When some people say that cats aren’t as loyal as dogs, I feel it is because they have never had one of these emotionally complex and devoted creatures as a beloved companion. This is a myth which sadly has prejudiced some people against these courageous and very affectionate animals due to a misconception which isn’t based on actual fact.


Healing – How does it work?

healingIf you are sick or injured then you are likely suffering discomfort or pain, lacking vital energy and hindered in ordinary functioning. Healers in complementary medicine use differing symbols and language to describe their experiences in healing. The question arises, ‘Is there a common factor across acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy and other practices in alternative medicine that makes people well?’

All healers encourage sufferers to make a conscious act of turning towards what they see as a natural healing energy in life that can holistically restore the body and mind.

Inner sickness

When we are ill or injured we want to get better and want our wounds to be healed. However, in addition to bodily sickness, probably all of us have personal problems in living, although we don’t always realise it. How does healing for non-bodily problems work?


One clue can be found in the way we use language. Just as diseases of the eye can make someone blind, so we speak of blindness in terms of not understanding some important matter, say to do with personal life at home or work. You might have a blind spot in your life if you fail to notice what you do is upsetting your family. You might be going up a blind alley if you agree to something but don’t know what you are taking on. You turn a blind eye to some serious fault in your child not seeing what needs to be tackled.

This way of thinking about blindness is in terms of not understanding higher principles of living in relation to what is true about oneself. This could be due to lack of learning and experience. Or it could be due to blindly following some ideology or way of thinking without bothering to search for the truth for its own sake.

Sometimes we think of non-bodily ailments as due to a sick mind or sickness of the soul. You might feel discontented due to a sense of meaninglessness; an inner state of blindness not seeing what human existence is really all about and having no deeper connection to what is going on in your life.


Similarly we may use a proverb to speak of deafness. A child absorbed in play may not hear a parent asking for the toys to be put away. It is as if the request is falling on deaf ears. “Can you hear me Tommy?”

Likewise at work a boss may sarcastically ask a worker “Hello? Are you deaf? I’ve asked you three times now when you would have the report finished.”

If you are told something you don’t want to know, you may not pay sufficient attention. Not everyone listens to advice regarding diet and physical exercise. Without noticing your difficulties, how can you start to work on them? Without listening to critical feedback how can you perceive your faults?

Arguably, the sick of mind are deaf to healthy and realistic thinking, being blinded by illogical and unrealistic habits of thought. In a similar manner one could say an ailment of the soul is due to not attending to, and thus feeling separated from, one’s higher sense of self and from sharing its intention and discernment.

How often do people deny some emotional problem, say related to stress or problematic relationships, because they don’t want to have to face up to it?

“None so deaf as those that will not hear. None so blind as those that will not see.” (Matthew Henry)

Healing and inner sickness

If you are afflicted by unhealthy states of mind you may well be interested in having your inner well-being restored.

How then does healing work for non-bodily conditions? Orthodox medicine uses pills and surgery to treat the body directly. It is usually assumed that consciousness is a product of, and at the mercy of, something material like the brain or the kidneys. Yet the natural healing energy is something of spirit, that links in with human consciousness. Healers think this can affect the physical body. In other words something nonphysical can change something physical. Often this nonphysical thing is thought of as the power of love.

According to Swedenborgian writer Rachel Martin, to reduce the inflow of inner disorder of a person, many practitioners think there needs to be a movement from fragmentation and separation towards wholeness and integration. A restoring of order, balance, and right relationship between the one being healed and the universe.

Consequently, it has been suggested that the mysterious life force can also heal inner disorders of the spirit. In other words, once the barriers are removed, this higher state of the spirit naturally flows in to heal our inner self. For example a sense of uplifting beauty in nature is apparent to those who go out into unspoilt countryside away from industrial slums. A sense of well-being comes to those who practice affirmation of what is good, rather than cynically focusing on all that is bad. A feeling of peace and calm is experienced during meditation after you learn to neglect alarming thoughts and distracting worries. One result of a sustained meditation practice is said to be an increased ability to dis-identify with the disharmony one experiences both within and around oneself.

This healing process can be conceived as cyclical – pictured in the natural cycles of days and seasons – rather than a steady linear progression. By regularly accepting and trusting this healing presence, the person gradually lets go from holding on to the ‘little self’ which had only led to anxious concern, small-minded attitudes and self-interested action.

Religious idea of healing

The religious perspective on healing also focuses on the idea of a natural healing force which operates once blocks to it’s inflow are removed. By regularly praying, people of different faith traditions become more aware of, and turn away from, selfish attachments and unethical thoughts. By turning towards what is seen as good and right, the individual becomes in touch with a being of healing love and wisdom, known traditionally as God.

“Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” (Psalm 30:2)

Copyright 2015 Stephen Russell-Lacy

Author Heart, Head & Hands

Posted on30th October 2015CategoriesLatest post, Other aspects of spiritual healing,Spiritual healingTags, , , , ,, , ,

Work life balance – How do I achieve it?

