Coming back to yourself – identity and spirit

russian forest in autumn

As a psychotherapist and a transpersonal approach practitioner the aim of my work with clients is to facilitate making ‘whole’ and help clients get back to themselves, get back ‘home’.

This time of year brings me closer to my roots, to my ancestors of birth and land. I begin communicating with and seeing them more clearly. My food changes according to how they had eaten and I occupy myself with activities, music, books that had been familiar to them. Most of those traditions are closely woven with nature cycles, seasons. My home and people carry nature in their blood. It is as natural to us as mother’s milk. All traditions and customs that we undertake every season is never questioned by anyone. They are observed in a way that flows very naturally between generations, genders and ages. There is this common knowing, understanding and love of nature. We are in a very close relationship with all things nature. Spirit, emotions, intellect and physical sensations can all be linked to our expression through a relationship with nature. There are references to it in literature, poetry, music and language is filled with a variety of descriptions of moods, changes and emotion-evocative experiences. Nature is a living breathing being for my ancestors and myself.

What happened to me five years ago was a shift, a push towards ‘home’, back to myself. I needed to get back to my roots from which I also needed to cut off for some time in order to survive and fit in. I had to start a process of remembering, re-integration, re-igniting of my knowledge, resonance and love of what roots and home meant for me. This journey also connected me to the land that I currently live on and through finding striking similarities in the landscape and the emotions that it evoked in me, that remembering of ‘home’ journey became very rich and fulfilling. The process happened with nature spirit flowing through me at all times. I connected to my roots through learning and remembering about trees, weather patterns, the elements, magic, plants, my love for certain things in nature and remembering and connecting who I was then and who I am now in terms of what spirit lives within me.

I am writing this after watching a wonderful presentation on ‘Identity and spirituality’ as part of my CPD and it reminded me of my own process of connecting with my roots and establishing a solid knowing and understanding who I am now through who I was then and the process of becoming and evolving. It is the process of finding what is at the centre of my being.

In my practice I feel passionate about working with both issues, identity and spirituality, and both are closely linked in making ‘whole’.

It opens up discussion about your beliefs on whether we are spiritual beings having an experience on Earth or are we human beings with a spiritual nature. It might mean the same to some, to others there are clear differences. It would depend on your own personal experiences regarding spirit and beliefs about life on earth and afterlife. To me, spirit is an integral part of who we are along with our other aspects or functions, cognitive, emotional, physical and all operate together and ideally harmoniously. However, where there is a lack of presence or distorting in operation in one or more of these functions then a ‘whole’ is disturbed. For example, a person struggles to express their emotions or their thoughts are distorted or they manifest their difficulties rooted in the mind or heart through the body or their spirit is asleep or remains unreachable or unknown. In my work as a transpersonal therapist I aim to bring a person into balance, and to get all functions/aspects operating together and in harmony.

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Past lives reading

past lives

The mystery of my emotions holds me tight in its grip. It feels like it will drown and overpower me any minute I will run out of air. I am walking on the edge of an experience bigger than myself. It is present in my lungs and chest in particular and tears break out of me in uncontrollable sobs. It is grief. After years of wondering I am in great need to seek answers to my experience of the land I call spiritual home. So far no explanation offer itself to me and I continue to be tormented by some energy I can’t contain without losing myself.

Past lives is an idea that had been coming into my reality again and again yet I have always dismissed it. I do seem to understand the idea behind it yet I would say I haven’t experienced it, but how would one know, I wonder… Answers are not easily in front of us when we need them and with this, in particular, things that happen to us in our present are hard to explain. Are some of the things that we feel and experience now connected to lives we had lived before? This time I allowed a possibility of it strongly being an experience from my past life or several of them.

