Sometimes the rocks in the river have to move in order for the river to flow freely.
Friends can be like the ‘rocks’ in our lives. Ones that hold steady and true through the twists and turns of life. Times when our ‘river of life’ feels it is spiralling out of control and we are afraid we will get swept away by the current.
Yet, what if we are ‘meant to get swept away?’ The rocks hold us fast creating a dam in our river. The water starts to become a little putrid for water needs to flow in order to be healthy. Water moves in spirals it is not linear.
That is where many of us live in the ‘linear line of life’: Work, home, if we are lucky a beloved, kids, dog…..’doing life’. Is this what we are called to do? Truly? For some yes, others, No. What is our truth? Dare we follow our true path?
Or are we missing an invitation to the ‘journey of life’ like the journey of a river? Starting at the source spring perhaps a trickle, sometimes a waterfall springing free from the source active and eager to engage.
Some begin tentatively to follow and forge our way down ways across valleys, along pathways and byways. Trickling as we find more flow. More momentum, occasional whirl pools where we are unsure whether we will source it becomes so perilous, we put down and pick up pace and gather ourselves bounding over, around, sometimes slowing other times stopping to lay as a pool glistening, resting yet always moving.
We become playful pools, full of vitality and life giving home to tadpoles, lush plant life, we meet other streams, we can become a river where many meet, only again to find ourselves, our own tributary off on our own adventure again.
Always, we have the banks of the river. Our bodies. These too can take different forms. Sometimes slim, fast paced other times wide and curvy as they begin to meander in the middle phase of life, enjoying the grassy banks, more leisurely pace and interaction with other tributaries.
Rocks can help with the banks. They can also act as a barrier to movement, to flow, to vitality and life force. The truth of our path.
We can work and swirl around the rocks, crashing and thrashing stuck in our own torment through trauma bonding rather than flowing.
We can become complacent and dependent on them. Never fully listening to our own calling of where to dart next, which landscape is our truth. Staying. Confirming. Comparing and slowly seeing our once clear waters become foggy with lack of oxygen.
Then one day the rocks simply go…they roll away….and the river again begins to flow following new directions. Gathering slowly a new momentum for life. Finding a renewed sense of freedom. A new sense of purpose. Liberated from the old ways open to exploring the new.
A fresh journey set with the wisdom of the water and banks, the lessons of life where upon we reach the final stage of our river. We open into the wide mouth of our final destination; connection with the greater source and become one.
This my friend a journey of the river. Of life. Thank you for the ones that have been, that are and that will be and especially thank you for those that left like whispers on the wind, no note, no words just space. It gave me space and an invitation to once again find my flow
“Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world.
We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.” Joseph Campbell
Such a potent and honest remembering:
Joy is a choice. IT IS ALSO OUR BIRTH RIGHT
It has taken me a very long time and lots of pain to realise this, many dead ends and dark allies. It has also taken me to navigate through and undertake a journey deep into the beauty of Grief. Healing only comes when we follow what hurts and pay attention.
Grief…..a journey which has opened my heart to love, to myself, to others, toLIFE. It has dissolved my armour (well….that’s a work always in progress, it takes A LOT to soften all that protective armour I have established over the years!).
However, I am and always will be an ‘Apprentice to Grief’.
Why an ‘Apprentice” because grief like any emotion is a journey – there is NOTHING LINEAR about it. It is a teacher, it is a friend. It is a feeling that can be so overwhelming we ‘think’ we may never return from the abyss that is the darkness of the unknown, a place of nothing but pain, loss and anguish. A vast unknown landscape that is lonely and dark. The ‘void’.
As Cohen sang so soulfully ‘ the wound is where the light gets in’. Cliché?
YET…YES…grief is an access point. It is a key. It is an opportunity to open to something so magical and potent it can take our breath away from the beauty that unfolds around it, through it and from it.
