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Category: Self-Care and Self-Healing

How to Stay Grounded in your Spirituality

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

I once thought that cultivating my spirituality would solve all my problems. I just had to become all loving, joyful and angelic and then whoosh! Life would be eternally wonderful. Unfortunately it’s not this simple.

There’s certainly a strong appeal to wanting to escape from the world into an airier, more transcendent state. But what if we could expand our spiritual awareness without running away from the physical realities of this earth-bound life?

crystals on beach

The most difficult part is knowing when we’re ungrounded and then realising the value in coming back down to earth. There are certainly times when we intend to leave the density behind as we meditate, pray, sing mantra, use a substance of some sort, or get all carried away with a new spiritual learning. But there are also times when we’re simply going about our daily lives and we realise that we’re completely away with the fairies.

Both of these situations can lead to an ungrounded state of being and if you have anything resembling a regular life such as a family, car, home, job, pet, friends and actually, even just a physical body, both are problematic.

So what do we mean by ‘ungrounded’? It means that our awareness is focused outside of our physicality and our earth connection. We’re lost in thoughts, ideas, worries, creative inspiration, philosophical meanderings or spiritual devotion. We may even be giving a large chunk of our awareness to another person such as a lover, guru, teacher or author, giving our power and sense of self to them.

Being ungrounded creates a scenario where we’re not able to be fully present and healthily engaged with life. Here’s seven nasty side-effects:

  1. We become accident prone, forgetful and vague
  2. We’re not able to communicate effectively or consider other people’s needs properly
  3. We make poor choices around money, caring for our health, substance use and who to trust
  4. Our intuition becomes faulty because mental chatter interferes
  5. We get carried away with newly formed beliefs, business schemes and creative projects and fail to take practical matters into consideration
  6. We distance ourselves from anyone who doesn’t support our new world view
  7. The general feel of life becomes stressful and frustrating and we become disconnected from the people we love

So that’s the downside of being ungrounded. Here’s some suggestions for how we might strike the right balance between inspired and functional:

  • Get into your body with yoga, dancing, walking in nature bare-footed, beating a drum, swimming, sitting on the ground outdoors to meditate and leaning against and hugging trees
  • Pay attention to your breathing. Each time you become aware of getting carried away with your thoughts, place your hand on your stomach and consciously breathe in and out a few times
  • Use moments of eating and drinking to be fully present with what’s going into your mouth and give thanks for what you’re receiving
  • Practice active listening when talking with the people in your life. Look at them, take note of their body language, be curious about how they’re feeling and ask questions to clarify what they’re saying and reflect your understanding of what they’ve said, maybe like this: “So it sounds like your saying….”
  • Cultivate an awareness of having your feet on the earth at all times. Take your attention to your feet multiple times a day and notice how they’re making contact with the ground
  • Start the day with a visualisation of beams of light or roots coming out of the bottom of your feet and travelling down into the earth beneath you. Consciously anchor yourself to the planet and know that you’re always supported by that earth energy

When we’re grounded we’re calm, wise and thoughtful. All of the qualities that I reckon might just bring us a better world. Don’t you agree?

Need some help with this or something else related to your life path and well-being? Contact me for a free 15 minute chat on 0418 698 305 or click here to read more about my services.

Your Envy is a Call to Action

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

Don’t just sit there in that state of envy. And don’t push it away, smother it or put yourself down for feeling it. If you want what someone else has and it makes you feel bad, then maybe you need to take a closer look at what you really want in this life.

What dream have you been denying?

What gifts within yourself have you been ignoring?

Have you romanticised someone else’s life because you feel blocked in the creation of your own?

I used to envy artists. I felt I wanted the life of a successful artist because I loved the idea of standing at the easel in a well-lit room that looked out over a beautiful garden, creating lovely paintings, on my own, all day long. But you know, I’m not really an artist, I’m a writer.

bee on blossoms
I’m also a keen nature photographer.

So what’s the problem? Well it felt to me that it was easy for artists to be artists and that if I became a really skilled painter, then I could create that dream life. But you see, it’s much easier for me to write and the truth is, it’s not easy for anyone to live out their creative gifts to their full potential. Everyone struggles with their process as a maker of anything they feel inspired to create. Any creative pursuit requires hard work and often involves going through a whole heap of self-doubt, fear and self-loathing along the way. 

As Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her fabulous book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear; 

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise—you can make anything. So please calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.” 

The envy I felt was misplaced because I was envying a fantasy. The person who becomes a good painter does so through lots of practice, many failures and many frustrations and in reality, they’re probably not a whole lot happier with their lives than I am. If I want to become a great writer, I must keep working at it. And bam shazam! The envy dissolves and I feel free to be myself.

See how this works?

Who do you envy? Take a good look at what it is you believe they have. Now ask yourself three questions:

  1. Is what you’re imagining they have really true, and is it the whole story?
  2. Is that what you truly want?
  3. Is what they have in any way realistic or attainable for you, in your current reality?

Because on that last point, if you’re living a pretty regular life with a mortgage and kids and bills to pay then how productive is it to envy a famous celebrity? Let’s bring it closer to home. Who among your friends do you envy, and what specifically do they have that you want? Remember, have a good think about whether they really do have what you think they do. Sometimes the appearance of wealth is actually immense debt, great relationships aren’t such a fairy tale behind closed doors and self-confidence is a mask for debilitating anxiety.

Now I’m not suggesting that we want to poke holes in other people’s happiness or doubt their authenticity but do you see what I’m getting at? It’s easier to sigh and wish we had what someone else seems to have, than it is to take the real action required to go out and create our own great lives.

We must simply begin doing what we want to do and stop making excuses about why we can’t. Because believe me, when we get out of our own way with this stuff, the universe rushes in to help.

What do you want to create in order to step free of the envy trap?

One of my special powers is to help people uncover their gifts and to blast away the blocks to their self-confidence and their courage to pursue a more fulfilling existence. Contact me for your free 15 minute chat to discover if you’d like to work with me in a three session process. Click here

What if Being Sensitive was Our Biggest Gift?

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

I don’t know about you but I’m really sensitive. And not in the easily offended way, just in the, “your energy is really bugging me” kind of way. I feel a lot and I don’t always get to choose what I feel. Of course I’ve developed strategies over the years to avoid situations and people that cause me stress. Plus I’ve very mindfully created a lifestyle that’s fairly low key and where I look after myself very carefully.

Prior to having this keen awareness, I would get overwhelmed by life and want to hide away. Plus I was highly prone to viruses, muscle tension and allergies. So where’s the upside to being sensitive? It’s certainly hard to see the benefits when we see less sensitive types having more fun and being a lot more reckless, plus having people criticise us for being too sensitive and even boring isn’t fun. But there’s definitely a good side….

We’re the psychics, mystics, healers, artists, counsellors, philosophers, poets, inventors, musicians, yogis, dancers and writers. We’re the environmental activists, the human rights and animal rights campaigners and writers of letters to the editor. We feel more deeply, we see more fully and we care a lot. And sometimes, we actually make a positive difference in the world.

Butterfly cloud in the sky
To be sensitive is to see the pictures in the clouds

To be sensitive is to have empathy and genuine concern for the wellbeing of others and the planet. To be sensitive is to have compassion for those who’ve hurt us and for those who’ve wronged society. To be sensitive is to be able to forgive another for their misdeeds and to forgive ourselves for all the ways we feel we’ve failed. To be sensitive is to appreciate everything we see, such as a newborn baby, a puppy, a wildflower or a tree, with a sense of total and utter awe. To a sensitive person like me, the whole world is fascinating, miraculous and yes, sometimes horrific.

We really shouldn’t watch the news too often. We need to avoid scary and violent films and we need a decent amount of sleep. We benefit from a certain degree of creative stimulation from art, music, books, plays and films but we mustn’t overdo it. Meditation is key. That and plenty of time outdoors in nature. In silence. Of course moving our bodies is essential so activities like walking, swimming, yoga, dance and cycling are marvelous.

Either as children or young adults, many of us have been wounded by life, so we often seek out healing and counselling to help us to learn and grow. Many of us are drawn to career paths where we can help others and we’re usually very good at it. But again, we must carefully guard our energy, lest we overdo the helping and burn out.

It’s good to be sensitive as a parent and we make wonderful caregivers for children, as we adore them and can relate to their innate, less sullied sensitivity. It’s okay for children to be sensitive. It’s harder to be a sensitive adult. It’s not something to be proud of.

Sensitivity is the feminine and we all know what’s been happening to the feminine for too many centuries… And now that the feminine is rising once again, perhaps we can reclaim sensitivity as a super-power. All of the very sensitive children now on the planet need our support. Our planet needs our support.

