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Spirit v.s Wound

IMG-9790Did you know that Facebook posts can actually be deeply inspirational and thought-provoking? A few weeks ago I saw a post that read “Are you guided by your spirit or by your wound?” Big fucking question right? And it might take you quite a bit of discernment to figure that bad boy out. This has been a question that has plagued me for years, especially when you feel like you’ve been rocking the wounded healer archetype for a while. Getting jiggy with Chiron can be as complex and messy as astrophysics for
toddlers. Somehow though I think toddlers are better a grasping the bigger concepts. So here I am, figuring that out, and I wonder how my own discussion about it might best serve you…….

We all have pain — emotional pain, physical pain, psychological pain and maybe even spiritual pain. If you’re feeling particularly advanced, you might even hit me with your psychic pain. Wait there a minute! there is more; there may even be collective pain, generational pain, ancestral pain…oh! and even national pain. That is a shit-ton of pain to distinguish between. It’s hard to know what is ours and what is somebody else’s. In fact, it’s a whole story that can probably be reserved for another blog post.

The thing is, no matter what kind of pain you are feeling and how it manifests, it has amazing and incredible ways of guiding us. So for example, if you have been raped, you may opt to work for a rape crisis charity, or with other men or women that have experienced the same. Yet, before the rape occurred it hadn’t really been a topic of interest to you. Following your wound becomes your way of both healing and giving back to society. Which is, of course, very admirable.

If you are led by your spirit, there are things that have always brought you joy, that have always made you happy, made your step a little bit lighter, your laugh a little bit louder and, well, your smile a lot brighter. When you are in crisis it can be hard to think about the things that bring you joy. Just getting down to the deep work of bringing joy back into your own life for yourself is all you can do to lighten somebody else’s burden. You just bring joy by being joyful. How incredible! Yes, you can choose this way to heal too.

Anyways, just so you know, vibrationally, it’s always better to follow joy, and maybe peace for a little while too. Yes, be guided by your spirit and know that your gifts are not your wounds but the things that bring you joy in the face of them. Be yourself and shine to thrive.

Conscious Intake

IMG-9895Well this is a funny one and it seems to follow on almost directly from my last post…..Conscious Consumption. Some times I feel like I don’t break things down well or enough. My blogging process is simply a matter of what I want to write about today. Then I find that what I have to write about can be broken down into so many other tiny pieces, and each of these deserves it’s own platform. That is what has happened here with Conscious Intake. Maybe you think I’m talking about Conscious Eating or maybe some kind of school screening programme. I’m literally writing about intake what it is that we intake into out bodies. So why not say eating? Well cause that is not exactly what I mean. So now I have to go on to explain it a bit more. What I say might be controversial and so maybe by writing this I might let you off the hook.

I smoke. Though I do not define myself as a smoker….Usually I smoke when I’m really angry and it’s actually the best way I know to calm down. (I’ve been going through a bit of a rough time at the moment, did I tell you that) Anyways after I’ve EFT’d the fuck out of myself or considered breaking something, screamed into a pillow or maybe just whacked a the couch with it. Well if all that hasn’t worked I smoke half a cigarette and then almost immediately brush my teeth and wash my hands…..oh yes that is me. The good news is that you know what it’s not a big deal. Because in that moment it’s the best possible chance I have of feeling better. That will prevent me from ruminating over an idea, situation or thought for hours. I have a cigarette change my state and then let it go. Sometimes I even smoke socially and I really enjoy it. How you feel is the key to wellness.

The reason that I write this is because there are endless lists of shoulds and should nots. Healthy and unhealthy. Only you know what is right for you. About 6 months ago I went to see a nutritionist because I was suffering from really bad indigestion and it turns out I am one of those weird people who is actually more naturally alkaline. Which means I have to make my body more acid to be able to digest my food well rather than the other ways round. Who would have thunk it? Drinking coffee, wine and even eating sugar (all in moderation) are actually good for me. As result of including these things in my diet my digestion and general well being has improved dramatically. Of course we do have to make the effort to find out what works for you.

Yes for the most part I do my best to get good quality locally sourced produce. I even collect mountain spring water regularly and use that as my standard drinking water. What I’m saying is if once a month I eat a chocolate bar on something equally suspicious; a can of coke to go with my burger and fries. Then consider yourself blessed that you can afford it, make sure you enjoy and be grateful for the experience. Creating contrast can make that experience all the more special too. Variety is the spice of life.

