“Religions have caused a lot of pain and trouble over hundreds and thousands of centuries but at their core, they offered us the possibility for spiritual experience and connection. They served a purpose which has now been totally lost in the whirlwind of skepticism we developed to protect ourselves against the unveiled dogma and corruption.”
I believe we are living in a very exciting and powerful time. You may not agree with this of course, we’re different human beings with different backgrounds, experiences and different conditioning. We’re allowed to see things in different ways and no one would be bad or wrong for doing so.
Why do I think it’s an exciting and powerful time? I feel that on the deepest level of consciousness, a radical spiritual transformation is taking place in a universal scale. We’re all in some way being challenged to let go of our present way of living and create a new one in its place.
The old way of living, the old world, built its foundations on external things. The focus has always been outwards. So much so, in fact, that we’ve lost our spiritual connection along the way and have come to believe that the material world is the only plane of existence we can live on. The only reality that exists. We have arrived at a point where we’ve been so disconnected for so long that we now believe that feeling lost, empty or alone are synonymous with being alive. We are constantly trying to fill the void and find ‘true’ fulfilment and happiness through external things: material possessions, money, relationships, success, career, drugs, alcohol, sex, power… to name but a few.
A new way of living has begun to emerge though and it is built within us. It consciously allows the creative energy of a higher power or divine energy and presence to move internally. A new way of living is welcoming and allowing us to become aware of our free choice and power to co-create our own reality, and waking us up to our responsibility to do so. The change starts within each individual, and as more and more of us are transformed, the mass consciousness is increasingly affected. Can you feel it?
For many of us, this time may have been distressing… it may still indeed be, because the state of the world and for some of us, our personal lives, may seem to be going from bad to worse. In many cases, many things, systems and ways of life that used to work very well, are no longer working at all. In a way, things are falling apart and I think they’ll continue to do so with ever greater intensity. I however, don’t think this is negative. It’s upsetting due to the nature of our physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual attachment to the old way of living and fidelity to our old limiting conditioning. But if we open our eyes to the profound changes that are happening globally, we can change our perspectives of the unfolding events. Everything has to ‘crumble’ in a sense, before it can be rebuilt on new foundations. I remember a Muslim friend of mine, Khan, who taught me something really relevant once, that everything that happens to us that we perceive as a negative, is nothing but a ‘blessing in disguise’. In fact, all the changes we’re undergoing are the most incredible blessings that any of us could possibly imagine.
Truth is that the old way of living that characterised the hundreds of thousands of years humans have existed, no longer works. And if you really stop and think about it, did it ever bring us deep fulfilment and joy anyway? Imperialism, racism, war, disease and colonialism are some tragic drives for external fulfilment that come to mind. Some people will say they have managed to live happy lives. I would challenge them by asking the following question: Were you really and deeply happy and joyful? Were you living and breathing your universal purpose? Or is there a part of you that felt the disillusion, pain and void that has plagued the human existence until today?
After a long journey of self-discover and empowerment, I’ve become aware that we spend our entire lives being taught, through society, justice and education, the exact opposite of how the universe actually functions. We do our best to make things work the way we’ve been taught, and we may even achieve some degree of success along the way. But in so-called developed societies especially, it always seems as though things never turn out quite as we’d hoped.
It may seem as though there’s never quite enough money. We may find that the ideal relationship never materialises or fades away for some reason even when it does. We may not get the recognition that we want. We may struggle to find success in our career of choice. We may feel disappointed in the way our children have grown up, never meeting our expectations. We may struggle to feel fully secure in our lives, or struggle to feel gratitude for all the things that help us to live a secure life. Have you noticed that even when we do achieve one or more of these things, we still seem to feel a sense that there just must be something more.
Our first responsibility, if we want to give way to the new way of living, is to recognise that we have are not given a 101 on living a satisfying live in traditional, systemic education. The way of life passed down to us in school and our families was passed down to them from older generations practicing from a faulty manual on how to live a fulfilling life.
It’s time to go back to basics, back to primary school and learn it all from scratch again. Beliefs and convictions need to be shifted. If an athlete builds upon the wrong foundations, they’re not setting themselves up for longevity or true success. What do they do? Blame themselves? Become victims? No. Upon recognising their shaky foundations, they go back to basics and rebuild new foundations based upon what was missing in their previous training. The same goes for the rest of us, athletes and non-athletes alike. It’s about going back to the beginning and learning a new way of living that’s different from the way we’ve assimilated so far.
For many of us, this might not be an easy task. It will take time, commitment and courage, first to choose to do so, and then to actually do so.
We’ll be challenged by many factors including but not limited to:
Familial, cultural and religious belief systems
Laziness, procrastination, apathy, indifference (all avoidance techniques by the way)
Doubts and cynism
We’ll have to have courage on our side. If it’s not something that comes naturally to us, courage can be developed through experience and daily practice and action, welcome mistakes and failure too… they’re a part of the process in learning a new way of living.
