My NDE

NDE – stands for near death experience. We’ve all heard about them, when you sort of die but don’t and then come back…..

On Thanksgiving morning, Oct. 10th this year, I was struggling with myself. As I often do, I decided to listen to one of those inspirational spiritual teachers. This time it was Dolores Cannon. She specializes in hypnotherapy and past life work. Many of her clients have shared their near death experiences with her. On Thanksgiving morning I listened to a talk she had given about these experiences. Suddenly I realized I had one of those experiences when I was around 2 years old!

I was sexually abused by my father from around 2 until my mid teens or so. My memories of this started returning 10 years ago when I was 48. Through the ensuing years I have been getting more and more bits and pieces. Some of these fragments are actually from the spirit world, which is where I would hang out. When humans are in a living nightmare, we disassociate, which is how we survive, and we also can develop amnesia.

So there I am, my spirit self, hanging out with my guides, angels…..and I am really really angry. I am stamping my foot and saying, “That’s it, I’m done with this human journey and I’m not going back to my body”! Whatever spirit beings were with me said, “Yes, we hear you and of course you have a choice, but you did sign up for this and there is purpose to your life here, you do have work to do”. Then I reluctantly agreed to do my duty….but I was mad about it.
I have been telling this story for some years now in a funny way, but this Thanksgiving morning was different. This is now not a funny story but, for me heart breaking. I now remember I so badly wanted to die and I could feel and see the light and I so badly wanted to go there, such aching longing in my body….. but then my guides stopped me. Of course I was allowed to go on, but then I would not be completing my mission for this life. I hated them for stopping me but I knew they were right….and then I hated myself for forcing myself to turn around.  It felt like an impossible position, either way I would be miserable.  If I did die then I would not have done what I was here to do and after all, before I was born, I had agreed to this life with the difficulties. We are so idealistic when we’re in spirit form, however, as so often happens, when reality hits we want to change our mind…. !

Now it is 2 1/2 weeks after my ‘remembering’. It’s a lot to integrate but in some ways life has been easier and my life makes more sense to me, I don’t feel like such a “crazy person”! I am less scared of dying, I feel more connected to the spirit world and I am not taking this life so seriously, and I have more compassion for myself. My whole life I have been stuck in my dilemma of being obedient to the script my higher self set up, but my human self has been resistant and angry. Underneath my anger has been deep deep heart break and longing,  and endless searching for the light….and looking in all the wrong places…anything to take away my raw aching, desperately looking for relief.

From a human perspective, the human journey doesn’t make sense, in fact it can feel like a lot of senseless cruelty. However, from the spirit side, there is a method to the madness…..and.. I am not done feeling sad and mad!img_0003

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Trust Yourself-advice for new mums

The best advice I can give a new mum is to trust herself. Of course it is important to be educated and informed, but then you need to “trust yourself”. By this I mean to trust your deep self, the part of you that is connected, not our fear ridden self. A mother’s instincts are very powerful, we actually do know when something isn’t right with our child. It is important to heed that voice, even when others are dismissive-even medical professionals.  As a La Leche League leader I used to run parenting groups and we used to say to our mothers, “You are the expert on your child”.
Of course we are scared and worried and we all want to be the best possible parent we can be….and there is such an overwhelming amount of information out there. Also we feel exhausted and overwhelmed. As I said, being informed is hugely important, and it is equally as important to have a loving relationship with yourself.

Yes, well those are fine words I have written, but the reality can be very different!

I had six children. When I had my third I actually felt like I knew what I was doing. I had two girls and a boy so I had experienced both genders….
When I had my fourth I then began to realise that this parenting business was not as straightforward as I thought. I was (and still am) very organised and practical, and I don’t need a lot of sleep or food….all pluses!  However, I actually didn’t have a good relationship with myself, meaning a gentle loving one. Again these traits can get you through the early years quite successfully. However, as my children became older and less “cute and cuddly” I started to run into problems. I would get hurt feelings and I had bad boundaries, I went between collapsing them to being rigid. When I had teenagers life became more and more unmanageable. To add to my chaotic world,  I let the boyfriends of my two eldest daughters move in…and then one of them had a friend that also needed a home…..by this time we also had twice as many rescue animals.

Somehow we survived, and now they are all doing well. However, we went through a lot of trauma…their father took his life, memories of sexual abuse from their grandfather, my father showed up…..and we all went into therapy

and now we are all practising being in gentle loving relationships….inside and out!

It truly is amazing how resilient us humans can be, and my family would not be as awesome as we are had we not gone through what we have. I wish it was different for us humans but it seems as if we all have to go through outer “battles” that are also inner battles…..Our fairy tales, our myths, Lord of the Rings and Star War sagas all symbolically tell these stories. Along the way we do experience tragedy……and we learn to embrace our sadness and move on with hope and faith…..

Sounds hopeful doesn’t it….? Anyway, this is the template but as a mum I am still trying to forgive myself and underneath that I am still struggling to accept the violence that humanity inflicts and that my family became a part of. Abuse on one level or another is rampant on our planet and I am not okay with it.
What helps me is to keep sharing and speaking…..which are very big steps.
I still feel protective of my parents…..

To sum up, in becoming parents ourselves, sooner or later we encounter our own  childhood and whatever unfinished business we have there.

We need to be gentle and compassionate as we move down that road.

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ME ME ME!!!

Lately I have been feeling a bit lost, rudderless without a cause…..I need a mission…

Lately I have been learning to sit with my feelings.

