Taking off the Mask

This week has seen the turning of Beltane, the rich, wild, illuminating fires of seasonal shift in the planetary cycle of our beautiful hemisphere.

At this time, Edinburgh has a vibrant celebration at the top of Calton Hill. A few thousand people witness the Celtic carnival of summer’s emergence in a fire festival with the Green Man and May Queen. The bon fire at the end is exceptional, and to dance around it as the night gives way to the new morning, is a pulsing, trance-like experience of connection – with earth, elements, nature’s creatures, fey, people and self. 

Copyright Martin McCarthy for Beltane Fire Society.

This year, my own celebration took place with a group of 8 companions in the Scottish Borders. The theme of our gathering was Beltane Masks.

During the Saturday we contemplated what a mask is, what it serves, when do we wear them, and what would it be like to cast off our masks? 

Each of us decorated papier-mâché masks, having decided upon that aspect of our personality or habit we would like to change.

We had taken a journey on the inner through a maze of internal corridors to come face to face with our personal mirror. What we saw in the mirror ostensibly would reveal to us that which we wished to de-mask. 

I saw fear. And I felt courage. 

It wasn’t a general sort of fear, but fear linked to spiritual truth. And the feeling of courage, yearned to come out from behind the mask of silence and fear. 

Recently, it has occurred to me that my spiritual truths have changed or have been urging me to change and I have been resisting them. Like one of those pictures that you look at and see one thing, then shift perception and see another thing, I have been attempting to hold my perception in place so as to only acknowledge particular aspects. The others, which have crept up on me, relating to inner plane teachings and personal experiences, I have not wanted to acknowledge or integrate. 

How could I be a credible therapist while also speaking with Spirit, channelling teachings from the inner planes or using my advancing psychism, particularly when some of those teachings and experiences seem so ‘way out’ there? 

Even as I write, I smile to myself because of course, if I am not comfortable with my spiritual truths, how can I expect to help others come to understand and develop their own spiritual experiences?  

And you might say, yes, but Karolyne, I’ve had sessions with you, and all of this has been part of our time together, and I’ve been able to express my own ‘way out’ beliefs too. And of course, that is all true.

I guess, I am thinking specifically about my writing, and more specifically about a book I am writing – Spirit Talk. A friend asked me the other day – what is it that is served by me stalling my writing? It came to me that by putting off writing, I am protecting myself from being judged. If I’m not judged, I won’t look ‘crazy’ or strange or incompetent.

Fear.

IMG_5207So after I had painted my mask – with Eyes of Horus, for my inner plane contact, with a division down the middle for being torn in two, with a closed mouth for silence and a pretty look for hiding – I took such great delight to dance around the Beltane fire with my companions and to throw that mask into the flames!

Of course, it’s not enough, just to recognise the mask and to cast it off in such a ritual; the next step is likely the most important, and that is to move in the direction that the mask was inhibiting.

So my work now is to write every day – to get that book written – and more, to increasingly incorporate my spiritual truths in my language, conversations, behaviours and work, where applicable.

I wonder if you can think of a mask that you wear? Like most of us, probably more than one. Maybe it is a mask worn through fear or for safety, to fit in, to please, to hide, to mirror another, perform a behaviour that you’d rather not or any other reason…

What would it be like to remove that mask?

And what needs to change in your life to help you remove that mask? I’m interested to know. If this blogs prompts some thought, drop me a line. 

What would your life be like free of that mask?

‘Tear off the mask, your face is glorious’ – Rumi

Beltane Fire Festival Photo by Martin McCarthy.

What do you think?

 

Now, this week, I have taken a week off from seeing clients. I have had a very long to-do list and thought this time would give me a chance to catch up. However, rather than getting through my to-do list, this week has given me a chance to think.

I know, right… think. You’d expect that we do it all the time, so why would I need to make time to think. Well, apparently 95% of our thoughts during the day are ones we’ve had the day before! Crazy huh. But when you think about it, you begin to realise that you’re playing over conservations, repeating thoughts of yesterday, and to be fair, reserach tells us that 80% of those are negative! Blimey. 

Actual thinking is something else.

One of my coaches, Bob Proctor says, When you think, everything inside shifts. You break through all the chaos and confusion. A feeling of order, purpose and intention takes over. 

I would add that when we think, we make conscious, present space for ideas, notions, realisations and feelings to emerge.

When we consciously think, we make room for understanding.

Well, there’s been a lot of change in my life recently, and the time I’ve given myself this week has allowed me to think, to reflect and understand the energy and circumstances related to those changes.

