beauty

Categories

The Depths of Self Love, By Angela Thurston

 

In a world where we are inundated with images of woman with seemingly perfect bodies, how do we make peace with ours? I have struggled with body image, bulimia and issues of self worth, and as much as I have tried supplements, diets; and even the perfect work out routine in addition to – these solutions have not offered me any long term results.

The power of positive thinking and the power of the mind are some key phrases that were offered up to me as means of support, guidance and comfort during those times of challenge. So with the strength of willpower, I muscled my way through bulimia, had a few relapses, and emerged on the other side. What I discovered on the other side was that I was still swimming in the waters of lack – lack of self love, self worth and self care. These areas of disconnect supported my emotional eating, affected my relationships and kept me circulating in the mire of my stories.

Even though the mind is a very powerful thing, it was not enough.

I began my immersion in the field of healing, I was comprehending the concepts, I was being the client, I was being the student, I was being the facilitator, and still I couldn’t wait to get out of class so I could stuff six chocolate bars, a dozen donuts and a pack of twizzlers down my throat. The energy, and body work was effective for what it offered, the modalities opened up my channels, balanced my energies and carried me to the land of bliss connecting me with spirit, still, it was not enough.

I was not getting it, I thought I had a solid understanding of the body/mind/spirit connection; I had faith in spirituality, I accepted that we are more than our physical bodies, I meditated, I affirmed, I believed.

What I now get, that I didn’t get then, is that I was continually seeking the answers from outside of myself, I was suppressing my emotions, disassociating from my body, I had little sense of interoception or proprioception, and embodied self-awareness was not even in my radar.

Alan Fogel, in his book, The Psychophysiology of Self-Awareness, offers the following descriptions:

Suppression: A lack of embodied self-awareness that occurs whenever there is a sense of threat that prevents us from finding resources, slowing down, and/or coregulating with an empathic other.

Pathological Disassociation: A disconnection between self and body having two basic forms: detachment and compartmentalization.

Interoception: The ability to feel one’s own internal body states such as heat/cold, pain, respiration and emotions.

Proprioception: The felt sense of the location and relative position of different parts of the body in relation to objects and to other individuals.

Embodied Self-Awareness: the ability to pay attention to ourselves, to feel our sensations, emotions, and movements on-line, in the present moment, without the mediating influence of judgmental thoughts.

When I began to trust, sense, and feel – when I brought body awareness into the equation of my inquiry – I could then move into the layers of myself that exist beyond the patterns of my own brain. I learnt how to drop below my defense strategies, inspiring new movements in my body, relationships and life. I continue to journey with this spiral of exploration, with my body being the guide. I welcome the self-referencing, the self-regulating, and the self-responsibility that increases my ability to embrace, love and honour myself.

Loving the way one looks is really an externalization of what one is experiencing inside – this is what our reflections are truly showing us. How we perceive ourselves is dependent upon what emotions are alive and thriving, what patterns of belief are being held, and what vulnerabilities have been inherited. It is our willingness to move into our bodies, feel our emotions, and transform our stories, that provide us with the divine waters in which we can dive into the depths of self love.

~Angela began her exploration of alternative healing practices in her twenties, leading her to become certified in Reflexology, Touch For Health and Reiki. Seeking a more body-centered practice and inspired by her love of dance and movement, she turned to the study and teachings of World Dance. It was her journey into the body that showed her how we hold our biographies in our tissues. Her curiosity for healing these stories led her to become an authorized teacher of Continuum Movement. She continues to study with Continuum founder, Emilie Conrad. Angela is weaving the tools of Vividly Woman’s Embodiment Coach Training to her present practice. She currently teaches in Victoria, the Gulf Islands and the Dominican Republic.

For more information visit www.Angelathurston.com

Read More →

SACRED HOMECOMING

 

I first heard the expression divine homesickness many years ago from my psychotherapist, Mary Pinnager. Mary and I worked together on and off over a period of about sixteen years. It was with her that I discovered what it meant to attend to my soul’s longing to be truly cared for and to value the journey home to my soul-essence. It was only in vividly tasting a homesickness of my soul that I could honor that there was a road I would need to tread in order to truly come home.