I reached out to my trusted Highland Witch I go to at least once a year seeking answers. What she came back with not only touched me deeply, but like nothing else ever did before provided a big relief and a welcome release. As I was reading my story from the past I was thrown into a life of hardship, love, loss, grief and violence. It was dark and felt very real. I could see that young woman with a child unborn inside of her, who had to endure immeasurable pain losing her young husband and being killed herself with the child inside of her. Her blood was spilt on the land itself and never in my spiritual experience had I felt something so strongly. I could smell the air on that murky damp day in the Highlands of Scotland and saw the blood running onto the soft moss and rock beneath my feet. It explains not only the feelings I have been experiencing for years while on the land, but also my responses to trauma and most of all my character. This reading I must say enriched my life and reaffirmed things I have struggled to place into context.

I am to take a specially designed ritual to the land of my sorrow to release the grip of my past and cleanse my soul in order to merge with the land in joy. Everything is finally clear and calm within me just like death was to that young woman. I feel peaceful for the first time in years and getting ready to take that emotional pilgrimage to the place of my calling.

Past lives readings and guidance, or regression, can provide many answers. I see it as one way to access material that needs healing and processing just like many other psycho-spiritual therapeutic techniques. land

When familiar is no longer working 

 When familiar no longer works you are ready for the next step, upgrade, adjustment.

I had an experience this month where I was left suspended in a vibration, which felt uncomfortable and unsolvable. No tools I have accumulated over the years could successfully be applied to that situation. I fought against it, resisted, projected my frustration onto external and that is normal human reaction when we are up against something that is problematic yet feels like it can’t be fixed. I understood my reaction well to that state as a natural push against something that I felt needed to be fixed or changed. Also to mention that surrender to a situation or a feeling state (one of my tools) also didn’t work.

In terms of elements, which I often use as a model when working with situations and parts of myself I couldn’t describe for the first time which element I was manifesting in my reality. That was the thing that really struck me as the elements always work for me in a simple way to help me understand what is distorted, what I am lacking and what needs to be introduced into the mix. Nah, not this time. There was suspension of all possible ways I have gotten to know to work for me so far in my life. I should also mention that my ‘magic’ seemed to have gone to sleep. There was access to that either.

I became curious about,firstly , what it was about that didn’t allow my known methods to work. It felt like there was an opening for something new to come in. I was meant to learn a new way, take a different step towards resolution and wholeness within myself. I was ready to engage with material completely new and it felt like there would be risks involved, super sharp mindful awareness in every moment and not abandoning myself under no circumstance, which simply only delays the process of learning and integration.

At this moment in time all I have is an awareness of the above having taken place. I am curious to what this will lead to. It feels like I am working through something on my way of becoming something new. Nothing is new within us, of course, there can only be something that we forgot or rejected perhaps. What’s coming up is more shadow work, I feel and whenever that happens I feel excited. Why? Because shadow work always leads to liberation, unleashing of what has been hidden yet can be used in a valuable way. It’s like fining a black box and feeling the excitement of opening it and not knowing what one would find yet it feels like home, you, a gift. And the work is to work out what that is.

I now remember feeling this way back in summer 2016 when all tools were taken away and I was forced to look at my physical reality manifestations. It forced me to get engaged with myself on a serious level, really look at myself in the mirror as the only thing available. I felt I didn’t quite get it that time and therefore, missed an opportunity to upgrade. Now I am being given the second chance and I am ready!

Always question how you feel, observe how you behave and what your thinking is like. Be with yourself always and whenever something doesn’t feel right stop and explore it’s meaning. It’s not that we are doing something wrong it’s about  becoming something new. Something is always growing within of us to be known.

Blessings!

Healing powers of the Land and music

Anxiety and panic attacks struck me like an unexpected dark storm and my ground began to slide from under my feet. I found myself in a ball of terror unable to go out and without a voice. I was scared to cry, my chest was constricted and tight. There was fear in the whole of my being.

