Keeping the space ‘between’ sacred and safe

I have written about the space between us before; but it is such an important space, and it is so often not recognised quite how important – that writing about it again isn’t a bad thing.

The space between us is the sacred space; it is the space where all our relationships live.

That is how important it is.

It is the home of our relationships… If this space is clean and harmonious then our relationships are happy, harmonious, offering growth, loving, fun, expansive…

And what is more if it is a space between two people where children are being born and then living, breathing, growing up – of course they are being affected every single moment by the space they inhabit…

Is the space safe? Is the space harmonious, joyous…? Or is the space contaminated with tension, anger, fear…?

Our part in keeping the space safe between us and another, is to reflect on and explore the space within us…

As the poet Rumi said

‘Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it…’

For ironically if it is in relationship where we are looking for the other to love us, so that we know we are loveable and loved – without looking within to where we do not love ourselves – then we can unconsciously contaminate the relational space and so contribute to getting the exact opposite to what we were seeking.

When instead we are aware of working to heal the aspects within us where we have built the barrier to love, then we will be in a better position to honour the space between ourselves and the other…

This practise is a forever practise and a moment by moment practise. It is about personal responsibility and personal reflection…

In conscious relating we can share with another our own processes, if we have discovered a barrier to love within us… But this practise still maintains safety in the space between…

If we think always… “What kind of energy am I putting in the space? What words am I putting there? What thoughts and feelings? what reactions?

And if we are always reflective of ourselves from a loving stance – then we will be conscious of what we are contributing to the sacred space between us and the other…

And from this place we can change our own lives and the lives of others by creating space that is loving and safe and therefore expansive with no limits to what is possible…

I don’t want to go…

It is almost 5 years since Anadi and I first connected…

My friend Amy was looking to see whether he might have some music on his ‘Sounds Orange’ website suitable for some meditations I had made…

He never received that email, but Amy did some further investigations and saw that he carried out interviews about meditation…

This is how it came that we were talking on the phone in November 2012, arranging for me to travel to London for a video interview about running as a meditation…

I remember in the interview speaking about the ease of living a life of meditation… Apart from running miles and miles on the South Downs, I lived alone and enjoyed a lot of solitude and silence in my daily life, which leant itself to staying still within…

Little did I know that my life was about to be whirled about, upheaved from its familiar rhythms and that very soon, I would be of no fixed abode, travelling the world with the man interviewing me and that he was to become my husband…

In fact he was to become my fifth husband…

All of my life, my driving force was relationship… It still is, but in a different way now.

I was born a romantic it seems, I loved dreaming about love and romance, connection, communication and ‘happily ever after’. I didn’t have much idea of what this was, or how it would look, but I was always in love with a boy… For as long as I can remember there was a focus for my daydreams, and my night time fantasies….

I was also aware from a young age that relationships needed attention and care, and that I was responsible for my bit.

I never found staying in touch with people difficult… I loved writing letters and talking for hours on the phone to Richard my boyfriend and to my friends…

It all came easily and naturally to me. I even navigated being bullied as an 8 year old – and then again as a 12 year old – without too much trauma, it seemed… Although the situations were difficult, I was popular and had other friends to spend time with and so I could avoid the attacks…

Because I enjoyed close intimacies with my friends and with Richard, there wasn’t really anything to question…

Things changed after the death of my mother, a slide into an eating disorder and the development of an unhealthy grooming relationship with my running coach.

On reflection I now see that the balance got tipped out then, and my ease in relating and relationship became tarnished.

This was because the relationship with myself had become damaged, and any feelings of being somehow ‘wrong and bad’ that I had brought into this life with me, had been accessed

I was carrying guilt and self hatred after the death of my mother and the confusion in the relating with my coach, and this self hatred became projected onto my body and my eating habits; the downward spiral had begun….

It took me many years to spiral up and blossom again.

All the relationships I engaged in offered me stepping stones of great learning, healing and self reflection.

