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Want to understand English people and their culture better? In this listening and culture lesson, I’ll talk you through some of the things you might not already know about life in England. For example, I’ll explain to you why some English people wear paper red flowers in the month of November. I’ll explain some of the things you may have observed, but don’t quite understand if you are new to English culture – such as some of the weird adverts you may have seen on television with talking meerkats in them. There are lots of topics to cover in this lesson: holidays, life events, the big brother state, culture, and more. Join me and learn more about life in England, while improving your listening comprehension at the same time.

Listen to today’s lesson: Pronounce and Spell Hard /g/

In this lesson, we will learn the pronunciation and spelling of words with a /g/ sound. This is also sometimes known as the pronunciation of hard <g>.

  • In most cases, the sound /g/ is spelt with a single letter <g>.

got                             give                           leg                              peg

  • /g/ is also sometimes spelt as double ‘g’ <gg> in words that are longer than one syllable.

 bigger                     dagger                     giggle                       mugger

  • The /g/ sound may also be spelt as <gu>. 

guilt                          guitar                       guy                            guard

  • The /g/ sound is also occasionally spelt as <gh> in foreign loan words.

 ghost                       ghetto                     gherkin                   dinghy

How to Pronounce /g/

The sounds /g/ and /k/ are learnt together as they are articulated in the same part of the mouth. To make these two sounds, the tongue blade makes contact with the soft palate. 

Another way to describe how I make this sound is as follows:

I use the back of my tongue to touch the soft tissue at the back of my mouth. This is as far back as my tongue can comfortably bend. The back of my tongue is raised and bent, and the front of my tongue is low down behind my teeth. My tongue is tense as I briefly make contact with the back of the soft palate.

/g/ /k/   /g/ /k/   /g/ /k/   /g/ /k/

When making a /g/ sound:

  • The tongue is flatter against the palate and there is more pressure.
  • There are vibrations in this sound: /g/ is a voiced consonant.

When making a /k/ sound:

  • The tongue is tenser and contact with the palate is a quick touch.
  • There is also the sound of air being released: /k/ is an unvoiced consonant.

Practice Hard /g/: Some Examples from the Lesson Recording

gate: green garden gate

good: good as gold

gaga: granny’s going gaga

gregarious: gregarious Greg

aggressive: aggressive moggy

Get the full lesson notes and recordings by becoming a subscriber to English Jade. CLICK HERE.

Being a slow learner results in frustration when it comes to developing one’s fluency or accent. However, there is also an advantage to being a slow learner, which I share with you in today’s podcast motivation lesson of English Jade.

Do you need some support to improve your accent and speaking skills? Check out my Clear Accent course, CLICK HERE.

Before going into your job interview, it’s important to warm up your voice. Here are a few sentences to read aloud with energy and enthusiasm in preparation for your interview. I recommend that you do these at home before you leave to go to your interview.

You Should:

Spend 10-15 minutes repeating these sentences

Aim to balance speech clarity (speaking precisely) with vocal power (speaking loudly). Say these sentences louder than your normal speaking voice

Say the sentences with energy and passion to get into the right mindset for your interview


I am ready for this job.

Today is my opportunity to shine.

I have complete confidence in myself and my abilities.

I am more than ready for this interview.

I speak with clarity, confidence and precision.

If I forget what to say, I breathe, remember where I was, and keep going.

It’s effortless and simple to speak well.

My voice has power and authority.

I’m focused and ready for any question asked of me.

Whenever I am asked a tough question, my answer is spontaneous and effortless.

I’m going to surprise myself by how confident I am during this interview.

My speech is flowing and clear as I showcase my abilities.

It is easy for me to breathe fully and comfortably as I present my skills and experience.

This job interview is a walk in the park for me.

When I finish the interview, I’m going to say ‘Wow! That was so much easier than I expected!’

I’ll focus on explaining my strengths, therefore I know that I will do myself justice in every way.

I’ll make relaxed eye contact with the interviewers: This creates a professional impression.

