Nature-based spirituality and the transpersonal

The Pagan Path and Psychotherapy

 

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Shadow work, triggers and practicing Grace

shadow

I find myself gripped by the force I know well. It is a trigger of a strong kind. Only this time it feels more out of control, drawing me into its malignant and very dark something. I feel myself wanting to shapeshift into a beast and rip the energy apart. Something is threatening my light within, something is laughing and intends to spoil the goodness. I feel like a warrior trying to protect my kingdom from an unwanted enemy.

There is also a test in this, I fear, when my thoughts begin to shift towards black magic, voodoo dolls and I see visions of a laughing crone, skulls and lots of blood. Something needs to die and to be born, I tell myself. Why is this affecting me so? I am so emotionally overwhelmed by the strong pull into the darkness I can barely breathe, my thinking is clouded and my body feels non-existent. It feel like whatever this is might be winning the fight. Laughing faces and voices haunt me… I try to hold on to my awareness of the situation and desperately understand its meaning. Like never before I need to stay with myself, my needs, my intuition and awareness. It is either that or death, a death of all that I worked for and all that I have become. A test, a pull so strong I consider surrendering… But no.

Whatever I try in this situation, I am unable to detach myself from the ‘evil-like’ force that drags me into its waters by my ankles. I am fighting on one hand and on another I want to join in demolition of everything that is good, kind and selfless. I hold on. I contact a trusted friend or two and talk it over with them and it somewhat helps, but none of the techniques, which deal with demystifying and releasing triggers work. I feel powerless.

What remains hanging on by a thread is my awareness that all will be good and that this means something and it is important to stay with it to find out its intention. Lessons come in forms of energy entering my body. It feels like something from ‘outside’ when meets my ‘inside’, outer world awareness meets my inner world, it changes into something clearer. It is as if I have enough faith to allow myself to breathe in some of what is surrounding me into myself to see what happens and something does shift, not for long, but it does.

The lessons

This trigger drawing my shadow stuff out into the light and my intuition is guiding me to pay attention.

I realise my own light and how strong the love I have known, the unconditional, purple and white colour love, bigger than anything kind of love, is within me. I let in the external trigger in a form of a black smoky cloud into my 5th dimensional ‘home’, into my soul’s domain and guess what? It doesn’t taint it, it doesn’t grow bigger, the love remains, it doesn’t go, but what of the black cloud? I need to take it out of myself again and out there and when looking at it I know who I associate it with. Qualities of jealousy, control, dominance, envy, victimhood, vengeance and helplessness greet me. Those, I realise, are very old, stem from many years ago, my childhood, possibly even before then. They feel primitive and they ARE in pain screaming, moaning in discontent, dirty, ugly and pitiful.

When something from the shadow comes up one must not only pay attention one must engage with it, look it in the eyes and say

I love you

I hear and see you

I acknowledge you and release you

You will always have me validating you whenever your voice wanting to be heard

I am here with you

The love within me is ever strong and enough for the whole world over and over again

Do not be afraid, be released in peace

Dealing with triggers – techniques and tools

From my experience of coming face to face with parts of my shadow (above) and intentionally giving it love to integrate it I begin to explore what else works in times of conflict and discontent be it with another person, a circumstance, event or a situation.

Step into another’s shoes

When faced with what seems an impossible situation, which stirs all sorts of ‘bad’ feelings within you and you feel you are being swept into an argument, conflict, emotional drama, war, step into another’s shoes. You can do this in several ways, one is in relation to this situation and another is in relation to them as a person, as often (as it was in my situation recently) you don’t know why someone or something is causing you to feel destroyed on the inside and triggers you so bad. It is not always obvious.

A situation

Sit in silence in a place where you are alone. With breathing deeply bring your attention within and when you find yourself in-between thoughts focus on a person in front of you, a person that bothers you in a given situation. See yourself standing opposite them and observe how it makes you feel to have to face them. This is important to let yourself feel everything there is to feel towards them. Allow yourself to be with them. Then imagine stepping into their body and facing yourself. Observe how you feel and what comes to you, be it an image, a voice, an emotion… Feel what the person is feeling and wants to say to you, if anything. When you receive information you needed step out of their body and back into your own. Observe how you feel now having received information and visited their ‘point of view’.

A person

This is suitable for situations where you are being triggered by a person for a reason you are not aware of. Someone, who seemingly hasn’t done anything wrong to you, but they are pulling you in energetically for a reason and this is the way to find out why and what they are trying to achieve.

Repeat as above, but when you step into their body, observe and feel their qualities, needs, desires. Before you step into them ask them ‘what do you need and want?’, then from ‘their point of view’ allow them to speak.

There might come a time when you will begin to do this exercise automatically with people or situations. You will be able to just know what is what as soon as you bring your ‘step into their shoes’ intention into your awareness.

It works without fail and has been the most useful and powerful tool for me to bring peace and resolution within myself and improve relationships and responses immensely.

Until something else showed itself to me and that is practicing grace.

Manifesting grace

On my way from a client the other day the word ‘grace’ came into my awareness and I kept repeating it to myself over and over again. It is a beautiful word, I feel, vibrationally aligning with the higher self, the pure self. What is grace? Listening to others I heard definitions of ‘forgiving someone undeserving’, ‘God’s grace’, ‘releasing of sins’. It also felt like grace is always directed towards others. What about yourself? It didn’t feel complete or felt good to me to hear references to undeserving, sin, mercy, others. It is way more than that, it is out there for everyone including yourself. No one is undeserving. I believe we are all deserving of love, everyone is regardless of our shadows and wounds. What came to me is grace is unconditional love. Yes, towards yourself and others.

Again I found myself in the place of my soul where that unconditional love lives. It is of colours purple and white, pure, delicate, majestic, touchingly beautiful and everlasting. I became aware of myself being in touch with that place more and more recently and smiling to myself I felt full of hope and light.

Until I found myself face to face with a situation and a person that threatened to dim the light. I tried everything including the above and it did very little. I was surprised how strong it felt and how ‘impossible’ it seemed to ever resolve it. I felt helpless. They haunted me. I raged and cried and nothing worked. I remained triggered to the point of feeling sick and never seeing a hope of detaching. There was a feeling of dirt, emptiness and hollowness, not a nice place to be. I realised my vibration was very low.

One evening I walked through the Christmas fair and I suddenly got drawn to a jewellery stall and I knew then I was going to buy a gift for the very person I was battling in within myself through the external representation of someone else. I felt immense light saying their name and stating my intention of buying a gift. I bought it and I felt such a relief. My throat relaxed for the first time in weeks and I took a deep breath expressing how good I felt.

The next day what came to me was a realisation that I was practicing grace. There is a saying ‘rise above’, ‘accept or give gracefully’, both of which assume that you do something without needing to like it, but in doing so you go beyond what is present. This sounds slightly like a by-pass to me as anything that goes beyond without going in or through first is not a complete resolution. What was happening her was after weeks of going through the feelings, going into it, looking at it my ‘grace’, if you like, my unconditional love got activated or came forward to lend a hand and remind me that love is bigger than fear, bigger than hatred or revenge. It is just bigger and purer and when one uses to transmute the dark, the pain, the anguish one doesn’t reject it, no, it acknowledges it, it soothes it, it says I love you, you are ok, whatever you are teaching me I accept, thank you. I became aware I practiced grace when I bought that gift and the gift was for myself as much as the other person.

Visit your place of grace often, be aware when your light gets dimmed or your vibration falls, ask why. What dark places need revisiting within us in times when we are met with triggers?

Grace, awareness, love and more love

Blessed Winter Solstice!

sunrise (1)