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A Shift in Consciousness
The shadow & The Political Psyche
‘Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we’re so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act’. Ram Dass
There are currently significant shifts in the world presenting opportunities for you to make huge changes in your life.
Are you going to seize opportunities or get caught up in fear and polarised thinking?
Consciousness is possible by making changes based on considered decision making, and creating a support system that sustains growth and expansion.
How can you make the most out of the energetic shifts that are taking place? On the Healing the Heart Retreat in September and the Shadow workshop in November, I will be helping people to make conscious transitions, to awaken to their intuition, deal with conflict and transform depression, anxiety and fear into Empowerment and Love.
I ask you to consider these four points to bring some awareness to what pushes you into Fear and the Shadow
1. What am I afraid of?
It is important to know what triggers your fear response, what scares you? Is it about the moment? Poor health? financial insecurity? Freedom arises when you know what forces are at work within you and then knowing how you can deal with it.
2. Where do these fears come from?
Did you have parents who were abusive or neglectful? Did you have a parent who could not see who you were? Were situations unfair? Were you bullied? Oppressed? Are these founded in reality or are they projections or unresolved conflict within you? Have you been left or abandoned? Do you fear that you are unlovable?
3. What Triggers my fears?
What influences you? Who or what are you listening to, responding to? Are you suggestible? Are your responses coming from unresolved Trauma? How do you respond to a crisis? After a trauma, people may go though a wide range of responses. Such reactions may be experienced not only by people who experienced the trauma first-hand, but by those who have witnessed or heard about the trauma, or been involved with those immediately affected. Many reactions can be triggered by persons, places, or things associated with the trauma. Some reactions may appear totally unrelated. It takes care and time to unravel and heal trauma.
4. What changes can I make to create more Freedom?
Take action when you are ready and have regained a sense of inner peace and balance do not act from a place of fear. Stop telling yourself negative stories. Turn off the source. Fear is contagious when you keep replaying the same soundtrack over and over and over again– we are doomed – I will never have enough money – No one will Love me – When you keep repeating over and over again, you create a reality based on your shadow and fear. Stay in the present moment, do not worry catastrophize or anticipate the future….focus on the here and now and make better choices about your perception and attitude. Yes – your attitude is everything.
History repeats itself for those who are unwilling to learn
Consciousness is about transforming fear with courage to alleviate suffering.
Jung illuminated the root cause of conflict to be found in the unconscious psyche of humanity – A place where fear resides.
This is when people project their shadow, the unconscious, unseen, feared, unresolved and conflicted, the dark side or rejected parts of themselves. This ‘inner’ act results in incredible destruction in the “outer” world.
This is an act of Violence, when you attempt to disassociate from your shadow.
When you project your shadow, you throw your darkness outside of yourself and see it as existing only in others.
Many people react violently when they encounter an embodied reflection of their shadow, they may wish to destroy it, as it reminds them of something dark within themselves that they would rather have nothing to do with. They “demonise” enemies, believing that “they” are inhumane enemies who need to be destroyed.
This is the underlying psychological process which, when collectively mobilised, is the high-octane fuel which feeds war and conflict.
When a group or a nation co-operatively project the shadow onto an agreed upon enemy, you incarnate the very shadow you are trying to get rid of.
It creates a dangerous situation in that the disturbing effects are now attributed to a wicked will outside yourself which is naturally not to be found anywhere but with your neighbour…. This leads to collective delusions, ‘incidents,’ revolutions, war- in a word, to destructive mass psychosis.”
Jung wrote that “…the normal person…acts out his psychic disturbances socially and politically, in the form of mass psychosis like wars and revolutions.
Projecting the shadow, is a way of avoiding dealing with the ‘evil’ inside of yourself, it is a primal act which generates the very “evil” that you are attempting to avoid in the first place.
Jung said, “Nations have their own particular psychology, and their own particular kind of psychopathology…. the most striking is suggestibility which affects an entire nation.”
Jung continually warned that the greatest danger that the species faced was the psychic epidemic in which millions of people fall into their unconscious together and because of their “suggestibility,” mutually projecting the shadow onto an agreed upon adversary, thus reinforcing each others’ disassociation, and hence, madness.
