Tag Archives: Carl Jung

AWAKENING TO THE FEMININE

“The world will be saved by the western woman.” Dalai Lama

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When did you learn to love yourself? love others?  Do you feel accepted for who you truly are?  If not, how can you change that?

This week I attended a reading by Massimilla Harris and Bud Harris of their latest book Into the Heart of the Feminine: An Archetypal Journey to Renew Strength, Love, and Creativity. They are both Jungian analysts, and although the book is about the feminine, it was written for men and women, for we all have both feminine and masculine aspects to our psyche.

The book explores the harm that is done to us when we have not had a loving nurturing mother and the deficiencies that exist in our society as a result of not honoring the feminine. The authors explore these negative situations but also describe how we can heal them. I was deeply moved by their stories and insights.

Women’s Lives Have Changed Dramatically

Having lived for seventy years now, I have seen many changes in our society. When I was born, women had been allowed to vote for only 24 years. My mother was born in 1919, a year before women in the US voted for the first time. Although woman in other countries have served in the government at the highest level, we have yet to elect a woman as president in this country.

Recently, when a young man read my memoir, he was shocked by some of my experiences. When I was divorced in 1977, I had a master’s degree while my husband had not completed undergraduate school; however, as a high school teacher I made $7,000 less than he made as a policeman. Because of my higher degree, his lawyer was able to keep him from having to pay alimony. Although we had both worked all those years, our credit was his. I could not get a credit card until I established my separate credit and that wasn’t easy.

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One of the reasons that so many older women who have always worked have such dire needs when they retire is that they have so much less Social Security than most men because they have earned lower wages for so many years. The lack of equity isn’t over when the laws change. It lives on in the consequences of former discrimination.

Awakening to the Feminine Will Take Us Deeper

The lack of respect for the feminine also affects men and women in much deeper ways. The most obvious is the effect it has had on our mothers and the effect they have had on us. It is in that relationship that we are first nurtured and loved or first experience the lack of love, and those experiences have a profound effect on our emotional development. This topic is explored extensively in Into the Heart of the Feminine.

Mary Cassett

What were you taught by your mother and father about who you should be and how you should behave? How much of that was based on society’s expectations of your sex?

Feminine Values Can Heal Patriarchal Extremes

The patriarchal values of power, achievement, and competition have dominated our society and helped create the value of separation that exists in its extreme with our uncompromising current Congress. In contrast, the feminine values community, respect, love, and cooperation. If we have not learned these in the homes where we grew up, we are unlikely to learn them in the business world that is now too often focused on money at the expense of the welfare of their employees, especially women.

Awakening to the Feminine Teaches Us To Love

The truth is that every child needs to grow up with parents who love themselves so that they can love their children. Loving ourselves means we accept and respect all aspects of ourselves, do the best we can each day, and don’t belittle ourselves when we fail. We need to be able to test, explore, and experiment with who we are in our quest to find our deepest, truest selves.

To do that requires the belief that we are all right, that who we are is good. As Masimilla and Bud Harris remind us, life is a journey in which we can choose to grow and heal ourselves so we can be our best selves. If we can change ourselves, we can change our society to embrace the best of masculine and feminine qualities. If we can do that, we will have a society that meets the needs of all its people.

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Awakening to the Feminine Can Save the World

When the Dalai Lama stated that the world will be saved by the western woman, I was surprised, but compared to the restrictions on women in the rest of the world, we may be the very ones with the power to do that. We just have to heal ourselves and know that is our destiny, for it is the feminine spirit whose time has come. If we don’t do it, who will?

© 2015 Georganne Spruce                                                     ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Jungian Analysts Deal with the Medusa Within, Relationships: Why Maternal Love Is So Important For Us All

VALUING EACH MOMENT

“To be aware of one’s own feelings, needs, and values and to have the courage to act on them is the essence of conscious femininity.” Marion Woodman

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Europa being carried off by Jupiter as a while bull.

Does the feminine side of your nature allow you to act on your feelings? Do you ever feel that being in the moment is more important than doing? How do you balance being and doing?

