therapy journey

My journey to better mental & spiritual health

Tag: energy

Spiritual Structures. Energy. Earth

Wednesday 5th November 2014

The San Francisco Bay Area, where I currently reside, is said to express different manifestations of the Earth’s soul. The unique geology and seismology of this place invokes a spiritual connection. Once, all the continents were one, and then Earth’s consciousness divided the form the familiar planet we know today. If we were somehow able subtly to decipher what each continent is doing and giving, we can understand what expression of the Earth’s soul is taking place. The session I attended sought to discover and engage Earth soul’s life-flow, her expression in different landscapes and how it is reflected in each of us. Taking as our end place the sacred land around St. Mary’s Cathedral, the group stimulated personal healing and development, and contributed our responsibility to bringing balance to the land and the world.

Andrej, the group’s leader, said a possible way of understanding what expression of soul is manifesting is by using the chakra system. Different parts of the city (and the earth) correspond to different chakras. Not all places on earth have a planetary function but the Bay Area does. This area acts like engine chugging away in the background – a combination of the reproduction of each cell mingled with consciousness. The place is responsible for the Earth renewing herself an evolving being, apparently. That’s why this area is so diverse, it’s reflected in the culture and the innovation. Most of these innovations, being technological in nature, aren’t in sync with the spirit of the planet and misrepresent her authentic expression, but we are still learning and always expressing.

I love the Earth, I really do. I loved standing in Jefferson Square Park, tittering at a drunk woman who looked like Marla Singer in a ‘thrift store bridesmaid dress, that someone loved intensely for one day, and then tossed’. She was incredibly drunk and inadvertently funny. She picked up rubbish and gave us a running commentary of how she came to wake up in an umbrella in the park. Then there was an old guy who after parking his car made a special effort to come over to us meditators to tell us to get a life. Then there was the fat guy in the superhero outfit who lost his skateboard under Andrej’s car. There were the two young guys making eyes at me while I had turned around to face them and stepped into my soul. I couldn’t help smiling manically at them.

I felt the breath of the universe. I felt it in two specific places within my body. The first place is in my cervix, where I sometimes feel a physical pain. I think it signifies a misalignment between the earth’s purpose for me and my earthly concerns. But it could be my cysts, polyps, bad cells and copper coil. It is a reminder of the cosmic connections of cycles, tides and zodiacs. The second place I feel the earth’s beat is in the soles of my feet. Now I connect with something I learned at a body language session months ago: keep your feet on the ground in order to remain in the moment. (‘Apparently we take in 30% more information with our feet squarely on the ground compared with legs crossed.’)

We walked over to the grounds of the beautiful cathedral and I felt the Earth being happy and receptive. It wasn’t a clear reading as I was put off by the strong energy I felt from people crossing my energy field and driving across the little car park, but she felt calm, settled and welcoming. For me there was no conflict in this place, though others in the group told a different, far more conflict-ridden story.

I loved feeling the Earth’s spirit and knowing she was happy to have me here in her sacred land of San Francisco. I’ve quietly felt since I came here that it’s meant to be. The spiritual shift that I underwent before coming here was filled with trauma. Things fell apart so that they could be put together in a better way. My relationship with J came to a dramatic and irreconcilable end. I had no home, nowhere to go except back with my mother for the first time in twelve years. This, I believe was one of the signs that a spiritual transformation was about to take place. One of the keys to making it through a spiritual transformation is having faith in your understanding of why the chaos had to occur — and get past it to a better state of being. Many people get lost in the chaos and feel that their life is falling apart. Many give up and don’t see the spiritual journey through, and that is their biggest mistake. Not once have I ever wanted my ‘old life’ back for more than five seconds.

