Primal Po meets Modern Man

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From the archives is the post all about  the Po. The alchemical spirit of the lungs and how we can incorporate this ancient wisdom of the most primal aspect of ourselves into our modern worlds .

 

I have all these incredibly intellectual ideas and theories to share on the soma; the physical body, and its responses and how the Po is an expression of the innate wisdom of our cellular bodies. And I”m sure I’ll get to that at some point… there is an endless amount of information I can share from this elemental point of view.

 

What I am really feeling tonight when I think about the Po is the gentrification of the body and the senses and how thats effecting our health and our relationship with our bodies wellness. Oh is that all… the ‘gentrification’ of the body!!

The Po is experienced through our senses, taste, texture, scent, sight. Its the automatic functions of our bodies like breathing and peristalsis (digestion). Its experienced in that space between our skin (our awareness of where we start and stop) and the outside world. Its the animalistic aspects of our functioning bodies and our psyche.

 

Its all the bits we have no control over yet constantly inform our likes dislikes and urges. 

 And as highly functioning modern upright people, we have a few issues with these urges and tastes don’t we? ( This is where the gentrification bit come in ) Our minds and intellect, and our hearts and dreams would have us operating from an almost utopian platform. We have been culturally disciplined to detach and suppress the so called less attractive aspects of our bodies and minds. There is much that still today we wouldn’t dare discuss ‘in public’ . And yet much of these taboo subjects include basic bodily functions that are quite essential to our wellbeing and survival ( think poo and sex ).

So what happens when we suppress the Po and ignore the innate wisdom of our bodies and trust that connection between the body and the mind? Pain and ‘psychosomatic’ symptoms ranging from stress-related skin disorders, eating disorders and chronic undiagnosable pain.

 

Our bodies only ‘language’ is our nervous system and its through this system that it will try and get its messages across to us. They sound something like this.

 

“Hey, you up there! ” (patient pause for response) “Hey! We don’t think you should be eating that… (another patient pause) HEY!!!! (huddle together for a brain storm) I know, we’ll create some pain, that’ll do it. (patient pause) Damn it they just took a pain killer….. hmmmm Ok Ok I’ve got it, some red skin that always gets them ok GO!

 

Ok so this isn’t exactly scientific but you get my point. The bodies wisdom; the innate cellular wisdom, that gut feeling, intuition, or a ‘sense of knowing’, does actually need to be heard occasionally! Or, quite simply there are consequences. Now this doesn’t mean that we have to go all primal and throw out all the other functions. The other spirits have their place.

 

Ideally they work together. Depending on our own make up and our cultural learnings some are going to be more easily integrated than others. Myself, I live in this visceral world of experiencing life through the Po. I probably give this spirit way too much free rein! What does that look like?

 

Senses, texture and environment are paramount to the Metal element. There are always scented candles burning and fresh flowers and my house has always been full of animals (lets not mention the bats here ok). I work physically with peoples bodies. I have a bathroom full of more oil and lotions than any one body is ever going to be able to absorb and I spend almost more time in the ocean than on dry land. In winter this is replaced by the bath tub (Tonights blog is proudly bought to you by Embody Bath Salts). Textured cushions, natural fibres, LOTS of colour, really I could go on and on. If this sounds like you and your saying, well thats every modern woman surely, I’ll tell you sadly this is not so.

 

This genuine external expression of the Po is matched with an internal nourishment and respect of that animal instinct. The ability to ‘check in’ with our bodies and interpret its metaphorical language. This I believe is becoming quite a rare ability as we seek to cover up, pretty up and medicate the aspects of ourselves that we don’t like, don’t ‘fit’ or are fearful of. To bring that full circle and back to the bodies I spend my day working with, this results in disharmony. Disharmony of mind and body expressing its self in pain and inflammation of increasing severity.

As I read this I realise this really is my primary function with my treatments. To work as an interpreter for the body and to translate the pain and inflammation that my clients are experiencing so they might heal themselves. What can you do to nourish your Po? Well, any of the above is great, experiencing your senses, in what ever way is fun for you. (You don’t have to turn it into the extreme sport as I tend to do)

One of the easiest ways is to simply ‘check in’ with you body. When I think this or eat this how do I feel? more or less calm?  more or less tight in my shoulders? BREATHE! yep just slowly calmly breathe. You’ll be surprised to find just how often your holding your breathe.

