Time is a precious commodity and I was reading recently how we have constructed the concept of time – measuring it in seconds, minutes, hours….. etc.
Time seems to speed up as we are engrossed or having fun and who hasn’t felt time march by so slowly when we are bored?
Then there are those occasions when we can feel like time has been stolen from us. I’ll give an example. I was looking forward to attending a professional development meeting recently, where the speaker was to give a presentation on storytelling. As this is something that interests me, having already been to a workshop on storytelling and I was keen to find out more.
I traveled to the event with a colleague and were lucky to find a seat in the front row and waited for the pearls of wisdom to drop into our laps. Various topics were talked about but the content didn’t match what was advertised.
Time began to drag as political and social opinions were brought up. A “case study” was distributed and time slowed further…. I couldn’t walk out. Front row. Presentation being filmed. Passenger to take home.
My attention turned to the paper that the case study was printed on. A rectangle, folded to a square and hey presto! Time started to pass more easily as my fingers folded and unfolded this paper to create an origami crane. Settling what I hoped was a look of attention on my face, the remaining paper was also folded to two more, smaller squares and Mother Crane now had two chicks…. quite apt for the metaphor of the birds the presenter used in his case study.
A couple of days later, I eagerly looked forward to a webinar replay that I had signed up for as the time clashed with the aforesaid presentation. It took a little while to begin the topic and this presenter allowed herself to be interrupted by people coming on line and typing comments. About then I started to have the feeling that this too was stealing time. Fortunately the replay came with a fast forward button and I was able to move on.
As a person who presents regular workshops, both events have been a valuable teaching tool. Plan the presentation. Talk about what you said you are going to. Be aware of your body language and tonality whilst presenting. Be present and focus on the topic and if it meant to be educational, deliver awesome content.
Are you a Giver or Taker? A giver will give of their time, often being the pillar of support for family and friends. Givers are the myriad of volunteers who contribute to charities, faith based organizations and communities. Their reward is not monetary and can’t be measured accurately as a marker of economic growth or downturn, but if they weren’t there their contribution would be sorely missed. You may have met the Giver who shares knowledge without thought of recompense as their reward is contributing to the growth of the recipient. It is also helpful to reflect on what a Giver gains by giving. There may not be an explicit reason for their giving and often the Giver is rewarded by emotional satisfaction. Gandhi said “The best way to lose yourself is by service to others.”
Open hearted and trusting, Givers are often naive when faced with the neediness of a Taker and they would benefit from realizing that they too, need boundaries. A Taker will often deride a Giver’s altruism, calling them a “soft touch” or weak, not realizing that by giving generously of time, information, energy or labour that the Giver has strength in their service.
Takers on the other hand, are those who are likely to be close hearted. They may present as the person who is driven to succeed at all costs, little realizing that the ultimate cost is to them. It is likely that you know a Taker or two. The person who only calls when they want something or perhaps it’s that person who, once they have the ideas or information they need from you, packages it up and delivers it as their own.
Other takers are what Sonia Choquette calls “Energy Vampires” and they are very familiar to therapists working in the holistic field. An Energy Vampire is attracted to the energy and open heart of the Giver, and unless there are adequate boundaries in place, the Giver will suffer “burn out”. Surprisingly, the Taker is often unaware of their unconscious greed, for that is what it is. In order to fulfill a need buried deep in the subconscious, the Taker is constantly looking for fulfillment by taking time, information, energy or labour that they feel will help them in some way.
Maintaining an equilibrium or balance between giving and taking and not being attached to the outcome is ideal. The concept of “Paying it Forward” is well known and you may have received from one source, but you are not obligated to return the favour.
I needed to get a document that I thought I had put in a “safe place” and got some unexpected lessons. In that “safe place” were numerous CD’s and DVD’s – some labelled and many unlabelled. After the document was found, I decided that it would be a good time to sort through and discard what was no longer needed. However, what I discovered were backup files from school of lessons and worksheets that I developed more than 10 years ago. Consequently some of those files were also minutes of departmental meetings. Minutes that when read, brought up stressful memories that I believed that I had dealt with. Not so…
Perfect timing…..and most importantly, now is the time to really work on removing the emotional responses to those situations once and for all. Meanwhile, faces, conversations and emotional responses drifted across my conscious mind. There was a certain amount of irritation that these backup CD’s also backed up in my memory. Yet some of the files are worth keeping. Some contain some really good lessons that I can share on a teaching website where I have sold other classroom resources over the past few years.
