In Which We Write Our First Letters

Introducing some starring roles from these letters:

Dean – my younger brother by three years

James – my even younger brother by ten years – he was an ‘accident’ but a wonderful one 😉

Nanny Annie – Mum’s Mum who at this time was sadly showing early signs of dementia

Grandad Fred – Mum’s Dad (he passed to spirit in July 1989, just after our wedding – I feel so lucky to have had both Grandparents there for our special day and to have shared a dance with my Grandad (the Anniversary Waltz) – he had been so ill, but at our wedding was absolutely full of life)

Pat – Mum’s work colleague and good friend

Aunt Peg – (never call her Aunt, she’ll get annoyed, but what a character!)

The Woolstones – the family we stayed with when we first arrived in Vancouver

Some points to note: Mum and Dad had been looking at a property in Yorkshire with a view to moving there and opening a bed and breakfast, which had been a dream of theirs for a few years now.  I think us moving away spurred them on and subsequently, they were putting their house up for sale.  

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Mum actually started her letter the night we left their house, Thursday 8th February 1990, and starts by acknowledging the goodbye card I wrote to them.

It has just occurred to me that this is the first time Mum’s letters and my letters have met in person, as they were always in separate places.  For me, this is a wonderfully significant moment which is hard to explain but it filled my heart with such emotion – Mum and daughter back together again!

These letters are so short compared to later ones, but I suppose at the time, we were desperate for communication from each other, thus wanted to post them off as soon as possible!

The first time our letters have met x

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And so … on with the letters … on with the memories x

Mum

 

Thursday 8th February 1990

Our Darling Joanne and Dearest Vince,

I will begin this letter with your letter to us.  I can’t begin to tell you how we felt when we read it, but then you probably have a good idea.  It is the most beautiful thing we have ever read and only you could have put it together.  You’ve put so much thought and love into it; we will treasure it forever.

Friday 9th February

I was not looking forward to going to work, but Dad told me to be brave, I could not look at my watch all morning.  Pat took me for a drink after work – cheered me up a little.  James is going to Dean’s for the weekend, so that will be good for both of them.  When Dad came back from work, we had a nice long talk about your lovely new life.  Dad’s got a lovely way of making everything sound alright.

Saturday 10th February

Went to Dartford, very boring without you to shop with. Saw Aunt Peg and had a long chat with her.  She is very pleased with the fridge/freezer you donated to her and thinks she’s very posh now.  Dad’s working all weekend, so when I came home from Dartford, I felt very lazy, so watched TV all afternoon till he came home.  We were just washing up from tea when the phone rang, Dad said it might be Joanne and Vince.  My heart jumped.  It was wonderful to hear your voice, you were so clear, it seemed you were not that far away from us, a sort of sad but happy feeling.  Was so pleased that Smokey was alright, bless his heart.  Watched Dave Allen on TV later and he made us laugh, wish he was on every night!

Sunday 11th February

Boring Sunday again.  Just cleaned brass on front door and now it is raining hard!  Used my new vacuum cleaner this morning, the suction was so strong, it picked up the tiles in the back hall.  I rang Nan.  She said she is alright just gets a bit sad when she thinks of both of you.  Dad had just had a funny turn as he can’t finish his crossword ha ha ha!

Monday 12th February

This is going to be a busy week for you both, getting things sorted out.  Vince might even be starting work this morning.  How big a breakfast is he eating?  Is Smokey eating alright?  What sort of cat food is it?  Hope it’s not bear meat!  Felt a bit better at work today but have to turn the radio off when something sad comes on.  Did a crown prep on the boss Mr Torry today and Angie kept making silly faces at me round the door to make me laugh, but I kept my cool.  Went to see Nan with Dad this afternoon, we told her that you rang on Saturday and she said, ‘where is she now then?’ We are keeping up your good work, we went to the bottle bank and Dad had a smashing time!  Watched a Survival Special on TV this evening about Scarlet Salmon breeding grounds in British Columbia.

