The journey of psychotherapy

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I would describe the process of psychotherapy as a process of unfolding and becoming. It is a journey back ‘home to ourselves’. Therapist is a witness to that process, who is let into a world of a client to journey with and who serves a purpose of ‘being with’ another human being and reflecting empathy, acceptance and unconditional love. If that witnessing is successful a client slowly learns to be with themselves, get to know themselves and hence allowing the process of unfolding from unconscious to conscious begin.

When therapy ends one would hope that a seed of self-love, acceptance, compassion and understanding is planted so a person can go out into the world more confident in being with themselves, knowing their inner potential and being able to relate to the world and others in a more effective and beneficial way. They become their own witness. With awareness of themselves they go on to live in a more mindful and compassionate manner towards themselves and others. They would have discovered their qualities, strengths and weakness, darkness and light, become more emotionally intelligent and able to navigate the ups and downs of life with wisdom and acceptance.

The end of my own therapy after many years even though planned and conscious will take some adjustment. It’s been a routine and a weekly visit to my therapist provided me with witnessing and holding I found nourishing and supportive. An environment in which to process my feelings and experiences and grow. I now have a free slot on a Tuesday afternoon and what I am inspired to do is to create a process of my own where for that hour I will be with myself to witness what unfolds within and manifests without and reflect of my responses and ways to grow from experiences.

From that I will begin writing a ‘weekly insight’ blog posts as I continue on my journey of self-discovery.

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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Existential…

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We are born, we bloom and we die. What of those in-between spaces? That is day-to-day living, those are the moments, of which life consists.

Today, it feels like the past is gone and the future is doubtful and uncertain. There is death anxiety present and struggles with staying in the present moment. ‘What if, if only, can I, when this and that’, how will I, what if I don’t, I suppose I will have to’, etc. – these phrases run through the mind over and over.

Yesterday I had a vision of my life going forward. I have seen what is there potentially on offer in the next 20 years and it felt good, comforting, grounding and certain, as opposed to feeling very unsettled and doubtful in the last week. It looked contained, structured with challenges and transitional points clearly outlined, but what it didn’t outline was the way one would deal with it and what the actual outcome would be. That is life and no one knows for certain. There weren’t that many things out there, to be honest, it felt clean, clear and peaceful and would present a good life path for anyone, in my opinion. I like that existential language, which often sounds harsh and direct, which goes ‘this is your lot, this is what you’ve got at your disposal, what are you going to do with it or about it?’. I used this with my own clients a few times and it has that vibration of ‘wake up and smell the coffee’. It is startling, but refreshing if allowed to be present with. It is calling to look at life and present circumstances in a very real way (reality check) and see what can be done and how and be aware of the feelings. It is very ‘present moment’, life here and now and what can we do now in order to feel alive and really living. It is calling us to define in a way what we are about and what we want from however many years we might have. I like the idea of knowing what your purpose is and living it out, so to speak, similar to making a decision and sticking to it. I like that vibration of decisiveness and clarity of route.

I haven’t been in this place before, I don’t think, and if I have been it didn’t come through in the same way. This is really existential. Having gone through a spiritual journey and revival of my soul nature (transpersonal approach), which continues every day, and having looked at childhood set-up and my past (psychodynamic psychotherapy) and worked on self-growth and potential (humanistic approach) what is coming up now is the look at life as it is currently with all there is there, facing cross-roads and defining meaning (humanistic) going forward. It offers options and when one can see a potential path of how things could play out. It gives you certainty to a degree providing one is happy with the vision of their future. I am happy with it for now, as who knows what tomorrow will bring. There is safety in knowing, for sure, and fear in not knowing, absolutely. Both are very valuable. Security and certainty provides a good feeling and so does a vibe of adventure, freedom in a sense of not knowing anything at all. Providing I make it through the years and those around me make it there is a strong chance we make the vision a reality and what a lovely picture that is. In the meantime we live every day as if it is the last doing our best and feeling present and meaningful in our interactions and activities we partake in and feeling ok on the inside. Notice how ‘I’ became ‘we’ in the last few sentences, as I write completely intuitively. There is some meaning in there somewhere pointing towards a collective, community purpose with myself playing a role.

This phase can be scary and they don’t call it an existential crisis for nothing, as one of the most common descriptions. This, however, really resonates with my personality in terms of questioning, finding meaning and certainty within and following a natural course of life with a few challenges and hardships, but also bagging joyful and precious moments of any day like a beautiful sunrise and a good night sleep, a good meal and a smile of a child. It is all in that in-between space of life, in between we are born, we bloom and we die.

