Kundalini Rising & Spiritual Healing, Part II

This is in two parts: first, how to recognize and take care of ourselves in a kundalini rising experience, and second, some tips on working with a client with kundalini rising. This, the second part, won’t make as much sense as I would hope unless you have read the first part, Kundalini Rising: The Experience, which preceeded this.

These are just some suggestions for those of you who may be inexperienced in doing healing work with kundalini energies on the rampage. Having been through it myself, on both sides of the chair, I think there are some things that you may find it helpful to remember.

First, be sure that you are very earthed, centered, and connected. This is powerful energy — you are working with a surplus of energy instead of the more usual energy deficit encountered in working with illness. If you are in any doubt about your own ability to stay absolutely stable and earthed, leave this work for others. There are plenty of us able to do it, so don’t do something that may put you in need of healing too.

Second, concentrate first on earthing the client’s energy. This is the major need. Many of the symptoms of runaway kundalini are a direct result of excessive and ungrounded energies. The healer’s first task should be to restore the system to a well-grounded balance.

Kundalini rising experiences can be quite violent in nature, very gentle or anything in between. They tend to occur when some kind of inner block, that has been restricting energy flow, is released. When these blocks are released in a sick person with deficient energy, they tend to allow the energy to rise to normal levels, healing body and emotions. When they occur in a person with normal or above average health, they may allow the energy to increase to unprecedented levels. The person will not, at first, be able to adequately earth the energy, and so that becomes the first consideration in healing — get it grounded! A lot of the emotional stuff involved in kundalini rising experiences disappears when adequate earthing is achieved — or becomes much more manageable for the person involved.

These experiences also sometimes happen to healers and meditators whose practices increase their capacity to allow energy flow through them, especially if they are also focusing on clearing their own blocks. A healer who is close to having a kundalini rising experience may find that it is triggered by working with someone else’s kundalini overspill. So take care of yourself, earth and clear your own energy after working with such cases very carefully, and be aware of what is happening to you and your energy as you work.

Third, DO NOT put energy in. There is too much already. Concentrate on earthing, centering, smoothing, calming, relaxing what is already there — but not on adding, which will only make the symptoms worse.

Fourth, if you feel over-energized, unstable, or ungrounded after working with someone in this state, you need to focus on your own grounding and centering until you get back in balance. Watch it!

Fifth, keep the actual hands-on sessions short. Again, 15 minutes is about right. Remember, you DO NOT need to put energy in; you do need to help the client develop sufficiently strong channels for earthing it, which they will not yet have.

Kundalini rising is sometimes a violent experience, radically changing one’s subtle energy field (making it much less subtle!) and consciousness and perception of energy. The experience can be (and often is in the West) mistaken for insanity (usually acute schizophrenia) or emotional or physical breakdown on a fairly large scale.

Therefore, when I spoke above about “grounding” being the primary need in working with a client experiencing kundalini rising, I meant something far more heavy duty than perhaps a visualization and a glass of water at the end of a session. I meant that the whole session, especially for the first several sessions, should focus on grounding, helping the client to “rewire” to handle far more powerful energy than they have hitherto been accustomed. This needs to combine hands-on earthing, possible physical exercises, and visualization — physical body, mind, and subtle body.

Sixth, teach the client whatever they need to know about meditating and earthing themselves. If the client doesn’t meditate, show them a simple meditation exercise, preferably focused on the breath, and encourage them to start. I usually recommend that people sit quietly, count each breath until they reach ten, and then begin counting again, focusing their awareness on the movement of the breath in the abdomen (an important point in grounding!). Five minutes a day the first week, ten the second, and fifteen thereafter. If they do meditate, make certain that the meditation they normally practice is centering and earthing and not merely a means of “spacing out”. Meditative exercises that concentrate on raising the energy are also inappropriate during the integration process.

The client will probably need to be shown some earthing exercises. They will need to learn some yoga or chi gung or t’ai chi techniques (some of the Reichian exercises may also be useful in this context) for physical earthing. They also need to develop skill in using visualization techniques that are especially powerful for them. The healer who works with kundalini-rising clients definitely needs to know and practice both the physical and imagery earthing exercises himself on a regular basis.

The meditation exercise above is a very grounding one, but clients also need some effective earthing exercise that they can do more frequently and quickly. They need to be encouraged to earth themselves often during the day, especially when they feel the symptoms of too much ungrounded energy. These symptoms may be physical (trembling, energy surges), emotional (unusual fragility, strong surges of emotion only partially based on circumstances, or unusual mood swings) or mental (obsessive or other abnormal thought patterns).

A major lesson for most healers is about taking care of ourselves. I am not altogether certain about the advisability of working with kundalini if you have not yourself been through the experience and are not therefore able to operate at the energy level involved. Obviously, it is of great importance to be careful to keep yourself clear and earthed. You can and must evaluate your own needs and situation!

A CASE HISTORY

I’ll briefly describe one case below, but people exhibit a variety of symptoms which confuse both themselves and doctors: symptoms may mimic some of the symptoms of a heart attack, of psychosis, and/or of neurological disease, as well as an almost random selection of other problems, depending on where they are blocking the flow of kundalini, as we all are. They may have sensations of intense heat, intense itching, intense discomfort. They may experience severe trembling or momentary loss of motor control. Other, less predictable things may also happen. It’s very understandable for people to be alarmed and for doctors, who in general know little about the subtle energy body, to be confused!

One of my first kundalini-rising clients had spent two years in a mental hospital prior to coming to me. He was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. (I have his permission to discuss his case as he hoped others might learn from his experience.) When I first saw him he had been out of hospital for about six months and was afraid that he needed to go back in because his symptoms were worsening again, in spite of the medication, which he hated for its side effects. (The medication suppressed the symptoms by suppressing him) Someone referred him to me, and we worked together fairly intensively for about six months — twice a week at first, then once a week. Later, after about six months, we dropped down to once a month, then only when he felt the need, which wasn’t often.

He had attended a public lecture where the speaker described a kundalini-rising exercise and told people that if they did it, interesting energy things would happen. Geez. Talk about irresponsibility from someone who presumably should know better! He practiced the exercise for an hour, sometimes two or three hours, a day, which tells you something about his then-obsessional traits. This precipitated a kundalini rising experience for which he was totally unprepared, both emotionally and energetically/physically.

When he first came in to see me, he said, “I’m crazy – I hear voices.” I replied, “Well, I hear voices too, and I get paid for it.” We both thought about this for a moment, and then I added, “What’s crazy is if you believe everything they tell you.” That was apparently the right note for him, and we proceeded from there.

