|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on December 5, 2017 at 7:50 AM|
Nervous system activated; heart racing, breath fast, constricted. Feel like you want to run. Thoughts racing, disaster movie type thoughts, or murderous rage type thoughts; of wanting to kill, or get revenge “I can’t take it anymore, this is too much,” “this shouldn’t be happening to me, something is wrong” “I am no good”, “I am so angry with you, I want to punch you”, “I feel so scared, I must get out of here”
Whatever the trigger for the overwhelm, a trauma response, facing suppressed emotions, contact with a loved one or boss, an unexpected challenging situation. it can feel as if the feelings come out of no-where, suddenly appearing, particularly if the feelings coming up are unfamiliar for you, such as anger, grief, shame or humiliation. Even panic. It can be all too tempting to resort to the old strategies to push them back down again.
Try and not suppress if at all possible. You’ve likely come so far. Just do the best you can.
Below are some tips on how to manage overwhelm, in a way that makes you feel more connected with yourself.
- What is overwhelming you needs containment. That containment will look different dependent on the emotion, and the circumstances you are in. For example, you could be at work. Or out and about. Or at home.
If a trauma pattern in your nervous system is activated and you don’t have a container for your feelings, trying to sit still can feel very frightening, because that’s where the trauma sits (inside of you).
Try some or all of these, dependent on your situation or location.
- Lying down on your back. With one hand on your heart, one hand on your belly. This is a very good habit to get into generally, especially when you’re in bed. Focus on your breathing, and the rise and fall of the breath.
- Or hand either side of the face, focus on touching with tenderness.
- Stretching the spine in child’s yoga pose.
- Lying on the belly.
- Kundalini shaking – great for anger, fear, anxiety
- Be in contact with a body that is relaxed; this may help to regulate your nervous system. Either human or animal.
- Silent scream. Especially if you are at work, or feel self-conscious to make a noise. If you are at work, you can do this in the bathroom. This exercise comes from the work of Leslie Temple-Thurston. Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream depicts the feeling we are after. When you are feeling anger, sit quietly and begin to contract your whole body. Start at the base of your body – legs and thighs. Contract them. Take the contraction up into your belly, torso, arms, hands, neck, face and skull. As you take the contraction up, imagine that you are pushing the anger through your body and out the crown of your head. Hold your breath and the contraction for as long as possible. Do the entire contraction in one breath. Then breathe out. Repeat at least two times.
- The doggy pant. Walk around on all fours and pant like a dog – fast, shallow breathing. This may be funny to think about, but the breathing and the position can help to evoke the emotions that are triggering the overwhelm. When they come, just allow them to flow through you. Not one for the office!
- Coming into the present moment. Holding a mug of tea and focusing on the sensations, the temperature, in your hands. Closing your eyes may help. A good one for the office.
- Anger is the emotion that needs the biggest containment, especially if you are out, maybe in a crowd. Get yourself home if you can, or in a small contained space.
- Breathe deeply if you can. If your nervous system is activated, you won’t be able to breath deeply, what you need to do in this situation is to process the activation with the doggy pant breath above (you can just use the breath, no need to walk on all fours). Find some spaciousness in yourself; space, stillness and breath can be a container for what feels overwhelming. And I understand that this may not be easy, nor possible right now.
- Writing it out and throwing it away. Again, I used this when I was in an office, sat at my desk, and not wanting to suppress, channelling it all into the nib of my pen, writing it out on post-it notes, then throwing them away in the bin. Once I left one accidentally on the back of my diary and a colleague noticed this. I think I managed to talk my way out of it somehow :).
- The tendency with overwhelm, in fact feelings generally, is to try and throw them off as quickly as possible, often onto other people. If we can bring them inside ourselves, we can provide the containment it needs. I appreciate that this might not be possible for you.
- EFT Tapping – use the words below. Or tapping a round will help even without words. Again, you can go in the bathroom if you don’t want to be seen. Tap each point, on both sides of the body, with the tips, the pads of your fingers.
• Begin with three calming breathes.
