A Visit To The Spirit World – Isabel Allende’s Shamanic Death Experience

isabel-allendeby Edith Boyer-Telmer

Dear Friends,
I was just about to share another article with you caring more details and insides, that there might be a western shaman in more of us than are aware, when I remembered the autobiographical book “The sum of the days” by Isabel Allende. The reason that it popped into my mind is Allende’s beautiful report about her experience with Ayahuasca (an ancestral shamanic medicine used by native people in the Amazon rain forest), and the conclusions she came up with. Now don’t get me wrong please, I am not a fan of the whole world drinking Ayahuasca, I feel it should be part of your calling if you meet this plant master. Also it would not work for everyone like it did for her (you will read that her husband had a very different impression), why it was that intense for her on the first shot – is because she already had the traits of a shaman in her!!!

One thing that I particularly remembered is how she describes so beautifully how it is the work of the inner alchemist, that transforms the energetic world of the medicine into daily experience in life. Grounding, integrating and self-mastering are the keys when we are working with the realms of the otherworld. And this is where the cycle closes and today’s Taurus Super New Moon influence completes the picture, as this are all qualities this moon event is providing! Use your shamanic abilities and connect with the wave of this collective movement and the moon will do the rest for you!!

A personal message to all my facebook friends!! FB is limiting the distribution of my posts daily more. If you resonate with my articles and are used to find my work  shared in a group, rather sign up on my newsletter here to make sure you get the information!!! Over time I might not be able to put in the FB time, if it does not lead to what it is about – SPREADING THE WORD ;-)! 

This is the excerpt of her book, describing the experience:
I needed to become again the girl I once was, that silent girl tortured by her own imagination, wandering like a shadow in my grandfather’s house. I knew I should demolish my rational defenses and open the mind and heart. And for this I decided to have the shamanic experience of Ayahuasca, a brew that the Amazon Indians are using to produce visions.aa
We drank a dark tea that tasted disgusting, just 1/3 cup, but so bitter and fetid it was almost impossible to swallow. At 15 minutes after it was taken, I failed having physical balance and settled on the floor, where I could not move anymore. I panicked and called Willie, who managed to crawl to me, and I held his hand like a lifeline in the worst possible storm. He could not speak or open his eyes. I got lost in a whirlwind of geometric shapes and shining bright colors  that were fascinating at first and then heavy. I felt that I gave up on my body, my heart broke, and I plunged into a terrible anguish. Then I went back to being the girl trapped between the demons of the mirrors and the bores of the curtains.

Soon the colors appeared again, faded away and the black stone that lay almost forgotten in my chest, threatening as some mountains of Bolivia – came up. I knew I had to get it out of my way or die. I tried to climb it but it was slippery, I wanted to turn around and it was huge, I began to tear apart while the task seamed endless and remembered that growing up I was certain that the rock contained all the evil in the world, and was full of demons. I do not know how long I was in that state, the time has nothing to do with time clocks.
Suddenly I felt an electric jolt of energy, that gave me a formidable kick from the floor and I rose above the rock. I went back for a moment to my physical body; bent in disgust, groped the bucket I had at my left hand and threw up bile. Nausea, thirst, sand in my mouth, paralysis. I perceived, or understood, what my grandmother always said: space is full of presences and everything happens simultaneously. There were superimposed and transparent images, like those printed in sheets of acetate in science books.

