Tag Archives: psychology

We Cannot Defeat Darkness with Darkness

Listen, I’m no expert at this life thing. I’m not. I’m not claiming any superpowers when it comes to understanding and diminishing the shadow inside of me. I’m just as flawed and wrecked as the next person. But, I can tell you one thing that I’ve learned:
We can not defeat darkness with darkness.

We can certainly fight darkness with darkness. We do that all of the time. We’re seeing lots of evidence of fighting darkness these days. We’re in a monumental battle on earth right now. Actually, many battles are taking place. Of course, I’m referring to the recent (horrifying and heartbreaking) terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut, and other places, but also the more personal wars we’re waging in our communities, families, and bodies. The (ever-futile) war on drugs comes to mind. The war on disease is another example.

Photo compliments of unsplash; www.unsplash.com

Photo compliments of unsplash; http://www.unsplash.com

Yes, mankind has always waged epic fights with darkness. We’ve written books, penned plays, and produced songs about our struggles. We glorify negativity when we feel it’s justified. We vilify evil behaviors on the part of others, but honor those same debased behaviors on the part of ourselves when it suits our particular viewpoint, religion, beliefs. But, the threats to humankind always remain. Every single threat to us remains despite our best efforts. Why? Well, I’ll tell ya: It’s due to our very consciousness. It’s due to where we place our focus as electromagnetic beings. it’s due to the fact that we create our realities in every detail. More on all of this in a minute.

Humans largely believe that to defeat darkness of any kind: terrorism, cancer, drug addiction, violence, war, greed, differing opinions, and so on, we must physically destroy the threat. We must eradicate all traces of the threat or at least, control the threat. But, the problem with this approach is it’s IMPOSSIBLE to destroy something without becoming the very thing that you are seeking to destroy. The act of thinking about and then destroying the threat makes more threat. It’s about where we place our attention.

The thoughts associated with war perpetuate war. The thoughts tied to “I hate cancer” make more cancer or other illness. It’s true. What we emanate brings more of that energy into the world and right back into our personal sphere, our bodies, our day-to-day existence. By design. It’s physics. What we push against always steps closer to us and oftentimes has aligned with other like energies in its travels back to us and comes back in bigger. Every.Single.Time. It’s because of our consciousness and where we place our attention. Don’t believe it?  This video provides a great grounding in quantum physics and helps explain how our consciousness creates reality.

The defeat of darkness cannot come from sanctions, confinement, condemnation, declarations of war, exclusion, terror, bloodshed, threats, or bombs. We cannot bomb the way out of our human condition, bad feelings, loss of control, or the scary (subconscious) shadow that lies at the core of each of us. We cannot completely kill or stop the darkness in the world, because it’s inside of us. The darkness (threat) is inside of our psyches, our minds, our human consciousness, our behaviors, our thoughts. We contain the very threat that we seek to destroy. In.Every.Case. 

You think the terrorists are bad, evil, wrong, bestial, or fill in the blank? They are human. They are all of us. We are all of them. Don’t believe it? In your life, have you ever been cruel to a child, a friend, a lover, your body? Yes, you have. Have you ever hurt another person? Yes, you have. Maybe you’ve even thought that bombing the sh*t out of the Middle East will “fix the problem”. Yes, many have. I even said something to that effect in a particularly vulnerable and anger-fueled (aka, fearful) moment. No, I’m not proud of it, but I did say it.

Well, news flash: that is a living example of the darkness, the darkness of fear. I’m afraid. We are afraid. We’re afraid that others have power over us. We’re afraid that other people can disrupt our lives, steal our precious iPads and iPhones, take our cars, our money, our women, and hurt our children. We believe these things and we argue for these beliefs because we see evidence of them in the world. We see the news reports. We see the killings, evil, and negativity all over the place. I’m not saying that these atrocities don’t exist in the world. They do. BUT, WE CREATE THEM FIRST IN THOUGHT and then we maintain them out of ignorance, lack of responsibility, and blame. We make these things bigger by believing that we are victims. It’s not true, but we believe it. We believe that we can’t control these things and because we each create reality, we then manifest more of these things in our personal experiences without realizing that we are maintaining these “negatives” and, in fact, making them bigger through our awareness of them.

We often make decisions from a place of fear. We steep in our fear. We justify our fear. We eat our fear. We run from our fear and then when we can’t run any more, we turn and blame other people (or circumstances) for the way we feel and the quality of our lives. We’re afraid. And, human beings who are afraid are dangerous. All of us. Welcome to the darkness, humanity. The darkness is inside of us and we’re largely running from our responsibility for creating darkness.

Listen, I get that there are lots of people in the world who want to “kill Americans”. I get the threat. I do. BUT, what I’m trying to convey is that the threat isn’t “out there”, it’s inside of you and me; it’s inside the house, inside the body, inside the psyche. It’s not external to you or me. The external is merely a very visible and compelling manifestation of the internal state of being, and in every single case. What you see in the world, you posses inside of you and that’s where the work lies for us.

If violence bothers you, it’s because there is violence inside of you and you feel afraid of it. You feel like you can’t control it. Work there. That’s your work. If poverty bothers you, it is inside of you. You believe in poverty and think that others can take stuff from you. You might think that other people with more means ought to pay for you, take care of you, help you. It’s not true. You are responsible for your life in every detail. You are responsible for your conditions, not other people. You are not a victim of others no matter how vehemently you believe it or argue for that viewpoint. It’s not true. YOU are responsible for your life, the happenings, the thoughts, the feelings, the circumstances, the quality, the behaviors. YOU. What you perceive in the world is your own creation. It’s physics. It’s proven. Dig around. There is proof available. Find it.

If you were not a vibratory match for ___________________________ (fill in the blank), you wouldn’t even notice it in the world. Does it mean that a particular evil or negative doesn’t exist? No, it exists for the people who align with it, but it doesn’t have to be that way for you. You can evolve. You can do the work. You can grow past the need for any particular negative manifestation. You are the pilot of your life in every single moment, in every single thought, and down to the tiniest detail. You can own this truth and change your conditions no matter what they are. You can fix it.  You can turn your mind toward that which pleases you instead of looking at that which displeases you and you can tune your physical vibration to align with health, happiness, wealth, love, and joy. We all can.

Did you know that there are some people on the planet who cannot see the violence on earth because they are not aligned with the vibration of violence? Not kidding you. There are people on the planet who have so elevated their energy stream that they cannot perceive or experience disease or lack or strife with others. We’ve had so many fine examples of this throughout history. Mother Theresa was famously quoted as saying: “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.” She got it. She understood that conditions are a result of attention, thought, and awareness. She celebrated peace, not war. She tuned her vibration into what she wanted, a positive, not a negative.

If you have an anti-war rally, to what are you you paying attention? War. Violence. Bloodshed. Harm. Hurt. If you have a war on drugs, to what are you paying attention? Lack, harm, addiction, pestilence, bodily damage, and so on. If you have a peace rally, on the other hand, you are looking at peace, the light, man’s potential for greater positivity and happiness. You are looking at the good, not that bad. If you celebrate utter health and well-being and keep your mind largely on that, the negative that you see in the world, diminishes. You don’t notice it as much. You are no longer a match for its vibration. Period. It takes work. It takes honesty and courage and willingness to be responsible. It’s not easy, but it is very possible to do this work. Many have and many do.

