It seemed so obvious that I haven’t written on this topic before; but maybe what I feel I know about migraine and other “sudden-onset” pain involving heat and inflammation is not as obvious as I have been thinking. For the longest time, I’ve considered the kind of pain that is often rammed very tightly into the upper part of the body, like something that is trapped inside and desperate to get out, to be an expression of the frustrated “feminine aspect”. Its trying so hard to gain our attention yet this is often the very thing we deny it; so around and around it goes, becoming the most chronic thing in our experience, affecting our quality of life and making us feel small and defeated when this is the every oposite to its intention. Its a classic case of a breakdown in communication; which is ironic given communication is everything it is “about”.
The feeling that wells up to siren point in a woman, especially at key points in her cycle and during menopause, is a longing to express, to be heard, to be taken seriously, to be released from the humdrum, to be appreciated, to be afforded equal opportunity, to be at true unfettered liberty to be herself (whatever that might be) and to explore all that she is in human form. It’s a longing to unearth the depths of wisdom that she suspect lies buried inside of her without the endless insistence that she prove or justify that stockpile of knowledge; she just knows what she knows.
When I have these kinds of episode “come up” I am far better able to navigate what is occurring in my cells when I apply the broadest understanding to what feels so blocked and frustrated “in” me. Yet I routinely hear from friends who suffer from migraines or any other kind of sudden pain episodes that they are mystified why they are happening, or they brush them off with well-practiced speeches about how they are so-called “women’s problems”. Well there really is no such thing; or there wasn’t, until women stopped being listened to, including by themselves. A friend presented at the doctor’s with such an episode this week and was prescribed THREE sets of pills to take, which her husband is now pressuring her to take though she really doesn’t want to. We self-medicate ourselves to numbness, ignoring what our bodies are telling us, while the imbalances in our lives go on and on unspoken.
Until I spoke to her, that friend hadn’t even consider that the frustration she is feeling in her career as a teacher where she has had to drop a pay level just to stay in work, over the fine art practice she hasn’t had time to keep going for the past 30 years of career and, perhaps, even the husband who doesn’t seem to be that supportive might be contributing to her sudden-onset backpain. Its not all down to “bad” life circumstances since all women are presented with an opportunity to review what they are about at this time of their life, just as hormones shift gear and priorities change. Things that were pivotal to them for decades (including children) are possibly not there anymore and yet, the way we have set up our culture, they are expected to continue behaving pretty-much the same as ever. If they aren’t in the kind of relationships that leave space for growth, this can present major problems when new urges to express selfhood come roaring up from their soles like a kundalini fire of rebirth, telling them that the next half of their life is theirs for the making. Part of them (perhaps a buried part…) registers this as excitement, for all that it is a little scary to survey a whole new landscape of possibility extending over the next 40 or 50 years. However, society doesn’t have it this way; it tells women they are “done for” as soon as they are over that age hill…and so the conflict plays on in their bodies until they hardly know how to read those unsettling signals coursing through their veins.
It’s an awakening, a quickening, not a death, that is occurring but we are so entrained to regard newness as threat and age as the very nemesis of a woman’s ability to thrive (though this is back to front thinking). Even if we don’t interpret the changes in ourselves as such then those around us are very likely to since people who think they know us really don’t tend to like disruption in what they have become used to relying on. Suddenly, we are being accused of having the midlife crisis that is so parodied by our sit-coms and and yet, really, we are re-finding a part of ourselves that we only thought we put on ice while we prioritise raising families and paying mortgages. Now those tasks are done, we are back to claim what is ours…only those around us may shake their heads in disapproval. No wonder our bodies are in conflict!
When I speak to friends who are bewildered by these sudden onset episodes of pain, rather than asking what they have taken for it I give them opportunity to consider how their daily lives are feeling, what are their frustrations, what opportunities are they getting to express themselves and who is listening to them. There is almost always something lurking there when that rock is turned over and they go away thinking along different lines but with their mood somewhat lighter after such a conversation.
Better still, I do what I can to encourage them to find new ways to express themselves, to allow suppressed creative urges to come through them. I get them to consider exploring ways they can be more independent than perhaps they have been, even if this is only in some small way that they are thinking or seeking permission from someone else before they make the smallest decisions. So many women give themselves away like this over the years without even noticing, even seeking tacit permission off their children before they allow themselves to consider themselves at liberty to do things or feel relaxed. These are ways that small evolutionary steps can be taken to provide room for a woman to reconfigure herself ready for that next portion of her life. None of them are intended to blow-apart the long-established relationships that anchor their world and yet so many people fear what these kinds of questions may unleash within a marriage or family setting. The opportunity to open up this forum of consideration does not put any solid group of people under threat but will allow the family dynamics to evolve and grow in ways that benefit all parties….yet so many women feel even the smallest changes to the ways their lives are configured will be unwelcome in their home and so they suppress these urges inside them, pointing them inward like the barrel of a loaded gun.
As a watchful child, I noticed how my mother had this kind of fire rising in her from around the time of her perimenopause and I observed it become an ever more formidable flame, the outspoken devil-may-care aspect of her that turned people off and put wariness in the eyes of even those who knew her well. It sparked many moments of miscomprehension and fear in my father, who liked his world predictable and well-orchestrated to his own tight set or rules. In the end, she brought it into check and it became the cancer that railed and vented on the inside of her body until she succumbed to it much too young to have made the most of her brief widowhood. She taught me such a lot by doing it the way she did; showing me what powerful womanhood looks like and how not to push it deep-down inside.
The heat that comes up in us can feel like a primal scream trying to gain our attention…for that is what it is. It reminds us of a time before child rearing, before strict gender roles, before many of the constructs we have turned into the hardest expectations, rules and limitations of our man-made culture.
Oestrogen is the “yang” factor; it’s what pushes down the lid on the innate feminine urge not to be pinned down but be elusive and free to roam, to express, to create, to do as she pleases. It’s what made continuance of the species possible; so that we wouldn’t keep wandering away from the egg, leaving the nest and then…ultimately…taking that process inside of us, making it the work of two decades or more to bring up our children. Its what kept us by the fireside preparing food, caring for husbands, keeping house. When oestrogen is in her body, a woman can become more “yang” than a male; fierce and protective, she guards the very concept of the nest like its all that matters to her…but then the wheel of life turns around and, suddenly, something else happens and it is meant to (though we have denied it for far too long). Face it, until quite recently, not that many women were living long beyond the point when those tables turned around and those that did were often leg-tied to vast family responsibilities or the kind of poverty that kept them from noticing. Now we live longer, have more security and can take the time to register our frustrations as the fanfare of the rebirth they were always meant to herald in…with all the years stretched out in front of us to make the most of that potential, assuming we don’t frighten ourselves to death at the sight of so much possibility. Its a sad truism that is is often our own power that scares us the most; and this affects women so much more than men, something which underlies the vast territory of chronic illness that seems to swallow so many women from their middle years onwards. In other words, we clip our own wings out of a profound fear of what it would take for us to fly.
Which is why hormones so often come up amongst the likely offenders when mystery illness starts to happen to a woman; and, in a way, this is right on the money. Because when a woman reaches the middle of her life, she is freed from her procreational responsibilities (if these are what she took on) and so oestrogen backs off to a level where there is just enough for optimum health (though our toxic environment has made it necessary for her to have more than “enough” just to ward of the plastic xenooestrogens that are rife in our water, food and atmosphere; a whole other topic). Without so much oestrogen, hormone balance now tips in favour of the “yin” and so a new, stable, mid-line balance of yin and yang is made possible (without all the ups and downs of the menstrual cycles); if she choses to accept it. If she does, she gets to model to the world what true balance looks like; which expresses as wisdom in action; the creative practicality of the wise woman that used to hold the respect of the tribe but which is now made jest of by our media, our comedians, our whole culture-at-large. The “old crones” that were once the mainstay of our communities have never been more out of fashion; nobody admits to aspiring to be that anymore (although I do, and I know others who think likewise).
Our culture has been set to value the “lidded” woman, the younger woman, the one who keeps to her place in the family, taking care of her husband like he is a child that forgot to leave, fulfilling her care-role for elderly parents and people in the community, giving her time for next to nothing, pursuing creative urges that are labelled “hobby” and offered peanuts in return, treated like a latter-day witch and with a certain amount of disdain for a growing interest in alternative health or her weird friends that collect crystals. This is why hormone balance has become so coveted; since there is a vested interested in maintaining the status quo that looks like what I have just described, where the women is expected to be 90 per cent as she always was and only 10 per cent the part that she suspects is her most authentic aspect but which her family find inconvenient or embarrassing. It’s why HRT was invented; to keep the little wife in her coop and the dinner on the table.
But what if she is meant to be feeling that hot prickle, that rising heat like a dancing flame that, in its way, is making her feel more alive than she has for years. What if her cancers, her migraine, her strokes, her weight gain, her sadness, her dimentia….all of these and more, are as a result of trying to push that back into the pressure-cooker of herself until it becomes the grenade that is deployed from inside?
What if it is only the fact that she feels so pushed down that makes her bullish and desperate in a way that is abhorred and made fun of by those (often men or “yang” entities such as corporate settings) that feel threatened by the menopausal female and the flames seen flashing in her eyes?
What if to a degree that suits her (which will be different for every woman; possibly different every day) she needs to be free enough to explore her urges, to untie the routines from her leg in order to explore the next phase her own way?
What if making that break for financial independence through something she takes on as a job or a project, regardless of how much money has been saved together in the family pot, is just something she needs to do right now to show she has it in her? And what if she needs to give vent about how unfairly she feels treated in return for the creative or healing work she does, which is often rewarded as though it is a silly little hobby or underpaid because she has a supportive husband and is thought not to need the dough? What if our next big evolution depends on many wise and creative women standing this new ground, insisting they are fairly rewarded for what they bring to the table through innate skills that are much needed by our world?
What if it is time to recognise and honour that this is the feminine version of power rising up in all of us (regardless of gender; there is much to be gained by the men that work with this upsurge in their partners and in themselves)? What if this collaboration is just what is most needed as the next learning curve for the whole of the planet at this most-particular time of its life as we all stretch towards our next big evolution? What if we greet it as a formidable, uprising, energetic impulse that has been suppressed far too long to the detriment of all of our health?
