Beauty in a heartbreak

When a heart breaks magic happens. It reawakens qualities in us we forgot existed.

Ever since I was young I have been an advocate of feeling. Feeling deeply, openly, letting your pain spill out into the world like a cry from a place of the darkest shade. There’s beauty in suffering and sorrow and that is because something in us awakes when we are broken hearted, sometimes subtly, sometimes profoundly and we all know that nothing can be the same again and we are changed by it. It often goes unrecognised as we are programmed not to feel, shamed and punished for it from tender age and so it goes from one system into another. For as long as I remember I have been revolting against the oppression that is ‘no dark feelings are allowed’ and have been fighting against suffering in silence. It damages the soul to the extent of it being either abandoned or exiled.

Do you know what a gift it is to be able to feel to the deepest places which only soul can touch? Sorrow speaks of the depth of feeling one is capable of and most of the time it speaks of the power of love that is immeasurable and precious. Through the pain it shines like nothing else.

If only we let ourselves feel to the full open capacity, with honour and compassion not only healing occurs but a transformation that takes us to another level of being present in our authenticity. There is nothing more real than a broken hearted being. It’s raw, it’s tender, vulnerable and beautiful.

In my practice I work with feelings more than anything else. It is the work of carving the light out of a dark cave that is pain and trauma. It is hard, labour intensive, emotionally taxing yet when the break occurs and the heart turns to healing through allowing feelings to flow, results are stunning in its beauty. One touches the soul place once more and it speaks of all that’s been forgotten and suppressed. It offers gifts to us that we had always had within and now we can use them.

Feelings are wise. They live in our bodies and attempt to bring us back to who we are truly from the first moment before the world stamped its hard armour onto us. Through opening up to pain we recognise and accept and visit all the places within that had iron gates on them for what seems like eternity. It is that stepping off the predictable, lit and well-walked path into the dark woods where treasures lie and transformation back into the soul beckons.

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Winter, anxiety, death…

It has all been rather grey and moody this month as if life stopped at this place of no particular interest, a downward mood yet not particularly depressive. Confusion, uncertainty and anxiety have been at the centre of the feeling of it all although with a clear awareness of everything actually being all right. There has been motion yet it felt dragging. There has been laughter and warmth with odd moments of grief flying in from nowhere. Most peculiar presentation of the season I’d say, however thinking about it there is nothing really surprising about it. Winter and grief go hand and hand and death and anxiety are good old friends.

I have experienced it all it seems in just one month and something in me can’t help but wonder what the next month could possibly bring.

My body has thrown up another mysterious ailment. Usually these happen in spring for me, but this time it came in winter and I believe it is linked to both grief and anxiety. Those two human issues have been present in my life always and I have come to take it for granted and somewhat my body, the wise old vessel that it is, decided to remind me or rather slap me in the face with asking me to revisit what both of those mean to me. Is it actually good for me to be exposed to it all the time or is it time to admit it is not always the best? I realised that I abandon myself over and over again when faced with grief and anxiety and not only that both signatures go right through my body and always manifest in curious things. I am completely disarmed by them, it seems.

This time I was faced with not being able to breathe. That tapped into my death anxiety and having to face that and look underneath of what that presentation meant, not to mention lung being directly linked to grief and death. How vulnerable I am to it all and how clever my body is to jolt me into considering the consequences.

I don’t want to die gasping to air and I don’t want to live my life waiting for the moment when I can’t take another breath and die. I can’t placate my anxiety or avoid it with doing the exact thing that takes my breath away in a sense of killing me. There is so much connection and meaning to it all. All quite sad, dark and paralysing.

What I am trying to say here and learn from is that our body is so wise and knowing if only we listened to it and for sure there will be consequences if we don’t. That much is clear. I know my body for being friendly and always on my side despite a life-long abuse thrown at it. How much it had to put up with yet never left me and when the ultimate function of air in my lungs became compromised suddenly death stepped in with a possibility of taking me. Truly awakening.

