And the Shell Crack’d……

Sitting alone in his darkened lounge he sat with his head in his hands. It was early evening but already the days occurrences were weighing heavy on his heart. His life over the last few months had become a veritable tsunami of stress, relentless in its persistency and in its increasing escalation of painful situations.
He had begun to wonder if in some way he had contributed to his own suffering though he could not imagine how.

It was, on occasions, difficult enough to be an empath. Seeing as he did into individuals souls and feeling their pain and their suffering both historically and currently. More often than not he would try and help them in ways that were none intrusive but more by giving them a safe space to verbalise their thoughts and reach their own conclusions.

But now he knew he had barely enough strength for himself let alone others.
He felt vague currents of anxiety start to set in, in both his mind and body. He so wished he could be saved. Rescued from the edge of this towering precipice above a black pit of annihilation. However it was never going to be that easy, never was.

Then suddenly it felt as if his mind broke. All the thoughts and emotions that had been building inside of him burst forth from the finite confines of his ego and out into the world.
Nothing particularly physically or behaviourally were to be observed to suggest any internal change had occurred.
However cognitively and emotionally his inner landscape had changed dramatically.
He felt himself to be outside of himself looking in. Floods of compassion swept over him for this man and his burden. But the compassion did not stop there. It flooded out towards the whole of humanity and the Earth’s flora and fauna.

It dawned on him that actually, at the end of the day, we are all one. Though our senses and speech suggest otherwise, this was indeed not the case. That every living beings pain and ecstacy are irrevocably caught up with everyone and everything else.
For some reason his suffering could not be alleviated by logic or therapy. The often seemingly impossible task of maintaining a semblance of sanity and a will to continue could only be guaranteed through a breakthrough of sorts.

He noted that he no longer felt alone.
He was indeed as much a part of this world as the mountains and lakes, as the animals and the birds, as the clouds and the soil.

A quote came to mind. A long time ago he remembered that a gentleman called Carl Jung allegedly stated that there is no coming to consciousness without pain.
This he now understood.

Vernal ( viral?) Equinox……

It was early morning as he sat out on his patio overlooking his garden on the outskirts of the city. Just where suburbia relinquishes her grip to the manifest countryside.
A mug of steaming hot coffee in one hand and a hand rolled cigarette in the other, he sat back on his bench and reflected on the new day.
A pale morning Sun cast pale rays of sunlight over his immediate vista.
The deep purple grape hyacinths were thrusting up through the towsled foliage left from the Winter months. The delicate yellow and amber flowers of the daffodils lining the borders of the limpid pond which rippled silently with insectile activity.
An aptly named quarrel of house sparrows land in a nearby bush, some carrying twigs or moss ready to to build their nests in earnest.
A pair of squirrels seemingly anxiously foraging in the undergrowth searching for past hordes.
The chatter and birdsong appeared louder this morning. Maybe because of the lack of human bustling in the neighbourhood or maybe an increase in excitement due to the nascent beginnings of Springtime.
He found a deep irony in the correlation of the outbreak of the virus and this time of year. This equinox was about rebirthing after all. Perhaps that was what was happening but on a global scale.
A human shift in paradigm from its largely narcissistic relationship with Nature and the planet. God knows, he thought, it was well overdue from Nature’s perspective. He felt humanity had moved to far away from it’s symbiotic origins in the mists of time.
Preoccupation with electronic gadgets, devices and novelty pastimes instead of an awareness of the beauty of the world and the preciousness of each living moment.
Perhaps something good could come out of all this.
A new moral order based on mutual respect for each other and our planet Earth. A society formed on the basis of trust, honesty and compassion instead of lies and self serving actions of many in power and those whom they rule.
Taking a large swig of his now cool coffee and a long draw on his cigarette, he exhaled the smoke into the morning air.
” Perhaps………” he thought.

More Than a Diagnosis……

Having worked in mental health I find this to be very true.

“All of the diagnoses that you deal with – depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar illness, post traumatic stress disorder, even psychosis, are significantly rooted in trauma. They are manifestations of trauma. Therefore the diagnoses don’t explain anything. The problem in the medical world is that we diagnose somebody and we think that is the explanation. He’s behaving that way because he is psychotic. She’s behaving that way because she has ADHD. Nobody has ADHD, nobody has psychosis – these are processes within the individual. It’s not a thing that you have. This is a process that expresses your life experience. It has meaning in every single case.”

Gabor Mate

A Light in the Black?

