October 31st marks another turn of the wheel of the year, beginning an approximate one and a half month period called Samhain, which will run until the Winter Solstice in the UK on December 21st.
I love to use this time of the year to create an alchemical container to birth my new year in. It's dark and the growth of the past year is returning to the earth, the harvest now collected, consumed or stored for winter and lessons learnt and hopefully contributed. It is now a time to come inside, light the fire and burn away the unnecessary as we start to sense the possibility around the corner of the next turn of the wheel of the year where we will then have the maximum amount of space to dream in the new. If we do this part in full.
It is a time of surrender and depth, of shining a lantern in the dark and looking into the dark corners and looking at and transforming what is lurking. It is about embracing it all and not looking away. It is about alchemising what we don't need into the things that we do. It is about transformation and fire and being ruthlessly discerning about what we want to leave behind so that we can use it as firewood, fuel and fertile ash for planting in the seeds of what we desire more of.
Here are six ways that I like to utilise the energies of this season:
1) Creating a container for the alchemy to take place in
Nothing truly effective happens without containment. This is the masculine element that can hold the feminine transformation within. We can create and maintain the container for transformation by setting time, space and boundaries around it. Boundaries allow balanced flow of giving and receiving and we get to decide what it is we are putting in to our magical cauldron of transformation to be transmuted into something new and what it is we intend to claim from the fire once the transformation is complete. We can set time for rituals of letting go and grief and for setting intentions for the new we are starting to envision, each day, week or month. In just setting the intention for 'surrendered alchemy' we create a container for it and we maintain this container with consistent tending to the fire and upholding the boundaries that maintain the integrity of our container - whether that is a commitment to these rituals or processes or in our action steps, habits or behaviours.
In creating our container we might decide that we want a break from outside influence during this alchemy so that we can really connect to the wisdom and process within and focus our efforts there. We may want to sit with all of this transformation before we share out our revelations, so that it has time to be incubated fully.
2) Clearly marking what I am surrendering and what I want in replacement
I like to look forward to Spring to guide my process of right now, when the growth of what seeds we sow in this time of alchemy will start to come to fruition. I write down or draw what it is that I am surrendering into the fire and what I want to grow and blossom in it's place. It is powerful to see written down, on our altar or on the wall, the words or images of the direct results of what our work will bring.
I write: In Spring ___________ will have been returned to the earth ... and ____________ will be budding to flower in new growth.
3) Slowing down and letting simmer
This time of the year demands us to turn inward, slow down to conserve energy and to give time to this magical transformative process to take place. Once we have set our intentions we need to give time and sometimes effort to make them happen. We need to connect to our inner wisdom that can guide us on what action steps we need to take or what insight we need to ensure the process completes. We need to create space for the messages of our subconscious to surface into our conscious mind.
We can do this by spending time meditating, creating art, walking or sitting in nature and journalling from our depths.
4) Sexing it up with desire
Tuning in to our innermost truest desires and connecting to the feeling of joy, happiness and wholeness that the fulfilment of these will bring is a vital part of the process when throwing all that we want to let go of or release into the fire. The feeling level of our being is where true manifestation comes from, beyond affirmations or thoughts that can be limited to our minds. We need to connect to our deep wanting for what we are inviting in, start celebrating it now as if it is already on it's way and really starting to bring it to life with real belief and faith. It is the true desire that will keep the fire burning through winter, fuelling this transformation for Spring.
Bring the intention to life by dancing in celebration about the results of this transformative process. Believe in it with each movement of your body and feel the joy and fullness in your dance.
Keeping things moving is essential for alchemy, which is a dynamic process. By feeling our emotions, writing or drawing out what arises, moving our body and letting the alchemy surge through us it we will give this transformative process the best chance of success.
We might need to use tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to tap out resistance that arises from within or outside of us to ensure that we don't let our process or transformation stagnate or get hold back by our limiting beliefs or stories. Yoga and deep breathing will also keep this flow going.
Finally, we need to surrender to the process and trust that this alchemy will indeed take place. We need to believe in a higher process, now that we have set our own intentions, remembering that we want 'this or something better'. Sometimes what we want and need are not aligned and we have to let go and not try to tightly control the entire process. We need to let forward movement happen by going with what is alive in the present moment, surrendering to the flow of life. We have now done al we can.
This is also a perfect time of the year to connect to our ancestors, who's love brought us here. We can meditate and imagine our entire family lineage standing in a line behind us, with us at the front. We can feel the humility of this and surrender to the fact that we are part of a much bigger picture and this very life is our chance to be truly us and bring our unique gifts to the world. We might be the spearhead of their campaign. We might have been chosen to do all of the things that they were working towards or didn't have the opportunity to do. Are we going to stand up in our joy? Our work and play this Samhain can ensure that we rise and shine for Spring. For us, and our ancestors. They are behind us and they are listening and speaking, if we make time to connect with them.
Sending Samhain blessings to you to make the most of this powerful time of year!
I am going to be sharing something to support you clear the debris of 2016, create a new magical container of love from which to birth 2017 and start the new year in your loving, sparkly power. Take a preview and get on the early bird list here.
