Collective praying

As my father was fighting for his life collective praying began in various corners of the world in ways each individual knew how, unique to them, in churches, at home, with kids, on the forest floor, at the kitchen table, in the mountains, by a river. In Siberia, Russia, Spain, Hungary, UK and Scotland the family joined forces in the collective healing ritual. We are all blood-tied therefore what each and everyone felt would transmit across land, sky, sea and any distance straight back to my father’s heart.

I walked the land and spoke to pines and forest floor so reminiscent of my birth land back in Siberian forest. Memories weaves through plants, insects and textures. Smells are the same, colours are the same, plants are the same and we joined in the language of reverence to spirit and protection for the heart so precious to us all.

I chanted ‘Dishi’ (breathe) as I planted myself firmer into the land taking deep breaths walking higher into hills and saw ancestors rising up, my grandparents, and father turning into a child, newly born. I spoke with conviction ‘not yet, not now’, Breathe, Wake up, and felt the struggle between life and death happening in my awareness and his parents standing ready.

He woke up, started breathing on his own to doctors’ amazement. And to us, it was the collective strength and praying that succeeded in the return of the spirit that is within this man. He wanted to live all along.

I will be grateful to this place forever and the fact that I was here at the time of my needing to be connected to the land that speaks the same language as my soul

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.

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.

Looking ahead

With Samhain and my birthday now past my new year has officially began. As always it has not been an easy transition in the weeks coming up to this week, to my ‘birth’ and ‘re-birth’ but now things yet again and getting calm and settled and I very much look forward to things to come in my new form, now that I am here again.

On Samhain night I had the ‘big dream’. One of those dreams that come rarely and you know its effects as not only it feels big, it manifests in life big. The overall sense is of arrival, achievement and transformation at its heart.

Ahead there is winter, which I love. It’s the time of year when I come alive, my energy sores to high levels and my creativity explodes. I very much enjoy the chill and crispiness in the air and should we have snow, a lot of snow that would just be a complete blessing. Every winter I pray and wish for snow.

Today my mind turns to goals and dreams for next year. The signature for 2019 is yet to be revealed and that’s what I would normally follow from a collective, spiritual growth and evolution points of view. 2018 has been absolutely wonderful, so new, so fresh and transformative. Full of peace, love, understanding, learning and coming to a place of beautiful simplicity in all aspects. It has been about clearing, moving away from noise and zooming in even more on a few things that matter, feeding my soul and looking after my family.

All the way through the year I have been full of gratitude, relationships that truly matter and releasing the last remaining things unwanted and not needed. Simplifying, clarifying, decluttering and creative space for love, warmth and purity to come in. We have paid all our debts and have enjoyed the process of discovering and re-learning new financial ways and realising how little we all need to be content. I have loved the process so much and have felt lighter, brighter and very fulfilled. I feel I have perfectly aligned with the signature of 2018, which was clear.

Signatures normally come into my awareness towards Yule or just after and I will be talking about that just as soon as I know. For now we are in the period of things behind us and things ahead of us, like dusk or dawn, beautiful spaces in-between filled with potential.

Many blessings!

On meditation

I have had a reflective Sunday today on the subject of meditation. I felt I just could not let it pass without doing one and it was a good and interesting experience. I am a strong believer in everything coming at the right time and today aligned intuitively with meditation subject, which also turned into some intuitive healing spell work, which I had sensed was on the cards last night. It took me on a long journey through very beautiful chakra colours. I had a meeting with the elements and crystals were pointed out in a way of integrating energies. Flowing, simple, incredibly soothing and perfectly aligned.

People talk about how meditation changes lives, removes fears and blocks, rids us of frustration and anxiety and so on. I wonder how interesting it is that by going within, which is essentially what meditation does, things become better. Why haven’t we always been going within, which would make the most sense to turn inwards for answers. It speaks loudly about our collective avoidance of ourselves, devaluing of our own resources and qualities. If it is a tool to know ourselves better. If that’s the case why doesn’t everyone do it?

External has dominated so many aspects of our lives for so long, concepts made up by men, rules of the society, ideas based on social conformity and abandonment of self, there is no wonder. It is incredible to think that we would turn away from the gold that lies ready and available within ourselves for the things that shine on outside, but have no depth or real value. It makes me very sad to think about it that way.

Meditation is going within, observing and honouring that breath that keeps us alive at all times. It is, indeed, powerful to notice our thoughts and patterns in which they come and go and most importantly where they go. We also notice how most of us don’t breathe, forget to breathe. We hold it, which creates all sorts of restrictions, blocks and anxieties within our bodies. We find sitting still difficult just as we find being alone difficult without external stimulation. Instead we aim to avoid and shut down. It is curious to imagine that it is easier to be without yourself than to be with yourself.

