Control – earthly and spiritual manifestations

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Control in the earthly realm is a defence and a place of safety for when emotions feel overwhelming and ‘out of control’. If one was to relinquish control (a core belief), one would disappear for not being able to cope with the flood of feelings. Control serves a function and rightly so in some circumstances when psychological struggle is so great there is no other way. However, to describe this state as it would look externally it would appear one-sided, devoid of emotional engagement and deep sadness for not being able to ‘go there’. This can apply to controlling the environment, others, behaviour, events, structures and yourself that often goes hand-in-hand with self-harm. To decide whether to let go of the control and open up fully to life is a difficult and personal decision that involves a long recovery process.

Sometimes when earthly control becomes unmanageable and challenging one might turn to spiritual in order to feel containment. This is spiritual by-pass and manifestation of that arrival into the spiritual realm will look the same. There will be impossible to progress or be in a way that spiritual is due to that emotional disengagement. One would feel resentful and unfulfilled, as spiritual doesn’t do control. It operates differently and is accessible to everyone but depends the road you approach it from.

In the spiritual there is only flow, there is no tangible experience of pain, loss, time and space. It flows and manifests. It is like the wind, not static or contained, therefore, impossible to control however hard we might try. It requires a completely openness emotionally, physically and letting go of thought structures, etc. Difficult right? Yes, but not impossible. If we manage to engage with the fleeting spiritual experience only for a minute that is already something that will never be taken away. It is moments of bliss, complete alignment with something much bigger than us, a sense of utter stillness, sweet-tasting and transparent like air. In that place we can’t work for ourselves or against the other, we have to work with it. It cannot be manipulated.

With questions come in lately about the publishing process and whether self-publishing is better or worse than a traditional route, my answer and recommendation is to look deeper into your relationship with control, your sense of self, your ability to allow for things to happen, your beliefs about how life experience comes into being. As my life is intuitive in every aspect this is something that comes as anything else natural would. My mind, body and emotions operate in a way that it has its own way of arriving at answers. Perhaps, you are similar? The route that you choose is dependent on many variables, but one thing you can look at is yourself. What are you like with control and why? Do you have faith and trust in what is right will be? Do you believe that things happen for a reason and only when all the elements are aligned something comes into fruition? Can you go with the flow? It applies to anything and this process is no exception. Writing is another process that the idea of ‘control’ amidst others can be explored. I truly believe in experience. Once you had an experience you should be able to self-reflect, analyse (if you prefer that word) and make a choice based on your awareness of your experience. So far for me, e.g. I am a traditional publishing type of person for many reasons. It is about pace, not having control is a benefit, freedom to create in the meantime and many more other factors will be clarified as I go along, I am sure. It is what it is right now and never say never, things change and turn, but what you need to know is your inner true, most fundamental make-up with how you are in the world, with others and yourself. Know yourself and you will be able to find answers to anything.

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.

‘Help yourself’ magic

Spring Equinox

There is nothing like spring coming back that invites us more into life. It calls for awakening from stillness and dreaming of dark winter. It pulls a body into a much needed stretch, into a new kind of movement and engagement with the world. It offers that space to hear a new song from within ourselves that had been hibernating and birthing in darkness.

It has been a tough winter for many in 2019 that made us stuck in chaos, confused and stalled, not much movement other than in dreams and other types of realities. The process had been necessary, as everything is always is, and the purpose of the ‘stuckness’ was to explore ourselves from a position of where we are and who we are, what are our realities and do they serve us. It has not been an easy download to understand and integrate, however, relying on intuition and instinct had been useful even those areas halted in space that invited asking help from outside. Sometimes there is nothing wrong with asking for help from outside when we are stuck and this can be particularly useful and necessary for those of us, who is not used to asking for help and instead there for everyone else. This was partly the work of this winter to get to know that pattern again from a perspective that actually it is absolutely ok to ask for that hand that we need to hold on to and it is ok not to lead once in a while. I also realised that when you do ask for help you then are able to help yourself better – an interesting insight, which manifested through some magical workings that also involved asking for help from the elementals. This is something I have not done before necessarily in this way, but, as always based on the intuitive knowing this is what came through.

I asked ‘Help me’ while in nature doing the work and two days later I got it. It came as a voice, a message, an insight that said ‘Help yourself’. It contained the energy of giving back to me the knowing and responsibility for my own healing. We are the best healers for ourselves without a doubt, but that does depend very much on our relationships with ourselves. Doing the ‘self’ work whether it is through a therapeutic relationship, spiritual practice, other activities, all of those together, will put you in touch with yourself like nothing else and that is the most important element to ensure one lives in a way that it ‘whole’, fulfilling and peaceful. Without a doubt the best gift of self work is you integrate back into what you were always meant to be with all your beautiful resources, qualities, unique gifts, resilience and potential intact. In order to get there we often need to ask for help, we need to learn to reach out and relate, connect without fear or judgement. We need to be vulnerable to become truly strong and grounded and we need courage and strength to be vulnerable when it is terrifying.