Follow along with my process of 'Surrendered Alchemy' and my 21 day treasure hunt for self-availability via my newsletter or social media, below. xxx
The biggest thing that I am learning so far on my journey to catch myself when I fall is that being available to myself is all about being available to the present moment. Being available to me in the present moment. Whatever that means. I have been noticing when I want to run from the present moment because of the feelings that it offers me - whether that means sadness or anger or even boredom.
I didn’t think I believed in boredom as I have always thought that there is so much beauty and amazingness in the world that anyone would be a fool to be bored but there have been times in the last four days when I have indeed caught myself doing things just to avoid being with what ‘is’, when that might just be nothingness in that moment. I notice my want to get busy and do some work, or eat something, or distract myself with something else, to change the present from what it is or avoid sitting with 'what is', when actually I see that I am just avoiding the ‘unwanted’ feelings that it holds.
So I have been trying to consciously hold myself with whatever I have been trying to avoid, instead, and then it is always such a surprise that whatever it was that I was avoiding doesn’t actually last that long when I embrace it, isn’t that bad and it holds these amazing hidden treasures that I wouldn’t have accessed, if I had continued to avoid it. In fact, if I had continued to avoid it that ‘dark and scary thing’ would have built a shadow bigger and bigger as it persisted and persisted and loomed over me because ultimately these feelings can’t just disappear - they demand to be felt, in whichever way they can. Or they will manifest into other forms of dis-ease…
Like the falling leaves, which seem to long to fall to the ground and change into the next season’s growth, these ‘darker’ feelings of sadness or nothingness or whatever within me want to be felt, so that they can contribute to my own turning of the wheel, either in bringing me messages as to what I need more or less of or to help me grow or be more nourished in some way. I have sought and found so many great tools for decoding the messages in my emotions and I am trying to use them more than ever right now so that I can really be available to them. To me. Sometimes it is too much and I need to lean out in some way instead - I am so not perfect, but I am more comfortable with that than ever.
What I know is that if I don’t fully embrace the grief and the falls of Autumn and if I try to pause it and avoid it because of my discomfort with whatever it holds then Summer will never come around again, not truly or as fully as it can; and I shall be forever ‘on pause’. And Summer is really no more beautiful than Autumn anyway. So, I’m going for movement whenever I can, movement not through avoidance or numbing but through feeling through it. As much as I can, as consciously as I can.
And when I make a 'mistake' or do something that distracts me (and sometimes there is loads of wisdom in this - just for only a small part of the time) I have the biggest opportunity of all to 'catch me when I fall'. I will not fall 'off the wagon' because I am not on 'a wagon'. I'm with me, going all the way with me.
And if I don’t catch me when I fall within Fall, with the safe structure of consistent containment that I have set for myself for these 21 days, then I cannot let go fully and feel and release whatever it is that has risen up to be released, transformed or healed because I won’t feel safe enough to do so. And so I won’t be able to go deep enough to claim all of my treasures on this journey that this season so clearly and deeply holds.
I want to FALL in love, on my quest for Wild Magical Freedom.
I've been delaying this, waiting for all of the pieces to come together, clearing space and getting focused and clear. I'm so beyond rushing things. But I don't think that there is anything more that is needed now, to start.
Treasure. It's all been about treasure. And my availability to my own treasure. It's like my entire life so far has been a treasure hunt to reclaim the treasures that were in me all along and see them and hold them and value them for all that they are and then live and embody them and share them from a strong place where they can overflow.
Most of them have been hidden inside traumas; some big and some very small. A dark part of that journey was trying to make others see or accept or claim my treasure. But, after passing through some dark, deep swampy areas that I could barely even make out on my map and then coming face to face with my own reflection, I saw that the person that needed to see and accept my treasure, all this time, was me.
My inner masculine needs to see my inner feminine's treasure. And she needs to value and trust his, too. He has been absent on many levels, not standing up in his power and being there to consistently hold and catch my inner feminine when she falls.
I need to unlock my own heart with the key that I have, now that I have learnt from previously trying it in so many of the wrong locks. I want my inner feminine and masculine to work together as a team in their availability to each other - to unite and bring both of their needed aspects to the table to create harmony and coherence in my being and life.
I am currently committing to this for 21 days to create a container for consistency, discipline, power and listening from my inner masculine and a safe space for my inner feminine to trust and offer her wisdom and build a new relationship with nourishment. A space to be available to all of the parts of me and create flow between giving and receiving. A journey of grieving and releasing the past and limiting beliefs and stories whilst simultaneously gratefully celebrating the present and creating and welcoming in the new. Writing my freedom, a day at a time.
But, what is my treasure?
Since feeling the call to make this commitment to myself I have spent alot of time looking into how I can do this and have been trying to 'pin down' what my treasure is. This same treasure that I have been so desperate for some others to see. What is it that the inner masculine needs to see in my inner feminine that I have been trying to resolve on the outside?
I feel like my inner feminine has seen my inner masculine's treasures and potential for a long time now and she has been waiting for him to step up and embody them. In my life so far he has acted more like my wounded critic rather than inner hero, due to a number of reasons and life experiences. He has suppressed my inner feminine and her feelings and wisdom on many levels whilst at the same time letting her run wild and descending chaos on my life in rebellion due to his lack of consistent holding and containment.
