Chloe (not her real name ) presented with a deep fear of people seeing her art work. She had completed an Arts Degree and enjoyed creating but felt very held back by an inner dynamic that seemed to condemn her work. When it was either time for an exhibition or someone would ask to view her work, she froze and became very anxious. So I asked her to close her eyes and I became Chloe, the one that is the artist and she became the condemning voice putting me down for my efforts in creating art. The putdowns were verbally expressed out loud and together we explored whether or not this with someone from her past, a teacher, father, mother or a condemning external authority figure, but it didn’t appear to be. Instead, it seemed to be her own inner self critic or judge and with each passing statement we got a sense that it was a scientist archetype who was condemning the artwork because it was not objective enough and people may not like it because it was too subjective. I asked this part for more context and it started to explain that at high school we loved the science room with the taps, sinks and white lab coat and this part thought it was going to go on and have a science field career. When I asked what it would do, the scientist replied that it would have loved to have had a project working at a cellular level breaking through in research to help humanity. The scientist felt hard done by that a career in art had been chosen by some other part of Chloe. It was continually putting down the artwork because it was annoyed it wasn’t having any expression. I suggested that it felt like this part was not going to be able able to be expressed in this life time because it would take too much effort and time to go back to University and study and then undertake research. Chloe’s current lifestyle was not going to support that. Instead, I asked the scientist would she consider waiting for the next lifetime when science and technology would have developed enormously and she would be able to research in a more profound and deep way than what was currently available. There was a huge smile and deep release of tension. I emphasized from now on it wasn’t about competition and unrealised dreams which all creates inner stress and bickering, but about taking it in turns and having a win/win attitude between scientist and artist. This seemed to really settle the scientist and there appeared to be agreement and the scientist immediately stopped putting down the artist. I suggested perhaps we could buy some scientific magazines or journals to satisfy the curiosity and was told this was already happening but maybe we could look into buying some more to satisfy the scientists ongoing curiosity and interest in science matters. The client then became her artist self and the scientist went into the background and she felt really very different on the inside and looking forward to showing her work. I have seen over the years of doing this soul psychotherapy deep work with clients that some archetypes are very distant or incongruent with other archetypes and in some cases are even negative or aggressive to each another within the personality of the client. This creates friction and constant stress and it can be hard to make a decision or get on with life with these competing archetypes.There is a whole day training for Soul Focused psychotherapists to understand archetypes and how to help clients empty out the negative charge and then to connect them together in a deep and congruous way.
For over 30 years an overwhelming part of my client, Molly, desired the physicality of the external male. This desire was causing Molly great internal conflict as the thought of any strong tall handsome man was enough to ignite intense cravings and lustful tendencies. It interfered in her relationships with men. There was an accompanying sharp, almost cutting, feeling of unworthiness and self doubt because she never did attract these types of men into her life. The feelings would intensify around ovulation time.
Throughout life the type of male Molly attracted in romantically would never represent the tall handsome muscly man she had always craved. She stayed safe and always went for the “average” types, this was all she ever felt good enough for. In her world why would a handsome masculine man ever choose her, anyway? This presented as a major problem in all relationships. Resentments always built because these men were not what this secret part of her “really”wanted. She stayed in relationship out of fear and comfort. These gripping emotions sparked immense feelings of guilt. How could she do this to these men? She believed she was such a horrible person, that she was being deceitful, shallow and living a lie. She kept questioning herself, why do looks have to matter so much anyway? She was so confused.
During numerous sessions I encouraged Molly to talk about this part to enable it expression and uncover the mechanisms behind it. Through talking and expressing, overtime we began to release built up pressure, which then enabled deeper exploration behind the desire. I explained to Molly that these parts were not who she truly was, but just an archetype playing out from her deep sub-concious, and that she was giving in reasonably easily whenever it presented inside of herself and that this could be changed if we expose and challenge the belief systems of that archetype. They were so incongruent with the other, integrous parts that could really love a man from an unconditional space.
These explorations brought about the feeling of relief for Molly, accompanied by ever increasing control over the once uncontrollable thoughts and feeling. Molly even was able to see that this pattern had led to an addiction which was a profound discovery for Molly. An addiction to the attention of the good looking male. When things got boring, Molly craved a fix. When things got emotional, Molly craved a fix. If one of these “handsome” males paid attention to her, wanted her, showed any sign that he craved her back, momentarily it provided her with a feeling of self-worth and a “rush”. This satisfied the craving and it eased the pain. Behind all of this was also the discovery that Molly’s mother held similar beliefs about her self. Potentially Molly had been conditioned since childhood, mimicking that of her siblings behavior.