Tuesday 13th February 1990

Went to see Rhona and Ted this afternoon.  Told Rhona you had been trying to ring her before you left for Canada.  She said that was very sweet of you to think of her and to give you both her love.   Mrs. Hilary, from Briar Dene, rang this evening and said she had not forgotten about us and would like us to have the Yorkshire cottage.  She said it’s snowing there now, and it looks very pretty.  She also said she has told everyone that I would like to contribute to the craft fair.  I thought ‘oh gawd’!

Wednesday 14th February 1990

I had the day off work today because it is Valentine’s Day and Dad took me to Rye for lunch, but we walked first from the harbour right to the end of the bird sanctuary and it was raining.   But we had our waterproofs on, so we quite enjoyed it.  Apart from our noses dripping, getting wet and cold on valentine’s day, that’s what I call true love.  Some bad news on TV tonight, interest rates to go up by 1%, so that’s going to make selling even harder, we can’t win, can we?  A little message from Dad now:

Hi Jo, who sent me a Valentine card, does Vince know?  It was a very nice surprise, good job you didn’t disguise your writing or Mum would be on my ear-hole saying, ‘who’s this other woman sending you a card?’  I had to buy a pound of homemade fudge in Rye to keep all the girls at the dentist quiet for taking Mum out for the day.  Good job Vince wasn’t here, he would probably have eaten half of it Haha!

Thursday 15th February 1990

One whole week gone by since we said goodbye.  It’s gone so fast.  Christmas is going to come very quick at this rate.  Good.  Went to see Aunt Peg today, she was pleased to see us.  Showed her the letter you gave to us, she said how beautiful it was.  I love showing it to certain people, because we are very proud of it.  She also said not to worry about you because you will both do well.  It was so good to hear your voice again Wednesday night and know everything is going well.  Can’t wait for your first letter to explain it all in detail.

Jo

 

Dear Mum & Dad & James,

10th February 1990

I miss you both (all) so much already.  I only hope it gets easier!  At least we’re going to be busy, so my mind will be occupied.  It was good to hear your voices on the phone today.  Although I cried, it’s nice to know that I can talk to you that easily when I want to.  It is exciting to see Vancouver again though.  The air is so fresh, and it’s been snowing, so everything looks really pretty.  I will take some pictures before the snow melts and send them to you.  I’ll also send you a photo of The Woolstones, so you know what they all look like.  The flight over on Wardair was very impressive.  We had china plates and proper cutlery and a lovely meal.  We had a mixed salad to start and then I had chicken Florentine and Vince had steak and then they bring round a sweet trolley, just like in a restaurant!  The film was Turner and Hooch, which was quite funny, and all on a proper TV screen with decent headphones!  When we arrived, everyone here was really pleased to see us.  Smokey is settling in well.  We are sleeping in the basement and there is a really big area for him to wander around in.  Today, Heather and George [Woolstone] drove us around to look at some open houses.  They were very impressive, but a bit beyond our price range.  We had lunch in Deep Cove (remember us telling you about it?).  They keep us well fed here and it’s warm.  We help ourselves to breakfast and lunch, they have one of those large American fridges which is filled to the brim with absolutely everything!

Vince and Carolynn in the snow!!! Plymouth Drive, North Vancouver

Our first Canadian home (the basement of The Woolstones’ house)

Sunday 11th February 1990

Today was probably the longest Sunday I can remember.  The time seems to go much more slowly here.  Because they have English guests, Heather and George decided to do a proper roast dinner, but can you believe it, they don’t know how to make roast potatoes.  So, I cooked them, and I think they were impressed!  Vince and I went out for a couple walks today and looked at some more open houses, they’re still a bit above our price range, but they were so wonderful.  I think we’ll have to move a little bit further out to start with, but that should be okay.

A typical dinner at The Woolstones, lots of friends!!

Monday 12th February 1990

Went to open a bank account, they gave us cheques, cheque card and cash card number on the spot.  It was amazing.  We also applied for our social insurance number so we can now look for jobs.  We had a quick look in the job centre today but saw nothing much.  Vince called the refrigeration engineer that Heather had found who was very helpful and will contact Vince in a few days.  Went to Lonsdale Quay and to Vancouver City Centre today which was fun.  It seems strange to see it again, but on the other hand it seemed perfectly normal.  The mountains looked lovely today.  It snowed in the night a little bit, so they have white peaks and you can even see the ski run clearly on Grouse Mountain. On the way back on the bus, there were lots of people with skis who had just been skiing for the day (can you believe that?!)