This 21 days will be a journey into my treasure. A journey of gratitude for the treasures that I find, claim or celebrate. Full acceptance for the treasures - whether they are 'ugly' or 'beautiful'.
I am aware of the gap that exists on any healing journey between the point of insight and awareness in the mind and the embodiment of this awareness in life that really integrates this knowing through experience. That is why I want to really live this availability and treasure for at least 21 days, to start, so that I can fully reclaim and integrate my treasures and win my own heart back.
I have created an 'availability altar' to act as a focus and power point for this journey and to also bring magic and celebration to the challenge. It includes a stone I painted a turtle on, bringing me the medicine I need in terms of a slow, steady and consistent approach that is needed for these 21 days. I have a photo frame dedicated to my inner feminine and masculine treasures, mostly placing those treasures that I associated with the 'masculine' on the outside - the container and holder - and the mostly 'feminine' ones on the inside.
What will happen in these 21 days?
I don't know exactly what will happen or what will be the result and I am focusing on the process rather than the product, but, I know that:
*It will be practice, experience and a step by step journey.
*It will be a grateful celebration of my treasures and a looking in daily at what is alive in me.
*It will be a treasure hunt - my treasure hunt. A hunt for any remaining treasures that I need on my quest. It will be a full reclaim and lock down of the ones I have already found so that I can proceed with my full bounty intact, owned and accounted for.
*It will be going into the dark, where most treasures are found, and being with my fears and limiting beliefs and challenges as they arise, as well as my joy, love and resources, so that I can heal, release or transform the old stories and blocks to create space for the new that I want to write, from my treasure.
*It will be consistently sticking with some boundaries that I have set: consistent nourishment and completion of beautiful daily rituals and practices that I have adopted or created. It will be leaning into my grief as well as joy. It will involve releasing, surrendering and letting go as well as creating, building and gardening.
*It will be feeling my feelings and holding myself in those feelings. It will be healing my heart with my heart and not my mind.
*It will mean being present to the needs of the moment and taking one step and one day at a time.
*It will be a journey of truly believing in and deeply trusting in myself...
*It will be a process (rather than product) of loving me in the way that I seek also to be loved on the outside. It will be choosing me. Seeing me. Accepting me. Celebrating me. Claiming me.
Maybe everything I have ever dreamed of is on the other side of these 21 days. I am going to find out...
Join me? I'd love company... xxx
If you would like to join me on my 21 day treasure hunt for self-availability, reclaiming and celebrating my treasure and winning back my own heart, follow along with this blog, on my social media under this article or sign up to my newsletter here, below.
Aligning with the seasons is one of my favourite and most life-enriching things to do. We are nature and nature is us and the more that we can synchronise with it in a world where we have been distanced from it's natural rhythms, cycles and inherent wisdom through our ways of living, the more successful, nourished and free we can be in our own lives.
Right now in the UK we are between Autumn Equinox, which we reached on the 22nd September, and Samhain, as it is called in ancient calendars that works closely to the rhythms of nature, on the 31st October. With Autumn Equinox being a time of the year when night and day are of equal length, we are currently in a time of transition, balance and movement towards the darkest part of the year which really gets real at Samhain. Samhain is called 'Nature's New Year' in the way that it is when, truly, the new year begins in nature as the seeds and fruits fall into the ground to be gestated, held and rooted through winter to grow and show themselves in Spring and bloom in Summer.
Right now we are seeing many of the last leaves, flowers and fruits from the previous year and season fall and finish. It is a time of turning inward and reflecting on the harvest of the past year - looking at what we are grateful for and what we have learnt - what we can contribute and share with what we have harvested and learnt and what we want to close and open to.
There are five practical ways that I love making the most of Autumn and want to share with you to make the most of your Autumn, whatever it means to you:
1. Being in nature and following it's lead
Nature talks to us if we give her our time. Spending some time outside each day, even if for a few minutes, and looking at where she is at in her cycles is the best way to take inspiration and learning from her. I like to do daily magical rituals in nature to connect me intimately with her gifts. I have been bringing old leaves in to my home and altars from my morning walks and observing them as they die further, curling and drying up. I look at the beauty of letting go in this and imagine the things that I am letting go of, that will die and go, like these leaves, if I offer them up to nature.
2. Setting written intentions, and burning sh*t
Writing down the things that we want to let go of really brings power and focus to the process. Whenever we close to something we open to something else and I like to imagine what I also want to bring in and how if I surrender the things that I want to let go of, I will indeed create space for these new things to arrive. Making art or just celebrating these new things by putting them on an altar or wall can help to enliven this process, as does burning a list of the old things to let go.
3. Playing in the leaves
I LOVE rolling in Autumn leaves and I am really excited about the point coming soon when there are going to be even more on the ground to roll in! Involving our body and all of our senses in everything we do is much more powerful that just staying in the mind. We need to embody the wisdom we find, rather than just 'knowing' it and so I find that really feeling what these leaves and what this season feels like brings it to life for me and involves me more in it's process.