Our sensitivity isn’t to be grown out of, hidden or crushed. It’s what brings beauty, feeling and appreciation to our lives and to the lives of others. So I say we band together and start highlighting the gifts us ‘sensitives’ are bringing to the planet. You with me?

 

Look at the pain and you’ll get the gain

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

Are you willing to experience some pain in order to get a healthier body? What about the emotional pain that sometimes accompanies personal growth? Not so much huh. Let’s face it, most of us want to avoid facing our negative emotions and painful memories. But then, sometimes we have no choice. Behold, the crisis.

When I was 24, only 15 months after we said our vows, I quit my marriage. It’s a long time ago now and I’ve never regretted doing it but jeez, it took a while to process the emotional fallout. My initial approach was to get on with my new life and bury the grief and guilt. That got me through the first year but then about six months later, when on the outside, my life looked pretty good, I began feeling really bad inside.

It wasn’t because I was unhappy with how things had panned out. It was because I was harbouring a ton of sadness, regret and guilt, not just about what I’d done but also about having gotten married in the first place. Ugh! I felt so angry with myself and filled with uncertainty about whether I even deserved to be loved by my new partner or anyone.

What really got me was that when I looked back to the lead up to my wedding day and the day itself, I knew I was doing the wrong thing. I knew in my heart that I shouldn’t have been marrying this person and yet I just kept on going through the motions and suddenly it was done. But what’s done is done. And then I went and left him which made me feel relieved certainly but also very wrong. Wrong in my eyes and wrong in the eyes of many people who knew me. Especially since I’d left him for someone else.

So here was my crisis. I was 25 and going through a divorce. And I was the last person anyone would have expected to have found herself in this predicament. This made it a little harder to face. Who was this wild young woman who’d left her husband and hurt him so badly? It wasn’t me. Was it?

For the first time in my life, I had to face my shadow self and she’d been a long time in hiding, so she wasn’t all that cooperative. There were moments during the sessions with my wonderful psychologist, that I observed myself splitting off and becoming the watcher of the ‘Tricia’ who was talking. I dredged up a lot of unpleasant thoughts and beliefs about myself there on that chair, and spent most of every journey home crying my eyes out.

But you know, it helped. It helped me so much and got me through a very tough reckoning that was way overdue. It was time for me to wake up to more of who I really was and to let go of the limited version of me I had so assiduously created from a very young age. I was the good girl. Good at school, good at sport, good at friendship, good at home and good as a girlfriend. Not that good as a wife.

And these counselling sessions were only the beginning. It would take me another decade of life and beyond, to truly grasp how much more there was to me and how I could use what I’d learned to begin helping others.

The emotional pain I felt as I dealt with the aftermath of my divorce was the very balm I needed. I needed to vent, to face up to my flawed beliefs, to admit my failings and to take responsibility for my actions. It was from doing all of this that I gained some wisdom, became more humble, created some healthy coping skills like meditation and yoga and grew in my compassion for myself and everyone else.

What I’m saying is that sometimes we do need to get down into the quagmire of our crap because it’s by shining a light on what’s there, that we’re able to truly acknowledge our immensity as humans. We are so much more than the roles we’ve chosen to play and we can not wake up to this by only looking on the bright side or by emphasising the traits that seem socially acceptable.

When I sit with my beautiful brave clients and we hit a tender spot, the tears may flow and I’m often sitting there in silent tears with them, but they never last for long and the person always feels lighter for the release. What occurs is more than a release though. What’s also received is: clarity on how they’d been feeling beneath the surface, the realisation that this had been holding them back and that they can now move forward, free of that burden. It’s powerful and yes, sometimes it’s painful.

Candle on table

We’ve grown afraid of emotional pain and the expression of it. The pervasive yet unrealistic expectation, is that if you’re not happy, you’re not emotionally healthy. This is a dangerous lie and one that needs to be corrected. I believe our aim as far as our emotional well-being goes, might be to court peace or neutrality or even at a pinch, contentment. Certainly not the elated, grinning, celebratory form of happiness we’ve been presented with in films and television. It’s all part of the human experience to move through many emotional states in a day and if we’re conscious of the desire to cultivate a particular feeling, then we certainly have something to aim for, but to seek to be happy all of the time is a very big ask.