 

To finish off, here is a quote from one of my favourite books “Five Spirits” that so beautifully articulates the place I wish to take my practice.

By Lorie Eve Dechar. Lantern Books 2006

 

“When the acupuncture needle penetrates the surface of the skin, there is a moment of silence, an emptiness, a wondering and not knowing. When the metal needle meets the living body, there is a silence, a pause …before the tiny whirlwind spins and the qi redirects its course. For thousands of years, the intentions of healers and patients have met in that single breathless emptiness, that turning point of the soul that is the moment of transformation.

Perhaps, as we open to another form of consciousness, the present silence of our world will become that empty turning point, that breathless moment of change.  Perhaps, if one by one we humans reclaim our vision of a living cosmos imbued with intention and intelligence and illuminated by wisdom, we will become like ten thousand silver needles penetrating and healing the body of the earth. Then perhaps , through healing our planet, we will heal ourselves and hear again the songs that the stones of the earth are singing to the clouds of heaven .”

 

x

K

 

Qi Follows the Yi – Part Two

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Ah Yes! The good ol’ a picture tells a 1000 words!

The 5 elements that I have been banging on about for practically ever work together in this 5 pointed star type arrangement. If you follow around the circle in a clockwise direction you get the nourishing cycle. This is how things work in harmony. You can simplify it if you put it into terms of what would happen in nature. For example we need water to nourish new plants (wood) so there can be growth and then in turn those trees feed fires… and on it goes around.
The star cycle that criss crosses shows us how things are kept in check. Keeping it simple as I can metal ‘controls’ wood….(metal chops down trees) makes a bit of sense right? It does get a little bit trickier when we bring the organs in, especially knowing how complex their functioning is from a western point of view, let alone Chinese Philosophy!
But keeping it simple… you know how I love to keep things simple, an example would be when we eat lots of cold forming foods, e.g. dairy and our digestion doesn’t process this effectively the Earth function of transforming our foods into fuel we can use diminishes. This affects his friend the Metal element (next in line) resulting in a build up of phlegm in the lungs, skin issues or constipation…….. kinda making sense Yes? Think children with allergies resulting in rashes.

So here we have a super fun chart of all the stuff that can go wrong when the energy is going in the opposite direction! In this picture we are looking at what happens when our negative thoughts and emotions start to get away with us!

Earlier on in this blog I talked about how our Qi (energy/ fuel) follows our Yi (thoughts/ concentration). This theory works in regards to all our mental / emotional experiences as wherever we are placing our focus and attention our energy will go. So when we experience an excess of any emotion this begins to tax the correlating organ and can set up, in long term situations, real physical pathology.

Now, I’m not one to want to bum out my readers so I’m going to turn this little chart into a silver lining. When we understand the very real interactions of these emotions and the physiological effects they are having on us we can begin to see and slowly master what we need to do in order to regulate these feelings that are not always super helpful.

I’m not saying here for a second the emotions are not an essential and necessary part of our biological vocabulary, but sometimes for a whole range of reasons real and imaginary we can get stuck in one or two of them, long after the correlating situation is long gone. Challenging situations in life can also be ongoing and without some way of managing our emotional responses these situations can and do often get on top of us.

My favourite example to explain this is by looking at the liver and the lungs.

The Liver is damaged by anger and frustration, or conversely an unhealthy liver ( one fed with chips, refined sugar and alcohol for e.g.) creates the emotional state of anger and frustration. Either way over a prolonged period of time this unhappy liver consumes more energy than can be created by its pal the kidneys and the water element and this sets up the right conditions for fear to become the predominate emotional state.

As a side note this also very simply explains how some recreational drugs damage the liver and set up the conditions required for paranoia and other fear based behaviours.

Anyway I digress…. Where do we look to balance and mediate this grumpy liver syndrome? Across the way to the lungs of course! The lungs positioned where they are above the diaphragm and above the liver on the right hand side are in the perfect spot to massage the Liver into a much better frame of mind. Slow deep breathing, gentle exercise or yoga is the ideal way to nourish this controlling cycle and re create balance in the five elements. Now I have to admit a grumpy person is not as likely to respond so well to …. darling do some downward dog…… but maybe a house rule of “walk off the grump” is a good idea?

