Repairing the Whole

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Transpersonal: hope, strength, potential

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity…

William Butler Yeats

 

When all falls away what is left?

What we are experiencing is a crisis on many levels and what’s at the centre of it is a breakdown of the ‘whole’, a psycho-spiritual crisis of individual and collective. We are facing a long and dark night of the soul. When things no longer make sense, our minds race uncontrollably and feelings overwhelm our every day, fear-based behaviours flare out of control and our safety is compromised. When personal and collective fall away what and how transpersonal can help us get back to ourselves, get back ‘home’.

What are we left with? What else is there?

Transpersonal approach to psycho-spiritual work deals with the idea of human innate potential and bears witness to personal transformations through engaging with or experiencing something beyond ‘self’ when in crisis. Hope reawakens, inner potential begins to shine through and strength previously seemingly inaccessible comes back. As a therapist I have been privileged to be a witness to profound shifts in individuals when working in a transpersonal way. Working with life transitions and crisis is one of my favourite areas due to an openness and beauty of experience that can be had once transformation occurs through awareness, reflection and application. The beauty and resilience of the human spirit is profound. Transpersonal way of working for me, first and foremost, is an interconnectedness and the quality of being with another that holds the key to an effective recovery of all that matters.

When we are faced with crisis we can look at losing something as a way of gaining something else; an opportunity, a ‘welcomed’ surrender without resistance. In breaking down we break through. The crisis becomes a golden opportunity to self-actualise, a path towards what one always wanted to be. Crisis becomes a road ‘home’ towards inner wholeness.

How can transpersonal view help in a time of crisis? Transpersonal psychology ideas were birthed out of humanistic movement of the 1960s and have been widely used in psycho-spiritual work and incorporated in a field of psychotherapy. The actual term ‘transpersonal’ was first used by C Jung in 1917. I see transpersonal approach to healing and life in general as an active, purposeful engagement with ideas such as, hope, meaningful life, human innate potential, divine nature within us all – all of which create a ‘whole’ of life experience. It includes interconnectedness between earthly and spiritual, cognitive and emotional, physical and sensory, person and interpersonal, inner and outer, individual and collective. We have an opportunity to start with ourselves and extend our essential life-force and divine energy outwards. We can do so through nourishing thoughts and meaningful actions, emotional intelligence and awareness, intentional creative life, honouring of the body, practicing enchantment of life and spiritual awareness in a way that makes the most sense to us.

When all structures around us collapse, pillars that held our earthly lives in place, where do we turn for help and containment? What happens to our identity and personal concerns? Through history we have seen individuals, as well as, nations collectively ‘rising from the ashes’ when a surge in consciousness comes forth and personal diminishes. We access our strength, hope and potential in a place beyond personal. We can call it faith, spiritual awareness, experience that has no words, yet its power cannot be denied and transformations are inevitable.

Better knowing your nature one can be more effective in the world and seeing that we are not just one or the other, thoughts or feelings we are the whole experience of life in all its spectrums. In dropping into the dark we discover the light and with light taken away darkness serves as a lesson towards change.

As a result of a crisis what we ultimately look for is:

A path to consciousness through harnessing the unconscious

Inner and outer transformation (individual and collective)

Coming to awareness of the interconnected reality

Joining back in with the individual and collective ‘whole’

Spiritual connection to the divine

What we can do:

Turn within with love, compassion and trust

Have faith in knowing that our potential is limitless. Potential within us all is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. When all the external noise, defences, unconscious actions no longer dominate we can clearly see what really is available to us from within.

Become conscious of your unconscious through paying attention to your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Focus on your personal (with yourself), interpersonal (with others) and extra-personal (transpersonal, spiritual, divine) relationships.

Self-reflect with every step paying attention to words you speak

Be present through the body either through grounded visualizations or other activities that connects you to the physical. I find digging the earth, planting, gardening, walking or running very revelatory, cantering, meditative and often spiritual experiences.