Photo compliments of Unsplash; www.unsplash.com

Photo compliments of Unsplash; http://www.unsplash.com

Am I advocating that we all sit around in a circle braiding each other’s hair and singing Kumbaya? No, I’m not. But, I am advocating for man- and woman-kind to do more inner work. It’s really time for us to go inside and learn about ourselves. It would be a very good thing for us to get to the bottom of our thoughts and feelings, hold and honor our wounding, walk toward the pain instead of hiding it or running from it; it’s time for us to understand our role in creation, take ownership for our emanations, and heal. This is our work. We agreed to this work by coming back here and living again.

It’s not up to other people to change so that we feel better. It’s up to us to change ourselves so that we feel better (despite the world and external conditions). This is all an inside job. It’s time for us to grow up and value both the hard and happy lessons coming to and through us. It’s time to take responsibility for our darkness so we can diminish it and take our place in the light.

We CAN largely diminish darkness by standing in the light, living in the light, letting the light prevail inside of our own journey. You can only do that through recognizing and healing your wounds and consistently choosing honesty, responsibility, truth, and love.

Some ideas that might help:

  • Accept that your feelings are always right.
  • Accept that your feelings always lead back to thoughts that you’ve been thinking.
  • Identify your feelings.
    • This is anger. This is sorrow. This is relief. This is frustration. This is guilt, shame, happiness, etc. I feel these things. These are my feeling based on the thoughts I’ve been thinking. I accept my feelings.
    • Feelings (and their associated thoughts) are always based on our experiences, our beliefs, our stories. They are indicators of thoughts and thoughts are not always true.
    • Know that when you’re having feelings, you are being given a chance to identify the thoughts that you’ve been thinking and you have an opportunity to question if the thoughts are true.
  • Accept that you create your thoughts.
  • Identify the thoughts you are having and their associated feelings, and then question the hell out of those thoughts.
    • Why am I thinking this? From where does this thought come?
    • Is this thought true or is it a story that I have practiced based on past experience and beliefs?
    • Is this thought serving me to maintain? Can I change it?
    • What is the feeling associated with this thought? How does it feel when I simply sit here and hold the feelings?
  • Question as many of your thoughts as possible, especially when paired with strong feelings because usually, that points to a “story” you have adopted, which is not necessarily reality.
  • Accept that no one else makes you think or feel anything. Your thoughts and feelings are a choice. Always. Without exception. They are your creations and you are responsible for all of them and the conditions that result as a result of them. In every case. In every way.
  • Accept that you are responsible for your life in every detail.
  • Remind yourself often of what is working in the world, in your life, in your body, in your experience. This brings more of those things toward you and it brings you to gratitude. The more you can live in gratitude, the better your life will be.
  • Think about things you very much want and concentrate on those things, not on the lack of them or the fact that they haven’t shown up yet in your experience.

The more we work on our inner stuff, the stuff we actually can control, the better our lives get. Let’s work on revealing the darkness within, working with it, healing it, and then choosing otherwise so we can step into the light of healing. Defeating darkness in the world can only come by largely defeating it inside of ourselves first. Well, we won’t likely ever fully defeat darkness because it teaches us and we learn gobs from it and we agree to come back and experience it, but we can greatly improve our lives by doing inner work, taking ownership of our creations, and standing courageously inside of our own healing process as much as possible. It’s time. Join us.

Loving What Doesn’t Love Back

Hello, BigBodyBeautiful friends. It’s been a long time since we’ve connected by way of this bloggy, hasn’t it? I’ve missed you all so much. I’ve been working hard on my novel, which is coming along. But, I thought I’d give voice to some things that I’ve felt and processed in various relationships (and a post or two) from the past. I’ve been doing some “house cleaning” so to speak in therapy and it’s led me to a few little-opened rooms where some of my psychology hides away and gathers dust. This post deals with unrequited love (loving an addict, the unavailable). So many of us have experienced this with other people and ourselves. And, today, this asked to come out. I’m giving these feelings some space in the hopes that I can finally let it all leave my lovely body and breathe some fresh air into the rooms inside of me. I welcome your thoughts and reactions, as always, my friends.

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It’s clear. I need to let you go. You’re not healthy for me. I don’t think you are ready to show up for yourself, let alone, anyone else. It’s clear that you need to do this, take your ravaging journey through a dark and precarious land. A land of pleasure-seeking, distraction, and drink. A land that has no signposts or clear trails out. A land that very well might swallow you whole. Maybe, it already has (and I just haven’t been able to see it).

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Photo, compliments of E. Lies at Unsplash.com

At any rate, I can’t follow you, love. I’ve already been to that land (in other lives); it has nothing to offer me. It calls to me not one bit. I do not feel a pull toward the false baubles it holds in its skeletal hands, its lipstick stained, garish mouth, its heavily boozied breath, sodden, unwashed hair, and unkempt countenance. I refuse to follow you into the inky darkness. I can’t breathe there, babe. I will not follow, so I have to let you go forward into what you need to experience. I know. I do. And, I hate it.

I feel like I can’t quit you. I can’t turn my back on you, walk away, seek to protect only myself. I can’t be yet another person who turns away from your pain, doesn’t accept you, doesn’t come forward. I need to help you. You need me to help you. Somehow. But, babe. I’m not enough for both of us. You don’t give to me. And, then I realize (have I always known?), you do not really want me. You want what you’re doing now, which is what you’re doing. Now. You do not want to be with me. Because, you’re not. If you did, you’d be here. But, you’re not. And, you don’t.

I’m pretty sure that you don’t want the exposure of my light, the unwavering gaze of my soul that looks into you so clearly, pointedly, and consciously (but also softly and understandingly). You do not want deepest emotion, thought, truth, and exploration of the wounds in the psyche. It’s just too much. I’m just too much. And, you have other engagements, which are bigger than this thing that we’ve briefly co-created (together but apart). So, I have to let you go. To find your way. Or not. Either one is your choice. And, I have no choice but to honor it, whatever it is, however that looks or moves or slinks from sight. I have to hold myself up and move on.

I wish you wanted to take some time, any time, to get to know me. To go deeper with me. Maybe that would gently ease you from your painful path, your attraction for the darkness (that parades itself as neon-lit happiness). Maybe knowing how good it can be to awaken will bolster you, give you enough of yourself to see what I see (when I look at you), and maybe it would show you that you truly are worthy of the light. Maybe. But, then again. Maybe not.

You’ve never come forward with me. You’ve never let me behind your solid-rock walls. I’ve tapped at them again and again; I’ve bloodied my fingers on the door, but you have rained your molten Quasimodo silence over the edge at me. My skin burns over and over from lack. My heart scarring over and over by your reticence, your avid, unavoidable, suffocating silence.

Actually, worse is when you are nice to me and pretend to have feelings (like I do). That is way worse. Because, I let it fool me so often. I keep coming back for one more silver of happiness. Then, find myself standing in a dark room and wondering where the light switch is. Anyway. I have to own my part in it. I will and I do. I’m working on it. But, my heart hurts so much.