As I walk into the room I will hold myself high with good body posture.

I will sit upright with good body posture.

I am the champ!

I am the king of kings!

I am the best of the best!

Everyone else watch out because I’m coming!

 

Over the years I have spent a lot of time communicating over the internet. Here is what I have learnt about the hierarchy of communication from my experiences. The modes of communication are listed from highest vibration of interaction to the lowest. If you want to relate to someone deeply, really know what they are about, and know where you stand with that person, you will quickly find your answers if you choose high frequency communication with them. In contrast, if you choose low frequency communication, it more often than not turns out to be a time waste or distraction, and is a way that people can more easily hide their true intentions from you.

1 – Face to Face

Face to face is the highest frequency of communication. When you talk to a person in real life you get the fullest sense of who they are. Being able to look into a person’s eyes in the moment of communication, see their reactions to you and (usually subconsciously) take in their body language, then you find out very quickly if this is a person who you want in your life, or not. Additionally, you get to experience the person’s influence on your energy — for example, do you come away from spending time with this person drained or energised? You get to see their good points and their bad points, which is a much more honest reflection of what you’re getting. And most importantly, in real life communication neither person can hide their deeper feelings and motivations for a long period of time.

2 – Phone Conversation / Skype

Hearing a person’s voice when you communicate is the next level of the communication hierarchy. Tone reveals all when a person is speaking. For example, does the person sound convincing in the sense that they mean what they are saying? Another important aspect of phone conversations is that you can quickly get to the point of what you want to discuss, and you don’t have to wait for a reply. In the lower forms of communication, people can take too long overly crafting what they want to say. And most important of all is that you can HEAR a person’s voice. Always note and pay attention if you DON’T like the sound of a person’s voice. I have experienced this myself and dismissed it too many times to my detriment: If you don’t like the voice, don’t go there!

3 – Recorded Voice Messages Whatsapp or Similar

Recorded voice messages can be fun distractions, but don’t kid yourself this is meaningful communication. You will not get to know somebody through recorded messages. They are a way for a person to monologue, not interact. The only plus point to it is that you can actually hear a person’s voice, which makes it better than just texting.

4 – Text Messaging, Skype Chat, Text Chat or Whatsapping

Text Messaging in all its forms is a distraction. In this form of communication, both parties tend to be doing something else at the same time — cooking, eating, working, watching something, driving etc. In many cases one or other of the parties can’t really be bothered to chat or is bored. Text message communication is so normal now that many people consider it to be a necessary way of socialising and keeping in touch. This indicates a superficial connection. If people really care about you, they will go out of their way to invest time, effort and energy in your real life. And NOTE: In any kind of dating sense, someone who wants to stick to text chatting only is nothing more than a time waster with something to hide.

5 – Social Media Comments

This form of communication is the lowest of the low. People have different motivations for commenting on social media, but it generally comes down to distraction, showing off or wanting to attack someone or something. In some cases the intention is noble, but the way of the world is that people do not seem mature enough to be able to handle social media responsibly yet.


My overall advice to you: Invest time in real life face-to-face meetings and telephone conversations with people you are interested to know or deepen your connection with. All other forms of communication should generally be avoided unless it is to make a plan and is detail orientated. And if someone doesn’t want to meet you face-to-face or communicate with you over the phone, step back from this person because they are revealing a lack of effort and interest on their side. Someone who won’t go out of their way to meet you in real life doesn’t really want to meet you because that would give the game away.

This is a physical exercise for releasing trapped anger from the throat. This is recommended for you if you can feel blocks, tightness or an uncomfortable feeling in your throat. I also recommend this exercise if you have been silenced by specific people in your life and you did not directly express your anger to them at the time and now it’s too late.