A Light in the Black?… ( Empath reflections part two)

Seemingly he could no longer reliably depend on external information resources as a basis to understand the world and what was actually happening. Bias and agenda’s, both hidden and not, infiltrated newspapers and the media wherever he looked. Ten to twenty years ago this did not seem to be the case. Sure there was always some skullduggery going on but many news sources could be relied on to give a more objective account or at least, one knew of their bias.
Not so nowadays. There seemed to be so much false information around that individuals can pick and choose what they want to believe and find rhetoric to support it.
Whereas historically many people used social media and other resources to express their individual and unique experiences / understandings on issues, this no longer seems the case.
These days one can find a polarising influence i.e. a setting of one aspect of society against another. Opposing views are encouraged and promoted to the extreme, encouraging vitriolic exchanges between parties.
He had noted that these attitudes and ideas were now much more common in everyday society. Conversations overheard in cafe’s, restaurants and bars seemed to contain the same content as encouraged in media outlets.
So, what has actually changed over the last twenty or so years?
He decided to write down objectively ( as best he could ) what he had witnessed with his own two eyes ).

  • increased homelessness
  • less or lack of an ability of the under privileged or disabled to access appropriate benefits
  • increase in race related crime
  • increase in acts of random violence ( and increase in severity )
  • the gradual breakdown of the family unit and supportive social networks in the comminity
  • the rise of politicians and celebrities whose main claim to fame is overwhelming egocenticity. Many of these individuals are openly racist, bigoted and self serving. There views voiced with impunity
  • an increase in mental health problems in the young on an unprecedented scale.

The list goes on.
What’s all this to do with spirituality or empathy one may ask? Everything he believed.
Carl Jung may have got it right he thought. These occurrences and behaviour were very much a shadow aspect to people’s personalities and so easily encouraged in those whom were unaware.
The unconscious ability to project one’s unacceptable feelings on to others, be them individuals or minority sections of society.

So what could he do if anything, he thought?
As an empathic individual such angst caused him to feel stressed and overwhelmed. A large part of him wanted to hide away from society and preserve some degree of sanity.
But he knew that would be pointless. He would still be able to ‘feel’ what was happening in the outside world. He would still hear silent cries of the hurt and wounded.
His resolve therefore was to carry on as he had been doing. After all there was still some goodness in people. There were after all individuals not that dissimilar to himself.
Through small acts of kindness and positive / supportive action he would act to counter balance what he perceived to be the trend.

‘Tis…….

‘Tis those whom have suffered much dishonesty that truly appreciate honesty,
‘Tis those whom have suffered much hate that truly appreciate love,
‘Tis those whom have suffered much loneliness whom truly appreciate comradeship.
And for those of us whom have fought many silent battles that truly appreciate peace.

Paul Watkiss 2020

Alone…… ( Empath reflections part one)

Having purchased a beer from the bar he took a wander outside to the empty beer garden. Choosing a wooden bench which gave a view over the city street lights about a mile and a half away he sat down wearily. It was just getting to be dusk and the early evening air was becoming chill quite quickly. Rolling a cigarette from his pouch he reflected on various aspects of his life.
Especially how he appreciated his alone time.
One of the many downsides to bring an empath he had found was one could never quite shut out the noise of other peoples thoughts and emotions. When amongst others it was like a background of white noise often drowning out his own perceptions and clarity of thought. But now all that had stopped and his mind settled back into the luxurious still and quiet of the evening.
Yes, he thought, this whole empath thing is weird. It seems to only really be recognised by those whom have similar experiences and not widely accepted as being an actual trait.
He had never met another empath in the flesh with whom he could share his thoughts. He had found speaking to none empaths about it made them look at him incredulously and more often than not smile politely whilst they were thinking “okay fruit loop, you’re a nice guy but I need to either change the subject or make my excuses and leave”.
He had met a few people with empathic traits but they were usually to involved in their human egoic lives to be able to step out of the rational. One lady he has communicated with briefly was highly paranoid and guarded and was completely unable to discuss her experiences.

So here he was again, alone with his thoughts. Of course there are many upsides to being an empath. It gave one the ability to see and feel things with an exquisite depth seemingly unavailable to others. To be able to read most people literally like a book, few individuals had ever surprised him with their stories as he could feel it in their souls.
Therefore was also the paranormal stuff too. The small distant voices of others no longer of this realm, usually to be found in historic buildings / places. The occasional orb activity, the quick shadow movement of spirits in the vicinity, the hide and seek behaviour of spectral beings moving items around the house. That’s to name but a few.
But for now he would simply bathe his mind and soul in the calm silence and the cool evening air.

Loneliness…………

“Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible. ― Carl Gustav Jung

This quote pretty much defines my life experience up to now. I have witnessed beautiful aureate sunsets, inspiring sun rises, raging and tumultuous storms throwing oceanic waves mercilessly at the cliffs and Gaia’s subtle but numinous energetic pesence in wooded groves retaing their original genius loci.

