Archives for the month of: December, 2012

Another year is about to draw to a close. And what a year it’s been, it seems for most people I know. 2012 has been the year of drama; of emotional upheavals, of extreme weather conditions, of personal tragedies and major transitions.

Fireworks

Fireworks (Photo credit: bayasaa)

The world didn’t end on 21st December, but then that was never really the prediction. What the Mayans and others have predicted is far more subtle and powerful, and far easier to hold both belief and hope in; the dawning of a new world in which we let go of the selfish ego and all our negative habits and beliefs. A world in which we feel the universal connection and no longer view ourselves as separate and isolated, or divided by religious, political or geographical boundaries. Where greed and self-interest no longer govern our desires, and instead we are driven by love and compassion. This sounds like a massive and ambitious project, and it is; we were never going to see changes overnight when the 21st December finally arrived.

I myself had the flu for that entire week, which stayed with me throughout most of the Christmas period. I didn’t feel much like celebrating anything, or even engaging in some major transition predicted by so many millions to occur during this time. But on the 21st December I did at least manage to sit myself down in a quiet place and consider the year so far – my challenges, my achievements, and all that I have overcome – as well as setting some intentions for the next year ahead. Such an exercise isn’t about new year’s resolutions that never get honoured; it is, again, about hope and belief – that we can move through whatever difficulties and dark periods that we experience, and learn from them. Our intentions should be about personal growth – about learning to love ourselves and to forgive others, and taking concrete steps to achieve these goals. This might mean promising yourself a special moment or treat each week that’s only for you; or forgiving someone who you have felt hurt by. Our personal growth is also about letting go of anxiety, anger and fears and maintaining courage that we are on the right path, even if that path can at times seem murky and full of obstacles.

And so intentions for the year ahead aren’t about making promises that can’t be kept – we have to be honest with ourselves, about what we need in order to really grow and realise our true nature and purpose in life. Material goods are important in achieving goals, but having spent a year in unintentional unemployment, I know now not to wish for a new job and loads of money. The last year hasn’t brought me material wealth, but it has brought me other gifts of courage, strength and moments of inner peace which no money can buy.

There have been tears – a whole ocean of them. There was a dark night of the soul, or did I have more than one of those?! But I’m reminded of a great quote by the spiritualist Mooji (and whether you believe in God here is irrelevant):

“Sometimes God challenges you to find strength you don’t have.
Only like this will you go beyond your imagined limits.
You must be pushed so far that you are forced to be humble. Only then, when your pride and arrogance are crushed, will you discover muscles that are not yours.
You will find and use the muscles of God. When you completely abandon yourself, your ego, this miracle becomes possible”

 

So congratulations to all that made it through this difficult year. Remember all that you’ve achieved, and all that you have the power to manifest in 2013, through honest intention and active commitment. By letting go of negative habits and beliefs, and encouraging love and compassion in everything that we do, perhaps we can put the world of darkness behind us.

 

I had hoped to write something myself about this period otherwise known as the Winter Solstice, the shift to the 5th dimension, ascension etc. But flu got the better of me. I didn’t factor that into my personal shift! But the following words seemed to resonate with me – this period is, like any other, about living in the now. We should be embracing this moment by turning towards our inner truth. Forget what the Mayans say – what is your soul saying to you right now?

Last night I stepped on to the Rainbow Bridge. In laymen’s terms, I let go of what no longer serves me, what keeps me stuck and fearful and manifested a deeper connection with myself, with the universe and with the love and compassion which binds us together. Yes, it was 12.12.12 and this was something worth marking, with a special ceremony of meditation, chanting, dance and sound in Brixton. How fitting that this should take place in a former nightclub that I frequented on a regular basis in my early twenties. This time round I didn’t need drink or drugs to get me dancing, nor to reach that euphoria and feeling of oneness and clarity. And today rather than having a hangover I woke with a feeling of power and purpose. 21.12.12 – the so-called End of the World – bring it on! I’ve stepped onto the Rainbow Bridge and I’m ready for whatever comes.

This picture depicts the seven major Chakras w...

This picture depicts the seven major Chakras with descriptions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had learned about the Rainbow Bridge only the day before, whilst reading Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System as a Path to the Self by Anodea Judith. I was engrossed in the chapter on the Third Chakra, situated in the solar plexus. We cross the bridge when we move from individual to universal existence, from connecting with our deeper energy to the energy which surrounds us. In order to do this, we need to be stable and grounded in our first three chakras. The third chakra is the portal, which gives us the inner strength to take a quantum leap into the middle of the Rainbow Bridge, where the individual and the universal meet in perfect balance. This inner strength emerges when we break away from old patterns and habits that we have previously defined ourselves by – what Carl Jung calls ‘individuation’. In Anodea Judith’s words, individuation ‘is about daring to be unique, risking disapproval for the integrity of your own truth…Individuation is the unfolding of our unique destiny, the unfolding of the soul’.