These times are always when I write the most of all…finding I have just so much to say that I can’t stem the tide, it will “out” itself so here it is (and there’s more below). Giving this aspect its full and most varied expression feels like a cooling balm running through my veins yet this isn’t an attempt to “simmer me down” but to allow “out” what wants to come up and through me as part of my own evolution; it needs to rise up that spinal column to be felt by each of my energy centres in turn. When it reaches my crown, it says “you are a master of many things the world has yet to label or make currency of” and that, in giving it vent, I give courage to all those other women who are discovering the mastery of many things that lies waiting to be claimed inside of them. This is the wisdom born of ages that we carry in our female cells and it is time to demand the right to include this kind of innate wisdom in or culture, without the say-so of the scientific community or those who think they know everything they need to in a strictly empirical kind-of way. The feminine doesnt conflict with that; but it is a complement to it all and we have been missing it out for way too long.
The feminine is the portal to a vast sea of possibility that can never be fully known and, when we open it, we unleash the much-needed salve of this world since it is in the “not knowing” that we find ourselves most fully and in the most balanced way. The mature woman knows innately how to do this…if she lets herself; and so she brings herself into balance, having already mastered what it is to be the practical human being for the first half of her life. Then, by bringing herself into balance, she helps to bring the rest of the world into balance too; demonstrating through the wisdom of her ways how this is done and can be used as a way to thrive like never before. This process can only start to happen when we listen to those first screams to be “let out” that our bodies so loudly shout out to us; and then, in listening, we hear an answer that is eagerly awaited by the whole of the rest of the world.
This article “Going Gluten free is a Distraction (Even for Celiacs)” popped up in my feed this morning and I found myself agreeing with almost every word. Yes, I believe, going gluten free is a distraction away from what is much more important when you are recovering true and balanced health and so I love this article because its something I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while.
That’s not to say I don’t think going gluten free is a great idea – I agree with the author in saying I think pretty much everyone would do better to go gluten free! Yet I also shout “hear hear” when she describes how pursuing a “gluten free” lifestyle is a massive distraction from health and can take you down some really blind alleys that make your health feel much worse, eating food that is even more harmful to your body, or lacking in important components, than what you were eating before.
Most supermarket gluten free products, for instance, contain (or lack) ingredients that you need to be making a much more conscious and informed decision about to achieve optimum health and yet we can become so focussed upon finding that wrapper with the magic words “gluten free” that we don’t check for all that other stuff (caramel, thickeners, chemicals of all kinds…very frequently found in gluten free bread, biscuits and packaged food to give it colour, flavour and texture). Even when we prepare food for ourselves at home, we can become so keyed-up about finding those alternative flour products that we forgot that we would do better to remove those carby foods altogether and seek more fresh fruit, protein and so on. I bake my own gluten free bread, to my own recipe, once a week (I’ll list the ingredients below) but I don’t gorge out on it; its a rare weekend treat and, the rest of the time, I eat a diet that isn’t focussed on bread-like products at all. Its a very outmouted mindset that we have to fill-up on so much bread and pasta as though its the very staple of life; that was something borne out of poverty and necessity and we can evolve past that now!
The gluten free meals and snacks so broadly offered in restaurants these days are often the very nemesis of a healthy diet and yet, when all we see is the label, we pounce on them because all we want in a “normal” life eating out with friends. Often the gluten free cake is the sugariest thing at the counter yet our minds are on other things…until we feel the effect of eating them. I, for one, have not got on well with all the flour alternatives out there and find the nut-based flours can tip my glutamate intolerance into painful overdrive, triggering excruciating migraines and worse. We might do better with the salad or a stew (assuming there’s no gluten in the thickeners) than some specially concocted thing with “gluten free” as its main selling point and, to be honest, between being vegetarian, milk/cream, sugar/caramel, additives, sulphate and yeast extract intolerant (in that I know they all set my recovery backwards and cause pain) and then avoiding gluten, I find its way easier to entertain at home most of the time. Yet that’s so worth it, measured by the huge strides I’ve taken in my health; I feel so completely different to how I used to when I was carelessly eating all that stuff!
As for my bread recipe, this is what I use on the gluten free setting in my bread maker:
450gms Doves farm gluten free flour (brown or white…increase the water slightly for brown)
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1 “gloop” of organic tropical honey
1.5 tsp quick yeast
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 pinch of himalayan salt
To this you can add nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cinnamon, spice or herbs, sun-dried tomatoes and olives…whatever takes your fancy to make some much more interesting loaves.
Without the sugar, colours and hydrogenated fats, this is a far more balanced loaf for the occasional slice; but there are many more healthy meals you can eat, without gluten or bread, if you focus on getting hold of all those seasonal organic veggies, eat potatoes, sweet potatoes and many other kinds of root veg, try out healthy foods such as quinoa or gabba rice and look for even more inspiration on the internet. There’s such a core life lesson in this….a reminder to focus on what we DO want, to embrace what is POSITIVE for us, rather than being in resistance mode, avoiding what doesn’t work.
Am I celiac? No, but since eliminating gluten just over a year ago (I reduced it dramatically for 6 months before that), my health has improved vastly, I’ve stopped bloating and feeling sore, healed irritable bowel, regained my waistline, increased my most stable energy levels, stopped having anywhere near as many episodes of brain fog, reduced my migraines dramatically…. and even a very small amount of accidental gluten makes me feel awful – case dismissed!
Many of us have this one thing that come up inside of us which, like a compacted volcanic rock of emotion, feels so much bigger and more fiery than the kind of circumstances that typically set it alight as a dull-ache in our chest or stomach or a full-blown inflammation in our cells. Like a red-glowing ember that suddenly flies out from the fireplace onto the rug of our lives, this “thing”sets us off over and over again, unleashing chaotic and reactionary feelings that feel like they have been with us forever. We know that if we don’t rant and rage with them, “doing something” about this thing that brought them up, we will have to bring the feeling back inside and torch ourselves or “lid” the feelings in ways that, we suspect, are detrimental to our health (and so they are). So what do we do, how do we handle this hot potato when we catch it for the umpteenth time in our lives and is there a new way we can consider?
Its a typically (though not exclusively) female thing to have these fire-emotions come up as though from nowhere and we can be sure we have been collecting them across many lifetimes in order to have this super-redhot version this time around ready for our transformation of them. And then we feel them flicker up, not just for ourselves but, on behalf of all those in our care (or that we care about) including our “causes”, our families and our children (perhaps especially our daughters)…since the well-versed anger we carry is hinged upon our long-running experience of many many MANY scenarios of unfairness; of the odds being stacked against us, of the world being geared to favour the few and of the criteria for success being built upon the kind of “skills” (such as courting popularity for its own sake or out-and-out bitchiness and abuse) that we despise too much to cultivate in ourselves and yet, without them, we lack the currency to make a decent go of the world as it is currently set up. Oh how pissed-off we feel with it all!
These inner power-flames come up with the rhythm of our menstrual cycles and, above all, during menopause. Something tells us they must be allowed to out themselves at these times or we will “die” and yet this is the very epitome of the damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario when faced with letting loose a hell-cat of pain that can be the aforementioned grenade going off in our lives….externally (torching our marriages, our careers and more) or internally (our health). One single spark rising out of an alarmingly commonplace set of scenarios can be enough to spark off our personal inferno and we know somehow that we are being challenged to come up with the least destructive version of that bonfire soon if we are going to survive, but what does that alternative even look like?
For me it is injustice and a sense of being made an “under-dog”, in all its forms, that sets me off; felt keenly on behalf of anyone being treated thus, hotly for all women, painfully for anyone amongst my family or friends, excruciatingly when it’s on behalf of my daughter, self-destructively when its anything to do with me since that version feels like the very inflammation in my cells that becomes PAIN and crashing health. Even now that inflammation is all-but gone from my daily experience, a circumstantial trigger can switch it back on in an instant so I know its time I got to work on this final bastion of my healing…by tackling the very triggers themselves; but how since I can’t single-handedly change the ways of the world?
By getting to know what all versions of these triggers are in their very core essence. To me, they are the concentrated essence of any kind of situation that feels loaded by one set of people against another, any version of gross unfairness, of not being allowed to shine or have your gifts rewarded in the same way as any others that are currently in favour, of political correctness that bites the arse of those whose considerable efforts are now erased in the name of an idea of including all; and so, any sense of life being a game with the most ridiculous rules that repeatedly handicap those whose more decent values disqualify them from taking part, anything that renders us speechless or powerless in a game of life-politics that is all about manipulation and control. These triggers come dressed up in the wrapper of every-day circumstance in every aspect of life, from our playgrounds to our corporate offices and, when they go off, I have often found myself baring scorch marks or sitting in a pile of ashes following a short period of unleashing the kind of outspokenness that comes up in me so fast I don’t really stop to think but which I quickly come to regret. This is not because my words or actions lack truth but because they sometimes backfire to make the situation worse, the perpetrators close rank and those I care about (including me) feel worse off than ever, even if in the most subtle of ways. This is often to do with my own disquiet at my having to rise up like that and so become this least natural or resonant version of myself…which leave me strongly disliking this part of my own strength; which only forces it back into the kind of submission that feels like self-defeat when my very life-spark seems to go into some sort of retreat as penance for its unruly actions.
In the midst of my deepest health problems, these fiery pits took me so much deeper that I had to learn to pull back or else be destroyed …and yet owning these truths was never more important to my survival since stuffing my feelings back inside only ensured my health would capsized again a little later; and probably more destructively. The balance was to know, to witness and to express in other ways that generated far less singe-factor; through writing or amongst trusted friends. I learned to take that long deep breath before diving into the fray; to allow my head to cool somewhat before opening my throat chakra and breathing my fire. I gave vent to my blocked energy through chakra mantras (“lam, van, ram, yam, ham, om…”) until the fire in me came out as powerfully resonant sound that grounded my power more deeply into my cells whilst connecting me to the earth and to my highest aspect, simultaneously. With mindful daily practice of everything I had come to know and love about myself, I used the kundalini process of coaxing this fire up and out of me…on my terms, to my best rhythms…to fuel my own highest evolution.
In many ways I see how this roaring lioness fire has been the very wake up call of that highest evolution and it never came up in me more strongly than when my own survival was on the line, manifesting as the rocket fuel that got me (and my “cub”since it has everything to do with the maternal instinct that connects us to Gaia) out of some extremely dire situations. When everything was on the line and I felt the odds of life were most highly stacked against me, UP came my flame of survival instinct and all the most formidable power I could muster. Yet (as I discovered) living surrounded by burning fields cannot be sustained for any length of time and my health paid tribute to that. Choosing the ultimate career of the underdog, the creative pursuits that make it nigh impossible to make a living in the current paradigm, was another way I chose to deep-dive into the practice ground of this reactionary territory (all that indignation that an art-career gives rise to); not to mention taking on the kind of health issues that almost nobody takes seriously. It seems, I really wanted to go to town on these feelings of profoundest injustice and dissatisfaction with the status quo so I could transform them, didn’t I? All of this has been my most recent decade of literal and metaphorical inflammation out of which a whole new life…and powerfl sense of self… has risen like a phoenix.
