Accepting emotions as they are

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Having a ‘hate everyone’ day and what a curious place to be, I thought as i looked at a tree sticking two fingers up at me with its branches projecting back perfectly what I feel. I begin to wonder what this means, this place where connection is hard and unwanted, conversations don’t flow and feel like every word burns, stabs and spits into my face. Is it fear? Is it anxiety or is it helplessness? What does helplessness teach us? I automatically come to a ‘solution’ based vibration of allowing and surrender but is it what I want to feel or even able to today? Perhaps not. Sitting in the mud of your own shadow is tough but that’s all that I can do, if I further reflect on it, because trying to get out of it is not the answer, it only creates more ‘hate everyone’ and more anxiety and more resistance so I am back at surrender. Is it the right word? Allowing? How’s that? No… Perhaps there isn’t a word there is just a feeling that is present. It wants to be, seen and heard, acknowledged and not pushed away. I think, perhaps, like the feeling that decided to dominate my day is exactly what I need as a whole – to be seen, heard and not rejected. It is not separate from me and I am not separate from it. We are one, we are together me and I say

Be it the way you want to be
Flood my body with your murky juice of
Sadness, grief, frustration and disappointment
Be what you need to be and how you want to be today, as I am you and you are me and we are in this together in the place of deep discomfort and turbulence
When you want to roar I will roar with you
When you want to burn I will offer you my skin
When you slide into a state of freeze I will not try to melt you
We are whole, together and all is well in this day of negative emotion
As I wrote this out I feel better; much better feeling bitterness leaving my body slowly. I feel a reconnection to other parts of me, my heart and my power centre. I am ok.

 

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Spring forest bathing

My heart is overflowing with gratitude for the spring air filling my lungs and the sun caressing my face as gentle as a feather.

The birdsong is wondrous and exquisite in its multi-tonal spiral of a whistle.

I melt into the earth’s awakening feeling and see the mother welcoming me into her embrace.

Trees are smiling with warmth inside their trunks and wave branches about in ecstatic spring dance.

Spring, oh so gentle and soft in colours yellow, white and purple. Delightful energy of calmness and tranquility.

I love how everything stops when I lie on the ground looking up to the sky through delighted tree tops and birdsong accompanies me into deep relaxation.

 

Transpersonal Integrative psychotherapist and Intuitive witch

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What are the similarities between two parts within me, which are at play simultaneously. These two occupations, let’s call it that, have a lot more in common than one might think. I have experienced again and again the alignment between the two and it makes complete sense and feels whole.

At the centre of my work is intuition. It is my guiding, navigational, feeling system that allows me to relate and understand the other on a deeper level. Energies go through me and reflect back to whoever is sitting with me whatever I might be working with and it is that ‘going through me’ technique allows me to know what the other might need and benefit from.

Intuition is also used in ‘magical’ workings and 90% of my magic/spiritual work is intuitive, always has been from the very beginning as I stepped on the nature-based spiritual path. It is an exciting journey and I never once doubted what I do or did was somewhat ‘incorrect’, if I can call it that. There is not often right or wrong there is only better or poorer adjustments of what’s available. Some work can be intense and alignment is stronger and in other cases it is less so and effects are subtler. Intuition is something to be trusted and be open to and I am completely and utterly in its power knowing it will lead me where I need to go. It offers a well of possibilities of your own self-knowledge. All the treasure is already within us and one way to access that treasure is through intuition and listening to your inner voice of wisdom.

As an Integrative transpersonal psychotherapist I use myself and my intuition to decide and most of the time know what’s needed, when, how and for who. I pick techniques, approaches and a line to follow from my collection of tools, knowledge and experience through listening to the other’s story and working cognitively, emotionally, spiritually, using my body and being aware of the energy. I use my whole self to inform me of a direction and certain needs of a client. It is deeply relational, on a soul level, one might say, when myself and the other operate as one, as two humans on a journey of discovery. I work as a guide, support system, safe space and a container for the other while they go through a process of transformation. There is no judgement and we embrace an open heart, unconditional love and acceptance.