His “voices” were very intense. They followed him around all day and woke him up at night. They cursed and screamed at him, they told him to do horrible things (which he fortunately didn’t). He thought they were demons. He feared that they could do the things they threatened to do to him and to the people he knew, although of course they cannot.

We worked at first almost exclusively on earthing him, helping him to develop stronger subtle energy channels, better grounding, and skills in closing down psychically when he wanted to do so. Since he spent a lot of time in bars when we first started working, the latter was very important. As we were able to move from first aid to longer term concerns, we began to work with the psychological issues which had been blown into awareness and energized by the kundalini energy. He worked very hard (the advantage of being obsessional, even moderately!) and within six months he was functioning normally most of the time and had begun meditating and pursuing spiritual studies. Good outcome!

One of the advantages I had over the therapists and doctors who had worked with him before was that I could take the “voices” seriously. Some of them were certainly disassociated parts of himself in need of healing and integration, and we could identify and work with those therapeutically. Others of the “voices” were other entities, not “demons” as he thought, but just really nasty people without bodies. Once he understood that they had no power in this world unless they could get him to act on their behalf, he began to accept responsibility for his own inner space and for who he allowed in there. He learned to listen, evaluate, and deal with the voices appropriately.

It took longer, but in a fit of exasperation one night, he finally learned that he could control that inner space as well. I had been telling him for some while that, if he told these entities to GET OUT! and meant it, they would have to go because it was his space. He didn’t think he could make them go, but finally one night they woke him up several times running. He’d had a hard day at work, he was expecting another hard day the next morning, and he was tired and irritable. He sat up in his bed and roared, “Get out of here, you fucking bastards!” And they did. He said it was the first time he experienced having an empty space around him in years. He was very pleased with himself. Exorcisims need not be fancy. 🙂

Catch 22 situation: A disassociated part of oneself masquerading as another entity cannot be “cast out”, but can only be dealt with by therapeutic reconciliation. Another, separate entity cannot be dealt with by therapy, and can only be offered healing. If they don’t accept the healing, as they may not (it’s their choice, after all), then they can and probably should be banished. This is simple, but the person saying GO AWAY! has to really mean it, and that is harder. So here we can see why therapists find some of the “voices” intractable, resistant to therapy, and why mediums and ministers bent on “casting out devils” find that it doesn’t work on some of them. One has to be prepared to work in both worlds in order to be effective in these situations.

In most cases, the arousal of kundalini does not produce such severe psychological/psychic problems. However, occasionally, especially in the case of a “spontaneous” arousal of the energy where the person had not been doing the spiritual/psychological and energetic/physical groundwork, they may occur. For someone who hasn’t done the groundwork, as this client hadn’t, the psychic and psychiatric problems are much larger. I’d say that he became wide open on a psychic level, and a pretty low one at that, able to hear and communicate with whatever was around. Like attracts like, and he was fearful, bullying, and obsessional when we began working together — not very nice energies/entities to attract and live with. By the time he had worked on himself for quite a while he was attracting an altogether different kind of being and getting some valuable teaching.

If a person has done the groundwork — the personal growth, the strengthening of subtle and physical bodies — the more psychotic episodes are very unusual and the emotional disturbances are much easier to deal with just by earthing oneself. Also a person who has that kind of background is not going to rush off to an allopathic doctor for either emotional or energy symptoms. They are much more likely to go to their teacher and/or spiritual peers, who will probably recognize what is going on.

Some people seem to think that doctors “should” understand and properly treat such psychic disturbances. I think this is asking a bit much of them. MDs usually do what they are trained to do reasonably well — sometimes extremely well. The big mistake in what we expect of them is ours — as a society we make them into little gods, and if they assume the mantle, believing the propaganda, and then we are stuck with only their limited knowledge when we really need something altogether outside of their field. However, it really is important to not expect more of them than they are actually trained to deliver. I would want an MD to treat my broken leg; I would want a healer to reduce the trauma and to help speed the healing of that leg; and I would want a suitable person (probably a spiritual consultant rather than a conventional therapist) to help me look at what may have led me to break my leg in the first place.

All of these people are specialists, and it would be very difficult for any one person to skillfully combine all of these aspects – there is just too much to learn. I’ve been studying and practicing healing for almost 60 years now, and I don’t begin to know the half of it. I know some things about psychotherapy and am reasonably competent in dealing with some things and at recognizing others that should be referred to other therapists. I certainly would never have had the time to learn medicine as well. People (including doctors) need to be educated to the alternatives so that they can refer appropriately — and that education, I feel, is best done by the people experienced in the alternatives, if only doctors would listen. Some do.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that the kundalini rising experience is a good thing. Yogis work for years to achieve it. It is the energy that carries us through to the next natural phase of human evolution. It is there to clear and strengthen our systems – physical, subtle energy, and psychological. Handled well it makes us both both stronger and wiser.

This article originally appeared in Otherworld Arts, 1997, a small bimonthly magazine published by Jessica Macbeth.

Copyright © 1997 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.
Your comments will be read with interest.

Kundalini Rising: The Experience, Part I

I wrote this article many years ago, and am reposting it here just so I can find it to include it in my WooWoo pages (classes on healing and psychic and spiritual development) when I get a chance. However, some of you may find it useful so here we go.

This is in two parts: first, how to recognize and take care of ourselves in a kundalini rising experience, and second, some tips on working with a client with kundalini rising. I’ll post the second part soon after this one.

It has been many years since I went through my own kundalini rising experience, but it isn’t the sort of thing one forgets. An explosion of energy in my root/sacral center hit my feet and the top of my head hard enough to throw the masseur who was working on me against the wall. He clung to the wall with both hands, I clung to the massage table with both hands and all my toes – and I think I remember biting the sheet. Have you ever put an Alka Seltzer or other effervescent tablet in your mouth by mistake? It foams madly and has to run out because you can’t swallow fast enough. Well, I felt like that everywhere inside, and there didn’t seem to be any place for the wild energy to go.

John, the masseur, spent the next hour holding my feet, trying to earth us both, while I lay there and fizzed and fizzed and fizzed. It was months before people stopped getting electrical shocks when they reached out to touch me. And other exciting things happened as well — books leaping off of shelves, lights turning themselves on and off, that kind of thing. Nothing harmful, just a lot of busybody activity from ungrounded psychokenetic energy.

