Reaching For The Balance

balance

The Autumn Equinox is here again. As the sun’s path lowers in the sky and the season changes, the light changes also; it becomes a paradoxical mixture of clarity and softness; there is a kind of sweet melancholy in it, but also a joy. These seemingly contradictory states lead me to reflect on the themes of this festival, and as we honour the time of equal night and day, my thoughts turn to the subject of balance.

Balance is often equated with stillness and yet when I stand on one leg, I am aware that in order to stay still and not topple, my body is going through a series of subtle muscles adjustments. This suggests to me that balance is actually quite active – we put effort in to achieving that centred, rooted place. I think this is true for all areas where we seek equilibrium, right from our emotional selves to our health and working lives, we constantly have to adjust our balance to settle, and it’s not hard to realise when we are off kilter  – we feel it in the symptoms of unease, worry, illness and discord. But even these are not a problem because such emotions and conditions communicate that it is time to adjust our footing and regain balance. The trick is to stay aware and keep actively engaged with the process.

I have been drawn to work with the Egyptian Goddess Ma’at recently as part of a wider practice of honouring the lunar cycle. I have chosen a series of Goddesses who, to  me, express certain energies of the moon’s phases and I have been meditating with each Goddess and journaling on how each of their energies are currently playing out in my being and my wider life.  I am focusing on the Maiden, Lover, Mother/Queen, Wise Women/Priestess and Crone Energies at the waxing crescent, waxing gibbous, full, waning crescent and dark moon respectively, with the goddess Bast, Hathor, Isis, Nepthys and Sekhmet.

I had felt the need to reconnect with the moon cycle because I had been struggling to maintain balance in my own life, upended by difficult changes, struggling with depression and realising that I had become stuck and stagnant in my energy and focus. Recognising how much I was resisting change, I thought that working with the mutable cycles of the moon would be both helpful in breaking the dam and going with the flow.

Ma’at came into the equation because I was reminded by my own experience that the ever-moving cycle of birth, expansion, fullness, harvest, release and death is governed by a harmonising principle; this constant adjusting to maintain the balance is what keeps creation functioning; every part of the cycle is vital to the harmony of the whole.

To the ancient Egyptians, Ma’at was Divine Universal Balance that functioned both at the Macrocosm of the Cosmos and Nature and the Microcosm of Society and the human individual. To them, it was crucial to the well-being of the whole – be it nature, community or person – to seek balance and harmony between all the constituent parts. Without Ma’at, there is chaos, discord and imbalance, the interconnected flow of the cycle is broken and trouble ensues.

The Egyptians recognised that maintaining the balance of Ma’at was active and ongoing; building a relationship with Ma’at was a job for life. We see how destructive ignoring the function of Ma’at is when we look at the environmental problems we face, where the harmony and interconnectedness of life has been disregarded and is causing a terrible imbalance with dreadful consequences. At the Micro level, my lunar journey has helped me to see the painful results of ignoring Ma’at in my own life; getting stuck in the intense shedding and shadow work of the waning and dark moon, whilst forgetting the renewal, joy and expansion of the waxing phases, has led to complete burn out for me, both physically and emotionally. Working with and fully engaging with every phase has widened my focus and I feel much lighter and brighter for it.

What working with Ma’at has taught me is that we are each active participants in our own well-being; that we have choices in our responses to life and that we are constantly guided back to that place of equilibrium if we listen to our intuition and act for our own highest good and the highest good of others. It is heartening to think that being out of balance contains its own lessons for growth and in itself holds the key to regaining our footing.little-girl

Ma’at demands that we honour and engage with all the parts of ourselves and our lives; that we embrace and stay present in each phase of the cycle, always mindful of its relationship to the whole. In this season of the Equinox, take time to reflect on your own balancing act; honour all that you are, every experience; take heed of any discomfort you might feel and let it speak to you about how you can come back into alignment with yourself. In truth, balance is not total stillness, it’s a dance.

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Brighter Future

pink-rose

I have recently had a couple of wonderful Rahanni healing sessions with Georgie from Brighter Future. As well as giving Rahanni healing, Georgie offers Reiki, Life-Coaching, Holistic Theraphy and Meditation; I met her when I attended a meditation evening held by her at my local crystal shop Waves of Inspiration. During the meditation, Georgie gave me some Rahanni healing; I have received energy healing before in the past but never as strongly felt as this. I experienced tangible, physical sensations and instinctively knew that I should book a session with her.

The last five years have been a time of intense transition for me; many major life changes – everything from separation and divorce to new love and bereavement – and after the death of my dad three years ago, the immense changes took their toll and I began to slip into depression.

When I think of that time, it leads me to recall that amazing opening line from Dante’s Divine Comedy:

In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost…

Dante’s famous quote sums up beautifully those times in our life that are often called ‘dark nights of the soul’. I have come to believe that those challenging moments – when all of our dependable signposts on the path seemingly disappear – are actually a vital part of the process of living and growing (more on this in a future post). Of course, that feels like cold comfort when you are struggling and after an extended period of feeling incredibly low and hopeless, I came to recognise that I had become a little stuck in that ‘dark wood’, holding on to the hurt and the grief in ways that were self-destructive.

After realising I needed some help, I initially took the conventional route of anti-depressants and CBT counselling, both of which were useful. However, the pills were hellish to withdraw from and it became clear that it would be easy to become dependent on their weirdly numbing and unreal euphoria for ever – plenty of people do.

I appreciate that the Doctor’s who helped me, tried their best with the time and resources available, but what is so apparent when you visit healers such as Georgie, is that there is a vital element missing in the conventional treatment of emotional and psychological pain. For me, that missing element is a spiritual dimension.  I have come to believe that we are energetic beings and how we manage that energy will shape how we feel and act.

The first session with Georgie was very emotional for me because she created and held such a loving and compassionate space to begin releasing and healing. That spiritual aspect of my being was included and welcomed. I felt totally heard; Georgie listened without judgement and made me feel utterly safe and at ease. She gave me some wonderful practical advise and the Rahanni healing had a powerful impact on me. My second session was joyful – I felt like giggling the entire way though! – and left me absolutely buzzing. In both sessions, the healing seemed to draw to the surface insights and realisations, openings in my psyche that have continued to widen as the weeks have passed. It has made me realise that I need to reengage with my creative self, with the things I love doing – writing here on my blog being one of them – reconnecting to and healing my sense of self. I can also see that I need to forgive and trust life again.

Not only is Georgie a gifted energy healer, she also gently guides you to a greater understanding of where you are and to how you can find a more positive route back to well-being and happiness. With Georgie’s help, I have felt that knot of tangled and stuck mental, emotional and physical energy gradually unraveling and shifting; the stagnancy and apathy of depression  washed through with a lightness and vibrancy that feels deeply cleansing and uplifting. I know there is still work to do, but it definitely feels like the ice is melting and the river is starting to flow. Thank you Georgie! Your help and understanding are priceless gifts.

I highly recommend working with Georgie, particularly if you are grieving, or finding it hard to move on and let go of hurt and loss. She is a beautiful, kind and empathetic soul, a wonderful healer and a fabulous meditation teacher. Her Facebook page Brighter Future can be found here.