unfolding into JOY

 
 
Winter Pleasures and the psyche

In the few last days i have experienced a major shift. Even though we still have warm and sunny days, the grape vine plant and the apricot tree begin to lose their leaves. The days grow shorter and the evenings have become colder. And i follow suit, enjoying hot chocolate and a good book. I am reading In the Land of the Long White Cloud, by Sarah Lark. The book is an engrossing story about early settlers in New Zealand and focuses on the lives of two young British women who agree to marry strangers, in a country they have never seen, half across the globe. The two have different backgrounds and different motivations but as the story unfolds they cross paths and their stories intertwine. Big adventures unfold for each of the women, some in the wild of nature, most in the wild of human psyche and interpersonal relationships.

in the Land of the Long White Cloud

Why am i so fascinated with this book that i would mention it to you? It beautifully illustrates the complexity of life. The many story twists nurture my psyche. The part of me that likes a good adventure is engaged. The part of me that is curious about other cultures and other places is stimulated. The romantic in me suffers for the misfortunes the heroines have to endure, and cheers them on as they carve their ways to more independence from oppressive situations. I am glad for their moments of joy, and hold my breath when they have to endure yet another violent fit by a man who thinks he owns them. I admire their resilience. In a way you could say that i live through them vicariously as i am reading the book.

The same happens when i see a captivating movie. I immerse myself, resonate with a character or situation, and have a strong reaction against another character or situation. We all do this—it's a built-in function of our psyche. It makes us respond emotionally, with compassion, with rejection, disgust, awe, joy. Most of this happens to us unconsciously. The art of growing into psychological maturity—that which Jung called individuation—is the art of becoming aware of our unconscious responses. The automatic responses do not go away, but as we become more aware of them we enter a new level of self-knowledge and we start to enjoy ourselves in a different way. We learn to step outside of ourselves and chuckle compassionately at ourselves as opposed to becoming all worked up by whatever triggers us. 

I have a practice that helps me to get in touch with the rich depth of my psyche on a regular basis: my SoulCollage® practice. The other day, in Midlife Alchemy, i had a bunch of my SoulCollage cards out for an exercise. One of the group participants remarked "You really seem to like your unconscious." Yes, i do. My unconscious is the biggest part of who i am. I better like it! And i suggest that you begin to make friends with your unconscious too. You might have heard the model of the psyche mirrored by an iceberg: there is a relatively small top above water—that's the conscious mind—and a huge foundation invisible under the water—the unconscious. This huge invisible part of the psychic is hidden from consciousness but is nevertheless very actively contributing to our daily lives. Our mood and our likes and dislikes all arise from the depths of the unconscious. 

I love the adventure of lifting some of these hidden psychic auto-pilot systems into the light of day. Reading novels with awareness for nuances and my responses to characters and story twists can do that, watching certain movies with that same awareness can do that, and practicing SoulCollage can do that too. How do you connect with your unconscious? Give it a try. Next time you watch a movie or read fiction pay attention to your reactions. Or come to SoulCollage® and learn how to let your soul speak by tuning into the unconscious when you choose images for your collages. It's fascinating way to delve into the greater Self.


Learning to accept and love yourself does not come easy to many of us. If you would like to explore working with me and getting me on your support team, contact me at eva_at_evaruland.com.



 

 


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Eva has been my coach for one and a half years. She has helped (and continues to help) me to become clear and see what I really want and need in my life. With Eva as my coach I have manifested more than I ever expected.
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