Messages and signs – we all ask for them now and then. They come in many different ways – often unexpected. “Send me a message and let me know I’m going in the right direction.” Or to our loved ones passed over “Show me a sign so I know you’re really there…”

Signs can come from animals too. My old cattledog Zac used to read signs on road trips. Yes he could.  My friend Peta and I would be driving with him – I’m talking pre-GPS days on long open Australian roads.

We used to stop at the big green signs directing travellers to the next town, unravel our map and figure out how lost we were. Realisation set in Zac’s random barking was not random at all. He saw those green signs when we were driving and would start barking at every single one. Zac wanted us to see the signs so we’d stop and go in the right direction. I don’t think he wanted to get lost either.

When my grandad passed a few years ago I was volunteering at the local dog shelter and took one of their dogs to the park that same afternoon feeling a little sad. There was a bird on the tree staring at us. I walked towards it and put my hand out, the bird hopped on and all I could think of was my grandad. He had a real affiliation with animals – it was like grandad was sending a message saying; “Hey wee lassie,” (he was Scottish) “I’m ok – I’m free as a bird now.” 

Recently I woke and kept thinking to email my amazing friend and co-worker Helen a rainbow – we’d had a super busy few weeks and this would be my sign to show her there was a rainbow coming for us. I decided as soon as I arrived at work I’d do this.  Well she’d beaten me to it sending me a rainbow!

I take life coaching sessions with Amanda De Warren – she’s helped me in so many ways not only connect with my soulmate who passed over in 1999 but with my business, health and more.  Amanda records our work together then sends a CD in the post. I don’t normally open the CD’s as I type everything out but this one arrived early and I had the urge to listen to it. As I put it on my desk a CD that had been in my computer for over six months popped out.

The second I started to listen my mobile rang. “Hi darling it’s me Amanda just calling to say hi – I have a few things to pass on to you.” Amanda rarely calls out of the blue – I couldn’t believe her timing and took it as a sign there were some important messages here. Our conversation finished with “So Tameera make sure you drink some orange juice – fresh – your body needs it.” (Amanda can easily tune in to your health). It just so happened within the next hour someone offered me a bottle of my favourite fresh Tamarama orange juice, as they didn’t need it. Yes I know it’s amazing.

On the weekend I asked my soulmate Anthony who’s passed over for a sign – “Please just something I need to know you’re around! I know you’re there but I can’t see you.” So the next morning I woke to look on Facebook and the first message I saw was a wall post news feed from Cameron Steele owner of Contact Talk Radio streamed worldwide from America.  Cameron has not only built an incredible radio station but is also highly intuitive.

He asked if anyone knew what the word ‘Gonch’ meant? I couldn’t believe it – Gonch was Anthony’s nickname when he was in Australia from over 20 years ago. I never knew how he acquired this name but this is what all his friends called him – this was honestly the first time I’d ever heard anyone mention it.

There were wall posts with varying suggestions from Cameron’s friends – but nobody really seemed to know the answer. I wrote to Cameron and told him my story. He came back the next day and replied, “Tameera I never thought of it like that but now I see clearly – the name Gonch just popped into my head. This message was meant for you to let you know Anthony is around.” 

Whilst I was writing this blog one of my favourite songs Tim ‘love’ Lee Everybody Loves came on the radio.

So that’s my message for you today ~ Everybody loves xo

Do you have a sign or message you’d like to share?

A post by Tameera Kemp, Director of Light Stays Retreats and Living.

Nearby to my home lives a homeless woman. We sometimes call her the pigeon lady. She doesn’t look like a pigeon though. It’s more to do with the groups of pigeons always around her – I guess she likes their company. Her real name is Juliette.

She had a public housing flat but filled it with too many things and didn’t clean it, everything from the neighbourhood made it’s way in there. We could see from the outside window, piles stacked to the roof. The neighbours spoke to me about the mice and the smell. Juliette is a hoarder. I wonder about her story.

Not able to give up her lifestyle of excess she now lives under the bridge of traffic, with a shopping trolley, a bed and neatly tucked belongings a few meters wide that seem to shrink and grow. I try and bring perspective to this situation. Maybe she was very rich in a past life and needed lots of possessions, yet took everything for granted so this was a way for her to learn…

This week Juliette had a new bird; a baby bird perched on her shopping trolley. Black and white with ruffled feathers – it looks very much like a magpie to me.

I say, “Hi, is your bird hurt?” “No” she says in a whisper. “I’m feeding it, someone has to look after it you know? Otherwise it will die. It’s a messy job as you can see. Do you have any meat? My bird needs fresh meat.” She sees me with my dog. Having some meat at home is a clever assumption.

Later in the day I bring a portion of meat wrapped in plastic on my way to the park with my dog. She’s not there so I leave it on her covered pile of belongings. The pigeons are circling.

