I can see women rising from under the earth stretching their arms towards the sky. Those are not the Faye women or some mystical vision of goddesses unknown. Those women are the ones buried long before; those, whose voices were stolen and whose lives were taken branding them dangerous, sexual and raw. They are rising like a birch forest to proclaim a new life.
They are not to declare war or revenge they are to be in a way that is impossible to ignore or enslave. Golden, auburn, jet black hair tangling up trees as they rise up with rivers increasing in flow all around them and with a full power of a waterfall smash it back into the earth. Cloud part and close up in a dance of light and dark, an incoming storm and sunshine.
What do they want? A new manifestation without hatred or punishment but magic, intuition, nourishment to the bone and a voice as deep and old as a soul, lost previously but never again. This time it won’t be possible as the light these women bring is blinding in a way that it transforms not destroys. It affects and unites, it invites and welcomes everything and everyone. They rise up with bodies establishing the rule of prime, a sense of pride in every cell they embody. The flesh is pulsating and nourishing, giving and receiving. No one is excluded from the new dance they get ready to perform.
Rise up the women of forgotten centuries. Rise up the female of the lost. The time is now. The world has always meant to be female from the beginning of time and space. She urged to be from the start and with the lost sisters of the dead but rising she will be again without ruling or battling but in her being she will be enough and more.
It is a period of wrapping things up in a wider sense of the beginning of the harvest season. To me it makes absolutely sense and after all is said and done what is left is a simple life, gratitude, people that we love, fulfilling work and creativity in every day with self-awareness, but not analysis. We are now done with analysis, I feel, and shifted towards moment-by-moment daily values and really breathing life in as it comes. This year has brought so many improvements to the ways things run, which is applicable to individual lives and the collective, and it is good to be able to look back and be grateful for having arrived at this point in the year and see how things were and how they are now through our own personal creation, tweaking, restructuring and letting things fall away as needed. The difference is huge. I am excited to start reaping the fruits/rewards of the seeds that I planted back in March. I remember that period of confusion, trepidation and nervous excitement of the unknown. Planting season always keeps me sane and grounded. Here we are with my land bursting with fresh organic produce that ends up on my plate and in my body. Very satisfying, indeed.
This summer for the first time in many years I am not depressed. I get seasonal summer depression (SAD in reverse) every year with no fail, but not this time. Instead I have been happy and noticed how I enjoy everything, however small, and gratitude has gone up a level also transforming to this shining light that doesn’t go out, but just accompanies me in everything that I do. I am able to be more and for longer and find it a lot more natural, up another level. I have learnt to stay in one place and be okay with it. I am slower and more intentional and what has been the most useful change is simplifying everything even more. For years I have had up to three jobs and multiple projects on the go all at the same time. I slowly reduced and culled in that area and this year it is the final alteration, I hope, to the whole work dynamic. I actually want to have just one job from here onwards – this is alien as you can imagine, but necessary. As always my way of living and being has been 100% intuitive and I attribute satisfactory results to my intuition, which I have never distrusted. I don’t know any other way to live at this point and it has truly changed my life many years ago when I stepped into understanding that my inner voice is the one I need to follow. My intuition is my magic.
My trip to Scotland this year has been utterly different too. I did wonder in the last year if things were going to change following a lot of work done on it last year and struggles and turmoil last summer. It did change in a very natural and gentle way. My predictions were correct and my work paid off. As I drove on empty roads in Argyll on the way to the islands I was surrounded by pine forests and wild flowers everywhere. I saw a cloak of grief not being there anymore. The lump in my throat was no longer there. I felt free, almost flying. I could finally exhale with ease. Sadness, overwhelm and confusion cleared up, evaporated and all I felt was the land just being there, unchanged, unshaken and blooming as usual. Immense comfort entered me and it remained unchanged for the duration of the trip. I felt happy every single day. I reached some sort of completion on my journey of seven years. The number, I realised, was significant, as every grief that comes my way is always intense and lasts for seven years exactly. This was no different.
Today I can say that the feeling of contentment and calm is here within me and very welcome it is too. Being back home is like slotting into a place that holds me. It is comfortable, snug and functional. It might not be my soul home, but it is a secure base, something I created and share with people that I love. There is beauty in that for sure. I look forward to autumn and winter immensely and getting back to writing and creating.
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.
Silence is a state where things do happen, but it is subtle. It appears in a natural order and flow of external and internal. It is not the absence of things, it is a different experience and a feeling of everything around.
Most of us know how pleasant silence can feel on outside. It is relaxing, soothing and spacious. We notice the silence around us especially when we seek it and our bodies welcome it. But external silence is useless if there’s an absence of silence within. To become silent from within is a real skill. It requires practice. When one masters internal silence and, by mastering I mean being able to come back to it over and over, not just experiencing it once, that’s where true pleasure and bliss is. Something I have been discovering over the years. When I am silent on the inside everything on outside slows down and softens. Triggers, hooks and reactions get muted somehow. They still happen but there is no noise or longevity to any of it. That state is truly and genuinely blissful. Body is relaxed in a real sense through the physical, not through mental visualisation of relaxation.
One of the first things I practiced when started exploring inner silence was to remain silent when on outside there was a situation that would ordinarily provoke a reaction or had a potential to trigger an emotion. I practiced not reacting and remaining silent and there it began to happen, the softening, the flow, the non-attachment. It felt freeing and like something new was entering my experience. It felt healing, delicate and utterly compassionate to myself and others. Inner silence is neutralising to any outside turmoil, external wars that we are presented with all the time in life. Furthermore, it appeared to neutralise my own historical wounds that would normally open and start to hurt. Instead it felt balm-like, a gentle stroke or a silky, most delicate feeling of pacifying everything. It didn’t feel false or forced, avoidant or resistant. Everything just was as it was only with the inner silence I remained intact and so did the world around me.