Many believe that the same thing happens on a geological level. As our planet undergoes a spiritual shift, there will be physical manifestations that accompany it. The vibration of the planet is rising as more and more people undergo spiritual awakenings. As a result, the energy on the planet is shifting and that is leading to changes that may feel chaotic and destructive, such as the earthquakes in this area. There is nothing to fear. Ever.

mono no aware

I am filled with gratitude for the love that I am here to create.

Monday 3rd November 2014

On the same day I attended TJ Woodward’s Authenticity Group, I went to a meditation and conversation group run by Claudia on trusting your intuition in order to improve your outcomes. I have written about my previous block in this area. In contrast, the new me has promised to trust myself. There were long stretches in my life when I truly believed I was less than human. I heard so many positive messages around me and I didn’t miss out on the one about trusting yourself, but I thought it didn’t apply to me because I was ‘different’, a cosmic mistake somehow. I sought direction and validation from other sources, everywhere but within.

I feel very relaxed when I attend these groups. Even though typically I don’t know anyone else there, because I am trying a lot of things for the first time, I feel more filled with confidence than if I were alone. I speak, I share, and I really get in touch with my deep spiritual self. I receive great responses from people which make both my ego and my soul sing. I connect. I write down avowals like ‘I so want to be true to myself’ and ‘I so want to leave behind the spiritually vacuous’.

In this Intuition group, we sat on a comfy sofa in a homely environment. I was 45 minutes late because I had overslept and so was late for my lift, but even so I felt instantly welcomed. Claudia speaks so fluently and with deep conviction. She said that we are God and we are created in his image. The body is part of who we are but we are so much more than that. It allows the God within us to exist on this plane. As the only vehicle we have, the first gift back to God is to give our body temples our ultimate love. She gives us the gift of life so we give her the gift of health. Today I promised to look after my body.

The guided meditation was beautiful and peaceful. To trust our intuitions and call into being greater things, we seek oneness with our higher selves. Of course, without negative emotions we wouldn’t have access to the doorway that leads to oneness. Without ego we would not exist. But when seeking the God within us, the way is silence. It’s a straight and very simple line between me and God. We love and respect our ego but we sometimes we turn it down, tune it out and listen to the higher self. Organised religion is created by man and isn’t pure. In fact it’s pretty filthy and most them are as far removed from spirituality as it’s possible to be.

Claudia calls the meditative state one of being in-between. I now see the benefits in and of itself. Three minutes every day is enough, though one member of the group meditates for three to four hours each day. When you practise, Claudia reckons, what comes will be greater than our imaginations. I believe this. Trust, faith and belief are what comes. Don’t let doubt creep in. One technique she used was visualising white light flowing into the crown chakra or through the third eye. It’s very powerful imagery that helps when entering the in-between state.

This is just so beautiful, isn’t it? Living a life of giving to receive automatically. Being a conduit for whatever energy is waiting to be expressed. I felt it when I meditated there. This was a day that I realised how powerful energy is. I knew for the first time that I am made from the same spirit as the universe.

We were created in the image of God to thrive, not just survive. The reality of making a living is illusory and the result of indoctrination. We are all already hypnotised. We multitask by driving, talking on the phone, listening to the radio and drinking coffee all at the same time. The unconscious does all the work! Harmony comes when the lower and higher selves work together.  Ask your higher self whether something is real or not and you will know.

During one of the meditations Claudia used a well-known NLP technique (called anchoring or the power button as I like to say) in which we learn to associate a happy memory with bodily sensations of happiness. Coming back to the memory using the accompanying bodily trigger creates a neural pathway which supposedly allows us to relive the happy time. It’s never really worked for me, but one thing at a time.

The experience was wonderful. It is lovely to speak openly, to meditate together, to learn so much, to feel connected and to meet others. I feel very calm after these events. I know I have used my energy to improve my entire life.

always the sun

Authenticity, energy, abundance, the universe.