Tuesday 13th February 1990

Went into Lonsdale (Lower North Vancouver) to Rent-A-Wreck, a car-hire company that hires older cars, so it’s cheaper!  But they wouldn’t let us rent one until we have a credit card for a deposit!  Never mind – the weatherman says there’s more snow on the way, so maybe it’s just as well.  Tonight, we’re going to look at someone’s basement with a view to us renting it.  It’s self-contained, furnished and it’s in a good position.  The people are friends of Heather and George, so we’ll probably get it at a good price.  In any event, we’re welcome to stay where we are for a couple of weeks.

Well, I had better save some news for the next letter although I want to just keep writing as it makes me feel so close to you all.

First letter signature x

 

Well, I hope our first correspondences have piqued your interest and that you will enjoy reading future letters/blogs.  Until next time …

Love, Jo x

In Which We Leave The Country

We were booked to fly to Vancouver on 9th February, which was a Friday.  The previous day our bungalow in Swanley had been packed up by an overseas removal company and our belongings disappeared into boxes and packaging before our very eyes.  It was all so surreal.  The guys who were doing the packing stopped for so many tea breaks, I thought it would never get done, but they were obviously good at their job and indeed the packing was completed to schedule. It was funny really, one of them would say “well, I think it’s time for another cup of tea, Jo”!!  They saved space by stacking chairs, one upside down on top of the other, then using the space between the legs to stack boxes, a trick that we used in later years when moving ourselves.  I kept asking them to please be careful with this ornament, those glasses etc., but as far as I can remember, everything arrived at the other end in one piece.

Team from Trinifold Management, fantastic place to work.

I’d left my job, working in a music management company two weeks before departure for Vancouver (see photo of work friends from Trinifold, including my old boss, Bill Curbishley, Manager of The Who, just one of the artists/bands he looked after then). The days and hours that followed thereafter, were filled with visits to family and friends or people popping in to give us cards and gifts.  We had so many meals out and a continuous flow of people round for drinks. We rose early in the morning and never went to bed before midnight.  It was a whirlwind of emotions. There were many tearful goodbyes. I think we actually saw everyone we knew; no-one was left out.  I remember my best friend, Karen, who lived just a couple of roads away, coming round to give me a beautiful gold bracelet on the day our bungalow was being packed away.  I wore this with love on my travels.

I remember silly things like wearing the same pair of earrings every day because all my others were packed, and that the backs kept stabbing me every time someone hugged me. I had permanent red marks on my neck for a long time! Things like the stress of having to book our cat, Smokey, onto the same flight as us, and how he needed to have a special carrier box, with certain dimensions plus the correct health and travel documents for the journey.

Farewell Meal at Bull and Vic Restaurant with Canadian Cake. Left to right in bottom pic: George, Vince, Cynthia, Mum, Me, James, Dad.

A few days before departure, Mum and Dad took us for a beautiful meal at the Victoria and Bull Hotel in Dartford, ironically a place that we had never been to, even though it was on our doorstep, but it was posh and they wanted to take us somewhere special.  It was just close family, Mum, Dad, my brother James, Vince’s Mum Cynthia and her partner, George.  I cannot remember for the life of me what I had to eat that night.  I do remember that the restaurant made us a wonderful cake with red and white icing and the Canadian flag.  They also presented us with a Canadian one dollar bill for luck.  It still sits on our fridge today.I have always meant to get it framed!  Maybe now is the time to actually do that.

Our Canadian Dollar Bill from Bull and Victoria Restaurant

Thank you card.