I realised that old, old energy had been moving my relationships. That I had been a puppet to them, and they weren’t even mine – they belonged to my childhood. The energy of fear and separation had infiltrated my unconscious programming and had been steering me along relationship paths that played out accordingly. So sad. And so sad that realisation. But also so freeing. And now, seen in the light of day, processed through thinking, felt through body, it is released, and I am able to go forward with greater self awareness and understanding. And, thank goodness, I am able to take a friend up on a weekend trip away because I am choosing connection rather than separation. I am choosing play rather than work, work, work.

But why did it take so long? 

Well, there’s likely a number of interwoven reasons, including personal development and readiness to heal, but when I was talking with my brother in Adelaide, Australia, this morning, we shared some ideas about thinking. We both agreed that the treadmill of work, family, social life, social media, and personal commitments and responsibilities fills our days with repetition and distraction from truly thinking. In this way, new ideas, new realisations, new understandings, are hard-pressed to make themselves known.

My dreams were telling me that process was happening, but my days were filled so tightly that none of the subconscious awareness was making its way to the surface.

Just giving myself time to think in the mornings has made a world of difference. 

When I get up now, I make a fresh juice of fruit, ginger, tumeric, and greens – spinach or curly kale – with spirulina powder mixed in. Then I go meditate for 20-30 minutes, after which I work out with qigong and exercise for another 20 minutes. This routine has meant getting up an hour and half earlier than before. And while that was a struggle at first, now, I look forward to it.

It is during the meditation that the space allows process to rise up. It is after meditation that the thinking is given room to happen. And it’s beautiful.

The thinking brings with it the feeling (though sometimes feeling leads to thinking). And the feeling is powerful. It’s not always comfortable, mind. There are often tears, but that too is beautiful, because it is all healing.

What I found was that the busyness of my day meant I did a lot of avoiding; a lot of ‘i’ll get to that (thought) later’. Making time to allow the percolation of feeling/thinking states to occur, rise up and be seen and felt is one of the most important realisations I’ve had this week. I really do feel happier.

It’s so simple, isn’t it? I mean, it sounds so simple. But really, when was the last time you just allowed new thinking and inner feelings to speak to you?

So… when did you last THINK? I mean really think.

And when you did, what did you realise? What happened? I’m really interested to know, so if inclined, send me a message.

Meantime, happy thinking! 

With Love and Blessings,
Karolyne

‘What if I get it wrong?’

kim-mickle-javelin_0.jpg‘What if I get it wrong?’ or ‘What if I can’t do it?’ are two of the most common questions I’ve been asked since beginning regression therapy. People are concerned that they might not be able to enter the trance state or past life or simply ‘do it right’.

Of course, where this question is asked in the therapy space, it will likely exist in other areas of life. This notion of getting it wrong and failing or fear of failure can seep into our life in all manner of ways. And, it’s likely been around for a long time. If it exists in the therapy room, you can be sure that exists outside of that space, and that at some time that fear has held you back, kept you in unhealthy situations, limited your ideas and actions and influenced your feelings, emotions and view of your world.

I remember thinking it myself when I began the regression work. Ooo, what if I can’t actually get into a past life? I had previous experience in my 20s of past life regression, which helped assuage that notion, but it got me thinking about the feeling behind the thoughts. And that took me back to my teens, and the ‘what if I fail’ fear…

I am 14 years old, and I have competed in the high school sports day. I’ve won the 100-metre sprint, the 400-metre and the javelin, and the head school coach has selected me to go to the state athletics meet. There I am competing in various races and the javelin, which I ended up breaking some age-related record in. So… state coach now gets hold of me and arranges for me to try-out with the national coach and top young athletes in the state.

Well, I was chuffed. And, I was terrified. What if it was a fluke? Do you all know what fluke means? A fluke is some uncanny luck or chance. What if it was that and I couldn’t repeat my long, long throw of this long, long spear?

My folks were really supportive. I remember dad driving me down to the track for the very first sports meet. Well, I got out of the car, walked into the stadium, looked around, couldn’t see anyone, and promptly walked back to the car, heart racing, and told my dad to take me home. He looked at me puzzled, and asked what happened? What could I tell him? I’d chickened out? I was terrified. No, I simply said that I’d changed my mind. It wasn’t for me.