Saturday 1st November 2014

Today was all about energy. I learned something very special today, that energy is real and I am very susceptible to it. I have been given a gift, like every sentient being, that means I am a conduit that can sense the energy of others. I gave even more than I received today which has been extremely tiring and fulfilling. Straight after the experience I’m about to describe took place, I returned home and fell asleep making me late for my next appointment. I’m new to energy exchange and I think that because my receptiveness is so high – and I am so keen to give of myself – I end up wearing myself out. This is probably why being in amongst big crowds is my worst nightmare. They take so much from me.

TJ Woodward’s Authenticity Group offers sharing, support, guidance and the opportunity to transform your life as part of a nurturing spiritual community. The group is part of the same program as Awakened Living. I am part of that group and my contribution was one that only I could make. We started by meditating which is simply to recognise the oneness that exists in the universe and our inner selves. I acted a conduit for the universal. It felt amazing. I opened up after that in ways I wouldn’t have thought possible when I was plagued by lack of confidence and depression. I talked from my heart about recognising the resources within me, loving the abundance that surrounds me, trusting what I feel, doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing, connecting with energy, and feeling the light. I am free and true. I am calm and centred.

We are not here to be healed. We are already perfect and whole. We paired up and thought of a question that our partner would ask us again and again. My partner had some revelations about what it means to have it all, and that letting go of many things is part of this process. My question was how I can be at one with the universe – something that I am beginning to feel as of today, but have struggled with. The answers if they are answers cannot be put into words. They are a feeling to be nurtured. Trust and radiance.

During another meditation I felt again as if I was not only channelling the divine but it was magnified fivefold by the other participants. There was time to think on what we wanted to share next and TJ knew that two minutes in I had mine. He turned straight to me as soon as I opened my eyes and there it was, this revelation about energy – he had felt it. From that we decided to use the Tibetan practice of Tonglen, giving and receiving to centre in the spiritual self. Usually with conventional meditation we are encouraged to breath in love and light, and breathe out fear and anxiety, but with the Tonglen practice we use our energy altruistically, giving focussed relief to somebody in need. Someone who was going through pain sat in the centre and for three minutes we channelled to her. I gave her as much of my energy as I could, just giving and giving. At the end of it I knew that the light had shone into her soul and I would be pleased to know if it has.

It’s the ego that clouds us all and makes us experience sadness, fear, doubt and regret which are not part of the natural order. It’s the stories we choose to believe that makes it so. Connecting to our inner selves, that heartbeat that is part of the very essence of the universe, is such an incredible experience when you know it is there. With this knowledge I can overcome any challenges in my life. With the law of attraction I can call into being only that which is right for me. I have lived blindfolded for many years, paralysed by pain and fear that I mistakenly thought were real. I know this is not my purpose and I am capable of greatness just be virtue of realising what I already am, and forever have been.

It’s hard though, as doubt, fear and emotional pain are part of what it means to be human. Without these tangible emotions we would have no beauty, love and happiness. The domineering mind wants to shout ‘But this is all claptrap!’ ‘This is just a phase, a moment, like the depression was!’ I am doing my best to silence the doubt and give in to abundance which means sharing, giving, forgiving, receiving, trusting, listening, accepting, loving, appreciating. Doubt is not part of my purpose here. Repeat to fade.

forget

Trust in love.

I try not to write about future plans because it sounds smug and I’d feel silly if I didn’t follow through with something I said I would in public. However, there is something I have planned that will hopefully step the journey up the next level in embracing body, mind and spirit. In an effort to a) tone up my weak frame and b) shake off this bad mood that has been hovering over me like a personal rain cloud, I have enrolled for five weekly zumba classes beginning this week.

I would like to be active as this is something that’s truly missing from my life at the minute. I’m not the sort of person that makes time for exercise – even just yoga or a few breathing exercies – in the context of their day to day life. I need instruction, and a time and place to do the activity, with other people, and having parted with cash for the privelege. The best way for me to start the arduous uphill struggle of physical activity is by doing my research, scheduling what I’ve found into my diary, psyching myself up in preparation, then hopefully following through and finding it to be actually not that bad.