I wandered through gardens where plants grew with threatening fleshy leaves, large mushrooms sweated poison, evil flowers. I saw a girl about 4 years old, shrunken, terrified; I reached over to lift her up and it was me. Different times and people of my life moved from one sheet to another. I met with me, at different times and in other lives. I met an old woman gray-haired, tiny, but upright and shining eyes; It could have also been me in a few years, but I’m not sure, because the old woman was in the midst of a confused crowd.
Another recurring picture was the history, the memory of the soul that integrates its multiplicity, its river of blood, its “spirit house” that lies buried in the unconscious. That divine memory of the earth and the stars that led Plato to say that “all learning is only memory”. And in Ayahuasca it is part of the process of peace, forgiveness and liberation that human beings must achieve to leave this peaceful home and take the spiritual flight. The journey of Ayahuasca, as a mysterious figure in medicine, as a microcosm of creation, repeats the soul’s journey into the world of the generations, separation from divinity, forgetfulness, but then also the awakening, the rise to the luminous spheres to the infinite, merging with our divinity, which is achieved through the death of the material plane, even if only for one ceremony.pSoon that universe populated, vanished and went into a white and silent space. Hanging in the air, it was an eagle with its large wings spread, supported by the breeze, seeing the world from above, and free. There was this big bird for a long time and then I went to another place, even more glorious, where all form disappeared and there was nothing but spirit. I dissolved into inner silence. If I had the slightest awareness or desire, I would have sad, Paula.

Much later I saw a small circle, like a silver coin, and from there I headed off like an arrow. I crossed the gap and entered effortlessly into an absolute vacuum, a gray translucent and deep. There was no feeling, single spirit, or lower individual consciousness; however what I felt was a divine and absolute presence. A thousand years later I returned, exhausted as a pilgrim, the reality known by the same way he had come to leave, but in reverse: I crossed the small silver moon, I floated in the eagles space, I went down to the white sky, I sank into psychedelic images and finally entered my poor body.

In his experience with the Ayahuasca, Willie did not ascend to glory or death, he stayed in a bureaucratic purgatory, moving papers, until he passed the effect of the medicine a few hours later. Meanwhile I was lying on the floor, where he settled after me with pillows and blankets, shivering, mumbling incoherently and increasingly often throwing up a white foam. At first I was agitated, but then was relaxed and motionless, I did not seem to suffer, sad Willie.
Finally the process of assimilation, reintegration, of being able to wear this jewelry from the depth of the earth, to fulfill the arc of vision, of making the individuals path of divine will occur. The possibility of transformation that becomes clear from observing eternity, which is immutable, to comprehend the supreme reality of spirit and trust the unity that embraces all beings. The third day, already aware, I spent lying on my bed reliving every moment of this extraordinary journey. I knew I could already write a trilogy.

The adventure with the drug seized me something that I can only define as love and a sense of unity: I dissolved into the divine, I felt that there was no separation between me and the rest of what exists, everything was light and silence. I was with the certainty that we are spirits, and that the material is illusory, something that can not be proven rationally, but that I sometimes also have experienced briefly in moments of exaltation before nature, intimacy with someone loved or meditation.
I finally accepted that in this human life my totem animal is the eagle, the bird which in my visions floated watching everything from a great distance. That distance is what allows me to tell stories, because I can see the angles and horizons. It seems I was born to tell and tell. My body ached, but I’ve never been more lucid.145123Of all the adventures of my hectic existence, the only one that can be compared to this visit to the dimension of the shamans was your death, my daughter Paula. On both occasions happened something inexplicable and deep, that transformed me. I never again been the same after your last night and this powerful potion to drink: I lost my fear of death and eternity, and of the spirit truly experienced.

Dear Ones, allow me to repeat again, that I am not a fan of “the whole world drinking Ayahuasca”!! My experience rather showed me that it is a medicine for people who hear an inner call from her spirit and follow this call, not for everybody at all! But what I hope that you can take with you from Allende’s beautiful sharing of her experience is, that we must be willing to allow a death experience – in order to come to the higher vibrating levels of inner light and divine bliss. That is a natural part of the shamanic path of ascension! And maybe you can even go as far as giving permission to today’s Taurus New Moon, to ground all of your spirit into your physical body. So you may become today, a BEING of the Golden Age of Aquarius.
Shamanic Greetings an New Moon Blessings!