What a month it has been so far. Scary, up and down and everything in between yet nothing at all. In the stillness of winter, indeed, we are often faced with the darkest faces of existence. It is stark in my mind the true meaning of the season this year. There’s a certain old and murky wisdom taste to it this year. Perhaps this will only amplify with myself getting old, who knows, but one just never knows what awaits us.

The Element of winter

water element magic

My way is the Elemental way. I see the world through the five elements and work with them the most in my nature communication, magical weaving and spells and when relating to others. I have a power and a shadow element and the world makes sense to me in a way it is made of the elements all around me.

The season of winter has always been a Fire element season for me, full of creativity, drive, focus, enthusiasm and passion. It has always been a time when my inspiration would be present and my mind clear and full of ideas. I would complete a lot of projects during winter usually. Many writers report the same thing. This year it is different. This time it feels softer, smoother, slower accompanied by quiet, silence and a peaceful retreat into inner spaces.. In dreams I am met with a lot of shadow material and crying physical tears. The season feels closer to the element of Water. As water here doesn’t freeze in winter it is very much present, but in a state of quiet still standing. Perhaps, it depends on where we are at any given point and what our intentions are and currently my preferred state is of slow motion in silence and solitude with no need for many words or interactions. It is a very relaxed state of being with nothing to do and nowhere to go, quite the opposite energy of my usual winters. Water element is in this year’s signature I also feel regardless of what the season is now and yet to come, as we are in the feminine rising energy, but not for the first time. The archetypal flow is quite advanced this time and more powerful than ever. It is very consious and knowing ready to share its wisdom with us all. What would be interesting to explore this year is that contact with water whether we like it or not. Like for many water is my shadow element and a lot of us have grown up with supression of our emotional states (water energy). If we decide to engage with the element purposefully tt will sure take us on a transformational and insightful journey, no doubt about it. There is that opportunity this year in abundance. I am going to embrace it and put some water magic into my practice more. For the moment, stillness and calm are the energies of the month for me and it feels just how it should be.

What’s your element for the season of winter?

Addiction is a way of holding on

autumn and addiction

We are in autumn, a season perfectly aligned with the energies of taking stock, harvesting our gifts, desires, throwing away what is no longer needed and releasing through letting things go. It is reflected through trees unrobing their delicate bodies off foliage and exposing to the elements for better or for worse. It is a state of surrender and an act of acceptance in nature that always touches me deeply. What a perfect example of vulnerability and strength – a combination I admire so much.

Addiction, as a condition, is a way of holding on, keeping ourselves safe and hidden, partaking in activities that fill the void we feel inside, but scared to expose. It is a safe place and a defensive position against overwhelming feelings, life, connection to ourselves and others. It is an escape into seemingly blissful abyss, yet temporary. The pay-off is often high for that hiding that we adapt as a way to survive, a way to cope with what otherwise would feel unbearable. The price we pay for this way of trying to keep ourselves safe is always high and we pay with our bodies, minds and lives. Recovery requires tremendous courage. It asks us to wake up not just to becoming aware of our patterns of behaviour, but to our wounds that we are protecting with an addiction of our choice.

When is that time to wake up?

This year’s signature, as a goal for our growth, includes facing and dealing with our addictions. The year began with a clear sense that old ways no longer work. Our comfort zone is no longer comfortable, things don’t fit as they used to and patterns that we adopted started to show cracks in how we executed them. On one hand, one could panic and despair and begin searching for new replacements. On the other hand, it felt like an opportunity, a ‘no choice, but’ to start thinking of a potential change. What would that look like and feel like? The year progressed with addictions’ patterns and behaviour manifesting not just within us, but around us through people we care about, our loved ones. It began to open old wounds. Those behaviours that we had been in denial of in ourselves and others came in and slapped many into a full view of not just how ugly and unconscious it had become, but a fear of a potential outcome also hit hard.

Now, as autumn is at our door, I feel there is a chance to look at it again and become curious and open to the opportunity of release. I find vibrations of early autumn is similar to those in early spring, as with the new planting there is hope for potential, with dropping the old there is also a potential for something new coming. Purification (another signature for this year) is deeper in autumn though, because as we throw off our protective layers, surrender to the elements in our own way we are challenged to go through the ‘cold’ of winter and the bare state of the earth. We are challenged to withstand hardships to come out stronger on the other side.