I was fortunate. I knew things about kundalini energy; I’d been reading about it for some months (intuition tries to guide us, if only we will follow). Since then I’ve worked with a number of people going through this process, and learned quite a lot both from them and from other sources. The experience itself is rather like waking up one morning and finding yourself on a roller coaster just headed down that first long dip. Exciting! It certainly can be alarming if you don’t know what to expect, and if you don’t realize that this is a part of a healthy evolutionary development process.

Kundalini usually rises as a result of different events or processes. First, and most likely, is the strengthening of the subtle energy system through meditation, yoga, the practice of healing, some martial arts, or other practices aimed at developing that kind of psychic energy strength. The second most likely cause of arousal is as a result of releasing emotional/structural blocks in the body/mind that have served to repress the energy. Either of these things may, by themselves, result in the rising of the “serpent power”. There is a third possibility as well. Sometimes kundalini rising is triggered by trauma or misguided exercises in a person completely unprepared for it. This can be an extremely difficult experience, as you will understand from the explanation below.

Kundalini rising experiences vary a lot from person to person. They can happen in a sudden, drastic whoosh, or in repeated bursts extending over a longer period of time. Or both. The important thing about recognizing it, is to remember that it is very powerful, a radical change in one’s energy. If a person has managable energy surges and can cope with them with a little extra earthing, it probably isn’t kundalini — or they have been practicing one of the disciplines like kundalini yoga , which often make the process more managable. If they think that they may be having heart failure, becoming psychotic, developing a severe neurological disease, or similar symptoms, it may be kundalini rising. On the other hand, it may be heart failure, psychosis, etc. Tricky.

Often the “main event” of the rising is preceded by a series of “precursor dreams” and by the experience of strong, but unstable energies. The dreams are usually symbolic of the sudden movement of vast energies — such as tidal waves, earthquakes, burning heavens, et cetera. The unstable energies are often powerful surges. They may be experienced first in the legs and pelvis, resulting in strong sensations there. Sometimes this triggers powerful sacral center energies, which may be interpreted by the unprepared as strong sexual drives (that one, as you might suppose, can create a whole range of problems and confusion all on its own). On the other hand, there may be a temporary loss of interest in sexuality while the process unfolds through the higher chakra. There may be sensations of intense heat and/or moments of loss of motor control. There may also be emotional disturbances (see more on this below). What is happening is that the energy in the root chakra, awakened by meditation or healing or whatever, is trying to move upward, where it encounters a block (often in the sacral or solar chakra), and it earths itself through the legs until the block above is released. At that point, the energy may rise explosively and very powerfully.

In traditional yoga, a balanced program was followed to prepare the adept for the kundalini rising experience, which they consider to be an evolutionary step forward for the human nervous system and subtle energy field. Several yogas (body, emotions, mind, and devotional) were all practiced under the close supervision of an experienced teacher. This meant that the student was prepared for the radical changes that occur and also that they were more clear — there was less emotional and mental and physical “pollution” to be stirred up by the rising power. Unfortunately, in the West many have not yet fully accepted that healing, meditation, and practices like yoga and other exercise systems that affect the subtle energies also require continuing personal growth work in order to avoid the worst of these emotional disturbances with the precipitous rising of kundalini.

When the energy rises through the subtle channels and the chakras, it tries to radically open and cleanse the chakras. If a person has been prepared for this by the resolution of emotional blocks and traumas and by the strengthening of the subtle energy channels and physical body, the process is simply a very wild, but often enjoyable ride. However, if the personal growth work has not been done, great emotional disturbance can result — in some cases going so far as to appear to be an acute mental/emotional breakdown or psychosis. If the strengthening of the subtle energy channels and of the physical body has not been adequately accomplished, there can be alarming physical and energetic symptoms, especially in the heart and nervous system. Modern Western medicine is not prepared to cope with any of this, and in fact, may offer treatments (aimed at relieving the symptoms) that work against the real needs of the client. For example, people experiencing kundalini rising will not usually be helped by tranquilizers, beta blockers, anti-depressants or sleeping pills.

There are some standard, routine things we need to do to take care of ourselves in this situation. Most of them are common sense, but a couple are less well known. It helped me to think of what was happening in terms of electricity. Suddenly there was 220 v. running around in a 110 v. system — and the grounding was inadequate. Whatever you have been doing for centering and grounding yourself needs to be done a lot more, and you need to do it repeatedly during the day and when you wake up at night. You may even need to learn or invent some new and better earthing techniques. I spent a lot of time paddling in the sea, which helped wonderfully but is not necessarily practical for everyone.

In such an experience we can expect all sorts of bizarre sensations of energy, trembling, shaking, muscle spasms, et cetera. Dreams of earthquakes, tidal waves, and so on are also common and really have nothing to do with our psychological state. Also, we must expect all sorts of emotional disruption. Don’t take this too seriously (I know it’s hard not to!) because much of this is quickly alleviated when we become more earthed. There is a kind of wackiness (technical term) that goes with unearthed energy that can seem like real psychological disturbances, but disappears as soon as we are grounded again. That is stuff that doesn’t have to be dealt with, because it isn’t “real”. What remains once we are grounded probably is real, but until we are solidly earthed, we won’t really know which is which.

As I said above, this process is very individual, so some of the things I’m suggesting may not be appropriate in specific cases, but this article is just suggestions for first aid.

First, one of the important things is meditation. It is very helpful to meditate 15 minutes a day. This helps to earth and stabilize the energy, especially if you begin and end your meditation with centering and earthing. For this purpose, I recommend a meditation that focuses on the breath as they tend to be inherently grounding.

The “15 minute rule” is very important. That gives just about maximum relaxation, stabilization, and integration. After that, the energy in the system starts to increase, which is just exactly what you don’t want. So 15 minutes, no more, and preferably no less each day helps a lot.

Diet is also important. Are you a vegetarian? If so, it makes it a bit harder, because meat is grounding, and you will need to include more earthing vegetables in your diet. We need to avoid stimulants like sugar and caffeine. Using minimal salt is also a help, because salt and acids (like vinegar in pickles and salad dressing) stimulate the adrenals. Red meat does too, so the lighter meats like poultry and fish are better in general. I’ve been told that a vegetarian should eat a lot of root vegetables — at least, that is supposed to help. (I can’t say from personal experience because I am carnivorous and didn’t have to pay a lot of attention to the grounding qualities of vegetables.)

Exercise helps, but it needs to be moderate and regular. A rule of thumb in dealing with kundalini is to avoid overdoing anything. The system is already overdoing things, and it needs moderation and calmness.

The primary requirement in dealing with this experience is to learn to earth and to integrate this enhanced energy flow. To do this we may, especially at first, need help with earthing the sudden release of these powerful energies. We may also need help with the emotional/mental patterns and malfunctions brought into increased activity and under increased pressure by the rising of kundalini.