Edith

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Invitation to an Amazing New Opportunity at New Beginnings

1280x1280 NEW at NEW BEGINNINGS
                         ONE-on-ONE TRAINING

My Dear Ones, you who I had the pleasure of meeting and working with know, I love spending time with people who are committed to follow their inner truth and authentic self, who enjoy shrinking and changing into the beings they always have been!! Over the last three years of intense plant medicine ceremonies, I had the chance to train myself in fine tuning my senses, in order to be able to guide others in the development of their most beautiful inner abilities. So I feel happy and proud to present my new service to you. For the year 2016, the collective year of wisdom and authenticity, I will focus on this beautiful training, and hope you feel just as inspired and excited about is, as I do!!!

The training is designed to support the personal healing, spiritual growth, energetic fine tuning and development of special abilities; suitable for Energy Worker, Reiki Master, Body-, Mind or Soul,-Therapists, Personal Trainer, Spiritual Healer, Teacher, Artists, Musicians, and others, who desire to develop their extraordinary personal gifts. It is available for one week, weeks and per month, with a 5 day week/ for 20, 25 hours or 30hours weekly.

The first day is usually spend with studying your momentary mental life approach, the abilities you are consciously bringing into the mix and how far your emotional body is in harmony with your opinions. We decide together what track we want to take for your program and look for the most fitting tools, for you to step into your personal power, your individual strength and authentic expression. From there on intuitive guidance takes the lead and shows us step by step, the direction of our time together and what needs to be addressed.kj

The Techniques involved in the training process are:

  • Channeling of Inner Guidance
  • Spiritual Counseling
  • Shamanic Energy Work
  • Tantric Energy Work Divine Masculine / Divine Feminine
  • Varieties of Breath Work
  • Shamanic Shadow Work
  • Psychological Human Studies
  • Tantric Body Work
  • Ascended Master Alignment
  • Family Constellation
  • Meditation Techniques
  • Akasha Chronic Reading
  • Alignment with the Angelic Realms
  • Past Life Channeling
  • Creation of individual Rituals
  • Conscious Grounding Techniques

Dear Friends, if you sense butterflies flying in your stomach now and feel inspired to dig deep into your soul and unveil your highest potential, make your appointment!!
Blessings, Love and Happy Growing!!!

Edith

“The Hathors” payed me a visit last week….

serascaby Edith Boyer-Telmer

Dear Friends,
to be more exact, it was brought to my attention that they are guiding me since a very long time – and now desire a conscious co-creative relationship with me. But this is already my conclusion. Allow me to go step by step. About a week ago, Dr. Bill a well known Healer and Awakening Teacher here in town, came to my door with the following story:
He was in his morning meditation, when a for him new creator appeared in his awareness – that identified itself as a Hathor. He was instructed to tell me that in the coming year, I will be lead to even more often than in the past years – assist Indigo and Crystal Children in clearing their emotional bodies of deep anger and resentments. He gave me a gift, an electromagnetic card that includes the essences of Bach flowers, mend to support me in this task.
At least, he told me the Hathors are about to build a bridge between me and another Healer and Indigo Children guide here in town, Keith the chocolate shaman. Within 30hours of Bill’s visit, a young man who is a regular assistant to Keith, included me in an ascension message he shared on FB – something he never did before!
But it was not this one synchronicity that made me aware of the gigantic blessings, the Hathor’s work always had on me. You see, I was aware of the presence of Angels in my life, since early childhood. Consciously I started working with them and the Ascended Master Kingdom about 15 years ago. But digging deeper into common knowledge about the Hator’s assistance in our collective ascension process, I realized that on an Galactic Level – they always have been my guides and cosmic helper!
hathLet me share with you, how the details of this inside unveiled themselves to me:
The Hathor’s introduce themselves as our elder brothers and sisters, ready to assist us building the new world. They originally came from another universe and entered thru the Sirius Portal, which is a portal to our Universe. From Sirius they eventually proceeded to our solar system and the realms of Venus. Just as Venus, they are partner of Sanat Kumara, the Ascended Master of the vibration for the Golden Age of Aquarius. Who is working for the ascension and the evolution of consciousness in the whole solar system.
Since many years now, I am aware that my soul’s origin is the planetary system Sirius. I was always super sensitive to the Lion’s Gate portal vibrations – the days when Planet Earth downloads information from the Sirian Teacher every year. And the energy field of Sanat Kumara is since a long time, a regular guest in the healing ceremonies I perform. Makes perfect sense to me!

