Fear of Separation is Always at the Heart of Anxiety

waving goodbye

The biggest epidemic in our societies today is separation (disconnection with self and the world)  It is this feeling that leads people to suffer with low self esteem, live a life where they find it difficult to be true to themselves and ultimately dis-ease.   So why do we feel separate?  We send our children to childcare and nursery school, separating them from the essential mother child bond for hours at a time before they are barely able to hold their heads up.  Many families are separated by broken marriages.   Many families who live together live quite separate lives.  Many of us don’t know our neighbours. We travel separately and don’t meet in towns as we used to.  Isn’t it amazing when it snows and we meet people in the street, walking to town to get some bread because the Waitrose delivery lorry couldn’t get through and our car won’t start? That’s my favourite day of the year!

Some of us choose a form of spirituality that continues in us this feeling of separateness. We separate ourselves from the rest of the world when we feel that we have the answers.  We separate ourselves from the goodness of the world when we decide that we have to eat this food and that food and do this thing and that thing just to survive on the planet.  We separate ourselves from our very beings when we try to empty ourselves in spiritual practices and meditation.  We separate ourselves from God when we decide that we are in control and that we can use the power of our thoughts to draw to ourselves what we want.

Anxiety has little to do with being dependent on a significant other.  This is simply the symptom.  The cause is a sense of separation that runs deep in the core of our being.  It may have happened at our birth or in childhood, we may have inherited it from our parents but however it happened, I believe it is our deepest journey to find our sense of safety within ourselves and the world.  When we find that feeling, we will no longer tolerate separateness and we will do everything in our power to create strong bonds with our children, our families and the world.  We will fall into God’s arms and gladly admit that we can’t do it on our own.

All we all really want is to feel safe, loved and at home in ourselves and the world.

Proprioception Problems – Push Against a Wall or Connect with Your Passion? Your Choice

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Heavy energy                                                           Vibrant energy

 

What is Proproception?

Proprioception is the ability to feel our connection with the world around us – whether that is the chair we are sitting on or the pair of scissors we are cutting with. Or is it? Could it run a lot deeper than that? Could it actually be rooted in our connection or disconnection with ourselves?

My son who is 11 and I both have proprioception problems (in terms of struggling to feel our connection with the physical world) but we both reject standard forms of therapy such as lifting weights or pushing ourselves against a wall. if we try these things we find we actually feel worse.  On a deeper level we seem to feel an emptiness and feel more disconnected than ever.

So what should we do?

We need to find a different way to feel connected. We need to stop being too concerned about the strange feelings of our struggle with proprioception and find better feelings. And the better feelings are always about connecting with ourselves. And they are always 3 things:

Connecting with our voices

Connecting with our hearts

Connecting with our power to be ourselves.

And when we do that there are things that we enjoy more than anything else and that fill us to the brim more than anything else and these are RELATIONSHIP and CREATIVITY.

When we are spending time with someone we find warm, engaging and interesting and are actively contributing to that experience we feel GOOD

When we tune into our intuition and do something creative straight from our hearts we feel GOOD.

So . . .push against a wall or connect with your passion? . . . YOUR CHOICE!

 

Light Watchers in Winter!

So what do the colour sensitive do in winter?

Well, I guess we are all different, but for me the light feels very clear sometimes in the winter and and this makes my head feel more clear than in the summer when I really struggle to process.

I love to create with music in the winter because I am happier with sounds and rhythms and actually enjoy hearing them dancing together!

I hope you enjoy my first guitar loop video!

What is Really at the Heart of Adult Separation Anxiety?

holding hands 2

I have always suffered with separation anxiety and still do as an adult but slowly slowly I am finding my way through the complex maze that is this condition.

For me the anxiety is that bad that I haven’t wanted my husband to go out to the corner shop or the doctors without me. I have trailed along here, there and everywhere because I have been too afraid to be by myself. 

I have wanted to change but just haven’t been able to make that first step. 

But this year I decided to have a play with the anxiety, to try to test its boundaries and get inside it to find its heart. 

The first thing I decided to do was to make sure my husband recognises it as a real problem. If we run out of onions and he says “I could always go up the corner shop  but there again you probably won’t let me out.” then we have lost before we have started.  In the same way if he goes out and comes back 10 minutes later and I say I struggled and he laughs because to him it is funny to miss someone in such a short time, then we have no where to go from here. I feel humiliated and guilty and the pattern starts once more.  I must say at this point that my husband is possibly the kindest man on the planet so if he has misunderstood my needs I know it is because he is human.

So . . I explained to my husband that the anxiety is obviously a problem, otherwise we would have had a very different lifestyle a long time ago. 

