As a believer of continued growth and development – a process of understanding the self on deeper levels in order to ensure that we are not living lives of unconscious compulsions and conditionings, but lives of choice and freedom – This past month I have engaged myself in a flurry of personal development activities.
I worked 1:1 with a coach and game-maker, exploring her program called Existential Escape Room – a process where we explore the mental mazes and trappings of the internal psyche and develop “escape routes” (personalized healing for specific patterning and belief systems).
I took part in an intense family constellations advanced training run by a Norwegian facilitator, Pia Storm Kalhof, exploring “inner & outer relationship”. We dove into deep topics which run through family systems such as infidelity, incest, suicide and revenge entanglements, where we continue the “war” between men and women through choosing to defend and revenge the pains of the past from within our family systems (albeit unconsciously).
And… I am currently working with German psychotherapist and management trainer, Bertold Ulsamer, on his training of working with inner images in individual therapy and coaching.
All of this between showing up for sessions with clients to support them with their own unfoldings! (Needless to say, May has been full and my family is wondering where I am!)
But I have been on a Journey! A Journey of exploring new lands and territory within the working dynamics of the human being and its relationships. I have been discovering new tools and fresh routes to assist me on this adventure!
One of those tools was a mantra.
"I/You don''t have to"
Feeding these four words into my system brings about spaciousness, a feeling of release and relaxation.
(Of course there are some things which I feel like I need, therefore I have to… but in reality, when I really let myself land in the “I don’t have to”, I can see that I have more choices available… and perhaps… I choose to…)
Let yourself explore some options for yourself:
- I don’t have to lose weight / look younger
- I don’t have to be faithful
- I don’t have to be successful / famous / rich
- I don’t have to be kind
- I don’t have to rescue other people
- I don’t have to punish my partner
- I don’t have to be looked after
- I don’t have to perpetuate family legacy
- I don’t have to avenge the pains of the past
- I don’t have to change / grow / engage in personal development
- I don’t have to blame xyz for …
- I don’t have to… (CHOOSE YOUR OWN)
In a recent session with a client (and again on the Inner Images training), I was reminded of the word “Labyrinth”. A labyrinth is often confused with the concept of a maze… but in fact they are quite opposite indeed!
With a labyrinth it is impossible to get lost…. They are unicursal … the way in is the way out.
Compare this with a maze, which is designed as a puzzle, or perhaps a trap, which requires you to engage thought and logic in order to solve. It involves twists and turns and blind alleys. You need to make many decisions and engage in analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze or not.
With the labyrinth… there is only one choice. To enter or not….
In this way, Labyrinths have been used for centuries as a spiritual tool and walking meditation to reflect this singular journey of personal and spiritual development. It works as a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with the broadened understanding of who you are.
And again there is the choice... do you enter or not? (Reminding yourself.... that you don't have to...)
In exploring my own “I don’t have to…” statements and coupling with the images which have bubbled up from my unconscious on the training with Bertold, I have found the desire for more play in my approach to life and work. With play comes connection… I associate more freedom and pleasure when things are not so rigid and heavy with “you have to…” expectations of self. Freeing myself of the dogma of “how things should be done” etc etc.
And so I have created a new game for myself to play with others. A labyrinth of sorts, where we meditatively take an inward journey of self-discovery through the terrain of story, myth and archetype.
This is not a maze designed to hold you captive, or get lost in dead ends. It’s a process of play and exploration with lightness and ease. (Even when we do explore the actual mazes you are stuck in through patterns, beliefs and unconscious compulsions)
I’ve called it JOURNEY, and you’re welcome to join in the game with me!
There are two options for game play. You can either join as a parallel companion, where you process, play and explore at your own pace. Or you can participate as a more intense playmate were we explore together hand-in-hand through the terrain together.
Take a look and see if you want to enter or not….