Escaping the laundry for a little soul space – step into your peace

writing deskI flew in this morning after taking my youngest to school.  The mental note I made last night was “You have to start with the laundry early in the morning!”  It was accompanied by reinforcement admonishments to stay off the blog, avoid watching You tube lectures and be sure to apply all the time management rules to avoid distractions.  Well, I have only one response which I pinch from the youth … LOL – Laugh out Loud!  Here I am on the blog and much like a rebellious teenager on social media networking when they are suppose to be studying, I am feeling mischievous and somewhat rebellious. A most wonderful way to access the creative side!

The craziest part of this post is that I have no idea what I am going to write about. I have no great insight and no deep struggle I am working through.  It is just a very average time between the week that has gone and the weekend ahead.  Without my obvious promptings I myself am wondering – why am I being summoned here in what feels like a free writing exercise with no clear goal at all?  The question is even more intriguing because there are days when I have a collection of apparently meaningful prompts and I just never get to blog it.

I do not have to think too much about it though.  I know what calls me here and as the awareness comes to light I realise what the intention for this post is.  What called me to the writing desk is not a prompting of a subject or question but a prompting of my soul for a little space and a time to be.  In the time between the week that has gone by and the weekend that is to come (and the laundry that awaits) there was a deep yearning to be.  The many obligations of the week had me running from pillar to post.  I am sure you can identify with that.  The weekend will be filled with family time and the pressures of pre-exam preparation for the children.  I celebrate with deep gratitude the change of pace of the weekend and the blessings of joy and fellowship it brings as family and friends gather in our home.  For the empath, creative, spiritualist, highly sensitive person this can also be quite a hair raising time.  A time of so much merriment that makes us forget about the need for solitude to maintain our sense of equilibrium.

The beckoning to the writing desk which overlooks my garden-bird sanctuary is an intuitive call of the soul to come away for just a little while.  A time to sit in silence and observe the turtle doves at the birdbath.  A time to create and allow the voice inside a moment of expression.  A time to step into my picture of bliss and my imaginings of what peacefulness looks and feels like.  This is it! This is what it feels like for me .. ahhh! Taking this moment in the time between to be still and create is a moment of deep rest for me.  Perhaps for you it does not involve writing but painting.  For another there may not be a bird sanctuary but a meditation with Tibetan singing bowls. What matters most is that we hear the beckoning of the creative, intuitive, inner self to come away and to step into the picture of what peacefulness looks like and feels like.

We may not have all the resources or the finances to create that picture.  My writing desk looks nothing like the beautiful cover picture of this post.  That is my dream.  The desk I actually use is aaphrodite and sparrows makeshift structure of loose boards on two stacker draw units.  The garden and the birds are real but it was created from odd bits I collected at the garden refuse dump.  The birds, well I think they come for the seeds and to manifest my deep desire for their presence.  With Aphrodite being one of my archetypes it follows that I have sparrows to entertain me.  (Sparrows were considered to be the favourite pet of the Goddess)

I share this with you because I am aware that most of us do not always fill our peaceful spaces and creative areas with things that are meaningful to us.  Most often we’ve seen the interior decorating trend which is nothing but someone’s imagining of what beautiful could be or worse – what we are told to accept as beautiful.  Deeply connected to the teachings of Carl Jung I realise how much my archetypes play a role in my life and so my spaces are filled with things that speak to those aspects of my grandest self.  Question: Who represents the grandest version of yourself? Tip: Try to imagine mythological, fantasy and timeless heroes and heroines.  These will help you discover your archetypes.  They are not idols and we do not worship them.  I don’t believe Aphrodite ever existed but her character and her stories embody some of the grand imaginings of men and women.  My other archetypes include the Wise Woman like Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas and so the theme song Colours of the Wind conjures up a very grand version of me.  For good measure, I have a male archetype of the Alchemist too.  These characters inspire me and bring out the best of the best of me.  Who does that for you?  My places of inspiration are filled with things that inspire my soul rather than suit the fashion trend.

A memory of the waiting laundry just flitted through  … LOL!