I didn’t want to stay at Mum and Dad’s house the night before departure because saying farewell was going to be hard enough as it was. I left a card with them, saying thank you for absolutely everything in my whole life, and told them not to read it until I had gone.  Because the card had a little bunch of flowers on the front, I sprayed it with my perfume.  All these years, it has been kept in a glass display cabinet, until recently, when Dad brought it down for me.  Can you believe it, it still smells of perfume!  It is so hard to describe the feelings of saying goodbye and at this point, we did not know how long it would be until we saw each other again.  Mum and I were a mess, but we managed to laugh at ourselves through the tears.  These photos are precious, but not pretty!!  A lot of red eyes and sad faces.  Finally, as it came time to leave (prolonging it was making it worse), my Dad, bless him said to me “Go on, bugger off!” which made us all laugh.  As we drove away, I looked back and my Mum was at the end of the garden path, waving and waving until we were out of sight.  My heart broke.

Tears of Goodbye

We spent our last night in England at Cynthia’s (Vince’s Mum) house. We let Smokey out so he could have a sniff around and some freedom before his flight.  That night, he howled and howled, and we didn’t sleep at all.  He was echoing our stress and upset I think, and bless him, he didn’t know what was going on.  Once again, there was an emotional goodbye with Cynthia.  Vince is the youngest of six of her children.

We did not want family to take us to the airport as it would be far too difficult, and I may not have ever walked through the departure gate!  And so, early on the day of departure, our friends Ron and Chris, picked us up and came with us to the airport.  We thought this was a better plan as it wouldn’t be so upsetting (we were wrong, ha ha).

We checked Smokey Cat in and said goodbye to him while he was howling.  We felt so bad and so helpless; how could we explain to him that we would meet him at the other end and that he was going to be fine?  He would be on the same flight as us, but in the hold section of the plane.  We had a full English breakfast and coffee with Ron and Chris and for a while everything seemed normal, like we were just going on holiday.  However, when we came to say goodbye to them, they both cried just as hard as we did!  Their daughter and family had moved to Vancouver some years previously, so I suppose it brought back memories for them.  We hadn’t thought of that!!

When the plane took off, it really hit me, THIS IS IT!!  New adventure, new life … it’s really happening.  The flight had a stopover in Calgary; however, we were delayed because the weather conditions there were heavy snow, being so close to the Rocky Mountains.  I kept thinking about Smokey in the hold: was it cold down there, was he OK? At least once we took off it was only an hour to Vancouver.

Finally, we arrived.

We collected Smokey and it seemed to take an eternity for him to be brought out to us.  When he finally came through, the poor cat was frantic, his eyes were wild – he wasn’t even responding to our voices.  His poor little nose was rubbed dry from him trying to see through the wires of the box and he had not been given any water.  Poor baby.

We had a friend, Carolynn, who we’d met when we holidayed in Vancouver a couple of years earlier, and who we’d kept in touch with. She kindly came to meet us, and we were going to stay in her family’s basement. It was a real comfort to know that Carolynn and her family were there for us, and that we could stay until we found somewhere permanent to live.  The basement was warm and comfortable, I remember thinking that it was exactly like all the basements you see in American movies, complete with wood-panelled walls, old brown sofas and a TV.  Smokey Cat was soon exploring his new space and quickly settled in, which was a huge relief I can tell you.  At the time, he was our baby and we treated him as such!

Smokey before leaving with his dancing flower. He loved that thing!

On the night of arrival, we rang Mum and Dad.   It was exceedingly wonderful to hear their voices and they sounded so close.  We kept the call to about 10 minutes as we really weren’t sure how much long distance calls cost at the time.  Again, I cried even more tears on hanging up the phone, but at least they knew we had arrived safely.

The following day, the letter-writing and the adventures began …

In which it all began

When I emigrated to Vancouver with my husband, Vince, in February 1990, I felt both excited to be having this new adventure, but at the same time, I felt almost bereaved.  I was so close to my family, and Mum and I had a special bond.  She was my best friend.  We promised we would write every day, and we did, literally chatting on paper and we kept this up for the almost ten years I was there.  The letters started out short, but eventually, we were writing pages and pages to each other and would post them off every ten days or so.  I think the longest is 53 pages long!! We wrote exactly as if we were having a conversation over a cuppa and it was a HUGE comfort.  Needless to say, I have heaps of these incredible letters and memories, along with photos, newspaper clippings and greeting cards for literally any little reason!  Vince used to say my Mum kept Hallmark in business!!  My visits to England, and Mum and Dad’s visits to Vancouver, were so exciting and I cherished every single second, but each time we parted, it was agony.  I would of course, settle back into routine, but my family were always missing.

