Got questions on psychic experiences? Want to know the meaning behind your dreams? Say hello to our spiritual guide and expert.
To understand our spiritual self, we need to ask questions. That’s how we initiate an inner enquiry that generates change, both within our inner terrain and our outer lives. We can only experience what we perceive, and perceptions are formed by seeking answers. As a spiritual mentor, healer and medium, Danielle Van de Velde fields questions ranging from dream interpretation and establishing a meditation practice, to energy healing and dynamics, to intuition and experiences with the spirit realm. Exploring spiritual enquiry is her jam!
Is there something you’ve always wondered about? An experience you want to share and get guidance on? A dream or life experience that keeps repeating? Simply fill out this form (don’t worry, you can choose to be anonymous). The Spirit Whisperer will pick a few questions to answer each month. Let’s find some answers together!
The Spirit Whisperer: September edition
I was with this guy for four years. He’s still hovering in my life. He comes from a traditional family; his mum wants to matchmake him with someone. He’s told his mum he wants to marry someone of his choice, and she’s agreed. However, five years later, there’s still no word of marriage. Should I continue to wait for him?
Navigating family of origin and cultural customs can be tricky in relationships, especially with dominant maternal influences. Project your sights beyond the marriage proposal. Ask yourself if you’d be happy to spend the rest of your life with his mother playing a dominant role in your relationship, or creating a schism in his family dynamics any time you disagree with their opinions or desires.
If he’s told you he wants to marry you, yet hasn’t acted on it in five years, he’s clearly in conflict with the idea and you are disempowered. Maybe he doesn’t want to upset his parents, or he’s baulking at the responsibility of marriage.
The best move is to communicate with him clearly and honestly about how you feel. Ask him to respect you and tell you where he’s at. If he’s unable to do this, and you can’t formulate a plan to be together, you don’t have a solid foundation for marriage. Cultivate gratitude for the time you’ve had together and move on, sister! Life is too short.
How can I let my intuition guide me during times of confusion or stress?
Our intuition signals to us all the time, even in confusion and stress. However, it’s in these times that our energy field is contracted and dense. It’s difficult to perceive guidance from our deeper aspect. The trick is to focus on raising your resonance, and your intuitive guidance will become more apparent to you.
Here are my top ways to do this (please ensure they work for you given your health and lifestyle):
- Choose a window of time, around two to four weeks, and keep your diet light. Cut down or stop eating meat, cut stimulants (like coffee and alcohol) and boost hydration. A light tummy releases energy otherwise diverted to digestion and metabolising, and raises your resonance.
- Daily intentional breathwork (pranayama) increases the amount of vital life force (prana) in your system which enables greater mental clarity, a calmer nervous system and higher resonance. You can find lots of guided breathwork tracks (including mine) on the InsightTimer app and Spotify.
- Cultivate ‘higher vibration’ emotions like gratitude, awe and wonder, and loving kindness. E-motions (energy in motion) can be cultivated through meditative visualisation, spontaneous acts of kindness and altruism, exposure to natural beauty, and intentionally looking for the good in events and in other people.
- Regular grounding creates even distribution of energy through your system and generates flow and mental clarity. There are lots of ways to ground the energy body: immersion in nature, physical movement, somatic practices (like yoga and tapping), diet (eating botanical foods that are grown on the Earth), grounding meditations (including listening to digital recordings of wild sounds like birdsong and ocean waves), and mudras (Adhi Mudra and Bhu Mudra are two of my favourites).
- Journaling is fantastic for witnessing the shifts you generate through the above activities. It also helps to clock spontaneous body sensations, your dreams and the synchronicities around you, which are all ways your intuition speaks to you.
I dreamed I was in a room sleeping on the floor. I know it isn’t mine. When I close my eyes I can conjure a figure that touches and kisses me. It disappears when I open my eyes. I’ve tried to conjure the figure to ensure I’m wrong. After several tries, it becomes harder to open my eyes in the dream.
I started to see hands whenever I conjured the figure. When I can sense or see limbs, my eyes have difficulty opening. I had to scream to break out from the figure – it was like the figure was keeping my eyes closed. My last resort was to open my phone while struggling to keep one eye open. Once my phone turned on, I woke up. Is there any meaning to this?
This dream is interesting for a few reasons! Aside from your rather sexy and determined dream lover, it sounds like a lucid dream, where you’re aware of your awareness during the dream state. This usually happens during REM sleep, where your brain is active and your heart rate and eye movements increase. About 55% of people have experienced lucid dreams in their lifetime.
To increase control, increase your meta-cognition whilst you’re awake. This involves reality testing, which trains your mind to recognise your own awareness. As it becomes a habit, you can induce awareness while dreaming.
Some ways to do this: stop regularly during the day and touch a solid object, check a clock, look in a mirror, or read text. With these habits formed, in a lucid dream, you’ll be able to perform them. If your hand moves through the object, or the clock spins in different directions, or the text is jumbled, you’ll realise you’re dreaming and can assume control. You naturally did this by opening your phone (which would be a well-honed reality test habit from repetition when you’re awake). Clever you!