I felt sadness and grief, but no ability to express it, which is directly linked for me with past trauma. I seem to be hooking into this position for a few years running now about this time of year where such energy becomes dense and concentrated and just strikes me motionless and paralyses all life within me. This is also linked to freedom, family obligations, which in no way align with what I believe in and grief and death, which again don’t really belong to me. In this darkness I seem to be unable to find that light, which contradicts the season and what I should be doing.

I guess what I am describing is a sort of hijacking of my ‘light’ and feeling imprisoned by all things irrelevant and hurtful to me. I am beginning of think that changes must occur and, perhaps, this is going to be the biggest challenge yet for me to transform this insight into a reality where I feel contained and safe. I sure don’t want to experience this again come next year. There is work to do.

We are approaching Yule and I have always loved this festival and I love the darkness but in a different way, in a way of needing to go deeper willingly, not being hijacked by stuff irrelevant, and in that sense being stopped from going deeper on my own terms, in my own time, I suppose. This stuff seems to want to keep me on the surface, on a level filled with fear and immobility devoid of heart feeling. My darkness understanding is the opposite yet I can’t seem to get there for I have to deal with stuff that hits me in the face and demands not just my attention but it demands me being in prison and silenced.

Yesterday I was unable to leave my bed after a sleepless night filled with episodes of anxious unrest and fear. My chest felt like a stone, stuck within a place where it felt like my heart would stop beating any minute. Love was draining out of me and anger was present, tears wouldn’t come and breath was barely present. Trapped.

Lying under my blanket I was desperate for a solution, for some hope I would be ok again. I must mention that these attacks are recent phenomenon, even though they began a few years back, they don’t come often, but in recent years becoming frequent and that is how I am able to recognise it now well. I plugged into music (below) and began my journey. I always remember one thing with trauma is a finding a safe place and I began my search allowing surrender to come in.

MUSIC 

As music played I began slowly connecting with my Warrior self. I realised how grounding, Fire energy type music taps into some strength and reassurance within me. I step outside of my body and witness myself out there. It is like looking into a mirror to see yourself from an aspect, which is most needed. This links closely to the personality model of the elements and this one is a Fire side of me, which is in a balanced and healthy state. I notice my breathing changing and I become more engaged with surroundings.

I see myself on the shores of Loch Drummond, exactly here (images below) looking over the view from above and breathing the air deeply into my lungs. The music connected me to the beating of my own heart and I feel myself collecting my senses into a form that is closer to whole.

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Queen’s View, Loch Tummel

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Looking over Loch Tummel

In the next scene I am on my knees on the shore of Loch Tay praying to the element of water, which is so powerful I am in awe of the scenery and my heart beats more and more love into myself and out into the lake.

loch-tay
Loch Tay, Perthshire, Scotland

On the shores of Lake Laggan as I stand up to my knees in the water tears come and music changes into this MUSIC   I connect with Water element of emotions looking deep within dark waters of the lake.

loch-laggan
Loch Laggan, Highlands, Scotland

I cry and sob and feel myself finally coming into my body as I become aware of my chest rising and falling with each tear and moan within me. It feels good and releasing.

With emotion also comes that deepest yearning for the land within me that I know so well. In this case it became unbearable, which helped the tears come in outbursts of screams and sobs as if my body needed to be ‘scolded’  from inside out. Intensity of emotion opened up my heart and in that deep love of the land within me healing came, release came. I merged with the aspect of myself that is pure, grounded, simple and peaceful. It is that spirit of the land within me that held my hand reassuring my being for I am ok, I will be. I came to my safe place, to the land where my spirit unchanged and untouched lives always and forever. This journey meant so much to me and it was so powerful I am deeply touched by my own inner spirit and wisdom that can guide me out of the darkness whatever happens.

On reflection I can truly say that nothing ever worked as well as the above did in reawakening my heart back to life.