I have wanted for years, since Mum passed away in 1998, to do something with these letters.  My dream has always been to turn them into a book, but the volume of letters is overwhelming and to be honest, the thought of revisiting all the emotions has held me back.  It’s the most wonderful reminder of how much Mum and I loved each other and how easy our relationship was, even at such a long distance.  And so, I have decided to start from the beginning with a blog to share my journey with excerpts from the letters. I hope it will be a comfort to those people who live across the world from their families, and also to help those who have lost someone they love.  And hopefully along the way I will, at some point, be able to assemble everything into a book.

Living abroad became harder: firstly, when I had my daughter, Emma, in 1993 and wanted to share every second with Mum and Dad.  Then, secondly, when Mum became ill and passed away in February 1998.  She was 53 years young and had survived six years from breast cancer, which secondarily went to her bones, then her liver.  We moved back to England in June 1999 with our two children, Emma and Ryan.  Emma was five and Ryan was just 8 months.  I found out I was pregnant with Ryan just after Mum died, so was unable to tell her.  A life for a life, everyone said.  Edie was born in England in 2000.  It’s so sad for me that Mum never met Ryan or Edie, or my brother’s two daughters, or saw the children growing up, but it is my belief that she watches over us in spirit.  Mum was the strongest person I know.

Don’t get me wrong though, I do not regret our time in Vancouver, we have the most wonderful memories and made lifetime friends, and at least we can say we did it, instead of always wondering ‘what if’.  The letters and photos will reflect this as I progress with the story.

My lovely Dad is still here, and we see him often.  I will be drawing on his memories and raiding his house for more photos and memories to accompany this blog!  I have two brothers, one close to home, and one who is still in Vancouver who moved there shortly after us.  He is married to a lovely Canadian lady and is happy with his life there.

Reading these letters has reminded me of the small but important things in life.  Mum loved the sun, she loved her garden, she loved her job as a Dental Nurse, she loved my Dad and she loved her family.   In the book of remembrance at the crematorium, it reads:

 

Mavis Ann Figg

Who lived for those she loved

And those she loved

Will love her forever

 

I have called the blog simply:  Love, Mum x

Life Altering Illnesses

💚Healing is a wonderful, safe, non-invasive complementary therapy.  I know you hear this from me constantly in my Facebook posts, but I am so passionate about what I do and how Healing can help, I can’t help but repeat it.  This mantra is particularly relevant to my clients with life-altering illnesses, as it can bring them so much relief.

💜I know from my own experience how Healing helped me: it came from the inside out.  I had to relax, let go, shed a few tears and from my first session, I felt hopeful that recovery was possible.  (You can read about my experience in the ‘about Jo’ section of my website.) At the time, I knew very little about Healing, but immediately felt a positivity and a determination that it was possible to Heal.

💛Of course, I cannot claim that Healing cures all ills, but I do know it works well alongside all treatments and conditions, and certainly has an extremely positive effect on the mind, body and soul, enabling the person receiving Healing to feel peace, release tension and most of all to relax.  Often, clients have said it kind of ‘kick-starts’ them, this is because Healing can stimulate the body’s own natural Healing ability.

🧡I have given Healing to people with many different conditions: cancer, parkinsons, polymyalgia, cluster headaches, stress and anxiety, to name a few.  Often people are, understandably, sceptical.  (To be honest, it is a sceptic that I like to sit on my Healing stool, because their reaction at the end of the session is so very satisfying!)  Please understand that a Healing session is more than just the therapy itself, it is taking that step towards self-help … talking and being heard is so important.  I do not counsel, but I am a good listener.

Clients with cancer that I have given Healing to, have responded very well.  It has helped with acceptance of their condition, brings peace and hope, and leaves them physically and mentally feeling stronger.  For example, they have not felt sickness/nausea, have not lost their hair due to harsh chemotherapy and look generally ‘well’.  One client, on being asked how he looked so well said he had a ‘secret weapon’ meaning the Healing! This is not to say that everyone will respond in the same way, I am merely trying to give an example of how Healing helps.

