantum mechanics are getting sharper and deeper. In the mind/body arena, science and inner practice are starting to tango in delicious ways and the mind/body connection is now measurable and largely understood.

What is the Spirit?

The Search for Self Awareness During the Pandemic - Danielle Van de Velde

There is, however, a third aspect to the human being and life that cannot be measured or formulated. Because of this, it remains by and large on the fringes of mainstream scientific exploration. It is our core sovereign state, our nucleus. It is our Spirit.

When we access and embody Spirit, we tap the causal aspect that determines what we are experiencing on the outside, out there, in our bodies, our lives, our relationships, our families, our jobs, our experienced reality. Being Spirited takes us to the place where we can find the revelation and energy patterns to consciously operate within our full energetic form, within that causal aspect. When we operate in this way, we connect our awareness to the field of intelligence and energy within existence, the motherboard of life, and beautifully come to the realisation, and sheer awe, that we are in fact, powerful creators. We are naturally designed for it. It’s how we are supposed to be operating, and it can only be mainlined directly, through awareness.

Until we reclaim this part of us we remain in a state of separation, and in the paradigm that our life experience is somehow ‘outside of us’ or ‘being done to us’.

How do you enter the gates of Spirit?

To do this, we need a new perspective on who and what we really are as human beings and on the nature of life. Also, we need to put our inner practice into an expanded context, beyond simply the wellbeing of mind and body.

Meditation is largely understood to be a way to find the still eye at the centre of the hurricane of modern life, moving us from a reactive to responsive engagement with life, into mindful living. This, in itself, is a wonderful shift but it’s not the end game.

‘Responsive living’ continues to ‘respond’ to ourselves and life as separate, rather than consciously creating it within one unified field of information, intelligence and energy.  Meditation can take us much further than the mind/body arena. It can take us directly into our spiritual centre if we know the way. With expanded perspectives, a certain inner metamorphosis is enabled – from reactive to responsive, continuing into expansive and then creative. As we move through these stages we become physically healthier, mentally sharper and emotionally happier. The experience of life itself becomes synchronistic, fluid and magical. It’s like this anyway, it’s just that we change the way we connect with it and start to work with it, consciously, intuitively and creatively.

The Search for Self Awareness During the Pandemic - Danielle Van de Velde

Inner work is a living art, that is, the magic is realized in the experience. The goal is to embody it, to live it. The invitation to you now is to take these ideas and practices and make them your own. Our design, our minds, bodies, hearts, and the living universe around us is Spirit. Be playful. Be creative. Be Spirited. And why? Because it’s time.

If you wish to learn more about achieving self-awareness, especially during this ongoing pandemic, or have any questions, do get in touch. You can also visit my website to explore useful content to guide you along your journey to healing, self-discovery and mindful living. I offer courses, private sessions, mentoring, retreats, talks and writings that enable Spirited Living and more.

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 art of cultivating detachment to dance with disruption

The art of cultivating detachment to dance with disruption

How changing your routine during COVID is an effective personal strategy

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it, and we are all still adjusting to an uncertain time. One of the best ways of gaining fluidity in the chaos is by changing our routine during COVID, a strategy that I have personally found very effective. 

Here in Singapore, the government has announced its strategy for slowly reopening the economy and activities. It’s a conservative, measured and thorough approach. The island of Singapore is small but densely populated. It is surrounded by other countries that are just a stone’s throw away, and are also working hard to minimise their spread rates. In fact, you could say we are a ‘high contact’ country. Yet whilst the ‘circuit breaker’ measures have clearly flattened the curve on local spread, our migrant worker population, largely contained within quarantined dormitories, continue to skew the stats.

With such high levels of infection, albeit quarantined and well treated, and with an excellent recovery rate, the risk of a flare-up remains. The government has managed this by maintaining most of the current circuit breaker measures with some services reopening (thankfully hair salons being one of them!). But the limited activities and travel range, compulsory masks, no beaches, no gatherings or public groups etc…remain for the next month at least. It’s an understandable and admirable plan.

However, it was the highly emotive response to the recent announcement which was fascinating to witness. Despite the sense of it all, there was a collective howl from parts of the community. You could hear words like ‘devastated’, ‘I can’t go on like this’, ‘when will this end?’, ‘I’m trapped’, ‘this is unfair…’

What seems to be the case for many is that people became highly attached to the date of June 1st, the touted end of the strict circuit-breaker measures. They had, despite seeing the larger picture, become massively emotionally vested in the idea that everything would be back to ‘normal’ at the flick of the switch.

My response, however, was different. It seemed apparent to me. I didn’t have a huge emotional back-lash to the news. I welcomed it. 

