Posted in healing, inner child, Personal Story

Growing Up With a Box Full of Darkness

“Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, was a gift.” – Mary Oliver

Are you someone who grew up having a difficult relationship with a parent? 

It can be a tough experience to grow, from womb to adulthood and beyond, trying to make sense of oneself and the world. And then add in to that a parent or parents who don’t see, hear or acknowledge that we matter, let us know that we are loved and worthy.

Worst still, maybe you lived with a parent or parents who criticised, judged, manipulated, controlled, demanded, abused, denied, hated or gaslighted. Maybe there was alcohol, drugs, absence, divorce, violence, abuse…

There are parents that aren’t able to be loving and affirming because it wasn’t there for them. It wasn’t modelled or experienced when they were growing up. They had difficulties with their own parents that led to not feeling loved or worth much. That’s not to say that a child who had a dysfunctional parent grew up to be dysfunctional themselves. Sometimes, the child becomes the healer of the entire generational family trauma. Sometimes, dysfunction is the starting point for such a journey.

Nothing said here is intended as criticism or judgement. There are few more unfortunate circumstances than a person becoming disordered in their personality because it happens during the earliest years of childhood. I feel sad for every one of us that’s subject to such a life story.

One of the most complicated labels is Narcissistic Personality Disorder. A person with NPD has little or no chance of understanding or accepting that they have this disorder and even if they do, it’s almost impossible to commit to treatment that could help them unpick it, because to do so would go against the absolute need to deny their wound is there.

When an NPD parent brings up a child, undoubtedly it means that the child experiences some shocking deficits that would impact their life. They may need to walk away. Maybe they stay. Either way is difficult.

A parent with NPD would find it difficult to show genuine love, empathy, compassion or gratitude. They may say they understand you, love you or are grateful, but over time, you realise they’re hollow words that are not backed up.

Almost everything revolves around the NPD person, leads back to them and their needs, worries or affairs, although they may be skilled at making it look otherwise. Truth is, they live for drama and their life is often chaotic and complicated as they draw drama around them.

An NPD parent will usually have a charming and highly social persona so that others think they’re fun, charming people. They may be overly affectionate, a ‘talk-to-anybody’ kind of person. They are charismatic, often successful people. As their child, you will see this side being demonstrated, but not so much within the core family. The side projected towards you may be a completely different picture which is very confusing since many will see your challenging parent as a lovely person and that’s not likely to be your reality at all.

The NPD person contains and expresses an absolute sense of entitlement. Maybe they need to express how special and unique they are, maybe they become angry when they feel someone doesn’t understand or appreciate them or didn’t value their specialness, maybe they simply make things about themselves and expect others to organise their lives around them, be at their disposal.

Walking away from an NPD parent is a real consideration, sometimes it’s the only way to heal and learn to love ourselves. I didn’t.

I maintained a good distance and limited contact for many years. Eventually, I found a way to get closer, to abate the onslaught, stay calm, ignore or walk away when needed. I learned it’s of no use to try to explain things in the hope they may understand and adjust their behaviour. Totally pointless.

I love my parent and feel sad that they’re trapped by conditions that were never asked for or deserved and they don’t understand any of it. My parent created in me a pleaser and fixer from a young age but I don’t please or fix so much nowadays, thanks to inner child healing. It’s such freedom to no longer carry the drive to have to do that. I can accept other people’s journeys for what they are, including that of my parent, and focus on my own journey, the only one I have the power to change.

Do you have an NPD-type person in your life? Did you have a difficult time with a parent growing up? Are you still struggling? Have you learned to love yourself, through healing from such a dynamic? Have you understood the gifts and opportunities that are open to you? Have you found all the love you need inside yourself, so you don’t need it from your parent anymore?

If this resonates for you, my love and blessings are with you. There are many others sharing this journey, you’re not on your own. Quite often, we live for years without knowing that it’s never been about us. Then, we hear or read something and start to see the whole of our past in a new way that makes sense. It helps to understand, it’s part of the healing. There may be little we can do but understand, yet that, in itself, is the start of healing, not only for ourselves but for previous generations.

