Why the songbird stops singing: the need to be at liberty to change our minds

The following short summary of how chronic health issues come about was shared today on my health blog Living Whole, with the final observation that every word of it could equally be said about the collective; as in, the way we conduct our politics. On the day when the importance of recognising the need to be able to change our minds is brought out into the political forum of the UK, where a chronic national situation is currently holding all our attention, I realise these simple words are far more timely and universal than I initially noticed.

Why the freedom to change our minds is just so important to health

A pitfall of our humanness is that we like to have a plan and to stick to it. When we announce we are going to do something to others, we then often force ourselves to “deliver”, long after we have changed our minds. When we use the word “mind” we tend to assume head, as in “brain”; but truly the mind is a combination of brain and heart, the mixing ground of which is the emotions, which are a language spoken by the body. When we go against our mind, we go against both our heads and our hearts in the quantum space where they collaborate; and though our heads may leap into the breach to put out any fires by “logically” justifying our decisions to ourselves and everyone else, the problem doesn’t go away. If we are still going against our changed mind, the body will always speak the heart’s truth…either now, or at some sickly time in the future when our failure to listen to some part of the whole comes back to bite us.

Thus, when we force ourselves into projects that our hearts are no longer in, just because we said we would do them, our alientated emotions build up in places where they don’t even see light of day.

If we keep going against our minds, the body becomes cock-full of these old hurts, stored up in all the pockets of all our cells…in different parts of the body according to the nature of the hurt (which is where we see lifetime or even family trends for certain illnesses)…and this is where pain and distortion, including cancerous cells, begin to arise. To start with, this delivers acute issues which, if we notice them on time, we can deal with “as they occur” by paying attention and taking time to heal ourselves. If this is done properly, as in we notice the emotional as well as the physical hurt and address both things at once, we can move on. When suppressed by the use of the kind of pharmaceuticals that merely “shut up” or mask the symptoms so we can continue to work on our project, or when we simply ignore the pain, the emotional hurt gets caught in a cul-de-sac; a sort of dumpling ground for parts of ourselves that are not being listened to. When this happens over a chronically long period, we fall into the chronic symptoms of mystery illnesses, where “everything” seems to be going wrong, all at once.

As we crystallise into a newer version of being human, we come to understand all this (often through the long-weary process of picking apart a long-term chronic illness, forcing us to become aware of the above scenario, and to address those old stored-up hurts so they can see the light). Going forwards, we realise that nothing should be set in stone; that we need to remain flexible in our intentions so that there is always room to change our minds. In fact we check in with our minds on a regular basis; holding “meetings” between head and heart to make sure we are all on the same page with our life’s current objectives. Whilst the brain might thrive best on the long-term planning that allows it so see, and thus strategise, far ahead and march forwards, with absolute determination and focus, towards a single pre-decided goal, the heart only feels trapped by such a stance and must have the freedom to come and go, even the freedom to pull out of a project altogether, otherwise it becomes like the trapped songbird caught inside the situation….and will eventually cease to sing!

Once the head knows that in order to collaborate with the heart, which brings so much insight, creativity and other much more mysterious skills to a project, all of which it has come to value as essential to overall balance, it knows too that the heart must always be met halfway, not just given lip-service. It realises how it needs to keep all obstructions away from the exits and make sure that all of the doors and windows of a project are truly left wide open so that the heart always feels free and supported plus truly valued for its own traits. Then the two can finally set to work together, in balance…which is a beautiful thing to experience, both inside and out. Then, as we do this for ourselves, we spin this balanced state out into a world that also comes to benefit, thus evolve, from realising the importance of the need for built-in flexibility and creative space, including the room and freedom to discuss everything all over again, as many times as feels right, and even change our minds; all protected as a fundamental priority at the very centre of all of our collective projects. Even more important to crystalise into policy as we speed up in our evolution; since we are not who we were a few moments ago, let alone three or more years ago!

Otherwise, a body…human or political…without its songbird is in a very sorry state indeed and has no long-term prospect of surviving; leading to repeat after repeat of the same sorry situations.

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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