I have been in awe at the many vista’s I have witnessed throughout my life but very few others ever seem to truly get the truly wonderous nature of our world. Many are in the grip in destination addiction, needing to get on and get things done. Or are so wrapped up in their own story that the outside world is only percieved as a projection of themselves. I suspect being empathic gives me a deeper and more sensitive predisposition to get truly lost in such experiences. To almost become as one with what is being witnessed, to feel the very essence of Natures forces.

If I was going to describe myself using adjectives ( which I am uncomfortable doing as the whole of a person is far more than the sum of parts ) those would be

– vegan ( none militant by the way, we have to find our own way in life in my opinion )

– spiritual ( I have had many spiritual like experiences usually along the lines of none duality / advaita. Despite not having any previous knowledge of these ideologies )

– empathic ( able to pick up on subtle energies from people, places, objects etc ).

So yes, despite having many people around me few really know how I experience life and what is really important to me on terms of what I truly appreciate in life. One does get used to the loneliness and sometimes it is enough to share it solely with oneself.

On Spiritual Materialism….

On Spiritual Materialism….

These are not my words, however they ring true for me 😍

I don’t care how spiritual you are. How long you can melt in the sweat lodge. How many peyote journeys that have blown your mind, or how well you can hold crow pose. Honestly. I don’t. I don’t care what planets fall in what houses on your birth chart, how many crystals you have or how vegan your diet is.

I want to know how human you are. Can you sit at the feet of the dying despite the discomfort? Can you be with your grief, or mine, without trying to advise, fix or maintain it? I want to know that you can show up at the table no matter how shiny, chakra- aligned or complete you are- or not. Can you hold loving space for your beloved in the depths of your own healing without trying to be big?

It doesn’t flatter me how many online healing trainings you have, that you live in the desert or in a log cabin, or that you’ve mastered the art of tantra.

What turns me on is busy hands. Planting roots. That despite how tired you are, you make that phone call, you board that plane, you love your children, you feed your family.

I have no interest in how well you can ascend to 5D, astral travel or have out of body sex. I want to see how beautifully you integrate into ordinary reality with your unique magic, how you find beauty and gratitude in what’s surrounding you, and how present you can be in your relationships.

I want to know that you can show up and do the hard and holy things on this gorgeously messy Earth. I want to see that you can be sincere, grounded and compassionate as equally as you are empowered, fiery and magnetic. I want to know that even during your achievements, you can step back and be humble enough to still be a student.

What’s beautiful and sexy and authentic is how well you can continue to celebrate others no matter how advanced you’ve become. What’s truly flattering is how much you can give despite how full you’ve made yourself. What’s honestly valuable is how fucking better of a human you can be, in a world that is high off of spiritual materialism and jumping the next escape goat for “freedom.”

At the end of the day I don’t care how brave you are. How productive, how popular, how enlightened you are. At the end of the day, I want to know that you were kind. That you were real. I want to know that you can step down from the pedestal from time to time to kiss the earth and let your hair get dirty and your feet get muddy, and join the dance with us all.

-A modern day call to shifting from spiritual consumerism to returning to human kind…

heart inspired by Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s, The Invitation.

♥️

Surviving Dukkha

( As an empathic individual who is very much in touch with my and others emotions I needed to explore my experiences rather than riding rough shod with them through my life. This led me to the following understanding).

It is my experience that bearing pain and suffering and witnessing that of others, the assumed reality of an egoic / materialistic existence is called into question.
Occurrences such as the death of a child, the terminally ill and child orphans of war for instance implore us to question the morality of life’s seemingly nonsensical course.
The pain and bewilderment we feel drives some of us to delve deeper into our experience of life in order to make some kind of sense of the seeming reality we face on a daily basis.

Buddhists and Hindus refer to this as ‘ dukkha ‘ and it can provide us with a metaphorical whetstone with which to enquire into the reality of our experience and sharpen our spiritual insight.

Therefore from out of our deepest, darkest moments can, with understanding, develop a powerful glimpse into the true nature of reality. Allowing us to see the impermanence of all that we perceive and how our psyche seeks to deceive us into believing otherwise.

As One……….

The chill November morning air washes over me as I greet the day sitting on my porch. A grey, rain laden sky hangs heavily overhead. A playful flock of house sparrows dive into the leafless overgrown bushes, a solitary robin perches on a twig overseeing the garden as if a self proclaimed custodian. A stiff breeze blows through the branches of the old oak tree, liberating a flurry of golden leaves whom pirouette and float earth bound in a final swansong of movement.
There’s a feeling of the eternal in this moment. A feeling of a shared witnessing with many ancestors whom had also experienced a oneness with the world. A virtual falling away of my personality leaving behind the bare constituents of my being.
The chemical elements such as calcium and carbon are to be found in the earth and all it begets as it is in me. The rain water and rivulets there from also form the same compounds that make up my tears and blood.
It is no surprise therefore that my soul finds eternal connection to all that has ever been, is and will ever be.