4. Detoxing, cleansing, decluttering and clearing
As nature has a good old clear out of the deadwood, the old excess and the, now, unnecessary, it is also a great time to do this both inside and outside. It is the season of grief - a time to feel and honour our losses fully, so that we can let them go and find the treasures they hold. I make time to feel and to be - to lean into my pain and to honour it's messages and it's wisdom. Every day, week, monthly moon cycle and year I do some kind of grief ritual - whether that be shaking out the day, journalling or writing about my loss, or lighting a candle and offering the fire of it what I want to let go from that day.
It is also a great time of year to declutter and cleanse our homes and our bodies of all of the things that are not serving us, that do not lift, nourish and empower us and that have outrun their course in their presence in our lives. I have spent alot of time getting rid of items that are in some way 'unfinished' yet that I don't have the want or motivation to finish anymore. This closes up energy leaks in our life and focuses and frees us up into creating in the present moment, one of the greatest beauties there is.
5. Lighting the lantern and going into the dark
With the dark and cold season to come and the days soon to close in further and further, it is a great time to connect to our inner fire and light, which can light, warm and guide us through to Spring again.
With social activity waning and less daylight, heat and desire to be out and about we can maximise this to our advantage by taking this opportunity to do any beautiful inner work with our darkness or light that will ensure that when Spring soon comes round again, we are ready and resourced to stir, dawn, flower, and awaken.
Enjoy Autumn in whichever way resonates with you! xxx
If you would like hands on support to make the most of Autumn and maximise this opportunity to do the inner work needed to live your Wild Magical Freedom by Spring take a look at they ways in which I can support you Be Free here or follow along with my weekly newsletter by subscribing below, or following me on social media, underneath that.
I want to clarify something; especially after my recent post about the people that we 'attract' into our lives or situations we find ourselves in mirroring back to us parts of ourselves.
In my own journey I have used mirrors to identify my own patterns and I have got better and better at owning my 'stuff'; subconscious stories or wounds that are playing out to be healed or to be attended to and unmet needs that are determining my path, choices and actions. I have found it empowering to be able to reflect on situations and see how I contributed to them so that I can take ownership in ensuring that I do not CHOOSE on some level of my being to go to that place again. It can be wise, beneficial, healing and life-changing.
But, nothing is ever black and white and whenever other people are involved there is always our stuff going on and their stuff going on. We bring 50% of the stuff to a table and whilst there are some common relationship scenarios and patterns repeating themselves, quite likely needing to be looked at, there might be things going on that are just not ours to own.
It can be dangerous and even disempowering to assume too much responsibility and when we feel that we have really done the work to stop a pattern from repeating and then when it seems to come around again it is beyond disheartening. It is important to consider that there may be something else going on here.
I have personally found that at times I am being tested when an old story or situation reappears in my life - as if to check if I have really learnt something and to see if I am going to entertain it again. I have been able to make a choice here - whether to say yes or to say no. It has been a great opportunity to make a powerful declaration on what I am going to choose for my life. It has been in these times when I have said no to a re-run that I have then seen a sudden change in what comes next. The universe is listening.
On other occasions when the past seems to reappear it is not necessarily a mirror this time or a test but actually just life unfolding as it does and, again, our chance to decide whether we go back into something that has already been resolved or go forward into a new free future that looks different to the past.
We can look inwards to discern when something is on us and when it is on someone else and actually for us to have no business in.
One tool that I have found has been helpful for me to discern this is a 'f*ck you letter'.
If I am angry at someone and I want to know if it is my stuff or it is theirs to see if I need to look at my own unresolved anger and unmet needs and discern whether this anger or sadness is really at someone from the past or in fact myself or whether I would be fair and wise to call them out on what has happened in the present situation and in this real time situation, this is what I do.
I write a letter to this person, not to be sent, with every sentence starting with 'f*ck you.' Actually, I often first do a bit of release 'raging'/crying, if that's how I feel, into a pillow or outside in nature, to really get out the uncensored truth of how I feel and might say this out loud and then write the letter.
F*ck you (their name) for underestimating me.
F*ck you (their name) for not choosing me.
F*ck you (their name) for not seeing my treasure.
F*ck you (their name) for cheating on me.
F*ck you (their name) for being a coward and not being honest with me.
Once I am done I rewrite/type it but change the 'you' in f*ck you to 'me'.
F*ck me for underestimating me.
F*ck me for not choosing me.
F*ck me for not seeing my treasure.
F*ck me for cheating on me.
F*ck me for being a coward and not being honest with me.
This is where the clarity generally comes. Some of the reasons are just 'BAM that's me!' Some of them are both - but probably come from our projection if we are also like this with ourselves! And some of them are just the other person and are things that we can hopefully non-violently but firmly raise with that person to resolve in the present moment so that they don't create blocks in the relationship and lay down our boundary, if we don't want to leave them altogether.
I think we know, deep down, when it's us. We just need the courage to look at and listen - and then take action on it.
Mirrors are so useful.