  1. Get yourself into a relaxed state either laying down on the couch or sitting in a chair. Focus on your breathing (breathe out through your nose) until you feel relaxed.
  2. Call to mind a specific person who silenced you in your life and remember the situation and what happened. The person you see could be a friend, family member, ex partner, boss etc. See that person in your imagination as you continue breathing in the relaxed state.
  3. Now ask yourself where the trapped energy related to this person is in your throat area. Then wait until you can feel or ‘see’ where the blockage is inside you. You may see the blockage as a particular size/shape/colour/consistency or you may simply feel where it is. Note: sometimes the blockage is in your throat but it can also be in your mouth or covering your lips. There is no ‘right place’ for the blockage, it is wherever you see it in your imagination or can feel it.
  4. Then, as you breathe out through your nose focus and direct the force of your out breath where you feel the blockage. Your breath will come out through your nose but BEFORE it comes out it should be energetically directed at the place where the blockage is.
  5. It is helpful to make an audible breathing sound as you breathe out. The pitch and tone of this sound will change when you hit the blockage directly. If there is no sound in the place of the blockage but you can hear the sound elsewhere, this indicates that the blockage is deep. Keep breathing out and focusing on the blockage until it starts to dissolve. The sound will change a lot as you do this as the energy begins to move
  6. Every blockage has a different emotion/sound underlying it. Since this exercise is about releasing anger, the following ‘angry’ kinds of sounds are common: growling, hissing, angry exhales, frustrated sighs
  7. As the energy starts moving out through the blockage you may want to express in other ways beyond breathing, for example, by swearing, throwing (imaginary punches), shaking your body in rage, or shaking your fists. Let the energy move through you by expressing whatever comes up
  8. Now is time to say out loud what you want to say to the person who silenced you. Imagine they are in front of you and say it to them. Say the words with as much tonal force as you can muster. You may be surprised by how angry you are and how much you swear at the person! This is good — it shows that you have brought up a lot of trapped anger that was otherwise stuck in your body.
  9. This exercise can be quite a loud one to do so you may want to put on some loud ‘angry’ kinds of music while you do it so that you will not be overheard by the neighbours.

I mainly experience mutism when in a group conversation or when overwhelmed in a foreign language speaking environment. There’s also a third, less predictable way that I become mute and that is to do with certain people. From the first moment when I encounter one of these people, I’m either completely mute or can only say basic words such as ‘hi,’ ‘goodbye’, and ‘thanks.’ Even saying simple words such as these requires a lot of forcing of myself. Maybe it doesn’t sound like such a bit deal, but it also comes with a physical feeling of being closed down and being unable to break through it.

My mutism doesn’t happen only with strangers. It can also be people I’ve known a long time. With these people, I’m no longer 100 percent mute as I was when I was a child. Now, if I need to say something to them I can force the words (in an English-speaking environment, though much harder in a second language). What I say will not be conversational but can include things such as passing on a message or responding to a question. However, I prefer not to speak to or around these people at all.

I had some realisations regarding my mutism which I will now share. What I have to say goes against what I always hoped for regarding my mutism, which was to overcome it eventually and to be able to express myself to everybody. What I realised instead was that when I go mute, my mutism is telling me not to express myself fully in that situation or with that person. It’s a physiological response that shuts down my speech so that I can’t talk openly. This is useful because speaking openly is something I can later regret, for example, if I speak openly with a person who is not to be trusted. My mutism doesn’t catch all the people who are not to be trusted, but at least it points out some of them to me.

What I realised was that my mutism keeps me safe. It’s often not safe to express oneself openly around particular people or when in a group, and mutism shows me when this is the case because I can’t talk. There are many reasons a situation might not be safe to express oneself, such as the people you are with are intolerant (in terms of religion, lifestyle or politics) or think very differently to you in other some way. Often it’s not worth arguing or disagreeing with these kinds of people. Silence is golden.

Sometimes the act of speaking isn’t dangerous so you could theoretically talk, but it’s still not worth it. Not expressing oneself in this circumstance is a case of not casting your pearls before swine. Some people have no interest in knowing who you really are or what you really think; they can only accept you or like you if you act and think exactly as they do. I realised that with these people, being myself and expressing myself as I am is wasted on them; it generally only leads to conflict and them trying to change me. I don’t need to express myself around these people.