• Starting with the Karate Chop point, tapping with all the fingers from your opposite hand.
• KC: Repeat aloud, Even though I feel overwhelmed and stressed, I accept myself and how I feel.
• KC: even though I feel overwhelmed and stressed, I accept myself and how I feel.
• KC: even though I feel overwhelmed and stressed, I accept myself and how I feel.
• EP(Eyebrow Point): Just thinking about the feelings I’m noticing, makes me feel overwhelmed.
• SE(Side of the Eye): it feels out of control
• UE(Under the Eye):I want the feelings to stop
• UN(Under the Nose): I don’t know how to stop the overwhelm
• Chin: it feels so intense in my body
• CB(Collar Bone): It doesn’t feel safe to relax
• UA(Under the Arms): there is so much going on
• TH(Top of Head): it feels too much
• EP: I struggle to feel centred
• SE: it’s hard to feel calm when these feelings are present
• UE: it’s hard to feel calm when I don’t feel in control of these feelings
• UN: I can’t feel calm until this overwhelm stops
• Chin: this overwhelm makes me feel that something is wrong.
• CB: all the stress
• UA: all these triggers
• TH: I get so overwhelmed
• EP: there’s nothing I can do about it
• SE: I feel powerless
• UE: I feel powerless and overwhelmed.
• UN: What am I supposed to do about this?
• Chin: Releasing some of this overwhelm.
• CB: Releasing some of this anxiety.
• UA: Releasing this stress.
• TH: I recognize this trigger.
• EP: I recognize what it’s doing to me.
• SE: And I change the pattern.
• UE: I change this pattern now.
• UN: Changing my conditioned response.
• Chin: Changing this trigger now.
• CB: All these triggers.
• UA: Are coming into my awareness.
• TH: I’m aware of what I’m doing.
• EP: I’m aware of how I’m reacting.
• SE: I’m aware of what it’s doing to my body.
• UE: And I choose to change this pattern now.
• UN: I choose to change this pattern now.
• Chin: Releasing this pattern now.
• Take three deep breaths.
|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on December 19, 2016 at 4:10 AM|
Give a gift of authentic wealth to your family and loved ones this Xmas.
In my own experience, the concept of ‘forgiveness’ was for so long, somehow too big; I couldn’t digest it. The word seemed to oversimplify the terrain required. Every time the ‘F’ word would be mentioned, I would silently scream ‘No!’
In approaching forgiveness, I discovered I had to drop the word entirely. And look elsewhere.
Like love, for example. I began to look at the kind of words I was saying to myself about love. Then, I went deeper. What was my knowing about love?
Much later, during my 12 years in psychotherapy, I could see that my therapist had an agenda for me to forgive… and this seemed to block the deep exploration, unfolding and unbinding of this particular life. Still I kept going.
Poet David Whyte writes on the subject “…the identity of the one who must forgive is actually founded on the very fact of having been wounded…Stranger still, it is that wounded, branded, un-forgetting part of us that eventually makes forgiveness an act of compassion rather than one of simple forgetting. To forgive is to assume a larger identity than the person who was first hurt, to mature and bring to fruition an identity that can put its arm, not only around the afflicted one within, but also around the memories seared within us by the original blow…we reimagine the past in the light of our new identity, we allow ourselves to be gifted by a story larger than the story that first hurt us and left us bereft".
Forgiveness is nuanced. It can take time; it did for me in my particular story. In the context of this article, gifting our family or loved ones; a gift of authentic wealth. Authentic wealth cannot be bought on-line. And when received, it is deeply nourishing. And yet it doesn't cost any money. It's cost is to be willing to be real. To perhaps be vulnerable. To accept that the past is over. Acceptance is one of the nuances of the 'F' word. Allowing the person or situation to be as it is. No different. Not how we want them to be.
One of the most common conversations I find myself engaging in socially, is how to be with parents and loved ones in a way that is meaningful. Surprisingly not easy it would seem.