On my way back she’s there with her bird. “Hi Juliette I left you some fresh meat!” “Oh” she says, “that was you. I thought it was Dave from around the corner. My bird needs more. That’s not enough – he eats half a cup! Next time can you bring him more? He needs more meat!“

I’m wondering if that’s a tea cup or mug she’s referring to. With all the dog owners around here, that’s going to be one fat bird.

My small gesture of kindness had now turned into an expectation of more. She was a homeless lady so I guess it could be anticipated. I’ve encountered this many times though on different levels with people who should know better – we all have and it makes me withdraw.

This got me thinking to lessons in life. How important it is to be gracious for the small things in life, to say thank you and not expect more. I thank Juliette for the small lesson she highlighted to me.

Teachers arrive in many forms and today’s lesson was one in gratitude – to be thankful for the small things in life. This is how we can ultimately receive more and grow.

A post by Tameera Kemp, Director of Light Stays Retreats and Living.

This week I went to a meditation and talk at inner city Sydney sanctuary Anahata Therapies, with the Venerable Lobsang Tibetan Venerable Lobsang Tibetan Buddhist Monk Tendar enlightening us at Anahata Therapies Day Retreat Mosman, SydneyBuddhist Monk Tendar.  Through his eyes I learned about a Monks secret….

Monk Tendar passionately shared with us growing up in poverty, being held captive by Chinese military for many months with little food, light, clothing or warmth whilst exposed to constant brutality and beatings. This was not because he had done anything wrong; it was for his Buddhist beliefs, which included not harming others, mediation, education, love and compassion for all.

“Our bodies” he explained “are merely vessels for our soul on this earth.  When we go to sleep at night we don’t know where our mind goes – it can go wondering to any part of the world or universe.  It can go here, there and everywhere! We can learn this through meditation too.”

With deep meditation Monk Tendar was able to silence his mind and ‘remove himself’ from his body whilst being tortured.  He grew from this learning ignorance was not bliss and how having a compassionate mind not full of hate was his saviour.

Monk Tendar explained your mind has to be strong. “Like an athlete each day you can train your mind to learn wholeness and not be caught up in small things that don’t matter like attachment and anger, which can make you weak in character.” Through meditation he was able to take his mind to another place, this kept him strong in spirit; and without this he explained would not be alive today.

His Tibetan family, friends and community are still in Tibet, with little education and hope for a new way of life. He was cheerful though; “Our mediation group was helping through being here today.” Monk Tendar’s mission in life is to give his community the chance they deserve and teach us, in the Western world about true compassion and unconditional love, which leads to understanding, growth and enlightenment.

“A dog” he explains “can be left in your house all day. However if you come home your dog will wag it’s tale and be very excited to see you.” He giggled with a twinkle in his eye. “However you leave a child at home, the child will not be happy to see you.  They will be very upset. We can learn from the dog, they love us no matter what – it’s unconditional.  The dog knows true love without expectation. This of course (he explains) does not mean we should leave child in the house alone – nooo don’t do that!”

He gave another example of attachment.  “We have attachment to things that can make us very, very upset.  Take for example your cup. You have a cup and it’s ‘your’ cup. Somebody touches your cup. No you say that is my cup!

But what does it matter? It’s only a material thing. Why does it make you upset? Why not share your cup? Why does sharing make you so unhappy?

This attachment you have created is not real it’s only by limiting your thoughts.  Attachment leads to ignorance, which is not for our wholeness of wellbeing and growth to enlightenment.”

Monk Tendar explained we have options in life unless being held captive it’s our choice with whom we’d like to surround ourselves with.  It’s also our choice on how we respond to ignorance and negativity, which is a heavy energy to be around especially if empathic (able to feel things).

I met with my friend during the week telling him about my meditation experience. Not the most ‘spiritual’ of people but an amazing friend and soul. Doing his best to understand – “So Tameera what did you come away with from all this?””A Tibetan blanket made with Yak hair and a meditation cushion…”

I laughed – “All the money goes to the Buddhist community in Tibet. Not the answer you were looking for?!” “I learned about enlightenment and hope you did too…” 

Life is what we make of it – it’s our choice on how we grow.  Daily meditation even 5 or 10 minutes a day can help take you out of yourself, to center and feel the wholeness around.

Monk Tendar suggests surrounding ourselves with the people we feel good with and can grow living positively. Anything less is quite simply stunting our growth to feeling light.

Do you have an enlightening experience you’d like to share?

A post by Tameera Kemp, Director of Light Stays Retreats and Living.

Do you remember your first encounter with loss? I do…Tic and Tac were my pet goldfish, they’d grown to the size of small koi and I loved them.  When Tac died I was devastated – what would Tic do? Where did he go? Was he OK? Do fish go to heaven?