What mirrors are not is an excuse for not holding people accountable. They are not about not calling people out on their bullshit, or about spiritually bypassing and being all 'I should not judge/I should forgive/I should be oh so kind always' and so letting ourselves getting walked over or practising 'idiot compassion' without discernment - and which ultimately isn't kind anyway. This isn't authentic and it isn't helpful. And it often enables codependent relationships. No, no. I've done that in the past at work, at home and in relationships and it really f*cked me over, got me nowhere and left me less empowered than when I started on my quest for freedom.
It's about looking in and seeing what is ours to own, and what is ours to say 'not my sh*t' to and move on.
Sometimes, its nothing to do with us as to why we have attracted something. Sometimes, SH*T HAPPENS. Not everything happens for a neat and symbolic reason - 'everything happens for a reason' is actually just more spiritual bypass that only helps to delay, misguide or even hurt people that have to endure horrendous atrocities or traumas. Sometimes, things just don't work out. Sometimes, we will never know. Sometimes, we need to cry and it is important to feel every emotion so that they can be honoured, listened to, grieved and then released instead of trapped inside as cancer waiting to happen. Sometimes, we need to laugh, or go out and dance.
But, ALWAYS, what we can be sure of, is that we end up with ourselves and, always, we can create and write our own stories from the hands that we are dealt - even if that means that there are now severe limitations on them or we start from being surrounded in wreckage and fire.
Let's take responsibility for ourselves but not take on more responsibility than we are due as, let's face it, accepting our own is enough of a challenge.
Some people have asked me about what I mean about my 'inner feminine' and 'inner masculine'. It's my inner love story. It's like yin and yang that have their equal and amazing place in making up the whole. It's the laws of nature. It's the polarity we have inside of us (each and every one of us, whether we know it or not and whatever gender or sexual orientation we are) and this love story is about bringing them together to use their unique gifts, traits and energies in harmony with each other - but also in being able to flexibly use or draw on either side when they are needed. There are shadow sides of each too so polarity within the polarity. This journey is about union.
I have been in and out of discussions with my inner feminine over the past five days. My inner masculine has stepped up for this self-availability journey/challenge but she has been a bit hesitant of the approach, delaying it. So she told him what she wants and needs, as well as his consistency, discipline and commitment...
My inner feminine knows. She has shared her wisdom with my inner masculine and guided him through healing. Now she wonders if he is ready to take this show on and to let go and let him in. She has told him what she knows and needs.
She has two other things going on too...
She is a bit resistant to nourishment because it is unknown to her. She has never consistently received it in all the deep ways that she needs. For me in my life, it's like chaos addiction. The chaos and lack of coherence is more comfortable even though its not nurturing. She wants the nourishment but she doesn't want it as she doesn't know what she will be with it. She knows she needs it but isn't sure she can trust it. The fear of the unknown. An upper limit on how much good she can handle. Old, almost ancestral, questions about her own worthiness.
She is wild and if she is not leaned into consistently she will sabotage the whole show and show up as destruction. One example I can give of this is in smoking cigarettes. Her feminine wisdom comes to me when I stop concentrating all of my mind on doing or achieving something that requires all of my attention. She comes when I am driving, when I am walking, when I am dancing, when I am doing yoga, when I am doing something creative, when I am meditating, or something similar...and also when I am smoking. Any activity that takes care of the doing and the space comes for her to speak. When I don't create enough spaces like this to lean in to her she will urge me into lesser overall nourishing ways like smoking - a quick fire way that she can be heard. Yes, there is alot more going on in this habit like the chemical addiction and want to disconnect or escape and repress and also some potentially more nourishing pulls like just leaning out for a few minutes or sharing what is like a 'peace pipe' with others - connecting through doing the same thing at the same time, socially. But in doing it consciously in periods when it's not being needed for suppression or connection it seems clear why really it is. She doesn't care how she gets me to listen. Because when I do she can then tell me that there is another way. She told me that in these 21 days of self availability I can choose to create or to destroy. I've worked around these patterns and habits and built enough new ones alongside the old to choose other ways. I choose to create and also create the spaces that she deserves.
My inner feminine will do all she can to ensure my inner masculine sees her treasure. She sees his treasure. she has seen the potential of it all along.
Is it time?
Learning that I have been unavailable to myself has been a gradual, slow and excruciatingly painful journey. A bit more than six years ago I set out on my conscious quest for freedom. I knew, or thought, that I had to do it alone and not long afterwards I started a new life on my own in London. At that time I had recently finished a relationship with the last man that I believe truly romantically loved me and I had actually recently made a not so 'careful what you wishful for' request basically that the next man I was in relationship with was less available to me. Why? I had my own reasons at the time but on reflection I see that it was because I was truly afraid of intimacy with myself which, if in the presence of an available man, would ultimately bring me face to face with all of the parts of myself that I didn't want to see. Because that's what actually happens in a healthy, conscious relationship - so that it can be transformed and healed. I was deeply ready for none of it.
