Things are not easy for us in the UK right now. Although it is good, perhaps, to remember that we are still hugely privileged compared to many other countries in the world; it also feels important to acknowledge that many of us here are struggling, physically, financially and/or emotionally. The messages we are being given by the government and the media are confusing at best, terrifying and misleading at worst (this may be because the people giving the messages to us are themselves confused; or because they are deliberately setting out to confuse the rest of us. I don’t know the answer to this one, but the results are the same). And the confusion we are feeling is also on a deeper level. We know that the messages we are being given are refering to matters of life and death: but the words we hear do not always reflect this. We feel a disconnect between the official statements and what we know are the important things in life. We know deeply that it is more important to see a loved one than to go to work, and yet we may feel cornered by a rhetoric that talks only about work and exercise, as if we are machines that need to be oiled and maintained so that we will be able to fulfil our purpose. On a deep level we do not agree with this assessment, and yet many of us cannot bring this disagreement to awareness or into words.
There is an underlying fear and anxiety in all of us. Even if we are not consciously aware of feeling fear on an individual level; we will on some level be tuning in to a wider fear that surrounds us. This fear is not only a fear of death and illness, it is a fear of the unknown; and this fear is being subliminally aggravated by the rhetoric and words of war that are being used by the government. We are being told that we are ‘sacrificing’ for the greater good, that the NHS workers who are being put at risk through poor management and support are ‘heroes’, and that we are ‘campaigning against the virus’. Some of these phrases may seem, or actually be, pretty meaningless; unless we look at them in the wider context of the underlying messages that we are being given. Whether we are aware of the process or not, these words are making us feel as if we are at war. And this is adding to the fear that is ‘in the air’. The fact that it is hard to get accurate information about what is actually happening, and about what it is sensible to do, only adds to this fear. When we are afraid, we cling on to what we know, and want certainty and security. And yet this is the opposite of what we are being offered. And so the fear increases.
Living with fear has an impact, as any abused child or front-line soldier can tell you (front-line is another term that has been taken from the vocabulary of war to make us think in a certain way). It makes it hard for us to think clearly. It makes it hard for us to know who to trust, and it then becomes easy for us to turn on each other; blaming each other for individual actions that we think may have put us, or other people, in danger, rather than looking at the bigger picture. Living with fear means that some of our ‘attention’ is always taken up with needing to discover where the danger is coming from, and working out how we might need to defend ourselves. This means we have less attention for the things we might want or need to do. Many people, including myself, are reporting that it is hard to settle to big projects, although small ones may feel possible some of the time. We are ‘achieving’ less, and often feel tired or scattered. Many of us are sleeping badly, as our hypervigilant states affect our ability to let go into sleep; or sleeping more, as our brains do their best to switch themselves off from this constant awareness.
Living with fear deeply affects our bodies. We may have a degree of constant tension that adds to our exhaustion and causes pain, and can lead to chronic pain or illness if it goes on for long enough. Tension in our guts may lead to us not being able to digest our food properly. We may be breathing more shallowly than usual and this may cause our blood to have less oxygen, and so our general physical energy levels will be low. We may have tension in our throats due to a fear of speaking our truths, which may cause us to cough or further restrict our breathing.
At the same time many of us are not getting the amount of physical contact with other humans that we need or are used to, or indeed any physical contact at all. This can have a profound effect on our bodies and on our mental health. There is a particular release and relaxation that I feel when I am hugging someone I am close to, which I am finding it hard to find in other situations (I do get it when I am lying on the earth or hugging with a tree or listening to running water. And sometimes I can feel it when sharing energy with another, but I am used to finding it in a certain way and the adaptation in itself is exhausting). And there is something in the act of being touched by another that I feel I cannot give to myself: some quality of intentional energy that I am finding it hard to replicate, although I am experimenting with it.
The impact of these fears and losses are exacerbated by the way they are triggering our early memories and patterns, and the way our usual coping mechanisms are often unable to find their accustomed outlets. For instance, I have had to work hard not to fall into old mindsets of isolation and to remember that I am not now in the same situation that I was in when I was a child; that I am not on my own because I don’t have any friends or because I have failed once again to ‘fit in’. I’ve also had to work on the things that ‘weigh’ my emotions in the lack of physical contact; such as the way I use physical contact to believe that I am liked or to pick up signals from people. The lack is a real lack and it is hard in ‘real’ time. But if I can work on the early material then it becomes easier, and can be a good opportunity to look at this stuff, if an opportunity that I would not have chosen to have thrust upon me!
I have lots of email, facebook, phone and online contact with people, and I can use this to remind myself that I do have many people who care about me. But the greatest gift I have at this time is my ability to feel energy. This is something I’ve been working with for many years, and is a large part of my ‘work’, as well as something that generally gives me great pleasure. But during this strange, secluded, time it has been my lifeline, my solace and my support. I have discovered depths of energy connection at a distance that I have not been able to reach before, and I have discovered that I am able to connect with groups online and lead energy connects and rituals in a way I haven’t been able to before. All this has been beautiful and fascinating, as well as at times difficult and challenging, and the learning and expanding I am developing through this exploration is another thing that has kept me going.
I have been saying for years that the physical body is the densest manifestation of the energy body, and not in itself a separate substance. And in recent distance energy connection I have been finding the truth of this. When I am strongly energetically connected to another, there are times when I can truly feel the connection in a physical way. For example, on one occasion when a connection and I were on skype I literally felt their touch on my neck as they moved their fingers. And I have had moments when I have felt my touch on my skin, another’s touch on my skin and my skin’s receiving of the touch, all at the same time. When energetically touching another, I can also sometimes feel the sensations that they are feeling, and so that adds in another level.