The elements all work in their own way to regulate their counterpart;
The liver with its decisiveness and ability to create strong boundaries steps in when the the earth elements tendency to worry and obsess gets out of hand. The water element cools the fire of impatience with humility, this might be in the form of increased hydration or extra sleep, I mean, how hot headed are we when we’re over tired?
The stillness and meditative qualities of the spleen are helpful when managing an over worked water element. Remember this relates to will power and our adrenals. Each has its place and role in maintaing our overall emotional health, which in turn helps create our physical health and visa versa.

Keep this in mind next time you find yourself stuck in the rut of the same old emotional story running around our minds. Let the emotion move thorough you, and do what you can to support yourself.
(And feel free to let me know if any of this makes sense or if I need to do a little more explaining! )

Go Gently

K
x

Sex + Wealth + Self Esteem

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I have been sitting on this post for a long time. About a year actually. Its taken that long for me to be really sure there was a necessary message here and that I wasn’t coming from a reactive place, because for a long time I was. You see this is a pretty personal post, but one after a lot of deliberation I really want to share.

I woke up one day last year, to find myself in an abusive relationship. There,  I said it. Done.

The tricky thing is that I wasn’t just in one abusive relationship. I was in two. One with the man I was with and one with myself. I’ll let you sit with this for a moment because its an important thing to understand, that one couldn’t happen without the other. This has nothing to do with blame or fault or making things that aren’t ok, ok. Its about knowing what kind of environment things need to grow in.

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Let me give you a bit of a back story to this monumental day in my life, the day I set myself free from a lifetimes belief that bound me to thinking small, dreaming small and keeping myself playing small when in relationships… which is to say, all the time, forever since the beginning of time!

I’m not great at being in a relationship and taking care of myself… out of respect for your boredom and the people involved lets just let that sit as a happy generalisation. (No one got hurt in the making of that generalisation so we’re going to run with it)

But what I learnt that day is that I had been hard wired somehow to believe that within an intimate relationship I needed to play small, keep quiet, and restrict my fabulosity….to get my basic needs met.

Now just sit still for another sec and let that sink in….because it’s bloody ouchy yes?

Yes it is.

How had this happened? Where had this come from?

Well I’m not alone here I know but once again for the respect of all involved lets just say my childhood was a little tricky.

Its was also loving and wonderful, and awkward and dreadful but right now we’re talking about the tricky stuff ok? Stick with me!

One of the things I have retrospectively understood is that children growing up in abusive environments learn to make a whole bunch of stuff that isn’t ok .. ok.  Your a kid, someone else provides a roof over your head and puts food on the table and presents under the xmas tree. All these things and the stuff that isn’t ok are somehow linked in your child mind so you just make it ALL ok…. its the reality.

You learn real quick that to keep quiet, make it all ok and keep the peace is a really important skill and all this is linked to getting some basic needs met, and being loved…. thats also a really basic need BTW!

Gawd that’s heavy right?!!

Now many years later as a grown woman running her own business I’ve been busy working out how to ‘attract wealth’ and ‘manifest abundance’  …. you get the picture. For the first time instead of doing all the usual woo woo, om shanti courses I know and love…. I started taking some more mainstream business courses.

Now to say that I had some resistance to this is a MASSIVE understatement! But where there is resistance there is juice… so off I trotted. It turns out the bunch of people I was to do these courses with knew a thing or two, but still…. there was resistance.

 

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So back to the day of my aha moment.

Here I was noticing all this resistance to working through my stuff. To learning new ways to run my business and attract abundance in all its forms. I was also living in what I now affectionately call Fear Soup.

This unhealthy relationship I was in brought to my attention that I REALLY avoid at all costs ANYTHING (in relationships) that feels uncomfortable and will twist myself into all manner of pretzel shapes to avoid being in that uncomfortable situation. This usually includes playing small, ‘keeping nice’ and experiencing what ever unacceptable behaviour comes my way to keep the peace.

Now as anyone with any experience in ‘woo woo ‘ practices will know, that until you GET the lesson, the universe will keep sending you a bigger and louder version of the lesson you are refusing to see.

So I continued to live in Fear Soup and the incidents of scary totally not ok behaviour escalated and my abusive relationship with myself continued.

Let me be really clear here that by referring to my relationship with myself I am not making anything that isn’t ok ok.

If your reading this and your in an unsafe situation

and there are things happening in your life that your not ok with.