This spring feels already like a very nourished, turned over soil that is ready to share its bounty and wisdom with us if we are willing to be patient with our newly planted seeds, warm and kind with ourselves, accepting of all that we are, good and bad, twisted and glorious, strong and weak – all of that richness that is the soil of our bodies and the light of our souls. I am excited to see what is to come. It is all new again.

Shadows at dawn

The pull of a new calendar year is strong, as if something in me can’t wait for a clean sheet of paper to start writing another story. It yarns for the taste of spring, for fresh changes. This is very much in the collective at this time of year and I do have some resistance to being caught up in the collective yearly pattern, as I know there isn’t a need to be in that place, yet here I am. Have you noticed how pictures of bluebells begin to pop up here and there around this time? People post them everywhere. It pulls us out of here and now in an instant and we begin to wonder.

Anger is often present for me during this month, which is one of those months I wait to be done with. The cycle of holidays every year and all that comes with it brings a lot of ‘don’t want to be part of it’ feelings. It is quite uncomfortable with a bitter taste that needs to digest and integrate before a new something is seen and experienced. I guess what I refer to is some shadow elements of the psyche is brewing on the surface of my unconscious and, yes, I do recognise it. It needs expression, but also containment. It is angry, expressive, violence-like, impulsive. It needs attention and love, but it doesn’t mean it is a nice picture to look at. It is often not and it can be loud especially in dreams when I know how to parcify it during waking hours.

Very similar in nature if you notice in certain places, like the one I just came from, e.g. everything was grey and not just in a way of rainy skies, but the whole atmosphere was covered with colour grey, dull and feeling like it’s not enjoying it. I describe this energetically, but visually it looks like a wet, old rag, for example, that can do with a bit of whiteness injected or a dirty water that’s stagnated. It needs renewing, refreshing.

If I was to describe it as a feeling in the body that would be stress, exhaustion, sleep deprivation, ‘bags under eyes’ type of presentation. It is a sort of wanting to rest yet being restless as monsters are moving within in the dark, under the ground.

I know the ‘beast’ very well although I haven’t seen it or heard for sometime. With me the triggers are stress and being stretched or asked to do things I don’t want to do. These have been running for years. During this time I also pick it up from others easily and that overwhelms me a great deal. December is like the remains of something, like the last residue of some unpleasant drink or wet ashes post fire.

This year has all been about doing things differently and the above patterns have also run their course. Enough is enough I’d say. There’s got to be another way of expressing shadow material so that it doesn’t just have its needs’s met and go back into a state of being parcified, but it has a chance to transform into or balance with the opposing force. Something is needed immediately as these things arise. More transforming and less keeping in awareness I’d say. I will give it a go next.

Happy 2019! Let it offer more explorations and awareness. Further success and achievements, more joy and satisfaction.

When pain finds a home within your soul

painful emotions

In psychological circles this is referred to as pain addiction. This is real, lived experience for many. It is a state of being where separating pain from anything that we encounter in life becomes impossible. It merges with our being in a way that becomes familiar, safe, even sweet and impossible to imagine not feeling it. It becomes one of the personal signature of an individual, which brings all sorts of distortions with it. The process of unravelling is needed, deep diving into dark places, but mostly reintroduction of the light into a personal experience, as the light often goes into a personal shadow.

This is what it looks like when I tap into that part of myself still present although it no longer affects my life in ways it used to. It is now fully in my awareness and I know this character well, hence able to communicate with it and meet its needs if and when.

Ugly, dripping poison from its finger tips, so wrapped in its own pain it is second nature. This creature outgrown the most excruciating suffering that it feels at home with it, it’s learnt not just to be with it, it is inseparable from her being. It is very old, with bent and crooked limbs, long nails and grey hair or is it fur – both. It is animal-like with human eyes and deep intelligence. There is kindness somewhere there, but it is not apparent. It wants to be bad, it thinks it is a good thing, as it will fill up the cup of pain even more. It seeks the ritual and any opportunity to refill it. Like an addict it is constantly in search of the next fix.

Grown into my flesh it wears deer-skins and smells of wet mud and berries. Like an animal it claws into me holding on with a scowl scary and disturbing. 

I know it well and these days all that is needed of me is the acknowledgement it is there when I begin to feel its warm breath on the back of my neck. It is often present around my shoulder/neck area. It is very warm, sometimes feeling like a burn, but it also shows me some compassion these days and often sweeps away mud and moss pieces when it feels it made a mess. It is a child and an old creature all at the same time. It is deeply broken, but not unlovable and it likes to spread itself on rocks (I love rocks) and roll off them into a wet grass.

I often work with clients in ways of looking at different parts of them. I would ask when they begin to describe an energy that takes over them and affects their life. I seek to bring it to life with my client in a way of seeing what it looks like, what it sounds like and what is its behaviour before moving to what that part of us need. Many find this very useful and become curious about what else is within them that affects their everyday behaviour. When we make those characters real it is easier to relate whether we choose an object representing it, or we do a drawing or find a drawing that most reminds us of them or we relate to them through colours, sounds. However we connect with parts of ourselves it is about becoming conscious/aware of what takes place within our psyches and why.

