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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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.

Space vs enclosure

guidinglandscapes13

The debate started within me after my last visit to Scotland when one week I spent in the North with vast open spaces, wilderness mountains and the sea and the other week was spent in a tiny cottage in the woods. You can read about my experiences HERE. 
What I thought I preferred turned out to be something else and I was asked to consider other ways and it was a challenge.
Recently after spending a whole day in the woods and ‘overdosing’ on nature but not in a good way I was reminded of my experience in Scotland. It made me think further about spaces, my preferences and how things are changing for me as I continue on my healing and spiritual journey.

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We are many parts

  
We are not one person. We are many aspects within one being. There are many parts to us and all are equally in need of love and attention. All carry a purpose and a lesson within their manifestation and knowing yourself requires looking at all parts of ourselves. 

We all have a child, adolescent, adult, parent, wise self, wounded self, divine self within us. Some of those split into further parts, some perceived as good and others as bad, or positive and negative. The truth is we are all of those and none of them are less or more, better or worse, higher or lower. We are one rich, ancient being carrying a kingdom within us with many parts that play a role in our lives.

From the point of view of the Elements we are all four. We are qualities of Fire, Air, Water and Earth. 

From a role perspective we are sibling, child, parent, adult, grandchild and spouse.  
We are the whole year with all four seasons within. We carry winter, spring, summer and autumn within us. We are animals, mystical creatures, plants, trees, rivers, caves. 

We carry spirit within us also, that pure part of unconditional love, peace, non-attachment and non-judgement. 

Different parts act out in different situations and scenarios in our lives. We are a mother one minute and the next we are a warrior. We are led to a particular path by our elder side and another is a playground where we are a child. We might sing like a bird one minute and the next we are in touch with the universe as a spirit. We pray, love, work, cook, teach, dance, flight and cry. We are all together a beautiful orchestra of different voices and a collection of qualities and resources.

We are powerful beyond belief if we look at ourselves as all of those parts and each is given time, attention and love when needed. We acknowledge what needs to change, grow or soothed at any given moment. We caretake our whole being with hearing them all out equally without rejection of anything and acceptance of all. 

Ignite your Fire 

The current emotional state I find myself in is anything but Firy. It is the Water element that has taken hold in its distorted state manifesting in moodiness, lack of motivation and inability to settle. This is how depressive state begins when focus is almost impossible and apathy sets in. There is no drive, energy or enthusiasm. Fire sparks up now and again, but again in its distorted state in ways of angry outbursts and frustration, dissatisfaction, which is often projected onto the world, weather, other people. Not great way to be and I don’t like it one bit.

Things in the house are literary losing their ‘spark’ and breaking down, particularly electrical things like iron, microwave, heating and boiler. One thing after another. It feels deflating and cold. What is there to do, I ask? The Goddess reassures me she’s around for guidance yet I move away from her unable to listen. My body is devoid of heat and energy and I wonder aimlessly about my days.

Outside it’s raining and mild when it should be winter. I never thought I would feel lethargic for the absence of real winter yet it is snow and cold that I crave so I can settle properly into the season. Instead it’s raining and I find myself yearning for the snowy mountains and freezing winds, sparkling cover on the ground and winter Sun. I try to fly away to lands where winter is present but again unable to project myself very far. Stifling…

Today I decided to drive to the woods away from home to seek some peace and answers. It is raining but I don’t mind as feel the need to be with whatever it is that slows me down. I get out of the car and walk into the forest. It feels pleasing straight away, the smell of wet ground and fresh air surrounds me. In silence I stand and turn to my right to a sight of deer very close by. My spirit is sparked for that moment where we stand and look at each other. I smile and feel gratitude. Things get better as I walk deeper into the forest. I discover Fire in the palm of my right hand, which I hold open and the rain stops. It’s amusing to play with it putting my hand away and taking it out again to show to the forest. I ask for the rain to stop and it does. My hand does the magic. I feel my spirits lifting slightly yet the fire in my hand also slips away eventually. It is calm, no rain and again I see the deer in the bush next to me. I smile. I feel better.

What also comes to me is the fact that I have been focusing on the Water element too much making an error in understanding what’s needed. At first a couple of weeks ago when I became aware of the absence of fire I welcomed water into my days and solidified and intensified my focus on it. I placed water items on my altar and what occurred was the opposite, I went too much into it. I understand it now. Now I know I need to shift things towards the fire intentionally. I need to work on it and make it spark again so changing my altar set up once again to see things shift.

Magic is a work of awareness, attention, focus and really listening. It is also not always about accuracy of messages but an ability to shift with changes in awareness. It is about adapting to what gets presented and reading the messages that one sees, hears or feels.

It is a strange period of time, however I remain open to observations and changes that might come in the next few days. I hope. Staying with myself no matter what and however hard it might be.

Many blessings!

 
  

How love heals…

  
How love heals 

Through the body, senses and heart space love heals

As he lays his head on her trembling chest she melts into the knowing of peace, calm and softness 

Her sobs subside under the grounding energy of him 

Her love ripples out as she receives love 

the flow begins from one heart to another

They lay in unison of their connection 

Deep, solid, ever lasting 

As he lays his head on her chest 

They join in union of sacred love 

~ Raw Pagan