Now don’t get me wrong. I have had to forgo a lot of very exciting activities; ones that I have a great affection for. My Women’s Circles, the New Moon Lodges in Singapore have been suspended and will continue to remain suspended. I also had a spectacular line-up of Lodge speakers ready to roll. My Creative Spirit Retreat to Java with my business partner Anna, planned for May, was fully booked. It is now postponed to September (maybe). Two exciting collaborations with Chinese partners were developing beautifully, and these have been suspended too, just to name a few.

But, I feel good. I feel positive. Why? Because over the last six weeks I have been deliberately and consciously cultivating ‘detachment’ by mindfully changing my routine during COVID.

There is some spectacular commentary online around ways to cope with the COVID disruption. However, to be honest, I just wasn’t vibing with a lot of it, like the idea of recognising that we are experiencing grief as the world we knew and loved, has gone. And also this attempt to define the ‘new normal’. I’m not vibing with these ideas because I believe they’re missing the bigger invitation here. If we’re grieving what we no longer have, we’re attached to it. If we’re searching for a new idea of ‘normal’ to attach to…we’re attaching! The grand invitation for all of us here is to look at our habit of attachment itself and the illusory nature of what we’re attached to.

I read a fantastic quote on social media recently and my apologies to the author – I can’t remember your name. So, if you’re reading this, please get in touch because I love the way you think. It said:

“COVID-19 is retraining the world from its attachment to the illusion of certainty.”

Boom! It’s not the uncertainty that’s the issue here, because that is the truth. Nothing is certain. Everything is always shifting and moving. You could die today. I could die today. A grim prospect for some, I know, but that’s the reality. The issue is that we have bought into the illusion of certainty and have become very averse to, and fearful of the truth – that nothing is certain. And if you think about it, our worst behaviours as a species are born from this. The idea that we’ll always have a tomorrow has seen us delaying the serious choices that need to be made for environmental recovery. Our blind reach for a certain future has us over-consuming and hoarding rather than giving and sharing. I could go on…but you get my drift.

So I decided in my own ‘spirit science lab’, to embark on a different approach. I decided to very deliberately view disruption as a personal invitation to cultivate detachment.

Changing Your Routine During COVID - Danielle Van de Velde

Perhaps the most recognisable spiritual reference to ‘attachment’ is from Buddha:

“Attachment is the source of all suffering.”

And certainly, the last few weeks in Singapore have shown this more than ever. However, references to the slippery-slope of attachment can be found almost everywhere in various iterations through time. 

The Christian tradition teaches the merits of breaking the habit of worrying and putting faith in positive outcomes and the grander plan of God. The beautiful Vedic practice of Brahmavihara cultivation specifically references ‘freedom from attachment and aversion’ as the key state for embodying compassion. The Bhagavad Gita teaches non-attachment as a primary path and requirement of spiritual growth. And our modern secular focus on establishing mindfulness is all about using meditative and introspection techniques to establish a witnessing state of awareness. To dwell in present awareness and engage with our experiences from a place of non-judgment.

It’s all about loosening the tether between our identity and happiness towards ideas of ‘what should be’ or ‘what could be’, and simply and fluidly roll with ‘what is’. And what I am learning through my spiritual experiment in ‘detachment’ is that it can be cultivated, on the ground, day-to-day. This is how I’m doing it.

I started by scanning the areas where I have been personally disrupted by COVID that were eliciting the strongest emotional resistance. For me – and they will be different for everyone – three big ones were, my attachment to sleep and eating patterns, my attachment to a set exercise routine, and my attachment to tech-phobia. There were others too, but I’m picking these three to expand on the massive benefits of actively ‘detaching’.

With some clarity around these, I then set about very deliberately detaching myself from the idea of how they should be, or the previous comfort they had given me. Rather than mourning their loss, I purposefully experimented with alternative patterns around them. What I have found from that ‘on the ground’ focus, is that I have loosened my propensity for attachment generally.

Detachment from sleep and eating patterns

With two teenagers being home-schooled and my husband, who has spent the majority of our married life travelling for work, now home, we are experiencing a concentration of agendas, diary management and timetables. And they don’t all match. The romantic idea that we’d all dine together three times a day during the lockdown, and have early bedtimes after a family game of poker each night, flew out the window in three seconds. And I let it go.

