Tools to help plan and record your ancestral journey

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Genealogy researching and tracking takes an enormous amount of time and resources.

Finding the best way for you to capture and plan your ancestral searching can also take time.

I have found the following software apps very helpful:

www.ancestry.com  to get the process going

www.evernote.com to collate and gather information, you can tag family names, places, generations, can import data, compile resources, 

www.trello.com to schedule and plan research projects and travel journeys

Free genealogy templates 

How to use writing to know yourself better

Writers write for many reasons and in many ways. 

I use writing as a process of self-awareness and self-discovery. 

What do I mean by ‘writing for process’? 

  • It is free flow unfiltered writing 
  • It is simply writing what is within you, your thoughts, emotions and voices
  • It is a journey deeper into self
  • Its allowing the thoughts in your head to be written down unfettered
  • It is simply getting everything that is circling and thrashing within to come out
  • It is about writing to reveal
  • It is writing to become aware of what is going on within me that maybe getting in the way
  • It is writing through ones heart, not head.  So that the way becomes clearer and is less interfered with my human needs and limitations.
  • It is writing as a channel for the best version of self to come forth
  • It is writing to become aware of the next steps to take

It is a way of:

  • Connecting with who I am
  • Of Understanding me better and what makes me tick
  • coming fact to face with my own falsities
  • Revealing parts of me that have been unconscious

It is where there is:

  • No set destination
  • No pre-determined outcome
  • No parameters
  • No timeframe
  • No formatting or editing 
  • No right or wrong 
  • No spelling correction 

My head gets so full.  Thoughts thrashing around.  Which way is up? Sometimes I don’t know.  I feel engulfed by my emotions and feelings.  Where am I in all of this?  So much internal noise.  It keeps me stuck constrained blocked and confused. 

Where am ‘I’ in all of this? How do I find ‘me’ in amongst the distraction?  I know the space I seek.  It is within me.  It is a still point in my centre.  Not a human physical centre but a place within me, from which all comes forth.  It is a centre, a portal a way through to my eternalness.  It is the place from which I connect to me, the planet, to creative source, to soul as spirit.  It gets clouded by the chitter chatter, the busyness of life and by my own ignorance. 

Whilst I do my best to ignore its existence it is the place that the answers lie.  It’s the way.   It’s the point from my which I live.  Its where I listen and hear the whisper of the universe, its where the guidance awaits.  I just need to be stop, be still, listen, receive and act. 

How do we reach this place?  For me writing as a process takes me to this place.

  • Create the space so you won’t be disturbed
  • Gather your tools
    • laptop (I suggest you don’t use a laptop, if you want to turn autocorrect and spell checker ‘off’)
    • pen and paper
    • canvas
    • whiteboard
  • Turn off your phone and laptop (if you are not using it)
  • Remove all distraction
  • Light a candle
  • Create a sacred ritual for communion

Whatever works and simply ask …

  • What is it that needs to come out?
  • What is it I need to hear? 
  • What is going on within me? 
  • What can’t I see? What do I need to see?

Ask the questions and wait.  It may take a while for words to come.  But be ready for when they do.  You are the scribe of your heart and head.  You are the channel from which this comes forth.   Allow.

You may need to build trust with yourself.  This can be a vulnerable and intimate process.  Be gentle don’t force build trust.  Hold the compassion for yourself.  In some moments bucket loads will come out , in others maybe just one or two sentences.  Whatever comes is right for that moment.

So ask, listen and write.  When it stops simply ask “what else?”  and repeat the process.  You are entering another layer, going deeper in.

And repeat, layer after layer, deeper and deeper in to that still point.  Your centre from which your creativity, your inspiration, your delicious way comes forth.  ‘She’ is there waiting.   

When you seek an answer go inward.  Write your way.

It’s about reading to review and gain insight. 

By writing it out what will be revealed to you? 

What to do with what is revealed?

  • You can read it back and take out the pearls.  Take them. Review. Reflect.  Leg go. 
  • Write a new script, one from your heart.
  • You can burn it through ritual and let it go with gratitude
  • You can rip it up and throw it out.
  • You can use it as a guide of what to look out for.

If you choose to read it back, do so with compassion.  The truth is within if you want to hear it.  You don’t need to keep the writings.  It’s about clearing your head so your heart can be heard.   Judging what you write will only block the process.  You need to create a safe and nurturing space from which you can hear the voices in your heart. 

Then ask yourself these questions

  • Who are these voices? 
  • Is it your voice or that of another? 
  • Is it an old parameter? Lens? Filter?
  • Is it an outdated condition that is in the way? 
  • Where are my limitations? 
  • What stories am I telling me about myself?  About my life? 
  • What am I playing like a broken record?
  • What new voices/ scripts do I need to write now?

Work with your words.  Move through the process.  You will arrive at a new place.  A place of less resistance,  a place reflective of who you truly are. 

Writing for process, to move through, to clear, to gain insight can take you deeper into you. 

It is about connecting with the unconscious within and bringing it to light.

Why I love Melbourne

I often get asked why I love Melbourne so much.