Then, after years of inner work, some of us become quite the expert at simmering down our own inner fires so that we can live more comfortably with them to face another day yet even this feels like a compromise, underpinning the endless yoyo-ing of our circumstances rather than the sustained kind of health and livelihood that gets stronger, and works with us a little more, every day. Because when the flame-thrower is still coming up inside of us on its own terms, not ours, we are never truly the captain of our own ship since our rigging may catch fire at any moment. Realising this, and just how weary you are with all fire-fighting, feels like a whole new level of evolution, one where we turn the angry red blaze that seems to want to consume everything (even us) into the cool violet-blue flame of something infinitely more creative and uplifting, not to mention transformative as its next permeation.
It was like becoming the bomb disposal team of my own health to understand how inwardly-turned fire fuelled by a sense of “the injustice of the world” was at the core of so much of my pain. I realised also that no amount of self-righteous belief justified the singeing of others as I gave vent in the heat of my moment and there were always going to be casualties if I let loose my own considerable power in that way. I was like the lioness protecting her cubs when I got to work on these themes; and I could be vicious, formidable…but what a waste of such power to misdirect it like a circumstantial scatter gun. Instead, I learned (first) to steady it, (then) to retract it and (then) to reload it with love and undertanding…for all…instead of nails and a heat born of all the considerable friction of my disappointing past. This, of course, required that I notice those patterns over as much “time” as I have access to so that I could pluck out the trends, noticing the stuck-points where circles of behaviour keep feeding themselves, generation after generation, like a snake eating its tail.
Such a situation has been building in relation to my daughter in recent weeks and I was noticing the prickle of it long before the full flame began to lick the sides of my heart from the solar plexus bonfire that was rapidly building just below. It has all the hallmarks of feeling like an unfairness, an injustice, an “odds stacked against her” situation and, as usual, I find I want to roar my disapproval at the system that perpetrated it yet I know to do this will probably make it much worse and won’t help her at all. Just thinking about it makes me want to claw the walls and the endless family conversations around it make me feel wildly helpless (like a tiger in a cage) in a way I generally refuse to be made to feel helpless any more and yet…what else can I do but sit back and watch the almost inevitable unfairness play out given the current “system” is so flawed. This thing played through my mind this morning as I was doing twists on my yoga mat and I suddenly felt warmth radiating off the mat like it had access to underfloor heating and then realised that was coming from me. Each time I twisted my torso in a way that wrings out my third chakra, I felt this blast of incredible heat from my lower spine that I could touch with my hand. Was that really coming out of me? I knew it was…and, until yoga and such mindfulness, I also know I used to turn all that heat inwards on myself rather than unleash it on the world.
I could feel the emotions peppering around my throat chakra by the time I came downstairs for breakfast. All of a sudden, I was giving vent to how this situation and others like it make me feel…so helpless, so shut in my box, hands tied behind my back; hanged if I do, hanged if I don’t. I knew this tirade was the unjust outcome of so many unfair lifetimes come back for a replay through the egg crack of my morning and I had to let its golden fire-yoke flow, there were simply no more eggshell sides left to hold it in so it came pouring, accompanied by a blast of hot tears.
The night before, at the end of blazing row with my daughter over the very thing I wish I could make better, I had owned up to her how I so-often take the knocks of these situations when they arise; playing devils advocate so that she can kick against the unfairness of me rather than be unexpectedly dumped upon by an unfair world. I make myself her practice zone, preempting the hard-handling that I tend to believe awaits her. I had hardly seen this for myself until I said it outloud…but then, how many other mothers prepare their daughters for the world thus; setting them up for the endless disappointments and compromises of life to try and protect them from the hard “inevitabilities” of the world? Ceasing this complicit behaviour is the very first step of our next evolution; because when we stop buffering ourselves and our children for the ways of a world we really don’t like, that world has the better chance of moving over for a better one to take its place.
As the penny dropped in both her understanding and mine and the hug of reconciliation took place between us, this made room for the next layer of the same theme; the point where I now see how I locked myself up in all the low-expectations of my earliest “training”. This conditioning occurred when I was bullied so badly at school that my mother went out guns blazing to tackle the parent of the girl and the school that failed to notice, but then the girl’s nasty behaviour only became much more insidious. My mother thought that by calling out this bullying to these people in “authority”that the system would support me, everyone would see reason and the harmful behaviour would be stopped yet the opposite was true, things only became more stacked against me since I now had an outspoken parent who had dared to call people into question. A one-time warm and effusive teacher, who had known my mother through four model children, now snubbed her when they met, as did the family of the girl and their friends. Worst of all, I felt like I could no longer confide in my mother so I drew myself inwards, keeping my inner sanctum to myself and cutting myself off from an intimacy with my parent that would have helped support me through the years to come. In truth, I was angry and stopped trusting her in my affairs because all I saw was her firing up a situation that was already dire. Though we had a great relationship over the years, I remained somewhat disparaging of her fierceness, her willingness to bluntly “speak truth”all her life; and then turned that self-loathing in on myself when the same truth-urge rose up in me. At last, this morning, I received such a new layer of understanding and LOVE for my mother, who had only every wanted to so-fiercely protect me; the failure of which had, at some level, led me to abandon myself. Most of all, I received a new level of love and appreciation for myself and all the many times I have risen up to be that self-defender, against all the odds.
And so as we recognise these old wounds in ourselves, we stop pointing the gun of them inwards and we notice the alternatives (for there are now options we never even saw when we were all about the indignation of our lot). That new alternative is not to point them more at those who perpetrate unfairness in our world but to make this whole pattern of behaviour (in which we have been complicit) so transparent that we no longer choose its merry-go-round but, rather, choose to rise above it, making an alternative reality ever more concrete with the direction of our most uplifting focus. While we continue to make these unfair situations the be-all-and-end-all of our alternating anger and attempts to ignore them, we keep then lined-up in the sights of that part of us that manifests our reality via whatever we habitually focus upon. Either way – whether we look directly at what we don’t like about this world or studiously pretend its not there by denying its worst aspects – we triangulate the pinpoint of our formidable creator-powers at it, keeping it there…on and on and on in perpetuity, supported by our energy. When we both know these structures we dislike so much are there are there but also STOP giving a damn about how well we fit into them, not because we give these things all our power, allowing them to have their way with us but because we cease marking our own score by their most ridiculous mark-schemes, we watch them dissolve into the ether. Play the game of this bizarre little world just a little by all means, if it still gives you anything back that you truly want from it (remembering life is but a game)…but don’t make it so important you are prepared to burn for it. When we know we will still be standing as intact as ever when life’s silliest structures withdraw their support from our circumstances…that’s when we know we will be more than OK, unconditionally and so our whole body relaxes into something well beyond survival mode. This is thriving in a deep and consistent way and, if we can teach this to our kids, they will be well on the way to thriving at a far earlier stage in life than we managed to get there!
Recognising how our earliest injustices became the benchmarks to our current experiences is key to unlocking the limited expectations that we have been frustrating ourselves against every since and, whilst some amount of fire can be the means to setting the transformation process in motion, there comes a time to realise that we create most divinely from a place that isn’t having to push against those things we are in resistance to in order to get results; by constantly affirming what we do want, not what we don’t. When we simply stop defining ourselves according to systems that feel deeply unsupportive of all that truly matters to us (whether we are talking about popularity culture, corporate hierarchy or world politics and many other heavily-stacked structures in between); refraining even from saying we are “not” of these things but, rather, simply withdrawing our attention from them, these systems break down of their own accord so that we get to build something new for ourselves out of the energetic rubble. Quite literally, they stop mattering…or being the matter of which our world is constructed.
From this point, we can switch off all the inner flame-throwers and determine our own criteria for wellbeing since our life flame is now a living pilot light that only WE ever get to turn up or down rather than it being sparked into reaction by outside circumstance. This flame can be maintained as something that is all about creativity, enthusiasm, joy and our most vibrant life force – our SPARK – not the endless cycles of pain and (self)destruction that we have been used to. What came up for me today felt like a distinct invitation to do things somewhat differently to how I have done them before and I see versions of this playing out in the circumstances of more than one person in my close circle so I presume it is a universal opportunity many more of us are facing at this juncture in our evolution. Whatever your version of it is, don’t underestimate the relevance of how you choose to approach whatever is making your flame rise up again. The way we personally respond to our most current invitation to react to old-old triggers (whatever they may be) is the way we get to individually contribute to a whole new – healing and transformative – paradigm for the whole of the world.
This video footage (click image) I filmed of a graceful swan bathed in the violet flame earlier in the week seems to be the most perfect visual I can offer for this subject.
No doubt about it, I’ve been in such a high vibration this week; have started a brand-new creative project (very different to what I was doing before) and have been spinning those spirals, almost too excited to contain myself and wanting to dive into it every morning. More than that, I’ve been feeling more “up” than I can ever remember and whilst this might sound contrary to the vibe of much of the planet, what’s happening in the news, is it really? Seems to me there are a great many of us embodying this upward spiral right now, if only we step back and start noticing all the most uplifting signs carried by all the subtler subplots of the news.
One sign that the planet herself might be noticing this upturn in planetary energy is that the Schumann Resonance is up to a new high, see screen shot left of week beginning 30 January 2017 where those down-pointing spikes on the graph are unusual (http://imgur.com/a/KUnqq gives current reading); so, could this be the collective effect of so many of us choosing our most evolutionary spiral, or is the resonance itself an agent of change as we collectively upgrade to a higher frequency? Whatever your viewpoint (and there’s a lot of varying speculation about what the Schumann resonance really is and whether it has any baring on human biology; though I am personally in no doubt) something’s certainly happening and it feels like an increase of pace and a clearing of the ways to a degree I’ve never experienced before. In my world, I’m spinning that energy, using it to fuel my own positivity, creativity and the birth of all-new aspects of self that feel like they are my own highest aspect making contact with the physical opportunity to create a new reality as ME. I’m flying, the feeling is quite addictive and, if my cells are a reflection of where I was six months ago, I can only assume that the new physical body I’ll have by the summer will be a happy reflection of this new state, reflected in my health.This is what is available to all of us when we grab onto the coat tails of the evolutionary impulse that only ever wants to take us higher.