Even in the most ordinary of lives, it is vital to reach inside ourselves, beyond what happened; or beyond needing or wanting some form of love or approval. Particularly in terms of being with, and sometimes looking after, parents who are getting older. Patterns, both in the personality and emotionally, become entrenched, and it can feel neigh on impossible to ‘meet’ our loved one in any meaningful way, particularly when we keep getting hooked in the patterns! So how can we show that we love the other. Do we even love them?
We must reach inside ourselves enough to find the love. You will likely find the required reach is underneath an unmet need for love or approval. Found it yet? Even if it’s a tiny speck. Go to that speck. And let go of any agenda or expectation of needing anything from the other.
Let them know that you love them. But you must mean it, otherwise they will feel your inauthenticity.
Forgiveness is not about condoning or excusing bad behaviour. But it is exploring the vast inner terrains, of unpicking the behaviour from the person. For me, forgiving was a place I unexpectedly arrived at, in my decision not to perpetuate the cycle of pain and suffering.
Reconciling with the past allows you to look to the future. The single thing that most characterises people who have experienced forgiveness is this larger perspective.
Blessings of the season to you and do let me know how you get on, won’t you? Love Kimaya x
Thank you for your requests for sessions on Skype! Many of you outside of London, and indeed inside, are choosing this valuable way of working. To book or inquire contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on August 25, 2015 at 10:20 AM|
Over the years, I have become something of an expert on the topic of ‘love’. Through my own discovery of falling out of love with love, or at least the love that the media, Hollywood and romance novels would have us believe. Working as a psychotherapist and guide with hundreds of women, men and couples the same thing comes up.
How Do We Know What Is 'Real' About Love?
This question has shaped my life since I was a small child. I knew that something was very 'off' in the lives and behaviour of the adults around me, that I made it a personal quest to dig deeper. This digging has never stopped and in this article, I share with you a little of what I have found, in the hope of igniting your own desire to know, for yourself, what is real.
Many of us find ourselves in relationships that we call love, but they seem far from loving. So, if it isn’t love, what is it? Much of what we call love is co-dependency (short definition: excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner), rooted in family dynamics of various flavours. There is also one’s culture to take into consideration.
During a year in India, I was immersed in a culture very different to mine. How does a culture know and learn about love? In India there are the epic movies of men and women, singing and dancing to each other across meadows and other idyllic landscapes, which have little to do with the ordinariness of life. We are fed stories of love, loss, loneliness and longing, but the love that we seek seems to slip through our fingers whilst at the same time imagining that everyone else is getting it right.
Let’s return to co-dependency and family dynamics…
Are you dating your wounded family members in disguise?
For those of us that are attracted to unhealthy people, there’s a good reason. Sometimes, these people resemble our most troubled parent. We are perpetually trying for a different outcome from the same situation, just a new person! The feeling we get when we meet these people feels deep, feels familiar, it somehow ‘hits home’. They must be a soul mate!
This is so confusing because it feels so good, so natural that it can’t be wrong, and yet if we have unhealthy patterns with love, it most probably is. It can be easier to see this in others. You will scratch your head as you watch your amazing friend, putting up with treatment that seems completely out of character.
If we scratch a little below the surface, we will see that most of our relationships are the old stories we are reliving to try and resolve painful events that our childhood psyche never resolved. The good news is that once the adult psyche resolves the incident, we will not feel the pull to re-create it, and we will be free to have a new and better experience.
- Are you picking people who can’t take care of themselves so you can heal them? (like you tried to heal your _____)
- Are you picking people who suffocate you so you can't find your freedom? (so you can finally break free from your____)
- Are you picking flaky, unavailable people because you are too scared to have real intimacy? (so you never get hurt again like your ____ hurt you)
How real is your love? Learning our past lessons involves a seeing where we ‘twist’ love to give more energy to the old ideas we have about it. If we see where we do this, the freedom for a love that is more real becomes possible. If we don’t, the same lessons will continue over and over again. I notice in many clients a reluctance to give up the dramas and ‘hooks’ that seduce us back into the familiar themes of love that we’ve learnt.
