Australia

Race and Racism in Australia.

Race as a social construct came into being alongside capitalism.  When European colonists arrived in Australian with their ethnocentric ideology, racist foundations became the building blocks upon which inequity and institutions were built. As a result, the trauma and inequality created for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by colonialism has, and continues to, impact detrimentally on their health and well-being despite Governments expending large sums of money on programs and services to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous outcomes in relation to health. The colonialist mentality of racism in Australia towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is maintained by three main forms of racism; institutionalised, interpersonal and internalised. Institutionalised racism, particularly within the health system, is creating a plethora of inequity issues which are resulting in high mortality rates amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The publication of The Origin of Species, written by biologist and philosopher Charles Darwin in 1859, led to eugenics, phrenology, ethnocentricity and Social Darwinism, and subsequently race and racism began.  Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection proposed that differences between human beings, such as skin colour, equated to different races of human beings existing and therefore those who did not have the same attributes as Europeans were classified as being of a different species, or race (Hollinsworth 2006, p.32). His theory added scientific credence to, and fueled the fire of, the political, social and medical discourses being espoused by Herbert Spencer, an English sociologist, biologist and prominent liberal political theorist (Hollinsworth 2006, p.32). Darwin’s theory led to Social Darwinism being established within European society (Hollinsworth 2006, p.32). Race and racism was therefore founded on the politics of eugenics and the medical and political discourses which spread globally during the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century (Bastos, Harnois & Paradies 2016, p.209). Eugenics is the science of controlling breeding within populations so there is an increasing manifestation of the required genetic characteristics (Galton 1904, p.1). Indigenous Australians were seen by European colonists to be situated at the very bottom of a hierarchical ladder which Europeans existed at the summit of (Germov & Poole 2007, p. 284). This mentality was known as ethnocentricity which is when a belief exists that your own culture or ethnic group is superior to another (Bizumic & Duckitt 2012, p.887). It was also seen by Europeans that Indigenous people were inferior biologically due to the pseudo-scientific theory of phrenology which equated skull size and shape as being able to determine a person’s character (Germov & Poole 2007, p. 284).  With eugenics, phrenology and ethnocentricity firmly implanted in the minds of the colonists who invaded Australia, it takes little sociological imagination to understand why European colonists behaved as they did towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

When the invasion of Australia by the British occurred in 1770 they brought with them fixed mindsets of capitalism and Social Darwinism and the colonisation of Australia began. Colonialism relates to a system being implemented whereby an individual or group of individuals seek to dominate others (Horvath 1972, p.46). Sociological theorist Pierre Bourdieu referred to colonialism as a forceful system of oppression based on racist beliefs which seeks to reorganise social kinships and at the same time establish a crossbred society (Go 2013, p. 49).Colonialism is also a powerful and aggressive action taken by people to possess land and exploit it, along with the Indigenous people who occupy that land, with no regard to the original inhabitants, their culture or their existing laws (Horvath 1972, p. 46). Karl Marx believed this type of domination occurs out of an economic basis and is a symptom of capitalism (Horvath 1972, p.46). Horvath states colonisation creates and perpetuates social injustice (Horvath 1972, p.46). Colonists were of the fear-based view that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were savages who were dangerous, yet childlike (Hollinsworth 2006, p.33).As such, great measures to establish and maintain superior paternalistic power and control over Indigenous Australians began because of unconsciously based scientific racist beliefs (Hollinsworth 2006, p. 34). This fear-based power and control continued to have a stronghold in Australia into the later part of last century (Hollinsworth 2006, p. 34). Because of Darwin’s theory of natural selection, Indigenous Australians were seen to be a separate race of people who colonists believed were destined to die out anyway (Hollinsworth 2006, p. 35).It was often the situation that anyone who protested the horrendous treatment Indigenous people received whilst colonisation was occurring, were met with rebuttal (Hollinsworth 2006, p. 35).It was also seen to be worthy of celebration by colonists, not lamentation, that the extinction of an inferior race was occurring, with their help (Hollinsworth 2006, p. 35).  The attempted assimilation which occurred of trying to change the genetics of Indigenous Australians was a direct result of eugenics. It was these underlying beliefs colonisers held which established Australia’s institutions and created the systemic racism which still exists within those institutions today.

Institutionalised racism lays at the core of all of Australia’s systems and is closely linked with capitalism. Race and racism in Australia can be understood as being maintained institutionally when looked at through the sociological lens of Foucault’s theory that governmental control occurs via the power maintained in institutional systems, which then becomes internalised normality within society (Germov & Poole 2007, p. 287).From a Marxists perspective Governments would not want to change the existing institutionalised racism because to do so would alter the balance of power which would no longer serve the interests of capitalism (Germov & Poole 2007, p. 287).  Racism is defined as a discriminatory dispersal of chances, assistance or capital implemented by the dominant culture over minority groups of different race or ethnicity (Paradies, 2018, 0.42 – 1.44). Institutionalised racism has been defined as having its basis in historical social scenarios which continues due to frameworks that preserve prior discriminations (Jones 2001, p.1212). Institutionalised racism is often seen to be legalised and lays within the policies and practices of institutions, whilst also being apparent when procrastination occurs, instead of action, in relation to needs not being met (Jones 2001, p.1212). Evidence shows that racism, whilst not a set target in the Close the Gap Report 2008 (Parliament of Australia undated, p. n/a), has been recognised by the Federal Government in the Close the Gap Report Review 2018 (Australian Human Rights Commission 2018, p.3) and in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023 (Australian Government Department of Health 2013, p.8). Due to institutionalised racism, which has become the societal norm, many Australians do not see their unconsciously conditioned biases perpetuate not only the racism the country’s systems were built on, but also that they serve to maintain the inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians which began over two hundred years ago.

Interpersonal racism, along with institutionalised racism and deficit discourses within politics and the media are having an adverse effect on the mental and physical health of Indigenous Australians. Interpersonal racism can be conscious or unconscious and appears in society by way of stereotyping, lack of service, ignoring, lack of respect and devaluation (Jones 2001, p.1213).Institutionalised racism, combined with interpersonal racism lead to internalised racism, which involves taking on the limiting beliefs about oneself which have been projected by the dominant culture onto the minority group (Jones 2001, p. 1213).Internalised racism can also lead to a lack of self-worth, lack of belief in peers and in one’s self (Jones 2001, p. 1213).  The general dominant political and media discourse in Australia is increasing the inequality many minority groups encounter from the dominant culture (Hollinsworth 2006, p. 246). Since 1996, when the Howard Government came into power, there has been a steadily growing manufactured erosion of social justice and equal rights occurring in Australia via an official discourse being implemented through laws based on fear and envy (Hollinsworth 2006, p 246). This stance will only lead to increasing inequality, endangering existing social structures and possibly result in an increase in violence occurring (Hollinsworth 2006, p. 246). Combined with these deficit discourses created by non-indigenous media and politicians in Australia towards Indigenous Australians, racism has been found to be detrimental to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders health as they all impact adversely psychologically, emotionally and in relation to their overall social wellbeing.

