Addiction is a way of holding on

autumn and addiction

We are in autumn, a season perfectly aligned with the energies of taking stock, harvesting our gifts, desires, throwing away what is no longer needed and releasing through letting things go. It is reflected through trees unrobing their delicate bodies off foliage and exposing to the elements for better or for worse. It is a state of surrender and an act of acceptance in nature that always touches me deeply. What a perfect example of vulnerability and strength – a combination I admire so much.

Addiction, as a condition, is a way of holding on, keeping ourselves safe and hidden, partaking in activities that fill the void we feel inside, but scared to expose. It is a safe place and a defensive position against overwhelming feelings, life, connection to ourselves and others. It is an escape into seemingly blissful abyss, yet temporary. The pay-off is often high for that hiding that we adapt as a way to survive, a way to cope with what otherwise would feel unbearable. The price we pay for this way of trying to keep ourselves safe is always high and we pay with our bodies, minds and lives. Recovery requires tremendous courage. It asks us to wake up not just to becoming aware of our patterns of behaviour, but to our wounds that we are protecting with an addiction of our choice.

When is that time to wake up?

This year’s signature, as a goal for our growth, includes facing and dealing with our addictions. The year began with a clear sense that old ways no longer work. Our comfort zone is no longer comfortable, things don’t fit as they used to and patterns that we adopted started to show cracks in how we executed them. On one hand, one could panic and despair and begin searching for new replacements. On the other hand, it felt like an opportunity, a ‘no choice, but’ to start thinking of a potential change. What would that look like and feel like? The year progressed with addictions’ patterns and behaviour manifesting not just within us, but around us through people we care about, our loved ones. It began to open old wounds. Those behaviours that we had been in denial of in ourselves and others came in and slapped many into a full view of not just how ugly and unconscious it had become, but a fear of a potential outcome also hit hard.

Now, as autumn is at our door, I feel there is a chance to look at it again and become curious and open to the opportunity of release. I find vibrations of early autumn is similar to those in early spring, as with the new planting there is hope for potential, with dropping the old there is also a potential for something new coming. Purification (another signature for this year) is deeper in autumn though, because as we throw off our protective layers, surrender to the elements in our own way we are challenged to go through the ‘cold’ of winter and the bare state of the earth. We are challenged to withstand hardships to come out stronger on the other side.

Addiction recovery is no easy matter and very often a life-long process. What we are faced with this season is an opportunity to begin and this year’s signature for dropping the old, as something that no longer works. To give an example of that manifestation I would like to use the body. With addiction often it is the body that would have taken on years of abuse. The sign that addiction is, perhaps, has gone into dangerous territory and it is time to wake up would be body not coping with it, e.g. with smoking lungs become affected in a way of developing severe difficulties with breathing and your cough becoming chronic with discharge. The body begins to bark at us literary to stop. With food addiction a point to wake up would be when there is a degree of awareness that one can no longer ‘eat themselves better’, as the body has grown so much in size it is no longer functioning. We become hidden under flesh so much we no longer feel in touch with ourselves. We might as well be dead.

I feel deeply saddened writing about this, but I feel it is necessary to make that call to be brave, to be present and conscious and I understand that it is no easy task to ‘stand in the cold of winter with no clothes on’, just as we no longer rely on drugs or food for comfort. Exposing, painful and a lonely place to be, yet one must not forget that there is a fire that burns within each of us. That fire is called spirit. We are stronger than we think most of the time and trying to save yourself is an honourable task. Loving ourselves the way that we are, broken, is an act of heroism and immense growth. Imagine if you can do this, you can do anything. Imagine the potential life you can have if only we decide to stop hiding, escaping and facing that wintery wind with your bare skin, vulnerable yet so heroic.

What lies on the other side is freedom and it is always worth fighting for.

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Where there is discomfort there is an opportunity for change

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Potential is hidden within us all and pain and discomfort are ways of accessing it. Yes, staying with what is difficult in the moment creates an opening for changing things. When we are anxious, worried or feeling down there is a sign that something isn’t right. If we allow ourselves to truly embrace the way that we feel in that moment and hold our feelings as if they were our children we have a chance to discover things we run away from or parts of ourselves that have been needing attention to a long time.

Where there is discomfort there is a sign that an adjustment is needed in either our reactions, behaviours or dynamics. Some situations would trigger us into a place of dissonance, which is a perfect place to start, as when we know what we don’t like we can also discover what we do like.