Which kind of love are you choosing?
Questioning core relationship beliefs: Core beliefs motivate our actions. It’s vital to know what they are so we can live a life of choice and freedom.
Core beliefs can look like the following:
- I am responsible for my partner’s (mother’s, father’s, sister’s) feelings.
- Love is forever.
- When a relationship is over, it’s a sign of weakness.
- I must pretend that I am okay, even when I’m not feeling this way.
What are your beliefs?
Negative childhood core beliefs: Digging deeper into the unconscious will reveal the main beliefs from your childhood or ancestral line. It is these beliefs that keep you cycling in a relationship pattern with no seeming resolve, whilst often feeling helpless to change it.
Here are some examples:
- No one can take care of me like I can.
- All men are abusers and need to be punished.
- If I deny my needs then you will love me.
- I have to keep loving you even though you hurt me.
We all have some of these beliefs within us, and please know that there is nothing wrong with you for having them. And by digging around and looking to see what we believe about love and relationship, then we can place our commitment in healthier directions.
I invite you to ask yourself: what is my true longing with relationship? Hold your answer clearly, and commit 100% to it. Allow your actions to be sourced from your answer. Are you willing to be devoted to yourself, to no longer be hooked by the old dramas?
Invest some time discovering your beliefs and ask yourself what you would like to replace them with. If you are a woman and think all men are abusers, you will have to find the place inside you that feels like a victim and love her fully. If you are a man and think that all women need to be controlled, you will need to find the place inside you that is terrified of being overtaken by the feminine and love him.
It is not enough just to find the belief, you must go deeply into your subconscious to find where you hold the opposing or complimentary energy, admit it (which may be challenging), love yourself in that place, and then choose to no longer give energy to this old pattern (EFT can be a helpful supportive technique).
Resolving old trauma: What kind of old trauma are you trying to resolve in your relationships?
For example, are you picking people who bond deeply with you, but have patterns of abandonment? Do you then spend the entire relationship trying to make them not abandon you? This doesn’t make conscious sense of course, but it is how the psyche of the traumatised child works. The child thinks, ‘if only I could just love them more, if I could just please them more, then they won’t leave me’. The healthy adult says, ‘I will choose someone who doesn’t abandon me and I will develop a relationship slowly, honouring myself in the process.’
What are your inner child’s unmet needs that keep you bonded to these patterns, and how can you get the inner resolution you need? The pain of these unmet needs, need to be felt, so you can break the cycle. This will take time and understanding, and it is very deep, often uncomfortable work. Don’t be afraid to use a therapist or guide to help you traverse these areas; and you may only uncover deeply buried beliefs through life experience itself. Unmet childhood needs often show up in relationships as demands and expectations of what love should look like, how our partner should behave, according to us. Our partner is not responsible for making us feel good.
My Biggest Discovery
‘Love is who we are, not what we do’. But don’t just listen to me: I encourage you to seek a direct experience of this. Do let me know how you get on, won’t you?
"People grow when they are loved well. If you want to help others heal, love them without an agenda." —Mike McHargue
|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on December 11, 2014 at 9:10 AM|
As a psychotherapist and group facilitator for the last 15 years, it is my great privilege to guide my clients towards the fullness of their awakening. And I am both changed and enriched beyond measure in the process. There are many roads to the self and each person who comes to me will have their own level of willingness of how far they want to go along that road.
What I see as a big challenge for the therapist, is to not put our limitations on to our clients; but to employ our tools and frameworks in a way that facilitates growth and transformation, then letting them go as the beauty of the alchemical process unfolds in the client’s inner and outer life.
One area is diagnosis, particularly in, though not exclusively, the mental health realms. It can be helpful to receive a diagnosis, finally making sense to the group of symptoms and experiences that might be happening for us. But it is important not to make the diagnosis the destination, but a step along the way to…well, on the way to the discovery of greater choices and riches of who you really are. Diagnosis and labels tend to be unavoidably reductionist, and I do not see it helpful to try and fit ourselves into any one thing for too long, anyway.
