5 tips for making positive changes in your life

. Posted in Mind & Body

By Samantha Richards, Personal and Spiritual Development Teacher, Healer and Psychic Medium.

1 Meditation

Meditation leads to a state of consciousness that brings clarity, peace, contentment, and self-realisation. The act of meditating produces a stillness that enables the mind and the body to relax and rejuvenate. It teaches us to centre ourselves and gain an understanding of why we react as we do in certain situations, enabling us to discover ways to more effectively and efficiently deal with problems. Finding a meditation group and being taught how to still your mind is the best way to begin the act of meditation.

2 Self-observation

Begin paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. I call it becoming consciously aware of the unconscious, or conscious awareness of the known unknown. As you do this, your identification with yourself shifts from who you think you are to who you really are. It is extraordinary how the simple act of paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours allows you to see who you really are and what you need to modify or eliminate. The act of self-observation allows you to step back from yourself, enabling you to shift from the sense that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours define who you are to a new view that permits you to understand that you are simply having those thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. They are passing emotional, mental, and physical responses that vary from moment to moment depending on the stimulus encountered.

Tell the truth!

When I say tell the truth, I mean to yourself. There are things you may have said or done in your life you are ashamed of, and never want to remember! Unfortunately, memories stick around for a lifetime! When you are completely honest with yourself, you will begin to sense a shift in your psyche; as if you are no longer burdened. The rewards of self-honesty pay dividends in the long run.


Accept yourself for who you are, including all those sides you do not particularly like. Self-acceptance lets you open your heart and mind to all possibilities around and within you. When you completely accept yourself, you realise you give yourself permission to live your life to the full. Ultimately, you offer yourself the greatest gift of all. Unconditional love.

Don’t let anyone belittle you

You have a right to live a peaceful and happy life without anyone else preventing you from achieving your goals. Self-empowerment comes from making conscious decisions as to how you would like your life to be. Realise that when another person belittles you, they are in fact demonstrating more about how they feel about themselves. The following quote from my book is a reminder that you’re not the vessel for other people’s feelings. “Anger and hatred directed toward another is not nurtured by the one to whom it’s aimed, but by the one feeling it.” 

Samantha Richards is a Personal and Spiritual Development Teacher, Healer and Psychic Medium. She is also the author of Touched by Divine Love: A Personal Journey into the Unknown, available online from all good book retailers for $22.99 (RRP), or for more information visit,

"As human beings we are constantly at the mercy of negative forces such as fear, anger, jealousy, doubt, worry, anxiety, and stress. These energies are like leeches – they take from us what they need, never giving back. When they are full, they rest for a short while, and we get a small taste of peace. But not for long! When they get hungry again, they begin feeding off our energy, taking our valuable life force, and the process starts over again. but you can control this!"


Shake the tree

. Posted in Mind & Body

“There’s so much craziness surrounding us that it’s a miracle any of us stays sane” says Chi Kung Master Stig Hansen. We met deep in the rainforests of Costa Rica where he practices his craft, living as one with nature. “And with all that bad energy, like your toxic thoughts and self doubt, other people’s bad stuff and negativity from the surroundings, you need to find a release.”

Here is his ultimate – and fun – daily ritual for how to take control of the energy around you: simply shake it off! 

♦ Find a spot where nobody can disturb you. It can be in your house, a quiet corner of your local park, a closed meeting room at work… the key is that it’s a space where you won’t be interrupted.

♦ Relax and loosen your knees, using the knees to bounce up and down, swinging from side to side. Get those arms moving too; swing and shake them as if you’re trying to get rid of something that’s stuck to you… yes, that’s right, throw that bad energy right off you. Shake it off!

♦ You can do this as quietly as you want, or as loudly and energetic as you want. Picture yourself as a tree swaying in the wind, with the air pulling the dead leaves and sticky insects off. Flick your fingers to get all the bad energy off, and for every breath you take, feel a sense of relief.

♦ Do this for 30 seconds, a minute, ten minutes – however long it takes to get a smile on your face and gain a sense of calm.