But what happens when others don’t take that optimistic viewpoint, when they insist on the “hell in a handbasket” view of what’s playing out? Or, at the subtler level, when family members or close friends go into their own blue funk, even if it’s all just down to too much tiredness and so many work pressures that they can’t see the wood for the trees? I surprised myself this morning when just that very thing played out and, where in the old days I might have joined that person out of care or sympathy for what they were going through (and, I know, crashing my own high vibe in the process), I said a firm and loving “no, I’m not joining you where you’re at” and ceased the conversation right there. They knew where to find me when they were ready to join my higher vibration again; and they did, far sooner than I expected. In otherwise, my own vibration was non-negotiable…it was where I was at, a place I had most-mindfully chosen to camp out with all my stuff and I wasn’t about to hand it over for anybody!
These little play-offs happen all the time in family, office or community life. I notice how I almost brace myself for what my daughter brings home through the door come 6 o’clock every day, like my own divine place (product of all my solitary hours) is suddenly taken hostage or shot dead at the door. But it doesn’t have to be like that as people drag their sack-load of perspectives, their school/office/world politics or wherever through the threshold. When you learn to hold that special place that you’ve learned how to feel out for yourself, you help them to defuse and to meet you where your higher vibe is always waiting for them; and it’s a well-accepted reality that a lower vibration will always acquiesce to the highest one available when there’s a play-off. “So why do I always get brought down by other people’s moods?” you might ask; because, at some level, you go back to meet them there – whether out of kindness, duty or the long-established expectation that their downturned viewpoint is an inevitable return or “more real” than your higher version.
Well, I’m not expecting that any longer and its probably the kindest thing I can do for anybody to keep holding that higher vibe, to keep spinning it like a giant ball of cotton-candy made up of strands of light. There’s never been a more appropriate time for making this so or holding steadfastly to it, whatever other people are doing or thinking. Perhaps the fact the Schumann resonance is so markedly “up” this week, in spite of all that other spin, is a sign that we are – collectively – getting far better at doing this!
Theres’s a surprising lack of discussion about the Schumann Resonance on the internet. Most of what you will find is the stock Wiki description of what is is and when it was first discovered yet it’s bizarrely disregarded by most folk given the profound effects it MUST have on our biology. Those that are taking the latter most seriously tend to be of the HeartMath variety i.e. people who are using awareness of this field of resonance with the “heartbeat” of our planet to assist people in achieving greater calm and wellbeing in their daily lives (which is all very pertinent to healing). Others are camped out in the more shadowy corner where some are becoming convinced that the ionosphere is being used for nefarious purposes (for climate control and starwars-type programs etc) thus messing with the Schumann Resonance and human biology in the process. Certainly, the fact our ionosphere is, basically, the plasma soup through which all kinds of telecoms businesses transport their (both high and low frequency) signals makes it open to abuse and an increasing amount of electro-magnetic pollution, which is highly relevant to me as an electro-sensitive.
Again, I chose where to put my focus and deep-diving into a whole load of conspiracy theory and doom-perspective isn’t going to help me or anyone else to hold a higher vibe, which anyone looking at this from a consciousness evolution perspective is likely to consider to be the most important thing of all. Besides, I tend to think evolution so-often piggybacks off what feels like some of the most malevolent-seeming human trends at ground level (who’s to say those least “welfare oriented” human programs aren’t serving evolution anyway, without even intending to; oh how ironic). If our ionosphere is being tampered with, maybe that was always on the evolutionary cards so we can all turn up our frequency to the next level; and I choose the positive spin on what feels like a very distinct upturn in vibration because, according to my in-built guidance system, its right on the money since it FEELS SO GOOD.
What we are used to as our “home frequency” lies comfortably across the Theta to Alpha wave spectrum; in other words somewhere between daydreaming/asleep to comfortably relaxed. Previous recorded peaks have gone up to 15 or even 30; this latest surge is apparently over 40Hz. If we are really experiencing a 40+Hz Schumann resonance pumping through our cells this week then this is well-and-truly in the range of Beta wave lengths which are between 13-40 HZ , as “associated with peak-concentration, heightened alertness and visual acuity….. 40HZ beta frequency may be key to the act of cognition”. This range can also trigger over-stimulation (think “caffeine-like” effect). Above 40Hz, we are talking about Gamma waves – “These are involved in higher processing tasks as well as cognitive functioning. Gamma waves are important for learning, memory and information processing. It is thought that the 40 Hz gamma wave is important for the binding of our senses in regards to perception and are involved in learning new material”. For the longest time, we have been like the collective child in the womb, soothed by our earth-mother’s steady heartbeat; so, if we are now registering a new peak then Gaia has clearly decided to cease singing her steady 7 Hz lullaby, it seems.
In other words, the world is waking up, being encouraged to THINK and join all the dots at last…and we are seeing this all over the news, aren’t we? For some people, this is going to register as deeply unnerving since its so different and it can feel absolutely raw (at first) to be shaken awake and register very different perspectives all at once (Gamma waves can be associated with heightened anxiety and these higher frequencies can be exhausting at first, especially if fear of what feels new makes us resistant to them) but those of us who have been vibing high for some time can help those people to acclimatise since we have got somewhat more used to the territory. As I explored in my last blog, I believe our current wave of evolution (the Ninth Wave) already has our back and what I am most interested in here is demonstrating that of course our bodies are affected by these frequency changes; why would they not be. This was first observed by scientists in the 1970s. For further reading, here’s a couple of posts.
There’s an incredible book that I recently finished reading and its been like a missing piece of the jigsaw for me. Its called “The Nine Waves of Creation” by Carl Johan Calleman, PhD and its an astonishingly audacious yet entirely coherent perspective on our human experience. I’ve reviewed it more broadly in my other blog (here’s that post) but what feels most important to share, in this space about health and personal wellbeing, is how relatable its quantum perspective is to the consideration of whether we are thriving (or not) in these particular times in our human history. The book has shed so much light on why I and others like myself may have struggled to thrive at a very fundamental level and that is so often played out through our health; and why we are now at a change point that offers us a remarkable advantage…if we choose to see it and work with it. In fact, I would go as far as saying that what I am about to share with you feels like the most important information topic I’ve ever written about here.
What’s the quantum-holographic perspective got to do with how I really feel?
I talk a lot in these posts about the yin and the yang and how I regard the “sacred feminine” aspect to be a particular quality that was missing from the world and which has been trying to return in order to bring the planet back into balance. Without getting deeply into that here, since such ideas might sound too abstract in the context of health, Calleman’s book helps to bridge that gap in a way that is far more scientific and relatable for those who aren’t already seeing its significance in their own lives. Calleman has a PhD in physical biology from the University of Stockholm and is well respected in the scientific community, in addition to being a world expert on the Mayan Calendar. The way he handles this somewhat abstract concept, which he refers to in terms of the left and right hemispheres of the brain (and, indeed, the planet), is so compelling; also, supported by both conventional history and a huge amount of anecdote, to which I can now add mine.
He talks about evolution as something that “comes in” to our planet in very distinct waves omitted by a cosmic “tree of life”, which are downloaded by human beings all at once, as aspects of the global mind (you can imagine, somewhat like a computer receiving an upgraded version of a software package, which adds new features that simply weren’t there the day before). Suddenly the human mind is reassessing its world and finding features that it has never even noticed before, which alter their whole perception of reality since it is now seeing everything through a completely different filter. This profoundly affects everything going on for them, from what they think life is all about, what they feel capable of, what their priorities are, how they relate to each other and to the planet or the universe in general, and so on. These waves oscillate between “day” and “night” periods, reflecting peaks and valleys in their particular influence. That they do so is supported by correlations between “day” and “night” periods with with some of the most remarkable peaks and troughs in our human history; times when we took a huge evolutionary leap by started to innovate in a brand new way…or when certain behaviours, often whole cultures, went very suddenly and inexplicably into decline. These include moments such as the so-called instant flowering of brand new, incredibly coherent cultures that built pyramids (all around the world, all at the same time) which has long baffled historians, leading to some extremely unsatisfactory theories until I read Calleman’s book.
Without needing to go deeply into the history side of all this (I recommend you read the book), what is so key to know here is that we are living in remarkable times; an era when some of us get to experience not just one or two waves but even, sometimes, THREE in a single lifetime. This is because the frequency of the waves increases by a factor of 20 with each one (up to a total of nine according to Calleman) becoming faster and less spaced-out over time. Therefore, the Seventh Wave (which had been around for over two hundred years) only just went into its night period, the Eighth Wave got properly started in 1999 and the ninth wave came in on 9th March 2011. If you just loosely connect these dates with the timeline of your life, see if you can’t detect how your experience made needle jumps from one track to another at around these times; I know that mine did.
The Waves of Creation and chronic health conditions
What probably relates most to you, as a person interested in your own health and wellbeing, is that the Sixth and the Seventh Waves had very different preoccupations and outlook to the Eighth and the Ninth and both were active until very recently. So for those of us that are three or more decades old, our lives have ended up being the bridge that is attempting to make sense of these transitions. There are many more features to these interactions but, most importantly, the Sixth Wave set our process of civilization in motion; along with agriculture, cities, literacy, money, duality, war, monarchy and religion plus the Hologram of Good and Evil (something Calleman discusses at length), contributing to mental slavery, one of its themes. The Seventh Wave triggered the industrial (and political) revolution and made science the be-all-and-end-all of everything. Under its influence, we mostly gave up on the idea of god (except in so far as it could be used to control the masses), having taken a two-footed leap into the deep pool of empirical theory. We prioritised ownership, money and power, all very “yang” in their perspectives (in fact the “yin” hadn’t been around for the best part of 5000 years and women knew all about that since their experiences reflected this). If you’re my age, you are probably very familiar with the whole package of the Seventh Wave. It brought us some of our most memorable wars (as well as some of our milestone innovations) and our parents and grandparents, who were resoundingly “of” those times, likely saw the world through a very different filter to ours when we were growing up. This play-off is what saw the peace and love movement of the 1960s, which was the pre-wave of the Eighth Wave in reaction to the Seventh.
The Eighth was all the other way to the Seventh, like a hemispherical flip from one side to the other. It was a “yin” wave of increasing softness and a desire to communicate coming in, a return to some sort of spirituality (without the middleman) plus an echo of some of the qualities that had been “lost” at the end of the Fifth Wave (around 3000 BCE) when civilisation first got started. A great many people experience it as a recalibration or a correction of what has felt so “wrong” or out of balance about the world and we are still in this phase now since there was an awful lot to “put right”. So as the pre-wave of that era came in (all of the waves have a pre-wave), we experienced a subtle wave of softening come in, and also its backlash (think some of the heavy politics and conflict of the 70s and 80s). Many people talk as though the sacred feminine has only just started returning – no, she’s been in the building for at least 30 or 40 years now and its been a hard transition, as some of us can bear witness to in our bodies and our direct experiences…
Then, just a handful of years into all that, we reached – according to Calleman – the grand finale that is the Ninth Wave, which is all about Unity Consciousness; bringing the perspectives of all the other waves together so that we have access to them all as we (individually and collectively) choose to work with them. This wave has no filters and so we get to see it all and to pick and choose our own particular “flavour” from the selection; you could say, living life as “the absolute” embodied as human, with the full range of options available. Like any other wave, the Ninth has its ups and downs or “days and nights” of influence but, unlike the lengthy peaks and troughs of other waves, these last only eighteen days in each direction and so we can often witness the patterns in our own lives, where our experiences may be playing out some sort of wild oscillation in our health or our general experiences.
