Dream therapist

I’ve never been particularly drawn to spoken therapies across all the years I’ve pursued various hands-on and energetic ones. Any useful dialogue that has taken place has tended to be with myself though, I admit, there have been times when energy healings have loosened my tongue, leading me to deeper understanding of places where my energy had got stuck over this and other lifetimes.

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Dr Judith Orloff “Emotional Freedom”

As for dreaming, I know there have been times in my life when I was able to plunge the deep pool and enjoy a rich dreamlife, rendering me all the more eager to return the next night for yet another dive into those bottomless waters (I mostly recall such sleep luxuriant times occurring during the longer school holidays, when I was unbothered enough by outside life to go there and let loose). As I said, those experiences tended to be in my younger days and would alternate with times when dreams became darker and more troubled or so spartan I felt more like I was erratically playing back fragments of the previous day’s events or even television programs or what other people had shared with me, rather than making sense of anything profound. Either way, I have never been a great rememberer of the “plot line” of dreams the next morning and this has only frustrated me all the more when I’ve heard about others’ propensity to dream epic, coherent experiences or make regular, helpful, use of their insight in their daily life. Most recently, I have either remembered very little from my dreams or come out with minuscule bits and pieces of remembrance, patched together with lasting feelings of confusion or even foreboding, but perhaps this simply bespoke how erratic my sleep patterns have become, as I know, from various forums I take part in and other conversations I have had, is the case for a lot of people this year. We all have a lot on our minds!

On that note, I want to add that, as an empath, I have become aware, over the years, how much the quality and content of my dreams is affected by proximity to other people and my propensity to tune into what they are dreaming instead of, or as well as, my own stuff. Point in case, when my daughter is at home, I often remember fragments of dream that are colourful, bewildering, or even quite disturbing and we later realise from conversation that we had almost the same dream in the same portion of the night; the bewildering factor being because I have dreamed fragments of her deep psyche and plotlines that have nothing to do with my own direct experience, being set in her own personal landscape. This has raised a lot of curiosity in me as to the role dreams play in telepathy and our individual contributions to unity consciousness or the quantum field.

If proximity whilst asleep is a factor then imagine how much more we cross pollinate, or pollute, each other’s dreams in, say, a hotel or block of apartments. I live in a house which is fairly tightly positioned to some old cottages next door, with yet another house just the width of a modest garden away. I really noticed, this year, how clear I felt when both sets of neighbours were away for the same week or so; not that I dreamed different content (since I wasn’t remembering) but that I woke without the pervading sense of feeling heavy or beset with worries I couldn’t place, as had been building for weeks beforehand. One night, completely unable to sleep as though my head was on fire, having had the briefest dream where my neighbour actually walked through my storyline as though passing casually through the room of my head, I got up and just stretched in the window frame to try and clear my head and noticed full lights on in my other neighbours’ house (it must have been 3am). My conclusion was that both sets of neighbours were either having disturbed / worried sleep or wide awake and I was caught in their sandwich, so when they were all away it was relative bliss to hit the pillow. Then, abruptly, the heavy feeling came back and, lo, the nearest neighbours had returned in the night. Is this really so far fetched given, when measured in feet, their heads must be pretty close to mine through the two sets of walls of our closely adjacent houses? I can certainly experience disturbed sleep when my husband has a lot on his mind to do with work, even when he seems to sleep like a baby.

Other environmental / energetic factors come into it. I have certainly been able to track differences in dream colourfulness or quantity / quality in line with patterns of the moon or solar cycles and, assuming I am able to stay asleep through such a thing, can experience much more powerful and activating or informative dreams when there is a solar storm in the night (as there was last night and the night before; we are headed that way for the next few years as the solar minimum is now at its end). I strongly suspect I will be able to work far better with, and remain more physically robust during, this coming solar cycle if my sleep patterns become healthier, so that I can lift-off on the cosmic energy currents during sleep rather than my over-tired body reacting as though they are a threat!

Recently, I began reading Dr Judith Orloff’s Book “Emotional Freedom” , having got so much out of her “Empath’s Survival Guide” and her “Second Sense” book, in which I recognised great portions of myself and my early-life experiences. From her own bio, Dr Orloff is “a psychiatrist, an empath and intuitive healer on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty” who “synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality” and I am relating very much to her material. It was less of an active choice to read a book that is largely about how to use dreams as a potent life tool, than it was a continuation of my reading of all her various books that made me pick this one up and I had no idea it was going to be so dreams-oriented but, I have to say, I am starting to get a lot out of it, even to the point it is starting to feel like its having on an affect on dream coherence and my ability to recall them. Part of that could be down to the, perhaps obvious (but how many of us do it?), advice she offers to ask for whatever insight or information you want to gain from your dreams before you go to sleep which, more so than usual, I have been remembering to do.

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Dr Judith Orloff “Emotional Freedom”

However, reading this has also happened to coincide with the nights getting longer as autumn begins and with my purchasing a sleep spray that caught my attention for claiming incredible results for people fed up with poor quality or broken sleep. I had been going through a particularly lean patch and saw the advert when I was starting to become a little desperate to gain for myself some prolonged, quality sleep without the endless wake-ups that turn into rumination just before dawn.

This spray is a simple cocktail of three essential oils that I have used before – lavender, vetiver and chamomile – only it is in a formula designed to slow-release the aroma during the course of the night as you move around in the bed sheets. This, in theory, means that, just at the point I might normally rise to the surface just before dawn (my usual time), only to remain there for the rest of the unsettled night, I quickly receive a further olfactory dose as I turn over and go back to sleep again.

As with all such target-audience advertising, I remained cynical until the spray arrived but, by night two, both of us were commenting that it seemed to be working some magic. My husband, who normally gets up at least once to go to the bathroom (which then triggers off my sleeplessness, even after he has effortlessly gone back to sleep) was sleeping right through and so this was having a positive effect on me and I was getting past my “danger-zone” pre dawn patch where, if my mind got to thinking about anything, I would be lost to several hours rumination or forced to listen to music or audios to shut my mind off.

So this was the prime benefit of this new bedtime routine, but there came a second one and it was that I started to remember my dreams! Now, this couldn’t be better timing as I had just got to the part of Dr Orloffs book where she recommends starting a dream diary to write down, without overthinking or interpretation, what you remember of your dreams before you forget them. I have considered, or tried, this several times in my life, to varying degrees of seriousness and success but never got very far. My daughter even made me a beautiful dream diary for christmas one year but, partly because I was loath to spoil it with my half-asleep scribbles, it remained largely empty…or, I would reach for my usual notebook if something interesting came up, but fall into the trap of allowing my left brain in to interpret what I recalled before it had a chance to work its own magic.

Then there’s the timing involved because, if you don’t capture the dream straightaway before anyone talks at you, the light goes on and normal day time routines resume, you might as well not bother but I tend not to be very compos mentis first thing in the day so that seeing the page, through snowstorm blurred vision, or wielding a pen is the next tricky problem. As soon as I have to think through practicalities too hard or that lamp goes on (even a minuscule source of light, such as a book clip light)…as I know all too well from trying to capture my early morning blogging inspiration…the pure waft of inspiration tends to have flown out the window, like Tinkerbell, in a cloud of stardust. That just -after-awakening state, by the way, the one where I have milked so much inspiration for my writing over the years (on days when I have managed to tread carefully enough and avoid all the clatter of family life for just long enough to get something down) is called the hypnagogic state and its hallowed land for gathering profound insights. Its why we can wake suddenly in the night with such a deep understanding or the feeling that whatever earth shattering thing we just realised is so massive it will surely still be there for us in the morning; yet, by the time we get up and dressed, we haven’t got a clue what it was, its evaporated…quite untraceable by our usual logical steps of following the thought associations…which is why capturing the essence of your dreams, like holding a butterfly for a few moments, can be so powerful.

The hypnagogic state after a really good night’s sleep is one of my favourite things and such rich ground for profound inspiration that I am quite addicted to it; oh irony, since it can prove so elusive. Its also, I find, a natural pain reliever so perhaps no coincidence that, in the early years of chronic pain, I would milk it for all it was worth, making my way from bed to sofa to continue the state as long as possible (it also set in motion my spiritual awakening, connecting me back with the vast universe within, from which I had become so seperate) and perhaps, in hindsight, catching up on all the years it was stolen from my by an alarm going off!

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Dr Judith Orloff “Emotional Freedom”

Yet, somehow, I have managed to get down a handful of dreams since these slightly more robust dreams have been happening and, this is big for me, I have managed to remain the purist when I jot them down…as in, capturing the essence without diving straight into my own wordy interpretation except, perhaps, to jot down some one-word cues to do with first impressions with question marks at the end if I must. Above all, I have resisted all urges to “turn it into something”, such as a blog post, which has been a long running habit of several years but then the post takes over the authentic content of the dream and becomes something else entirely, geared for an external audience but not for inner enlightenment!

This “soft” process has allowed me to return to the dream and let its wisdom unfold hours or even days later, often continuing the following night(s) and it feels as though I am really getting somewhere, like taking a tour of my inner sanctum. Perhaps this being the ideal timing in my life (and the collective life) to take such a review is a factor, plus the start of an active solar cycle, the darker autumn mornings, a degree of quiet in my house that simply wasn’t there when we had children at home, the linen spray, the readiness of my psyche to unload…etc., all conspired together to allow these treasures up through the deep shaft of the well of me, in order to see daylight and where I can then use them to do healing work that feels like getting right to the core of some pretty meaty issues that sit there like ballast in my health state.

What has been surprising, so far, is just how existential some of the themes have been and I don’t mean about survival in times of famine, disaster or war or even century-old feminist themes but about social and emotional survival as someone who is cut from fairly different cloth to the mainstream type of human being. My dreams have repeatedly shown me scenarios where I felt forced to bury the very deepest and most profound kinds of frustration or even fury at having to be other than I really am in order to fit in and survive in this world. So far, the need to suppress or subserve unique qualities and gifts, to bury and hide them away, to become “what is expected” of me or deemed “normal” in order to avoid danger and loneliness, has been a repeatedly illuminated theme across different eras and settings across my dream life, but most potently in a childhood setting or with that feeling of being too small or dependent to have it any other way (school, family gatherings in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood trying to fit in with peers, etc and of course my first marriage), often situations where I felt heavily scrutinised and where one foot different would be to expose myself or flag some secret cue that I was not in conformance with everyone else. Familiar old storylines yet, what I find is that, inside, I was often stoutly defiant and nonconformist…..to start with…but then, of course, increasingly wounded or traumatised as adult scenarios such as trying to make a living or avoid loneliness came heavily into the mix. Of course, dreams can effortlessly mix these different time layers as though they are all simultaneous which, in a very real sense, they actually are…as the “us” that stands here today, carrying all those influences and wounds as who we have now become.

