The Oak tree or the eagle would be bemused… “What ‘time‘? The time is now. What else is there?”
In case you missed this book from 1999, here is a little review to see if you may like to have a read or perhaps find it’s a keeper for your book shelf. I bought this book as a gift, and year later ended up married to the person I gave it to. I always feel a book finds you at the right time, and here it was, probably for a second time for me. I say this because its first owner’s review is ‘it’s a whole book telling you the same thing over again, to be present’. For me, I can see why it is on the reading list for counsellors; its a reference book rather than a cover to cover read (although I did read it this way as I couldn’t put it down). I found myself highlighting words that were particularly relevant and I know I will come back to it and then find other words standing out instead, and I can reflect and compare with what stood out before.
It is a book with the message to get present, to Be, get out of the past and the future and realise we only ever have the now. Our power is in the now. Everything comes from the now.
It is also a book which tries to explain and get you to apply this message. Not just a read, but a lifestyle change. It dips back to old biblical scriptures that have been misinterpreted and taken too literally. Although reading it for the first time, there was a sense of already knowing what is being read.
With many clients I often show them Eric Berne’s PAC model and when we get to the ‘Adult’ Ego State; when I say ‘you know you are in this state if you are present‘…well here is a reference book to help you get there.
The mind which is quite dysfunctional in humans creates an ego, which becomes a false self, one that has identified with the stories of the past. It also creates the pain body, which seeks out more pain to continue existing. If we can get into the present, we become our essence, our real self and the false self and pain body disappear, we are beyond our mind. The mind however, will attempt to bring you back into psychological time, the past or the future. Which can mean for some of us, the past linking to depression and the future linking to anxiety, our two most common mental health issues. The false self can not exist without time, it can not exist in the now.
You are invited to become present, to accept the now. Become an observer of the mind, note ‘past’ or ‘future’ when you realise you are not here and by acknowledging this, you come back to the now.
Sometimes we may have gone through something in life that is unacceptable. At least some part of us still believes it could or should not have happened. It is too painful. It is too unbelievable. Loss and grief generally bring us to this point where we can not fully accept the past; that it DID happen. Perhaps an unconscious belief that staying with the pain will change the outcome some how. If you are stuck here, and most of us will be, Tolle explains there there is a second way to release yourself. To go within the body and acknowledge the feeling. Sit with the feeling and be present with it, bringing it from unconscious to conscious releases us.
If you find yourself creating the story around the feeling and directing strong emotions to people and institutions, the mind has taken you to the past. Follow your breath into your body, and come back to the actual feeling itself.
Tolle connects our inner world to the state of our outer world, that we can change the outside if we all worked on being present. The outer world being a manifestation of the mind, the collective mind. The mind creates duality, good and evil, creation and destruction, life and death – An opposite for everything. Beyond the mind however, duality does not exist, there is a state of peace, beyond the realms of ‘happiness’ – which again is of the mind. Some of us will have the journey of working through the collective pain body of humanity, which is often connected to the feminine (not women per se) and the collective over-thinker, which is often connected to the masculine (not men per se), and some of us will have both to contend with.
As someone who has studied Animal Minds at university, and worked with animals in a therapeutic setting for humans, the only thing that did not resonate as truth was when Tolle talks about animals not having a mind. Without mind he explains, they are a step down from us, cognitive so to speak, and that rather than take a step down to cognition we need to step up to beyond the mind. I feel this is a disservice to animals, and that they are actually a step up from us. I resonate with the concept of the Earth being an entity, Mother Earth, and animals being our siblings. Our siblings do have a mind, its just not dysfunctional in the way humans seem to be now and they can therefore step into their power. Of course I am talking about animals that are allowed to have their own voice, kept in appropriate ways to their kind and/or able to live as wild as they can in today’s world. They are present and in Being, are connected to their collective wisdom. And as Tolle says himself, anyone in their power encourages others to step into theirs. I believe animals are in this role right now, to encourage us to get into the now, as that is all we have. To step into our real power, find our real connection and peace, and we may just stop the destruction of mother Earth and our siblings in the process. This is a very similar message to that which came from The Sidhe.
Ill leave you with my take on Tolle’s analogy that we are each like beams of sunshine that think we are isolated and have to fight for our very existence. If we could only let the false self die, with that death, we would realise we are all part of the sun, the divine source. Our unconscious (mind) becomes conscious (beyond the mind).
“We believe this is what makes you fearful of the states you call past and future, and makes you reluctant to see the present with clear sight. Invite both the past and future into the present, so that all would become a seamless web. ” – The Sidhe
A short book by archaeologist and scholar John Matthews who was invited to Ireland by a colleague to an excavation site and there he encountered a connection with The Sidhe who imparted their wisdom gained from a world or dimension that runs in parallel with our own. John writes the book in order of his encounters with The Sidhe over about a month, and explains the use of a glyph to help his connection to The Sidhe once leaving the site. Interestingly, the Sidhe mention that some of the crop circles are glyph’s from Gaia for us to connect with our planet in a similar way as John to The Sidhe; other circles they acknowledge are created by fellow humans who perhaps wish their own form of connection. At the end of the book John extracts the six exercises for us all to practice ‘awareness’ and ‘meditating’ to help us connect us to our own inner wisdom and that of the Great Web (or whatever you wish to call that wisdom that is bigger than you or I).