This little clip from my recent drive to Tullamarine Airport shows why.

It’s the green, it’s the trees, it’s the shape of the land, the sky, the changing weather…. not to mention the MCG and Punt Rd, Richmond.

No matter how far I travel, it is home.

#enlightenedtraveller#lovemelbourne#loverichmond#libbykinna

I often get asked why I love Melbourne so much. This little clip from my recent drive to Tullamarine Airport shows why. Its the green, its the trees, its the shape of the land, the sky, the changing weather…. not to mention the MCG and Punt Rd, Richmond. Will be a great night for Carols by Candlelight. #enlightenedtraveller #lovemelbourne #loverichmond #libbykinna

Posted by Enlightened Traveller on Monday, December 23, 2019

A humbling lesson in Universal Trust

Every evening I sit, reflect and review.  I enter my sacred room, I light candles, play soothing music, place a cashmere wrap over my shoulders, choose a crystal to hold, open my journal to a blank page and ensure a pen is handy.  I sit and allow.  I connect deeper into self.  I clear the day of its busyness, my mind of its to do list and wind back through the activities.  It’s a time to commune, to listen and allow. 

Four months ago during this time, I felt a flutter in my heart.  The slightest of sensation that filled me with joy and wonder of ‘what if’?  What if I did return to Scotland?  To live and work and immerse myself in this land and its people for an extended period of time?  This flutter in my heart expanded my senses and woke me from a slumber.   It was delicious.  I took some preliminary steps.  I researched ancestry visas, I spoke to real estate agents about listing my house for sale. I took a contracted part time role at work.  Three months.  At the end of those three months I would go.  November 2019 I would be in Scotland.  A commitment made to self and the Universe.  The smallest of flutters, the wildest of drams.  

It is now November.  Where am I?  I am not in Scotland.   Speaking with my counsellor this morning we went exploring.  Just how did this happen?  What didn’t I do? What did I do?  Quite literally, I went back to sleep.  I ignored the flutter.  I continued to work, get swept up in the day to day, stayed in my box, I didn’t feed the dream.  I allowed laziness and unworthiness to drive.  I let the fear take over.  Fear of not selling the house for the right price, not having the funds I would need, fear of leaving my kids, fear of what others would think, fear of what I would think, fear, fear, fear, fear, fear….. Yet I wasn’t aware this is what was happening.  I remained unconscious to the internal dynamics playing out.  I didn’t trust in myself or in the Universe.  Fear was in the driver’s seat.

My tiny little mental thought it new better.  It thought it new the way.  Three months ago when ‘we’ did the numbers I didn’t have enough to cover the expenses so I stopped.  The numbers on paper didn’t add up the way I wanted them too.  I backed out.  I didn’t trust the feeling.  I ignored my heart.  The whisper of my heart that said “it’s okay, we’ve got this,  just take the step”  I didn’t listened.  There was too much fear going on.  Fear interference.  So I continued my life as I knew it safe in the knowing that ‘one day’ I will have the money. 

Four weeks out from that November 1st dream I received unexpected additional financial resources.  The exact amount of money that I needed for the trip to Scotland in November.  I was simultaneously grateful for the gift and felt like the wind had been kicked out of my guts.  Here it was.  Exactly what I needed.  ‘She’ knew, she delivered the financial resources I needed.  And I wasn’t ready.  I missed the boat.  I didn’t follow through on what I was guided to do 12 weeks ago.  I decided out of fear and thinking I knew it all that I wouldn’t have the money, so we will wait. 

Right now though I feel out of place.  I should be in Scotland.  It feels like a part of me is there.  It is waiting for me.  For me to get my shit together and catch up.  There was an opening and I missed it.  I feel like I missed the sliding door moment.  I have to work with how this feels now.  I need to ensure it doesn’t happen again.  I need to trust that another opening will present.  I will be ready.

Now the money is there, it’s available.  But my house isn’t sold, I don’t have the visa, I don’t have a flight booked and the work isn’t lined up.  The Universe was there and ready.  I wasn’t.  I feel ashamed for not listening and trusting in her.  I feel humiliated in the realisation that I allowed fear to be in the driver’s seat.

Now I will listen, I will follow and act.  The Universe speaks through feeling.  Feeling through the heart.   My head is where the limitation lies.  My heart is the connector to all that is, to Universal flow, the oneness of all life, the biggerness of ‘I’ as soul, as spirit in this body.

Travelling as an insightful spiritual pilgrimage

Fascinating article published in the Journal for the Study of Spirituality (Beres, 2018) exploring how travel can become a spiritual pilgrimage.

Reference

Laura Béres (2018) How travel might become more like spiritual pilgrimage: An autoethnographic study, Journal for the Study of Spirituality, 8:2, 160-172, DOI: 10.1080/20440243.2018.1523048

How your ancestors can be influencing your life

The life our ancestors lived can influence who we are now.   ‘Transgenerational’ relates to the ‘transference through generations’.  It is the interconnectedness of all.  There is no isolation. 

Like the rippling effect of a pebble hitting a smooth lake surface, so can our ancestors life experiences move through us.   