I was the common denominator in them all; and I don’t see them as ‘going wrong’ or ‘failing’… I view them as wonderful episodes of intimacy and growth and of seeing myself magnified and reflected in the patterns, the pain, the joy the connection and the disconnection.

It was all there, because I was all there….

I don’t even see them as having ended, because I am still relating with all of them; we simply changed the form…

Changing the form may not have always felt exactly simple, but it was always negotiated with as much awareness and wisdom as we had at the time… Of course with hindsight there are things I would have done differently; but it was never going to be any different; this was my own journey to deeper connection and relationship and love within myself…

Of course relationship isn’t just with the romantic, sexual relationships in our life; relationship is with everyone we encounter… Every single interaction, every friendship or business relationship; every on line friend or business connection, every single dialogue is relationship in motion…

It is us reflected… It is us in motion…

The more intimate or ‘committed’ the relationship is, can often provide more opportunity for growth… But not necessarily of course.

So how come 5 years on from first connecting to Anadi am I still married to him and still journeying with him…?

Because I don’t want to go…. And it appears neither does he…

In my other committed relationships they came to a place where one of us wanted to go, it truly was as simple as that… It is at the deepest level always as simple as that. The confusion is the unresolved pain within us that change and perceived loss, can access… Someone else wanting to do something else is taken deeply personally and can be a very hard journey to navigate…

Everyone is a reflection of our energy, and therefore is somehow resonant to something within us…

If the vibration changes, the energy shifts, and the reflection isn’t relevant anymore then the form will change…. This happens anyway in relationships where two people may choose to remain married, or even living together, but the form of relating might be unrecognizable to the early stages either for the better or the worse…

But ultimately at the deepest level relating and relationship is about our relationship with ourself – and if we always keep this as the fundamental core orientation, then paradoxically it means that instead of looking for the one; we become the one and instead of looking for the other to be the best partner, friend, colleague, husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend; instead we look to focusing on our own lessons, our own clearing and becoming conscious of being the best friend, partner, lover, colleague that we can be simply through clearing our energy to one of open hearted authentic communication, where we are conscious in every moment of what we are putting into the space between us and the other, which is where the relationship is occurring…

Clearing the way for the life we truly want to lead…

In my last article I talk about clearing reactivity as the basis to create the life we truly want to lead…

And to enjoy the harmony and expansion, passion and connection we dream of in our relationships…

Reactivity is a direct arrow to pain within, and when we react and act out of that reaction, we have instantly cut off love to ourselves, and of course to the other.

We are also no longer in the present moment…We are in the past, in fact we can be up to 90 percent in the past and so whatever plays out from reactivity is often hardly anything to do with the situation we are in, or the person… It is only that something ‘triggered’ you to remember some pain from when you were a baby or small child – and the ‘old brain’ is saying ‘danger danger’, because when we were small our very survival depended on the adults around us, and if we did or said something that seemed to threaten that safety, it felt ‘dangerous’ and we found ways to adapt so that we could navigate the world we inhabited…

But at the deepest level we all want to be whole, and so in adulthood, it is very powerful to learn that the triggers we experience can serve to point out to us where we need to clear this energy – so that we can live freely the life we truly want to lead…

This whole universe is made of energy. As we know from a physics perspective energy cannot be destroyed, but it can be transformed and transmuted…

When a new baby is born, we often project that they are in a clear state…

Of course this isn’t always the case after a difficult birth, or an unhappy pregnancy or the relationship they have been born into being one of conflict…

And then there is influence of past lives… Our energetic make up has been created over lifetimes and lifetimes, and has informed the parents, the country, the culture and circumstances we are born into, in this life…

This explains why children born into the same family will experience different issues, different lives, different experiences and will ‘respond’ differently to the rough and tumble of childhood, and have different adaptations to the occasions they felt any ‘danger’ or separation….

