Repairing the Whole

lighted car in winding road
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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

 

SOUL LAND chapbook sale

Dear Guests and Friends,

Soul Land is available at a discount and author-signed paperback copies are available directly from me. Matching e-book price, which you can find on Amazon if you prefer ebooks.

soul land

ORDER HERE 

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.

‘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.

Comparing lands’ signatures and emotional healing

North Wales, Snowdonia. So peaceful here. The land lulls you gently into comfort and quiet, soothingly singing a gentle tune. The land’s signature is of a simple life, uncomplicated by any depth of emotion or tragedy, I feel. It is an old land with ancient roots, no doubt, steeped in tradition, but it feels like whatever conflict there might have been it is resolved and the land enjoys a life of simple pleasures. Spirit here is pure and gentle of a colour white. It is felt all around, but ever so slightly. It is in the background and not at all overwhelming. Mostly in the mountains and rocks one would meet the land’s spirits and they are all of a vibration of support and nurture. They continuously tell a story, always talking and if you sit quietly you can clearly hear a narration, which again, like a lullaby, sends you to a place of peace and comfort.

In contrast Scotland’s spirit is rich and troubled, one might say. It carries the land’s history through its glens, mountains and lakes and the strength and power of it can’t be denied. It is in your face penetrating through skin. I am deeply affected emotionally and get sensory overwhelm every time I am in the land. It taps into my shadow signature of violence, loss, grief and bloodshed. Even madness, I’d say, is present in the mixture of what is the land’s spiritual heritage. It stands proudly in its stunning beauty, very protective and wary of strangers. It is anything, but peaceful.

Perhaps, I sometimes reflect it is not a place I ought to be as I align with my past pain addiction when there. I get thirsty for the sensation of attachment to all that the land’s spirit represents. Over the years I certainly understood why I feel the way I do when I am there and why my spiritual awakening had to occur in Scotland. I remember it vividly when all my senses shut down and a strange mixture of deep grief and pure ecstasy entered my awareness all at the same time. I was then given a task to start working it all out and an incredible process of awakening began.

Amidst Snowdonian mountains and forests I feel good. I always had in a way I never do when in Scotland. That place is hard to describe even now, it simply goes beyond me. There I don’t feel safe necessarily, well, perhaps only when on an Isle away from the main land (recent discovery). I feel on guard and bereft but also so incredibly touched and moved in a way I can’t put into words. I feel like my heart breaks when I am there and when I am away from it, both. You can read my other posts about my feelings for the land and my difficulties staying away from it.

Perhaps, I thought this time round while in Snowdonia is that I am aligning more and more these days with the signature of light and peace without needing or wanting to be anywhere else emotionally or spiritually. Perhaps, my light is no longer in the shadow and I have found and settled into the oasis that I had always sought – inner peace.

I can see myself returning to Wales over and over again just to be what I am when I am there, living in the moment with no rush of any kind and a slower way of being in peace and tranquility.

Perhaps, Scotland will remain a mystery for a little while longer and the role of it in my life will become clearer as I continue my exploration and relationship with the land…

 

A letter to myself

inner wisdom

I opened a letter today, which I stored in a safe place back in May this year. A letter from the Goddess to myself, from my wise-self, from my inner voice and spirit. I felt it was the right time to open it up and read it again and, as always, the timing has turned out to be just right for the messages, which go beautifully with the process of re-birth, re-integration, release and grounding in life.

“Dear Natalia,

Oh, why so sad, impatient, grumpy? Where is the light of softness? What are you being and becoming?

Help is all around you. Love is all around you

An embrace of your son. A reassuring chest of your husband.

I am also here always out and in.

What are your convictions, priorities, morals? What is the core of your religion?

You find and settle on that and you will find peace.”

This reminds yet again to take myself back to what I have right now and what is essential vs non-essential.

Have a blessed day!

Coming back to yourself – identity and spirit

russian forest in autumn

As a psychotherapist and a transpersonal approach practitioner the aim of my work with clients is to facilitate making ‘whole’ and help clients get back to themselves, get back ‘home’.

This time of year brings me closer to my roots, to my ancestors of birth and land. I begin communicating with and seeing them more clearly. My food changes according to how they had eaten and I occupy myself with activities, music, books that had been familiar to them. Most of those traditions are closely woven with nature cycles, seasons. My home and people carry nature in their blood. It is as natural to us as mother’s milk. All traditions and customs that we undertake every season is never questioned by anyone. They are observed in a way that flows very naturally between generations, genders and ages. There is this common knowing, understanding and love of nature. We are in a very close relationship with all things nature. Spirit, emotions, intellect and physical sensations can all be linked to our expression through a relationship with nature. There are references to it in literature, poetry, music and language is filled with a variety of descriptions of moods, changes and emotion-evocative experiences. Nature is a living breathing being for my ancestors and myself.

What happened to me five years ago was a shift, a push towards ‘home’, back to myself. I needed to get back to my roots from which I also needed to cut off for some time in order to survive and fit in. I had to start a process of remembering, re-integration, re-igniting of my knowledge, resonance and love of what roots and home meant for me. This journey also connected me to the land that I currently live on and through finding striking similarities in the landscape and the emotions that it evoked in me, that remembering of ‘home’ journey became very rich and fulfilling. The process happened with nature spirit flowing through me at all times. I connected to my roots through learning and remembering about trees, weather patterns, the elements, magic, plants, my love for certain things in nature and remembering and connecting who I was then and who I am now in terms of what spirit lives within me.

I am writing this after watching a wonderful presentation on ‘Identity and spirituality’ as part of my CPD and it reminded me of my own process of connecting with my roots and establishing a solid knowing and understanding who I am now through who I was then and the process of becoming and evolving. It is the process of finding what is at the centre of my being.

In my practice I feel passionate about working with both issues, identity and spirituality, and both are closely linked in making ‘whole’.

It opens up discussion about your beliefs on whether we are spiritual beings having an experience on Earth or are we human beings with a spiritual nature. It might mean the same to some, to others there are clear differences. It would depend on your own personal experiences regarding spirit and beliefs about life on earth and afterlife. To me, spirit is an integral part of who we are along with our other aspects or functions, cognitive, emotional, physical and all operate together and ideally harmoniously. However, where there is a lack of presence or distorting in operation in one or more of these functions then a ‘whole’ is disturbed. For example, a person struggles to express their emotions or their thoughts are distorted or they manifest their difficulties rooted in the mind or heart through the body or their spirit is asleep or remains unreachable or unknown. In my work as a transpersonal therapist I aim to bring a person into balance, and to get all functions/aspects operating together and in harmony.