The Gift of Living Your Integration by Anyaa T McAndrew

Posted on Saturday 10 June 2017

written for www.myconsciouslifejournal.com

Most of us are pretty familiar with the idea of living our lives holistically. We know that it is essential to pay attention to every level of being including body, emotions, mind and spirit. If we know how we are operating from each of those places we can also sense where we have imbalances. Finding the places that are under-developed help us tune into strategies for strengthening those places, and calming down the parts that are over-developed. Typically, humans are over-developed mentally and under-developed physically, emotionally and spiritually. We tend to walk around with a lot of mental static, as if our head is saying, “I’m in charge, I’m in charge, I’m in charge, while we over-ride our physical needs, For example, when was the last time you got up from your desk to empty your bladder, get a snack or move your limbs? Emotionally, we tend to repress, deny and project our emotions so that either our bodies or our relationships take the brunt.  Spiritually, we forget our connection with our Source, forget that we are here for a bigger purpose, and get caught up in 3-dimensional reality to the exclusion of spiritual reflection and inspiration.

As a budding transpersonal therapist in the 90’s, we called it transpersonal living; we recognized that we were more than our personalities and subpersonalities. When we were able to see the bigger picture of a transcendent reality, all the pieces fell together. When we identify and work with the inside “committee”, the many subpersonalities that make up our psyche, we have a much better idea of who we really are and what each part of us wants. An extreme of this inner state would be dissociative disorder, which used to be called multiple personality disorder. But the truth is that each of us is a multiple, in the sense that we have an inner feminine, masculine, matriarch, patriarch, critic, several inner children, including toddlers, rebellious and compliant versions of teenagers, and those who have been wounded at various stages of our lives. This is just a smattering of our inner selves. The better we know who is inside through dreams, journaling, inner work, and personal reflection, the better we know ourselves. I find it helpful to know who the primary committee of 6-9 of us is that runs the show, their qualities, needs, wounds and strengths. This gives the hostess or host of this inner menagerie (us) a pretty good lay of the land and answers to lots of reasons why we do what they do, and believe what we believe. There’s a great peace that comes when everyone has been heard. Then we can open to perceiving the inner guides and Higher Selves who have another more transpersonal agenda to promote, the agenda of the soul.

In the late 90’s into early the early 2000’s, I brought in the shamanic perspective on wholeness; approaching life as a series of initiations for the soul, including all the dark nights, the soul-loss from past traumas, and the deaths and re-births that inevitably happen with a lifetime. I had already discovered that altered states of consciousness, like breathwork, trance-dance, hypnosis, and focused regression were powerful ways to integrate all parts of the self. Shamanic consciousness teaches us that we live in different realms and dimensions at different times, but that all of these are essential to our wholeness. The whole point is to get to a more expanded perspective on life, which may come from an animal ally, an angel, or a departed ancestor. From these expanded states of consciousness, to which we can return again and again after we inevitably fall off our path, we can find the meaning and purpose for living a life of grace, ease and balance.

Now there is a calling for us to go further, because to co-create the kind of world we all want to live in, we must be whole, healed and integrated. The times we live in are more complex than ever. The old spiritual dictate “know thyself” is of highest priority in these transformational times.

We are all multiple personalities and subpersonalities. Our inner world is made up of many voices, desires, wants and needs that must be tended to or else. We each have an inner feminine, masculine, matriarch, patriarch, critic, several inner children, including toddlers, rebellious and compliant versions of teenagers, and those who have been wounded at various stages of our lives. It’s  amazing how unique and at odds with each other they can be! When they are not “all together” around our intentions, decisions and actions, we suffer. The suffering can include inner sabotage that results in having to go back and learn lessons over and over again, or it can be as extreme as anxiety, addictions, dysfunctional relationships, depression and illness.