So, what if there’s nothing wrong with us, its all just evolution?
The night periods are when the Ninth Wave has least influence, meaning flavours of previous waves might get to come in more strongly (if “chosen” to play with by those of us who still relate or fixate upon them). Thus we might experience what feel like inexplicable periods of backtracking or those moments when we are left wondering “WHY did that thing come up again, I thought I had dealt with all that ages ago”. These can be those terribly frustrating and demoralising relapses in our health, which is where understanding about (and tracking – you can do that HERE) the ups and downs of the Ninth Wave can be incredibly enlightening. In my life, they have often been the times when I do lots of “clearing and releasing”; taking opportunities to revisit, reexamine and do work with any “old stuff” that needs resolving. Some people (Matt Kahn is one of them) are talking about the fact we have now moved beyond the need to keep going backwards and clearing old stuff from the depths of our basement and I would say, yes, this is so just as soon as you want it to be so and feel you can resonate with the Ninth Wave perspective all of the time, without needing to revisit the shadow aspects of these other waves. Only you will know when you are ready for that but shining light on how these waves work and how they intersect with one another might be a helpful way to speed the process. You could say, the moment you are ready to live in this full-accessible reality is the moment that you heal!
First, you may want to understand why it is that you have been struggling so much to date and Calleman’s book might help you to make light work of what could otherwise have kept you going around in circles for a lot longer. The underlying principle of the kind of evolutionary impulse that Calleman is talking about here is that it is all about forward motion in a kind of spiralling motion, NOT going around in endless circles of repeat experience that we try to make sense of based on seasons, conventional astrology, the precession of the equinoxes, 26,000 year cosmic cycles or whatever we have grabbed on to as our modality for trying to observe patterns. When we are perpetually moving forwards, there ARE no repeat patterns. These waves speed up, they appear more and more often and the key part (when it comes to what have felt like some of the push and pulls of your life) is that they overlap, presenting you with choices….the upshot of which is the evolution of YOU as you get to choose what to align with. This puts you firmly in the driver’s seat and there ARE no predictors so you get to write the ending.
You can imagine what the play off of these very different waves may have looked like in your life to-date if you were already attuned to them as they started to overlap without knowing they were even there influencing you so strongly. This is certainly my experience, to a very large degree; and it was all evolutionary, which means I don’t regret a thing.
Have you always felt like a fish out of water?
If I can try to summarise what I suspect might be a shared theme of many of us that “came in” pre wired for the Eighth Wave, long before it “officially” arrived, then I think I might be able to shed some light on why so many of us have felt like fish out of water or like we don’t belong in our world. This is important here because, for so many people, this misfit quality underlies the kind of chronic health issues that I write about in my posts. Challenged health is a sure sign that a person doesn’t feel like they are thriving or “fitting in” to a paradigm of existence and when health challenges becomes systemic, that is, affecting nearly every aspect of a person’s biology, one factor after another or across so many planes of experience at once that it seems too bizarre (and hardly anyone is taking them seriously); almost like they are chasing a rabbit around a field, this feels like there is something bigger and more evolutionary at play.
I have long considered my own health challenges to be a sign of “something going right” rather than “something going wrong” and have held on to the fact that I clearly signed up to be one of many forerunners of some sort of evolutionary leap that made the transition for me and those like me particularly hard, courageous and (by old paradigm terminology) inexplicable. The more doctors shake their heads at these kind of illnesses, the more I have felt like it is the doctors that are behind, not me, and that the science simply doesn’t exist to explain what I am going through. Things have softened up somewhat over the last decade and science is slowly getting more of a handle; perhaps, mostly, because it is starting to allow that it doesn’t have all of the answers. However it seems so obvious to me that the reason they don’t get further than that is that they still insist on being able to pin-down and box-up these illnesses along with all the other conditions they manufacture pills for but what if they aren’t even meant to nail this one down using those methods? What if all they will ever capture, for a few minutes, are some of the symptoms…before those move on to play hide-and-seek somewhere else? What if that is the very nature of the beast because it doesn’t WANT to be pinned down since it is trying to evolve us to a point where we cease this obsession with possessing and labelling and shape-sorting everything that we think we know? What doctors haven’t been seeing is that the very desire to pigeon hole everything in this way is a Seventh Wave perspective…and we are no longer under the day-time influence of that wave!
This is what makes fibromyalgia and others like it a new-wave condition, an evolutionary condition…born of the transition era that we are living through. For those of us that “have it” we are effecting a very important role as forerunners into a new way of thinking, not least by forcing doctors, family members and ourselves TO THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX. Through every challenge we take on and the new ways that we get to look at that challenge (getting a little more adept at opening our perspectives another mile or so every time we dive in) we are BEING the evolution of an entire species, throwing fuel on the bonfire of those old filtered perspectives and helping to birth a more holistic approach to medicine. We are forcing that meeting ground between left and right hemispheres because WE ARE IT in action!
What it feels like when you are tuned to a pre-wave before everyone else
For my own part, I had a remarkable epiphany on reading Calleman’s book and that was to understand that I arrived “pre-wired” for the Eighth Wave long before it was due thirty years later. Perhaps thats a theme for those who have struggled most/longest with their health? Calleman dates the pre-wave of the eighth wave as 1986 (although I gather, on talking to him, that he extends its influence back to the mid twentieth century in a previous book). Perhaps it was the fact that I was conceived in the “The Summer of Love”, the accidental pregnancy of an exuberant mother who was celebrating the fact my father had just got out of hospital, having survived a heart attack, but there was something about me that had me pre-wired for love, peace and lets all hang out together long before the world was ready for it, In fact I had almost no way of relating to the Seventh at all; I found it utterly abrasive from day one. I was pre-schooled at home, where I found nothing much to contradict my Eight Wave perspective so, when I was abruptly introduced to other people at the age of five, I was in for a terrible shock to my system. I suddenly met bitchiness and bullying, so much competition, bigoted perspectives, not to mention a cohort of middle-aged teachers whose mind-sets were emphatically pre-war in their stance. Suffice to say, I was a fish out of water immediately and it felt like someone had just torn off the top layer of my flesh…life HURT at every turn. My three siblings, with the same parents, same school yet born a decade earlier than me, seemed to have none of this challenge. Quite simply, I never really felt on the same wavelength as other people; not even to my own family but, now I was at school, the discrepancy was really stark and was only ever going to show up more as I matured; or until more people tuned in.
In the end, I kowtowed to some of the perspectives of the Seventh Wave just because I learned to be good at them (especially academically) as a necessary means to survival but every bit of it went against the grain. I can track the ups and distinct downs of my experiences to the 360-day periods of the alternating “days” and “nights” of the Eighth Wave as early as 1976 (probably earlier if I had more recollection). So there I was, trying to thrive with (and hide…) my peculiar Eighth Wave perspective in a world that felt cold in its Seventh Wave insistence upon exams and achievements, going after that big salary, possessing all that stuff that you were meant to enslave yourself to get…these were all the rubs of my next few years. My father, by the way, was an absolute product of the Seventh Wave, heavily peppered with the seasoning of the Sixth (he had been conditioned by a version of the hologram of “good and evil” dressed up as the religion stance that was invented expressly to dovetail with the industrial revolution, keeping the factory workers in line: hard-nosed Methodism, so it was all about work ethos and doing as you were told) so the challenge of trying to live-up to his expectations, then those husband I chose to continue that theme, played out for the first thirty years of my life. I would never thrive in that play-off, it was all just too contradictory to how I was fundamentally wired and yet I am now able to appreciate how I lined up this set of circumstances exactly so that I could engage with these earlier waves without having to be a product of them, as such.
By the time the 1990s came along, which is when the majority of the world would have been starting to feel some sort of tickle from the Eighth Wave coming in, many of us early aligners were probably feeling several feet deep beneath the debris of our failed attempts to thrive as fish out of water for so many years; sound familiar? I’d had my own little flurry of feeling like I was (finally) getting into my Eighth Wave groove, as though life was getting softer and catching up with me where I was, but that was very quickly quashed. By the time the Spice Girls were singing about Girl Power, I was in recovery from having been raped the year before by someone I thought I knew and trusted and who (looking back) felt like an embodiment of the Sixth Wave come to drag me back into line by my hair, ramming me back into that terrible dark place hung all around with ideas of “good and evil” and suppressed femininity. Through the unfortunate events of one night, I was firmly put back in my place for even trying to thrive. By the way, when I told my ex-husband about what had happened to me, he closed ranks with the perpetrator; that is how strong the yang impulse of those earlier waves could be in the face of the Eighth coming in, leaving those resonant with it feeling disempowered at their very core.
So that one single event – occurring at the exact half-way point of Calleman’s pre-wave of the Eighth (just when you would expect a backlash to occur…), has long played out like a bizarre metaphor in my evolutionary perspective (more on that in an earlier post here); as though an assertion of the yin was tipped back over into the yang and forced back into submission (temporarily), where it stayed licking its wounds for the next few years. That’s where I stayed, in my voluntary prison (a version of the kind of metal slavery that is so Sixth Wave), thinking I was now much too unworthy to expect any kind of fulfilment…until the next big breakout which came when my daughter was born in 1999; the exact point that the eight wave FINALLY came in.
Activation of the Ninth Wave – so what does that really mean for us?
So what happens when someone who has been waiting for the world to catch up with them for what feels like their whole life gets to experience that long-awaited day; do they party and shout “about time” at the top of their voice while dancing with all the people that are finally arriving at the door. No, when they have struggled and clawed and bled and exhausted themselves to get to that very moment, they collapse.
True to form, my health collapse got underway almost immediately the Eighth Wave came in, shortly after my daughter was born and, by 2001 I was already showing major signs. Four years later, I was a mess and it was as though I had to rebuild myself from the ground up from that point. Its that classic thing; like when someone has been under a huge amount of pressure at work and then they get to go on the long awaited holiday but catch the flu. This was flu with knobs on and it has taken me all the years in between to get to where I am now in my recovery.