I now sleep when I’m tired and eat when I’m hungry. Simple, I know. But I had no idea how removed from my natural rhythms I had become by my attachment to set meal times and sleep times. I have always been an early riser, but have found during this circuit-breaker that I am waking very early, around 4 am. Now, normally, I would regard this as just a bit too early. I would have counted my hours of sleep. I might have done some breathwork to induce a sleepy state and roll back over. Not anymore! Instead, I am donning my running shoes and heading out on some beautiful explorations. In the dark, while the island sleeps, I participate in every dawn with energy work and meditation.

I’m not tired. I feel vital and well. During the day, if my body signals a need to rest, I respond. With the mental tizz of ‘not having enough sleep’ now removed, I have realised that it’s the tizz and not the sleep which was potentially the issue. My body knows what it needs and I simply oblige. Given that I run my own business, I’m aware I have more flexibility than some to do this, but with the circuit-breaker happening and work hours being disrupted, I highly recommend you try it. We have a new natural honour system in our shared space. If anyone is snoozing on the couch, we let them be. 

I now eat when I’m hungry, rather than during the set meal times, and I eat what my body calls for. Sometimes it’s a fresh orange. Sometimes it’s a huge bowl of steamed vegetables. Sometimes it’s dark chocolate. I have lost my tethers to what I ‘should be eating and when’ and I have found that I have lost some weight. I feel lighter and well. People in my zoom classes are commenting on my skin and my hair has grown and returned to full curls. My body knows what it needs and I simply oblige. And if agendas coincide, I am totally delighted to be asked to dinner by someone in the house. Unexpectedly, one-to-one meaningful conversations are back.

Detachment from a set exercise routine

Pre-COVID, every morning before work, I would ride my bike westward to the Singapore Botanic Gardens and run for about 6km. I love the gardens and I love running. When the government here announced the first wave of restrictions, it was as if every person who hadn’t exercised in the last ten years bought running shoes and raided the gardens. I felt affronted. This was my quiet green space that I had enjoyed in the company of the crowing roosters, tiny bats and rising sun, along with quiet groups of energy workers and poets. It was my aversion to the noise and busyness that first led me to disrupt this tried and true pattern, but wow, has it yielded!

One morning, as I set out on my bike, I had the strongest impulse to head east instead, in the exact opposite direction to where I’d normally ride. It was actually on this occasion that the experiments in detachment came to my mind. I had a very beautiful experience, riding along the river, heading directly for the rising sun. Since then, I have ventured further into the unknown. I set out with no direction at all in mind, and simply followed the tracks my intuition lead me on. Oh my goodness, what divine discoveries I have made: patches of undiscovered jungle, new wildlife encounters, fantastic traditional Singaporean streets and architecture, and a deeper connection with this beautiful city and its hidden gems. Now, on occasion when I head back to the Botanic Gardens, it’s like reuniting with an old friend. My detachment from my daily visits has allowed me to see its beauty anew and feel so much gratitude to have it as my backyard. I didn’t realise I was capable of loving these gardens any more than I did. 

Detachment from tech-phobia

Like most of us, my business model was also massively challenged by COVID-19. I had been planning for some time to move content into online offerings. However, I definitely held an attachment to in-person group work and private sessions, live talks, travelling to teach and heal to my communities outside of Singapore and the experience of the retreats. I had been convinced that online offerings could not be as effective nor transformative. Of course, this wasn’t based on anything really; it was more my love for in-person contact and the dynamics of groups.

COVID challenged those attachments point-blank. After about a week of paralysis with planning, I started to realise that the feelings I was experiencing around my business were not so much based on what I could no longer do, but rather, on the fear of ‘how’ to do the alternative. I was harbouring a hidden and quite powerful tech-phobia.

And so in the spirit of my detachment experiment, I dove into the world of tech head-on. I emailed the tech-savvy journalists and next-gens in my student communities and got the smarts. I ordered a cost-effective minimal kit. I played with it. And to my delight, I found that for reasons of emotional attachment to an illusion of ‘difficulty’, I had been delaying stepping into what is now a highly creative and collaborative mode of operating.

My weekly drop-ins and mentoring sessions are via Zoom, with the added bonus of recording the instruction and discussions. And, they are no less transformative. I have a ‘recording studio’ set up in the corner of the spare room. This involves a stack of board games as the platform for the kit and a simple free program to edit my audio lessons and voice-overs for guided meditation tracks. These are, surprisingly, being received enthusiastically and supporting deep transformation in the online courses.

All-in-all, I have become free in how I work and generate content, and as a result, have become far more productive in a much more playful way. Moreover, I have found confidence in the fact that if I don’t know how to do something, I just have to ask. 

Detaching from tech-phobia has also meant that I have stopped balking at tech-heavy opportunities. This has seen an increase in collaborations and some really fun and popular projects like webinars, online live interviews and podcasts.