I buried Tac in the garden with a bag full of water and some fish food just in case. My cat – let’s call her ‘the grave digger opportunist’ must have been watching my every move. After coming home from school she was looking very suspicious with dirt on her face unable to look me in the eye, Tac’s grave was open and he was gone…

I don’t think there’s a soul who doesn’t encounter the inevitable loss of a person, animal or goldfish they love. The sadness of one of our friends in pain from loss is difficult. How do you comfort someone when they feel their life has changed forever and sometimes can’t see the way forward or understand what happened?

‘Death’ is never easy and as prepared as you might think you are – the loss is always there. We’re spiritual beings in human bodies having a very earthy experience and touch plays a big part.  Stroking your dog or cat or giving your partner or friend a hug then not being able to do this anymore – even ‘knowing’ they are with us in spirit takes adjusting and time to heal.

I do know how this feels having lost many close to me – my best friend/partner and my very special dog. I’ve dealt with friends and family passing without warning – it’s sad and can be difficult to understand.

There are no set rules to bereavement or recovery – it’s never a black and white situation – I’d say a few shades of grey. Through my experience people will either sidestep the subject in fear of upsetting you or simply not know what to say… Others will let you know they are there to talk to day or night with a comforting shoulder to cry on.

People can react in different ways from loss. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be hard to spot as it can arrive months, even years later (particularly if holding in grief). PTSD can come about as anger, depression, binge drinking, risk taking behaviour and irrational actions. If a friend acts in a way that surprises or shocks you and you know they’ve had a big loss then encourage them to seek counselling. Let them know you’re there but they need to seek help.

Let your friend dealing with loss know you’re around and you understand their situation without pushing them into any kind of thoughts or behaviour they may not be ready to accept (unless they are acting in risk taking or irrational behaviour).

True friendship is unconditional – it’s based on understanding and caring, and at sensitive times, true friends will be what they are meant to be, someone who doesn’t judge, doesn’t force – who simply understands, listens and helps pick up the pieces.

Although the process of grieving is as individual as we are, most people follow some of the below stages (in no particular order) and mostly at different times. This is important with any kind of assistance you want to offer as there are no set rules and perhaps the first important factor to bear in mind.

1. Ride the roller coaster with them

When someone is initially faced with a loss, a transition of emotions is taking place. They are caught up with feelings, which come and go with roller coaster speed and can range from shock, disbelief, fear, and sadness.

Understanding this whirlwind of feelings is important and initially a sign you care by dropping by or with a phone call is a good way to allow your friend to know you’re there. This gives your friend a feeling they have a bigger circle than the one they are standing in and can step out of it when or if they feel like it.

2. Understand where they are

Don’t be surprised by any reactions your friend shows, they will be upside down emotionally and the thoughts of the right and wrong way to do things will be further from their mind. They won’t not mean to snap, or burst into tears at the slightest thing – your friend still values you but will be in a world where they hurt which can be difficult to just carry on and treat those close to them normally.

Some people go into complete shut down mode and don’t wish to speak or contact anyone. Just let them know you’re there to talk if and when they feel like it.

3. Communication

Try to encourage a “talking phase” – some people will really want to not do this, but others will be desperate to just go over the things they feel and have done with the person they have lost.

Understand that by your friend talking about their loss, they feel they are connecting; they are reminded of memories and times shared, which will also help ease raw in their emotions. Encourage them to write down their feelings if it helps, if they feel they can open up they will not withdraw into themselves so much and feel supported by your friendship.

4. Day-by-day

Your friend may have been the life and soul of the party before their loss, and may struggle to go back into ‘good times’ mode. Respect their feelings and help them to go out for a walk, or to spend some time doing something, which will help them smile at life.

They need to feel their own lives are still important and to carry on. Each day is another move forward and if your friend can feel it’s worth it life will become easier.

5. Keep them going

Don’t expect too much, give them time, be there for the tears, give your friend little gifts (which can be a flower from a garden) – show them how they are moving forward. Your rewards will come as they slowly begin to smile more and remember you were there for them when it mattered.

6. Time to heal

Encourage counselling and a retreat or workshop to get to help the healing process. Being around people who understand and can help on a holistic level in a safe environment will help take the pain away and make healing time so much easier.

Books like Your Souls Plan’ by Robert Schwartz (read excerpt) can help you and your friend understand pre-birth planning lessons (the lessons we chose before we came to earth). Everything really does happen for a reason.

Life is eternal – all we can expect from life is change and ultimately growth.

“Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.” ~ Gary Zukav (American best selling author)

“They say that time heals all wounds, unfortunately it’s not just time. It’s what you do during the time that will allow wounds to heal. Time by itself is not enough…Treat yourself like you would your career, invest in you and the reward is priceless.” ~ Billy Lewis

Time is part of the healing process when someone is grieving. It will never change the loss, nor will anyone forget however it will become easier to accept, and this is when your true friendship can be rewarded for being there when you’re most needed. Maybe in the simplest form this is what true friendship is all about.

Do you have an experience that helped you or a friend overcome loss?

A post by Tameera Kemp, Director of Light Stays Retreats and Living.