As you may guess, it is very helpful to try to avoid making a huge drama about this. The more we can be calm and grounded, the easier, swifter, and more smooth the passage is through all the dreams and other exciting things.

In cultures where kundalini is known and understood by many, people undergoing the experience will usually be encouraged to work closely with a teacher who understands the process and probably to take time from their ordinary life for a retreat while the energy rebalances. In our Western society, we often do not realize that we need to do this and attempt to carry on with all the demands of ordinary life while we try to integrate the kundalini changes. This can be done, but it requires special attention to the things mentioned above like diet, exercise, and meditation. It is also very helpful if we can get time for mini-retreats — occasional days of solitude and quiet. Things like long outdoor walks or working in a garden also are helpful, as is paddling in an ocean or a river. Time spent with nature is never wasted and you may well discover new aspects of nature with your enhanced subtle senses.

The one thing I can say for sure is that the kundalini rising experience is worth having (but I like roller coasters), and the end results of enhanced psychic strength, increased stability, and greater healing ability are well worth going through the turmoil of the transition period. Full integration may take several years — two or three is not excessive.

This article originally appeared in Otherworld Arts, 1997, a small bimonthly magazine published by Jessica Macbeth. Copyright © 1997 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

Your comments will be read with interest.

I’m So Very Lucky

.

Gladhval with Mist on the Water
Early Morning, Scotland, 1969

Lucky. Fortunate. Blest.

I just read a blog by Vivienne Tuffnell on The Loss of Our Youthful Dreams, which was very thought-provoking. It made me try to remember what my own early goals and ambitions were and how they had all worked out. At first, it seemed just jumble of random things happening, of starting and not finishing, with a lot of wandering around doing things that seemed sometimes surprising but often irrelevant to anything important.

The earliest plan I had for my life, at the age of two, was wanting to be “a gran’ma and a doctor.” The reason I remember this is that everyone thought it was such a strange notion — in those days it was expected that little girls all wanted to be a mommy. People liked to remind me of this and laugh all the way into my teens. I’ll come back to this later.

Sometime in primary school, I felt I also wanted to be a poet (who illustrated her own poems) and to have six children and to be a doctor. Sometime in high school, I was clear that I wanted to write and illustrate children’s books — and I wanted to be a doctor, but was beginning to worry about the medical bit. I had realized that what doctors actually did wasn’t really what I wanted to do. So I thought about nursing… and a week in the hospital showed me that this wasn’t it either. Also in high school, I accidentally became convinced that I’d never be a “good enough” artist and that the kind of books I’d liked weren’t really proper children’s books at all. So the children’s books were out too.

By the time I became a freshman in college, it seemed like being a psychologist might be the right thing, so I took classes in the subject. Back then, sixty years ago, psychology was all about behaviorism and Skinner boxes and nothing to do (it seemed to me) with real people. As for consciousness — there was No. Such. Thing.

At the end of my second year in college, I threw it all up in the air, got married, moved onto a boat, got shipwrecked, had a baby, bought a bigger boat with my husband, repaired, painted, and polished it up and sold it, and we went off to Great Britain to buy a sailing boat to go cruising. Around the world, perhaps. We didn’t find the boat we wanted in Wales, England, or Scotland so we boarded a ferry to Norway. In Oslo, we found exactly what we wanted. Almost. The entire first third of it was rotten so we decided to become serious boat builders in the west of Norway for several years. As we headed toward Romsdalen, we grounded our Gladhval in calm water and had our first relatively gentle but alarming taste of being nearly shipwrecked. In Romsdalen, we worked hard doing the heavy labor of boat building for a few years. When we reached a point where the hull was sound and tight, we launched her and headed south to Stavanger. On the way we had another near-shipwreck on Christmas Eve. There are Norwegians who are really kind and helpful. In Stavanger we spent an icy winter and then we sailed to Scotland, with major engine problems on the way, and worked on the boat some more. In Scotland, we were once again we were grounded and almost wrecked, following which we were caught in a hurricane and rescued by the Royal Navy. Scots are kind and helpful too.

This sounds silly, but after several years in Scotland, we realized that we needed to go back to Norway because many of the building materials we still needed were more readily available there. So, we tacked bits canvas over the most open places in the deck, and headed back to Norway in November during the equinoctial storm. Rough trip, but we made it. Arrived inside the skerries to find it so calm in the fjord that every star was reflected in the water. This seemed a good omen. In fact, just arriving at all seemed a very good omen!

We were going north, perhaps back to the original boatyard — I don’t remember now. Nearly got shipwrecked again — this time in very rough, scary waters with big rocks sticking up out of them. So we turned around and headed south toward Bergen. I’m not sure of our exact itinerary throughout these years, but I do remember the various groundings and near shipwrecks very well — along with the bright sparkling wave on sunny days, the astoundingly bright stars on clear nights, and even occasional auroras. We survived and made it back to Bergen, where I decided I really wanted to go back to Scotland (heart’s home). My son, Jon, and I left. Jeff, my ex-husband, still has Gladhval. I missed out on the eventual trip to the Caribbean, but I didn’t really mind that.

Then there were the years in Scotland where I applied my boat-building and painting skills to interior and exterior house painting and decorating. Then another wedding, this time to a “mad Scot” — Neil — and a new career in antiques and antiquarian books. First, we sold them in flea markets, then we exported them to Canada, and then we moved and imported Scottish things to California. All of these years, from the time I left school, may have seemed like a total distraction, but I learned some very useful things:

1) I was a lot stronger than I had thought. I endured. Yes, I even persisted.
2) I could learn to do almost anything if I was patient and willing to study and practice for as long as it took.
3) While I wasn’t particularly paying attention, I was growing up, accumulating a lot of life experience, and becoming myself. I discovered that I could make changes, could learn new things, however unlikely, and could take risks and survive.
4) That when you got in trouble, if you asked for help you often got it. Most people were naturally kind and helpful.
5) I was older and perhaps a bit wiser and certainly a lot more adaptable. People sometimes realized that I knew things.

These were important qualifications for my Real Career, which was not really antiques and old books.

I went back to college part time — psychology, as a study, had radically changed. Jung! Rogers! Real people issues! Um… even a parapsychology class where I met people who taught me tarot (outside of class) and was introduced to many things I could see were important and valid. Exciting! Maybe I could be a counselor or something. Someone took me to a Spiritualist church, and one of the mediums told me I was a healer. I knew that — had known since I was two — but didn’t everyone always do healing? Turned out that they didn’t. How amazing! So, in my kitchen, I showed a couple of neighbors how to do basic hands-on healing. The two became six, the next time around. Teaching teaches us faster. The friend who had taught me to read tarot moved away and sent all her clients to me, so I did readings and teaching in the back of our antique store.