Changing Your Routine During COVID - Danielle Van de Velde

These simple conscious experiments have yielded such dazzling new fields of choice and experience that it has become a general exercise for me now. 

With spiritual sight, disruption is an invitation to detachment.

It illuminates what has been draining our life force and whether that is based on fear or illusion. It brings us back to ‘what is’, rather than the illusory ‘what should or could be’. It eases emotional reactiveness and brings fluidity and a mental and emotional suppleness to our being. And this more expansive state leads us back into our power, creativity and choice.

The future in these current times is by no means certain. It never is. But the flip-side of ‘everything is uncertain’ is that ‘anything is possible’. And the only way to access possibility is to be free, fluid, and to dance! 

Learning meditation cultivates a greater capacity to mindfully work with your attachments, as you change your routine during COVID. You can explore our Introduction to Meditation course. You can also

Visit our website to explore other courses and useful content to guide you along your journey 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.

Meditation and Dreams Danielle Van de Velde

How meditation helps you access the wisdom in your dreams

How meditation helps you access the wisdom in your dreams

In my mentoring sessions over the last few months, the topic of dreams has gained new prominence. The uncertainty and ‘pressure-cooker’ atmosphere that COVID-19 has placed us all in, is certainly playing out in our dream spaces. There has been some interesting commentary from the psychologists on social media about it too. 

The collective experience of fear, uncertainty, disempowerment and insecurity, felt by many, is having the cathartic effect for individuals of raising into their personal process similar patterns that they may hold, or have held for a long time. It’s a busy time for therapists and mentors like me. 

Within our dream spaces, some shared symbols and scenes are playing out too. Snakes, dark menacing storms, tidal waves and running to catch some form of transport but never quite making it, are some of the more common ones. 

So, it was no surprise to have such a huge response to our first Deams webinar, ‘Strange Dreams’, held on the eve of the May dark moon and hosted by Willow Mattress Singapore and Expat Living Singapore. It was a delight to be the guest speaker and in many of the dreams submitted for interpretation on the night, snakes, storms and missed transport featured again. The response was so enthusiastic and curious, that we have decided to do a webinar series on all things dreamy! 

Dreaming takes many forms in our lives. We are the only creatures on the planet who have the capability to daydream and visualise three-dimensional moving images in our minds. Every night, whether we remember them or not, when our conscious mind folds-in to regenerate, we dream. While some people claim they don’t dream at all, the fact is, we all do. However, up to 60% of people don’t remember their dreams. 

Meditation and Dreams - Danielle Van de Velde

Freud deduced that nearly every dream has elements of unprocessed thoughts and emotions from the day that’s been. Both Freud and Jung produced beautiful studies on the symbolism and messaging of dreams as forms of communication, problem-solving, and pure creative genius from the subconscious mind. And some of the world’s most paradigm-shifting, progressive inventions were conceived – sometimes in their entirety, in dreams. Larry Page’s idea for Google, Tesla’s alternating current generator, Mendeleev’s periodic table, and Watson’s double helix spiral form of DNA are just a few examples. 

Within the mix too are many examples of dreams being pre-cognitive or predictive of events yet to play out in waking reality. I have certainly had my experience with these types of dreams. Research shows that many of the major events on the world stage were dreamt of by people, days and weeks prior to the events themselves. The 9/11 bombings, the sinking of the Titanic, and the Aberfan mining disaster are some of the better-known cases. Many dreams hold a ‘voltage’, a feeling of weight or greater meaning, and often, that feeling can travel with us through the waking day, long after the dream was experienced. These are the dreams I pay the most attention to.

In esoteric practice, dreams are regarded as essential forms of divination and dialogue with our expanded self, our spirit and the animated field in which we dwell. It is always so interesting to witness advanced students in my esoteric courses step boldly into this form of reliable guidance once they learn to interpret the language of spirit as it comes through in symbols, synchronicities and sensations.

In magical practice, dreams never happen in isolation. They are part of a broader pattern of energy and information that surrounds us in our mundane reality and ripples through our inner workings. Once these skills of ‘spirit-language’ and ‘pattern-picking’ are mastered, our dreams can integrate into our inner work as reliable sources of information and guidance. 

The role of meditation in dreams

Ever thought about how meditation and dreams are related? How meditation plays a part in all of this dreamy exploration? Let’s find out.