The famous naturalist and American author, Henry Thoreau is best known for Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. His quote “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams” quite simply means the sunshine comes to you when opening a jar of honey.

The production of honey is an amazing and intricate art perfected by the honeybee. For this tireless working insect what it lacks in size, it by no means lacks in determination and incredible wisdom to complete the cycle of pollen conversion to honey.

By the time it reaches our shelves it’s in the purest form of glucose you can imagine – becoming a gift to our bodies for energy and wellbeing.

For thousands of years honey has been a basic fundamental raw food. From biblical times, honey was used as a currency, medicinal aid and an additive to cooking. Its name comes from the English word hunig and was our first, most widely used sweetener. Honey has been used not only in food and beverages, but also to make cement, in furniture polishes and varnishes and as a natural healer.

The advantages to keeping a pot of honey in the cupboard are many – it’s a holistic remedy working as an external and internal healing aid. It’s a natural soother to injuries and infections and a healthy alternative to sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Honey has antibiotic qualities for infections or cuts and is a great soother for sore throats and chest infections, as well as improving your immune system.  It has antioxidant qualities helping our bodies from digestion to heart problems, it’s also a natural fuel to the functions of the liver and has shown to increase our energy, heal stomach problems and have positive effects on some cancers and other conditions associated with increased oxidative stress. Honey really a one-stop natural wellbeing aid.

In cooking, honey gives flavour to salad dressings, desserts and vegetables and adds a delicious boost to stir-fry and casserole dishes.

Each country has their own blend of honey. This is due to the pollen collection being taken from the native landscape, which in turn flavours or taints the taste.  All honey is sweet but there are differences. For example, honey from Canada has a milder, sweeter, creamier texture than honey from Mexico which is full bodied but fruitier in taste.

Manuka honey from New Zealand, one of the most famous and popular varieties is a darker honey and is the most medicinal. To quickly heal a sore throat purchase a jar of high UMF Manuka honey (at least 15+ UMF) – eat by the spoonful and add to boiled water with lemon.

The nectar collected adds to the tastes and aromas of the honey and also affects colour and constituency. These variants are influenced from the flower and fauna in the area, which then affects the taste. So honey in France has a lavender fragrance – the same as Spain.  You’ll find a more herbal taste where the nectar is collected from the mountain growing wild herbs.

Forget Mary Poppins ‘a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go round.’ With a spoonful of honey you won’t need any medicine!

A post by Tameera Kemp, Director of Light Stays Retreats and Living.

Change your vibration change your life…

Expect to find what you are looking for and you will not be disappointed.

Discovering my spirituality many years ago – I remember my best friend at the time explaining to me, be around the places you want to live, draw a description of the house you want to live and find pictures of the person who looks like the one you want to be with. It’s about being around, feeling and giving clear intentions of what you want to attract into your life.  She was good at this, easily meeting and marrying her soulmate who also happened to be a down to earth warm-hearted millionaire.

We all want to manifest more into our life, to enjoy our work and be surrounded with love and abundance – which can be perceived in different ways.  A Monk might be content and find abundance through spirituality, three meals a day, warm clothes and likeminded souls to grow with.

A child might find abundance through a happy family, a good school and supportive friends.  Yet another might be bored with this and find their abundance with more toys, to be better than his/her friends or to become a high achiever in sports.  Which child will be happiest inside though?

There’s a couple of simple tools you can use to help bring exactly what you want into your life – one is a vision board. Paste what you’d like to attract into you life like it’s there already in your own photo album, include amounts of money, houses you like, friends and partners or a baby if that’s what you’re looking for.   You can include images of retreats or holiday places you love, spiritual images or quotes that resonate – be creative and make it your own.

The other is to write a description of what you want to bring into your life, like you’re writing to a friend about something amazing that’s just happened.

When writing be specific and include everything – you don’t want 80% you want 100%.  Each day continue to feel this person, place, house or new business like it’s already happened.  Wait and be open to receiving.

“I’ve met my soulmate! When we crossed paths I knew something special was going to happen. He looks like…

“My business has soared to new heights; I can travel, help people and finally do what I love to do. I’m supported in every way possible and so happy…”

Don’t forget to date so you can look back and see how timing transpired for you.

I love the following messages and affirmations shared by Betty Pegues Spiritual Communicator, Utah City.

Inspiring Law of Attraction Messages by Abraham Hicks: 

“From your human perspective, you often believe that you must work hard to overcome obstacles and satisfy shortages and solve the problems that are before you; but often, in that attitude or approach, you work against yourself without realizing it.

Attention to obstacles makes them bigger and more stubborn; attention to shortages makes them bigger and prolongs them – and attention to a problem prevents any immediate resolution or solution.

Giving your attention to your breathing and to the natural rhythm of your body, any problematic vibrational activation will simply cease to be. And, in the absence of that resistance, your vibration will naturally begin to rise until it will align with the higher vibration of the very solutions you have been longing for.

