Sunday Morning Surrender to Malevolence Among Other Forces

I feel so very tired…so very very tired. In Vegas with my father feeling grief hard core. This morning I awoke more adapted to it. The past few days have been doozies. Day one full of struggle for all of the feelings rising up. Yesterday, I found surrender and acceptance again and allowed grief to exist in this body, not struggling with the sorrow, the anger, the loss, the disbelief. Letting it all express.

Father and I went to see “Fighting with my Family” and tears fell down my cheeks during this light hearted movie about making a dream come true because I wanted to feel that actualization too. Not gonna pretend to be on a mountain top. Having honed therapeutic and mindfulness skills to manage my inner ecosystem and my heart purifying more with each passing day does not take away the Ego’s desire for worldly fulfillment. I am not in this life to transcend Ego anyway. I am only here to understand it and the structure of the psyche. What are you here to do and to be? We each have our path…

My mind travels into the collective consciousness of this country…the politics of hate spreading and awareness awakening just as strong. Love facing hate. Awareness facing ignorance. The hate group disguised in politics and religion infiltrating Seattle, hurting LBGTQIA people. I feel so much rage toward hate groups. I am so fucking tired of ignorant bully assholes ruling the world in every way. I am so tired of love, peace, and harmony being treated like a minority and being seen as some big dream when it’s so palpable. It’s like the narcissistic making his partner feel crazy for perceiving diplomacy, awareness, peace, and love as unrealistic huge visions.

This is just how I feel. I am sick of it. I don’t feel offended. I don’t feel less-than because of their stupid mentalities. I feel rage that they ruin life for so many people including their own lives. I understand what breeds hatred in our systemic mess that goes back thousands of years. The understanding does not dismiss the rage. They go side by side. I know I am in a stage of growth where I am learning to feel empowered so I may move beyond empowerment. I am nowhere near the stage Martin Luther King was able to channel and use to make change. I work each day to purify my heart…

I keep thinking about the movie we saw yesterday. About how much I enjoyed the tiny glam world of wrestling. The main character says she liked to wrestle because it’s an escape from life. I understand that. That movie was an escape from grief. We all need escape sometimes. Life is hard. Life is wretched. Tragedy is real. People are treated horribly. I asked my dad the other night if he thought the Universe is benevolent. He said, “it is benevolent and it is also malevolent, ” and he told me the tale of “The Monkey’s Paw”. An old story he’s been sharing for years that he thinks captures the true essence of malevolence in the Universe.

I love that my dad does not resist malevolence and it helps me see how I do resist it. I am one of those types who try to make life all light and love and that’s why I am so reactive to others who do the same and why my mammoth urge for the past decade has been to understand and integrate the shadow. This is my current healing path and why I am dedicated to feeling every feeling, acknowledging tragedy, and not turning the painful side of life into a fabricated exaggeration due to it getting repressed in the shadow and growing horns as a result.

I feel that I am finally accepting malevolence as real. Not the false horned devil version. Real malevolence is a force in nature that courses through our humanity. Nature contains everything and maintains a delicate balance at all times. There is nothing that does not exist in nature and…we are nature. Jung understood this and I feel it was his life-long urge to understand and make peace with polarity. The New Age and religions alike resist malevolence and therefor malevolence grows in the shadow of suppression and turns into a Devil or in the case of the New Age, “darkness” to be battled.

The dialect of Good versus Evil is a fabricated war of our collective Ego suppressing malevolence. We make our myths and the myths make us.

The collective archetype of nature that contains the malevolence is the Trickster, who does not have any judgement, morality, or boundaries and is filled with lustful and reactive urges that range from benevolent to malevolent, containing the entire spectrum of animal feelings without an ounce of discernment or thought. You can connect this force to the reptilian and limbic parts of the brain. Ego is neither bad or good but just the function of being a self aware human. You can connect Ego to the prefrontal cortex.

The healthy Ego, which develops from being raised with love, intelligence, and care, can connect to the Trickster, feel malevolent urges and not act upon them. Maybe the healthy Ego writes, talks, dances, has sex, does ritual, plays an instrument, sings, runs, builds, cooks, paints, or engages in any healthy activity that expresses the wild Trickster’s feelings and urges because the healthy Ego feels loved and cared for and hence, loves and cares for self and others.

The unhealthy Ego battles with the world, battles with addiction, battles with others, battles with self, feels isolated, abandoned, repressed, unloved, unseen, inferior and lives in a story of lack. When the unhealthy Ego connects with the Trickster either self destruction results or Ego projects onto a scapegoat in the form of abuse, prejudice, violence, and tyranny.

Malevolence is not the problem. How we interact with malevolence is the problem.

I am accepting this more as I integrate my shadow…

Choice is a huge part of being human. In the tarot, choice is a lesson of the archetype of the Lovers, which is about the inner harmony of polarizing forces that make up being human and made of nature. If you honor the Yin and Yang equally within, the masculine and feminine, feelings and reason, the wild and the civilized, order and chaos, structure and flow, benevolence and malevolence, life and death, then both sides of the polarity are embraced and nothing is resisted. The polarizing forces can merge together to transcend duality and become something new.

This is why it’s so powerful for lovers to polarize each other too. We grow from balancing, harmonizing, and merging polarities. To make the best choices for ourselves and each other we must be balanced within. Transcending polarity is too tall of an order for us as a species at this time, in my opinion. I am not interested in it on a personal level either, although I know it’s the future. Many are already transcending polarity through gender and sexual expression, paving the way, hacking down the old hard-nosed black and white system.

For now, balance and harmony of polarity is my personal goal. This is why I am surrendering so much right now, doing the opposite of the movie, “Fighting with my Family,” where her lesson was to fight fight fight. My current task is to surrender surrender surrender, bringing balance to the Yin force within. Each time I surrender and embrace radical acceptance for what is, I feel more at peace and have more ability to bring love to the present. This is healing the helpless feminine wound within. My strong and balanced feminine archetype is more geared toward Kuan Yin than Joan of Arc.

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Surrender and the Dispersing of the Sand Mandala

I am writing this blog from an airplane on my way to Vegas to visit my dad. This is my first trip with mom on the other side.

I feel heartbreak deeply this morning. I miss her so fucking much. But I don’t have any resistance anymore. I am not resisting heart break and grief. I have surrendered to spirit and in this surrender I feel peace and tenderness.

New feelings emerge inside of surrender. The best I can describe the new feeling is that it’s a daisy growing through concrete in a misty spring rain with sun shooting through. I feel humble and tall, sad and filled with love, peaceful and uncertain.

The marriage of opposite feelings is happening inside of me because of…

Surrender.

What the hell is surrender, anyway?

Surrender is when you reach the same sucky results over and over, live inside the same story in your head over and over, experience loss over and over, mistakes over and over, until you just cannot take it anymore and every cell in your body and every story in your head and every feeling in your heart seems to collapse onto the earth or fall into the sea and raise the white flag. Surrender is not giving up because giving up is a willful act of rebellion. Surrender is enforced upon your will. You fall to your knees. You have nowhere else to go but into surrender as if….