There are lots of tools to help us identify our inner selves. One of my favorite methods is Voice Dialogue, the work of Hal and Sidra Stone. Another is Alchemical Hypnotherapy, the work of David Quigley. Gestalt Therapy, Psychosynthesis, Family Systems Therapy and any kind parts therapy, or work with our inner selves can be a place to start. We can also learn who is inside through our dreams, journaling, and personal reflection. Any of these methods will help us understand what all or our “selves” need from us to do their job in our lives, and assist us in coming to conscious, integrated decisions with everyone on board. It’s incredibly helpful to know who the primary committee of six to nine of us is that runs the show, their qualities, beliefs, needs, wounds and strengths, and then to work with them towards cooperation, collaboration and unity.

There’s a great peace that comes when everyone has been heard. It’s easier to open to the inner guides and Higher Selves who have another agenda to promote, that of the soul. May you be inspired to return to an favorite old way of “self” discovery, or find a new way that serves all of you, even better. May you accept all of your “selves”, with the inner compassion that leads to living with grace, ease and balance.

I am grateful for all the ways we have available to look at ourselves, accept all of ourselves, and live life with integration. May you be reminded or inspired to return to a favorite old way or find a new way that serves you in this moment of your life journey!

 

Anyaa McAndrew @ 7:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Because Life IS Ceremony: Bridging Spirit and Physical Reality by Anyaa T. McAndrew

Posted on Sunday 19 February 2017

written for www.myconsciouslifejournal.com

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Ceremony gives us the opportunity to celebrate our life passages so that they are fully grounded and integrated within us. Life is ceremony if it creates a bridge between the spirit or soul and our physical reality. When we use our minds creatively to construct the perfect ceremony, with all the appropriate preparation, prayers, symbolic objects, place, and people, all aspects of us come together in a unified field of consciousness that feels fullling and gives just the right expression to our intention. Then our consciousness is uplifted, and we are different. The ceremony has done what it was intended to do.

Marriage ceremonies are perhaps the best example of the kind of ceremony we humans really enjoy. We publicly proclaim our commitment to another, accompanied by lavish beauty and spiritual or religious rituals. It does not matter how many times we have been married in the past, we will embrace the opportunity to do it again in front of new friends.

Anyone can create a ceremony. Some of us enjoy orchestrating them, others like to participate, and still others prefer to witness, an essential role because witnesses hold an energetic container that frames a ceremony and gives it substance. Ceremonies
can be as small as one person or as many as space can accommodate. Is the ceremony for yourself, and if so, do you want witnesses, or is the ceremony for a larger group or even the planet? Tune into what and who is right for you.

The first step for a creator of ceremony is to know your Intention. Why are you doing ceremony? When you can name your intention out loud, the reason for coming together, you have begun the process. The second step is Invocation. This is where you call on beneficial powers and forces greater than yourself to assist. Often evoked are nature and the elements, animal totems, the directions, spiritual dimensions, and Spirit. They are waiting to be asked and love participating with human life. Always ask for the highest and best energies, and the highest and best for all beings involved in the ceremony, so that rogue energies don’t come in uninvited! The next step is to perform the body of the ceremony. This can be accompanied by music, song, instruments, readings, dancing, acting out roles, special prayers, using sacred objects, and working with fire, incense, herbs, oils, and water.

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Ceremonies are as varied as our imagination. It is essential to keep the energy and vitality of a ceremony uplifted, so that our own spirits and the spirits we invoked stay with us. When the body of the ceremony is nished, a closing that acknowledges and offers gratitude to every person, spirit, and element that participated brings in the feeling that all is complete and good. And last, the nal celebration may include a feast, party, dancing, and merriment to round out the experience and bring in sensual pleasure.

Ceremonies can honor life passages like puberty, adulthood, motherhood, elderhood, signi cant birthdays, marriage, divorce, birth and death. There are also more spiritual types like sweat lodge, re-walk, an initiation, a priest/ess emergence, ordination, sacred union (within ourselves), even a relationship completion or forgiveness ceremony. If you have not included a ceremony in your life recently, seek one out or create your own. The spirits will thank you, and the spiritual part of you will feel fed and honored.