An example during my psychotherapy training to illustrate, was when I had to shadow a psychiatrist during his ward rounds in a high level mental health institution where people had been sectioned. I would be there every Friday morning for three months, so I got to meet some of the same people each week over the course of my time there. What was clear to me was that the psychiatrist did not see himself in his patients in any way at all. Let me give you an example. There was one young man, l shall call him Aaron, in his early 20s. Aaron had been admitted through an unfortunate set of bad choices, leading him to feeling overwhelmed and having a psychotic episode, which I could see, he very quickly came out of. I felt a growing warmth and love for this young man, which I shared with the psychiatrist at the end of the ward round one week. ‘I’m sure the woman whom he hit over the head with an iron bar would disagree with you’. I challenged the psychiatrist, saying that this young man deserved love and positive regard as much as anyone else – his craziness and behaviour wasn’t the truth of his being, but simply behaviour and symptoms largely stemming from false beliefs, leading to poor choices. The psychiatrist wasn’t interested in what I had to say, only in keeping him in the limited box of crazy.
An example from my own life that has been an interesting learning for me, though was particularly disturbing and confusing at the time, was during my psychotherapy training, we were all reading a book about children who were neglected in a particular way and how irreparably damaged they were through lack of touch and other types of neglect. The words in this book were offered as fact and backed up by lots of research, and my colleagues were agreeing. But I knew differently, because I was one of those children in the book, and I wasn’t irreparably damaged, nor did I have the symptoms or behaviour mentioned in this book. So where did that leave me? Curious to really know the truth about what is possible in our human condition and the impact of our early lives, how this shapes us, and what choices to break free are really available in the discovery of our own keys out of the labyrinth of the disease of diagnosis and to cross the bridge to infinite possibility.
I invite you to come with me…
|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on October 16, 2014 at 5:20 PM|
This practice can be followed either alone or with a friend or therapist.
- Find a space to be with yourself and sit comfortably and vertically… allow your eyes to close and look into the blacknesss…noticing the sensations in your hands and your feet…bring your attention on the breath,… allowing the breath to deepen,… noticing your jaw,… inviting the breath in and out through an open mouth and from the centre of the body.
- Visualise …yourself… slowly going down a flight of stairs, down… down… down…
- A narrow, short corridor lies in front of you… with a door at the end…walk towards the door. On the front of this door you notice a number, a number less than 10…as you become aware of the number, the door disappears and you see a young child before you, the same age as the number on the door… this child is YOU…and it has something to share with you, a message…be OPEN to what form this sharing takes…it might be some words, it might be an object, you may notice sensation in your body… …listen closely, for this child is from a deeper part of yourself, and is longing to be heard…pay attention to anything you notice about this child.
- See if a response emerges from you that you wish to share with the child and, if so, share it in a way that feels authentic to you…finally breath in the essence of this child…into your pelvis, into your belly, into your heart…placing one hand on your belly and the other one out in front of you…You notice that the child is becoming smaller and smaller, and becomes a tiny swirling ball of energy, that swirls around you, then goes into the palm of your hand…slowly and tenderly you lift your hand and place it onto your heart…, allowing your child to become one with you…taking a few breaths in and out through your heart… Deepening your breath…visualise the energy from your child filling and inhabiting your whole body…using your breath to direct this energy…take a few moments to notice how you feel…bringing your attention to the sensations in your hands and feet, you retrace your steps along the narrow corridor…and you walk…slowly…back up the stairs… Feel the contact of your body where you are seated…then move your attention upwards to your belly and your breath. Bring your attention further up to your heart. …and…in your own time, come back to the space and open your eyes.
|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on September 6, 2014 at 5:05 AM|
After more than 20 years of living in London, my love affair has gone through many of the stages of relationship…The Romance, The Power Struggle, The Affairs (I’ve lived abroad often :)). The diversity of this amazing city is reflected in it’s architecture, which I love with a passion; how buildings seem to find their own intimacy together. I wonder how they might feel about this? It’s not as if they are consulted about planning. There was a time when St Pauls dominated the skyline, and now it finds itself quietly taking its place in the shadow of The Shard, being at least twice its height. I love the old and the new, how our eyes are invited to constantly throw open the doors of discovery in our seeing, and this love continues in the spaces I use for my workshops and intensives. (here is a taste of somewhere in Ireland I have had the privilege of bringing my work http://www.townleyhall.ie/index.html).