The Hathors are known as a group of inter-dimensional, intergalactic beings. They have mastered all aspects of this density in relationships to worlds, galaxies, universes and species. They have ascended to the 5th dimension and higher, but as a collective, have chosen to live in the 4th density. The two cultures most affected by their work, are the Egyptian’s where they where known as “Gods” and the Tibetan’s, where they are understood as divine spirit guides.
I am working with a prayer called the VAJRASATTVA. It is a prayer from the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Also mentioned in the Tibetan Book of Death, used to clear and cleans human beings from any attachment. I was initiated into the forces of this prayer during my Tantra training about 13years ago, and never stopped using it since. Isis the Egyptian Goddess of life/death and completion is a constant partner in my work, as she is key-figure to open the link between life and death for me. The ending of a cycle and the new beginning that it leads to.

Hathor’s are Masters of understanding human feelings, the vibratory nature of the cosmos, the use of sacred geometry, the art of conscious brain stimulation, of the activation of psycho-spiritual experiences, and in the use of sound for healing. Living life in service to life itself, is their message to all of humanity.
And that is what I do in my work. Indeed it happened that students called me a cosmic library for the understanding of human feelings ;-). People seam to enjoy my ability to translate the the vibratory nature of the cosmos, into practical grounded examples. Often simply my presents evokes past life memories in people. And using my whole vibratory self – when singing to the universal forces in service for other peoples healing – feeds my joy and passion for the natural flow of life.
hathorTheir inner technologies of Alchemy and perspectives on the ascension of the human collective, are illuminating. Again and again, the Hathors offer channeled information in a language, but their primary method of communication is through catalytic sound pattern. The Hathor’s teachings about the vibrations of the Elements within us, El the earth, Ka the fire, Leem the water and Om the space, is a critical part of the human ascension process. These elements are building the physical body, and these elements are conscious. That is the Hathor’s message.
In my work with sacred plant medicine, I share many details that lead to a profound understanding of our internal process of alchemy. The Elements, in form of sacred geometries known as the Platonic Solids, are a crucial part of this understanding process. That every student leaves my place with an inner translation of emotional experience and energetic impact, is on of my goals.

The Hathor’s enjoy giving lectures on the evolution of human sexuality. For many people the orgasm is still the only moment in life, where they are in touch with their true inner beauty and light. According to Hathor teachings, it is the vibrational state a human being can achieve during sex and the feeling of “Being totally present in the moment”, that are the true purpose of human sexuality.  When humanity evolves into the state of “Being In Love With Life Itself”, everybody will begin to experience their physical body as a BEING filled with the essence of their true-self – vibrating in every cell and fiber. To achieve this, humanity needs to keep exploring all their sexuality aspects.
As I mentioned before, Tantra plays an active part in my life. And what the Hathor’s say about sexuality, is part of understanding tantric teachings. Integrating the lessons I received during my years of training, the bodywork we did and emotions we released, allowed me to find a safe haven in my physical body. A feeling I never knew before. It showed me the beauty and harmony, the balance between the inner masculine and feminine powers leads to. And created the space, for the singing voice I have today.

There is nothing else to say today than, that I AM endlessly grateful for their loving guidance that was all this years right there with me. That I am excited to see, where this new born conscious cosmic connection with my teachers will guide me. And blissfully embrace what ever awareness will grow from it. As you can imagine, I am already since a week listening to channeled Hathor music, to make our connection stronger ;-)….
In gratitude for this platform to share, I bless you all my brothers and sister on the path back to the illuminated center!! Love and Light
Edith

Dear Friends, please feel INVITED to share this post on your website or social media, just always keep the links and credit intact please! THANK YOU!