💚I have a client who suffers with cluster headaches, debilitating pain that cannot be explained.  His clusters are episodic, once or twice a year for 6-8 weeks at a time, but for some people, they can become chronic, meaning the headaches occur every day.  To get relief, he has to breathe oxygen until the pain subsides, sometimes for up to 20 minutes. In between cluster attacks, you can be affected by what’s known as the ‘grey ghost’ which literally feels like a dark cloud of depression hanging over your head.  It is this that Healing helps with.  My client says that without the Healing, he would find it hard to deal with this side of the condition – Healing lifts his mood and banishes the ‘ghost’, leaving him feeling ‘normal’ and able to go about his normal life.

💗One lovely young lady, Sally, has a condition called CRMO: Chronic Recurrent Multifocal Osteomyelitis. Sally has kindly written a ‘guest blog’ on how Healing has helped her.  She has also written at length about her recent rehabilitative stay in hospital to help manage her condition – please find a link to Sally’s blog below, which is a very interesting and moving read:

Here are her thoughts on Healing:

“As someone with a chronic illness; trying out every possible cure/treatment there is to help with the pain, is a very common process. I have tried cutting out certain foods, hemp extract, meditation, acupuncture etc. Some of these have helped me, while others have not. Yet these have benefited thousands of other people, so really it is all down to trial and experimenting for each individual. 
A therapy that I first started having when I was about 13 was healing, thanks to the brilliant Joanne Anderson. I wasn’t really aware of what healing was before Joanne introduced me to it, and, as with everything else I had tried, I was sceptical; however, I was struggling significantly with the stress of school and the pain at that time was really difficult. Therefore, almost every Thursday I would travel to her house and have a healing session.
 It was without a doubt one of the best things I decided to try, and over the next two to three years, I had these healing sessions and during difficult school days, I was so thankful for this. As someone who isn’t religious, spiritual etc. I would 100% tell anyone to give this a give this a go with an open mind no matter who you are, and if it doesn’t benefit you at least you tried.
I would sit down on a stool, and Jo would play a CD, “Eternal” by Miriam Stockley, (a breathtakingly beautiful artist and singer), while a glow from the candles and gorgeous scented incense would fill the room. It is difficult to describe the feeling of calm and relaxation that I would feel – it would remove all the stress and the unbearable inflammatory heat and ache from my body. At least for the rest of the evening I would leave calm and with a few extra spoons to finish that tiring week.  
Joanne is one of the most beautiful people with a kind heart – professional and excellent at her job but most importantly, she cares about her customers; she truly cares about Healing.”
https://wherearemyglasses83426963.wordpress.com/
I truly hope this has been of interest and given a better understanding of how Healing can help.  I am blessed and thankful every single day to be able to bring this relaxation and peace of mind to so many people.  If you have any thoughts or any questions at all, I’ll be happy to help.
Jo x

 

 

 

Helios – The Sun God

Anything to do with Sunshine always makes me happy so thought it would be fun and interesting to research and write an article about myth and legend – Helios, the Sun God.

Helios was one of the Titans, son of Hyperion and Theia, and of course he belongs to the season of Summer.  According to myth, he resided in a golden palace, in the river Okeanos, far to the East.  At dawn, he would rise out of the Eastern sky, riding in his chariot, drawn by four magnificent winged horses: Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon and Phlegon.
His birthplace was the Island of Rhodes, where a colossal statue of Helios was erected in 280 B.C.  It was one of the seven wonders of the world, being 33 metres high, the tallest statue of the ancient world.  Sadly, it collapsed during the earthquake of 226 B.C.  Parts of the statue were preserved, but it was never rebuilt.  Helios was believed to have shaped the Island of Rhodes and was honoured there as an important deity.  Rhodes, therefore became sacred to Helios.  Legend tells of the island being muddy and uninhabitable when it was discovered, but Helios dried the land and filled it with life.
To the Ancient Greeks, Helios was the personification of sun and sunlight, and was worshipped just as much as Zeus.  I suppose today, many of us would say that we worship the sun.