As I say in my workshops and public talks, just as a baby learns to walk by falling down repeatedly, we must learn a new way of facing life by doing exactly the same. We will learn by making mistakes and often, we’ll be scared, insecure, angry and fragile… exhausted too. And just as we do with babies, will will learn to accept, embrace and welcome those falls and mistakes as a part of the journey. We will keep loving ourselves. We will have to find and reconnect with our inner motivation every day: to do our best to live fully in accordance with the laws dictated by the universe and its Creator. Which is to say, do our best to live fully human, fully present, fully alive.
Is it an easy task to recognise where we are right now and start the journey? No. Self-awareness is the first step to building our new foundations to let go of the old way of living and enter a new way. And although the journey may seem arduous and relentless, I can assure you it is well worth whatever it will take for you to make the transition into the new.
header image by Khristopher Roller
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There was a time when married couples would stay together for life. Despite a lack of happiness in the relationship, often rooted in unhealthy co-dependency between two partners, marriage wasn’t easily dissolved. People would choose to stay ‘glued’ together in the name of a commitment they made many years before. Often because it was financially more comfortable. Other times because they lacked the courage to take a leap of faith and enter the unknown. And more times than not, because they were used to conforming to the expectations of a hypocritical society.
Today, everything is far from the same. With marriage more rooted in personal choice and the search for happiness more than ever before, people are becoming more aware of their freedom of choice and take ending a marriage far more lightly. I believe maybe too lightly. We omit considering the consequences this choice might have on ourselves as individuals and our children. We’ve gone to the other side of the pendulum, from a time where divorce was unspoken of and we devoted ourselves to subtle, silent and accepted happiness to a time where divorce is taken totally for granted as a ‘way out’ if it all goes wrong.
Yes, today divorce is a valuable and easy option disguised as personal choice in the search for freedom.
The question that arises for me is, “are we, men and women, truly happier than we were before?”
My family was an example of obligatory endurance despite the unhappiness both my mum and dad felt and I witnessed. I grew up watching two unhappy people live in denial and choosing to stay together anyway. My dad had his first heart attack at 53, which instigated the long and arduous medical issues he’d face for the rest of his life until he died aged 77. My mum suffered from depression and exhaustion from a very young age. I remember them talking about separation several times but they never went through with it.
On the contrary to them, my maternal grandfather had divorced my grandmother as soon as the option to end marriage was given. They spent their whole lives hating each other.
My ex-husband has a mum and dad who, like my parents, stayed together despite the unhappiness they were nurturing internally externally. He was already divorced for 7 years when I met him.
In short, I had a mix of role models around me when it came to choices made around marriage and divorce
So what was my choice? Well, I eventually divorced after many years, although it was not my decision. In fact, I chose to endure and be resilient during the time I was married. I never wanted to give up, just as my mum had never wanted to. I wanted to somehow, and probably unconsciously, repeat the same destiny as my parents’: a path of unhappiness. Choosing differently would have meant proving to be ‘better’ than them and unfortunately many of us children can’t subconsciously allow ourselves to be ‘better’. I know it’s a weird concept to digest and often really hard to believe when at first relayed: we are often not aware of the unconscious forces that drive us when it comes to parental legacies. These forces can have significant negative effects on our choices and lives without our knowledge.
As children many of us remember promising ourselves, faced with the unhappy marriages and relationships of our parents, that we’d never be like them. We vowed to be better.
In his theory of Systemic Constellations, Bert Hellinger suggests that unbeknownst to us and our best intentions, we tend to repeat the same destiny a our parents because we have a unconscious fidelity to their destiny. We’re connected to them on a much deeper level than we might know. We make promises to ourselves as children, which seem to completely unravel as we grow up because on an energetic level being better or happier than them, would be like betraying them. So we grow up, and eventually that internal promise we made to, “never be like you”, loses its power over our subconscious and becomes, “I will never be better than you, I’ll follow your same path because I choose to remain faithful to you”. Interestingly enough, what our mum and dad truly want in their hearts (and I corroborate this as a mother myself), is to see us live a happier and more fulfilled like than them. This is often a complete contradiction to what we end up choosing to do.
I’m aware not everybody buys into Bert Hellinger’s theory and that there are many skeptics, as with all schools of thought. So let’s explain this ‘shift’ in direction in a more pragmatic way…
We make our promise to ourselves in childhood or adolescence and then we grow up. We mature and enter society. We ‘conform’ to its standards and expectations and we adapt to its rhythms. We enter the comfortable world of materialism that we live in today. Eventually, something inside of us switches off. We find ourselves realising that it requires character and willingness to be ‘better’ than our parents. So we settle for what is more or less the same destiny, because it’s familiar and its easy. Often, this is not a conscious choice. But sometimes it can be.
Slowly we slip into our parent’s same old patterns and comfortable behaviours and day by day we find ourselves further along the road, consciously or unconsciously following their tracks. And one day we wake up and realise that, “gosh, I just became exactly like my mother and father”.