Perceptions of race and racism within Australian have been shown, through a variety of micro and macro level methods, to reveal health care barriers exist for Indigenous Australians which do not exist for non-Indigenous Australians. Systemic racism not only has detrimental outcomes such as depression, suicide, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder for Indigenous Australians, but it also creates significant economic impacts on society (Paradies 2016, p.1). In 2016 it was estimated that racial discrimination cost the Australian economy approximately 37.9 billion dollars per annum (Paradies 2016, p.1). A study conducted during 2012 and 2013 revealed thirty percent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer from extreme psychological and emotional occurrences of depression or anxiety (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2015, p. 71). This figure is extraordinarily high when one considers that Indigenous Australians make up only three percent of the national population (Bastos, Harnois & Paradies 2016, p.211). Further, it was revealed in 2012 that Indigenous Australians experience higher rates of suicide than non-Indigenous Australians with deaths being predominantly higher for males between the ages of twenty-five and twenty-nine (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012, p. n/a). The statistics of deaths based on a scale of one hundred thousand per population for this age group show that non-Indigenous male deaths by suicide peak at twenty percent and Indigenous males peak at ninety percent (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012, p. n/a). In 2014 a General Social Survey was conducted to determine the degree racial discrimination intersects with other areas of discrimination such as, gender, sexuality, class and age within Australia, in creating access barriers to health care (Bastos, Harnois & Paradies 2016, p.209). The results concluded perceived racism was a major factor creating a barrier in accessing health care, particularly mental health (Bastos, Harnois & Paradies 2016, p.216). There is ample available research which indicates that the social construct of race is responsible for the ongoing high mortality rates occurring within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Racism in its various forms is not only creating barriers to accessing health care but creating ongoing psychological and emotional distress for a large percentage of Indigenous Australians.

According to sociologists, Australia has moved into a time of post-modernity and post-colonialism, but the evidence clearly shows the social construct of race and the racism which stems from it continues to be maintained by way of institutionalised racism. Post-colonialism came into being late in the twentieth century (Eagleton 2011, p. 222).It is defined as a time when physical violence is no longer being perpetrated to take land (Hollinsworth 2006, p.246). This may be the situation; however, it appears that a new form of racism has taken the place of the past brutal dispossession, assimilation and genocide. Known as new racism, this form revolves around the structure and appearance of racism in relation to pecuniary and socio-traditional variances which exist between the overriding and minority cultures within a country (Germov & Poole 2007, p. 287).Post-colonialism studies look at the relationships between oppressors and oppressed existing in countries that have been colonised (Germov & Poole 2007, p. 287).Indigenous identity, which post-colonialism also concerns itself with, has been revealed via various institutional policies to have been manipulated to implement and validate dominant policies (Germov & Poole 2007, p. 288).Colonialism was rooted in racism and whilst many perceive both exist historically and are no longer apparent, both still exist within capitalism as the Western thinking of those in power continues to be based on the taking of other people’s land who are not in positions to stop them (Jureidini & Poole 2003, p.246). It is in the continuation of institutionalised racism and subsequent racist policies and practices, by those in power within the Westernised political system, that inequity continues to grow and create an ever-widening gap between capitalist politicians and those who they deem to be inferior.

Race and racism are social constructs designed by the political upper class in Europe in the late 1800s based on ethnocentricity. Institutionalised racism has created discrimination, exploitation, distress and inter-generational trauma which is still impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Whilst State and Federal Governments have spent voluminous sums of money on programs and services to bring about more equality between non-Indigenous and Indigenous Australians in relation to health, they have failed. Up until 2013 they did not recognise that systemic racism within Australian institutions is responsible for the lack of equity, agency, health issues, self-governance and self-determination Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have been and still are experiencing.

Copyright: C. O’Connor, November 2018.

Reference List

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide deaths overview, viewed 21 October 2018, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/40080452773CE5D5CA257A4500045E5F?opendocument

Australian Government Department of Health 2013, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013-2023, p. 8, viewed 18 October 2018 http://www.health.gov.au/natsihp

Australian Human Rights Commission 2018, A ten-year review: The Closing the Gap Strategy and Recommendations for Reset: Close the Gap 2018 – Human Rights, p. 3 viewed 16 October 2018 https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/document/publication/CTG%202018_FINAL-WEB.pdf

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2015, The health and welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s, viewed 22 October 2018, https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/584073f7-041e-4818-9419-39f5a060b1aa/18175.pdf.aspx?inline=true\

Bastos, J, Harnois, C & Paradies, Y 2018, ‘Health care barriers, racism, and intersectionality in Australia’, Social Science & Medicine, vol. 199, pp. 209 – 218. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.05.010

Bizumic, B & Duckitt, J 2012, ‘What Is and Is Not Ethnocentrism? A Conceptual Analysis and Political Implications’, Political Psychology, vol. 33, no. 6, pp.887–909. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9221.2012.00907

Eagleton, T 2011, Why Marx was right, Yale University Press, New Haven.

Elias, A & Paradies, Y 2016, ‘Estimating the mental health costs of racial discrimination’ BMC Public Health, vol.16, no. 1(1), p.n/a, doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3868-1

Galton, F 1904, ‘Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope, and Aims’, American Journal of Sociology, vol. 10, no. 1, pp.1–25. doi: 10.1086/211280

Germov, J & Poole, M 2007, Public sociology: an introduction to Australian society, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, N.S.W..

Go, J, 2013, ‘Decolonizing Bourdieu: Colonial and Postcolonial Theory in Pierre Bourdieu’s Early Work’, Sociological Theory, vol. 31, no. 1, pp.49–74. doi: 10.1177/0735275113477082.

Hollinsworth, D 2006, Race & racism in Australia 3rd ed., Thomson Social Science Press, South Melbourne.

Horvath, R 1972, ‘A Definition of Colonialism’, Current Anthropology, vol. 13, no. 1, pp.45–57. doi:10.1086/201248

Jones, C 2000, ‘Levels of racism: A theoretic framework and a gardener’s tale’, American Journal of Public Health, vol. 90, no. 8, pp.1212–1215. Doi:10.2105/AJPH.90.8.1212

Jureidini, R. & Poole, M 2003. Sociology: Australian connections, 3rd edn, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, N.S.W.

Paradies, Y 2013. ‘A Culturally Respectful and Non-Discriminatory Health System’, Viewed 26 August 2018, https://vimeo.com/11864669

Parliament of Australia, Social Policy, undated, viewed 20 October 2018, https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook44p/ClosingGap

(more…)

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Living In Now

It seems to me for many of us living in right here, right now is one of the greatest challenges we all face given our conditioning.  For most of us who have been brought up in western culture we think in lineal terms of past, present and future.  We think in terms of what has been, what is next, where we are going, what we want to achieve and many of us like to make plans, be organised and know what we will be doing from one moment, one hour, one day, one week to the next.  All of which really just becomes a story we tell ourselves we become attached to and often re-act to, if it doesn’t go according to our little plan or story we are creating around it all.