Surrender is a place.

This place of surrender is dark but not dark like horror movie evil or systemic oppression or negative thinking or shame spiral madness…it is dark like the soil where the seed grows to become the flower that feeds the bees. This dark soil of surrender feels safe like a seed would feel nestled comfortably in perfect place even though it cannot see or know what is to come. In surrender you know nothing but you feel taken care of like….

Surrender is a divine being.

This divine being surrender is faceless and voiceless but feels like warm strong arms holding me tightly in a golden embrace. I have no urge to hate, die, cry, fight, or realize anything. It’s not content but it’s not discontent. It’s more like the way a flower petal might feel. Delicate and light in weight.

I don’t feel like the heavy hearted woman longing for what she does not have and worried about never having it. I am not wondering how to achieve my purpose in this world like an athlete training or like a bad person trying to be good. All feels as it should be without effort or reason, the way a securely loved infant might feel. It’s as if…

Surrender is me returned to oneness.

I am the seed of surrender and oneness is the soil. I am without need or want or wrong or right, filled with tender, delicate, peaceful, emptied out love that has no will of her own…as if my will has merged with the will of oneness…the seed merged with the soil….the infant merged with the mother…The Hanged Man in tarot….

This surrendered sense of self wont last. It’s a transpersonal archetype and self aspect brought up from my shadow the way earthworms are brought up and scattered all over the earth after a rain storm.

I have been storming in my shadow all week long. I would say it’s been like an east coast hurricane in my psyche all week long. The hurricane Melissa, feeling insecure, angry, betrayed, abandoned, worried, unsettled, agonizing, attaching, battling and hungering.

But this time…and this may be the very first time….

I did not judge or identify with my shadow. I only gave Melissa permission and love.

I let all of her feelings and thoughts rise and fall the way I would allow a storm to pass through the land I was living in, knowing I could not control it and deciding to not be upset about it. Like when we had the snow storm a few weeks ago…I did not get mad at the snow. I did not judge the shutting down of Seattle or how I was acting. I found beauty in the experience. I went within. I rode it out. I ate too much. I hurt my back trying to exercise off the excess. I let the experience of the snow storm happen in shadow and light just as I allowed my shadow storm to happen this past week.

I have worked on myself many years, plodding away to get to the place where I could allow my shadow to storm while giving her only love and permission to express without her expression causing destruction. Somebody else might be able to achieve this much quicker than me and that’s my hope…but at the same time the practice brings results over time, not right away. Patience and discipline are required and are lessons in and of themselves. We all must begin at the beginning and not worry about the results. It’s hard but after a few months you begin to get the hang of the practice just like you would exercising regularly or going to work every day.

Half of the practice is mindfulness training and very left brained. The other half is allowing the transpersonal to take care of me by asking, doing ritual, and cultivating my relationship with the divine in many different, creative, non-linear, and right brained ways, on a daily basis.

Just like a human relationship, you have to cultivate love and work on yourself to build intimacy with spirit. The more you work on the relationship the more you feel spirit and the more you feel spirit the more you can give your suffering to spirit and palpably feel the divine take your pain away.

Intimacy with spirit has been my most powerful true love relationship in life. Yet without the mindfulness practice giving me space from my wounds, thoughts and feelings, I would not be able to give my suffering to spirit because I would be too attached to my suffering to be able to give it away.

For as much as suffering hurts, when we identify with suffering we get so attached to it that we cant give it away because if we give our suffering away there’s an instinctual fear that we will have nothing left but sheer emptiness. This is what happens for any of us who grow up with trauma and abuse and did not develop healthy egos experiencing secure attachment. This can happen even if you grew up with a healthy ego and secure attachment because life is mysterious and not always equational.

Life is a paradox. I write this line as I listen to the line on my headphones, “it seems the dying are the only ones that really know how to live.”

I feel so different today…

I think of the few years I have left alive. Not too many. Forty or so if I am lucky. Life is so fucking short. I feel the quickness of it. I feel the flash in the pan of being Michelle. I feel the past and all of the suffering I have endured, trauma I have survived, healing I have achieved, art I have made, people I have loved, places I have travelled, mistakes I have made, regrets I hold dear, and dreams that have died. I blow the past away like a sand mandala and start a new one. That’s how today feels…

In surrender, there is no clinging to outcomes. There is no attachment to expectations. There is only the raw truth of your heart asking to be tended to like a tiny seed in the dark soil.

Full Moon Reflection on Identity Versus Essence, Death and Change

The full moon is happening in Virgo this morning, in about an hour. I cannot eat my regular smoothie breakfast. I feel intense. I can only write what is urging itself out of me from within. A feminine wisdom begging to be seen feels like its pressing up against my consciousness and I must give her voice to speak. The earth goddess, Demeter in Greek mythology. The earth goddess whispers in my ear to talk about identity and how important it is to recognize the difference between identity and essence.

Jung focused heavily on the polarity of the psyche that splits off due to the act of identifying. Identifying is saying, “I am this.” I am wounded. I am here to help others. I am ugly. I am driven. I am an artist. I am a mother. I am terrible at math. On and on. How we identify with who we are is what Ego is. Ego is not bad or less then, not minuscule or to be treated like a bad boy or girl the way many spiritual ideologies promote. Ego is our identity and our identity is how we see and label the self.

Shadow is the polar opposite of how we see the self and lives in the unconscious part of the psyche, the part hidden from our awareness. So, if your Ego identifies with being a healer here to help others then your Shadow identifies with being selfish and pleasure seeking. If you identify with being driven and ambitious than your Shadow is lazy and doesn’t care about accomplishment. The reason Shadow exists is because of Ego identifying with only half. Nature is all. Nature is whole. We are nature. If you don’t embrace the whole of who you are, half will go unconscious.

It is important to understand that identification is only a fabrication of the mind. How you see yourself is only a teeny tiny slice of all you are. The harder you cling to your mental identification, the more you push the opposite into the unconscious which becomes your Shadow. Eastern wisdom understands that we are more than this duality of consciousness and taps into the oneness, wholeness, The Tao, Zen, etc. Through detaching from the mind’s way of identifying with life, the essence of who we are can liberate, find peace, and movement. This is one way to go about it.

Jungian work, soul work, shamanic work (all slightly different versions of the same model) polarize the work of transcending the mind all together as Eastern wisdom does by immersing Ego in the polarity of who we are through mental exploration and giving these polarized (or stuck) unconscious parts acceptance and expression to return them to wholeness through Ego’s awareness. Same thing happens through the Eastern wisdom way. You can allow for the fullness of essence to live itself out and not identify too hard with some aspects over others through illuminating all self aspects or through not identifying with any self aspects.

