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Unless you have been living in a cave these last few weeks, you couldn't fail to be aware that we will see a full solar eclipse this Friday.  The Independent refers to this as "The biggest solar eclipse since 1999"  which will have some parts of the country seeing 99%. I always thought they would be the same size.

Now with the weather that we are currently enjoying, I am not expecting to have the same view as I had back then.  The office I was working in at that time still saved its files onto microfiche. And those little blue rectangles  made a great lens for us to view that action through. I am expecting a cloudy day with little to see, which will feel especially strange when it just goes dark with no view of the sun or moon. 

I have read references to this being the 'Eclipse of rebirth'.   Which got me to thinking about what was triggered in my own life by that "phoenix rising" on 11 August 1999.  

My list for the twelve months that followed certainly included things that come high on the list of stress inducing life events -

•  The company I had been working for since August (is there any significance?) 1990 was taken over by a large American bank and announcements were soon to be made about department    mergers and sell offs.

•  My own job (as a training officer) became seriously hectic, which resulted in physical exhaustion and forgetfulness - its not helpful to be unable to remember facts about the financial services products and compliance that you are trying to train others about.  This resulted in taking two weeks off work with a doctors certificate.  This was the first sick leave I had taken since joining the company.  Had I now become one of those employees that takes unnecessary (in my own mind) sick leave?

•  We were trying to sell our house and were desperate to change Estate Agents

•  We got married in January of 2000

•  We finally moved house in February 2000

•  I resigned from the company without having a new job to go to.  But in those days I was confident enough that I was very marketable and wasn't worried.  I had a job offer before I had worked my notice period. 

Reflecting on the last 16 years, a lot has happened that has changed me completely as a person.  My rebirth has included a new name, several job changes, a fair amount of self discovery, another house sale and two transatlantic moves.  

So I am welcoming the next eclipse.  It is more austpicious than the last one, with the timing of the spring equinox meaning that the days begin to get lighter (return of the light) here in the northern hemisphere. 

How about you? How was your last rebirth, and what plans does your phoenix have this time?



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Posted by on in Amanda J Miller


Has anyone ever asked you that question when you are fretting about having to do something?  I can recall many occasions when well meaning friends (and my Mother) ask me, in differing tones of voice.  Sometimes it can sound a little patronising, as if the question should be preceded by a pat on the head and "There, there..."  At other times it can sound more like a criticism.  This is especially true when you are stressed about something you can do quite well, and have done so in the past,  maybe many times. 

So how can you tell someone what it is you are scared of?  It's a feeling in the pit of your stomach (actually it is within your solar plexus) and your limbs and voice don't want to co-operate.  For me, one of my earliest (as in teenage) angst sessions was plucking up the courage to phone a boy that I fancied from school. This was in the days before mobile phones, when you had one phone in the house with a dial in the middle.  I had to wait until I was home alone. Then stared at the phone with butterflies in hob nail boots dancing in my stomach.  What was I going to say? What if his mum answered instead?  Or the worse case, the part I was truly afraid of, was the humiliation of rejection.  I planned a great opening line, taken from that weeks A level biology homework. "Hi, this is Amanda. I wanted to ask what you knew about spiny ant eaters?"

Well it was either that or two-ton polar bears - they can also break the ice, although they were not part of the 'temperature regulation of different animal species' homework. So what was it that I was scared of?  I knew the boy in question, had talked to him in class and at school related social events, and we got on well. But I was not going to take one of those giant steps in my teenage life - I was planning, in my own round about way, to ask him out!

The Law of Attraction lists 22 different levels of emotions. The number one grouping is joy, knowledge, empowerment, freedom, love and appreciation.  And who doesn't want all of that?  The bottom grouping includes fear, grief, depression, despair and powerlessness.  There were 21 steps between my feelings of fear and powerlessness, and what I thought I would attain by having this boy as my new boyfriends - joy, love, appreciation.  So what I was scared of was the powerlessness of asking and the fear of being turned down. I didn't know that at the time, as I hadn't heard about the Law of Attraction and how to classify emotions.