This week I saw an amazing film, Marion Woodman: Dancing in the Flames, about the famous Jungian analyst, and it reminded me how important valuing each moment is. The film delved into her interior life journey, her struggles and insights, and I felt deeply connected to many of her experiences.

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Understanding Femininity Can Expand Our Awareness

The appearance of this movie at this time was very synchronistic because I have recently been drawn to Carl Jung’s theories and to mythology, particularly the stories of ancient femininity. These are all areas which were previously a large part of my life.

I lived in New Orleans for 12 years and taught a high school English class that included almost an entire semester of Greek mythology. At the same time, I was a member of the Jung Society where I attended lectures, workshops, and a Centerpoint class. Mythology was alive in New Orleans with streets named after the Greek Muses and krewes that created the Mardi Gras events named after gods and goddesses. At The same time, it was a place where people lived very much in the moment.

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What Does It Mean When We Become Depressed

But that was during the late 80s and the 90s that I lived there, and while these influences have stayed with me, I have not been actively working with them. Then, in the last month or so, I have felt a strong desire to reread the many books I still have on the subject. Why am I feeling this? Do I want to write a novel placed in an ancient time? Do I want to write about mythology or Jungian psychology? I don’t know.

A great deal of depression about my life and my writing has accompanied this desire. Where am I going with all this? Is it worth it? Like many writers, I feel a conflict between spending time writing and marketing. In the midst of my tears, one day, I admitted, “I’m tired of trying to succeed!”

Nature Puts Us In Touch With Wildness

But hearing about Marion Woodman’s journey shifted something within me. As a child she spent time in the woods “running wild” and that developed her inner wildness; however, she was the daughter of a minister, so she also became a perfectionist in some ways, and this dichotomy was a challenge to integrate. Growing up close to nature in a family that had high expectations for me created a challenge in my life too.

Spirit May Assist Our Healing

Marion also had many health challenges and her healing experiences were very profound. I too have had strange experiences with health problems that no doctor could diagnose or cure, and I had to turn to my spiritual relationship to find guidance. In one case, like Marion, I demanded that Spirit end the problem or end my life. Continuing to experience that illness was not acceptable. Within three days, my problem went away although Marion’s experiences of healing were more dramatic than mine.

We Need To Be Willing To Work With Our Shadow

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Marion has worked with addicts and pointed out that many times we turn to drugs, alcohol or other addictions to numb us so that we can avoid dealing with our shadow side. We all need to be able to face this darker side and work with it in order to heal ourselves. Unfortunately, in this culture, we are taught to ignore it and to always appear strong, happy, or content, but this is a dead end approach that will always end in addiction or disaster. Although I have never abused alcohol or drugs, I realize that I have been addicted to ways of thinking that blocked my growth.

By the time the movie was over, I was stunned by the similarites, but gradually a sense of peace came over me. A brilliant woman like Marion Woodman had gone through all of this too, finding her way by trusting herself and working with her shadow.

We Need To Value the Moment and Our Femininity

Suddenly I realized that it was okay for me to be where I was. It was okay not to know what I needed to do next or where I was headed with my writing. The only thing I needed to do was to value each moment and follow whatever emerged because staying in the moment made it possible for what was happening to become clear.

Just as we devalue and avoid the shadow, we also sometimes have devalued the feminine and this is particularly true in the sense that men have not been encouraged to value their feminine side, nor have women been encouraged to develop their masculine qualities. But the reality is that we all have feminine and masculine aspects, and when they are in balance, we are healthier human beings.

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The more we become aware of what we feel and need at our deepest level, the more likely we are to act from who we truly are. As Woodman points out, if we act from values, feelings, and needs, we are acting with courage from our “conscious femininity.” This is the feminine part that exists in every man as well as every woman. In a culture that is so programmed to act from the rational, we need to be reminded there is more to consider and other ways to understand ourselves than to obey the rational.