When enough people fall into mass projection, they dream up someone to play the role of leader who is an expression of their unconsciousness. The Leader represents all that is unconscious in a nation, the voice of the all that is rejected and unresolved incarnated in the body of politics as a psychic epidemic.
A reciprocal shadow relationship existed between Hitler and the Germans in the 1930s, as is eloquently expressed by Walter Langer, author of The Mind of Adolf Hitler;
“…the madness of the Fuehrer has become the madness of a nation, if not of a large part of the continent…these are not wholly the actions of a single individual but that a reciprocal relationship exists between the Fuehrer and the people and that the madness of the one stimulates and flows into the other and vice versa.
It was not only Hitler, the madman, who created German madness, but German madness that created Hitler. Having created him as its spokesman and leader, it has been carried along by his momentum, perhaps far beyond the point where it was originally prepared to go. Nevertheless, it continues to follow his lead in spite of the fact that it must be obvious to all intelligent people now that his path leads to inevitable destruction.” Walter Langer ‘The Mind of Adolf Hitler.’
Globally we can see this being played out as though on a stage between nations, political parties and governments.
When you Awaken to consciousness – Violence is No Longer an Option within the entire spectrum of your relationships, intimate, friendships, family, social, economic, political seen and unseen.
Freedom is possible when you relate to yourself and others with openness to discover each individual at a time.
When you become aware of how you affect the world in every moment, intended or not. Your actions and thoughts matter because we are all connected. The path of consciousness is the only way forward.
Illuminating your inner darkness frees you from the unconscious compulsion to project the shadow outside of yourself. By recognising, owning and illuminating your darkness, you can transform the darkness in the world into consciousness. By withdrawing your shadow projections from the outer world, you can become an activist of peace.
A clients’ view of therapy. Whether we know it or not, social exchange is right at the heart of our human concerns. As social creatures, is there more to life than enriching give and take and fulfilling relationships? If we have a rapport with others and with ourselves that is loving and supportive, we feel nourished and alive. If our connections are ailing, we may suffer profoundly as a result. In this era, specific help is available for improving the way we interact with others. By working with skilled facilitators we can reap the rewards of shift made to our understanding and our behaviour, regarding ourselves and beyond. If you think of the many kinds of human relationship and, in relation to them, the many more types of personal difficulties experienced, you can sense the complexity of problems that therapists, worldwide, seek to address. Regardless of differences in symptoms, a critical part of healing relationship predicaments is coming to acknowledge that, as adults, we are now personally responsible for the quality of exchanges in our lives. This fact is both hard to swallow and empowering. A therapist is someone who helps us realise that we can effect change and how we can begin to promote healing. This weekend I attended a two-day workshop created and facilitated by therapist Aisha Ali. Under the banner of her healing project, Living from The Heart, Aisha offers a dynamic and comfortable space to engage with personal hitches we may experience in our relationships. Under her safe intervention we strategically cut to the chase of difficulties and take a driving seat in moving through obstacles. Aisha Ali runs a variety of weekend workshops to assist in making positive transformations in life. The one I attended focused on our own ‘shadow’ self and how that impacts our lives in an everyday way. In the group, there were seven people, plus Aisha. The weekend was held in a room that was enclosing, private and conducive to opening up to the nitty-gritty of honest therapeutic work. I didn’t know anything about the shadow self before we began. I entered the weekend with little clue as to what the work would entail and what scale of effect the weekend might have on me. Aisha led us forward into group activities that rapidly brought us to connect truthfully with ourselves. Using a combination of physical movements we tapped into our physical and energetic body, which is a resource of wisdom, honesty and insight. Through group exercises we also connected with each other in a way that was unself-conscious and supportive to our individual processes. Though we were a group, the issues we brought forward were dealt with in a very personal manner. Without any judgement the obstacles that confronted us were accepted and treated with respect. This level of trust was testimony to the atmosphere of safety and openness generated for the occasion. Though we were delving into our innermost selves, nothing about the facilitation felt jarring, abrupt or superfluous. After the exercises it was remarkable how much more relaxed, alert and focused we all were in preparation for the explorations. There was a very carefully selected range of music that powerfully aided the aims of the weekend. I observed, with some amazement, extensive ground being covered in a short period of time. In fact, I hadn’t anticipated how much unfolding could occur in one single weekend. I observed that under the right conditions, shift happens quite dramatically. The process looking at our shadow selves was a journey we each undertook and what is important is that the workshop was suitable for everyone. It