“…When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate….”.
Can you relate? For me this quote reads: FREEDOM.
Carl Jung’ famous quote invites us to start questioning our role in what is ‘happening to us’ through some Soul searching – instead of automatically resigning: ’Things are just happening to me…’.
- We can learn to make an unconscious, conscious.
- We can take responsibility back into our own hands. With responsibility, comes power.
- Power of (conscious) CHOICE.
- Power to change what needs changing.
- Power to accept what needs accepting.
In my Cafe Self work I mainly use Dreamwork, Body Therapy and Journalling – I found that in a vast majority of situations this combination is perfectly adequate in bringing clarity to our “inner situation”. Body therapy can be Acupuncture, Acupressure, Colourpuncture – any body therapy will work wonders in conjunction with Intentional Dreamwork and Journalling. I have had some really challenging cases of therapy resistance in my Clinic and so actively looked for a solution to make a Body Therapy to work for everyone. I found that all 3 sides of Inner Work are absolutely needed as we don’t know where exactly a problem is.
As per classic, to achieve a Self Actualisation we need to bring conscious and unconscious together to reach Wholeness. I’d add: all three layers of our Being need to be worked on: conscious, unconscious and bodily ‘felt senses’. After all, we experience Life through our bodies.
Carl Jung continues: “That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner contradictions, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposite halves.” This whole concept used to sound totally foreign to me when I first read this quote… Now, I’m just observing it at work: with every patient, myself including.
- Do you relate to this quote?
- Have you had an experience when your Inner Work clarified a seemingly unresolvable or totally entangled external situation in your life?
“How to get out of a Life’s ‘tornado’?”
This was a question on our recent Cafe Self Q&A from a person who is right in the middle of a big life change triggered by a separation after a long term relationship, and nearly all other areas of life are also quickly changing: a place to live, a totally new profession and so on. So a ‘tornado’ word didn’t surprise me. I know what it is…
I’m not a theoretical expert on dealing with psychological ‘tornados’, though I learnt Psychology at Uni. I just had my fair share of ‘tornados’ in my own life’s, big and small. I held space many, many times for my patients with theirs. Unwillingly, I seem to have gained a status of an ‘experiential researcher’ on the topic. I found – and created – some tools. I discovered some steps. I’m going to share some of ‘Out of the Tornado’ steps next and I’d really like to know,
- if this ‘collective tornado’ we unexpectedly found ourselves in the middle of during last couple of years as a humanity, affected YOU?
- Collective aside, where are you in your individual life right now?
- I hope you are in a sunny and serene space. But in case you – or somebody close to you – are in or around some sort of a life’s ‘tornado’, would you be interested to learn some ‘Out of the Tornado’ tools?
Mapping our A to B escape route
How do you map out an ‘A to B’, an ‘escape route’ to step out of Life’s ‘tornado’, a crisis?
I see ‘awareness’, ‘plan’ and ‘enlisting support’ as keywords through the process. Here are the first steps.
- Determine where we are in a relation to a ‘tornado’: in the middle of it? Have we surrendered and just leaning into it? Are we lingering on a periphery hoping it will pass (even though our inner voice tells us that it won’t)? Are we on our way out but lingering inside the ‘tornado’ too long for some reason? There are different strategies depending on our current position: we may need to lean into it; we may need to make it look even bigger (this is a counterintuitive tool!); we may need to actively learn while right in the middle or we may be ready to get out.
- If we feel that we are in the middle of a ‘tornado’ then we need to see it as a ‘point A’ – and if we just want to get out of it then we need to CREATE a ‘point B’ which is completely outside of it.
- Then we need to see the ‘Exit’ to determine initial direction and create a plan – accepting support on our journey.
Before we look into many tools helpful on our ‘A to B’, if you happen to be going through (big or small) life’s ‘tornado’, and see your position as ‘A’, close your eyes and look around… on the inside of a ‘tornado’:
- what are you feeling? seeing? What does your particular ‘tornado’ looks like from inside? Stream Writing will help to record your discoveries.
- Close your eyes again and ask to be shown an escape route even if this is just a tiny unclear opening somewhere – note its position.
- Accept and acknowledge your ‘tornado’ and spend some time feeling the place before taking the first step in a direction of ‘Exit’.
Choose to be grateful for this experience as any other life experience. There were challenging situations in your life before. Quite likely, there will be some in future.
Choose to rise to the challenge.
Choose to lose the label of a situation you are in.
Tool 1: ’Letter from the Future’
Have you ever written a ‘Letter from the Future’ to yourself? My life coach friend introduced me to this simple and wonderful tool long ago. Here is its simplest form: regardless of where you are now (A), you write a letter from a point B (where you want to be in future, say in 5 years time). You write a letter first and then you reverse engineer the A to B path.
