The winter of love

heart chakra

The next couple of posts are significant in recording my journey towards ‘home’, myself and wholeness this year. It was crystal clear towards the end of 2017 that 2018 was to be the year of doing things completely differently, stepping out of life as we know it, as we created it, looking outside the box and leaving your comfort zone. It makes me realise now how important it is to align with the yearly signatures, as when in the same flow and not resisting, avoiding or going against, it aids our progression. Often all that is needed is readiness to listen, to change and embrace all the qualities within us as facilitators on our journey. As Alfred Adler said that it is not about surrendering to your safety zone supported by safe guiding behaviours, i.e. not believing that you can change and keeping yourself blocked indefinitely using the same ways of being over and over, “withdrawing from the challenge of life”. It is about facing life head on, adopting a more courageous approach. We are capable of courageous behaviour provided we are willing to engage in it. This resonates with the process of psychotherapy, which is a journey one undertakes towards adopting and cultivating a more courageous, engaging approach to life, working towards changes that are needed for a more fulfilling life. Over and over I have witnessed clients stepping courageously into areas of great difficulty and facing life head on. It makes my job a very rewarding and humbling experience to bear witness to human resilience and strength of spirit.

So, 2018 is such year when the space is open for us to step into with an open heart and an attitude of something different. I have found this process extremely revealing about the potential within and one that puts you in touch with the whole of your personality. All that is needed is openness and willingness to engage.

My 2018 winter has been profoundly peaceful, calm and gentle time. For the first time in years it was very different. Usually it is a Fire element space for me when I am dynamic, energetic and very productive, a time I engage with various projects and manifest a lot. Not this year. I counsciously decided to stay ‘still’. It almost effortlessly unfolded into a process of me connecting to my heart centre and sides of myself I had not experienced for as long as I remember. I have not felt my own niceness or softness, e.g. for such a long time I forgot, therefore this feeling was new, different yet also imbedded in the knowledge that it was there all along within me. The book that I spent reading throughout winter sang to my heart gently and with each page I felt my being becoming lighter, more open, and softer and engaged with LOVE.

Freeing the Heart (2001) 

After seven years of painstakingly difficult process of opening my heart I felt I was finally there and I still am today. Throughout my life I went through experiencing transcendent love towards another, which stood the test of time. I also visited places completely devoid of love. I spent frequent days of terror not knowing if I was ever to come back from that place where love didn’t exist. Again and again I felt love abandoning me and literary forgetting what that was and feeling nothing for anyone for periods of time. I can truly say that was always one of the scariest experiences in my life, you see, I never knew if love would come back and that felt terrifying. My heart disappeared. Images that I went through in my journey was heart in a cage, bleeding, having a huge piece of glass wedged into it, shrunk heart, a stone and many more. You can read other posts on my blog about my work with connecting with the heart.

This winter I fell in love with my husband and my son all over again in a way I hadn’t felt before. There was deep sense of acceptance and compassion. It was a place where conditions didn’t exist and all I had was a beautiful flow of being present with love minute after minute, day after day. The world around me appeared the same yet my heart was lighter witnessing things much slower, which previously would have thrown me into places uninviting. Most of all I started to ‘fall in love’ with myself, more precisely becoming aware of my essential qualities, my ability to love, give and participate in life in a way that flows not blocks or rejects. It is difficult to put into words and I can only say that this was profound, new, transformative and beautiful. It was as if I was transforming, but actually I was merging back into the self I always was and meant to be.

I noticed how my mind calmed and as it did my heart began to grow open and it no longer felt scary or unsafe. It felt like I was home. In terms of the elements I would connect it to Water element most of all and this winter it was all about water element in its purest form. My opening of the heart was steady, slow, gentle like a bubbling brook in a forest or a small river gently flowing through land. It was not a forceful roar of the ocean or crashing waves of the sea. This makes sense to me. Water has been my shadow element for as long as I remember. It is also my birth element. Aligning and merging with my own Water element made the process of coming home even sweeter.