The thing is, the arrival of a more feminine impulse was only ever going to be the stepping stone to something else and that is a point that so many people are still missing. To think we can replace an overly male-oriented world with an overly female-oriented world and everything will all be all right in an instance is a misunderstanding of the grandest order. Like when the very first signs of the pre-wave of the Eighth came in, during the Joan Collins years of the ‘80s, its very easy for people to tip over to the other extreme and make yin the new yang, like it’s the very same thing in a skirt and, in many ways, feminism has become more yang than yang itself. I noticed this straightaway, even as a young girl listening to my father mutter abuse at Toyah and Janet Street Porter on our TV set, and so I sat back almost too demoralised to watch the most aggressive feminist machinations play out over the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond; wouldn’t even use that name for myself until the He For She campaign gave it some sort of spring clean.The Eighth Wave is also hardwired for inequality; merely dressed up in the new garbs of “economy” rather than social structure and I never felt more at a disadvantage than during those years of economic floundering compared to those who were figuring out how to play the new global, “dot-com”, game. No, the arrival of the eighth was no holy grail for me and many others and, at some level – where my health seemed to sit out most of the first decade of this century – I knew it was just an interim phase and was really just waiting for the Ninth Wave (or, the Big One) to arrive.
When it happened, I sure as anything felt it like the earth suddenly moved, although I hardly knew what it was at the time. As I have already described in my other review of The Nine Waves of Creation, there I was feeling lousy as ever, going for my regular therapies but otherwise doing very little in my daily routine when…suddenly, out of nowhere…I had this most compulsive urge to write a blog. By that point, I had become about as introverted as I could possibly be; about the only people I had seen in the last five years were my husband and our kids plus my physical therapist and a handful of random people when I was out walking my dog. I had never had so little desire to speak to anyone and I kept myself feeling safe by hiding away from the world. Then, one day in March 2011, I opened a WordPress account and called myself “Chasing the Light: (later changed, twice, to where it is now “Spinning the Light”; more about spirals later) and pressed “publish” on my first post on March 11th. This was so out of character that I was utterly UTTERLY shocked at myself. I remember feeling nauseous after that and every subsequent post, for months (though they were on pretty tame topics to start with), like back in my schooldays when I was forced to read out loud…but at some level I knew I HAD to and there was an excitement to it that I couldn’t explain.
All of a sudden I had all this material pouring out of me hinting at the possibility of seeing myself as already whole, healing across multi-dimensions, appreciating all the hidden gifts in our most traumatic experiences, ending the sense of separation from the divine and all about love, unity, oneness and THRIVING. I started to feel like I could see the WHOLE picture of everything clearly, like all the scales had suddenly fallen off my eyes. Then I started to meditate and I considered the idea of something divine existing beyond my human experience, which is something I had been in neutral about all my life until that point. People could SEE The difference in me; they started asking “wow, what happened to you?” from the look on my face. Where had all this come from? At the time, I had no idea. But according to Calleman, the Ninth Wave was activated on 9th March 2011 and was ALL about unity consciousness.
Within a few weeks of that, I had my very weird (to me, as I was then) experience on a London tube train; the one I have long referred to as a direct experience of unity consciousness (see my other post for more on that) and nothing was ever the same again. This was where I stopped regarding my health issues as a problem or myself as a victim and this is where I started to gain traction in my recovery and was – IMPORTANTLY – when I started to be able to conceive of ways that I could try and help others to head this route by helping them to make sense of their own experiences in ways that the old paradigm wasn’t offering. The writing urge that birthed in me on the day that wave arrived has been my primary instrument for doing that ever since.
How do I use this in my life and (especially) my healing process?
As more and more people start to oscillate to the more rapid day and night rhythms of the Eight or Ninth waves (depending on where they are at), we forerunners are the ones that hold steady during the Ninth’s night-time periods; not needing to plunge deeply or unconsciously into the flavour of our darkest history to replay what we can now leave behind. From my own experience, when the Ninth Wave “night” phase goes through its moves (9 days up and 9 down in the “ day” phase, then 9 days descent and back up again in the “night” phase) each of these portions can have particular characteristics, in my experience. Personally, I find the transition from “day” into “night” and even the “peaks” as well as the “troughs” often coincide with health challenges but especially during the “night” phase. In particular, there can be a tendency to play out aspects of what was so difficult about the transition periods between other, earlier, waves as the “night” periods come online (when the Ninth Wave pulls back its influence). Many times, I have taken a deep-dive into what feel like cellular memories around “historic” themes, sometimes outside of the scope of this embodiment, during and especially around the middle of the “night” phase of the pattern, like I am remembering other lifetimes. I have had a great many echoes of the transition from the Fifth to the Sixth wave (around 3100 BCE) play out through my direct experience and I think a lot of people, women especially, are tuning into that same echo right now; you can see it in the support groups that pivot on the returning sacred feminine aspect, such as Sophie Bashford offers. For instance, these deep dives can bring up a lot of pain and blame, also elements of being in resistance to anything that symbolises the very forceful “civilizing” impulse that put-paid to our most direct and synergistic connection to Gaia and also to the divine when that severance from the feminine aspect originally happened. People can get all-nostalgic about something they think they remember from those original times and so angry about the intervening years; together, this can become pack behaviour, another indignant gang of people to join forces with (very Fifth Wave!) yet its utterly self-defeating to get into that mode. The thing is, not all aspects of civilization are as bad as we sometimes paint them; most of us would be lost without them now so there can be so much internal conflict bound up in a healing process that seeks to take us all the way back to those original experiences as though those times were “better” than now (and I imagine they were far less than ideal). The evolutionary impulse is not to go backwards; that was never in the design. What we are being called to remember during these deep-dive moments is that we get to choose which aspects of which waves we develop resonance with by placing our focus where we truly feel most aligned NOW, regardless of what other people around us are relating to. We don’t need to hold back our own evolution, out of false loyalty to a romanticised era that ended 5000 or 2000 or however many years ago, when we can take the very best features of that era and bring those forwards into our present day experience right HERE, along with the best parts of all the other waves we have access to. Now, that’s evolution!
The vast new opportunity awaiting us, when we pick and choose what to bring back from our night dives, is the gift of understanding that one wave no longer has to be at the expense of another and that we get to create a world that uses the very best elements of all these perspectives in ONE. We don’t have to get all tribal about it (that’s just more of the Fifth Wave) and we don’t have to get all religious (Sixth) or even prove our reasoning to anybody (Seventh). It doesn’t have to be at the expense of anyone either (Eighth) since its not all about getting Likes on Facebook or being a big economic success; this kind of thriving goes beyond all that. Finally, we get to be that ultimate creator of our own bliss in human form; but the trick is to follow what is best for us, in alignment with our highest blueprint (in other words, what feels good in the body; and this is when our particular skillset really comes into its own since we know how to listen to our bodies better than most people; perhaps we can show others how). We really don’t need to spend too long, or any time at all, deep diving into the past unless doing so meets those criteria. I’m getting quite adept at only taking those plunges for my own enjoyment, not for anything heavier and – I can tell you – it feels so much better. Once we realise we have full access to everything we need HERE, that what we most need will just come to us without having to seek it, we can stop going back to pick up all those pieces we left scattered behind in other frequencies. We were always meant to scatter them there, like a counterpoise to where we have now evolved to; but this is where its all at, where its expansive and WHOLE.
For those who are already attuned (and we will all be very soon), this new wave has our back and will allow us to thrive since we are already well-versed in its core preoccupation, which is unity consciousness at all levels of our experience, from the personal (hence the name of this blog – “Living Whole”) to the global. Like we are seeing on the political front, there is always a backlash as a new wave comes in….and WE have been seeing it play out in our health….but only for as long as it takes for us to get on board with the new impulse and ride that wave in the the most intentional, divinely inspired way possible, which is what knowing about these waves and how to work with them offers (I strongly recommend reading the book). The political arena can take care of itself but YOU have complete say-so over how YOU regard your own body and, as soon as you start seeing it as whole, as evolved, as road-ready for the new era, then that can start BEING your reality from this day on. No more ideas of broken or sick, its time to spiral onwards now; evolution will take care of the rest.
What if that thing that feels like your arch-nemesis only ever wanted to be helpful to you; your best support and ally? What if you could think of it as some sort of consultant that came into the “business” of your body to show you what wasn’t getting done and where you needed to get a grip on your handling of that all-important business of YOU so that you could take yourself to the next level of THRIVING? Like an expert troubleshooter meaning business, you could feel every part of your system quake at its tinted-windowed arrival and its first brusque walk through your corridors and yet…perhaps you have forgotten this…at some level you may have called it in, having hired it to bring about these very changes that are evolutionary and all about realising your best self. It was for you, not being done to you like some sort of victim, all along.
This is a perspective that I’ve played before but which gained all-new clarity for me this morning when I woke with a distinct Epstein Barr Virus tingle on the left side of my face extending all the way from the corner of my lip up into to my eye. I’ve been noticing this more and more for the last week, including in my left thigh which (I recall) was where some of my earliest, most bizarre nerve pains switched on at the very beginning of this chronic stage of my 40 year journey with EBV; when it first stopped its covert operations and became this painfully visceral thing playing liberally in all my tissue and nerves. In the half-asleep state of my morning, I took this retreat back to its original turf as a GREAT sign, seeing it as a handing back of the reins to ME since I am clearly ready to go solo in the care of my own boundaries; a core topic of any recovery program.
The reason I think so is that I finally get its full reason for being here in the first place. When EBV arrived, it was stepping into a gaping hole left by me, where I wasn’t doing all I needed to for myself in order to thrive. If, at some level, I called it in, asking for its help, why would I do that? Because I wasn’t setting boundaries in my world, I was leaving myself wide open to anything that wanted to encroach upon my energy field so that I was (actually) already feeling way too much only I wasn’t even noticing, it was all just more of the same and I had lost sight of myself in all the hullabaloo of an overwhelming life. I felt it all…everyone’s elses pain included…and so I prioritized nothing, least of all me.
It’s as though I came into this life wired to have no judgement about anything to the extreme that I lacked discernment, I simply wanted to get on with everything and everyone and mistook that for leaving all my own doors and windows wide open with a sign saying “help yourself”. Hell, I even spent decades trying to be nice about some of the worst experiences of my life and those who perpetrated them; had become the ultimate soft system with no set boundaries thus open to abuse at every turn. Something had to be done and EBV was “my man” for the job since (as I’ve written about before, though my theories have evolved a lot) when it came into my body as a child, life was already treating me “rotten” (I was being bullied at school) so I came to associate it with the bully/boundary-abusing energy of those times. Whenever I experienced more of the same, there was that tickle on my top lip again; then came the glandular fever and early warning signs of some of the more bizarre health issues in my twenties. Thirty years after it first showed up (now drowning in all the overwhelm of a life that had become bullying from every angle possible) it was called to step up to become the extreme version of itself, way beyond that merest prickle on my top lip…taking over the reins of everything I was feeling, across the whole of my nervous system and registering nearly all my experiences as a version of pain; that thing they call fibromyalgia. Basically, it FORCED me to feel all this stuff I was still trying to be so complacent about and so, bit by bit, I took ownership of what I was feeling and what felt good/not so good in my experience.