In my early forties, I was standing in field under a full moon performing a wedding ceremony for a hopeful young couple. In the middle of this, I suddenly realized that “a grandmother and a doctor” really meant a “wise woman and a healer” and what I was doing at that moment was exactly a part of that. I thought that was all finally settled, but it wasn’t.

Eileen, a massage therapist and healer from London was travelling through San Diego. In a grocery store, she asked the clerk if she knew of a good psychic reader. The clerk didn’t, but the customer behind Eileen said, “I know just the right person!” and gave her my phone number. After her session, Eileen asked, “Would you be interested in coming to London and Cornwall to teach and do readings?”

Would I?

Eileen went back home and made arrangements. I bought tickets and went for six weeks — time to teach enough to pay for my tickets. And then I went home, having arranged for me to come back in three months. That was the beginning of my tick-tock travels over the Atlantic. People started wanting me to do classes and reading in other places, and finally in Bath on Beltaine, someone asked what it would take to get me to actually move there. I muttered that I was thinking about moving back to Scotland. But they said, “Bath!” and repeated their question. It was about three in the morning after our celebrations and I was heading back to San Diego the next day. I mumbled that I supposed I’d need somewhere to live and somewhere to teach. I was to come back anyway (tick-tock) around Midsummer. They said they would have places waiting for me to live and work. And they did, so I stayed and tock-ticked in the other direction after that. And started travelling once in a while up to Scotland, just because I loved it.

And about that time, a student showed a publisher friend of hers the notes that I gave to the class and told him that he should get me to write a book on meditation. He did, I did — Moon Over Water — and then I did a second on imagery and inner journeys, Sun Over Mountain.

Then I reversed that situation as well, moving back Scotland, traveling to England and Cornwall — and to California. Scotland is my own magical homeland. I thought I was settled forever. I liked traveling and my cats didn’t mind it too much. We even went camping together. Then I got sick.

Nearly died of pneumonia; couldn’t go back to work for months. I began to feel as if I’d never be really well again. Every doctor and every healer I knew told me that staying in the good Scottish rain would kill me the next winter. That was August, and by December I was beginning to see that they were right. On the 12th of December the cats and I traveled — Arrochar to London to Los Angeles to the desert of Borrego Springs.

As it happened, I didn’t do well in the desert — seemed like I was going to dry, crack, and crumble into dust. All those years in rainy, cold countries hadn’t made me ready for this. The cats and I moved up into the mountains, where there was a bit more water in the air. From there, I drove to San Diego once in a while to teach. Unfortunately, even occasional teaching was too much. Couldn’t teach, couldn’t do healing or counseling; made myself sick again every time I tried. Wasn’t getting much better — in fact all of my energy seemed to be needed just to stop getting worse. It felt like my path had gone over a cliff and me with it.

Just about then, on my 60th birthday, Brian Froud asked me to write the book for the Faeries’ Oracle. I could do that — stay home, write some every day, and rest as needed. This was my third book, and it sold much more than I expected. It took a while, but when the “advance” finally came, I moved to Washington State, bought a bit of forest, and my wild son gradually built a home for me on it. I still wasn’t settled, though I had hoped I was. But after some to-ing and fro-ing, I may be settled now in the middle of three acres of forest with a nearby super-neighbor and caregivers, near Port Townsend. Port Townsend is filled with artists and writers, sculptors and photographers, yoga teachers, tarot readers, craftspeople — witches and elves and gnomes commonly walk the streets. At 79 I rather hope to be settled just where I am — it feels like home. And I can write what I most want to — which tonight is this blog.

What else am I writing? Another oracle for starters. And a book (or five) about tufted faery cats and humna — half human, half faery people. I’ve even found a way to do the illustrations — with help.

Is it for children? Well, yes — and for their parents. And teen-agers and grandparents. And people trying to find a way to live together in a world where so many of us have become strangers and refugees. I’ve gotten ambitious, you see. So I may have accidentally (if you believe in accidents) become a wise woman in a forest, a grandmother, and a writer-illustrator-poet for children and others.

It now appears that all of this time I’ve been working back and forth through my ambitions, often without even realizing that they were ambitions instead of happenstance. I may get there yet. I’m also taking classes in writing — you always need to be trying to get better at things or they get boring. And I keep thinking about teaching a class in using the tarot to help write a book or story. You know, plots and character development are a lot like reality — if you believe in reality.

Tonight I just happened onto a video about someone doing his own version of one of the things I used to do in Scotland. I’d love to go make that trip, if it were possible. Who knows what may yet happen or what paths might open? (I was going to link to it here, but lost it. If I find it again, I’ll put it in the comments.

Tell me, please, what did you want to be when you grew up? And where do you think you might be on the path to getting there?

Buddhism on Wings

or
How I Became Kinda Buddhist

Once upon a time, many ages ago when I was in my thirties, I was walking back to my office in San Diego on a blustery spring day. Stray scraps of paper were leaping and dancing in the gusty wind. It was a game to grab them as they passed by and then tuck them neatly in the next trash can. In the distance, one, about a half of a page, lifted lightly into the air. Something about it caught me—it swooped so low and twirled so high and with such lithesome grace, never quite touching the ground or the buildings. As I continued walking, I watched it, hoping it would come close enough to catch. Its wild gyrations carried it up almost to the roof level of two-story buildings before spiraling down—and rising again. It pirouetted at roof height right across the street before diving down and back the way it had come. With a sudden reverse, it swerved toward me… and gently settled against my chest.

I stood there, stunned, for a moment as it nestled there, held close by the breeze, until I reached slowly up and peeled it carefully from my breast. The first side was blank. The other side had been written on in hard pencil, not easy to read as it flapped gently in my hand. I smoothed it against a handy wall and held it there. It was a simple list of eight concepts, each with a few words of explanation after it. They were Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration.

I remember that the first was “Right View. To see things as they really are. To see the true nature of all things.” I don’t remember the exact wording of the others, but as I read down through the list, I became quite excited. Here, concise and clear, was a description of the path I’d been trying to follow in my own fumbling way. It was like hearing a huge bell ring, the kind that makes your bones vibrate. For several minutes, I just stood there on the street, reverberating. Carefully, I rolled the paper and carried it to my office where I sat and just looked at it until it was almost time for the next client. I can’t say I was thinking or reading— just there, gently humming like a Tibetan bowl being rung.