I.just.wish.you.could.come.over.here.with.me.just.once. Take the chance. Lift the lid on this thing and peer inside. If only you felt more for me than you do for the other things that turn your head, the other things that possess you. How different it might be with you stepping into the light. Me by your side. But, then again, maybe not. I have no way of knowing for sure. You might blossom or shrivel for all I know. You don’t try and I give too much.

When will I leave? I want to say never. I want to feel, never. But, that’s not realistic, is it? I’m running out of juice. I came in with alot, but everything has a life span, doesn’t it? Everything lives as long as it’s supposed to. I’m running out of glitter, babe. I’m low on stardust and paint. I’m dragging my halo around now and it’s scratched and tarnished. I’m thrust out of the pearly, shiny gate. I’m holding on, but eating just the air is getting pretty old. I need some sustenance. Some meat. I need to know that you know what I’m talking about. But, again, the silence seeps. It comes up around me. All I can hear is the slow katoosh of my very broken heart, my uneven breath, a honking car off in the distance.

Hugging a Cloud: Loving the Unavailable

I love a man. A man who is so “man”, he takes my breath away. Even when I so much as think about him, my insides do this instant-melty-butter thing. I lose all shape and form. I float away on a river of deliciousness. I love this man but he is not here in a body. Well, he is here, but he’s…um…in and out. He comes and goes. He’s here and not here at the same time. He’s both solidly man-ish and vapor-y illusion at the same time. I love this man deeply, wholly, and to the ends of my mitochondria. But.He.Is.A.Cloud. And, you all know what happens when you try to grab a cloud and hold on to it: You free-fall back to the dense and difficult earth. Everything in your body snaps. And, then: Nothing fits back into place. Ever. Again.

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I’m not complaining. It’s a common pattern for lots of people. And, before you go all “CSI” and try to figure out who the specific man is, let me appease your curiosity by telling you that it doesn’t matter. He’s an amalgamation of an energy pattern that lots of us project and are working on in our lives. Myself included. (Obviously) He’s the overarching signal of nearly every partner/parent/sibling/friend/lover/husband with whom I’ve interacted and co-created in this existence. He’s every man and no man. He’s a template, the “messenger” of a big self-realization that I had yesterday. That’s it.

Okay, back to the cloud man; He can be pondered and sometimes touched, but only in the barest (and quickest) of ways. I can gaze upon his veneer, which is really quite lovely, but I cannot hold him. I can’t fully “lock in” with him or truly ever know him. When I try, he wiggles free, a slick fish slipping from my hands, back to the dark safety of his lake; I get just a quick peek of silver-glinting skin beneath the green and murky waters and then he’s gone, swimming away from the penetrating sun of my presence, the skull-splitting light of my words, the piercing oxygen of my intensity.

He is unavailable. Totally. Utterly. Completely. And.I.Love.Him. Of course.

When I hold this man/no-man’s image inside of me, I see amazing eyes, his depth, his wonderful soul, his “foreverness”. I see a huge heart, how he could be available, forward, and present. I see the potential for true connection, a capacity for realness, intimacy, and co-creation with him, but that’s not what I physically have with this man (except on rare occasions). What I have is an approximation; it’s a pleasing, 2-D drawing on a piece of paper. I try to extract his essence, inhale him, tug him deep, and ride our combined energy. But, it’s useless. He’s pressed flat. Closed. Bound by the tight fibers of his page.

To be sure: He’s gorgeous. He’s fascinating. His mind is compelling and brilliant. There is some fascination inside of him for me, but at bottom, he doesn’t want to be held, understood, teased apart, or “seen”. He doesn’t want to be present with me or available to me. If he wanted to, he would be. He would take action. He would show up and stand in the unwavering sunlight of our soul- and body-connection, at least once. But, he doesn’t do that. He stays remote. He comes out for the briefest of exchanges, and then he runs. Can I blame him? No. I can’t. Why?photo-unsplash-clouds

Because…(and this is the HUGE self-realization that I just had, late yesterday): I AM UNAVAILABLE. Um. Yeah. Me. (Cue the music: dunh, dunh, dunh!)

Even with all of my words, all of the love that I beam out to others, all of my intensity and forwardness and passion and deep-feeling, I actually hold myself out, alot.  At my core. I hide. I also wriggle free and escape to the cooling, dark depths of my own lake whenever someone (anyone) gets too close or comes in too hot. I maintain a wide moat around myself that’s writhing with alligators and which no human being can penetrate, navigate, or cross. And, if they do get across, I can retreat to the castle and fire at them from behind my ancient, lichen-covered, stone facade.

True, I’m much more available than many people I know. I am often present. I can look at and process uncomfortable things with others. I can often be an adult in my relationships. I do show up. Frequently. But, what I’m talking about here is what happens deep inside of me…way down in the deepest depths of my body and psyche. I do not let people into my deepest places. I seem available (and to a point, I am), but ultimately, no one ever gets all the way in. No one gets past the dragon. No one ever makes it to my inner sanctum, which is protected by a bad-ass Viking who is so extravagantly powerful, even I cannot remove him. I’ve tried. (He thinks I’m a simpering idiot. He’s not going anywhere.)

So, this is my realization:

  • You draw what you are. In other words, we draw to us what we possess inside of us. We draw behaviors from others that we share with them.
  • We draw from others and the environment what we want to work on and either eliminate or elaborate.
  • What we experience in life matches an energy frequency that we ourselves emanate, period. It’s a signal.
  • What we send out, attracts like-energy from others and then we live our own creation.

I’m living my own creation. I draw unavailable people because at my core, I am unavailable. “Real” relationships get too much of my underbelly; they are too close, too damaging, and make me too vulnerable. I’ve been too hurt. This means that I don’t often take deeper risks with others. I stay safe. I don’t practice trusting. I don’t communicate effectively. I don’t speak my core truth. I don’t extend myself past a certain phase or point. When hurt by another, I curl inward and lick my wounds (for decades). I say nothing. I stop trying. And, if a relationship goes “south”, it’s no harm/no foul because I wasn’t fully there in the first place. I saunter away after a day or two of pain.

Up to now, it’s been easier to point to the other person and say: “Well, you are not coming forward” or “You are not present with me”, but it’s been much harder to realize that my projection actually comes from within me. It’s taken me a very long time to understand that the energy in my relationships originates with me. My reticence to be fully forward in relationship, to be completely honest in relationship, is drawing my present circumstances. There is no getting around this.

So, when faced with reluctance from others to step forward, spend time with me, and be in my company, this indicates my reluctance to step from the shadows and take risks and fully insert myself into my emotional connections with others. I now see that I am the God of this design. I am the creator of this template. I have crafted this pattern out of the horrible wounding from my past. And, I have maintained the pattern (subconsciously, of course) for my entire life.  I cannot complain about the way I’m treated if I’m offering the signal to which others are aligning and stepping forward to match. There it is. So, now. I want to own the signal. Own the responsibility.