At the same time, I know that the mutism is something going on inside me, that it’s my responsibility, and that nobody is forcing it to happen to me no matter how severe of an asshole another person might be. When I used to get panic attacks from experiencing mutism, I behaved very badly and rudely. I don’t think that’s acceptable and in the future that is something I will change. All it takes is to realise that I don’t need to express myself openly in any situation where my mutism is triggered; this takes much of the stress away. Secondly, I can say the one word replies or as much as I can manage, and I should try as hard as I can to do this for people as it is more polite than saying nothing at all. And lastly, to be aware that this is my life and I can shape it in ways so that I can be around people I can express myself openly with. This doesn’t mean that I have to avoid everyone that I experience mutism with, but I think that contact with these kinds of people should be limited, otherwise for me there’s nothing ‘social’ about it, it’s more like punishment.

Use language to build your strength of will and self-discipline.

Having a strong sense of will and self-discipline means that when you decide upon an idea or a goal, you work towards it steadily for as long as it takes until it is achieved.

One of the ways to observe your own level of willpower is to ask yourself whether you say things that you do not mean. If you often commit to things that never happen, that’s a sign of weak will. A second sign of being weak willed is that you commit to things that you do not follow though upon. For example, you say that you will quit smoking ‘soon’ but in fact you continually delay any attempt to quit.

In order to develop one’s sense of willpower and self-discipline, it’s important for your words and your actions to correlate. Therefore, never say you will do something if there is a chance that you will not deliver upon your word. Use language with integrity and to reflect the truth and over time you will find your willpower becoming stronger each time you fulfil a promise or commitment.

Click for Speaking Skills Practice: Download Full Video Transcript

How to balance your brain (exercises)…

Having an imbalanced brain means that a person is not able to interpret the world holistically. We will either be driven purely by cold logic, or we will be slaves reacting to our emotions. The result on aggregate is that we are living in an imbalanced world where the creative, nurturing force is repressed.

There are more people with left brain imbalance than right brain imbalance most likely as a consequence of the education system.

Thought associated with the left hemisphere of the brain includes precise meanings of words, logic, maths and science, whereas creativity, improvisation, artistic and musical thought takes place in the right hemisphere.

When a person has left side imbalance their creative abilities are repressed or dormant and this person will have very little or no creative life. When a person has right side imbalance, then the person will often have blocks related to learning; for example, such a person may drop out of education. Additionally, the right side imbalanced person will have strong faith and will believe in things easily without first conducting their own research. A much smaller percentage of people initially have imbalances on both the right and left hemispheres of the brain — one example group of which is people with right brained Asperger’s Syndrome.

Brain imbalances have consequences in terms of personality. A person with a strong left brain imbalance will be a controller-type personality who is drawn to positions of power over others in which he or she may exercise authority. In contrast, a person with right brain dominance is submissive to those who have the controller-type personality. This kind of person will also be lacking in self-belief and as a consequence may generally fail to attain life goals.

This video proposes techniques for balancing the two hemispheres of the brain so that higher level, holistic thinking is made possible. In my understanding, balancing the brain and developing one’s weak side is what it means to be on a path of growth in life.

Guest Post by Nina Lalumia

At least since the time of Aristotle (the fourth century B. C.), the idea that there are four basic elements–earth, water, air and fire–has been an important theme in our culture. Aristotle himself used this idea to understand the physical world. He thought about the four elements much the same way that chemists today understand elements such as hydrogen and carbon. The basic idea is that underlying any change that we perceive there MUST be something that remains stable and the same. Physical change is understood as different mixtures, additions and subtractions of elements that do NOT change. Aristotle also understood the human body as composed of all four elements: earth because the body has solidity and we eat food that comes from the earth; water because we have blood, sweat and tears, and because we drink fluids; air because as long as we live we are constantly breathing air in and out, inhaling and exhaling; and fire because we are warm and seem to burn the food we eat.