My office consisted of three main rooms—the front, public room where I taught classes and met individual clients for counseling, the middle room for healing and massage, and the private back room for paperwork and writing. I took the page to the back room and pinned it to the wall above my desk so I only needed to raise my eyes to see it.

Gradually, it became a habit to look at it whenever there was an important decision to make. The checklist helped me keep on track more easily. Then it seemed obvious to begin applying it more widely. Did what I wrote, the classes I prepared, my actions and reactions concerning clients and students measure up to those standards? One of the first things learned (from a Sufi) was that “right” in this context meant “most appropriate, most loving, most healing.” It was a constant challenge, and I fell by the wayside a lot.

About a half a year or so later, a fellow teacher was in the back room as we checked through some class plans. He saw the half-sheet and said, “Oh, I didn’t know you were into Buddhism.”

I didn’t know that either and told him so. He said, “But that’s the eightfold path, the core of Buddhism.”

I looked at it and shrugged. “I found this list and use it for a checklist for stuff. It’s what I’m trying to do. I didn’t realize it was Buddhist.” Though I loved and trusted the man, I didn’t feel like telling him about the paper whirling through the air and plastering itself to my heart. If that happened now, I’d think that Faery brought it to me, the spirits of the wind and air, perhaps, and would probably say so, but I was more shy about these things back then.

“I’ll bring you a book about Buddhism. You’ll like it.”

He did, and I did, and it was the first of a number of books I’ve read on Buddhism, mostly Zen, but also other branches growing from the root of the Buddha’s teachings. And I’ve also gone to a number of classes and meetings to try to learn more. Buddhism is vast. But I wouldn’t call myself a Buddhist. If asked and if I have to come up with a “religion” I usually say “Zen Pagan” and leave it at that.

As far as my current practice goes, I’m human and often mess up. I’m still not perfect at those eight simple guidelines. What is “perfection” anyway? The word itself may be a kind of a trap. Eight little guidelines for living and loving, for compassion and healthy relationships with self and universe. Just eight. Amazingly difficult. Subtle, too. They sound so straightforward — and they are, but things have a tendency to complicate in human minds. We seem to have to start from simplicity, go through a great deal of complexity until our understanding expands enough to move on to a higher level of simplicity. It seems like all these lessons are quite simple once we truly get them. And it also seems that once we truly get them, a little time passes and they start complicating again… because there is yet another level to reach that we couldn’t see before we got to this one.

Somewhere along my rather vagabond way through life, the original piece of paper disappeared. I’ve read a lot since then, and applied what felt appropriate. I made and still make mistakes; hopefully, I learn from them. Things are still checked by the “right guidelines” when there is doubt. You’d be astonished at how much time I spend on some of my responses on Facebook as I work through these. Some responses take days to get past the immediate reaction and into a space of reasonable clarity and “rightness”—as best I understand it.

There may be an end to developing wisdom, but I don’t know if humans ever find it or if we have to progress far beyond the limits of the human mind before we get there. In fact, it may be that the consciousness of the entire universe isn’t there yet. I wonder what would happen if the One became fully enlightened—reaching some state we can’t even begin to imagine. What would that do to us, the tiny cells in Its being? Or does enlightenment work the other way and we small cells have to each and every one reach that ultimate Beingness before the One can?

Meanwhile, I’m still working on trying to find the heart of simplicity in the seeming tangle of complexity. We learn interesting things that way. And I watch carefully what the wind brings me.

© Copyright 2013 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

Footprints in the Sand

The sole of the matter.

I’ve been thinking that this blog has been rather serious lately and I’d like to put something more faery frivolous in it, and this at least starts out that way.

I dreamed that I went to a town meeting. There were a couple of thousand people there. It was being held on the machair, a broad sandy beach with tufts of tough but richly nourishing grass on it. The tide was out, and between the low and high tide marks, the beach was very stony and harsh, unlike the firm sand of the machair higher up. The sea was restless. I was wearing my sandals with flowers on the soles, leaving lovely footprints in the sand, and was walking backward to watch the footprints. They made me feel blithe and whimsical. And happy.

A very old, large, ruined stone building stood on a dune nearby. It was scheduled to be demolished, although most of us wanted it to be restored instead — restored or rebuilt somehow. People were volunteering to help in various ways and offering to work on the building or to help reuse bits from it, saving the best parts. As they considered these things, some small groups sang or danced, some sat in circles, holding hands, while others wandered around looking thoughtful.

Somehow, I accidentally became responsible for all the wine racks from the building (house? castle? stronghold?). The racks were beautifully made of aged black walnut, and there were enough of them to fully furnish all the wine cellars of all the castles in Germany and have enough left over to fill the cellars of the Vatican and every monastic order in Italy. There were probably even more racks than that. Beautiful, strong wood for making furniture and — O, and wouldn’t it be lovely for making doll houses and faery houses and birdhouses? There seemed to be acres of the racks — they stretched as far as I could see.

There was a large, bulbous man who seemed to think he was in charge, though no one I knew seemed to know or like him or to care for his disapproval of all the suggestions offered. He demanded, “Young lady, what are you going to do with those wine racks?” There was a world or two of condescension in that “young lady” — he was many years younger than I. And somehow, I didn’t think he would appreciate the idea of doll and faery houses.

It was irresistible. I became very fluttery. “O, sir! I’m going to carve tiny figures out of them. You know — little humans and animals and other extinct creatures!”

“You cannot possibly use all that wood for that!” He actually stomped his foot in temper. Suddenly he became a judge, wearing robes and seated in one of those high, lectern things that judges use, towering over us all.

“O,” I waved my hands airily, “Do you think not? Then I’ll just have to find other people who’d like to do the same thing. I’m sure there are very many who would enjoy it, and then I’d only need to bring those people” (I gestured toward the imaginary crowd with one hand) “together with these wine racks,” (gesturing toward the racks with the other hand) “and poof! Problem solved! Voila!” I clapped my hands together happily.

“Young lady! You are not making this easy for me!” He pounded his gavel so hard he damaged the beautiful wood of his desktop.

I thought about this and his sarcasm and condescension in calling me “young lady” yet again, and smiled at him as if I were the small Shirley Temple showing off my dimples. I don’t have dimples and am of an elderly persuasion, and then said slowly, “Nooooooo… but I could if I wanted to. You just haven’t given me any reason to want to.”

His entire shiny head turned a brilliant scarlet, like a Christmas ornament, and he began to swell up, bobbing upward in his chair. It would make a terrible mess if he exploded.