Here is where you come in. Perhaps you live somewhere interesting, or know of a hidden treasure? If it’s where you live, maybe you might enjoy the presence of my events? My London venue needs are three-fold. Firstly, I am looking for potential venues to run two day weekend intensives, for around 20 people, secondly a venue that would be ideal for evening talks or mini workshops. Thirdly, a space that can hold a residential weekend intensive or longer retreat. I would love to hear from you about any ideas you have!! http://email@example.com
|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on September 5, 2014 at 7:35 AM|
So, we are (almost!) at the end of the Summer. Personally, it has been a time of profound inner discovery that continues to deepen in my body, giving me a grounded, embodied and very real awakening, rippling through the whole of my life. I want to share a little of this with you.
The Subtle Mystery of Grace. And here is where I mention Grace. Just what is Grace and where does it come in? Without bringing religious conditioning into the mix, it seems to be an aspect of the unfathomable intelligence of the universe. It can also be seen as the expression of your higher self, which, if surrendered to (surrender is key here), can support and facilitate one’s life in a new chosen direction. Grace is yours for the asking and is a gift – if you are willing to see it.
I have recently been reminded that nobody changes without Grace. Transformation takes place when we ask for grace to enter our lives to help us change any limiting situations and beliefs. Grace has a powerful and essential part to play in healing. But please don't take my word for it, try it out for yourself - the powerful practice that I’m about to share can profoundly accelerate your awakening.
I had a profound encounter with Grace on the first workshop I ever attended in 1998. There were about 300 people gathered. I remember feeling apprehensive (read that I wanted to run!) – lots of people seemed to know each other and they were doing ‘weird’ hugging. I was still working for a Corporate in the City back then, and I can assure you that we didn’t hug in the office!!
One particular pattern I had at that time, would be to leave the room, whenever I felt that I was going to cry, go and sit somewhere and cry alone. This workshop was no exception, and I left my seat and went into the nearest private place; the ladies loos. Imagine my surprise (and humiliation), when some of the participants went to find me and bring me back to my seat. This experience was very healing and transformative for me. Something made me look up at the ceiling, and I was stunned and amazed to actually see the golden rain of Grace showering down on us all.
What is Real, what is Unreal
One area I continue to have a certain degree of tenacity for is wanting to explore and discover for myself what is real and what is conditioning and patterning in us (what I refer to in the title as Unreal). I am amazed time and again by how much we (albeit unconsciously) delude ourselves about choices that we operate from. I have worked with hundreds of people, in the desire to uncover underpinning beliefs that create our reality. Let me give you an example…
I was working intensively with a group over a seven day period. One of the participants was a retired man, who was virtually silent apart from when anything about love and relationship was mentioned, then you couldn’t stop him! As the week unfolded, my sense was that there was something a little ‘off’ in what he was presenting. On the last day this man finally spoke about his relationship life. He firmly believed in something he called ‘soul contracts’ and gave a convincing explanation of this belief and how he saw it playing out in his life. I invited him to look a little deeper and, with his willingness, I uncovered the time he lost his mother when he was 8 years old. He had had very little time with her in his young life, and sitting on her hospital bed just before she died, he decided something about love, and something about woman. He decided that he should have saved her, and that women were fragile and needed looking after, then they would not leave him. These beliefs were unconscious but had completely underpinned his relating with woman his whole life. As this belief rose to the surface of his awareness, he was able to feel and release the unexpressed grief that was keeping this belief and pattern of relating in place, and move forward in his life with a much greater ability to enter his next relationship from a clearer place.
