Backyard Chooks

What is a chook I hear everyone outside of Australia cry? It’s a slang/pet name for a chicken. I love chickens. They are such fascinating creatures and make amazing pets. Have you ever seen the movie Chicken Run? It is so true to life. Just sitting and observing chickens going about their daily business I often think ‘what are they up to, what have they got planned?’ Hopefully my chickens are not planning a prison break like the Aardman chickens. Why would they? My ‘girls’ are treated like the princesses they are.

I’m blessed to live on a property that allows a lot of space for a good size chicken run, or two actually. The space inside both runs is ample for what can be classed as ‘free range.’ The runs offer night time security from hungry predators, perches to hang out with their ‘flock mates’ and a quiet, secluded place for the hens to lay there daily egg. During the morning after ‘laying time’ is done the girls are literally climbing the fence to get out and out they go! This is free ranging. Off they go to roam free, run amok, have a scratch in real dirt, forage for interesting snacks and have the space to flap their wings.

Chickens are such gentle animals. They liked to be picked up and cuddled. My partner is a dedicated ‘chicken hugger.’ I often find myself talking ‘chook’ to them. You know, bock, bock noises?! Come on you talk to your dog don’t you, why not your chickens?

We have about thirty chickens and three roosters. When we first started out the backyard Chook Empire there were no men allowed. Then I fell in love with a huge orange Wyandotte rooster and the rest was history. Rambo was our first rooster and served us well. He was followed by Hef (named after Playboy’s Hugh Hefner as like my chicken Hef, he has/had lots of girlfriends) It’s easier to name the men as they stand out, the girls lost their names a long time ago, there are just too many!

The flock is made up of a combination of Wyandotte’s, Isa Browns and Chinese Bantam’s. The Isa’s were ‘rescued’ from a local egg farm. I say rescued, they are sold for $20 and we happily pay that to give them a better life. They come from cages or the barn style free-range establishments. Usually their feathers are tatty with pale, floppy combs. A week or two in the outdoors and they are like new!

I’m totally biased but our eggs are amazing!! Our regular customers agree. I can’t fill the demand some weeks. All the money we collect, $4 a dozen, goes straight back into the chicken account or the ‘girl’s money box’ as I call it. They do have a money box, it’s right there in the fridge by the eggs. The cash pays for their feed or anything else they need. Our eggs are so good. The yokes are bright yellow and the whites nice & clear. They taste so much better than shop bought eggs, even other free-range organic eggs.

With every living thing there is always an energy transfer. This energy can be positive or negative. If the animal producing the product, like eggs, is happy and content the energy going into producing that egg will be happy. If the animal is suffering or is having a crappy life this negative energy will be transferred. Then when we consume that product we are digesting that energy, good or bad. Wouldn’t you much rather be consuming energy happy energy? Yes, because happy energy makes us happy and vise versa. I am more than happy to eat my chickens eggs as I know first hand they are happy. There produce is a living statement of this.

We try & support chicken charities where we can. My partner asked for cash donations for his thirtieth birthday instead of presents. He raised over $400 for the RSPCA charity – Hen’s deserve better. http://www.hensdeservebetter.org.au Everyone can do his or her bit too. Spend a little more and buy free range, even better organic. You will notice the quality and taste is better. Also tune in and see how you feel inside after digesting the ‘happy energy.’

Love, light & chicken hugs,

Seren

xx

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Full Moon Cleansing

It’s that time of the month again. Before all the men run for the hills I don’t mean the ‘girly’ kind of monthly cycle, I mean it’s Full Moon!! This can be an awesome time, full of super charged energy. I mentioned in the hydration post last week about our bodies being made up of water. The moon affects the oceans and tides so it is natural that the moon will have some sort of energy connection to the human body too.

I personally can react to the moon in different ways. Some months I’m buzzing, literally bouncing off the ceilings. Others I’m flat, tired and scattered. Exciting hey, you’re in for a new treat every month. With Mercury having gone into Retrograde on the 23rd there’s lots of planetary influences about right now.