My vote is for peace within. But first we need to look inside and acknowledge everything else that’s there.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your perspective.

For session bookings just give me a call on 0418 698 305 or go here to read more.

Your sacral chakra needs you- two ways to help

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

How well do your know your chakra system? You know there’s seven of them, starting at the base of your spine and reaching to the crown of your head right? But did you know that for all seven energy centres to be healthy and flowing with beneficial energy, it’s vital that the lower three are in good shape.

Now I’m not going to get too technical here and bring in lots of Sanskrit language about nadis, prana and kundalini. No, because if you’re anything like me, your eyes will glaze over and you’ll stop reading. All we’re going to focus on here is the beautiful qualities of the sacral chakra known as Svadhisthana or ‘dwelling place of the self’. Okay, I’ll stop it now. Let’s get into the juicy details…

Our sacral chakra is a beautiful swirling energy vortex located in our pelvic region. It’s stimulated and recharged by the colour orange and is deeply connected to the element of water. One of the ways I like to visualise sacral chakra energy is to imagine there’s a glass bowl of water sitting in my pelvis and there’s a bright orange light in the centre of it, radiating out of my body in all directions. How about trying it now? Just sit comfortably and place your left hand over your lower abdomen and create this visualisation: The bowl of water sitting in your pelvis glows strongly at the centre and softer at the edges with a vibrant orange hue, shimmering and swirling in its liquid form.

The qualities governed by the sacral are feminine by nature. After all, it encompasses the female reproductive organs and the womb where babies form and grow. It’s all about creativity, procreation, pleasure and softness.  Well softness but also immense strength and life-giving powers. When we have a healthy sacral chakra we’re in touch with our need for sensual and sexual pleasure, our emotions and our creative urges. We feel calmly grounded in our physical attractiveness, sexuality and fertility – both literally, in our capacity to create new life through pregnancy and figuratively through say, a work of art.

What I’m going to give you now is two simple techniques to open and revitalise your sacral chakra. They’re easy and your physical body will love the benefits they bring.

One involves dancing and one involves stretching: First, let’s dance. Put on some music and put your hands on your hips. Place your feet comfortably apart and bend your knees…rotate your hips in a circle one way and then the other. swing your hips from side to side in time with the music. Just keep doing that, then go freestyle.  Swing, sway, wiggle, shake, hula, whatever feels good. While you’re doing this, breathe deeply, feel into your entire pelvic region and notice what’s there.

You may feel some heat or tingling or not much at all. No judgement. Accept what ‘is’ and try again tomorrow. Just spending three minutes a day, the length of a song, in sensual hip movement is a sure-fire way to liven up your sacral space and get some creative juices flowing again.

Now for the stretch.This is all about opening into the outer hips because if you’re like me and do a lot of sitting in chairs, walking, cycling or running, your hips might be strong, but they may not be very flexible. Our whole hip and pelvic region, inside and out, plays an important role in our sacral chakra function. I’m a big fan of pigeon pose, either on the back or leaning over the bent leg. Simple grab a mat or find a soft carpet and move gently into one of these poses…

Once you’re in the pose, relax and breathe normally for a couple of minutes and then change sides. And here’s my disclaimer, I’m not a yoga teacher, so if you’re not already familiar with these poses from your own practice, wait until you do them in a yoga class before trying them on your own.

Finally, well, I didn’t want to mention it but there it is, staring us all in the face. Of course regular sex is wonderful for stimulating and freeing up sacral chakra energy. Orgasm is the ultimate sacral energiser. There, I said it. Reclaiming and honouring the sacral will open up your capacity to fully enjoy life and take full ownership of your immense creative potential.

Book a session with me and I’ll use my intuitive abilities to do a reading of your chakra health and help you to bring greater energy flow to the ones that aren’t all shiny and bright.

And if you haven’t already, subscribe to my page and get the gift of not only five amazing healing meditations but also just for March, a $30 gift voucher to spend on a single session with me.

 

Can I come out of my box now?

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

I just realised how thoroughly I’ve boxed myself in. I’ve been diligently constructing the box I like to call my identity or perhaps, my personality, my whole life. I thought I liked the box and I guess I thought it was essentially ‘me’. It wasn’t until the other day that I even had the understanding that the box is separate from the actual, real Tricia.