Then they are NOT ok.

Period.

For me in writing this and recognising the internal environment that I had going on lets me step away from the duality of victim and perpetrator. I’m not interested in that model at all. AT ALL. By acknowledging my beliefs and experiences I get to be self empowered and thats a pretty big deal.

 So things finally got to the point where I was so emotionally uncomfortable that I had no where else to go but to feel the discomfort I was in. I remember that I could barely even sit still. I couldn’t meditate,  I couldn’t write. I had numbed out totally in a bid to avoid feeling what was going on for me and what was getting louder and more obviously not ok in my relationship.

Then one day there was no where else to run and the discomfort of not feeling was suddenly more uncomfortable than feeling. So finally I just sat with being very uncomfortable and scared and not knowing….. and I didn’t even have to do it for very long until…. Shazam!

I uncovered that little gem of a belief that says its ok to be treated like crap and to play small as long as someone says they love you and are going to provide for you. This had lived in my brain for all these years kept ‘safe’ by the fact that I was never going to go near it as it was so damn uncomfortable! You starting to see how this all works? How these beliefs protect themselves, yes?

I saw very clearly why I would have been attracted to this particular relationship and that truly the only way for me to uncover this limiting belief was to blow it up nice and large with surround sound so I would see it for what it is.

Money, safety, self worth and the belief that I am enough and worthy of love free of charge with no catch with no need to fix, salvage, or experience abuse are all wrapped up in one rather warped little package….. or I should say WERE wrapped up.

So now this is a pretty damn big deal…. I mean a really big deal, this I think truly was the most freeing moment of my life, no kidding. Whilst its all very fabulous to broadcast ones AHA moments on the interweb for the entire planet to witness I’m not really that much of an extrovert and this is a REALLY sensitive topic. As I said earlier I have sat on this post for a long time and its continued to blink at me, waiting for the time to be right, why? Well I think its because  as women in business heck as women full stop we need to be having more open conversations like this. Conversations with more options available to us other than, victim and perpetrator.

As a woman I am by no means alone in these links, assumptions and beliefs, and so long as they are running unchecked in your subconscious (my/our subconscious)…. they are running the show, THE. WHOLE. SHOW. setting the bar for how much your going to be valued (regardless of how many attract wealth courses you do) and how well your going to be treated, by yourself as well as others.

I have conversations around these topics all the time with my coaching clients, because to truly shine and be all of you unrestricted by these beliefs we need to go digging a little. Not all the time. Not until your ready.

Another push to publish this post was a reading a blog from a new author @KateNorthrup. I have inhaled with delight her first book #moneyalovestory. Its just divine. In it she talks about these sorts of associations we have with money and self worth and the physical symptoms that  can show up and certainly did for me. It was a bittersweet moment of validation as a I read her book and in it the whispered words of encouragement … share your story, it has value…..

For me there is a very large space now that needs to be filled with healthy values about self respect and self love and self worth that will set the tone for all transactions and currencies in my future. Within relationships, work settings, heavens even the pricing on the content of my work hinges on these beliefs.

Before we can go setting the new programs, we have to dig deep, we have to be prepared to sit still in the uncomfortable places with ourselves and reveal whats underlying our experiences that is helping to create such a dysfunctional reality. (Be that the bullying boss the abusive spouse or financial situation that despite ‘all the right things’ just isn’t budging )

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So my situation eventually improved. I managed to extricate myself out of the relationship I was in. None too gracefully I might add! I didn’t talk about it for quite some time. For those people who weren’t in my closest Goddess Circle who knew the situation, it looked like I was walking away from the perfect relationship. Thats how these things work. But now a year down the track, I comfort myself with the understanding that on a soul level we had an agreement. That he would treat me is such an appalling way so I would learn the most important lesson of my life. Thats how I see it now. Trust is slow to rebuild. Those synapses are slow to transform, but I’m getting there. And so will you gorgeous reader. I know you will. Be brave, be bold. Value yourself ok, ’cause your so damn loveable. Yes you are!

xx

K

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Constellation of the Heart

Contellation

Well hello there gorgeous new reader peeps!

This is one straight out of the archives from my old blog over on Blogger… I have kept it intact so I could keep the bats… yes the bats … you’ll see. I’m so delighted to have you on board, there will be more updates from me soon, but for the mean while enjoy…..