In a culture that pretends, us Brits are renowned for ‘brave face on’, squashing the TRUTH of what is happening, quelling the rawness, realness and reality of living with emotions…GRIEF; ANGER; PASSION, anything that might be deemed expressive and ‘too much’….who is anyone to say ‘what is too much’ for us as an individual, that is their projection It can be tricky to know how to access these emotions as they have laid dormant, festering for so long.
Now, more than ever, in Covid times, conjoined with the recent insurgence of the tragic events in the USA, fires earlier in the year we have been becoming more acutely aware of the call of grief. The frustration, rage and anguish that we feel about things we are unable to ‘do anything about’ so we numb and then numb some more.
It is our birth right to feel, to express....it is more than a right it is necessary…it connects us, it keeps us alive, it opens us up to the joy we seek and yearn for mistaking for designer this and that, for sugar and anything we can ‘CONSUME’…. joy is different… It is a feeling, a state of BEING..…not bought nor sold….it is as it is...IT IS WITHIN – not without…
Yes, someone or something (puppies playing spring to mind) might bring us joy, but this feeling, as any feeling comes from within….not without – an external can activate the feeling, for it is touching something WITHIN us, not without.
The more we externalise this ‘feeling’ the less we embody it, own it, know it, claim it as part of our ‘SOVEREIGN BEING’, as part of ourselves. We cease to live and as such close ourselves to all feeling. Further numbing, ignoring, avoiding. Finding ourselves heading further into a dis-eased state of being.
How do we access these emotions when we have blocked them so long and fear the place of no return, for YES, life alters, changes, morphs when we begin to feel. We begin to know our truth, what makes us ‘tick’ what rocks our world and what turns us right off. What we have been tolerating rather than saying ‘No’ to.
A few ways I access what I am feeling are:
MOVING: movement, shifts our mind set, it activates our endorphins and allows us to feel what is going on. Dance for me is the perfect access to my feelings. The more I dance, the more I know myself, my body, my emotions. I have on occasion raged, wept profusely with grief, each breath and each movement shifting, lifting stuck energy, stuck emotions. Each move, each dance allowing a freedom towards joy. I find myself again and again on the dancefloor.
MUSIC: music moves us, tugs at the memory bank which in turn tends to our heart, inviting in softening and easier access to what we are feeling, let the music move you and change will come
LAUGHTER YOGA: oh my resistance to this I had, yet, from laughter comes tears, from tears comes laughter…..perfect medicine!
WITNESSING: practise speaking your truth! It can take time to access our truth. Ask a non-judgemental friend or family member to witness you – NOTHING to fix, simply listening. I say ‘simply listening’ yet this is trickier than we know. How many times have you been with someone and felt ‘unheard’ FULL body presence (no phones, or distractions) eye contact and listening is a gift. It enables us to be seen, a rarity it seems in today’s world.
EYE GAZING: this one cracks me open every time. Simply seeing and being seen. Finding a gentle gaze into the eyes of another. Again, nothing to fix or change. A looking and seeing with soft gaze. This can lead to such intimacy non-sexually and sexually, yet, it allows us to find ourselves in the mirroring of another. It comes with giggles, embarrassment, fear, shame and a myriad of other emotions. Yet, if practised with a kindly soul can bring such profound healing and access to our hearts it is a gift beyond all gifts.
THERAPY: I am a therapist and I have had therapy on and off for years. For me THERAPY WORKS. Find one you connect with be it Creative, Play, Art, Gestalt, talk therapy only there are so many to choose from, shop around. For me a good therapist is like finding a great bra. The fit should be supportive, nurturing and feel good! A good therapist will provide somewhere you can feel safe, unjudged, perhaps challenged a little and above all and opportunity to explore yourself, your stories and they will walk with you as you grow!
WATCH A MOVIE: sometimes when I am struggling to feel I put on my favourite movie which enables me to loose myself a little in the other whilst I navigate my way in to my feelings.