In coming to this awareness, I realized something else. I want to heal my attachment disorder. I do. I want to be closer to other people. I want to take risks and live those risks and benefit/hurt from those risks, fully. I want to love to the ends of my cells whenever I can. I want to open my rib cage and let him in, even if it means he stomps my insides and I end up having to defend myself. I want to attract people who are ready for a solid, mesmerizing, all-encompassing journey with me into places that perhaps frighten us both, but by being there together, we become stronger individually and achieve our greatest, fastest expansion.

I want to live the intensity and fervor that I feel inside of my amazing body and let others live in my fervor, too. And, I want to feel and hold other people’s fervor. I want a real exchange. I want real truth. An honest exchange. A risky exchange. I want real people, not clouds. I’m talking about totally honest, unwavering, non-judgmental realness of two (or more) people who understand each other completely and accept each other regardless of what’s being felt and expressed.

I want to connect so deeply that no words are necessary but when we use them, they simply add to what we’re doing together. I want to look into his face and know that he owns his fear, that he’s comfortable with his fear, that he can express his fear and yet still show up for himself and still show up for me once in a while. I don’t want all of his time. I do not need to own his schedule, his soul, or even see him daily. I’m not asking for possession or servitude. I’m not asking for a forever commitment. I’m asking for an honest journey. I’m asking for someone who can process with me sometimes, traipse through the childhood darkness inside of himself sometimes, hold his own heart and mine, sometimes. But, above all, I’m asking for one who can be honest. Even if it’s ugly. Even if it hurts.

Lastly, (and few have any way of knowing this, but the following is a very BIG statement from me):  I want to drop my weapons, retire the Viking, leave the door open, wait there, and be soft for the first time in my life. I want you inside my inner sanctum. This means that I want you to conquer me, all of me, in love and light, in truth and expansion, in the delicious, rich, error-prone, full-feeling, and succulent physical. For the first time in my life, I’m ready to submit. I can’t believe it, but that’s the uncomfortable and scary truth. I’m ready. Meet me.

Step Away from the Body!

Sometimes…you just have to get away. Peel out of there like a shot. Bail. Abandon ship.

There are moments when it’s nearly impossible to be in the body, to stay with the body. I’ve found that this usually occurs in times of intense feeling, trauma, anxiety, or fatigue. If you’re anything like me, your feelings are massive, earth-shaking, and, well, bigger than the universe. Feelings are messy, deranged, reckless, momentous, and impossible to contain. Our feelings are so big that we’re often afraid of them and sometimes so raw that it feels like they’ll choke us (or at least, do tissue damage). Damn emotions. 😉

Whenever something gets too close, hurts too much, or feels too big or confusing, I bail on my body. This is called disassociation; it’s pretty common in people who have been abused. I do it subconsciously, of course, and it happens so fast that I can’t stop it. Most of us disassociate to some degree. When you daydream, that’s disassociation. When you drum, you enter a disassociated state. When we trance while listening to music, deeply relax, or even when some of us do yoga, that’s a type of disassociation. But, some of us disassociate dozens of times per day (or more) to avoid feelings. Some of us live more “out” than “in”. I lived more out of my body than in my body for decades.

For the longest time, I didn’t know that I was employing this type of coping mechanism. I didn’t even know what it was until I went through therapy. Analysis revealed to me that when the sh*t goes down, I leave my body effortlessly and instantly. My spirit vacates. Again, for years, I did this without realizing it. And, it was a real process to identify my penchant for disassociation.

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Unsplash art is free and fabulous; check ’em; http://www.unsplash.com

I was in my second year of high school and going crazy. Years of living with abusive parents (four of them between both sides of the fam) and siblings (two of them between both sides), plus gobs of other physical and emotional trauma, had literally brought me to the edge of sanity. I was a complete and utter wreck. I was anorexic/bulimic and torridly addicted to cigarettes (1.5 packs) and caffeine (1200 milligrams) per day. I ate one meal per week. My life was imploding all of the time, but, hey, I looked competent. I acted brave. I was thin and beautiful. People thought I was well.

At the end of my Sophomore year in HS, I was trying to move out of my dad’s insane household and struggling to pay for food, school supplies, clothes, and the bare essentials. I was working under-the table at a video store and putting in as many hours as I could get, in addition to going to school. So, there was intense pressure in my life, intense pain, and heaps of childhood damage that I was doing my best to hold down and avoid. It was a truly awful time. And, being in high school, with all of its pressures and torment, was the last thing I needed or wanted. But, of course, I went to school every day, because if I hadn’t, my dad, (read: bad-ass cop/investigator), would find me and drag me back into the hell from which I had escaped. He warned me that he would. I knew he would. So I toed the line, stayed in school, did my time.

“Doing my time” included a stint of living in my car, which was preferable to actually going back and living with the damn-family. Yep, it was pretty bad. But, my ego had me convinced that I was fine. What other 16-year-old lives on their own? I didn’t need any help. I just needed to stay away from my crazy family and work harder, that was all. This was the stuff my ego was routinely telling me and since I was rarely ever in my body, it was easy to believe my ego, easy to believe that I had things under control.

In talking with an older friend of mine one day (who was a regular at the video store where I worked), I let some of the “crazy” out. I admitted that my childhood had been pretty abysmal and I was often so depressed that I had trouble getting out of bed. He suggested that I call a therapist with whom he had worked and gotten some help.  At first, I balked because “everyone has families like mine, right?” He assured me that no, what I suffered through was actually far worse than what many people go through; it had damaged me; I clearly needed help. His words burned me. They did. I felt them pinging somewhere deep inside of my body as he spoke them, and I knew he was right.

I called the shrink soon after, made an appointment, and in the consult with the doctor, I begged her to help me. I offered to pay her $10 per week for our sessions, because it was all I had. I ended up going to her for three years. And, despite the fact that my therapist tried really hard to turn me into a Christian (a story for another post), the therapeutic process actually saved my life. In my sessions, I finally caught up with the damage that had been done to me. I saw and re-experienced, in garish detail, the abuse, the trauma, the heartbreak, the devastation, the agony. I crawled through the dark woods of myself over and over and got lost inside of those woods many times and sometimes for days on end.

I learned about disassociation and how I had used it exclusively to avoid my feelings. I learned when I do it, how to catch myself doing it, and how to stay in my body (or at least, how to return to it faster and catch some of the feelings that I was trying to avoid). And, while therapy made me feel like sh*t, often, it also began to work in subtle ways, ways that I couldn’t articulate until much later. I learned how to descend into the body and hold the feelings that I was running away from. This work was harrowing, painful, awful, and at the same time, illuminating and beautiful. Analysis helped me so much. I loved and hated it. But, I did the work. I kept going.

Truthfully, even now, it’s a daily struggle to stay present and descend into the depths of my body versus pop out and retreat to my mind or somewhere “out there”. Sometimes, it’s such a chore to dig in on my feelings, trace them to the thoughts I was thinking, ask questions, wait for the answers, and not run away from my emotions. Sometimes, I just can’t do it. I have to leave. And, I’ll be honest, I like bailing. I like being “out there”. It’s safer. There are fewer feelings “out there”. But, I’ve learned that it’s not always helpful to bail.

