Tag Archives | guilt

Transmuting the Terror of Intimacy

I spent a wonderful day at the river hanging out with a new friend on the weekend. We talked about and shared many thoughts and experiences I haven’t shared with anyone in a long time. It felt a bit surreal in ways, and I could feel my defenses always on the alert. My past pain and heartbreak always defining what might be potentially dangerous.

I woke up the next morning with one thought: what a great day it had been. Then, another part of my mind ran wild with all the reasons and thoughts about how he will never like me when he really gets to know all about me.

I felt layers of shame, guilt, fear, and terror come pouring through my mind and my body. I felt terrible and could sense my defenses rising with incredible speed to the possible threat of any kind of closeness or intimacy.

I could feel the urge to distract myself with activities or anything to avoid this discomfort. I chose to sit with all these feelings even as uncomfortable and painful as they were. I sat until I felt something in my heart begin to soften and change, taking each emotion in turn.

Then I felt the incredible deep sorrow and grief of being so disconnected for so long, and I cried from a very deep place inside. My heart ached with this deep sadness of feeling so alone.

I felt very ungrounded and chaotic inside after this enormous release and flood of feelings. My heart felt incredibly vulnerable and raw. As I checked in, I realized that the only thing that would help me shift from this place would be movement and riding my bike was going to be the ticket. I got on and rode rather desperately at first. It was as though all the chaos within needed a focal point to direct toward.

After the first half hour I felt a level of relief and within an hour was able to stop and eat and reflect a bit more on what had happened and how much better I was feeling. By the time I returned home after more than two hours, I felt profoundly better, stronger and clearer.

I had been able to embrace my pain and fears rather than push them away, and I could feel how much more of my own power and strength I could access. I could also feel how much less protection I have around my heart that had been keeping me from the possibility of intimacy.

As I write, I marvel at what an amazing experience it was to be able to sit with the distress and hold space for myself in order to enable it to transmute into power and possibility. This is a practice that I have been working with for years now, and in the past few months, have found more specific and clear direction on how to be with all of my emotions when they are triggered in a more direct and clear way.

Do you know when you are going into defense?

What awareness do you have when you feel triggered? Can you feel the trigger or do you find you knee jerk into reacting the same way every time?

What do you do with all the uncomfortable emotions that surface?

Is there anything you want to change about the way you currently deal with triggers in your life?



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Experiencing the Full Flow of Giving and Receiving

Yesterday I was out for a walk with my friend around Thetis Lake. It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon and Paul was sharing with me his recent experience with having his backpack stolen out of his friend’s car. His backpack was full of a number of items that had practical and sentimental value. He was sharing his feelings about it, as well as the opportunities he’d found in the experience.

When we got back to the car, my passenger door was unlocked (we had both double-checked before leaving to make sure they were locked) and all of my stuff in the car was strewn around on the floors.

The world seemed to slow down as I began to take in what had happened. I had tucked my purse under the seat and of course, all of the cash was gone. It was around $100 and yet, all of my ID, credit and debit cards were still there. I recognized how relieved I was that my credit cards and ID were there, and considering that, I didn’t feel too bad about the money being gone.

Then I realized I’d left my iPhone in my purse as well, thinking I didn’t need the distraction when we were out and I didn’t have any pockets to put it in. That triggered me tremendously. I use my phone for so many things every day and it is a private reflection of myself.

I could feel the anger and frustration rise and I started to cry as I was in Paul’s arms. Then I got angry and started stomping around the parking lot and was calling these thieves every name I could think of for invading my space and taking my stuff. I walked across the lot to ask some people hanging out if they’d seen anything and the tears continued to flow.

In the mean time, Paul had phoned Rogers so I could cancel my phone service and was following me across the lot with the phone so I could give my information to the representative.

We’d planned to go to Costco as I had to pick something up, so Paul drove. As he was driving, I felt all these intense and powerful feelings coursing through my body: the guilt and shame of having left my purse in the first place, the disbelief of how someone can go through another’s private stuff, that someone feels justified taking from another without asking, and gratitude that all my ID was still there.

I numbly walked into Costco and grabbed a couple of things. I then realized that they had also taken my voucher cheque for $64 that I’d intended to spend. I informed a staff member and she took me right over to cancel it and have another reissued.

During all of this interaction and phone calling, the majority of people responded with, “Oh yeah, that has happened to me so many times,” or “Just last week someone took my phone,” and “I’m so sorry.”

Paul continued to drive while offering possible solutions to the missing phone. When we got home, he insisted we go together to Rogers immediately and deal with replacing my phone. I agreed and we did. After a lengthy period of time including him insisting that they address replacing my phone as soon as possible, a new phone was ordered, I got a loaner phone in the meantime and we came back home.

