Aries New Moon 2014

Tonight is Aries New Moon, or Treasure-map-making day.  

This will be my third year of making a Treasure Map, and it is something I really enjoy and that helps keep me focused on my goals for the year.  It is really fun to see what comes of it and what doesn’t–and usually it works out for the best, even if I don’t end up getting what I wanted initially.  A couple of years ago on my treasure map, I wanted another baby and a farm.  Well, that did not happen, and something else happened instead.  I learned who I am, and I learned that what I needed was not a baby or a farm.  I was presented with other opportunities and also with closure and the ability to let go.  We don’t always know what is best for us.  Sometimes we can trust that only the best will come to us, and if we keep our eyes open, it will come.

Treasure Map 2014

1. Become a doula

2. Get an internship that fits my life perfectly

3. Enjoy speaking/sharing my thoughts in groups

4. Heal what needs healing

5. Healthy, harmonious, and meaningful relationships

6. Good physical and mental health for Alan, Mia, Anna and me

7. Make wise decisions

8. Feel calm and at peace.

Inviting healing and positive energy

My friend Alyssa got me to thinking about this, so I have her to thank for this post.

When we’re in pain, we want to express it and feel it, and this is an important part of the healing process.  If we stay in this part of the process, however, we can get stuck here.  Being stuck in feeling the pain and negative energy invites more of it into our lives, and we soon find ourselves surrounded by painful situations.

I’ve come to believe in this Law of Attraction, and although I forget to practice it much of the time, it helps so much when I do remember that we are in charge of our thoughts.  Our thoughts shape our feelings, perceptions, and our lives.  Like attracts like. Our word choices and where we put our energy are very important in this Law of Attraction. When I first heard about this, I did not believe it.  Then I practiced it and saw things change.  Our thoughts and beliefs really do attract or repel people and situations.  Our mindsets and attitudes shape our existence.  It’s wild.

The last couple of weeks or more, I have been in a cycle of some serious purging of old feelings, memories, and beliefs.  My class has a hand in this, and it’s been helpful. I’ve gone through this several times in my adult life, but this time is the most deep and intense healing session I’ve ever experienced. Medical nomenclature would call it PTSD, but since I am not a big fan of labels, let’s call it “healing”!  Let’s also say that I invited this; I put it into the universe that I wanted to heal, once and for all, so that I could move forward in my own life and on my journey to becoming a therapist.  I am tired of that wall in front of me and I am truly willing and ready to let it go now. And that kicked things into full gear.

I have periods of calm between the storms, and that is wonderful and also necessary.  It makes me think of the process of birth, and how we have contractions for a short time and then a period of rest.  Like birth can be, some of it is so uncomfortable and I am not sure I can handle it.  Then I think of my choices: move through it and keep an eye on my ultimate goal, or give up and succumb to the pain, going back to my old ways and keeping my old belief systems.

When I am in the thick of it and feeling like I want to quit or die: if I remember, I do a little bilateral stimulation, affirmations, and/or the “5 things” trick I learned from my friend, Meghan.  The “5 Things” trick works like this: when you are in your right brain, ie all emotion and no rationality, look around the room at 5 separate objects and label them.  It works almost immediately to connect you once again to your left brain and gets you to thinking more rationally.  Still, I have to feel the discomfort until my body is able to let it go.  It’s that discomfort that’s so hard to face.

The crappy result of all of this healing I am going through is that I have a very low threshold for other stress in my life. Needless to say, this affects my family and especially Alan. Luckily they are extremely forgiving, and amazingly, they continue to love me.  Then I have to pinch myself sometimes.  This continued love, despite my mistakes, goes against my mistaken beliefs that I have to be good to earn love.  They love me as I am, no matter what. That’s pretty wonderful and it’s also hard to believe sometimes. I deserve to be loved! I MATTER!

