What is the spiritual side of abortion? Why the 2019 Alabama abortion law brings up important questions about what it really means to be “pro-life” in the now age …
“We must give every person the best chance for a quality life and a promising future.”
This is the #WTF closing line from Gov. Kay Ivey, the WOMAN who signed this week’s controversial Alabama abortion law, in her statement about the act. For me, it sums up everything that is so utterly illogical about this move—because on no level whatsoever, does the Alabama Human Life Protection Act actually promise mothers and the families who may be affected by it a “quality” life or a “promising” future.
On an entirely practical level, Alabama is the 6th poorest state in the US, with 17.2% of Alabamians living below the poverty line (the national average is 14%). Given that the people most likely to be affected by this law are also the poorest, many souls entering the world as a result of this bill, will be pre-destined for a life of poverty-induced suffering.
On a broader scale, over-population is one of the main drivers of climate change (see yesterday’s IG post on over-production / over-consumption). The future is already looking pretty grim for future generations, as we begin to experience what is only the tip of the (rapidly melting) iceberg when it comes to the devastating extreme weather events that are set to become our new normal.
And on a more numinous tip, the more unprepared, unsupported, and unwilling mothers, the more children with more generational trauma keeping them locked in cycles of suffering—and the LESS fully autonomous women, bringing our Universal, life-force, mother energy to other areas of life (something I discuss at length in Material Girl, Mystical World).
Fuck! It makes you wonder WHY Republican law-makers are so anti-abortion—the answer to which appears to be the religious roots of the pro-life lobby. Ban contraception, abortion (oh, and homosexuality while you’re at it), and more Catholic or Christian babies means more power (literally, more people taking up more land + resources) to the Church. Which brings us full circle, to a completely outdated and reactive response to an underlying xenophobic fear of our inevitable cross-cultural evolution.
I had my abortion at age 24, and I am so fucking thankful that a) being British meant I got easy access to a free procedure, no questions asked, and that b) I knew from age 5 that I didn’t want to be a mom, meaning it was not a tough decision for me to opt not to have my baby. I have thought about them sometimes, questioning whether it was selfish of me to deny another soul a life—something that came up when I did a family constellations therapy session with Marine Seleneé.
Marine believes that each and every soul, whether carried to term or not, has its own karmic role in our lineage—and that those we “abort,” as well as those who miscarry—are doing their own work. In my case, I truly believe that I am a “pattern breaker” for the woman + mother wounds that have been carried down my family line (why I knew so young that motherhood was not for me), and that my unborn child played their own role in ending this cycle of trauma.
This week’s move of Mars (conflict, courage, progress) into Cancer (motherhood, women’s issues, lineage), sets the stage for a passionate, angry, and deeply HONEST, response to this latest outrageous violation of human rights. Consider: what does it REALLY mean to be “pro-life” in the now age? How can you enact this in your day-to-day? Questions we all need to be asking ourselves on a level that goes beyond the surface, and gets into the womb of the matter.
Donate directly to women seeking abortions in Alabama state at yellowfund.org.
Real spiritual “work” = practise + action – and 2014 was the year I finally signed up, says Ruby Warrington.
“Doing the work”. It’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in holistic / alternative wellness circles – but what does it actually mean? Is it like the time I went for acupuncture and was given “homework” to do – little sticky packs of Mugwort, called “Moxa”, to affix to my liver meridian and set light to like incense each night? Fair enough, I had been drinking quite a lot to avoid dealing with a stressful work situation, but wasn’t the state of my liver my practitioner’s to deal with?
Apparently not. If I’ve come to understand anything about how real healing, both physical and metaphysical, works in the past year, it’s this: ultimate wellbeing – just like ultimate abundance, ultimate freedom, and, ultimately I guess, ultimate bliss – is a collaborative effort between myself, whichever practise I happen to be working with at the time, and the all-loving, all-knowing Universe itself.
Looking back over the past twelve months, I can honestly say I’ve had one of the best years of my life. And not because everything just “worked out”, or opportunities fell from the sky like globules of golden bird poop. But in terms of my personal evolution, I feel like I’ve busted through blocks (to borrow just a little self-help speak) I wasn’t even aware were holding me back. Well maybe I was aware…but there’s NO WAY I was going to admit it and deal – not in this lifetime at least.
But deciding to face my demons, be my own knight in shining armour and slay the freakin’ dragon once and for all, looking ahead to 2015 I feel simultaneously like I’ve aged a decade and like I’m ten years younger. And it has not been easy. There have been tears, and there has been anguish. There has been much meditating, much journaling, and much reading of books with “Conversations” and “God” in the title.