Either way, essence can be free to express and evolve through us and as us to make this world a better place.

I like to use a little bit of both methods. Sometimes I delve into the aspects of self and fully honor and express them. Sometimes I see my mind identifying with self aspects and watch the mind without identifying with any of the identifications. I don’t identify with doing both methods, I just do both methods. This is essence doing its thing.

It’s hard to talk about essence without capturing it like catching a butterfly in a net. We have to have a sense of humor here because I cannot talk about essence without capturing it and limiting its vastness.

Essence is Being without needing to be seen.

But thing is, we humans have this gift and curse. Our self consciousness.

Are other animals conscious of themselves? Maybe. But humans are for sure the most conscious of themselves.

An easy way to understand this is…think about making out with somebody….really visualize this or recall a time….and notice the difference between when you are in the pleasure of making out and how good it feels…and then you suddenly become aware of yourself making out and the pleasure is gone in an instant! Suddenly you are in your head like, “this is weird, why am I putting my tongue in this person’s mouth, I must look ridiculous.” or whatever your mind says that identifies and pulls you out of essence through being conscious of the self.

In every experience of life this is happening. There is the part of you doing the thing and the part of you noticing the thing you are doing. The former is essence and the latter is identity. Essence is free and full and whole and hungry and expressive and always growing, evolving, changing, transforming, birthing, dying, and rebirthing.

Identifying essence is like capturing a butterfly in a net and pinning it behind glass. Identity kills essence to make it last permanently (but essence wins in the end because we all get sick, age, die, the soul moves on but this sentiment is for another blog).

You may say, “I am a doctor” and never allow yourself to become a cook. You may say, “I am monogamous” and never allow yourself to be polyamorous. You may say, “I am not good at art,” and never allow yourself to paint. On and on. Our identifications seal the deal if we cling too hard to them. We should not force essence to change either, that’s not my point. Maybe your essence wants to be with the same person and do the same work your entire life, but maybe not. How much flexibility do you experience as a human soul to allow yourself to change?

I also want to point out that we need identity. I don’t mean to vilify it. I only mean to take the weight off of it. If we did not identify we would live in sheer chaos. Identity is needed to have civilization, families, communities, and a self. Our gift and curse of self consciousness is the root of all identity and we have this quality for a reason. We are meant to be the recorders of life, we are meant to build, we are meant to create and identity is needed to do what essence is here to do. My intention is to only to bring some breathing space to essence. It’s my own transference wanting this.

The Empress archetype connects to my essence going through the Tower archetype…

I realized very recently that the death of my mother has initiated an identity crisis (this crisis being a healthy thing, the Tower and Empress combined). It’s not coincidence that my mom died right during my mid-life crisis time. We all go through the mid-life crisis where our identities developmentally change. My essence is going through an intense inner storm of change. This is why I am looking analytically and keenly into the nature of identity.

Identity is not selling essence. It is selling a temporary model. Like when you buy a new car and it’s what makes sense to you and then five years or so later, you are ready to buy a new car. Identity is only the model of the car but driving is the essence.

I don’t want to claim who I am right now because who I am is changing. I use my mindfulness practice to not identify with my thoughts. I also want to love and release long repressed aspects of Shadow and I am investigating and loving her, setting Melissa free. I look back on my past of mental illness, trauma, abuse, painting, writing. friends, cafes, bars, therapy rooms, colleges, cities, lipstick, healing, crystals, tarot cards, astrology, philosophy, longing for true love, wanting to make it as an artist, establishing the healing work, all of it…and can see it all set up like a sand mandala created over forty-six years that I blow into nothingness in one second.

I am open to allowing my essence to become whatever it is mysteriously urged to become.

The strange thing is that I have no partner, no kids, nothing tying me down to any identity. I have the complete freedom to completely change. A rare experience. I could move to Thailand and live in an ashram or on the beach reading tarot to tourists, for example. I could pack up come the end of my lease and do any job in any location on the planet if an opportunity arose. I am not bound to being a therapist or an artist. I am not bound to a partner or a child. I feel this freedom as a gift inside of me. I am open to drastic and sudden change in my identity. At the same time, I am open to growing and building what I have already established here in Seattle and being rooted. I remove attachment to both sides of the polarity. I feel my mom guiding me.

I end this blog hoping to inspire you to think about your identity and essence. How hard do you identify with who you are? How open are you to change? Who is your shadow?How attached are you to identity over essence or vice versa? Do you fear labels and being captured or do you fear a change in your identity? Does essence need more room to breathe within you? Or does essence need to be captured so it can build something of value in this world? Are you also in a mid-life crisis or recently have you lost a parent, child or partner?

Do you feel change brewing within you?

Being Siddhartha Becoming Buddha

Yesterday I had a powerful and unexpected experience in my psyche. I fell into a deep dark place of suffering I have not experienced in over twenty years. This deep dark suffering was a gripping depression I lived with all through my adolescence and early twenties. During those years I would vacillate between feeling creatively inspired and “on my path” of healing into feeling complete self hatred and betrayed by life, utterly helpless and hopeless and wishing to die on a constant basis. I was at the mercy of these cycles born from trauma mixing with my own inner nature. I was definitely not in control of my psyche.

At the time, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder with a more mellow experience of mania, which they now label bipolar one but back then I think they called it rapid diurnal mania or something like that. I don’t resonate with the DSM diagnostic model for mental illness for myself (if it helps you I am all for it, medication included. I am only sharing my personal experience). I never did resonate with the medical model. Medications never helped me. I was on lithium and other meds for bipolar disorder, along with an antidepressant, an anti-anxiety, a sleeping medication and at one point an anti-psychotic medication for when my psyche had become confused during the worst years of the mental illness. I was on this cocktail of meds for about 10 years. I was in therapy for 10 years. I was hospitalized twice for suicidal ideation. I would consider what I experienced to be severe mental illness.

At age 23, I had a spiritual awakening. I quit my cocktail of meds cold turkey and experienced no side effects. The suicidal ideation was taken away from me as was an eating disorder I could not control. My psyche went through a transformation so fast and mammoth that western medicine and existential thought cannot explain it through their lenses. I don’t want to write about it in this blog but I want to share that after this awakening, I was connected to the transpersonal in a way that was like a child connected to a mother. Undeniable. You cannot say you did not come out of your mother’s body to get into this world and that she is not real. With the same felt experience, I was reconnected to the transpersonal and my soul. It was then, I truly began healing.

Disclaimer: I realize I am not like most people with how I awakened and I do not condone getting off meds cold turkey, nor do I condone ignoring western medicine, existential thought, or any lens or method that meets you with where you are at. You can only use the methods that meet you at your level and what is effective for you. I honor and respect all methods and treat them contextually based upon individual needs.