I knew, truthfully, though that I needed to be on my own for a while. I had not been on my own once in my adult life, since I was less than sixteen years old, and whilst I was very independent on many levels I knew that I needed to live some of my life single - whether I really actually wanted to or not. I intuitively knew that my true freedom lay in that path and although I actually thought I had a certain level of confidence, I was not who I wanted to be by a million miles, I didn't really love myself for a number of reasons and I knew that the confidence I did have was shaky and not really very real.
I got delivered exactly what I asked for. In the six years that followed I have been in and out of relationship upon relationship, or non-relationship as the case may be, with unavailable men.
This has almost killed me, multiple times. In fact, it did kill me, which has actually been the greatest gift of all of it, which I shall share at the end.
I am not going to go into this story in full but let's say that it has been somewhat of a mix between Twilight Saga, Bridget Jones, Eat Pray Love and One Day. It has also taken me to some very dark places.
In the darkest of them all I was suicidal, had lost more than four kilos of weight in a really short time due to stress, not feeling happy enough to eat and smoking instead, started bleeding every time I had sex, developed aggressive adult acne that took a long time to find a solution for and a number of food intolerances.
I have sold my soul to make the guy choose me, isolated myself from friends and family (or they have isolated themselves from me because they, like me, couldn't understand/were afraid of what was happening), completely lost touch with a sense of wellbeing and happiness and almost lost the very essence of what I am, more than once.
I have cranked up so much debt in 'self improvement', sometimes in response to criticism by these men; including manicures, personal training sessions (NOT to get slimmer but to get bigger!), pedicures, facials, hair restyles, online courses, dying my hair, treatments, sessions, workshops, ceremonies for healing from the traumas that these relationships have created, flights and taxi fares to be with guys, long distance phone calls either to these men or to my brilliant Mum in despair, moves overseas, gym memberships in countries for timelines long past me living there, soft (and hard) furnishings and rent payments in a flat that I then had to leave. I am still paying this debt off.
I have smoked so many damaging cigarettes to suppress the grief, on occasions drank alot of alcohol to numb the pain and also abused substances, alone, on week nights. I have missed many meals because I was too unhappy to eat, eaten a shed load of crap at times when I was hungry but didn't even have enough self love to prepare myself a meal and spent so much time waiting, outside, in winter, in the cold. I have lost so much sleep that was vital to my health either worrying, working or thinking or planning or waiting or in trying to convince whichever guy it was that they should actually choose me. The last Christmas that I could have enjoyed with my treasured Grandparents was ruined because I was so depressed and traumatised from one of these break ups that I couldn't be lovingly present.
I have missed out on fun and also, importantly, time that I could have used in contributing positively to the world with all of the love and investment that I instead poured into black holes (I chose to study environmental science and did a degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Management - whilst I have been engrossed in getting to the bottom of this nightmare the Great Barrier Reef has been pronounced f*****g dead!). I have missed out on growing friendships, nourishing relationships and my health. I have lost abundance and wasted money that I inherited from one of my grandmothers that I could have used for investing in my bright, beautiful future - that would also improve and enrich the lives of others.
I have spent so many nights on London pavements trying to convince one of these men in particular that I was actually 'a Goddess' and worth his time. On occasions I have feared for my life. I have found myself lying in a dangerous ditch in Brazil, waiting for the same one of these men to come home because at the time that was actually preferable to being at home and feeling the pain of his rejection. I have been so afraid that one of these men was going to 'hunt me down' because I actually found the strength to leave him before he left me that I have sought the advice of the police and domestic abuse phone lines.
At the worst of this journey I have attracted people that society likes to label as sociopaths, possible psychopaths or narcissists. I don't totally like these labels but for a time they were really useful, especially in researching patterns and dynamics to try to decode what the hell was suddenly going on in my love life which never was a problem before this time period when I was attracting very decent guys.
The weirdest thing was that somewhere deep down I saw red flags and knew that these guys were wrong for me. But I was so pulled towards them and they seemed to hold the promise of giving me everything that I ever wanted. They did. But not in the way that I thought.
The ride has got easier and in the past two years, as I have learnt and acted to change my patterns, listen to and heed red flags and made powerful choices to say NO to more of the same; what I have been sent and attracted in response has been very different. There have been decent guys in the mix from the outset too and perhaps some of them available and not choosing of me for other reasons (and actually there have been some that have been available that I didn't want to choose - because they clearly didn't have the learning within them that I needed), but they have overall been OVERWHELMINGLY unavailable.
They might be going away, living away, have recently broken up with a girlfriend, might still be with a girlfriend, definitely won't be wanting a girlfriend or just plain old emotionally aren't available.
For all of last year I was single, and in this time I underwent a massive transformational journey and developed a greater level of 'self-love' and resilience than I had ever had before. Whilst a few men made a fleeting appearance (all still mostly unavailable) I really made a strong, concerted effort to get to the root of this issue. I gradually saw that I no longer had to worry about attracting dangerous men but I still had some really painful encounters in which I would attract promising mirages in the desert. Masters of illusion that were very different to what I had experienced but were still unavailable and never going to choose me, even if they might have suggested or seemed to and even might have thought themselves that they would, at the beginning.