He left and then I observed myself feeling more normal, amazingly calm and together. I phoned a friend to share this crazy adventure and found that there was little to no charge concerning the entire event as I talked about it. It was astounding to me.

As I shared the story, I realized that the safety I felt having Paul there holding all the space was crucial for me to be able to fully express all the emotions flooding through my system. It allowed me to feel them all and they moved through, rather than getting stuck. We kept moving and I kept talking. Each thing we did to clear things up allowed me to feel empowered, seen and heard.

The reason this is so profound for me is that I have spent the majority of my life in numb. From a very early age whenever something traumatic would happen to me, I would shut down and detach and then be unable to move or do anything. In fact, I had just touched some of those old emotions prior to our hike when I found out about a deadly landslide where we used to live, which evoked similar emotions to an event when I was 22 years old and my best friend was killed. I was frozen and numb for years following that.

It has taken years to move from that place of numb to yesterday when I had the internal permission and safety of Paul’s presence to feel and express it all in a very short period of time. Knowing I was being taken care and supported along with finding my way out of numb over the years made it possible to move through it all so quickly.

In letting go of the money and my phone, I was in turn able to receive the help of a friend and allow him to hold space for me through an avalanche of emotion. He even paid for half the cost of my replacement phone.

Giving and receiving fully is stepping into the full flow of life. Whoever took the money and phone can have them. I wish them well and hope that one day they will have the opportunity to remember their own innate goodness.

In turn, I am open to receive all that life has to offer me in return.


p.s.  Since the initial writing of this experience I have been receiving on a daily basis supportive and unexpected gifts including a late payment from a session months ago that almost covers the amount of money taken and a grant for helping to hire someone to provide respite care for Raven a few hours a week. I’m excited and curious about what may be coming next.

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The Trap of Fixing Others

From the time I was a very small child, I grew up thinking and believing that it was my job to make things better for others and to take care of them. I thought it was up to me to fix them, to try to make them happy and to somehow keep peace in our house.

In fact, after high school I went to University and studied nursing because I felt that I wanted to learn how to really help others in a bigger way. I took my work very seriously and felt incredibly responsible for whether or not someone was able to improve.

I didn’t know it at the time, though looking back on it now I realize that I personally carried the burden of others’ unhappiness, depression and anger, as well as sickness and illness. It was an incredibly heavy load and there were times when I felt the stress of significant burnout during many of those years of my life.

When I finally decided I was ready and able to begin my own practice using alternative therapies initially, and later specifically focusing on Craniosacral Therapy, I still felt that it was up to me to make things happen and to fix what was wrong with myself and with others.

What I thought was a deep desire to be of service to others and to help them, was actually the continuation of an old pattern of feeling and taking responsibility for others’ difficulties and challenges to the point of feeling guilty when I didn’t succeed in making things better for them.

It has taken many years for me to slowly realize and to put into practice that it is not up to me to know how to fix anyone or anything. This includes myself. I’ve spent years trying to figure out what is wrong with me and then to make all kinds of attempts at fixing me.

I’ve told myself so many times that if only I “do this exercise (or tapping or whatever it may be), every day, I’m sure it will fix my self-esteem and I will finally be successful, meet the right man or have financial abundance.” The cycles are crazy making and at times I felt much worse because it didn’t seem to work at all.

The Simple Solution

What I’ve come to realize and learn over time is that all I need to do is to be with what is inside of me. I’m learning that when I drop inside to watch my thoughts, my emotions, my body, my energy and my connection to Divine right now, I can access my own Truth and begin to live from my heart.

This is one of the first steps of what Christian Pankhurst calls Heart Intelligence. By accessing what I know in each moment, I can know what is true for me now, as well as more and more of the time. It is a practice that requires dedication and time. With this specific focus, I feel profound shifts within myself as I use this method of witnessing on a daily basis.

If you find that this is touching your heart in a way that says “Yes, that is exactly what I’ve been looking for,” I am incredibly excited to share that we will be learning and practicing these skills and many others at the Thursday evening Heart Circles called, Through the Looking Glass.

Community is an essential aspect of this practice. We need one another to assist in amplifying the field so that we can really learn and integrate this information, bringing it deeply into the cells of our being. The next circle will be meeting on July 12th at 6:30 at my office. You can check this out for more details.

I know that some of you do not live in the Victoria area and may feel that this is something you want to explore. Please contact me to explore the possibilities in having heart circles by phone or skype. If this truly calls you, let’s find ways make it possible.



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