It helps to have your your picture to be at least somewhat attainable so that you can step into elements of it if not all of it.  If peaceful soul time is to be sailing into the sunset on a magnificent cruise ship it may be a little hard to step into it.  I have a theory that when the picture is truly a desire of the soul and not the ego (with all its demands) we will find it quite easy to create the picture. Distinguish between the picture that will support the soul’s desires and the picture that feeds the cravings of the ego.  Creating an attainable picture enables you to have easy access to physical spaces that are aligned to the emotional and spiritual spaces you desire to experience.  They act as portals that can instantaneously transport you to realms in which your soul can find the relief, restoration,and expression it is calling for.  I just ended up on a magical trip remembering my grandest self as a Goddess of Love and Beauty, a Wise Woman who can paint with all the colours of the wind and an Alchemist with the Midas touch.  All this because a makeshift desk and a bird sanctuary, created from discarded treasures, provide me with a portal to a realm where I can step into peace. Just like the Wardrobe in Narnia allows the children to step into a timeless world where they experience themselves as kings and queens with unlimited potential, so our peaceful spaces act as portals to realms that enable us to do the same.

At some point we find the wardrobe again. We look back at the world of the soul with a smile and come back to the here and now with joy in our hearts.  With this joy in my heart, I close this post, giving thanks for the portal and the moments in the timeless world of the soul.  I am smiling as I leave to go do the laundry …

path

Inspired by being uninspired – uncovering fate

On a blog called the Times Between it would make sense to write about feeling uninspired. Just like the times that are between events can seem pretty flat, so the feeling of being uninspired can leave one feeling somewhat deflated. As I reflected on the feeling of being uninspired I asked myself a Jungian type of question. What is this bringing up for me? What does it bring up for all of us when we feel uninspired and think we have nothing to write about, no thoughts to capture and nothing of interest to share in our online journals. I no sooner asked these questions when I could feel the beginnings of a stirring happening and dashed to my writing area. Please join me and let’s see what happens here …zen garden What does the period of non-inspiration look and feel like? For me, there are physical signs like the fact that my writing desk has become a storage area for things I am meaning to pack away. Other physical signs include busyness and focus on the beckoning of the outside world. Psychologically, it means that I am preoccupied with doubt and self-limiting beliefs. Each of us have our own set of self-limiting beliefs that operate during the periods of low or no inspiration. Those beliefs are part of a very complex framework which we cannot delve into here. They include everything from our relationship with our parents (primordial relationships) to the purpose and intention for which we created our blog (conscious choices we make) in the first place. In my case, I enjoy writing and use it as a tool for self development and engaging with my creative, intuitive self. I choose to blog it or make it public because I am a social being who enjoys connection with others. Sharing my writings have proved helpful for others from the feedback I get and this satisfies the teacher and counsellor aspects of my makeup. I am Jung at Heart – meaning that my psyche or soul finds much of its answers through the teaching of Carl G Jung. These teachings reveal that we are often driven to do things and not to do things by forces that we are unaware of. That is a scary thought right. A famous quote by Carl Jung says;

“Until you make the unconscious, conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate”

With this context in mind, I look at the alleged fate that I have nothing to write about and nothing valuable to say. I take a deeper look and my alleged fate that I have no time and my desk is a mess. I consider the alleged fate that I am wasting my time with writing while I should be earning money. I am willing to consider my alleged fate that “I am too bloody deep and complicated for my own good” and that people will never understand what I am on about. Shooo – that is a big one and now I am having a “felt sense” that I might have stumbled onto something. But now let me pause and be sure you are taking this journey with me as any proper Zen Garden Hostess would do. Have you thought about some of your alleged fates? What do you make up about your world during the moments of low inspiration? What alleged fates have you used to conclude that the world and life is happening to you? Take a breath …………… and another nice deep breath in and out ………………. Ahhhhhhhh!   Now see what comes up. zen meditate Now, are you willing to look a little deeper and consider the possibility that you are happening to your life. Those forces, thoughts, beliefs, memories in the unconscious are playing out a movie and you are are calling it low inspiration. Nice deep breath – ahhhhhhhhhhh.