In the absence of longing, in the absence of doubt – in the absence of obstacles and shortages and problemswill be the solutions and abundance that you seek.

The evidence of your vibrational shift will become obvious in two ways: first, you will feel better; and next, physical evidence of financial improvement will begin flowing to you from a variety of different directions.”

Affirmation: I am a magnet with the ability to attract any and everything to me based on the vibrational signal I am giving off through my thoughts.

You are the only one who creates your experience – no one else. Everything that comes to you comes by the power of your thought. If there are changes you would like to make, it will be of great value to begin telling a different story – not only about your body, but about all subjects that have been troubling to you. As you begin to positively focus, getting to feel so good about so many subjects, you will begin to feel the power that creates worlds flowing through you.

The Law of Attraction says, “That which is like unto itself is drawn.”

Once you activate a vibration within you, the Law of Attraction begins responding to that vibration, and you’re off and running—whether it’s something wanted or unwanted.

The Law of Attraction, and when it is said to you, “Ask, and it is given,” there is no more powerful statement that is at the basis of what makes things happen.Everything is valid and everything is truthful, because the Law of Attraction lets everything be.

Within the seed of your desire is everything necessary for it to blossom to fulfillment, and the Law of Attraction is the engine that does the work.

If you will relax and allow the Law of Attraction to do the organization, the managing, then you can spend your time doing the things that please you.

~ Abraham Hicks

It’s no secret anymore…be careful of what you truly wish for because you know what? It’s going to happen.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or experiences xo

A post by Tameera Kemp, Director of Light Stays Retreats and Living.

Have you taken ‘time-out’ to balance your energies lately? Sometimes we need a little boost or a life transforming experience – especially when going through periods of change and growth. This can come in many forms including relationships, heightened sensitivity or a longing to ‘find out more.’

Through a spiritual retreat you can rejuvenate, reconnect, develop your intuition and learn how to release anything not needed in your life with likeminded others.  It can be the start of a new journey or chapter in your book.  Change is the only thing we can be certain of in life; why not embrace the opportunity to take your soul to new heights where you can begin to live the life of your dreams?

Light Stays picks of the best spiritual retreats in America, Hawaii and Canada:

Tranquility Retreats – The Secrets of Ayurveda & Alchemy

“Nurture yourself with our healing and rejuvenation services from around the world.”

Located on the island of Maui, Hawaii this world-class retreat has continuously altered the lives of many.

Prominent spiritual teachers and healing masters Alisha Olivier and Davidji offer you the very best healing programs, which will ensure you return home a newly-revitalized person. You’ll enjoy treatments ranging from massages, yoga sessions, healing with essential oils, sound meditation, cranio sacral therapy and lots more.

 

The Secrets of Ayurveda & Alchemy offers a personal transformation program called ‘Healing From Within.’ As suggested, this elite method promotes a healing approach through tapping into your deepest emotions. You can take part in one-on-one sessions personalized just for you.

An intricate garden setting awaits you on this retreat. Enjoy your stay in an exclusive cottage located among the abundance of lush flowers, trees and fresh air, koi pond and brook.

This exceptional place will give you peace, healing and serenity to enrich your mind, body and spirit.

7-day programs from $2,850 USD

Find out more: http://bit.ly/RUHnYy

Stone Light Spiritual Retreat Wisconsin

“A spiritual place where heaven and earth meet.” 

Stone Light is a unique spiritual retreat center that offers a peaceful place for relaxation, personal and spiritual expansion…  

The area situated in Kickapoo River Valley Wisconsin, is famous for being ‘driftless or un-glaciated’ because it’s one of the few parts in America missed by advancing glaciers over the millennia. As a result, this preserved the exceptional topography of the region making it a prime location for a spiritual retreat. The breathtaking terrain and clear streams are one of the many features to enjoy in this organic haven where many ‘spirit orbs’ have been spotted!


You can spend the night in four uniquely designed Amish Built Cabins named The Crystal, Emerald, Sapphire and Rose Cabins  – furnished with a homely fireplace to ensure your comfort.

Also, tucked in seclusion amongst the woods is a chapel that can be reached through nature trails and stone pavements. Revitalise the way nature intended as this retreat is free from any electronic interference.

Group or private sessions include akashic records, astrology, breath-work, massage, nutrition, shamanic healing, spiritual mentoring and reiki.

You’ll feel empowered again after a ‘light stay’ at Stone Light.

Rate per night from $68 USD

Full program prices for three nights from $188 USD

Find out more: http://bit.ly/PCTH3n

Healing Rock Retreat Canada

“Come as you are; leave inspired and refreshed.” 

For over 10 years, Daryl Wood has provided a space for adults to nurture and relax on a spiritual, physical and emotional level. Healing Rock Retreat is a premiere retreat located on the shores of Lake Huron, Ontario Canada.