By Ingerlise Svaleng 


Fuel your soul - with nature!

. Posted in Mind & Body


"Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature''

Feeling sluggish? The solution may involve you getting outside the box that you’re in – literally. A series of studies have found that simply enjoying nature will boost your energy and vitality!

“Nature is fuel for the soul” says Richard Ryan, lead author of the studies published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology and a Professor of Psychology at the University of Rochester. In fact, being outside in nature for just 20 minutes each day was enough to significantly  boost vitality levels!"

3 reasons to go outside
1.  It’s a lasting kind of love… Just recalling outdoor experiences increases feelings of happiness and health! 
2.  Nature is a natural stress buster – and energy booster. The very presence of nature helps ward off feelings of exhaustion.
3 . It brings out the best in you: Studies have found people are more caring and generous when exposed to nature!


Discover your aura

. Posted in Mind & Body

Did you know that the aura is an electromagnetic field that surrounds the human body? Samantha Richards, a Personal and Spiritual Development Teacher and Healer, shares her insight into how you can discover your own aura and its relationship with your mental and physical health.

The aura consists of seven layers of subtle energy bodies that exist around the body, and each level pulsates at its own frequency. These layers are interconnected by the chakras, affecting one another and influencing your thoughts, emotions and behaviour. Everything we think, do, or feel has an effect on our aura. It’s in a constant state of flux based on our mental and physical health – and is also affected by the energies in our environment. The aura is our electronic signature, and a state of imbalance in one energy body will result in instability in the others. 

Seeing Your Aura
This exercise takes practice, but if you’re lucky, you might immediately see something. The more you do it, the easier it will be for you to see the colours emanating from your body.

1. Stand in front of a mirror about a foot away with your legs spread about a shoulder width apart. Let your arms hang loosely by your sides. Ensure that you have a plain, pale wall behind you and that the light in the room is bright but not dazzling.

2. Look at the space just above your head and relax your eyes. Allowing your eyes to go slightly crossed will help them to relax. Remember to uncross them! 

3. Keep looking above your head. It may take a while, but you will see a hazy grey or white outline around your head. This may change to a shade of blue. This layer is the etheric body.

4. If you find that staring at the top of your head produces no results, look at the area just beside one of your ears. You may find that you begin to see a shape forming around that side of your body. You have just seen your aura!

5. Seeing your aura for the first time is very exciting. In your excitement, you may focus on the area where you saw the colours. It will immediately disappear. This is perfectly normal, and when you refocus you will be able to see it again. The key is to keep staring at one spot without getting distracted.

Colour clues
Did you notice different colours in your aura? There are many different interpretations of the different colours you see, and my advice is that you go with the one that resonates with you. And remember – it’s not only the colour that is important here! The location of colours in the aura provides additional information about what is happening.

Colour guide:
Red: Alludes to passion, being very active and always ‘on the go’ – but a deep red may mean you’re overactive and a dull red may mean ‘burnt out’! 

Pink: Can indicate a purity of intention and vitality.

Black: This may convey you’re in a state of real focus – you could be shielding yourself a little while you gain a sense of perspective.

Green: Green usually shows a strong sense of healing, harmony and even success. Dark green is especially good as it’s about prosperity and abundance!

Yellow: Your aura is telling you that you’re feeling confident, happy, cheerful and optimistic. 

Blue: Communication! It also describes calmness, tranquility, warmth, loyalty and contentment.

Samantha Richards is a Personal and Spiritual Development Teacher, Healer and Psychic Medium. She is also the author of Touched by Divine Love: A Personal Journey into the Unknown, available online from all good book retailers for $22.99 (RRP) or


If your migraine was a bushfire…

. Posted in Mind & Body

Take a holistic and long-term approach to your migraine
I’ll be honest. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by all the factors that contribute to my migraine that I just give up tracking them. The myriad of combinations of triggers can make it feel like I’m working on a puzzle… where new bits are constantly added just when I thought I had the answer. That’s why I loved the analogy of Sydney neurologist Dr Raymond Schwartz, who suggests thinking of a migraine headache as a bushfire.


