Okay. Wow, that eclipse period was super intense. How was your eclipse? Wait, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. I’m not going to tell you what happened for me, either. For reasons you’ll understand as you read along.

When something difficult happens in our life, it’s normal to seek out emotional support. To want someone dear to pull near to, to tell our story and who (hopefully) will help us feel better. It’s culturally, typically, what we do. Especially as women. We talk about our traumas, dramas, issues. Emotional pain…quick…find someone to process that with!

In friendships among healers, it’s common practice to use our unique healing tools and abilities to give and receive emotional support to one another. I’ve known healers who have go-to buddies, you know, two people take turns giving and receiving support and healing to whomever is having a healing crisis. Kind of like having an on-call doctor. As attractive as this sounds, I’ve learned this approach doesn’t typically work out very well for me.

I’ve discovered when I talk about an especially vulnerable experience several things predictably occur. First, in the retelling I bring up the energy again. Which means, I drop myself right back into that traumatic moment. There is nothing wrong with that, if I’m ready for it, but I also know that means I’m going to relive the energy again, re-experience it, call it back up into my energy field. If it’s fresh, that’s going to be a degree of hard. Also, when I do, I want to feel safe and in good hands. For instance, if you’re going to have open heart surgery, you want a good surgeon -hopefully a heart surgeon- in the room. Hopefully, the right one, the one who knows your heart, its trap doors and secret passages. Also, hopefully, one who is not distracted, and is especially tuned in to you. That’s a lot of hope to pin on another person!

I remember one friend who volunteered to be my heart surgeon in a moment of need. She was so professional about this, she even said she was going to devote our entire call to my issue, just to make sure I got everything I needed (hearing this sent waves of panic through me– warning signs!).  She had good intentions, but her off-the-cuff delivery left me feeling more insulted and judged than seen. I’m certain sure she thought she was giving me a dose of healing truth, but I felt even more hurt and vulnerable after our conversation than before it.

Even another’s sensitivity and thoughtfulness may not protect you from receiving their unhealed stuff. Another friend oozed oodles of nurturing mama bear energy, but that also included a lot of fear disguised as “concern”. Sharing any vulnerability with her would inevitably involve many follow up emails and phone calls expressing concern/fear for my well-being. I stopped sharing intimate details of my life with her to protect myself from receiving her fearful energy.

It’s not a judgment on anyone to say this, but a true statement: Very few people can hold space for another person without allowing their own biases to interfere. Everyone has an Ego filter made up of their beliefs, conditioning, experiences, and opinions. All of this is at play as you re-tell your painful trauma story — or seek emotional support.

And if they’ve experienced anything remotely similar to what you’re going through, it’s human nature (thank you, mirror neurons?) to share it with you. Imagine it like this: I tell you I was in a car accident. During my retelling, your brain recalls that time almost the exact same thing happened to you, too… and oh my gosh it was just awful… and you proceed to tell me about your trauma, which feels bad for me, too. Especially since I have opened up my traumatic experience, again, and it’s awaiting resolution in a sort of suspended animation, as we’ve now invited your trauma energy into the field, too.

Gawd, just writing about this quickens my pulse. “Emotional support” can be so unnecessarily complex and hard.

To be frank, doesn’t all anyone really want when they’re really freaked out — not just chatting philosophically about life problems, but really freaked out– is to be held in a neutral, loving space of non-judgmental resonant energy? Similar to the way your dog lays there and stares lovingly at you as you cry, trusting you will work things out in your way and time?

Not advice. Not commentary. Not opinions. Not sharing experience, or energy. Just holding space.

After my recent brush with the demons which shall not be named, I started retelling the events to my husband and best friend. As I started feeling everything described above… that’s when I decided to just stop. To not relive the story. For my own good, I decided that I would not talk with anyone about this event right now.

Of course, I still needed support. I wanted to be held, caressed, reassured, and loved up in my moment of need. I still needed to process. I had just gone through a really scary thing; I needed to have a safe, nurturing space to heal myself. I’ve learned the only one who knows how to touch and soothe my hurt exactly where and how I need…is me.

Capricorn Full Moon Intuitive Energy Practice: Profound Presence

Cancer is the sign of emotional nurturing, caring, healing. Capricorn is the sign of self-reliance, realism, solitude. There is a place for both in the pantheon of human experience. Cancer season always touches on our tender vulnerability and yet under the light of practical and pragmatic Capricorn Full Moon, we are often pulled back onto our own solitary resources. Reality checks, hardship and necessity feels cold, stark and hard to the vulnerable inner child to whom fear comes so easily. It’s a bit like being, emotionally at least, in the barren North Pole during the most fertile time of the year.

As I laid awake at night in that dark place with my fears, I longed for nurturing, soothing peace. I recalled my deceased grandmother’s high four poster bed that I used to sleep in as a child. I had a lot of fear of the dark, as a child, and I remembered how safe I felt laying in that bed, the feel of her cool crisp sheets, the gentle movement of evening breeze, the sound of the crickets, the smell of my grandmother’s house. While there, even the dark night was okay.

I could bring that experience into present. Right now, tonight, I could lay awake and feel every undesirable thing I didn’t like about the trauma. But I could also tune into this moment and the healing it offered. I loved hearing the tropical palms sway outside my bedroom window, and the gentle whir of the ceiling fan was soothing. My bed is incredibly comfortable and I could smell my sweet dog Magnus sleeping next to me, a smell only a mother could love.

I entered into an experience I’ve been growing intimately familiar with, lately: profound presence. Enamored of the simplest things, everything within me grows very still, and I pull into a place of inward connection and solitude so profound that it’s difficult for even me, a lover of language, to put into words. Profound presence hardly does the experience justice, but that’s what I feel. When I get into this space my energy shifts, total and complete. It goes from whirling around in my head, feeling ungrounded, anxious or a number of feelings to: I am here. I am okay. All is well.

The practice: Life brings real hardship. The Ego is all too often looking for problems; it’s hardwired into our DNA. Yet there is always something to like in this moment. Start with just one simple thing that you like in your right now. The gecko sunning outside the window. The feeling of the breeze moving through the room. The beauty of the sunlight falling on the floor. The soothing sound of the clock ticking, your hot tea, the dryer humming. What do you like in this moment?

Keep it very simple, and right here in this room. Like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, keep tasting what you like in this moment… and when you feel into something you really like, or it slowly starts adding up, notice your energy shift into presence. Allow yourself to become fully absorbed in the pleasure of appreciating the simplicity of your experience of liking the things and sensory experiences, cataloging each sensation in your energy body, with all of your senses, until it deepens into profound presence. Until all you are, and all you ever were, is right here. Simply here. Now.

Practice this act of nurturing solitude when the trauma of life gets to be too much. When no one is here to lean on but you, and your connection to your deepest most Divine Self. In profound presence, even darkness can turn light, full.

Culture reinforces the idea that when we’re hurting we should reach out to others for emotional “talk” support. This doesn’t always feel good. It not only takes us out of the present, but can invite new, unwanted, drama. If you can’t seem to get the quality of connection, healing and soothing you yearn for from another it’s probably because you already know how to give it to yourself. Go inward. Instead of looking outside your self and thinking you need someone out there to make you feel better, teach your self to reach inside, to solitude, for soothing and healing. As a client recently said to me, “I keep looking outside myself for emotional support, but I feel my best when I’m alone.” Yes. Trust that.