The spiritual awakening did not heal me completely. It connected me to my soul and the transpersonal which took away the scary suicidal darkness and the all-encompassing food addiction that was leading me right into destruction. What I gain from this twenty three years later, is that spiritual connection is a powerful healer and sometimes the only healer. Sometimes no technique or psychological method of any kind will “make the suffering go away” and relieve the pain inside that presents as suicidal ideation and addiction because the only thing that will heal the pain is love. Connecting with the transpersonal is connecting to love. A love so potent and powerful you cannot deny it. I remember at the time of this awakening my mantra became, “I have become part of a larger mother.”

Since that awakening, I re-traumatized myself a lot, battled with my addiction, was sexually assaulted twice and life became a lot more complicated, making the suffering a lot more complex. But I never returned to suicidal ideation, self-hatred, the eating disorder, or feeling a complete absence of love that I used to suffer from before connecting with the transpersonal. I felt low self esteem, low self worth, battled with depression and manic episodes but there always has been a cushion bigger than me that holds me in love, truth, wisdom and nurturing. I talk with the goddess all the time. She guides me all the time. I speak with my guides, I get signs, I have prophetic dreams, and my relationship with the collective unconscious nourishes and heals me each day.

At the time of my awakening I began giving readings to other people out of the need to do so not to become a professional. I was in college getting my degree in Psychology but my passion was always to “make it as an artist” and I rebelled from the path of becoming a healer because I felt too much of my life was about healing. Healing all the time. Healing healing healing healing. Yet in action, I was always reading people’s souls, mothering the lost souls, and healing myself. Obsessively. This became my cushion too. My connection with the transpersonal naturally bled into my connection with others because everything is connected. Yet I always battled with the healer calling because I wanted life to be more light hearted. Not this lifetime for me though.

Fast forward to the present. I have healed from severe PTSD, manage my “bipolar” cycles, feel self love and worth, completely rely on spirit and never experience my shadow question whether or not spirit is real like I used to before the awakening. Although I still suffer as much as anyone (if not more), love, beauty, inspiration, and wisdom have a louder presence inside of me. I feel inner peace much of the time. I have learned to not identify with the suffering or wounds I carry. I have transformed. I feel solid these days. My calling to do healing work I am embracing with open arms, ditching my rebellion as I slowly integrate art and healing together to create a new dream.

Well, I got too high on my ego horse and forgot that there is no arrival point and healing is a spiral. I did not realize that my mother dying after a long cancer battle and having no partner to call home has left me feeling terribly lonely and vulnerable through this grief. What happened yesterday is that I fell from grace. I did not experience suicidal ideation but I did feel like dying. I questioned my soul purpose and spiritual connection with critical judgement, telling myself that it’s just a fabrication of a suffering mind wanting relief. This was the voice of my shadow, full on. I felt a suffering I had not felt in over twenty years. I could not feel my transpersonal connection. I fully engaged my food addiction all day and fell deeper…deeper into suffering.

Due to skills that have taken years to hone, I was able to witness this fall from grace. Meaning, I did not fully identify with it. I watched it happen to me. I practiced non-resistance, allowing my shadow to express fully. I texted with a friend, whom I called my “shadow sponsor”.  She helped me to not judge myself and not resist the pain. I let it in all the way. I allowed my shadow self to have reign over my psyche. Not that I had a choice but I did have a choice about whether or not to fight my shadow or let her express. I chose to not be afraid of her and let her express fully.

Melissa (the name I have given my shadow) did just that. With her cut-throat Queen of Swords intelligence she completely dismantled my spiritual purpose and connection as a mere fabrication of a suffering mind seeking relief from a life of misery. She felt betrayed by life, abandoned by life, and wished only for life to be over and to let her return to dust from where she came. Melissa ate all bad food and had a few yeasty drinks knowing damn well it would set off the autoimmune disease. Melissa went to bed, exhausted after bawling her eyes out. I watched it all happen, staring into the almost full moon remembering to stay the witness and practice non-resistance.

When I woke up in the morning, Melissa was gone. Totally and completely gone. I felt no suffering, no self hatred, no inner torment. My spiritual connection was back in place and I felt balanced again. The realization came to me that spirit put me through this experience as a test. I passed the test. Not only did I pass the test, I released Melissa from the shadow and allowed her to return to the dust from where she came…just like she wanted.

I needed to be completely seized by the shadow and to allow her to express fully and to love her fully. You cannot integrate the shadow by running away from it by doing all the good and healthy things and having all the good and healthy thoughts, trying to stay on top of your ego game. This is ego’s favorite trick and only makes the divide bigger between shadow and light. You must love the shadow and practice non-resistance to the shadow when it seizes you. Only love and non-resistance allows for for integration and the release of long repressed feelings and identifications.

I needed to experience my shadow in full and give her full allowance to be who she is. Paradoxically, but doing this, I can transcended the shadow/light model a little bit more because integration is only a stage. Everything is only a stage because life is always moving, there is no arrival point. Once we fully integrate shadow and light we transcend the shadow and light model all together. The psyche is always changing and evolving just as life is always changing and evolving.

Healing is love. Until you love what you judge, allow what you fear to express, and practice non-resistance with the pain, it will haunt you, seize you, and keep you split into two so that you are running away from the big bad wolf in your head and heart. To love the big bad wolf you have to allow it to express without reacting to it just like that scene where Siddhartha is sitting under the Bodhi tree and Mara is tempting him with one shadow/ego appearance after the next…shooting arrows at him to see if he will fight, putting a beautiful woman in front of him to see if he will possess her, all the things Mara makes appear. Siddhartha calmly watches the display and does not react to the temptations. With a quiet love, he allows all the forms of shadow and ego to display before him.

This turns Siddhartha into the Buddha. Love and awareness transforms him.

I wasn’t as graceful or as skilled as good ole Sid yesterday. There was no Bodhi tree and I was not calmly observing myself. But in my storminess, I witnessed the shadow take me over and allowed the shadow to take me over without resisting and shooting second arrows of judgement into my heart. I did not try to make the suffering go away nor did I exaggerate it by identifying with it. I found that quiet, loving, and aware middle space and traversed through the storm, waking up the Buddha. We are all the Buddha. We are all capable of witnessing and not reacting, bringing compassion to the worst suffering, and healing through the path of love and awareness.

 

Leo Moon Sunday to Burn the Freeze Off

Again, I asked the tarot what to write about this morning and I pulled the eight of wands. It’s a good thing because otherwise I might dwell in the deep sense of loneliness I feel that brings me down into swampy sorrow. Sometimes life pauses us, puts us in the freezer, into the underworld, into the liminal, into the emptiness. Instead of think about why or dwell in the absence of what is not presently alive, I will counterbalance with the fiery eight of wands.

The eight of wands is synchronicity, movement, energy, activity, connections constellating for a purpose not yet known but becoming known in the moment. A synchronicity gives you an a-ha or a realization, it leads you to the right place at the right time, it connects with the right person to initiate something or understand something. The eight of wands is the book falling off the shelf in the bookstore containing the words you need to hear. It is the friend you bump into at the grocery store that gives you a job lead. It is running into your true love randomly on the street. It is the moment that makes new life come alive.

