TrueHeartWork | fear
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fear Tag

Words

So often we talk about what we don’t want in our lives. “I don’t want a partner who lies to me.” “I don’t like my job.” The insidious, “I can’t sing, I can’t resign from my job, sell my house, live alone … ”

The ubiquitous “I’ll try to” that reflects our ambivalence and disempowerment. Or the threadbare, “I’ll see what I can do”, or the terminal, ” we’ll see”… Thickets of thorny don’ts barricade our path to change and new growth. The slippery, non-committal words that signify nothing. The “buts” that negate and nullify.  They are the fear and self-righteous judgement that bind us to the ever-spinning wheel of Ixion, tormented by our self-defeating thoughts and habitual behaviours.

Words wound and scar. With reptilian-like dispassion our forked tongues spew the putrid gossip that oozes around the office or our homes. We lacerate our partners, our children, our colleagues with words that make fragile hearts weep. Most of us have a habitual vibrational frequency, well-worn neural pathways in our brains that allow us to keep thinking those thoughts, feeling those emotions, saying the words that resonate with that frequency. Our aching bodies speak of our inner conflict, symptoms of a frequency that can make us literally ill.

Last year, the Italian clothing company, Benetton’s “Unhate” Campaign, was aimed at fostering tolerance and “global love”. It featured the provocative and superbly Photoshopped image of Pope Benedict XVI kissing a senior Egyptian imam. This image of love was too strong for the barnacled bastion of the Vatican, but it was the slogan, “Unhate”, that drew my attention. Bob Nicoll, author of Remember the Ice, uses the NLP model to reframe words and eliminate what he dubs the (K)notty words – the not’s, the don’ts. So, if we say, “don’t talk about Bill’s affair with Susan,” our confused brain will do just that! When I read “Unhate”, my energy dropped as I registered the word, “Hate”.

In the dark shadow of the cataclysmic First World War, a woman called Blanche Ebbutt, compiled two slim volumes of do’s and don’ts for a happy marriage. I would like to share these “how-tos” of 1913 with you in 2012:
The Don’ts for Wives:
Don’t be out if you can help it when your husband gets home after his day’s work.
Don’t let him have to search the house for you. Listen for his latch-key and meet him on the threshold.
Don’t omit the kiss of greeting. It cheers a man when he is tired to feel that his wife is glad to see him home.
Don’t greet him at the door with a catalogue of the dreadful crimes committed by servants during the day.
Don’t think your husband horrid if he seems a bit irritable; probably he has had a very trying day, and his nerves are overwrought.
As Bob Nicoll, points out, when faced with the don’t, this is what we are advised to do: Be out when your husband gets home. Let him have to search for you. Skip the kiss of greeting. Greet him at the door with a catalogue of dreadful crimes. Think your husband horrid if he seems a bit irritable.

I could not resist the Don’ts for Husbands, in the interest of gender balance, of course:
Don’t sulk when things go wrong. If you can’t help being vexed, say so, and get it over with.
Don’t “nag” your wife. If she has burnt the cake, or has forgotten to sew on a button, she doesn’t want to be told of it over and over again.
Don’t shout when you are angry. It isn’t necessary to let the children or the servants know all about it.
Don’t scowl or look severe. Cultivate a pleasant expression if Nature hasn’t blessed you with one.
Don’t “let off steam” on your wife or children every time anything goes wrong in the garage or the garden, or the fowl house, or the dark room.
So, if we remove the (K)notty words, the message we receive will be:
Sulk when things go wrong. “Nag” your wife. If she has burnt the cake or forgotten to sew on a button, she wants to be told over and over again. Scowl and look severe. “Let off steam” on your wife or children every time anything goes wrong. (This last one could be grounds for building a case for how potential abuse occurs…. says Nicoll.)

Words are potent tools to change our perceptions, lift our energy to a higher vibrational level. Each one has meaning and a vibration and can change the course of our lives. By judging anything bad, or wrong, we stay stuck in the swamps of negativity and block our inner Guidance. Let’s self-censor before they slide out, razor-sharp, and cut someone today. Instead, try this on, see how it feels: “I love you, I will never leave you, and I will always take care of you. (Said to oneself.)” Elizabeth Gilbert

Bee Gees, “Words”

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Heaven’s Door

Sooner or later, each one of us will have to sit in the deep silence of death. In the Western world, death, like old age, is shadowed by a terrible taboo.

 I believe the veil between the living and the dead is gossamer thin. The dead are with us in invisible presence, transfigured into butterflies, free of their fleshy cocoons, close once more to the Creative Source. The work of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the hospice movement, the mainstream acceptance of psychic mediums like John Edward and Sylvia Browne, to name only two, has brought comfort to so many. Yet in a world where contemporary thinking offers a narrative of death as an elemental process or an abrupt unravelling of a life with the promise of some far away realm in outer space, many of us live in fear or denial of the inevitable, ultimate, transformation. Sooner or later, Death darkens every life. Death is dreaded, denied, sanitised, and softened with euphemisms, like, “she passed away, or I lost my husband”… Like the hypocritical Victorians who covered the legs of the chairs in their homes, and unbuttoned their repressions with prostitutes in dark alleyways, death is demurely concealed behind a damask curtain. For those that die, it is their end of this world. For those who watch and wait, death unravels feelings of compassion, sorrow, and rage, and the deepest love. Silent stitch by silent stitch.