Anyaa McAndrew @ 4:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

May Peace and Love Reign This Holy Season!

Posted on Wednesday 14 December 2016

 

Feminism and the Election: The Gift of Acceleration by Kelly Brogan, MD and Louise Kuo Habakus

Posted on Wednesday 16 November 2016

© Kelly Brogan MD. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Kelly Brogan MD. For more articles, sign up for the newsletter at www.kellybroganmd.com

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Cars were at a 12 minute standstill and the traffic light repeatedly cycled green to red. In the streets, throngs of sign-toting New Yorkers were giving voice to their passion. There were tears and profanity. The waves of protesters streamed endlessly. “F**K TRUMP” was the choice mantra of this movement. The perplexed Nepalese driver turned and said in his broken English, “Why is dese womens mad? I know what woman is. Hillary has not even little kindly heart. She is no woman.”

The Candidate Archetypes

If we can zoom out and dispassionately examine the leading characters in this near-Shakespearean drama, we observe that there is a unique alchemy at play here. For the first time in US history, we have the Democratic Party — perceived as a heart-centered ideology — aligned with a female candidate, and the Republican Party — perceived as cold, self-interested pragmatists — aligned with not just a male candidate, but a caricature of rapacious patriarchy.

With the help of mainstream media’s carefully curated and theatrical representation of reductionist platitudes, an expected voting majority was led down the yellow brick road to meet Oz; Oz, in this case, being the redemptive victory of the first ever female president over this embarrassment of a Republican candidate.

As the media showcased Trump’s unscripted and uncensored boorish behavior, we watched women rally. They donned pantsuits. They exhorted each other towards unity in indignation (“Wake TF up! He’s disgusting. He hates disabled people! He’ll be the end of us all.”). They assembled in places like Wellesley College, desperately eager to bear witness to the piercing of the glass ceiling and usher in a new era. We watched as leading female celebrities campaigned to seize this moment in history.

Women all over this country needed Hillary to be the redemptor. To heal us. To right the wrongs and to confer a power we have felt stripped from us.

It’s only natural that women would look to a woman to help lead us home.

What happens when in our desperation for the solution to be simplified, we allow ourselves to be duped… when we can’t bear to scratch beneath the surface to recognize our projections and how we participate in our own co-option?

The Shackles of Old Feminism

Co-option? What? How?

Yes. It’s time to take a good hard look at a type of feminism that, practiced today, only serves to keep us indentured and arrested in our development as women.

Classical feminism is men versus women. It’s burning bras. It’s fighting for what’s ours. It’s throwing our lipstick away, gunning for every shred of external validation offered to men — from clothing to salary to parenting roles to frontline combat units. It’s “no thanks, I got the door for myself.” It’s even cultivating aggression and hate.

It may feel empowering. But when we engage feminism primarily from the masculine principle, it contributes further to our silent and chronic oppression.

Look at where playing the game has gotten us. One in four of us is medicated beyond any contact with our own souls, let alone our emotions or our psyches. We are neutered of our hormones, electively and passively, without true informed consent. We are placed in stirrups in our moment of awakening, strapped and commandeered by men (and women) who seek to control and dominate through fear. We shear off our breasts and slice out our ovaries and uteri (and vaccinate our babies) to be safe and smart according to industry-defined standards.

We have done this under the illusion of our sovereignty as we float more and more distantly away from creative power, from cosmic feminine energy, from the great divine mother of the Adi Shakti.

The Masculine Principle in Extremis

We know this old style of feminism because we’ve lived it.

So many of us women have been feminists in the masculine principle for years. Decades, actually. We have said “Anything you can do, I can do (better)…” We have looked for places to exercise force, totalitarian viewpoints, aggression, and righteousness through the lens of entitlements. We have seized on birth control as a feminist’s right; the elective c-section as the empowered and civilized choice; and the cervical cancer, human papillomavirus Gardasil vaccine as a preventive boon for women everywhere.