These, let’s call them ‘beliefs about life’, are decided during times of strong emotional responses to a particular situation, sometimes overwhelming or traumatic and often when we are very young, and they continue to define and shape our reality, unless we become aware of them, rescind them and choose again.
This practice that I share with you will accelerate your awakening…
Step one - Uncovering a belief or pattern
As you read through the above example, perhaps you became aware of a particular belief or pattern that is very familiar to you, and keeps reappearing in the dramas of your life. If nothing emerged, let me ask you a few questions, which may help you to go deeper than the surface. Your first response is the right one.
How do you feel about love? What are the statements that you say about love? How do you feel about men, women? Look back at any defining moments in your life, anything around survival, trauma, particularly parents divorcing, losing one of the family, or chronic illness.
Write out what you discover in a journal or on paper. For example, one belief might be ‘I have to sacrifice my needs to be loved’, or ‘I have to be small to be loved’.
Step two – rescinding the old beliefs, commitments or intentions
After examining your old beliefs, commitments or intentions, you are now ready to rescind any that are limited. You can also renew any that you wish to keep. Write step two in your journal after step one. For example,
‘ I rescind any commitment or decision about life made from a place of fear, lack or low self worth’
‘I rescind any decision I made about people, especially men, that is in any way a defence against or reaction to my parent’s divorce when I was 8’
‘I want to take the next step on my path of spiritual awakening’
‘I commit to deepening my relating with my inner masculine, to be open and available to his love, service and support at all times’
You can say inwardly or outwardly the statements, paying attention to the energy and commitment that you invest in them. You are giving the statements to something greater than your small self - spirit, your higher self, whatever name resonates with you for the higher intelligence of the universe.
Step three – Wait for Grace
Now there is nothing else that you need to do, you can completely let go and trust. In the coming days be aware, mindful and open to the possibility of the fulfilment of your commitment. Write down any dreams or new awarenesses that emerge from this practice.
May the magic of Grace bless you in this practice. I would love to hear about some of your discoveries from this practice. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Further resource: The Marriage of Spirit by Leslie Temple-Thurston
|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on May 23, 2014 at 4:50 AM|
All women who have achieved in their own right have had to develop their personal power strongly, in many, if not most cases, to the detriment of our femininity. Often this development in us has been forced and is not authentic; we have tried to be like men, and so deep down still struggle to embrace who we are as a woman. In my own life, I first noticed that something was ‘off’ in how others perceived me in my job in computer sales when I was a young woman of 20. I was the only woman in a sales team of 40, I did not feel I could be vulnerable with these men, and had to be ‘one of the boys’ to fit in. In truth, my vulnerability was mainly hidden from myself.
Fast forward 15 years, I had just been head hunted to take over the IT training function in a large corporate firm in the City; my predecessor had left the position due to stress. At that time, I was exploring for myself my own relationship to power and wanted my expression of it to come from a more authentic place. One day I made the decision to no longer operate as a ‘mini-man’. I remember how vulnerable I felt that day; but my decision was made. Then the telephone rang, it was a ‘mini-man’ woman, being quite demanding and aggressive about what she wanted from me. I could feel the familiar pull in me to match her energy, and I let this feeling pass. I responded in a softer way, still assertive, but more authentic to me.
Something else I had noticed at that time, was a feeling of being without gender, strangely genderless, and I was curious about this. Could I be a woman, what a woman feels like to me, in my unique body and being, without it being a role or a fake persona, made up of cultural and other conditioning? A true feminine awakening.