Addiction recovery is no easy matter and very often a life-long process. What we are faced with this season is an opportunity to begin and this year’s signature for dropping the old, as something that no longer works. To give an example of that manifestation I would like to use the body. With addiction often it is the body that would have taken on years of abuse. The sign that addiction is, perhaps, has gone into dangerous territory and it is time to wake up would be body not coping with it, e.g. with smoking lungs become affected in a way of developing severe difficulties with breathing and your cough becoming chronic with discharge. The body begins to bark at us literary to stop. With food addiction a point to wake up would be when there is a degree of awareness that one can no longer ‘eat themselves better’, as the body has grown so much in size it is no longer functioning. We become hidden under flesh so much we no longer feel in touch with ourselves. We might as well be dead.

I feel deeply saddened writing about this, but I feel it is necessary to make that call to be brave, to be present and conscious and I understand that it is no easy task to ‘stand in the cold of winter with no clothes on’, just as we no longer rely on drugs or food for comfort. Exposing, painful and a lonely place to be, yet one must not forget that there is a fire that burns within each of us. That fire is called spirit. We are stronger than we think most of the time and trying to save yourself is an honourable task. Loving ourselves the way that we are, broken, is an act of heroism and immense growth. Imagine if you can do this, you can do anything. Imagine the potential life you can have if only we decide to stop hiding, escaping and facing that wintery wind with your bare skin, vulnerable yet so heroic.

What lies on the other side is freedom and it is always worth fighting for.

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Where there is discomfort there is an opportunity for change

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Potential is hidden within us all and pain and discomfort are ways of accessing it. Yes, staying with what is difficult in the moment creates an opening for changing things. When we are anxious, worried or feeling down there is a sign that something isn’t right. If we allow ourselves to truly embrace the way that we feel in that moment and hold our feelings as if they were our children we have a chance to discover things we run away from or parts of ourselves that have been needing attention to a long time.

Where there is discomfort there is a sign that an adjustment is needed in either our reactions, behaviours or dynamics. Some situations would trigger us into a place of dissonance, which is a perfect place to start, as when we know what we don’t like we can also discover what we do like.

Most of all we lack the ability to be with ourselves especially in moments of discomfort yet this is exactly where we need to focus our attention to discover who we truly are. A reaction happens for a reason, feelings surface for a reason and asking yourself ‘what is happening’ and ‘what do I need right now’ and ‘what does it mean’ can be invaluable. It holds a feeling, a vibration in that moment and we take a pause to look at it, to feel it, find a place where it is the strongest in the body and become curious. When we shift perspective from ‘this doesn’t feel good, I must pretend it is not happening or I must get rid of it’ to ‘this doesn’t feel good, I wonder why and what it is telling me, what is the lesson here’ things have different results. One way only delays the process that needs attention until the next time we feel a certain way, the other grabs the opportunity not just to explore what is happening, but through paying attention to your feeling you ultimately give yourself attention. This is self-loving, it is validating, it is acknowledging something is not right and allowing for a change to occur. Only by staying with we can move through something and come out of it with a different perspective.

