A Sacred and Safe Space for Workshops

The word “sacred” means different things for different people. It is usually something that is regarded with great respect and reverence by a particular religion, or a group of people, or an individual person. In different traditions, there are different places, objects or rituals which are considered “sacred”.

According to the encyclopaedia, “A sacred place is first of all a defined place, a space distinguished from other spaces”. To me it is a space created and upheld through intention and awareness to form an uplifting, safe, peaceful and spiritual area. Our intention to be respectful is key in creating and using a sacred space.

We might want to use certain rituals to honour the sacred space and to shift into a clear intention of what we want to feel and experience in the sacred space. This sacred space can be an area in your house which you set up with intention, perhaps as a meditative corner, possibly with an altar or other meaningful objects. Nature itself can be your sacred space and you might create a ritual around this. One of my best friends finds her daily meditation by going for a walk. This is her sacred and soul-nurturing ritual, her sacred time.

Part of focussing on the sacred is to set aside certain times and spaces as sacred, which means as something basically different than the everyday world we live in. When I offer a workshop, my intention is to provide a sacred and safe space for all the participants. With the upcoming Dream Workshop, I am more than ever focussing on the sacred as I have the immense pleasure to facilitate this class together with my friend Susan Webber, who is a spiritual artist and teacher.

Prior to this workshop, we have visited the space where we will be teaching and have performed a small ritual outside, asking permission from the ancestors to use the space. As a response, four—not just one but four—swarms of geese, which symbolize fertility, unity and intuition, flew over our heads. What a perfect symbol and encouragement for our workshop.

Did you know that geese never leave one of their own behind? Should a goose become injured during the flight to the south, another goose will leave the migrating flock to stay with the injured one. That sense of community is certainly what we would like to create with our workshops. We can have the experience that we are all one and can hold the space for each other during challenges times and experiences, or when we do our healing.

Geese are known as gifted navigators and instinctively know the way to warmer climates. They forge ahead, confident and brave, and thus are a symbol for courage and for trust in their team. Geese have intricate methods of communication. They smoothly take turns to fly at the front of the flock and communicate with each other about when and where to land. They keep each other safe. Taking this workshop is all about tuning into our intuition and listening to our more instinctive parts, like our inner child. It is also about safety in the group, and growing together as a spiritual family, in which healing and growth is possible.

During the workshop, we will use rituals to create a safe and sacred space. Susan will guide us through a smudging ceremony and a story ritual around the camp fire, and I will lead you through meditations. We will make sure that everybody feels safe to speak, explore and share.

Any personal healing work requires a safe space. This applies even more so when doing our dream work. Sharing our dreams with others requires vulnerability and trust. We need a space in which others listen respectfully and lovingly and do not intrude with their interpretations. Everybody allows everybody else to be the expert on their own dreams and the meaning of those dreams.

When you decide to join us for a workshop, you make the decision to set aside sacred time to do soul-nurturing work. You are part of this team of dream explorers, which holds the safe and sacred space for everybody else. Together we can be like the flock of geese, forging ahead to discover new lands.

Sacred space is where you connect with who you are at a soul level, where you find yourself again, and sometimes again and again. Workshop participants often return for further workshops to learn something new, but also to experience and connect in this sacred and heart-opening space once again.

 

Join us—for the first time or again—on Dec. 9/10, 2017 for the Dream Workshop in Lowville (Burlington). For more details click here or contact me

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

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“I will not find you wrong”

At the end of the four day Shadow Energetics workshop, we all hold hands in the closing circle and share with a few words how we feel; gratitude, joy, peace, sadness for the weekend being over, and most of all unconditional love and acceptance are being expressed. The most magical moment for me always unfolds when we are playing the beautiful song “I Will Take Care of You” by Amy Sky: I can literally see into every person’s soul.

All the masks that we wear on a daily basis have come off after being together for four days. Everybody feels safe enough to let the other participants see their vulnerable, authentic self. Some people are really touched by the song. Some even cry, as I did when I first heard the lyrics and allowed its message to land inside my heart.

I will take care of you

The song tells the story of a baby being born and the mother taking care of her. It talks about the girl growing up to be a bride and her wedding vows being “I will take care of you”. It continues with the mother dying and the daughter taking care of her, and ends with another baby girl being born into this endless cycle of love and care. It expresses the longing we have in our closest relationships to feel safe, protected and taken care of. It is a song about our own inner child, that part inside us that needs nothing more but to feel safe and looked after.