 

What draws people to Healing Rock is the sacred lands of the Bruce Peninsula with ancient cedars, glacier rocks and crystal clear water. What they find is a special place to rest, reflect and rejuvenate – to remember who they are and what matters to them.

Healing Rock Retreat is an adult-only private three bedroom self-contained suite on the shores of Lake Huron. Nestled amongst the tall cedar trees the space is comfortable and nurturing. Witness the full moon rise over the lake or the brilliant star filled dark skies.

This is a place to walk, meditate, write, hike, sleep, reflect, create, run, draw, read, swim, explore, talk – or just breathe…

‘The Artful Hiker’ healing program will inspire you to express yourself through art, photography, writing and nature.  Activities and therapies include life coaching, shiatsu massage, reflexology and reiki.

Come as you are. Leave feeling refreshed with clarity, courage, energy, new perspective, focus, enthusiasm, a calm mind, a content heart and a nurtured soul.

Rate per night from $120 CAD

Find out more http://bit.ly/P1eAAl

Real Retreat Hawaii with Stacey De Marco + Denby Sheather

“Come with us to an ancient land where we will weave the energies of heaven and earth, sea and stars, fire and water, aloha and magic!”

Discover an ancient land in Hawaii where magical energies flourish. A Real Retreat is something you do truly for you. It’s about expanding everything, fearlessly…

Facilitated by internationally respected Stacey Demarco and Denby Sheather, two gifted spiritual and healing practitioners from Australia, activities and programs are specifically designed to help you grow.

Rejuvenate with delicious organic vegetarian food, connect with nature and powerful magic. Experience the healing power of seasonal yoga with one of Australia’s most gifted teachers. Enjoy the powerful nature energies of Hawaii and two practitioners dedicated to your transformation.

You will be staying at the beautiful Kalani Oceanside Retreat on the Big Island of Hawaii. “Kalani Honua” meaning harmony of heaven and earth, and this is exactly what these 120 acres of organic environment aspires to, with nutritious vegetarian food, eco accommodation and a stunning heart-opening location (your choice of single, twin or triple share).

With a guided Meditation every night, daily spiritual workshops, practical magic sessions and a super powerful full moon ritual you’ll transform through a spiritual retreat journey like no other.

Full program price from $2,997 AUD

Find out more http://bit.ly/Xqcn6i

The Mandala Center Retreat

“Come join us as we explore, learn, play, reflect, rest, and renew.” 

The Mandala Center located in New Mexico, Northern America is a serene not-for-profit sanctuary where you’ll find peace, renewal and a deeper understanding of life.

Situated on the slopes of the Sierra Grande Mountain (very close to the Colorado and Texas borders) with sweeping and expansive views of the desert plains and volcanic mountains. The rural area and quiet environment lends itself to times of rest and contemplation.

Here you can explore a variety of holistic workshops and retreats ranging from meditation, yoga, art, women’s empowerment, personal transformation and lots more.

The Mandala Center also provides beautiful rental space for groups seeking time and study for spiritual growth, personal development, wellbeing and creative expression. Up to 24 people can stay in shared rooms with full catering available.

The Mandala Center was born from a vision. Tish Hewett founder of the Mandala Center began construction as a personal retreat home and felt led to include round walls and rooms. Tish asked her daughter, “Why am I making round walls?” Anna replied, “You are building your own Mandala of healing and wholeness.”

Take a journey on the road less travelled to the Mandala Center where you’ll explore, learn, play, reflect, rest, and renew with the very best of company.

Find out more – http://bit.ly/RalQvA

Now it’s your turn… Do you have a spiritual retreat experience you’d like to share? 

A post by Tameera Kemp, Director of Light Stays Retreats and Living.

A little piece of paradise called Ubud is a sanctuary located within the alluring mountains of Bali tucked away from the bustling tourists. Boosting rich heritage and history, Ubud is known as Bali’s cultural center. It’s the perfect place for anyone seeking rest and relaxation or an unforgettable adventure.

              

Ubud has 14 towns, abundant with fresh flora and fauna complementing a serene ambiance. Incredible picturesque views from all over the area will take your breath away. As the sun sets, enjoy a traditional dance performance by the locals. It’s a haven of tranquility for the traveller who seeks to enrich their mind, body and soul.

What to do in Ubud

You’ll find endless enjoyment with arts, crafts and nourishing cuisine a huge part of Ubud’s culture.  Intrigued with ancient mysticism and culture? Ubud has a wealth of historic temples and museums for you to discover. Many parts can be explored by bicycle and foot, which makes the experience even more exhilarating. Rice paddies can be seen throughout the outskirts of Ubud, with exotic animals and rare bird species. The richness of fresh vegetation and welcoming smiles is a clear sign of how precious of a gem Ubud really is.

The best places stay (highest to lowest)

Fivelements Puri Ahimsa Ubud

At Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa, Ubud, healing is inspired by the Balinese way of life, encouraging us to nurture harmony with spirit, nature and one another promoting holistic wellbeing.