Care-take your insights and implement into life as a way of practicing change, growth and transformation

Know what brings you joy and pleasure; what makes your passion burn; what actions make your life fulfilling and meaningful

“Everything living thrives for wholeness” (C. Jung) and it is wholeness we need to reclaim and rebuild following multiple fractures, isolation, disconnection and loss on a huge scale. Use the crisis to begin the work of rebuilding earthly and spiritual reality based on what matters to you. Spiritual to you might be finding meaning in life or creating a practice that allows you a space where you are most productive, loving, and compassionate. Through individual healing and awareness of the transpersonal, whichever way you choose to access it, use it as a helping hand, a reminder of ‘something more, something better’, we can weave threads of consciousness, however, small at first, as long as there is intention and inner belief in what we can truly do when we commit to healing and recovery.

When all falls apart what’s left is the extraordinary spirit that shines within us all, the innate natural capacities to do things unimaginable that often come force when we are faced with crisis. Through the light of consciousness step-by-step, piece-by-piece we pave the road ‘home’, back to ourselves, a road back to wholeness.

by Natalia Clarke

From Weathering the Storm by Moon Books collective

 

Life purpose redefined

Have you tapped into your life purpose via automatic programming or through the call of your soul? Those are two different things entirely.

It occurred to me the other day that stories that we tell ourselves are very often resonate with us because our minds, although useful, are very skilful at tricking us, convincing us that something is true. It is particularly true when a mind is given power over the heart and how we feel, or we by-pass the heart when making a decision or want to know if something is true for us. This is living a life through old patterns and conditions, I.e. ‘what we should be doing’, spoken in a voice not our own.

There’s a subtle energy that, however, remains waiting to be heard and I tapped into that subtlety lately that as soon as I considered an alternative magnified in its true form. This energy is a stirring of your soul, your inner voice wanting to be heard. This is your soul calling.

The times we are in right now are interesting in a way that these subtle energies I speak of are surfacing again and again, like a message in a dream that repeats. All it wants is to catch our attention so we just might change our view on the truth that we have been living.

I have come to be aware of falling into ‘conditioning’ life purpose rather than a soul purpose. It is now so clear, so what is required is a complete redefining how I serve and be here and now. It doesn’t mean everything needs to be thrown out, no, but a fine-tuning and a change in where the truth comes from (soul centre) needs to come forth. Work with me if you are curious to find out for yourself if your life purpose you desire or living is in alignment with what your soul wants. Work with me

Times we are in right now are pure gold in a way of inviting us to transform, showing us that certain patterns no longer work as we keep on bumping into the same blocks, same stuckness over and over. It is time this cycle expired. One way that works solidly is asking yourself, as a practice, every morning ‘what does my soul want, need and ask for’? Begin the flow of each day from a place of your soul and not a pattern of what ‘should be’ or expected of you. See if messages new and refreshing start coming in and change the way you feel.

I found this process of looking at my life purpose from a different perspective so illuminating and encouraging. I feel grateful for his particular insight that feels like a long way coming. Remember one thing – Soul always includes you in the equation and if you have not been including yourself into the whole life purpose habitually over and over that is one sign you might be falling into a trap of a life purpose expected of you rather than what your soul calls you to do. Big difference between the two.

Happy exploration.

Life and death as one

life and death

Not taking risks, avoiding what we perceive as ‘risky’ implies that there’s no freedom in our choices only a stagnant, familiar and constrained. Life imprisoned is like constant death anxiety. Surely the more death is feared the more we should embrace life yet we ignore it as if death is not present in life but something of a distant abstract idea, concept that is never to materialise.

Being free in life means being free in death, not afraid of taking a turn unconventional, perhaps, but something that calls us in the moment. Mistake, you say? That’s an instant regret about choosing freedom. That’s beating yourself up about having courage to live in the moment. There are no mistakes only a decision taken in the moment, a choice. How we take that turn is up to us. Will be go for it unconditionally and without attachment to an outcome, or cautiously with a degree of fear in the background. Both are valid to some extent and both are possible.

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Searching for…

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Searching for what I know not

The invisible, senseless, shapeless something

Grabbing on to nothingness of what’s there

Where? Here? Not now, not yet, not ever…

What do we search for? Meaning, fulfilment, purpose, love, joy, happiness? Moving towards having our needs met, things, adventures and people that make our lives full and our hearts singing, feeling useful and present in life, noticed, heard and seen. What do we want? We want to live and not fade into nothingness, that scary uncertain place no one wants to talk about, but let’s. It is not nothingness or empty when a life lived fully can be felt in our blood and expressed even in our last breath. Dying well, dying knowing and conscious holding on to love and vision to the last moment. Preparing to travel to places unseen and unknown.