I believe that our ancestors lived more bravely, more honestly in the rawness of death than we do today. The rigid grasp of our religions, our governments, our medical profession, our skewed clutching to the sanctity of life, hold hostage those who long for the still sleep of death. Billions of dollars are spent on weapons of insane destruction. Vital lives are doused by laws that still uphold the ancient lie “an eye for an eye”. We shoot horses, euthanize pets, execute adulterers and criminals, slaughter young men and women in the absurdity of dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.  Yet, so often, we embalm those we love with chemicals, life support systems, in our need to keep them in ensnared in a lack-lustre half-life. Death transports us to the imaginal realm, those who have experienced NDEs report. To non-ordinary states of consciousness, known to the shamans, and to pioneers like Stanislav Grof, one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology, as a realm that is accessible from this world.

I believe nobody dies empty, but full of radiance, ripe with the sweet fruits of a life lived, experiences garnered in a final harvest. Even those souls who come to this physical realm for a brief flicker, little buds that never unfurl, or souls that are jettisoned from their bodies in the mindless violence of war, or by murder, or fated accidents, will have a flame of inner life contained within the soul. In some traditions it is believed that the soul shelters the body and has a deeper knowing than the mind. Death empties the physical body, and it is the indestructible soul that carries our Essence beyond frontiers. All our experiences are transient, like dappled shadow and brilliant light. We carry a kaleidoscope of experiences that vanish like the smoke from a flame extinguished. Only our essence remains in the cycle of life and rebirth. Now as we approach the solstice, the dark dormancy of winter in the north, with the hope of rebirth of spring … the brilliant blaze of summer here in the south, soon tempered by the burnished bronze of autumn, we must pause, as the sun stands still, to cross the threshold into a new cycle of the year. I am comforted in the knowing that with every in breath, every emptying out breath that sustains my physical body, when the time comes for death to empty me, my soul will ferry me silently across still waters, where I will fly free as a butterfly sipping the nectar of new experiencing. And for my beautiful ya-ya sister, (I dedicate this to you) what more exquisite tribute to a life well lived, now so gracefully ending, from poet and visionary, William Wordsworth who writes, “our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; the Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star hath had elsewhere its setting and cometh from afar; not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home.” 

Dylan singing Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

Mama, take this badge off of me I can’t use it anymore. It’s gettin’ dark, too dark for me to see I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door. Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Mama, put my guns in the ground I can’t shoot them anymore. That long black cloud is comin’ down I feel like I’m knockin’ on heaven’s door. Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door Knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door.

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All Along the Watchtower

 

Ten years ago, I made a conscious decision to step aside from the torrent of fear that gushes from the media.  I have not watched TV news, read a newspaper. I’ve shunned magazines, except a desultory glance at those stacked along the shelf at the hair dresser.

I’ve allowed those friends who choose to live in a miasma fear to slip out of my life. I’ve smiled as people have called me an ostrich, unpatriotic, because I do not watch Carte Blanche, or gorge on the maggot-ridden garbage tossed out by crooked politicians. I question conspiracy theories. I choose to eschew urban myths. I am aware that there is a very noxious, very dark Shadow on this earth. I am aware of gluttonous greed, a surfeit of suffering. I choose the messages I feed my mind, because I like my serotonin high. I know what the stress chemical, cortisol does to my body.

Today, I came across an eloquently written blog which made me feel like the ugly duckling who finds her swans. It is worth a read.

We are living in challenging times. Novelist Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, during a time of huge social and political upheaval and violent revolution.  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, and in 1846, it was time for the planet Neptune to be “discovered”. Now as then: “It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

 The celestial markers of our human journey, Neptune and Chiron have been in tight conjunction in the sign of Aquarius all through 2009. Together, they dipped briefly into the compassionate, ouroboric waters of Pisces for the first time, in April 2011. Neptune fully enters Pisces in February 2012  and remains there until 2025. Neptune is about sacrifice, victim consciousness, addiction, pain, renunciation, delusion, romance, spirituality, a longing to transcend this earthly realm. Neptune can embalm us in a glutinous cocoon of immobility. Or lift us up spiritually and creatively. Neptune also symbolises the energy of Christ Consciousness and compassion.  Chiron was “discovered” in 1977. Like Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, it was silently, invisibly there all the time. Chiron embraces the archetype of the “wounded healer” or Shaman, and compels each one of us to imbibe the sacred medicine of suffering as an initiation into our wisdom and conscious understanding on  our spiritual journey.