The Moment Will Lead Us To the Answers

So, I am letting my feminine be the guide. I’m not creating an artificial goal to force me to “get to work.” I’m going to keep feeling whatever comes up. I’m going to notice what I need on a daily basis and fill that need if I can. With time, I know the larger picture will emerge if I stay in touch with my deeper feminine and the moment. I’ve been in this place before, and what I needed always appeared in some form. When the time is right, I’ll know what action I need to take.

In the meantime, Marion Woodman’s story has been a marvelous inspiration and I am committed to valuing each moment of each day.

What value do you find in the moment? When is being in the moment most important to you? Please comment.

Next week, I’ll write about my journey to let go of perfection.

© 2015 Georganne Spruce                                           ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Marion Woodman: Dancing in the Flames – Two Marions,   In Touch With Carl Jung (BlogTalk Radio)

 

AWAKENING TO THE HEALING DANCE AGAIN

Technology continues to be a challenge.  I apologize to my subscribers because they didn’t receive the blog post last week because I didn’t reblog correctly.  So, I’m adding another blog on healing first.  If you missed last week, please scroll to the second post and read it first.  Peace, Love, and Joy to you all, Georganne

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.  People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.  One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”  Carl Jung

How willing are you to be aware of your emotional pain?  Do you use pleasant experiences or material things to make you feel better or deaden the pain?  Do you have the courage to face and heal the deeper truth?

In the first blog of this series, I wrote about how our wounds often lead us to see what needs to be healed in our lives.  Although we see them as part of our emotional darkness, they are gifts.  In the second part of the series, I pointed out that we all need love in our lives and that it may come from many sources if we are open to seeing it.  Today, I want to write about the importance of letting go of our attachment to the pain we experience.

Fear of Letting go of Pain

Years ago, after a painful divorce, I began seeing a therapist to help me deal with the deep betrayal of my husband.  At the time, I was teaching modern dance and dancing with a company and choreographing.  As the therapy progressed, I began to feel better about myself and spent less time overwhelmed by negative emotions, but one day I became very upset during a session.

“Sometimes I’m afraid that getting ‘well’ will destroy my creativity. It’s changing something in me, and I don’t feel I need to create so much. I feel like I’m losing my creative edge.”

“How is it doing that?” my therapist asked.

“Because it’s the inner turmoil that makes me want to create. If I get well, I’ll have no reason to create!”

“What if being healthy makes you more creative?”

I only shrugged, but as I thought about this, I was unable to imagine how that could be so.

(Excerpted from Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness)

Why We Won’t Let Go

We all have belief systems that keep us trapped in unhealthy places.  That’s why many people refuse to get help for their problems.  They’re afraid to discover what lies in their darkness or are so insecure that they cannot handle the idea that they have done something wrong or are not all right.  My mother is a good example.  She could not let go of the idea that she wasn’t a good Christian if she loved herself.  Her entire sense of worth was based on what she did for others.  She was a loving person in many ways, but very unhappy and took care of herself only so she wouldn’t burden others.

Sometimes, though, we take the risk, and in our process of changing, we begin to feel better and hit another layer of fear that limits our consciousness.  We may cling to our negative feelings simply because they are so familiar, just as we cling to negative relationships because they are known and nothing scares us like the unknown. Letting go of these attachments is often a big step.

Becoming Conscious of Our Shadow

Fortunately, though, after my divorce, I liked feeling better more than being in pain and decided that my ideas for dances could come from many sources, even the past negative feelings, for I could remember them, even if I no longer felt them.  I filed them away as I would any reference material and took responsibility for making myself happier.

Through therapy and through reading and attending workshops as a member of the Carl Jung Society in New Orleans for ten years, I learned to understand my difficulties and how to resolve them.  I learned about the value of what Jung calls, “the Shadow.”  It is that dark part of ourselves that we don’t want to see, but the less conscious we are of it, the more it harms us.  Becoming enlightened or conscious requires that we examine and heal it, for when we become conscious of the thoughts or experiences that have caused our pain, we can heal them, then let go and move on.

All Spiritual Healing Requires the Journey Inward

This spiritual journey inward may seem eccentric to some people who have bought into our materialistic society.  Eventually, the materialism fails to solve the problems.  The drugs that seemed to make us feel better become a destructive addiction.  All of the “cures” for our pain only create an illusion of temporary healing.  The only true healing takes place when we go within, and that is often true of physical, as well as emotional pain.  We have to bring it to the surface, heal it, and let it go.

