A new world

As I was dozing off Sunday afternoon I had a vision – I could see a beautiful, vast, wild landscape, could have been grassy duneland or open common. In the far distance the sea. This was totally linked to having a new print of Georgia O’Keefe’s ‘Pink Moon over Water’ on my wall this week! But in my vision there was no pink moon and stretching through the middle of the natural landscape was a huge, long bridge, like the Golden Gate bridge. I was looking at this and knew, without really thinking about it that I’d built this metaphorical bridge throughout my lifetime and had used it primarily for safety.

As I looked at this scene, the ground began to shift slowly and the bridge began to wobble. Noticing in my body that my heart centre was collapsing and my breath was gasping, I stayed focused on the visual as slowly the entire bridge fell and was swallowed by the ground. I was crying softly and the landscape returned to a natural stillness. My body too became quiet and I slept.

I have become accustomed to ‘seeing’ my inner mental and emotional states through these waking visions, or sometimes in dreams. I used to get very nosey about the images and thought that the image was the thing I needed to understand. What’s the story? What’s the message? What’s the meaning? Now I realise that the image is only a mirror of what is actually happening in my body, so I bring my attention back to my body and whatever emotion is shifting, moves more easily with my gentle awareness. I no longer get myself stuck in making a meaning of it all.

You see, we are not separate aspects – our minds and imaginations are intrinsically connected to our bodies and our emotions. So it’s completely natural that when we are changing or growing or making new decisions that this will be reflected on all levels of our being. If we tune in then we might receive some extra information to steady us as things shift. Last week I decided that I am going to move away from paid employment and into self-employed work (again). This means also moving away from academia and towards my work as a coach for health and wellbeing. Perhaps I have always been walking across a bridge from one to the other…and somewhere in the middle, from age 18 at university to 40, when the pandemic changed the way I worked, I was an artist. Even that, I’m not sure about anymore…

Last year I was planning to do a new creative project exploring people’s lived experience of chronic pain. A number of my female friends live with this and I found it difficult to relate from my body – what would that experience feel like? Then somewhere along the line I came across some training for coaches and therapists called OldPain2Go. It is a very simple but very effective process to support people to turn off old pain signals in the body. Having had my first few clients for this process last week and seeing the immediate impact, I know this is a path I want to take. So instead of exploring and thinking about old pain and fatigue through my arts practice, I have the skills to support others to heal this. It’s moving away from work in artistic representation to working in direct transformation. I am no longer looking at the landscape below me from a bridge – I am in it.

When I woke after the vision, I came round slowly. My soft, warm belly flesh nestled into the warm body beside me. I was gently holding onto an arm, like a brand new baby. I was safe. When I eventually opened my eyes, I felt lighter, I felt more light in my eyes, I felt joy spread across my chest. I was smiling. I am smiling now. Everything has changed. I see a new world through these new eyes.

 

**If you live with enduring pain or fatigue and no longer want this, please get in touch to discuss how OldPain2Go could work for you**

Tracy is a NLP coach with Break Free & Thrive – the fundamental principle of Neuro Linguistic Programming is that reality does not exist ‘out there’ but it is created internally through a series of subjective processes, which can be called filters. How and what we perceive outside/inside is shaped into meaning by our conditioned thinking patterns (and trauma), so we distort, delete and generalise our experiences to make them fit with our internal representation of the world. In NLP we use language, both verbal and non-verbal, to understand and communicate how someone is creating their inner reality, or map, so that they can have the power to change their reality. Book a coaching session with Tracy here.

 

Image: ‘Pink Moon over Water’ (1924) – Georgia O’Keefe

Photo Credit: caesura (2013) – Jess Rose

 

 

 

Where is Love?

Where is Love?

Perhaps the song ‘Where is Love?’ from Oliver is familiar to you – the young orphan boy who dreams of being loved one day. From a child’s perspective I can understand this and most of us have had fantasies as children of the love and life we want one day.

When did those fantasies end for you? Or are they still running?

Do you still believe that you will find love ‘out there’ one day?

Are you still waiting or searching for it?