 

Brave Helios wake up your steeds, bring the warmth the countryside needs”
… The Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed.

 

Helios had two sisters: one named Eos, Goddess of the Dawn.  She would draw her fingers across the sky, moving aside the misty curtain from which Helios would appear to begin his journey.  During his spectacular ride across the skies and above the earth, Helios would observe and listen to everything that happened below him, for he could see and hear everything.  For this reason, other Gods and Humans alike, would seek his advice and counsel to learn the truth about all matters.  Helios is, therefore, associated with speaking the truth.

 

I have read that if you want Helios to help you get to the truth of an issue, then whilst thinking about your problem say these words:

 

 

“Helios, god who knows all, god who drives his chariot across the sky, aid me, and help me recognise the truth from a lie.” … James Kambos

 

At dusk, Helios would descend into a golden cup in the western sky.  He then drifted along a mystical river back to his golden palace in the east, where he was then ready to once again ride his chariot at dawn. The night belonged to Helios’ second sister, Selena, the Moon Goddess. She rode side saddle on her horse, or rode in a chariot drawn by two winged steeds and wore a crown with a lunar sphere.
Helios was married to Clymene, but did have other wives and consorts. He had several children including a son: Phaeton, who in wanting to seek the truth of his father being the Sun God, asked to be in charge of the chariot one day.  However, he lost control of the horses and was in danger of setting the earth of fire. Zeus was forced to strike down the chariot and therefore, Phaeton was killed.

 

Helios had a role in The Odyssey.  When Odysseus and his men visited Thrinacia, an island dedicated to Helios, The Sun God, they were warned not to touch any of Helios’ cattle or sheep.  The men did not heed Odysseus’ warning and, whilst he was absent, they slaughtered some of the sacred animals.  Helios then appealed to Zeus for revenge and threatened to shine the sun into the underworld, where the dead reside.  Zeus, heeding the warning, struck the ship of Odysseus’ crew, killing everyone except for Odysseus himself.

 

Helios is usually depicted with his head surrounded by a glowing aureole of sun rays.  The ancient Greeks believed that Helios could witness anything in the Heavens or on Earth and so it was common to see him depicted with the Epitaph Panoptes, otherwise known as the all-seeing eye.
And because he saw all, Helios was able to come to the aid of Demeter, Mother of Persephone.  He informed her that Hades, the God of the Underworld, had kidnapped her daughter, the goddess.
Similarly, Helios witnessed an affair between Aphrodite and Ares. He reported this to Hephaestus, Aphrodite’s husband, and helped set a trap to catch the two lovers. Caught in the act, the gods then banished Ares from Olympus for his crime.
This ability, to have the all-seeing eye, to witness events unfolding beneath him, as he rode through the sky, would have made Helios both a valuable friend and a frightening ally.

 

Helios and Hercules:  Legend tells us that on an occasion when Hercules was seeking to find the Island of Erythia and was lost, he became angry and in his frustration, shot an arrow towards the sun.  When he realised the severity of what he had done, he greatly apologised to the Titan, Helios.  However, Helios was impressed with the impulsive act and presented Hercules with his own golden cup.  Hercules was then able to use the cup to reach his desired destination. 
Although Helios was believed to have had such a significant place in the heart of the Ancient Greeks, he was eventually replaced by Apollo in mythology.  However, to this day he is still pictured as the very handsome Titan God, who drove a chariot across the sky in blazing splendour, pulled by his fire-breathing winged horses.

 

I’ve had a lot of fun, researching this piece, it was like being back at school! It was interesting for me to learn so much about Helios, the Sun God, as I had not read anything about him before.  And, if you know me, you’ll understand how I love all things sun-related.  If you have any comments, please leave them below, or especially if you know something more about Helios that I’ve missed.  Enjoy!

