Process, Uncategorized

Emotional Landscape

Hmmm I would have thought that I had written this one already. It seems not. How it missed it off of the top 100 of The Life Doula usable phrases I have no idea. How it has failed to make into blog post noteriaty is beyond me, given that it is one of the core tenants of the work I do. Maybe it’s because it so close to emotional mapping I didn’t think it was necessary. This morning I have already been writing You Are Here, about where you stand on the map of your life and where that relates to Trauma Wise. What you need to know about what surrounds you in order to make more powerful better informed choices. Not sure if I explained the power of You Are Here as succinctly as I did here. Note to self. Anyway I referenced emotional landscape a lot in that post/article and I thought I better follow up on what it actually means. As I am sure references to emotional landscape in pop culture are at best rare. You see it’s been a journey this blog itself is called process because I don’t always know where I am or where my emotional journey might take me. How can I when I don’t know where I am? In fact writing gives me the greatest opportunity to discover where I am and that is why I do it. The process laid bare. How are we supposed to know where we are if we don’t think or talk about it? That’s my vibe.

You see as humans we are constantly and continualy dealing with the unseen. The unseen can be expressed, understood, suppressed, repressed, invisible, ignored, incommunicable and even preverbal. The unseen realms are all about feeling. What can’t be felt lives in the unconscious shadow. In recent years there has been an explosion in shadow workers and now more recently trauma practicioners (of which I am one). I didn’t start this journey knowing I was either. All I knew is that I wanted to help people feel and talk about emotional health rather than mental health. That emotions were the key to feeling and healing everything.

That to me, is what emotional landscape is. It’s the place where you reside within your soul. The landscape that no one else can see, that only you feel, that often acts as a barrier to conecting with others. You see our emotional landscapes often don’t look like the ones you see on T.V. (who watches T.V. anymore?) The emotional landscape can be dark, confusing, cloudy, messy and most of all unnamable. We dont know how to talk about our souls unless someone gives us language to do so. The language that we are taught quite often doesn’t match the langauge that we have. We think love is scary or family is safe. The beach is happy or that clowns are funny. Each of our emotional landscapes is highly unique to us and can often feel non-translateable. Until of course we find that painting, that song, that film that somehow expresses the unsayable for us. More confusingly every day, every moment is different as life is fluid. We can be on the edges of bliss one day and exploding with anger the next. We can be dancing with excitment and wrestling with peace at the same time. Our emotional landscape is caught up with oximorons that can make us feel insane. The world is supposed to be structured and finite, not random and fluid and yet it can be both sumoultaniusly. No wonder we get confused or feel lost, lonely isolated a lot of the time. You see we haven’t understood our invisible emotional landscape and until we do we are never going to find ourselves, where we are and head in the direction we want to be going.

It is so interesting, in writing and re reading this I feel a return. Although I do specialise in trauma this has taken me back to my an orgin story of sorts. When I first realised that healing was all about feeling. The world wasn’t ready for that message then and even now as we journey though our monumental collective shadow. I wonder how ready we are for that work now. With all the name blaming and shaming going on I’d say we are living the polarity like a very well oiled high jinx game. Where I’m wondering when we get to turn the board over? You see my journey through my own emotional landscape has led me to a far deeper understanding of the caves and swamps that lie within it, not just the personal ones but the collective ones too. This is where I began to appreciate that ther might be something such as Collective Trauma and that beyond Collective Trauma it’s root cause is Systemic Trauma. That our emotional landsacpes are filled with the narrative of systemic trauma. That there is no one to blame. That we have simply been living in the after math of orgnisational Trauma Bombs that can devastate lives, wipe out whole city blocks, rip apart families and destroy any sense of community or resillience that we have. The onslaught of the system on our emotional lanscapes in continual corrosive nand deadly unless of course you are willing to comply and well as we understad it it’s taken us to full scale environmental collapse. It’s easy to beleive that understanding you emotional landscape is a soft fluffy option for vegan friendly militiants trying to solve the chickpea problem. The truth is chickpeas probably aren’t going to help us either because you know biodiversity is important. The truth is we have to look at where the challenges begin, that’s with you and me and all that pressure we seem to be under.

This article is being writen to accompanying reading for Feral Systemic Healing Circle please click through if you would like more information.

Process, Uncategorized

The Way We Hear

IMG-9924Clutter can be distracting. Often when we listen to people or engage with people who are experiencing pain we don’t make enough space in our own psyches to hear a person. Not only that when we do hear them we come at them with quick fixes our own solutions or even opinions of what might be the next best move. All of the above is more like providing a brain storming session for someone who literally doesn’t know how they feel, never mind what they want. Here we are supposedly helpful individuals bombarding someone with an idea whether it is welcome or not. This strategy can be very well meaning. However it doesn’t address the challenge at hand and at worse can deny the emotions of the very person you are trying to help. The way we listen to people and even to ourselves can often be very damaging.

Often it can be very hard to understand exactly what someone is saying. We all have such nuanced and complex emotional landscapes we mistake what we might feel for what someone else feels. When in fact they are very different. That two people can go through exactly the same experience, hold different perspective of exactly what happened and extract totally different meanings or interpretations of what it meant for them. There is so much to learn. There is almost no doubt that other humans are our greatest teachers. Yet we still superimpose our own beliefs and ideas on the person in front of us. Doing this undermines our own learning process and ability to grow. Well all have so many stories and experiences. Out lives the family environments that we grow up in are all totally unique and can never be replicated. If we treated each human as an artistic masterpiece, our lives would be so enriched. We would dive into one another with total abandon and we would never seek to “improve”, alter or change any part of the other. We would be engrossed in the process of learning all we can in that very moment. Time is short our moments together are precious.

So if we took the time to view the people in our lives in such ways. How would we change ourselves to accommodate this idea? How would we alter our interactions? The way we hear or understand another human. Would we be able to truly leave judgement at the door and open ourselves up the the power of each moment? Casting away our thoughts, the mental clutter and our predetermined ideas of acceptance. It’s a powerful idea that has delighted me this morning.