My mum, bless her, was the Queen of Organisation as I was growing up.  She had to be as she worked and also ran a home consisting of herself and five other people.  We all had our set jobs and times/days when they were to occur.  Her week was mapped out and ours with it, so I was brought up in a very well organised environment where we always knew what we were doing from one minute to the next, generally speaking.  Being organised and knowing what I would be doing, whilst many curved balls occurred, was rather comfortable.  I grew to see the more organised I was, the less stressed I became when I myself became a mother.  This flowed into my work and whilst I am not as rigid as my mother felt she needed to be, her influence couldn’t but help rub off on me.

Working in the legal industry for nearly three decades also reinforced my organisational skills.    For many years I too made plans and was set in an automatic daily rhythm, which gradually turned into a rut, ultimately boring me silly and sapping me of excitement and joy for life.  I also began to see that organisation, whilst it alleviated stress and helped me achieve goals, when it was out of balance and too rigid, was a form of needing to control.

As I started to become more aware and more conscious of time not really existing, of all time being now and of there only truly being one time anything can occur, that being the right time, life became easier, disappointment and emotional re-actions became less as I learned not to expect anything and I began to experience detachment to ever so much.

Less plans were made and I moved from what many of us term “going with the flow” to becoming one with the flow of life.  I became less attached to things, to people and to outcomes, more open to spontaneity and realised the most I could ever have in terms of plans in place was a very basic skeletal plan for one day at a time, no longer for a whole week and certainly not as is often asked in job interviews – where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years time?    How can we honestly even know that?  That we put pressure on ourselves and our children with a question such as that or one like – What do you want to be/do when you grow up – is so very indicative of our cultural conditioning and it is conditioning which so very often robs us of the moment of now, along with the infinite possibilities that exist, by becoming set on a fixed direction or plan for not only our day but also our lives and anything in our lives we are wanting to achieve.  I learned the hard way that plans NEVER go according to plan.

As I moved more and more consciously into the moment of now, anything that didn’t feel right to do or wasn’t working I would let slide and move onto whatever was next for it seemed and still seems senseless to me to get myself all stressed, frustrated etc., if I am wanting to do something and everything around that thing is just not working.  I began to see how very stressed and distressed folk often become if things don’t go according to their plan and how the expectation of their plan manifesting leads to major disappointment and sometimes even angst which creates barriers to come up with other folk in their lives.  I also began to see that if something isn’t working as we want it to, it just means something else needs to fall in place which will make it even better than we thought it would be.  Until all the pieces of any puzzle are in place and until energy matches up the time is just not right for whatever to manifest in the physical.  Often too if we want to do something and it just isn’t happening, we are actually being protected.

I “thought” I had “got” this whole it’s okay to have a skeletal plan and to just be one with the flow of life, being fully present in each moment without any thought of what was next, to do list and calendar in place so I wouldn’t forget anything important which needed to be done, as it all seemed to be working just fine and dandy, until this week.

I was in a situation where communication hadn’t happened effectively and I didn’t know what it was I was “supposed” to be doing next.  I started re-acting as I’d been told one thing, which suddenly changed and now I was floundering and getting frustrated.  I was also totally confused.  This lack of organisation wasn’t sitting well with me and I could feel myself starting to get really annoyed as my head told the story of how it would be so much better if communication had of been clear from the outset which would have alleviated my thinking I was doing this thing, then suddenly I was doing something entirely different, that I wasn’t really expecting or prepared for.   It was all pushing me out of my own little comfort zone, what little there is left of it.

Along came the wisdom of another and the lesson they were giving me.  Seriously what did it really matter what I was doing next?  Just because I “thought” I was going to be doing one thing which then changed and I was clueless and confused, who was really creating that confusion?  The person who had not as far as I was concerned communicated effectively?  Or me for having a story in my head of what I thought I would be doing next, which was pushing me into future, into an emotional re-action and out of being fully present in the moment?

I couldn’t help but laugh at the simplicity of the wisdom, the lesson or the very effective way in which this other person had actually taught me this lesson of all that is truly needed by any of us, is to just show up, do whatever is needed in the moment and truly enjoy each and every moment of now without any thought of what is next.

 

Cheers, Cheryl.

© Cheryl O’Connor 2015.

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DREAMING TRUE – A FREE INTRODUCTORY DREAMWORK WEBINAR

I have now finalised all I need to so that I can present the first in a series of webinars I am putting together which will be hosted in The Wellness Universe Lounge at the end of January.

This class is a prerequisite class for all future classes and I invite you to  join me by registering at Dreaming True as it will be informative and fun. If the time and date doesn’t suit, once you have registered you can watch the recording when it works for you. The AEST time given is for Brisbane, Australia. EST (USA).

It will be an interactive 60 minutes during which we will be exploring how you can use Dreamwork to assist and empower you 24/7 whether you recall your dreams or not.  All you need will be an open mind along with writing and drawing materials.

If you have any questions please contact me. Cheers, Cheryl.

 

© Cheryl O’Connor 2016.

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Are we truly busy?

“The most common thing I hear folk say these days when asked how they are is “Busy”.

Today’s technology was essentially designed to make things easier, give us all more “time” and yet it appears to me it has failed to do that.  If anything we all seem to be way busier than we were a couple of decades ago, with seemingly never-ending to-do lists, copious emails that flood our inboxes, umpteen “notifications” by way of social media, errands to run and so it goes on. This influx of things to be attended to is often overwhelming and creates stress, for we are now living in a time where we think we need to attend to ever so much immediately.
I’ve been pondering this standard comment we all seem to be giving these days of I’m busy or you are busy.  I have a huge variety of activities in my life simply because I do not do boring and mundane well at all and abhor being stuck in any sort of rut.  Variety is indeed my spice in life and to have any two days spent doing exactly the same thing is my worst case scenario.  Many interpret that as me being busy.
I spoke in my last article about living in NOW.  Such a hard thing for so many of us to achieve and yet, once you do get the hang of it, it is very easy.  As I looked back on all my years of being unconsciously busy, rushing here and there, achieving this and that, the stress that comes with always being busy and the many comments I hear of “busy” I had an epiphany of sorts.  When we are fully present in right here and now “busy” is totally eliminated.  How so?
Well, I saw that busyness lives in our heads and only occurs when we move out of now and think “a head” too far.  Often we become overwhelmed with how much we think we need to do or must do, which in fact, we are all choosing to do for no-one is making us do anything.  When we are so busy we miss the moment of now for always we are thinking I need to do this, then that, then that and on it goes, usually ticking things off either in our heads or lists as we go. Often not even fully focussed on whatever it is we are doing right now, due to thoughts of once this is done then the next thing needs to be done.
I also saw that much stress lies in the busyness of our minds and the things we choose to do that we perceive “make” us all so busy.  I saw that being in the moment of now with absolutely no thought of what is next until I got to what is next, does indeed and quite miraculously not create a feeling of being busy at all.   As I was pondering this whole busy aspect of life, another crossed my path who shared that we create busy to avoid being in now.  Synchronicity?  Well of course.
When we live in each moment of now, fully, we are just being and we are all essentially, beings, not doings. Many think we have to go and have a vacation and do absolutely nothing to avoid the stress of being busy, to wind down and “get away from it all”.
Personally I find life far more interesting, way less stress full and not at all busy, to just do the things I feel I want and need to do, when I want and need to do them. I also find that things don’t go “wrong”, I don’t hit brick walls nor do I experience any of the elements that once brought frustration, stress, major muck-ups, accidents or rushing around like a lunatic when I am just focussed on and fully present in NOW.   Another miraculous aspect of living in NOW – I have more “time”.
Try it, you may just be very surprised by what happens when you stop thinking “a head” and actually become one with the flow of life.
Cheers, C.