A key issue of later has been the legacy of this pattern and defence mechanism within me that I had developed to prevent more of the same; a hyper-vigilant, anxious, complex trauma response within me which threatened to ruin any future relationship with any future available man anyway. In the finale of this traumatic saga I sabotaged a relating scenario with an amazing, once in a lifetime - have never felt anything like this before - really think he is it, man because I couldn't quite trust that he would be available to me. I scanned him for unavailability from the outset, not wanting to risk investing in someone again who was not actually even present to be invested in. I pushed him to his limit and he left.
I soul searched for two weeks in heartbreak, looking for reasons for why he might have so abruptly jumped ship and started to see all of the ways that I had actually ruined this because I was looking at him, his actions and his words through my own lens of fear, based on my past experiences.
I delved so deep into my own soul and instead of hardening to the pain or him or even myself I held the whole thing with love and courageously took responsibility for every bit of my part in the failing of the relationship, looking at all of my issues and myself head on. I was committed to owning and transforming all of them, knowing how powerful the awareness was to do so and how committed I would be to embodying it, with also the right support in hand to really, truly do this. I processed it all and compiled it all and shared it all with him in love but it was too late - 'I had ruined it'.
And there was one more thing... He had realised in himself in the same amount of time and revealed to me that he had actually not been available in the first place.
Whilst I stood by all that I had owned and was still committed to transforming all of my fear so that the next partnership I was in would not be sabotaged by my past I then knew a missing piece of the puzzle in why I had been triggered so hard in it in the first place and saw that, actually, a large amount of my fear and distrust were actually my intuition and inner knowing and that fear was then clearly warranted.
I didn't want this particular situation to end like this but I know that I did everything, in the end, I could to give it the best possible outcome. I showed up, I was willing to work through my and his issues and I stood in love. I actually thought that it was part of our path to have a trial by fire and show each other some big hard truths about ourselves so that we could create something uniquely incredible and conscious and once in a million lifetimes from the ashes. But he didn't want that and I respect it and that is what I have needed to accept. All we can ever change is ourselves.
I've already spent way too much time trying to change others.
What this finale showed me, in taking (or burning) me to the ground again, was that the missing piece I needed for my freedom was my own self availability. In other words, 'it's not you, it's me... it’s me being unavailable to myself which has meant that I have attracted you to be unavailable to me'. I had already learnt, by then, that everything we find in others is mirroring ourselves to ourselves. So if we are attracting someone lacking empathy, for example, we are being shown the places in ourselves for which we lack empathy. I knew this before, and I was working with it, but that final time that this happened I was wise and ready enough to totally own the whole thing - or my parts in it.
I'm glad that I died to my old self that didn't love herself and I am grateful to every person and relationship along my journey that has mirrored what I have ultimately needed to see. But I don't believe that it had to or has to be so hard. I could have actually died completely on all levels on this mad quest and never lived to tell the tale. It was dangerously hard and I think that this is such a big issue for women right now. I see so many women in my life in relationships where they are desperately or subtly trying to make their man (or man to woman - it works both ways) see their value and choose them and it's all because they aren't truly choosing or valuing themselves.
I find it dangerous how there are alot of articles and 'movements' out there that, although well meaning, are actually reinforcing this pattern by identifying men 'sociopaths' or 'narcissists' and listing their red flags which women should be aware of without FULLY mentioning where this whole thing comes from from the women's side (or vice versa gender-wise). They big up 'empaths' - the supposed opposite to these other labels, amplify their innocence and glorify us women with 'big hearts' that 'give our love away to men who don't deserve us'. Yes, to an extent this is true and I have needed to read these articles at certain points on my journey but we need to look inward, not outward, at ourselves, to solve this puzzle at the root. Let's not sit around damning men or damning women without transcending through to the real of it all.
The worst, but best, part of this whole story is that it has been my entire creation.
No, I didn't deserve what I was given at earlier and sometimes later parts of the story and I can't own parts that aren't mine - I contributed 50% to each and every relationship and experienced a shed load of dysfunction and wounding from the other side. But, I have to see my part in casting for the same role over and over and we have a big level of choice in what we allow for the most part (accept where we don't and we cannot leave and are truly trapped in certain situations - I've been there too).
After all is said and done, the truth remains that we attract something of what we are in our partners. To ourselves. We are mirrors.
And knowing that is my key, not to unlocking the heart of someone who is never going to be available to me, but to unlocking my own heart for myself, so that I can also be available to others. To change the ending of my own story.
This video tells a common tale in this story far too well.
*Maybe don't read this if you have an unhealthy aversion to the darker or harder things in life - it also contains sensitive material and potentially could be triggering for people. But it's important.*
Why won't my masculine step up? Why won't he be available to and show up for my feminine?
Some more final pieces of the puzzle came together today when I had a Shamanic healing session in which I asked to retrieve the masculine part of my soul that seemed to be missing. As much as I have identified what he needs to do over the past few days (and before) he still wasn't stepping up - so I took another step toward him. So the feminine in me needs consistency from him. He gets it! So she needs him to hold her and maintain the boundaries...why can't he do it then?
So what happened in this profound session was that I found this missing part of my soul, locked down in the depths and in the shadows in a stark concrete cell - a shimmering golden star of everything that was mine that needed to be back in my being.