As I look around the circle, there is no doubt in anybody’s face that we are one big family, in which you know with absolute certainty that you are accepted the way you are. The workshop reminded us of what we all know deep down to be true: We are one.

Incredibly blessed, deeply honoured and very much aware of the responsibility I hold as I am carrying forward the teachings of my friend and mentor, Darryl Gurney, I am once again reflecting on what it takes to get to this moment at the end of every single workshop. Teaching the Shadow Energetics Work is way beyond teaching techniques and even beyond providing the opportunity to all participants to make their own shifts and changes and do their own healing. The key to teaching this particular workshop lies in providing the experience of being unconditionally loved and accepted, truly feeling that we are enough exactly the way we are.

Darryl has many times shared what was the most intimate moment in his life, when he understood what allows people to heal. He was in a session with his Body Talk Teacher. Lying face up on the massage table something came up that made him feel defensive. His Body Talk Teacher gently put his hand on Darryl’s higher heart chakra, looked deeply into his eyes, and simply said “I will not find you wrong”.

I will not find you wrong img2

The experience of not being found wrong is deeply life changing. The courage of being able to be open and vulnerable is initiated and encouraged by the instructor, yet carried by every single participant. In all my years of taking different training and workshops, I have never come across a second person who so masterfully creates a safe space in which everybody is heard, seen and held. That Darryl has been able to do this over and over again is the result of many years of doing his own work, clearing out his own shadows and triggers and being conscious enough to know that the work never ends.

During the last workshop, a participant expressed surprise that Darryl himself muscle tested out a shadow and took part in a process I facilitated. She asked, “After all those years and all the work you have done, you still find shadows to integrate?” His response was an emphatic, “Yes, of course.”

He walks his talk. Darryl’s daily practice is to wake up in the morning and to work on his dream messages. Dreams show us what is going on in our subconscious mind and which beliefs we might want to change. In our family, we work on and with each other to clear out fears, limiting beliefs, emotions and integrate our shadows. Sometimes we say, “There is no time right now” and things are postponed and occasionally forgotten.

Doing your own work is about making choices and setting priorities. Often we wait until something is wrong, we are in pain, in a conflict or a relationship is endangered. What if we all healed our issues now, instead of waiting until we are seriously ill, or the other person we have a broken relationship with has died?

Having been entrusted with the Shadow Energetics workshops for the GTA, I have an extra incentive to continue my work on becoming clearer as a person, stronger as a teacher and more unconditionally loving in every way.

Please watch out for the Shadow Energetics Workshop Schedule for Early Spring 2015.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

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The See-Saw Effect – What You Suppress Your Partner Will Express

Have you ever felt surprised by your mood unexpectedly shifting and an emotion suddenly boiling up?

Maybe you felt a bit annoyed about something that happened during the day and when your partner comes home, you share with him or her, and suddenly you feel really angry?

Or you felt a bit concerned about your mother’s health and you talk to your father who is apparently not worried but quite calm. Yet, you suddenly feel really scared and worried about her?

What has happened in those two situations? You felt a bit annoyed respectively a bit worried and suddenly the emotions boiled over into anger and fear. Why? Who pushed the button for that eruption?

John Gray cartoon fear

John Gray: What You Feel You Can Heal

Your partner and your father pushed the button without knowing they did. Both of them where disconnected to their own emotions and had suppressed their anger and their fear. We disown certain energies because we have learned it is “bad” to feel or be a certain way. However, whenever one person is trying to bury an emotion, somebody else will express it for them. The more closely connected these two people are, the more they are able to feel and experience each other’s emotions.

In our example, you were feeling and expressing the anger and fear for both of you, yourself and the partner in your interaction. This happens unconsciously and automatically. Suppressed energy has to go somewhere. A vacuum of energy draws that energy in from somewhere else. John Gray illustrates with great humour how our emotional “tank” work when we are in a relationship:

John Gray cartoon anger

John Gray: What You Feel You Can Heal

Wilma is starting to feel anger but pushes it down because she has learned that nice girls don’t get angry. The more she pushes it down, the more Fred feels it and the anger rises in his side of the tank. All of a sudden, Fred starts to feel irritable and angry. Wilma might try to also repress his feeling of anger by attempting to calm him down. This continues until Fred explodes. If this happens on a regular basis, Fred might even be labelled as an angry person. Both remain clueless why the anger explodes.

