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I post (hopefully) useful, seasonal articls to help navigate the emotional year. I'd love to hear from you.

By cwhyte, Jan 23 2018 03:19PM



It's nearing the end of January. I wanted to make a post about Light in the Dark, and the basics of base chakra, safety.

The base chakra begins to form as soon as we are born and continues to be built over our first 7 years. It's strength is founded on our birth rights: Being held; being fed when we are hungry; being made comfortable being physically cared for; and feeling ourselves and all that we bring, reflected in our caregivers. (We feel happy, a face smiles back or a loving squeeze is given.)

Simple and straightforward. What every baby should experience.

In my working experience, adults who did not experience all of these most of the time struggle with self worth. They are quick to anger, they are vulnerable in highly emotional situations and they question their choices and descisions more readily finding fault.


A video has had a lot of response recently (within a number of groups I use) of a father talking to an upset child about feelings. Some have celebrated this 'hands on' Dad while others have pulled him up for not apologising for calling her a 'butthed' and so going on to gaslight her.

Whilst I am concerned about the motives of the person filming the incident, and the father himself for allowing it to be filmed and then shared, and am concerned whether the child (whose face is not shown) gave permssion for this interchange to be forever on the internet; I want to put them aside and assume that the father and the person filming has the welfare of the child as their highest motive, and that they want to share his non mainstream approach to parenting so that others can become aware of other approaches.


In the video he talks about all feelings being acceptable and about coping mechanisms to deal with difficult feelings, so far so friendly. Where it falls is the point where she tells him she is angry because he called her a butt head. At this point he never apologises but reflects on times when she has called him names and how it made him feel and goes on to say that 'for today' he won't tease her and that she needs to communicate her hurt so that he knows when to stop.

This, to me, is the dodgy territoty and my heart reaches out to the poor kid. But this is not where I'm going right now.


Reading through some of the comments on the video, I can only applaud the makers for being a light in the dark because, yes, there are still too few people (even on supportive parenting forums) who know that acknowledging all emotions as valid reactions to uncomfortable scenario, helps to make individuals who are kinder and more loving to themselves, are more resilient, and therefore have a better starting abilty for compassion to others.


I want to go over that, because that really is my whole point.

Because of his responses to her and not-really-listening (and that it's even on the internet) this is a parenting fail, in my opinion and I won't be putting a link to the video; but because of his theme at the beginning and because of the way it is being received in parent communities where it appears, the big discussions and light bulb moments it elicits, it's a more general team parent win.

An alternative message is being spread to and by people who need to hear it, which is Be the Light in the Dark:

Speak at the level of the child,

Speak more softly if you are up in their face, (don't get up in peoples faces if you are aiming at nice)

Acknowledge all emotions as valid reactions to situations,

Don't take other peoples emotional reactions as personal triggers (he does),

Name calling has no place in consensual family living,

and most importantly

If your actions have triggered a hurt response in a young child- own it and apologise in a way that is meaningful to them so that they know you were at fault, not them (if valid, explain that this was your emotional response to a bad situation- reflect on that and be kind to yourself about it) and that you are disapointed in yourself for doing it and that you are trying right now to be a better person at anticipating their simple, simple needs.










By cwhyte, Jan 12 2018 11:28AM

Grief can be caused from any sort of trauma involving loss, from loss of a loved one to loss of an ideal or dream.

It affects us all differently and it is impossible and wrong to judge one persons grief as more valid than anothers.

Grief is a natural and healthy process that we take on to assimilate shocking change into our reality.

Some people talk about grief in 5 phases or stages *, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. I personally feel that these are not mandatory and when they are present don't follow a specific order, we don't progress one at a time from denial through to acceptance, more, we pass back and forth as needed and that Anxiety is connected to then all.

Denial can give us grace, space to process the shock safely. The detachment that depression brings is another safety mechanism. Bargining, I think, is the most transient of stages; being the promises and pledges that we make to ourselves to express our responsibility. Anger is a super effective way of breaking out of detachment. If we are in a sea of nothing and no one but we are able to focus (even in anger) on someone or something then our anger makes a bridge away from our self focused isolation. None of these phases are ideal but they do seem to be for most people at least temporarily necessary. Then comes acceptance.

Acceptance isn't about feeling fine about loss, it's a process of accepting our new reality and how we live with it.


For some of us, these steps of grief don't stop. For some these feelings are entwined with anxiety. We get caught up and feel our grief more deeply after time. Our anger seems boundless and can be frightening. Our isolation is overwhelming, we are irritable and joy is lost. We experience panic, become obbsessive in our thoughts and feel helpless.

Grief is hard, it's exhuasting and when it becomes prolonged can take an enormous toll, not just on our realtionships and our work but on our bodies too. Prolonged grief symptoms do nothing to honour our loss. they tarnish our memories and warp our love.

If you are here maybe you recognise yourself. The first step to making change always seems to be acknowleding that there might be a problem. If you recognise yourself in these pages, then you are ready to make the changes that will let you move forward.

Contact me.

I'm happy to hold the safe space you need for us to work together to lift the pain from you, so that you can feel more in control and begin to move forward with your life..


*Kübler-Ross 1969


By cwhyte, Jan 5 2018 02:19PM

How many of us take this time of year to make resolutons about, getting healthier, breaking addictions, being more sociable, getting organized, taking up new hobbies?

I want to talk about why resolutions fail.


I set myself the resolution to take 20 minutes cardio exercise every day, walking, last year. It started well. I walked a bit but by June it was never regular. Through the rest of the year, and every time I had a brisk walk I reminded myself how I was 'meant' to be doing this every day. I beat myself up, in my head. Every time I managed to get a walk in, I turned that walk into a reminder of how I failed. Every Time.


