At the door of Samhain

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At the door of Samhain what often becomes open to us are our own abilities, gifts and things that we had always known but haven’t utilised or engaged with either recently or ever. It is a magical time when we naturally align with what is truly ours. I feel more myself at this time than at any other time during a yearly cycle. It explains my birth date and my spiritual beliefs based on the wheel of the year and seasonal and elemental connections that I live by. I am not alone in this either and what I find profoundly present at this time of year is women in general coming into their own whether you are aware of it or not. Many of us love autumn, we feel stronger, fresher, more rooted in our beliefs and responsibilities. We know well how to be with families, friends, children and partners. It is as if we step in our innate power and it feels comfortable.

This time of year is not without its challenges, however. Even though it feel
Magically charged, injected with confidence and knowledge of our direction we can still get derailed by things we don’t want to be encountering. Precisely that is when interferences will occur and some questions within us will arise, which we can not ignore, questions that need answering. It is the last part of the year and an opportunity to look at what we really need to leave behind and what needs to die within us, so we don’t drag it with us into the new cycle. It is the last chance this cycle to have a clear out.

Some of the themes for me this past few weeks had been about looking at my beliefs, my convictions and my choices going forward. Clarity and simplification. Self-care fundamentals and focusing on others. Rebirthing my magical self that’s gone to sleep of late. Getting out of my own head and becoming lighter and quieter in every sense. Working on it all required pure honesty to the point it felt like parts of me needed to be modified, removed or adjusted somehow and I felt that physically. On several occasions my hands would go into spasm of a sort like something would be realigning within, which I have allowed. It is a scary yet empowering process. I have had dreams of suggestion of huge transformations inside and out, the kind of dreams that make you jump out of bed. Things have been changing within and around me and I have been remodelled into something already known, not new, but not previously utilised or something better equipped going forward. The process is not over yet but it is coming to an end in the next two weeks, which will mark Samhain first and then my 42nd birthday, a significant number in my personal spiritual journey.

Whatever is happening with everyone around the universe I wish you all safe, glorious and beautiful transformations this season.

Much love and many blessings!

 

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Stay present with what you DO have

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When focusing on what we don’t have rather than what we do have it can be pretty hard to differentiate between our wants and needs. Time to evaluate!
Is that something that you want is really what you need? If you think you really want something ask yourself why? How specifically it will make your life better? What is it in your current life that can’t make your
life better? Does what you want have a foundation that stems from a real need and contains a potential beneficial change or is it an illusion?

These questions are super useful to consider when stuck in a ‘I really want to do or have this right now’. Why, why, why is the key. Sit down and really break it down, answer those questions and pretty soon you will know whether what you want is really what you need.

I have an example, which relates to a locality of where I am and my belief that somehow if only I was somewhere else geographically my spiritual needs would be met and I would somehow grow into something that will transform my life. The question is why can’t I do it where I am right now and what’s wrong with the place I am currently at? The answer is nothing is wrong with my place (what I do have already) and yes I can do it here and now without having to be somewhere else. There are levels to this, the first being ‘running away from something’, avoiding certain feelings or situations or not tapping into resources available to me here and now in the place that I am in.

The universe always drives us in a direction most beneficial for us, it wants the best for us all. It is up to us to decode messages that come into our realities daily. It is up to us to notice and hear those messages. Sometimes it comes in and slaps you in the face literary and pretty quick you realise that what you thought you were struggling with was wasted energy and nothing else. We realise illusions got created out of fear.
All that we need to do is tap into here and now and look at our life as it currently is.

I am seeking to move, escape, run away, detach, separate and all of those things and I had one place associated with it all and that place was the answer to all my struggles. Well, question really is what it is that I am running away from? Through reflection and therapy sessions we can work out motivations behind our behaviours and feelings that come up in our lives. Invaluable.
I remember my therapist asking me a clear question once ‘ok, you want to move to this country?’ Notice she didn’t ask me why or what for. She said ‘which area would you move to, which county attracts you the most’. I had NO answer, none and it got me thinking. There is something in that not knowing, so if I don’t know that, what else don’t I know. I couldn’t back anything up. It felt empty, pointless and had no foundation. Sometimes demystifying something really helps by drilling down into what we think we want and seek. Often it is all in our heads and when bringing stuff into our bodies it answers questions judging by feelings it brings up or shows a clear lack of feeling. We take it from there. Often our ideas and thoughts are popped like balloons and we are able to move with our lives just as they are. Not only that we begin to enjoy and appreciate what we do have more.