FIND A GROUP: It is amazing how easy it is to think we are alone in what we are feeling and whilst no one’s journey is the same, there will be others on their own journey feeling they are alone, ashamed of feeling, speaking and emoting. PLEASE KNOW THIS: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I know for me Grief Tending and Grief Ceremony has been some of the most profound work I have done and it has been
JOURNAL/PAINT/CREATE: express what you are feeling through words, art, something that enables you to get out what you are sitting with. The numbness will melt to feeling when we allow it.
SPEND TIME IN NATURE: Simply allowing ourselves to be in nature (WITHOUT taking photos with our phones. Nature, trees, green, water, whatever calls. To spend time simply allowing ourselves to ground, to take in the beauty of all that is around, the simplicity yet intricacy and power of nature can mirror so exquisitely what we are avoiding feeling.
TAKE TIME OFF TECHNOLOGY: YES, that means social media, email, text. It is amazing how we avoid feeling through diverting our attention away from our heart to our phone, focussed again on the other rather than the inner.
Please know this, there is NO RIGHT way, there is ONLY YOUR WAY. The KEY is to find what works for you and how you find your way in, little by little. It takes practise, it takes to be so stuck or in my case broken, that the only way is through. To surrender to what is screaming to be felt, and allow myself to explore. Simply. Gently and with great kindness and compassion for myself. KINDNESS IS KEY.
With this I invite you step by step, breath by breath to begin.
Healing only comes when we follow what hurts and pay attention.
JOY will come it is after all the opposite side to the same coin as grief Begin now, it is the only way to change what we are unhappy with. Make a choice and say YES, the journey is worth it as are you.
In grace, with a beating heart wishing you all joy in your life. Sarah
It is a morning practise for me to write, within this I ‘free write’ a kinda free flow of writing, oracular messages if you will. Something greater than myself speaks through me. I am called at these times to begin to share. Take what you will and leave the rest. Feel free to share. There will be audible versions available soon. With much love from my heart and hearth to you and yours, In grace, Sarah
The wounding of the father and mother run deep in many of us, for it comes not from us but through that genetic chain, that ancestral coding and trauma passed through generations. A hidden thread weaving through invisible until it becomes visible, slipping unnoticed, resurfacing for those at the point in time that one is here to clear it for all moving forward.
The wounds run deep, they are not always tangible but can take form in a myriad of ways. Mistrust, depict, affairs, the lack of feeling satisfied. The feeling that something is ‘wrong’ yet unable to identify what.
The trauma the ancestors: war, famine, rape, abandonment, slavery, metal health, illness, treasury and treason…..asking us to hide our light, the wisdom of our ancestors, shielded behind this illusive veil, being offered, yet fear of acceptance, of allowing for that fear of persecution , of shining of speaking up.
Our voices close and then our hearts, or is it the heart then the voice?
Becoming a vessel for loose sex, seeking validation through the carnal, yet this only continues to play out old patterns, devoid of reverence, the sacred act of Hieros Gamos comes to be unknown, contemplation of the other, a distant memory. All becomes an exchange of currency rather than love, appreciation, play and pleasure.
This carnal vessel, the taking of virtue; others use it in wily ways, a currency…come into my hidden depths that I shall shave, pluck, alter and hone for ‘your pleasure’ forgetting, NO! Ignoring that deep chthonic sensual aspect of ourselves as primal woman and primal man, those from before the ‘fucking’ those that have danced together and with the divine, the God and Goddess, uniting as one in the sacred flame of fire to create.
The creation of life that comes in the birth of the Sacred Union – that ‘coming and cumming’ together.
This spark of creation lies within us all. That flame long dormant for fear of ignition through trauma. Heal the trauma, heal the story, reawaken the flame, the flame of creation.
First, use it to nourish yourself deeply, fully; this Holy chalice of you in all your glory.
Reclaim your voice, your womb, your phallus. The union of the masculine and feminine within so you may then seek and meet without. To meet yourself in here, this balance of these aspects then casts a golden light back through your line. The NDA changes, morphing, expanding, shedding the old, recalibrating, expanding through all lifetimes, all paradigms.
