My life changed quite dramatically a couple of months ago when I stopped working with clients 1:1 and also moved into shared accommodation with a friend after living alone for 10 years.
A few people have asked me recently if I feel free now that I've stopped working. Pondering this question I realised that I was still restricting myself through my daily habits, still seeing the week as Monday to Friday (and then the weekend), still not finding time to do daily yoga or meditation, and focusing largely on supporting the other person ... as a way of replacing all the other people I'd let go of in my working life.
It's been fascinating to notice this unwillingness to be fully with myself and to wonder
"How can I live from the freedom of my soul
and not from the habits and stories of my personality self?"
and going a bit deeper with that inquiry
"How can I believe that I matter
when childhood experiences caused me to believe a different story?"
Asking these questions seems to have given my soul permission to speak up more clearly so when I woke yesterday I had a clear idea that I wanted to be by the Findhorn River and I followed that impulse. I felt like my body was asking me to spend the day in gentleness and to let nature be my nourishment. At the end of the day I found myself expressing a need for quiet, alone time before bed - something very simple - but something I wouldn't usually request. The result was that after weeks of not sleeping very well, I had a deep and nourishing sleep and woke feeling content and also very excited this morning.
On waking I understood the simplicity of embodied and authentic presence in a very new way.
I also reflected on how the need to be liked, loved, noticed and appreciated creates a lot of intensity, drama, complexity, confusion, lack, thoughts, memories, hard work and stories that affirm my existence and make me feel real - in an unhelpful way that actually doesn't serve me in fully discovering my soul's freedom. And also stops me having a good night's sleep!
In my early morning waking moments today I had a vision of a room in which a group of people were moving authentically and speaking from their moment by moment experience. It was like a workshop space in which they had permission to notice what was going on inside of them, and give voice and movement to it. They were able to move towards each other or away from each other, to run, lie down, stand still or do whatever their bodies desired in that moment as full authentic expression. The process contained subtle elements of 5 Rhythms and Family Constellation work...
In this vision I was facilitating the workshop process and yet I was also moving and speaking from my own present moment authentic expression. There was no lesson plan. I saw two women move towards each other, each one telling (out loud) a similar story of an earlier life experience. Then they both lay on the floor and gradually reached out to one another, allowing their bodies to connect gently.... one woman resting her head on the other woman's belly. In that moment they both cried gently and were somehow released from their past stories. A deep healing came from being witnessed and connected.
It seemed that the power of that moment lay in having permission to feel into what they needed most, allowing the unconscious stories to arise in the moment, trusting that others were there for support, and that the space was safe enough to let their stories go.
I wondered what it would be like if we could all believe the truth of that and live from that place?
Now bear with me while I join up some dots.... because it seems to me that the current state of the world is a manifestation of a deeper longing to move out of a limited victim mentality and to embody our true state of freedom.
As personal freedoms are curtailed in a visible and frightening way in the daily news, we are seeing the truth of our own underlying beliefs in limitation.
The vision of this workshop led me to revisit my training in Systemic Constellation work which is based on the process of phenomenology. Phenomenology is a way of thinking about ourselves. Instead of asking mentally about what we really are, it focuses on phenomena. These are experiences that we get from the senses - what we see, taste, smell, touch, hear, and feel in that moment.
As Erika Goble PhD said in her research paper: "The basic tenet of hermeneutic phenomenology is that our most fundamental and basic experience of the world is already full of meaning (Merleau-Ponty, 1962/ 2006; van Manen, 2014). We are enmeshed in our world and immediately experience our world as meaningful because our world—with its other people, its histories and cultures, and its events—precedes any attempt on our part to understand it or explain it. The purpose of hermeneutic phenomenological research is to bring to light and reflect upon the lived meaning of this basic experience..... the most effective phenomenological workshop and courses are laden with activities that challenge its participants to move beyond thinking about the methodology and towards embodying it."
In this systemic way of working Bert Hellinger said that we are held by a "Knowing Field" that appears to inform the movements of the facilitator and participants, directing them towards a state of harmony. It is a multi-dimensional field composed of space, time, matter, soul and spirit, which is accessible to everyone.
I find myself wondering why we limit that understanding
to the process of Systemic Constellation work... and can't see that this is actually LIFE?
If we were to move through life connected to our moment by moment phenomenological experience, I sense that we'd be living beyond the stories of the personality and experiencing life as an embodied soul. In that realm we might be asking questions of the Knowing Field (the intelligence of nature? the quantum field of possibility?) such as:
Where do I not feel free?
Where do I play the victim?
How do I keep myself trapped?
By noticing our present moment experiences we can then begin to live into the questions, observing and discerning as the stories and habits of the past that no longer serve us, show themselves more clearly. This might even include models of healing that keep us dependent and believing that we need something other than a deep connection to our own soul in order to heal and be free.
Then we begin to ask questions like:
How can I soften, allow life to flow and discover the gentle joy that lives innately within me
so I can experience the exaltation of being alive?
How can I be kind to myself as I unravel the stories of this personality's journey?
How can I allow the consciousness of my own cells in this moment to inform my next steps in becoming an unlimited embodied soul?
How can I contribute today to humanity's essential movement from slavery to freedom?
In living these questions there is openness, curiosity, sometimes amusement ... and often pleasant surprises as the old stories and limitations fall way. There might even be feelings of astonishment at the new future that unfolds before you.... even if it's as simple as the joy of having a good night's sleep!
Freedom is a moment by moment choice that grows from deeper questions and increased self-awareness and there is no faster way to inner freedom than living life from a place of embodied present moment phenomenological awareness... and permission to be kind to yourself.
When we can allow a deep connection with other discerning souls and trust that honesty and vulnerability can be safe, we're aligned with the intelligence of our soul, nature itself, and the field of possibility. By embodying our own freedom we give others the permission to do the same.
Every human soul has come here with its own specialisation - as a cell of humanity - just as each cell in the human body is specialised to perform a particular task for the good of the whole.
Don't underestimate the part your soul is here to play.
Your soul is speaking to you in every moment
and it uses your body's senses as a way to communicate with you.
Reference to Phenomenology