This kind of feminism is evidence of women divested of our own divinity, giving our power away to the perceived opposition. It is Stockholm syndrome at its worst.

We must get this.

When a woman who puts aside her fierce grace, her deep nurturance, her unparalleled powers of intuition, and her unique potential to create a collective, she becomes trapped in her masculine principle. There are many of us. But it is time to evolve. Let us explain…

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

Hillary Clinton represents our tendency to be appeased with exactly what keeps us imprisoned. She is not a feminist’s candidate though she may appear, in form, to be.

She is, in fact, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

What did that taxi driver mean by her absence of heart? Hillary is one, perhaps extreme, example of the illusion of feminine progress, with all of her masculine principle foregrounded and her shadow elements festering beneath the surface.

There are many examples of this. Watch this video interview of one of the true activists on this planet lays that case bare. And also consider where you get your information.

You won’t hear this true story from mainstream media, take it from us! When we rely on the mainstream media for our news, we fail to see the strings pulling on the marionettes as we take in the show. We may absorb the platitudes of party politics and the triumphalism of Hillary’s gender-busting candidacy. But we fail to see the Story of Separation, the subterranean hate, and the old model of feminism that she also represents. Sometimes, it’s hard to even entertain the possibility that what we want to believe and what is true may actually be in tense conflict.

To elect her because she has a vagina is a more aggressive act of sexism than it appears. It is a vote for stasis in this story, for the status quo. It is a vote for the world-destroying machine to which she is beholden. It’s why we women feel placated to have put a vaginal canal in the oval office. It’s the excitement and celebration of illusory gains while we drift farther away from our true prospects of healing.

The Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing

On the other hand, Trump is, indeed, a wolf in wolf’s clothing.

He is the crass womanizer, the ostentatious vulgarian, and the attention-seeking chauvinist. He is boastful, blunt, and rude… the embodiment of the patriarchal masculine exposed.

But the real gift in this moment in time is that we can look at what the unbalanced masculine is in a man and in a woman. And we can use this insight to reframe our expectations for what an empowered woman and national leader can and will be.

Maybe the system needs to fall apart so we can, together, begin to grow the tendrils of a new, better system to replace it.

In order to respond to this call to action, we need transparency. We can work with the wolf, particularly, if he is lone, without a pack of already deeply established industry and dynasty-level corporate and financial ties to Big Pharma, Big Chem, Big Ag, and Big Business. Think about how many liberties we have sacrificed in the name of “safety” — only to learn that the real danger lurks inside. That the fox is indeed guarding the henhouse. In many ways, the necessary change — environmental, consciousness, healing-based change — will come from the people, not from the president.

Here’s why we, and sacred activists like Bayo Akomolafe and Charles Eisenstein are saying that they felt this coming and that perhaps this needed to happen.

We all need to wake up. Sometimes Kali-esque destruction is a part of this process, and can catalyze the deepest forms of healing and regeneration. We need to activate the divine feminine to heal this planet.

Trump is something we can work with, push against, define ourselves through if we use the rupture of his election to ignite and channel latent energy. Sometimes the darkness reveals the path toward the light and invites more and more of us to walk it than would otherwise.

The Hurt is a Buried Treasure

The process that has been kicked off is one of a collective mourning. At the risk of generalization, those who are grieving today, wailing, and gnashing their teeth, are those whose hearts we need most enlivened to usher in the New Story. The grace in this is that people are now feeling.

As activists on behalf of women, families, and health freedom, we recognize this feeling because we have been peeking beneath the veil of the Mainstream Media narrative for collective decades.

We have felt what millions are feeling today, for a quite a long time.