The outcome?  We talked for about two hours, resolved the spiny ant eater homework question, and became an item for a couple of years.  Did I achieve my level 1 emotional level with him? I definitely did not.  I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted in life, so he helped with the knowledge, but as that was all 30 years ago, it has been a long learning curve. 

What I was scared of was what he would think of me, and getting a rejection.  There are certain situations that still create those same emotion in me - usually including a telephone and asking a question to which I could be turned down.  My job from hell would be outgoing sales calls.

What scares you?

If you would like to know more about the Law of Attraction, the first book that I read about it was Ask and it is Given by Ester & Jerry Hicks.  A small selection of interesting books is included below for you


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I was having a discussion with my husband recently and asked him how he 'felt' about something.  He looked at me blankly and asked what I meant?  My attempts to verbalise what I meant were as effective as his attempts to verbalise what he felt.  We were talking different languages!  He can tell me how he feels in terms of physical symptoms, such as where something is aching, or when he feels that he is getting man-flu.  But he can't tell me how he feels about an issue or situation. Instead I have to rephrase the question to "What do you think about XYZ".  Okay, so I am generalising a little here, as there are many men who can have an in-depth discussion about their feelings on a subject, so please don't write in.

Which led  me to pondering about the differences in our lives, and how men deal with the negative effects of worry and stress.  I can only write from my own  female viewpoint, (and yes, another generalisation) so was considering such situations that freak me out, such as -

 • Things that involve me and cars.  Such as driving through central London with husband commenting as a back seat driver next to me. Or parallel parking.  Having a puncture or breakdown

 • Things that involve assessments of my physical capability. Such as driving tests. (Or having my  husband in the car.)

 • Annual appraisals -  and I am hugely grateful that I have never worked for my husband. Or we'd have been divorced years ago.

Even just typing out those phrases has sent my pulse racing.  I could answer the how it feels as having  palpitations in  my abdomen, and having legs (particularly knee joints) that turn to jelly. My head is starting to throb and my throat is dry.  All of me feels tense and a little out of control. These are my physical symptoms, which in the past I have counteracted with products such as Kalms which stopped the butterflies in the stomach, but did nothing  for controlling my knees.   I can certainly 'feel' those memories as if my body is currently experiencing them.  We can perhaps deal with the physical symptoms and lessen them, but the voice in our head (and in the drivers' seat) is still there.

We can all reach for some form of medication to control the physical symptoms.  It is what is going on in my mind that is the issue, and cause of my stress.  Let's take the car issue.  I have taken 4 driving tests, but have only failed one. How was this?  I failed my first ever UK driving test when I was 17 by hitting the curb when turning right out of the test centre.  My nerves had created the physical feelings of anxiety and obviously lack of co-ordination too.  I passed at the second attempt.  The other two tests were in the USA, as you have tio pass a test in the state that you become resident in.  So even with more than 20 years of driving experience, I felt so nervous about having to do parallel parking in examination conditions.  I will also admit to that being the first time I had ever even needed to attempt parallel parking.  It wasn't in my UK test back in 1985 and I had managed to avoid doing it in the intervening period. 

My husband in the other hand passes all tests that involve wheels.  Cycles, motorcycles and all three of his driving tests.  With full control of body and mind.  And they don't keep him awake the night before. 

Then there are those events that have us called into an office to assess our job performance.  In a well run company, with an organised performance management programme, these should happen quarterly to ensure you are on track, and then the annual one is just a confirmation of your achievement.  However, in my almost 30 years of employment, I have yet to find a company (or work under a manager) who instigated these properly.  So I brace myself for the 'feedback sandwich'.  You probably know how it goes.  Manager gives you the good things that you have achieved, then the 'areas for improvement', then finishes off with another morsel of praise.  Or you may know this as a 'S**t sandwich'.  Deep-filled.  The men I have worked with just deal with these and shrug a less than great appraisal off. I allow my mind to dwell on it for days, if not weeks  afterwards, and store up the uncomfortable feelings in my solar plexus for the next time. 

