The third way…

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I have been thinking a lot about ‘the third way’ recently. I was listening to a podcast a few months ago and the subject was about complex loss, such as when a loved one goes missing and there are no answers as to what happened to them. Dealing with these traumatic emotions and grief is somewhat different to more clearly defined loss, like a death from natural causes. During the conversation they discussed closure, whether it can be achieved after a complex loss, they said closure is not necessarily the aim or the end result, that there is a third way. The third way in this instance was rather than be swallowed by the grief and stay in the obsession of the loss, or shut it out in an attempt to reach ‘closure’, there is a messy, uncomfortable, but more authentic, third way. This third way is acknowledging the suffering and feeling the painful emotions, along with reaching for and moving towards the future without necessarily having a sense of closure. Can you feel in that description the third way feels vulnerable and messy, and yet honest and real?

In so many cases the third way is the way of healing and most true way to move through challenging times. In my case I have been trying to reconcile, in my mind and heart, a failed marriage; it was toxic and painful, but there was deep love and connection. The first way to process it could be; it was toxic therefore it was bad and unhealthy so chalk it up to a negative experience – put it in the ‘bad’ box. The second way could be; the love was so deep that I may never get over it, or feel that way again, the love of my life is lost, wallowing in the loss. And then there’s the much messier, but more authentic third way; there were parts that were unhealthy and toxic, they were bad. There were parts that were magical and loving, they were good. There is no box to put it in, it moves between the two extremes. This means there is no closure per se, it’s an ongoing organic process; there are happy memories which can hurt because it’s over, and there are painful, angry memories which can bring relief that the situation isn’t current anymore.

The third way runs between the first and second ways, which are both the more extreme options. The third way combines the two, it’s therefore a meandering path that traverses both sides without a pre-planned route or destination. This is what makes the third way so uncomfortable for us humans; we like to know exactly where we’re going and how to get there. I feel it’s so important to honour both the beauty and the pain, to feel the full spectrum of the feelings and flow with the third way.

This concept of the third way is applicable in so many facets of life; politics, health, the environment, day-to-day experience. For example when it comes to drinking alcohol, we have a growing binge drinking problem in the UK; large numbers of people don’t drink during the week then drink as much as they can at the weekend. Both of these are extremes; no alcohol and all the alcohol. The third way is the way of moderation, in this case it might be having a few drinks a couple of times a week. You often hear people say they find it possible to either not drink at all, or binge drink, that the discipline of moderation is the most difficult. You see the same when it comes to food; people yo-yoing between eating whatever they want, often to excess, then going on very restrictive diets in an attempt to counter balance the excess. When in actual fact the balanced approach of listening to your body and eating what you need, with some treats thrown in for fun, is the healthiest approach.

In Buddhism it is called the middle way; The Middle Way refers to the Buddha’s enlightened view of life and also the actions or attitudes that will create happiness for oneself and others. It is the rejection of extremes, which is depicted in the story of Shakyamuni; he first lathered himself in luxury, then deprived himself of everything, he realised neither extreme would take him any closer to spiritual enlightenment. ‘In his rejection of both self-mortification and self-indulgence, Shakyamuni awakened to the true nature of life—its eternity, its deep wellspring of unbounded vitality and wisdom.’

The Cambridge English Dictionary explains ‘the third way’ as a political movement in which the development of business is balanced with the needs of society. It is proposed to be the third way between capitalism and socialism. Taking the example of American politics at the moment, in some ways its easier for people dehumanise President Trump and his followers, and even hate them, than it is for them to have their own opinions and at the same time have compassion for, and see the humanness in, the opposition.

The tricky thing is choosing either extreme can often feel more exhilarating; there is usually adrenaline associated with the high of excess, and there may even be a sense of accomplishment in the extreme of denial. Taking the third way can feel unstimulating, boring and overly measured. There are of course circumstances which require an extreme response; a high level of adrenaline and life or death commitment to a cause. For example it took a World War to neutralise the threat and horrifying atrocities committed on behalf of Hitler.

I’m sure you can think of many circumstances, in your own life and globally, where navigating a third way between the extremes would bring more peace and healing. However as we have seen it’s not necessarily the easy option for us, in most cases it takes discipline, vulnerability and radical honesty. Cultivating this third way in our own lives, in our own struggles, and on a global scale, is a worthy practice. It will feel messy and uncomfortable, the path may not be clear, but it is where we find wisdom, acceptance and true healing.

Guides, change and butterflies 

Butterflies signify change or spiritual transformation. The Native Americans associated change and vibrancy with butterflies because of the incredible transformation they undergo from caterpillar to chrysalis to beautiful, winged butterfly.

