Coming out of our shell

Healing old sore-points seems to be my big thing – more than ever – right now. My last post touched on the birth of my daughter, a time that harboured, and brought up to the surface, a deep wound (not only of this lifetime but from many others) and I felt that wound change dynamic last night on the new moon; felt it, under the influence of brand-new perspectives I have been able to bring to it, dissolve somewhat and change substance before my very eyes. All this since I published my last post late yesterday evening…so here I am posting again!

This happened after something woke me up in the night and there I was stood on the threshold of my doorway waiting for my dog to come back inside on the coldest night of the winter so far. Glancing at the clock, I realised this was the exact time that, 17 years ago, I was being butchered (well-meaningly) by a trainee nurse post-labour who was being talked through her fumbled attempts at sewing me back up where I was very badly-deeply torn, only the graphic descriptions by one nurse to the other and the fact (though they couldn’t have known about this….nor did I, at the time) that the labour experience, minus any pain relief except gas, or any adequate spousal support, had shaken up to the surface so many sharp pebbles of similar experiences of abandonment, humiliation, torture and abuse from this and countless other lifetimes that I was at the end of my tether. The gruesomeness of so many aborted attempts to get a needle in the right place in parts of me that had so much “unfinished emotional business” triggered me into a slowly unwrapping trauma that undid me that early morning and (I now own) has done the same on this day every year since though, of course, I had always worked hard at burying the feelings that came up so as not to ruin my daughter’s birthday.

I share this since it is just a minute example of how we suppress trauma and then we layer it for many repeat anniversaries of its energy coming up, stuffing those feelings back inside of ourselves for being deemed inappropriate…when all we really do is create a hard shell around them, preserving them as a zone of very potent, powerfully distilled “old” emotion held in the territory of our otherwise well-balanced and freely flowing lives. When these emotions are left undealt with, locked into unspoken places like naughty children sent to their room, they can pop up at the least convenient moments and really make a lot of noise and mayhem in our lives. This can happen at the individual and the collective level and, at this time, I suspect we are working en masse upon the healing of both; which can make for what feels like things getting a lot worse, a lot more chaotic, with a lot more devastating health issues let out of the bag of people we know and care about, which feels unfair and deeply nonsensical…but, really, we are collectively healing whatever about ourselves is demanding to be heard (genuinely heard) in a whole new way so that we can heal this world together.

Suddenly, through the “accident” of being awake at that exact time looking up at a crystal-clear starry sky and then going back to my warm bed where I cradled and sent love to the part of myself that I knew had held that old wound (and, though I had done this before, it was the exact alignment of the timing that made this so potent), I felt something shift and a particular energy that had been building for a few days lift to a much more expansive and light-filled version of itself. Believe it or not, though it was no more than 2.45 in the morning and bitterly cold, a bird started to sing outside my window. Listening to its exquisite solo, I dozed back to sleep feeling very different to how I had been feeling before my wake-up call and more ready to put on my parental birthday hat than I have ever been.

On a similar topic, I feel like I have been actively working on the theme of cancer these last few weeks, though you might legitimately ask why since this is not something I have directly experienced (in this lifetime; though I have encountered it in regression). Yet as someone acutely aware that my mother’s death from cancer (stirred up by the recent milestone anniversary) fed directly into my own deepest health traumas and as someone with a very close friend staring the c-word down at the moment, it has been right on the top of my list to think about lately. Also because it feels like we have all – collectively – reached a time to make a HUGE shift around what cancer is and how we deal with it and I find I have had much to say on this for a long time but have been reticent about doing so for fear (that word again!) of stepping on anyone’s toes or attracting it to me to ensure my entitlement to say my piece. I don’t want to have to go through the experience of cancer in order to speak my truth around it and this makes me wonder whether some extremely awesome people actually sign up for it expressly to make a difference about it in a way that people will listen to as a car-carrying member of the club since our world is current geared that way. We tend to have to become experts from within a paradigm before anyone will hear us out in this left-brain world of ours (which makes people like Anita Moorjani extremely powerful and compelling speakers on the kind of perspective I share) and yet I have never felt more like I also have things I want to say on this topic.