This part of my soul left me when I was sexually abused by my Step-Grandpa when I was a child. A key reason (but not the only one - it's not quite this simple) the masculine in me is so wounded that he can't step up and catch my feminine when she falls is because he was not allowed to do his job when he most needed to in my life. Instead of being my inner hero he became my wounded critic. He was castrated. How could he stand up and stop what was happening to me when a powerful masculine in my outside world was playing God and overriding him? Inner. Power. Gone. The damage this does is massive and it doesn't just come from sexual abuse. It can happen from the smallest of things - the tiniest of traumas. In this case it set up a deep inner conflict within me - between the part of me that knew that I was innocent and pure and the part of me that now hated myself and wanted to dissociate from and renounce my body; despite knowing I couldn't have stopped it more than I had. Between the part of me that needed saving and the part of me that didn't save her - divided.
In this abuse my power was taken away.
I learnt to have shame and I learnt to self-loathe. I learnt to look outside for validation. Not only because of this, but right now, I am talking about this.
My wounded masculine panicked. He felt like he was useless and was scared about what life would be like, now that he had experienced being powerless to protect me. So, from an attitude of scarcity coming from a place of fear, he started being all critical and controlling and perfectionist and, terrified of the way my feminine and body might betray my whole being again he learnt to shut her down and make me escape to my mind. He was afraid of the emotional and physical response from this trauma in my body and started to hate and quieten the feminine in me for being 'too much' or overwhelming - too wild and too chaotic. I numbed sections of my body that I only came to be aware of when I started meditating and becoming more aware of my body. He was unable to contain her/me or set boundaries, having had all that disrupted from the outside in. She rebelled and she also had some other issues. Disharmony well and truly set in. They developed a codependent dysfunctional relationship.
It isn't as simple as quickly finding this key missing piece of my masculine power and putting it back. This is a neat and way so over-simplified version here. I have done alot of work on this over the past years, and especially more recently, through a range of healing modalities/tantra work/therapy on top of many inner battles. So today is a missing powerful piece on top of all of that foundation - but one that is MASSIVELY instrumental in me finding this integration and harmony and union within myself. When I asked this part of my soul what it needed to return it told me that it wanted me to own this power that was ready to come back to me, to share my story and bring justice by shining my light that was always mine to shine. It told me that the only 'revenge' it wanted was to shine like it was always meant to.
I don't expect things in this inner masculine-feminine relationship to be just fine from this point on or to not have any more inner battles or for things to be perfect. I realise it is just the start. But my inner masculine now says that he is ready for this journey of full self availability. This is what he has to say right now to my feminine:
"I hereby take back loving leadership, with you, on this mission. I am back in my place. I am here to catch you when you fall. I understand that it will take time for you to trust my commitment and consistency, but I have as long as it takes. I can definitely make 21 days as a start - hell, make it 210! I am sorry that I seemed to fail you before but know that there couldn't have been any other way. Let me make this right, here and now. Thanks for knowing what to do to get me back to you and I'm so glad that I actioned those steps that you suggested. I really think we can work together now. I know it's not going to be all easy but I know how deeply beautiful it's going to be and I can't wait to be available to you. I am here now and I love you, I've got you and I see you."
I'm not playing victim here. I am not looking for a response. I've got this... It's tricky material and people find it difficult, but it needs to be less stigmatised. It is an important part of this unfolding inner story and I refuse to leave anything out, even if it's heavy.
I am not in a position to be speaking about this in video form right now but my main girl Layla here (www.layla-martin.com) shares some things that I think are really valuable to hear about this topic and I share many of her great views on. #iamnotashamed.
They got married 65 years ago. They were halfway through their 63rd year together. They met as they sat opposite each other, visiting their respective Mum's in hospital.
They were so strong together, like two pillars that stood side by side. They were so connected that they only had 11 days apart before Gran passed away. They had their funeral together. At the time it was like Pappy went first, which he technically did. But it became clear that Gran's heart was already seriously failing long before and Pappy actually had a very simple ailment (that could have been solved if it weren't for certain factors) which came up whilst Gran was already letting go and leading the way.
They taught me so much about the masculine and feminine interacting. It wasn't always sunshine and yes. For example, before they were married and before they started a life together, Pappy had a time where he wasn't sure. Perhaps he wasn't ready to commit and face what he needed to face. Perhaps he wasn't sure he was enough. Perhaps he didn't know what he wanted. He only revealed that he had taken a step back when he was in hospital, as if he needed to tell us all and get it off his chest. But, again, like he always consistently showed to me outside, the masculine within him stood up and he decided to be consistent and be there. He chose her and she chose him.
I know the story doesn't often end like that...I've been there one million+ times where it hasn't. And I know why and my part in it. And it's exactly what I am resolving within myself here right now.
Gran and Pappy, whilst I sleep, give me all the wisdom you have and consistency you showed each other so that my masculine in me can be available and provide what my feminine needs. So that my feminine can be available to my masculine. So that they can unite in the way that you did and stand together in harmony and support of each other so that I can feel this wholeness and togetherness and integrity within me. Thank you. I love you.