We can free ourselves only when we become conscious.  No one I’ve read has written more clearly about our pain than Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose in his discussion of the “pain body” and how to heal it.  I highly recommend this book. (See Links I Like at the side bar)

What pain have you healed recently? Please comment.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Eckhart Tolle Releasing the Pain Body (video), Carl Jung’s Concept of the Shadow (related to life), Overcome Your Emotional Roadblocks

Last Week’s Blog

Many healing issues have arisen in my life lately, so I intended to write about healing today.  I know several people dealing with cancer and others dealing with emotional issues.  But when I looked at a series I wrote on this topic last year, I realized I would just repeat what I’d already said.  So, I’m reblogging the posts that seem most relevant.  I hope they will be helpful.  Namaste. 

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”      Rumi

How tall are the walls you build around yourself? Why do you need so much protection? What will it take to heal your wounds?

It was freezing last night and my bedroom was still cold when I awoke. All I wanted to do was snuggle further into bed, hide out in my pleasant dreams and the warmth.  But after briefly indulging my desires, I climbed out of bed, and walking into the center of my house, I was warmed by the brilliant, morning light spilling through the windows.

When life is rough, it is natural to want to hide out, build protective walls, and ignore the source of our pain; yet, if we do that for too long, it can become a dark cave from which we may never emerge.  We learn to lie brilliantly to ourselves.  We evade capture.  And we become hard and defensive around the edges, so that the one thing that can heal us is unable to penetrate.  Even the light needs a chink to pass through.

Wounds Are Valuable Assets

How do you deal with your most painful wounds? Do you build walls to protect yourself or do you see the pain as a sign something needs to be healed?  Our wounds are some of our most valuable assets.  They are the portals through which we can heal the pain that stops us from living our lives fully.  We have to learn to dance with them in the dark so that we can dance with them in the light.

Have you ever had the experience that, when a small conflict arises, you suddenly explode or react in some way that is inappropriate to the situation?  This is always a sign that a deeper issue has been triggered.  It is usually a sign that, deep within us, there are unhealed, deep wounds struggling to reach the light. So, what can we do to heal these wounds?

How To Heal Your Emotional Wounds

Being present is the key.  Has this happened before?  When did it begin?  What was the source of the original pain? There is always fear present with emotional pain, so I try to identify my pain so I can focus on it.  Am I afraid I’m not loved?  Am I afraid of losing someone or something I value?  Am I afraid of being harmed?  Regardless of how you identify the fear or don’t, the first step is to release it.

Releasing Your Fear

I take a deep breath, and as I exhale, I feel and/or visualize this fear leaving my body.  I repeat this process until I do feel the fear released, then sit a moment with the peaceful quiet that appears after the release.  Without the fear blocking my mind, I ask that this emotional pain be healed permanently, knowing that my wish will be granted.

Being Patient With the Process

The next step requires the most patience.  The pain may be healed immediately.  More than likely, though, I will be drawn to those experiences that will guide me through healing myself, and that is very empowering.  Healing may come in many forms:  a book, a person, a workshop, or technique.  Over the years, I have found valuable guidance for healing in therapy, spiritual practices, support groups, healing techniques like Emotional Freedom Technique, affirmations, numerology, astrology, Medicine Wheel cards, and simple conversations with friends. If I’m drawn to it, I dance with it, and in dancing with it, I may be healed.

How Did You Help Create This Wound

This deep pain is the kind we don’t want to return, so it is also wise to become aware of the role we played in creating the pain. The answers are always within us. That is why it is important to be receptive, but not passive.  We need to ask, “What did I do to help trigger this?  What was my role?”  Unless we can see the patterns in our behavior, we will repeat them.  It is in this step of the healing process that therapy is most valuable.  Therapists cannot change you, but they can help you understand your behavior and others.  Only you can make the change once you understand what you need to do.  Awareness is the key.