When our life’s situation is that of ‘peace’ we do it more from a thinking perspective: it would’ve been ‘nice to have’ XYZ. When we are in a situation of some crisis, we FEEL exactly what we NEED. Big difference! This makes a Letter from the Future an excellent tool in ‘Getting out of a Tornado’ situations.
I feel that writing a Letter from the Future is always a good idea, crisis or not. We do an extended version of it at least once a year in the Cafe Self and in Dream Yourself Together: it helps to keep track of where we are going in Life, no matter current challenges.
If you decide to give it a go and you happen to be in any kind of ‘transition’ situation (when you ‘feel what you need’…), there are two things to remember:
- What you see at point B is your whole new identity and not merely a better aligned lifestyle.
- A to B vision should be made very attractive for us to start moving with a good speed in the right direction. This is unique for each of us and important to discover; you may need support to find this vision.
‘Letter from the Future’ tool seems simple – we think we always know what we want. But write it…you will discover some surprising truths about yourself 🙂
‘Tornado’ topic stemmed from our recent free Cafe Self Q&A session question and turned out to be a series of various tools which I’m going to share in coming months. Here is an intro summary on ‘tornados’ stages of life.
- Usually, there are warning signs of a tornado coming.
- Usually, we ignore the signs. “…When an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate….” gives us perspective.
- The longer we ignore the signs, the more unprepared we are and the more potential damage – and least useful learning and surprise discoveries and gifts – the tornado can produce.
- You can avoid a full tornado by proactively reading the signs, keeping up with your Inner Work and moving where you need to. Then the force, going through an ‘identity’ you formerly inhabited, will just clear the debris you didn’t notice and you will witness it rather than find yourself in the middle of it.
- When a tornado is already here and so non-avoidable it’s better to lean into it than linger orbiting the periphery as the only way out is through the centre of it.
- While ‘tornadoes’ aren’t fun, they are valuable for Self discovery. You can transform it into an excellent time for some fast track Inner Work….What you wouldn’t have learned otherwise you will there.
- Tornadoes seem like going on forever but in actual reality they pass in time if we observe the rules – tornadoes are naturally self-restricting events.
- No matter how you feel ‘there is a wall’ in front of you, there will be life after a tornado!
- This updated life is going to be not just ‘more alined’ with whom you became – it will create a new identity for you.
- ‘Tornado’s’ purpose is transformation, not destruction. It will positively transform you and add depth to your character and colours to your life – even if you don’t see thins happening as such in a moment.
- There is no time to lose while inside, you do need to have a plan and a willingness to learn and adapt. You will need help and you need to keep to the Path out: as soon as there is nothing more to learn by exploring a tornado from inside the escape route should be quick and practical
- Basically….you are just shedding your old skin – because it’s time, you are ready for a new life’s chapter, no matter how not so you may feel.
This article wasn’t the easiest for me to write… Having gone through several situations of total upheaval in my own life – and having helped many patients to go through theirs – I won’t say that this is my favourite topic. Any crisis is a tough situation to be in for anyone – whether you are a main character or an empathic supporter. I do feel though that sharing tools I discovered can be Soul-saving in crises.
One thing I want to highlight again, something to remember in the middle of a crisis and long after it’s gone – as how exactly this time in our life will go into our memory matters just as much (if not more) than how we ‘get out’ – choose gratitude.
Choose to develop an art of extracting gratitude for the WHOLE experience in any ‘imposed’ change and suffering in crises situations. Gratitude gives us a point in future where we are aiming for – to fully integrate any life situations as gifts of experience. Gratitude lets us relax and so, see more. Choose to keep remembering it all through the crisis – and beyond. Choose to understand how exactly the Universe itself is a kind though at times uncompromising teacher it is, to all of us.
Choose to see the best of the situation. Choose to notice that, without this situation ever present in your life, your life won’t have been as rich in colour and light and interesting details and many happy episodes you can choose to focus on. Experience makes a Soul feel alive.
When we have to Let Go, we need to be grateful that we had this situation/person/time in our life and not automatically focus on the fact that they ended. The experience might have just run its course no matter how we wanted this/them to be present in our life forever.
Gracefully accept help in constructing your ‘Out of the Tornado’ map. We all need help in these circumstances. Hold dear everybody who is supporting you through the crisis.
Choose a guiding Light of Gratitude.
This article opens a series on helpful ‘crisis tools’ I was lucky to discover in my life and clinical practice.
Be aware of the level of your needs in crisis and responsible for actions you take – get help from mental health professionals in time if/when you feel you need it.
I hope you will find this article useful; if you have any questions please get in touch in comments or using a form below. I’m here and happy to help 🙂