The Difference between Soul Loss and Dramatic Experience

11204973_10208158958714760_7817272964522624367_nby Edith Boyer-Telmer

Dear Friends,

the other day I posted an article about the three most commune spiritual reasons for the creation of health issues. As a reaction, I received many letters with questions about what it really means to experience a so called “Soul Loss”. And some speculations where mentioned, that I could mean a simple dramatic experience. So allow me to clarify with more details and examples.
It is easy to confuse any dramatic experience and true soul loss… as soul loss is kind of the follow up creation of our internal separation of a dramatic impact, when it turns into a constant coping mechanism. You see, whenever we are dealing with the psychological aftermath of a really shocking experience, it is natural to temporarily separate from the part in us that suffers the most. But, when a traumatic life experiences is serious enough, it can go further and result in the fragmentation of our vital essence, a loss of pieces of our life force and potential.
And the picture is much more complex than we might think, as Soul loss also can appears as the result of an experience that is so personal, no one else could see the impact that creates the traumatic experience. This is especially often the case, when the trauma is a karmic repetition of events and people meeting.
When we are dealing with real Soul loss, we experience feelings of being completely fragmented, we have blocked memory, some are not able to remember years of their life, have suicidal tendencies, struggle with addictions, the complex to be unworthy of being loved or long periods of depression.grSo allow me to share two examples from my work experience, for even more clarity:
About a year ago a man came to me, asking for assistance in his healing process. At that time you could categorize him as a 64year old man, from a western culture, highly educated, with an negative respond on his lips – to just about everything you could possible ask him and a grayish, dark Aura field. He told me about a massive car accident that he was involved in, about ten years ago. In this car crash he suffered such a major head injury , that he was in a coma for 2 weeks and had half a year recovery time to work true after.
When he came to me, he still suffered from regular blackouts, mental disorientation, problems to hold his concentration and physical instabilities when walking. He told me he had a vision once, that he was supposed to live a life of 84years, but there was no passion for life inside him.
After 3 days of mental, physical and emotional preparation, we approached his problem in a sacred ceremony – with the support of sacred plant medicine. During his Shamanic Journey he had the chance to experience the emotional impact of that night one more time. A courtesy of the sacred medicine to evoke healing and re-connection with the true essence of our higher-self; pure, blissful dancing light.
But that is not what happened…. because he had experienced this trauma as so profoundly life threatening, and had spend years and years of going back in his memory, remembering all the bad over and over again.. he nearly left…. what that means… three times during the ceremony, I was advised by his spirit guides and the Ascended Masters to call his soul back into the room and into his physical body – with the guiding songs of the medicine.
If I would not have followed this advice, he could have lost even more particles of his conscious awareness, to the emotional and energetic memory of the event. Or the energetic impact of the ceremony could have increased his negativity to a degree, that would have allowed him to manifest a physical illness – and terminate his life before it is his time (in 20years). This is thru Soul Loss…
Good news, my friend was back here already this year – for more shifting and changing of his mindset! He is strongly present, you can feel him in his body when you hug him, he walks without insecurity, he is friendly and writes songs about his eternal divine love potential. I am so proud of him for doing such an amazing job of self-healing!!20My second example is an Indigo Child,  a beautiful, powerful and magical woman, an amazon and true spiritual warrior. She is caring the power inside of her, to clear and transform thousands of years of feminine abuse for the collective human ascension.
But first things first.. when we met, she shared her story with me. A story of physical-, mental-, emotional and sexual abuse, by both of her parents. An abuse that started as early as with her 3rd life year and ended only when she took the first way out, when she turned 16. Again we approached with a healing ceremony and the following unveiled.
In order to cope with her horrendous experience, she had dissociated herself from particles of her true soul – as a natural reaction of her survival instinct. But because the massive abuse went on for many years, there was a point where she forgot that this original and whole center in her once existed. Indeed her separation was so profound, that she even thought of her own true-self’s memories as an entity –a completely externally existing being – trying to attack her mentally and push her to changes she feared. Because she did such an excellent job in her mental preparation, her physical process of release and internal shifting went on for weeks after our work together. She fund the strength to accept the entity as her own origin and reintegrate the former separated parts of her soul.
And by now, she is rocking the boat by giving lectures for women at shamanic tantric meetings! I read a beautiful article about the vulnerable power and beauty of being feminine and every picture I see of her, shows her beautifully shining inner light in her eyes.