It’s a great time to cleanse you crystals too. There are many ways to clean & cleanse your crystals. I like to use the Full Moon. Crystals absorb any kind of energy & just like us that energy gets trapped inside. That is why it’s a good idea to give them an energizing cleanse at least once a month. Cleansing them will release any stored up negative energy, whilst amplifying the positive energy. If you are using your crystals for healing work and meditation cleansing is a must. Also if other people have touched your crystals (I don’t let people handle my ‘special’ crystals ever) it’s a good idea to give them a clean.

Some people like to use the day before or the day after the actual full moon to cleanse. It’s up to you. I collect mine up the morning after, as I don’t like to leave my crystals out in the full summer sun as this can fade their colours.

Here’s what I do for a Full Moon crystal cleanse. Depending on which crystals I have been using I either select a few or put all of them out. I place a soft cloth in a sturdy container, like a ceramic dish, and place the crystals inside. You can use anything you have or simply place them directly on the ground. Place your crystals where they will be drenched in the moon’s light, so not under a veranda or shade cloth. I have a Buddha statue out the front of my house and I place my dish of crystals in front of him with an affirmation to assist in the cleansing process & to watch over them safely.

After my crystals have been super charged with moon energy they literally sparkle. It’s like they’ve just returned from a wonderful spa retreat, all refreshed and ready for action. I can notice the difference when I hold them in my hand, they feeling ‘charged.’

Give your crystals a treat tonight & put them out for a charge up. To find out when full moon occurs in your part of the world check out this link: http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/moonphases.html

Love, light & happy full mooning,

Seren xx

Seren FB HL Full Moon crystals

Crystal Healing – Amethyst

Welcome to the first in a series of Crystal Healing posts. I’ve only recently become interested in the metaphysical properties crystals possess. I now incorporate crystals into my daily life.

Little did I know crystals have been around me a lot longer than I first thought? Isn’t that always the case? Something is right there under your nose but you don’t notice it until you’re ready?

My first crystals appeared in my life about eleven years ago. I’d been living in London and working hard in my first real job so I decided I wished to treat myself to something nice. A friend of mine had this gorgeous ring from a silversmith based in the Portobello Road. I went along and loved her work.

However I wanted something really special, not off the rack so I commissioned her to custom make a ring for me. I like chunky, solid rings. Silver, never gold which made that part of the design easy to figure out.  At the time, and still is now, my favourite colour is purple. I wanted a purple stone ring. The silversmith tipped a tiny bag of purple gems onto her workbench and asked me to select two that I liked the most. That was my first encounter with Amethyst crystals.

Crystal selection is a deeply personal, individual process. I believe crystals have the power to select their owner. It’s a partnership. Even when I give crystals as gifts I can go into the shop with the intention of one stone and come out with totally another. They have a way of communicating so you just know which is the right one.

Mary Kunus perfectly describes how crystals are living things.

Gems and crystals come from within Mother earth.  They are alive and intelligent, having the intelligence of nature within every cell of their beings. (1)

Crystals are conductors of energy, both positive & negative. That is why they widely used in healing work.

There I was, eleven years ago, selecting, or being selected, by my first Amethyst crystals. The final ring is amazing. I still have it today and I’m wearing it now as I write. It has travelled round the world with me, it moved to Australia with me, it’s been dirty, scratched and tucked away in a drawer. It even stayed in tacked when a twelve-year-old girl asked for a closer look then proceeded to put it in her mouth & try to get one of the stones that had come lose out with her teeth. (WTF I know!) Reminder – never let anyone touch your special crystals, their energy can pollute them!! It’s still here, in one piece, for me when I need it.

Amethyst is a great protection stone. I had no idea when I took it travelling with me that is was there to look over me & keep me safe, repelling more energy than it attracts. Now whenever I travel I make sure it is on my finger.