In a recent reflection on Love, writer Adeola Sheehy-Adekale says:

“I grew up wanting the fairytale and then grieving an illusion. What I know now is, if you want happily right now, you don’t hold back, not for yourself or those you love. You live fully, you allow yourself to be fully, unashamedly you, and you allow yourself to be loved.”

At some point in your life, sooner rather than later if you’re lucky, the fairytale illusion will be broken. It might be shattered or blow up, it might dissolve or drift away. How it disappears will ultimately be based on how much you are holding on to it. The more you hold on to it, the bigger the impact that is required to break it. What follows will be a relative process of grief. What you will grieve for will not be the fantasy itself, after all it’s simply a set of idea and thoughts. But when the illusion is revealed, you will also have to let go of that younger you who has been holding so tightly to this idea. She will be the one you will grieve for. And you will feel the difficult feelings that she was too afraid to feel back then when she made up the story to protect her.

You see, she has needed this idea to be true all her life because as a child it was what was going to save her from feeling unsafe, perhaps unloved and unwanted. As you grew older, she kept her place in your identity and has held on to this belief, so that even now as an adult, you might still believe this is the truth. Do you?

There as an alternative storyline that you might be running, but with the same pattern, which is that nobody will ever love you. So instead of fantasising about a fairytale ending, it’s more like a really sad tragedy in which you will die all alone. But it’s the same dynamic – it’s simply a story that was put into place as a younger child, or even as a younger adult based on your experience of being rejected or abandoned, which you decided then was the way all life was going to be. It was easier to accept this harsh fact than continue to be disappointed and hurt. And because you believed this, it’s what you came to expect of all your relationships and so it’s what you attracted. Time and time again you get to keep the story that you are not good enough and you don’t deserve to be loved.

Sometimes we run both stories, kind of like a 2-part series. We had the first story and we loved that version, and then life happened and it was all taken away so we made up the second story. And perhaps that one is now stuck on repeat!

What are your beliefs about Love?

Do you still believe the same things you did as a child?

Have you created a story that aims to negate your childhood experiences, but it equally based in fantasy?

Can you stop holding on to these young stories?

Oliver will never find love ‘out there.’ He will grow up to become an adult who will have do deal with being abandoned by not abandoning himself to look for something outside himself. Because that’s what we do: if we’ve experienced abandonment (little or large, and we all have experienced some of this to a certain degree), we will have learned to abandon ourselves. If we have experienced rejection, we will have learned how to reject ourselves. This shows up as negative self-talk, self-judgement, self-doubt, anxiety, overthinking…

When we stop running away from ourselves and pushing ourselves away then we come closer to love. Love is not out there. Love is in you. In fact, you are Love. I am Love. Love is a state of your Being. To be ‘in love’ is to access this state. It is available to you ALL THE TIME. When people say they need to learn how to love themselves, this is just another story about how they are in fact rejecting themselves, maybe even hating themselves. When they STOP THIS, then love will be here.

When we stop holding onto the fantasy we experience reality.

Love is here all the time.

From the Darkness

I am coming to the end of my 5 day movement retreat, and towards the end of my training with my teachers Joan Davis and Julia Gombos (Original Nature). Since 2017, I have been travelling to Ireland to the very special Gorsehill for these sessions. Now, I connect to the group through a screen from my bedroom in a valley in south Wales. For the last 4 years while my life has been utterly transformed, the depth of connecting with other bodies has sustained me deeply…. the way I relate to other people has changed beyond recognition.

Through the practice of Authentic Movement…

I step into the emptiness, the unknown, again and again.

I drop into my body, my tissues, my organs, my cells and I learn their language of sensation.

I find another body to rest into and I feel nourished and safe.

My heart is soft and open.

From the darkness

Dropping into this ocean in your arms took courage.
Closing my eyes and sinking below my surfaces,
past my barrage, took time.
But each time, letting go became easier,
Like I was learning to free dive,
Swimming further down into the darker waters
where no light shines.
And you were there, your warm body, the rope
I could keep hold of as I sank down,
My limbs growing lighter with each descent,
The darkness all around me,
But the light now shining from within me.
I look around me into this deep underwater world,
holding on to my rope,
And although I can’t see anything,
I know that everything is possible.

Resignation

Shaking

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