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As I sit down tonight ready to write the post that I have been composing in my head for most of the day I realise tonight isn’t her night…..something else has made its presence felt and I’m not quite sure how I’m going to manage it!

Tonight will be about the Shen and the heart and the internal fire that steers us onward on our own little life paths.

How do I write about the Shen? And how do I make is seem accessible and meaningful in todays world? Not just something that we see and read as poetic, but ultimately inapplicable to our daily practical lives?

I’m not sure, but this is where I will start…

The Shen is the soul that resides in the heart, which is of the fire element, the colour red and the emotion of joy. This is soul most like what we in the west would call the ‘soul’. The light of life that is reflected in the eyes of a happy vibrant person, that extra spark that we see in people that are calm and composed and radiant.

When happily ‘housed’ in the heart the Shen is often talked about as a small flock of birds that when at peace reside contentedly in the heart  (cue the pigeons cooing!) When shocked or subject to strong emotion or conflict the birds flee, dispersing in all directions. This leaves us feeling uncentered, ungrounded and confused, not sure of what our true purpose is and quite literally asking ourselves what do I do now?

Most of us unfortunately will have felt this feeling; a car accident, receiving shocking news. My Shen most definitely flew the coop the night my dog was hit by a car. (He and my Shen are both doing well in rehab!)

 

This feeling though and the disturbance of the Shen isn’t reserved for these more extreme events. The fast pace of our lives and the modern environments we are creating and living in don’t always serve our highest needs. The noise, static and relentless pace rattles our emotional body, exhausts our physical body and the shen, lacking sufficient protection becomes disturbed.  Zen Master Robert Aitkens has been quoted as saying that the shock many of us are living in has us “rationalising ourselves into insensitivity”

 

What does this result in for our physical health?  Insomnia, anxiety, depression and in the more extreme cases addiction and mental and emotional illness.

 

The retreat where I work is having a specialty week on Sleep. The clients I saw today all had insomnia and sleep issues, and they all had Shen disturbances. Some were more obviously emotionally related to acute events, some were long standing, related to inability to cope with change, lack of purpose and exhaustion due to over work. They all had heart burn and other heat related digestive symptoms. Their healing is going to take TIME. And I stress this, because as I write, I’m thinking to myself, keep it relevant, keep it practical give the readers something easy to take home with them…….

The really tricky thing this isn’t easy. Not in the drive through, double macchiato kind of way we have gotten used to…easy.

 

Our spirit, our Shen is in itself pure yang, pure divine light.  Its not until it is housed in the yin casing of the heart and we live through it and it through us that it is seen and experienced.

To heal and recall the dispersed light of the shen we need to cultivate a peaceful place for it to come home to. For some people this is going to take a while and it will involve regular treatment and the creation of peaceful spaces both internal and external. Once again this doesn’t have to involve removing oneself to a mountain top (although that is lovely! )

 

  • Mindfulness meditation 10 min per day is a perfect start.
  • Nourishing food to ground the Yi and the Hun
  • Limit stimulants
  • Honour your emotions with journal writing… it doesn’t have to be Homers Odyssey, just get those feelings out.
  • And by all means seek integrated medical advice from a GP versed in nutritional sciences.

 

Spend time with yourself, please don’t write this off as impossible. I know some houses where the glow of the TV dominates every meal. Give your energetic body a break every now and then. You will be rewarded with more enthusiasm and purpose in the rest of your day.

 

As I wrote this post tonight a bat entered my apartment! Not a flying fox, a straight from Bram Stoker, Batman emblem  bat! It flew around and around and for a second I thought about trying to catch it. Then I remembered that of course bats are almost blind but they navigate by echolocation so I should just sit still and it will find the window. It clearly didn’t want to go back out the window it came and and whooshed itself down the stairs and into the kitchen, I followed and (dog in arms) opened the front door and sure enough out it went. It didn’t bump into anything not the bannister, tall vases or laundry.

 

Our Shen is a bit like that bat, it has its own innate sense of direction…. give it space give it time be patient open a few doors and windows and watch you never know just where it will lead you!

 

I used to love watching these starlings in Ireland. I was reminded of them as I wrote this tonight.  They do this amazing dance together then go home to roost. Quite perfect really. For our spirits to soar they need a place to come home to.

K

x

 

 

Murmuration!

 

 

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