Magic is involved in psychotherapeutic work. There are often moments of connection and insight in a therapy room, which feel truly magical. Many of my colleagues would agree. It is the same in my work with the elements and nature, talking to trees, creating rituals and spells, working with deities. Magic in both contexts mean moments of divine connection when forces align and energies peak/flow in a certain way  that manifestation/transformation is possible. Results occur as a consequence of a way of working that is deeply spiritual and earthly at the same time. It is rooted in love and relating through the heart.

I am truly appreciative of how parts of myself align into one purpose whether I am being a therapist or a nature adventurer, ritual creator or a spiritual guide. It feels incredibly rich and immensely fulfilling. I can find magic all around me and I look forward to continuing my work with intuition as my guiding force and constant companion.

treasures within

Spring, Gold, Transformation

alchemy of transformation

It has been all about the Gold lately, which signifies a special phase of another transformational cycle we are entering into. It can manifest as a new job, a relocation, a completion of a project or a union of some kind. These are fairly general and it can be looked at deeper depending on your personal experience.

Gold is associated with treasure, potential, the energy of the Sun, a harvest of some sort and most importantly the final stage of transformation and coming into your own and shining to its full potential. Perhaps, some or all of these might relate to where you are currently on your journey.

For me gold came in a dream first when I was offered a chalice filled with golden liquid. I drank it and experienced feelings of ecstasy, freedom and serenity like no other. It was a very warming and pleasant sensation in the body and my mind was enveloped in thoughts of contentment, containment and comfort in the present moment.

I feel the season of spring, for me this year, is presentation differently and transforming into something entirely new. This was my intention for this work to occur, as through the years I had noticed a certain pattern, which would play out year after year, so when I paid conscious attention to it and unpicked it apart with the intention to heal I made a decision to work on transforming it with the next year. That time is now. I am already experiencing this season differently. Firstly I have welcomed spring with an open heart this year and I anticipated its arrival more eagerly than ever before. Previous spring had been a sad time for me, a paradox and a split, which presented as a wonderful season on the outside, yet my internal world would be in turmoil. A dissonance was always present.

Only last night standing outside I was acutely aware of just how pleased I am to see the spring this year and this time it wasn’t just words, thoughts. It was a strong felt sense in my body. I feel in love with the world and everything in it. My work is potent with love and care and joy to be in the presence of the human spirit resilient and vulnerable. I am so engaged with it all at the moment and drinking up its rewards and pleasures.

So, for me ‘gold’ is manifesting in that sense of having arrived somewhere new and truly transformed after challenging and dark times. Moving through the alchemical process of transformation, which begins in the dark place and engaging with functions of clarifying things through passion, fire, water and tears till we reach a place of purity and whiteness and feeling we have joined some dots, things began to make sense slowly till we landed with knowledge and insight to embrace where we came from and where we are now. There is a sense of balance also between the forces of the mind and compassion of the heart. At Spring equinox, in particular, it felt solid and in place when I sat with my past on my left and my future to my right, but solidly present in the moment facing what is here and now. A sense of achievement in the present moment and all the potential still waiting ahead. It is the perfect place of here and now. I am holding that golden chalice in my lap and I am overflowing with happiness and there is nothing that can’t be achieved.

Working with anxiety in a creative way

transforming anxiety

We have many parts within us. Our personality consists of many different qualities. Some parts are at play more actively than others, but that is not to say that if we display, e.g. unemotional behaviour or aggressive ways of interacting, we are devoid of empathy and sensitivity. We simply behave in a certain way because we learnt that behaviour in order to feel safe, survive or be liked. We engage with a certain way of being to gain something. Very often behaviour is based on how we think about something, or rather learnt to think. It might or might not be true. Therapeutic relationship is there not only to try and redefine how one thinks, but also through a relationship look at patterns of behaviour.

From a Transpersonal psychology perspective and my strong belief we are all ‘Whole’ essentially, however through life experiences parts of us get distorted, lost, hidden or rejected. I always say to clients that there is nothing ever wrong with a person/them, it is only that parts of them got a bit lost, broken or distorted depending on what they are experiencing. All of the person is accepted and perceived as a whole. We never want to abandon, reject or try and get rid of anything within us however uncomfortable it feels or negative it appears. Those parts more than anything need our love and attention and the work is to heal those parts by paying attention, listening, engaging with full acceptance and compassion and collect them back into the whole.