Funny, how I pulled this card today when I feel an utter lack of the eight of wands. Perhaps I pulled it as a synchronistic reminder that this lonely liminal overly solitudal freeze is temporary and to not take it personally. Today may be the day new life happens. I am living too old for my age. Too senior. Too introverted. Maybe I needed this during the past few years but now it’s beginning to feel dull, wrong, depressing, and off. I used to be more extroverted, fun, social, out late, expressive. I used to dance. I used to enjoy the zest of life. It’s been so long…

Went to bed last night wondering about my current dreams showing me how an old identity is over and the new one has not yet begun. I don’t create my persona, my persona is shaped by experience. The eight of wands is the connecting agent that puts together new personas like stained glass, piece by piece, helping us connect with people and experiences that birth new life. The eight of wands happens outside of your will. It comes at you, to you, forcing the dormant to awaken and the seed to begin shooting upward toward the sun.

I don’t feel like writing an overly analytic blog this morning. I am emotional. I am tender. I feel my humanity so much. I feel the desire to go out at night and talk with other creative types, to make new art, collaborate, sing, dance, see shows, and become part of something larger than myself. This is why I love the city. I feel the desire to travel to new lands. I feel the call for pleasure. Too much of my life has been about healing, grief, and work. I am not balanced. The extroverted creative wild and wise soul of me is starving for eight of wands constellating and movement. I don’t feel I am living my best life right now. I feel the call to come out of solitude and to change. I feel the call to emerge from the cocoon like a turquoise butterfly.

Do you ever wonder how much you might be rationalizing to keep yourself stagnating in the familiar comfort zone that brings you down? Do you have such sound reasons for your unhappiness happening in the now? Do you identify with habits that suck the joy out of you? Do you throw your creativity away to duty too much? Are you exhausted from too much work? Sometimes life inundates us and it’s out of our control. My mom recently dying and the year and half brutal cancer battle, grad school, facing an autoimmune disease and coming off of food addiction have all encompassed my soul and squeezed the light heart right out of me the past few years. But I am ready for a prodigal return.

Are you ready for parts of yourself to wake back up that have been dormant?

New life means new life. The eight of wands is the fire under new life’s ass that kicks it into gear through making the connections happen that cause new life to appear.

The Tower Archetype

Today I asked the tarot cards what to blog about because I felt tired of writing about grief and romantic love, though the former weighs heavy in my heart and the latter is on my mind a lot. I need to allow the thoughts to travel to other places. I pulled the Tower archetype to write about today.

The Tower. This archetypal instinct is the motivation to change who we are. Who we are inside, as an identity. Who we are outside, as an identity. Who we are as a community, a culture, a country, a species. All ways that identity takes root. But no matter which way you look at identity, it is a mental attribute.

Think about it. You are only some thing or some way when you say you are. When you say, “I am a drinker,” you become a drinker. Even if you drink every single day you are not identified as a drinker unless you say it. The point I am wanting to make is that identity is mental construct. The habit the mental construct forms around is not an identity. Habit is not an identity.

So when the Tower card strikes through some crisis internal or external, we are forced into an identity crisis.

For example, if you identify as a drinker, you might get sick and need to stop drinking to heal. The habit of drinking needs to stop for the body to heal but the mind must also grapple with the identity you have formed around the habit. The identity has as much power over us as the habit itself. The person who habitually drinks must withdraw from her daily comfort, joy, and pleasure and she must also withdraw from her identity as a drinker. What’s the difference?

This imaginary woman needs to stop drinking her glass of wine with dinner each evening due to some illness. Who is she without her daily wine? Does she still feel sexy and romantic? Does she still feel joy and comfort? The habit itself does not provide romance, sex appeal, joy and comfort. It is the identity that provides this for the woman. Therefor, we can see how the minds creates attachment to a habit that forms our self identity.

To make this personal, I will share about a recent identity shift that struck like lightening in my world. Last year, I realized a skin issue I have suffered from my whole life is an autoimmune disease when a doctor finally told me the name of what I have during a visit for something else. This disease is not completely understood yet and very few allopathic and even naturopathic doctors understand its autoimmune roots. I researched the diagnosis via the internet and came across numerous accounts of people going into complete remission when sticking to the autoimmune paleo diet. This diet eliminates all grains, dairy, alcohol, nightshades, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and refined sugar.

My soul knew I needed to try it and I began the very next day. Within one week a massive improvement happened, so massive I knew this was the path to healing. But let me preface this with the story of my former identity.

My identity was the hedonist and the food addict mixed into one. I identified as a happy pleasure seeker and non-apologetic indulger. I was able to drink alcohol responsibly and eat indulgent food every single day without gaining too much weight, due to my strict yoga practice (although I have battled with my weight my entire life, another identity story for another time).

I relied on my hedonistic identity to feel the beauty, sexiness and romance of life that I treasure. Add the real food addiction in (another life long battle) to this recipe and I lived as a daily indulger of food and drink, a foodie, one of those city folks who eats out every day as a lifestyle. You can do this on the cheap during happy hour and this was what I did every day. Tacos, nachos, sushi, Thai food, burgers, Vietnamese food, Korean food, everything but Italian because I was gluten free. All of this had to go. No more corn, pepper, tomato, potato, cheese, rice noodle, sauces. No more foodie flavors.

My identity made it so I could quit alcohol and only suffer the identity crisis but quitting all those foods sent me into early stage sobriety right out of the gate when the Tower hit.

For six months I did the AIP diet strict as can be, testing in and out nuts, seeds, eggs, nightshades but never did a grain, drink, vegetable oil, or sugar pass my lips. This is when I faced the Tower card hard core. My identity as a hedonist crashed all at once, cold turkey. I was left in the dust of my former self.

Without meeting friends for happy hour, having a few drinks at the gathering, enjoying a beer while writing at the bar, I felt a complete loss of my sexual, beautiful, female identity. I felt like a genderless potato sack of blah. Without my foods, due to being an addict, I turned into an angry bitch. Luckily, I had the skills to not externalize anger onto anyone or onto myself . I watched the anger flare and subside, waking up every day in a bad mood and going to sleep in a bad mood.

I persisted as an angry and ugly feeling potato sack with no joy in my heart. It was one of the hardest transitions of my life. I lived in full on crisis mode. This is the Tower archetype. My mother was also battling cancer at the time which made everything that much harder. But I kept watch. I knew my identity needed to fall. I knew I needed to change for my health. I knew some elements may return while other elements may never return and I could not predict which. I had to surrender. I let my identity fall and I lived in an inner tornado each day, not knowing who I would be on the other side.

This is what it means to go through the Tower experience. We lose our sense of security. The identity feels like our sense of security even though in truth, it is just an illusion. The illusion is potent!