Lets be honest, most of us live as though we dwell in the shadow of a mountain called cancer most of our lives because our culture has now been set up that way. The idea of it is promulgated everywhere, in the warnings and cursory tales, the way it is made to feel almost inevitable (perhaps especially if you are a female), like it has become a stage of life that we must pass through…or not. It has been made the big-bad bogey man of our times so that our children have usually heard all about it, or know someone who has had it, by the time they go to school and notch it up on their lifetime expectations board as a “given” next to all those other givens that are handed out to our culture like dubiously intended sweets from a shadowy stranger. Why do we accept them, these hard so-called “givens” of our society? For my own part, I don’t think I did until the unthinkable happened and cancer “took” my mother (said using that commonplace language that sounds like a troll who gets hungry for his dinner comes out searching for victims). The implied vulnerability and helplessness around the way that we currently depict cancer is part of what feeds the culture around it, nor is the warfare terminology any more helpful in my view; when we say we are going to fight it, kick-its ass, battle it, defeat it etc. we raise a war cry…and so we start a war, one of those things in which there are never really any “winners” and we perpetuate the stand-off. If the stuck-points of our world just keep on sticking, it is probably time to apply a whole new perspective , one which is  much more in tune with the full-blown expansiveness that we are, across all the layers of our awareness.

I have played a great deal with the way we furnish the inner spaces of our fourth-dimensional playground (that “place” where we formulate the ideas, archetypes and belief systems that we live…and create… by) and the way we currently paint cancer in that dimension often has us defeated before we even get started. We are trolled by the idea of cancer long before it gets anywhere near our cells and, like I played with on the topic of the Epstein Barr virus last year, if there is anything inside of us that matches the currently attached vibration of sacrifice, littleness, fear and inevitable doom (the catastrophe vibe that runs very strongly in our culture) then we succumb to it as soon as our cellular circumstances line up with these ideas around it, like an alignment of ill-fated stars with our own thoughts casting the first and final shadow that serves to join them up. But, for that to happen, we have to be in that inner place where we agree to such an interpretation of what cancer is, chosing to forget the active part we get to play in what is, effectively, a dialogue or two-way communication (as all situations are). So, we need to ask, is it shouting us down, are we attempting to shout it down…or can we both sit down and listen to each other?

Even though many of us are starting to feel out the extent of our own power and to realise that, actually, we are only limited by what we can imagine we are capable of, this can backfire when it comes to cancer or similar illnesses since (as Marianne Williamson once pointed out) we are not so afraid of these things as we are quite knee-trembling so at the full reality of the light that we are and what we are capable of doing with this. I suspected the extent of my own powers of manifestation so long ago that I got into a whole other fear place around cancer; one where I was scared to death (a very apt phrase) that, by focusing on my mother’s death to cancer (not helped by how significant I had allowed it to become that I am “just like her” in so many ways), that I would “inevitably” make it happen to me through the power of my own thoughts. So I tried to refuse to think about it at all; blocked it out and so it became the elephant in the room while I dealt with so many other diverse and often bizarre health things going on – exactly like my finger in the leaking dam was causing a great multitude of other minor leakages to spurt “water” through the walls of my stronghold. My targeted self-defence system became a system wide thing with me having to keep an eye on all sides of my castle and my walls falling down as fast as I could build them up; and, just because we sit on the lid of the box, we don’t keep the contents in…they just push back harder. So, I was keeping this dreaded thing at bay…for now…though never feeling in a good place in my body and how long did I think I could keep that up for? There was a level of admitting to myself  this year that, in order to take this final leap towards health stability that I crave, I was going to have to face up to the big one now on my mother’s anniversary; to shine light in that most feared of all corners and so here I am where even saying the word so many times brings up a host of superstitious nonsense that makes part of me quake and another part laugh. Having that incredible friend who is BLASTING a new light upon cancer from within the eye of the storm is really helping me to process this in a new way that – both she and I know – feels like alchemy and I am so indebted to her for the brave new perspectives on this taboo that she is already helping to roll out to the world.

