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Loving Kindness & Compassion
‘When love has carried us above all things . . . we receive in peace the Incomprehensible Light, enfolding us and penetrating us. What is this Light, if it be not a contemplation of the Infinite, and an intuition of Eternity? We behold that which we are, and we are that which we behold; because our being, without losing anything of its own personality, is united with the Divine Truth.” Ruysbroeck
The darkest week of the year marked by the Winter solstice has arrived along with Mercury retrograde, this is always a time of truth, when communications seem disrupted and misunderstandings are rife, misunderstandings themselves are part of the truth of being human. Mercury is retrograde from 19th December – 8th January, giving us a chance to address short comings and mistakes and correct the course of events.
The experience of darkness, shadow or Dark Night of the Soul, is necessary in order to feel the emerging light as celebratory, many people want to avoid the darkness. There is something fearful about the absence of physical light because it evokes the dark side of the psyche; your fears and depressed moods, your envies and secret longings.
Ask yourself; ‘What truth does this reveal to me, and why have I needed it revealed in this way at this time?’
In the darkest part of the year when the days are shortest, Mother Nature reminds every body to slow down, enjoy time with loved ones, to be open to listening. A time to move towards the vibration of compassion to become more effective in your relationships.
The days after the winter solstice begin to lengthen, shifting from the darkest part of the year back into the ever increasing light, is a perfect time to clear the old to make room for the new.
Many people feel unsettled about the global changes taking place, this has been accompanied by low vibrational emotions such as anger, blame, self-judgment, hopelessness, frustration, fear and worry, that do not serve consciousness nor good decision making.
Distress is alleviated by attending to yourself and your inner turmoil.
Everything you do and think affects the people in your life and their reactions to you. The choices you make have consequences. Each of us carries within the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse.
Every single effect within the world, upon the earth has a cause, an original starting point.
All paths have an original first step and from that first step comes a chain reaction of events with further offshoots spanning out in all directions and so on duplication and replication takes place.
All your thoughts and your behaviour and movements affect the entire universe according to the law of cause and effect.
When was the last time you were truly kind to yourself? Not just rewards and gifts, but true kindness?
Only when you have established a kind relationship with yourself can you begin to be truly loving with others; love is generated and experienced from within. In this state you are able to really open your hearts in our treatment of others.
Learning to treat yourself with kindness, to open your heart to yourself and others is the first and most important step in cultivating loving-kindness and compassion;
The passage of Mercury retrograde is a gift from the heavens giving you an opportunity to reflect, take stock, review, and correct mistakes you may previously have made in the rush, take your time to make conscious choices and plant seeds of new perspectives.
When you experience the true depth of the darkness of despair, tears might well up spontaneously, it can have a soothing effect. It changes your physiology from sympathetic nervous system defense and denial patterns into parasympathetic relaxation states. It improves your perspective on the world, especially if this disclosure is shared with another person. When you give into the exhaustion, you might fall into a restful and healing sleep, a sleep that could last a few minutes or hours. You can awaken feeling loving kindness compassion renewed and rested.
Being in contact with your bodily sensations, hidden rage towards a current or past injustice, an unexpressed desire for fulfillment or failure is not about acting on them but simply about feeling them. When you do this, what you have hidden from yourself in darkness can now be revealed in the light of awareness. You can become more completely yourself, more confident and more fully alive.
If then, we would indeed restore mankind by truly botanic, magnetic, or natural means, let us first be as simple and well as Nature ourselves, dispel the clouds which hang over our brows, and take up a little life into our pores. Do not stay to be an overseer of the poor, but endeavor to become of the worthies of the world.” Henry David Thoreau
Sometimes the “life” you need to take in feels like a retreat and a loss. Nature herself waxes and wanes, grows and recedes, lives and dies. In the midst of this shifting and change is one certainty.
The inner eternal light will naturally follow the dark time of the soul; it’s the way of the earth and of all her creatures.
By practicing the relaxation techniques on a daily basis, you learn to let go of the unhealthy emotional states that lead to the physical and emotional tension. Meditation includes a strong element of bodily relaxation.
