When pain finds a home within your soul

painful emotions

In psychological circles this is referred to as pain addiction. This is real, lived experience for many. It is a state of being where separating pain from anything that we encounter in life becomes impossible. It merges with our being in a way that becomes familiar, safe, even sweet and impossible to imagine not feeling it. It becomes one of the personal signature of an individual, which brings all sorts of distortions with it. The process of unravelling is needed, deep diving into dark places, but mostly reintroduction of the light into a personal experience, as the light often goes into a personal shadow.

This is what it looks like when I tap into that part of myself still present although it no longer affects my life in ways it used to. It is now fully in my awareness and I know this character well, hence able to communicate with it and meet its needs if and when.

Ugly, dripping poison from its finger tips, so wrapped in its own pain it is second nature. This creature outgrown the most excruciating suffering that it feels at home with it, it’s learnt not just to be with it, it is inseparable from her being. It is very old, with bent and crooked limbs, long nails and grey hair or is it fur – both. It is animal-like with human eyes and deep intelligence. There is kindness somewhere there, but it is not apparent. It wants to be bad, it thinks it is a good thing, as it will fill up the cup of pain even more. It seeks the ritual and any opportunity to refill it. Like an addict it is constantly in search of the next fix.

Grown into my flesh it wears deer-skins and smells of wet mud and berries. Like an animal it claws into me holding on with a scowl scary and disturbing. 

I know it well and these days all that is needed of me is the acknowledgement it is there when I begin to feel its warm breath on the back of my neck. It is often present around my shoulder/neck area. It is very warm, sometimes feeling like a burn, but it also shows me some compassion these days and often sweeps away mud and moss pieces when it feels it made a mess. It is a child and an old creature all at the same time. It is deeply broken, but not unlovable and it likes to spread itself on rocks (I love rocks) and roll off them into a wet grass.

I often work with clients in ways of looking at different parts of them. I would ask when they begin to describe an energy that takes over them and affects their life. I seek to bring it to life with my client in a way of seeing what it looks like, what it sounds like and what is its behaviour before moving to what that part of us need. Many find this very useful and become curious about what else is within them that affects their everyday behaviour. When we make those characters real it is easier to relate whether we choose an object representing it, or we do a drawing or find a drawing that most reminds us of them or we relate to them through colours, sounds. However we connect with parts of ourselves it is about becoming conscious/aware of what takes place within our psyches and why.

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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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Lessons in the ‘neutral’

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Having difficulty in communicating? Coming up against conflicts?

Take up a neutral position. You might know it all, but you might know nothing at all. It is polar opposites that cause problems and when you notice you have taken either one or the other position you can bring your attention to the mid-point. What if you are about to know everything and know nothing all at the same time?

Communication changes when instead of engaging in an argument you pause and observe what your body is doing. Is it pushing and pulling? Does it feel uncomfortable? Stay with that without going either way and allow for energies to settle. Actively listen to the other, observe their struggle in that moment. Energies travel from one to the other in the moment when one is still the other will also begin to slow down. Watch it in action the next time something prickly arises between you and someone else. What is the outcome? Disengagement from ‘being right’ and ‘knowing it all’ will empower the other to slow their vibration and energies settle for both. It is not disempowering you it is bringing the focus on what is grinding in the moment. Speak if you must, but use softer language, pause, let the other speak, engage with a smile, a nod, ask for a moment to speak. Engage in exchange of equals where both come from a position of their perception. Let your attachment to outcomes go, actively listen and participate rather than dictate. See if communication improves and both engage in the flow from the beginning, middle and end. Let it become an exploration rather than a perceived outcome.
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Understanding sacrifice 

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I have rejected the idea of self-sacrifice especially after my being got fragmented post stepping into motherhood, which now is clear only came from a point of not fully understanding its meaning and purpose. It always felt like ‘what about me’? The position of a wounded part within, which always felt unseen and unheard, the part, which felt her needs were ignored and not met. Limited perspective.

It has recently grown into a wider understanding through looking at my mother’s life. I find it’s always valuable to look outwards for examples of self-sacrifice and what that shows and teaches us. There’s one crucial key to self-sacrifice and that is a firm personal choice and from there what follows is meaning making. They go together to be more precise.
On the surface it looks like she completely sacrificed her life for her husband and kids. It often begged a question ‘but what about her’. I am sure she asked that enough times herself in moments of despair and uncertainty, however, she always remained firm in her choice to self-sacrifice. We might ask why? And the answer is for the greater good, for better outcome all around, for happiness on a wider scale, which she could contribute to. It is her contribution to the wider good and her choice in sacrificing if necessary that carried her through life and, guess what, she remained happy throughout. It is from seeing others happy and content she drew her own happiness and contentment. That always remained her personal choice and one might even say her life purpose.

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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.

How things can fall into place

Looking for a new perspective, for a way to move forward, for a way out…

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Things can fall into place in many different ways:

  • through being patient
  • through energies aligning fully with your vibration of need and desire
  • through creating an opening for something new to come it
  • through observing synchronicities daily
  • through staying peaceful within yourself and trusting that all is the way it should be
  • through clearing old clutter and releasing what no longer needed
  • through the dark night of the soul, which, once passed creates a new environment
  • through prayer and meditation with pure heart and intent on moving forward
  • through insights whether they come in dreams or another healing space, like therapy
  • through healing old patterns and addressing suppressed emotions and wounds
  • through being honest with your emotions
  • through facing shadow side head on with acceptance and compassion
  • through embracing and comforting your inner-child
  • through speaking the truth of the heart
  • Walking in nature. Simple, yes I know, oh so powerful and often all that is needed

Get in touch if you need some reassurance or guidance on your path CONTACT 

Blessings!