Take my example. Looking at where I am right now. I love where I live. I am connected to the land and the signature of the place. I created a few sacred spots for myself and all elements are around me. I have space, fresh air, freedom to grow my vegetables and a lovely house. It is no more or less beautiful than the place I think I want to escape to. I am pretty sure if I was to test my ‘want’ theory without answering all the questions above once I have done it then it would be the case of ‘now what?’ I previously did this with a job and that was exactly the outcome. I recently recognised I am doing it again with another thing. I am doing two things. Not drilling into my motivation behind the desire and not taking what I do have already into account.

Through every experience involving dreams and desires I can summarise it in one sentence.

With every dream we must have a clear answer as to ‘why’

We must feel it with every fibre of our being. It simply must feel like ‘home’ deep in the soul. A lack of feeling should be an indication of another process in operation whether it is an illusion, an escape from something, resistance to staying where you are or any other historical pattern of behaviour.

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Transformation after a dark night of the soul

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My experience has always been that transformation, upgrade, growth comes after a period of darkness of the soul. The darker and deeper the drop the more profound the transformation. It is, however, not easy to realise or get to the other side and comes with practice. There are often steps to follow.

The first one is awareness of light and dark within you, a true connection to both energies within your psyche. Both need to be known intimately, accepted, befriended and experienced. I frequently say that the best awareness comes from repeat lived experience and real life examples. Think of yourself in your ‘dark’ cloak. What does that look and feel like? Is there a clear image of yourself, in what voice and language that side speaks, what does it usually do, what its preferred or default way of behaving. Get to know it, notice, befriend and learn from it. The same goes for your light side of the psyche. What are you like when you are wearing your ‘light’ cloak. What’s the vibration and presentation of that energy within you? When you know both and can easily identify, recognise and connect with both you can navigate both your transformation and your dark nights better.

Another step in the process is to fully stay in the process and yes, natural reaction is to try to get out of it, change it, do something when we are in a dark place. It feels uncomfortable and painful. We resist, reject and want to strip ourselves of all that it brings with it, but even though it is natural to want to do that what if we allowed it to be? After all it is within us, it is part of us and it is there for a reason in any given moment.

Darkness and pain can also be comforting and safe to some of us and it is familiar to a point we get lost and settled into it. To me it feels like a dark cave where no one can find me. It can be soothing and reassuring. If it is so for you recognise it, explore your relationship and history with pain and dark places in general. Is there more to it?

Another opportunity when ‘in darkness’ is your unconscious will be showing itself through dreams more vividly. For me I begin to have profound, vivid, dark and nightmarish dreams. I always find those fascinating and even when unpleasant I find they keep my energies going. It is like stirring a caldron, a process of ‘cooking’ taking place in my unconscious. I get very involved with its content and open up to messages. This part of the process is valuable as much can be extracted from the dreams when in a state of darkness.

I find at this point in my practice that I know when darkness comes there will be light post-pain, post-anxiety and depression. One might say I learnt to keep the faith. In simple terms the only way is up. What’s needed here is trust and again it is another difficult point where we either give up (on ourselves) or manage to override our dark state somehow for the fear of never being able to come out. Never is a strong word, it deletes all possibility for change and it is an illusion. We all know that nothing ever stays the same and change touches absolutely everything. I strongly believe in the ‘Phoenix rising from the ashes’ transformation.

To reach the light we must be patient with the darkness. Not only we need to be with in it, allow feelings to do their thing in their own time, be graceful, soft amidst anger and desperation, be kind to yourself and your darkness. Needs that come up when you are in a dark place will be your usual needs, but amplified a lot and we need to meet those needs. Give yourself what you need in those moments through really listening to the voice of your pain and despair.

Light comes in gradually. First you begin to notice coming back into life through small things, wanting to connect again. You will feel your isolation state stretching into a need to relate. It is like a process of remembering your ‘whole’ self, the way you had been before going into darkness. You remember belonging to a group, family, your usual dynamic. You begin to want to get involved again in small ways, your voice will start coming back, healthy, balanced one. You begin to feel different, lighter, more grounded and less scared. Darkness has done its thing. It’s been and gone and by allowing it to be we allowed ourselves to feel what needed to be felt, worked through and acknowledged whatever that is for you.