I’ve realised that the third Chakra – symbolised by the Fire element, and associated with energy, autonomy, self-esteem and power – is where most of my blockages have been in recent years. A blockage in this area manifests itself through low self-esteem, emotional coldness, passivity, attraction to stimulants and a victim mentality. Those with weakened third Chakras struggle to identify their inner truth, and define themselves by what they think others expect. They operate with a great degree of self-control; those with third Chakra issues are often called ‘Endurers’, because they may be hurt by what they see or experience in their daily lives and interactions with others, but they consciously or unconsciously keep a strong and steady demeanour.  They refuse to let go of anger or grief, instead choosing to bottle it up inside, often leading to pain in the stomach or bowel area. Rather than act on instinct, they obey the will of others. But, as Anodea Judith remarks, ‘As natural instincts can never be fully repressed, they periodically erupt in shadow forms that only incrase the shadow and inadequacy. When we misbehave, lose our temper, fall apart, or have lapses in our vigilant self-control, we are driven to deeper shame’. Shame is the demon of the third chakra; we are quick to blame and punish ourselves when we lose self-control, when actually what we should be doing is laughing at ourselves, admitting our mistakes and learning from them.

I recognise this behaviour well, and have certainly been in situations where I’m in battle with my ego over what I really want, at times leading to mistakes and excess – usually involving drugs and alcohol, followed by a period of shame and regret. Overcoming the feelings of shame and low self-esteem requires a genuine leap of faith and, most significantly for me, a transition from our thoughts and concerns about those around us into our inner, deeper self. Stabilising the third chakra is all about feeling the transformative power within us and not being afraid to let our inner spirit, rather than our peers, be our guide. Once we regain that power we are ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge which connects us to the deeper love and compassion that lights up our world.

For many spiritual seekers, yesterday – 12.12.12 – signified the gateway or portal to the 5th dimension; the end of our current age, marked in the Mayan Calendar as 21st December, and the beginning of a whole new spiritual realm here on this Earth. It will be characterised by the letting go of grief, anger and hatred, and the birth of positive energies manifested through our upper chakras which have the power to transform our planet and manifest love, unity, balance and harmony.

What does this all mean? I’m beginning to realise that there is little point in trying to understand or intellectualise what is said and written about 2012. Ultimately, we either feel something or we don’t. And if we are willing to go deep inside ourselves, feel our transformative power and take a brave step forward and away from old habits which damage us and our universe, perhaps we can indeed be part of a shift for the greater good of this planet.

Yesterday was my birthday….another day closer to death, as one spiritualist once said to me.  How else to approach this momentous day which none of us can avoid in our lifetimes?

By Joey Gannon from Pittsburgh, PA (Candles) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Well, I’m also one day closer to 40, one day less in my ticking biological clock whose alarm likes to sound every now and again, reminding me my time is running out whether I want children or not. One year older without a stable career or income or family or a house I can call my own. Harumph!

But there is always another way. And that is the way I took yesterday as I woke up at my parents’ place. I thought about this time last year….a time when I was newly returned from Palestine, heartbroken, lost and jobless. I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday and I didn’t want to see anyone. I was vulnerable to stroppy and self-pitying outbursts with very little prompting. And all I could think about was how to leave my parents’ place and find some space for myself, and preferably a good job to go with it.

With hindsight, I see that this was the first phase of my transition. I was about to embark on a major new journey of the spirit – a word that didn’t really feature in my vocabulary this time last year – and the resistance was strong. This wasn’t about finding a new job or adding something to my CV, this was about surrendering totally to the unknown; digging deep into my personal reality….and, ultimately, gaining far more than just another job or a new home.

At this point I must echo the words of Steve Nobel, a life coach and writer who I discovered last week, who gives talks on and writes about big transitions (he also has a great blog, the Writers Salon, for those wishing to use writing as their healing practice for their transition).  One doesn’t need to be spiritual or into New Age practices to feel touched by what this guy has to say. From  his own tumultuous journey over the years, he has experienced and observed the key stages which transitioners will go through. At stage 1 of our transition we may feel the dream, but the resistance is huge, as it means letting go of an old life that we have grown used to. Our heart or our soul may be pulling us in one direction, but our head will be saying something else: Why do you want to leave that job, are you crazy? You’ll never succeed if you take such risks. What will your friends/family think? 

The resistance may last for months or even years. But one day something will come along – a catalyst – which will shake up your whole life. This tends to come once the intention for change is rooted within us, and before we know it everything seems to be turned upside down. All our old assumptions, direction, identity seems lost and we no longer know what or who to rely on. We are scared, uncertain, fearful. Perhaps at this stage we will experience what is termed a Dark Night of the Soul. I had never heard this term before last week but I recognised it straight away – that night of utter loss and despair, where you appear to be left at sea without a paddle, and in the worst possible storm too. It is indeed a frightening place to be.

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But such moments are an indicator that a profound change is taking place, that goes beyond mere career or lifestyle progression. For me, this signalled the real start of the transition, because it was in grieving for and letting go of all that I had been holding on to that I could truly surrender to the unknown. And the unknown, once we’ve shed these old habits and anxieties and fears, is actually a place of lightness and learning. Each day brings a new lesson, or an unexpected moment of clarity and assurance. The journey becomes the important and vital factor, not the destination.

And so when I think about my birthday I am reminded of this journey that I have taken, and how much I have learned along the way. I also think of all my teachers in the last year – and I’m not talking about academic ones. Healers, writers, artists, fellow transitioners, friends, acquaintances, even strangers – so many have touched me in the last year in unimaginable ways, and in ways that would not have been possible a year ago when my heart and spirit remained locked and my mind and body resistant to change. Indeed, as I mark being a year older, a year wiser, I have a lot to be grateful for.

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