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Romancing with a Tree

tree talk

I go on walks often, sometimes I am called if there is a message for me to receive or a scar to attend to. Other times I feel my heart bursting with such gratitude I am in need of a walk in order to honour nature for all the gifts it bestows on my life and my spirit. Honouring nature in however small ways every day is how my spirit keeps its spark.
As I drove in my car this morning I was feeling an expansion of senses, a renewed energy that has come in during the night, and a slight happy tingling in the body. I knew then I ought to immerse myself in the spirit of my dear woods. Just then a crow flew very close to my windscreen as if to say ‘come, come, you are welcome’. I smiled to myself and said, ‘I am on my way’.
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Intuitive guidance ignored = Self-abandonment

self-love
We hear about self-love more and more these days in a sense that one must give oneself love in order to be able to give out into the world. There is a strong dissonance of energy between giving and receiving in the world generally. Often we are good at giving, but terrible at receiving. Sounds familiar? We have bought into the idea of unquestionable self-sacrifice and understanding receiving as bad, selfish, now allowed, even shameful. What we do is simply abandon ourselves each and every time tricking ourselves into believing we are doing something right. We abandon our own internal system of guidance, which, if only we listened, would move us towards our highest self and our soul’s purpose. We listen to one internal voice, which stems from years of internalised belief that we are bad if we don’t give out fully and we are not good enough if we allow ourselves to receive. By listening to one voice, we ignore another, which is our intuitive guidance of the soul carrying messages of love and compassion. We rationalise why something makes us feel good, something that comes from inside, no, we don’t have time to stop and listen, we must go on with doing and giving and often making ourselves invisible and ill in the process.

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‘A heart in a cage’ dream

Heart_in_a_Cage_by_MichaelFurre

My intentions for this year is to attempt the process of releasing pain that had taken residence within my energetic bodies for a very long time. I have carried it all with devotion and protection. No one ever could or would be allowed to come in.

Expansion into love, beauty, softness and courage is a path I would like to step on this year. Here comes a challenge of not doing everything by myself, not suffering in silence and allowing someone else to show me love and helping me heal. My therapist has a job on her hands that’s for sure.

Last year I managed to learn and embrace the concept of not allowing MORE pain to come in through saying ‘no’ and standing much stronger in my power. It has been very hard, but did pay off in huge ways and I have been able to see and feel the difference in not filling up that ‘pain’ cup, which is inside, with more pain, suffering and negative vibrations. I had been a receiver and a carrier of other people’s traumas and tragedies as much as having my own grief and pain to look after. I learnt to live with it so well to the point it has become the most familiar and safe place to be. I just get pain, I know it, I can carry and hold a lot of it.

My dream last night demonstrated perfectly what is happening within and it shows progress and forward movement in my process. It is so striking that this image should come in already with such clarity of presentation. Things are about to start moving already and it is good news. My heart is in a cage, however, compared with last year when I could not feel, see or find my heart at all, I woke up trembling with my heart beating with such force in my chest I had to lie and absorb that movement for quite a while. It was one of those bitter/sweet experiences, in between joy and sorrow. Last year my heart was frozen, dead even and no amount of healing, meditating, going within would move it. Think Snow Queen, think all archetypes of the wounded feminine, which was once soft, but had to become hard to survive. It was incredibly painful just to be aware of the fact that the heart within me was not alive to the point I could not connect to my body, to the vibration of love, or anything that is softer rather than harder. I know all of these vibrational signatures, I used my intellect to connect with the knowing of it, therefore, through a cognitive understanding I could still function within the emotional realm, yet that disconnection from the physical and emotional bodies had been ‘heart breaking’. To me heartbreak is not only when you feel your heart breaking into million of pieces and you feel the pain physically, but to me, the even harsher tragedy is when you feel nothing at all and unable to connect to what you know is there, yet it is unreachable.

This time, my heart is alive and bleeding in my dream even though it is still in a cage. There might be a piece of glass wedged in it just on the bottom. Last night I could clearly see and feel it. I cried tears of sorrow and joy at the same time, as at least, I felt, saw and experienced my heart again. In a dream it came in a cage. It is not liberated just yet, but at least it is alive. The sensation of it was similar to when you are about to scream and it is stuck in your throat or you see a hand putting a key towards a keyhole, yet you stop right before. It is like that. It is not yet coming out…

What came with the image is a message of how the process is likely to unfold. It will be done with love, softness, courage and seeing beauty in every single thing. It will be done through liberating it, not saving or rescuing. Through giving and receiving love that cage door will begin to open. I will have to be with the bleeding of my own heart for a while, but it is a bitter sweet sensation to me and I know this is necessary to connect with the flow of energy again and it is now accessible. Blood is a sign of life, rebirth and I can feel the new current of life radiating through me. Within that bleeding heart there is love, there is beauty, there is courage and strength.

heart_in_a_cage_by_iluvalldogs8-d3u6858

Heart in a Cage by MichaelFurre

michaelfurre.deviantart.com