Clearing Space

IMG-9833There is nothing quit like cleaning your house to help get your mind in order “Tidy house tidy mind”. This week I’ve been totally deep cleaning. Pulling out the couch. Getting under the bed. Dusting the picture rails. Just getting fully committed to my dharma. That in order to start fresh each morning we need to have a clean slate to start from.That resetting the clock for what you want from life can start on a 24 hour countdown each day. How very liberating, exhausting and terrifying all that once. That everyday, exactly where you are you have everything you need. All we have to do is get down to the exact science of living. That the what if’s and the what only’s could be actioned in every moment. To live your life fully.

It’s easy to let things stagnate, plonk a whole load of things on the to do list without every really getting round to doing them. Stuff can hold us back. Whether it is things in our head, the endless to do lists or just getting round to doing our dishes.

Even the random things that have crept into the seams of the couch, whether it is a business card or a penny, can absorb our energy as we mull these objects over. Seriously if it doesn’t bring you the ecstatic joy of discovering a lots pound coin. Then get rid of it. Quick smart and pronto.  So much mental space can literally be taken up with stuff.

That is exactly what clearing space does. It allows us to live most fully in our present moments. Our richest day in the one we are living right now. Where everything is in order. Yes it’s a lot to aspire to everything in order and in it’s place. Committing to the work, likes it’s groundhog day. Diligently setting aside that which no longer serves us day after day and setting the intention for the next. Inviting in the lovely stuff, that bunch of flowers some incense or your favourite tea. Clarity is sure to bring abundance. After all you can’t take it all with you and we do have all we need to thrive in this world. Creating a space that brings instant joy for the moments we have is clearing space on the deepest level.

We can free ourselves of the emotional baggage and the burdens of limitation in any moment. We only have to change our minds and choose something else. Having a deep clean and a de-cluttering can be as effective way as any of getting clarity in you life and figuring out all those priorities. It can certainly make you feel better to lie out on an open space, free from distractions. It make room creativity and master planning of the best kind. Yes clear space so that abundance can flow.

#Mood

5AB40A8A-F6B6-4C11-AC7A-CFEBF3A74ED3#Mood wasn’t this so 2015 or something like that? Where did that go? #Mood. I loved it. All these emotionally literate hipsters trying to visually capture the idea of a late afternoon sugar rush.  Yes that’s a thing, especially if your begrudgingly British like me. I recent weeks for reasons yet to be disclosed I’ve been hanging out with an Art Director friend of mine and we’ve been talking a lot about aesthetics. Me being a trained curator and her being, well, an art director that’s hardly unusual. What has been coming to me though recently on my pathway to Zen Goddess that aesthetics are important. You’d think a four year degree in Art History might have taught you that? That’s why no one should go to left-of-center art schools I suppose (winky face).

The study of The History of Modern Art and Design taught me something else entirely that revolves around the word arbitrary. As I soon discovered much of what we think is meaningless, subjective and well pointless and the only value that anything actually has is the value you give it. Quite liberating actually. If you want to find out more you might want to read up on the power of cult. Modernist Theory is so closely related to creative means of production; that if studied indepthly, it’s hard not to become nihilistic about art, life and well everything. You see how easy it is to spiral down? Thus explaining post-modernism.

Great works of art, whether it be painting, sculpture, architecture, all forms of design or indeed explorations of visual culture (lets say Instagram) have to power to uplift, motivate, inspire and in fact connect us to the divine. One walking tour of Paris confirms that. We all want to be moved, comforted,  reassured our at the very least served by the environments that we occupy.

It is also possible to deliberately evoke feeling with aesthetics, as you would with music. Que the cheesy background music over almost every motivational infomercial these days. It’s kind of boring. These perfectly curated and complied content. Show me the mess. I do like to get high on little bit of rainbow. I’ve even have a Pinterest board about it Colour Me Happy.

Given my theoretical basis for understanding aesthetics and on related issues of beauty and the fact that we live in a construct. I am firmly of the opinion that we create our own inner realities.  Spiritual development is largely related to non-attachment. That the material world is nothing but a distraction from the metaphysical quest of wholeness. Except of course we are all whole already. The thing is, this curious idea of mood, that can be summed up in dusty old railway stations, a Christmas trees or even the colour of a painted wall and how it detracts and refracts the light as is dances round the room, morning to evening, winter to summer. As celestial being affected by matter and intrinsically connected to material a world it’s hard to not let our visual reality impact our inner reality. Isn’t that after all why we have embodied ourselves in the first place. Whoa this seems to pretty advanced stuff on here today.

