A tool for raising self-awareness

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.

January:

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.

February:

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.

March:

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.

Happy 2019, everyone!

The ‘shadow’ Fire of summer

Fire element in distortion

I am exploring the wounded, sensitive point in my psyche that comes up in June, before Summer Equinox. It produced feelings of depression last year, which lasted all the way to Samhain – a long time. This year I am determined to un-tangled and look at what is going on with an aim to acknowledge, heal and integrate. It is the 3rd June and I have been feeling the now familiar energy rising within already. This feels very hard and resistance is overbearing. The defence is always distorted Fire, which is cruel, ugly, merciless, the kind that burns everything to ash without any hope of new growth or so it seems at the time. This Fire is very different to a healthy Fire, which I would normally tap into during winter, post Yule and that energizes me to a degree of high productivity, enthusiasm, high energy and success.

Fire element in its distorted state prevents life from flowing, yet a healthy manifestation offers a chance for a re-birth. Fire is a glorious element, as it is transformative. We often have to burn, be in pain in order for something else to manifest through it. Calcinatio operation in the alchemical process.

This Fire stops a part of me being seen, it blocks any possibility of reconciliation within the psyche and ‘burns’ everything in my physical reality. Yet, we do come back from it every year and every time I look back on it with bewilderment and gratitude for having survived the ‘war’. It often feels like it. Sometimes it goes on for a month or two, other times it lasts longer and it can be exhausting.

I am writing this in hope that it might resonate with many and to explore/explain what happens when we reject, suppress parts of ourselves we are not willing to bring back, integrate and look at. One might refer to it as the material, which resides deep within our psyche and now and again pops out to say hello and we are in no way thrilled to welcome them back. Then a battle commences to avoid, resist, push it back and not having to deal with whatever it is that is asking to come back.

In my case this is my inner child – an extremely sensitive, delicate, vulnerable self that to the rest of me is so overwhelming I get thrown off-balance every time I feel her approaching. In order to defend I tap into my anger self and take a position of a distorted Fire, which is the only way I know how to send my ‘vulnerable self’ back to where it came from. My desire to project becomes almost unbearable, which tells us how difficult it feels for me to contain feelings of that inner child that comes into full view. When previously attempting to heal this I always resorted to giving it away to someone else, who is better equipped to look after it. It had worked for some time, but this time it seems that it wants me to take her in. It wants to come back from exile.

In dreams this part of me comes as one particular person, which I have come to recognise. It always appears a gentle, good part of me that everyone loves, apart from myself. In dreams as it wants to get close to me (not others even though they are more than happy to take her in) I begin my process of avoiding and running away from it. Last night I had such a dream and reflecting back I do recognise having been doing the ‘rejecting’, but on another level wanting to get close to it also and that’s where the clue lies towards integration. Not all is lost. In the dream last night the soft part of me also decided to reject me and that really hurt. It jumped on a ‘runaway’ train seeking separation from me and expressing its disappointment. That hurt. It is not that I don’t want to, but more I can’t bring myself, don’t know how to deal with it. I reject before it rejects. This plays out in my physical reality in a way of projecting exactly that. What I am projecting is the anger with myself and seeming inability to deal with the vulnerable self. Anger is also laced in disappointment, shame, self-punishment, etc., which also manifests in real life and is projected outwards when the angry self becomes shaming of others, expressing disappointment openly and emotional eating, e.g.

These insights are the first steps towards the ultimate goal of integration. My dreams and being aware of my emotions as I awake every day have been invaluable to me in reaching a position of clarity of what is happening within my psyche and physical body, a key to my conscious and unconscious material. Post-insight comes an even clearer awareness and links are made with the day-to-day manifestation of wounds and conditions, i.e. what one does in their physical reality, relationships, work, etc. that manifests that behaviour. Once awareness is established then come choices, processes we put in place to attempt to heal, trial an error, if you like, but nevertheless there are choices. There are opportunities to put things in place in order to move forward. Healing comes from acceptance and a successful implementation of all of the above and integrating day by day, learning a new way of relating to yourself first and foremost before it becomes harmonious on outside with relationships with others.

Insight – Awareness – Choices – Acceptance – Healing – Integration

I am going on a journey with this part of my process actively this month. It is a challenging time, as we build up towards the ultimate Fire festival and Sun in its full power in nature. My aim is not to get hooked and blow it out to a point of losing control completely. This year it is going to be different and what is not present as much I feel, which is a blessing and new, is fear to engage with difficult stuff. This time I know deep down that if we fear ourselves we fear our potential at the same time and fearing potential is a limiting outlook, which simply doesn’t help us progress. The aim is to put things into a healthy flow, into an energy of progressing with purpose without resistance.

Have a good week.