Meditation aids deep sleep and restoration of natural cycles

Dreams only occur during REM cycles of sleep, and stress disrupts our brain’s ability to reach these deeper states of sleep. The initial benefits of cultivating a regular meditation practice are a rebalancing of the natural rhythms of the central nervous system which in turn rebalances the levels of stress hormones in the blood. Regular meditation strengthens immune function, helps in the regeneration of vital organs and non-present thought looping, all of which play into the quality of our sleep. It creates greater oxygenation and detoxification of the system, particularly through a focus on the breath.  Mindful breathing and pranayama techniques are key to entering meditative states and are a staple in all my courses.  

Regular meditation establishes a mindful state of awareness 

With regular meditation, we carve a space between our interface with what we are experiencing and our state of awareness. In other words, we become better able to witness the activity within our mental, emotional and astral fields. This mindful state also enhances our ability to remember our dreams upon waking. Through establishing a mindful state, we settle much more easily into the role of ‘the witness’ to our lives and move from a reactive interface to a responsive one. This ‘witness’ mode also translates to our dreaming. 

Meditation helps us navigate our subjective reality

While the physical and psychological benefits of regular meditation are well known and proven, the ultimate benefit of the practice, aside from feeling better, is to start living consciously.

Dreams don’t happen in isolation. They add layers of meaning to our experience of self and life. In all of my courses, whether they be the introductory courses to meditation and inner practice, or the more advanced studies of intuitive healing and conscious creation, I strongly suggest that students get into the habit of meditative journaling, which includes capturing dreams. Why? Because we experience everything, even our dreams through our subjective lens. That lens is formed through beliefs, fears and paradigms about self and life that we subscribe to. Our lens develops through familial, social and spiritual cultures, our education and past events that have shaped how we feel about ourselves and the world. Regular meditation helps us create the mental, emotional and energetic space to observe those inner patterns. Likewise, meditative journaling helps us track our reactions, triggers, and patterns so we can objectively ‘see’ their meaning and what they are telling us. Keeping a journal of our dreams also enhances our ability to recall them generally and to identify recurring dream signals. Also, to keep track of when they appear in relation to what we are experiencing in our lives and inner enquiries. 

Meditation helps us enter states of hypnagogic hallucination at will 

Our dreams play out within our ‘imaginal realm’, that space in the mind that links the conscious critical mind and the deeper aspects of our subconscious. Our modern culture tends to devalue the imagination considerably. Growing up, I’m sure we have all been counselled with words like “oh, you’re just imagining it” or “stop daydreaming and get back to your studies”. Many children have the experience of imaginary friends when very little, which is often discounted as they can’t be seen by others and eventually this capacity in the child is closed down. 

However in magical practice, the imagination is an esteemed and essential ‘space’ within the psyche. It is through the imaginal realm that we both receive guidance from spirit and generate thought-forms. This in turn, when supported by the direction of vital life force, tilts the field of potentiality into possibility and then probability. In other words, our imaginal realm is the space of conception for experiences that we consciously (and unconsciously) create. 

Hypnagogic hallucination is an interesting process whereby the practitioner enters deep states of relaxation, usually via breathwork and energy practices, and opens the imaginal realm to allow images and impressions to rise up. With practice, these images can then be used as gateways for deeper explorations.

Shamanic journeying works explicitly with this function. Through stimuli like drumming, rattles, ecstatic postures, and breathwork, the practitioner, armed with a clear intent for the journey, can enter a state of hypnagogic hallucination.

In journeying there is a clear ‘switch point’ where the imaginal realm conjured for the journey, starts to run on its own accord and the practitioner then settles into a shifted state of witnessing what is being demonstrated to them in response to their intent. To access these incredible and exciting practices, a basic meditation capability is required, which is why I ensure this is in place with anyone seeking my more advanced courses.

Meditation and Dreams - Danielle Van de Velde

Certain meditations like Yoga Nidra, also known as the ‘psychic sleep’ and Creative Visualisation, for example, induce divine states of calm, present inner awareness, where we can explore this sacred space of the psyche and sharpen our abilities to navigate it. These abilities, which anyone can cultivate, are also key to accessing the even more mysterious and cool world of Lucid Dreaming, an experience where within the dream itself, you are aware that you are dreaming. Yoga Nidra, Visualisation and Pranayama practices are some of the beautiful meditations covered in my online Introduction to Meditation course, now open.

The next free Dream Webinar hosted by Willow Mattress Singapore and Expat Living Singapore is on the evening of June 18th where I will be diving into the world of Lucid or Conscious Dreaming. You may register for the Lucid Dreaming webinar and follow my Instagram and Facebook channels for updates. 

If you wish to know more about meditation and dreams, or explore privately, a particularly charged or recurring dream, and how it may be informing your process, do get in touch or book a one-on-one session.

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

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