PELICAN – UNSELFISHNESS & RENEWED BUOYANCY

Pelicans were once considered to be very magical and powerful birds. Contrary to some beliefs they do not store fish in their bills, they simply use their bills to scoop fish up. Should Pelican be a bird that is crossing your path it may be prudent to reflect on how that may provide you with some insight into your own behaviour. Are you one who stores anything you do not really need to be storing? Are you using what you already have? Are you digesting that which you are given or are you storing it? There was once a story told of how a Pelican harmed its own breast with its bill in order to feed its own blood to its young. This is where the unselfish self-sacrifice symbolised in this bird has come from and it also contains a Christian connotation.

Pelicans always make room for others of their kind and will nest in such a way that there is room for all. They also work together when fishing. As a team they manoeuvre fish into shallower water so all may enjoy a meal.

Pelicans are very large birds and whilst they appear heavy due to their size they float exceptionally well and are buoyant. Often they will descend into the water from a great height at speed and then magically pop up on the surface of the water. Air sacs which are located under their skin assist them to do this and they are totally unsinkable due to those air sacs.

These birds speak to us of the ability to bounce back, become buoyant ourselves and to rest regardless of what may appear to be the weight of life circumstances. Pelican teaches us that no matter how heavy or difficult some situations may be in our lives and no matter how deeply we plunge or fall we are all able to rise to the surface again. Their medicine is that of knowing how to rise above life’s trials and tribulations.   Another story about Pelican speaks of how they once lived in the desert and they adapted by feeding upon Snakes.   Whilst they may appear to have difficulty taking off at times from the water they succeed and this relates to us having the ability to free ourselves from emotions that might otherwise weigh us down. Pelican medicine is also showing us how we can avoid being overcome by our emotions to the point they debilitate us.

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© C. O’Connor 5 August 2015.

BADGER MEDICINE

Someone recently asked me about the symbolism of Badger. As many will know I don’t partake in the this definitely means that scenario like Dream Dictionaries and the like do. There is however very generalised information floating around based on other’s perceptions of what a particular symbol means which, if you are experiencing that particular animal or thing crossing your path you can have a read of. The danger with Dream Dictionaries and the like is that NOTHING will mean exactly the same thing for every single person on the planet.

The information I share in relation to the “Symbolism of Animals” comes from personal experience either in ordinary or non-ordinary reality, or, if that particular symbol/animal/energy/medicine has not yet crossed my path sources I use for info that I share with you, which I write in my own words, having read all the info I have access to, come from people like Jamie Sams and Ted Andrews.

It is not enough to just look at the symbolism of one particular thing or animal, it is about actually integrating the qualities of that symbol – for all that exists is energy and to “carry medicine” of an animal it HAS to consciously become part of who you are.

We are all, at the core, connected to all that exists but there is a massive difference between knowing something theoretically/symbolically and actually experiencing and also bringing the energy of particular traits or your own personal “medicine” by way of your totem animal/s or Spirit animals, into being by way of literally becoming one with that animal’s particular medicine.

If anyone has questions about all that, if it is not making sense to you, I am more than happy to answer your questions as best I can.

Today’s animal is Badger. Enjoy the read – Cheers, C.

BADGER – AGGRESSIVENESS.
Badgers may look cute but they are far from being meek and mild. Notoriously vicious animals they will attack with powerful aggression. They are easy and quick to anger and will pounce with great speed. Their “medicine” is of being aggressive and the ability, along with the willingness, to fight for whatever it is they want.

They have been known to tear their opponents to shreds if that opponent doesn’t have an equal amount of aggressiveness. Many powerful Medicine Women contain Badger Medicine as Badger is also the one who has the responsibility to be the caretaker/keeper of medicine roots for in Badger’s home burrows they are aware of all the roots which are Mother Earth’s healing herbs.

Roots ground “negative” energy by way of allowing and transforming illness to pass through the physical body into the earth as neutral energy, thereby healing the body. Folk who contain Badger medicine are very apt and quick to act should a crisis occur as they are not prone to panic.

Those who contain Badger medicine very easily and quickly express their feelings not caring what the consequences may be for doing so. They may also be aggressive healers due to the courage they contain to facilitate healing by unconventional methods for it is the result that matters, not the process. They will use whatever means necessary to ensure healing occurs, even in relation to the critically ill.

They can be vicious gossips and they may also appear to others to have a chip on their shoulder when they are out of balance. They contain perseverance and will not give up in relation to what they want to achieve. They are often the “boss” as they get the job done and they are certain of what they are doing.

Badger’s appearance could indicate that you are not being confident/aggressive enough but it is a balanced aggressiveness that is required. It is not necessary to rip other folk to shreds. It could be an indicator that you need to aggressively assert yourself in relation to your own healing by removing any and all barriers that are impeding your progress. Further it may be a sign that you need to cut the dead wood out of your life. Badger appearing may also be an indicator that you need to become more grounded and centred in your body/in your life.

Badger could also be relating to expressing your anger in an unhealthy way. It can be a reminder that all anger directed at you from other folk is really anger towards Self which is being dumped onto others. Anger also stems from fear and usually behind fear is pain and so if you are angry it is prudent to ask yourself why am I angry and what am I afraid of. It could be necessary for you to engage in reflection and uncover any feelings or thoughts of helplessness as well.

Badger medicine can be about a need to heal the physical body with roots and herbs. It speaks of a need to find proper balance, to be more aggressive if you have been too shy and have been letting others walk all over you.

It can, generally speaking, be about you needing to take control of your life and to take action as inaction usually leads to pain being experienced. If you are feeling angry it calls for a time for you to do whatever is needed, without harming others or self, to release your angry feelings. These feelings can also relate to jealousy and envy.

Essentially contrary Badger is trying to teach you about some of the holes you can fall into in relation to shyness or insecurity as well as projected and vicious aggressiveness towards others which you really need to stop projecting onto others and deal with, within yourself. Badger medicine always calls for action to be taken, whatever the present situation is you are dealing with.

Copyright. C. O’Connor. 1 August 2015.