Well, in hindsight, of course, throwing the javelin, becoming a state or national athlete wasn’t my remit in this life. Regardless, I didn’t know that at the time. Heck, I wanted to be an astronaut or an actress, and yes, athlete had passed entered my mind. But my fear of failure, my fear of judgement meant that I wasn’t going to give myself a chance to do that… And it was the same for acting. When I scored the highest in the state for my final year drama performance, recommended to the national acting school, did I go? No. No, I did not. Why? Fear.

It’s the same driver behind those therapy questions. Oh, it can find its way into so many situations. I wonder if you know this fear? I bet you do. I wonder if there has ever been a soul alive who didn’t at one time in their life, know this fear.

For some that self-limiting fear is momentary, and the learning is quick. For others it can last a lifetime. Which are you I wonder? And there’s no judgement here. This is old stuff. This fear is childhood belief stuff. And sometimes, we have come into this life with it. Sometimes it’s other life stuff. It just hangs around, throwing its weight into various scenarios, opportunities, relationships, thoughts and actions.

So when clients come to me now and say, ‘What if I get it wrong’ or ‘What if I can’t do it’, there has been enough time, enough healing, enough self-understanding and awareness for me to say – There is no right or wrong. There is no failing. There is only experience.

There is only experience.

And we determine that experience. That’s what I’ve come to learn. You and I, we determine our inner responses to our external environment.

And our growth point is to become conscious in the experience. In all experience.

First – Let us be conscious in the process of our fear.

Then – Let us act despite our fear.

It’s all experience, Friends.

Let us go forward, consciously.

Oh My Goodness! Oh My Godness!

You know, I have been on this personal development path for a long time. It probably began when I was living amongst Buddhist Chinese-Malay folk on Christmas Island. True, my work wasn’t particularly spiritual at the time – surveillance in a casino, can you believe – but I did immerse myself in the Buddhist culture then at the age of 26 years. I went to temple, to celebrations and listened to the dharma. My travels took me along the Buddhist trail, and my first teacher, Andrew Tem Foo Lim, normalised my energy and kundalini experiences, and showed me the meaning of capital-L Love and compassion; Love that is greater than self and more than a single being; Love that encompasses strangers, people we don’t particularly enjoy or agree with, as well as those close to us; Love with a holy quality that transcends personalities, and which brings us closer to the divine within and of which we are part.

Even though I have been on this journey – lifetimes, no doubt – more than 25 years in this turn of the wheel, and even though I have followed my path, all the signs, all the openings, feeling this way and that, moving closer and closer… Still, I am prone to doubt sometimes.

Recently, it had been difficult to hold my head above uncertainty. A whole lot of personal change, moving home and vibrational shift had me pondering the grand meanings. And just when I needed that deep inner plane connection – with Spirit and Heru – nothing would come. Nadda. I felt as if a blanket had been thrown over me. It seemed I could not hear or see or feel Spirit or my other clair-senses. And I felt lost, and yes, afraid of what that meant. I could still link to people’s family who had passed, but my ability to elevate my energy and raise my vibration so that I could make contact with the higher frequency planes and communicators was dampened.

I’ve since heard that there is a lot of energetic activity over the Earth at present, and that light workers, healers, psychics, mediums, and all other folk who work with altered states and vibrational health, have experienced a blanking of sorts. You too may have felt something similar. Rest assured, it has lifted, and it seems the general consensus was, time for ‘rest’.

What does it take for you to stop, and to rest? When was the last time you did? I mean really stop; time and space that was just for you. What was it like? And how do you feel when you bring it to memory now?

Well, the flu (twice this year) didn’t stop me; I kept going – working, moving house, meeting groups, putting on smiles and ‘pushing through’. BUT, when my psychism was affected; when I suddenly felt like I was without my extra-sensory capacity, THEN I stopped.

And you won’t believe what happened when I stopped; when I gave myself time…

All of a sudden I realised that the thing I thought I wanted to do with my life, and was just taking steps towards via routes of unfoldment…. well, it turns out, I don’t want to do it! ha!

When I allowed myself to stop, to sit, to let the thoughts flow, the feelings rise within me and tell their story, then the truth of my Soul arose.

And oh! I could feel the LOVE. My heart ached with that Love. The thought and feeling of how magnificent it would be to help folk turn around to discover and come to know their own God Self – to connect with their Soul and to bring that connection into the world.

Yes!

Oh my goodness! Oh my Godness!

A little bit of quiet. A little bit of free-flowing thought. A lot of coaxing the feelings to rise up and immerse myself in. And a load of honesty.

My blanket of doubt is gone. My connection to the Inner Planes and beyond is returned.

So, when have you doubted? What do you doubt now?