Next I decided on a realistic step. When I look out of my work room at home I can see into the next street (a gap between some houses) and by road this a 10 minute walk from our house. I thought it would be fun if my husband walked to that spot and then waves at me. We tried to add the fun of the tracker on his phone but unfortunately we couldn’t get this to work. My husband left the house, I timed 10 minutes and then sure enough there he was waving at me from our chosen spot. 

How did I feel in those 10 minutes? Empowered, confident, happy!

Where do I go from here? I don’t know yet? I gave up guilt when I admitted I had the condition and so there is no standard to achieve for me to feel good enough. We will go where the adventure takes us.

The important elements in taking that first step were HONESTY, SINCERITY, KNOWING AND ASKING FOR MY NEEDS, PLAYFULNESS . . . AND BEING PREPARED TO MOVE FORWARDS ONE STEP AT A TIME!

So . . what is at the heart of separation anxiety . . . . I think, a feeling that you are silly because you don’t like being by yourself!

 

Antibiotics or Talking about Connection? – My Choice!

jaw pain

I have had a hec of a Christmas!

Nearly every year I suffer with jaw pain at Christmas. It usually starts three weeks before Christmas and builds to some sort of crescendo around Christmas Day! Over the year I have named it Christmasitis!

And this year I planned an easy, no pressure, cosy little family Christmas. So how could it all go so wrong?

Because . . . I can only connect with myself in any moment of time and that means I could feel  anything. I might feel quiet, feisty, inspired, introspective, active, inactive, sociable or more insular. I might feel any way on Christmas Day!

And. . . I can’t pretend and I can’t act.

This year I was enjoying my simple, cosy little family Christmas in the first instance . . .or was I? I seem to remember in the morning I tidied out the entire games cupboard. I was deciding which coloured games were good for me at this time of year (as you do, or rather, as most people don’t do!) Then I remember having a little strop about having too many boxes in the hall and pleading with my husband to take some of them to the garage or put them in the loft! But oh no!  It was Christmas Day – How dare I have a little strop?!

By 2:00 my jaw pain was starting to develop on the right side of my face so I took some pain killers. By tea time I absolutely couldn’t eat. I didn’t sleep that night, took more pain killers  and the next day phoned the out of hours dentist. He suggested it could be a tooth infection or a sinus infection. We spent Boxing Day going to town for some antibiotics.

The thing is . . . I don’t really think I have an infection but I have never taken so many tablets in a couple of days. Usually I am wary when it comes to pain killers. But this time the pain has been different. It has been a deep emotional pain and at times I have cried real deep tears. I have just been willing to do anything to numb the terrible pain. But it isn’t really going and that is why I am writing this.

Because . . . It is OK to be myself, it is to ask for my needs and it is OK to speak my truth – on any day of the year! (even if it’s Christmas!)

Why Don’t We Teach Healing as a Craft?

J: What do you mean by healing through creativity?
Jennie: I mean that healing is a process.  Rather than being about shifting stuff and clearing the old it is more about transformation – like moulding a beautiful pot.
J: How do we heal creatively?
Jennie: By being self aware and observing our thoughts and feelings particularly the way that we react to people and situations in our life and then pondering on our reactions and asking for insight.
J: Could you give me an example?
Jennie: Today I was late for a therapy session and on my way there in the car I felt tension building in my arms and shoulders. I didn’t ignore or fight the sensations – I simply observed them and asked myself what I feeling emotionally.  I found that one moment I was feeling how important the session was and the next moment I was disassociating with my feelings.
J: What did you do next?
Jennie: I received insight that my symptoms were related to my feelings about having support. I could also see how the situation I found myself in that morning was bringing all these feelings to the surface?
J: What do you mean?
Jennie: Well, I’d only booked my therapy session the day before and in order to be able to go I had to have a lot of support. I needed my husband to drive me there, I had to find someone to look after my son before school,  I cancelled a dentist appointment, we all had to get up early and drive across town in the rush-hour! I knew this session was important but as the time grew closer I began to doubt more and more my right to have all the support I was having that morning. The doubt led to the symptoms
J: Where did this insight lead you?
Jennie: It became the basis of my therapy session and I was able to work through some of my feelings about receiving support.
J: So does healing through creativity mostly happen through self awareness and asking for insight?
Jennie: These things take people a long way but we also need to express our healing and we need an outlet for this.
J: Do you mean we need to talk about our process?
Jennie: Well sort of.  All creativity needs an outlet. There is no point in painting a picture and then putting it in a drawer. When I paint, write or create music, some of the work I do is my own personal journey but sometimes I want my work to be seen and heard. Healing is a craft or skill, something we can hone and be proud of.
J: Are you proud of your skill at healing?
Jennie: Yes, I am but I don’t think other people recognise it!
J: Why do think this is?
Jennie: Well, it is not a recognised skill. You can’t get a PhD in creative healing – well not yet anyway!  And some people think that is very self indulgent and that while you are choosing to heal you are not being much use in society.
J: Do you think this is true?
Jennie: No. I think if we are to heal others we have to heal ourselves first. The path of the healer certainly has a selfless quality.
J: Going back to what you said about expression, could you say more about this?
Jennie: Yes. I suppose when I have insights I am excited about them because healing is a passion.  I naturally want to share my insights with someone I think will understand them just as I might want to share a painting with someone who ‘gets’ my art.
J: Do you actually enjoy your own healing?
Jennie: This is an interesting question.  What has made it hardest to enjoy my healing has been my difficulty with receiving support and my difficulty with intimacy.  What I have enjoyed about my healing is seeing transformation at work in me.  In therapy this has led me through times of beautiful openness, rich closeness, feeling held, loved, cared about and this has been both enjoyable and deeply enriching.  Also there have been times of struggle, feeling pain and discomfort – emotional, mental and physical, times of feeling lost and helpless, times of uncertainty about the therapeutic relationship and feelings of deep and unsatisfied need.
J: Do you think the good feelings have out-weighed the difficult ones?
Jennie: I don’t think we can see it that way. If we are determined to heal we have to take the rough with the smooth.  Some phases may feel very bumpy and hard and others may feel a lot softer and kinder.
J: Do you think people need to share their journey and their insights to heal?
Jennie: I don’t think it is essential or the only way to work but I think it adds another dimension. I think if we can see healing as something exciting, dynamic and transformative it lifts us out of the mindset that healing is simply about working through and shifting stuff.
J: Do you think healing could be taught more as a skill?
Jennie: I think that would be amazing and it is definitely my life’s work!