Grab your free copy of my Dreamwork Booklet at http://bit.ly/CheocoNews when you sign up for my monthly Newsletter.

*´☾☆☽`*•

#Cheryl O’Connor.
#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.
* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis #Meditation.

Website @ http://www.cheocoenterprises.com

My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop

Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBCheoco
Online Shop: http://bit.ly/Cheocoshop
LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/linkedincheryloconnor
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Proud member of The Wellness Universe: www.thewellnessuniverse.com #WUVIP

Image credit: Pixabay.

INTERVIEW WITH COREY POIRIER – CONVERSATIONS WITH PASSION!

Hi folks, if you missed the Interview I and other very inspiring members of The Wellness Universe participated in, you can have a listen here.  Radio Interview with Corey Poirier

Many thanks to Corey and The Wellness Universe founders and members for all they are doing and bringing into the world.

Love and Peace to all – Cheers, C.

Copyright. C. O’Connor.

Grab your free copy of my Dreamwork Booklet at http://bit.ly/CheocoNews when you sign up for my monthly Newsletter.

*´☾☆☽`*•

#Cheryl O’Connor.
#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.
* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis #Meditation.

Website @ http://www.cheocoenterprises.com

My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop

Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBCheoco
Online Shop: http://bit.ly/Cheocoshop
LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/linkedincheryloconnor
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/pinterestcheryloconnor
Google+: http://bit.ly/Googlepluscheryloconnor

Proud member of The Wellness Universe: www.thewellnessuniverse.com #WUVIP

Image credit: Pixabay.

MY UPCOMING RADIO INTERVIEW WITH COREY POIRIER – THIS WEEK!

I’ve been invited by Corey Poirier – Award Winning Speaker, International Best Selling Author and TEDx Featured Thought Leader to be interviewed this Thursday, 3pm EST, 4:00pm5:00pm in UTC-03 on his Conversations with Passion Radio Show which will be airing a special LIVE episode where he will talk about the brand new THRIVING book and will welcome members of the thriving Wellness Universe to the show to talk about purpose, passion, creating content, impacting lives, and more.

You can listen in on Thursday at the applicable link = http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationswithpassion/2015/07/02/conversations-with-passion-meets-wellness-universe-meets-thriving

For folk in Australia this will be happening LIVE on Friday morning at 5am.

Guests will include Wellness Universe Members Heather Lang, Phoenix Ivey Sierra, Cheryl O’Connor, Robert Clancy, Beth Bracaglio and Di Riseborough.  For those of you in Australia this will be happening on Friday at 5am.

Huge thank you to The Wellness Universe and Corey Poirier – looking forward to chatting with Corey. Whoo hooo, yee haa and high five all round 🙂 Yes I am excited, can you tell?

Cheers, C.

Image: Copyright Corey Poirier.

Is “Constructive Criticism” really Constructive ?

One of the most common human behaviours I am privy to not only where others are concerned but within myself over the years and still even now it slips in at times despite my best conscious efforts not to go there, is that of being critical.

It’s SO easy to be critical because that is our conditioning. It astounds me that we actually have an economic industry of “critics” who get paid to go and see, listen to, or experience others creative endeavours and “critique” them which they then feel it necessary to publish. If the creative persons interpretation of something they have gone to experience isn’t in line with the critics perception – too bad so sad they receive a “bad” review that ripples out to others and has a domino effect which can limit severely the amount of folk who go and see or experience it for themselves and decide whether they enjoy it or not, based purely on what someone else says. It is also often the case that many who are standing in the wings and not even involving themselves in something or aren’t even aware of what is REALLY going on, on the stage, take it upon themselves to be critical of what the ones on the stage are doing, in all areas of life. Yet we all perceive and do things differently.

Just watch any group of people for e.g. in an art class – all can be looking at the same tree which they are to paint and yet every single painting each creates will be totally different not only to the tree given as an example, but to each others trees. How truly miraculous is that?! Yet so often in so many situations another will say no that’s not how you do it, you “NEED” to do it this way. How so and who says so?

Everything we do is an act of unique creation so how can it be that we have fallen into this trap of being so critical and judgmental? We seem to live in a society that is full of competition and judgement which starts not long after birth. It’s rampant in our schools, in politics, in sports, in workplaces, it’s persistent in those “Women’s” magazines where celebrities are criticised for just about everything from wearing a pair of track pants out to the local shop to having their hair done a certain way. In more recent times on television screens and other media it is also rampant by way of “reality” shows where folk compete against each other to reach a temporary status of “winner” and being labelled “the best”. The label being given to them by “judges” who are really only just sharing their perception of another’s “performance” in a given moment. Yet that perception in that moment of being “judged” can absolutely crush another’s dream and devastate the person who isn’t given the label of “the winner.”

It’s so often the case that if folk don’t do things the way we think they should be done or how we ourselves would do them rarely do we stop to ask questions. Instead, out of our heads and mouths, usually automatically, will come all sorts of “stuff” that is judgmental and critical which perhaps whilst not consciously meaning to do harm, does – just like the critic who published their opinion.

This has been disguised to make it more palatable in recent times by being labelled “constructive criticism”. I personally don’t understand how any criticism is “constructive” – giving and receiving honest and respectful feedback however is a totally different ball game. Words float around all the time about not judging others, about “loving” and accepting yourself and others as they are and hey if those others are rattling your cage with a big stick no worries just shrug it off and walk away – not always that easy though is it?

Phrases have long been within the minds of humanity along the lines of – Don’t judge another lest you be judged; Don’t be so busy pulling the splinter out of someone else’s eye that you can’t see the lump of wood in your own; People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones; Let he who is without sin cast the first stone; He who points a finger at another will find three pointing back at him, and on it goes.

When people bring forth their best endeavours, ideas and passions to create a more peaceful, love filled, tolerant and respectful world for all, they have often landed up being persecuted, imprisoned, harshly criticised or dead for their efforts for what they are doing or saying. Why? Have we all really become so arrogant as to think that there is only one way to see or do something, our way? Further down the track when it is often way too late, others begin to see what the person was doing and saying with more clarity and then those who were working solidly to create change are treated as heroes, legends or saints.

Sadly they are often no longer even alive by the time the rest of society catches up. It’s often the case that a person or people with “vision” will see much that others clearly do not yet see and due to their passion to manifest that “vision” they run with it whole heartedly, only to be continually met by others trying to pick to pieces what they are doing. What exactly does that achieve I wonder, besides perhaps maybe making the picker feel good about themselves in some bizarre way, like they are “better” than the one who has gotten off their butt, stopped whinging about a situation, and is actually doing something to change that situation for the better, not just for themselves but more importantly for others.

On the flipside to this we have all this information and push occurring about not bullying, teamwork, collaboration etc., and yet many of the so-called political “leaders” in this world are still coming out of the mental and emotional framework of Ego, criticism, one upmanship, bullying tactics, abuse and judgement even though we are given examples time and time again of what actually happens when we ALL work together to achieve something. Is that I wonder part of the reason why “natural disasters” occur, so that we can more consciously become aware of the part of our nature that is supportive, kind, empathetic, loving and compassionate? Collaboration NOT competition will get us ALL wherever we are wanting to go way faster than if we spend our time and energy constantly being judgemental and critical of what others in this world are doing and bickering amongst ourselves about whatever.