This union of Self, all parts, heals us whole. It calls us home to this body, this breath. Calling us into being and this dance, right now of creation.
Look back with a tender gaze. Cease to blame those from whence you came, from where you were born for that in itself is and was a sacred act, no matter what has unfolded; YOU. ARE. HERE.
Now it is your turn to rebirth yourself.
How my beloved, how do you do choose to allow this to unfold?
Heal the trauma, heal the story. Take the breath of life, the spark of creation into your own hands, and know that in this moment, this choice, you my love, this beauty filled being of now that you are: YOU. CAN. START. AGAIN.
Seek wisely your counsel, friends, beloveds, teachers and roles in life. Take time to change the pattern. Each breath, each step anew, yet each one with awareness, curiosity, grace. Each one a choice in your own body.
How do you feel to me when I am with you?
How am I when I am with you? When I let you close? Is that too close or not close enough?
When your lips touch mine, is it a divine awakening or is it a dull, flat lined response?
Do I come alive or numb out? Settling, wanting to take away the dull ache of loneliness?
Can I open myself to you and be so sure of myself, to the deepest aspects that even if you go, I have my centre, my place within me, myself, my life?
Do I loose myself again, and again?
Questions and answers….
Come home to yourself my love. Come home to yourself and your own Hieros Gamos, this place of balance and unity within you and know beyond all else:
An opportunity to work with this incredible and transformative book.
We will work in a small closed group for 6 weeks looking at two stories and how they mirror our own lives.
Working with metaphor and story can be profound and insightful to how we are ‘playing our own stories’ and how we may rewrite them.
The sessions will run THURSDAY’S 7-9pm
2 stories 6 weeks
from 5 November
What they say:
I feel that this work is not only beneficial to individuals but also to the wider community because we need collectively to reconnect with our soul, our deepest selves in order to have any hope of solving our many social and environmental issues.
Sarah Bullock is a highly skilled practitioner who offers a rich, creative, safe, interactive space that fosters openness, deep sharing and opportunities for personal and community growth and enrichment. I am extremely grateful that this (as well as some of her other projects) has been funded because what she offers is invaluable and there are many in this local community, like myself, who struggle financially and who would not otherwise be able to afford such supportive and nourishing learning and development opportunities. MBH
‘ wonderful inclusive space where we were encouraged to explore, debate and question our thoughts and society’s constructs of what it means to be a woman’. Thank you, Sarah, Kirsty
I refound this piece that I wrote last year whilst still grieving a relationship that had ended. I find myself all this time later open hearted and ready to love again. Ready. I do believe in allowing time, a grieving process, space before we embark on another adventure into love, whatever that may bring……I am ready….time to start writing again…to begin…
Here is my heart….
Time gone, never reclaimed the memory of you fades. The hole in my heart, my life and my home lingers.
You linger like the smell of forests after the rain, the smell of sun on skin, of puppy breath. Fresh bread baked in the morning left out to air. The smells of home. Of love. Of tender Care
I still see your face etched in the pillow where we would lie and talk. There you slept deeply almost not breathing. Just presence. Just you. Perfect you.
Your presence in life touched many and me. So blessed for the times shared. The hours.
Hours, weeks, months and years. So many moments honoured with tears.
I wonder if you ever think of me at all. Your anger and blocking cuts to the vein. Hours scolding like a tattoo artists branding my heart with the initials of your name. Your dog. Your favourite remedy.
The kindness we shared marred now with such distance. A longing a pulling from my heart. Blocked. Cut. Nothing. No more.
Heart break the same
Asking for forgiveness for a moment in time that maybe just once in a while you might look back and smile.
Asking for moments. For hours to pass, for healing to this tired lonely heart but never a regret of hours spent with you. Deeply I honour and send love on its way to hold and to heal the precious parts of you whole.