But above all, there has been a very conscious decision on my part to actually “do the work”.
When I used to hear that phrase, I’d think it was referring to some kind of mystical alchemy that went on inside the body if you did enough yoga, took enough gong baths, or had enough therapy. As if the divine oneness was watching on, and would do some divine laying on of hands to absolve all your issues once you’d reached a certain quota of zen / worthiness.
2014, which shall forever more be referred to as “the year that changed EVERYTHING”, showed me that it’s actually way more prosaic than that. You want to change something? Move forward in your personal development? Bring about the internal “shift” that’s gonna raise your vibration to attract all the abundance you just know is out there waiting for you into you life? Then babe, the buzzword here is action.
For example, it’s one thing to accept that perhaps your cash flow issues are more to do with your attitude to money than the fact accounts clerks get off on withholding checks owed to you – and a whole other deal to weep buckets in a Family Constellations Therapy session as you see how it’s actually intrinsically linked to your Grandmother dying young, and your own mother not really knowing how to give you love as a result.
But the real work? That happens when you then do the Landmark Forum, and realize you actually have to call your mom and tell her it’s never really been okay that she loved your brother more than you, because she’d basically learned how by the time he came along. And then you actually do call her, and there are buckets more tears, but you end the conversation by telling each other how you feel like mother and daughter for the first time you can remember.
Phew! That’s what I call work. And it’s also where the “mystical alchemy” part comes in, because you know what? I’m facing down 2015 in a better financial position than ever. “Money” equates to “mother” in Jungian therapy after all.
And if dealing with my lack mentality was what I decided I wanted to work on in 2014, once the floodgates had opened it turns out it was time to tackle all the other niggling issues I began to realize were all a part of the jigsaw puzzle. Those feelings of lack…well weren’t they also contributing to my inability to share (the load, my visions, my real feelings)? This was another Landmark revelation – the full story / trauma of which I’ll share (now I’m getting better at it) in a later post.
One of my favorite things of all has been learning to work with my intuition this year – you know, actually act on my gut feelings about things, even if this often means taking the scarier, hairier route. If I started to meditate because I thought it would help me get more clarity and focus, little did I know the work my practise was prepping me for was the ability to first notice my truth, and then go stand in it, no matter how many people it might piss off.
And by meditation, I don’t just mean the ten minutes I manage on a good morning. By bringing the practise of being able to step back from my thoughts to everything I do – a hard core workout, a complicated writing assignment, my super intense / difficult / transformational experience at Burning Man, and, yes, my relationship with my mother, has been some of the most important work of all.
I actually predict that “work” and “money” are going to be big themes for us all in the coming months. In numerology, 2015 is a universal “8” year (you add 2+1+5), which is the number of challenges, personal power, and hard-earned reward for your efforts. In other words, do the work this year and the compensation could be bigger than ever. So here’s how…
First up, you need to define what you want to work on. And I say, go big. No shying away from that “thing”, it’s time to drag the monkey off your back, look it right in the eye and declare: GAME ON. (Oh but clue – the real monkey might not be what you think. Like my money issues turned out to be mother issues, the fact you have a hard time holding onto a relationship is, undoubtedly, all about your DAD).
Now just start looking around for the “way in”. Besides the Family Constellations work and the Landmark (which is pretty hard core, FYI), last year I also tried acupuncture, breathwork meditation, had regular visits with a shaman, hit the mat at The Class with Taryn Toomey, and worshiped at the church of IntenSati. Not to mention that transformational trip to Burning Man. Each and every one of which provided an insight, a tool, or a doorway for me to see into.
WALK. THROUGH. THE. DOOR. Don’t just stand there looking at the portal of opportunity any one of your practises has opened for you. Where the rubber meets the road, is where you choose to take action. It’s one thing to get an intense download about your relationship with your father after a particularly crazy Kundalini kriya, and a whole other ball game when you then send him an email laying out all the deets (yes, this also happened to me last year).
Don’t be shy. As in, don’t shy away from taking the necessary action. And if you’re having trouble working out what that is, it’s probably the thing you least want to do. But you know you have to. In fact, if it makes you cry just thinking about it, that’s probably it. Tears – of emotion, of compassion, of release – are often how you know the work is working.