Today when I was sitting ranting and raving at God and myself, I suddenly realised that I could be my mission! This is not entirely new, I know I am supposed to honour and love myself but today this came to me at a much deeper level. On the heels of that came other feelings, that this would be boring and selfish……..and it also felt delicious, gentle and freeing. Oh my goodness, does this mean that I matter and I am worthy? I recognise that all my life I have been pushing myself away and therefore left myself starved for love from myself! 

On a side note here, initially I thought I would insert a photo of myself but then I felt confused….too big a step….and that’s ok too!!

Scared

I AM SCARED…
There I’ve said it, I’ve never actually allowed myself to really feel how scared I am with life. I have even been afraid to FEEL how scared I actually am! I understand that as a child it wasn’t safe for me to have my feelings but that was a very long time ago now.
I find that this strange inner landscape we all carry, in one way or another, is… very strange!
By being “strong and brave” and not admitting my fear I have actually created a very fierce life for myself. I run around taking on difficult experiences, with very little thought as to how necessary or beneficial it really is. I base my decision on some “expert”, assuming they know what is right for me and off I go on another wild ride!
I realise that I am also falling into the trap of “linear thinking”- extreme logic, but our inner landscape doesn’t work like that. At our core we are wise multi-dimensional beings, and the way through can look messy and highly unorthodox from the outside.
Linear-logical thinking is black and white, good and bad, healthy versus unhealthy and I am broken and I need to be fixed….The truth is our human self has very little information in the areas of really living in our magnificent self. We access that information when we are quiet, still, gentle….moving slowly in our own rhythm.
Obviously we need to carry on with our daily living as a human, but we also need to carry our deep mysterious inside self too. Our inner journey is truly as long and adventurous as our outer…..img_0013

Trauma Brakes

img_0185I have been going over old notes and readings from workshops I’ve done in the past.

I love compiling readings with my own thoughts and experiences, and “mistakes”.  I know there aren’t any “mistakes” in life but still I could have avoided so much pain and saved so much money if I would have listened more to my body instead of overly respecting and adoring my teachers! The problem was that I didn’t know that I was a survivor of childhood trauma (extreme would probably be more correct but I simply cannot honestly use that word, I have heard many stories that were worse and that I would call extreme).

Actually I really didn’t know what I was except for the stories I used to describe my very adventurous and interesting life; living in a commune in the south of France, Waldorf School in England plus elementary schools in Sweden and the US, spending time in an ashram in Vancouver BC…and this was all before I became an adult! Also my father worked for MI5 during the Cold War and helped dissidents in Russia get their writings to the west, and one of his best friends was one of the only people to escape from Aushwitz and alerted the west to what Hitler was really doing (he was a key witness in the Nuremberg Trials). My father also worked with the Tibetan Government in exile, as a translator. I have a photo of him alone with the Dalai Lama.

My mother was a free spirited artist and our home really became a commune of sorts for artists and “lost” teenagers….

I have been proud of these stories and my unusual avant garde homelife. The fact that I was terrified of my father and workshipped him seemed normal. I mean he was a humanitarian and a philanthropist.

Anway I digress, what I really wanted to write about here is how destructive and retraumatising therapy can be unless the therapist understands the necessity of not retraumatising the client. It is most important that the client be “in their body” and not disassociated and when that happens (and it will) the client must be supported to get reconnected, to feel what she’s feeling, to see the room, the objects in the room, drink some water….many ways to get back to present time. There are no wins when we’re dissasociated, only familiar feelings of survival without safety and this means nothing new is happening. In fact too much of this and we end up worse than before we started therapy.

There are some amazing therapists and doctors who do understand this:  Gabor Mate, Bessel Van Der Kolk, Pat Ogden, Peter Levine, Richard Swartz….Some of their teachings  are Somatic Experiencing, Sensorimotor  Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems Model, and now I have just heard about Hakomi.

There is more and more awareness with the science to back it up, that trauma is widespread and causes more damage and death than wars and diseases like cancer. However, with increased education and awareness comes hope for a more loving and gentle world.

 

 

Turning 58

All my life I have been pushing and pushing; to be seen, heard, understood and recognised….now for the first time I seem to be enough, as I am. Of course, I am turning 58 in a month so there is a huge difference between being older and younger. I am close to all my children so I hear and feel their dreams and I am also happy to be the age I am. Yes I do have sadness, a lot of sadness, and I am learning to allow that and to be ok with that. I have done the best I could and I am learning to let go of my dreams. There is a part of me that still doesn’t feel heard and seen but I realise that the more I push myself to be seen and heard, then the more elusive it feels, like trying to hold water with your hands….chasing dreams….

and this is because the one that needs to hear and see me the most is myself!

It’s a bit like a cat chasing it’s tail in that I have been chasing and chasing, trying to catch myself but if I stand still then I meet myself….

Delicious and startling, so many me’s that I haven’t met…!cropped-mwjqu2qx2jg-e1428732966202

 

Graduation!!!

img_0313I want to share my success with you and this is a big step because, oh my goodness, this may be premature, but actually I know deep down it is not.

So here it is: I have managed to leave my therapist and the two couples’ groups I have been attending  and I have done so gracefully and lovingly! I feel very proud, relieved, excited and scared but I also know I am ready.  I am ready now to “sing my own song”.

Another big step I have been taking is that my husband and I have started exploring the great outdoors in our new old motorhome, so I am letting my inner gypsy out! So long ago when I was little and living in England, I would see the colourful gypsy caravans travelling the countryside. I had a dream to do that, with my children. Eventually I had the children and even an old school bus to camperise, but it was not to be.

It is an interesting journey being in therapy, so necessary and yet, like most things, there comes a time when what helped so much becomes a crutch….and then we are ready to walk alone, although in truth we are never alone!