Recently, I have felt like I have been ‘peeling the onion layers’ for so long that there couldn’t be much of the onion left to peel?! I have shared before that my childhood, particularly my teenage years, was not ideal. Over the years, I recognised how the turmoil had impacted and continued to impact my life. It initially became more apparent as I had children and they were growing up. Our relationship was so different from what I had had with my parents. There also came a point in our marriage where I had to question where we were and where we were going. I considered all these things even more as a teacher and head teacher, particularly when I was working with young people who were finding school a tricky place to be, and yes, I was considering my own children, as I worked with those young people. I fully accept that our four beautiful children were affected by our marriage splitting up and the possible impact now on our grandchildren. Our past informs decisions we make along the way and I know that my past fed into the success and subsequent ending of our marriage. Would things have turned out differently had I done the work I now have? We will never know, and it isn’t helpful to stew about what might have been. The driving force, as I personally heal, is that my healing can be passed on through future generations, helping them to heal too. That is also why it is so important to me to work with others, supporting them through their story. If we all work on our own healing, it will ripple out, throughout our families and into our wider families and communities. What a wonderful world it could be!
Every moment is an opportunity. An opportunity for a new beginning. From the moment we take our first breath to the moment we take our last breath we can change. There is so much science behind this. In schools, I share how we are programmed to survive, and how this can become a problem. Our amygdala reacts to a situation, as if we are in mortal danger. We experience ‘fight’, ‘flight’ or ‘freeze’. This was, and can still be, very useful, but most of the time now it can work against us. Being negatively programmed can be exhausting and lead to stress, anxiety and illness. Learning to take a step back by taking that mindful breath/moment/minute/or more (!), we can notice that we were about to react and instead take time to consider other options and respond, as opposed to rect. The tools that I use daily, enables me to get to that point, but it takes practise! It’s like anything. We can’t run a marathon without putting in the miles, we can’t score a goal in the World cup without years of practising our ball skills and we definitely can’t play a concerto with a leading orchestra without thousands of hours of playing scales and exercises. So why do we expect to be able to be mindful just because we have read about it and dabbled for a few months? It is a lifelong skill that will need to be practised and used regularly, so that when we REALLY need it, it will be a natural response.
Going back to peeling the never-ending onion, I did peel quite a chunk this week! Throughout a large part of my life I have not had the healthiest relationship with food. I have attempted several times to figure out exactly why, although I did have a fairly good idea. I have previously tapped with a colleague, but we didn’t hit the exact spot, then a few months ago I bought a book called ‘Tap, Taste, Heal’ by Marcella Friel. I have scanned bits of the book now and again, but hadn’t looked properly at it till last week, when I came upon the chapter on ‘The Secret Wisdom of Sabotage’. This chapter talked about how we have our self-identified ‘roles’ in life, with reasons and stories about who we are and why. We might be ‘the good one’, ‘the bad one’, ‘the fat one’, ‘the thin one’, ‘the rebel’, ‘the crazy one’ and so on. By now I am quite sure, your role will have popped into your head! I had a few!! I tapped on this, which seemed to start the ball rolling again. I then had a session with a fellow practitioner (practitioners regularly get together to discuss, share and practise EFT/Tapping). The session very quickly identified a meal when I had been asked to eat olives in a salad, when I was about 15years of age. This was a very vivid memory. I was a ‘good eater’ but at that time in my life I HATED olives. It was not so much the olives, but the controlling element, the adult involved and the ongoing situation at that time, that had been the main cause of distress. As I tapped, we revisited parts of my life that I had buried for many years. WOW! What a difference I felt, as we delved deeper. It seems that the more we deal with the past, the further back we go, and we can keep going (if we want to), until we are at peace. How does that sound to you? The ‘lightness’ I have felt this week has been fantastic, even though I was quite unwell for a couple of days after the EFT session (it has been noted that this can happen when a big shift has occurred). I am having another session in a few weeks and am looking forward to it. It feels very liberating to be finally tackling, what I believe to be the core of my onion.
Everything happens for a reason....
How many times have you heard that before?! I often repeat that mantra, maybe not always wholeheartedly buying into it at the time but deep down I do believe it completely. All the catastrophes and challenges in my life have led me to this place and without them I would not be the person I am right now, and I am very happy to be the person I am right now!
However, I digress. Yesterday I sat down to write my blog for February. TBH I was weary after a hectic week, unfocussed and striving rather than inspired, but being the thrawn (one of my favourite Scots words!) person that I am, continued to pull words from the depths of my being until I had a fairly (?!) interesting, but, in my humble opinion, uninspiring blog. As I went to 'publish' it, the text disappeared! Internet here is not very reliable, so I am usually very canny about saving as I go, but in my autopilot state I had not done this. After a momentary reaction of disappointment, I quickly appreciated that fate had played its hand well yet again. Maybe there wouldn't be a blog in February and that was ok.
Fast forward to this morning. This morning is the beginning of me having AndBreathe appointments at my studio just outside Insch, on the first Saturday of every month. My first client was a Reiki client. I value all my clients and prepare for each one in a different way. However, there is something about the preparation for my Reiki clients that encourages me to take more time and more care. I take more time to look after me. I also take more time preparing the room and by the time the client walks through the door, I know we are completely where we are meant to be. All clients place trust in me when they mae that appointment. I never take that granted. I have been invited into the most private corners of their lives, sharing thoughts and emotions that have often never been shared before and the bravery it takes, is not missed by me. May they know that I will never break that trust. To be there with 'Love', 'Hope' and 'Faith' in all their forms creates a very special, unique opportunity to support someone on their lifelong journey.
Part of my preparation for this morning was to draw my guideline for the day. Today's card was 'Forgiveness'. Forgiveness is a card that appears only now and again but when it does, I always have a sense of apprehension and intrigue. I often feel like the child about to be guided to 'do the right thing'! How was forgiveness going to encourage me to think and approach the day differently? Best thing was to read about how the 16 Guidelines perceives 'Forgiveness':
"Forgiveness is the capacity to reclaim our peace of mind when something has happened to disturb us. As we go through life it is inevitable that we are going to hurt one another. In fact, as our world becomes more complex and interconnected, the opportunities for conflict increase. We have the choice whether to respond to these hurts and conflicts with anger and bitterness, or with forgiveness.
Forgiving is not the same as forgetting. It does not mean that we gloss over the harm that has taken place, or pretend that it never happened. What it does is to allow us to let go of the destructive attitudes towards the past that imprison us and the person who harmed us in a cycle of recrimination and guilt. When our desire for reconciliation and peace is stronger than our anger, disappointment or pain, then forgiveness offers the opportunity to make a new start.
Forgiveness can seem insurmountable, and has vast consequences, but in essence it is nothing more than a shift of mind. The motivation to forgive has to come from a genuine wish deep inside to relieve the pain and discomfort of ourselves and of others. It cannot be forced. Does everyone have the capacity to forgive? Can everything be forgiven? Is forgiveness something we can learn?"
I will leave 'Forgiveness' with you to ponder over the next few days. Each of us will take something different from the text and at another point in our lives, it will be different again. For me, it has given me a wonderful opportunity to contemplate several current situations in my life and with the framework of 16 Guidelines I feel safer, as I do so.
Every blessing to you for the month of February!
Thank you for reading this far! AndBreathe... is a very exciting venture and I am glad you have joined me on the journey!