Stay present with what you DO have

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When focusing on what we don’t have rather than what we do have it can be pretty hard to differentiate between our wants and needs. Time to evaluate!
Is that something that you want is really what you need? If you think you really want something ask yourself why? How specifically it will make your life better? What is it in your current life that can’t make your
life better? Does what you want have a foundation that stems from a real need and contains a potential beneficial change or is it an illusion?

These questions are super useful to consider when stuck in a ‘I really want to do or have this right now’. Why, why, why is the key. Sit down and really break it down, answer those questions and pretty soon you will know whether what you want is really what you need.

I have an example, which relates to a locality of where I am and my belief that somehow if only I was somewhere else geographically my spiritual needs would be met and I would somehow grow into something that will transform my life. The question is why can’t I do it where I am right now and what’s wrong with the place I am currently at? The answer is nothing is wrong with my place (what I do have already) and yes I can do it here and now without having to be somewhere else. There are levels to this, the first being ‘running away from something’, avoiding certain feelings or situations or not tapping into resources available to me here and now in the place that I am in.

The universe always drives us in a direction most beneficial for us, it wants the best for us all. It is up to us to decode messages that come into our realities daily. It is up to us to notice and hear those messages. Sometimes it comes in and slaps you in the face literary and pretty quick you realise that what you thought you were struggling with was wasted energy and nothing else. We realise illusions got created out of fear.
All that we need to do is tap into here and now and look at our life as it currently is.

I am seeking to move, escape, run away, detach, separate and all of those things and I had one place associated with it all and that place was the answer to all my struggles. Well, question really is what it is that I am running away from? Through reflection and therapy sessions we can work out motivations behind our behaviours and feelings that come up in our lives. Invaluable.
I remember my therapist asking me a clear question once ‘ok, you want to move to this country?’ Notice she didn’t ask me why or what for. She said ‘which area would you move to, which county attracts you the most’. I had NO answer, none and it got me thinking. There is something in that not knowing, so if I don’t know that, what else don’t I know. I couldn’t back anything up. It felt empty, pointless and had no foundation. Sometimes demystifying something really helps by drilling down into what we think we want and seek. Often it is all in our heads and when bringing stuff into our bodies it answers questions judging by feelings it brings up or shows a clear lack of feeling. We take it from there. Often our ideas and thoughts are popped like balloons and we are able to move with our lives just as they are. Not only that we begin to enjoy and appreciate what we do have more.

Take my example. Looking at where I am right now. I love where I live. I am connected to the land and the signature of the place. I created a few sacred spots for myself and all elements are around me. I have space, fresh air, freedom to grow my vegetables and a lovely house. It is no more or less beautiful than the place I think I want to escape to. I am pretty sure if I was to test my ‘want’ theory without answering all the questions above once I have done it then it would be the case of ‘now what?’ I previously did this with a job and that was exactly the outcome. I recently recognised I am doing it again with another thing. I am doing two things. Not drilling into my motivation behind the desire and not taking what I do have already into account.

Through every experience involving dreams and desires I can summarise it in one sentence.

With every dream we must have a clear answer as to ‘why’

We must feel it with every fibre of our being. It simply must feel like ‘home’ deep in the soul. A lack of feeling should be an indication of another process in operation whether it is an illusion, an escape from something, resistance to staying where you are or any other historical pattern of behaviour.

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The journey of psychotherapy

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I would describe the process of psychotherapy as a process of unfolding and becoming. It is a journey back ‘home to ourselves’. Therapist is a witness to that process, who is let into a world of a client to journey with and who serves a purpose of ‘being with’ another human being and reflecting empathy, acceptance and unconditional love. If that witnessing is successful a client slowly learns to be with themselves, get to know themselves and hence allowing the process of unfolding from unconscious to conscious begin.

When therapy ends one would hope that a seed of self-love, acceptance, compassion and understanding is planted so a person can go out into the world more confident in being with themselves, knowing their inner potential and being able to relate to the world and others in a more effective and beneficial way. They become their own witness. With awareness of themselves they go on to live in a more mindful and compassionate manner towards themselves and others. They would have discovered their qualities, strengths and weakness, darkness and light, become more emotionally intelligent and able to navigate the ups and downs of life with wisdom and acceptance.

The end of my own therapy after many years even though planned and conscious will take some adjustment. It’s been a routine and a weekly visit to my therapist provided me with witnessing and holding I found nourishing and supportive. An environment in which to process my feelings and experiences and grow. I now have a free slot on a Tuesday afternoon and what I am inspired to do is to create a process of my own where for that hour I will be with myself to witness what unfolds within and manifests without and reflect of my responses and ways to grow from experiences.

From that I will begin writing a ‘weekly insight’ blog posts as I continue on my journey of self-discovery.