Meditation is a wide term for what your relationship is with yourself, it seems. We all can find our own way of meditating, practicing stillness and awareness. For me, it seems, meditation is just that being with myself as I am and where I am. Just there, present with all there is. Meditation can be done any time anywhere, as we speak, walk, sleep and sit with another. It is not just one way of relating to yourself, it is unique to each. For many years I was unable to meditate, afraid of what I would find within. That’s just it, it is that fear I referred to earlier of being with and avoiding is much more habitual. I suspect it is similar to many. I remember wanting to cry every time I sit in meditation, which was hard, so I would abandon and distract myself with other things rather than paying attention to what was asking me to be present. I also at times had some powerful meditations, which left me in wonder and distress at the same time. There was too much within for my external self, adapted self to hold. Just think about that. We are proficient in being in our adapted selves positions yet our true self is hard to relate to. After years of therapy I am able to meditate and really understand what it means for me and what it does for me. It is once again an inclusion of the whole self just as it is, true and adapted, positive and negative, wounded and healed. As practice develops one becomes more curious, more at ease with experiences, feelings and lessons that come through sitting with oneself and in time it becomes soothing, comforting and full of wisdom. That wisdom that lies within each and every one of us is open and available if only we allow ourselves to go there and become aligned with what we were always meant to be.

Many blessings!

The ‘shadow’ Fire of summer

Fire element in distortion

I am exploring the wounded, sensitive point in my psyche that comes up in June, before Summer Equinox. It produced feelings of depression last year, which lasted all the way to Samhain – a long time. This year I am determined to un-tangled and look at what is going on with an aim to acknowledge, heal and integrate. It is the 3rd June and I have been feeling the now familiar energy rising within already. This feels very hard and resistance is overbearing. The defence is always distorted Fire, which is cruel, ugly, merciless, the kind that burns everything to ash without any hope of new growth or so it seems at the time. This Fire is very different to a healthy Fire, which I would normally tap into during winter, post Yule and that energizes me to a degree of high productivity, enthusiasm, high energy and success.

Fire element in its distorted state prevents life from flowing, yet a healthy manifestation offers a chance for a re-birth. Fire is a glorious element, as it is transformative. We often have to burn, be in pain in order for something else to manifest through it. Calcinatio operation in the alchemical process.

This Fire stops a part of me being seen, it blocks any possibility of reconciliation within the psyche and ‘burns’ everything in my physical reality. Yet, we do come back from it every year and every time I look back on it with bewilderment and gratitude for having survived the ‘war’. It often feels like it. Sometimes it goes on for a month or two, other times it lasts longer and it can be exhausting.

I am writing this in hope that it might resonate with many and to explore/explain what happens when we reject, suppress parts of ourselves we are not willing to bring back, integrate and look at. One might refer to it as the material, which resides deep within our psyche and now and again pops out to say hello and we are in no way thrilled to welcome them back. Then a battle commences to avoid, resist, push it back and not having to deal with whatever it is that is asking to come back.

In my case this is my inner child – an extremely sensitive, delicate, vulnerable self that to the rest of me is so overwhelming I get thrown off-balance every time I feel her approaching. In order to defend I tap into my anger self and take a position of a distorted Fire, which is the only way I know how to send my ‘vulnerable self’ back to where it came from. My desire to project becomes almost unbearable, which tells us how difficult it feels for me to contain feelings of that inner child that comes into full view. When previously attempting to heal this I always resorted to giving it away to someone else, who is better equipped to look after it. It had worked for some time, but this time it seems that it wants me to take her in. It wants to come back from exile.

In dreams this part of me comes as one particular person, which I have come to recognise. It always appears a gentle, good part of me that everyone loves, apart from myself. In dreams as it wants to get close to me (not others even though they are more than happy to take her in) I begin my process of avoiding and running away from it. Last night I had such a dream and reflecting back I do recognise having been doing the ‘rejecting’, but on another level wanting to get close to it also and that’s where the clue lies towards integration. Not all is lost. In the dream last night the soft part of me also decided to reject me and that really hurt. It jumped on a ‘runaway’ train seeking separation from me and expressing its disappointment. That hurt. It is not that I don’t want to, but more I can’t bring myself, don’t know how to deal with it. I reject before it rejects. This plays out in my physical reality in a way of projecting exactly that. What I am projecting is the anger with myself and seeming inability to deal with the vulnerable self. Anger is also laced in disappointment, shame, self-punishment, etc., which also manifests in real life and is projected outwards when the angry self becomes shaming of others, expressing disappointment openly and emotional eating, e.g.

These insights are the first steps towards the ultimate goal of integration. My dreams and being aware of my emotions as I awake every day have been invaluable to me in reaching a position of clarity of what is happening within my psyche and physical body, a key to my conscious and unconscious material. Post-insight comes an even clearer awareness and links are made with the day-to-day manifestation of wounds and conditions, i.e. what one does in their physical reality, relationships, work, etc. that manifests that behaviour. Once awareness is established then come choices, processes we put in place to attempt to heal, trial an error, if you like, but nevertheless there are choices. There are opportunities to put things in place in order to move forward. Healing comes from acceptance and a successful implementation of all of the above and integrating day by day, learning a new way of relating to yourself first and foremost before it becomes harmonious on outside with relationships with others.

Insight – Awareness – Choices – Acceptance – Healing – Integration

I am going on a journey with this part of my process actively this month. It is a challenging time, as we build up towards the ultimate Fire festival and Sun in its full power in nature. My aim is not to get hooked and blow it out to a point of losing control completely. This year it is going to be different and what is not present as much I feel, which is a blessing and new, is fear to engage with difficult stuff. This time I know deep down that if we fear ourselves we fear our potential at the same time and fearing potential is a limiting outlook, which simply doesn’t help us progress. The aim is to put things into a healthy flow, into an energy of progressing with purpose without resistance.

Have a good week.

 

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?