Times are tough on so many levels for so many. As above so below, the macrocosm is reflected in the microcosm of our lives when we open the Pandora’s Box of relationships and intimacy. We fear we are not loveable enough, not good enough, beautiful enough, young enough … the shoulds, musts, and the buts, which entomb us in a mausoleum of self-imposed limitations fly out, shrieking. We keep ourselves small, in the darkness.  Though inner saboteur and the inner critic have their place in our psyche, their voices need now to be silenced as we follow our hearts, trust our intuition and cast off the self-imposed shackles that bind. Fear hides behind perfectionism. Fear lurks behind cruelty.  We fear death, change, poverty, love and loss. We fear happiness. We fear the pleasure of sensuality and the soul connection of sex. We fear telling the truth, or making those smallest behaviour changes that will save our relationships from tumbling over the dark abyss. We fear reaching across the expanse of the bed in the dark of the night to hold our lover’s hand after a fierce argument. We fear saying, “I’m  sorry” or “I forgive you.”

So we continue to continue… leaking leak vital energy; remaining trapped in what Eckhart Tolle calls the “pain body”. We use the instrument of our minds to scare ourselves with repetitive and useless terrors that corrode our joy and leach our life force. Says Marianne Williamson, in A Return to Love, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

I’m going on a fear fast while Mercury is in retrograde until December 14th. Would you be willing to join me? To commit to being aware when you shame or criticise yourself. To watch for the “Victim/Persecutor” dance in your relationships.  To avoid watching or reading “the news”. To lovingly examine the hidden agendas in the melodramas in your own life and in the lives of those around you. To choose to set aside time each day to focus on those things that nourish your spirit.  To stop scaring yourself. 

Open your heart; embrace the changes and challenges in your life with a sense of curiosity and wonder. Know that you are held and supported at all times on this rollercoaster of life. Remember, that after all the evils of the world had flown out of Pandora’s Box, it was Hope that remained.

Hope and All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” St. Teresa of Avila.

All Along the Watchtower, written by Bob Dylan: YouTube

“There must be some kind of way out of here,
Said the joker to the thief,
There’s too much confusion,
I can’t get no relief.”

 

 

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Stand by me

“Everyone wants to be in a relationship,” declares my vivacious friend, Julie, as we supped on smoky noodles at Saigon. Does everyone yearn to be an us? Cosily coupled, snugly secure in a twosome, I wonder?

“We’re relational creatures,” she continued, as we finished off the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, “which is why we all keep on searching for our soul mate.” We do?

The astrological birth chart, which is the acorn of our life’s potential, the daemon of our fate, suggests otherwise.  Not everyone wants to be in a relationship. Many of us pay lip service to love, and choose to end it with the well worn “you’re too good for me” exit line when intimacy beckons. Like Pandora, we open the box and release a screeching swarm of demons that devour us with fear, turn us to pillars of stone.

Many of us hunger for Love with an appetite so voracious that we gorge on empty encounters that leave us starving and malnourished. Many of us fasten our hearts with love-proof padlocks and swear to never love again. Like the poet W.B. Yeats, who loved an Irish beauty for 30 years with a passion that was never consummated or returned, “we fed our hearts on fantasies” and ache with the memory of broken promises, still-born dreams.

Intimate relationships can be messy and convoluted, often disappointing. Relationships with friends, colleagues, a beloved cat or dog, are often far less rigorous in their demands. To form a committed bond with another, to take the necessary actions to set up home or parent children demands courage, endurance and a sense of safety as we rest in one another’s arms, for better or for worse. Real relationships require the ingredients of two willing people who love each other enough to stand strong as the cruel winds of doubt, fear and hopelessness buffet the bond of commitment.

But, if you have the soul of a gypsy, or the heart of a hermit, you may choose, consciously or unconsciously, to defy social convention and never become “an us”. As the years pass by, the thought of sharing your home with another person, of stretching wide to accommodate differences that jostle you from your routine and entrenched beliefs becomes too big a stretch. So, you stay safe, eschewing the tantrums, the misunderstandings and compromises that polish us smooth in intimate relationship. It’s easier to stay contained, to shop for one, to keep things neat and simple – uncomplicated. Many of us have loved boy-men, or girl-women who fell asleep when we beckoned them to enter the fragrant Garden of Love. They did not – could not – love us enough to make space in their orderly lives for fierce love, for the chaos of the Feminine or the pointed vision of the Masculine.  They turned their heads away and walked towards another destiny.

It is when we nurture, trust, encourage, and truly value ourselves, with all our complexity and contradictions, that we begin to dance deeper and deeper into Being. It is then, if we are willing to lower the red flags of fear and judgement, that we will invite The Beloved into the sanctum of our passionate heart. It is then that we discover the comfort and the joy of saying, darling, Stand By Me. And we just know that the answer will be OH YES!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4_ghOG9JQM

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see
No I won’t be afraid
No I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

John Lennon.

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