Here’s more about Amethyst:

  • Chakra: Crown
  • Vibration: 3
  • Colour: Purple/violet
  • Family: Crystal Quartz
  • Birthstone: February & June
  • Archangel: Zadkiel, Angel of forgiveness, mercy, tolerance and transmutation of negative energy.
  • Metaphysical: Brings calmness and clarity to the mind especially in times of confusion and anxiety. Making it is very good for stress. Amethyst increases intuition helping one with spiritual, mystic and psychic work. It can help with addictive behaviour, especially alcohol abuse.
  • Physical healing: Calms the nervous system, digestive tracts and the heart. Used for insomnia, headaches, hearing disorders, stomach, skin and teeth. Cleanses and purifies.

Love & Light,

Seren xx

Click on image to enlarge©Seren Holistic Lifestyles Blog 2013
(please share the love with full credit thanks)

Click on image to enlarge
©Seren Holistic Lifestyles Blog 2013
(please share the love with full credit thanks)

 

Reference:

(1) Kurus, M. 2002, Cleansing Negative Energies from you Gems, Crystals, Jewlery and Pendulums.  http://www.mkprojects.com/fa_Cleansing_Gems_Jewelry_Pendulums.htm

Natural Electrolyte Drink

It’s coming to the end of a really hot summer here in Australia. Staying hydrated is super important any time of the year but even more so in summer or if you are participating in sports that make you sweat. (or if you were on the same train as me last night with broken air conditioning, woo steamy!)

Water is vital for survival. We can last a lot longer without food than we can without water. Roughly three to five days before the body and internal organs start to shut down. Our brains alone are composed of 70% water. Every part of our bodies relies on water to make it work.

It is well documented that the ideal recommended amount of water a human should consume per day is about two litres. This is very negotiable. Everyone is different and depending on your lifestyle you may need more or less. If your hauling butt outside on a 40-degree day, then yeah you’re going to need more. Common sense stuff really.

Here’s an interesting fact for you. Vegetarians need less water than meat eaters to stay at optimal hydration. Why? When we consume animal based products extra water is required to break down the nitrogen atoms they contain. Nitrogen can only be processed by the body to make urea with the aid of water. (1) I can personally back up for this statement. Since returning to being vegetarian I am requiring less daily water than I did during my meat eating days.

Hydration is not solely about water either. Nutrients called electrolytes play a large part in our hydration balance. What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are positively or negatively charged ions that conduct electrical activity. In the human body electrolytes must be present in proper concentrations to maintain fluid balance, muscle contraction and neural activity. (2)

Electrolytes are a combination of sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium. These are all lost through sweating. That is why in hotter months or following vigorous workouts it is important to replace these minerals.

Most of us are aware of the symptoms of dehydration. Headaches, muscles cramps, fatigue/dizziness, nausea and sometimes-impaired mental clarity. A raging thirst usually means you are already dehydrated.

There are loads of electrolyte replacements on the market. It is a personal choice, which you chose. I personally steer clear of the high sugar sports drinks. Any drinks that are coloured are a good indication there are some not so good ingredients in there. Coconut water is awesome, very natural. Even better if you can get it fresh from the ‘nut.’

This recipe is a favourite, tried & tested one. It’s been around the block in Bikram Yoga circles for a long while. Bikram’s wife Rajashree is credited for its invention. Its’ simple, cheap and all the ingredients are easily found in your local super market or health food store. Happy hydrating!

Love & Light

Seren xx

Seren Blog Natural Electrolytes Image

Click on image to enlarge
©Seren Holistic Lifestyles Blog 2013
(please share the love with full credit thanks)

References:

2 –Dolan. S.H.  2012, http://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/715/electrolytes-understanding-replacement-options/

1 – Virtue. D.  2003, Eating in Light: Making the Switch to Vegetarianism on Your Spiritual Path. Loc 579

Image credits:

Honey –  http://www.foodiesorganic.com.au/order-online/honey-jams-spreads/honey-raw-1kg-ambrosia/

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