Then I see how, over the most recent decade, this gradually woke up my higher consciousness which…married to my sensory body, yin and yang together…has become the most powerful version of a discerning, thriving human that there is; namely one that is both physical and non-physical in equal proportions. Under that partnership, I have been forced to tweak my whole lifestyle, my environment, my food, who I spend time with, how I think…etc, until they are all in full alignment with my highest blueprint (that gold standard of what feels like a true expression of who I am, no compromises). I did this because, initially, I HAD no choice since if I didn’t follow the directive of those alignments, using my innate sense of what felt good or not so good at the broadest level of discernment, I would feel all these pain alarms go off in my body. Bit by bit, I was able to appreciate the higher wisdom of all those choices since they led me towards a recovery that felt better than anything I had ever known before. So now – over a decade into this stepped-up version of it’s training program – I find I don’t need EBV any more. With a firm handshake and a nod of appreciation, I can let go of the inner “consultant” that it has been to me, thus releasing it from the very daunting job of guiding my way just as I can now be freed from it; and when you can clearly see the benefit in a situation for both parties, this is how you know you have struck gold in your negotiated truce.
Imagine if we could all play out this scene with the very thing that feels like it has had our very wellbeing in its vice-like grip for so long; appreciating it, learning from it and then letting it go since our stepping up to do what it was doing for us has now made it obsolete. Regarded this way, there always comes a point when it serves both parties to part ways; that moment when neither of you needs the other any more in what has become a co-dependency at the cellular level…and so you get to negotiate a severance package that suits you both as you move on to other things. Perhaps the biggest milestone boundary of all is when you demonstrate to the very thing that got you there that you don’t need it anymore so that, without taking umbrage, it can peacefully slip away. This truly is love in action in its most practical, worldly sense; it allows live and let live while we peacefully preserve our own sense of domain.
So, how did EBV show me what was so misaligned about my life? Well, bit by bit and with the volume switched up very high, I was suddenly made aware of all of those things that had been freely partying in the house of me with no regard for my personal domain or whether I wanted them in there or no. Like an early warning system or a high-security intruder alarm, my whole system was suddenly rewired with a network of triggers until it felt like its beams crossed every square inch of my body…and they did since EBV had now piggy-backed onto my central nervous system, with CCTV angled into every corner. Clanging alarms would trigger as soon as anything crossed those lines; one tiny compromise in my diet or environment and off it would all go again, every minor breach treated like a major security threat as all the barriers came slamming down.
It was as though I was taken to that extreme so I could withdraw inwards, reclaim my own space and my very identity, lay down fresh new (hand-picked) boundaries that served me better than anything I could have been taught by another and so I could remember who I was before the free-for-all of life blurred all my edges.
And so I noticed triggers in my diet and environment, how what I watched, how I thought, even the company I kept made a huge difference. I locked everything down and reintroduced new things one by one until they started to feel more comfortable; this has been my healing journey. Looking back, this was like an internship in my own body as I relearned every rope from the ground floor upwards; studying it all, learning its patterns, familiarising myself with all the jobs from the factory floor to the room at the top whilst allowing that I didn’t always have the answers (as every good manager does).Then I gained confidence, called up highest wisdom, learned that in order to pre-empt cells that would trigger off at the slightest provocation I needed to step in first with my consciousness, taking responsibility for parts of myself that I never even owned-up to having in me back in the old days. Before all this happened, it was as though nobody was in charge; so, then, my body itself took extreme control of its own operation, like communism gone mad yet nobody really happy…and finally, bit by bit, I took over from all that free-for-all with my highest, most divinely inspired, aspect and the body was able to relax back into its support role, which is as it should be.
The time comes in every lock-down situation that you long to turn off all the loudest alarms and relax some of those borders since nobody wants to live like that for ever. In fact, I realise I’ve been shown how to set boundaries without any of that hard stuff; can do just about anything through the subtle use of my focus, my intention and the parameters of choice that I set, skills that are the jewels in the crown of my healing. It’s as though I have graduated with honours through the training ground of the body which…somewhere along the line…was my mounting block to a whole other level; and that’s what divine perspective through the human cellular experience is all about. I have returned home to “me” and the cellular aspect of my experience (my body) seems both more worthy of respect and yet less be-all-and-end-all than it ever did before. It is such a huge part of the picture (certainly not something to be ignored as though irrelevant) and yet it doesn’t call the shots; I do. In the process of learning that, I had amply demonstrated to myself and others how to THRIVE in far less than perfect circumstances and now my next challenge is to show that I can continue to do so without the counterpoise of these dire circumstances to push against; which can become a fear-point for may people facing the reality of their own recovery. Its like a big part of them is in terror and resistance, asking “Do I even know how to be well?”
So how does that integrated wellness roll out. For starters, I now find that where areas of my experience were feeling terribly amplified I can now choose to turn those dials down somewhat lower, not so that I can ignore them all over again but so I can live life in a rather more balanced way. I know now, for instance, that an environment saturated in EMFs is not a good idea for any body but I can choose to pare down my personal reaction to these triggers so that I can lead a more integrated and participatory life (using technology as I choose!); and the same goes for food choices and everything else where my health used to insist on taking the hard line. I’m asserting my own say-so, not in a belligerent way but in a way that refuses to take that hard line with anything anymore. And so my apprenticeship is complete and I feel ready to take over from the rather heavy-handed approach of this inner “consultant”; nor do I need to “kick its ass” out of my door since I remain truly grateful for the experience it has provided; which is how I know we are now ready to part ways so amicably. This is a coming of age for both of us; I get to graduate and it gets to move on to the metaphorical golf course or some other great challenge in a body other than mine. When it first arrived in my body and for the longest time, I think I detected in this virus all the detestation for my egalitarian “system” that a white collar expert would have had on entering the hippy commune it had been sent to train-up but, along the way, I have more than earned its respect and I like to think that it too has evolved hugely from the partnership.
My friend just went through her version of this, outlined in her new video on Kat Shines Through Cancer about setting boundaries when it comes to receiving different kinds of support during recovery. This material took a huge amount of guts for her to say out loud and so, I know, marks a pivotal point in her healing process because she is claiming the right to set those boundaries for herself. On the back of this, I can’t help wondering if cancer is one of those things that occurs when we omit to set enough boundaries of our own; stepping in to try and show us how to build the very walls we are missing in the free-state of our lives. When this free-for-all means we have a tendency to agree to everything and everyone, even when we don’t really want to “let them in”, out of kindness, a desire to be a “good person” or not to offend, the body can step in and show us the very hard-casing that we lack; and not necessarily in ways that feel as loving as they are intended to be at the highest level. The extreme territorial backlash of cancer (reminds me of our current world politics…) may not even need to happen at all if we all set appropriate boundaries around the territory of ourselves; Kat knows this and is using it to heal herself in a way that is entirely new.
Likewise, by making everything painfully obvious, EBV has taught me to demarcate what feels good, what must be shown the door and how to know the difference…and I know I have the innate feeling off pat now and am ready to go solo. I KNOW I can run the show on my own, without this thing sitting in its corner office, piggy-backing my nervous system like a fortress of pain…although I am extraordinarily grateful for the intensive training package it has been. Understanding this today felt like my own version of a major healing milestone and I intend to firmly, yet lovingly, remind EBV of the contract we long-ago drafted…which was for a temporary period of real-life training workshops and reminders, now complete…meaning that it can move on and so can I (it was never meant to move in forever).
Envisioning life without it is suddenly the most easy thing in the world, like my vision has cleared and I see the whole new way opening up ahead like never before. When we choose to see our biggest challenge as this brief interlude in our life or as a self-negotiated contract that actually serves us short-term, rather than as the permanent problem or evil arch-nemesis to be ass-kicked out of our life (as we have been conditioned to assume that they are), we get to take hold of a whole other level of healing potential. This is a level of healing that is offered for our much higher purpose and its ours just as soon as we open to these brand new interpretations as to “why” we are experiencing what we are; keeping that portion of our thoughts completely out of ideas of “enemy” or “attack” and all those other fears and focusing, instead, on what it offers us as its gift. I am convinced that THIS is exactly what activates a whole other level of recovery; marking the difference between short-term temporary improvements that don’t build momentum or sustain in the long-term and those full-blown remission scenarios that blow us all away with jaw-dropped astonishment. I have my name on one of those.
So, at the practical level, how am I healing from EBV? No surprises, I am closely following The Medical Medium’s eating and supplement protocols for both EBV and Shingles now (see those two links). This includes blueberries and pomegranate every day, colloidal silver, cats claw, almost total avoidance of eggs yet lots of lysine supplements, eating fresh-organic food, celery, papaya, green juices, avocados, oodles of sweet potatoes, Hawaiian spirulina, herbal teas…. Follow those links for much more dietary advice direct from the source. I am also dosing with lion’s mane mushroom, doing daily yoga and massaging my face, head and neck daily using a kansa wand (very helpful indeed and I feel sure it has made a difference; kansa is an Ayurvedic metal with very particular healing properties). Taking your chosen recovery protocol seriously is certainly one way to step up the healing process but is always so such more potent and permanent when you pair it with the deep-inner work as described in this post!
Disclaimer: This website is not designed (nor should not be construed) to, provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion or treatment to you or any other individual, and is not intended as a substitute for medical or professional care and treatment.
Its become abundantly clear to me over several years that most (if not all) health challenges have their root at the level where the body thinks it is divided into two parts, classically referred to as the left and right hemispheres of the brain although, really, this divisiveness goes much deeper, as discussed in my last post (Union – at a cellular level). However, the brain is a very good place to start when it comes to healing that rift, so how do we do that? For a few years now, and with ever more attention paid by the extremely fascinated “me” that is stood back watching, my healing-urges have attempted to pull me towards activities that work by bridging the left and right hemispheres, enhancing their most fluid attempts at collaboration. So, for a relaxing Saturday post, I thought I would share what a few of those practices are…which happen to include some of the most appealing activities in our human experience, from laughter to dancing to playing music and creating plus so much more – read on:
Probably the very earliest impulse to do something I had never done before (but which clearly had my highest welfare in mind; you could say it “saved me”) occurred at the very beginning of my health crash. I was still stuck in a corporate job and everything about my life felt predominantly left-brained, even the few hours I tried to negotiate from my life to be a good mother to my very young child. Around the same time that the meltdown of my health was reaching its crisis, while I was still in that job, a sudden urge made me reach for some paints that had been tucked at the back of a cupboard. It’s the classic story I tell about myself; how these paints literally threw themselves off the cluttered shelf and, rather than shove them back in, a very strong intuition told me to use them, albeit with all the ham-fisted dexterity of a young child. It was the single most cathartic moment of my life because, although the painting was pretty rubbish, it opened up the strongest urge for me to grab that lifeline and keep going. To start with, I painted for a couple of hours squeezed from my weekends but, once I was forced to give up work altogether, it became the very thing that set my healing impulse in motion, giving it traction. I started to notice how these were the times when pain seemed to melt away and I would lose myself for hours in what was an inherently left-meets-right brained act.