Now, if this lines resonate with you in a way, that you feel like you actually experienced such a Soul Loss – start your journey of reintegration today!! To do so, we need to balance our internal forces (masculinity, femininity, divinity and humanity), find authentic expression for our feelings and live in general a truthful life.
Bless you and send Angels and Masters on your path of reintegration to wholeness!!
Edith

Are You A Starseed? 21 Signs to Look For

are you a starseedDear Friends,
over the last years of working with plant medicine, I met human beings with abilities I could not have imagined exist. I was blessed to witness people make contact with their star origin and bring back an inner glow of light – only the original home can inflame. It feels good to know where you come from – for the human roots as well as for the souls origin. Hope you feel where you belong!!
Star blessings and safe travels!!!

Edith

Do you sometimes feel like you came from another planet?

It may seem like a far-off concept, but Starseeds are actually souls that have originated from different stars, planets, solar systems or galaxies.
Starseeds are highly evolved souls that were sent to Earth to help bring about new knowledge and wisdom in order to help raise the consciousness of the planet.
Because they come from a different star, Starseeds carry a very different aura or vibration that allows them to access certain information that is not from this world. This information usually holds clues on ways to advance the planet and create new technologies.

At their core, Starseeds know that Earth is not their true home and sometimes this can create feelings of being out of place or alone.
Starseeds also often report having reoccurring dreams of alien abductions, encounters with aliens or that they were dropped off to earth in some sort of spaceship.
Many of the political and social rules of society may also feel unnecessary or irrational to Starseeds and often they will forget their own path or find a new way of doing something.
Starseeds are also extremely intuitive, psychic and empathetic. They are very sensitive to the world around them and may also have an interest in time travel, space and alien life.
Appearance wise, Starseeds often have large eyes, long necks and angelic faces.

39If you feel that you could be a Starseed here are the top signs to look for:

1. You feel a strong sense of knowing that Earth is not your original home
2. You feel out of place and that the rules of society go against your beliefs
3. You have reoccurring dreams about aliens or spaceships
4. You are highly psychic or intuitive and sensitive to your surroundings
5. You often see UFO’s or have a strong affinity to space, time travel and the spirit world
6. You are naturally technologically savvy and have a different way of problem solving
7. You are empathetic to others emotions and can pick up on what others are feeling
8. You may have a body that functions differently compared to others
9. You are extremely intelligent but are not interested in conventional academics
10. You constantly feel challenged to awaken or reconnect with your purpose
11. You may struggle to find your purpose and integrate into society
12. People around you may also feel that you are different or are wary of you
13. Animals and children may instantly trust you or feel intrigued by you
14. You can only handle large crowds of people for short periods of time
15. You may suffer from social anxiety and have a hard time making small talk
16. You have a memory of your purpose and mission here on Earth or you catch glimpses of it every now and again
17. You may have a memory of being from another planet or galaxy and what it looked like
18. You are an old soul and even as a child you were mature for your age
19. Life one Earth may at times feel boring or disappointing to you, especially when you are reminded of where you came from
20. You seem to find solutions to problems much quicker than others around you- Earthly complaints seem simple to you
21. You are naturally talented in the area of technology, physics, engineering, space travel and metaphysics.

