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.

Healing powers of the Land and music

Anxiety and panic attacks struck me like an unexpected dark storm and my ground began to slide from under my feet. I found myself in a ball of terror unable to go out and without a voice. I was scared to cry, my chest was constricted and tight. There was fear in the whole of my being.

I felt sadness and grief, but no ability to express it, which is directly linked for me with past trauma. I seem to be hooking into this position for a few years running now about this time of year where such energy becomes dense and concentrated and just strikes me motionless and paralyses all life within me. This is also linked to freedom, family obligations, which in no way align with what I believe in and grief and death, which again don’t really belong to me. In this darkness I seem to be unable to find that light, which contradicts the season and what I should be doing.

I guess what I am describing is a sort of hijacking of my ‘light’ and feeling imprisoned by all things irrelevant and hurtful to me. I am beginning of think that changes must occur and, perhaps, this is going to be the biggest challenge yet for me to transform this insight into a reality where I feel contained and safe. I sure don’t want to experience this again come next year. There is work to do.

We are approaching Yule and I have always loved this festival and I love the darkness but in a different way, in a way of needing to go deeper willingly, not being hijacked by stuff irrelevant, and in that sense being stopped from going deeper on my own terms, in my own time, I suppose. This stuff seems to want to keep me on the surface, on a level filled with fear and immobility devoid of heart feeling. My darkness understanding is the opposite yet I can’t seem to get there for I have to deal with stuff that hits me in the face and demands not just my attention but it demands me being in prison and silenced.

Yesterday I was unable to leave my bed after a sleepless night filled with episodes of anxious unrest and fear. My chest felt like a stone, stuck within a place where it felt like my heart would stop beating any minute. Love was draining out of me and anger was present, tears wouldn’t come and breath was barely present. Trapped.

Lying under my blanket I was desperate for a solution, for some hope I would be ok again. I must mention that these attacks are recent phenomenon, even though they began a few years back, they don’t come often, but in recent years becoming frequent and that is how I am able to recognise it now well. I plugged into music (below) and began my journey. I always remember one thing with trauma is a finding a safe place and I began my search allowing surrender to come in.

MUSIC 

As music played I began slowly connecting with my Warrior self. I realised how grounding, Fire energy type music taps into some strength and reassurance within me. I step outside of my body and witness myself out there. It is like looking into a mirror to see yourself from an aspect, which is most needed. This links closely to the personality model of the elements and this one is a Fire side of me, which is in a balanced and healthy state. I notice my breathing changing and I become more engaged with surroundings.

I see myself on the shores of Loch Tummel, exactly here (images below) looking over the view from above and breathing the air deeply into my lungs. The music connected me to the beating of my own heart and I feel myself collecting my senses into a form that is closer to whole.

loch-tummel
Queen’s View, Loch Tummel

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Looking over Loch Tummel

In the next scene I am on my knees on the shore of Loch Tay praying to the element of water, which is so powerful I am in awe of the scenery and my heart beats more and more love into myself and out into the lake.

loch-tay
Loch Tay, Perthshire, Scotland

On the shores of Lake Laggan as I stand up to my knees in the water tears come and music changes into this MUSIC   I connect with Water element of emotions looking deep within dark waters of the lake.

loch-laggan
Loch Laggan, Highlands, Scotland

I cry and sob and feel myself finally coming into my body as I become aware of my chest rising and falling with each tear and moan within me. It feels good and releasing.

With emotion also comes that deepest yearning for the land within me that I know so well. In this case it became unbearable, which helped the tears come in outbursts of screams and sobs as if my body needed to be ‘scolded’  from inside out. Intensity of emotion opened up my heart and in that deep love of the land within me healing came, release came. I merged with the aspect of myself that is pure, grounded, simple and peaceful. It is that spirit of the land within me that held my hand reassuring my being for I am ok, I will be. I came to my safe place, to the land where my spirit unchanged and untouched lives always and forever. This journey meant so much to me and it was so powerful I am deeply touched by my own inner spirit and wisdom that can guide me out of the darkness whatever happens.

On reflection I can truly say that nothing ever worked as well as the above did in reawakening my heart back to life.

Music by:
Relaxing Nordic/Viking Music – Ótroðinn (Adrian von Ziegler)
The Mermaids Tears (Jeff Victor)
Photos copyright: taken by Raw Pagan (Natalia Clarke) 
Header image: http://crianlarich-hotel.co.uk/

Crying your heart clean

This week I am in North Wales surrounded by earth, sky and sea. Everything is in perfect harmony in nature yet on the inside there’s a turmoil, which seems to continue this spring.

I adore the land and its useful teachings and I ask for peace in my heart. I have climbed rocks and mountains, sat by the sea and today I am going into the woods.

The deeper into the woods you go the deeper the unfolding process.

The energy of the moss is one of the most delicious sensations I have ever experienced. It is my point of merging with the earth when I touch the soft moist manifestation of the earth spirit. It is what I experience as the high vibration of soil intelligence. It feels calm, comforting and cooling.

Another sensation which is wonderful to my soul is cool pockets you find in the woods where air is very fresh and still and the whole body begins to vibrate. That feeling covers all senses in me when I become aware of the energy rising from the root up to the crown and I become one with spirit.


I went through the process which, if I wanted it, would have taken me deep into the darkness and out high into the light again. I went further than I did before today yet not completed. The overall message was again that through allowing dark emotions to be one can transcend it into a higher sensation of peace and joy. A relief or a release is always guaranteed. One always finds a way of feeling better even if it might not be clear what exactly happens. It can be subtle or profound. Interpretations can come in, symbols might come alive or it can just be a sensory and emotional experience of releasing whatever needs to go or be transformed. This is my experience in nature.

The first stop was a fallen tree, which laid across a forest waterfall. I sat on it reflecting on its symbolism in that moment. A bridge across emotions. I contemplated walking across the fallen tree and across the waterfall and in my mind I did sensing there’s achievement to be had in taking on challenging situations full of emotions. I sat still acknowledging the metaphor of the natural setting in front of me.

As I continued walking tears followed. I cried while hugging a tree, which was gently comforting me. A striking thing appeared after – that tree was missing its top, it was half dead, one might say, yet it felt very much alive and no more or less part of the whole. I would describe it as a disabled being with the spirit very much alive and its softness was deeply touching. It held on to me as I acknowledged its endurance.

Woods kept pulling me in deeper and deeper showing off its magnificent trails and labyrinth-like formations of emerald branches. The moss got thicker and greener under my feet. The path got narrower and the silence descended with pockets of spirit presence whether through a pure water running underneath branches or gentle white light amidst deep darkness.

I began to run and got tangled in the branches, stepped into mud, got wet and decided to stop. The pull was strong, but I made a decision to turn around. A possibility of what might have lied ahead scared me a bit and felt at that moment in time I was not ready to experience it. That’s ok. We are in charge of what we are ready to face and where to stop. I went further into the process today than I did previously. It reminds me of a therapeutic setting with a client, just like I am often a client with the woods as my therapist, when you take your client only as far as they can go, one step at a time, one experience at a time, one process at a time.

I came back lighter, feeling more energetic, in higher spirits and overall calmer.

‘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