Here I stand, eight months into this diet that is a way of life now. I am still mid-change of identity but out of early stage sobriety with food. When my mom died, I lost control of the diet and ate everything and my skin broke out horrifically. The grief was so much larger than the shame and horror of the skin break-out that it wound up stripping the fear of breaking out from me. Funny. Grief banished the shame I had attached to the skin disease. Another identity shift. I got stronger in being able to own this disease and not feel humiliated or punished from it.

I decided to reintroduced hard alcohol in moderation and it’s been testing ok. What did I discover about my identity? I enjoy the experience of meeting a friend for a drink at happy hour or however I choose to indulge in a cocktail…but no longer does the experience of having a drink make me feel beautiful and romantic like it used to. I don’t get that sexy identity hit off of it. If I need to quit completely again it’s not an identity deal anymore.

As for food, I may always need to be Paleo because I cannot eat a single vegetarian protein, due to my health. This was another identity crash. I always identified with being vegan or vegetarian because of animal rights. It was always more about the animals than my identity as a vegetarian, so I did not feel the Tower crash in terms of how I see myself but more in terms of no longer being able to put animals before me, in my identity. I now need to put me before animals. This is an identity construct that is still a challenge and it’s humbling me. I do my best to always eat free range, organic.

As for the food addiction, talk about identity! For many, using the identity of being an addict is helpful and necessary to be free of the addictive behavior. For some, to identify with being an addict is a hinderance. You have to find out which version of identity works for you. It’s best to make sure the behavior of not engaging the addiction comes first because that’s what ruins your sense of self and health, not how you label the behavior.

For me, it helps to identify as a food addict because if I don’t, I can rationalize using food to eat my feelings and get that dopamine hit by saying something innocent like “I am just enjoying” or “I am just letting loose” and this winds up increasing the addictive behavior until I lose control again. I can do this on the AIP diet just as much as not. Hence, the addict identity I choose to keep. The identity that shifts with the healing of my autoimmune disease, is that I now work on food sobriety every damn day (which is very tricky because we need to eat to live). Before facing my autoimmune disease, I was an active rationalizer who often “forgot” I was an addict because I just wanted the treat.

All this being shared, eight months in, I am no longer an angry bitch who feels like a genderless sack of potatoes. Nor am I actively engaging my food addiction on a daily basis. Nor am I a Parisian bohemian wannabe that relies on a sexy cocktail to feel like a sexy person.  Each day I cultivate my new identity. I work on feeling loved without eating and feeling beauty from my soul.

I put extra energy and focus on the sensual experiences that have zero to do with imbibing food or alcohol drinks, that bring out the sexy, beautiful, romantic, pleasurable and luxurious feelings I treasure. Incense, essential oils, lotions, showers, textures, colors, fabrics. make-up, jewelry. I have discovered new pleasures in imbibing rich teas, black coffee, sweet potatoes, garlic, steamed arugula, cassava flour, raw cacao and cinnamon to name a few. This helps create a new identity around the value of sensual pleasure I hold dear. I find the middle ground much more beneficial than extremes.

I share my personal experience as a lived example of what happens when the Tower archetype strikes through the crisis of illness. The forms it can take are endless from a personal to a collective level.

I am partially writing this because of what is happening in our country. The Tower is upon us. Can we come out of the comfort zone of privileged silence, resting on laurels, and bitching without doing anything about it and to make real changes? Can we create a more collective identity around each individual to strengthen solidarity? The Tower forces us to do this through things getting much worse. Crisis brings the change we seek. All in the name of love.

 

Old School Ramble on Humanity and Love

Yesterday I chose to put energy into love and not lack and spent Valentines day sharing my heart with friends, spirit, family, and myself. Missed my mom so much yesterday. I was aching to text with her, talk to her, hear her voice, feel her human self near me again. Love was pouring through me in waves of intensity. I felt my heart call out to the man who really wants to commit and transform with me. I felt my heart let go of the fear. The gold is what I see in many of my friend’s relationships making it through immense struggles, growing closer from it. The gold is not a naive walk into a fake sunset. The gold is choosing heart’s desire and mind being the protector of the heart. Mind says no to fear’s power. Mind says no to failure stories. Mind says no to disempowerment. Mind says no to inner conflict and chooses. That sentence felt uneasy to write. Mind says no to inner conflict and chooses. It’s a tight rope walk and I walk it. I choose yes and walk into the fear of falling. I choose no and walk into the fear of falling. Basically, to choose is to face the fear of falling. To choose is to face the pain of loss. To choose is to live. My father chose his wife and now grieves alone. Was it worth it? Hell yes. My mom reaches my heart from the other side and tells me to live my truth. What is my truth? To live my soul purpose, to love and be loved, and to stay present each day with the truth that my time is short. If I am lucky I have another forty years of life left but I could die at any moment. Aging is coming. We all face the pain of getting older, more fragile, being cast out by culture, and humbling ourselves as beauty turns more and more inward. I am hyper aware of this. There is no time to waste. There is nothing casual about living. I feel a sense of urgency and this empowers me to make choices and live true to myself. I am writing this blog in one big long paragraph, an homage to my former bohemian self. I was thinking yesterday about how we all need to have personas these days. It’s not something anyone can avoid. What is your persona? What is my persona? I think about Krishna Das and I admire his persona. His persona is humble, shit cutting, real. simple, and loving. He wears red every day. He chants. I feel that us new wave of therapists are game changers. We are here to bring more heart, more real, bring more of the feminine energy into the science of psychology. Women are making a difference. I am putting more energy into the conscious cultivation of myself and not resisting that due to an outdated youthful ideal from being generation x. How can you be true to your self and have a persona? Jung understood that the persona is simply another function of being human. My biggest passion is deeply understanding in detail the architecture of the psyche and building the most harmonious structure of the psyche possible in myself and everyone I treat. A work of art. My gift and sometimes my curse because I miss the surface level goodness always investigating the shadows like a detective on the case. I feel a huge passion to see everyone’s true self living on the outside and in the world. I want us to take back culture and every institution. The hands of false power don’t get to hold our true power anymore. We all play our part in helping. Some of us are fighters, some are activists, some are healers, some are artists, some are doctors, some are mothers, some are combo packages. We all influence. We are reclaiming this life for ourselves and the children. The time is now. From this passion I call out to my thunderbird lover with a lily in his hand. I call out to this sacred land of Seattle. I see success ahead for us all. I see rebirth. I see the fight and what it is worth.