I look back and see I was indeed repeating my parental model of unhappiness. I chose to stay with and married to someone who I was incompatible with for too long. Though my grandparents had divorced, to remain loyal to the legacy of unhappiness, my parents chose to stay together. I believe my ex-husband followed the same model of unhappiness as his parents by having not one but two divorces.
So the question remains…
Is happiness in a couple dependent on remaining together forcefully or resorting to divorce as a quick fix?
Was it better years ago when people chose to stay together despite their unhappy marriage or today when we marry, don’t think twice about divorce and return to our search for some mythical happiness in the next partner?
I believe that before being able to answer these questions, we have to recognise two fundamental things:
Happiness does not depend on whether we stay or leave a marriage.
Happiness is rooted within us and therefore needs to be searched for within us.
A marriage or a divorce can’t determine a state of joy that can only be nurtured from within. After 25 years of marriage and a divorce that I didn’t choose (in fact, I strongly believe I unconsciously wanted to be faithful to my family’s destiny as Bert Hellinger’s theory suggests, despite my commitment not to conform and make all the necessary efforts to be happy), I choose to find joy within myself.
It is not healthy to remain stuck in a marriage if that marriage is causing us health, mental or emotional issues. Those issues can manifest when we don’t recognise or acknowledge that something is wrong, and choose to stay in denial. I saw my parents go through that and I slowly realised I was repeating the same dynamic. Towards the end of my marriage I was often seeing doctors and hospitalised for burnout and nervous breakdowns, just like my mother had done.
I also don’t support the idea that a divorce is the only option when we face unhappiness or lack of joy in our relationship. There are bound to be moments of struggle and change in any partnership over lengths of time because as individuals we change and our needs change. When we look to ending a marriage because of a challenge that could be momentary or overcome with patience, resilience and love, we forget to consider how truly challenging and arduous divorce can be. Divorce signifies disappointment, loss and grief for unmet expectations and dreams… and our family. There are many emotional, legal, familial and financial aspects in our lives that require shifts because of a divorce and it often takes people years to regain balance and a sense of normality. Nevertheless, divorce serves an important function in legally and emotionally freeing people to form a more sustainable and happy relationship.
The reality is that with a lack of self-awareness or desire to develop self-awareness, we can easily grow apart from our partners during the journey that is marriage. After many years, we’re no longer the same people we were when we first married. We we change as individuals, it’s easy to head in different directions and perhaps begin to share fewer things in common over time. We might begin to realise after many years, that actually we’re incompatible. Or we can no longer compromise our basic needs to support the needs of another. Furthermore, the person we may have desired as our partner in our 20s, may not be the same person we desire in our 50’s and 60’s. Priorities, values and personal philosophies change, and some of those changes can be absolutely significant and undeniable.
What is the ‘right’ way?
Truth is, there is not right or wrong. As much as there is no better or worse when it comes to following or own destinies or that of our parents. We all have free choice. Happiness? Unhappiness? Enduring a marriage or facing divorce?
Just as it’s relevant to know and understand ourselves, it is also of fundamental importance to get to know the meaning of marriage and the consequence of divorce. It should be a requirement to understand how to face a divorce if we choose to go that way or how to be resilient in a marriage should we choose the other way.
One thing is important to remember: if we choose to stay in a marriage, it must be a conscious one where both partners work on becoming self-aware and let go of ego or pride. We must be sure to understand that it takes two to tango and we must both be willing to participate in the steps of the dance. We cannot achieve the success and happiness in a marriage that we envision by ourselves.
header image by Foto Pettine
If what I've written has resonated with you and you think I could be the right support for you, feel free to get in touch and schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation by clicking the button below.
I’ve struggled with fear for a really long time. It manifests itself in different forms each day. In this blog post I want to address the fear of the unknown. And the subsequent resistance to facing the unknown that we have, paralysed by this fear. We give fear the keys to our fate so that we can feel comfortable and safe. But what if we looked it straight in the face instead? What if we kicked the door down and took control back from fear?
“One of these dimensions in particular, is one that we tend to forget or prefer not to deal with. Looking into it might lead us to recognise something about ourselves that we might have preferred not to see, so we don’t look into it. I’m talking about the emotional dimension, which refers to our feelings, empathy, moods and creativity.”
Through my own studies and life experience over the years, I came to realise that we can be compulsive and addicted to any kind of relationship, even one with a friend or colleague. The most detrimental reality is that often we don’t or can’t recognise it and can live a life going through toxic relationship cycles until we die.
Narcissism is rife in the media today and is being Googled more often than ever. People are waking up to various narcissistic characters in their lives and I’m hearing more conversations about “how to remove toxic people from your life”, perhaps because of the rise in self-development and self-care.
This blog aims to shed a light on the fact that it’s not age that decides when we are adults. It’s not financial independence or not needing to ask for any help. What decides when we’re adults, and my mum has said this countless times in her writing, is when we begin taking responsibility for our choices and start standing in ourselves.