I recently have gone through such period of darkness and all of the above was true for me again and when one morning I saw a big beautiful butterfly land on a bench next to me I knew the light was near. Transformation followed slowly with big insights, a strong desire for change and implementing things in a different way, adjusting behaviour and interactions. I also remained strongly aware of my needs, which through being amplified in the dark showed up more clearly in life. Through my voice returning I was able to communicate them to others more effectively. What followed was a sense of renewal, rebirth and upgrade into new ways.

Darkness is a great teacher. It not only puts things in perspective, it brings us literally back to life, more fully engaged in the present. I also find there’s a serene period of contemplation and a silent observation that accompanies the process of coming back to light. That is always very pleasant and incredibly needed.

We all potentially seek light and all leads to it whatever we go through in life and the most profound ‘come backs’ are through deep darkness.

Summer Solstice 2017

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Summer Solstice sizzled away like a hot fire pit and this morning we have fresh air and breeze. It is as if the earth is about to take a deep breath out and join in a dance with the brewing storm. I am up early this morning as I feel the storm coming and I become alive again after a very hot week and the hottest day of the year – Summer Solstice 2017.

I was faced with so many challenges during the week, confronted with the burning Sun, which seemly held no mercy for my discomfort and I moaned and moaned till I could bear it no longer. When Summer Solstice came and the heat reached its highest peak here in the UK my voice was gone and my spirit dimmed to a faint whisper of acknowledgment of my troubles. In that ‘melting’ I began to recognise my powerlessness against what appeared full of people to be a big lesson in love, patience and gratitude. I ended up taking a journey to the city, on a hot train and to my surprise I remained calm and collected with no grinding within my mind or heart. I stepped into a space of surrendering. I recognised it and that inner silence felt soothing. I remained in observation of things around me and within me and communicating gently with nature in its hottest burning state. I felt it smiling inviting all growth into dancing and fires burning all over the globe in honouring the Sun smelt delicious. The song of the Bard enchanted me into trance-like state of love, peace and gratitude.

I felt my relationship with the masculine challenged in the physical and spiritual sense and I knew it needed to be repairs, as ‘heat’, distorted fire within me raptured it. I began consciously cooling down in terms of being ok with what is and being accepting of releasing with the sweat what needed to go. I understood that my voice had a major place in how my discomfort is perceived and its effect of others. I pulled back, withdrawn to reflect on the sound of my voice and the meaning of the words spoken. It is within the balance of expressing your inner most uncomfortable cries within your soul and body and respecting the space where others co-exist. It is always about the balance and both are equally important if we are to be authentic. It is as much you as it is others, no more and no less. As we look within more the outside transforms and as the outsides engages with us we discover things within. Through the ‘voice’ work I offered a hand of reparation to the masculine and embraced its firy nourishment. There is still mistrust, yes, caution and suspicion and subsequent wish to withdraw. I am very aware of that, but what I choose is not only engage with that restraint within me in response to the masculine heat, I am also willing to expose my face to the brightest, hottest heat that seeks my attention.

I feel alive today post-Solstice and very inspired to continue this journey with deep gratitude and love in my heart and seeking engagement more and more with myself and others. Summer teaches connection, relationship to yourself and others. It is a time to be sociable, to acknowledge those links we have with others and recognise our contribution to that collective dance. It is the NOW time, summer, when we look at our achievements and life as a whole ‘warts and all’ and come out proud into a play field of our life with full engagement and appreciation.

 

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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Letting things go

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From the month of April and now in May (the most triggering time of the year for me) it has felt like the time to release finally and let go. This time it really IS the time. There is no choice or negotiation in this really, it simply needs to happen or the weight carried forward will interfere with any progress and growth and it is not needed.

Letting things go is such a strong vibe right now. Several things are falling off me in the next month or so and it feels releasing as if I am straightening my shoulders and taking in air in my lungs for the first time in a new way. Those things I am releasing are attached to my shoulders and back predominantly (where one imagine wings would sprout from) and feel like rocks when they detach and fall off me. They smash into pieces, big boulders and I feel so great seeing it happen. It is occurring in steps and stages and not in the same time and great patience is required. Expect mods swings and feeling useful, doubtful and uncertain. That’s okay. We are coming into a space of new and much better for sure.

Images that I get a lot these days is of butterflies and wings. Words that accompany images are transformation, rebirth, metamorphosis, keys, opening doors.
Stay put and drop all resistance. What will happen is such a big sigh of relief and lightness that we would be able to fly.

I am letting go of a few things on my blog too, all part of the process and listening to your inner wisdom is an important part of this exercise. If you hear it, do it, do it in a way that you are told from within.

Blessings!

Space vs enclosure

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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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