While disassociation is a coping mechanism that serves a purpose, is necessary, and even arguably “natural” for human beings, when we do it too much, it can keep us from healing our inner wounds and fully living. It also cements a less-than-healthy relationship to the body because you’re not fully feeling the body or living in the nuances of experience from the body. You know what I mean. We all struggle with body image issues. We all reject our bodies sometimes. I had to learn how to dig in versus bail out and I had to learn how to  walk into my wounds. When I did that regularly, when I did the work, huge transformation happened for me.

So, tell me about your experience. Do you disassociate? How does that feel for you? What is your journey with it? Have you come up with some ways to manage your departures? Tell me about it in your comments. Let’s talk.

This Exquisite Madness

People often say to me: “Lizzy, how can you possibly feel all of the stuff that you write about? Where does it come from? You can’t possibly process this much, channel this much, can you?” I smile. I look into their eyes and ask them in my mind: “What do you think? Do you not feel the worlds of movement in my writing? Do you not see the soul peering back at you when you catch my eye? Do you not grasp the immense, unfathomable, endless infinity of experience, emotion, and thought when you stand beside me?

But, here’s the secret: all of that is exactly what I feel when I look at you, when I stand next to you, when I peer into the soul of you. This exquisite madness, this thing that we’re all doing here together, as in, expanding mankind’s consciousness, is the only raison d’etre any of us really need and it’s our only important work. We are doing it together. It is happening.

So, yes. I really do feel everything that I write about. I came here “on” and there is no holding back, no tapping out, no turning this off. Admittedly, this madness scares people, people who are not ready for someone who is so awake. I’m not bragging when I say this, guys. This is simply the case. I’m awake. It’s acutely painful at times. It’s lonely at times. But, it’s worth it. And, you do this, too. You’ve gotten to your own version of “here”. Your exquisite madness is more lovely than mine, I venture.

So, for those of you wondering how it feels…

When I eat food, explosions of emotion erupt inside of me. I can feel the soul of the food entering my cells. I can feel the essence of how the food was grown, how it was handled, packaged, and shipped. I can sense the atoms of sunlight bursting on my tongue. I can hear the messages from the food, the acid in the soil, the alkalinity of the water that fell on the plants. I can feel my consciousness changing shape when I consume food, when I feed my lovely body. The plants hold ideas for us. I decipher them with my senses. I close my eyes when I eat often because the feelings are so full, so big, so voluminous. And, I’m giving myself over to the experience. I’m fully receiving the experience.

When I listen to music, the notes expand inside of my body, shake feelings from the deepest recesses, spin my head with such dizzying movement and joy. I cry alot when I listen to music but not from sadness, from fullness. The lyrics burst through me, become me, live inside of me: glowing, radiant, energized, and precise. Music stretches me out on my back, opens my limbs, changes the structure of my cells. I love laying on my yoga mat, blasting house music, and widening my entire body to it, my psyche taking off like a shot through the universe.

When I’m writing, words shake me at my desk, the phonemes strangle me with energy; it’s a ravishing experience to be taken like that, to yield to it, to let go. Words are not just words. Words are life essence. Words are the conveyance system for me. They are so important. You want me to fall in love with you? Use your words. Tell me what you feel inside; go there, find the emotion, locate it inside of you, tell me where it is. Tell me how it is to be in your body, to stand on a mountain, to be seeing creation, to be pulling life through you. I’ll love you forever. And ever.

unsplash_bird

Lovely art, compliments of lovely unsplash; check ’em: https://unsplash.com/

When I touch his hand, my body opens, drops, undulates like a flag in high winds, receiving, pulling in, and emptying out. I feel his energy crossing, entering my veins, filling my insides, living inside of me, in all parts of me. When I look into his eyes, my whole body vanishes and I’m suspended there for a millisecond, floating out to edges of the universe, holding the beam of energy between us, riding that wave, feeling that spark, that atomic connection crossing the distances between us, over and over. When I merely think of him, my cells jump up and dilate, tasting all of the moments that have transpired between us, the words, the sentences, the laughter, the love, reliving everything, drawing it all in, holding it, teasing apart the meanings. And, there is sooooo much meaning between us.

Yes, this is real, people. This is what it means to be fully awake. This is how it feels to accept what comes, to enter the garden of the self, to know that all of my experiences have been drawn to me, by me, for a reason. Each moment, whether positive or negative, holding a gift in its hands for me. To live life fully awake, means, at bottom, to demonstrate a willingness to be vulnerable, a willingness to search for personal answers, to open your rib cage and let life trifle with your innards, to look inside of the psyche, hold what’s there, ponder the self, and above all, to be honest about the self, regardless of how messy or real or uncomfortable.

It takes courage to do this work, to lower one’s defenses, to head out toward an unknown horizon, and stay this open, but in the process, we see colors, feel feelings, have thoughts, and taste experiences that we would not have otherwise had and we grow profusely in the process. Yes, it’s acutely unnerving at times; it’s scary at times. I have been punished, rejected, ridiculed, hurt, and misunderstood in life because of my open, full-feeling nature, but it hasn’t stopped me; no one has dimmed my light and no one ever will. This is how it feels to channel the madness of sages and saints and shamans. This is how it feels to be “on”. Come with me. You know this road. You’ve stood on this bridge. You built this tower. Come stand beside me.

Closer Than Skin

You know. You do. I know that you know. You’ve been there. Right there. You’ve been to “the” place, the land of exaltation. Your body knows how to tread that narrow, but well-worn path through those particular woods very well. You could get there blindfolded if you had to. Yes, you’ve been there and you’d like to stay. We all want to stay, so we devote poems and songs and great works of art to this magic realm.

heartsWhat is this place? Being in love. You know: when you think of someone you love, and your whole body floods with such emotion and adrenaline that you feel hot, dizzy, weak. Your heart pounds when you think of them. You feel eager, excited, and happy when they are around and achingly lonely when they are not. Like, it’s actually physically painful not to be in their presence. Your body sits up and takes notice when that person enters the room. You are pointedly aware of their every move, where their eyes alight, how they hold their hands, the shape and heft of their body. You want nothing more than to pull that person close to you, look into their eyes, feel their skin, kiss them, and stay in that warm bubble of connection, that syrupy happiness forever.

Yeah, that place. The place we all love to visit. The location of primal, glorious, and flushing feeling. I love that place. My body loves that place. But (and there’s always a butt–hahhaha), we all get there alone and we remain there alone. *Sigh* One of the things that my body and I have been pondering all of our lives, but in particular, very deeply over the past few months, is the concept that we are each alone. Truly, inexorably, completely alone here on planet earth. Despite our connections with others, our abundant senses, our experiences, our feelings for other people, our great and not-so-great “loves”, we are isolated. We experience the circumstances of our lives and live with the effects of our decisions, alone.

No one else can share in our reality. No one else shares one ounce of our perception or even our sight. No one shares our synapses, ruminations, or emotions. Oh, to be sure, we can look at an object and agree to what it is, a car, a book, a table, but you perceive these things wholly differently than I do. We are totally unique in our perceptions of objects and our experiences of things. And, I have to tell you that this causes me some distress. I kinda hate it. More on that in a minute.

atomWe create reality by way of our consciousness, our thinking, and our corresponding actions. Literally. So, each of us is completely separate from others. We are in a bubble of our own creation, a reality of our own design and maintenance. Yes, our bubbles get close to each other and there is energy exchange (which happens all of the time); yes, we commingle and interact, but in that process, what we perceive of as touch is actually an illusion; it’s the sensation of not touching that we actually perceive. It’s a dream of connection, but on a subatomic level, there is no such thing as touching.