I set aside some time and put on some hypnotic background music. Taking one event at a time, I imagine it as a movie that I’m watching and I start to send Reiki to it using a particular symbol. I’m looking for the positive lessons that I got from that event and feel myself surrounded by the Reiki energy as I multiply the symbol all around me. I meditate for some time with the intent as I clear my mind the feelings about that and similar events are cleared. As I go into a pleasant empty space, it feels like I am becoming lighter and I just know that I no longer want or need to experience the negative energies around that or other similar situations.
Emerging from the meditation, my eyes rest on the pile of CD’s that I have just gone through. They have no “pull”, no energy. I continue with the Reiki session and set the intent for any other experiences similar to this to be surrounded by this Reiki symbol and let the healing energy continue.
Seminar over and the program begins. A “Last Supper” of a favourite comfort food. Chicken rice with corn and mixed mushrooms and a heavy handed splash of extra hot chilli. ….. and some red wine to finish off with. All foods (except the chicken) off the menu until I have completed the program and am at a comfortable goal weight.
Emotionally, I am exhausted as part of the program is to look at emotional triggers and to let them go. Meditating and journaling since Saturday evening, I have been surprised at what has popped up. Events long forgotten and the associated beliefs and emotions that surround them. Next to burn that list….. I will add to it in the coming week, and take it into the centre of the labyrinth at the retreat when I next go there to burn it in that safe, calm space at the centre of the labyrinth in that safe and calm space, thereby releasing any attachments to the events to the universe with gratitude and emerging no longer carrying the burdens of the past.
A new mantra…. “The past is the past. Let it go and focus on NOW.”
What is the past anyway? A memory. An imagination based on our perception. My perception of an event as a child would be different to another’s memory of the same event and would also depend on age related cognitive skills and interpretation.
Today I have set aside some time to do a Chakra Cleanse, working through the Chakras from Base to Crown using meditation with some shamanic music. Interestingly I coughed all through the Throat Chakra meditation …. more work to do!
Leading up to the end of 2018 been quite a journey. A conversation over New Year precipitated a look back and it had me reflecting on life as it has happened to Meg. I hadn’t really contemplated that my life was so very different or adventurous or that I was particularly brave, but in comparison to someone who has lived an ordered and nurtured life – maybe so and maybe it is time to write down the experiences. Let’s start with how I got to here.
The last couple of years have been difficult health wise with several bouts of pneumonia and the resulting tiredness and the diagnosis of an immune condition has been challenging. November was filled with various appointments and I was heading off to the next one with a little spare time, so I decided to take a more scenic route. I got stuck in traffic and as serendipity would have it, right outside a Salt Room. I mentioned this to my acupuncturist and he suggested that it would be beneficial and in combination with long overdue pharmaceutical intervention, there has been a noticeable improvement.
As part of my ongoing personal program to regain health, I have been using Hypnotherapy audios for improving my immunity and have already seen a change in some of my blood tests. Next week I embark upon a program delivered by another Hypnotherapist to reduce the weight that I have accumulated over these last couple of years.
I hope you will join me on my journey as I record my progress.
I do so love teaching Reiki. It doesn’t matter what level it is, each training has its own special insights, both for the student and for me. My current student is learning how to be a teacher and I feel I have learnt as much from him on this journey as I may have shared with him. Like me, he never set out to be a teacher and was a skeptic at first about distance healing, until he got feedback from clients he was working with.
Teaching is not for everyone and often it takes another person to see the talents and inner qualities that we don’t acknowledge in ourselves. For me is was waiting until the children were older and for this student, it was a chance comment by his long time friends that brought him to realize that he has so much more to offer by becoming a Reiki Teacher.
Revisiting each Reiki level brings new insights and each training brings about wonderful changes for all involved. It is as if a little bit more information is being revealed each time. Reiki helps both teacher and students to slow down and relax. The preparation for lessons and sessions is a special time. Meditation and setting the intent to work with Masters present and passed and Guides is a time to create peace both within the room, for students and myself.
Reiki energy is always gentle and will go to where it is most needed. I find that once you get yourself or ego “out of the way”, the energy flows with ease. A participant in a Reiki share commented that as she had only done Level 1 and the other participants were all Master Level or Teachers, that she was worried that her energy wasn’t as much. It took some convincing to let her know that the Reiki energy is the same for all of us regardless of what level we have studied to and that it is not our personal energy, but universal energy that we facilitate for the client. A healing session with someone who has taken Level 1 can be profound as the energy doesn’t discriminate.
Recently I drew 2 cards – one was an oracle card that said “Release and Surrender” from Doreen Virtue’s Daily Guidance from Your Angels and the second was 7 of Cups from the Rider Waite Tarot. Usually I keep my personal readings to myself, but today I’m sharing.
The first card has the words “We shower you with blessings of our radiant love. Open your arms, and release the challenges that you’ve held tightly gripped within your hands. Open your hands, arms and heart to our love and assistance.”