When we push down a feeling, it comes up in our partner. John Grey calls this the see-saw effect. One example John Grey gives for the see-saw effect is the emotion of “need”. Fred falls in love with Wilma. He starts to feel his need for her but that feeling frightens him because he might lose her. So he pushes that feeling down, telling himself he does not want to get too committed. The feeling of need goes over to Wilma’s side of the “tank” adding to her own feelings of need. Wilma becomes insecure and desperate, and starts to feel what is commonly called “needy”. Some people go from one partner to another, wondering why their partners all become so “needy” around them. Who is the common denominator? The person who is out of touch with his feelings of need and fear.

A friend of mine who is generally seen as a peaceful and calm person always seems to end up in relationships with angry women. When he first meets them, they are quite pleasant. Yet, the longer their relationship lasts, the more annoyed and angry the women seem to all become. They yell at him more and more frequently, more and more loudly, while he shuts down more and more, unable to feel his own emotions. Eventually, he leaves them because he can’t stand being yelled at anymore. Until he embraces his own anger and learns to acknowledge and express it appropriately, he will always attract somebody who expresses this deeply buried emotion for him.

Are you tired of having all these invisible buttons on your chest that others can just push?

Would you like to stop triggering others and stop being triggered yourself?

Would you like to learn more about how we disown certain energies because we have learned it is “bad” to feel or be a certain way and how we can live more conscious relationships as whole human beings who love themselves and others?

I offer individual coaching sessions and workshops.

Angelika wide picture for blogs

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Upcoming Workshop:

“Shadow Energetics” training with Darryl Gurney, June 18-21, 2015

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How Children Carry Our Disowned Shadow Parts

Children are wonderful mirrors for us. How do your children annoy you? How do they get you to lose your composure?

One of my daughters could make me raving mad by doing things last-minute. That took all sorts of forms over the years and for the longest time, I claimed to be the exact opposite, always planning way ahead in advance, never running around like a headless chicken last minute. One day, as I was procrastinating preparing a lecture, a new friend made a remark. He said, “Ah, you are one of those last-minute people able to just wing it! I wish I could do that!” My first impulse was to deny this trait vehemently until I realized he was right. What annoyed me most in my daughter was a character trait I had myself but was never allowed to show as a child. The moment I embraced that trait, my daughter was not able to trigger me anymore. Interestingly enough she also seemed to be doing these last minute things less. She did not need to mirror it for me any longer.

Chris, one of my clients, was very concerned about his son, who seemed to be unusually shy and inhibited. Chris himself felt he was a shy boy, but forced himself to become an extrovert adult—a go-getter who is outgoing and always the centre of attention. He could not see anything positive about this shyness that his son mirrored for him until I guided him through an exercise to meet this shy sub-personality.

The shy part, appearing as a pale timid little boy with glasses in the visualization exercise, reminded him of several occasions in his life where the shy part within had protected him from getting into trouble. His shyness allowed him to think first and then act, to reflect rather than to make a rash decision. After embracing this part of himself, he was able to let his son live his life as an introvert. The son is now able to find his own way of integrating both sides of his personality.

One of my sisters has a son who is very straight-forward and outspoken. If he does not want to do something, he will say it. She also has a daughter who according to my sister is “sneaky.” My niece, so claims my sister, is pretty much a liar who will do what she wants behind your back. She will say “yes” when told not to do something and then do it anyways secretly. My sister at times is absolutely furious about this.

As much as I love and admire my sister I have to say that she is not the most direct person. She doesn’t like conflict. If she disagrees people who know her can read it on her face but she will usually not say it. Instead she will find a different way to achieve what she thinks is best. My niece mirrors for my sister a trait she is unaware to have herself. How often has my sister told me things “after the fact,” or tried to get what she wanted by approaching someone else in my immediate family after I had declined something.

The moment my sister could admit being “sneaky” at times as well, her daughter would not feel judged anymore. It would probably make my niece feel as accepted as her straight-forward brother and improve the relationship between mother and daughter immensely.

What do your children mirror for you? How could you improve your relationship by embracing exactly those character traits in yourself?

Contact me if you are interested to work on your relationships or take the Shadow Energetics Workshop in May 2013.

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

905-286-9466