It is my personal conclusion (not a scientifically proven one) that men do not over analyse their feelings and churn them around in their minds.  They can't turn their feelings into words, and therefore those words don't keep them awake at night.

So, if I hadn't learned to speak, could I have learned to worry? 

As animals don't have the power of speech, do they have the ability to worry? 

I chose the picture at the beginning of this article as it looks like the cat is about to give her considered judgement.  The jury is currently out.

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Posted by on in Amanda J Miller

  A few nights ago I had a bad dream.  Not a nightmare, but as someone who loves my bed and my sleep, and looks forward to    the entertainment that my REM time brings, this one wasn't much fun.  I was sleeping on  my back, which is never conducive for great   dreams for me, and part of my mind was asleep, and part was awake. And my eyes were open, with my head turned slightly to the right.    There is a proper name for this eyes-open sleeping, which is nocturnal lagophthalmos (if you were wondering).  I don't see monsters or   demons, nor angels or fairies. I just see what is in the room as normal. But then my sleeping mind intrudes and creates different scenarios.    On this particular occasion, the chest of drawers was moving towards me, and pulsating!  I couldn't move away or stop it, as after all most of   my body was still sleeping. So I decided to call out for help.  My tongue however was still asleep. In my mind I was asking someone (I think in the dream state I was calling my Mum, who doesn't live with me) to come and stop it.  I had completely forgotten that my husband was asleep beside me, and would have been better able to rescue me from lurking furniture.  So I was trying to call my Mum, who not only lives 150 miles away from me in waking life, but would have given me a good scolding if I had done this in real life, for waking her up.  Being unable to co-ordinate proper speech, I could just about manage a series of small, whimpering sounds from the back of my throat.

What happened next was that I found myself shaken from behind.  Thankfully, not by the furniture, but by my husband.  In his words, I was making strange sounds like a character from Scooby Doo (one of the ghosts covered in a white sheet), which set me off giggling.  A giggle in bed before dawn is a nice way of going back to sleep, and changing the dream channel to something nicer. Although I have no memory of what I dreamed of next.  I always find it easier to recall the scary dreams. Do they have a message for me?  Should I be learning something from my moving cabinets?

Since then I have been pondering what makes a good nights sleep and pleasant dreams.  One of my cats, Misty, always sleeps at the bottom of our bed.  She falls asleep within seconds of jumping on, and a few moments later will be snoring contentedly (and cutely).  Although come to think of it, she does sound a little like a cartoon ghost!  When it comes to calm, contentment and an ability to sleep anywhere at the swish of a tail, cats are queens of sleep.  Being a British Blue, Misty certainly has regal bearings, and maybe I have something to learn from her? I also have a red tabby cat too, but he has a different, energetic, defiant personality.  So, let me introduce you to a little Blue Cat Coaching (BCC), rather than Red Cat Coaching.  Do cats dream?  My own experience of watching both of my cats sleep would definitely say yes.  If you have ever watched how their ears and paws twitch, and the movement of their eyes behind closed lids,  you would certainly be led to believe that they are in the REM state.  I think that one of the lessons we can learn from cats is to turn off the self talk. Our ego that tells us where we have gone wrong in our lives.  Oh, to be able to turn off that little nagging voice in my head that replays the days events and sense of failure endlessly.  Maybe you can visualise that voice in your head. Turn it into a vision of a cat. And send it to sleep.

“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know?”
Ernest Hemingway

If you would like help with relaxation, self talk and refocusing on your goals & dreams, please give me a call. I can tailor therapy sessions to include Aromatouch, hypnotherapy, life coaching and colour therapy to create more calm and balance in your life.  Email -  or call 07805 835581

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red riding hood Once Upon A time (earlier this week) I was scanning through dozens of blogs. Searching for something to hold my attention for a few moments. Searching for some inspiration, knowledge or just interesting facts that I didn’t know before. Some people are excellent writers, who I feel are wasted on blogs – those are the ones that I want to write books so that I can read more. And learn to write like they can. I may have an A level in English Literature, but the story telling and descriptive abilities of Dickens, Shakespeare and Hardy haven’t rubbed off on me. I just enjoy reading.