Someone close to me has a beautiful expression they often use which I love – The world would be a better place if everyone minded their own business. This person does not mean that we should not care about each other or support each other, they mean that each and every person (unless they are incapacitated in some way) is fully capable of doing whatever it is they need to do for themselves and that we would all live in a better world if we were ALL working together and supporting each other, not wasting our precious time and lives in these temporary physical bodies, trying to tear others down whilst our Egos climb whatever ladder to success they decide to climb, ripping people off or ripping them to shreds, gossiping, judging, undermining and criticising them, telling them they are “wrong” or giving them “advice” when it hasn’t even been asked for.

This person is also referring to those situations where we are doing something and another comes along and takes over because in the other’s eyes we are not doing “it” right. They are of the opinion that this unintentionally diminishes the person who was doing it their own way and shows disrespect. Quite simply humanity has created the present mess in this world, no-one else, and no-one is coming to “save” us, or the planet. The Politicians don’t give a hoot for they cannot see what many of us can clearly see and we are ALL simply just going to have to pull our big girl and boy knickers up clear out our own muck and heal our wounds, so we stop projecting it all onto others if we want anything at all to change.

The time of separation – of you, me, us, them, right, wrong, greed, slavery to jobs that just create nothing but stress and sickness to all life on this planet is coming to an end. Honestly can you actually even begin to imagine how much more we would ALL achieve in this world if the amount of time, money and energy we spent on sticking our noses into other folks business, being critical and judgemental, bickering or gossiping about this, that and the other was actually spent on creating the type of world we not only want to live in but pass on to our children and grandchildren?

It has always been said that our children are our future and whilst I was a child I really didn’t have a say in the future I would be living in. I was often told by my Grandfather though you can achieve anything you want to in this world and so far all I have set out to achieve I have accomplished but there is still more, so much more I want to achieve. Now that I am living in the future I was told about as a child, as a mature aged woman, it is not at all the future I envisioned it could be but I can have a say now and I am so very passionate and driven about doing everything in my power, by collaborating, not competing with others, via The Wellness Universe, other initiatives and with folk who are near and dear to me, to assist in creating the future I did envision as a child that I want to pass on to my children and grandchildren. A world where there is full collaboration, peace, love, understanding, respect for all life, compassion, gratitude, joy, beauty and creative vision and as John Lennon once said, “You may say I’m a Dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will BE as one”.

I may never get to see a world like the one I envision but that doesn’t mean for a second I can’t and won’t do whatever I can to help create it. We are ALL in this world together regardless of our social status, gender, sexual preferences, financial situation, religion or religious beliefs, varying skin colours, ages etc., It doesn’t matter diddly squat what job we do that we label with a name or how well known or not known we are in the world, and for the sake of all the children, grandchildren and generations yet to come into this world, I truly do hope and yes I even pray (even though I am not for once second “religious”) that we ALL start spending way more time collaborating and supporting each other to create a better world than the one we have been left with by those who came before us, than we have been and often do spend criticising and judging each other.
Cheers, C.

Copyright. C. O’Connor.

Grab your free copy of my Dreamwork Booklet at http://bit.ly/CheocoNews when you sign up for my monthly Newsletter.

*´☾☆☽`*•

#Cheryl O’Connor.
#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.
* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis #Meditation.

Website @ http://www.cheocoenterprises.com

My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop

Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBCheoco
Online Shop: http://bit.ly/Cheocoshop
LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/linkedincheryloconnor
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/pinterestcheryloconnor
Google+: http://bit.ly/Googlepluscheryloconnor

Proud member of The Wellness Universe: www.thewellnessuniverse.com #WUVIP

Image credit: Pixabay.

THANK YOU!

Morning all,

Those of you who know me know how very passionate  I am about Dreamwork.  What began as what felt like a curse in 1992, where often times I dreaded shutting my eyes not knowing what would happen to me next has landed up being the biggest blessing in my life.  I cannot even begin to count the number of gifts, insights, healing, understanding, wisdom and the totally life altering experiences that have occurred for me since my fascination with dreams began and I started paying attention to what they were telling me about myself and about life.

Today marks another milestone on my journey to bring more dreaming awareness and the enormous benefits of working with dreams, synchronicity and imagination into our world with the passing of 4,000 likes on the Cheoco Enterprises Face Book  page overnight. To see so many folk interested in what I share is wonderful after over two decades of devotion to Self Healing, Self Awareness and Self Empowerment  filled with love, passion, time, money, learning, dedication, enthusiasm and energy having being consistently poured into various websites, copious articles, close to 2,000 posters, workshops, talks and private sessions either in person, via Skype or email, participation over the years in various online groups and forums, courses, reading, private study and so it has gone on and continues to occur.

I cannot convey to anyone the feeling I had when I saw this milestone occur this morning – words just don’t do it justice.  All those years ago I had a vision of how my life could be so to see it starting to manifest as I saw it would is definitely not something that I can describe.  That vision was what kept me going through so much darkness, pain and fear that I had to face within myself.  To this day I am still in awe of the faith, trust and courage I needed which was available to me to draw on from inside myself.

I am also in total awe of the wonderful folk who have crossed and still do cross my path – all of whom have been teachers.   They say a student is only as good as their teacher and I have no idea what I did to draw so many amazing teachers into my life but to them and to all who have been supporting me and my work right across all social media platforms, all of which are growing steadily – thank you and Namaste.

Much love and peace to all.
C.

#WUVIP

WRITING IS A WORK OF ART

Paying homage to all the wonderful writers in the world who share their experiences, thoughts and feelings via the written word, who inspire others and who assist us all so beautifully to get more in touch with our imagination and bring forth who we truly are, unlimited creative beings.

During my many processes of healing and wanting to understand what was going on for me I not only came across some wonderful writers, I started writing myself. I’d always loved English as a subject at school and writing but I’d been too busy surviving and had lost touch with the writer in me. Totally forgetting how much I loved to write and that I even could write – surprising myself with some of the things that started flowing out of me onto the paper and later through my fingertips onto the keyboard and appearing in front of me on a screen.

Writing became my best friend and my best form of not only communicating with others but more importantly beginning to understand not only my own processes but myself. My book The Promise came to be purely from writing verses as I went through each process and spans 7 years of my life. When compiling over a hundred verses one day I thought WOW, this is a wonderful story and so I then linked all the verses together to create the bigger picture. Last year I re-wrote the entire book so that it was not just all verse.

I spent one whole day this week totally focussed on writing an article – it took me at least 12 hours perhaps longer – I am not certain of time I just know that once I started I was not able to stop until it was finished. I “lost” a whole day totally absorbed in something I love to do, so absorbed in fact I didn’t even stop to eat and collapsed exhausted, in a good way, into bed that night after a couple of slices of toast smothered in homemade plum jam and a cup of tea.