This ability to merge and connect energy is beautiful in itself, and it also has strong implications, for us as individuals and for us as part of communities and the wider world. As well as sharing the energy to support and nurture each other and ourselves, at a time when this is sorely needed: we can use our connected energies to work for the planet, for humanity, for individuals and groups that are in need.
When we first become aware of the energy in and around us, and of our energetic connections to others; it can feel unreal, as if its not actually happening or as if we are making it up. I believe we are all born with an awareness of energy, but that in Western societies we are raised in a culture where this awareness is denied, and so we slowly lose our abilities. If we talk about things we are perceiving as we grow up we may be told we are over-imaginative, liars or even ‘crazy’, and so we learn to keep quiet, and eventually may even stop believing ourselves. Learning to access our energetic senses again can be a slow and painful process. We need to find others who believe us and who we can talk about these things with; and we need to learn to believe and trust ourselves again. Supporting people in and through these processes feels the most important part of my work at this time. I am here for any of you that need help with this.
I believe that this is a time when the ways we connect to each other, and to the planet which we are part of, are being not only remembered but rewritten. I believe that things are changing fast right now, on many levels, and I believe that this development of our ability to connect energetically is one of the biggest changes, and challenges, of this time. I think that the increased amount and variety of ways that we are connecting with each other over the internet; on platforms such as zoom, skype and jitsi, is a part of the process, but not the ultimate goal. I think this online connection is there at this time to remind us that we can connect across distances, and to help us to remember how: but that we are moving forwards to a time when the internet, and the planetary resources that it uses, will no longer be needed for us to connect with each other.
To return to the disconnect spoken of at the beginning: I think that the biggest reason we feel this disconnect is that there are huge changes happening in deep places: of our psyches and of the planet, and that these are not reflected in the words we hear on the radio or the tv. I think we are in a time of crisis, on many levels. And I believe that the word crisis is related to the word chrysalis. I believe that we are now in our chrysalis’, individually and collectively. In the chrysalis the caterpillar breaks down into primordial gloop and its cells become ‘imaginal’, which means they have stopped being what they once were and are not yet ready to become what they are going to be. I think this is the stage we are in now. I think that this is the time to ‘imagine’ the world afresh, to look at what is important and to connect with the depths of our lives and our souls.
It is wrong that many of the people who are dying are dying because they belong to oppressed and marginalised groups; people and groups of people who are considered to be expendable by the ruling class/capitalism/corporations, such as elders, disabled people, BAME people or working class people. It is wrong that some people have more privilege than others and more chance of survival. But to die, in itself is not wrong. Dying is a part of life and we will all go through the transition at some point; when we are ready, or perhaps before we are ready (although who can tell what each person’s soul needs?). I am (most of the time) not afraid of dying, although I fear dying without my loved ones around me. And (most of the time!) I am not afraid of illness. Illness can be a catalyst for big processes, changes and transformations: not just the transformation of death but changes in the ways we live our lives and the ways our bodies, minds and energies operate and balance. Illness can be frightening if we are on our own or if we are reminded of past times of pain and struggle. But illness itself is not the enemy. Nor, despite government rhetoric, is the virus. It is a part of the natural world that was doing what it was designed to do, and that had its natural cycle disrupted by the way that humans are treating the world. The virus is not consciously trying to destroy the human race. Human beings are the only beings that are working towards that goal.
It is fear itself that scares me. I fear my own old, triggered fears and the old, triggered fears of others, that may lead to us acting with hostility, paranoia, hatred and judgement. Again, there is nothing, in itself, wrong with fear. It is perfectly natural, one of our basic emotions. It gives us clues as to what is needed and helps us to navigate our lives. But a perpetual state of fear is different. It is not healthy for us or for our communities.
We can decide to not join in with the ‘fear’ story. We can make the decision to not give in to paranoia and to think as well as we can, despite the confusion around us. As I said earlier, I do not know whether the actions and words of the government are part of a well-planned conspiracy; or whether they are due to the individuals in government being unable to make sensible decisions because of their own fear, and the activation of their own old triggers. What I do know is that we are all in a place of not knowing. And that this not knowing can in itself be our strength; if we can allow ourselves to stay in this space and not let our fears derail us. If we can stay as centred as we can and as connected with each other as we are able, then we can work with the energy of uncertainty and use even this energy for the good of us all.
We can choose which story we will give energy to: the story of fear or the story of hope, or any of the other possible stories. We can work towards the story that we want to manifest. We have a choice in every moment of our lives. Each time we decide how to reply to what someone says, each time we post on facebook, each time we smile or don’t smile at the person we pass in the street, we are making a choice. This is always true, to some extent: but right now I believe we are at a moment in history when the choices we make have more impact than usual, when what we do will have implications for all of our futures. And when we are energy workers, our actions and choices will have an even stronger impact.
We are not without our strengths and our powers. We can learn to shield ourselves energetically from the undercurrents of anxiety that drain and infect us. We can learn to weight our intentions and dreams with energy to bring them into clearer focus and fruition. We can work together, even if our bodies are apart.
And this is why, every day, I identify the energy channels of fear and distrust; and send out the energies of hope, connection, community and love through the same channels. You can join me in this if you will. Together we can decide what energies we want in our lives and our communities, and make our choices. I choose to stand for truth, and hope, and a different future. I choose this over and over again, every time I falter or get lost. I choose to not ‘go back to normal’, but to move forwards into a future none of us can predict, but which our dreams can invent. Blessed be.