Consistently Inconsistent

IMG-9492(1)“Consistently Inconsistent” My father said this to me once as an insult. it’s a terrible shame that it wasn’t actually true. Yet beyond this it has become a kind of mantra for me. Everybody has the right to change there mind, find another way, all in the hope of becoming who we actually are. In recent months I’ve picked up the pace a bit on my wee coaching business and as always adjusting course as I move forward and figuring out what it all really means anyway while attempting to be the truest and best version of myself all at the same time. Which means from time to time my standards slip life gets in the way and I have to consider How best am I serving my clients. If you are looking for a guru I’m not it. I’m as human and broken as the best of us and sometimes I’m envious of Mandela and hid imposed daily routine. Can you imagine enforced spiritual awakening by way of prison regime. That no matter how hard it is. How you might be feeling or even how important you are you have to get out there and get down to the lowly work of breaking rocks. If that isn’t dharma in action I don’t know what is.

In the meantime I’m caught between, I’m busy feeling. How much can I journal about this? Do I journal before I do the dishes? Do I do the dishes before I journal or the other way round. Which one is going to make me feel better faster? Then all the justifications that go with it. Never mind that I actually can’t do the dishes because I can’t find the ecologically friendly dish washing liquid I usually use in my local supermarket, that means I have to drive into town, which kind of defeats the purpose of eco dish washing liquid. Yes it’s the small things. How do you write inspirational posts when you can’t manage the basic and well you’re very busy feeling? The thing is we all have the right to be consistently inconsistent. We are humans. As much as we are drastically trying to reclaim our lives from the endless monotony of daily work for a corporate company we also need to reclaim our lives from the constructed demands of time. No one here is pulling in a harvest no one is going to dye if you Instagram feed is not up to date and should I really be Instagramming while spending quality time with friends. Personal work is for me the new work work. Prioritising me as a radical step in self-care. That doesn’t mean never commit it just means do you best and been happy with the results. Also please bare in mind here absolutely no-one has criticised me for inconsistency or praised me for my eco washing up liquid. This is all self-imposed limitations and critiques. The mind can be crazy even when it is well trained.

Inner Guidance

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Sometimes I wonder what our inner guidance system would operate like if it was a GPS system and what kind of warnings it might give out when you were steering onto the wrong course. Would it say things “stop immediately”? Or would it say “A better decision can be found to your left” or even “reconsider current trajectory” or in the most desperate of cases “abort mission” I suspect if you’ve gone this far there isn’t much hope of finding a safe and effective exit route.

I often override what my inner guidance and then I wonder did I really? Hindsight is a wonderful thing and even when we have live clues it can often be hard to decipher what the next best step is. We’ve all be there, I’m sure, in that situation where someone says or does something that lets us know that we are not on the same path, have the same shared values. There are no mistakes and no matter where we are heading you better be sure that your GPS system is working overtime to get you there. When we ignore what we believe were tell tale signs of trouble ahead isn’t it just our own way of saying life is an adventure.

In the last few decades the rise in adventure sports of even excursions have been supposedly been the best way to get out of a comfort zones as we all try escape desk jobs and boring routines. The things is even with the life jackets and the bungee cords there is never any guarantee that we really will be safe, that we will get home safe and dry after a harmless flirtation with exhilaration.

When we override our inner guidance system it’s just our spiritual way of saying “I’ve got this”, come what may. That actually we have a belief in ourselves beyond what is explicable or even sane. After all what sane person would actually through themselves off a structure with noting but a rope tied to their ankles? As a kiwi friend once said to me “New Zealand the nation that invented bungee jumping. A nation in some serious need of entertainment”.

Recently when I am thinking about my own personal growth journey the book “The Four Agreements” has been coming up for me a lot. I find it very reassuring to look at them and use them as a tick list to see how well I have served my self in the process of life.

  • Be impeccable with your word.
  • Don’t take anything personally.
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always Do Your Best

If I read these four agreements and I know that I have applied to the best of my ability. Then my inner guidance system is totally in tact. No matter the outcome.

