A chat with healer and holistic therapist Helen Shortland
So a couple weeks ago, I went to a Spiritual Get Together (read about it here if you haven’t had chance yet) hosted by healer and holistic therapist Helen Shortland. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, it was a couple hours breather for me from doing ‘mum’ things and a chance to learn some tips on how to read oracle cards, meditate and give healing, which was a completely new experience for me. I have put these skills into practice since, giving my husband an oracle reading using a combination of 3 decks for general all round guidance, and last night I had a go at giving myself some healing. The last few days I have felt a fair bit of stress and anxiety, leading to emotional eating and some crying in private, just really bleugh. So instead of doing my usual evening house work and general flap (when the hubby is on the late shift at work, I flap more as I’m on my own) I decided that I needed some ‘me’ time. Not the usual sit and have a read (though I did catch up with spirit and destiny magazine while waiting for my chamomile tea to cool) or do some art with the purpose of it being business related. I needed to press the reset button, so after I did the essentials of clearing toys away and dishes, I began the resetting. Healing music on, rose incense lit, and I began some slow yoga and deep breathing. After I relaxed with a cup of chamomile tea and a magazine, then came my first attempt at putting the healing skills learnt with Helen to practice on myself.
Since childhood I have struggled with self confidence, and trusting my instincts, so this is something that I purposefully put to one side and just went with it. I followed what we practiced with Helen, inviting in our healing guides and allowed myself to be intuitively guided as to where I needed to place my hands. I’m not sure whether it’s because I was doing the healing on myself, so obviously knew where my hands were, but I did feel a lot of pulling and energy surges. When finished, I remembered to place my hands on my shoulders and knees, as this according to Helen is to ground whoever we are healing. I then moved onto a crystal mediation, choosing rose quartz placed on my heart and 3rd eye chakra. I allowed myself to just be for however long I needed, doing my best not to fret over the washing that was building up, or the dusting I said I would do but didn’t. And I have to say, that taking those couple hours to just be has really perked me up. I felt instantly less stressed and anxious after, still not 100 percent, but things take time.
Today I set my alarm for 5am to get dressed and potter around peacefully before my family, and the world rise to start their day. I feel positive. Today is going to be beautiful, because I get to say good morning to my husband and daughter, we have some precious hours together before he goes to work, and this afternoon (weather permitting) I would like to take my daughter for a walk to explore some nature near where we live. So there’s certainly something to be said from last nights healing rituals, and I intend to do a smaller session tonight to keep clearing away the built up stress and anxiety.
Some self healing (in whatever form takes you away from the every day and soothes your being) is key to recharge from lifes demands, but sometimes, a visit to a pro to release stagnant and stale energy that’s holding us back is just what we need. While you should always check with your doctor if anything is concerning you health wise, a trip to a healer is a great complimentary therapy. As it happens, Helen offers a vast range from reiki, crystal and reflexology, so there’s something for everyone. Read on to find out a little more about Helen….
Hi Helen! Please can you tell us about one of your earliest spiritual experiences?
I had seen spirits several times in my teens and 20s, such as a ghost in a hotel I was staying in at Tintagel in Cornwall and the lady who used to live in my flat in Sherwood before the house was converted into flats, and I also remember nattering away to people in my head when I was a child but the most memorable was when I first started opening up properly to spiritual and psychic matters around the age of 30. I’d started meditating a couple of years before and was able to go quite deep with it, often meditating for an hour at a time. During one meditation I became aware that I was travelling on the astral plane and that a couple of men in the physical world were casting a circle and trying to draw me in. I knew this would not be good for me so remembered something I had read in a book earlier that day: if ever you get into trouble or sense danger in any form while working in the spirit dimensions, always call on a higher vibration being. Usually people call upon Archangel Michael or Jesus, God or their guardian angel. For me the words “I call upon the highest guide possible for me and my work to assist me now” came out. At that point a brilliant bright light entered my aura, lifting me up and onto my feet from where I’d been sitting in deep meditation on my settee. I was immediately back in my lounge at home and looking at a being who I would describe as having a body of light, with slits for eyes and an emerald green ray of light at its feet. I had an overwhelming urge to heal someone, anyone, as my hands became filled with a powerful energy that I’d never experienced before. As I was in the house on my own, all I could do was recall someone I’d noticed a few days before who really hadn’t looked well, visualized him in front of me and threw a healing energy ball at him.
