Tag Archives: sand-tray-work

… the recycling of unease …

Merciless downpours – I occasionally dash between strings of rain to trim the green jungle in my garden and pick a handful of wild strawberries. Tonight, looking east, the sky is grey. And not a leaf stirs, due to the full moon. In the next room a brilliant sunset reflects in a glass-framed painting. And as I look east again, a high cloud is blushed in rose-colour. More rain announced. It is the wettest summer in my many lifetimes, of late a tumultuous time. I was indirectly affected by a trauma, not mine, not my story to tell, though I’m proud of two dear young people who dealt admirably with the fallout of having their flat in London broken in. Several flats in the same block were crashed into with crowbars within the span of two hours and in bright daylight. Picture the scenario: you leave your home for a short while and return to find your front door broken and all means of communication, including the creative tools needed for your livelihood – gone. The logistics of solving the problem are, to put it mildly, overwhelming.

I bemoan the motherly welfare state and the infantile moral consciousness it feeds. I observe signs in my relatively crime-free little town. As an illustration, the other day in a car park I observed a woman tossing an empty plastic bottle from her car- window before she drove off. Her children in the backseat looked on. What motivates careless behaviour? What jumped to my mind – probably a negative mother (state) dependency, a resentment of mother’s permissiveness, having being patronised and cheated out of meaningful relationships and been entranced by the material world.

Next day I visited a car boot sale in search of world-objects for my sand tray therapy work. A young girl spilled coins from her purse over the stall while paying for a trinket. A few coins fell to the grass. A boy behind her casually covered one of the coins with his foot. He didn’t even smile at his clever trick. His face was blank. This chilled me. Without parents to model self-respect, how will children become psychologically independent individuals?

We all experience the acceleration of change. The changes in my lifetime eroded structures of meaning that carried values I held dear. Change is however the only constant. Navigating change without straining our nervous system and by implication the nervous system of our planet is a challenge that requires an attitude of self-respect and tolerance: the ability to bear contradiction and confusion.

While collisions of mythologies storm all around us, we have the elation about the Higgs particle, indicator of a Higgs field. The single-minded work of a scientific community including 20 member states is remarkable, I’d be proud to be part of it. But wait, many more billions will now be spent on search for super symmetry (SUSY).  Imagine what could be achieved if even a tiny portion of this budget would go towards exploring the autonomous postulates spouting from our collective unconscious, in other words, exploring the underlying structure of the human psyche, of which the visible particles populate our dysfunctional societies.

Light is both particle and wave, and though we can only observe one at a time it is one light.

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What In The World IS A Higgs Boson?

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/04/what-in-the-world-is-a-higgs-boson/?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fscience%2Findex.jsonp

An interview with Dr Lisa Randall, from last year but more informative

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/science/physicists-anxiously-await-news-of-the-god-particle.html

Sandplay therapy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GD6PPwUlgGM&feature=related    Not me

http://sandplayvideos.com/sandplay-therapy-training

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… the cast in the shadows …

Perhaps all the dragons of our lives
are princesses who are only waiting to
see us once, beautiful and brave.
Perhaps everything terrible is in
Its deepest being something
that needs our love.                — Rainer Maria Rilke

Last week I volunteered a short session in the context of a variety of monthly events organised by a group of friends under the umbrella of Archventures.

… the cast in the shadows …  …

We have inside us a cast of players for every imaginable scene. Occasionally banned and hidden characters pop up. Excluded from our script, they emerge inadvertently through surprise encounters, act irrational and appear cartoon-like. Unacknowledged, a wild player roams in the unconscious unconnected, until an emotional trigger hits a sensitive node. We are not amused when an unsophisticated trait breaks to the surface with behaviour that will embarrass and shame us, belying our self-image.

We learn as children to shield ourselves from rejection and injustice. Our strategies are endless and contrary …  like being compliant and withholding or defensive and angry. Think of a natural and well-meaning quality persons in your early environment disapproved of in the name of moral perfection. Your trust may have been betrayed, manipulated and taken advantage of. We adjust as best we can. Rules are needed for societies to function.

We spend our life until we’re twenty deciding what parts of ourselves to put in the bag, and we spend the rest of our lives trying to get them out again. – Bly

In relation to our genuine nature, the sacrifices we make in order to belong can be as disproportionate as the sacrifices we make to defy authority. Feelings we edit out of our lives gather a strange luminosity and succumb to an archetypal force beyond our command. Yet a closer look at the rawness and imperfections of disowned players may surprise. They invariably hold a gift, often the very essence of our creativity.

A way to re-own the locked up energy is to honour our battle scars and weaknesses. We don’t have to agree with inner and outer adversaries, only accept their existence in us. This acceptance opens the heart to tolerance, rapport, understanding, empathy – and insight.

‘Our friends show us what we can do – our enemies teach us what we must do.’ – Goethe

We make room for imperfection … 25th Feb 2012

What is uplifting about our monthly Archventures gatherings are the hugs … yup … never underestimate the invigorating power of hugs. What I also appreciate – and this applies to many groups whose core members meet regularly – is that we form a different entity each time, enriched by everyone’s fresh constellation of experience and insight. Newcomers feel welcome and at ease in this irreverent group that does not follow any one creed, ideology or person.

The most powerful player this afternoon was the seven-year-old son of a participant. The boy was fascinated by the boxes of miniature world-objects I had brought along.

He outplayed us all, instantly creating a legion of his world.

The young will be forever potent in their ability to play and invent …

We adults shared unique and moving stories about early misdeeds, raising questions to be explored individually. (The photo is of a  different occasion)

Some shadows we drag along are not of our own making, a dilemma that also applies to families and nations.

‘The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.’  ― C. G. Jung

Understanding the origins of shadow-projections softens the compelling affect they have in defining us, and our reactions to being fitted into a frame. Observing politics, it is obvious that negotiations are not enough to solve longstanding conflicts. It takes the awareness and inner work of individuals to let go of resentment, release the spark of creativity that enables lateral thinking, and the flow of compassion tied up in the entanglement of righteousness.

And there remains the unknowable, luminous black hole, and a sixth sense of something that evades us. What is mysterious, not accessible emotionally or through analysis, drives us on to dig deeper, expand our consciousness, and re-discover the link to our innermost self.

‘We are born at a given moment, in a given place, and like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born.’ ― C. G. Jung

With only three hours’ time available, the session at least inspired us to remember what is in our power to do. There remains the ever impelling potential of greater intensity and more poise between safety and risk on the tightrope of our life.

Our dear friend Rahima outlined the shadow theme as C. G. Jung defined it. If you have not heard of the term ‘shadow’ in this context you might want to investigate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_(psychology)

And in relation to the activity of writing – here a dream image in the eye of its beholder  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M19S89UcaKQ&feature=related

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

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