was made clear that each person only delved as deep and as far as they were individually ready and comfortable to do. This is not to say that the process was unchallenging. Through attentive guidance, the right degree of enquiry and discovery was set before us, and the accompanying willing to face this was encouraged. I believe that the proof of a workshop is in the pudding. Having been stimulated in various ways to perceive and to begin to integrate my shadow self I felt an enthusiasm for this process that left me a convert to ‘shadow work’. I noticed that I went out into the world with such a fortified confidence that I marvelled at my own social relaxedness. There is a power to group-work that reaches parts that one-on-one therapy seems not to do. The reflections and the difficulties that others shared were enormously helpful and accelerated my understanding of my own behaviours. There was something mechanical to the weekend that began to fix problems in a rudimentary way. I found the comments of the people who shared this time with me uncanny in their accuracy and pertinence. Though it was a group aimed at helping the individual, it felt clear that the insights discovered, and the shift observed, was a collective group-experience. I heartily recommend Living From The Heart workshops to anyone wishing to improve the quality of their relationships with themselves and others in a down to earth and honest way. A clients’ point view of therapy Participant November 2012
What are the healthy Characteristics of negotiation in Relationships A healthy functional intimate relationship is based on equality and respect, not power and control. Think about how you treat and desire to be treated by someone you care about. The quality of a negotiation depends upon two things; the quality of the basic relationship between the two people and the quality of the communication that takes place. A good relationship with good communication between two people should enable successful negotiation. A poor relationship with poor communication is likely to create unhealthy relationships. Too often people try to use negotiating skills from the office at home these – skills do not translate into relational tools. The health of a relationship impacts the quality of communication between two people. If you do not trust someone, you are in danger of either disregarding what they say or looking for hidden meanings that may or may not actually exist. The health of a relationship impacts heavily upon negotiation and is a major influencing factor on the likelihood of both partners getting what they need to flourish and grow. Trust This means being supportive, wanting the best for your partner, knowing your partner likes you, and being able to rely on your partner, offering encouragement when necessary, and being comfortable with your partner having different friends and interests.
Intimate relationships are complex, they can be identified by a growing degree of attachment or dependence – in other words, how much we ‘need’ the other person. Attachment or dependence can be hard to negotiate because it defines vulnerability. It is usually our own dependence – our own vulnerability – that we find difficult to confront and to accept. Like it or not, however, dependence, vulnerability, and consequently power are influencing factors in all relationships. You might feel that you control the power balance, that you are subject to it or that it is equal. Nevertheless, it exists and it is a major influencing factor.
Types of power
Positional power This type of power comes from one person’s position in relation to another. For instance, one partner may have more financial wealth or may have power because of the position that he or she occupies at work, the other partner may have less power because of the way in which their partner perceives them and the division of finances, decisions making or labour in the home. Positional power is characterised by a need for the relationship to continue. Information power As individuals, the more information that we have, the more we feel able to control what is going on about us. This form of control involves one person having more information than another and using it to control the other person’s uncertainty. People can become dependent upon others because of their need to control their own uncertainty.
Control of rewards Buying a sports car to reward a partner for their compliance is an example of this. Paying for everything in the relationship. This is about having the power to reward for desired performance or behaviour. This type of power creates dependency upon the person giving the reward.
Coercive power This is about having the power to punish for failure to behave in a desired fashion. This type of power is also likely to create dependency. People can depend on not being punished as well as depend on being rewarded.
Alliances and networks This concerns the relationships with Social networks (Facebook Literally) and real ones with Family and friends. This is an extended form of information power together with positional power.
Access to and control of agendas If one person controls what terms of the relationship are negotiated, they can effectively set the ground rules i.e. when one partner wants complete control of their partner’s behaviours and loyalty without any relationship skills or creation of the necessary skills to create a healthy relationship. This avoids intimacy. One person focussed on conditions that are favourable to themselves and for needs and requests from their partners that are unfavourable to be blocked. When the discussion is controlled, the relationship becomes dependent on the other to explain the rules for communication and subsequently negotiation. This is unhealthy in adult relationships and creates a power imbalance.