(websites that I used to research information)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus_of_Rhodes,https://www.greekmythology.com/Other_Gods/Helios/helios.html, greekgodsandgoddesses.net/gods/helios

 

 

Meditation and Mindfulness

Meditation is such an important part of my life since becoming a Spiritual Healer and I thought it would be good to share some thoughts on the subject.  I meditate daily and during this time will send out Absent Healing to my clients and family and friends.  Meditation is about mindfulness, quietening the mind and letting yourself just ‘be’.  Sounds easy, but this does take some practice, and having meditated for years, there are times when my mind is too chatty or my body too fidgety, but with a little perseverance and concentration on my breathing, I can relax quite easily.  It is essential that you have peace and quiet for meditation, so pick a time and spot where you will not be disturbed or have the worry of time constraints.  I usually sit upright, otherwise it’s too easy to fall asleep (although this does happen to me on occasion) – be comfortable and concentrate on relaxing off all your muscles.  Breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth – it helps to have a rhythm for you breathing; it will be different for everyone, but count as you inhale, hold for a second, then exhale slowly.  Your out breath should be slightly longer than your in breath.  Place your hands on your stomach to make sure your stomach is rising and falling and not just your chest, this ensures you are breathing properly.  As babies, we breathe with our stomachs, but as we get older, we get lazy with our breathing and it becomes shallow.  Studies have shown that in normal circumstances, we only use 60% of our lung capacity.  If your mind starts to wander (and this is normal), just acknowledge the thought and then let it drift away.  Keep taking your mind back to your breathing.  With each breath, you should start to feel more and more relaxed.  At first you may only be able to manage a short meditation, but even 5 minutes is surprisingly beneficial as you have still relaxed your mind and body for this time.

During this time of mindfulness and meditation, you will start to recognise the reactions in your body and sounds and sensations happening around you.  Feel the gentle breath passing your nostrils as you inhale, is it warm or cool?  When you exhale, be aware of the breath passing the lips, how does this feel?  Notice what is going on with your body;  be conscious of the floor or chair that you are sitting on; does your body feel straight or are you aware that you are slightly leaning to one side?  Listen to the sounds around you as you relax into your meditation: what can you hear?  Birds, distant cars, the wind?  You’ll be surprised at what you notice that you usually just ignore – perhaps a plane passing over, a dog barking in the distance.  Use all your senses: sight (what is in your mind’s eye?), sound, touch, hearing and smell.  It is most important to notice how you feel, are feelings of anger or frustration entering your mind?  If this is the case, note where you feel this sensation, in your tummy, your heart, your throat?  Try to breathe into these areas, taking in positive light and love and breathe out all negativity. When we practice mindfulness and meditation regularly, we become more and more in tune with our bodies.  In future blogs, I will cover meditation in more detail and talk about guided meditation.

As you explore your meditation and mindfulness, I wish you all peace; and may you be surrounded with love and light and wellbeing.

Absent Healing

💚 Clients are often surprised when I tell them that I send Absent Healing to them ❤️ This is really important to me to keep that person present in my thoughts until I see them again 💛 When I meditate I will send out love and Healing thoughts to you 💜 Absent or Distant Healing can be very effective, and from experience can sometimes be felt by the recipient 💙 I am lucky enough to receive Absent Healing on a weekly basis from my Healing friend and if I am awake I will feel the energy around me 💚 And if I am asleep, I will sleep very soundly ❤️ Jo 🌻

Sunshinehealingmaidstone, spiritualhealing, sunshinehealing, Aylesford, absenthealing, distanthealing, sendlove, sendhealing, meditate

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How I feel after giving Healing

How I feel after giving Healing

💚 Recently, I was asked how I feel after giving someone Healing 💛 I feel extremely peaceful 🦋 As I stand with my hands on your shoulders whilst closing down at the end of a Healing, I am usually conscious of a wonderful energy that emanates around us both 💜 Also I feel a complete stillness, as when I meditate 💚 What’s amazing is that often at the beginning of a Healing a client’s energy can feel unsettled for various reasons, so to feel the difference in their being afterwards is truly wonderful ❤️ I am also asked whether Healing tires me and the answer is no, or at least it shouldn’t if you look after yourself 🦋 I always protect myself, and make sure that I am grounded afterwards 💜

Jo 🌻