With a number of sessions we were now able to narrow down that these feelings and thoughts were not the real Molly, and instead, a conditioning to have cravings through a fantasy. Molly later said, “These realizations were a game changer and created a huge shift. However the addiction still had charge.”
Molly was single and had been exploring dating websites. In earlier sessions, I had suggested to Molly that she keep dating the “average” man, that didn’t meet the needs of the desire part within her. This has the potential to flush up the addiction & bring it into consciousness.
Determined to let go and kick her habit to the curb, Molly recently came for another therapy session. I asked Molly what was unfolding in her life, regarding romantic relationship. “I am freshly dating a male which certainly triggered that archetype. He had a lot going for him and is a guy with amazing qualities. He is compassionate, gentle, kind and loving. But he does not fit the stereotype that I was addicted to. I am afraid of the same pattern occurring where resentment will build and I am also afraid of feeling deceitful and false once again.”
But the sessions had given her a way through. Molly continued. “I remembered how you said to just be the witness of the addiction, to learn to see the craving for what they are and when they arise, just to focus on the enjoyment of being with this new man.”
Molly was onto it. Inner awareness and letting go are such important aspects of higher consciousness to learn and weave into our life.
Its been two months and they meet regularly and in contact almost every day. The old craving does not close down Molly and she is learning to enjoy being the center of attention from a male with higher consciousness than lust and desire.
Donna ( not her real name) had been seeing me often and frequently had tears of sadness but would almost immediately laugh as another higher consciousness archetype could see another “take”or perspective other than the sad archetype was experiencing. It became apparent that the charge of the sadness was not ever being fully discharged although she could recontextualise almost any incident that was reviewed or triggered. So I suggested it was time to go in deep to find any past sadness that had charge and when the laughing occurred to accept that there is a higher way of interpreting g the drama but to let go of the laughter and empty the sadness.
It took Donna at least 6 times to hear the laughter arise and not go with it, but to stay with the sadness .
She also said there was a hesitation with an inner voice saying “we’ve done sadness to death” but another part was prepared to search and bring awareness to anything remaining.
Donna went back over her life scanning for any sadness. There was a pervading sadness that her life had not been experienced as she had planned when she was young.
Sadness that her mother had never touched her as a child.
Sadness that her career life had been diverted by circumstance.
Sadness that Donna felt such powerlessness and ‘unconsciousness‘ in the first few decades of her life where life appeared to ‘just happen’, leaving her feeling ineffective.
Then, as she scanned deeper and deeper, Donna began to feel the sadness of others that she had made energetic connections to along the way. “An intense sadness was there inside me that I had collected from the mothers in a nursing home for ‘unmarried women’. I was 7 yrs old when my family went to this home to collect the 6 week old baby to be my adopted sister. Here now in the session the immense sadness inside these young women who were surrendering their babies came pouring out of me in release.” she later said.
The scanning continued and incident after incident appeared where sadness had hidden inside of me, outside of my conscious awareness. And the collection of sadness from others kept pouring out even to most recent times of feeling and collecting the sadness inside her grandchildren. Release, release, releasing the accumulated charge.
With the outpouring and catharsis of such a ‘well’ of sadness, by the end of the session more inner space had cleared or opened up. Donna left feeling a lot lighter wondering what life will be like without all that sadness charge.
My client Sandra (not her real name) told me a 9 out of 10 painful gynaecological matter was being investigated by standard medical means, but she felt it to be linked to psychological issues also. I asked some questions about her relationship to her womb; how did Sandra feel about this region of her body? She remembered that there had always been an intense and deeply irrational fear of pregnancy and that she did not choose to have children as a result.
Sandra closed her eyes and focused inwards on this feeling of fear of pregnancy. Laying down comfortably and closing her eyes, a series of different images started to appear in her inner world. Images of being in child birth and it wasn’t going smoothly.
Sandra later said “I watched two of these images in great detail.
In these inner images, I had been in labour for hours and the head of the child was out but nothing would shift the rest of the child.”
At the same time that Sandra was watching these inner experiences, old pain, frustration and exhaustion flowed through and out of her along with sounds of groaning.