The beauty of saying nothing

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Too often we engage in exchanges with someone being completely unaware how what is running through our heads is a response to what the other person is sharing. We are focused on our own response ready and waiting and not listening to the other. What about if we stopped and just listened and not only that… With awareness of our inner commentary in that moment not only we decide not to pay attention to that ‘noise’ but also make a decision to say nothing when the other person is finished. This is particularly useful in emotionally charged situations. Instead of jumping in with what’s in our heads we decide to pause and hold that space in silence, allowing the other person to breathe into what they just expressed and shared. I heard some calling this a practice of ‘sacred pause’. It is a truly transformative experience and such a learning in awareness not just of what we do unconsciously on a regular bases, but what effect it might have on our conversations and relationships in a wider context. This can be changed in a way that is beneficial to all and, yes, it requires practice like anything else that is worth doing. However, you never know, you might just like it, just like I find myself liking it more and more.

When we empty our mind of all the clutter in any given moment and allow ourselves not to speak, not to respond and just hold that space, it feels expansive. I find myself I am able to breathe evenly and deeper when I am aware I am in my ‘say nothing’ space. It also feels wonderfully liberating and peaceful. In terms of conversations that allowing of space in return becomes an even flow of exchange, the other person relaxes just as much as you do and there is an understanding that you are truly listening and there with them, which allows them to share more honestly and more openly rather than rushing through sentences trying to cramp as many words as possible into a conversation, because unconsciously we all feel it when the person opposite is about to jump in with a response. When that energy is diminished or switched off to a different vibration all together, it is felt by the other in return.

In relationships it creates trust, it makes us feel held, felt, seen and understood and isn’t it what we all want deep down? We are often caught into projecting on to one another and it creates misunderstandings, which then builds into conflicts and all sorts of distorted defensive positions where nothing gets resolved yet a lot of energy is spent on it. When we tell ourselves to ‘shut up’ no matter what comes our way, it is not that we invite it all in, no, we simply hold it in-between the two. In that in-between pause it becomes a choice of whether to take that projection in, react, throw it back or allow for time to pass in ‘silence’ for the other and yourself to process what had happened and wait for a natural resolution whether it is deciding to turn around and walk away or embrace one another.

I give you an example. My husband came home the other night in a bad mood and began making comments and moaning, i.e. projecting his frustration on to me. I felt myself preparing for a battle in my head, ready to throw some stuff right back at him. Taking projections is very hard, by the way, and requires practice and most of all self-awareness. Because I was aware of what was happening within him and within myself I was able to ‘pause’ and make that wonderful decision to be silent and say nothing. Once I took that stance I felt my chest filling up with space, I felt more relaxed and allowing for whatever my husband needed to let go off come out. It is important not to take it personally, as if you do, you have taken on their projection and would inevitably be triggered into your own inner drama, which would then produce proejctions back. I embraced his rigid body and with my holding him in my arms I allowed that space and he continued to let things out with no judgement on my part. When he was done he felt better and appreciated that space to be with what he needed to be with. It avoided a potential argument and we both benefitted from that experience. We were able to get on with our night in peace and harmony.

Silence is very soothing. It has that vibration of allowing spaciousness. Often it is better to say nothing than say something inauthentic, not nice or simply unnecessary. There is so much unneccesary noise that goes on around us and within us. Silence speaks in its own way and we don’t practice that enough. It takes away from real listening to one another, from being intimate with one another, feeling, seeing and understanding one another. Next time something similar comes up, try ‘saying nothing’ and just being in the space. It might just turn out to be a game-changer.

Conflict and lessons of Samhain 2016

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What is happening this year around Samhain for me is interesting and I aim to delve into reflecting on what this means for me at this time.

I feel angry with my ancestors, on one hand, and, on the other, I feel grateful. I find myself in conflict with two clans, it would seem, between family ancestors, my blood relatives and those going back centuries, more unfamiliar, unknown, ancestors of the land and spirit. I feel excited about learning about my connection with the group that goes back centuries and comes from Celtic culture and a faraway land from where I was born. Blood line ancestors, however, feel distant and I clearly recognise anger within and want to abandon any connection with them at this point. I feel sad, but I can’t pretend I am not feeling this.