As my gift to share with you all relates to colour therapy, and how it can be used in everyday life, and seeking a tenuous link to  literature, I searched out books with ‘red’ in the title. And noted that the only one I had ever read was “Little Red Riding Hood”.  Which was a perfect place for me to start this post. The inspiration began to flow.

On a basic psychological level, the colour red relates to survival.  We each have a tendency towards a certain colour.  Red is Averse. It pushes away – things and people. There is a fear of letting anything close. A red child may have been beaten, so they push others away because it is not safe. Red is also danger and warning,  and the lesson in red is about detachment.  In the story, we have both Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandmother as victims of the wolf.  A story of innocence and criminal intent.

Red light has with the shortest, slowest wavelength (think infrared at one end of the colour spectrum and ultraviolet at the other.) Within our own body energy system (the chakras), red is the colour of the base chakra. Our survival energy.  If you are familiar with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you will know that our basic survival needs support the rest of the pyramid, just as your base chakra supports the rest of your physical, emotional and spiritual needs in the other chakras. Interestingly this portion of Maslow’s pyramid is usually illustrated using the colour red.

Red may lead you to thoughts of speed, danger, blood. The entire persona of the wolf is red. Traits that we can identify in certain people, as red in the positive is also leadership, ambition, assertive, energetic, active and wealthy. A passion for life as well as sexual passion. An appetite for life. It is also the colour of suppressed anger. With Red Riding Hood, the positive aspects revealed are ‘giving’ in that she was visiting her sick grandmother to give her a basket of food and ‘doing for others’.

Within our story, we have the fight or flight issues of red. Should Little Red Riding Hood run from the wolf, or stay and fight? We can assume the Granny just gave in, and was eaten quickly by the wolf (some of the modern versions for children have Granny being locked in a cupboard, but that was not intended to be the moral of the original story).

The more negative aspects of red are aggression, intolerance, irritable, greedy, ruthless and materialistic. We can see those is the persona of the wolf.  With Granny, she also reveals lack of life force, martyrdom, sacrifice and struggle. And that was before the wolf ate her! These are also red issues.

But apart from her choice of clothing, does Little Red Riding Hood show any other red traits?  If I jump quickly to mention past-life regression therapy, a preference for red tends to reveal a past life in Russia, where historically you would be either very rich or very poor, as there were no middle classes. The story, which has the scene set in a snowy landscape, with wolves prowling the forest, certainly feels Russian to me. Red is also linked to birth trauma and separation issues from mother. We have all gone through this as we take our first breath in the scary new world, having only ever known the warm, comfortable redness of the womb.  When doing colour readings for clients, therapists have found that red choices may reveal issues with a relationship with a mother who didn’t protect them as a child from an abusive father/male. Which links back to safety, survival and betrayal.

So what happened at the end of the story?  The wolf eats Granny (victim), puts on her clothes, gets into her bed and impersonates her. Little Red Riding Hood politely compliments Granny on her appearance, ending with the size of her teeth. All the better to eat you with (ruthless). Which he then does (greedy).  Having had such a big meal, he falls asleep and begins snoring. A passing huntsman hears the snoring and goes in to check on Granny, only to find the wolf asleep. He cuts open the belly (confident) and Little Red Riding Hood jumps out (physical energy), followed by Granny. He then skins the wolf and uses the skin as a cloak (materialistic).

In the colour red sits the victim. Helpless and with suppressed anger. In order to resolve these feelings, they need to be allowed to feel the anger. You need to feel it to heal it. And then you might be able to LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

You might like to explore the colours that you are drawn to, and the meanings behind the colour combination. Just click here to access my free interactive information.

If I can help you explore issues in your life, giving you insights in to your own colour choices, please get in touch.

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