 

 

Prioritising Self and Fluidity

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Negotiating the emotional landscape has got to be one of the most complex things that we humans have to do. If we were all robots getting on with our to do lists just think how boring that would be. Work schedules, family schedules and daily routines can be the glue that hold our lives together and then from time to time, the computer says no. Our conscious tells us other otherwise. Things don’t make sense and well life happens. We have to figure out how to navigate it. All of a sudden we are on unfamiliar territory and well as my old pirate self might say, “There be Rocks!!!” Even when we know where we are going there can be all sorts of hidden obstacles and emotional battles to overcome in order to make sure that we are ready for the task, journey or event ahead.

In the meantime if you are indeed engaged fully on your own personal journey you may well feel or in fact know, that this is all for a reason. That you are here to learn for yourself.  To share your journey, so that other way finders may just steer clear of the rocks.

We complicate the idea of getting ahead with helping others. That if we are caring, kind compassionate humans we priortise other people. Is that absolutely true?

It makes me think of a Gardener who spends his life planting flowers so that everybody can enjoy their blooms. For the advanced Gardner it’s about planting trees that will never reach their full magnificence in a human life time. So we wonder who is he planting them for? Only for the simple satisfaction that he has imagined something beautiful.

That we can’t possibly  support another person while moving at an incredibly slow pace, it might even be mistaken for being stationary. It’s bit of a double edged sword, personal work. We want to support and love others to heal themselves, while being continuously called to heal our own wounds in the act of serving. It’s and incredible balancing act actually.

It has taken me a long time to fully understand what it is to prioritise myself. In fact it’s kind of startling to me when I ever do some deep soul examination of how little I give myself and why. It also troubles me what spiritual observations that many of us take on the path to wellness. Chastity, obedience and poverty being three main ones. It makes you wonder what is left for joy, happiness and growth.

In today’s world where even in our own personal journey consistency is considered to be key. It can be challenging to think of new more relaxed ways to embrace personal growth, that don’t revolve round people pleasing, gym membership or a punishing daily regime that is guaranteed to push all the money juice out of you.

Then we return again to the Gardner where the seasons and the weather dictate their routine. They plan on rainy days. Plant and harvest on sunny days. Wait out the frost. Every day and changing season brings with it a new challenge of how and when they will get the job done and yet they always do.

Reaching Out

IMG-9382Today as in today I’m not feeling so great and I’m wondering what I can write that will best serve you. I want to work on something that will be mutually beneficial as a navigate a some lingering emotional turmoil and wonder what is the next best step? If speaking our truth is really powerful, and what really serves us, and grants other people the right to be themselves; is it my job to tell you what going on with me? Or is it my job to pretend that everything’s ok and not to bother you with my business? When the business of healing  and therefore healing myself is the business I’m in. It’s a question I keep asking myself. I like to belief that in holding space for myself I am holding space for you. That maybe, in my unorthodox approach you find some light relief from your own shit.

Reaching out for help is often one of the bravest things that we can do for ourselves. Talking about our shit, coming right out and saying it is often as little or as much as we need to say about a situation, our emotions or our thoughts. To remove the taboo. We can’t always be sure of how any one person will receive what we have to say. The truth of the matter is that we have the right to freedom of expression. It’s something that we often forget. That instead or being nice, kind or generous that we have the right to be honest. Honesty can serve us. Keeping up a facade hides us from what we want most. It stops us from being who we really are even if that might be perceived as ugly, inconsiderate or thoughtless. Other peoples feelings are not our responsibility. This is something that I often need to remind myself of as I pick away at the great puzzle of my life. That often I choose to be nice, kind or generous and betray myself in the process. That I don’t get what I want as a result and people don’t see me for who I really am. It makes me wonder if I am failing at being me and why I feel the need to protect someone from me. Aren’t all thoughts, feelings, emotions valid? I say all these things in safe spaces. Why not here? Why not now? Then I see that I am protecting myself as much as I am protecting the other person. That I want people to be kind to me, cause in some moments that is all I want to handle. That the person opposite me has their own struggles and challenges and we are all just doing the best we can as we work this deeply collaborative process called life.

Holding Space

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Holding space has become a bit of a buzz term in recent years. Buzz strangely being the antithesis of holding space. I think many of us wonder what holding space really means?

For me It’s all about creating space for another person. What does that mean? Creating space is having the ability to literally invite someone into your life with the objective of sharing it. Many of us, that are on a go getting mission to live life to it’s fullest, are out there consuming people like they are products, we want cool friends, fun times and endless experiences. The truth is that very few humans are permanently on, and ready to party any time any where.