First association is with my father, who I have become disillusioned with particularly during this year. My long journey of untangling and separating from him took a culminate point this year when he literally ‘fell off’ his pedestal. I held an illusion of him for so long. He represented what I wanted to believe to be true. Ouch. It has been very painful and as a result of that deep psychological work I was left with a void, an empty space, completely and utterly bereft. However, that piece of healing has been needed and I gained a sense of freedom, clearing, opening towards myself and filling the space with what I wanted, not something that had been put upon me. Let’s just say I am glad, but sadness of a loss is there. Perhaps, by default of association I also decided to abandon my direct ancestors from my father’s side? I do feel saddened and almost believing that whatever the relationship was between us all, what I believed was true wasn’t true and this extends towards them all on his side, so confused… perhaps, psychologically this is not so uncommon. 

On the other hand, there is this new line of ancestors that stand very strong in my awareness and I have been touched by them in recent years. They feel like teachers and guides from whom I can obtain wisdom of the world and the best way to live compared to being tangled up in often toxic family dynamics. Perhaps, this is it, perhaps, it is a reaction of my ‘imprisonment’ within ancestral lines, which had kept me in a certain position where I felt a prisoner I am now seeking to reject and abandon. Perhaps, it is not a bad thing…

Ultimately I have always sought freedom and independence and just being left alone to feel my way through life. I was never allowed to feel, speak, express or have a way of being chosen by me and I feel rebellious against my ancestral line that kept me submissive to their rules and dynamics. I merely refer to my personal perception here. Doubt any of them would agree. This would explain resentment and not wanting to honour or celebrate that side. Is it bad? I don’t know. Is it good? Possibly. It is confusing, but I am sure things will become clear as I go through the season of reflection and going within.

It tells me just how important psychological and therapeutic work is to the whole growth and development of spirit. Everything is interconnected and if we are to grow further and become conscious we must take care of all aspects of our lives – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

read my other post on Samhain 2016 HERE 

Blessings!

Earthly peace of a soul 

 
When does a soul find its Earthly peace? Powerful… Words from a song went deep through my skin earlier today. One has got to have something in their life that touches them, something beyond personal, something that feels and look like home, a feeling of pure and sacred. From that precious thing a life meaning is born.
What is that something that touches you in your life?

Without anything that touches our tender heart is our experience full? What are we here for? What is life without a spirit, purpose or meaning? In the absence of the precious thing we walk on the Earth blind, dead, strangers to all things spirit. We are born with that feeling intact in us and very few remain in touch in that. It either gets snatched away, hidden, banished or lost.
Spirit, however, continues to exist, live and breathe all around us, if not within. It continues to love unconditionally. It seeks that reunion again and again, it knocks on our door, stops you in your tracks, sends signs and blessings, sometimes dresses as sorrow to catch our attention. Do we notice? To notice one must stop yourself, anchor heavy into feelings and until we cry all the tears and open up all the wounds and dig around in them we do not allow ourselves to move. There’s no escape from spirit. We can’t live without a soul. It’s ever present, but whether it remains crying or it is allowed to rejoice that is a choice to make. How do we get back in touch with spirit. Ask yourself what touches you? What gives your eyes a sight that takes your breath away.
Psychological healing is a big step towards aligning with spirit within us, it’s a big clear out job, as one of my clients once said – ‘like clearing after a hurricane’ and clear we must because only once all the debris is gone we can see, feel, experience the spirit in its most glory. We experience it in us. Until then it’s like a homeless being that seeks and points and cries and shouts to get our attention, but closed hearts do not hear, see or feel and we walk on by leaving no trail of an empty life.
What is that thing that touches you…

Authenticity attainment – an open exploration

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This one goes deep. It is a sort of exercise that I wish to offer that might help unfold layers within you and align you with the sweetest authenticity. Questioning yourself, exploring every corner of your being conscious and unconscious is a necessary process towards whole authenticity. My goal more and more these days is to reach that place where I can do, feel, behave and think in the most authentic way possible and not just that but to reach that point where I am flowing with authenticity effortlessly and masterfully.

When doing this process we all have to get real with ourselves with others and with everything that goes on around us. It is hard work, but is it worth it? I hope so. I have experienced more and more over the past few years the transformational results of the state of getting real. Some of the questions that I found useful to ask in that process are:

  • What is it that I want
  • What is it that I feel
  • What is sacred to me
  • How much do I allow myself to feel and have what I want
  • How am I with my external relationships as well as my inner world
  • What is real and what is not
  • What do I think about life
  • What do I think about death
  • Do I have a direction, do I need a direction
  • Is my preference for a natural flow or a structure of some kind

And the list goes on and goes and with each level it goes deeper into questioning. Is there another way to be if your soul is thirsty for manifesting its truest desires? You owe it to your soul to listen to its voice. You owe it to yourself to live the authentic life and flow naturally with whatever is presented in front of you. Do you flow? Do you aim for pure authenticity? Read More