Childhood Disrupted

Childhood Disrupted

I have been reading this book over the last 2 weeks.. still a few chapters to go, and recommending it to anyone who will listen to me!! One of my clients who has experienced very significant life trauma recommended it to me and has found it useful in addressing his anxiety, combined with the work we have been doing to unravel his inner tension. I love that this book changes the perspective on something that is commonly known by me and many in the community. We know and see that much adult illness is connected to childhood pain and trauma. What this book says is that childhood trauma is a strong indicator of illness in later life. The correlation between adverse childhood experiences (which could be bullying at school, divorce of parents, being humiliated by parents, death of parent or significant caregiver, parents fighting and other events) and chronic illness has been studied and found to be very high. The nervous system remains in a high alert state when stressful situations occur regularly but unpredictably. The child does not experience the return of the nervous system to full resting state. On reading the book I scored about 3 or 4 out of 8 on the adverse childhood experiences scale. They speak about autoimmune disorders, cancers, depression and other illnesses related to this type of childhood stress. I had an autoimmune disorder in my 20s. With all the work I have done, the disorder is no longer a part of my life. I learnt firstly how to manage the disorder naturally, but then over a longer period of time, I...
How my Dad has taught me to dance with grief

How my Dad has taught me to dance with grief

I became acutely aware of the physical implications of a broken heart when my Dad died. My auntie said that he died of a broken heart; the doctors called it a heart attack. It made sense that he died of a broken heart; he had lived quite unhappily. I was 22 and had experienced him as critical and judgmental towards me for many years, and I can see how that was the filter he viewed life through. People liked him but he managed to keep them at a distance so they didn’t become subject to his criticism. I believe he struggled to see me as separate to himself or separate from Mum, depending on the day. He was happy when he could see himself in me; he was upset when he saw Mum in me. I was a good chameleon, I was expert at reading what they all wanted from me, and so I largely avoided him being upset with me. He was sad because his life didn’t work out how he hoped. He was sad because he felt knocked down one too many times and didn’t know how to get back up. Sometimes all that hurt and pain landed in my direction. In the time following his death I grieved, I was angry, I felt guilty, and I felt a lot. The lid popped on many of the feelings I hadn’t allowed myself to feel. I also became determined not to die of a broken heart. I wanted to be healthy physically and emotionally. My Dad’s death was the reason I went to counselling at 24, a few...
Touched by Her Soul

Touched by Her Soul

Two years ago she whisperedI felt herShe was like magic inside of meI fell in love immediatelyI knew herShe was so magnificentMy heart burst with loveShe only stayed a short whileA handful of weeksBut she changed my life foreverThe inner and the outer deeply transformed by her presence I was sharing in an interview today about the effects on my life of the baby who visited me 2 years ago, how she changed my world from the inside out. After all, that is one of the deepest forms of alchemy possible, she was growing inside of my body. She changed me in ways that no one else possibly could have. With her presence, I experienced a love and compassion that I had only ever dreamt of before, when she left those qualities deepened even further in me. She activated a certain quality within me that said no to any further fragmentation, it became impossible to live a segmented life. Anything that I had suppressed – trauma, magnificence, creativity, power, feelings of all varieties – they all came up for expression through me after she left. Her presence created an activation from the inside out, and from that time on nothing in me could be left unattended. I needed to deepen my inner listening and come into greater alignment than I had ever felt before. She brought new lessons in self care and boundaries. I realised that I would have changed my life for her, and that demonstrated to me where I needed to change my life for me. I can see why she came into my life when she...
Separating from family members

Separating from family members

Family members can be hurtful to each other, family members can take each other for granted, family members can keep on perpetuating the unconscious parts in one another. We are taught to value family, to rise above the family struggles, to be bigger than, but what about when it gets too hard? There have been times in my life where I have had to create hard boundaries with family members. And it’s tough! It has usually happened at times when I felt like there was no space for my feelings in the dynamic or when I felt that life was too overwhelming or that I was taking too much responsibility for what was happening in my family. I speak with people regularly who have similar challenges – who may not have spoken to their mother / father / sister / brother for an extended period of time – it happens. And it often happens with good reason and can be a supportive step in one’s life transformation. When I have made those choices in my life I have experienced judgement from other people. People looking at me with a look that said “how could you draw that line with your mother/ father?” or “but they are your family and you should be connected to them anyway.” But where was the friend who had the compassion to feel me in that moment and say, “wow you must be feeling a lot of pain to make that decision.” For someone who makes those really tough and difficult boundaries, it’s often the only choice available. It often happens when one feels overlooked...
Christmas Grinch and Faking It!

Christmas Grinch and Faking It!

For many people, Christmas is a time of celebration, family, connection and love. I am going to take a wild guess and say that for equal numbers of people it’s some kind of messy disaster. But what you see and hear about more commonly is the celebration and that creates further pressure on those who are experiencing struggle. This societally imposed expectation collides with the inner longing for a happy family experience and it makes me wonder how many people are faking it at Christmas?! I am stepping forward with a new proposal – how about we have honest Christmas. I spent this Christmas hanging out with the Grinch! At times surrendering to grouchiness and contraction, other times fighting and resisting it. Dissolving into tears was the sweetest relief creating an outlet for the pain. I felt lonely and a deep longing for family of my own. I felt pissed off that my family of origin has been fractured for so many years, and it’s only truly come to light in the last 2 years. Conversely, I am grateful that the fracturing is now exposed. I don’t have to pretend that we are a happy family anymore. The last time I remember family Christmas feeling truly special was when my Nan was still alive – she died when I was 16 – so it’s’ been a few years!! Christmas underlines what is missing, where there is not easy flow and connection, there are memories of the loved ones who are no longer with us, memories of times when family love may have flowed more easily. Throughout my 20s, I...
Magical Thinking or Alchemy

Magical Thinking or Alchemy

My direct personal experience and from working with 1000s of people is that we are all unique and that each person’s life path requires different tools, different enquiry methods, different ways of connecting to spirit and coming to truth within. My path and my method will not be suitable for everyone. There is no one answer to address the concerns of everyone’s inner world, so why would I present my work as a magical solution. The challenges in life do not disappear as a result of a particular method or path, which is what the magical thinking often suggests. The greatest gift we can offer anyone is compassion and being present with them in the moment, allowing them to unravel and experience the alchemy of compassion and presence. With this alchemical experience is the possibility of turning our challenges into embodied wisdom. With embodied wisdom comes the acknowledgement that I am still on a path of self-discovery; it’s a path that is never ending. Each individual has his or her own unique path. If I try and be the right teacher for everyone, I dilute my own effectiveness. Through tantric practices and holding space for people, I have learnt to trust my inner world. I trust the wisdom and knowing that arises within me that will guide me as to how to hold someone, to know when to push, to know when to ask a question, when to be silent, when to lean in some more. Real growth is bringing presence and compassion to big and small moments of life. Real growth is evident in the man or woman...
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