In this article Kate Griffiths explains that life unfolds magically as your embrace your hidden wholeness. That comes when you have a quiet mind and an open heart and she explains how you can do that by drawing on her experience of creating a sacred space for the soul.
Earlier this week I met with those who are engaging on an experiment with me to see what happens when we create a sacred space for the soul. We reviewed what the purpose of the group was and we discovered so much. There was huge appreciation for a safe space where people could bring their whole selves out to play. That is enough in itself. The findings reminded me so much of the work of Parker J Palmer who wrote in A Hidden Wholeness:
Community….sometimes points to a group of people with a shared commitment to making an external impact of some sort, from changing one another to changing the world.
But a circle of trust has no such agenda….It’s singular purpose is to support the inner journey of each person in the group, to make each soul feel safe enough to show up and speak its truth, to help each person listen to his or her inner teacher.
Why is it so difficult to take down the mask? Everybody gets conditioned; let me explain how. As a young person the world probably felt dangerous to you and you learnt to hide your essence or true self behind a wall because it was not safe to share your whole self everywhere. That may have been your experience at home or at school. Initially this seemed to work because you felt safer. The problem is that that protection mechanism then pervades your life and you become a stranger to your true self. A wall goes up between your soul and your roles in the world: it blocks so much that actually what you start experiencing disconnection. At some point you become aware of this disconnection, feel the pain that it causes; the pressure builds and can well up and thereby crack the wall.
This leads to another phase, a longing to integrate so that we can live our lives by our hidden values. In spiritual communities we talk about being centred. Visually it is as if the wall bends and the two ends meet to form a circle. It is not wholeness however; it is like living in a gated community and declaring that you only want to be with like-minded people. That way leads to group think, safety at the very least and most probably judgement because we filter out anyone that challenges our inner truth.
It reminds me of what one of the first members said who joined Sacred Space for the Soul and that was that she wanted the group to have diversity of thought. It can become too comfortable if everyone agrees and is of like mind.
Palmer explains that life is like a Mobius strip in that there is only one reality: whatever is inside us flows outwards to form/ deform the world and whatever is outside us flows in to help form/ deform us. We are constantly co-creating with the Universe and that means the phases identified by the wall and the circle are just powerful illusions.
This leads neatly onto sovereignty something that we played with at the last gathering of Sacred Space for the Soul. The concept that we are the kings and queens of our own kingdom and are co-create our reality. In other words whatever is showing up in your life, however painful or difficult is there to help you on your journey.
This brings me to an underpinning belief at play in Sacred Space for the Soul and that is we start from the space that each person is naturally creative, resourceful and whole. It is not about fixing each other or giving advice. In fact, as Andy Bradley describes in his TED talk, it is about developing a quiet mind and an open heart. We all have a deep longing to be seen and heard so we need a safe space where we can be vulnerable and not feel judged. Or as Ram Dass writes the quieter you become the more you can hear.
How can you move away from the urge to fix and become a compassionate listener? It comes when you can look at Osho’s words and claim that truth for yourself:
The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it is not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of the other person – without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.
How does that work in a circle of trust? If you can really respect the fact that everyone else in the circle is on their own journey and that your truth is yours alone then there is less danger of falling into what Palmer refers to as “amateur psychotherapy” which at its worse is a form of interpersonal violence.
I would love to hear what you think of these thoughts and the work that I am doing in the comments below. If you want to find out more about my sacred space for the soul concept and how that could work for you, do get in touch.
Kate Griffiths is known as the soul whisperer. She creates a safe space for therapists and those that work with others so that they can experience their true selves and obtain more ease and flow in their lives. Clients include conscious business owners and leaders who recognise that the old paradigm way of doing things does not work and want support in determining what the new ways of doing business look like. She will be running a half day sacred space for the soul day at Barefoot Therapies on Tuesday 18 March so get in touch if you wish to participate.