Last updated on 03/09/2021
Hooked as I am on Nine Perfect Strangers (Prime – am writing this just three episodes in) am generally chilled to the bone anytime ANYone who isn’t actually a Guru or Shaman being referred to as such.
Nicole Kidman’s character’s scar from the near death experience that put her on this different path looks pretty raw (ie, her expertise is clearly not the result of a lifetime’s work and study) and yet she promotes the idea that she and her (to quote her character) ‘bat**** crazy’ methods’ must be adhered to.
I know most people don’t use these terms to cause offense but when you think that historically, they referred to people who had spent an entire LIFETIME immersed in their healing studies and lifestyle, it’s not just cultural appropriation but obviously massively diluted.
And, of course, even with people considered to be legitimate gurus, there have been abuses.
How can people, especially interpersonal trauma survivors, take the positive elements of the teachings without giving away their power? Without colluding in abuse?
How can people avoid throwing metaphorical babies out with the bathwater?
As ever, Martha Beck speaks sense
In her beautiful book, Integrity, she writes:
Mind ~ Take what resonates for you and release the rest
Use your mind to discern between what resonates and what doesn’t ring true for you. Avoid false certainty (pretty much ANY kind of dogmatic certainty) in favour of more nuanced approaches.
Conspiracy theories flourish in uncertain times because we humans CRAVE certainty No one is infallible but the people I trust most are those who are humble enough to acknowledge mistakes, the unknown and areas of uncertainty.
Know your limitations. I have a few areas of specialism within my practice (stress, trauma, confidence, resilience, anxiety, sleep issues and finding more purpose, meaning and joy). I devour information around developments in these areas.
When someone comes to me wanting support with something outside these areas, I refer them onto someone who specialises in what they’re seeking. It makes no sense for me to think I can quickly study ______ and help them when, in my mind, they deserve a therapist who is more immersed in the area of _______
Similarly, when there’s something not right with my bike, I take it to my local bike mechanic.
If Rainbow MagnifiCat needs something, I talk to her vet. When I need health advice, I talk to my GP as WELL as relevant complementary (not alternative) practitioners
Body ~ Notice how you FEEL
We’re mammals We’re wired to take in an enormous amount of unconscious information that guides our every decision. When we’re well and relaxed, we can trust these impulses more than when we’re stressed out and acting out of fear.
Working with ventral vagal anchors can help us cultivate this sense of embodied safety, connection and love. We become better at holding the more complex both/and rather than simple and often limited either/or.
Which thoughts bring a sense of ease to your nervous system? Which help you exhale more fully? Which thoughts have you noticing more tension in your body? Holding your breath? Get to know your body’s cues for you around ease and what’s true for you and being pulled into a stress response
Make time for self care practices that help you cultivate this more relaxed way of being.
Heart ~ Who are you aligning yourself with?
When you’re not sure about the truth of whatever matter, maybe look at the people who are on different sides of this particular issue.
Which people speak and act with compassion and love?
We’re all connected and the more we work with our own shadows, the less we’ll project them out onto others.
Soul ~ Be open to what might be trying to emerge
One of the beautiful things about 2021 – with all it’s angst and confusion – is that there are so many heated issues, there’s overlap and where we might disagree strongly on some things, we might agree as strongly on others.
I saw something recently around the advanced practice we’re all living through potentially being an opportunity for us to practice peace and love with those we disagree with.
To remember that we’re all so much more than our challenges, opinions and beliefs. (You might enjoy Miranda Lambert’s lighthearted take on political differences:)
Feel free to share this
If this self care blog post has resonated with you, please feel free to share it across your social media. Others who might be struggling to trust them Selves (that Higher Self / True Self / Atma / Miraculous Self / Self) might find some of these ideas beneficial.
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