Go sit with yourself. Make time for yourself. Be still with yourself.

The Love that rises within you when you nurture your precious being by opening ways of communication within – that Love speaks your truth.

 

A Beginning – Life After Life

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Welcome to my blog, where I share personal insights and experiences, teachings, meditations and videos in areas of healing, spirituality, mindfulness and personal-development.

To begin, I’d like to share with you an experience I had recently while watching a YouTube video in which Brian Weiss leads the audience in a past-life regression. It’s called ‘An evening with Brian Weiss’.  The experience speaks to my own journey and to the greater ever-lasting truth that life continues when we leave our body. 

Sitting on the couch, flicking through inspirational videos, I settled on one of Brian Weiss’ talks. As some of you will know, Brian is a leading expert in past-life regression. In this video, he leads the audience on a journey. I decided to participate and made myself comfortable. Closing my eyes, I followed the flow and tone of Brian’s voice and allowed him to facilitate my move into trance.

Call to the Child

First, he encourages us to think about a childhood memory. I am immediately taken back to a well known family photo of me running away from home. Actually cycling. Well, tricycling. At about two and a half, I am on my wee trike, face turned to the camera, stopped mid-motion as I peddle up the drive-way of my grandparents’ house.

As Brian takes us deeper into this memory, I no longer see the photograph but am now in the living experience of that moment. I am in my small child body, sat astride my tricycle. My tiny hands are wrapped around white rubber grips of the handlebars. My little legs are touching the seat, bike and ground, and I feel my determination, my purpose. There is no sadness, no anger, no indignation or tantrum as one might expect of a toddler leaving home. Rather, there is simply the knowing that I must leave. I feel the pull of something my child thoughts cannot explain, a current that I am following, flowing with, though I could not at that age have told you what or how, or even that it existed. All I know in that moment is that I must peddle away because I am called to do so.

Womb and Birth

Brian takes us further back now, into the womb, in the prenatal state, encouraging the experience, whether imagination or memory. And now I am back there, inside my mother’s womb. I can hear the pulsing, whooshing of blood and the warm, wonderful containment. Around me I feel safe, secure, unworried and unfettered by decisions or thoughts. I can feel my mother’s mixed emotions and I feel her love. I feel her strength and her resolve.

As Brian leads the audience and myself through our birth, I am shocked to experience the world of light and air and matter. It is all so much, so harsh, like sandpaper, and my cry is a cry of alarm and a will to retreat. And then love. Then warmth. Then comfort.

The Spirit Realms

Floating above this scene now, Brian takes us farther back to a past life and death point, and I am taken to a spiritual place. I am standing in the familiar realm of Spirit. I am me and not me, feeling both male and female. Before me stands a luminescent shape of an older woman. Her light is bright and that is all I can see. She exudes love for me, and yet it is not familial. I do not recognise her as family. She feels old beyond years, and I have the sense that the form she allows me to glimpse is merely for my benefit. Even as I am vaguely aware of Brian continuing to talk, asking ‘Are there any messages for you?’, this light being reaches into my thoughts with her voice. Though she seems to stand so close, I cannot see through to her or tell her distance, but her voice echoes clear and deep within me.

‘You see?’ she says, ‘You were already always leaving, making your way on the path.‘ And then she showed me that my little self was simply obeying an internal rhythm, a dance of the Universe, set in play before I was born and even before that, compelling me to follow its call. She showed me the nature of that path – of the healing and teaching, of the cycle that is life-in-spirit, life-in-matter, life-in-spirit; how my spirit leaves the spirit realms to be born again, and again, and again; how as spirit in the material world, once more I called to heed the vibration of the Universe along the trajectory of my soul’s path. She showed me too that my task was to remember this and to bring my knowledge and awareness into the world with me. It is why I share it now.

The Cycle

I come from Spirit. I am Spirit. You come from Spirit. You are Spirit.

All that I AM is conceived in Spirit. 

Born into the material world, we move along a pre-ordained path that in its fullest potential is aligned with the Spirit within us and from which we came. In our material life, we are tasked with remembering all that our long-memory, which we have intact in Spirit, knows of our Self in its magnificent, divine creation, such that our material life may thrive and be of service to others.

And here I am, fumbling my way through this earthly existence, just like everybody else, living, loving, falling down and getting up. Only now, I am listening. Now I am feeling. Now I am being present, ever learning, ever seeking, ever growing, ever training my material self to recognise and respond to the memory of my spirit and the call of the Universe in this dance and melody of Life after Life.