It is not always possible to identify our role in creating the pain, for sometimes it is the result of karma from past lives or that we are in a situation in order to learn a lesson.  Still, as frightening as it is, we must be willing to be vulnerable—to let the light shine through our journey to understand how to dance the healing dance, the one that we choreograph for our own healing.  Love the wound, then let it go.

What techniques have worked well for you in healing emotional pain? Please comment.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Eckhart Tolle – Dealing with Pain (video)Shift Your EmotionsBeing Present – Healing the Past

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                      ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

AWAKENING TO OUR DREAMS

“There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why…I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”  Robert Kennedy

Ciudad de Malaga al atardecer con los Montes d...

Ciudad de Malaga al atardecer con los Montes de Africa (Photo credit: carloscASTROweb)

Have many of your dreams come true?  Is there a connection between the dreams you dream at night and the desires you have when you wake?  How can you use those dreams to become more conscious?

Dreams Help Us Envision New Possibilities

Wouldn’t it be great if life progressed in a straight line so that we could always see where we’re going?  Then we’d know ahead what dreams would come true and which wouldn’t, and we wouldn’t waste our time struggling to make things happen that never happen.  But then of course, we wouldn’t experience the joy of rich surprises and miracles that open possibilities we never envisioned.

One day after a job interview, I stood beside the fireplace in a restaurant, watching the snow fall lightly outside.  I turned and he was there, stepping forward to offer me a seat. The dream had suddenly changed shape, wearing wire-rimmed glasses and a mischievous smile, and we both knew life would never be the same.  Although the relationship was not the dream that lasted for a lifetime, it was one that taught me I could be respected for my intelligence and could share a deeply spiritual relationship.

Manifesting A Dream May Be A Mysterious Path

Life is a spiral dance, weaving steps we know and steps we don’t know—a journey that takes us through shadows and sunlight.  There are the dreams we dream and the dreams we don’t dream—the ones we bury along the way because our parents tell us they can’t come true.  Then one day, we are standing on a stage as the lights come up and our hands begin to strum a guitar or the words of Shakespeare pour from our lips, and we cannot even remember where this moment began.  But somewhere, sometime, it was a dream, an image in our souls that was caught on the wind and carried forward through time, materializing despite all obstacles.

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As a child, I wanted to be a doctor and help Albert Schweitzer heal the lepers in Africa, but after struggling with high school chemistry, I gave up the dream of being a doctor and going to Africa.   Forty years later, in the early morning of a July day, I stepped off an airplane onto African soil.  In that moment, my life changed.  I became a citizen of the world.  I could never have dreamed of the path that led me there.

Each Dream, Even The Dark One, Is A Gift From Spirit

Each dream is a gift from Spirit, whether it is a conscious dream or an unconscious one.  It leads us to places we never dreamed of going or never thought we could reach.  Other dreams may serve a different purpose and may create the illusions where we hide from what we cannot bear to see.  Other times dreams are demonic and rip the illusions away, spiraling us into the darkness of our own depth to find the real answers.

For years, I read New Mexico Magazine, feeling drawn by some powerful force to go there.  When I was almost healed from chronic fatigue, it became clear that I needed to live in a dry environment in order to complete the healing.  A friend invited me to house sit with her that summer in Albuquerque.  Once I was there, I could not leave.  The Native-American culture and art fed my soul.  Then, I found the perfect teaching job right away although it was almost time for school to start.  It all seemed like a dream come true.

But this was the land of enchantment, and what appeared to be magical, within five years, fell apart.  I lost my job, my friends, my spiritual community, my security and all my illusions.  Stripped to the core by following a dream based on illusion, who I really was continued to emerge.  I began to write and discovered a strength and spiritual balance I had never known.

Dreams May Be Profound Spiritual Guides

Those dreams that come in the night, wrapped round with symbols and mystery, may very well hold the answers to the problems in our lives and lead us to the light.  Carl Jung, the famous psychoanalyst, said in his book Man and His Symbols, “The general function of dreams is to restore our psychological balance by producing dream material that re-established, in a subtle way, the total psychic equilibrium.”

Deutsch: Carl Gustav Jung

Deutsch: Carl Gustav Jung (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After my divorce in 1976, I felt unhinged without a job or money.  The grief and anger I felt overwhelmed me.  Then one night, I dreamed I was standing in a plaza with a pool in the center.  A green ladder rose upward and across the pool and into the upper floor of a several story building on the far side.  At the base of the ladder I stood with a young man and a blond-haired woman in a red dress, a version of me that had appeared in other dreams. We performed a ritual, breaking the bread the woman had baked.  Then the man left, and the woman began to climb the ladder, beckoning to me.  Despite my fear, I followed her.

When I awoke, I realized the dream was telling me exactly what I needed to do.  My choice to climb the green ladder was a sacred act. I needed to follow a spiritual path that would lead me to a higher consciousness.  Because the arch led over water, which symbolized emotion, it was also telling me to move beyond just reacting emotionally.  The dream told me how to heal.

There are the dreams we choose to dream and the ones that come to us unexpectedly.  Weaving through our lives with joy and mystery, they are one of Spirit’s greatest transformative gifts.  May you dream well tonight.

What dreams have provided you with important insights? Please comment.

For a more in depth understanding of the value of understanding dreams and how they provide guidance in your life, read my book Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness.

©2013 Georganne Spruce                                            ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Nightmares, Dreams, and the Ego: a New Earth VideoSpiritual Dream Interpretation: Understanding Your DreamsJung Dream Interpretation

AWAKENING TO SHADOW’S TREASURE

“It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are without any self-deception or illusion that a light will develop out of events by which the path of success may be recognized.”  I-Ching

Do you always avoid negative emotions and stuff them down inside?  Are you comfortable expressing all your concerns and emotions to those you love?  How much of who you really are do you keep hidden?

Finding Treasure in the Darkness

As we move deeper into winter, days grow longer and the darkness envelops us.  For many people, it is an uncomfortable time, but like every season, it may hold hidden treasure if we are willing to look for it.  Deep within our unconscious, we all have what Carl Jung called “the Shadow.”  As the weather pushes us indoors more and the light decreases, it is the perfect time for reflecting on what we need to heal and release.

Scorpio, the Transformer

Beyond the change of seasons, other influences are affecting us.  Scorpio, the astrological sign, urges us to dig deeply and explore the part of ourselves we prefer to deny.  It is a time when the changes we make can be transforming.  Visit www.astrodelight.com,  Belinda Dunn’s website, for some very interesting information on Scorpio’s influence.

Mercury Encourages Reevaluation

In addition, Mercury is in retrograde.  Okay now—don’t leave me.  Trust me—all these influences that appear so negative really are gold if we know what to do with them.  The good news is that Mercury goes direct again on the 26th.  I’ll be glad, believe me, because I’m tiring of all the phone calls it has taken to make one simple appointment.

Mercury is about communication.  When it’s in retrograde, it’s a good time to review and revise what we are doing with our lives.  It’s also a good time to clear out what is no longer useful.  It’s not a time to start something new, but it’s a good time to plan for the future.

Becoming Conscious of  Shadow Issues

While this period and its influences may make us uncomfortable, it’s a time when we can do some serious inner work.  When I read the I-Ching quote above, I immediately thought of Carl Jung whose thinking has always increased my understanding of human psychology.  In his book Psychology and Religion, he said, “Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.  If inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it.  Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications.  But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.”

Let’s say that it makes you angry when people are disrespectful to you, but you’ve been taught it’s unacceptable to feel anger.  How do you deal with that?  Most people repress it and keep repressing it.  When we do that, we tend to project the anger onto others in situations that have nothing to do with the situation at hand.  Our reactions to situations become distorted.  The wife who feels her husband spoke disrespectfully one day but said nothing may lash out at him the next day for forgetting an item at the grocery store.

What is kept unconscious will come out in other unhealthy ways or will manifest as illness, for the mind and body connection is very powerful.  Over a long period of time, these repressed feelings poison our physical and mental health.

We Must Release Fear To Become Conscious

If this is true, why do we choose to live so unconsciously?  Because we are afraid.  When we live this way, fear rules our lives, and only when we allow that fear to surface, can we really begin to free ourselves from it and heal.  To do that, we sometimes have to go against cultural norms.

In our Western culture, we emphasize having a positive attitude to an extreme degree; therefore, we are discouraged from looking at our Shadow and its fear content.  But denying our darker side rather than dealing with the related issues only prolongs the damage this dysfunction can do in our lives.  When we allow our buried feelings to become conscious, we can see what is going on, we can heal and release what is limiting us.  We create an opening where the light can come through, where new ideas and ways of living can evolve.

After the Darkness Comes the Light

It took me many years of releasing my fears to come to a point where I could actually publish my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness.  But when I committed to that and faced all the fears that came up, I also committed to a healing journey.  It was very painful sometimes, but it led to a place where I am happier than I’ve ever been, where what is lurking deep inside isn’t scary any more.  And I know now that no matter how uncomfortable dealing with the fear is, releasing it will lead me to more light.

Be willing to go deeper and find the buried treasure within and transform your life.  Peace, Love, and Joy to you on this amazing journey.

If you are in the Asheville, NC area, join us for my “Release Your Fear” workshop at Crystal Visions Bookstore tomorrow night from 7-9:00 pm. $15 at the door.  Releasing your fear is a good way to begin retrieving your Shadow’s treasure.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                     ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  The Hidden Value of Mercury RetrogradeSuppression and Repression, Memories, Dreams, and Reflections by Jung

AWAKENING FROM THE HEART

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.  Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”   Carl Jung

Where are you looking when you envision creating something new in your life?  Where does the vision start?  What is your secret to manifesting it?

Dreaming From Outside

We all have dreams about what we want in life, but what happens when we try to manifest them?  And what does it take for us to bring them into reality?  According to Jung, it all starts in the heart.  In many instances, we “dream” of what we want.  We envision how our external lives would look with more money, our own business, a new relationship, or a different house.  We may imagine how we would look behind a lovely mahogany desk in a powerful managerial position, or standing in the midst of a major gallery with people all around us adoring our paintings.

But on a deeper plane, what is the core of this dream?  Does it fit with who we really are?  We may not even be conscious of the source of the dream or whether it originates from ego’s needs or from our spiritual source.  When I began studying dance years ago, I wanted to be beautiful like the dancers I saw, and I wanted to stop feeling weak.  Because we had to also create dances in the classes, I discovered it was also a way to be creative.  It fulfilled several needs for me, but most were external.

The Value of Going Deeper

As time went by and my body strengthened, I became more confident moving.  I was able to let go and dance from the heart, and when I did this, an uplifting energy and joy flowed through me.  I was operating from a deeper level.  I began to see the mind and body were connected and how they influenced each other.  The stress from daily life created tension in the body.  The tension blocked my movement and interfered with the flow that was so pleasant.  At this point, I was forced to look inside and awakened to realize the blocks were emotional and mental.  It was this awakening that led me to explore the spiritual practices that would release these blocks at the deepest level.

On the other hand, my experience as a writer has been quite different.  The desire to write tugged at my heart from an early age.  It was not a rational thing.  In fact, most of the poetry I wrote was about the love of nature or love relationships.  The essays I write now are almost always inspirational and initially flow from my trust that what comes from my heart will benefit others.

Creating from the Heart

Whatever we create from the heart level is more authentic because it comes from our spiritual core.  For example, following our passion is a heart activity. It awakens us to all possibilities.   We are most expansive when we open at the heart level where we can envision more than what we are able to view through the rational mind.

The heart has no hidden agenda, unlike the ego.  What we envision from the heart will have a clarity that will enable us to see what we really want to manifest because, unless our vision is clear, we will not be able to manifest what we really want.  It’s much like planting flowers or corn.  We wouldn’t just lay the seeds on top of the ground and expect them to sprout new plants.  We know we must dig into the soil and place the seeds there in that rich, dark place where they will germinate.  In order for our vision to grow out into the world, we must go to the heart where we connect with rich spiritual energy.   When we operate from this awakened place, the emotion that we use to manifest this vision will be genuine and focused and more likely produce what we want in a way that is also for the highest good of all.