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Messages from the body

This week’s work is focused on and the first insight is about the physical body. As promised each week I am going to tune into a particular area for exploration with a purpose of gaining deeper insight and manifesting cleansing and healing.
Ideas flowed in this morning as I began my day. My intention was to make a set up for my work, first of all, in order to facilitate energetic, mindful and psychic work to come. Such a place would normally be my altar.
four elements altar, body healing
As the theme unfolding in my awareness was to do with the body I wanted to include the four elements, as the earth/nature holds them so do we in our bodies. Incense for Air, bowl for Water, Wood for Earth and Candles for Fire and purple crystal for Spirit. We are one and my intention was to include nature into the work as I do usually. This allows for deeper insight and connection to myself and to the outside world. It is stormy weather outside today so I had to bring the elements in, which was sort of very relevant in terms of exploring them within myself.
The idea was to explore a particular habit/attachment of mine to do with food and look into whether there was an emotional signature that was stuck within my physical container. I did this with my other physical habit with great success previously. The work is to discover what need or emotion might lie beneath a certain behaviour. It helped enormously and really is the best way to work with any addictive or habitual behaviour, which potentially harms us. It is bringing the wound up to the light and healing it consciously and meeting the need that we are unconsciously trying to meet with turning to various activities and things.
This morning didn’t go according to plan and I do love it when that happens. First of all I noticed huge resistance straight away to doing this work and I noticed myself delaying and delaying and once I was ready for my journeying pretty much straight away I was pulled out of it and insights came in strong and fast before I even did anything. I found that quite striking as it was quick but so illuminating.
I was told loud and clear before I started doing the body scan that it is my broken tooth that needed attention and ‘haven’t I procrastinated enough about it?’ and why wouldn’t I attend to my teeth when there is such a clear need. I felt well and truly told off :O) and yes, why wouldn’t I? Is that a loving thing to do to ignore areas that need fixing in my body and just ignore it? I booked my appointment immediately and went straight away. The universe had an opening for me in the next half hour (what are the chances).
So, the insight is to attend to things that we are actually conscious of first and foremost before delving deeper into possible unconscious reasons of whatever it is that is causing us discomfort in the physical. Quite simple, right, but how many of us are ignoring what is clearly visible, felt and screaming for help? Lack of self-compassion, acknowledgement and self-love could potentially be dangerous not just to our bodies but our well-being on the whole. It felt very different for me as again there was such avoidance and resistance to my making that phone call regardless of how loud the inner voice was. I hesitated as I realised that this was not familiar for me to stand up for myself, so to speak, and how often I had previous ignored it. Earlier last year I would have been in real trouble by ignoring something very serious if it wasn’t for someone else pushing me to make the call. I know I would not have done it myself and I am scared to think what could have been if I ignored the signs.
Deal with what is manifesting, felt and present. What you are fully aware of right now in your body? Where is pain, imbalance, discomfort? Attend to that. Deal with that as soon as you can because why wouldn’t you? Why would your body be less important in wanting to be well than anyone else’s? We are used to care taking others, as it’s been looked upon as such a positive and valued thing to do in the society. Self-sacrifice is an idea that somehow would lift you up above and merge you with God. But what about you? Aren’t you as one with God and nature? If you ignore one you ignore the other. If we really think about it, it doesn’t make sense and it is time to shift out thinking around self-love and compassion and listening to our bodies is one such step towards well-being on the whole.
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Run away or stay

The urge to run away is natural on one hand and on the other is contradictory to our innate capacity for compassion and staying with pain. There are millions of examples of open-hearted compassion and humility from humans in times of extreme crisis throughout centuries, yet parts of us want to run away and not feel. It is always way easier to hide, stay in the vibration of fear and non-connecting than open up to all horror and sorrow of the world and connect to as much and as many aspects of us as humans. It is understandable and sometimes we do need to withdraw just to catch our breath. Sometimes things make us freeze following trauma. The most difficult thing to do seems to be our connection to ourselves. We no longer in touch with who we are and what we are doing here. Often we become ‘robot-like’ and desensitised to all that surrounds us. It is a way of avoiding the harsh and painful, the unthinkable. It is a coping way, when life becomes disabled. At that point hope is lost, defeat prevails and we continue as we were on the road to nowhere, not feeling our own bodies. Again it seems something that happens naturally these days yet what about our natural ability to feel again, what happened to parts of ourselves that feel through life and live through all experiences that life offers, dark and light. We have potential for all things.

Tragedy carries a vibration of shattered hopes, dreams, connections and explosion of an array of uncontrollable feelings that seem impossible to contain. Connection with others will help that, safe and accepting holding will do the job, unity in sorrow will provide a refuge from the attack of extreme emotions. Tragedy can also propel us all into action, into feelings and into becoming more ‘us’. It can potentially get us in touch with life, with our own beating heart. It is an opportunity to be you! Please take it. Please choose compassion for the world and yourself as a part of the complicated system of connections and human life.

Blessings to the world! loss