The past couple of weeks I have been suffering from low energy levels and a generally depressed mood. I have let this mood seep out of every pore, emitting its foulness like putrefying meat, poisoning everyone around me. I feel so sorry for the damage that I’ve done, and rotten that I’ve been forgiven and met with love when I don’t deserve to be.

I’m not just beating myself up about it. I genuinely have behaved atrociously for a week and I am aware of doing it. I have read all the books about loving yourself, accepting yourself, developing self-esteem and enjoying the beauty of life here and now. They don’t help when your mind wants to be bad and blow up over nothing. This is going to take years of psychotherapy to keep at bay for good. The problems I have won’t disappear overnight no matter how hard I will myself to feel differently, think differently, behave differently. The books say that you can – that’s it’s all a matter of choosing which thoughts to have, and to work with the positive ones only and discard the negative. But the power of neurosis in the mind is deep and unrelenting. “If you let it!” You may say. Without the tools and the ability to use them, changing oneself is beyond impossible. It simply takes more than you’ve got.

So I see once again that I haven’t got it made, not one little bit. It remains a persistent struggle with so many reminders that, no, we’re not nearly there yet.

The time will soon come for me to leave the cold, grey, perpetually depressing country where I currently live, for a few months in the sun with my own projects to do with J. I promise always to try to be better, to remember that love is all, to be gentle and kind always, and to recognise the symptoms of my bad behaviour before it erupts. It’s too late if I’ve already flown into a rage or have made hurtful comments. It’s too late if I’ve given cause for doubt in someone else’s mind. It’s too late if I am loathing myself for the messed up way I am thinking. It’s too late if my neurotic thoughts have got such a hold over me that I’ve already justified to myself that it’s acceptable to kick off right now. I have to get better at knowing myself. I have to trust that I can “grow”, not change, as J reminded me when I was in tears terrified that I can’t or won’t change. Trust in love.

Love is the ultimate reality. It is the only. The all.

There is only one reason to do anything: as a statement to the universe of Who You Are. This is a powerful idea and underlines the importance of personal responsibility, the duty to be authentic, owning our own creations, both collectively and individually. Events are created by man’s collective consciousness. All thought is creative. Emotion is the power that attracts. It is energy in motion. Move energy and create effect. Move enough energy and create matter. Thought is pure energy, it never ever dies. A thought is forever.

The power of thought is simply huge, infinite. There are no victims, no villains. We create all that we say we detest, and having created it, we have chosen it. This has a serious upshot for anyone, like me, seeking to change their life. As long as we harbour the notion that someone or something else is causing our distress, we disempower ourselves to change anything. So, I understand and accept that my prior negative states were chosen by myself. I seek change not because one thing is right and another is wrong, but because my negative state no longer makes an accurate statement about who I am.

The Laws (of the Universe!) are as follows:

1) Thought is creative
2) Fear attracts like energy
3) Love is all there is


Reading about magnificent cosmic ideas almost makes me wish I was into mind-altering drugs so I could enter into beautiful philosophies fully. It’s all very well reading and writing about God/Love but the challenge is to make it stick, to make the ideas contained within this book (Conversations With God by Walsch) more than flavour of the month. I’d like to bear out the messages that I am reading about with every fibre of my being, for them to become automatic and ingrained in time. I do believe these things. I do want to believe that love is the only ultimate reality. I am going through a shift, and like all changes will take time and commitment, that’s all.

This book is not at all wishy-washy and in fact contains some of the most logical, clear arguments that I’ve encountered in a book. The conversation style of pertinent question and astute answer is incredibly well put together. I would urge anyone looking for the smallest iota of spiritual guidance, who is feeling lost, alone, bereft, depressed or unwell to pick up this book and just start reading.