Power All negotiation is about power. Because there are always power imbalances in a relationship, negotiation goes on all the time. No matter what your overall approach to negotiation, you may need to consider the nature of power. Remember that the power in the relationship will influence how intimacy is negotiated. There are many ways people play out power dynamics in relationships through money, sex, decision making, and giving or withholding affection.
Healthy negotiation in an intimate relationship
Accepting responsibility for yourself, means looking after your needs without holding someone else responsible for your life. If you need help get it. Acknowledge past and previous bad behaviour including verbal, emotional or physical violence. Being able to say sorry and admit when you are wrong goes a long way to creating harmony in a relationship. Be sure to communicate openly and honestly. Keep your agreements. Do not create excuses for you or your partner actions. A healthy Relationship is built on truth rather than game playing and deception.
Good Communication Good Communication is based on clarifying issues, specifying feelings, and working together for mutually satisfying solutions. If one partner does something that hurts the other in any way they can take responsibility, and make needed changes in their demonstration of love for the other partner.Any two people can have different perceptions. Differences are not a problem; it is how two people deal with differences. It is often best to take a conscious approach to making decisions in relationships. There is no right or wrong. Take time to listen and reflect. Navigating your desires and reactions. Stop the internal dialogue with yourself about the other person’s motivations and emotions. Ask questions instead of making assumptions. Work towards finding mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict, this means talking. Take time to work what your desires and needs are. They are just as valid as your partner’s. You do not need to agree or even understand differences in opinion to respect your partner. When differences come up observe the situation from your partner’s point of view. No issue or problem is more important than the relationship. When one person wins an argument there will always be a loser rather than two people winning. Conscious decision making Making money decisions together, making sure both partners benefit from financial arrangements, sharing dating expenses, accepting both partners need to hold a job. Making decisions together, splitting or alternating costs on dates. Being mindful of the other person’s needs as well as your own – doing things for each other, going places you both enjoy, giving as much as you receive. Basic Steps to Maintaining a Good, Healthy Relationship • Be conscious of what both want for yourselves and from the relationship. • Be vocal about what your needs are communicate them assertively. Neither of you are mind readers • Recognise that your partner will not be able to meet all of your needs. These can be met outside of the relationship. • Do expect your partner to change to meet all your expectations. Accept differences that you see between your ideal how you would like things to be & the reality of who they really are. • Expect conflict. It’s healthy and be willing to negotiate & • Observe and have compassions and empathy. See things from their point of view. You don’t have to agree to respect and understand differences. • Healthy relationships take continual work and effort to maintain. Take your relationships’ Temperature • How well do you and your partners listen to each other? When you and your partner talk, do you look each other in the eye and really listen, is one of you pre-empting a response before the other has finished talking? • How willing are you to take responsibility for your role in your relationship? Many people are good at finding fault in others; particularly those with whom they are in relationship. How capable are you of both identifying your relational limitations and working to change them? • Re you willing to make compromises? Generally and in your daily routine are you conscious of your partners’ likes and dislikes, sensitivities and emotional needs? Do you allow your partner to make compromises for you? In order for a relationship to be balanced and healthy, each person needs to assert his or her own needs and be responsive to those of their partner. • Do you both recognise the qualities you enjoy and appreciate about each other? Are you able to express these, or are they left unsaid? Over time, couples have a tendency to take each other for granted, recognition; appreciation and affection need to be regularly exchanged, in ways that work for both partners. • Are you able to express your concerns without fear of how your partner will react? I Are you both able to express concerns gently and respectfully and do you become harsh or ridiculing? How you express the things that bother you matters at least as much as what your concerns were in the first place. These factors share common themes: mutual respect, openness and consideration. Take time to consider that your care, attentiveness & respect in your romantic relationship are the gifts that matter most every day and create a healthy loving relationship.
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Aisha Ali is a much sought after relationship specialist. She is known for her intuitive insight, she is very skilled at getting to the core of issues and helping individuals and couples transform unwanted repeated patterns. Her clients experience support clarity, awareness and a sense of peace, balance and accomplishment.