The writing we all get to see as a finished product is indeed a work of art. For me I start with a blank canvas and a phrase or theme in my head and just like an artist a rush of words flow from my head, like brush strokes on that blank canvas. I stand back and have a read. Then I add a stroke here and a stroke there, I re-arrange, I cut out, I move around and after each re-arrange, I again stand back and have a read. It can sometimes get to the stage I am just so tired of re-reading, but it needs to be done.

There comes a point where you just know, like an artist, that is it, it is done for if you were to continue it would just land up a rambling mess.

The article I produced the other day will be published in due course and I will post the link when that occurs. Like anything that we create it takes time and never ever do any of us see the “work”, love and passion, sometimes blood, sweat and tears that are involved in creating something.

We are the same – we don’t just magically get to be where we are now, who we are now or who we want to become with the wave of a wand – we work at it and we still are – for we are all works in progress, constantly adding a bit here, taking a bit away there, re-arranging, standing back and having a look to see if we like what we see or not and yep what we see may be “done” for a time until something or someone else crosses our path and off we go again.

Enjoy your life folks for it is a masterpiece of your own creation and to all the new folk, welcome and thank you for being here, greatly appreciated.
Love and peace to all – Me.

Copyright. C. O’Connor.

Grab your free copy of my Dreamwork Booklet at http://bit.ly/CheocoNews when you sign up for my monthly Newsletter.  Until July 8 you will also receive freely Corey Poirier’s newest book Thriving.

*´☾☆☽`*•

#Cheryl O’Connor.
#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.
* Creative & Artistic Therapies.
* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.
* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.
* Isis #Meditation.

Website @ http://www.cheocoenterprises.com

My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop

Facebook: http://bit.ly/FBCheoco
Online Shop: http://bit.ly/Cheocoshop
LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/linkedincheryloconnor
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/pinterestcheryloconnor
Google+: http://bit.ly/Googlepluscheryloconnor

Proud member of The Wellness Universe: www.thewellnessuniverse.com #WUVIP

Image credit: Pixabay.

WHAT’S NEW?

Hi folks, an update for you but firstly thank you so much for following the blog and welcome to all the new folk.  Greatly appreciated.

NEWSLETTER:-  A change to be noted if you sign up for it – you now automatically receive in your thank you email a link to my Dreamwork Booklet – 33 great tips and tricks I have used for the past 23 years when working with dreams and synchronicity.  There is no longer a 10% discount when you sign up, there will however be specials/discounts that vary within each monthly Newsletter, starting at the end of the month.  I don’t have the time to change all the references to the Newsletter in articles and on posters so please regard this as notification of the changes.

FACEBOOK:-  The page is presently sitting at 3,661 likes as I type this, having crossed the 3,000 mark on my birthday  12 May in Australia.  HUGE thank you to all who have been visiting, liking, commenting and sharing posts. I am feeling very honoured to have received the thanks, support and blessing of Mr Robert Moss for my work recently also.

WORKSHOPS & EVENTS: –  Last month I facilitated a Workshop by invitation of The Paranormal Awareness Community at Mango Hill, thank you – was lovely to meet you all:)  and the next Workshop at Wontok will be on 27 June 2015.

I have been invited to attend the bi-annual festiValley at the Samford Valley Steiner School on 29 August as a stall holder with my Steiner inspired dolls and toys and I am looking forward to that event.

THE WELLNESS UNIVERSE: – HUGE thank you also to the AWSOME efforts of The Wellness Universe founders Shari Alyse and Anna Pereira along with other admins.  These wonderful ladies have been working solidly for ages now to create their vision of collaboration, not competition, by creating a website where folk can freely get listed and find all the resources they need in relation to all things wellness, not just of humans but of all life on the planet.  They have created a Facebook Group which contains some of the most incredibly amazing people, wonderful opportunities and information where all of us are working together, to help assist with change for the better within our communities and our world.  If you would like to see my interview on 13 May with Shari Alyse you can do so at http://thewellnessuniverse.com/inspiring-change-with-cheryl-oconnor/  If you would like to visit the website where you will find wonderful articles, quotes, posters and lots of freebies you can do so here http://thewellnessuniverse.com/  The Wellness Universe also has a Facebook page with over 15,000 likes to date and you can find that at https://www.facebook.com/WellnessUniverse?fref=tsm

That’s all folks, Thank you.  Cheers, C.

MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL

One of the most powerful words any of us can ever learn to use when we are communicating with others, besides no, is I.

For some folk that may seem an odd thing to say as it could be read that I am referring to being selfish – far from it.  There is a massive difference between being selfish and being self-centred and self-empowered.

What I have noticed consistently in my life, as I have observed interactions occurring between myself and others and between others, is that whenever “you” statements occur in a conversation as in “you have”, “you do”, “you do not”, “you are”, “you need to”, “you should” or “you must” etc., we are not coming from a space of Self-centred response, empowerment, love, peace or balance.

Ten times out of ten we are actually in the midst of a totally non thought about re-action (re-acting out an old subconscious behavioural pattern) as we busily, rudely, loudly and usually quite angrily fly off the handle and into another, not at all aware that we are projecting our own shadow and that which we do not see, or perhaps don’t want to see, hear or take responsibility for, within ourselves or about ourselves, onto another.

Whenever I hear “you” this or that, either from another or coming out of my own mouth or head in an attacking way my warning system rings a very loud alarm that screams like the robot from Lost in Space – Warning, Warning, Warning, Danger Will Robinson, Danger and the word “projection” blasts into my awareness. (Yes I know I am showing my age.)

One of the greatest challenges I personally face every single day are my own reality checks I feel compelled to make in relation to what I put out for others to read or not read, their choice, in terms of posters or articles.  If I personally am not living the truth of what I am putting out in my interactions behind the scenes – I want to know about it because often the folk closest to me in my life see me clearer than I can see myself.

I therefore have several folk who help me keep a check on that because I have specifically asked them to point that kind of thing out to me as it is so very easy to create words that others can resonate with, relate to, be motivated or inspired by but if my interactions with others behind the scenes of those posters or articles are not congruent with the words I am putting out, they hold no value to me, or you, the reader, whatsoever.

They would just be hollow meaningless hypocritical jibber jabber at the core. They would have no depth, truth or substance and would not be coming from a space of integrity, they would just be nothing but noise created to add to an already often very noisy world wide web full of information, opinions, stories, perceptions, re-actions and responses.

When we become self-aware enough to stop using “you” and come instead from a space of Self-centred peace, a desire to understand, response and love, in a balanced way and therefore state instead “I think”, “I feel”, “it appears to me”, “I am”, “from my perception”, “for me” etc., we ARE taking full responsibility for whatever is going on for us, within us, emotionally or cognitively. We are NOT projecting our own “stuff” onto anyone else, nor are we are blaming others for our own experience.   We are also not coming from a space of attack or defence, but a state of Self-aware empowered response.