A poor work life balance can be addressed through psycho-spiritual considerations as well as renegotiation.

work life balance

The signs of poor work life balance are feeling overloaded, taken for granted, and drained. Working parents may become a little detached from the children and feel what they do is not good enough. So what causes this state of affairs and what can you do about it?

Cultural change and the work life balance

Until a few years ago professional workers who were obliged to take work home, set aside time there in order to get the work done when it would not impinge upon their personal life.

Since then technology has become more sophisticated. The “2015 Workplace Flexibility Study.” was based on a survey in the USA. It found that 64% of managers expect their employees to be reachable outside of the office in their personal time. This trend has now reached Europe.

The lack of work life balance becomes more acute for parents, particularly mothers. This is because of the increase in their numbers in the workforce, together with the unwitting expectation that they will continue to shoulder most of the responsibilities of child-rearing and domesticity.

Self-care and the work life balance

Most of us know only too well that looking after oneself is crucial for health and well-being. This means time to get a proper night’s rest – doctors recommend 7-8 hours: time to have a little regular physical exercise which helps to relieve stress: and time to renew batteries through being on one’s own and having meaningful contact with family and friends.

These sound like the bare minimum for self-care. Yet, even these are under threat from the office email demanding some immediate response. How can one switch off one’s mind from the demands of the world if one’s smart phone is always switched on? And even if you do turn it off, you are likely to regularly turn it back on just to see if anything has turned up whilst it was off.

“Technology has expanded the 9-to-5 workday into the 24/7 workday, which has made it extremely difficult for employees to have personal time”
(Dan Schawbel, Founder of

Addictive technology and the work life balance

When people use this technology at work it can be adopted for their interests at home e.g. social media and use of search engines. Often a lot of this is in some way work-related e.g. professional networking, and information gathering. There is thus a blurred line between work responsibilities and personal life. The frequent use of Twitter, Facebook, Google etc at home can be so habit-forming as to even be seen as an addiction.

Fear and the work life balance

The fear is in missing something important through not being constantly connected. What if a crisis occurred and they couldn’t contact me? Or something happening which I feel I need to know about?

Often the fear is partly rational with some element of exaggeration. Is it really the end of the world if you don’t respond to that enquiry during unsocial hours? Or to that international customer from another time zone? Unless you are on call and working for an emergency service, you are not going to respond to a text message during the middle of the night – or are you?

An underlying unreasonable fear may be one of catastrophic failure, making obvious mistakes, not meeting people’s expectations, and being criticized. Why not replace this desire for faultlessness with being “good enough.” After all no one is perfect.

Negotiation with the boss about work life balance

Re-negotiating boundaries should not be considered as negative. Rather, it is a way of affirming something about one’s own self-worth and is a path to sanity. Saying ‘no’ to unreasonable demands can be an important first step in bargaining. One compromise deal might be not taking the work smart phone on holiday but giving your private phone number just to the boss on the understanding you may be called only in a dire emergency.

A reasonable boss, who values your work, may be willing to do a deal. If there is no organisational policy regarding a general flexibility for employees’ work life balance, this may be just a private understanding only with you. Such a deal may or may not be at the cost of reducing your further advancement within the company.

Other managers, however, may be intransigent and refuse to compromise. And so it may not be possible to strike a compromise in favour of a better work life balance. In such a scenario you possibly will need to consider looking for another job where the need for worker flexibility is better understood and where work goals better resonate with you. However this could mean having to accept lower pay.

Staying attuned spiritually and the work life balance

One way of dealing with our fears is to get some perspective on them by getting in touch with the higher dimension to life.

With late night and Sunday opening, modern secular life doesn’t allow for any special day of the week. Yet, according to the biblical legend, even God rested on the seventh day of creation! Perhaps we do need permission to keep one day for ourselves. A chance, without the ubiquitous smart phone, to get out into the fresh air, connect to nature, or listen to music. This creates space for personal reflection focusing on the deeper things of life: considering what really matters.

Look at what the world’s religions teach about the importance of meditation and prayer. Such spiritual disciplines calm the spirit and help you focus less on mistakes and the bad things and instead remember what is going right and what it means to you.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” (Socrates)

Swedenborg on the work life balance

Spiritual philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg wrote about the religious significance of the seventh day of the week. According to him, people with inner religious faith want regular time to devote themselves to getting in touch with their image of God. This means reflecting on spiritual lessons and allowing oneself to be led by the ‘Divine within’ rather than by the demands of the world. In so doing they are said to find the tranquillity of ‘peace that passes all understanding’

Copyright 2015 Stephen & Carole Russell-Lacy

Stephen Russell-Lacy is author Heart, Head & Hands (

Preventing disease

beholding artNature, art and spirituality can reduce disease. It has been long established that a healthy diet, sufficient sleep and physical exercise bolster the body’s defences against physical and mental illness. However, research is now showing the benefits of certain other activities.

Psychologists at University of California, Berkeley have been studying a direct influence on health and life expectancy of the sense of wonder when experiencing the beauty of nature, art and spirituality. A walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art – have a triggered such positive emotions boosting our immune system.