You can learn how to directly affect your emotional and mental states, promoting calmness and contentment. Learning how your body/ mind interacts will help you to influence your emotional states by regulating your posture and breathing and lifestyle.
Restoring Mind, Body, Spirit Retreat can help you to become more aware of how to make conscious choices that lead to outcomes that are more supportive of your well being and happiness.
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.
The depth of intimacy with yourself is the starting point for profound love. Intimacy is courageously peering within, aiming the light of conscious awareness into the dark crevasses within yourself; acknowledging fears of abandonment, crippling jealousies, your sense of inadequacy, vices, triggers, shame, or predisposition to anger and outbursts of long buried rage.
It is about showing up and facing the demons in your abyss created in reaction to traumatic experiences. By working to make allies of these misunderstood enemies you can truly create an intimate relationship with yourself unearthing and transmuting, you begin a revolution. This is how family generational patterns are undone. It begins with YOU.
True intimacy attracts fellow travellers along the path, based on honesty and truth. Your ability to look non judgmentally at yourself, at them, at the world will be attractive and deeply appreciated along with your infectious dexterity in igniting change. People will find respite in your presence. Shared intimacy takes on a boldness and daring that is refreshing, passionate, and nurturing. As the love you feel for yourself deepens, your capacity to enjoy intimate love takes root and rockets.
The dark side of human nature is often described as the Ego, the id, or the lower self. Carl Jung called it the “shadow.”
The shadow represents the negative side of the personality, the sum total of all those unpleasant qualities that you would prefer to hide. Everything that is in your conscious awareness is in the light. Everything of substance which stands in the light whether it is a tree or an idea also casts a shadow. What remains in darkness is outside of your awareness.
When something is held back or something is left unsaid in, a shadow blocks intimacy and connection weakens.
Too many shadows the intimacy fades or becomes convoluted and confusing. The process of conscious relationship is one of staying fully open. Transparent. Loving. No matter what. Even when the difficult emotions are triggered and one feels dread, fear, abandoned, lost, alone, rejected, anxious, insecure or misunderstood.
These are moments in relationship when you shut the other person out or down. When you do not want them to see you in a particular way, be that way, feel that way, or act that way because when they are like that, they do not give you what you want or need.
When two people do the work of staying open to difficult emotion it creates an opportunity for intimacy to surface beyond projections and fantasies.
You are seen and loved for who you are, not who you need to be to make a person feel a certain way.
Relationships are opportunity to practice intimacy, opening up and revealing all of yourself to another who holds you in unconditional love in that light the shadows are dissolved by love as you hold each other in the process of waking up and release old trauma.
This is the path of Conscious Relationships.
‘We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.’
Unaware of your shadows you may only encounter them through other people, in the form of projections.
You may tend to see in other people the qualities and characteristics that comprise your shadow; that is, everything that you think is “not you.”
Just think for a moment of your like and dislikes.
Relationships do not mirror your ego back to you; rather, they mirror back your shadow, the other, unacknowledged half of your Inner Self.
Defined by your willingness to stay open and share and hold each other as your shadows arises. Defined by your ability to recognise when you are triggered, and to own your emotional states rather than project them onto others. Defined by your ability to hold each other in love when you are in a difficult emotional state.
A way to change this involves you taking the time to get to know yourself to avoid repeating unwanted patterns in relationships and circumstances.
As a result, synchronicities and miracles start to occur. You begin to live in a flow where the possibilities are endless.
The secret to living in flow is to become conscious of your shadow self – the part you do not know and learn to integrate it to become whole.
You may think your personality is who you are.
Blind spots prevent you from having conscious relationships with yourself and others.
Learning to release them is important to be able to create happy loving relationships with yourself and everyone around you and wake up your inner power and attract the relationships you want.
The shadow is that part of you that erupts spontaneously and unexpectedly when you behave in a destructive way to yourself or another person. The aftermath may leave you feeling humiliated, ashamed, and guilty. The shadow is that part of you that feels like it cannot be tamed or controlled.
There are cultural shadows held by groups of people – topics that are not commonly spoken about are held in the collective shadow, as taboo, forbidden topics or areas.
The shadow is anything that is unacceptable to you, anything that is hidden or denied including what what you want to hide from, what you do not want to know about yourself.