Sometimes in my own life I have an impulse to shut down, to dismantle and wait it out until I am better rested or in a better mood. I put it down to exhaustion but how real are tiredness and grumpiness? It’s all in my mind. Also there are still other times when I behave in a way that doesn’t show who I want to be and what I am. For example I might take half an hour away from my desk at work to lie on the toilet cubicle floor wrapped in my coat. This is less than authentic behaviour, but I do it because at that moment I am tired, cold, bored and craving the most basic comfort. This is a clear sign to me that my destiny lies elsewhere, in a mental and physical space where I do not feel like shutting down. Allow each soul to walk its path.

Eating right for my type. B positive.

I’ve tried other things to regulate my energy levels, including “eating right for my type”. This is an idea originally propounded by Dr. Peter D’Adamo in his book ‘Eat Right For Your Type’. We all belong to one of 4 blood groups and it is often overlooked that different types benefit from different foods. And of course, what’s healthy and energy-giving for one group may be toxic for another. I heard about this idea a few months ago, it was told to me by a type O who had been following it all her adult life. I was sceptical but intrigued and it’s taken me this long to give it a go myself. I thought that the journey would be the perfect time to try it out.

I am type B. The key foods I must avoid “like poison” are chicken, tomato, olives, wheat, corn, buckwheat and rye. There are others to avoid too, including all pork products, seafood, lentils, most nuts and all seeds, couscous, avocado, coconut, rhubarb, cinnamon, all oil except olive oil, black pepper and any carbonated drinks. Which is a shame! I’ve always been an omnivore and taken pleasure in all food. I am not prone to overeating, but I revel in the joy of tastes, smells, sights of food and I love to cook.

Type B is in the middle of types A and O and is therefore more fluid with the ability to move up or down the spectrum. Us Bs straddle the animal and vegetable kingdoms, and are the only type that can manage any kind of dairy (particularly low fat). We have fewer risk factors for disease, but greater susceptibility for slow-growing lingering viruses.

Bs aren’t the best at handling stress, and often overreact when feeling out of balance. Bs suffer from difficulty recovering from stressful situations, brain fog during the day, disrupted sleep, increased risk from depression, and suppressed immune function.

I’ve been following the eating regime for around two weeks now (I’ll call it diet from now on, though this has weightloss connotations). What I hope to gain out of it is improvements in digestive function, resistance to stress, overall energy and mental clarity. It actually hasn’t been particularly difficult, although there has been an almighty shift in what I do eat. Cutting out wheat and gluten has been the trickiest because it’s in so much of what’s tasty and convenient – sandwiches, pizza, pasta, noodles, biscuits, baked treats! Tomato also as it’s in so many sauces, though fresh tomatoes for instance in a salad are almost OK as they are mostly water. It’s a challenge not being able to eat whatever foods I feel like – and instead buying from specialist sections and reading ingredient lists thoroughly. But I have felt great about doing it as I know it’s good for me and contributes to my overall mental and physical wellbeing.

Over the past fortnight I have found a vast improvement in my mindset, with overall less stress and fewer confused or circular thoughts. With the exception of yesterday when I felt very tired for reasons unknown, I have been experiencing good energy levels and have actually been going to bed later than normal. I haven’t felt the need for my bed as soon as I finish work, and actually have had various activities straight after work every evening for at least four weeks now. I think this is a great step forwards, and intend to continue with the blood group diet for as long as seems practicable.

Breath, chakras, energy, NLP.

Something I was reading about in ‘Change Your Life With NLP’ really made me think. It’s such a simple idea, about breath. “Our energy comes from our breath. What’s the difference between someone who is alive and someone who has just died? The person who has just died will no longer be breathing. Breath carries life and energy through the body.”