Music by:
Relaxing Nordic/Viking Music – Ótroðinn (Adrian von Ziegler)
The Mermaids Tears (Jeff Victor)
Photos copyright: taken by Raw Pagan (Natalia Clarke) 
Header image: http://crianlarich-hotel.co.uk/

Softness

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The quality of softness is beautifully warm, healing, lightening and transforming. I first heard of it from my parents many years ago in the context of the quality being very positive and admirable particularly in a woman. A girl or a young lady with a quality of softness was approved of and considered pleasant and easy to relate to and live with, however, this can be explained due to the nature of patriarchal society in which ‘soft’ otherwise called timid and agreeable woman was considered exactly what was expected. I often felt saddened as a child and then as a young woman as I was not considered soft. I was criticised for not being soft enough. I, however, always felt soft on the inside, but that’s for another post.

Here I want to look at the quality from a perspective of being soft without abandoning or diminishing any of the other qualities and remaining in balance. What I mean is that with the presence of softness, i.e. Water element quality, robustness and grit of Fire element is not missing or Air quality of intellect is absent.

Softness is a spirit quality, it is pure, it is aethentic and intoxicatingly beautiful. I experience it in a similar way I would sense a soft skin of a young child or the 5th dimansional being in a form of a young Goddess or a delicate bird or a stunning small flower amidst a storm. I can think of many archetypes from different cultures, which carry that quality well.

I have heard references to a ‘softer’ perspective on many occasions since I first came across it as a young woman. When something is presented to us, which feels jarring and hard, be it a person’s manner or a conversation that results in us being hurt, we feel wounded, lost and under threat. I feel it strongly when someone is being unfair or harsh or aggressive in an exchange for whatever reason. Natural reaction mostly for many is to react, scream in pain and project all the pain we feel on to the other. Some circumstances might require that, but what if instead we took a ‘softer’ stance. This can be done in various ways. Firstly one needs to know what the quality of softness feels like to them and what it means. Once that signature is found and integrated one can always access it whenever needed. It can be done with other things like ‘inner peace signature’ or a ‘productive fire energy signature’ to name a few. These are like environments we step into, suits or hats we can choose to wear in any given moment when it’s needed. It is a dance between the elements if you like. We employ certain qualities to balance something out or help us move forward from a certain position.

Today softness signature was the one I decided to choose. I was hurt by a conversation with someone harsh and ego-centric, inflexible and cold. I found myself crambling under yet another attack and felt it was enough. I expressed my hurt and in order to discharge that imbalance within me I called upon ‘softness’ before letting my pain consume me. These days I choose not to. An image of a woman flashed before me as I sat down. She had a delicate face, pure white skin and soft expression in her eyes. This is who I want to embody in that moment. She reminded me of the healing potential of stepping into softness.

I sat with it, let it wash over you. Choosing softness is neutralising and calming and puts you in touch with goodness. Softness when understood and used in the right context is a good quality, it is void of extremes and very grounding. More than that it produces forgiveness and compassion for the other persons. When merging into a softer way of being, not only you can express your hurt and choose not to spill into unnecessary projections you can also open the heart towards another who needs it even more than you do, perhaps, in that moment.

Every time the hurt came back I thought ‘softness’ again and again until I felt my body lightning and my focus returning.

bright_softness_by_ellohine

Teal Swan’s Completion Process

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This morning I went through a Completion Process by Teal Swan. She has been featuring in my life for a couple of years now. I resonate with her energy and adore her signature of vulnerability, intellect, compassion, pain and authenticity. I also like her writing style, which is always clear and methodical. Her latest book The Completion Process is very well written and I am delving into it at the moment.

Teal has been particularly present for me in the last month or so when my Inner child came forth needing attention, work and integration I showed resistance, made excuses, rejected the possibility of doing the work and wanting to hand over responsibility to someone else. Teal’s presence during this time synchronously guided me towards what needed to be done and signals only got stronger and stronger as days went by, more insistent with each day, which was clear to me that I simply could not avoid this and I must participate in my own healing to do with inner child in particular. Soul’s desire was and remains for that aspect of myself to be looked at. It is time, no more excuses, no more dragging this heavy load with me everywhere I go.