Later, Sandra offered “In these inner experiences those around me at the childbirth were going into panic and I was making the same sounds as the sounds I was now making in therapy. I started fading as I drifted towards what seemed like death. Death ensued in this “scene”. I was released from the wracking pain.”
Then Sandra entered the second and last scene and it was deeper and more powerful. She slid into this scene like a kind of homecoming and seemed to know this place well. Squatting in a flowering meadow, she was again giving birth as part of a Native American Indian tribe. New sounds started coming out of her as she rocked, shook, sang and wailed.
Sandra later commented ” If was like it was coming out of me but not “of” the me that I identify myself as now. I was listening and participating simultaneously. The birth, again not flowing smoothly. Stuck. A knowingness of imminent death. Pangs of pain with the little being inside me becoming distressed and the wracking grief of being parted from my lover. Grasping to hold life.
Energy waving through me. Feeling my pelvis tingling and my third eye pulsing. So many different feelings and energies waving through me. Wayno’s energy ever present with a gentle loving hand on my tummy, anchoring me in the room and holding me through wave after wave of energy release.”
Sandra’s back started spasming as she entered this scene deeply. She seemed to know how to surrender to the process where her body knew exactly what to do. “I was seeing the beauty of life AND death, side by side. Prior lives that had anything to do with childbirth flicked past me. Understanding was opening. Knowing that connections are never broken, only shifting in form.” she later said. Then a deep laughter emanated from Sandra, a kind of celebration that the energy has dissipated.
Postcript: Following this session, Sandra let me know 3 days later that the physical issue has largely resolved, requiring no further medical intervention. The physical pain is now tenderness; barely noticeable.
The courage to face into shame and unworthiness
This client, Susie (not her real name ) was consistently living out a seemingly destructive cycle in relationship with her male partner.
Susie was constantly anxious and scared of confrontation and consistently trying to fix things, make things better and please him. She would get angry at herself for constantly crumbling and complying to his needs.
It seemed he was unpleasable- yet she couldn’t stop this endless behaviour !
This cycle had gone on for years!!
There was a core pain and Susie needed to know why this current cycle was still occurring.
The session began with outlining the understanding that at a soul level , it had been set up that the exact environment in which Susie grew up in as a child, had now been replicated with another person instead of her dad!!! How the partner and his family were acting basically the same as the father and sibling dynamics as a child. Susie began to see that her disempowered younger self was still active sub consciously in this adult relationship, and in being there daily, it was inevitable that things would look almost identical 30 years later! I commented “So, anything that is unresolved in our past is going to be resurfaced for us to look at and work through. So the idea is not to be a victim and see the situation as some kind of punishment per say, but for growth, deeper understandings and transcendence of old patterns.”
It is really beneficial for the client to understand the importance of sticking with uncomfortable situations to help move through pain and transcend destructive old patterns of behaviours.
Susie felt excited to face long unresolved inner pains in a different way , through the power of her inner witness. Then Susie cried, like REALLY cried. She expressed that she felt it was the beginning of accessing a very suppressed part that has been unreleased. “It feels like living AS shame and worthlessness”, she said. Up until that point she hadn’t been strong enough to hold and discharge all the pain her younger self had absorbed from her upbringing.
This part of Susie had absorbed much conditioning around ideas of NOT being worthy of love, help, friendship or a loving family.
The conditioning back then was to not matter to anyone. Basically conditioned to be invisible and comply to anyone’s else’s needs and beliefs. Susie then was unconsciously living from those patterns by attracting in partners who would treat her like that. “I can feel that part moving closer into my conscious awareness and it is big and heavy and sad and lonely” said Susie. These patterns arise in our daily life, often with so much charge that The person cannot stop it becoming them. In therapy Susie allowed it to come consciously into her awareness and began to release what it has been holding in her for all this time.
There were big amounts of pain in the shame realm. It had things to say like- “I’m a nothing”, “I hate myself”, “I’m a sniveling nuisance”, “I deserve to be put last”, etc.
At the end of the session Susie said “There is more in there, I can feel it. This session was just releasing the tip of a very large iceberg. But already I feel changed from just that first release of an authentic ‘feeling’ of my shame and being able to own and feel that (and HOLD it!) was mind blowing.”
Susie had had lots of sobbing releases like that before when by herself, but none as significant as this one.