Creating space asks what we are able to give to another person simply by making time. That acknowledging another person’s humaness and need for connection is as much as anybody might need to heal. So when we create space it’s making time for those one-to-one chats. Turning off your phone and minimising interruptions, can be key to spending quality time with someone, whether it’s a friend, spouse or colleague.

Beyond the initial stage of creating space,  holding space for someone is the ability to be fully present and connect on their deepest level. Crucially when we hold space for someone, we are expectation free. We drop our agendas and we simply allow someone to be human. We create a safe space by dropping judgement and simply being. It’s kind of like a collaborative meditation. Where the other persona is allowed to say whatever they want and we sieve our soul for the kindest most generous way to respond.

Holding space for other people can be beneficial to your own personal journey of growth or self-discovery, you may find it very informative and insightful. Often from listening to other people, their pains and their challenges, we can develop our own personal insight. We can manage to catch what we think before we say it and realise that often that our internal dialogues are highly demanding, unfair and often unreasonable. So there is a lot to be gained personally from holding space.

Holding space is at the core of what I do. It’s one of the main reasons I am a Life Doula and not a coach. I believe that when people are experiencing serious growth that they deserve to be witnessed by another human. I often liken the human growth process the the human birth process. We don’t leave a mother alone and vulnerable to tough it out. We hold space for her and we understand that we are there to fulfill the roles that she is unable fulfill for herself. We also understand there is no time limit to this. Labour takes as long as it takes and postpartum support, is too, part of that process. Crucially when we are holding space we don’t need validation or approval. We are there because we want to be. We put our own needs aside and place another person at the very center of our focus. We are not attached to an outcome. That does not mean to say that we can’t take a boundaried approach to our gift of presence, it’s more a matter of providing powerfully with the time that we have. Holding space, sounds, looks and feels very different to different people. Creating space isn’t just about creating silence, it’s opening up to another persons possibilities. Finding out what it is that we want to share. As humans we all have so many complex multi-facted frames of reference it’s absurd that to think that we might have all the answers to somebody else’s problems. The best we can do is be there.

 

 

 

Pain Threshold

IMG-9349I’ve been deep in a mid-winter dirge. It feels like a lot of things have been ruminating and maybe it about time to start letting go.  It’s all good and well talking about healing the emotional wounds of our pasts without addressing that some people are so caught up in their emotional landscapes, that it dominates our physical futures. A lot of people might think that mindset and a wellness are not related to each other. That I might pose this as a concept, is a to put it mildly, a bit suspect to many minds. I believe that humans can and are able to heal from anything if we are willing to do the work, to liberate ourselves from the beliefs that we have been born to.

Our beliefs can be very hard to unpack. Even as someone who has spent a serious a mount  of time in therapy as well as on a long course of self examination it startles me sometimes about how little I know about my own psyche. The healing work that I do on myself alone is a lot to do with leveling up. I think I’ve got it all sorted, that I’m hitting the kerb. There might even be only one single heart beat between me and Elysium and then suddenly I’ve been knocked out into a cold mud coated street, from nowhere. There is literally shit going on in my being I have no awareness of. Or alternatively I do have awareness of and that I grossly underestimate the power of. If something, no matter how trivial is getting your goat, troubling you, drawing your attention then you better believe that it has power over you in ways you can’t begin to imagine.

Yes you can unpack it, yes you can let it go, yes you can scratch it pick at, worry over it and even talk about but only you know when you have begun to fully understand it. No one can tell you other wise and no one can navigate it for you only you know. Maybe it a loosening of your shoulder, a relaxing in your gut, a stretch in your legs. Only you know how when or where you got free of it.

When you are in these moments of pain, deep resentment, anger, discomfort, frustration and even growth, it’s easy to reach for a bottle or a book to ease the irk. It’s also easy to dive into someone else’s pain and prescribe a cure all action. You need to let go of it. When are you going to give this up? Why are you still holding on to this? Don’t give your power away? Why do you give a fuck what they think? Even the more positives of “Live you life” “Free yourself” “Don’t let anybody dull your sparkle”. I mean for fuck sake there are reasons why people sign up to be nuns and monks or even  run of to an ashram in India, or find themselves on a pilgrimage, or lose themselves in an iowaksa retreat.

The fucked up thing is, that no matter what it is and no matter how far you run  you will always have to face it. You might be lucky enough to design the circumstances under which you do but you always will. Look to your pain whether it be emotional or physical  and you will find beliefs and all the ways that they limit you. If you can push through the pain threshold it’s possible to find freedom.