I woke up this morning earlier than planned and came across a video in my Inbox with a demonstration of the Completion process. I immediately went with it. HERE is the link. There was a lady in the video working on herself with Teal. I started listening to the process and found myself being able to go into my own process easily, sort of in parallel with the lady on screen. The fact that she was going through her process didn’t hinder me participating in mine fully. The fact that I was able to focus and work on myself while listening and watching someone else do their process told me loud and clear just how ready I was to go with this. It was the most intense emotional experience I had ever done and this is the truth. With Teal’s guidance I was able to stay with myself fully and on another level all together. I really went into the traumatic memories and feelings with my body shaking with tears and images coming through readily. It was such a wonderful opportunity I thought on reflection to be able to do something with Teal even when she was working with someone else.

There are no coincidences there are only pointers and alignments within environment, which lead to a solution or a possibility. Synchronicities. I have experienced this process in my life now for several years and I can say that for me it is impossible not to trust it and in many ways that is how I live my life now, with full awareness of what goes on around me and checking it against my emotional body every time. One might say it has become a practice, which now happens effortlessly.

I came out of the session with a sense of hope more than anything. A sense of knowing that whatever just occurred made perfect sense and that it hugely benefited me in this morning hour. Work will continue, but I feel somewhat braver, less resistant and more prepared to go places and be with it. What stood out for me in the process I had gone through this morning were the following words. See if any of those resonate with you:

  • Surrender
  • Unconditional presence
  • Calm
  • Softness
  • Joy
  • Flow
  • Freedom
  • Fragrance
  • Luxury and comfort
  • Sacred

It is like putting together pieces of a jigsaw when something begins to stand out for you in your life more, e.g. you notice you get triggered more often than usual or you feel in one particular way, e.g. angry, more frequently with seemingly no reason. Notice, I’d say, it all begins with awareness, follow that thread, because it is often a thread of feelings or events or interactions, which will lead to what most needs attention and integration. If you are called to something, follow that path, allow yourself to be curious especially if there is a feeling present of ‘this is right even though scary’. This is what happened to me and Teal’s presence in my world this past month. I am going to follow it further and witness it unfolding. There is a hope vibration and an opening that invites me in and there is something in this that says ‘there is only a way forward’.

 

The heartbeat of an oak 

  
It sure feels sacred standing against an oak’s cool bark heart to heart. 

When I leaned against the oak in the woods all birds suddenly awakened in harmonies and the tree let me into its heart vibration, which felt like a privilege. It was subtle and soft, different from a heartbeat of a human. It is duller and more distant and if it was a colour I would describe it as pale white. 

Its leaves offered me yet another comfort as usually touching greenery of trees refreshes and reassures me. This offering appears often in my hour of need I found over the years. 

I decided to practice my newly found wisdom of asking a question when in despair, confusion or feeling down and negative. What is Essential and what is Non-essential. I asked it as I merged with the heartbeat of the oak and the answer came. Breath is essential and Anger is not when it is in defence. It also encouraged me to let the arms of masculine to comfort me, asked me to allow myself lean on him, share with him, let him wipe my tears and carry me to a place of safety. This felt wonderfully grounding and reassuring. I noticed my vision clearing and my focus returning.
The energy that spread all around was neither a father, brother or husband like. And quickly I realised I was encountering the so far elusive figure of a Green man. It is something non-attached and non-identifiable in any way only in terms of energy he offers. I identify him as a male hence using he and him, but it is not like a father, lover or a partner. He is whatever you want him to be and I love that within this spirituality where however you want to relate to a given deity it offers itself to you freely as long as there is respect and gratitude offered in return. 
Here’s a picture of the Green man, which my eyes were immediately drawn to once I listened to my heartbeat and my inner voice renewed and strengthened by the heartbeat of the oak tree.

  
I continued on my walk with a gift of this new encounter and an additional knowledge that all is balanced in nature and whatever is needed is always available.