Many of us are healing now and our insights are changing the energy of the past too. We are clearing it for our parents and grandparents and their parents too. We are all healing, only some of us consciously, but that’s all it takes.

(Image: “Opening The Box” by Amenet Drago)

Posted in healing, love

Looking at Children Differently

As a society, I can’t help thinking that society may have some healing to do when it comes to attitudes towards children.

Too often, I hear adults putting young people down. It’s as though some adults have forgotten what it’s like to be a child growing up in the world.

Children are sometimes perceived as demanding and needy. This may be because they are not getting their needs met. They try to get their needs met but maybe there are people around them who just don’t know how to meet them.

Young people are often accused of being rude and disrespectful. Have we not considered that they are confused about the messages they’re picking up? The adult world is full of mixed messages that don’t make sense and fearful messages coming from the media. Young people’s behaviour can be seen as a reflection of what’s going on inside them and there are times when the world today is enough to make anyone feel angry.

Some may think that young people are lazy, not making an effort, not trying hard enough, neither interested or motivated in what’s going on around them. Is it possible that they’re simply disengaged?

That might be the case if they feel disempowered or controlled. Are they feeling undervalued? Children are frequently put under pressure by adults. They may be told that their school days are the best days of their lives and that life is going to get a lot tougher. And that might make them feel misunderstood and unsupported if school’s stressful and they’re anxious about the future. Confusion causes frustration and stress.

Another common comment aimed at children is that they’re spoilt or entitled. Once again, if this is so, it’s a reflection of the parenting style they are subject to.

We may label children as troublesome or bad when they act in a way that makes us feel uncomfortable, and likewise, see them as good when they meet our standards and expectations. We must remember that we automatically embody a position of authority from our adult stance and we need to be aware of treating each child with the respect and acknowledgment that’s due from one human being to another.

Do you remember what it felt like to be a child?
Did you feel seen? Did you feel heard?
Were you given respect?
Were you validated and supported?
What are we choosing to pass on to the next generation of adults?

[Image: “Child Amongst the Ancestors: Stonehenge Summer Solstice” by Amenet Drago]

Posted in Abundance and lack, Ascension, darkness and light, Inspiration, love, Mother Earth

Love and Peace and the Happiest Man in the World

How was Christmas? One of the best things about Christmas is permission to have fun, to play, laugh and let our hair down. Did you get to do that this year?

Christmas isn’t always about having fun, sometimes it’s about grief and sadness. For some, it’s a continuation of the abuse or homelessness that is there every day.

I once heard a story about a man who everyone called “the happiest man alive.” He lived in abject poverty, no home, no job, no money, and yet, he was always full of joy. He walked the streets, everyone knew him in the neighbourhood, and he made it his business to look for something helpful to do every day. He was often found picking up litter and putting it in the rubbish bin, after all, his lifestyle meant he had an intimate relationship with the contents of bins.

In the park, people who looked sad would soon find a big smile from him. Many went to him with their problems, which is strange because he didn’t specialise in problems, he only beamed out love.

He had no family or friends, although everyone knew his name and many stopped to talk. Once in a while, someone would offer him an old woolly sweater or a hot meal which he accepted graciously. His name was Carl.

As for you and me, and Carl’s neighbours, we don’t know how to live the secret that Carl instinctively embodied.

All our feelings, thoughts, words and actions are not responses to what goes on around us but to what is going on inside.

If we feel sad, then something inside us is resonating with sadness, maybe it’s the grief of losing a loved one. Sometimes, the person we’ve lost and are grieving the lack of is ourselves.

When we are resonating love and peace inside, then we’re like Carl. It doesn’t matter what or who we lost, it doesn’t matter how unfair life seems, it doesn’t matter what others do or say, we continue to experience joy, happiness, blessings and peace because it’s always there inside.