I’ve been seeing a lot of butterflies recently; on cards, in the park, carvings on benches and all sorts. To me this is a message from my guides that change is coming, and is needed. Change can be scary and unsettling, however the sight of a darting, colourful butterfly reminds me that change can also be magical and create a sense of freedom for me. A much desired freedom! 

All you need to do is ask your guides for guidance, ask them for a sign, to gain their support. Then be open and present to notice it when it comes. If you have a decision to make or a problem you’re turning over and over in your head, ask for the support of the universe and your guides to show you which direction to move in. 

You don’t need to know what all the animals in the world signify, or anything in particular, they will send you signs that you can understand. They won’t always seem logical, however, and it’s up to you to follow the guidance of you choose. Repeating signs are a clear message from your guides, such as me seeing butterflies everywhere. 

Try it – ask your guides to support you – see what happens… 

With so much love, Gemma 💖

How do you manifest your dream life? 


Do you ever have the feeling that you’re on a merry-go-round and not really getting any closer to what you really want? That it feels just out of reach; the job, the relationship, the ideal body? 

If I were to ask you to explain to me exactly what it is you desire, what it looks like, what it feels like – would you be able to tell me? So often we have an idea of what we want e.g. A family or a well paid job. But we are not very clear on exactly what that is. 

When we give our ‘order’ for what we most want in life to the universe we must be very clear and specific. Imagine going to a restaurant and placing your order with the waiter like this ‘I’d like something warm, perhaps cheesy, moderately healthy and I want to feel full after I’ve eaten it’. With this vague order you could end up receiving anything from a burger to cheese on toast or a ploughmans. This principle is the same when are making our ‘orders’ from the universe, if we are vague and unsure the universe gives us vague and unsure. It’s essential that we get very specific and clear about what our dreams are. 

Getting clear can be a scary process, especially if you’ve been hurt or experienced failure in that area of life before. It feels like you’re putting yourself on the line and making yourself vulnerable to disappointments if it doesn’t work out. It feels safer to stay vague and not ask for the world, than it does to ask for exactly what you want and have faith the universe will guide you towards it. Think about it, are you ok to live your life like the restaurant example? To take a gamble that you might like what you get, or you might not? 

The key is to get specific, paint a picture for the universe, write it down, create a vision board. I know it can feel scary, but it’s so worth it isn’t it? Start by choosing one area of your life and write down what your dream is in that area. For example if it’s your career it could go something like this…’I love working from wherever I choose on my business. I wake up in the morning feeling energised and excited to get started on my work and make a difference in people’s lives…’ Write in the present tense, as if it’s your current reality, this helps to convince your mind and subconscious that it is a reality – we are literally writing it into being. 

The most effective way to manifest is to connect a strong emotion to your dream. We’ve all experienced how passion can achieve far more than neutrality, take Martin Luther King, look at what he created in his short life because he had passion for his dream. So as you’re writing your dream infuse it with words and scenes that elicit a strong emotion in you; love, excitement, joy. Feel the feelings in your body as you read back over it, feel free to make changes and adjustments to make it feel more emotive. 

Once you are happy with your dream read it everyday, out loud if you can. Create a vision board to bring it life visually, you can even include pictures of yourself on your board. Create the scenes in your imagination as often as you can, feel the feelings of gratitude and joy for living out your dream. And of course be open to guidance and signs for actions to take in order to move closer and closer to your dream. It can be fun! The more you bring your vibration and feelings in line with those of your dream, the more you will naturally attract it into your reality. 

Think of your life as the canvas and you are the painter, or your life is a book and you are the author, you hold the creative power to bring it to life in which ever way your heart desires. 

The top Life Coaches and personal development gurus do this…


I’ve been loving that Super Soul with Oprah is now a Podcast! Listening to the best in the business share their experiences and wisdom while going about my day is one of my favourite things to do.

Listening to Tony Robbins, Life Coach extraordinare, and Iyanla Vanzant, creator of The TV show Fix My Life and incredible speaker, they both focused on the same practice at the core of spiritual growth and living in alignment with your true purpose…connecting with your heart (your intuition, God, the universe). One of my mentors, Sonia Tully, has taught me a very similar practice that I use all the time to get guidance and I love it because it’s quick, easy and so clear.

Tony describes choosing something in your life that you’re struggling with at a level of 7 out of 10. Closing your eyes and putting your hand on your heart and bringing to mind 3 separate experiences you are grateful for e.g. The birth of your child, achieving a goal or a special time with friends. Then once you’ve got yourself into the state (vibration) of gratitude you ask your heart what to do about the problem you are facing and listen for the guidance.

Iyanla talks about being in the God space in prayer, feeling completely connected and at one with creation. She emphasises that your intuition is key to the choices you make and is how we receive guidance from God. Oprah says if you’re out of alignment with your higher purpose God hits you first with a pebble, then if you don’t listen the rock gets bigger and bigger until it’s a boulder. This is a metaphor for the intuitive nudges we get that we ignore, for example if you bring on a new business partner you may have some misgivings but ignore them. Then a few things start to go wrong in your business, but you soldier on. Eventually the business may fail and you go bankrupt (the boulder!). This is not a punishment from God or the universe, it’s purely because that situation or relationship, in the form it’s in, it’s untenable for you and out of alignment with your deepest desires. So eventually it has to break down completely if you don’t listen and act on the red flags.

Sonia, my mentor, teaches a beautiful tool called ‘My heads says….and my heart says….’ Choose something your worried about or struggling with, then speak out loud ‘my head says….’ and say all the thoughts and stuff your head is saying to you e.g. I’m not sure I can do this, am I good enough? What will they say? Etc. Then take a deep breath, put your hand on your heart and tune in – then say ‘my heart says…’ and allow the words to come naturally. Can you feel the difference in energy of your head and your heart? What do they both feel like?

I love that there is so much emphasis on how essential it is to connect to your heart and your intuition. That is the space we create from and heal in.

Sending love ❤️

Image credit: upliftconnect.com

Following your inner guidance + taking aligned action = manifesting your dreams


There have been times in my life when I was super good at being very structured and disciplined. I had my time mapped out each day and was taking heaps of action to build my business, stay healthy etc. etc. I was doing all the RIGHT things. But I wasn’t moving very quickly, or successfully, to the realisation of my dreams and goals. There have been other times when I was deeply connected to my spirit and my intuition but wasn’t taking much action at all, and again little forward motion. I have learnt that balancing being present and listening to my inner guidance, artfully combined with following that guidance by taking specific actions, is the sweet spot. In this place synchronicities flood in, what I need to reach goal after goal is magically available and the journey is fun and energising.

When I was living mostly from my intellect, or ego, I was very busy and got lots done, but the progress was slow and laboured. I had somewhere along the line of growing up, figuring out how to fit in with life and the people around me, disconnected from my intuition. Meaning that I could take as much action as I liked but the flow and ease wasn’t there. This was exhausting and I actually ended up being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The causes of autoimmune illness are never that simple, but it was certainly a contributing factor.

Being so disconnected from my intuition meant I was giving 110% but often times in the wrong directions and to the wrong people or projects. The result was I was keeping myself stuck on a kind of never-ending merry-go-round. Finally my body had had enough and shut down; so many of our intuitive messages come through the body, it never lies. My brain was focused and determined on the path I was on, but my body knew better and thankfully stepped in to call a huge time-out.

While I was tapped out of the majority of ‘life occasions’ by my illness I had time to reflect and I started to study and learn how to re-connect with myself, my spirit and my own inner guidance system. This system is the most incredible and well informed way to make our choices and live our lives. The knowing we can access from our higher selves goes way beyond what the limited intellect can figure out. This is where miracles come from, and impossibly perfect timing and magical synchronicity. Not that I am not extremely grateful to my intellect, it is excellent when put to good use in service of my true purpose. However is not great at running the show, as it is by its very nature limited to our 5 senses. The sixth sense, that we all (without exception) have access to is where the magic happens.

Now that I’ve created a good balance of tuning into my intuition and taking action that is aligned with my dreams I am guided to find the information I need, or connect with the person who can help me or go to the event that speaks directly to what I’m struggling with. For example I was invited to a business presentation a few weeks ago, initially I decided no as it was last minute, I had other plans and rearranging them would be a mission. Also I was pretty nervous about going for a number of reasons, but when I tuned in I felt it was the right move. So I reorganised my calendar and put my big girl panties on and went. While I was there I talked to one person who had 100% experienced what I’m going through right now in my personal life, and she was able to support me so I didn’t feel like a terrible, crazy person. Another friend who I haven’t seen for yonks completely validated a brand new business idea I had and shared numerous resources which have helped me immeasurably! It really did feel magical – like the universe was giving me gift after gift in the space of just a few hours. 

Combine your sixth sense, your intuition or your inner guidance system with aligned actions and you have a divine recipe for a beautifully fulfilling and successful life. I am not saying life will be all beers and skittles if you follow this recipe, life will still throw us curve balls and as humans we are messy by nature. However the tools you gain by learning to connect to your own, personal Google Maps of life and taking inspired action will support you through the wonders and the depths of this life has in store for you.

Phoenix rising from the ashes – so where the f**k is my Phoenix? 

Have you been through a life stopping, world changing experience and have been told and read that after the flames have swallowed you up you’ll rise stronger & better than ever before – but in reality you still feel shitty, are waiting for the Phoenix and it’s no where to be seen? 