“The Great Web that connects all life: it is vital that you learn how to make contact with that form that links us all. Be reconnected to everything, end that state of fragmentation that exists in you and that is everywhere in your world” – The Sidhe
Photo: Janos Borbely
As some readers may recall, Juniper has been on hold as a business for quite some time. Originally starting in 2010 as an Animal Health and Well-being business and a couple of years later incorporating natural therapies for people. In 2014 I ceased trading due to my 14 year old niece, whom I was fostering single-handedly, becoming paralysed whilst at school. She recovered, almost fully, over the following year with the help of a brilliant chiropractor and our pony Jac. During her recovery year I began training as a counsellor and inspired by Jac’s healing ability also trained in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy/Learning with LEAP.
Ironically, now recovered my niece ran away from home several times and social services ended the placement unexpectedly. I was faced with a decision to quit counselling training so I could work full time and sell Jac, or quit my flat by the following month. I took the latter option as I promised Jac a forever home and I was quite determined to become a counsellor. I was only able to stay in Dorset for 6 months, and then a friend thankfully offered a room and place for Jac in Glastonbury. Together we set about creating an Equine ReWilding business with her amazing herd of ponies and horses. I travelled back to Dorset weekly to continue counselling training, and wore down two old cars in the process of both this and travelling to voluntary placements to gain my 100 client hours. Through one of my placements I eventually gained my current job in primary care which being part time fitted around my diploma, the horses and gave me a small income. With it I attempted to live independently in a mobile home.
After one of the wettest winters, with the horses off the land for nearly 5 months my hands and shoulder began to deteriorate with the manual work and this it began to effect my ability to type and do other simple tasks in my paid work. Financially, physically and emotionally things became impossible and thus ended my chapter in Glastonbury. Sadly, this caused Jac and I to end up in different counties, he in Gloucestershire and me back in Dorset.
It was hard going not seeing my best friend daily and also being back in a place that had broken my heart. As Mick Jagger once indicated ‘you don’t always get what you want, but you often get what you need’. So I embraced this change and set about making the most of it. I completed my client hours, finally passing my two year diploma, sat a proficiency exam to become a Registered Counsellor and even got married. Whilst visiting Jac, I began to get creative about setting up Woodland Retreats at his new home and helped a friend (who now looks after Jac within her herd of native ponies) set up Equine EARTH.
With ongoing chiropractic, physiotherapy and sports massage, I got the use of my hands and shoulder back and with that my ability to get back into painting and creating websites for others now with very little pain. I recently redesigned my own website from a blog site back to a website ready to relaunch Juniper. Thank you to those who have supported me on this challenging journey; from those who gave me a home to those who simply sent good wishes; and a special shout out to the British Legion who helped me fund half of the diploma fees.
With no further ado, I would like to introduce my two new venues for Juniper:
I also offer online counselling for those who are not local or just prefer the comfort of your own home.
I look forward to meeting you soon.
Best wishes, Georgie
During the first Gateway of the Zodiac Wheel (April) I met the author of ‘Your Zodiac Soul‘ John Wadsworth in a cafe in Glastonbury. He randomly asked my friend if she would take a photograph of both him and his friend and they held up a book. I noticed the book title and I was intrigued so asked if one of them had written the book. John replied that he had; it was 14 years worth of his work and he had managed to capture it into his first book and was embarking on a UK book tour to promote it. Naturally, I bought a signed copy of the book as did my friend. I was not expecting such an experiential and fascinating book, a book that explains the wheel of life, from birth to death to rebirth, rather than the linear idea of birth to death.
According to Eric Berne’s and his Transactional Analysis (TA) Theory we have 3 parts of us: Parent, Adult and Child Ego State and all have thoughts, feelings and behaviours to help identify which is at the forefront and in charge. We switch between ego states but often can find we are in a certain one most of the time. We may find it changes depending on who we are with.
In basic Transactional Analysis we have 3 ego states: Parent, Adult and Child, three different parts of us. I have noticed that some people find it difficult to get into their adult ego state, which is about being fully present in the moment, only interested in the here and now. A guided meditation or yoga class seems to hard to fit in a chaotic week. What came to mind was a Buddhist ceremony around a cup of tea that I had read in my 20s.
As trainee counsellors, we have been told ‘Counsellors without self awareness are limited in their ability to operate with any degree of honesty or integrity with clients‘. Therefore before working with clients, most training providers require that their trainee counsellors have at least 40 hours of personal therapy. And so it was during my 40 hours of personal counselling and beyond that I practically learnt how to identify my innate emotions of anger, sadness, fear and joy. That may sound a little bit strange, how do you not know what emotion you are feeling?