For the purpose of this article we will work with the experiences of this life, because this is the time we have now to work on – and the opportunity to clear the blocks to true love of self, to clarity, to being able to remember that we are born of consciousness which is beyond the duality of this universe…

The wonderful thing about being born into a human life, into the duality of light and dark, joy and sadness is that we have the perfect opportunity to work out the pain and the tension, the ‘stuff’ that has built up through our adaptations to the hurts, and disconnection we experienced in childhood – that pulls us this way and that – the yin to the yang – and gradually learn to live from the heart beyond duality…

So how do we do this?

The first place is to recognize that when we ‘react’, this is a direct arrow to our own pain.

The person that triggered us may well have behaved in a way that isn’t acceptable; but it is our trigger and our reaction that we must work with…

In my first article we worked with exploring our ‘paradigm’, all of our beliefs and stories and ideas – and to start to investigate and challenge them, and see if they hold true for us now…

Within this exploration we will also uncover where we didn’t feel loved enough, heard enough, understood enough, supported enough… We might also uncover where we felt disempowered by ‘too much’ support; where we didn’t ever experience criticism – and so were very wounded in school for instance, when we were first ‘told off’…
The exploration is ongoing and within finding out about our own personal story, we can see where we ‘react’; and start to trace back to what hurt the reaction relates too…

This is an interesting process, and human beings often like to ‘understand things’…

However, the real work comes when we commit to clearing this pain ourselves.We know our stories, but it is only us who can clear the pain in adulthood.

There can be huge support in loving relationships; but we cannot assume another wants to relate at this level…

The clearing work is our responsibility…

Of course the more we commit to this, the more likely we will discover other people similarly committed, and so the space between us becomes a safe place for exploration, understanding and clearing…

But the most important commitment is that we clear our own pain, and find the corner within us where love has not reached – and through clearing the pain bathe those places in light and love…

Practically we do this by first noticing when we have reacted; and this is every single reaction. It can be when someone allows a door to slam in our face, as much as bigger issues with a partner or children…

Then… Press an imaginary pause button….

Allow yourself to truly feel the feeling; breathe deeply and notice the still point at the top and the bottom of the breath; this silence can allow for the feeling to leave…

Clearing may not happen immediately; the most vital part of this process is to commit to always doing it.

Practicing watching the breath and connecting to the still point as a ‘daily practice’, can help with staying in touch with the part that is always still within us; and so when reactivity occurs, it gets easier to be silent and feel the feeling… Notice where it is in the body and watch it leave.

For some seeing it as a colour and watching it change helps; for some breathing it out; for some just waiting until the energy changes and the feeling leaves…

Like everything this requires practice and commitment and no attachment to an end ‘result…’

Whatever emerges from the clear space will emerge….

 

 

 

 

 

Our life as reflection of our relationship with ourselves


Our life is a reflection of us.

It is a reflection of our relationship with ourselves…

In short our life reflects where our relationship with ourself is severed, and where love is lacking… Where we do not love ourselves fully…

So, how do we start to clear this?

It is not uncommon to have feelings of dissatisfaction with life – or if not with life itself with ourselves – and feel that we could do more, be more, experience more. Or that we just want to feel more alive and happy, more at ease and peaceful within…

The first important point is to know that every single thing we experience is something to do with us… This is not from the perspective of it being in any way our fault, or any blame pointing our way.

I am also aware that some people may not agree with this statement; but for the purposes of uncovering how to have a better life, a better relationship with self, this article is exploring from this perspective …

It also means that if we adopt this stance, we can view our life from the position of empowerment, because if everything in our life is to do with us; then we have within us the power to clear.