I know that I don’t utilise the fullness of my lungs and find that I tend to take relatively fast, shallow breaths so I dread to think what this is doing to my energy flow. Quite often when I pause I realise I’m holding my breath! My heart beats fast normally too, like a startled fieldmouse. I’ve only very recently been introduced to the breathing techniques of meditation and it makes a lot of sense to me. Just listening to your breath, being aware of it and deepening it, can bring a certain peace. It’s also a part of the mindfulness teaching as we learn to slow down and take in all that is around us and within us, without judgment.

A technique I read about (but haven’t tried yet) is to bring your attention to the sensation of breathing, focussing the mind on a spot where breathing is easy to notice. This could be the chest, the abdomen, the nose, the belly etc. You are then meant to notice how that spot feels as the breath is drawn in, fills the lungs, then is expelled slowly. The mind will wander, more so at first. If it wanders, bring it back each time and eventually it will listen to you. Then you focus on other areas of the body and relax any tightness as you go there with your mind.

It’s easy to overlook, but the breath is always there though we choose not to hear and feel it with our conscious minds. What a wonderful thing it is.

Now, while not strictly part of NLP teaching, there is a link between energy, chakras (our seven energy centres) and NLP. Taking control of our energy gives us an opportunity to take control of our mood. The chakras are like valves that open or close depend on how we choose to respond to situations in life. The chakras are aspects of consciousness, and are as follows: crown, brow, throat, heart, solar plexus/power, sexual and root. I would like to explore this in more detail in the future.

Energy is therefore something that can be focussed, and like our thoughts, can be channelled into whatever we choose to turn our attentions to. I struggle with this slightly, as in a general sense this may be true, but there are so many other mysterious physiological aspects that may contribute to one’s energy levels, despite best (and positive) intentions.

I say this because yesterday after having had a very busy and tiring day… I was tired! I had trouble communicating and didn’t really want to. Even watching TV with my boyfriend seemed like too much of a chore, too much brain processing power which I didn’t feel I had available. Times like this it’s possible to slip into a bad mood or get snappy, but the point is, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that and I must stop berating myself over stuff like that. I cut the day short and had an early night which is sometimes all you need to do.

EFT research

I can’t say I’m not disappointed. My counsellor D didn’t show up for this evening’s session. I texted her to confirm I had arrived but she had emailed me (only one hour before) which isn’t helpful as I don’t have a smart phone or email access at work.

However I did lots of research while I was at work mainly on Emotional Freedom Techniques, a practice introduced by Gary Craig which he describes as acupuncture without the needles. Craig was a student of Roger Callahan, who developed Though Field Therapy in the 1980s, and the two are closely linked.

EFT as it is known can be used to for emotional wellbeing rather than to treat physical ailments as acupuncture, acupressure, etc often focus on. It borrow from these ancient processes the belief in “meridians” which are the energy circuits flowing that flow through your body.

EFT uses a tapping technique around the base of these meridians to effect the energy already within the body, while focusing on a particular issue or subject.

I didn’t want to be convinced by it, and I did a lot of reading on the counter-arguments such as this one  (written 14 years ago but still pertinent) but something made me want to try it. Perhaps it’s just very persuasively written. There is something intuitively correct about a belief in energy flowing through the body. It’s not as if I have ever even thought about it before today, but the idea just seems like a jigsaw falling into place. It’s hard for someone unscientific like me to dispute that our bodies do have an electrical nature to them. We experience static electricity as it whizzes though our body, and electricity transmits electrical impulses to our brain through our nerves.

I would like to believe that there’s a dimension to our own behaviour and thoughts that we’re not entirely aware of, but that exerts its control over us in both subtle and powerful ways. Perhaps that goes some way to explaining the phenomenon of moods – why we can feel so different from minute to minute and day to day. Could it be partly due to our energy being blocked? Complex physiological beasts that we are, and with spiritual sides that us westerners often aren’t even aware of.

The Discovery Statement of EFT is this:

The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system

Definitely sounds like it’s worth a try, and I like the fact that after being shown how to do it (or even watching videos online) you can do it yourself at home any time you like without having to visit a practitioner.