It is believed that Starseeds have a programmed “alarm clock” inside of them that allows them to awaken at different points in their lives in order to fulfill their destiny.
As a Starseed, it may feel as if you are constantly awakening and forever growing, however once you truly step into the work things tend to manifest rapidly.

Source: http://www.foreverconscious.com/are-you-a-starseed-21-signs-to-look-for

How to hold space for yourself first

Woman-MeditatingDear Friends,
this is the follow up to yesterdays article about “how to hold space”. In the last year of  working with ancient plant medicine, I was in the blessed position to hold space for the most amazing internal transformations human beings can surrender to. I was allowed to witness the release of incredible depths of pain, anger and sadness disolve into the blissful feeling of oneness.
Non of that would have been possible without the ability to hold space. And, as in this article also mentioned, it is crucial to hold space for yourself first!! We need to be filled, even over-floating with clarity, divine connection and unconditional love for ourselves – to effectively create and hold a sacred space for others.
Hope you enjoy the read and take very good care of yourself!
Edith

by Heather Platt
The desire to hold space well for other people is vast and diverse.

I have heard from the most fascinating range of people about how this post is being circulated and used. It’s showing up in home schooling forums, palliative and hospice care circles, art communities, spiritual retreat center, universities, alcoholics anonymous groups, psychotherapists’ offices, etc. The most interesting place I heard about it being shared was within the US Marines. It is also touching the lives of people supporting their parents, children, spouses and friends through difficult times.

The lesson in this is that no matter who or where you are, you can do the beautiful and important work of holding space for other people. There are so many of us who are making this a priority in our lives that I feel hopeful that this world is finally swinging like a pendulum away from a place of isolation and individualism to a place of deeper connection and loveIsn’t that a beautiful idea?

Recently, I participated in an online course on “Leading from the Future as it Emerges: From Ego-system to Eco-system” and the underlying premise of the course was that we need to find a way to make deeper connections with ourselves, others, and the earth so that we bring about a paradigm shift and stop this crash course we’re on. There were more than 25,000 from around the world participating in the course. That’s a LOT of people who share a common passion for changing the ways in which we interact and make decisions. I walked away feeling increasingly hopeful that I am part of a swelling tide of change.

46We are doing the best we can to live in love and community.

We are not perfect, and sometimes we still make selfish decisions, but we are doing our best. Thank you for being part of the change.
The other thing that struck me as I read through all of the comments, emails, etc., is that, while all of you are all responding from a place of generosity and openheartedness, wanting to learn more about holding space for others, you also need to be given permission and encouragement to hold space for yourselves.
This is really important. If we don’t care for ourselves well in this work, we’ll suffer burnout, and risk becoming cynical and/or ineffective.

PLEASE take the time to hold space for yourself so that you can hold space for others!

It is not selfish to focus on yourself. In fact, it’s an act of generosity and commitment to make sure that you are at your best when you support others. They will get much more effective, meaningful, and openhearted support from you if you are healthy and strong.
In the Art of Hosting work that I do and teach, we talk about “hosting ourselves first”. What does it mean to “host myself first”? It means, simply, that anything I am prepared to encounter once I walk into a room, I need to be prepared to encounter and host in myself first. In order to prepare myself for conflict, frustration, ego, fear, anger, weariness, envy, injustice, etc., I need to sit with myself, look into my own heart, bear witness to what I see there, and address it in whatever way I need to before I can do it for others. I can’t hide any of that stuff in the shadows, because what is hidden there tends to come out in ways I don’t want it to when I am under stress.

AND just as I am prepared to offer compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and resolution to anything that shows up in the room, I need to offer it to myself first. Only when I am present for myself and compassionate with myself will I be prepared to host with strength and courage.
In other words, all of those points that I made about how to hold space for others can and should be applied to yourself first. Give yourself permission to trust your own intuition. Give yourself only as much information as you can handle. Don’t let anyone take your power away. Keep your ego out of it. Make yourself feel safe enough to fail. Give guidance and help to yourself with humility and thoughtfulness. Create your own container for complex emotions, fears, trauma, etc. And allow yourself to make decisions that are different from what other people would make.