If we do not like what we are seeing or feeling or experiencing, then with the understanding that this is something to do with us, we know that even if it takes some investigation, then we do have the keys within ourselves to unlock our future…

The next important thing is to recognise that this can take time, and that there is no rush and that if we are now going to take full responsibility, there may be some work needed to uncover and clear the pain and tension blocking us from our dreams…

Once we truly recognise that our happiness comes from within us, then it can take some time to re orientate from a habit of looking for it outside…

I was speaking with my Spanish teacher Maricarmen about learning Spanish, and how she suggests things for people to do to learn Spanish – which they then don’t do…

Again this isn’t uncommon, we might want something a lot, and yet when we are given the tools to make the changes, we don’t do what has been suggested – and then of course things stay the same and we continue to feel dissatisfied – and sometimes even wonder why…

So for the purpose of this article we are going from the position of

Everything is to do with us

Therefore everything is within our power to clear

Once we take full responsibility for our lives we must recognise that this entails consistent commitment to becoming conscious of self and it can take time

Happiness is within us, not outside us.

So, the first step could be to look at our lives in broad concepts, ie) What would a truly fulfilling life feel and look like? What are the ingredients in broad concepts…?

Would they be things like success, love, peace, excitement…?

This exercise is simply for awareness, once you have written all the broad concepts down it can be helpful to write a mind map, coming off each concept – and see how these qualities are being lived out…

Always keeping in mind the four points written above… The investigation therefore although looking at the outer reflection is to lead you inwards…

For instance under ‘love’ you might have friends lover family partner children…

As you keep working through the whole exercise, of course you will discover things that might bring you joy or excitement that are not in your life at all at the moment; or maybe they are but they are fraught with pressure…

Essentially over a period of time you will uncover what you want, what you yearn for, where your life is good, where there is pain and tension and so you have a beginning point…

Now you are becoming truly in touch with yourself…

And once again this is the time, to sit in silence and reflect on all you are uncovering… The yearnings, the frustrations, as well as the joys and the satisfaction is an inner state.

The things that we perceive are ‘making us’ feel uncomfortable are simply the outer refections of where the inner healing and changes are needed.

You will see the things you would like to add into your life, and because you are aware that the change comes from within you can start to take some action…

There may be many reasons why you are not living as you truly want to.

So, start with something you can change or do with ease; if you would like to be doing something you are not… Book it up.This is simply to bring to our attention what we need to clear within…

Notice everything about this process… Is there any resistance? What does it feel like giving yourself permission to do this thing…?

In the very first action of an outer change it can hi-light so much and open the door to start to explore your paradigm, your inner world…

All the beliefs you have about life; every single belief came from somewhere… Notice what you think and believe and start to query… ‘Where did I get that idea? Does it hold true for me now? Does it resonate with my heart and soul…?

Start to examine the stories you tell about yourself and others tell about you… Are they accurate…? Where did they come from? Who told them first? Do they resonate now?

This can be things like “I never succeed’, ‘I’m no good at that’, ‘people will think I’m showing off…’ “I have to get it right…’ I can’t try anything until I’m sure I’ll get it right…’ ‘Everyone thinks I don’t care, but I do..’
And so one…

This exploration of your paradigm, your ideas and beliefs can be a daily process and it will uncover so much and work alongside you taking actions for change, coming from an inner shift, a deeper self knowledge and self understanding…

In effect it allows you to start to be your own best friend, your own therapist who is gently coaching you to to let go of any stories beliefs or ideas that do not support you – and who is helping you to fall in love with yourself and support and encourage you to live life fully; as yourself, not living up to any expectations of others…

Alongside this investigation, it is important to begin a process of clearing tension and pain from old hurts and emotional wounds…

These will show up in any reactivity that you feel in any conversation, situation or episode…

By recognising that when we react it is an arrow to one of the negative stories or ideas we have about ourself; a direct connection to somewhere where we been hurt in childhood, then by keeping aware in every moment and noticing any tension when it arises; it can help connect to the other exercises and ideas in this article.

Clearing the tension is the bedrock of this work. Because in recognising when we react, we can refer to the points mentioned earlier

1) This is to do with me,

2) This is empowering as I can do something about it

3) I am responsible for my life and my reactions

4) My happiness is within me, and so this reaction is coming from inside me; it is not to do with what is going on outside; that is just the trigger…

This process can take time to engage with, but like everything with practise it can become the very hub of transforming our lives…