So how do we tackle the mystery of why cancer happens; how do we get to know it better beyond the mechanistic perspectives offered by “hard” science? Like anything else I have looked deeply in the eye lately, we do this by allowing that it too has a wounded heart, has been misplaced, misunderstood and a deep longing to make itself heard. This multigenerational blight is probably wanting (just as I am) for the first time – possibly in many lifetimes – to unblock its throat chakra and speak its truth loudly from the rooftops; (like an overlooked child) to garner the right kind of attention instead of playing up in order to get any attention at all.

2_vqy1_dzue-dayne-topkinBeing a “word person” I couldn’t help but notice the connection I keep making with the star sign Cancer – the crab – and, immediately, this strand began delivering pearls of understanding. The word was first applied to tumours because of the way these reminded early physicians of the way the soft-flesh parts of the crab can seem so veiny and bloated against the underside of the it’s shell; like there is always a soft part of it trying to get out of its hard armoury. Immediately, I saw in this an aspect of the feminine; after all, we have had to hold our soft parts in beneath self-created shields designed to protect us from the world for so very long. The whole topic of calcification and limescale build-up (when, really, we are designed to flow freely and expressively like soft water…) is something I explored in my recent post about the Great Softening that I feel is underway. The male aspect is there to check this aspect of us; not to hold it prisoner and yet the feminine aspect – whether within a male or a female person – has had to live beneath a self-created hard exterior, as both protection and disguise, for the longest time in order to survive at all.

So I found myself looking again at the Age of Cancer, which (according to Barbara Hand Clow’s theory (“Awakening the Planetary Mind: Beyond the Trauma of the Past to an Era of New Creativity”) and that of many others as this new information comes to light, occurred very shortly after the cataclysm that rocked our world 11,500 years ago. During the Cancer age, the sacred feminine and the idea of Mother as the preeminent force in the universe was still alive and well; we lived in harmony with the land (not fixed to it as farmers or in cities), ebbing and flowing across the landscape in sync with the seasons. We used the stars as our guidance, we revered the moon as well as the sun, we made use of “dark” earth-based science that enabled us to self-heal, we built markers of stone on the landscape to remind ourselves of times of powerful alignment with the way things were before our planet was subjected to axial tilt by that cataclysm (triggered by a super-nova which knocked us off-kilter, creating the seasons) and we respected all living things. So, in that age, we were in well-and-truly in touch with our feminine aspect…and yet, times being hard, perhaps the feminine aspect was also forced into becoming somewhat harder than felt natural; to assert rather than persuade in order to keep these delicate balances in place when other more overtly lack-based, fear-promoted ways of life (such as farming, living in fixed places, exchanging for money, revering “rational thought” above intuition) began to assert themselves. Perhaps this was the very start of the age of separation that we have been caught in ever since; the time when we first started constructing our outer shells, our shields and protective devices against the “outside world” and each other…the very beginnings of hemispheric separation as the feminine aspect felt like it had to defend or justify itself in the face of the male, left-brained aspect which was not only gaining traction but starting to tip the balance. As the Age of Gemini came in, the dualistic rift only became more apparent and the female aspect was left the unwelcome aspect at the party, gone into her shell for next few thousand years…

What happens to something when it is no longer welcome, is not heard, not allowed to express; when all the skills that it is the master of, the things it does so well, are not made welcome, not appreciated, not wanted or heard? First, they hide away in dark corners and, from there, they fight back, even if only in a passive aggressive way that feeds the kind of “off” energy that can turn a whole room sour…well, the same thing happens in the human body. If there is any part of you that is left unheard, unappreciated, unloved, it will turn its sourness on the whole systemic reality of the body and there you have the root of most health issues; something I have learned many times as I have unearthed the emotional root to my deepest, most persistent stuck-points. So, the key to the door…as ever it is…is to love all parts of yourself, without exception until every hurt feeling comes out of hiding and has its say; even those parts that feel like they wants to take you down. This has been one the most pivotal things I have learned out of my entire health journey and it applies to cancer as much…if not more than ever.