Most of all we lack the ability to be with ourselves especially in moments of discomfort yet this is exactly where we need to focus our attention to discover who we truly are. A reaction happens for a reason, feelings surface for a reason and asking yourself ‘what is happening’ and ‘what do I need right now’ and ‘what does it mean’ can be invaluable. It holds a feeling, a vibration in that moment and we take a pause to look at it, to feel it, find a place where it is the strongest in the body and become curious. When we shift perspective from ‘this doesn’t feel good, I must pretend it is not happening or I must get rid of it’ to ‘this doesn’t feel good, I wonder why and what it is telling me, what is the lesson here’ things have different results. One way only delays the process that needs attention until the next time we feel a certain way, the other grabs the opportunity not just to explore what is happening, but through paying attention to your feeling you ultimately give yourself attention. This is self-loving, it is validating, it is acknowledging something is not right and allowing for a change to occur. Only by staying with we can move through something and come out of it with a different perspective.

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Messages from the body

This week’s work is focused on and the first insight is about the physical body. As promised each week I am going to tune into a particular area for exploration with a purpose of gaining deeper insight and manifesting cleansing and healing.
Ideas flowed in this morning as I began my day. My intention was to make a set up for my work, first of all, in order to facilitate energetic, mindful and psychic work to come. Such a place would normally be my altar.
four elements altar, body healing
As the theme unfolding in my awareness was to do with the body I wanted to include the four elements, as the earth/nature holds them so do we in our bodies. Incense for Air, bowl for Water, Wood for Earth and Candles for Fire and purple crystal for Spirit. We are one and my intention was to include nature into the work as I do usually. This allows for deeper insight and connection to myself and to the outside world. It is stormy weather outside today so I had to bring the elements in, which was sort of very relevant in terms of exploring them within myself.
The idea was to explore a particular habit/attachment of mine to do with food and look into whether there was an emotional signature that was stuck within my physical container. I did this with my other physical habit with great success previously. The work is to discover what need or emotion might lie beneath a certain behaviour. It helped enormously and really is the best way to work with any addictive or habitual behaviour, which potentially harms us. It is bringing the wound up to the light and healing it consciously and meeting the need that we are unconsciously trying to meet with turning to various activities and things.
This morning didn’t go according to plan and I do love it when that happens. First of all I noticed huge resistance straight away to doing this work and I noticed myself delaying and delaying and once I was ready for my journeying pretty much straight away I was pulled out of it and insights came in strong and fast before I even did anything. I found that quite striking as it was quick but so illuminating.
I was told loud and clear before I started doing the body scan that it is my broken tooth that needed attention and ‘haven’t I procrastinated enough about it?’ and why wouldn’t I attend to my teeth when there is such a clear need. I felt well and truly told off :O) and yes, why wouldn’t I? Is that a loving thing to do to ignore areas that need fixing in my body and just ignore it? I booked my appointment immediately and went straight away. The universe had an opening for me in the next half hour (what are the chances).
So, the insight is to attend to things that we are actually conscious of first and foremost before delving deeper into possible unconscious reasons of whatever it is that is causing us discomfort in the physical. Quite simple, right, but how many of us are ignoring what is clearly visible, felt and screaming for help? Lack of self-compassion, acknowledgement and self-love could potentially be dangerous not just to our bodies but our well-being on the whole. It felt very different for me as again there was such avoidance and resistance to my making that phone call regardless of how loud the inner voice was. I hesitated as I realised that this was not familiar for me to stand up for myself, so to speak, and how often I had previous ignored it. Earlier last year I would have been in real trouble by ignoring something very serious if it wasn’t for someone else pushing me to make the call. I know I would not have done it myself and I am scared to think what could have been if I ignored the signs.
Deal with what is manifesting, felt and present. What you are fully aware of right now in your body? Where is pain, imbalance, discomfort? Attend to that. Deal with that as soon as you can because why wouldn’t you? Why would your body be less important in wanting to be well than anyone else’s? We are used to care taking others, as it’s been looked upon as such a positive and valued thing to do in the society. Self-sacrifice is an idea that somehow would lift you up above and merge you with God. But what about you? Aren’t you as one with God and nature? If you ignore one you ignore the other. If we really think about it, it doesn’t make sense and it is time to shift out thinking around self-love and compassion and listening to our bodies is one such step towards well-being on the whole.
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Run away or stay

The urge to run away is natural on one hand and on the other is contradictory to our innate capacity for compassion and staying with pain. There are millions of examples of open-hearted compassion and humility from humans in times of extreme crisis throughout centuries, yet parts of us want to run away and not feel. It is always way easier to hide, stay in the vibration of fear and non-connecting than open up to all horror and sorrow of the world and connect to as much and as many aspects of us as humans. It is understandable and sometimes we do need to withdraw just to catch our breath. Sometimes things make us freeze following trauma. The most difficult thing to do seems to be our connection to ourselves. We no longer in touch with who we are and what we are doing here. Often we become ‘robot-like’ and desensitised to all that surrounds us. It is a way of avoiding the harsh and painful, the unthinkable. It is a coping way, when life becomes disabled. At that point hope is lost, defeat prevails and we continue as we were on the road to nowhere, not feeling our own bodies. Again it seems something that happens naturally these days yet what about our natural ability to feel again, what happened to parts of ourselves that feel through life and live through all experiences that life offers, dark and light. We have potential for all things.