I am visualizing, thanks to Alan’s intuitive input, that there is a dark grey cloud inside of my body and it is slowly coming out, turning to dust and flying out the window.  That really helps me.  I can control the speed at which it comes out, and I can do it at the pace I am able to.  Then I can release it and send it away.

Anna had her 5th birthday this weekend.  Despite my emotional roller coaster ride, plus dealing with the sentimentalism I always feel on my kids’ birthdays, it was a delightful day.  Anna is a bundle of joy and delight, and she fills my heart with love.  Children are such a gift.  Love is such a gift.

Quote that I like

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.  The world will not have it.  It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions.  It is your business to keep yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.  ~ Martha Graham

Horizontal striving

I am thinking and feeling my way through this concept today, another Adlerian cornerstone:

Vertical striving versus horizontal striving.

All neuroses stem from living on the vertical axis, which means we rank ourselves in comparison to others.  We all do it from time to time in different situations and so forth.  When we live on the vertical axis all the time, we are not able to contribute to our community in a productive way. Life becomes a ranking game where you either win or lose.

Living on the horizontal axis means that we live under the belief that all people are equal.  No head is higher than one’s own, and no head is lower.  When we live this way, we cooperate and contribute.  When we live on the horizontal axis, we are not nervous, depressed, lonely, or overwhelmed all the time.  We feel good enough and we feel that all others are good enough, too.

This is where I am today, because I am really trying to remove that veil of inferiority that I’ve put over my head and had there for a long time.  I have been living vertically; I am either better than, or less than others, and feel like I am constantly being ranked.  It’s time to let that go.  It’s time to stop feeling scared and nervous about people.

Maybe by writing it here, I will be able to release this old and unhelpful perspective I’ve been living with.  This is something I really, really want to let go of.

Learning intensely

My schooling has been really intense the last few days.  Not so much in the “I’m studying and writing a lot” kind of way, but in the “I am learning everything about myself and it is freaking the crap out of me!” kind of way.

Digging deep and really figuring out who I am, not just who I wish I was or who I try to be or who I think others think I am—but who I really am—is totally nuts and terrifying and also very eye-opening, of course.

The class I am taking now is called Lifestyle Analysis.  We learn how to analyze a client’s Lifestyle, which is a term coined by Alfred Adler.  It shows who a person is, who she strives to be, how she perceives and relates to people and her environment, and why.  It is all very revealing and interesting and gives a clear picture of the client.  A major part of collecting a client’s Lifestyle is through Early Recollections, which is another Adlerian term.  In Early Recollections, a person gives a series of different memories from before the age of 10, in no particular order, and it doesn’t matter if they are factual or not.  They are given in the first person, and described from the beginning to the memory until the memory ends. What matters in the Early Recollections gathering is the metaphorical data and what it tells us about the client’s perspective.  Early Recollections tell us how a person lives her life now, in the present, and how they perceive themselves and the world around them.

My Early Recollections almost all involve me being alone or being only with my sister, doing something that is either a form of escape or satisfying my curiosity and/or my senses.  They involve being outside, and feeling good in the situation.  Through my ERs, I am categorized as a “comfort seeker”, among other traits. It’s unbelievable what little snippets like this can reveal.

Through my Early Recollections and Lifestyle Analysis, this is what I have learned about myself that I didn’t really consciously know until now. These are my Mistaken Beliefs:

People in power and people I admire hurt me.

People I admire cannot be trusted.

I do not want to be hurt, so I prefer to be away from people.

I get comfort through my senses, and not from people.

I use my own power to control my experience.

I take care of myself.

I protect myself.

Men are angry and powerful.

I have value when men approve of me.

There’s probably more to come, but that is where I am now.  The tears have been flowing today.  Once you get to that core and you hit the truth, it just comes pouring out.  Oh my God, and holy crap.  This is the work I have to do in order to become the therapist I want to be.  It’s also the work I have to do to live a full life and be the person I want to be.

I am kind of terrified right now.