This award-winning retreat has flawlessly provided the best relaxing and soothing methods, which promotes healing on the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. Fivelements beautiful world-class sanctuary features a wide array of services including charka balancing, detoxification, meditation and yoga.

You’ll feel the place is your own with only seven rooms. Each riverside suite is housed in a private pavilion fashioned after a sacred spiral and embellished with traditional Balinese ‘Songket’ textiles and antique touches.

Healing rituals include a combination of meditation, deep bodywork and prana energy, performed by healers whose gifted talents have been handed down through generations of Balinese families. Energy Healing introduces the powerful Panca Mahabhuta in which Pak Wayan works to balance the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether within the body offering you a life changing experience.

Fivelements overall aim is to co-create a trusting connection and gently guide you through a custom-made healing program, providing you with the wisdom to take home.  Here you can truly honour your highest potential.

Rate per night from $475 USD – Find out more about Fivelements >>

Awards: FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2011, Tri Hita Karana Medal Award 2011, Destination Spa 2011, Spa Finder Category Winner 2011, Spa Finder Country Award Winner 2011, Word Luxury Spa Awards 2012, Asia Pacific Hotel Awards 2011 & 2012
Amori Villa

Amori Villa is a hidden gem nestled within the mountains of Ubud. This luxury boutique spa retreat will give you tranquility, amazing views and incredible service.

The moment you step into Amori Villa, prepare to be transported to another world of paradise.

This haven of luxurious seclusion sits on the edge of the traditional rice farming village of Pejeng, in the Banjar of Dukuh Kawan, yet is only a few minutes by Amori shuttle bus, bike ride or long stroll from the cultural and artistic centre of the island.

Amori Villa features five private residential suites, each with its own unique architectural characteristics and furnishings. There are four twin suites and a one-bedroom villa (which sleeps up to four).

You’ll also enjoy the living and dining pavilion, pool and spa. You can reserve either individual suites or the entire complex. It’s beyond perfect for an intimate wedding or private group.

Whether you stay as a group or couple, you’ll love every minute of this exquisite, peaceful sanctuary.

Rate per night from  $230 USD – Find out more about Amori Villa >>

Bali Eco Stay

Where the rice paddies meet the jungle… and you can still see the sea!’

Hosted by two ex-pat Australian eco-tourism advocates John & Cath Blundstone, Bali Eco Stay is a remarkable area to appreciate nature at its finest.

Look no further if you’d like to experience rich local Balinese village culture, surrounded by stunning organic rice fields, mountain fed streams, cascading waterfalls with spectacular views to the ocean.

Nourish your body with Balinese massages, sumptuous organic meals and pure mountain spring water. Love swimming? How does a natural pool with very own waterfall sound?

Bali Eco Stay will bring you fresh mountain air, pure water, delectable organic dishes, adventure activities, traditional culture and a nurturing relaxing retreat.

With just four traditional bungalows – Bali Eco Stay is one of only seven eco lodges in the world to be awarded a 5/5 eco rating by Eco Tropical Resorts.

What more could you ask for?

Rate per night from $100 USD – Find out more on Bali Eco Stay >>
 

Bali Mountain Retreat

Located on the mystic slopes of Mt. Batukaru is a peaceful getaway called Bali Mountain Retreat. Instant relaxation awaits with the echo of trickling streams, revitalising mountain air and panoramic views stretching to the coast.

Here, you can enjoy a taste of the best of Bali with authentic Balinese cuisine, traditional architecture and heart-warming service.

You’ll enjoy a unique experience with the local Balinese people and their culture. With terraced rice fields, forests and sacred temples to explore there’s lots to see and do including guided treks and cycling tours. Or simply relax, unwind and take in the natural surrounding beauty.

Accommodation is a blend of traditional Balinese and contemporary Asian styles, ranging from a handcrafted teak house to comfortable bungalows.

Bali Mountain Retreat caters for couples, families and is perfect for small group bookings such as weddings or retreats with 10 rooms in total. It’s is a favourite for yoga groups with a mirrored workshop area featuring panoramic views.

Indulge your senses in the Dragonfly Spa offering an extensive range of therapeutic and indulgent massage treatments to rejuvenate and restore your mind and body.

Whether it’s a few days or a few weeks, Bali Mountain Retreat offers the perfect way for you to revitalise and reconnect.

Rate per night from $90 USD – Find out more about Bali Mountan Retreat >>

Now it’s your turn. Have you stayed at Bali Eco Stay, Fivelements, Amori Villa or Bali Mountain Retreat? Or do you have a favourite part of Ubud you’d like to share?

A post by Tameera Kemp, Director of Light Stays Retreats and Living.

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” ~ Shakespeare

“It’s a beautiful day” I said, however my friend was quick to remark on the big cloud headed our way.  ‘We’re going to get wet – I’m sure it’s going to rain now.” I changed the subject “It’s ok I have an umbrella and the gardens can do with a drink.”

