Archives for June 2017

How do we cope with terrorism?

I have decided to write an extra newsletter this month in response to the horrendous tragedies that have befallen in the UK over the past months. Many of us are feeling frightened and emotions are contagious. Terrorism tires to put fear into all of us and it is an insidious strategy indeed for when we are in a place of fear we are easily manipulated.

But how do we stay calm in the face of atrocity and not let them succeed?

Conscious breathing is the easiest way to do this, easiest because we all have to breathe all of the time and by learning to control our breathing, we can change the focus of what we feel and thereby learn to control our emotions.

The first step is to become aware of the breath. If it is short and shallow, then we have gone into in flight/flight, which mean that, on either a conscious or unconscious level we are trying to escape. Notice as soon as you can when you are feeling the fear response.

Now check that that you are breathing correctly. Put your hands on your belly and breathe deeply into them. Make sure that your belly is expanding when you breathe in and contracting when you breathe out. Reverse breathing: i.e. belly coming in when you breathe in and going out when you breathe out; is guaranteed to put you and keep you in stress.

Next, then try this exercise. Again with your hands on your belly, breathe deeply into them for four counts (or fewer if that is more comfortable), hold your breath briefly and then slowly exhale for a similar count, holding briefly before you repeat for as long as you need to calm down.

After that, you can become creative with breathing. For example, use a word or phrase and split it into two parts. E.g. re-lax, peace-ful, for-give, all is-well. Use the first half for the in breath and the second for the outbreath.

Visualisation is also extremely effective. Try breathing in from above the crown of your head down into your heart centre, then exhale downwards to below your feet. Once you have established this and feel comfortable with it, reverse the process by breathing in from below your feet, up to your heart centre, and exhaling out through the top of your head. Finally, bring both directions together by visualising breathing in from above the crown and, at the same time, below your feet, into your heart centre. Then breathe out into the world, perhaps infusing the out breath with intentions such as peace, love or compassion.

Conscious breathing exercises like these can be done anywhere and at any time and, with practice, retrain the mind and body to withstand stressful events, even while watching the news or listening to a bulletin.

Using conscious breathing to reset your mind and the responses of your body, teaches us to halt the fear response and turn it into something useful so that we can stay in control even when life around us seems to be falling apart. It also enables each of us to make our little bit of difference. If enough of us stay calm and breathe out peace, compassion and forgiveness, even the terrorists will gradually learn that fear is not the way.

Wishing us all happy and powerful breathing and a more peaceful, loving world.

Love Laurelle

 

The Creative Family of Archetypes

This month we will continue our exploration of archetypes – the language of the Unconscious mind – by looking at the Creativity Family. There are many different types of members of the Creativity Family from painters to musicians; from writers to poets; and from crafts people to inventors. All are concerned with finding the beauty of form in whichever medium they work in.

The Author, for instance, uses words to describe the essence of beauty, truth and life. The Artist will use art and the Musician music. The Inventor will use machines and the Designer clothes. All share a need and ability to discover beauty in the people and things around them and express that beauty in a way that helps others. They also share a passion to express the extraordinary and inspire others, along with an emotional and psychological need to express themselves. In the shadow aspect, however, they can manifest eccentricity and the madness that accompanies genius – for example Van Gogh. There is also the potential for using their art for negative or destructive effect. Examples of this archetype are Amadeus by Peter Schaffer, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce and Gene Kelly in An American in Paris.

The Storyteller relays wisdom or foolishness, mistakes and successes, facts and fiction, tales of love and the impossible, on a plane that is often exaggerated beyond ordinary life but that brings us into contact with our inner being. There is usually an element of entertainment as well. The shadow aspect is lying, exaggeration and inventing a story to conceal something. Examples of the Storyteller archetype Judy Davis as Georges Sand in Impromptu, fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad.

Finally, let’s look at the Scribe archetype. Unlike the writer/novelist/author, the Scribe copies existing works rather than creating new ones in order to record and share information. In the shadow aspect, scribes can plagiarise, alter facts and sell information that belongs to others. Examples of the Scribe are Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford in All the President’s Men, Holly Hunter in Broadcast News and the shadow aspect portrayed by Sally Field in Absence of Malice.

These are only a small example of possible archetypes within the Creative Family. However, if you want a deeper understanding that these newsletters can give you, or you can’t wait for the next instalments, then I run workshops on archetypes as well as private sessions in person or on Skype and would be delighted to work with you personally. Phone me on 07964 161527 or email me on laurelle@laurellerond.com

Meanwhile, keep observing the behaviour of yourself and those around you. Next month we will be looking at the Spirituality Family of archetypes.

Love Laurelle