The charged electrons in your hand actually repel the inversely charged electrons in my hand. What we feel as touch is nothing more than a tiny spark of repelling energies that shove each other away (quite violently, actually) when they get close together. There is no real connection at all, other than the resultant expansion in our consciousness from the energy that we perceive of as touch and well, our ideas about the person with whom we “connected”. But, no touch actually occurs. Sad, I know.

In my pondering of this sad fact of being human, I realized (yeah, like, just this week) that this is why I’m writing the book that we’ve explored together in other posts and on which I’ve been slaving away for pretty-much ten years. As you, dear readers and friends might recall, a compelling thing happens to me. I’ve only experienced it a couple of times in my life (with people) and find that it happens much easier and more frequently with nature and animals. My term for it is “merging” and my book is a futuristic/SciFi novel about a telepathic race of people who do this practice of merging in pair bonding.

Merging is literally the feeling of exchanging energies with another being. In my book, however, the characters go much deeper with it. They actually swap bodies and physically experience what the other person, place, or thing perceives. Well, I’m now pretty sure that I’m writing the book as a way to slay that dragon who goes by the name of “I-am-alone”. Ah, so there it is. All of my psychology, laid out on the open Internet for all to see. Well, then. I might as well tell you the rest.

It bugs the living crap out of me that we are ultimately alone, that we have to do all of this perceiving and living and learning alone, in our isolated little consciousness bubbles, and that one man’s reality in no way, shape, or form resembles my own. I mean, I get that we feel love and exchange energy with the world around us and I deeply believe in “guides” who nurture us and help us from the Other Side while we are here in earth school just slugging it out. I get that we have some help and that our bodies are a huge boon to us in what we explore here, but ultimately all of our perceptions are our own and we are responsible for grooming them and learning from them.

I suffer from a deep existential loneliness and this “aloneness” is the root cause of it. What I know, I cannot teach (though I keep trying and trying and trying by way of my words, my blogs, my poems, my art, etc.). The fact that what I experience, my merging with others, my depth of feeling is really, really rare. I suffer because when I talk with others, tell them about what I think, people often look at me like I have a horn coming out of my head. I feel really alone here. I think about and say sh*t that few people seem to ponder and then, I’m left wondering where the rest of my tribe is. I wonder where my people are. I wonder why I chose a life where I walk around feeling so terribly alone.

And, I suspect, given how hard I work and how little time I have left, that the book, if I ever finish it, will be my magnum opus. It’s my attempt to beat this loneliness down. It’s a chance to explore what it would be like if there were more people here like me. Yes, it’s narcissistic. Every bit of art is a practice in narcissism. But, I *hope* that it serves others and helps them. I hope it gives something back to humanity.

I want to be closer than skin. I want to merge energies with others. I want to be open and heightened and feeling. Other people’s emotions do not scare me. I want to know what they feel and think about and ponder and learn. I want to experience what others experience, because it causes expansion and growth, feeling and thinking. I just want to know that one other person on this planet gets it, gets me, and that I get them, really get them. But, that’s impossible, isn’t it, my little love-nuggets? Nonetheless, I’m gonna keep trying until I don’t any more.

P.S. In case it wasn’t abundantly obvious, this is me, a bit down-in-the-dumps. Just thought you’d like to know that I am not always “sunshine” and “delirious happiness”; all sides are represented. I don’t come to the shores of sadness often, but when I do, I lug my boat up onto the sand and I camp for a few days. ❤ Love you, my friends.

Our Body is Our One True Home

Following is a quote from a remarkable woman, Anita Avalos, who I recently had the distinct pleasure of talking with on the phone and getting to know a bit. She says: “Our body is our one true home, why not love where you live?”

Um, yeah. That just about sums it all up, now doesn’t it? I think I’ll get this tattooed on me somewhere because it really is the core of what I encourage others to do by way of this blog: Love what you got and it will change. But, this post is about Anita and YOU and how you might play together to find a deeper, richer process and healing around the body.

Body-Goddess, Anita Avalos

Body-Goddess, Anita Avalos

Ms. Avalos is a Holistic Health, Eating Psychology, and Body-Food Relationship Coach who contacted me a couple of months ago to discuss her work and how much she likes my blog. We had an incredible conversation. I immediately felt like I was talking with one of my long-term friends. She and I were instantly comfortable together. Anita exudes compassion, understanding, and acceptance. She cares about other people and this caring forms the core of her offerings. It was immediately clear to me that Anita does not want you or I to change. She wants to help us love. And, by helping people get clear, showing them how to work with what they have, and providing them with tools to support their journey, she does just that.

Anita’s entire aim is to help people “Learn a diet-free approach to creating the body they love and a life that rocks.” What does this mean? This means, achieving body acceptance by methods other than obsessive dieting, working out, or otherwise dominating or belittling the body. To me, it means: finding ways to love and accept the body first and then noticing that your behaviors then align with that love and acceptance. For example, if you feel good about your body, you naturally want to move it more. If you love who you are becoming, you naturally gravitate toward healthier habits and relationships. It’s about practicing and working at core stuff, the stuff that is largely ignored by our appearance-obsessed culture. By the way, these are my words, not necessarily Anita’s, but I think she would agree with me based on everything we learned about each other. 🙂

This work that Anita does is deeply emotional, personal, and transformative. Through live workshops, seminars, and personal one-to-one sessions, she’s helping people understand their relationship with the body and food. She helps people safely explore their body shame and where it comes from so they can move past it. She helps people connect with who they really are on an emotional, psychological, and behavioral level and then gives them access to tools and new behaviors that help them learn what works for them and what detracts from their highest good. This work is life-changing and life-giving. It’s a different journey for every person and each exploration is revealing, captivating, and astonishingly beautiful.

Anita’s web site does a much better job of letting you experience what her work is all about, so please be sure to click over and spend some time exploring there. And, if you seek out Anita’s help and feel inclined to guest post here about your experience, that would thrill me to no end.

Something that I’ve said from the beginning and is my core philosophy is that the body and its shape or level of fitness is a direct by-product of one’s alignment and acceptance. If one has little or no self-acceptance, less than desirable health or fitness can result. Our bodies simply cannot achieve lasting and optimal health without addressing our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and behaviors, combined.

I think the work that Anita is doing is hugely healing and beneficial for all of us (whether you seek her direct help or not). Anita gets it. She gets and gives what the world so deeply needs. Thank you for the tremendously healing and helpful work you do, Anita. 🙂 You are so right. Our body is our one true home. Let’s love it.