This was such an incredible, unbelievable experience that I only told one close friend at the time, especially as this was before the days I discovered Reiki. I was however very intrigued to know more about this amazing being who was the highest guide possible for me. By chance, or rather synchronicity, I saw an advert for some angel cards in the back of a mind body spirit magazine shortly afterwards and the picture they were displaying was of a being of light, with an emerald green ray, named Archangel Raphael, angel of healing. I realized this explained my overwhelming urge to give healing when the visitation occurred. I guess it was inevitable I would end up finding Reiki and becoming a healer. And the man I threw the healing energy ball at? You guessed it, he looked so much better the next time a saw him a few weeks later. He never knew what I’d done but interestingly he helped me with some professional advice that he was not obliged to give when I was going through a tricky patch at work a few years later.
When did you realize you wanted to be a healer?
By the end of the year 2000 I was becoming increasingly disillusioned and dissatisfied with life. One night I said out loud in exasperation “Please give me a purpose. I need a purpose to be here!” All I can say is someone was listening. There was no immediate change but I started to feel unexplainably more hopeful and positive. One of my friends at work kept mentioning a Reiki course that she had seen advertised in the window of a shop called Alternatives near where she lived in Lenton. All she knew was that it was something to do with energy and the more she talked about it, the more I knew I had to go along. In the end we both went, handed over our money at the door, still not knowing anything about it. Then as soon as the teacher said that Reiki was a form of hands-on healing or spiritual healing, it was like a light bulb went on and I knew at that moment that this was what I wanted to do. In the end I was the one who continued with my training through all the different levels of Reiki but my friend never felt the need to go any further than level 1. She was definitely meant to get me there!I was very much guided to find Reiki which became the start of my own healing journey. There’s a saying that Reiki finds you if you need it and when you’re ready for it. I guess it was always meant to be that I would be a healer as I have Archangel Raphael guiding me. I’ve also been very lucky to be able to work as a healer for nearly 20 years now, even though there have been many times over the years when I’ve wanted to do something more financially stable! For some people their path is to work as a healer; for others finding Reiki is meant to help them with their own healing, by clearing away the blocks that are holding them back, to enable them to move into their own soul purpose which may be something else entirely.
What’s your favourite healing treatment and why?
I enjoy giving Reiki, Angelic Reiki and Spiritual Energy Healing because they all enable me to create a space where the healing power is flowing around us and it’s wonderful to be in the Reiki power and feel so connected. It’s always fascinating sharing feedback with a client after the treatment because we will both experience something different. It also gives the client the opportunity to open up about a spiritual experience maybe for the first time in their life.One of my favourite healing treatments to receive is actually Reflexology because it is so beneficial for healing and balancing the physical body and it’s wonderfully soothing for tired aching feet.
What are your top 3 crystals?
I have a large clear quartz crystal which I had to have because it fitted so perfectly in the palm of my hand! I always find it fascinating to look inside this crystal and see all the patterns there but I usually hold it when I’m feeling tired and want to boost my energy on all levels – mentally, spiritually as well as physically. My second choice would be golden calcite. This crystal clears the mind and stimulates the higher mind which helps connect with spiritual guidance. I sit with this crystal for about 10 minutes before I give a reading at home.I also have a beautiful rose aura quartz crystal wand with flecks of gold inside which I call my rose gold wand. It’s a beautiful crystal and seemed to be calling out to me when I saw it. It boosts self-confidence by transmuting deeply held doubts about self-worth which is something I’ve had to work on over the years!There are also other crystals which I love for healing purposes, namely selenite which detaches negative energy or entities and amethyst which repairs and protects the aura. These crystals are great to use after any form of psychic attack.
Is there anything spiritual you’d like to experience/explore?
I would like to develop my mediumship more so that the connections are clearer, stronger and more detailed. I regularly sit in a development circle and attend training courses and workshops where possible. To me mediumship is healing with words rather than hands so I see it as another form of healing. I already bring through wisdom from my guides and angels when I give a short angel card reading as part of an Angelic Reiki session or when I’m working with tarot or oracle cards but this is definitely something I want to develop and improve further.
What are your tips to include a little spirituality into every day?
Try to take 10-15 mins meditation every day to clear your mind, listen to spirit or to your own inner voice or just be. If you have oracle cards at home, pick 1 a day asking first what it is you need to know or focus on at this time. One of the best spiritual practices however is practising gratitude. It helps you focus on what is good rather than on what isn’t going so well so that you are sending positive energy out into the world. It helps you focus on the present rather than on grievances of the past and it helps you to attract more of whatever it is you are feeling grateful for. I’ve found a whole new friendship group in my local area through the practice of gratitude!
Thank you for chatting Helen and sharing your experiences!
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