But the four elements can also be understood in a psychological or spiritual manner. The thoughts of our mind are airy, because they can drift like a balloon to many different locations in space and both to the past and to the future. Still today we may call a person an “airhead” if their thoughts and words float all over the place like a balloon tossed about in the wind. In contrast, our body is relatively stable: it cannot travel in time (not yet, anyhow!), and it travels from place to place only gradually and with effort–certainly before the advent of modern methods of transportation. And we describe a person who is present and focused as being  “grounded.”

These symbols–air for the mind and its floating thoughts, earth for the relatively solid and stable body–are helpful for me in understanding a difficulty that I have. As a strongly empathetic person, I often feel invaded and overwhelmed by the thoughts and feelings of other people. I feel that I have very weak or porous boundaries. It sometimes feels like I live in a room that has no doors or windows that I can shut. I feel that I have no peace or privacy in which I might be able to give attention to my own thoughts and feelings.

I reckon that many empathetic or highly sensitive people (HSPs) have similar experiences. But I recently learned an important lesson from Caroline van Kimmenade, who produces the website thehappysensitive.com. This site offers many useful resources for understanding what it means to be a highly sensitive person, an empathetic person or an empath, and how to manage these abilities, these vulnerabilities, and live happily and productively. She also offers online coaching.

Caroline pointed out to me that in many cases I am the one who crosses boundaries into the space or territory of other people. The way I do this is by thinking: by trying to figure out what other people are thinking or feeling. My motivation for doing this is to avoid conflict: I’m always trying to please other people or at least avoid upsetting them. Then I adapt myself in order to act and be the way I think will please them.

The important realisation that I had is that, although I often feel invaded or controlled by other people, this particular phenomenon is something that I am responsible for. I don’t have to let my airy balloon thoughts float over into other people’s space or territory. I can bring my airy thoughts back down into my earthy body. Paradoxically, the best way for me to do this is to focus on my breathing. Yes, of course breathing involves air, but the activity of breathing in and out is the most noticeably constant activity of our body. In particular, normal healthy breathing involves the motion of our diaphragm, the complex muscular layer at the base of the rib cage. When we breathe in, it pushes down into a bowl shape, and we feel our belly expand. This muscular motion creates an empty space, a vacuum, in our chest cavity and draws air into the lungs. That’s the real work of breathing. Breathing out normally requires no effort: we simply relax the diaphragm, it comes back up, flattens out, and air easily flows out of the lungs.

So what I mean by “focusing on my breathing” is directing my attention to these activities of my body. When I intend to do this, for a while my airy thoughts still tend to float into different times (past and future) and different places (in particular, into other people’s spaces). But the basic technique of meditation is to notice when your thoughts float away, and gently draw them back to focus on your breathing. As far as topics go, the activity of breathing is not very interesting. This is a good thing, because eventually our thoughts settle down back into our body and rest there. For all intents and purposes, we stop thinking about anything at all. We remain aware, but are not thinking about anything in particular.

One obstacle to reaching this state of resting back into the earthy body is actually thinking about our breathing. For me, this takes the form of inner thoughts counting my breaths, giving them numbers, or an inner voice saying things like “In and out, in and out.” I think this is my mind’s way of resisting rest, of holding on to its own activity and independence. I have found a way to deal with this: I say simple words with a rocking, lullaby rhythm: Breathe deeply in and then starting on the next breath out: “La, la; La, la; La, la Loo, two, three, and…La, la; La, la; La, la Loo, two, three, and…” The first ‘La’ is a breath out, the second ‘la’ is a breath in, and so on for each pair of sing-song syllables.

My ten sing-song syllables play the role of what many practitioners of meditation call a “mantra.” The strategy in any case is to give the mind something fairly empty to chew on. Eventually, if all goes well, it calms down and we are simply breathing and simply aware, but not thinking about anything. The airy thought balloon has landed back in the earthy body.