I have been on a life-long journey towards inner peace. Since I was a small child I knew that’s what was missing not just in me but in everyone around me. It’s no surprise for anyone with this physical reality and all we go through and finding peace amidst it all felt important. Remaining silent, taking a sacred pause was something that worked compared to all other methods that I now know came from a mental-state involvement. We simply can’t think ourselves peaceful. It has to be on a feeling level, on a physical body level, on a level that allows a different space to open up. We all have that space within but finding it takes a long time and it is so worth it when one does.
I am looking to further my experience and practice of inner silence and wonder what else can lead there. It needs and wants to be practiced on a collective level almost due to how it feels and effect it has on everything. I invite you to try finding your way of finding inner silence and truly feel it.
My relationship with Scotland has been profound over the years, as many of you will know. I have travelled north, south, through central parts and inner and outer isles and in each place I discovered a part of myself that showed me various truths about what life and love means to me, reminded me of profound grief and loss and soothes me into a sense of peace and quiet. Most of all nature understanding within and without is something I will always see as a priceless gift I was given in this lifetime.
This year things have broken down literary on this path of my relating to the land and lessons have been huge. I felt as if the land spat me out all ragged and wounded with a sense of self lost and disintegrated. My heart broke and I disconnected from everything and everyone as a result. I left the land exhausted and ill not wanting to look back.
Now the storm is over and I have grounded into the earthly quality of autumn once again I am beginning to reflect on my journey so far and clear a way forward in this profound connection I feel to the land and to myself subsequently. I am setting an intention to redefine this connection, fine-tune it. I am evaluating and comparing my experiences and looking at various sides of myself that have come forward as a result of my journey through the land. Where the wild North torn me to pieces and stripped me of the ground beneath my feet, isles got me in touch with a quiet of my internal possibilities and the central part always held me steady I am clearly defining places that I want to engage with going forward. It is almost like I am creating healthy boundaries for myself like with any other relationship. I know where to go and what not to engage with necessarily for my own peace and vitality as well as for maintaining balanced relationships with significant others in my life. In terms of the elements I know that woodland (Earth) vibrates on the closest level to what I am deep down, whereas the sea is quite far from my essence, although lakes and rivers (water but on a gentler scale) are singing the song my soul recognises. It’s natural. Mountains are incredibly supportive and holding to me and with their spaciousness (Air) I find the balance in my breath (this took time).
I now know that after surrendering to the utterly wild side of myself and the land where there is no mercy on soul or body I now seek balance, warmth and gentleness instead. I want to feel safe and contained. Those are the qualities I want to cultivate further and one particular place I feel can support me in that. Interestingly enough it is a place where I visited Scotland first. So I have come a full circle, one might say, and returned to the understanding of myself on a much deeper level and what truly matters to me in this life.
I am publishing my poetry collection Soul Land soon as a tribute to my spiritual love affair with the land over the last few years. Watch the space.
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.
In 2018 I have gone on a journey of tuning into myself, the world around me with nature continuing to be my sacred, supportive and grounding space on a month by month basis and it has been an incredible way of getting to know myself. I have not just been surprised but amazed at various things that I didn’t even know existed.
I took an approach of keeping a journal taking one month at a time, January, February, March, etc. Focusing my awareness of what happens within me at any given moment, things that arise when engaging with people and partaking in events or when being silent or walking in nature. Feelings that come up for me spontaneously and consciously, when in here and now, when asleep, dream observations, etc.
The main aim of the exercise was sharpening my awareness of myself in terms of qualities, strengths, weaker points, triggers, ways of relating, preferences in being, how well-balanced or unbalanced something was within and tuning into needs that were either always met or never met. These are just some examples of this practice.
Here’s a list of qualities I have discovered and zoomed in for each month as I became aware of those energies in me. Just to give you an example and yes, a lot of it surprised me and offered and opportunity for change.
Once we become aware of something we then are offered a choice automatically. We can choose what we do with that newly found information. That’s a beauty of making unconscious conscious. You can go as deep as you wish into what you discover, or observe it simply as it is or both.
I have truly experienced myself as ‘nice’. This might sound strange, but I saw just how divorced I have been from myself in that sense. This time I felt it, really felt it and knew that to be true. I enjoyed that one. Beautiful sensation.
I spent most of the month in a state of light and loving kindness. It was all about love, the pure kind, the transcendent kind. Another beautiful state. I was made aware that I am
able to go to that place a lot easier than I have given myself credit for in the past.
I was able to transform my relationship with the physical pain and learnt to listen to it.
And so it goes… each month there will be a theme or a feeling that would centre around me and ask tor attention and I would journal around what came up. I have had an incredible year and partly that was due to my conscious choosing of being aware at all times and in tune with what arose without trying to fight it or change it. I observed myself and wrote about it.
At the end of the calendar year I was full of lessons and knowing more than I did last year. My experiment in active personal evolving has been very rewarding and highly interesting. I would recommend this self-awareness tool to everyone looking to dive deeper into finding out more about themselves including a much subtler layers of psyche, not just things that might be familiar or obvious. Super fun. Writing as a tool is generally transformative and healing. If you enjoy writing this one won’t disappoint.
This is something I think I will always continue doing in one form or another. It is now January and I find myself in a very different place to where I was this time last year and it grabs my attention and spikes curiosity. I am excited to enter into any new space that opens up in front of me. Remaining in wonder is an essential part of life to me and for as long as awareness, enchantment and tapping into potential is there, life is full of all things interesting.