The influence of which may be seen in our:

  • attachments
  • coping mechanisms
  • behaviour
  • biases
  • fears and anxieties

Trauma too can be transmitted across generations.  Unresolved trauma can be carried genetically.   Our life experiences can modify our DNA.  Epigenetic changes are transmitted from parent to child during conception and pregnancy.  Explore this further by reading my blog on epigenetics.

Continue reading “How your ancestors can be influencing your life”

Epigenetics and its powerful impact on your life

What influence does it have on who you are?

Image by Hal Gatewood on unsplash

There is evidence epigenetic changes are transmitted from parent to child during conception and pregnancy.  Leading into the concept of inheritance.  How the events of our lives could affect the development of our own children.  Alongside this is how we have been impacted by our ancestors and their life experiences.

What we experience in our lifetime can modify our DNA, and its these changes that can be passed down through generations. It is epigenetics that facilitates this transfer/influence between generations, what can be referred to as ‘transgenerational’.   Through the generations.

Epigenetics is defined as:

  1. the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.

Our DNA is our unique song.  The genome, the double helix DNA code unique to us.  This ‘song’ remains constant.

Our epigenome (which sits in your cells with your genome) is a set of instructions that decides which bits of your DNA are activated, or which genes are switched on or off.  We have many epigenomes as every different type of cell in the body has its own epigenome.  These ‘audio engineers’ are fluid, changing as we develop.  They impact upon our cells, how they function and our health overall.

“genes are the unique song of you,

but epigenomes decide how that music is played over generations”

Kylie Martin

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2017-04-21/what-does-epigenetics-mean-for-you-and-your-kids/8439548

The Soul’s Journey

Another perspective on your life travels

We are a human being living on this lovely Planet Earth.  However, we are more than that.   Within us lies an eternal soul.  What some would call ‘the indwelling entity’.  It is that of us that lives eternal.  It transcends time and space.  Confined by no one or no thing.  With each incarnation, or embodiment, the soul takes up residence with the human purely for the purpose of experience.  Experiences of which are designed to assist that soul to heal, to grow, to serve, to transcend and continually strive for wholeness. 

Each embodiment is set up for the soul to ensure exactly the most appropriate conditions within which this soul can carry out what is needed to.  From the date of birth, to the selection of parents, country to within one is born, the family structure all is part of the puzzle that the Universe has set up and put in place.  It is part of the ‘sacred contract’ (a term coined by caroline myss) that we are born where we are, within our family and that in doing so all these ‘souls’ come together once more to meet, connect, relate and heal.  It is our responsibility to see that through.

The human experiences are challenging yet designed purely for the soul’s evolution.  The soul is impacted by the human experience. With each embodiment it has the opportunity to heal past hurts. 

Imagine then if you will, where could your soul journey and ancestral journey may have crossed?  It adds a whole other level to being an ‘enlightened traveller’.  Is this why you are drawn to a certain place?  Is it possible you as a soul had an incarnation ‘there’?  And taking it further is there unresolved issues that you ‘here and now’ and transform, heal and release?  Trend gently and consciously.

#libbykinna #enlightenedtraveller

The Hero’s Journey and personal transformation

The journey to know thyself is the richest, most challenging yet purposeful one we undertake.
This is a great article connecting the work of Joseph Campbell and ‘the Hero’s Journey’ as it relates to personal transformation.

“American mythologist, Joseph Campbell, described personal transformation as a hero’s journey. You can imagine the hero who must enter the darkness, face challenges, slay the dragon, retrieve the treasure, and emerge stronger… challenging life events can serve as a call to enter the hero’s journey. You may feel as though you have been thrown into an abyss. The dragons you must slay are the inner demons that remain as a result of the painful memories from your past. You walk into the darkness in order retrieve the treasures that exists within you such as inner strength, wisdom, and hope. You emerge with an enhanced sense of meaning and purpose which become the gifts that you have to offer to the world” Dr Arielle Schwartz

Why do memories come flooding back when you visit places from your past?

my happy place, Frozen @ Chapel St, South Yarra, Melbourne

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/here-s-why-memories-come-flooding-back-when-you-visit-places-from-your-past?fbclid=IwAR0iXzppBkV85wDdE5lNiB7CcMPtza1_IYSvsR-y10DdbQf-N_zW8GAUuP8

I came across this interesting article on SBS which shares of the scientific theory behind this experience. Known as contextual-binding theory.

It is well established that learning in the brain happens by a process of association. If A and B occur together, they become associated. Contextual-binding theory goes a step further: A and B are associated not just with one other, but also with the context in which they occurred.

What is context? It’s not just your physical location – it’s a mental state that also comprises the thoughts, emotions, and other mental activity you’re experiencing at a given moment. 

Adam Osth Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne

Looking at photos of past family members triggers moments of past family experience. The article goes on to share that our brain is like a google search engine. The clearer you are in what you are searching for the better results will be retrieved, same with your memory.

Every time I travel back to Melbourne this mass of emotions, feelings and memories come flooding back. Whilst I have fond memories of Melbourne, actually being there amplifies my experience and deepens the feelings.