So how do we define or even recognise this box? Our personality is really only our ‘outer self’ or what we might think of as our socially acceptable self.  We only need dig down a little into our inner, darker recesses to observe that many parts of us, including our beliefs, preferences, ideals, habits and prejudices form only the thinnest, most flimsy layer of who we really are. And while this may initially sound shocking and feel very destabilising, when we can get past our attachment to these parts of ourselves, it can be very liberating.

But oh how we cling.

Of course it’s not easy to let go of what we believe is true about ourselves, the world and our place in it. I identify very strongly with many aspects of my outer self, not the least of which is my body and how I feel in it. This is where the experience of being in an earth-bound human body is very instructive. I’m talking about the aging process and what it can do to our sense of self and our ideas of who we think we are over a lifetime. I might cling to the idea that I look a certain way perhaps until my latish fifties, but then, maybe come sixty, the changes wrought will be undeniable and if I’m to enjoy my life and carry on despite ‘looking old’, I must release this care and focus on other things. Goodbye body image box.

One of the other boxes I can now acknowledge and I want to shed is my habit of denying myself pleasure. I’m really good at this. I reckon I’m a bit of an expert…how do I know? Well it’s because I recently began finding ways to bring more pleasure into everyday moments and it made me pause and reflect. I was astonished at how vigilant I’ve been with keeping myself from pleasure.  

It kinda goes with the territory when you’re a Virgo though. We are known for our puritanical tendencies….And it’s not like it’s all bad. There’s a sick type of pleasure to be gained from denying, holding back, going without and then….all of a sudden, yes! I’m going to have a piece of chocolate. What a high!  But seriously, I’m sure my body is grateful for the many years of deprivation I’ve subjected it to. No really. I’ve never been overweight and have had only one hangover. EVER! I know, total square.

The other way self-denial can be a positive is having the discipline to endure long periods of toil in order to accomplish a goal. It probably contributed to my completion of two degrees and a post grad diploma before I turned 28. But….and this is a big but because, to be honest, having two degrees didn’t really equate with happiness and fulfillment for me …. There’s this. From whence we experience pleasure is from whence our creativity springs and from creative expression comes great pleasure. It’s the circle of life. Without creative expression of some kind, we’re kind of stunted in our capacity to enjoy life.

This is sacral chakra energy. Our sacral chakra is the energy centre for our reproductive urges, sexual and sensual enjoyment, feminine power, creative inspiration and integrated emotional expression. So doesn’t it make sense then, that to be creatively engaged with life and to allow pleasure to seep into every moment possible, we will have healthy energy in the sacral? And as women, we really want to be super-engaged with our sacral chakra because it’s the seat of our capacity to nurture ourselves and others, feel our feelings and be stable in our sense of self. Just think about the archetypal womanly figure, rounded hips and soft stomach creating a safe and welcoming vessel for a baby to form and grow. She is stable and strong in her sacral and the powers that dwell there are revered by all, especially herself.

The sacral chakra is all about receptivity.  Can we receive more?  Does it feel safe to open up and be the receiver of life’s abundant pleasures and gifts? Goodbye pleasure-denial box.

The way to nurture our sacral is simply to nurture ourselves. Make life fun, comfortable, sexy, pleasurable, soft, open-hearted and even a little bit naughty whenever you can. Turn music on when you cook and clean, eat some chocolate in the morning, take a bath in the afternoon and always say yes to spontaneous invitations that sound good.  Enjoy your five senses and be open to what life has to offer. For me pleasure is more time outdoors, more music, yoga, dancing and meditation. More time having fun with the people I love.

Pleasure, creativity and feminine wisdom are inextricably linked.  Enjoy. Create. Feel. Know yourself.

Looking Outside for Love

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

Is it because we’ve been conditioned by society to externalise our thoughts and desires or, is it a natural human urge to look outside ourselves for love?

We look for it in relationships, jobs, awards, fame, money, possessions.  Relationships are the biggest hook aren’t they?  We live under the illusion that other people’s love will make us feel complete.  It’s like a recipe; maybe fifty percent relationship love, twenty percent work achievement and social status love, twenty percent possession love and ten percent self-love? At a pinch?

It doesn’t quite work though does it.  Because without a healthy dose of self-love, none of the other plausible sources of love can have an impact.  It’s ironic but true.