 

 

Deep Feelings – Processing for Others!

beachball

Have you ever had a situation where you have gone through something traumatic and your child seems to have ‘picked up’ your feelings . Maybe after the event you notice a change in their behaviour or they seem fatigued or distanced. Below is a simple way that you can help your child process trauma or difficult situations – either their own experiences or other peoples’

Our story:  ‘Healing Mum’s Trauma’

I had an implant and Luca (8)  was in the waiting room. This conversation took place 4 days after the event.

Jennie (Mum): What’s the matter? You don’t seem right today?

Luca: I think I have caught your dentist time. It has got stuck in me and I can’t get it out.

Jennie (Mum) : Oh dear, I wonder how you could let go of that.  Could you draw or paint it out?

Luca: I don’t think I can let go of it because if I let it out it will smash.

Jennie (Mum): Why would it smash? What does this thing look like?

Luca: It is like a rock in a tube.

Jennie (Mum): Become the rock. What does it feel like to be the rock?

Luca: Well, I am made from lots of different things and trying to protect myself

Jennie (Mum) What are you trying to protect?

Luca: My core.

Jennie (Mum) What does it feel like to be your core?

Luca: I’m a pebble.

Jennie (Mum) Why are you trying to protect your core?

Luca: Because then I won’t feel any bad feelings.

Jennie (Mum): Is this about me going to the dentist

Luca: Yes, I think so.

Jennie (Mum): Maybe it’s OK to feel those feelings. Maybe you’re processing them for me. I had a little cry after the dentist. Maybe you need a little cry too. Perhaps you felt my pain.

Luca: Yes, I think I did.(looking weepy and as if he is trying to hold in tears)

Jennie (Mum): It’s ok to cry. When we have a hard shell things can hurt us and puncture us but when we are soft, sharp things can’t get through. They still touch us but they just go ping, we go ‘Ah’  and they fall to the ground.

Luca laughs

Jennie (Mum): After all the softest membrane is the strongest of them all!

To read more about this way of working with your sensitive child and how to heal or help others heal by embracing the power of vulnerability please read my book ‘The Beauty of Vulnerability – Being Healed & Being a Healer’

 

 

Healing Story – “Doctor, Doctor, I’ve Got Too Much Energy!!”

tulip

We don’t usually go to the doctor and tell him/her that we have too much energy do we?But sometimes I think I should!  I believe that sometimes the root of health conditions isn’t a lack of energy but actually having a lot and we just don’t feel able to express it. This could be because we feel blocked or held back by an issue or in more extreme cases we have actually disconnected with parts of ourselves. If this happens our energy can’t flow through us and out into the world. Its either like having a bottle with a cork in it or in the case of disconnection it is like trying to move water through a tube that has kinks in it.

Our passion is like a fire and if we can’t express it , the fire can turn inwards and cause all sorts of havoc in our bodies and our whole selves. Our passion. . our purpose . . our gifts  – we need to connect with them . The world needs them but just as much, we need them and we need to let them out!