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Dr Judith Orloff “Emotional Freedom”

In recent days, I have located nuggets of pain, contraction or intense heat in my dreams associated with actual body parts that, via their dream context, go a long way to revealing how I have locked away an inner sanctum in which a part of me that is in excruciating emotional pain and, yes, fury prowls around still refusing to let daylight or anyone else in, and this tells me huge things about the state of my health. At some point, it had clearly had enough and retreated there full time whereas, once, it was an intermittent safe refuge from the fray; but while it remains in there, feeling like that, it means that there is a state of emotional barrage or bombardment being perpetuated, even when nothing of that sort is “happening” in my here and now. Of course, when your emotional state is under constant stress, your whole system burns out…so here’s the chronic thing behind that word “chronic” in all my descriptors. Getting a handle on this is the start of all change because its a reminder that all emotional reactions are a choice; all the way down to the very core or sourcepoint (initiating event) of those emotions…but it really helps to see where they are coming from, how did they originate, why are they so barricaded in.

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Dr Judith Orloff “Emotional Freedom”

The thing is, as I have touched upon in many other posts, when you do not conform to some societal idea of what “normal” is meant to look like, fitting in can become an existential challenge or even source of post traumatic stress for the course of your lifetime. Realising my Asperger’s traits, last year, and all the deep reading I did around that topic, shed a huge amount of light on how impacted I have been by that for the longest time. Realising I am simply wired differently to many other people, and not considered “the norm” by the prevailing culture, that these traits are valid and often a profound gift, but that saying so out loud still might not make me popular in certain quarters, was one hell of a breakthrough for me. It took some serious steering to avoid interpretations of neurodiversity that suggest it is in some way faulty and needs to be eradicated (but, from this, I could see that my instincts were right-on as a child…thus why I felt so protective of my traits and loathe to reveal them to anyone for fear of being excluded, labeled, written-off or mishandled; my best chance of survival, or so I thought, was to pretend to be other than how I was and bend over backwards to conform).

Some of the accounts I dived into from other women Apie’s (see my resources section above), many of whom had been unaware of the trait until well into adulthood as happened to me, helped unleash all kinds of new understandings to do with how I had struggled so much to dutifully become what others expected of me, tantamount to making a perfectly round peg grow corners to become a square, and yet I gave it my all, at the expense of huge portions of myself (which is what female Aspie’s tend to do much more than males, in order to fit in and please others, thus survive, given all their other gender-related challenges). Each time I did that, yet another part of myself became buried or traumatised by the self-betrayal that it felt like and, even though self-love has been my mantra for several years now, those original parts of me are still bent out of shape and curled up on themselves, hidden deep in places that haven’t seen daylight for many decades…because how do you even start?

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Dr Judith Orloff “Emotional Freedom”

You start in your dreams! It’s early days yet but I can already feel its potency. These nighttime dives are like walking into a good therapist’s office to settle onto the most comfortable couch, only this is no therapist I was ever likely to meet in this lifetime (except, maybe Judith Orloff, who is one, for the record…but in the UK, unlikely and, honestly, I suspect it would take someone with a personal experience of Asperger’s to truly relate). For the record, I looked into this kind of approach to adult autism but found only therapists geared at working with children, or with adults to help them “fit in better”, in order to cope with practical life; but what about not wanting to have to fit in any longer or deny my unique traits? What if that is the sticking point, the perpetual rebellion inside of me? What about, along with my deep introversion, my high-sensitivity, my empathy, my psychic abilities and all those other quirky traits that make me unique and a little bit “fringe”, absolutely NOT agreeing to bend and coerce and so-called normalise those traits (which isn’t possible anyway…) or make do any more but embracing and running with and exploring them to their fullest capacity, in a setting that I am able to vouch for being throughly safe, supportive and nurturing enough for me to do so?

And if the general world “out there” can’t provide that for me yet, can’t quite make space for me to thrive unless I force or distort myself into being a different way to what feels natural (and yes, there will come a time when those of us with differences to the popular majority are left some room to be thoroughly themselves on this planet, all the way through life from the moment they are born, not deemed “wrong”, just “different”, but we are still a way off that…), creating my own space is the only option and I am onto it. This is a space in which it is thoroughly OK for me to unpeel myself from the metal stake, at the centre of my being, to which I am apparently still clinging for dear life, whilst spitting fire and growling on a bad day, and just let myself go and be me, across all my layers. In my dreams, I am practicing just that!

Originally posted on Living Whole

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New synapses, old synapses

I’ve had a growing feeling all year long that the exercise in social distancing has been some sort of externalised manoeuvre of growing new synapses. The more the old haunts of my daily walks closed off, became inaccessible or had too many people suddenly launched into them, the more I discovered new places, often right beneath the very eyes of where I used to pass by but never noticed the subtle entrance to pathways into enchanted woods that have turned out to be new-favourite walks.

The process has continued, on and on, so that my so-called mundane daily life of several months’ worth of clipped wings now unfolds like the magical map of a newly radiant neurology, for I have seen what I previously didn’t pick-up on, right there in plain sight, which is what growing new synapses, pushing boundaries and learning new tricks is all about in the human consciousness. Its the very path of awakening I have diligently followed these last 15 years and yet, here, I had made it somehow more visible through what, on the surface, looked like months of frustration and mishap and mundane domestic lock-down.

And yet…the biggest growth was yet to come and came out of (paradoxically) the feeling that, just as soon as I was about to be set free, to broaden my horizons once again and stretch out cramped-up wings that have been out of use for so many months, a whole series of circumstances has brought me “snap” back home again, more so than ever. I won’t list all the circumstances; far too personal and unnecessary, but one is that my dog has suddenly become too frail in his back legs to get into my car (and is way too big to be lifted). So, just as my “awareness” neurology had ventured out into some wider new routes in close proximity to my home, now limbered up to grow them even further into places I have spent my at-home year plotting and planning to get to just as soon as I am able to make some lifestyle changes, I am suddenly forced to put all such plans on hold and walk so close to my home that it is like hugging to its sides…not what I wanted or expected.

However, it really wasn’t long until I could sense this was a classic case of you don’t always get what you want…but you get what you need…and this was it. Because in growing new routes away from ourselves, to explore and become wider, more broadly aware, than we were, we are still continuing (in many cases) the foible of our previously tight-locked lives in that we are avoiding the really really obvious and really really really close-up, right under our noses. Yes, the home that is us is the core of all the work we are here to do in this life and yet when we are always so focussed on self-growth that we, as it were, skip the homework, we are always…always…destined to be snapped back to ourselves at some point, to fill in those blanks before we can go any further.

What, after all, is so abhorrent about the Self, our own front doorstep, that we avert our eyes so studiously and would rather be almost anywhere else?

To be fair, I have almost (I said almost…) fallen back in love with my home this year, making it into the cosy nest it should always have been and giving it some (not all) of the attention it should always have had. You realise, I assume, that I speak not only of “my home” but My Home….as in, the inner part of me!

Regarding my bricks-and-mortar home, some of that attention has been a back-handed compliment because the intention and focus has been to “do it up” in order to sell and move elsewhere…as soon as feasibly possible. Yet, here is one of my lessons of recent days: the pulsating question, what is it that I have (still) been so studiously running away from all this time? Don’t I realise that what I have here is going to be, pretty much, what I have anywhere else if I don’t do the deep inner work, because I will simply cart all that very same energy with me to the new place and, before I know it, it will feel just the same. So, any hang-ups, any un addressed issues about “being home”, they will surely come with me too…

So, here I am, snapped back to the closest proximity to home that I’ve ever been in, since I have always had the getaway route of my car for my daily constitutionals…and the first few days were less than ideal; who knew so many odd-balls hung out in the nearby woods (actually, I did sort of guess, which is why I have tended to avoid them). Yet I’ve also gone deep into a state of “being” over doing, so that rather than rush around being discontented because, all the time, I am really plotting to be elsewhere, I have plunged deeply into the Indian summer of my garden, painting and meditating, surrendering to the unknown of an indistinct punchline or prospect up ahead (because my plans have had to become “what plans?”), allowing what is here and now to be enough. Then, and it feels directly related to how much I have surrendered to this, I have discovered new routes on my walks, different ways of walking the same, unexplored vistas, openings to pathways that previously eluded me…yes, even in this less than idyllic semi-urban location and even after almost 20 years here, thinking there were no pleasant surprises left. Indefatigable human spirit, we will always find a way to grow!

So, surely, that puts us back where we were to start with, obsessed with growth? Well no, not really, because when we come all the way back home and do the work we have been evading, the growth spurt that follows is more like a slingshot. It projects us way further than logic could ever have predicted, on pathways of light that impart far deeper understanding than any rationale so obviously grown from “the situation” can ever explain. How can being at home living a fairly tight routine, day after day, lead to such exponential growth? Because consciousness is that all-mysterious thing; never to be tackled the direct or bullyish way but always needing to be allowed to make the next step its own idea. Its as though to even get this close to our Self, we have to pretend we are otherwise distracted and actually leaving for far-flung places, only to suddenly turn around and slip back in the door to catch ourselves in the act of doing what we would be doing if no one was watching…and this is what my last few weeks have felt like. Its why our most powerful epiphanies tend to come to us in the shower or while meditating; so we could kick ourselves at not having some magic, waterproof, etheric keyboard on which we could jot them down word for word (no such luck…this entire blog just came to me in the shower and, I can tell you, the original version was wayyyyyy better). Our consciousness laughs a deep belly laugh every time…but, really, is always here for us, just as soon as we come home with less expectations, except to listen!

