Learning to dance again

Opening a closed heart can be dangerous;
especially if you have not adequately prepared.
Just look at Pandora and what happened to her!
In the end though, there is no other way:
denial only prolonging what will one day find a way out.

Navigating extreme feelings –
emotions that threaten to overwhelm
the casing in which they reside –
I battle the urge to run backwards,
something external holding me to the floor.

Placing hands on parts I have for years now
happily suppressed – suffocating, starving,
ignoring… until they appeared to die –
I listen as they wake back up:
hungry, angry, needy.

Tears fall, sobs escape, screams wrench
and I keen like a mother grieving an infant: open, raw, exposed.
And while it might take a while,
for the denial runs deep:
even this small freedom is a respite.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

To be healed is having an awareness that you were never broken

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Everything is perfect

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If the Universe could talk and if you could listen, he – she, it, the Universe – would tell you this:

“Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Give yourself a break. You are wonderful, both inside and out. You are doing so well and you are being so brave and I am honoured to be party to your journey and to be a part of what makes you unique.

Please stop worrying so much. And please, stop being so fearful. Nothing will hurt you more than you already hurt yourself.

Everything happens for a reason: it is there to guide and teach. Even heartbreak. Even hardship. Even difficulty and pain.”

“For without challenge we cannot grow. And without adversity we seldom heal. And neither do we choose to embrace the true path, the path of our destiny, the path that is our right.”

What got you here: to this page, to this blog, to this random space out of all of the numerous other random spaces on the Internet? What led you to click ‘HELLO’ when you could just as easily passed on by?

And then what led you to read when you could equally have gone: ‘NEXT’, ‘BORED NOW’or ‘TOO TIRED’… What led you to surrender? Don’t just continue… Think about it. Take a ‘time out’ to really consider it. Give that gift to yourself. Because there are no random encounters and everything happens for a reason. So if you are here, you are supposed to be here and there is something in these pages for the finding.

Maybe it’s a word? Maybe it’s a picture? Maybe it’s a piece of information about something you had forgotten or something you haven’t found out about yet? Whatever it is. And however you find it… There will be something just for you. Find it. Take it. Embrace it.

Because the Universe wants you to know that

“Everything happens for a reason,” and “right now is all there is.”

Forget about the past. It does not exist, except in your memory. Drop it and stop worrying about how you’re going to get through tomorrow.

Forget about the future. It hasn’t arrived yet. And worrying about it or attempting to manipulate it won’t help it accommodate you.

Live for right now. Live for the moment. It’s all you have. Pay attention to it and to the gifts that it offers and all will be well.

Surrender yourself instead of fighting. Embrace spontaneity, happenstance, chance and change. Allow life to step in and steer the journey.

Stop hurting. Stop avoiding. Stop hating and punishing, both other’s and yourself. Stop seeing life as a burden, yourself as a victim, situations and circumstances as things that happen to you.

Trust. Believe. Know. Everything is perfect. Everything is correct. Everything is exactly how it should actually be.

Absorb the present moment with gratefulness and wonder.

Say ‘YES’ instead of ‘NO’.

Explore. Investigate. Accept. Do.

Live with enthusiasm. Connect with sincerity. Move with confidence and passion.

Know that you are watched. Know that you are treasured. Know that you are loved.

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To be healed is having an awareness that you were never broken

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Sweet Surrender

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The flower opens to receive a friend.

Satisfying an inner thirst,
the empty becomes complete.

by Rebecca L. Atherton

To be healed is having an awareness that you were never broken

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Growing from the centre

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Growing from the centre, spreading out; opening tired arms, reaching out… I begin to evolve; returning – slowly, surely, bit by timid bit – to my maker, to the one who conceived the thought and (albeit thousands of years ago), made my forebears who then lead lives that in a very protracted ‘meandering-around-the-fields kind of way (a bit like my writing) eventually led to me.

But who is that voice that’s calling? And why now? Why not before, when I first had need of it? 

Was it necessary to be so beaten, so tattered and torn, so tangled and tormented, bereft? Did I need to lose it all before I could from the ground, the grey grit of the tired bedraggled pavement, start crawling back?

~

Praying, meditating, practicing yoga; spending quiet time, alone time, time with me: I pick up the pieces, attempting to reassemble the puzzle that – whole, complete – amounts to an entirety of something I am only now coming to know.

I try to remember that God loves me and that Jesus died for my sins. I try to remember too that other people have suffered, suffer, are suffering still, and that we are all battling similar things.

