There is a great story in First Nation US folklore about the origins of the crow. In the story, the crow was originally created in many beautiful colours and loved his colours deeply and how the light shone on them. But when he noticed his shadow, behind him, black as black, he became increasingly perturbed and started to peck at that shadow, to try and make it go away. Over time he became so obsessed with the shadow that he forgot about his colours entirely. All his attention was on the shadow and he pecked more and more… until the day that the shadow had had enough and pecked back, swallowing the crow up and leading to the black bird (with a shimmer of other colours) that we know today.
Spring has started springing and we all know what that means. An extra friskiness is in the air and many of us start to think about Mr/Ms Right (or Right Now) and the ol’ rollercoaster of ups and downs, of triumphs and heartbreaks is all poised to hit full speed once more. I know of several friends already well into the cycle, bless them!
Now there are two excellent ways to make sure that this is a ride you can thrill to, and after which you will remain injury free and tingling.
May I share them with you?
Strategy #1 is the simplest. Make a decision, just before you get on the ride, that you are going to enjoy every moment, even the moments you think you are going to die. If this seems like a tough thing to learn to do, fast forward in your mind to the last moment you spend here on Earth and think, as you look back, how beautiful and precious ALL those intense moments were. Seemingly good or seemingly bad, you LIVED those rollercoaster situations and the bitter and the sweet were all part of being so gloriously, feelingly, vulnerably ALIVE! With that perspective you can really treasure every part of whatever situation you get into.
Strategy #2 may be used in conjunction with #1, and it is about remembering, whatever role you choose in any given moment of the game, exactly who has the power and who is the worthwhile prize here! (Yes, it is you!) So… this strategy consists of first reminding yourself that “Perception is Projection”. Meaning it is impossible for you to notice anything great about your lover without that thing being already in you. In fact, you can go one step further and acknowledge that all those wonderful feelings that you experience(d) in any given relationship are feelings that YOU bring to the party, not gifts from that special someone. Feeling beautiful? Your lover is simply showing you the beauty of you, a beauty that stays there regardless of relationships.
At the same time, anything that you were particularly feeling had to come from someone else – approval and being “good enough” or “attractive enough” are the top faves in the perennial chart – can now be something that you consciously pour into yourself, rather than seeking them outside. Stand in front of the mirror, tell yourself how goddam sexy, wonderful, worthwhile you are. Cradle yourself gently. Treat yourself as the most precious person on the planet!
When you need nothing from your new playmate or partner, then you can really start to enjoy love (in all its forms) for the first time.
Quite often, sometime deep into a session, a client who has come to me with a recurring behaviour or a set of feelings or some other part of their life weighing them down, will turn to me in a moment of bright-eyed discovery and say “Hey! I see now! This does not belong to me!”. It happened recently with someone who had felt burdened by something all his life and then discovered it was not his burden: it had come from one of his parents and he had never thought to set it down.
Here is a quick fun experiment for cat owners. Go find your cat right now and start telling him/her some bad things. Tell your moggy that the US has gone to the dogs (!) because of Trump, say that air pollution is at a record level, mention the imminent global crash as the EU breaks apart, talk about Putin, terrorists, fluoride and bird ‘flu (which is obviously just “man ‘flu” for birds).
I am willing to bet that little Tibbles (insert name as appropriate) just does his/her normal morning checks – food in the right place? what’s the weather doing? is my fave sleep place ready for me to curl up? etc. – and that heart rate and other functions will remain well in the green.
“Aha,” you say with the manic gleam that comes with playing these games, “But that’s because I can’t say it in cat language.”
There is a classic thing that happens when a client comes to see a transformational coach or therapist like me. The question is posed to them, “So, tell me, what do you want? What do you really really want?” …and straight away there is an answer that starts with, “Well, I can tell you what I DON’T want. I DON’T want to be working in this dead-end job/living in the suburbs/ drinking six pints of cider every night etc.”
Right now in the US and around the world, marchers and protesters are telling us what they DON’T want (Trump) and back in 2016 the Brexiters also told us what they DIDN’T want (immigration and EU laws).