So, today I’m coming to you from a space of turmoil. Outside, storms are raging and bringing with it the heavy fall of rain – the kind that drowns out all sound but for the beating of thousands of droplets against the window panes, a solid curtain of water obscuring all views. Inside, I’m being initiated into yet another dimension of my work, and it’s both exhilerating and anxiety-inducing. You know, as these things are.
I feel it’s important to share that process with you, so that we may all be reminded this is part of how we walk our path, and never have to feel isolated and alone in going through this. The Priestess Temples may not be in physical form, our elders not here to guide us through the rise and fall of our evolving – but the devotion is here. The words to support one another.
If you decide to read further, please breathe deeply and consciously (and breathe more when you feel certain words hit you in that visceral way they sometimes do — be your own guardian and ally). I know this conversation can trigger our anxiety. Yet I feel we need to address this, or risk bypassing an important aspect of our human story in the here and now.
The Art Of Holding Ourselves
“I’m essentially having to always hold myself.”
It’s what I posted in a FB group I’m part of, sitting with some intense anxiety. What I’ve come to realize is that this Path that I/We are walking is in many ways a very lonely path. Even on those days when I know myself to be supported by mentors and coaches and a group of lovely women walking this same path, on those days when I reach out to my husband to simply be held and help soothe my anxiety – I still essentially am walking this path alone. We all are. And with no living temples available to gather and re-source — longer-term we are always having to hold ourselves.
We have to become exquisitely skilled / exceptionally devoted to holding ourselves through the ups and the downs, the painful shattering of old programmes and the demolition of old identities and ways of being (who we were), the slow rebirth, the unconditional acceptance of self and the absolute commitment to growth edges.
To me, it’s always the growth edges that most trigger the loop of trauma/wounding/abandonment/anxiety. Right now, I’m sitting with the final elements of my book, and I have to breathe deeply several times a day just to get through nausea/exitement/fear – you know, that physical cocktail of emotions and sensations that would rather see us cower beneath the covers than actually do the thing that spirals us into dread (book recommendation: The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks if you’re new to the Growth Edge).
But in holding space for myself, and reaching out for / allowing support, I’ve also come to be initiated on a much deeper level than ever before (remember, everything is Ever-Deepening Spirals) to the depth of being, presence, and awareness that is absolutely crucial on our path. Specifically, the message that came through loud and clear was this:
The Holding Of Self Informs The Holding Of Others
This weekend’s experiences have informed a deepened understanding of my work, up til now, and what needs to shift still to make it even more deeply relevant. If you have explored the Initiation Programme at The House Of Unfurling, called Awaken To Your Soul, you will know that I take a Somatic Approach to Intuition & Spirituality, that is to say, THROUGH the body. It is this approach that unlocks within us the Highly Ecstatic experiences of life (as in the writings of mystics, such as Rumi).
I am now being guided to amplify even more the Trauma-Informed aspects of Embodiment — specifically, the holding of self as a gateway into the holding of other.
What does that mean for you?
It means that I am inviting you, as a beautiful being on The Path, into a space of reflection on why having a Trauma-Informed approach is a necessary component/dimension to our work.
As humans walking the earth, we are woven into the web of trauma –
of body and hearts
of limbs and soul
of planet and “all beings”
of systems and calling out/rebellion/dismantling
of ancestors and future hopes.
Therefore – it’s never about dis-connecting from the world and its mediatic frenzy focus on everything that’s wrong, unsalvageable. It’s not about claiming we’re living in a holographic universe anyways and we can simply focus on imagining a new future (although that is an important part of it).
It’s about connecting MORE.
It’s about acknowledging our human history, the ancestry still running through our veins, our connectedness to all that is material as well as ethereal (this blood and bones…. these earthly connections to soil and breath and our animal imprint…. these oceans and highly sentient beings (plants and animals)).
We go in DEEPER (into the body, into our ancestry and lineage, into the collective human story) to cover the wounds at the roots with the healing balm of soothing & regeneration.
As a self-loving practice, of course you (we) can disconnect from media. But we cannot disconnect (“transcend”) the world.
We need your voice to help the conversation, dialogue, the Thinking Exercise & the Exploration that is right now, as we speak, giving form to a new world.
The Path Requires Your Voice.
(with voice being symbolic for any type of expression that is guiding you to step into the dialogue)
The Path Requires Your Holding Of Self & The Other, as well as allowing yourself to be held.
Why? Because there is an intimate connection between Personal Trauma and Collective Trauma.
There is a weaving in & out that we simply cannot deny, or disconnect from, or pretend isn’t there.
The personal trauma may be healed (as for so many of us on this Path) yet the collective trauma may still create States Of Intensity (like the fear-based waves crashing through our bodies without identifiable sources in our personal lives).
This Path will bring this up in stronger concentration for us than for people not walking this path — simply because this Path is cognizant of; acceptant of; and devoted to, the Healing & Restoration Of The Collective and the Collective Human Heart, initiating Informed Human Future.
(sidenote: this is one of the reasons why it has felt so hard for me to have space being held by loving ones who aren’t familiar with this path… because how do you explain the depth of work we are called to do, for a collective healing rather than just our personal benefit and growth? how to explain your sadness coming from a deeply inward internal process rather than a tangible loss? I’m learning to be open to this, too, learning to accept love as a gift that doesn’t need justification, and that anyone can choose to give no matter what space they’re coming from.)
=> Learn To Hold Exquisite Space For Yourself.
=> Learn To Soothe The Self.
So, as a final note, this is a story of being IN the body, of healing & soothing & re-inventing THROUGH the body, with an intense awareness of our Togetherness in this. I’m super excited to be developing a wonderful little offering based on this. It’s going to be soothing, potent, and deeply supportive of our work in the world. I’m looking forward to welcoming you into it if this resonates, in the meantime, trust that you know how to hold yourself! Please be gentle with yourself as you take these words into consideration. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on this little riff about space-holding.
Additional resource on self-soothing: https://kathleensaelens.com/on-fear-and-learning-to-listen-to-the-whispers-anyway-a-guide/ (point 1 and point 2)
Big love, Kx.
Connect with Kath
It’s my honour and delight to support you on your journey! Feel free to reach out and connect to learn more about how I can serve you via private mentorship programmes, activations and intensives.