I’m totally with you. This is where I am right now. After a marriage ending, swiftly followed by an autoimmune illness, life felt like it stopped and I was in pieces. So now I’m moving to the other side of getting back to life and myself and I’m waiting for the beautiful Phoenix to rise from my ashes and if anything I feel more anxious and vulnerable than I before this all happened. WTF?! 

It’s so easy to worry that I’ll never be as strong and feel as capable as I was before. Will I reach my potential? Do I have what it takes to make my dreams come true? Right now these questions feel very real and raw and terrifying. What if every time something terrible happens (as it inevitably will in life) I just get weaker? What if I’m not one of those people who comes back stronger? What if I have no Phoenix? Thinking like this makes the future feel very hard and overwhelming. 

I’m choosing to believe that it takes time. That I do have what it takes, we all do, and to build back up takes time and patience and faith. And a lot of love – from others but mainly for myself. I’m finding that doing things I love and that feel like part of my life purpose helps so much. For me that’s yoga, creativity, healthy living and spending time with soulful people. 

Maybe the Phoenix starts out as a little baby bird in the ashes, which are still hot from the fire. Maybe our job is to treat ourselves like that baby bird, keep it safe, healthy and loved while it grows getting bigger and stronger. And one day you spread your wings, feeling powerful and magical, to rise up from your ashes into the beautiful, limitless sky. 

This is my hope for you and for me. We can love our way through. We can love each other through. We got this. 

At home retreat – Step 2 – self care

I was very much a shower on the run girl – squeezing in a quick rinse to clean the essentials while my head was full of the lists of things I had to do that day. Maybe once in a couple of months I’d treat myself to a bath and even then I’d get bored and hot and jump out pretty quick.

During this time of recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome combined with healing my heart I have learned to approach life at a completely different pace. I learned to slow down, and at times stop completely, because I had no other option, my body decided for me. One of the aspects that has been crucial in my healing journey, and a huge part of my ‘at home retreat’ is self care. Self care is very closely connected to self love in that it’s a the physical choices we make to take care of ourselves.

Taking the time for myself and treating myself everyday to a simple, leisurely bath has been my number 1 self care ritual during my retreat and I have continued since. It is a small way I show myself that I’m important and that I love myself, as well as it being healing in a practical way.

My self care, bath time ritual involves:

Daily…

  • Run your bath and set the scene – light a candle or two, lower the lights and I love to have a big glass of water (or drink of your choice).
  • I love to have something to do while I’m enjoying my bath e.g. watch my favourite show on the iPad, listen to a meditation audio, watch a spiritual video or listen to music.
  • I put a good amount of Epsom Salt into my bath nearly everyday – there are so many benefits to Epsom Salts such as relieving aches and pains, very detoxifying and cleansing for your energy and aura – its the best!
  • Add essential oils or flower essences – depending on whether you’re bathing to relax or to wash before starting your day you can choose essential oils to help you. I love lavender to relax and sage to cleanse, citrus oils are good for lifting energy.
  • Once comfortably in your bath I recommend using healthy, non toxic products to wash with – I use Arbonne products as they’re vegan, contain no nasties and work brilliantly. Use a specific face wash for your skin needs, I love the SeaSource Detox Body Wash for everywhere else and of course hair care. (Note if you put lots of Epsom Salt into your bath it can leave your hair a bit crispy – you can always rinse it in the shower afterwards).
  • Give yourself at least 20 mins to soak in the bath with the salts to get the full benefits while you enjoy your music or video and when its time to get out do so gently, I always take time to rest a little after a bath before rushing to get dressed or get on with the next task.

Once or twice a week…

  • Exfoliate your whole body twice a week – I use a natural exfoliating mitt and the Arbonne SeaSouce Detox Salt Scrub for my body and the FC5 Exfoliating New Cell Scrub for my face – which can double as a face mask too. Every now and then I use a more deeply cleansing or nourishing face mask.
  • Don’t forget your feet and hands! It’s easy to focus on your face and forget about the parts of your body that do the most work – feet and hands. Once a week I like to treat my feet and hands to a revitalising salt scrub all of their own – they feel so soft and lovely afterwards.

There are so many aspects of this bath ritual that are healing both spiritually and physically; giving time and energy to yourself is so important, it sets the standard for how others treat you too. Switching off from your daily tasks by enjoying a TV show or doing a relaxing meditation while in the bath creates space in your mind to find peace, creativity and is like a re-set button. The essential oils, Epsom Salts and Arbonne products are nourishing your senses and physical body with minerals, cell renewing properties and removing toxins.

Now it’s your turn – enjoy!