“So what?” you might say and if you are not into cards, synchronicity read no further. For me this has some significance…. it’s the 5th time this particular card has come up at random for me recently. My belief system is that I’m being tapped on the shoulder to listen to the message.
The second card came with a few interpretations. The first was “Among many options choose the one closest to your heart” and to use dreams and imagination to create a different future. The second interpretation was that the querent (me) might be building too many castles in the air and it’s time to sort out truth from fiction. A third interpretation was that this card represents limitless possibilities and potential and a need to focus on the future directions. Which interpretation to pay heed to?
Today, I’m starting the process of releasing and surrender to the limitless possibilities that the universe offers…….
Today I drew 2 cards. It’s not something I usually share, but the first card was from Doreen Virtue’s Daily Guidance from your Angels and the second card was from the Rider Waite Tarot. How are they related? The first was entitled “Release and Surrender” and over the past few weeks I have drawn this card 5 times. To me that means the Universe is tapping me on the shoulder to listen to a message. It’s a card about “releasing the challenges that you’ve held tightly gripped within your hands”. The second card was from the Rider Waite Tarot pack and there are several interpretations. The first was to consider a message that one might be building too many castles in the air. The second interpretation of the card was “ to relax the mind and open to the dreams and imaginings that an inner child loves to entertain” whilst the third interpretation was about representing limitless possibilities and potential but the need to focus.
The past few months have been difficult. I won’t go into details, but I’m a strong believer in what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. It’s not just the messages from the cards, they have been helpful in coming to today’s decision and I’m releasing and surrendering some old dreams and challenges to make way for the new. It will be a gradual process as I listen more to the promptings from my inner child and the universe and relax into the potential that the cards have revealed.
The Urban dictionary defines Vulnerability as “Someone who is completely raw and open, unguarded with their heart, mind and soul. Being vulnerable happens when you trust completely. Rather its vulnerability by pain or joy, it’s being exposed with all of the emotions that make it easy for someone (someone you trust) to really do some emotional damage or healing.. Vulnerability is the surrender of all control and personal power in regards to letting someone close enough to destroy you!”
Examining this definition, I got the impression that the person that wrote the entry regarded vulnerability as a weakness, particularly when reading the last sentence. Reflecting on the first sentence, I immediately felt that not everyone would be completely “raw and open” and there would be degrees of emotion expressed when allowing oneself to be vulnerable.
Other questions sprang to mind.
- Does complete trust necessarily mean that you are vulnerable?
- To what degree is being “unguarded with heart, mind and soul” a vulnerability? and do all three have to be unguarded at the same time?
- Does having an open/unguarded heart indicate a weakness or a strength?
- Is there an expectation that people will emotionally damage you if you are vulnerable?
- Can you still be vulnerable if you have good boundaries and personal power?
I don’t profess to have all the answers to these questions but I am finding that as I chip away at patterns, beliefs and emotional responses that I have accumulated over the years, that unguarding my heart and being vulnerable in certain situations has given me much more than staying closed and protected. It is not only about trusting those that you choose to show your vulnerability to, but trusting yourself to know that it is right to let some of those old things go. As you build the trust in both yourself and others, the open heart starts to learn that not everyone is out to damage or hurt you, but many will offer support and provide healing to old wounds.
Echidna crossed my path – actually the road on the way to the retreat on Saturday after a challenging Friday evening that saw me getting home around 3am. We stopped to take a photo, but after scurrying into the scrub on the side of the road the Echidna did what it does best….. it curled up into a rather large and spiky ball. I took a photo, jumped back into the car and we continued on.
Thoughts of the Echidna stayed throughout the afternoon and I decided to research more about it. I found that it is closely related to the platypus and lays an egg in its pouch. After hatching, the young one stays in the pouch for some time. I love to discover the metaphysical or spiritual messages that come from random encounters like this one.
Scott Alexander King says Echidna is a symbol for Rebirth and Personal Protection. He goes on to say that Echidna warns us not to be overprotective to the extent that you shut everyone out. Be aware if you are closed to the possibility of change and the distinction between denial and determination.
Ann Williams-Fitzgerald and Karen Osborn in Wisdom of the Australian Animals entry for Echidna gives the following information. Echidna is about Personal Boundaries and Comfort Zone with Echidna urging us not to be like him. The shadow side is suggesting that we have become unapproachable and do not welcome change into our lives. Time to move out of the comfort zone perhaps to learn something new, join a new group and become more involved in life. Tear down the brick walls that keep people out, but use the boundaries for your own protection.
I also spent some time looking up Dreamtime stories for how Echidna got his spikes which you can also do if you are so inclined. The stories are quite varied and different regions of Australia have different stories. All of them are worth a read!