Tragedy carries a vibration of shattered hopes, dreams, connections and explosion of an array of uncontrollable feelings that seem impossible to contain. Connection with others will help that, safe and accepting holding will do the job, unity in sorrow will provide a refuge from the attack of extreme emotions. Tragedy can also propel us all into action, into feelings and into becoming more ‘us’. It can potentially get us in touch with life, with our own beating heart. It is an opportunity to be you! Please take it. Please choose compassion for the world and yourself as a part of the complicated system of connections and human life.

Blessings to the world! loss

Body knows…

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What is it with spring and physical health problems for me?

They say body knows, holds and experiences. It knows it all. Well, I agree that most of what’s going on is a trigger of one or another emotional issue in me and even though this year I am consciously redefining and healing my spring-related emotional wounds my body still remembers and it aches in the physical.

Spring has always been an intense and challenging season for me, particularly towards the end of spring, around Beltaine. I do wish it was summer, but then, of course, I remind myself how summer triggers me into other emotional areas. It is profound and insightful and never fails to leave me in wonder and curiosity how seasons connect me to my life, emotions, thoughts and my past.

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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.

 

Is fear always bad?

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Does fear need to be bad, always?

Yes, it is tarrying, yes it is a terrible vibration to hold and hard to shake off. I know it well. But it is also a messenger, it is a pointer towards something that is asking for help, or it can also serve a purpose of a propeller into action just like fire qualities.

Presence of fear can point towards a past trauma – yes. In that it is linked with an association of what had once been scary and threatening to us. We attach to that vibration, which gets activated when we are reminded of similar scenarios or have similar interactions. This is one part of what occurred for me, which I later became aware of, but what it also made me think of is another way of reaction to it. It is about relating to this particular emotion in a different way. I don’t feel like it would be serving its purpose if I always react to it in the same way. If one continues to do the same thing, results will always be the same. Something new needs to come through here to facilitate change and growth in me. There is a decision and a choice involved here again just like in my previous post, one can choose to continue aligning with something indefinitely or we can switch our perception of what it can be rather than what it had always been.

So, I asked myself a question ‘Is fear always bad? Does it have to be’? No

What came to me, as I walked through the forest touching my trusted trees, was the feeling of caring about something, caring a lot, too much one might say. When fear grips you it is an indication that you care about something or someone. We are all familiar with that. However, instead of working against it what if we worked with it? What we chose to channel it into something productive, beneficial and full of love? I am seeing it as an opportunity to do something different, to change something or take a different attitude or a route in order to express that care and love that we feel with the help of our fear as a guiding force.

It is a switch in perception or rather an extension of what fear means. It is allowing for fear to tell us more, to show us more, to align with its voice, because often fear comes in the moment and not always connected to anything in the past. It can simply be a vibration seeking its expression to point us towards a certain action or behaviour. The key here is to listen to the emotion, which is manifesting within you, not running away and rejecting your own voice, but quietly listen.

Someone pointed out fear within me earlier this week and yes, they are correct and on reflection I know where it came from and what it means, but rather than focusing on where it came from I am choosing to focus what I can do with it and what it really feels like when I sit with it. When we sit with an emotion giving it full acceptance and love it begins to tell a story, its vibration changes and something new gets introduced into the mix. I find emotions are not solid or static or one-dimensional. They flow, they are present one minute and gone the next, they are fleeting and if caught can be valuable to us.

My fear represents my determination and drive. The reason I scared is because my dream is big and meaningful. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t be scared. Have you ever experienced wanting something or someone so much you feel terrified it would slip through your fingers or something would take it away from you? Yes. Me too. That’s the indication, firstly, of how much you care. Secondly, it is an opportunity to do something with that in way of expressing your care whether it is manifesting love or achieving a goal with absolute certainty. Then, at least you are not surrendered to fear alone, you are journeying with what the fear means and acts as a catalyst towards. Direct it in the direction of positive intention, meaningful relationship, success through hard work or caretaking someone with the most open heart you have. Fear then turns to love and love conquers all. The choice is yours, fear can stop us, but fear can also propel us and transform into love ultimately.

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