After a fairly brief session of this kind of meditation, I can open my eyes and my mind again and see things more clearly. I can feel that I have needs and wants just as other people do. I grow more aware of my own feelings and can separate them from the feelings of others.

Now I am in a better position to put healthy boundaries in place: primarily by having the courage to say No to some things, and by saying Yes carefully, slowly–only after considering my current feelings and thoughts, and after considering the consequences of saying Yes. Am I truly ready and willing to accept the consequences of saying Yes–come what may? If I don’t take the time to consider such things, I am liable to say Yes only to please other people–or to do what I THINK will please them.

It is much healthier to talk with the person or people involved. Talking–real talking out loud–like breathing, is something we do with our bodies. Our vibrating vocal cords and the shaping motions of our mouth, tongue and teeth shape sound waves that set the eardrums of other people in motion, and so on.

I speak and the other listens; the other speaks and I listen. If all goes well, we can reach an agreement, a plan, a boundary that at the very least we both honestly can tolerate. It may get better than that, but we shouldn’t let it get worse.

These are things that I have learned about and am still finding difficult to put into practice. But when I do put them into practice, things go better.

* * * * * * * *

Notes on words

This sense of ‘grounded’ or ‘grounding’ arrived quite recently. The OED gives this quote from Allen Ginsberg in New Age Journal (1976): “Trungpa’s position was that ‘psychadelics’ are too trippy, whereas people need to be grounded; everything is uncertain enough as it is.” Trungpa was a teacher of Buddhist meditation.

‘Mantra’ comes from Sanskrit and was first based in Hinduism, where it meant the intention one has in mind when saying or doing something. ‘Manta’ and related Sanskrit words are the roots of our word ‘mind.’

This post is based upon personal reflection regarding the third chakra (solar plexus chakra) and the role it plays a role in extreme introversion and shyness.


 

Blocked solar plexus chakra – The third chakra is the seat of one’s personal power and sense of self. When this chakra is open and balanced it allows you to express yourself with confidence and to show your ‘real self’. On the other hand, when this chakra is blocked you are extremely shy and sensitive, which may lead you to either hide your real personality from people or hide away from life in your introvert’s cave.

How the blockage happens – Blocked solar plexus chakras result from abuses of authority. You may have had a controlling, smothering or overbearing parent (often this kind of parenting is culturally considered ‘normal’ and is passed down from generation to generation). You may otherwise have attended an extremely strict school which made you feel powerless. Due to your boundaries having invaded or invalidated by (a) person(s) in positions of authority over you in childhood or adolescence, you are not able to assert your personal power in healthy ways. Since you are unable to defend yourself psychically due to weak boundaries, human relationships are often fraught or overwhelming. For this reason you may choose to hide away in the introvert’s cave where it is safer.

How the blockage clears – Clearing blockages in the solar plexus chakra can be the work of (a) lifetime(s). Due to the cultural programming we experience, many of us will never succeed in unblocking the solar plexus chakra and may even worsen the blockage over the course of a lifetime. There are many ways we may give up our personal power without realising it, for example by being in a relationship with a controlling partner or as being an adherent of a religion that restricts and controls. Another common way of giving away one’s power is to claim state benefits for life. Many more people give away their power by not following their own dreams, but instead giving themselves up by having children, or by trying to win the approval and love of one’s parents or romantic partner. (BLOCKAGES HERE ARE EXTREMELY COMMON!) When we experience the world from the position of a blocked solar plexus chakra, we are likely to have blind spots regarding the habitual ways that we give away or do not claim our personal power in life and thereby keep ourselves stuck in a blocked state. However, if you are open and willing to work with the solar plexus chakra it can be unblocked overtime. The ways to unblock the solar plexus chakra are various and many, however, in a practical sense it will involve learning to claim back your sense of individual authority so that you develop healthier, stronger boundaries that enable you to get out into the world without getting drained. Most likely this will require you to learn how to stand on your own two feet and to move beyond the need to reach for or seek approval from other people.

