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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My sacred woodland

Across the road from my house there lies a woodland. It is a short pleasant walk into what is a sacred place to me. At first sight it might seem like nothing particularly special, big or of any significance, yet to me it means everything. It is a sacred crucible, which has been holding my pain and joy, ecstasy and turmoil and provided a solid presence and acceptance for many years now.

The way I would describe it in a way of imagery is a circle of greenery, it is a round shape, not too big, positioned slightly more to the left off the path although it stretches to the right too with a path running all the way round it and across it. It inhibits the lives of many oaks, holly trees, silver birches and smooth-skinned beeches. There are many hidden groves within the woodland where one cannot be seen from any of the paths and it feels like one is in a safe hold of the forest floor, trees above and plants all around. I often feel hugged by my guardian trees and most of them I can climb in between, as they stand in clusters. There is a brook running through the middle, small, narrow, but very alive with vibrancy of the crystal clear water.

In spring the woods change its flooring to vibrant purple of bluebells and the smell stretches all senses in a delicious dance of delirium. The joy is indescribable and it takes my breath away every time. In summer it is near to impossible to go off the path due to overgrowth of ferns and brambles and the air is so still I can hear my heart beat. I hold my breath in surrender to the cooling shelter that it provides amidst the heat of summer days.

In autumn it is very pleasant and paths yet again begin to open up for accessing all the hidden little groves, beginning to invite us slowly into the heart of the woods and our inner worlds. Here I cocoon myself for an hour or so doing magic or simply lying on the floor merging with the earth. There is a notable chill in the air, but so refreshing and, of course, the golden attire of trees never fails to get me to the floor kneeling before its majesty. In winter it is bare in all its glory and I can see the most intricate silhouettes of trees entwining their branches and huddling together against the wind. Stunning in their nakedness they stand strong in their vulnerability.

This woodland has been in my heart for many years and witnessed my process intimately holding all my secret heart desires and painful experiences. I never once left this place without a resolution, an answer or a transformation of some kind. It works every time. It is my trusted teacher, friend, guardian, counsellor, mother/father, the divine. It is something I can’t imagine my life without and its vibration has been aligning with my own for many moons whether it was performing my nature spells, meditating, talking to trees or spending time in close embrace with the earth smelling and feeling the glory of its body and soul. It might be a simple woodland, yet to me it is sacred and precious.

I now intend to take other people on soul quests through this wonderful place where I hope they, like myself, will find resolution, understanding, healing and transformation. I offer OUTDOOR therapy for clients in the UK, Uxbridge area.

‘Get back on that road’ Nature said…

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Following on from my post on 2017 signature this is my experience, as reflected back to me by nature perfectly. This is an aspect of my spirituality, which is deeply rooted in knowing that nature always gets where I am, where I need and want to be and where I should be in any given moment. It is non-directional in a traditional sense and neutral, however once I learnt to hear its unique voice I learnt to understand what it means by its often very subtle pointers. She does speak through trees, ground under my feet, through bird song and rustle in bushes. It always speaks and there is always something worth listening to especially when I come for guidance and advice.

The woods this morning stood uninviting. Saying it out loud sounds somewhat strange, which, to me, means there is mystery to be discovered. Things are not always what they seem, I learnt that a long time ago. I hear bird song and follow its music into the woods, yet in the next moment it is drowned by the sound of traffic and air noise followed by loud dog barking and figures walking close by. I can’t settle and I am walking on the paved path unlike my usual choice of places to walk. I notice that. I want to see and smell pines. I know that’s what I seek and I turn off the paved path. I come towards green fluffiness of pines standing beautiful in the rain. I pick a branch from the forest floor to smell it yet it is missing the fragrance I expect. It is dull, it is not felt and I begin to feel like the forest pushes me out, back to the paved path.
The noise of traffic and air doesn’t subside, it is constant and the bird song is no longer present. I look beneath my feet, it is muddy and soggy. It is cold. I feel disjointed and my vision is very obscured by irritating fog in my eyes. I sense anger and disappointment and decide  to walk back to my car.
What was that about? What does it say about where I am right now? Drowned by noise, people, traffic. Chaotic. I feel the woods pushing me towards what is in the moment. I must be amidst it, trees say, not in solitude walking in the rain but in connection with human, mundane and noisy. This is not the first time I hear this message and I recognise it as s lesson of not trying to escape something but fully staying with what is. It is about the Earthly, grounded dimension being rather than spiritual and detached when not in connection with the earthly. This is actually the most important lesson of the spiritual, which I am reminded of again and again. I start the car and as I drive back home I feel anticipation in my heart growing to see my boys and get stuck in my life again. I feel renewed, seen and understood yet again.

Nature

 

Nature is an intelligence system of the Source manifesting through rivers, trees, seasons, mountains. They each represent a side of the spirit with unique qualities and purpose to make ‘whole’.

Nature has much to teach us, most of all about ourselves. One might say it is the only teacher we will ever need. It will always lead us back to ourselves.

As we cut off from nature, we cut off from the Source itself and separate further from ourselves.

What is life without soul? Unconscious dwelling, never wondering what else is there? Many often reach the question is this it? Is there more we wonder? You are it, all that u seek is already within. Natures’ elements are parts of you and as you learn to be with her, you learn to be with yourself.

 

Oh how soul craves the Earth bare, moist and deep

The calling drenched in sweetest voice directs oneself to thee 

You are the stars, the Moon, the Sun, the flowers on forest floor

You are the fallen leaves that fly surrendering to her

The Earth’s warmth and calm embrace gives power to soul

To rest, to be, to sing and dance in circle of the coil 

One whole, one complete within, at peace with one’s soul

 

RawPagan

When great trees fall…

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When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.

Our memory, suddenly sharpened, examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of
dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

~ Maya Angelou

Romancing with a Tree

tree talk

I go on walks often, sometimes I am called if there is a message for me to receive or a scar to attend to. Other times I feel my heart bursting with such gratitude I am in need of a walk in order to honour nature for all the gifts it bestows on my life and my spirit. Honouring nature in however small ways every day is how my spirit keeps its spark.
As I drove in my car this morning I was feeling an expansion of senses, a renewed energy that has come in during the night, and a slight happy tingling in the body. I knew then I ought to immerse myself in the spirit of my dear woods. Just then a crow flew very close to my windscreen as if to say ‘come, come, you are welcome’. I smiled to myself and said, ‘I am on my way’.
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