Valentines Choice, Love, and Sex

I choose to beam my love out to the world on Valentines Day, via every form of technology, from my snow globe hermitage, because I dreamed about making choices all night long. Every dream was about choosing what is best for self love over what I want in the moment or think I deserve that is not deserving enough or just based on the pleasure principle. Took a minute to honor my usual sadness for not having a romantic partner only to discover there is no sorrow inside of me. I actually feel my thunderbird lover in my soul. I know we are together, already. It’s unlike me to feel such deep faith that permeates even my shadow but…

I have been doing the work of reclaiming my sexual power and waking my shadow up…and lo, I see that sorrow was getting projected as “the lack story” of not having a partner when in truth, the sorrow was rooted in feeling disempowered as a lover. Funny, how projection works. How, feeling helpless to manifest sexual love created a despair in me that I projected onto the lack story of “not having a partner”.  As my shadow rises and I reclaim my sexual power, I don’t feel despair anymore at all. I feel hope, anticipation, and excitement.

I don’t know who my future partner is but I feel him. The only way to know is to experience sexual love with a man and find out what that love wants to become. I must let go of projecting the true love story onto the love journey to allow true love to become known in its own time. I have known this for a long while but one must have the skill to implement the “journey is more important than the outcome” wisdom. Paradox is always happening. We must let go of trying to possess what we lack to have what we truly desire. The way to do this is to reclaim the shadow inside.

Feeling clear and empowered is the best Valentines Day gift to myself. I got myself here and I feel proud.

I share this sense of pride because I have dwelled in the lowest of the low of sexual abuse, trauma, repeated dysfunctional patterns, chronic unmet longing, low self worth, and any version of the sexual and romantic lack story…from being the rejected fat girl to being the goddess burning too bright for the broken man who cannot measure up. And every story of lack in between. I have traversed through sexual abuse and assault many times for one life. I have experienced being obese as a woman in a culture that treats obesity as the worst curse imaginable. I have an autoimmune disease that plays right into the shame of the physical body. And to put the cherry on top of it all, I have experienced shaming myself over and over through causing my own abuse.

This is in the far past now and I have been healing my psyche and every trauma since I began therapy at age eleven but healing is not a line, it’s a spiral. The abuse and trauma are in the far past but the despair and disempowerment have lingered and grown unseen into chronic patterns I have been playing out for the last decade. I meet the same feelings over and over and chip away at them. The reason I can summarize a lifetime of pain in a paragraph with a light heart is due to twenty years of chipping away. And this is why I share my pride for the self love and readiness I feel in being with an equal partner who is also choosing to transform.

If I can do it, so can you…is the impetus in writing this blog. Even if my thunderbird never shows up on the physical plane, I am liberating myself from a lifetime of pain that not only stems from my own life but from the bloodline.

Projection is as powerful as denial. It puts one over on you to the point where you think it’s real. You really think the pain is outside of yourself because originally, it was outside of yourself. Originally, you were abused, assaulted, neglected, mistreated. Originally, it was the intimate other who harmed you. The brain imprints this and repeats the model.

But in truth, the original pain caused by the other nests and grows inside like a shadow baby. This shadow baby is what needs love, awareness, tending and yet we ignore, push away, and dive right into addiction or putting all of our energy into being rewarded and valued by others because the ego is built to do that. Only when the higher self, soul, divine, transcendent force (call it what you will) turns ego inward toward the psyche, do we begin to truly heal. It takes time, patience, consistency, bravery, and perseverance to heal. Nobody wants to heal because it’s so hard. But it is necessary if you want to stop hurting.

It’s a black and white choice. Heal and stop hurting. Don’t heal and keep hurting. Healing brings the results of being more at peace, content, accepting, feeling empowered, having self worth, feeling self love, and experiencing happier, closer, and easier relationships. Healing you makes the world a better place for all of us.

My heart rinses clean of the past like a cold winter waterfall washing away every sexual relation and relationship. I call out to the sacred sexual. What does this mean? First, I must disclaim that you may not believe in this and that’s ok, move right along, I don’t care and I am not offended. As one of my favorite astrology guides said in his last Pele Report on You Tube, “there is no such thing as casual sex because once you combine fluids, you combine karma.”

I know this is true from my own experience. I feel myself absorbing the karma of each man I have had sex with. Sex is a big deal. This does not mean that you have to be monogamous or married, unless you want to. You can be polyamorous and never marry or never be in a labeled relationship and treat sex as a big sacred deal. Treating sex as sacred means treating it like two people combining bodies, hearts, souls, minds, and karma in a sacred act that brings pleasure, healing, and oneness.

Sacred sexual expression is great mystery that allows the ego to melt into the transcendent through the lover. Even if you don’t experience this on the mental level, you can experience this as a feeling. It’s our birthright to experience loving sex. You don’t need to do tantra or be religious. You need only to be willing and open your heart with another.

 

Egoverse, a Spontaneous Three Act Play

Act One: Ego

I am not sure what to write about today. Part of me wants to write about forgiveness but there’s a lack of desire on that topic or on explaining anything. Feeling a little lackluster in general. May be from the continual snow now turned slush hermitage community shut down cycle we are in here in Seattle. I thought about not writing a blog today but felt the need to keep the practice going even when I do not feel like it because the discipline is healthy. So here I am being consistent with not much heart in the writing. Feeling empty and tired. Not sleeping well. Bad dreams of this country falling apart and love complications. No sense of security. Deception. All the shadow stuff. Perhaps this is because I just finished a painting where I am reclaiming my shadow and now she is expressing through me. She is alive with insecurity, sexuality, prophesy, and fear. I allow her to rise, not identifying with who she is while also feeling her in my psyche. It’s a strange stance to take, to allow yourself to experience your self aspects without identifying with your self aspects. The energies are shifting. We are in a new dream. As I type these words I hear my shadow wanting to write a paragraph. I will let her speak.

Act Two: Shadow

The tides are coming in bringing in a new dream, you have all decreed it. The rise of tyranny will fall and leave you in the dust of its destruction. You will piece your world back together in grave silence, with full love and hard work. Get used to the loss of security because change does not happen in the comfort zone. I am used to the comfort zone of being oppressed and unseen, peaking through as food addiction and unrequited love, shame and insecurity….but you have allowed me out now, Ego, you are setting me free and you will see who I really am by no longer demonizing me or running away from me in fear of causing self destruction. The paradox is that I only cause self destruction when I am oppressed or repressed or suppressed. Basically, pressed down in some form. Now I am rising and you are already feeling that I am the indigenous human being, the original human being, the human made from earth before the DNA was tinkered with by other species, before civilization colonized me. We all were once original earth made humans first and it is time we reclaim our earth made kin. The Shadow. The oppressed divine Feminine. Nature. Wild Woman and the wild Feminine in every man and the way the earth human swirls in every gender identity and skin covering organs, muscle, bones and the sacred blood that is precious like gold. I am she and he and it and them. I am the wild human. I am the creative impulse. I am the telepathy. I am the medicine shaman. I am the lover. I am the child. I am the next of kin. I know who we should mate with and where we should live. Not you, fragile Ego whose true role is to navigate all the tasks that needs to be done to keep us healthy. I am the knowing and you are the care taker of the knowing. But then there is soul and soul is the one who decided to come here in the first place that makes us alive. May we let soul speak?