When energy is free flowing – When your solar plexus chakra is clear and energy is free flowing you are able to enjoy socialising and meeting new people. In everyday situations you will not feel shy or over-sensitive and you will absolutely not get drained. Since you approve of yourself, it doesn’t bother you to be around people who challenge you in some way or whom do not agree with your ideals.

When the blockage comes back! – Work undertaken to unblock the solar plexus chakra is not a one-way street that lasts forever. This is why extreme shyness or introversion may sometimes return, leaving you feeling as if you have gone backwards in life and have once again become overly shy. Extreme shyness or introversion may again occur / come back if you have been in some way traumatised or your personal power has been abused. Typically this could happen if you have a bad romantic relationship experience in which you gave up your needs or in which there was a lot of drama. However, the trauma itself can be any situation that triggers you to feel powerless and unable to act (not always a romantic relationship). (PERSONAL NOTE: a severe trauma of this kind happened to me one year ago and I have only just got my confidence and self-expression back).

What it feels like when the blockage returns – When the blockage returns you feel the comeback of all your old social fears. Extreme sensitivity and social anxiety may also return with a vengeance: you may find yourself nervous about doing even little things such as asking for help in a shop. On top of this, you may feel extremely sensitive to the energies around you and feel as if you can feel the emotions of others when you are physically close to them or look in their eyes (this is a clear signifier that your psychic boundaries are porous and weak). If you are in this weakened state, any effort to push against your comfort zone will be extremely hard and inner feelings of avoidance will be strong.

Getting unblocked, again! – Getting unblocked takes both time and assertive action on your side. Sometimes radical change is necessary and you may have to go away for awhile or stop seeing the person(s) the trauma was triggered by. Having space from any person(s) who violated or invalidated your personal boundary gives you time to heal and strengthen yourself again.

What you can also do – The solar plexus chakra can be strengthened by incorporating more yellow foods into your diet, having yellow decorations in your home, or by wearing yellow clothes. Some of the ways I personally do this are by drinking a kind of ‘tea’ made from slices of lemon and ginger and sometimes honey as my regular hot drink; eating yellow dal soup (Indian soup) most days; and by wearing yellow pyjamas! Oh yes, and the yellow colour in my Jade Joddle branding was also intentional for this reason. I have steadily been incorporating more yellow into my life over a four year period (at the time of writing) during which time I have become steadily more expressive and able to show my ‘real self’.

Still not sure if you are blocked? I am not part of the ‘I’m an introvert and proud’ movement as that seems to come hand in hand with justifying why it’s good and necessary to hide away from life in the introvert’s cave. I also think that despite any propensities towards introversion that we may have (solar plexus chakra blockages) we can in the course of a lifetime learn how to show ourselves more and also learn to be more socially open, if we so desire. In fact I 100% know that is true because I have experienced both sides of life and I know which one feels better.

A poem about ghosts (words below the video)…

When The Ghosts Come…

There are those among us
Who go a-hunting for them.
With torches in hand
And breaths held tight
At the stoke of midnight
in paranormal search they wend
Infra-red gizmos calibrated
To detect the unbodied
Those who were
Our once dear
And now, sadly departed kin
Stuck somewhere between
Here and there
Wandering and lost.

There are those among us
Who go a-talking with them
In sodden graveyards
By the light of the moon.
In secret ritual they invoke
With magical chants
Mind-altering potion
Or rapt, solemn
Meditative intent:
Calling forth the souls
Of the dead but not gone
To commune with them.

There are those among us
Who go a-dreaming with them
When the night is black
And the living deeply sleep
Dreamers with ghostly sight
In supernatural encounter meet
That which exists in the unseen
Between here and there.
What do the seers see at night?
A message, a ghoulish sight
A spinning orb of angelic light?
Only the dreamer can say
In the drowsy moment
Before the spectre fades away.