So I woke up. And then I laughed and laughed.

There are lots of ways to think about dreams. They can be ways in which the unconscious (or subconscious) mind can tap into that non-local consciousness. Or they can be so simple as a chance to view everything in the dream as a part of yourself. Viewing yourself this way gives an opportunity look at the disparate parts, considering the symbolism, the interactions, the conflicts and resolutions, the ways in which the central “I” of the dream is being helped or harmed — or transformed.

For example, buildings in dreams may sometimes represent the body of the dreamer. Here the ruined building could be my body and the state of my health (which concerns me) or it could be my ‘body of work’ — the various (and often scattered) things that I’ve done, which I’m trying to organize and clarify so I can best work out what is important to focus on now. I suspect that it is both of these things, and in the dream we see this ruin that is maybe, perhaps, conceivably, feasibly, imaginably repairable. Or for all one knows, it might just be trash and scraps, some of which might be salvageable. In either case, body or body of work, it will take the cooperation of many aspects of myself to do anything worthwhile with the current mess. (I’m actually working on both things — O, and a third — trying to create order in my home, in my body, and in my work, but I’m not being very orderly about it. Being disorderly about creating order seems like a contradiction in terms.)

Many parts of myself seem easily distracted, but good-natured, while others seem cooperative and willing to help if only some agreement can be reached. One part, the bossy judge, seems only interested putting down the ideas of others. He offers no constructive suggestions and gets angry with the ideas offered. He wants to be in control and can always (or almost always) find a reason to disapprove of any action. One way of dealing with him is to make fun of him, but… that doesn’t seems to be working well and he is about to explode and make a big mess. This is a recognizable part of me, an internalization of a lesson learned wrongly, but early, that things must be kept under tight control, that action is not safe, that I can’t trust myself or my intuition to make plans and decisions, so I just create more muddle. I thought I’d long since overcome that attitude, and I know that it is not true, but obviously a trouble-making part of me still thinks it is — and I need to find a much better way to deal with it, hopefully a final cure.

I draw a Faeries’ Oracle card to represent the judge and get the Bodacious Bodach, a perfect fit — interfering, bossy, wrong-headed, but meaning to be helpful. I’m wondering what I can do to give him a way to actually be helpful. Perhaps that part of me might like to make lists and put thoughts into categories where they can be looked at in a more orderly way. Lists, plans, and maps can be very comforting, but are a bit boring to make. This suggests that the tediousness of it might well be worthwhile.

Later on, I pull a Medicine Card, asking what I can best do to help the judge be more comfortable. Grandmother Spider, sitting in the center of her own web, tells me that I need not only to be centered about my work, but also about all the other aspects of my life. I need to understand how they all relate to each other: gardening, house, meditation, writing and art, health, and everything. How do these different things cooperate and how do they conflict or get in the way of each other? I may need to draw a lot of Venn diagrams before I understand this.

I’ve no idea what the wine racks represent. Ideas and/or possessions that could best be repurposed (perhaps radically so) now? They are well-crafted, but not useful in their present form. The beautiful raw materials I have for making and writing?

“Footprints in the Sand” — why did I intuitively choose that for the title to this? Is that a part of the solution or of the question? Do I, in my heart, feel that none of it matters and it will all soon be washed away by wind and storm and tide? And where did the thought about “humans and animals and other extinct creatures” come from? I can guess — and have already decided that the only sensible way to live is to act as if there will be a tomorrow while focusing on the value of today. With courage and compassion, and, yes, hope.

What to do? What to do? What to do?

 

I Give You Fair Warning…

This Sunday morning, after nine hours in the emergency room Friday and a day of recovering Saturday, I am thinking about age and about who we become. I have been reminded of a quote from Joseph Campbell: “I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” I remembered this poem, which I wrote some years ago, and I’m checking my list just to see where I am.

When I grow old, really old,
I shall be eccentrik.
I shall wear long silken skirts
that sweep in the dust
and keep Abyssinian cats.

I shall speak clearly to the cats, of course,
but to other people I shall speak
only in symbols, codes and cryptograms,
and let them think
that they understand.

I shan’t knit.

My garden will be wild and rich, and
I shall plant tall stones
in suitable places. I shall make
potions of flowers and light,
and I shall keep bees.

With my knobby old knees
and sagging breasts, I shall
dance naked under the Moon,
and I shall sing to Her
with the cats.

I shall carry a blackthorn stick,
and frighten small boys away from my apples –
they’ll like that —
and I’ll tell tales of the goddess
to small girls so they will know who they are.

I shall say outrageous true things
to people, anyone at all,
and make waterfalls and small pools
in wild places.

I shall have a deep, deep well of silence
in myself, and it will fill
with the love flowing through me
like a wild underground river.  My hair
will be very white and unmanageable –
rather like a dandelion.  My roots
will grow to the heart
of the Earth, and the horned god
will be a personal friend of mine.

That was then; this is now:
I don’t have the bees,
though I still want them,
and god/dess knows, they need
all the help they can get.
I have the dandelion effect
well in hand — it was inevitable
and I deserve neither credit nor blame —
but all the rest
is a work in progress.
I can say that I truly
have and I am
alive and gratefully
overflowing.

Photograph © 2011 by Tom Linton. All rights reserved.
Poem © 1988 & 2013 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

Simplicity & Complexity — Three True Tales

First a story from a friend, which reminded me of several things in a way that drew them together and helped me join the dots.

Chris Zydel’s Conversation with a student from her last night’s intuitive painting class:

Me: So how’s your painting going?
Student: Well, I decided that I wanted to paint this guy with a bald head.
Me: Yes?
Student: And so I painted him.
Me: So how did it feel?
Student: It felt great. But I don’t understand why I wanted to paint him.
Me: So you’re feeling confused.
Student: Well, not exactly. I mean it’s OK with me that I don’t know why I painted him.
Me: So what’s the problem?
Student: It all seems too easy.
Me: What do you mean?
Student: Well, I decide to paint this guy for no reason.
Me: Yes?
Student: And so I paint him.
Me: Yes?
Student: And I enjoy it.
Me: Uh-huh?
Student: Well, it just seems too simple somehow. Shouldn’t this be a lot more complicated?
Me: Why do you think that?
Student: Well, because LIFE is a lot more complicated. And you’re always saying that painting is like your life. I mean, you can’t just decide to do something in your life for no good reason and then just go ahead and ACTUALLY do it simply because you want to!
Me: (Laughing so hard that I can’t talk.)
Student: Can you????*

Chris’s story made me remember something that happened in one of my classes long ago. After about a year of attending my classes, a student asked me, “When are we going to start doing real magic?”

