EMPOWERED ACTION IN THE FACE OF TRAUMA

Recent world events have stirred up many emotions. Louise Androlia shares her wisdom on how to use our feelings as a catalyst for empowered action…. Images: Katya Volpato

Recent world events have left many of us feeling traumatized, whether or not we’ve been directly affected by acts of mass violence. These are turbulent times, and having been working on my own path to trauma recovery recently, I feel called to share some thoughts on how to work on being present in reality—but at the same time not becoming immobilized by fear.

At the root of it all, whether facing our own crisis or confronted with mass crisis, the difficult art to master is that it is safe to feel our feelings and continue to connect, especially when we feel as though it would be wiser to shut down.

The strong emotions being stirred up among switched on communities now are actually a valuable call to action. Here are some ways we can use them—while avoiding losing our connection to our highest selves, or getting swept up in the hype.

THE EMOTION: Overwhelmed
THE GUIDANCE: You can’t save the whole world at once
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Focus your attention

Pick something you currently feel very passionate or perhaps frightened about, and then learn and feel your way through it. Endless browsing through social media feeds may make you feel more frustrated because you also end up reading the comments, which can lead to yet more overwhelm. Instead, choose to focus on your chosen subject and learn all you can. Yes this will be hard if you are used to endless scrolling—because as well as learning, you are re-training your mind to be present.

THE EMOTION: Fear
THE GUIDANCE: Catastrophizing only fuels the fears
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Get involved in local politics and community

Looking on Facebook lately, all I’ve seen is people screaming into the Internet abyss about the apocalypse and giving fuel to their own fear and sadness in the process. This helps no one, including you. So look at how you can actually get involved within your community, and if you don’t see anything obvious, start something. It is so easy to just say ‘Fuck the world’. But this is not the time to give up. It’s time to shout louder, IRL, and to remember your voice and your vote DOES count.

THE EMOTION: Anger
THE GUIDANCE: Do not fight fire with fire
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Feel your anger; then channel it into positive action

The elements can always teach us something—for example, anger is a fire element emotion, while compassion and feelings are water element emotions. And you don’t put out a forest fire by setting another part of the forest on fire! Action, and so activism, is a positive channel for anger, and if what’s needed now is more of the water element, become an activist for love, compassion, equality, empathy, and connection.

THE EMOTION: Grief
THE GUIDANCE: It is safe to feel your feelings
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Explore and nurture your shadow side

Man of us are experiencing a huge collective sense of grief, coming in all forms, and for anybody not used to this emotion, this level of pain can seem very frightening to the mind, body and spirit. This is not a time to numb the pain, but instead an opportunity to dive deeper in your own self-inquiry practice. Checking out of reality serves no one, including you. Allow yourself to acknowledge and feel all the fears that have arisen recently and know that it is okay to do so. It can sometimes feel like our own personal crises are not ‘bad’ enough to warrant being the focus of our compassion—but ignoring your own pain will leave you unable to serve. By learning to compassionately address what is currently coming up for you, then you are actually helping to heal the collective and creating connection between yourself, your peers and those strangers you are really feeling for.

THE EMOTION: Helplessness
THE GUIDANCE: Re-connect to yourself
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Take a media break

First of all, avoid watching or reading the mainstream news on a loop. Studies show that when we keep recycling the news over and over we are re-traumatizing constantly. And the more scared we feel, the more helpless we can feel. To be able to start being of service it is essential that we learn to reconnect to our selves, as once back in the present moment we feel more stable to help others. I’ve also lost count of how many people I hear saying they wish they could use social media less, as this can have a similar way of hooking us into judgment and fear, and distancing us from our own truths. The great news is…you can!

Some easy ways to start:

  • Leave your phone at home and go for a walk in your neighborhood.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode at night.
  • Create a ‘no social media after ***pm’ rule.
  • Log out of all your social media channels on your computer and phone. This means that when you go to use them you become aware that you have to login. This allows using them to become intentional.
  • Move your social icons on your phone to a folder and put it on the last page of scrolling. Again this means you CHOOSE when to look rather than it just being there.
  • Do not read the comments. I repeat DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS.

These small actions may feel massively uncomfortable, and if so, good. If you feel anxious without your phone, good. The present moment will continue to feel painful until you learn to be IN it. And look how much time you now have! What would you like to do with it? I suggest reconnecting to PLAY. Connecting with your inner child is another way to ease anxiety and help you reconnect to your natural energy of love and connection. When you refresh your true north, you are more likely to be able to shift your helplessness into self-love.

THE EMOTION: Frustration
THE GUIDANCE: Express yourself in the way that works for you
THE EMPOWERED ACTION: Show don’t tell

It can be really hard to express yourself in a way that you feel helps, especially when you’re angry and upset. It’s good to remember that we rarely get our point across when we try and force it upon someone and so preaching doesn’t usually feel good. You will always feel better when you can express yourself articulately and if you find it difficult to feel confidence with expressing yourself with words, remember also that you can always just BE the change. We always positively affect those around us with our behavior. So think: what small steps can you take in your day-to-day life that will provide example of the kind of world you’d like to live in?

*** 

A Final Word on Black Lives Matter. Vs All Lives Matter.

This is an argument that’s been raging, and below are a few of my favorite simple ways to explain the situation to someone who is having trouble understanding. It is part of human nature to make everything about ourselves (regardless of the topic) since in times of trauma our survival instinct kicks in. But it’s important to learn to recognize that not EVERYTHING is about us. The more that we can see ourselves connected to everyone else, the more empathy we can ignite.

  • “When we say ‘Save the Rainforests’, it doesn’t mean that all other forests suck.”
  • “Choosing to go to a rally for Breast Cancer does not mean that Liver Cancer is less important.”
  • “Saving an animal that’s about to go extinct does not mean that other animals aren’t important, it just means that right now, this one needs our help.”
  • “Yes, of course all lives are important, but currently it doesn’t feel like black lives are as important as other lives—and until the world is equal, meaning ALL people receive the same level of kindness and judicial treatment, then we need to speak up.”
  • “Choosing to support black lives does not mean your life is any less significant.”

You get the idea.

AQUARIAN ALCHEMY: NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NOW AGE

In the Age of Aquarius, your New Year resolutions are about accepting your role in working towards a new Earth, says Fern Olivia. Artwork: Christine Belanger

“The Age of Aquarius will be the Age of experience, in which people of experience will be liked, respected, worshipped, talked to, and understood.” – Yogi Bhajan, Sensory System of the Aquarian Age, August 1, 2000

The Earth rotates on an axis and the line going through the center of the earth has a slight wobble to it, which happens about once every 24,000 years. “This cycle has been broken into 12 parts associated with the 12 astrological signs, based on which constellation the axis is wobbling towards. From 0 A.D. to the present we have been in the Age of Pisces. For the next 2000 years we will be in the Aquarian Age. We have been in the transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age for the last 50 years. The official beginning of the Aquarian Age is November 11, 2011.” – 3HO

And every person on planet Earth has been and will be affected by this shift.

So what does this mean for us and our New Year resolutions, Numinous beings?

During this time, our life lessons and assignments will test the development of our sensory system, which essentially is the development of our creative self. As my teacher Guru Jagat explains it, to connect to “the sublime sensory self concept” in the Aquarian Age, we need to fully understand both our abilities and our strengths.

Think about the sensory system as an open circuit; open enough to circulate energy through it and experience the world. Being “open” allows us to move through the world in an inspired way, but also as a Warrior Saint – so we’re not just being open and loving, but living with the conscious intention to be brave and stand in our highest truth.

Seen in this way, the Aquarian Age is asking us to lead and inspire and develop ourselves in a way that will blaze a trail for the next evolution of humankind. And having been birthed at this moment in time makes this our divine destiny.

As such, we have all been given assignments of the Aquarian Age, designed to help make our lives more easeful. Accept these assignments, and we will excel in our work and our relationships, and manifest everything meant for our destiny, so we can play our part in healing the suffering on this planet.

In my work with clients on lifestyle design and conscious communication, I have noticed three main assignments that keep showing up. I’ve also accepted these assignments in my own life and have done years of work – deep introspection, kundalini yoga, and meditation – to strengthen my sensory system and radiant body.

The result: Magic. Miracles. Manifestation.

The sooner we all recognize these lessons and stop the patterns of self-sabotage that may have been deeply engrained in our subconscious, perhaps even handed down through our lineage, we can move forward and live a beautifully radiant, Numinous life.

:: THREE KEY ASSIGNMENTS FOR THE AQUARIAN AGE ::

1) Embracing Self Love, Self Worth, and Self Respect
“The fact is, there is nothing more beautiful, more worthy, or more conscious than you. The time has come for self-value. And the question is not: ‘To be or not to be.’ The statement is: ‘To be, to be.’ ‘I am, I AM.’ – Yogi Bhajan

For years, I struggled with an autoimmune hypothyroid condition that resulted in chronic fogginess, weight gain, puffiness and all-over yuckiness – and as a result, felt broken, unsexy, unworthy, and insecure in my relationships and in my career.

Finally, my mentors and dear friends Elena Brower and Donnalynn Civello asked me: “Why are you sabotaging yourself? You are pure light. If only YOU could see you like everyone else sees you.”

BOOM. That hit home for me. I realized I had to stop giving up my power by calling myself “broken” and acting “insecure.”

In any situation, we have the ability to respond in two ways.

A. With fear, judgement, and self-doubt
B. With self-love, self-worth, and fearless creative expression

We absolutely need to choose the latter.

It is our responsibility (ability to respond) to show up and step up, to open ourselves up to receiving abundance and prosperity (pro spirit – living in alignment with our spirit). We can only live in this way when we fully accept ourselves and get out of our own way.

It is our responsibility to this planet.

2) Living with Integrity and Authenticity
“Those who hustle and hassle and move and want will suffer. They will not get what they want. Now the time has come that we will have a meditative mind to wait and see what comes to us. Our minds will direct us to work toward the right channels. And we will meet the right people.” – Yogi Bhajan

Our work will thrive when we are in alignment with our divine truth. When we lead with our purpose, our dharma, inspiring people, positive experiences, and abundant wealth will naturally flow to us.

I learned this lesson when I was working in finance and my health was suffering, as my Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid symptoms were at their peak. I felt like a zombie sleepwalking in a life that wasn’t mine. It was a low vibration situation, and the people I attracted in my life were on a similar path – everyone around me complained about the hamster wheel they were on, yet no one was consciously leaping off.

I knew I had a bigger purpose on this planet than entering data into spreadsheets, and I was ready to change; I was fed up with the constant complaining, the toxic, superficial conversations, and widespread scarcity mindset.

When I left my corporate career and began my spiritual path as a healer, I found the transition to be easeful and seamless. Everyone around me was utterly shocked – but I was not surprised. I have been guided by my intuition, so it feels natural that opportunities just seem to magically show up around me. I have a daily meditation practice where I don’t simply silence my mind. Instead, I listen, I download information that guides me on my path and leads me to prosperity. I am guided.

We all are.

When it feels like we are continuously hitting walls, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves whether we are truly doing what feels authentic. Anytime the answer is “no” (be honest!) we must re-evaluate our situation and project forward with integrity.

When we recognize patterns of jealousy, competition and scarcity, we immediately acknowledge these feelings with the ability to reprogram our thoughts, shifting to compassion and gratitude.

When we lead our lives with truth and dignity, the Universe shows up with offerings of wealth and abundance. We no longer have to be victim to the scarcity mindset that there will never be enough. There is always enough for those who are doing spiritual work, for those living in alignment with their true purpose.

In the Aquarian Age, it can be no other way.

3) Communication and Self-Expression in Relationships
“We will master ourselves through our service, through our character, through our commitment, and through the most powerful thing that we have—our grace. Our individual grace is the most wanted quality today. And our projection, which will give us satisfaction, fulfillment, and exaltation, is our nobility. We will act nobly, graciously, kindly, and compassionately. These are our essential features.” – Yogi Bhajan

Being a Sensory Human in the Aquarian Age will affect all of our personal and professional relationships. In this Age, we are tested to recognize patterns of co-dependency, insecurity, and mistrust.

For six years, I was in a relationship with a man whom I loved very deeply, but our relationship could not work because we weren’t evolving together and I found myself scared to speak up and communicate what I needed in the relationship.

I never told him how I was feeling, or how his words or actions hurt me, until finally they weighed me down so much that my body got very, very sick. Why? I was simply too scared to speak up. Frightened to the point where I would sacrifice my own needs because I didn’t want to risk rejection, judgment, or an argument.

The fear of asking for what I needed in relationships, essentially holding my fear inside, brought stress to my whole glandular system, and when I don’t release that stress by speaking freely, the blockages bring up my autoimmune hypothyroid symptoms.

I thought I had a pattern dating “emotionally unavailable” men. It was not them who were unavailable, however. It was my OWN voice, which I was too afraid to speak. I never asked for what I wanted – when it came to intimacy, emotional support, or simply what I needed in order to feel heard and loved.

Energetically we are so aligned with our emotions that our physical bodies can either hurt or heal depending how we are living our life. Just think about how chronic stress can affect our health. The same concept holds true for the inability to express ourselves – creatively in our work, honesty with our business partners or clients, or in our relationships.

When Sensory Human beings meet, the attraction is timeless, limitless, and forever. Relationships that will thrive in the Aquarian Age are productive and free of guilt. These are relationships formed and sustained with sincerity, with conscious communication, with integrity.

Our work in the Aquarian Age is deep.

We must remember our worth, our responsibility to our integrity, and communicate consciously with all we come into contact with.

And as we strengthen our sensory system, our full expression of our creative self, we can ease the suffering on this planet. So we create a new society, a new humanity that is filled with love instead of fear. Ease instead of worry. Abundance instead of scarcity.

Connect with Fern Olivia and receive your Radiance Blueprint, a guided meditation journey at FernOlivia.com

NEW YEAR, NU YOU: FENG SHUI YOUR FRIDGE

Embroiled in a love-hate relationship with your refrigerator? Time to set some boundaries, show some respect and radically shift the negative vibes, says Feng Shui expert Elana Kilkenny.

Chances are you’ve already spent a lot of time this year making (and breaking?) resolutions around your relationship with food. What if I told you that the state of your refrigerator plays a contributing role to your goals? Here’s how to Feng Shui your fridge, aka “where your food spends most of its time hanging out,” to powerfully shift the energy around it and bring you closer to your 2014 vision.

LAY DOWN THE LAW (AND ORDER)
Cluttered refrigerator = cluttered relationship to food. So mindfully clear out your refrigerator and freezer by making a habit of throwing out what is no longer fresh and what no longer gets you closer to your desired feelings about how you are feeding your body.

IT’S NOT JUST WHAT’S IN YOU FRIDGE
Take a symbolic look at what’s on your refrigerator door.  Does it look chaotic, filled with things from the past, stressing you with to-dos? Take off anything that is not fully inspiring to you and re-invent this space as a vision board for how you want to feel.

TAKE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Caution note: before you put up a picture of a perfectly toned actress or yourself when you were at a “better weight” ask if these images inspire you or depress you. Reinforcing negative feelings about your current weight will only push you further away from your positive intentions and deeper into self-sabotage. Choose instead to put up pictures, words or quotes that remind you of how you want to feel about your health, food and body. Sexy, vital, satiated, luscious…

CREATE GOOD CHI FOR YOUR CHIA SEED PUDDING
Most trainers suggest stocking your refrigerator with cut-up vegetables and washed fruit, so that you have a healthy choice at your fingertips. Elevate the mundane into a feast for your senses by storing these items in beautiful vessels and containers. This further raises the chi of not only your refrigerator but also your energy around food.

LOOK AWAY FROM THE REFRIGERATOR
If your refrigerator is the first thing you see when you enter your kitchen, it could condition you to eat more. Don’t roll your eyes thinking I’m going to tell you to embark on a costly renovation. Create a pretty distraction to draw your energy away from the refrigerator. Decorate the surrounding area with art, a funky chandelier, or a bold kitchen rug. Be creative.

GO JEDI ON BEN & JERRY’S ASS
Practise going into your kitchen with laser focus on what you DO want, with the use of a positive affirmation about food. “I desire to wake up feeling energized,” “I desire to feel beautiful in my jeans,” “I desire to love myself and trust my food choices.” Eventually your desired feelings will be so potent that they might just be a stronger draw than that pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Elana Kilkenny is a Feng Shui Designer, Intuitive Counselor, Empowerment Psychic and Healer. To book a session please contact [email protected] or 877-858-2100.

www.elanakilkenny.blogspot.com
@elanakilkenny