I am committed to raising consciousness individually and collectively to transform our world. We live in remarkable times. It feels like we are waking up from a long, deep sleep and encountering opportunities everywhere. As we awaken to our personal power, roadblocks that looked insurmountable dissolve.
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Welcome to the "What's New" section of my blog. Stay tuned for news!
Living the New Paradigm (5): Tools for the Journey
Easter was just here and spring has arrived. My favourite time of year. Full of new beginnings, renewed commitment, and a lightness in my step. I am pleased to offer you two new videos on my website: Integration Coaching and Spirit Plant Medicines.
During the winter months I have been incubating parts of myself that, like the tulips, are starting to push their way up to the surface. Hello ☺ I have also been working with a team of exceptional people who are engaged in mastering leadership and team work. Of course that is all about learning who I am, claiming myself as powerful, keeping my word, and noticing what stops me. The journey of awakening.
One of the tools I have found helpful in this journey is plant medicines, or entheogens ("generating the divine within"). In the Amazon, the indigenous people believe that certain plants have an intelligence that desires to communicate with us, which is the purpose of their existence. There are a variety of plants with specific properties that help us in different ways, such as healing physiological ailments or psychological/mental issues, and spiritually connecting us with our higher selves, generating an experience of no separation, belonging and connection.
I have been aware of this support for over a decade and am very grateful for the guidance and companionship I have experienced. Their potential for raising our collective consciousness is unfolding, and I am indebted with their contribution to my own. I am truly delighted to report on recent research findings that corroborate what I and many others have intuitively felt is possible. See below:
- If you have not read it already, here is a game changing article in a February issue of the New Yorker article by Michael Pollan which gives background information and describes the current research that documents how treating people with psilocybin (aka magic mushrooms) for anxiety and depression has successfully reduced these symptoms.
- Two beautiful interviews with two people who were part of the above mentioned research trail at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
- Audio link from the CBC radio program Tapestry, of an interview by Mary Hynes with Anthony Bossis, the lead investigator from the trial at New York University. http://www.cbc.ca/radio/tapestry/taking-the-grim-out-of-grim-reaper-with-a-psychedelic-trip-1.2992608/psychologist-anthony-bossis-can-psychedelic-drugs-help-ease-the-fear-of-death-1.2994067
- In Brazil, some prison inmates who have been convicted of seriously violent crimes are being given ayahausca, a powerful entheogenic tea made from two plants found in the Amazon. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/world/americas/a-hallucinogenic-tea-time-for-some-brazilian-prisoners.html?_r=0
I believe that as human beings, we all have the capacity to change, we are changing continuously, and our job is to be intentional about it, so that it is a positive shift that aligns with our purpose for being here.
As you will see in my new videos, integration coaching is an essential element of aligning consciously. All our experiences are purposeful, demanding attention and reflection. As with spirit plant medicines, the initial encounter is just the beginning. Call me to book a session to discover more.
I look forward to speaking with you, and being of service to your awakening, as of course you are to mine.
With love GILLIAN
Living the New Paradigm (4): New Possibilities
We are approaching the end of 2014 and naturally start to evaluate how it went. Some of you may have already read my characterisation of the year as "intense and difficult" which it certainly has been from the level of loss of loved ones or those close to friends and family. It is curious to notice how my mind focuses on what is difficult and challenging. Perhaps yours works in a similar way? I tend to seek out what is not working and dwell on it. Perhaps that is why the media gives us only bad news, because it sells their product. I wonder what came first - is it our innate nature, or have we been conditioned to respond that way?
My other big news of the year is that apart from turning 60 and having the honour of being celebrated by many extraordinary friends, I am morphing into a new part of myself. It may not be fully formed, but certainly is taking shape.