Only it’s easy to forget and then feel miserable, or perhaps act out, speaking from the lonely part, the child that has since we began been neglected.

~

Reading self-help books; studying religion, spirituality, philosophy, metaphysics… I move, crossing a landscape of boulders that was ‘once upon a time long ago’ green and vibrant.

Planting seeds; tending to the garden, praying to the moon and dancing for the sun: colour arrives and I thrive, rising up from the ashes of pain and shame to walk with grace and confidence.

And I try to have fun and to remember how to play, taking advice from children and the tiny inside me, the ‘me’ that I am only now really learning to see and accept. Fimo unicorns dance across tabletops, origami doves gather around lamps, felttip rainbows remind me to be kind to myself when all around me I’m staring at clouds. Having allowed what has been forbidden to surface, it won’t now be shut back down.

I was afraid that perhaps I wasn’t being mature enough.

I was also afraid that I had gone mad, losing my soul down a rabbit hole that, once entered, did not permit one to turn back.

Now I see that the answer is simple, that I have instead been forced to rewind, returning to parts that never grew, reconnecting with parts that were rejected.

Listening to her, seeing her, for the first time; looking with complete awareness, judgement-free: I slowly heal what was allowed to self-destruct. It is painful and slow. Strange how this journey began as one thing, as a new career path, as an evolution of ego – albeit with a good heart – and then turned into something else entirely that has, in new and nefarious ways, challenged me.

~

Walking in the light, I see that God had other plans and that, really, when it’s all peeled back, there is only ever one path, one way, and it is love.

Love makes us happy.

Love brings us peace.

Love enables us to forgive and thereby to finally heal.

Love enables us to reach out and touch and begin to restore, transforming hate and anger, cynicism and judgement, depression and pain. Little by little, the world begins to change. 

It is a journey of a thousand miles. And, like all of you, each day I take another step.

by Rebecca L. Atherton
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To be healed is having an awareness that you were never broken

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So lovely. So true. So freaking difficult!


If you are struggling to see past the red crosses you have drawn all over yourself and self-love is this mysterious thing other people seem able to adopt and then apply but which you (no matter how hard you try – and you really do try hard) just can’t seem to be able to implement…

Forgive yourself.

It’s not something that happens overnight.

Neither is it something that comes from a place of punishment and guilt. So…

Stop beating yourself up.

And stop judging your insides against the outsides of others. Their insides are mixed up too. And most of them have issues with their outsides, no matter what you in your ‘not knowing’, in your ‘separateness’ from them, perceive. They’re only together, ‘fixed’, ‘sussed’, on the right spiritual/life path… because you, in your ignorance of their authentic truth, their blueprint reality, are attributing that quality to them. You’ve literally shone a halo over their head. And it’s beautiful and it’s bright. But in their mind’s eye (and that’s the eye that’s important), it’s not there, it’s not even remotely visible. In fact, if you were to ask them and find them willing to share, they would tell you that actually they’re scared, they’re stressed; they’re angry, depressed, sick, aching, damaged, battered and bruised. Because viewed in that light, none of us escape unscathed.

But who says injury is a bad thing?

And why does an outbreak of eczema or acne, a large birthmark, a scar, a burn, etc., make us any the less beautiful, any the less acceptable to the world?

And do we have to wear make-up; have clean, styled, freshly-washed hair, don tight bodies and fashionable clothes, in order to be deemed worthy to ourselves and our colleagues, our friends and family? No, it’s ridiculous.
Animals love themselves exactly as they are. They don’t even question it.

Babies and children too.

Watch a child. See how they treat themselves, the love they demonstrate.

They don’t see faults, flaws. They don’t look in the mirror and grimace, turn from their reflection when passing shop windows, apologise hundreds of times each day for their behaviour, their lack.

When they are in pain, they demand immediate attention.

And when they play, there’s no “you go first” or “it’s ok you hurt me… I don’t mind”. They protest. They stand up for their rights. They know who is supposed to come first and they make sure that in every given moment, encountered situation, received experience, that that person does.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we all start acting like two-year-olds or that we forget about kindness to others and consideration and care. These are important too.