“Tell me,” I asked in return, “a year ago would you have thought reading tarot and doing healing and seeing auras were ‘real magic’?”

“Yes, but now I know how to do it.”

I just looked at her, smiling.

“You mean it’s all like that?” she wailed. “You mean all of it is just knowing how to do it?

I shrugged and let her stew for a few moments, then said, “There’s another way to look at it.” And I left her to think about that.

I don’t know if she ever really got it that everything is magic if only we open our eyes to see. Either it is all magic or nothing is. But that kind of confusion is what comes of people thinking they are not naturally magical people, when in fact we all are.

Simplicity. Complications. We are all born “simple” — basic, uncomplicated — eat, defecate, sleep, interact, love. When in pain, cry — but only when in pain in the present moment. Otherwise be happy and observe. Unfortunately, the more we observe, the more we tend to complicate things. Love and good feelings start to have rules — and a price. The infant’s first and built-in instinct/rule is “demand satisfaction loudly” and the second one is something like “please my mommy so she will do what I need” — and if mommy cannot be pleased, life quickly becomes truly difficult and complicated.

Every small child can learn the basics of hands-on healing very quickly and easily — at least, all the ones who are interested, providing they are taught very simply. Children trust their intuition about all sorts of things, and sometimes they are right and sometimes it all goes wrong. Children are innocent and ignorant, but humans have astonishing minds capable of great leaps of logic (and illogic, but we often don’t know the difference). As we grow and learn and conclude, we accumulate an incredible muddle of fact, fancy, and fallacy, all in an effort to make sense of the world around us and to see that our needs and desires are met.

As we get older we complicate our lives with the conclusions we have jumped to and the stories we tell ourselves why the world is as it is. Most of those stories are either wrong or incomplete. Eventually, we realize that something is amiss, and at that point, we either blame others or our circumstances or ourselves and we begin looking for a way to make our lives work better.

Some try to get rich, some develop such cognitive dissonance that they break down, some try psychology, some try religion, and some look at spiritual paths. The latter three all have some things in common and important differences. Here I just want to consider the spiritual paths.

Many spiritual paths ask that you begin questioning your assumptions, the stories you’ve told yourself about getting along in the world, the stories you’ve told yourself about you. They give you exercises and practices, and in doing them you discover new ways of functioning that break your old rules — and oddly enough, these new knackerty knotions work. They reduce inner conflict. They enable you to see the world more clearly.

Much of the spiritual path is about breaking down and letting go of our misconceptions and assumptions. Our opinions and beliefs get in our way, yet we find it frightening to let go of them and the behavior patterns that go with them. That is how we get stuck on our paths. We are very attached to our own opinions and ideas, and deep down, we believe that we simply need to follow our own rules better and we’ll be secure, safe, and happy. We believe this even when it is quite clear that what we have been doing isn’t actually producing those results. At this stage, we are like the pupa in the chrysalis, breaking down, dissolving, transforming. I don’t know how it feels to the pupa, but for humans this isn’t comfortable. Fortunately, we do get glimpses of the rewards as some of the old ideas fall away and life progressively becomes simpler and more joyful.

We learn that some things happen that we cannot control, no matter how hard we try or how good we are. We learn that no one person can meet all of our needs and desires. Sometimes what we think we want or need turns out to be less important than giving that up for a greater need — and we get a better understanding of what those greater needs may be. We find that judging the goodness or badness of others — and ourselves — is a waste of time.

In time, we learn that inner peace is more about being comfortable with not knowing than it is about thinking we have all the answers. In a way, we return to the innocence of the child — but where the child’s innocence comes from ignorance, this new innocence comes from wisdom. It is an acceptance that life is what it is. Sometimes we can change it; sometimes we cannot. Always we have the choice of learning from it or not, of accepting it or not, of being serene or not.

Eventually we learn that it isn’t all about “me”. And around the same time, we learn that all is one, and therefore it is all about ‘me’, but a me that we hadn’t guessed we were.

And the third tale — the tail of these true tales?

My students and I had just finished a series of healing classes, and were having our final exam. (Yes, I do that to my students, just to make them realize that they have learned something.) The question they each had to answer verbally was, “What have I learned in this course that, at this moment, seems the most important to me?”

People were answering very thoughtfully and fairly extensively about what new understandings they felt were actually making the most significant change in their lives and the present. We got around the circle to Warren Wise, who had been quite silent and was deeply buried in thought.

Realizing it was his turn, and looking just a bit stunned, he said, “I’ve learned that healing isn’t something you do — it’s something you are.”

I bow to my students for their teachings. I am so grateful for their wisdom.

*The first story here is © Copyright 2013 by Chris Zydel. All rights reserved. Reprinted here by permission of the author. You can find her at Chris Zydel’s Facebook page

The rest of this post is © Copyright 2013 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.

New Year Still Carrying the Old?

So we are past the end of the old year, beginning the new — and perhaps some of us are finding already that, in spite of good resolutions, we’re still carrying some of the old stuff we no longer want around. Emotional baggage. Anger. Grudges. Stuff. I have a magical chant I do in my head when this sort of thing comes up, and you might find it helpful too.

Xxx, I love you.
Xxx, I bless you.
Xxx, I release you.

(You replace the Xxx with the name of the person, the attitude, the object, the feeling — and it works just as well with your own name if you’re thinking you’d like to free yourself from some inner compulsion.)

Don’t be deterred by thinking you do not love them and that to say you do is a lie. Somewhere in you there is a core of pure, unconditional love. Somewhere in everyone else there also is a core of pure, unconditional love. You are just gradually awakening your awareness of that love and connection. It takes time; it takes repeats; it takes energy.

Some people think a letting go process is about “forgiving” but I always feel like there is a touch of arrogance in “forgive” — who am I to forgive anyone of anything when I’m not even qualified to judge them in the first place? Just letting go of my own anger or whatever I’m holding is the best thing I can do for them and for myself. As long as I’m projecting that miserable energy at someone, how can I expect them to like/be kind to/love me? How can I expect me to love me.

So simple; so powerful. Amazing results — when you do it long enough. It may take one time through or it may take many, a few at a time. It’s easy to tell when we’re done — there is love and blessing and freedom. But sometimes we think we’re finished and another layer of old stuff comes up. Not to be discouraged! We store memories in sets, one inside another, like the layers of an onion. What worked on the last layer will probably work on the next.

Please, just trust the process. And Keep It Simple, Sweetie! KISS!

© Copyright 2013 by Jessica Macbeth. All rights reserved.