Step 1
Keep a healthy migraine friendly lifestyle
Just like fire fighters undertake “back burning” to prevent fires, consider how you can prevent a migraine by establishing a healthy, “migraine friendly” lifestyle. What are the things that can prevent a migraine for you in particular? For me, the key is daily exercise in fresh air. And, after a very stubborn migraine, the integrated health approach at Elevate helped me discover the connection between neck and jaw problems. I can’t thank them enough!  Add to that daily mindfulness exercises, B2 and magnesium supplements, and a solid dose of laughter to relax inside-out – and that’s my personalized migraine friendly recipe. 

Step 2
Understand and monitor your triggers
A migraine friendly lifestyle is all well and good, but you also need to understand the “triggers” so that you can identify a “high fire danger”. While for bushfires this may be very dry conditions and strong winds, for migraines, stress, lack of sleep or even prolonged periods of time in front of a computer are more likely culprits. For example, if I spend long hours in front of the computer, I can forget about going to the mall after work. The combination of too much screen-time and busy visuals and lighting is guaranteed to send me spinning. 

Step 3
Know your symptoms and warning signs
The warning signs vary from person to person, but common symptoms that occur before a migraine attack include visual disturbances, a feeling of numbness in parts of the body, anxiety, a racing heart, diarrhea or nausea. For me, it always begins with a strange sense that my head is wrapped in cotton, I loose all focus and feel queasy. What are your symptoms and warning signs? 

Step 4
Put out the flames
Sometimes, despite the best preventative efforts, a bushfire will still flare up. When a migraine is lurking, Dr Schwartz recommends to “put it out” straight away. Even this can be a guessing game! Be patient and kind to yourself. If you know what works for you, whether it’s sleep or medications, take action as early as possible before the migraine has a chance to get out of control.

"If we think of a migraine headache attack like a bushfire, and how a strong wind can increase the danger or even fuel that fire, the way we think about treating migraine is a little simpler. Lifestyle factors like stress, anxiety, hydration or the amount of sleep we get can increase the frequency or severity of these attacks."

Blackmores REME-D ($29.95) for Migraine-Headache contains a specially chosen combination of B vitamins and feverfew (a natural treatment traditionally used for headaches), which may help reduce the frequency of migraine-headaches and associated symptoms such as nausea and vomiting when taken regularly. For best results, use Reme-D for Migraine-Headache in conjunction with a holistic migraine management plan.

Always consult your health professional before making changes to your treatment plan, and tell your health care provider about any complementary health approaches you use. For example, riboflavin supplements, feverfew, and butterbur are not recommended for pregnant women. 

 Natural remedies
• Research suggests that riboflavin and coenzyme Q10 supplements may be helpful, and the herbs feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) and butterbur (Petasites hybridus) have been used historically for headache relief.
• As magnesium is needed for proper nerve function, it is thought that magnesium deficiency and migraines may be related.

Body-based practices 
• Migraine from muscle tension? Try acupuncture, a massage or visit a chiropractor to work out any vertebral misalignments. 
• There is good evidence that body-based practices help relief or reduce the duration of a migraine. For example, a 2011 Cochrane Review reported that six unblinded studies demonstrated that patients receiving acupuncture had fewer headaches with benefits lasting for 3 to 4 months after therapy. Other trials have found osteopathic manipulation treatment to decrease the pain intensity and duration of a migraine. 
• Sometimes the simplest of all is the best; keep an active and healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, good sleep patterns and a healthy diet to make sure your overall health is as great as it can be.

Mind-body medicine 
If the migraine is caused by stress, yoga can relieve muscle tension and help improve your posture. 
There are many ways to include aromatherapy to ease tension during a migraine, from adding a drop of essential oil to your diffuser to mixing a few drops with your cream for a massage. During the day, try stimulating oils like eucalyptus or peppermint. At nighttime, essential oils with sedative qualities like lavender or roman chamomile may help you relax.
The combination of massage and pressure in a Shiatsu session can restore the “energy balance” and induce relaxation.