This led me to think about how people can react positively or negatively to any situation. I decided people fixated on rain clouds tend to miss the silver lining and the connecting rainbow or the refreshed garden. It’s a choice.

I recently picked up a copy of Martin Seligman’s ‘Learned Optimism’ then scanned pages of research on how people benefit from thinking positive. It discusses habitual thinking – learned behaviour patterns and how we need to ‘work’ to achieve happiness. Basically a state of bliss doesn’t happen automatically.

Pessimism can be a comfort zone. For example convincing yourself it’s going to be a beautiful day when headed to the same old job ‘knowing’ your day is going to be much like yesterday and the day before.  You might reason ‘how is positive thinking going to help me when nothing ever changes?’

Why think positive?

It’s a fact your thoughts create your reality.  Think big and you’ll create big. Visualise, feel, dream and see where you want to be and what you want to happen. Then…guess what? One day soon you’ll wake up with a sudden burst of inspiration to change your life and live your dreams.

Why do I tend to think negative thoughts?

Learned behaviour evolves over time. For example a child growing up in turmoil or with little support from parents can display negative and passive behaviour patterns as a coping skill.

Pessimism is escapable. Earlier in the book, Seligman points out why pessimism seems permanent. For many, it’s a thinking pattern so deeply ingrained. It’s like not being able to see out of what you’re in.

There are several ways to unlearn negative thoughts. Seligman starts with unlearning helplessness. ‘Refuse’ to become helpless or a victim by changing the way you speak. For example Do you wallow in self-pity? Talk badly about people or constantly find the worst in things?  Maybe you believe your situation is permanent and will last forever? It won’t. The only thing you can be certain of in this life is change.

When a problem arises, stop, breathe deeply then visualise and feel how your situation could work out better.

You can learn from how positive people explain events, good and bad. Optimists praise themselves for successes and believe problems are challenges to overcome – ‘life is an adventure.’

What happens when I change the way I interpret reality?

Seligman and his team of researchers found pessimists, unlike optimists, don’t exaggerate their skills. An inflated version of ourselves can harm us in some ways. But it’s possible, Seligman explains, to temper positive thinking with realism. Some situations call for optimism while others specifically require a detached approach at least in the initial stage. For example:

Use optimism: when your health is an issue, when you’re trying to achieve something, when it concerns negative emotions such as anxiety or weight loss.

Don’t use optimism: when you want to give advice to someone whose future is uncertain, such as a partner or pet passing away.

Optimism is a skill requiring strategy. It’s not just about sweet words of comfort every morning after breakfast, or reciting a quote or passage from your favourite book. It’s about being aware you can rise above your current situation and achieve your ideal life by changing your thoughts and responses.  If you’re feeling stuck a retreat or workshop can teach you the skills to help change your patterns and give you a new lease on life.

I love the quote ‘It’s not the destination – it’s the journey.’ Because it reminds me of the process in life, on what we do and how we learn before we reach where we’re going.

A post by Tameera Kemp, Director of Light Stays Retreats and Living.

The thought of travel is on my mind. With friends departing and others living across the globe it brings me back to places I’ve been and those I’m yet to discover.

Some destinations are not for their beautiful landscapes or culture alone. There are journeys, which bring a magnetising spark and breath of excitement even before the trip has begun – knowing we’re headed to a place of power.

A power place can cover the geographical location and its consecration by divine or human activity. Some well-known sacred sites and places of power include the great pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge and the ancient Inca temples of Machu Picchu in Peru.

Tibetan culture focuses on the divining of a place by identifying the powerful or outstanding geography of a location. They will look to yogis or holy people to harmonise and assist, who will work with special aligning energies between the planets and stars whilst performing rituals.

Ley lines also influenced the architecture and alignment of sacred and power places. They are straight energy lines crossing the landscape with high intensity in vibrational power. Ley lines can often be found with pendulums or dowsing rods. Structures, such as churches, healing wells and stone buildings were often built around these energy centres.

When a power place is aligned with an equinox or solstice, sunrise or sunset, it means one of the sites’ ley lines’ direction is at the point where the sun rises or sets on the horizon on that specific day and time. The ley line transmits energy and light from the sun and stars to the power point, intensifying the energy.

Do you have a special place at home, work or your garden? If not create one!  This becomes your personal ‘power place’ to inspire, energise, meditate or relax.  Add some crystals, a plant and favourite matt with cushions. Make it ‘your’ special place.

I attended a dowsing course a few months back – we were learned how to find special energy places on a map and where we feel more connected to.  See if you can find a pattern between sacred sites on a map, dowse and see what you come up with.

Retreating to a sacred site or place of power will take you to a new level of consciousness, boosting your energy to a heightened empowered level.

Have you experienced ley lines or place of power?

A post by Tameera Kemp, Director of Light Stays Retreats and Living.

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