An initiation into the feminine: Bliss for Women! A One Day Retreat, 8th June
|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on May 1, 2014 at 9:25 AM|
Well, would you? Take a risk, I mean, for a deeper relationship with Love and Sex? And if so, what might that risk look like? My old teacher, Chuck Spezzano, used to talk about relationships often being in the ‘Dead Zone’. What contributes to a life in the dead zone? Mainly wanting to always feel comfortable and secure, not being willing to feel the deeper feelings that true intimacy inevitably invites. One way of taking a risk is to be willing to know yourself, in a deeper way than your familiar behavioural patterns, roles and emotional strategies, and by cultivating a deeper contact with the body…
‘The Body is both the arena of psychological defence and the arena of spiritual awakening’ ~Judith Blackstone
Over the last three months I’ve been facilitating various groups and retreats, doing fairly confrontational work to get people to support each other to wake up. Often it is taught that spiritual awakening transcends the individual self, with its suffering and confusion. These teachings advise us to ignore the anguish of our everyday lives and to simply recognise ourselves as the vast consciousness at the foundation of our being. But no matter how clearly we may understand that our true nature is transcendent, we will not realise it if we attempt to ignore our individual being. The ground of our being can only be uncovered through deep and precise contact with ourselves.
In my personal experience and through working with hundreds of individuals, most of the constrictions in our being are based on relational trauma. By relational trauma, I mean intolerably painful or confusing situations in our relationships with key figures in our childhood. These events can be as small as a familiar, loving face suddenly transformed by anger or tears, or as having to hold back our own tears, or voice, or vitality. If our heart hurts every time we see our mother’s sad face, we may tighten our chest so that we do not feel that pain. Or if the sound of our parents arguing makes us anxious, we may tighten the anatomy involved in hearing, as well as clamping down on the anxious feeling in our stomach.
Our patterns of constriction (or ‘body armouring’, which is currently a fashionable term) are almost always unconscious. If they are repeated over time, they will harden in the tissues of our body and become chronic, unconscious holding patterns. These patterns become our ongoing organisation of ourselves, our design of openness and defence. They become the shape of who we are, for the rest of our lives, unless we make an effort to release them. Some patterns of constriction do not become frozen in our body; they become well-travelled grooves, patterns that we go into, unconsciously, whenever present events remind us of the childhood situations that initially produced them. For example, when I was 8 I went to a public swimming pool, on my own, with the intention to learn to swim. I slipped on the floor of the pool and went under the water. This experience was traumatic for me, and set up a particular type of unconscious holding pattern, that is only activated sometimes when I am in water. The unwinding of this is such an interesting journey for me.
|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on March 23, 2014 at 9:40 AM|
When I talk to friends and clients about Through the Portals, I often hear a fear response from those who haven’t tried conscious play in the context of BDSM before. This response fascinates me, particularly in terms of how we are in everyday life. Take the example of working in a corporate office. I listen to clients days in the office, and pretty much the gist of every story is about power; who’s got it, who wants it, who’s a victim to it. It reminds me of Dr Eric Berne and his book, Games People Play. (Read a little extract here.)
I hear stories of how inadequate the boss is, and how much more competent the storyteller is (I think this is the most common office story!). I hear stories of tyrants and the down trodden, loyal employee. And if you work in service, how much sh*it you have to put up with. Each and every story is generally an unconscious example of power, and it’s not much fun by the sounds of it. Unconscious in this context meaning there has not been any consenting discussion between the adults involved. It’s somehow accepted and we all put up with it. Ain’t that crazy?!
So, let me ask you this…how would you like to play with power? In a conscious way, with consenting adults??
An exciting workshop that I co-facilitate with the wonderful London Faerie and Claire Black of Sacred Pleasures, called Through The Portals, an adventure playground of a weekend in the arena of conscious sexuality, tantra and BDSM, is such a place to try playing with power. And you know what? It’s gloriously fun!
Putting a few simple things in place, such as talking about personal boundaries, likes and dislikes, desires and the most fun bit is trying out things you’ve never done before. How about consciously playing the tyrant? Consciously playing the victim? I found that relaxing into the boundary of the exercise facilitates such a sweet discovery to sides of myself that were clamouring for expression and didn’t know how before! To play in a way that’s safe, connected and conscious.
Safety is a key element here. In the office scenarios above, there is little sense of safety. In Through the Portals, it works because it’s safe. The joyous looks on participants faces is such a treat. Such a surge in energy, in a way that sadly we don’t experience in ‘real’ life so often. Playfulness and power is where it’s at! Come join me Through the Portals!