The easiest way to describe the shift is to tell you what has been happening in my career. As most of you know I have been a champion of introducing harm reduction at the level of policy and providing services for the most marginalised people in our society – the homeless, mentally ill and people with problematic drug use. There has been success in Vancouver. 15 years ago we were experiencing an HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Downtown Eastside, along with an intolerably high number of people dying from drug overdoses. It was a horribly perfect storm, where the authorities knew they were out of answers from the old paradigm, and were forced to look at something new. We were able to open INSITE the first sanctioned supervised injection site in North America (one of two, both in Vancouver) and the situation improved dramatically in recent years. Even though the push back from the old paradigm warriors (we know who they are) continues, today we have policies rooted in reducing harms, even if they are not always explicitly stated.
So now what? Even though there are troubled communities across Canada, there has not been the galvanising extreme of our Downtown Eastside storm, and as such, in my experience, the urgency is not there, and the dialogue comes and goes without traction. I have been spinning my wheels.
This year, a series of events, new people, new information and conversations occurred that opened a new possibility for me. It is not new! I have been passionate about the intentional and therapeutic use of spirit plant medicines, (psychedelics, entheogens,) for over a decade. It is my next adventure on this journey. Looking for 'perfect storm' conditions that are the incubator of paradigm shifts. My inspiration comes from the potential they offer in raising consciousness.
Of course, as within, so it is without. What I describe above is a metaphor for my own journey. It has been a long road of 'harm reduction' – letting go, healing, and learning new. I discovered that the person I described above who dwells on negativity is not real. It is simply an identity that serves to keep me stuck in the old paradigm, rather like the newscasts we are bombarded with on a daily basis, replaying the same old story, over and over again. Sound familiar??
In my internal world I have moved from harm reduction to expanding my consciousness. I am having glimpses of new possibilities, and look forward to 2015 with anticipation.
I am here to support you letting go of your own stories about who you are. Please do not hesitate to contact me to arrange a session.
Living the New Paradigm (3): Lost in Shadow
It has been a while since I wrote. A very close and dear friend died in June and my thoughts have been wrapped up in that. I needed some time to sort through them. A memorial was held for her a couple of days ago, and it was beautiful and liberating. A lot of things I had been holding onto came to the surface and I was able to release them with the encouragement and support of being in a room of several hundred people, who were sharing in the grief of loss and celebration of an amazing life.
So, I find myself reviewing the teacher’s strike, the impasse between the union and the government (despite the tentative agreement) and the fact that half a million children in beautiful BC are not at school. I have nothing to say about the situation itself. There are two sides to everything.
The process of the mediation however with Vince Ready gives me pause, even though there is a breakthrough. What seems to be the process is to identify all the issues of disagreement, ascertain where there is some common interest, which might be possible to resolve, and focus on it to get them ‘back to work’. Apparently they also identify issues they know will not be resolved, things that are so deeply polarising they are in the way of an ‘agreement’. These issues are classified as things that cannot be agreed upon, and set aside, so they can focus on what might be workable.
Fair enough that sounds, that makes sense, let’s get some agreement going here and get back to work. Why not?
My question is why would you leave the issues that are deeply rooted on both sides unresolved? Why would you give up, and simply say this is too difficult. This is classic old paradigm thinking. Forcing an outcome, blaming, withholding are what not to do. How do we know that? It doesn’t work. We are listening to both sides arguing about the same things, things that were ignored last time, and the time before that. Things left unresolved and kept hidden in the dark fester, like a rotting carcass.
Secrets, not saying what is going on, protecting, keeping things under wraps, are manifestations of our ‘shadow’ self.* REF BELOW These are stories that we tell ourselves and are afraid to reveal. They are parts of ourselves that we don’t want to admit to, so we keep them hidden.
As we see in the example of the teachers and government this year, just because issues are not ‘on the table’ doesn’t mean they are not there. The more they are ignored, the more power they have. Keeping them in the dark feeds them, grows them, empowers their hold over us, and ultimately they end up running the show.