So if cancer is an unheard aspect of the femine…even when it materialises inside a male body (since these imbalances affect us all) then how does that affect how we respond when this kind of health crisis comes about? As I have learned repeatedly, the places where health crisis occur are a convergence of many things…starting with emotion and then built upon, layer by layer (perhaps lifetime upon lifetime), from the belief systems of each era and the environment you were brought up in, to the food and lifestyle choices (though these factors, actually, might come in last and serve as the “excuse” for something much broader/deeper going on, occurring in such a way as to explain what is happening to our logical minds). The way that the foundations of illness occur at the subtler levels long before more tangible, causal explanations crop up to explain them away possibly sheds light on why not everyone with the same lifetsyle gets the same illness; the unseen aspects of consciousness plays a FAR bigger part in health…and healing…than medical science currently takes account of.

When we find these alignments and convergences in our own landscape, they can be hugely transformative since they not only tell us important things about ourselves (across whole swathes of lifetimes) and the themes we are working on as human beings (since we all have our particular themes) but they offer a short cut to healing many things all at once. When we working like this with our so-called stuck points it can be like finding a key to our own front door since, in facing up to what feels most stuck, most resistant, least open to negotiation and if (inspite of all the odds being presented to us by so-called experts in the field who haven’t turned to our page yet) we manage to negotiate different terms across that table by bringing our own receptivity, our softness, our preparedness to listen to that thing, it can open up as a power node of transformation across the whole game board of our life. We can find out that, through healing this one thing, this one focussed nugget of pain or resistance, it springs a clasp holding down a multitude of other areas that previously needed our attention, allowing them all to reconfigure at once. Like a wire has been cut or a pin number tapped in, the newly disarmed door flings open and a whole different face to what we imagined being in there shows itself to us, often bearing gifts, because we took the time to listen to it; to work with it, not just blast it to smithereens. Yes, take the practical steps, do what you need to do to allow the mechanical aspects of your body to clear up what is out of step and in need of being put back to optimal functioning…but do the inner alchemy too and you are looking at a whole new paradigm of healing, the kind that pulls off the kind of miracles that leave people jaw-dropped.

A bit like my own small healing epiphany this morning (and countless others I have been party to along this road), when we get to where we are sitting cross the metaphorical table hearing these health anomalies out, we are getting very close indeed to creating brand new outcomes and, ultimately, preventing them altogether…in our children and grandchildren’s generations onwards. In an age where we live the equilibrium of both our male and female aspects, these hard-shelled expressions of disparate ideas won’t be necessary, they can leave their tin hats at home, even when expressing their ideas within the territory of their polar opposite, like we see in the the yin and yang symbol. Yes, I know I keep going on about this lately – but then just remind yourself what the sign for astrological Cancer looks like and tell me it doesn’t resemble the yin and the yang! The more we learn how to balance these two aspects, both within and without, the closer we get to an age when we can collectively come out of our shell and leave the age of cancer behind forever.

About Helen White

Helen White is a professional artist and published writer with two primary blogs to her name. Her themes pivot around health and wellbeing, expanded consciousness and ways of noticing how life is a constant dance between the deeply subjective and the collective-universal, all of which she explores with a daily hunger to get to know herself better. Her blog Living Whole shines a light on living with high sensitivity, dealing with trauma and healing from chronic health issues. Spinning the Light is an extremely broad-based platform where she elucidates the everyday alchemy of relentless self-exploration. A lifetime of "feeling like an outsider" slowly emerged as neurodivergence (being a Highly Sensitive Person with ADHD, synaesthesia, sensory processing challenges and other defecits overlapping with giftedness). All of these topics are covered in her blogs, written from two distinct vantage points so, if you have enjoyed one of them, you may wish to explore the other for a different, yet entirely complimentary, perspective.
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