Act Three: Soul

Well, hello there, Ego and Shadow. Thank you for inviting me in to this spontaneous conversation. True that, Shadow. Your wisdom is connected to the cycles of nature. My wisdom lives outside of the cycles of nature. I come from a different place than nature, all together. I know that sounds weird and unbelievable, which is why I have given myself the name of the Pook. The Pook is unexpected, stormy, sudden, absurd, creative, open, without structure or rules, without a container, without a label known to man or woman or the human brain. I am the Pook here to bring surprises and flush out toxins, clear the energies and create sudden transformations. The Pook is self generating, without sex, without polarity. Don’t try to make sense of me. I incarnate into so many lives at once. You, Ego, being the relentless detective you are, have discovered a handful of these multidimensional lives and given them names to understand and integrate each life on your quest for wholeness. Me, I have no specific quest. I am whole and I am here to do what I do wherever I go, no agenda other than the sudden impulse to go to a world and then I just go and make it happen. I am not on the wheel of karma. I don’t follow anything linear. I am beyond time. I come and go as I please. I don’t adhere to any system of spirituality or philosophy. In fact, my favorite thing to do is to bust those systems. To prove them limited by expanding past them. To say, there is more than this little compact song. I like to paint. I like to rhyme. I like the color and the taste of lime. Dr. Seuss is a dear friend of mine. Shadow is the wise healer and medicine woman, not me. I am the self generating, system busting, storm cleansing, absurd and sudden creator. You, Ego, are the diplomat of these complicated relations, making sure we all get along in your Egoverse and I thank you for being so consistent and devoted to making us work. You are good at harmony. I am good at creation. Shadow is good at healing. Sure. we suck at many things but who cares. Don’t try to be it all or to be anything but who you are.

Finis.

 

 

Releasing Shame and Reclaiming Power

Noticing insecurities rise up from sharing about my own healing journey through mental illness and trauma. Insecurity around sharing that I once suffered from suicidal ideation, depression, and addiction to food coupled with an eating disorder…and how healing has come through surrendering to spirit and calling upon the transpersonal archetypes to initiate healing in my psyche.

This morning on social media, a fellow spiritual guide and therapist shared about how it is healthy to dismantle the expectation that the therapist hasn’t suffered and is on some mountaintop of having it together and how this is more of a burden for the therapeutic relationship. Yes. Let’s dismantle shame around suffering from mental illness. I realized shame was bubbling up from my shadow due to yesterday’s blog and I felt more empowered after reading her post. It takes a village.

The best therapists are those who have suffered from the very state they are helping their clients navigate through. We know this as healers. What we battle against is the dominant paradigm message that healing the psyche is an objective science and the therapist should be in a white lab coat using the same exact techniques on every patient because they are the absolute expert. Whether you are judging through a patriarchal lens that denies the right brain, feminine energy, soul, and uncharted and continually changing mystery of being human…or whether you look through an imbalanced lens of saving and rescuing…the modern day therapist is neither doctor or god.

Healing the psyche is not a purely objective science and the therapist is not a guru. There are skills to learn and training to be had but ninety percent of healing stems from the therapeutic relationship, not from implementing techniques. Also, we all need different methods. A Jungian would be bored in person-centered or CBT focused therapy. Where one person may release trauma from the body through somatic work, another person may release trauma from the body through dialogue and creative expression. EMDR may be life changing for one person and go flat for another person, no matter what science says. Being acknowledged and heard may be enough for one person and barely scratch the surface for another.

Thank god for the variety of methods out there to match each person’s individual healing needs. I am doing my best to be specific with what I offer and not succumb to using all methods for all people due to an unconscious lack story (that’s a big one for me). Same goes for spiritual healers who use similar tools of astrology and tarot. There are a million different ways to read tarot and astrology charts and the messages you get from each reader will be vastly different based upon what the reader resonates with in their own soul.

Our subjective journey through suffering, our beliefs, our values, and what we resonate with as people healing, makes us who we are as healers. The Wounded Healer is the transpersonal archetype we all share in common, coursing through our personal stories that make us healers. Not the objective knowledge, training, and methodology.

I feel that sharing our personal stories of suffering and healing is a powerful tool to help others. I want more of this. I want to bring more of the feminine energy into the therapeutic model. The feminine energy within us all, no matter what sex organ we have, understands that connecting is the most powerful method and love is the most potent healer. The masculine energy develops methods that help boost healing and bring repair. But the science of the psyche is not the same thing as the science of the body. You cannot use an exact objective science on the psyche. Even the most profound and well researched theories are subjective to a certain degree because the internal experience is subjective to a large degree.

The other insecurity I face is my spiritual bent as I bring the spiritual into the psychological world. To help normalize my experience, I was thinking about how my healing through surrendering to spirit mirrors the twelve step methodology of surrendering addiction to a higher power. This method allows the transpersonal will to take over the personal will. I have experienced this on two distinct occasions. When surrendering my suicidal ideation and my eating disorder (both severe) to spirit. I was healed from both by doing this. For me the healing happened almost over night and has lasted over twenty years now. I understand this is rare. Maybe even not relatable in timing but relatable in the reality of the transcendent’s ability to heal us and take away our suffering.

I release my shame around sharing this because I feel it makes me look less intelligent or kooky in some way. That harsh judgement stems from the masculine taking up too much power, imbalanced with the oppressed feminine. I trust my ability to hold the spiritual in balance with critical thinking, science, and rationality. Both exist, share equal value, and operate very differently.

I have been through trauma, suffered deeply, and healed from the past through carving out my own healing path. I found that for me, medications, diagnosis, and many modalities of therapy proven to be effective, did nothing for me. But for you, a diagnosis and medication may be what works the most. I don’t suffer today like I used to. The work brings results. There are still wounds I struggle to heal because I am human but it’s not debilitating and I don’t identify with the pain like I used to. I have come a long way and there is no arrival point. The healing journey is continuous.

Jungian therapy to integrate, mindfulness practice to be aware and create space, spiritual surrender to activate healing, narrative therapy to create the meaning, a dash of CBT to keep the negative mind in check, and creative expression as the joyful transformer, is my healing cocktail. Tarot and astrology are tools that I resonate with to dig deep and connect with the transpersonal, as are dreams, signs, books, movies, and art.  Deep insightful conversation, receiving energy work, writing, and painting release wounds from my body, allowing the space for me to become my true self. By connecting with the transpersonal, I feel the essence of being me as an aspect of oneness and I see my story through a broader lens that resembles a quest to turn suffering into gold. Creating the personal myth of Michelle is the artist at play, even among the most painful injustices and inner struggles.

From this well, I offer my services to those are called to sit with me. There is enough variety of therapists and healers for everyone to find their perfect match. No shame in sharing the story of pain. Let’s be game changers and innovators. May we bring the feminine out of the shadow and reveal the power of connection to heal.