It takes courage to confront your fears, your stories of not being good enough, or of being deeply flawed. (I submit they are stories by the way, but that is for another day.)
What we have witnessed this summer is the sad consequence of ignoring our individual shadows. They are being played out on a massive scale, with everyone’s unacknowledged stuff colliding. No wonder Mr. Ready cannot make any headway with the things that cannot be agreed upon. Moving into the new paradigm requires overhauling our systems and protocols, however in order for that to take place, an individual overhaul is required. It gets messy the other way around doesn’t it?
It is not collective bargaining. Perhaps it should be more aptly described as shadow collectively burgeoning… Time to wake up and do your own work.
I am glad for all that there will be an agreement to get back to work shortly, and skeptical about what actually was achieved in developing the trust that is required to look at the system and begin to have a conversation about possibilities for change.
I am here to support any overhaul you might want to embark upon! Let me help you shine your light into your shadow and meet yourself unafraid. You can create endless opportunities once you are in the driver’s seat.
Living the New Paradigm (2): Projection and Attachment
Have you ever had the experience of going about your day and somebody says something to you and seemingly out of nowhere you are irritated… and want them to go away, or you leave as soon as you can?
Recently I had this experience twice in a day and was confounded as to what exactly happened. I was annoyed by the interactions, and didn’t want to talk about it. One of the times was witnessed, and in the de-briefing afterwards, there was more irritation and a compulsion to blame the person in the original incident, which quickly spread to the de-briefer, who was equally annoying for bringing it up and making me feel ‘bad’ again.
Subsequently I had the honour of spending the day in meditation with a group of souls who are committed to freeing themselves fromthe life of imprisonment they inhabit according to the stories they make up about themselves. Insights were flowing for all of us, and we celebrated these moments together at the end of the day.
One of mine was about the nature of attachment and projection. I realised that when attachment arises – ie when you are in a situation you don’t like and fervently wish was different, it is a beautiful gift! Those uncomfortable feelings are the gift wrapping, indicating there is treasure inside that wants to be discovered. It is as though there is a neon sign flashing saying “look at me”. If you are able to pay attention to it, and unwrap it, there is a message for you. Perhaps it is telling you about person who annoyed you. It might be asking you to look and see what is really getting up your nose. Look closely, it says. Recognise anything here?
I saw that one of my irritating interactions was with someone who said something that I judged to be rigid and uncompromising. Upon closer examination I saw that I had started it by saying something similar except I could fool myself otherwise because my style of delivery is quite different. That is a projection, I see something I don’t like about myself in someone else and blame them for it. As for the content, the intention behind what we both said was the same – this is the way, period. When really, all we have are our opinions, our points of view about life, and there isn’t only one answer… so therefore no one has it, especially me. Of course.
The second experience happened on the same day – almost like a birthday, so many gifts! That was about me feeling out of sorts and expressing my concerns – kind of like whining – and someone I didn’t know at all simply said that the circumstance I was describing was inaccurate. (Excuse me? I know what I am complaining about, I am entitled to do it, and shame on you for making me feel bad.) That is how it went. How dare someone I don’t even know interrupt my story about how difficult it is?
It is these stories and constructs that keep us shackled to old patterns and ways of being. They are not real, they are not who we are, we are simply familiar with them, and it gets attention, but unfortunately the worst kind, and we remain stuck.
So, when you are activated by someone, or something which puts you on edge, makes you feel alone, unheard, misunderstood… don’t get discouraged, it’s good news. Something is calling to you. Look deeper as soon as you can, it might well be a gift box, inside of which is a piece of you that wants to be seen and released. Once witnessed and acknowledged, it won’t disappear overnight, but once you are on to it, it is easy to catch on to, recognise and notice. Another step forward in living the new paradigm!
When you need assistance, please do not hesitate to call and make an appointment to come and see me.
Blessings and love,
Integration Coach/Public Speaker/
Knowledge Exchange Broker
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." Rumi