This is what comes up for me – My desk is in a mess and become a storage area because in my unconscious I have a belief that I am taking up too much space. The space I am using can be used for something more useful, more constructive, more valuable and definitely more than anything I have to offer. I have no time because I really feel guilty about having the time and the space to write, when there are women older than I am walking the streets looking for work. (Some martyr archetype playing out there I guess). I think that I am wasting my time because I have an old memory that “time is money” from a father who was known to have the Midas Touch. In many ways my Alchemist Archetype is (in Jungian terms) a compensation response pattern to my father’s focus on material wealth. Ooooooo -another insight that just popped up. I am really writing this as its happening and I am starting to feel a bit vulnerable now which is an indicator that I have entered the shadow. Enter Dori – Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! My thought that I am too much, too deep, too complicated is a very old wounding which we know will keep replaying itself throughout the soul’s journey. It is rooted in the inability to unconditionally love oneself and that, as we all know, is a life long journey. We only ever reach pit stops along the way with many dark nights of the soul in between. To the extent that we are willing to engage our illusive and most often insidious shadow, we will engage the process of understanding and accepting of our Self.

How did you do? Make any discoveries about your alleged fates which you invent during your low periods? I would love to hear about it – leave a comment if you are comfortable with that. Thank you for taking the journey with me and being present as I unpacked my alleged fate to discover just how much I have created it. Things are not going to change magically and I am guaranteed of low inspiration days in the future. On those days however, I will be conscious of what is going on in my unconscious and I will not be calling it fate and playing the victim. The awareness will be enough to shift my perception.

Much blessing and love,

Michelene

The Universe Within …

I remember a time when I prayed earnestly. I recall thinking that the harder I prayed and the more exhausted I felt afterward the more noble and praiseworthy I was. It does seem quite silly now but at that time it was all quite serious. My prayers were filled with lots of words which often referred to some or other form of power. I recall how much of a burden it was to keep the “quiet times” which were terribly important for my self righteous arrogance. The more I kept the rules, the better I would be or something like that.

In all that time I remember trying to connect with something outside of me. It required huge amounts of effort and there were always many reasons for my lack of achieving the connection. I linked up with countless groups who I believed would assist me in my desire to connect with whatever was out there.

The peaceful resting of this path is a welcome relief to the striving that has gone before. The search for what is out there and the great strife to achieve it no longer drains me of energy. The more I rest the more I find. The more I trust the more I let go. The less I speak the more I am heard. The tiredness of yesterday has given way to a youthful energy to explore and create. To say I am returning to nature is not quite right for in many ways she has returned to me. As she returns to me my own nature is restored.

My prayers ascend like a melody inside me for I have found that all I yearned for exists in abundance within. All the wonder and vastness out there is all that I am made of. Many smiles and grins are shining on my face these days. Everyday coincidences present themselves so wonderfully. I find myself in the midst of wonderful conspiracies. The sound of geese echo into the still night sky and I know my prayer songs extend beyond the horizon. A simple gaze at the moon reminds me of the mysteries and magic within.

Art | Magickal graphics

First published 25 September 2013

 

The Red Tent and other sanctuaries – instinctive call

An old picture of my daughter warms my heart as I remember how she loved building tents. Cardboard boxes, furry blankets and scarves were quickly resourced as building materials. I am sure the vast majority of us have these pics in our baby albums and in our memories.

In the middle of the lounge or in a corner at the far end of the garden, little tents and makeshift huts are a telltale sign that children are around and that some mischief and adventure is brewing or transpired recently. As mothers we often approach abandoned tents with bated breath wondering what remnants of our possessions we might find there. Surely, we have all been tempted to spy on the tents in the hope that we could catch a glimpse of the activities that require such secrecy. I must confess that I gazed upon these little dwellings nostalgically remembering my own adventures and mischief in tents from the era of my own childhood.

Perhaps each time that I drape the red tent with scarves and scatter fleecy throws and cushions, I am recreating that sanctuary that seemed almost instinctive. The desire to create in space and in time a dwelling that provides a holding space to be. A sanctuary which separates between the sights, sounds and activity of the outer world and the cherished calling of the inner world. A safe place, much like a womb in which I can be still, focus on self and grow. A chamber where the quiet but beckoning voices that are otherwise drowned by the noise of the outer world can at last be heard. The taboos and forbidden things find their expression comfortably in this dwelling place – not to remain as “mischief” of a patriarchal society but to find a voice so that we may learn how to raise them and become wise woman activists. It is here, in this nesting place, we eat from the hand of our own wise women and nurse our inner babe and our inner maidens.

May you find the cardboard boxes and the blanket shelters that honour the instinctive calling to come away …

Love and Light
M

First published 13 May 2014