During those years of abundant psycho-spiritual anguish, interspersed with scant periods of relief from the suffering, accompanied by spurts of awakening and expansion, I received much of the personal training and soul awakening that has come to be the accumulated wisdom found in the Vividly Woman body of work that is the Embodied Leader Training. There were other teachers and trainings along the way, but it was mainly with the help of my teacher, therapist, and friend (for Mary and her longtime partner at the time were also dear friends) that I had the blessing to devote myself to my own healing, with Mary serving as a constant and a rudder to my chaotic flailing and colorful, dramatic dance of life.

At the time, I had no idea what all those years might one day amount to. When in the midst of personal suffering, it’s hard to imagine there will actually be a light at the end of the tunnel. I thrashed about, trying desperately to get my footing in a life that seemed to serve me up a relentless helping of challenges and dark nights, especially around my primary relationships, infertility, a failed adoption, and career hurdles. When I look back, I can see that while I was learning important self-awareness tools to guide others and myself home, I was also learning how to reverently acknowledge my own deep suffering. It was her quality of empathy that Mary modeled for me that I have been most grateful to be the recipient of. Mary affirmed for me that my suffering was not wrong or bad or indulgent. She helped me take my first steps as a woman who was honoring her way home and would one day be able to midwife many others on that path.

Were it not for Mary’s loving and sacred container those sixteen years, I would likely have believed that my suffering was unusual and unique. I would have suffered in silence and been armored against the pain. I would have hidden further and further away from the truth of my soul and I would have built more and more of a façade to hide the shame of my inner struggles. Mary’s wisdom and devoted heart helped me to witness all of the above tendencies in myself but not be consumed by them.

Today, I’m blessed to carry the sensitivity, insight, and awareness that allows me to sense other women who are suffering in similar ways, and to help them along their path home. I’m keenly attuned to that shrinking back into oneself, of the fear of being seen in one’s pain, at being judged for weakness and the shame of inner emotional insanity. I see it in the eyes, the belly, the shoulders, and the knees; I hear it in their words and silence. I have gathered in enough sacred safe circles to know that no one’s story is unique and no one’s suffering is wrong, and yet women are still prisoners of the belief that they are all alone and no one will understand and accept them if they know the truth.

My heart aches for the lengths to which we’ve strived not to be found out. The fear of not being loved has pushed us so far away from our authentic truth that there is little left of the true self in our relationships anyway! “Who do I need to be so that x will love me?” This question has become the background music to our lives so that we barely hear it at all anymore.

On my way to a Vividly Woman training a while back I had the good fortune of bumping into Mary in the supermarket. It had been several years since we had last met. It was an auspicious and meaningful time to see her. It was hard to reconcile the reality that so many years of inner struggle could now have me running my own training program for women’s emotional healing and spiritual growth. At our chance meeting in the fresh produce section, I felt a profoundly sentimental appreciation for who Mary had been on my path and I told her so. After we spent a few moments catching up we were each on our way. Later in the day, still deeply touched by this encounter, I recalled that many of those sixteen years, and still today, I judged myself for how “fucked up” my life used to be and wondered what the hell she must have thought of me. Then I got it; she was your therapist, Leela, of course she was intimately privy to the tossing and turning of your life just as I am now to those I work with. And do I think them fucked up? No, I just hold the space for whatever presents itself trusting the perfection of the dance that each of us choreographs for ourselves so we can heal, learn, expand and then eventually serve as a way- shower for others on their glorious and meaningful woman’s way home!

If this post evoked anything for you, please leave your comment below. You can make a difference in the lives of other women by sharing your truth!

At Vividly Woman Embody Self Love Intensive you’ll get underneath the rubble of years of self betraying behavior. You’ll get to  know, love and honor the authentic you so that you can love, accept and release your suffering story and the divine homesickness of your soul. You deserve to embody self love and radiantly and vividly thrive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More →

Page 1 of 3123Next ›