Now, on to this persistent dream lover. As you tried to ‘conjure’ a sexual experience, this possibly points towards a desire for one in life. However, there are reservations about it, possibly due to a belief about losing control or becoming disempowered through intimacy. This can be formed from childhood observations of significant adults and their attitudes towards sexual intimacy, an unpleasant or traumatic formative sexual experience, or mental conditioning through consuming certain pornography.
Sex therapists can help you uncover these beliefs or fears and reprogram them for a healthier attitude towards sex and intimacy. So I suggest you do some introspection around your attitudes towards sex and sexual intimacy. Engage a great therapist who can help you explore your sexuality. After all, sex is much more fun when you’re awake, feeling empowered and mutually engaged.
The Spirit Whisperer: August edition
Does energy healing really work? If so, how?
The short answer is yes! There are many different modalities of energy healing that hail from different traditions. However, they all operate on similar principles. These can be broken down into a few key understandings:
- All experiences at their simplest level are organised patterns of energy and information. That includes our bodies, thoughts, emotional state and more subtle aspects of our being like our energy field and our spirit.
- Our phenomenal universe, that is, our experienced reality, is an expression of these fields.
- Our systems are designed to be well and vital. They’re constantly striving for wellness; they are intelligent. So when we experience illness, mental disquiet or repeated ‘negative’ experiences in our lives, there’s a dissonant pattern or interference in our natural energy. Causes include trauma, limiting beliefs from our family of origin, accidents or karmic repercussions, just to name a few.
A good energy healer has the ability to identify the dissonant pattern. They can treat it by re-establishing natural connections and running greater frequencies of vital life force through interrupted circuits. In turn, that returns us to our natural state of wellness and vitality.
I’ve witnessed spontaneous physical, mental or energy corrections every week. Sometimes, if the interference is a long-held pattern, it requires energy work combined with introspection and adoption of certain meditation and energy practices. Many of my clients check in for energy maintenance, too. They may be well, yet they recognise the benefits of treating their energy body, just as they do their physical fitness and diet.
When choosing an energy healer, I suggest going with trusted referrals and checking that they are seasoned and well-established. When you engage in energy healing, you’re also engaging in the energy of the healer. The more you know about them, the more informed your choice will be.
I’ve had psychic experiences before. Is that normal? Can it be developed?
When I run my psychic development circles, I always start with the question, ‘Who has experienced psychic phenomenon?’ So far, I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t. Maybe you had that random thought of a person from your past, only to hear from them or news of them shortly afterwards. Or that dream you had where elements of it came to pass. Perhaps you experienced a strong sense that something was ‘off’ with a person, only to discover a lie or negative intention towards you. These are all common forms of psychic awareness.
Our psychic senses are the inner expression of our outer (or mundane) senses. We’re born with both. Vision and clairvoyance, hearing and clairaudience, touch and clairsentience, for example. I like to explain it through the lens of the yogic koshas.
The Tantras describe the human being as a five-layered and interconnected system that ranges through the physical, energetic, mental or emotional, and spiritual. Modern science can detect and measure (to different degrees) our bodies, thoughts, feelings and energetic emanations. This suggests that our physical presence, the one we apply most of our attention to, is only one-fifth of our entire system. Four-fifths of our being is invisible and can only be perceived psychically, but we’re designed to perceive and develop it all.
For most of us, our modern culture, education and family origins have our awareness entrained solely in the psychophysical. That is, the mind and body. Sadly, we’re denied the understanding and development of our finer aspects of the energetic and spiritual. Yet we participate in every aspect all the time.
The starting point to all psychic development is to carve out enough inner space and calm to perceive our finer aspects and the energy patterns that move through them. The best way to do this? Meditation.
I’ve tried meditation but I can’t settle my mind and I feel like a failure. What am I doing wrong?
It’s important to remember that establishing a meditation practice is very much like getting fit or replacing your diet with a healthy one. The benefits of meditation, just like exercise and a healthy diet, come with regular practice. With meditation, we see structural changes in the brain and body chemistry within around 21 days. They’re more predominant in people who commit to a short daily practice.
These changes in the brain, brainwave activity, reduction in stress responses (chemical and emotional), and increase in immune function and a general sense of wellbeing are measurable. They all enable deeper and more reliable experiences of meditation.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Do your meditation sit at the same time daily. Mornings are best: straight after you get out of bed, or after morning exercise. Using the same location and a repeated little ritual help to create an association between your psyche and the act of meditating. Eventually, your system will recognise the time, place, ritual, and scent cues, and ready itself to enter meditation.
- Meditation isn’t about emptying the mind of all thoughts, but rather drawing the mind to a single point of focus initially. With repeated practice, you can dwell in present awareness during your meditation sits and throughout your day.
- If you have a lot of mind chatter, start with breathwork practices. There are physiological connections between the way we breathe, the breath itself and the activity of the brain and nervous system. I prefer the yogic pranayama techniques as they work with these connections and the breath is a lovely resonant point to anchor your awareness.
- Keep your attitude light, curious and playful. It’s one of the most beautiful self-care habits you can master. It’ll lead you to well-being and deep insight into yourself and your life. A hard goal-oriented mindset can limit the experience. Make it beautiful and evocative. Soon, your meditation practice will draw you in and you’ll feel the amazing benefits.
I’m looking forward to receiving more questions about your spiritual life and experiences. Until next month, stay spirited (and don’t forget to fill out this form to get your questions answered).