Working with anxiety this week the same idea of wholeness underpinned a creative activity where two parts were engaged in a cycle of behaviour deemed as negative and titled as anxiety, which then followed by a panic attack, shame and feeling down. There was a sense of powerlessness about it yet when a client drew a picture of the place where the unpleasant feeling would initially often surface it looked a beautiful golden ball of light, similar to the Sun. When they drew the second image that followed the initial feeling (the image of the Sun) that looked controlling and negative. The sun looked weakened in comparison when it is the Sun that is the place of potential, strength, security and place of belonging. Solar plexus (where the Sun resides) area is our power house, potential and security, our identity in the world.

I asked my client to add something to the image of the Sun to ‘make it feel better’. What did it need to feel less vulnerable, as the client described it, so a more empowering dialogue was possible between my client and the Sun when the feeling came up? They drew a blue circle around it – emotions, safety, and container, a part of the client weakened and abandoned to the mercy of the fierce image above it. It was easy for the other image to control the Sun. The work was to empower the Sun and transform a relationship with it from negative and weak to positively energizing and heart felt.

Using drawings with anxious clients can disengage the mind, which often tells us what we need to do and why and it can feel controlling. We learn to succumb to the mind and create an automatic way of thinking about things, so there is only one route that is available disregarding all the other possibilities. When we quieten the mind and engage with our bodies, where all our emotions live, we witness something much deeper, parts of ourselves that need our attention. Feelings often come up and connect us back to ourselves.

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Ostara 2017 – old and new

spring equinox

Greeting to the Spring Equinox (21 March)

Glad Bringer of Brightness, hail!

Maiden of Grace, Lad of Laughter.

Gifts of vigor are returning,

Spring’s surprise, rainbow’s embrace.

Quickened be the heart within us,

Opened be our souls to grace,

May the blessing be abiding,

Welcome sit in every face.

Celtic Devotional by Caitlin Matthews

What is present for me for the last few weeks is a feeling of renewal on one hand and things dying off on the other. This year, more so than ever before, it seems important to redefine how things are done and transformation of the old is crucial. The old that had been at work for many years previously is no longer operating to its optimum and like composted brown dry leaves of last year I am in need of burning the old off with the fire of transformation and birthing something entirely new, not known before, much stronger and clearer. Tapping into resources within me previously unused and stepping into the power not engaged. My intention is to put my past to rest, as I embrace the present and see my future in a different light.

I sit at my altar with my past to my left and my future to my right and I breathe in the present moment, which is right in front of me. Scents of Frankincense and Lavender in the air with a hint of daffodils’ aroma. It feels new, refreshing, full of vigour and energy to burst into a beautiful new something. I feel ready and I feel strong. I light green and purple candles, green for young and purple for old – Maiden and Mother in a dance together. Maiden is stepping forward to learn from the Mother of ways to renew and live a life to its full. I dream of blood and nakedness and as I sit at my altar covered only with a soft blanket I feel the readiness to step into the new, to be born again in a form previously unknown.

This year is significant in all ways of us transforming our lives and solidifying our ways and paint with new strokes and techniques. The canvas is bigger and colours are brighter and we are braver with our brushes as we sit to see what awaits us. Vision is clearer and life is enjoyable in ways simple yet we are more in touch with the basic instinct of seeking pleasure and love and moving towards joy. Not forgetting the past, but holding it in a safe place of knowing we had been through things and learnt from it. Ancestors are also very present, I feel, more than before, who feel incredibly supportive and they come to me in dreams with advice and approval.

As Imbolc this year for me was all about manifestation, Goddess support, and the seed being planted connected with destiny. Ostara is about old and new, birthing into the Sun of endless possibilities. It feels much more connected with a meaning far deeper than before. I feel as one with nature and aware of nature within me. As I go about my days I can smell and taste the Earth on my lips and feel the warmth of its soil in my cells. Strong sense of empowerment is around. The courage and vulnerability to cry, feel deeply, protect with no question and love fiercely – those are the qualities to be embraced this year for women, I feel.

Blessed Spring Equinox!