There’s Nothing to Fear Here, Peeps, Part Two

Did you manage to unclench your tushy? Are you relaxed, open, engaged? Feeling happy? Good. Let’s go into this topic a bit more. As we all pondered together so nicely in Part One of this two-part post, there is ultimately nothing to fear from life on planet earth because:

  • We are collectively asking for a deeper awareness, a global, human-wide shift in consciousness and it is happening.
  • Evidence of mankind’s divinity is sprinkled throughout the world’s religions, books, artworks, meditations, and sacred texts.
  • We are vastly powerful electromagnetic/spiritual beings who are here for the sole (soul) purpose of expanding our consciousness, remembering our divinity, and to love.
  • Our expansion takes many forms, many passes to get it honed, and many permutations. There is nothing to fear in this process. We get the time, energy, and support to do the job of living and we live over and over.
  • We each made a life plan before we got here and are doing a wonderful job of working to our plan no matter the current circumstances of our lives.
  • We humans create reality, all of it (down to the tiniest detail; quantum physics pretty-much points to (proves) this; more on this topic in a future post).

background_heartSo, this means that you (we all) are safe. You are protected. You are guided by a team of people (energy beings) who stay on the Other Side while you incarnate and who support you, encourage you, and love you no matter what choices you make. You are helped at every step of the way. You are regarded, loved, and revered by God/Goddess/Source Energy for your contribution to the larger good, the collective expansion, no matter what you are doing, saying, living, or expressing. By being alive on the planet right now, you are here taking one for the larger human team because you are working through your issues, feeling your feelings, growing in each and every moment, making mistakes, learning from your mistakes, changing your behaviors for the better (ultimately) and getting closer to the truth, your truth.

Here’s the best part:

You do not fail at this. None of us can fail at this. We never get an “F” at the end of life. NONE of us fail. Not even the murderers. Yeah, I know. That’s an inflammatory statement for many people and it will cause reactions that range from “yeah” to “hell-the-eff-no!” But, that’s the beauty of beliefs. They are different for everyone. Anyway, maybe the murderers fail at compassion and they certainly fail in other people’s eyes while we’re all here and hashing it out together. They fail at sticking to a better plan for themselves and they cause lots of pain and unhappiness, but in my belief system, they—we all choose negative incarnations as one option in many and at one time or another. We all choose the negative so we can learn our way toward the positive.

Yes, we all pay some kind of price at the end, but it’s one of self-analysis and self-judgement, not judgement from on high. We are not judged by a supreme deity who demands obedience, submission, compliance, or piety and who, based on our actions in one measly life, sends us up or down. Not in my belief system anyway. God is way cooler than that and way more permissive than that.

Proof of These Assertions? For me, yes!

So, the one thing that you must do, if you are at all interested in piecing together the assertions in these two posts, is read the fascinating books by Michael Newton, PhD.
The books are Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls. I read them with every hair standing up on my head. Literally, these two volumes changed my life, very swiftly and dramatically.

By reading just 20 pages in Journey of Souls, I was instantly freed from my horrible childhood, a childhood that had included awful physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. I was instantly released from the trauma, pain, and anxiety of my early years and I was freed from my long-standing disdain for my family unit. I instantly understood why all of it happened and further, how it all added to who I had become. These works explained everything so clearly, so pointedly, and so poignantly that I wept in relief and gratitude as I read. These books are amazing. And, they go a very long way toward proving what I’m asserting here.JOS

Mr. Newton is a highly educated psychotherapist who began investigating the use of hypnosis as a means of helping patients get past deeply ingrained emotional and mental “blockages”. Despite years of therapy and learning in great detail about how they themselves tick, some of his patients never seemed to progress. He observed that many of his clients would never seem to get past certain destructive “entrenched” behaviors. For example, they repeated the same relationships over and over. They repeated the same mistakes over and over. They had the same traumas over and over and those decisions that they were chronically making were adversely impacting their ability to heal, grow, prosper, be lastingly happy, or advance in therapy.

Newton’s quest to help people led him to become a licensed hypnotherapist and in the course of working with various patients who were open to using hypnotherapy in their healing, he discovered that he was incredibly good at regressing patients. Newton began chronicling his hypnosis practices and recording his patients’ sessions and then he made an astounding discovery. As he got better at regressing people, he noticed that all of the patients began talking, in vivid detail, about their previous lives. newton-instituteNewton, once a rather sober, scientific, and “show-me-the-proof,” learned man became a believer in reincarnation because the evidence was so irrefutable.

This man personally regressed some 10 thousand patients and before he retired, he trained therapists all over the world in his practices so that the work could continue. The “Souls” books chronicle many, many case-studies of patients who have visited past lives in therapy and also explored the in-between lives planning that we all undertake before we adopt new bodies. And, it’s worth mentioning that not all of Newton’s patients necessarily believed in reincarnation or had any propensity toward non-traditional belief systems. They were from all walks of life, all religious persuasions, all corners of the globe. But, one thing united them: Their very similar stories of “The Other Side” and what happens over there and the healthful benefits of this therapy. All of them were freed from the past “blockages” that had previously so plagued them and limited their healing.

Here’s what I know. We are well. We are safe. We are immortal. Our souls know what we are doing here at all times. We have a team of people helping us on this journey called life and for every life we enter into. We are not wrong. We are not sinners. We are not misguided or flawed or failures. We are not bad. None of us. If we have pain in our lives, it is up to each one of us to walk forward into the pain and learn from it. We can do this. We create our reality and we are powerful magnets for all life circumstances. There is proof of this all around us, all we have to do is entertain the notion that this could be true and begin looking, really looking.

Our “bad parents” or “bad spouses” or “shitty bosses” are our greatest allies because they help us expand. They agree to come in with us, be the adversary, and be the impetus for us to learn and grow. Our enemies are our greatest friends because they are willing to be the bad guy so that we get clear on who we are, our very real power, and our very active role in shaping our consciousness and lives. There is nothing to fear here on the earth plane. Every circumstance adds to who we are and we control a helluva lot more of it than we think. It’s all working out for the best even when it’s appears to be the worst. We got this. 🙂

 

Drinking from a Waterfall

Many, many people have accused me of being, well, intense. Ha! Ya think?! Yes, people. I’m intense. I’m big in body, mind, and soul. There is no missing me when I enter a room or open my mouth. No missing me. In my youth, I spent countless hours trying to be quiet, dainty, thoughtful, reserved, patient, demure, small, and feminine, but you know what? I’m really none of these things. Oh, like all people, I have these elements in my personality and at times, they can be seen, but at my core, I’m not tidy; I’m messy and energetic. I’m big, loud, funny, raucous, active, aggressive, and very yang. A part of me still wishes I was softer and quieter. I mean, I’m certainly soft in the right circumstances, in the right places (ha, ha!), and at at the right times, but I’m a nuclear power plant most of the time. I think I need to just own this sh*t.

waterfall

I once reviewed a book for a friend of mine who was into a really interesting spiritual practice of “no mind” or in laymen’s terms, just being in the present moment with no ego, no plans, less thinking and doing, and simply being. I read my friend’s book and wrote in my review of it that reading the book was like drinking from a waterfall because of the bigness of the book, the expansiveness of the writings and his practice. It is, frankly, the best review of a book I have ever given, because I nailed it. I totally dialed it in and “got” him and his work on a cellular level. It’s so fun when that happens.

This morning, it got me to thinking. Anything that we push into the world by way of expression (even if it’s about other people) is describing us, our psychology, our current self; it’s all about us, not the other person. It’s like when dream analyzers say that the dream is always about the dreamer no matter the subject matter of the dream. No element in the dream is actually about other people; it’s all about the person doing the dreaming. Yes.

So, I’ve decided to take my delicious metaphor back, because it also perfectly describes me and the energy, focus, and bigness of this life of mine. My new task? To go deeper in my psychology and eliminate the desire to be other than I am or to change myself because of other people’s behaviors. I will work harder to own my complete self, the self that is loud and sometimes quiet, messy and sometimes tidy, masculine and sometimes feminine. I will remind myself that who I am is ever-changing, ever-active, and never inert. I can be and am all of these things and if other people don’t get me, oh-freaking-well. I am enough. I will drink from the waterfall of the self over and over until satiated. Then, when I’m good and whole, I will offer the purest compassion, understanding, and acceptance to others. I will then be drinking from a sunbeam. 🙂

Guest Post: Aligning with the Highest Self through Hypnotherapy

Hi, BigBodyBeautiful friends! This is a guest post by one of the most amazing women I’ve ever had the joy and privilege of knowing. Like many people, Susan (of the kick-ass blog, Mariner to Mother) has suffered deeply at the hands of her caretakers, but what sets Susan apart from others is how she has dealt with this trauma. The difference is her unflinching honesty and responsibility. Susan takes utter responsibility for her healing and her journey here on Mother Earth. I simply LOVE this woman’s presence, her aliveness, and her willingness to work on herself. Please show Susan some love for so bravely putting her story here for us. And, please visit her blog and tell her that Lizzy sent you. XOXO

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First, I’d like to thank our dear, sweet, scrumptious Liz for inviting me to guest blog here on Big Body Beautiful.

I’m a former merchant mariner, ship’s deck officer, who came to shore and settled down a dozen years ago. During those dozen years, I became a mother to an amazing and often challenging son. Over the past four years I have been a student of energy medicine, became a Reiki practitioner, and experienced a spiritual awakening.

My childhood looked, from the outside, to be a typical middle class experience, complete with music lessons, summer vacation trips, and playing on various sports teams. However, behind closed doors, growing up with an unmedicated bipolar mother was an experience that was very tough at times. When my mother was manic, she would verbally assault me at the drop of a hat. And when she was depressed, she was often unavailable as a mother. I didn’t have a lot of childhood memories until the past few years, when through doing healing work, some memories have come back. Using a variety of healing methods, I am releasing old fear, anger, and other detrimental emotions that became physically trapped in my young body. And, I’m ferreting out old beliefs that don’t work for me anymore.

One of my favorite healing modalities is hypnotherapy. I’ve had short series of sessions with a handful of different hypnotherapists over the past 13 years, working toward a goal of not needing to use food to numb me from uncomfortable emotions and nondescript feelings. While I was working with the first three hypnotherapists, even though we were supposedly working on food issues, what came forth were some absolutely amazing spiritual sessions: including being healed by an angel. A month ago, I resumed working with a woman, Lia, who synthesizes her extensive training and experience in the fields of psychotherapy, transpersonal psychology, and hypnotherapy.peach orange rose

During my most recent hypnotherapy session, I decided to work on body image. Growing up, I didn’t have anyone to model healthy body image. My mother was always dissatisfied with her body, always on a diet, feeding me the message that she was overweight and not ok. I took that message into my little body and by the time I was 13, I joined Mom on the dieting bandwagon. For the record, my mother was not overweight, and neither was I, back then.

After putting me into deep relaxation, Lia asked me to hover above a timeline of my life and go back to a time where I first had an issue with my body (or dieting). I popped back to eight years old. Someone told me I was fat; probably my older brother, teasing me. Feeling sad and confused, I really took it in. Then, Lia had my current day adult me go talk to my eight-year-old self. I told my young self that she was absolutely perfect just as she was- she was not fat at all. And, that she had a great, strong body that was just right. When the young me heard that, she became very happy and joyful. She gained confidence and strength. I actually saw her aura pop out from her body, signifying that she developed a sense of self and some personal boundaries. She really felt good about herself.

Then, I was prompted to move forward in time to the next time I didn’t feel so great about my body. I was 13 and had gotten my period and was not sure about all of these changes in my developing body. I was very unsure about my new curves and boobs and period. I didn’t feel confident at all about myself, and was confused with all of the changes. When my older self talked to my 13 year-old self, I reassured her that the changes she was going through were very normal and natural, and that she had a great body that was very pretty, that she was cute, and everything was just as it was supposed to be. I told her that she would get used to her new body and that it was a great body. With the reassurance, I noticed that the 13 year-old me became very grounded and centered. The feeling was that nothing could knock her over. All she needed was reassurance from me. Her confidence soared.

Then, I moved forward to when I was barely 15 and just had my daughter. The 15 year-old felt completely ruined in every way. She felt physically ruined, emotionally ruined, just ruined. I told her that she had been through a tough time and got a bad deal, but that she was awesome and perfect. And, because she was only 15, her body would come back to being a cute teenage body with a little bit of healthy eating and exercise. Yes, she will always have the stretch marks, but that’s OK because she brought a beautiful little girl into the world. A little girl who would make a couple into a family, who would raise her well and that she would be happy. I also reminded her that she did NOTHING wrong. It was NOT her fault. At first, the 15 year old got really mad, mad at the perpetrator who molested her, because he had ruined her perfect body. She was pissed!! It took a while, but she slowly came around to the idea that her body was great, and that she totally rocked. She was able to see that she did get her cute body back after some healthy eating and exercise and that it was a great, strong body. Finally, she felt awesome about herself.

Then, Lia had the energies of the various me’s roll up the timeline and join in with present-day me. I felt the confidence and strength of the other me’s, and it felt more confident than present-day me. As the energy of each me moved forward up the timeline, I received a message from them. First, the eight-year-old, who had been waiting a very long time for her knight in shining armor to come riding in to save her, when all along, she realized, it was the adult me that she was waiting for. She was in tears of gratitude, thanking me for saving her. Then, the thirteen-year-old expressed her thanks to me for coming back and rescuing her as well. More tears. Finally, the fifteen-year-old was filled with love and gratitude that I had finally come back and saved her as well. Her message also included, “What took you so long?” Tears and laughter.

Once the transformed energies of the past merged into present time, I clairvoyantly got the message: “You don’t need food anymore. You have all of the me’s holding you up, keeping you strong.” What a powerful message.

From there, Lia reinforced all of the positive, new thoughts and beliefs, rewriting my past and rewiring my brain.

I have learned that with each session, I clear away old, trapped energies. And, in doing so, change happens. It’s a process. Over time, small and even not-so-small shifts begin to add up. Specifically with food, I have already shifted the types of food I eat so significantly from what I grew up eating, that the last time I stayed with my mother for a visit (a few years ago), she was having difficulty knowing what to plan for dinner. She hadn’t changed a whip, but I sure had. And, when uncomfortable emotions come up, my knee-jerk reaction isn’t to go eat something (most of the time). These days, I truly appreciate how amazing my body is; all of the things it does for me without my thinking about them. And, that it is designed as a self-healing, divine vessel for my beautiful soul so that I can experience this life I have.