When we’re unable to feel our own inherent worth and divine perfection, it doesn’t matter how rich we get, how

many times our partner says they love us, or even how high we climb the corporate ladder, it all feels pretty meh.  And even more ironically, once we reach a healthy state of good self-regard and we’re backing it up with daily self-care and at least a couple of healthy relationships, well, we usually realise that we don’t need any of the other stuff anyway.  And irony with double cream, chocolate sprinkles and a cherry on top….once we don’t care that much about the other stuff, it rolls into our lives that much more easily. Bam!  Who’d have thought?

In these modern lives we lead, many of us never figure this out though and the majority of us reach at least mid-life before we begin to see the truth.  Until we do, it’s often a case of, “maybe this person, this house, this job, this dress, this haircut will make me feel loved, valued, validated.”  Are you ready to move forward on this?

self portrait at Zen Den Collective yoga studio
Feeling great after my yin2 you chakra dance class. Free dance boosts self-love.

Because I get it, it’s certainly easier to point the finger at someone else for not loving us enough.  “My parents were too critical.” “I loved him more than he loved me.” “Maybe if I was thinner, richer, wittier, then they would love me.” But then where does that leave us?

I’ll tell you where.  It leaves us in a state of fear, insecurity and addicted to time-consuming and money-draining superficial change.  And I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist but here’s my take on this:  This is precisely what our society wants us to feel.  The whole thrust of modern capitalist democracies is that the people work hard, spend hard, and fear everything.  That way the masses become passive enough to be controlled.

Anyway, I’ll leave that hanging for now…

Jim Carrey has a lot to say about this and his philosophy is quite compelling. Click to watch

The bottom line is, you’re already good enough, smart enough and most probably rich enough to have an enjoyable life.  When it comes to feeling loved, what’s missing are often not the external trappings of success but rather an internal awareness that we are already loved simply because we exist.  So where do we get this feeling?walking near the ocean on a path

  • Stillness
  • Nature
  • Prayer/meditation
  • Service to others
  • Heartfelt connection
  • Creative expression
  • Movement

Do you like how stillness and movement are the bookends here?  We definitely need stillness but of course we also need to move our bodies.  Preferably gently, enjoyably and without wearing ourselves out completely.  When I go for a mindful walk in nature and sit to meditate while I’m outdoors, I’m ticking five of these boxes in an a half hour stroll.

See how easy it can be?  Love really is an inside job.

If you want to talk this over with me or you’ve got some pressing questions, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me for a session by going here.

Love you lots, Tricia

Glimpsing The Crone As We Mother

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

The crone phase of life is drawing closer and to be honest, I’m not ready.

I’m possibly being a bit alarmist.  Most texts describe the crone stage as beginning after menopause and I’m not even in peri-menopause yet.

I guess I’m feeling into the aspect of crone that’s always been with me.  I believe we carry the archetypes of child, maiden, enchantress, mother and crone (plus many others), within us from birth and all the way through our lives.  The stages of life that bring us into the full expression of these roles are quite fluid and overlapping.

It’s been four weeks since I turned 47 and I’m still coming to terms with this ‘late-forties’ status.  I colour my hair to cover the greys, I look after my health and my body so I still feel and look youngish, plus I still have school-aged children, so how can I be moving into the wise woman phase already?

Well to be real, we’re a bit messed up in our modern lives when it comes to living out the ancient female archetypes.  For one thing, we’re having our children later.  A couple of hundred years ago I would have been welcoming grandchildren into my life at this age instead of still parenting my own teenagers.

In a tribal scenario I would be winding down, being cared for my my adult children, imparting my wisdom and being revered as an elder.

Instead, I feel like I’m winding up into the most productive era of my life.  In my fifties and sixties I see myself writing books, speaking at events, leading women’s retreats and guiding people on their paths in coaching and counselling programs.  And there’s certainly some crone-like wisdom emerging as I embark on this phase.  I can feel it.

So how do the gifts of the crone archetype fit into this modern era?

The crone is the old wise woman.  The hag in the cottage in the deep dark forest.  In the traditional Russian tale of Vasalisa, Baba Yaga is the wild and unpredictable keeper of female intuitive power and magic.  She’s the observer, holder of energy, subtle healer and sage who has seen much and is ready to turn away from societal expectations to enjoy her life with less burden and pressure.

How we might embody the crone archetype while we’re still actively mothering our children is an interesting dilemma but one worth nutting out.