So I took the remarkably brave step to join a lifestudy group, drawing and painting from live models; driven by what was still a very left-brained impulse to hone and refine the drawing skills that I hadn’t used since my schooldays. However, far from just making me into an ever more precise, tight and “correct” artist as I thought they would, these sessions simultaneously brought out the most fluid, big-gestured and playful in me. In fact, most weeks, we were asked to use both hands to draw with, which emitted groans of discontent from many of the group and yet you could see those who had been doing it the longest and…before long…it wasn’t all that difficult at all. This challenge to use the least-programmed hand (in my case, my left) to draw live human figures, sometimes moving subjects, pushed my left-brain right out of its comfort zone, forcing it to hand over the charcoal (thus control) to its opposite part. Ultimately, the very frequent hand-over of drawing implements from one side to the other, pursuing both structure and fluidity with the same set of eyes, forced them to collaborate in ways that were far-reaching for me, and not just as a better artist.
Three years into those meetings, I know I had laid the foundations of a hemispherical healing that I was to reap the benefit of much further down the line and the continued mix-up of art and more left-brained craft, such as digital photography, helps me to keep those lines open even now that I am a professional artist. These days, I often use both hands to manipulate my paint, finding those times are like a deeply healing meditation that I can go to any time and to which, I’ll admit, I’m somewhat addicted. No need to take it quite as seriously as I have; any creative pastime will do (it coud be decorating cakes, gardening or stitching patchwork quilts …) just so long as it engages both the somewhat analytical but also those more innate and fluid skills, all in one activity, preferably using both hands and enjoying it. Enjoyment is the key; its like the glue that joins these two aspects together as you lose yourself in the practice and anything that feels forced is going to tip right back over into that left hemisphere again…so go and find something that feels better if that’s the case!
Left foot, right foot…its a fairly obvious one and yet it was pure instinct that had me on the phone seeking a dance class two years ago. Where did the urge come from? Somewhere in the midst of one of my peaks of feeling much better, I started spontaneously and joyfully dancing around the room and remembered how I used to love to move my body like that. When my daughter was very little (she still remembers…), I would pick her up, swooping and twirling her and we would dance to the music for what felt like hours and, earlier still, I was one of those people who could literally lose themselves in a nightclub after a long week at work. So I took up a weekly Nia class (which I’ve written about before) and, while the reasons I no longer do that are unrelated to this post, for the many months that I attended this I couldn’t help but notice how I was reaping the benefits of a far better dialogue taking place between the left and right parts of me and I’m not just talking about my feet.
How do I know? Well, to start with I was clumsy as anything but one side (my left again!) struggled much more than the other to learn the alternating routines or make those smooth transitions into them. My right foot was always assertive, strong and confident…almost to the point of being somewhat regimented and wooden, but my left was hesitant and prone to becoming weak or tripping over itself. Yet, before long, my left side was keeping abreast with the right and the right was benefiting from adopting some more of the fluidity emulated by the left and….suddenly…I was doing it all with ease and without thinking, feeling exhilarated in a way that is hard to explain except that it feels typical of combined left-right oriented activities. Again, as with art, this complete absence of thought as the two hemispheres work out their own best partnership, is a clue that solid walls of divisiveness are being dissolved and I would notice how my general health, my cognitive abilities, coordination and even creative projects reaped the benefits for all the days in between those sessions.
Taking up a musical instrument
This one is a fairly new addition to my line-up though I have long found the healing benefits of music. But when I had that sudden urge to play the piano (where did that come from?) and then – in that way the universe has – a special offer for discounted online piano lessons popped up in my newsfeed the very next day, it was a knee-jerk that had me taking that leap. My daughter has a hardly used Yamaha keyboard and, well, why not I decided, though I had always assumed that if I ever took up music lessons (in that “one day..maybe never” pipedream kind of way), it would be a wind instrument, bongos of the violin.
Very quickly, I got the method in my impulsive madness; the very complex use of two hands, simultaneously, was both the thing that had made me assume I would never take up the keyboard and the one that I got the most benefit out of. Online lessons are working perfectly for me; I can take it slow and steady, repeating points and pausing for extra practice whenever I feel the need to and…yes…I’m finding its all coming together, sounding not too bad at all. More than that, my simultaneous use of both hands is coming together, better than I could have ever hoped and it’s not the pained practice (non of that) but the extremely fluid, flexible and frequent opportunity to pick this new habit up that makes all the difference; I only play when it feels like the right thing to do. I find that, even between sessions, my adroitness increases as though my brain has been practicing its hand moves in my sleep…how does it do that? Perhaps it’s all those brand new neural pathways that are being built like rope bridges across my brain, sending excited and sparkly electrical currents around long after my fingers have put the keyboard to bed. Whatever it is, I’m finding there’s a theme forming…in the last month alone, a close friend has taken up the harp and my husband the bass guitar and both “very unlikely” musical students of those instruments before now so I’m sensing a wave coming in. So, if you’re feeling it, perhaps now is the time for you to answer any long suppressed calls to learn an instrument of your own.
This may seem like an odd one but laughter can be the diplomat that melts down the most hard-standing approaches to life, recalibrating in a second what may have taken months to negotiate otherwise. And a full bellied laugh (not the kind that is at any one else’s expense…which is a shadow aspect of laughter; much more to do with a left brain urge to compete with others) is pure yin in action, with no ulterior motive, fuelled by pure love. The tinkling bells of those most contagious of human sounds draw the hard lined left-brained response out of its corner just as much as it goes in there (where no one else is prepared to go…) to help coax it out. This is when the left-brain finds its has a sense of humour too – typically the cleverer kind of wit but its there and can be worked on.
When I’m feeling all tipped over one way and life feels like a non-negotiable hard thing that my mind is weary of trying to make sense of, one of my classic go-tos is to pull a funny movie out of the cupboard or watch a few editions of Carpool Karaoke on YouTube (that just happens to be my thing). Or you could seek out those inane animal videos on social media, reruns of classic comedy, spend more time with your kids or whatever it is that works for you. More than that, work at keeping laughter alive in your home and at work, seek the funny side in every situation (even when you drop something on your foot or world politics slings you a curve ball; there’s always someone making it sound funny somewhere) and watch how it heals every situation….and then know it is doing the same thing at the cellular level. These days there are a great many therapies, even laughter yoga, based on this simple premise and emerging science is overwhelmingly supportive of the theory that we can literally heal ourselves with a regular giggle.
I’ve always been all about communicating through the left-brain, typically by writing or by organising my ideas into structured notes, arranging my complex thoughts like some sort of lay-professor of the workings of the cosmos. I don’t like to be caught on the hop when I’m asked questions, which is why I run a mile from public speaking or even conference calling, since I rely on getting my thoughts straight and structured; for which purpose I am accustomed to deferring to my left brain, even though my most inspired ideas always arrive via my right. Yet I started to notice, as my healing took shape, how I was having these long monologues with myself (some people call it channelling) or to my nearest and dearest, typically my long-suffering husband, where what felt like pearls of wisdom would pour out of my mouth without hitch or seeming pause for breath and, of course, no one taking notes. So I started to dictate some of my thoughts, to use in my writing afterwards…often on walks by the river with my dog, hopefully out of the earshot of passers-by, finding that these were some of my most inspired times of all and that my left-brain could be largely demoted to the role of typist and grammar-checker.
Yet I could already see how “just” writing (when it comes to sharing) has its limitations and I longed to be part of the big conversation that the whole world now seems to be engaged in via social media; and typed responses can feel so limiting, like some sort of throw-back to writing essays at school. Friends with whom I was having amazing long-running conversations continued to badger me to make contact via Skype rather than emails and messages but I ran a mile from such an idea, fearing…what? That my inspired thoughts would dry up and I would be left staring and as mute as a guppy fish on live screen; one almighty disappointment to them and to me. This fear had “left brain control freak” written all over it.
So slowly, steadily, I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone, starting with recorded messages for friends and moving up to live calls so that I don’t aways rely on the well-honed (and edited) written word to communicate. Later this year, I’m actually meeting some of the friends that I have got to know on social media, one of whom is coming a very long way to see me, and this feels like big news for my right brain since she only knows me (so far) via its spin on the world, not as world-oriented, practical little-old me. All of this feels like one of the last bastions of breaking down communication barriers between left and right perspectives because I know that if I can get to where I trust what comes out of my mouth, without rehearsal, that I will have healed a very (very) old female, yin oriented, thus right-brained wound.
Why do I say this? Because, for the longest time…in people of both genders…the urge to speak directly from the heart has been suppressed and stripped of its confidence through constant belittlement and fear of dire consequences. Men (almost especially) and women have been schooled not to trust this way of communicating and so we have seen countless centuries of preferring to get our lines straight…on paper, in a formulaic way, all very throughly edited and (frankly) lacking in originality because the time we spend thinking it all through tends us towards weeding out what feels non-conformist about those words. Fear and a longing to belong amongst groups of people whose opinions are held as sacrosanct have snuffed out the most inspired and spontaneous expression of our times, creating a fundamental imbalance. Its time to heal this breakdown and allow the heart to speak; which can be done by engaging the more right-brained practice of speaking out loud without recourse to editing and, if there are ways that you can do this in your life, I encourage you to explore them. The modern trend towards making YouTube videos rather than blogging or to use Snapchat and similar to communicate with friends tells me the whole world is heading the way of more direct communication, without all the stages in between and I take this as a hugely positive clue as to where we are headed.
These are just a few of the ways that the breach between left and right hemispheres can be bridged in everyday life and I’m discovering more every day. I heartily encourage everyone to consider mixing some of these up into lives that might otherwise feel very structured, work oriented, self-conscious or somewhat serious in their preoccupations. Its no hyperbole to suggest that by incorporating these activities into our lives, alongside our more left-brained pursuits, we are all contributing towards a grand healing that is as global in its significance as it is personal in its ability to utterly transform the way we experience the whole of life.