Searching is a natural element of life, like a flowing river always on the run not knowing where it will end or will settle, but it does, I am sure it does and perhaps, then the flow begins again? Like trees stripped of their foliage every year come back to blooming again at some point. Trust, faith in growth and movement of life protects and comforts and it is jumping on board of the train seemingly running away into nothingness or river flowing into place unknown, it is that jumping into life that will carry us through and will lead us to whatever we are searching for. It is a journey of searching, questioning, which contains periods of peace and settled feeling, contentment, slowing down, picking up pace again. It is in the mixture and variety, colour and moments of dull despair and the darkest night there is life itself, which is the meaning of it all. Life is the meaning of life.

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver

Existential…

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We are born, we bloom and we die. What of those in-between spaces? That is day-to-day living, those are the moments, of which life consists.

Today, it feels like the past is gone and the future is doubtful and uncertain. There is death anxiety present and struggles with staying in the present moment. ‘What if, if only, can I, when this and that’, how will I, what if I don’t, I suppose I will have to’, etc. – these phrases run through the mind over and over.

Yesterday I had a vision of my life going forward. I have seen what is there potentially on offer in the next 20 years and it felt good, comforting, grounding and certain, as opposed to feeling very unsettled and doubtful in the last week. It looked contained, structured with challenges and transitional points clearly outlined, but what it didn’t outline was the way one would deal with it and what the actual outcome would be. That is life and no one knows for certain. There weren’t that many things out there, to be honest, it felt clean, clear and peaceful and would present a good life path for anyone, in my opinion. I like that existential language, which often sounds harsh and direct, which goes ‘this is your lot, this is what you’ve got at your disposal, what are you going to do with it or about it?’. I used this with my own clients a few times and it has that vibration of ‘wake up and smell the coffee’. It is startling, but refreshing if allowed to be present with. It is calling to look at life and present circumstances in a very real way (reality check) and see what can be done and how and be aware of the feelings. It is very ‘present moment’, life here and now and what can we do now in order to feel alive and really living. It is calling us to define in a way what we are about and what we want from however many years we might have. I like the idea of knowing what your purpose is and living it out, so to speak, similar to making a decision and sticking to it. I like that vibration of decisiveness and clarity of route.

I haven’t been in this place before, I don’t think, and if I have been it didn’t come through in the same way. This is really existential. Having gone through a spiritual journey and revival of my soul nature (transpersonal approach), which continues every day, and having looked at childhood set-up and my past (psychodynamic psychotherapy) and worked on self-growth and potential (humanistic approach) what is coming up now is the look at life as it is currently with all there is there, facing cross-roads and defining meaning (humanistic) going forward. It offers options and when one can see a potential path of how things could play out. It gives you certainty to a degree providing one is happy with the vision of their future. I am happy with it for now, as who knows what tomorrow will bring. There is safety in knowing, for sure, and fear in not knowing, absolutely. Both are very valuable. Security and certainty provides a good feeling and so does a vibe of adventure, freedom in a sense of not knowing anything at all. Providing I make it through the years and those around me make it there is a strong chance we make the vision a reality and what a lovely picture that is. In the meantime we live every day as if it is the last doing our best and feeling present and meaningful in our interactions and activities we partake in and feeling ok on the inside. Notice how ‘I’ became ‘we’ in the last few sentences, as I write completely intuitively. There is some meaning in there somewhere pointing towards a collective, community purpose with myself playing a role.

This phase can be scary and they don’t call it an existential crisis for nothing, as one of the most common descriptions. This, however, really resonates with my personality in terms of questioning, finding meaning and certainty within and following a natural course of life with a few challenges and hardships, but also bagging joyful and precious moments of any day like a beautiful sunrise and a good night sleep, a good meal and a smile of a child. It is all in that in-between space of life, in between we are born, we bloom and we die.