My work is based on the law that thought influences matter: our thoughts govern our reality. We surround ourselves with stories.


When I think ' I want to get fit', I'm actually thinking. 'I'm unfit and get puffed going up that little hill, I don't like that bit of belly that sort of droops over my knicker line and when did I get so wide?

There is a story, or in this case several stories, that I use to illustrate and 'flesh out' (pun intended) my self image.

Let's look deeper. When I walk 'that little hill (it's actually mercifully short and really very steep)' I'm reminded that my body finds it exhausting. I have a choice. Do I puff and wheeze up the hill wishing I'd gone for more walks and that I'd got myself fit OR do I puff and wheeze up the hill and congratulate myself on getting some cardio time in?

Do I remind myself what a failure I've been OR do I allow myself to do the thing I want to do?

Do I fail or excersise?

That was the easy straight forward one.


When I look at the droopy belly it's not even about excercise. It goes deeper to my stories that explain the expectation of how many children I thought I would have, to what it means, to me, to be a woman, to stories that explain why in some situations I feel so vulnerable and raw.

So as I look up the steep, muddy gradient and brace myself for the climb, my choices are more like: Do I allow those stories to beat me up and define me OR do I allow myself kindness and tenderness in the cardio climb.

In excercising that core am I twisted up in failure; fully focused on my emotional pain and feeling it through excersise (or lack of it) or, am I acting from a place of safety with love and approval of myself and having fun?


Let's suppose I choose kindness and tenderness and allowing myself to do the things I want to do. My New Years Resolution this year then is to be compassionate with myself, to allow myself to choose and to be gentle and understanding about the choices I make, especially when it feels like I have no choice.


Happy New Year, may all your choices be tender.




By cwhyte, Dec 20 2017 11:15AM

The Solstice is tomorrow, Thursday 21st (at 16.28 in the Northern hemisphere). I urge you to take some time, if you can, to sit quietly today, tomorrow or on Friday.

The Solstice is traditionally a time for dreaming. I don't mean sleeping, I mean the work of dreaming forward, dreaming a future: misty edges, eyes full of wonder of the possibilities and promise of epic awesomeness waiting for us on the doorstep of life.

It's a time to put aside all realistic limitations, it's a time to surrender our thinking, practical self; the self that says 'well that's just silly' or 'when would I get the time/money/help' or 'I don't deserve that lovely thing'.

It's the time of blankets, the time to make the choice to allow ourselves the time to JUST DREAM. No strings, no repercussions, no guilt, just fantasy.

Now your dream for your future self needs to be drawn in, called, invited, like a new life. Space needs to be made for it.

Dream big, start small if you have to but kick back and choose to allow yourself to enjoy it. Be kind to yourself.

Remember what makes you happy, or even that you can be happy/ calm/ joyful and daydream. Dream more of it. Forget the but's and should's and allow your dreaming to take you to some place amazing.


If you have time spend 3 days on it from Thursday to Saturday. If you don't have time then carve out just One hour or even half of One, or even just the time it takes to boil a kettle and drink your hot cup.

Walk, dance, sing, be in the moment and ENJOY living. Treat yourself then focus on one aspect. If it's something that you'd like to grow then imagine it 1 year from now grown bigger, more rich and vibrant. If it's something you'd like to be rid of then imagine you 1 year from now living without it; really picture yourself free, feel how you feel now that it's gone. Feel that spark, even if your mind rationalises it away from you after a couple of seconds, know that for that moment you were living it (and loving it) and if you've done it once you can there again.


Once you've enjoyed your moment, condense it, try to sum it up in three words or less - but it doesn't matter if you can't. Write it down, draw an image or choose an item (or place) that strongly reminds you of that moment and keep it somewhere that is special to you. Maybe a nature table or alter or shelf that you keep precious things on. The bit of floor by your bed, the bottom of your bag, just keep it with you in a way that is meaningful to you.


All that's left to do as you get back to your tribe and commitments is take the memory of your glow with you. Each time you remember your moment free of what if's and but's, or take time out to make another one, you are calling it into being just a little bit more.


By cwhyte, Nov 30 2017 09:03AM

Traditional, old world, custom for this time of year sees us, cleaning and sharpening tools, tidying the outside areas in readiness for the Winter, finishing those jobs we've been working on and generally making ready for the long dark. Later we get to dream and plan, but for now we are engaged in the work of endings.

In my early teens I discovered Paganism and Wicca and 'did that' for a while, into my mid twenties. I haven't identified as Wiccan for a long, long time now but I still feel very close to the Wheel of the Year. I was taught that Samhain or Halloween marks the end of the year. It always resonated with me because the year end always finds me feeling reflective anyway and I find a better outlet for that in Samhain, All Saints day/ Day of the dead and later Rememberance day – all with a pretty backdrop of fireworks and (since I've lived in the South West) light carnivals.

I find if I shift my reaction to the years end around to January I quickly feel miserable and out of sorts in all the grey and wet.

Living by the Wheel of the year just works for me, and so I find myself here, in November, my natural reflective place, writing a short essay- is this an essay? Let's call it an article- on endings.


The next spoke on the Wheel is the Solstice, a time for creating by dreaming deeply and freely. In order to be ready for it we need to leave off the baggage and the bulky overcoats of our public personae.

I invite you to take a couple of days to consider what you may need to tidy up and put away – metaphorically speaking. What tools (coping mechanisms) do you have that need shelving or readjusting. A bit like a Marie Kondo clear out, approach yourself with a list of questions. Examine your reactions to common situations with the questions:


Is it doing me any good? (is it actually useful?)

Does it make me feel happy?

Do I love it?


Take time and be kind to yourself as you ask these questions. You don't need to act on the answers, though you may find that you just do.



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