The secret to life is to understand this truth and come to live it. We are here, right now, worrying about the Earth and the state of the world. We are embodying and expressing sadness, fear, worry, lack, not being enough, not having the answer, hopelessness, frustration, anger. The list goes on. How can we embody love and peace when we engage with everything going on outside and around us with these other emotions?

Now, imagine if everyone in the world put their energy into finding and expressing inner peace and love. Do you realise that would remove all the perceived problems in the world because everyone would be thinking and acting from peace and love? That’s the reason we are here.

Wake up, beautiful soul, stop putting yourself through so much pain, this is simple. All you need do is see it and choose it. You have the answer, we all do.

(Image: “Ignite Love and Peace, They Are Waiting Inside” by Amenet Drago

Posted in Inspiration, love

On Raising Apprentice Adults

Parenting is such an important and honourable role, it can become a little overwhelming at times. Here are some fundamental reminders about raising apprentice adults (children):

Give your apprentice adults space to explore themselves, the world and others, trust them.

Provide boundaries that gently enclose them in love whilst allowing them room to breathe.

Good boundaries are a balance between trust and nurture.

What is the purpose of each boundary you set, is it coming from your fear? Is it coming from your love?

Uphold your loving boundaries consistently and calmly.

Encourage creativity, free thinking, inventiveness, imagination, individuality and don’t put out their spark.

Allow your apprentices to have a true, clear voice. Really see them for who they are and validate them for being true to themselves, by letting them know you hear them and see them.

Let your little ones know they are loved without conditions.

Accept they are not you.

Accept that your job is to prepare your children for the world and then to let them go so they can explore it.

Remember, you don’t own them, they owe you nothing, you cannot live through them, you are here to guide them to be their best selves as they learn to step out into the world on their own.

Try not to label them as ‘clever’ or ‘pretty’ or such, because you may be setting standards they feel a need to live up to, and that might create a pressure for them that’s difficult to manage.

Instead, compliment individual accomplishments and behaviours in the moment, with sincerity. Celebrate all the little victories and achievements with them.

Don’t be fearful of the world yourself, or let them see your “what if…?” fears for them, or they will carry those fears with them, which will be crippling.

You are here to model unconditional love, respect, integrity, gratitude, trust and honesty.

Even though they are children and you are an adult, you are each souls of equal worth. Your children will have gifts and learning for you, allow them to teach you.

Even your mistakes are necessary and important for them to witness, because they need to know we are all human and that’s as it should be.

Be patient when they make mistakes, remember all the mistakes you made.

When they mess up, remind them who they really are.

If you get angry, take a pause. It only takes a few seconds to say something that could take years to heal.

As a parent, you won’t be perfect or necessarily healed of all your emotional wounds. That’s okay, show your children that you are okay with not being perfect and are stepping up to yourself, because you love and respect yourself enough to do so. This learning is the single best gift you can give.

Don’t forget to have lots of fun, laughter and play together. Enjoy each other 💖

Give yourself a big pat on the back because in being a parent, you’re doing the most incredible and important job in the world, with no manual, and you’re truly amazing.

(Image: “Working Myself Out” by Amenet Drago)

Posted in healing, Inspiration, love, The Truth of our Being

We Are Each Responsible For Ourselves

Imagine a world where every adult is truly responsible for themselves.

Not for anybody else, just themselves.

Everybody.

Fully committed to their own needs, their own growth, their own healing.

Stepping up to themselves.

Now, that’s the world we need.

That world is realised when we stop looking outside ourselves.

When we stop thinking we are incomplete without another.

When we stop trying to help, fix, change or heal others.

We are not responsible for them,

We are responsible for ourselves.

This is not selfishness,

This is love.

(Image: “Love Is A Vibrant Feeling” art by Amenet Drago)

Posted in Abundance and lack, Inspiration

You Got This…Breathe

Take the brakes off.