Have any of your recent visions originated from your heart?  Were you able to manifest them?

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                            ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

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AWAKENING TO THE HEALING DANCE: RELEASING THE PAIN, PART 3

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.  People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.  One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”  Carl Jung

How willing are you to be aware of your emotional pain?  Do you use pleasant experiences or material things to make you feel better or deaden the pain?  Do you have the courage to face and heal the deeper truth?

In the first blog of this series, I wrote about how our wounds often lead us to see what needs to be healed in our lives.  Although we see them as part of our emotional darkness, they are gifts.  In the second part of the series, I pointed out that we all need love in our lives and that it may come from many sources if we are open to seeing it.  Today, I want to write about the importance of letting go of our attachment to the pain we experience.

Fear of Letting go of Pain

Years ago, after a painful divorce, I began seeing a therapist to help me deal with the deep betrayal of my husband.  At the time, I was teaching modern dance and dancing with a company and choreographing.  As the therapy progressed, I began to feel better about myself and spent less time overwhelmed by negative emotions, but one day I became very upset during a session.

“Sometimes I’m afraid that getting ‘well’ will destroy my creativity. It’s changing something in me, and I don’t feel I need to create so much. I feel like I’m losing my creative edge.”

“How is it doing that?” my therapist asked.

“Because it’s the inner turmoil that makes me want to create. If I get well, I’ll have no reason to create!”

“What if being healthy makes you more creative?”

I only shrugged, but as I thought about this, I was unable to imagine how that could be so.

(Excerpted from Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness)

Why We Won’t Let Go

We all have belief systems that keep us trapped in unhealthy places.  That’s why many people refuse to get help for their problems.  They’re afraid to discover what lies in their darkness or are so insecure that they cannot handle the idea that they have done something wrong or are not all right.  My mother is a good example.  She could not let go of the idea that she wasn’t a good Christian if she loved herself.  Her entire sense of worth was based on what she did for others.  She was a loving person in many ways, but very unhappy and took care of herself only so she wouldn’t burden others.

Sometimes, though, we take the risk, and in our process of changing, we begin to feel better and hit another layer of fear that limits our consciousness.  We may cling to our negative feelings simply because they are so familiar, just as we cling to negative relationships because they are known and nothing scares us like the unknown. Letting go of these attachments is often a big step.

Becoming Conscious of Our Shadow

Fortunately, though, after my divorce, I liked feeling better more than being in pain and decided that my ideas for dances could come from many sources, even the past negative feelings, for I could remember them, even if I no longer felt them.  I filed them away as I would any reference material and took responsibility for making myself happier.

Through therapy and through reading and attending workshops as a member of the Carl Jung Society in New Orleans for ten years, I learned to understand my difficulties and how to resolve them.  I learned about the value of what Jung calls, “the Shadow.”  It is that dark part of ourselves that we don’t want to see, but the less conscious we are of it, the more it harms us.  Becoming enlightened or conscious requires that we examine and heal it, for when we become conscious of the thoughts or experiences that have caused our pain, we can heal them, then let go and move on.

All Spiritual Healing Requires the Journey Inward

This spiritual journey inward may seem eccentric to some people who have bought into our materialistic society.  Eventually, the materialism fails to solve the problems.  The drugs that seemed to make us feel better become a destructive addiction.  All of the “cures” for our pain only create an illusion of temporary healing.  The only true healing takes place when we go within, and that is often true of physical, as well as emotional pain.  We have to bring it to the surface, heal it, and let it go.

We can free ourselves only when we become conscious.  No one I’ve read has written more clearly about our pain than Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose in his discussion of the “pain body” and how to heal it.  I highly recommend this book. (See Links I Like at the side bar)

What pain have you healed recently? Please comment.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Eckhart Tolle Releasing the Pain Body (video), Carl Jung’s Concept of the Shadow (related to life), Overcome Your Emotional Roadblocks