Are you familiar with blame? The one thing you may never ask for yet give freely. Essentially, blame is projection; it is your personality recognising your shadow.
An emotionally mature or genuine love develops with a mutually empathic connection between two people, which nourishes both of your mental, physical and emotional growth and capacity for compassion and self-actualization.
The neurochemistry of love relationships can merge into a dangerous mix of drugs more difficult to part with than alcohol, cocaine or heroine.
When you can’t let go of resentment and keep feeding your anger by continually pointing out everything the other person is doing and has done wrong, blaming him/her for your pain, then this issue is deeper and relates to your childhood wounding which is coming to surface. It relates to your needs not being met or old wounds from past relationships you haven’t fully processed and let go of are being reactivated. The same goes if you keep diminishing yourself with guilt and shame, making yourself feel worthless. It relates to your inner child that is carrying wounds you have not made conscious yet.
The wiring of your sensory brain and body when not modulated by your consciousness (awareness to influence decision making) can leave you susceptible to falling in love with the state of “falling in love” This can create powerful Sensory cravings that can switch off the frontal cortex (ability to consciously think and make optimal choices). Addictions can be a controlling factor in your life and relationships. Biologically speaking the human body is wired to gravitate toward what produces comfortable, feel-good sensations in you while also avoiding what produces pain and discomfort. The purpose of this design feature is to prompt you to both survive and thrive. Your body reminds you to avoid what is unhealthy, harmful or a threat to your survival, or to move towards fulfilling core drives that matter and create meaningful lives.
The state of falling in love, creates sensory signals consisting of a potent mix of chemicals, which have the power to change the sophisticated communication system between your Mind/ Body tampering with your ability to make healthy choices towards favouring intoxicating demands and quick feel good fixes.
If you experience fear or mistrust, your sensory system takes over.
Feel good hormones have the power to hinder your ability to make good choices, and hold your authentic wise-self (frontal cortex) captive, in a virtual prison of sorts, deceived by limiting unconscious beliefs and illusions of love and power.
Without consciousness your unconscious mind/body can not distinguish between pain or pleasure or that which threatens rather than promotes your growth and wellbeing and aliveness.
Discomfort is an essential part of growth, physical, mental and emotional; unnecessary pain leads to suffering. Pleasure is an emotional and physiological yearning for health and wellness, a sense of feeling good about your self and your capacity to contribute to life, create healthy, vibrant relationships that sustain you. Pleasure at the expense of your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing leads to needless and endless suffering of an addiction.
Learning how to receive and give love to yourself and another person is a great learning curve and challenge – it is not for the faint-hearted.
Addiction can be seen as pleasure-seeking, pain-avoiding, or seeking a quick-fix to have a sense of power or control even though it is temporary creating a false sense of self which ultimately avoids dealing with your shadow self. Working with the shadow can better help you integrate parts that thwart your intentions from forming conscious and healthy relationships. “Falling in love” can be seen as a beginning stage of a relationship which if nurtured can create genuine love with another person.
When you work on your shadow and uncover the character that is hiding within you. Uncovering its needs, what it is communicating to you, how you feel when it arises you, how you relate to it. It begins to lose its compulsive quality and does not drive you as much. When it releases its grip you are able to hear your authentic self – your internal intuitive and wise voice wisdom, the part of you that knows what is the right action. Jung suggested that that if we can shed a little light on our own darkness, it will remove some of the larger darkness from the world.
The right people will arrive at precisely the right time. Let your words be bricks in the foundations of the bridges others are striving to build. Let the wisdom gained through your committed intimacy be fruitful. Let love be your guide. And let your love speak profoundly
The true power and creativity unleashed from the shadow is your ability to see clearly and master the art of conscious relationships.
Learn more about discovering and integrating your shadow, bring your true self out of shadow and into the light.
On the workshop you will learn ways to transforming parts of your character with compassion and understanding, to find balance within all your relationships.
Begin the process of positive change on this interactive learning and growth experience.
Join me for the next workshop it is suitable for all
Image by Scott Wilton
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
Living from the Heart:
T 07855 781 210
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.