This isn’t necessarily easy, when you’re doing the often stressful and time-consuming work of holding space for others, but it is imperative.

Here are some other tips on how to hold space for yourself.walking

  1. Learn when to walk away. You can’t serve other people well when your energy is depleted. Even if you can only leave the hospital room of your loved one for short periods of time, or you’re a single mom who doesn’t have much of a support system for caring from your kids, it is imperative that you find times when you can walk away from the place where you are needed most to take deep breaths, walk in nature, go for a swim, or simply sit and stare at the sunset. Replenish yourself so that you can return without bitterness. Whenever you can, take a longer break (a week at a retreat does wonders).
  2. Let the tears flow. When the only thing you can do is cry, that’s often the best thing you can do. Let the tears wash away the accumulated ick in your soul. A social worker once told me that tears are the window-washer of the soul and she was right. They help to clear your vision so that you can see better and move forward more successfully. When my husband was in the psych ward a few years ago, and I still had to maintain some semblance of normalcy for my children, I spent many, many hours weeping as I drove from the hospital to the soccer field and back again. Releasing those tears when I was alone or with close friends allowed me to be strong for the people who needed me most.
  3. Let others hold space for you. You can’t do this work alone and you’re not meant to. We are all meant to be communal people, showing up for each other in reciprocal ways. As I mentioned in my original post about holding space, we were able to hold space for my mom in her dying because others (like Anne, the palliative care nurse) were holding space for us. Many others were stopping to visit, bringing food, etc. We would have been much less able to walk that path with Mom if we hadn’t known there was a strong container in which we were being held.images (7)
  4. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply “paying attention to your attention”. In mindfulness meditation, you are taught that, instead of trying to stop the thoughts, you should simply notice them and let them pass. You don’t need to sit on a meditation cushion to practice mindfulness – simply pay attention to what emotions and thoughts are showing up, and when they come, wish them well and send them on their way. Are you angry? Notice the anger, name it anger, ask yourself whether there is any value in holding onto this anger, and then let it pass. Frustrated? Notice, name, inquire, and then let it pass.
  5. Find sources of inspiration. There are many, many writers, artists, musicians, etc. whose wisdom can help you hold space for yourself. When I was nearing a nervous breakdown earlier this week because of the intensity, I went to a Martyn Joseph concert (my favorite musician), and when he started to sing “I need you brave, I want you brave, I need you strong to sing along, You are so beautiful, and I’m not wrong”, I was sure he was singing directly to me. (Watch it on Youtube.) That evening of music shifted the way I felt about what was going on and I was able to walk back into my work with courage and strength.
  6. Let other people live their own stories. You are not in charge of the world. You are only in charge of yourself and your own behaviours, thoughts, emotions, etc. Often when you are a caregiver, you’ll find yourself the target of other people’s frustration, anger, fear, etc. REMEMBER – that’s THEIR story, not yours. Just because they yell at you doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Take a deep breath, say to yourself “I am not responsible for their emotion, I am only responsible for how I respond”, and then let it go. When you’re feeling wounded by what they’re projecting on you, return to the points above and walk away, practice mindfulness, and let others hold space for you.download (3)
  7. Find a creative outlet for processing what you’re experiencing. Write in a journal, paint, dance, bake, play the guitar – do whatever replenishes your soul. Few things are as healing as time spent in creative practice. One of my favorite things to do is something I call Mandala Journaiing, where I bring both my words and my wordlessness to the circle. You can learn to do it yourself in Mandala Discovery: 30 days of self-discovery through mandala journaling.
I hope that you will find the time this week to hold space for yourself. Your work is important, and the world needs more generous and open hearts who are healthy and strong enough to serve well.
Blessings to you.