Relax

Breathe

Make space for no-thing,

See how long you can take enjoying one thing without rushing,

Without allowing yourself to become anxious about what you’re not getting done.

Do you experience the pressure of time?

Not enough hours in the day,

That crazy feeling like rushing towards the next thing

Before you got this thing down.

Never truly present with what you are about right now.

Stop that.

Breathe

Relax

Allow

Trust yourself

Slow down

Be present

You got this.

(Image: “The Path to Nowhere” art by Amenet Drago)

Posted in darkness and light, healing, inner child, love

Power Play and Boundaries

Setting boundaries can be hard and that’s something coming to the fore at the moment. It’s so easy to let things slip, then it’s difficult to do a u-turn and put a boundary in place.

And we can feel confused about how to communicate what we want in the best way.

There are times we are going to upset other people and that’s okay.

Have you ever come across a bully? Most people have and where there’s a bully there’s a person or people being bullied.

Have you ever wondered what determines that one person holds all the power and another person is powerless? It’s like a silent agreement between them.

The bully has made control and power their own. The bully feels entitled and lacks empathy.

The bullied is holding victim consciousness, feels guilt and apologises for their needs.

There’s a bully in my environs and although there’s talk about how troublesome they are, people continue enabling their behaviour.

It’s a two-way dance, it takes a mutual agreement. We do have the power to change that dynamic.

The bully in my environs is sometimes confronted but then, the same old dynamic quickly returns. In this dynamic, the souls are learning about personal power, not only the one who is controlling and manipulative but those struggling to stand up for themselves, to find and uphold their boundaries and embody their sense of empowerment. And this means learning how to love, honour and respect oneself.

Are you setting and protecting your boundaries?

Are you involved in a power play with anyone?

What are you learning from them about yourself?

Does that make you feel like changing in any way?

(Image: “Goddess: Yin Yang” by Amenet Drago)

Posted in inner child, Inspiration, love

Feeling Hurt

Epiktetos, a Greek philosopher who lived from 50AD to 135AD once said:

“Another person will not hurt you without your cooperation. You are hurt the moment you believe yourself to be.“

How are we complicit when someone hurts us?

In what ways do we enable the other person to influence us thus?

Where is the hurt we feel coming from?

It cannot happen without our consent and our emotional response is the soul agreement we have with the other.

Their words or actions activate something that already exists inside us and then we feel hurt.

We created that, not them. Because we carry the potential to be hurt.

We are receiving an opportunity to perceive the hurt we are carrying.

It’s only when a belief we are carrying that isn’t true changes that the patterns change.

The belief is very old and very deep. It’s absolute and so deep we may not realise it’s there.

Hurt is the signal that alerts us to the presence of a false belief within us.

It’s our inner child that’s hurting.

What does our inner child need that’s missing?

To be loved, to be seen, to be heard, to be acknowledged, to know that they are truly worthy.

So you see, when someone hurts us it’s a gift, a chance to meet our hurt inner child and remind them they are loved, heard, seen, valued and so, so worthy.

Image: “Understanding My Hurt Feelings” by Ananda Amenet Reid

Posted in darkness and light, love, Mother Earth, transformation

Emergence: one

This is my orchid. Every year at this time, in time for Christmas, two flowering stems begin to emerge. Once they are fully open, the flowers last for a remarkable three months. And then they begin to wilt and die.

I love the entire process from the first moment of noticing the new growth to the eventual decaying of the blooms. It’s emergence, the story of life and death is told through it all.

And I turn myself to face all that I feel is emerging, without judgement or fear.

Recently I heard from a reliable source that there is much upheaval ahead, that such upheaval is the coming journey of our beloved Mother Earth and therefore, will involve us all.

What I heard could be scary and I don’t know if it’s going to unfold that way or not, but it got me thinking. It goes against my expectations, I anticipate another thirty years of living on this Earth, maybe. And hope to meet more beautiful souls, to love and be loved by, moving forward on my soul path, living my life, lots of painting, fulfilling dreams. We all expect there to be a future. But what if there isn’t?

I had to think about that. Then I realised, deep in my heart, that it doesn’t matter. I have never felt afraid of the transition we call death and know it won’t stop me doing whatever work my soul is here to do, whether from this side or the other.

If life is destined to get chaotic, then chaos will emerge. If everything comes crashing down, I trust it is required to happen that way. If not, contemplating such a possibility brings riches of its own.

Whatever’s emerging, it’s all as precious as watching the blooms of my orchid unfold. Even if it seems as though darkness is emerging, that we are facing the darkest and most threatening times of all. Even then, with our invisible roots extended into the Earth and hearts full of love and peace, we don’t need to be afraid. We have nothing to fear, there never was, is or will be anything to fear, no matter what.

The wise Grandmothers are telling us, do not meet fear with fear. Fear is like a disease, it’s catching and spreads like a contamination.

Fear is everywhere, people are being activated by it. People are turning on each other through their fear. Everything is polarised. So, stay in your heart, remain connected to the web of light, do not move into fear yourself. Whatever happens, whatever you encounter, do not succumb to judgement or fear. Allow, accept, remain in your peace, know how to connect with your inner peace and stay with your heart foundation which is love. You are a divine being.

If we engage the future with fear, we will end up attracting exactly what we fear. Stay calm, stay engulfed in peace and love, don’t engage with fear, now or ever.

As my orchid emerges, I will share the story of her flowering with you and we will learn together to embrace beauty, even through darkness, even as life transforms into death.

Are you scared about the future? Why are you scared? How does fear help you? How does fear hinder or hurt you? How can you transform your fear into peace, love and acceptance? How does doing that feel?

Image: “This is my Orchid” by Ananda Amenet Reid

Posted in healing, I AM Presence, spiritual skills and techniques

How to Stop Worries, Anxieties and Depression

When I stop the world, I get into the stream of divine consciousness that the Welsh call Awen.  This word is not one that translates directly, but to me it means divine inspiration.  It’s like being an open channel most or all of the time. It’s a wonderful time to be creative and creative hands are healing hands. From the ancient wisdom of the elders, I learned that our hands are energetically linked to our heart and when we are moving and using our hands, we are healing our heart.  

To stop the world, I lean back into silence and solitude.  To begin with, my ego fights back, gets all antsy about being isolated and lonely.  But then, I stop engaging on that level and stop the world.  I sink into the peace.

Feeling lonely is only an emotion, an attitude, a state of mind, a choice, a judgement.  Like many other emotions, it’s not real. 

Stopping the world is a wonderful superpower to have.  You stop time.  You do this whenever you meditate or engage in any activity that brings your consciousness to a deeper level, like painting does for me.  And it’s maybe dancing, reading a book, listening to music or something else for you, those times when you drift off into a no-time zone. Because when we’re immersed in one thing in the now moment, we are stopping the world.

Stopping the world is another way to describe what I call conscious presence, when we’re totally aware and focused on the now.  That’s how you stop time.  Take your attention to what you see, hear, feel, smell, taste or touch right NOW.  Remain in the now moment with your perceptions and you stop time.  Focus completely on an object before you or study the back of your hand in minute detail, every crease, every hair, every freckle, every pore. There is no past or future when you do this. Therefore, there are no anxieties, because they are worries about what’s going to happen, and there’s no depression, because that’s ruminations about what has been.  In the now, everything is fine.    

When I stop time, then I find myself naturally existing within that stream of consciousness that feeds my soul.  Circumstances have led me to be out of contact with others, alone in my world most of the time, long enough to let go and let the power of that creative flow pour into my being, flood my mind, engage with emotions and coalesce as ideas and realisations.  Gosh, it’s so much better when my ego gives up and stops complaining.  All of a sudden, there are no problems, no obstacles, they just melt away.  Loneliness becomes peace, isolation becomes stillness, loss becomes bliss.