Finally, you’d better embrace feeling a little bit weird, while all this is going on. Our brilliant Tarotscopestress Louise Androlia (aka Louniverse) is also a holistic life coach, and one of her favorite things is to remind her clients it’s actually normal to feel abnormal when your life is transforming, inside and out. So expect to doubt yourself, expect to feel vulnerable, expect to question your sanity sometimes – just don’t expect it to be a breeze, is what I think she means. After all, if it was meant to be easy, it wouldn’t get called The Work in the first place. But it’s worth it.
Can a unique form of group therapy that seeks to define your role within your family heal generations-old inherited issues? Ruby Warrington goes swimming into the energy field with Family Constellations therapy…Image: Shane Small
A few months ago, with the help of French facilitator Marine Selenee, I experienced my first Family Constellations therapy session. Held at Marine’s chic studio apartment in downtown Manhattan, there were three other women present, each of whom played a different role in my Constellation, as did I for them. Many emotions were felt, and many tears shed, and afterwards I felt a sense of release, like something generations old had been worked out of my body at a cellular level.
I was instructed not to speak about my experience for two weeks, to give my mind and body time to integrate with the deep energetic work that had been done. And so I sat with my experience and simply watched on, as every area of my existence began to assume a subtly different and more dynamic form, all thanks to a shift in perception about my family situation – and by definition, myself. If our role in our own “family constellation” is at the root of our human experience, it’s what shapes our entire reality. Right?
How does Family Constellations therapy work? Consider this. Depending on your personal belief system, we all choose our parents, choose to be born in a certain place at a certain moment in time. In doing so, we also choose the unique set of circumstances (and issues) that this configuration gifts us to work with as our karmic lesson in this lifetime.
If that’s too much of a deep dive, then think instead about the question of “nature vs. nurture.” Are we born a certain way, or do the circumstances of our upbringing shape us as we grow? Would I be a completely different person if I was born into a different family in a different time and place? Or am I simply “me,” navigating life with the tools I’ve picked up along the way?
Using Family Constellations therapy, Marine works with the latter theory, the idea being that we repeat the negative patterns we see in our parents out of “loyalty” – they’re the people who gave us life after all, our tribe. We want to be accepted, so we want to be like them. But where these patterns go against our true nature is where we get stuck, where we feel pain – and also where we’ll find the biggest assignments for our personal growth.
I defy any soul currently enjoying this human experience not to have a single issue they can’t trace back to their family (see that ancient Chinese proverb; “they f*** you up, your mom and dad”). As Marine puts it; “90 percent of your issues don’t belong to you – and you pick most of these up before the age of six.” A century of psychoanalysis and talking therapy is entrenched in this understanding, and yet Family Constellations therapy seeks to journey beyond words in search of resolutions to these fundamental glitches in our operating systems.
The key lies in performing the surgery required, the severing of our attachment to our family members’ issues, on our emotional body, before the stories our intellect tells us about who, what and why we [*insert whatever your personal debilitating hang-up is here] have a chance to get a look-in; “Once you recognise that your behaviors and beliefs are not your own, it’s possible to see your true self, your own beliefs and purpose, more clearly,” says Marine.
But how, precisely? Before you embark on a mission to meet your own Family Constellation, here’s what you Need To Know…
• Psychotherapist and former Roman Catholic priest Bert Hellinger discovered Family Constellations therapy when living with the Zulu in South Africa, where the modality was used to resolve issues within the tribe.
• A Constellation can be performed by a group or one-to-one, with a facilitator to moderate. It is the facilitator’s job to do most of the talking; participants are simply asked to notice and express how they feel as events unfold.
• The facilitator begins by asking a few questions pertaining to the issue the participant wants to address. He or she then asks the people needed to bring about a resolution to find their place (whatever position feels right in relation to each other) within “the field.”
• The field, usually the space contained within the circle of the group or the room where the Constellation is taking place, represents the energy field where all souls and all generations exist together as pure spirit.
• In a session, actual family members do not need to be present – other members of the group are called on to “perform” these roles (not nearly as awkward or potentially embarrassing as it sounds).
• This may include family members who have passed, or any unborn children who are also part of the participant’s Constellation.
• Once situated within the field, the facilitator may also ask the different “family members” to recite key phrases relating to the issue in question (without ever going into the “story” – what, why, how) – again asking people to identify the emotions connected to these statements.
• Forgiveness may be asked, and apologies offered (again via the facilitator).
• Many tears may flow.
• A resolution occurs when it becomes evident which family member owns which emotion, behaviour or belief, allowing the participant to realize their own power to simply let whatever doesn’t “belong” to them go.