It is, potentially, the first stage of true awakening to service to feel this deep ache inside. These emotions have been IN THERE all along, simmering and percolating and roiling. In our sisters, mothers, and aunts. In our girlfriends, wives, and daughters. The rage, the grief, the indignation, the rip roaring pissed off, seriously God dammit, I’m not taking it anymore, ENOUGH is ENOUGH line in the sand. But we’ve been sublimating these feelings for decades. We can count on two hands how many truly activated women we’ve walked this path with over the past several years.

After all, there’s been plenty of fuel to our fire. There are a lot of Establishment-engineered transgressions that could’ve woken all of us up. But many have been unaware or otherwise not set off by the knowledge that there is more to the story than meets the eye and a whole lot to be pissed about. We find ourselves in a place of seriously grave instability on this planet. It’s an instability that cuts to the core of all of our ecosystems from environmental to human to microbial. To begin with, we have:

So much is so wrong. We feel the pain of this inside and now maybe you do too, more consciously.

The anxiety, depression, and fear are palpable. We know that we are disconnected from something vital. Men and women alike have lost contact with the proverbial mother as we are divorced from our greater sense of recognition, safety, belonging, and love. We know this wound. It is a feminine wound. A community wound. A family wound.

But we also know, deep down that there is, indeed, a more beautiful world that we know is possible. And we look upon the tears and screams emerging today, in the wake of this election, with a feeling of expansive possibility for the women of the world.

The induced awakening of women nationwide will be a gift of acceleration to us as a planet. Trump is, perhaps, exactly what we need to wake women up to ourselves rather than to lead us to the celebration of our own continued captivity in a narrative that has no room for our divine feminine power.

Moving Into a New Feminism

It is time to move into the new feminism. Our feminism. The feminism that the world demands to heal today. It is not a warring posture, vaginas versus cocks. It’s not women who seek to mimic the dress, comportment, and energy of stereotypical men. It’s not the level playing field. It’s not “our turn.”

This new feminism takes a good hard look at our several thousand year history of divorce from community, matriarchy, and deep wisdom. It sees that our collective hurt must be owned and worked with and fully integrated for true healing. It understands that the most powerful force on this planet is a woman’s divine compass — a compass that only knows the feeling of the collective as one. It knows that we can shift out of our righteousness and into a place of core stability because we already have everything we need if we choose to trust it, feel it, and own it.

We women are working with the deepest powers of manifestation and creation known to this world. But we have given it away.

It’s time for a reclamation.

The reclamation is not a grabbing. It’s simply a radiating. It’s an energetic commitment to healing the self in service of healing the planet. Perhaps, as Regena Thomashauer says in her new book, we need to let our pussies (not our minds) lead the way out of victimhood and into radiance. Yes, this much maligned, abused, and despised part of us that we need only to reunite with as our most trusted connection to a power we have given away.

We must let the rage and pain move through us, come together in ritual, and then work creatively with the energy that only knows to see the other as self. To see each human as a cell in the greater organism. Uniquely, instructively essential.

Hillary has shown us what the old feminism looks like, mired in orthodox power structures, dogma, and non-integration. The new feminism is emboldened by possibilities herein. It is always curious and compelling, the gifts that pain and suffering will bring if we let them flow to the surface, swirl around, and transform us in the crucible of a heart-centered consciousness. If we do this, together… if we let the seeds planted by this election grow, they will yield the leaders, healers, and true earth-bound revolutionaries who will ready us for the New Story in ways that are not yet made apparent by the current binary system of options.

Perhaps the wolf in wolf’s clothing will inadvertently and even unintentionally heal the entire landscape.

 

Kelly Brogan, MD

Kelly Brogan, M.D. is a Manhattan-based holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the New York Times bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own, and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. View full bio. Want to share this article on your own blog? View our reposting guidelines.

Beyond the Fur: Discover the Hidden Keys to Understanding Your Animals’ Behavior and Physical Issues

Posted on Thursday 20 October 2016

 

Anyaa McAndrew @ 8:55 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized