Taking a break

Hello everyone. I will be taking a little break from She Holds The Bowl.
I feel the need to reassess what I would like the blog to be as I move forward. Writing here has been so beneficial for me, and has helped to keep self care and gratitude in my awareness. These things are still very important to me but I would like to step away for a little while and see what She Holds The Bowl holds for this next phase.
I’m not sure how long I will be ‘away’ for – perhaps only a week or two – but by doing so it will mean I can look at what I would like the blog to grow into. It also gives me more impetus to really look deep and self-care in the mean time.
I look forward to sharing new things with you soon,
Michelle
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Creating lasting change: break it down and INSPIRE!

When we feel overwhelmed by thing going on in the world it can be all too easy to feel like shutting it all out. This is where we face humanity’s Shadow and we have to decide if we’re going to step up to the plate and take action/ make a change, or if we’re just going to shut our eyes to it/ pretend it’s someone else’s problem/ hope for the best.
The Shadow is often made up of the most wounded, damaged or repressed parts of our psyche, but it can also help to make us aware of where our values lie by showing what we react to the most strongly.

Some of the biggest problems in our world persist because people don’t want to admit they exist, because they think it’s someone else’s ‘problem’, or because they can’t see the bigger picture. Another reason is that while the larger solution is identified it is impossible to implement on a one-person level. It can be all too easy to become dejected and feel like our efforts won’t make a difference when faced with this ‘bigger picture’ kind of view.
When you set goals you have the ‘bigger plan’ view, but you also have to break it down into smaller goals, steps or even micro-steps. One of the things I’ve had to learn through chronic illness is pacing. This means breaking down my goals into smaller and smaller, more manageable steps. Factoring in changes, setbacks and improvements is also important. Pacing, in this interpretation of the word, would be a perfect example to use for breaking down the ‘bigger plan’ view. You can’t implement it all at once, and it may mean delegating or getting help, or changing the plan as circumstances change, but it does progress. You have to allow for the ‘plan’ to evolve – like illnesses that fluctuate the ‘bigger picture’ is constantly shifting and changing. Sometimes there will be setbacks so you reassess and plan differently, or sometimes you’ll progress and can move on a couple of steps further. It’s all about being flexible and working with what already Is.

It’s similar when faced with the larger problems in society and the world – when faced with it all at once many people get overwhelmed; they throw their hands up and and they feel like there’s nothing they can do to make a difference. But if we look at things from the, “What CAN I do?” level then things start to shift. Now we’re in the one-person level of assessing; now we’re breaking the ‘bigger picture’ down into something more realistically achievable. On a one-person level we can identify micro-steps and -goals that can contribute to the bigger whole. And depending on our resources or skill set we can factor in what we CAN do. And the more people who do this, the more people taking micro-steps and coming together, is one bigger step on the path; one step closer to wider change.
Perhaps you have limited resources of your own but you’re great at organising events and can raise awareness or raise money. Perhaps you are an artist or photographer and can portray imagery that captures the mind and heart. Perhaps you’re a wordsmith who can help people see things differently and inspire them to be a part of the change. Maybe you’re a teacher and can educate the next generation on better ethics, responsibility and environmentalism. Maybe you can change to a more conscious way of living, or sponsor good causes or petition for change.
Whatever you do please try to inspire. Whether it’s leading by example, educating and raising awareness, helping people see, feel or think differently, make sure you inspire. Nothing turns people off quicker than feeling like they’re being lectured, being told they’re ‘wrong’ or inconsiderate, or made to feel like the problem is just too big or overwhelming for their contribution to make an actual difference. Inspire!
Facts have their place, but bombarding people with them doesn’t often elicit an inspired response. Outrage and anger are also not helpful as they only incite more negativity (see my post Reclaiming Sacred Anger – Leave Behind the Rage).

What people need, if enough are going to come together to bring about widespread change, is inspiration, motivation and encouragement. They need to know there are things they can do on a one-person level. They need to know that by doing these things they are doing good in the world. They need to see how, where and why they are helping. Spread the word, tell the hard stories, but do it so people are inspired and motivated, so they know there is something they can do. Show them what they can do. Show them what you do, give easy steps to start making changes; break it down for them.
Some may say this is spoon-feeding, but just as all children must learn to adapt and build up to bigger things so must we. Break it down, keep it simple and most of all, inspire. Inspire the change you want to see created in the world, and be a living example of it.

 

 

(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, She Holds The Bowl, 2017

Our choices lead us to where we are now

Purple-blue nebula_01_our choices lead us

Our choices lead us to where we are now, and by taking responsibility for our emotions we can make better-informed decisions going forward. We understand that our actions lead us down the path we are on, and our reactions are also a choice. As we become more aware we make better choices for us, for our needs, for our wellbeing, for our boundaries and integrity.

(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, She Holds The Bowl, 2017

The Attitude of Gratitude – week 21

These are the things I’m grateful for from the last week:

Monday: Picking Dandelions with mum to make a tincture.

Tuesday: Doodling with metallic pens on black card. Very relaxing.
Wednesday: Salt scrubs and hot showers.
Thursday: Going to Lincoln and treating myself to some goodies – love Lush’s Each Peach & Two’s a Pair massage bar.
Friday: Being able to express myself through poetry.
Saturday: Spending time catching up on Sleepy Hollow with dad.
Sunday: Messages of encouragement.

Quote on dance and vulnerability by Brene Brown

…for many of us, there is no form of self-expression that makes us feel more vulnerable than dancing. It’s literally full-body vulnerability. The only other full-body vulnerability that I can think of is being naked, and I don’t have to tell you how vulnerable that makes most of us feel.

For many people, risking that kind of public vulnerability is too difficult, so they dance at home or only in front of people they care about. For others, the vulnerability is so crushing that they don’t dance at all.

Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

The Self-discovery process is not selfish

Purple-blue nebula_01_discovering the self

I was told by someone at the beginning of my journey that the Self-discovery process is a selfish one. To those outside of this very personal process (everyone!) it may well seem like a ‘selfish’ time. For once we’re starting to put our needs first, and maybe we’re not playing by the well-established rules and dynamics any more. It can be hard for some people in our lives to accept this, and so I can see why on some level the Self-discovery process may be seen as selfish.
BUT I would argue that, on a larger scale, it is probably the most responsible thing we can do. While it may cause problems in the short term, and with established relationships or situations, in the long term it means we will be showing up with far more honesty, integrity, responsibility for our own emotions, and inner Knowing. It means that we will be making better choices, taking more informed actions, showing up for what truly matters for us, and disengaging from that which is unhealthy, unhelpful and stifling our true Self.

It will always be a work in progress – there is no end date for this – but by concentrating on undoing conditioning and programming, by detaching from unhealthy patterns, behaviours, situations and relationships, we get to show up for ourselves. In doing so we stop looking outside of ourselves to apportion blame and we look within to the lessons we can learn, and how to heal and move forward. We take responsibility for what is ours and discard the rest. We learn, we grow, and we Become.

Discovering the Self is not selfish. It is the most responsible thing you can do, not only for yourself but for your relationships – past, present and future – and for all those who cross your path.

Something to ponder on: would we be called selfish for taking a gap year? How about if we went on a spiritual retreat? Or what if we were going on an open-ended foreign trip? Of course we wouldn’t. So why is it deemed selfish to devote time to Self-discovery? Perhaps because the people in our lives know we may ‘come back’ from this irrevocably changed. It is their fearful projections that turn the journey to the Self into a ‘selfish’ pursuit.
We may well have very real responsibilities (children, a job, a partner) that we must not forget in our quest, but we cannot allow the fears of others to hold us back or discourage us from walking as far as we can along our pathway. It is our right to walk our path, and no one else has the right to stop us or try to hinder our progress. If they cannot accept our growth then perhaps they are not meant to walk beside us any longer. The paths that once ran parallel may now diverge.
Sometimes the journey to the Self means saying goodbye to people, behaviours, things and situations that no longer feel right to continue with us. It doesn’t mean those were ‘bad’ things, necessarily, but that who we are no longer resonates with them.

To those who feel left behind it can feel like we’re making a selfish choice, but really it’s the only choice. If we’re to live a life of true self-worth and integrity we have to be true to our Selves. Dimming our Light and continuing old patterns cloaks the Self. It may make others more comfortable but ultimately we are chaining ourselves to the same old cycles, and this can breed resentment. Only by taking time to discover the Self can we break free, and sometimes this means being ‘selfish’ and moving on to other things.

 

The Attitude of Gratitude – week 20

These are the things I’m grateful for from the last week:

Monday: Reconnecting.
Tuesday: The support and love of friends and family.
Wednesday: An article that really helped.
Thursday: Full Moon, and burning a load of emotional processing work.
Friday: Won a free massage from a local therapy centre.
Saturday: Time alone in the house so I can sing.
Sunday: Painting – getting to experiment with my masking fluid pen and watercolours.