In her article describing the crone energy, Miranda Gray outlines ways each of the four feminine archetypes correspond with the four phases of the menstrual cycle.  The post-menstrual phase is represented by the blossoming maiden, the time of ovulation with the mother, the third phase is for the enchantress and as the menstrual flow begins, the crone.

The Crone energies are like the winter, quiet and still. Her outward face is hidden, and she is turned completely inward. She lets go of the need to interact with society and to conform to its requirements. The Crone doesn’t have the physical energy to make things happen; instead she watches and, in her stillness and being, allows events to evolve. She is the weaver of Universal Energy, who creates with intention and flow.Gray, January 2015

So not only is the crone energy within us always, and most especially after menopause, we also might dwell in this energy during menstruation to make the most of its deep and interesting gifts.

To live in a mindset of embracing change feels more useful than resisting it.  Sure, there’s a part of me that wants to stay young and fears the advancing years but hey, what choice do we have.  I want to be here in twenty years.  I want to see my grandchildren arrive in the world and I want to be an active participant in my own long life.  I want to own my crone years.

I have beautiful friends in their mid-seventies who embody it all, maiden, mother, enchantress and crone in their lives right now.  I see it when they laugh, cry, dance, impart wisdom, sit and listen, paint, write and speak.  I also see it all in my 13 year old daughter.  She can be wise, funny, silly, wicked, wild, nurturing, intuitive and alluring all in one day.

So perhaps we may turn our attention to embracing many of these archetypes at any stage of life?  We need not wait for the years to age us before we claim at least a small portion of crone status and we may retain a little of the younger archetypes in later life as well.

What do you feel?  I’d love to know.

To connect with me for a private session click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Bring Your Shadow Self Into The Light

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

We all have qualities we keep in the shadows, but what if shining light onto these darker aspects could actually make life better?

If we want to feel more peaceful and complete, then we’ll want to know more about these parts we’re not owning.

The way we discover what they are, is to observe what bothers us about other people, particularly the people we love.

The qualities we demonise in others are our shadow qualities.

Allow me a moment to explain:

Might you sometimes be heard whingeing that your partner, child, sibling or dear friend is negative/lazy/ unmotivated/self-centred or any other quality you despise?

Yes?  Come on, think about it. Mmhmm – maybe just a little?

Let’s just say we all have ‘issues’ with certain qualities – for me it’s things like anger, martyrdom, competitiveness and ungratefulness.

It’s understandable to dislike these nasty old traits right?

Except for this….

What’s true is that we ALL have the capacity to embody every quality that’s ever existed. 

But rather than loving it ALL, what we do with the parts that give us a squeamish feeling is to deny them, project them onto other people and cover them over with niceness and approval seeking.

To examine the qualities we dislike in others is to look directly into a reflection of what we ARE but don’t want to own.  The question we must ask when we feel ourselves bristling at the behaviour of another is: “How do I do that?”

And this is where compassion comes in.  Compassion for yourself and compassion for everyone else because gosh aren’t we all just muddling along the very best we can?

The shadow aspects we’re most afraid of might actually become super-powers if we learn how to integrate them and shed a decent amount of light on them.

Let’s take the quality of competitive drive and have a closer look.

I denied this aspect of myself for the longest time but here’s how I know I’m competitive:

  • I react with strong dislike to other people being competitive
  • I get quite emotionally involved with my children’s sporting matches and want them to win
  • I feel slightly envious of friends who are more successful than me
  • I feel more attached to my children receiving awards than is perhaps healthy
  • I like being good at stuff and love getting recognition
Even caterpillars have shadows. Image by April

The funny thing is, now that I’ve began to lovingly embrace this quality and see it as funny and adorable rather than nasty and shameful, it’s softened.

And I can use this competitive drive of mine to get things done!  If I didn’t care at all about striving for a better life, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to become self-employed.  And that would’ve been a pity because I love my work and I’ve already helped quite a few people.

Do you see where I’m going with this?  By shining light on our shadow qualities we get to benefit from their good bits and allow them to partner with our so-called positive qualities for great outcomes.

Hide them away and they become bitter and destructive.  Embrace them as vital elements of our humanity and they become another playful and productive part of who we are.

Angry people make great activists and campaigners for social change and martyrs make great community volunteers, even if they do make others miserable with their bitter complaints…

What’s your shadow?

Are you willing to acknowledge it and lead it into the light?

For help with this and other brands of self-exploration contact me for a session. Click here.