What I’m saying is that somewhere in the process of growing up, we sort of lost ourselves and forgot that we need to be treated with respect. And that that respect ought to come from inside first before we even attempt to find it outside of ourselves. Because outside is, essentially, external, separate; subject to mood, location, season and whim. We need to have a firm, stable centre; foundations to draw from, to act from, to sit upon… before we start collecting people and things, adding them to what lights us up.
Acceptance and compassion (i.e. self-love) are all about learning to hold the space and to embrace yourself exactly as you are in any given moment or situation. Yes, that means loving the lesser as much as the better hair days. And treating the belly aches, back aches, headaches, foot aches, arm aches, breaks and sprains; psoriasis, eczema, acne, dry patches, wrinkles, shadows, creases and lines, and all of the other various nefarious illnesses, ailments, injuries and perceived misdemeanours – that, irritatingly (although I won’t judge), seem to multiply over the years – with care. By this, I mean tuning into the body-part or area in which we are experiencing discomfort: feeling it, seeing it, sensing it from inside. And then attempting to commune with it, striking up a conversation, building a relationship.

• What does it look like?
• What does it sound like?
• What does it want to say?

Finding out as much as we can so that we can get to know it, not just as a part of ourselves, but as a part in its own right.

For example: a spot might be telling us numerous things. That we are allergic to something in our diet or environment. That we need a good night’s sleep. That we would benefit from more exercise. That we are unhappy in our relationship. That we are stressed at work, etc.

And what about neck pain? What are we refusing to see? What won’t we turn and look at – thereby avoiding and, knowingly or unknowingly, allowing to dominate our lives…?

Every perceived problem is actually a communication, a message from our bodies, begging us to slow down, go inside, stop and listen.

And by learning to listen, we not only develop a much better relationship to ourselves; we improve all of our other relationships too. Our relationship to our life. Our relationship to the people around us. Our relationship to our job…
So, next time you’re beating yourself up:

• take a moment to stop and listen
• find a quiet space
• close your eyes
• put on some relaxing music
• hold where it hurts

– or where you think it (the discomfort, the thing you are ‘right-now’ hating, resisting in the moment; the thing that is perceived as a burden) is coming from.

• sense it
• see it
• feel it
• listen

And as you are listening, ask not “why are you doing this to me?” but “why are you doing this for me?”, “what do you have to say?”. And know that the answer is important, no matter what it is.

Because the truth is that:

Your insides can’t lie to you like your outside can.

Be brave. Be strong. Be reliable.

Instead of rejecting yourself, show up.

And when you do, be accepting and compassionate. Treat yourself as you would treat a plant or a small child. Get to know yourself all over again. And from that place plant many seeds that – with love and attention, with kindness and consideration – will grow.

Open. Unfold. Spread out and unpack. Expand, develop and communicate. Commence. Initiate. Set in motion. Set up. Raise the curtain and – when you are good and ready but not when you are too late, when you are in the here and now not in the goodbye – proudly step out to embrace and meet. 

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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To be healed is having an awareness that you were never broken

To keep up to date with my progress and receive love and light in your inbox, send me your email address.

Ask me a question or book an appointment
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Lend me your arms

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Lord,

My heart aches and feels hollow. Inside, there is such grief. Please lend me your arms to hide in in my hour of need. And after, you shoulders to hold my fears. And then your lap, like a basket, to cradle my tears.

Help me to let go of all that is trapped and broken, to fix it piece by piece. Help me to confront all that I am afraid of and in doing so find peace.

Open my eyes to beauty, my soul to sound. Awaken all my senses to the world that surrounds.

Guide me towards a better outlook and quality of life: one that is still and centred, and free from strife.

Show me how to release the past so that I might move on. Show me how to embrace the future so that I can belong.

Turn my attention inward, away from material things. Give me the strength to allow the feelings introspection brings.

Let me love myself as I love others. Let me myself forgive. Show me how to receive as well as how to live.

Love me like a father, guide me like a sage; stand by me as I walk into a future of knowledge and age.

Teach me to live freely. Permit me to yearn. And when the void beckons, help me to learn.

Give me roots to stand on and branches to stretch. Give me buds to nurture and seeds to collect.

Give me leaves to shed and flowers to release. Give me water to drink and air to breathe.

Give me birdsong to dance to and company to share. Give me shade in darkness and space in air.

Give me peace in body and comfort in mind. Give me strength in soul so that I might find the land that I dream of, the people I miss, the place that I belong to and the purpose of this.

Amen

by Rebecca L. Atherton

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To be healed is having an awareness that you were never broken

To keep up to date with my progress and receive love and light in your inbox, send me your email address.

• Ask me a question or book an appointment
Buy remedies, healing aides and helpful accessories
• Check out my Etsy shop Lemon Rose Petals 🍋 to see what else I do