Healing

The healing space of true acceptance

I had the privilege of sitting with a beautiful young man in his twenties and listening to some of his struggles. Side by side, I looked at him and he looked straight ahead, with an occasional, brief, and shy sideways glance to meet my eyes.

He shared about the falling away of a relationship, the loss of a connection with a child he cherished deeply, depression, anxiety, eventually losing his job and the difficulty he experienced entering social situations.

Feeling good is good, but there's wisdom in the darkness

"You can't rush your healing.
Darkness has its teachings."
- Trevor Hall

These words come from a song of the same name (You Can't Rush Your Healing) by Trevor Hall. The first time I heard Trevor’s music, I fell immediately for his voice and lyrics. Medicine for the weary heart, signposts for the seeker, reminders of our oneness and celebrations of LOVE.

Healing anxiety (and my own anxiety journey)

If you struggle with anxiety, I wrote today's letter for you. I’m going to share my personal anxiety story, how I experience anxiety today and five tips that I hope will serve you in your own journey.

The first time I became aware of anxiety

The first time I remember feelings of anxiety becoming very obvious in my life was during my first year of university.

The endless invitation

Old energies rush forward
the way the tide comes into the bay near my home;
without warning and at a speed quicker
than galloping horses,
leaving you frothing like a wild sea.
Inadequacy, familiar as a childhood blanket;
unworthiness, a playground friend
tugging on your limbs, wanting
to swallow your Presence down.

Breathe.

They say you should never struggle against quicksand
it only
pulls you more quickly down.

The waves of inadequacy crash at the shore,
debris of guilt, shame and sadness alongside.
But where are you?
Sitting quietly on the craggy rocks
your favourite spot
a witness to this ancient energetic tide.
Knowing that these waves cannot harm you
cannot touch you
you bless their coming;
their endless invitation to
wake.

Love and courage,

Leah

Take me to a place where the robin sings

If ever you should find me
on the brink of wanting 
to put an end
to this human body
and this phase of life limited 
to heavy matter,
full of certainty that joy
has fled forever;
gather me up and
take me to a place
where the robin sings.
Seeing his red breast
and hearing his ever hopeful melody
I shall surely forget every woe
and burst into flames
of gratitude for 
this strange gift 
of human life.

Love and courage,

Leah

Gather your pain like a posy of wildflowers

We have spent a lifetime fleeing our pain. We have turned away from the rivers of sadness. We have pushed away the furnace of anger. We have denied the shame. We have rejected the depression. We started running and we never stopped. We thought we could outrun it, the pain. If we just kept running we would run to a place where it didn’t follow. We would run ourselves into freedom.

We ran to sugar rushes and alcohol buzzes and drug highs and relationships and books and TV and the internet and self-improvement and exercise and work and achieving and money and marriage and travel and even, yes, spirituality. We ran far and we ran fast, but no matter how far or how fast we ran, the pain was always just a hair’s breadth away, waiting whenever we stopped for a brief moment.

This is the gift of pain. It will not be outrun. And finally, when we have tried everything and come up short and we are utterly broken and exhausted from the years of running, something within us goes into a deep surrender because the mind is utterly lost now and has no idea where else to look. And in this deep surrender, in this moment of admittance that we have no clue how to help ourselves any more, we stop searching ‘out there’ and we sink into the only place we can ever heal our pain - this moment.

You are tired of running. We are all tired of running. Stop. Instead, gather your pain like you would a posy of wildflowers, with a delicate touch and eyes full of wonder. With tenderness, pull it close to your heart and bathe it with your undivided attention. Do not turn away from yourself. Meet yourself here. Meet this energy that is circling within you. Engage your curiosity. Hello, sadness. Hello, anger. Hello, depression.

Keep this image of wildflowers with you, if it helps. Don’t you love them? Don’t you want to run your fingers over their velvety petals and inhale their rich perfume? Aren’t you enthralled by their colours and shapes and just in complete wonderment that such things could even exist at all? How did we get so lucky to live in a world with wildflowers? Be with your pain in this way. It is a thing of such beauty and its hand is outstretched in the most important invitation of your life. The invitation to stop, stop, stop and meet this moment exactly as it is.

It is not dangerous. It will not overwhelm you. It will not ruin your life. In fact, it is an invitation to life. To live. To be alive. To fall into the dazzling experience of Now.

Love and courage,

Leah

A moment's rest

For just one second
put everything down.
Externally, yes,
but internally, too.
Feel inside yourself.
Go into the ribcage
the heart
the belly.
Feel inside the shoulders
the head
behind the eyes
the inside of the cheeks.
Go into every bit of you,
offering a silent permission
to just
put everything down.
Just for a moment
a moment
breathe.
Feel the release
and the relief
of ending the struggle
the 'trying to figure things out'
the weight of future
and the weight of past
and everything that isn't right here and now.
Surrender to the space
the strong hand of stillness
the generosity of the moment.
Look at me
Isn’t it ok, to put it all down?
Are you not still here?
Heart is still beating?
Lungs are still moving?
Breath goes in and breath goes out?
Doesn't it feel good, to rest?
Just for one second
one moment
and then, maybe
.
.
.
just one moment more.

Love and courage,

Leah

In the name of self-improvement

In the name of self-improvement 
I abandoned myself.
Cast off all that was real
and flung it on the dumpster
in search of a better me.
They spoke with such authority 
all those ‘experts’
and their advice seemed sane and good
until I realised
that what seemed good
was actually planting seeds of
‘You’re not good enough’.
They spoke with such conviction
and their worlds were so shiny
and hordes of people bowed at their feet
so
how could they be wrong?
I dived in with great gusto.
I was going to be improved
better
best!
And then...
and then I would be happy. So happy.
But after many years of this improving 
I have to say
I didn’t feel much improved.
One day,
I made the most startling discovery
that
I had been perfect all along.
And so I traipsed back to the dumpster
where I had abandoned myself years before
and put myself back on
like a favourite old cardigan, rediscovered in a box beneath my bed.
And now it is me who speaks with conviction,
“There is nothing to improve!”

Love and courage,

Leah