For me, that sudden requirement to spend more, not less, time at home (again…and even deeper than ever) has been like slipping back in the door and getting to witness what goes on when no one is at home, because it had looked as though I was already focused elsewhere and, suddenly, I was snapped back around to face my own inner sanctum at a time when it is neither shielded away nor putting on its public face. Like when you forget something and double back home and catch out the kids with their hands in the cookie jar or lounging on the sofa with their shoes on, though (of course) I am talking about my own deepest Self here; there were no cookies but I have noticed other foibles these past days. In that tender observance, getting to see the innermost workings of my psyche and the very root (or should I say route…) of all these urges to be elsewhere or keeping busy, I have projected forwards in leaps. It reminds me of all those posts I wrote a few years ago using the metaphor of capturing a butterfly…run around as you might, you can never really capture that butterfly (or, if you do, it is no longer the same thing you longed so much to possess) but if you remain very still, very aware and totally without expectation, it might deem to settle on you for just a moment or two, from time to time.

Interestingly, that very thing has happened to me a great deal this summer, in my garden…that and birds coming up very, very close…and these things tell me far more about my achievements for the year than any far-flung projects to be very far from home or otherwise ambitious. Those things will come my way, more than ever, I have no doubt…but also more on-target than ever…for having taken this pause to conduct so much inner enquiry and my patience has had the work-out of my life these months (which, never having been my strong suit, is a powerful thing). Human beings have become so over-eager to be back “out there” in the world, seeking the next thrill; when do they ever, by choice, spend time at home in quiet or alone to conduct inner enquiry or get to know themselves as distinct beings? Even those who see the risks of ingrained or sedentary habits and addictions put so much focus on growing new synapses, venturing out of our old ways to develop new ones, but when we come back close to the original bough, first (before we venture out), we are often so much stronger for it in the long run. So we check its sturdiness, which way does it grow, what motivates it in that direction, does it head towards the light or is it simply vying for space and, if so, what can be done about putting it more at ease without so much underlying sense of hard competition or lack (how many of us have that fuelling our every motivation)…and then, from that core bough re-examined and newly familiarised, we grow the new-sturdy neurology to support even more highly evolved and adventurous ways. So, come back to the homework first…which, to one degree or another, so many of us have been forced to do this year…and we grow stronger together, like so many sturdy trees, in whatever new growth spurt manifests as the next iteration of life on earth.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Life journey, Meditation, Menu, metaphor, Personal Development, Spirituality, Symbolic journeys | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Out of the spin cycle

I was doing some dusting the other day, reaching up high to the top of a book shelf when I noticed a long-legged spider hanging on a fine thread of web in the corner of the ceiling, spinning and spinning and spinning so fast, like it was caught up in its own personal tornado. The room was very still and I was really much more than an arm’s length away but some updraught I had caused with my duster must have set it in motion and so it continued like that, on unstoppable momentum, for quite some minutes…poor thing, I hoped he enjoyed the exhilerating ride and wasn’t too traumatised.

Life is like that…as some people are just starting to notice, more than they ever did. No one is an island, so they get affected by some draught or disturbance, often something much more than an arms length away (which defies all their logic but it has never been more apparent how interconnected we all are), and so they start spinning and spinning, out of control, then its as though they can hardly stop….where is the brake, the anchor, the steadying force? Once in that cycle, it can feel very hard to get off the ride.

Thank goodness for all the inner stillness I have spent the past decade or so cultivating; the only way I could even begin to cope with my down spiralling health, now the gift hidden inside all those often alarming experiences I continue to have via my body. I never deny the pain, I am fully acknowledging of it, without the need to fixate on it, yet I have learned to hold centre through thick and very thin. Not that I’m immune to getting into a spin…far from it (I had one almost take me over today)…but I recognise the signs and I step away or swiftly take measures to restore my inner harmony and am reasonably am good at it, knowing from painful experience the number one importance of self-nurturance as the start-point of everything I might ever feel I have to handle “out there”. So I have my toolbox of ways to shepherd myself home and I use it well; which was the topic of a post I drafted, but chose not to publish, last week following quite the spin cycle the week before…

Because, in recent weeks, I’ve written half a dozen posts on a range of different topics (I am, after all, an almost compulsive writer) and yet none of them have made it “out” into my blog. After the pause to let the mud settle, which I now ensure I take before impulse publishing anything (even, or especially, when inspiration strikes quickly and compellingly), each one of them has felt unnecessary or best left unshared, when all is said and done; because how can I presume to push out topics of relative trivia when people are dealing with so much. Those unshared posts often recounted some “spin” I had recently been in and how I had got myself out of it but who needs to hear about my spinning when we are all doing our own version of it and, more than that, why do I want to re-energise that spin by gaining it an audience and other people’s take on it, just as I managed to slow it down and defuse it? This is what we do, when we keep going over something that has already “been and gone”; stoking it back to life with our recounting of events. Its a mind-trap I should know to avoid; an old-world trait. Perhaps we will take less microanalysis into the new, respecting much more the power we wield to keep alive thought-forms with our endless cerebral machinations.

So yes often, in hindsight, what I wrote on such a tidal wave of writing impulse felt superfluous and overly personal when I read it through; very-much worth writing for my own processing of it (yes) but not necessarily worth the sharing when its nothing anyone is going to truly relate to as I do. In any case, it’s as though I have had a complete rethink about “relatability” lately and become quite jaded with its usefulness because where does it really get us except into more huddles of entrenched ideas, artificially reinforced by the illusion of passing consensus. I also sense people have never been less interested in other people’s affairs than right now and perhaps that’s a collective shift we need to go through, post the era of “share every minutest thing” that has been the compunction of the age of social media. Words…too many words…I’ve felt a real pull-back from adding more words to the pile; perhaps the world doesn’t need to hear any more of our own personal take on things right now amidst all the racket of external reactions going on. Perhaps it’s a time for attentive silence and inner stillness more so than opinion…just perhaps.

Instead, I’ve found my happy place, as ever (though more so than I had managed to surrender to it for the past four years of overthinking my approach!) doing my painting, setting aside at least a couple of hours per day to loose myself in painting gardens that I bring to life with my brushes and my own particular take on the marriage of form with something more ethereal. As ever I did, I find myself wondering why I ever stopped…because, in that place of full immersion into a world of colour and tone, composition and light adjustment, I effortlessly reach a place of such inner harmony, mind-silence and peace that its as though a well of love springs up in me and over spills my edges; and then the world around me takes on a different hue. The feeling, which is like no other I have ever achieved through other means, including meditation (though I have restarted a daily practice of that too…), can carry me for hours and hours and then, the next day, I do some more. It’s how I navigated the darkest years of my life and is how I know best to navigate these somewhat trying times; my only foible being the tendency to think that it’s somehow selfish or “not contributing enough” to the reconciliation of mayhem to loose myself in art.

Why do I still give any heed to these out-moded thoughts of a crazed masculinity indoctrinated into my own psyche, which I would do my very best to quash in anyone else that expressed them?? The very calibre of feeling I get to when I paint should be enough to sign-post the way, according to my own best understanding of divine purpose…and shut down forever the ever critical voice that dares to call it time wasting!

Perhaps this kind of “doing” (which is really a lot more about “being”, for all there is a manifest product at the end of it) is much more than enough for now; my specialist contribution to “the world” in its spin, as I hold a place of harmony and stillness, manifesting it through the channel of my brushes.

So, I’m not going to suggest that this exact thing is for you (we each have our way of holding centre) or that we should all do likewise…I simply share what I know from direct experience; no agenda, no solution, no recommendation, just a fragment of how I am coping, to hold space for those who might relate yet hesitate to pursue their own version of what I describe. If it is there calling to you…a hobby, a passion, a craft or a spiritual practice…consider letting it come forwards and become more real for you than ever; allow it to arise without guilt or pressure or inner/outer criticism and then notice how it transforms “spinning out of control”, at the say-so of all the chaotic currents presently at large in the world, into a degree of calm and clarity that cannot so easily be shaken. When you get there, you will probably want to stay there more than do anything else and so you will get even more accomplished at this; perhaps many of us will, all in good time. Its not avoiding what is happening out in the world but our unique way of contributing as we help hold things steady, empaths and sensitives especially. With perfect timing, I read this description just now: “Little by little, crawl back to your center, your heart…not spiritual bypassing real emotions but feeling the pain and then practicing warrior centering techniques to rise up like the Phoenix so you may be in your power and in true service to our times” (Dr Judith Orloff) and that’s exactly it. We are not weak when we do this thing but being the “badass” warriors of a different kind that the world needs more than it knows.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Health & wellbeing, Life choices, Menu, Personal Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

How to make more practical use of intuition

There seems to be a growing curiosity around intuition this year, one of many not so subtle clues to me that the world is waking up beyond the manifest, logical, left-brained dominance that has reigned supreme for so long. In one of the online forums I take part in, someone who is a lawyer and, in her own description, predominantly left-brained was asking how she could develop her intuitive skills more and “bring them online” in a useful way and I found myself responding, from my own experiences, without even having to even pause for thought (that’s intuition for you).

So, I thought it  might be worth sharing here what I said, expanded somewhat (even though its been the core assumption of my blog, for many years, that I am writing, predominantly, as an intuitive or someone who takes thorough stock of their intuitive responses to life…but then anyone coming to this blog anew won’t necessarily know that or how distinct this is to a more logic-driven approach). The time is now ripe for more affirmative discussion around why intuition is just so useful and important to all of us, regardless of “career” or other practical standpoint. This trait desperately needs to get “normalised” and brought back into the conversation in a way that prevents its mere mention from being treated as far too “woo-woo” to take seriously and without foundation or proper substance, because we really need this other 50% of our skillset as balanced human beings endeavouring to navigate these tricky times (and when our logic clearly doesn’t hold all the answers).

For me, my intuition stepped in after I had a complete burn out and health crash 14 years ago and, forced to completely stop work, with no forward plan, for the first time in my life, I picked up paints and just let go…no expectations, no agenda, I was doing it as a sort of outlet or distraction to take me “out” of my pain and overwhelm. Not only did this open up the intuitive, non-logic or linearity-serving, part of me (which I had almost completely shut down due to being a highly sensitive, empathic child in circumstances that didn’t often nurture that, followed by a series of traumas and abuse experienced as an adult) but I also found my intuitive voice started talking to me during these long painting sessions which, by then, had become my lifeline. This led to me writing down some thoughts, almost daily (leading to private journalling and, ultimately, public blogging) as well as becoming a professional artist for well over a decade now. The latter was a complete change of career but that label is not really “why” I do it since it is, mostly, a deeply personal intuitive practice required to keep me in balance, and because it brings me great joy to play with the territory of mingling intuition with something more manifest and creative. My artworks often “speak to me” in layers of deeply metaphorical information, not only during the painting process but, typically, many months later, which is why I am seldom quick to part with them, since they often hold messages sent straight from my intuitive guidance.

There’s a great podcast interview of intuitive teacher Lee Harris by Regina Meredith which has some highly accessible advice on how to access and develop these intuitive skills and what that might look like as intuition takes more of an active role in your life. Exactly as Lee describes in the interview, the more my intuition seemed to deliver good advice to me…far better advice than any of the mainstream sources of information I initially turned to in order to try and figure a way out my bewildering health-crash…the more I came to trust it and the rest, as they say is history. So, yes, coming to trust our intuition is a big part of opening the skillset. Perhaps that is why it so often takes a health or some other kind of “crash” to open it up since, by then, we are far more willing to entertain alternative sources of guidance than at times in our lives when we feel we have all our plates spinning.

I am still fascinated by things like cutting edge science and technology, being the kind of person who is just so curious about everything, and I try to stay grounded (very much work in progress…) but my intuitive life is now more real and engaging to me than what presents in 3D, which has been a major life-altering switch around, bringing many beautiful upgrades in its wake. Put simply, I now “see” life through a very different lens, one where beautiful synchronicities take me off on fascinating journeys of interconnectedness. I feel internally informed and empowered by my intuitive connection with source energy (which we all have) rather than relying so utterly on all those other sources of external information that have so many people in a tail spin right now. So, journalling, painting, creating (without high expectations or goals) can be an access point to this source of information since its akin to saying “surprise me, take me where my logical brain can’t even pretend to have all the answers”. Or we can get to it by picking up a pen and some paper and asking a question that Lee always suggests, “what does my soul want me to know today?” then jotting down the very first words that come to us…and then practice that, often.

After that, the process, such as there is one, is to let go, start to trust, develop a rapport, learn the tone and flavour of that particular “voice” compared to other information (top tip: our intuition is never nasty or dark and is often fairly to-the-point and concise). With practice, it all starts to get easier, stronger, more familiar and fluent, our responses coming in within seconds, even when we are in a busy or noisy environment, rather than having to prime ourselves with a quiet spot and enough time to dial in. Or, really what happens is, our preparedness to listen to our intuition becomes more confident and much quicker off the mark, since the information was always there before; but now we are geared to notice and respond to it. So, someone asks us if we want to do something and we feel the uncomfortable feeling in our body that tells us its simply not for us; there is our answer and there is simply no need to go through the long process of accepting, then regretting and, only then, after too-ing and fro-ing with our internal arguments “for and against”, trying to dig ourselves out of it with some sort of excuse.

What can be so noticeable about when intuition takes a seat at the wheel is that things no longer continue along the same-old predictable course. I would never have ever guessed I would be an artist 15 years ago, hailing as I do from a family of scientists, teachers and engineers, and had been running my own “left-brained” businesses for years, followed by working in a solicitor’s firm at the time I had my burnout. The interesting thing is that it was in a hypnotherapy session that I had, right after my health crashed and shortly after leaving work in the solicitor’s firm, that I clearly “saw” myself walk into a gallery and deliver some paintings to a smiling gallery owner when asked to visualise my perfect day…my intuition talking to me…but how odd did that vision sound to me at the time. I wasn’t an artist at that point but was simply trying to work out how to get better and go back to a left-brained job, in fact thinking about starting a new business that would (in hindsight) have led to a whole lot more stress. The very idea of pursing art would have sounded ludicrous to me at the time as the means and practical considerations simply weren’t there, though they later fell into place, and its not as though I left the hypnotherapy session with any intention to pursue it, though I found it all mildly amusing. It was two years later, when (following a flukey encounter with the owner) I happened to have some of my fledgeling art on display in the very gallery I had visualised in that hypnotherapy session, that I was hit with the sudden flash of realisation that what I had foreseen so clearly under hypnosis had just come true, down to the very letter, my art hanging on the very wall I had envisioned it on next to the gallery window…and that, needless to say, was a major breakthrough in trusting my intuition. So, hypnotherapy can be a useful tool in the early stages as it can open you up to the process, but I don’t feel I need a mediator now I have a direct line and that goes for all of us; we all have the same access waiting to be developed.

Going back to the forum discussion on this topic, someone asked why the sharp split between left and right hemispheres; why do people always feel that one hemisphere has “taken over” and must now be ditched in favour of the other and why can’t they work together. I wholeheartedly agree! I have an extremely balanced brain and my strengths at school showed this off to a tee, making it very hard for me to decide what to choose as a life path (the real sticking point here is that we are conditioned to think we even need to make a choice, and so very early on in life). That other pitfall, intuitive skills are not given the same weight or currency as left-brained intellectual ones, are they? Certainly not in my school or family so, of course, we are encouraged to drop the “nonsense” and stick to the hard-nosed “empirical” or risk getting left behind or ridiculed. The truth is, I love art and philosophy, equally love science, knowledge and all things in between, using them fluidly and collaboratively, weaving freely between them all; which stance underpins many of my blog topics, particularly those engaged with the theme of how the masculine and feminine are capable of coming together in a much more harmonious format, leading to a whole new degree of cohesiveness, sacred trust and higher potential. The more I realised this potential “marriage” of traits within myself, taking active steps to develop it, the more whole I became and it is an attitude that has powerfully informed my healing journey as I am always prepared to entertain the best of what both the allopathic and energetic healing modalities have to offer and merge them!

Dancing is great for developing this left-and-right brained “marriage”. When I first started this I could tell, right away, where my strengths and weaknesses lay (just as when I first started to practice drawing or painting with both hands) but those imbalances have now ironed out with regular practice. Using digital methods in my art practice has also furthered the process of mingling left and right hemispheric skillsets, after years of being a painter (which is a much more dominantly right-brain occupation…unless I plan and process and perfect my techniques and subjects to a very fine degree). I now love this new way of approaching my art practice, using computer technology, as a way of intermingling intuition with a more left-brained approach, but I still sometimes long to dive into the relative unpredictabilities of a canvas, the same way as I dive into meditation or dancing in the middle of the day, activities my younger self would never have made room for in their busy and hyper-controlled life. These are all powerful tools for getting to explore your intuition; dowsing is another one but, really, the fullest and most practical integration of intuition can be developed within every day life, simply through becoming aware of the way both skillsets are perfectly complimentary, not at war with one another, and by keeping an “ear” out for the language that intuition will tend to use…subtle feelings in the body, synchronicities, numerical and other patterns, etc. Out of those, the way you feel about something is the most useful and accessible clue of all.

So, does this thing you are considering or paying attention to feel light, liberating, even joyful or does it feel dense, heavy, leaden? There is your clear, intuitive, message right in front of your “eyes” and so simplistic that most people will readily ignore it, to their detriment. Please, forget what they entrained us to pay exclusive attention to for all those years we were schooled into being slaves to one half of our brain: these feelings in our body do not let us down, they speak truth, shining a light on our own personal “best way” forwards, even (perhaps, especially) if the answer is unexpected or the practicalities of it do not, yet, seem to add up (but give them a chance and life may surprise you up ahead, as has happened to me numerous times now)! As experiences arise, learning to listen to our body’s responses, when we are considering a choice of direction or area of focus, even by saying all our options out loud in a de facto voice (as though the decision has already been made) and then noticing “how does this make me feel?”, can get us used to noticing how intuition has something important to say in our lives…and all that remains is to listen to it more often!

Posted in Art, Art purpose, Art transformation tool, Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, divine masculine, Life choices, Menu, Painting, Personal Development, Spirituality, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

We’re not going “back”, whatever they say

There’s a growing pool of ideas amassing in the collective field to do with “going back”…made up of the thoughts and emotions of all those people who think that we are (or need to be) going back to the way things were before covid; who, maybe, even quite vehemently want to go back, who even think their mental health, their income or their safety relies on it, and equally those who dread it, fear it, feel apathetic or hopeless at the very thought of turning the clocks back to just how stuck everything felt before. Because, as some of us are noticing, this year has witnessed a massive evolution in human consciousness and a huge expansion of three-dimensional awareness of “what’s going on” behind the scenes, much of which used to be tucked well out of sight but is now like a fully-exposed black comedy. People are now questioning everything and we haven’t seen the half of it yet…which then rouses even more fear and longing to go back to how things were before for those who think they feel far safer living in the status quo.

In other words, there’s a whole range of takes on this one single idea…”going back”…gathering out there in the fourth dimension and some of these will, inevitably, try to assert their sway into manifest 3D during these times of upheaval; the key being to hold onto the higher 5D perspective of how this can all…if we allow it…come back together in a far more coherent form of “wholeness” (yes, “inclusiveness” not to mention “fairness” and “transparency” and “balance”…all those things and more) than ever before. If we give it time, plus courage, plus energy, plus our highest visualisations of what is possible instead of accepting some half-baked compromise as the long-range plan, we can move into the new potential that is right at the opposite end of the see-saw to the tight little idea of returning to what feels “tried and tested”, “convenient”, “familiar” from before, yet which was also so patently “broken”, “unfair”and increasingly “obsolete”.

However, while there is uncertainty or even panic at large around this topic, some individual or bodies of people will even try to insist that we go back, that we must go back, for normalcy to resume, to establish a steady footing and to continue along some sort of linear path that they always thought was “alright”, or at least the best we could hope for in this life, before all the disruption happened. With all the full weight of their belief systems, such people really believe that things will return to the way they were before and that we will just continue as before, like we might have done after a far less global or far-reaching, universally-affecting crisis. They overlook that when we are all shaken up together, our undeniable connectivity is fully-exposed, thus we discover we share far more of our consciousness and our circumstances with everyone else than we tend to even think about for even a second in our “normal” blinkered lives; so we can’t go scurrying back to our comfortable bolt-holes and resume as though the world is all OK as long as “I” am doing alright. Believe it or not, through this crisis, we are getting somewhat closer than before to not feeling right at all while there is upheaval happening to others, which is the typical world of the sensitive person made more accessible, even unavoidable, to a lot more people; which is why so many people are feeling as though they have reached their limit. They can’t just pull the shutters down and pretend that’s not happening any more; even if they reinstate their old work routines as a distraction (which is the purpose such routines serve to a lot of people). Once our awareness starts to expand beyond such routines, there is no reeling it back in!

So, I think it must be clear by now, to anyone that is not locked up in fear-based denial, that we are not going back, we can’t go back to the way things were, even when it looks as though we are. Things have been irreversibly changed and we are on a different timeline, like it or not.

Equal to those in panic or denial, there are a growing number who, as shocking as covid has been, realise that we needed this pause, this collective shake-up and mass-questioning of what we are doing and why. Those who realise that far too much has been shaken loose, exposed, disillusioned, reinvented, even reinvigorated by this unprecedented facility for almost everyone to have just STOPPED their normal regimes for so long, which has stirred up enough new perspectives to keep us busily reinventing ourselves for a very long time to come. Going back isn’t an option…not even close…after such a rude awakening; everything is now up for questioning and the illusion that we are going to just slot back to old routines is just that…an illusion, a nervous habit, like a hand grabbing onto the familiar, while it still can.

So, with all this investment of what are some very diverse and contradictory feelings at large, it stirs up a whole range of emotions when people are summoned back to their old lives, their jobs, their desks, regardless of how different they are now feeling….some feeling like completely different people, I am hearing and noticing, to who they were a few months ago. We are all profoundly altered by this year’s events, in ways large and small but perhaps its the synchronicity of just so many people undergoing alteration at once that gives it such tidal-wave power; plus, there is a whole generation of kids and young adults who will be impacted by the interruption of their former lives and their social contact with one another, the emotional toll of that, for the rest of their lives.

As a semblance of normality seems to assert, some must feel relief, a sense that their familiar has been reinstated after some deeply unsettling months. Others would give their eye-teeth for such a return, desperate for some stability and income-flow if their circumstances have taken a hit. Yet perhaps when those who have a job waiting for them do get “back to work” in the old sense, and then they see how things have had to drastically change around routines of social distance and cleanliness, options they have left for spending their breaks, how relatively little social engagement they now get out of the work environment, how much is now off-limits and also, for many, the inevitable comparison with how much more relaxed they noticed they felt when they were able to perform these very same roles from the comfort of their home for all those months, they will realise that this version of “back” isn’t quite what they were expecting or really wanting. I suspect, many are now questioning their long-range career plans and rethinking their work-to-leisure ratios and lifetime priorities in a far more proactive way than would have happened without these circumstances catalysing them; and I know of quite a few that are. Some have been woken up from the old grind for long enough to smell the roses this year; and that’s not a scent easily forgotten!

For many, especially those who had started to allow themselves to dream of increased flexibility, more outside time when it came to daily exercise, in fact far better fitness regimes full-stop, plus more contact and engagement with their families, less time spent behind a wheel or on public transport, far less office bugs to catch, migraines, technology burnout or seasonal affective disorder symptoms, no more limp sandwiches or compensatory snacking from a vendor machine, no longer having to see overbearing bosses and colleagues “in the flesh” and, for introverts and empaths, the blessed relief from having to mingle and collaborate with other people every-single-day, the shine will very quickly wear off. There’s been a sort of collective madness, and extroversion take-over, around what work should look like for far too long and I will never forget my abject disillusionment when the harsh realities of it hit me in the face at the tender age of 21 (I had my first bout of stress-related burnout within that first year), in which circumstance I know I am far from alone; many of us have felt imprisoned and tortured by our work-lives for decades. Yet, until now, the world has soldiered on that way regardless and we have been marched along, from the earliest days of our schooling, to the tune of “greater productivity” and a fistful of other ideas that took over with the industrial revolution. For a very long time, we have all been regarded as units of productivity more so than individualised human souls but this is on the verge of changing now, at last; because it must.

My husband has been summoned back to “the office” for, thankfully only, two days a week, quite suddenly this week (when we thought this had been avoided, especially given that I continue to lead a highly sheltered life because of my preexisting health issues) but there it is…he is suddenly called back in, no discussions to be had. Yet there seems to be no solid grounding for the decision of it, except a trivial matter of someone “needing” to be there for the post on Monday mornings (post that could so easily get diverted). It feels more like an emotional decision or a knee-jerk thing; based on a naive belief that if only things could be enacted as though the clocks had been wound back to pre-February, others in that office would start to feel better (irony being that he himself has never been happier than during these months working from home). I suspect its also due to the deeply ingrained belief system that work, necessarily, “has” to take place in “an office”; that this is the only way that humans are truly capable of being productive; which, of course, has been proven to be nonsense in such a lot of cases this year.

This is a faulty but previously dominant “masculine” belief that will only ever go kicking and screaming to its demise, even though more than half the world must have been disillusioned of its truth in recent months. Its one I first took on three decades ago, when I first set up my own innovative (at the time) business offering a whole range of business support services from home; a concept that was met with such deep suspicion by the majority of larger businesses that I appealed to, and which could have greatly benefited from what I had to offer (logistically and financially), even though I was often praised for the high standards I delivered to those prepared to give me a try. This meant that my work was often unpredictable, scanty and hard to come by, or they would try to wheedle from me the same kind of terms as an employee, without the salary or benefits (such as expecting 9 to 5 and wanting me to come into their office, which I would then succumb to when times were especially hard as they had me over a barrel, especially when I became a single parent). Something always seemed to bother the people that I worked for about the fact that they didn’t get to stand over my desk and watch me do the work that I invoiced for, which made it an uphill battle for the 12 gruelling years that I endeavoured to make the concept work. Control-freakishness, and lack of trust, on the part of managers was a big part of it and that seems to continue today. I always imagined that, by 2020, we would all have moved a lot further into the territory of home-based working practices than we have but I guess it has taken a pandemic to shake up the foundations of the old “establishment” and its fixed ideas.

So, it seems to be more on a “matter of principle” than any sound reasoning that my husband is called back in; the kind of principle that seems to emanate from some dusty old rule book of what so-called normalcy should look like and which, for now, wishes to reassert itself. After all, this is the way things always are when some tender new beginning is starting to take root and assert itself…the old ways will always rise up and become more dogmatic, more bullish, much more self-righteous and far less open to reason or discussion, at least for a while; which is where we are at now, across the board of life.

In fact, many people will feel all at sea without such principles to grip onto, even through recent months have highlighted just how empty so many of them are.

In our case, the reality is that the last few months have demonstrated that my husband can more than amply conduct all aspects of his business from home; perhaps even better than before, without the need to push through congested early morning traffic or even change locations when he is in the flow with his work. Its a fact (not unimportant) that he has found that he enjoys it all so much more when he works this way, which feels more creative, much more inspired, yes more “feminine” in that it most closely resembles water moving with ease around stones on the river bed, not rigid and crashing head-on into obstacles as before. This has given a timely boost to his work morale, which might otherwise be lacking as he approaches the end of his second decade in the same profession. Those very same tasks which often used to feel heavy and irksome have taken on an all-new organic quality; now, far less hemmed-in by ritual and formality, which has led to new inventiveness and certainly an increase of level of “vibe” when dealing with clients, who seem to love having Teams meetings without having to leave their homes and the ability to schedule chats at relatively short notice (and with far less pomp and circumstance than arranging a be-suited appointment). It’s enabled him to go much deeper into the service aspect of what he does, “helping people”, which is what he really loves (in fact, he completed a two-week training course to expand that very skillset during the lockdown period). Everyone’s mood is on the up when he works like this, in the spirit of win-win (which is surely one of the foundation stones of our brave new world) and, though he puts in the same hours, sometimes more due to having no travel requirements and because its easier now to stay at his desk until a task is done, he is also less tired, certainly less restless or prone to tossing and turning at nights. More relaxed clothing, or the ability to enjoy lunch breaks with a loved one, instead of pacing around alone in the streets of some town, can also do that to a person; and the long-range effects of such shifts in behaviour, on our health, can’t be underestimated…you could simply call it “enhanced quality of life”. All in, he felt like he had found his working Nirvana and there was no reason for it not to continue on a full-time basis.

But, today, he has had to put on trousers for the first time in months, leave in all the traffic and march into “the office”, to walk straight over to his own secluded corner office at the far end of that space and resume what he could have started almost an hour earlier if he had stayed here. He will consume the drinks and snacks he has prepared at home to avoid the kitchen…avoid all the communal areas….speak to his colleague probably far less than if they had had one of their Teams meetings…pack up his things and come home again. And repeat: two times per week. Along with all the inherent stress of commuting in perpetually heavy traffic, avoiding contact with people, transporting food, wearing masks, washing hands, using up petrol that (for five months) we were able to completely scrub from our budget, polluting the planet, adding wear and tear to his car…the list goes on. There will be no face-to-face meetings and, at best, shout conversations between doorways as each employee is to keep to their space and, to protect me, he certainly will be doing; so the exercise is pointless and yet it has been requested in the name of “normalcy”.

We’ve both had a range of emotions go though us since this came up; frustration, incredulity, disbelief, sadness, anger, yes temporary loss of equilibrium and joy and a sense of having lost the ability to steer our own ship after months of feeling uniquely in the driver’s seat, but we’re taking the observer position as best we can and mostly noticing how it makes us feel stronger in our intention to pursue our envisioned work-life balance up ahead. We’ve tried to remain non-judgemental and hold space for deeper understanding of motives, leaving room for other people’s unknown perspectives, which may be far different to our own or fuelled by fears we have no knowledge of, since we are all going through our own particular version of upheaval right now, which has a habit of throwing our “woundedness” to the surface. These times, even with all their inherent frustrations and set-backs, have only made us all so much stronger and much more authentically “who we truly are” than we were a few months back and we all get to see that, when we pull back to take stock…which some may not have had the opportunity or space, or even the nerve, to do as yet and so they resort to keeping busy, in the old ways. There has been next to no room for faking what we are each “about” under such pressure as we have collectively had for months; we have been forced against the mirror glass like never before and we will all take a good hard look at that when we get the right moment to do so in our individualised lives; so, I expect the next two to three years to be quite interesting as potentially more and more people get real and shrug off ancient habits, old ideas and numerous distractions. For now, we may have to do what we have to do to get by but, for us, we have seen what we are about and there is no thought of surrendering to the same old status quo in the context of this or any other aspect of life that has been shaken up and reviewed; we are just biding our time to make small and then much larger evolutions.

Of course, I miss my husband just being here when he’s at that other place, even though we kept to our own spaces during the working day apart from tea breaks and lunch times…yet the house feels completely different without him upstairs in his office and we both woke with that “Monday morning” knot in our stomachs, though its Thursday, and even after all this time without it (amazing how ingrained that feeling is). I dread that he may bring some of that “office” vibe back with him, into our house, which often seemed to me, the synesthete sensitive, like a grey cloud hovering over his energy field that took quite a while to disperse on his homecomings and which would build up like a thick smog on Sunday evenings. I used to think I relished my times all alone, up to ten hours a day five days a week, but this last few months have also woken something new in me too…being the first time in my life I had ever been with someone so intensively and intimately, because that’s what we are in the same space, even without words. I now realise that I am happier when I have someone with me than when I don’t and also find I am so much healthier without that intensity of innerness and isolation, which only ever exacerbated my health issues, my sensitivities, plus my extreme introversion and need for a quiet life, all of which direct me towards spending “too much time in my head” and out of my body and so I can go too far into it and become ungrounded. Half a year in, I was starting to feel more grounded in my physical body and more trusting of life; a major step in my healing process, so its hard not to feel that’s been disrupted. Together, we had found a new balance that worked from all angles…and we are only more determined that this is where we are headed, that we want more of it, that we can make this our new normal!

As I started off with, not all people will react like this to the return to office-based work, of course, but a great many will and I am hearing about so many of them in the forums I take part in, many of which attract sensitives, empaths, introverts, people who are highly self-motivated, self-contained in their habits, not needing to be energised by contact with other people or by drama, and who prefer to work alone, thriving most of all in the home-spaces they have created to meet the needs of their particular traits (none of which is “wrong”; there are a great many people like this and its time we were spoken for). For us, these months have marked a massive turning point and a show of just what is possible if the world could only be less extroversion-centric, far less teams-oriented and much more focused on the particular and unique ways that certain individuals prefer to live, work and create in order to get the very best out of their potential. The world never needed those people more!

And no, the world won’t be going back, whatever anyone says. The dam was broken and far too much water has now flown through the breach, so the current is only growing stronger and more compelling for those of us who’s heart-longing is for more flow; there can be no more stemming of that tide, it has been artificially held back by the wiles of men for far too long. These sojourns “back” into what seems like the old ways are testers and attempts to grab onto the sides of familiarity; they will only ever make those of us who have tasted some alternatives and smelt some roses, these last few months, even more determined to reach for the changes and put our energies into making them happen sooner or later and, in the meantime, we can’t underestimate how far we have come in relatively short time. The next two to three years will be the telling times; because, I suspect, a great many people have planted new seeds of aspiration in the soil of life, even if they can’t yet be fully realised…those seeds will come up and pretty soon we could have a whole new bed or roses.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Divine feminine, divine masculine, Life choices, Menu, Personal Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

One foot in the air

gladdayI often conjure up in my mind’s eye Blake’s “Glad Day” when I ponder the concept of “void” or “pure potential”. Does such a thing even exist, a question raised by my last post “Courage and Curiosity in the Void“? Our collective tendency to assume that it doesn’t, that all is already known, quantifiable, a version of familiar…that, as it were, all our building blocks are already laid out on the floor and all we can do is endlessly, and with ever-depleted enthusiasm, keep on trying to rearrange them in some sort of way that might “work” better (though, always assuming those ways being to be finite and heavily constrained by what we call law of science) is one of the biggest sticking points of humanity.

Void suggests there is far more that we don’t know and haven’t yet explored than that we do and have!

Which is where I always stand (yes, perhaps somewhat wobbly-seeming, compared to those who prefer both feet planted…but then its also the main source of my perpetual “gladness”). Perhaps this is due to the fact I am the consummate “creator” type, as in I am an artist first and foremost and we all know us artists prefer to keep one leg up-away from the solid earth, but I don’t just mean “creator” with a brush. To consider that “this” is all there is, and that we have to “just make do” with present circumstances and the linear route out of them, has never been palatable to me, for as long as I can remember…long before we got “here”. It’s what keeps me sane and eternally optimistic.

So, is there ever the possibility of void? As I just responded to a comment on that last post (and I hope my reader won’t mind me repeating my response here because it felt worthy of the longer discussion), yes there is most certainly the possibility of “void” but we need to feel into the quantum layer of what we refer to as “existence” to get even close to it. Meditation helps enormously. Holding space in our mental constructs (by making them much more elastic than has been the cultural norm for some time…) for something new, surprising, unusual or perhaps relatively common but previously denied or even feared (as is common when humans are confronted by the unfamiliar) to arise and unravel is a major part of it. Taking this newness in without allowing the mind to charge in and dictate what this means the very minute it gets wind of this thing (a response that always comes from our pre-conceptions, prior experiences etc.) allows us to step into that void and be part of its manifestation through resonance with our own cellular voids (every cell has its own empty space, just waiting for new expression to work with, inside and out). Its also something you tend to learn to play with as an artist, craftsperson, composer etc. (in which scenarios the competent use of “void” is just as important as what we “do” with the manifest or structural…) but, then, we are all creators of our own experience. We each have direct access to “void”, as-in the pure-potential for literally anything to happen or manifest, just as soon as we are each prepared to enter into it in our unique and highly potentiated ways.

It can feel a bit like jumping into a pool with no sides…but oh the gladness to be there.

So, back to my opening thread, this is something William Blake tried to explore with his painting of the Vitruvian Man entitled “Glad Day”, in which the figure is set free from the constraining circle (familiar from Leonardo da Vinci’s portrayal of human proportions) and has one foot up in the air, its intention or direction as yet undefined, going who-knows-where….like a joyful leap into the unknown. I think we are all so-poised at this unique moment in our “story”, now the old story is no longer holding water. If we so choose, this can become our own “glad day”, just as soon as we make it so by embracing the liberation and pure potential of the void over any other fixed ideas that may try to assert or oppress or drag us back into the dark cave of fear, smallness and resignation.

Posted in Art, Art purpose, Art transformation tool, Life choices, Menu, Personal Development, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Courage and curiosity in the void

I’ve never felt anything quite like these times, for all the oddities of the last decade. It’s a feeling of rocketing forwards at supersonic speed and yet, also, like a slow motion walk through glue. I can’t seem to put energy into any projects, or, if I do, I can’t seem to anchor them so I’m not even trying to…so its like running projects in a zero-gravity room, with all the materials I’m trying to work with floating around that room, and around me, just as soon as I let go of them and yet I can so easily catch them up if I really want to.

But what I’m also acutely conscious of is that there is a choice to reach out and reattach to those objects of attention…or not. I’m aware of being able to place my attention exactly wherever I want to place my attention in each moment, instead of being forced to hand it over here or there, as it used to feel like, subtle though that control often was. At last, that wholesale coercion is gone, you could say laughed out of the building, and I’m aware of the pure freedom of placement available; of both the responsibility and the possibility this imparts…hence the feeling of both eagerness or urgency and yet the need to go slowly, not to rush (lest I go back inside where I was stuck before).  At times, I feel as though no placement of focus is better than the wrong one. I’m certainly not putting it into the mire “out there” very much, which would be to waste the creative opportunity, like chasing away the muse by playing a blast of thrash metal in that moment of pregnant pause right before you lift your brush and start to paint a new picture.

The only things I seem to be able to get “done” right now, apart from breathe, meditate, move the body in helpful ways, eat (a little) and “be”, is the clearance of some very old stuff from my garage whereby its as though I “go in” to a sort of grave-yard battle-ground of life as it was before; yes, with those old-familiar touches of sentiment tucked in amongst all the cringeworthy crap that you wish-oh-wish you’d never accumulated because, now you’re Awake, you wonder how Mother Earth will ever re-swallow all those shabby objects fashioned in materials made to long-outlast their painfully brief use or shallow source of appeal. As those other, more tender, items resurface, I  sort of cradle the memories that come up for a few moments, or even on and off for hours, noticing in myself the old-familiar, childlike, tug to hang onto pointless things that once held the old constructs of my life together…and then I let them go anyway. I try very hard to imagine them floating off into that gravity-less space, back to their source-point, more so than being manhandled by licensed waste clearers to a tip…(*)

In some cases, tuning into them before that collection moment (which is imminent as I type), and still partially riddled with the learned guilt of over-attachment to these “things” I no longer want, its almost as if they are literally begging to be added to the pyre, to be allowed to deconstruct, released back to their essence and so I am facilitating that very thing, saving them…by unimprisoning memories, associations, expectations from old family possessions…just as much as I am saving myself and perhaps all of us (we each play our part) by liberating energetic space. I won’t pretend its always easy, but it feels necessary and I will sleep better for having done this to completion by the end of today, and then what?

What will fill the void…who knows yet? I don’t think we are even nearly ready to know, we just breathe and keep exploring this territory with courage and curiosity.


*The moment I pressed “publish” on this post, the waste collectors arrived…and, for the first time in my life, they were a team of 2 women; no hacking of furniture to pieces, with relishful whoops, to fit them on the van this time, as has happened before. I’ve never been so grateful for the care and dignity these women afforded my “waste” as they carefully sorted, packed and took it away.


Endnote:

Posting a brief version of this on social media elicited such a resonant response from some of the people that I know, who are apparently experiencing likewise, that I decided to share this here. It partly relates back to a post I shared recently on the subject of letting go of a certain piece of furniture that I will be saying goodbye to today. If that sounds trivial compared to “world events” then let me tell you that, in recent days, I have discovered that whole portions of myself, for which I was partially shunning responsibility (as in, not facing up to them, owning or reintegrating them to make myself more sovereign and whole…as we all must in order to reach our potential), that were, as it were, being “stored” in that cumbersome and now rather brittle and scuffed piece of heavy old wood.

Stood there in my garage, there but not there because I didn’t have to see it every day, it had become like a rigid, obsolete and desperately out out-of-fashion “comforter” (our governments and figureheads, “the” establishment, those we traditionally trust with our decision-making, are no less than such a piece of furniture we have “just” grown “used to” being there…) that linked me back to the formation of all my childhood belief systems and young adulthood relationships with parents, peers and The World (it was always the very first thing I set eyes on when I came back to the nest), back to my grandparents, my inherited values and sense of who I am and what I am here to do. I had kept it for 24 years this very month out of familial duty and a deep reverence for the past but, in such a way, we preserve so many stuck-though-broken systems and false idols in our world and, the more I tuned in to its considerable yet nonsensical pull on my sentimental emotions, the more I realised how essential it was that I braved letting it go and be broken down into bits so its energy can fly free, perhaps on behalf of all my family members, and its parts upcycled into molecules. Though I no longer had use for it, I had kept it there out of sentiment and familiarity but it takes the kind of deep longing for (or at least absence of fear in the face of) void that this year has stirred up in so many people to say to such a piece of apparent permanence “thank you, it’s time for you to go now”.

Also on this theme, I refer you to an excellent summary of the current mood from Aluna Joy Yaxkin (in words more nail-on than I could summon but I feel every single one of them as though I had written it), entitled “In the Eye of the Storm“.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Life journey, Menu, Personal Development, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Message received

Four leaved cloverToday, I spotted this beauty on the 24 year anniversary of my mother transitioning from this world; she was always the queen of the four leaved clover, finding them, with ease, wherever she went. I never could…

Exactly 22 years ago today, I found my first ever four-leaved clover, like a nudge to the reason I was feeling melancholy that day (I had no recollection why until this thing happened to bring her, and the time of year, to mind…) and, for about the next 4 or 5 years, proceeded to find hundreds of them…fistfuls at times…like they jumped out at me on my walks. I still have so many of them, stuffed inside the pages of books; they tumble out when I move things…dry, fragile reminders (and I still have some of hers) yet the memory of her has no dryness; she only grows, somehow, more colourful, multifaceted, year-on-year.

More and more, she looks back at me when I catch my face sideways in a mirror or recall little things she did or said that are all the more powerful with the beauty of hindsight; all the many dots joined, back and forth, beyond space-time. In teaching me what she did, posthumously, I became the weaver of great webs; and those webs lead me back to my source in this life, which is her, then to my daughter, who she never met, yet she told me all about her before she left, and to far bigger patterns than any of us. Did I notice this degree of “knowingness” in her when she was here or was it lost against the wallpaper of “normality”? No matter; her passing made me sit up and pay attention to a newer landscape and different modes of communication; here was the first one.

Finding those first four-leaved “clues” was the beginning of me appreciating the little things, learning to work with synchronicities, noticing patterns in everything and coming to accept that not all meaningful communication occurs face-to-face or down a telephone wire (as it was then) nor does it have to cease. I also moved past all the fighting I once did, with my logic hands held up like boxing gloves…letting experiences in more softly, lest they be her. It was the very start of finding myself.

In leaving prematurely, she opened me up to a much bigger picture than I knew about before.

On my walk today, it was a three-leaved clover with a single dew drop balanced on its tip that first caught my eye and, right beneath it, this one, shining out; the first four-leaved one I had come across in quite…a…long…time (I don’t need to any more; I got the idea). Hello mum, thanks for everything you ever taught me, both before and after you moved on. By the way, I left this clover right where it was.

Posted in Consciousness & evolution, Life journey, Menu, Personal Development, Spirituality, Symbolic journeys | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The things we carry around with us…

Over the next few weeks and months, I plan another stage of deep clearing and shedding of old possessions from my home, as I’m sure a lot of people are now thinking about; things I no longer want or need and which feel burdensome to have around me.

One of these is an old, carved, wooden sideboard acquired by my grandma, oh, about 100 years ago. Its not stood in my house for probably five or six years so its now adding damp and mould to its age-worn brittleness (1950s polyurethane varnish over time-weary oak). Yet, until now, I’ve had I-don’t know-how-many clear-outs and still not managed to let it go, even as the clearers stood there asking me if they should lift it into the van. At the very last moment, I’ve always relented…but not this time.

If I no longer want it, why so hard? Somehow, it feels sacrilegious to the memory of grandma and my dad and all of us family members who, as children, remember it being centre stage at Christmas when the sherry was being poured into the glasses kept in it, or bone china plates being carefully put away onto its shelves after their once-a-year use. It has a door that opens downwards, between two leaded glass doors, with a leather-lined writing desk and compartments we filled with “useful” junk, and I recall that coming loose and hitting me on the head more than once when I sat in a small chair underneath it (my dad subsequently fixed the key). Those leaded glass panes got knocked out and replaced….many times. And my mum kept a huge tin of biscuits and snack bars in the lower cupboard, for us, then all the grandkids (and for herself…).

These are fine memories and yet the furniture itself is way past its use. Yet, as the one who volunteered to have it when mum died, I feel a burdensome responsibility for this pot of memories…even though, of all of us, I should really know better!

Because I DO know better than most how burdensome old memories can be when you have to find room to STORE them, to the detriment of having the space to make new ones (a topic I spoke about, from another angle, in my health blog earlier this week; why not read it next, I think you’ll find it highly relevant). Whether in our houses, our cultures or our own bodies, time comes when we have to sift through and consciously decide what is useful to keep…and what we would do better letting go of.

Our modern “just incase” culture has made hoarders of us all and yet most of us live in dread of the kind of spaces that look as though someone is throwing a jumble sale (I know I do). Especially when we have been through overwhelm of any kind, there’s usually a part of us that longs for clear, clean spaces and a fresh start…but that process always begins with us; and starts when we draw some boundaries as to who gets to choose what we keep in our environment. When we do that clearing work, letting go of what’s no longer resonant, our outer world has this uncanny way of following suit!

Perhaps it’s because of the lengths my grandma went to in order to keep this cumbersome piece of furniture, at a time of great change for the family, that I’ve felt so burdened with the responsibility. It must have meant a lot to her to have gone to so much effort. My father, uncle, aunt and her (when dad and his siblings were young adults) moved south from Tyneside, not long after the Jarrow hunger marches, to Nottingham in the relatively booming Midlands, to begin a new life with my dad working on the brave new building sites of its rapidly growing 1930s suburbia – he was a joiner and ended up making roof joists and window frames for the housing estate where we made our family home for 60 years. I was always told this was pretty much the only big possession they brought with them (I’m not sure if that’s true but I’ve always held to it) though I can’t even imagine how they would have transported it, since I can’t begin to think they could afford a removals firm, but there it was…this huge wooden thing in our lives for another few decades…a family trophy of an important transition made between two worlds, so who am I to get rid of it on a whim?

I have to ask, what did it symbolise to my grandma; perhaps, that she was headed for better times in which she would be able to resume aspiring to niceties such as china plates, or to imply that she wasn’t coming from such poverty stricken ones (to her new neighbours), which would have meant a lot to her given they had fallen on very hard times “up north” before the move? If so, what need do I have of those symbols in my life? Why perpetuate them without the authenticity of her experiences (this is how faulty traditions become ingrained in cultures…based on circumstances that no longer apply and yet people continue to make them important, generations later, because of precedent set).

She had been through, what I gather were, harrowingly hard times for over a decade when they moved; a real down turn in circumstances following the death of a husband that meant the world to her (in many ways, my highly sensitive dad never got over those years; they ingrained as his extreme fear of poverty and a certain degree of hypochondria). Things had changed…drastically…in 1921 when my grandad died of encephalitis lethargica at the age of 36 (I have a copy of the death certificate), the awful brain inflammation and “sleeping sickness” virus that followed in the wake of the Spanish Flu pandemic (sound familiar) straight after the first world war. At that time, when my father was only 8, they moved from a decent house with a small garden to a minuscule tenement (I’ve stood outside of it and tried to imagine four of them making a home inside) where my grandma was forced to take in washing to get by. She was a proud woman and a strictly devout one; I can only imagine how these changes played with her sense of selfhood and faith. Shortly afterwards, dad gave up his hard-earned grammar school place to become an apprentice in a joinery yard; made “man of the house” alongside his brother who was sent off to become an apprentice watch-mender and my aunt off into “service”. When they moved to Nottingham, all three were able to make a new start; my dad “on the houses”, my uncle in a watchmaker’s shop and aunt in a big department store for all of her working life, saving for holidays abroad that she could only have dreamed of before, so things improved way beyond what would have been possible if they hadn’t moved south, but that original wrench of suddenly losing their father stayed with them, and my grandma, like an open wound for decades.

So, perhaps, these “stories” are the true keepsakes of the piece; not the great lump of unwanted furniture which is no more than a page marker in the story of time. I have the family story off by rote (I offload it here…) so why keep the heavy, tarnished wood around my neck? And yet people do, don’t they? We all lug around the keepsakes of our past traumas, upheavals and pain, generation after generation, long after we even know what to do with them or how they precisely came about, filling our creative potential up with the bric-a-brac of lives that aren’t ours to worry about and leaving us too full-up with other people’s stuff to work out our own…

Cultures tend to build their belief systems on stories of origin but also upon cataclysmic events that have occurred along the way and the importance of my family’s move “to safety” (with the sideboard…) has almost become such a pivotal story in our collective psyche, though I suspect it goes unnoticed except by me.

Yet, shifting from one place to another was really not such a big milestone for my family, as it turned out, looked at from the bigger picture. When I took a brief dive into genealogy, a few years ago, I unearthed just how many times we had moved from one part of the country to another…which paints quite a different picture. In light of this, I can’t really say I am “from” any one place, looking at either of my parents (who only spent part of their lives in Nottingham, where I grew up), since my ancestors had moved pretty much every generation, for one reason or another, since the industrial revolution; and always as a leap into the unknown, in order to get out of hard times or opportunistically better themselves because things had become unviable where they were. Not even fixed “northerners” either as I discovered multiple sojourns and off-branches to live down south in Surrey and Hampshire, Dorset and all over the south when work opportunities came their way; I even traced my mum’s family to the next village to where I now live, which was quite bizarre. In short, they headed to wherever the work was; the ship building and iron works, the late Victorian London taxi cabs, the toffs needing a gardener or big estates needing farm labourers. I had labelled them (and myself) “northerners” for all those years when, in actual fact, the final laugh was, both sides of my parentage could be traced back to Norfolk in villages that were almost side-by-side!

Which is good! I like this about my roots; that my gene pool has them in the grounding of a typical village life somewhere I know relatively little about (though I took a trip there to walk about some of the churchyards bearing our name) and that we have shaken that all about; we’re certainly not static. From what I found out, when that first generation left Norfolk, I suspect they took very little but the clothes on their backs…no burdensome possessions to speak of.

Because, as I keep bringing up in some of my other posts (and as per link below), movement is good for us…it energises us and sheds away what is sticky yet often toxic and cumbersome. Putting down good strong roots into nutritious soil can be powerful too; but when the idea of that starts to turn into fear of otherness, a dread of change, clinging to the past like a security blanket and fiercely guarding what we have “against” others, we get into all sorts of problems.

Yes, people become so fixed on where they, or other people “come from” but, if we scraped more than just the surface, I daresay we would find that just so many of us have been nomads for decades and mixed up with other people, races, cultures far more than we know. What if moving is the normal…and this trend for becoming so ingrained in our identity of place (or, type of place…to which we add earning bracket and the kind of possessions we own) is a relatively new habit, product of the industrial age, begging to be snapped out of like a bad dream? What if, like my forebears, the final laugh is that we all came from pretty much the same place, near enough same family, which is always true, but that other values matter more than the signpost at the end of our street? That it’s living by those values that join us together into the kind of community that spans all distances; as is instantly recognisable beyond all language barriers and anything else that might artificially separate us.

We plan our own move pretty soon but its not such a big deal for me; I have no strong attachment where I currently live. When I reached 18, I just knew I had to leave and head far south or I would drown in that childhood place, though it has held fast to my siblings; two still live there and another has moved back pretty close so, as ever, I am the contrarian far from what they still consider home but it hasn’t been that to me for decades. I’ve yet to find a place worthy of the name, if I’m honest, yet its not about north or south for me but about finding my particular kind of place, which includes my kind of people…and I’m getting close. Living here was “an accident” of overstaying until life got too complicated to leave and now, well, now we are ready to cut those ties and actively choose what feels right…for us.

That includes letting go of anything…and I mean anything…that doesn’t feel like us or is burdensome to carry around anymore; I can’t wait to set to work on the next phase of clear-out. Though some things remain sentimental, I feel no excessive need for keepsakes now unless those things genuinely warm the heart; so, I plan to pass some photos, trinkets and memorabilia on to other family members (for some reason, I seemed to take it upon myself to become the librarian of these things 20 years ago but my resignation is in the post…) and the rest will have to go.

By the end of the process, I expect to feel ten tons lighter and ready for some new golden memories to flood into my spaces, not to mention leaving room for much more positivity, spontaneity and creativity; looking forwards more so than back!

Related:

Creating New Body Memories

Posted in Biography, Consciousness & evolution, Culture, Environment, History, Menu, Personal Development, Remembering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Tending to our nervous systems

I don’t think there is any denying that all of us…more collectively than ever before…have taken a massive hit to our nerves this year and now is the time to tend to them. Now, before we move into the next phase, is the moment for doing what we innately know we must to heal and recuperate them, to strengthen, ground and recalibrate our trusty nervous system (which does far more…and takes more of a constant beating…than we appreciate) in order to become stronger than ever yet flexible and responsive enough to cope with the next two to three years.

Because what we have experienced already is just the beginning; there is more yet to come and it will be roller coaster ride for a few years yet. Not so much because of “pandemic” but because of how that is used to attempt to bring about and justify tighter controls and more severe limitations to human freedom than we have ever seen attempted before, an agenda that is already starting to reveal, although many people still don’t seem to anticipate it happening.

Great things lie up ahead waiting for us in pure-potential, they beckon us over to them…but we have to have the means to step towards them. This will call upon our stoutest nerves as we traverse the bumpy two to three years in between (during which humanity is due to experience a series of shocks that will quake many people’s realities to the core…even those of us who felt so much of it coming for the last few years). People will only become more and more shocked by it all but also (if their nerves are frayed to oblivion) acquiescent to it. So, while this disclosure process is a good and necessary thing, this can only mean more shock and exhaustion impacting our collective nervous systems up ahead and, for those of us that are highly sensitive or empathic, we feel other peoples responses in the collective as much as we feel our own; even as we feel their choices are misguided and fear-led. For those of us who feel like we are more painfully aware than others, this is a great deal to contend with and yet we also sense the golden potential up ahead and know we have to remain strong in order to make it to that higher ground; we can’t afford to be taken down by the collective negativity. So we need to get into the good habits…now…of doing whatever it takes to make ourselves more hardy; to develop a robust, well-rounded nervous system that flexes to our own inner directive and not to whatever decides to present itself to us “out there”.

Regarding crashed-out nerves, even though I felt I was doing pretty well until now, this week has been telling for me and mine; the first that my husband wasn’t working and so the first real “holiday” since before all this began. Yet, instead of doing holidayish things, we have slept and slept, waking even more tired than before. The invisible toll of these last few months is bigger than some people have yet accepted and yet, without taking the time out to really unplug from mainstream media and other peoples opinions, when do they ever get the respite? When do they get to sleep the carefree sleep and not wake up to the groundhog day of this unholy-seeming mess?

It’s important because, as I keep saying in my blog, timelines aren’t fixed (at all) and whilst doom and gloom outcomes might seem more dominant (certainly more assertive in the news and most people’s idyl chitchat), they are very far from set in stone. There are just as many positive outcomes up ahead; wonderful golden timelines where humanity evolves though present circumstance to change everything for the better in order to step into a tremendous new age; and there are just as many advocates and innovators of such a reality working hard in various quarters, overtly and not so obviously (as in, not making news headlines), but the main thing is that we each need to put our focus into that camp. In order to plug into our most elevated timeline, we need to keep our spirits UP and this can be hard to do when our nervous system is flattened!

So, doing the work to up-spiral our spirits is essential…more than it has ever been before. Identify what it takes for you to get onto that elevating spiral of feeling and do it, often, especially when you are feeling flat or anxious or chronically fatigued or betrayed or disappointed or angry or as though there is no point in continuing….in those moments, do it twice as much. Make it the habit of your lifetime because it is. It will literally carry you into the life of your choice; the one that feels most resonant with your heart and snuffs out those leaden and sickly feelings that come from tuning into other people’s choice of reality!

For me, primarily, it has been dancing, which (as I wrote about in my other blog) I began doing early on in the lockdown phase and have continued….only, now, I don’t just do it as a morning “practice” but as an antidote whenever I feel it is called for. So, that could be when I wake up feeling heavy in my soul or so fatigued I can hardly rise from my bed, or late at night when I have surplus kundalini bashing against the sides of my body to the point that it burns. It could be when I feel most aggravated or ecstatic (since both are happening in quick succession these days), or when my spirit feels broken in pieces on the floor, when I recognise old hurts pop up in my body from years ago or when I simply want to express something otherwise inexpressible….whatever the frequency. Sometimes I just want to laugh and celebrate being in a body; to feel the beautiful simplicity of the kind of enchantment a child feels at moving limbs in such a fluid and uncensored way that almost anything is possible; you become your own directive, without self-consciousness, and these are important skills to recall. What happens for me most days when I dance is a moment of pure alchemy, no exaggeration; and knowing I can trigger this to happen at will has been tremendous for my sense of manifest selfhood. Picking from the broadest possible range of music, across multiple cultures and tempos…all very different, yet oddly the same…I let my body lead me through the expression that needs to happen to keep my nervous system intact and ever stronger…and it works miracles!

My other thing is my art, which I have dived into more deeply and diversely than I had managed for ages and which is a powerful way of spinning my joyful creativity, pretty much every day. Far from diverting me away from what needs my attention, this art-practice feels deeply connected to it since it helps me to shape-shift at the energetic level, in order to select that most creative and abundant timeline for myself and others.

Whatever it is that brings you deepest in-joy-ment without harm to others, do it, knowing you are tending to your nervous system as a gardener tends to their plants. This is why so many people find such solace and repair from working with their hands in the soil; the metaphor runs deep! – but it could just as easily be paint or bread dough.

Healing herbs and adaptogens can be used to support nerve health. Lemon balm tea is extremely useful, ashwagandha can sometimes be helpful and matcha tea (in moderation due to its caffeine) contains a potent amount of l-theanine, which is incredibly soothing to nerves.

Passion and appreciation for organic food (and those that grow and deliver it to me!), for nature, birds and animals, for music, for beauty, for my family, for tending to my garden and home, envisioning future plans in that regard…all of these and more are part of the up-spiral, and recovery, process. Each time I apply myself to them, I reset the damage being done to nerves even before it can set in and become chronic or dangerously limiting. Instead of feeling more limited than ever, the irony is, my body (which is such a pivotal part of my physical reality, after all…and yet I have always struggled so much with mine!) only feels more robust and flexible than it ever has, morphing before my eyes, and this is the effect we are calling on, especially those of us that are used to being less grounded in physicality. So whatever your passion is, reach for it…and often…but also factor in time for deep rest or sleep whenever you crave it, for thinking about nothing at all and disconnecting from the mainstream.

Visualise where you want to be headed; often and in full technicolour, no holds barred!

Think of it as preparing for a journey; tanking up on supplies, checking your tyres, buckling up. A golden age lies up ahead waiting for its yet, but we have to be prepared for the ride.

Lee Harris is a fantastic energetic guide and mentor through these times and I especially recommend his latest offering Create Your Future: Elevating the 2020 – 2030 Timeline (currently available through membership of his Portal http://www.leeharrisenergy.com) for being powerfully on-topic with all that I have shared here.

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