Often when folk attack, for whatever reasons they are justifying in their own heads with whatever story they have created for themselves and fully believe, it is not only hurtful, it can sometimes be downright spiteful or misleading and it can often get very ugly very quickly, for the one attacked, quite rightly, feels a need to defend, explain, justify, attack back etc., and the result then often is a situation where more misunderstanding occurs due to intensifying energy building up and going back and forth in defence/attack/attack/defence style a bit like a tennis volley that just gets louder, more re-active and quicker as it gains momentum.

If we automatically re-act and attack or re-act to an attack and put ourselves in a situation upon being attacked where we do defend, justify and attack back we are just feeding a fire – yet when we remain silent that fire has no oxygen as such to keep it burning. It usually just dies down, for it runs out of the fuel (energy) needed to feed it and keep it burning and in the dying down you or I, or the person who was coming from the space of “you”, can, if they choose to, take a look at themselves in the mirror they were projecting themselves onto that is now non-responsive and just reflecting themselves back to themselves fully for them to clearly see and hear themselves.   This then becomes a huge gift for the attacking or blaming person to take a long hard look at their own projections, insecurities, justifications, stories, fears and emotional re-actions should they choose to do so.

A very useful thing I work on keeping in mind, which I have been working on for years and no it doesn’t always happen in all situations, is to NOT respond automatically to anything at all when I am feeling a strong emotional re-action to what has been projected with a “you” attack or via an emotional re-action I myself may have that I am projecting. I’ve found it is far more revealing when I stop and ask myself – What is this REALLY about? Why am I feeling this way? With every answer that comes to me I question it further and further until I find the gift in it for me to learn from.  I have also often found that those answers will come by way of a sleeping dream.

I always find there is a nugget of truth and a gift I am able to see in the mirror hanging on the wall in front of me who, from my perception, has been attacking me or who I have subconsciously been projecting my own stuff onto. Sometimes that nugget of truth has been an article such as this one, a poster I have created or that I have realised I needed to create better boundaries, respect my Self more, see clearer the wounds another is carrying, or the truth about another their projections are revealing.  Sometimes I need to take a closer look at my own wounds, distance myself from folk until they do look at their stuff and come back later or work through my own stuff alone, see how my words or actions have impacted on another or if need be walk totally away from another for this life time so they can deal with their own stuff that I no longer have the time, patience or energy to deal with if I am constantly met with rudeness and barriers when trying to sort an issue out.

This non-reactive business and learning to come from a space of response rather than automatic re-action has taken me a LOT of years’ work to get more of a handle on as up until not so long ago the not so peaceful warrior in me would come to the fore if warranted with a sword and shred an attacker to pieces verbally in one form or another.  That part of me has been known to be quite lethal and often folk have not known what’s hit them when I do allow that part of me to emerge and take flight when I feel I have been pushed too far or another has pushed someone else too far who I care about.

Perhaps as I am getting older I am actually getting wiser and whilst I have known for a long time how very much I enjoy peace and quiet without all the drama of youth and re-active projections coming from myself or at me from people of all ages, I am seeing another dimension to that old phrase – Silence is golden.  In so many situations I am seeing silence holds way more power, peace, learning and gifts than bringing out my warrior’s sword via an emotionally re-active tongue or mind,  expressed in person or via a keyboard.

My grandmother, bless her, in her attempts to get me to see this truth over the years I was growing up whilst she was still alive, when I would be ranting and raving about something or the other would often say to me – You’ll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar Cheryl.   Funny thing about that was she wasn’t always known for her diplomacy and tact and vinegar was often her unconsciously chosen medicine to dish out to others if she felt it was warranted.

I think though, whilst I have and never will qualify for the role of a diplomat, for a spade is a spade to me, not a bloodied pitch fork wrapped up in a bow, and I have an inbuilt tendency to just say it how I see it,  I finally understand exactly what she was saying.

For me at the moment vinegar has its place in my pantry and may still at times be necessary to use but I am finding more and more that honey experienced in Self-Centred, Self Aware and Self Empowered silence and peace is far sweeter, more fruitful and makes life way more enjoyable, palatable and digestible.
Cheers, Cheryl.  

Copyright. C. O’Connor.

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SWIMMING WITH CROCODILES

I am in an upright position, in murky water when suddenly a large Croc comes at me from behind – mouth wide open about to swallow me for lunch. I’m not ready to die yet and certainly not as this ones meal so I grab its top and lower jaw with my hands and spread them even further open, breaking its jaw in the process.  It disappears back into the murky darkness it came from but not before we have rolled around for a bit as they do when instinct requires them to do the death roll once they grab their prey.

The scene changes and I am now walking on stepping stones across very clear water, the weather is sunny and all seems good and right with the world.  Abruptly the stones are no more and there is a concrete wall/barrier in front of me.  I want to keep moving in the direction I was heading and the only way to do that is to step around the barrier and then swim.  I see land ahead and know this is where I need to reach.  For what reason I do not know, I just know I need to keep moving to reach the land.

As I enter the water it is crystal clear and very beautiful.  The temperature is lovely and I am observing myself swimming as well as feeling myself swimming.  I can see that the water below me changes colour from totally clear to a darker blue towards the bottom as I look at it from above my body.  It is very deep and on the bottom lay maybe 5 crocodiles, one in particular is a very large one who I believe is a male and is very territorial.  I sense they all think I will make a tasty dish as they all start rising slowly upwards whilst I am swimming.

The biggest one, which is closest to me, definitely has me in its sights for supper and is getting closer and closer to me as I am moving towards the land.  I reach the earth close enough to stand and as I go to stand he takes a  very large snap at my heals.  He misses, I step out of the water onto the land and start walking away from him.  For some reason he retreats back into the water.  I find that most odd as normally crocodiles have no hesitation in coming up onto the land if they are after a feed.

The whole time during all of this I experience no fear.  It all seems rather matter of fact and whilst I find it odd he didn’t chase me onto the land I sense there is some sort of invisible barrier he cannot get through.  His domain is totally the water and for whatever reason he simply cannot come out of the water which means he can neither harm me any more, nor can he follow me.

It was at this point I was back in my bed wondering what the heck was all that about.  It was about 2am and so I got up, made a cup of tea and pondered the experience.  I could not make head nor tail of it really.  I figured water/emotions – murky emotions, not seeing something clearly and then very calm, clear and able to see.  For me crocodiles represented primal instincts, ancient instincts even, fiercely territorial, amazing survivors and I know they can move quicker than any snake I have seen move when they choose to.   That was about as far as I got with it as things in this physical reality were needing my attention.   I didn’t forget the dream at all I just put it on the side burner of my awareness figuring it will make total sense at some point.

Fast forward oohh maybe a week or so and events unfolded that at first left me feeling really upset due to the actions of another and nope I didn’t stay silent about what they had done which was, from my perception, rather sneaky and deceitful and it was certainly not their place to do what they took it upon themselves to do.  I had my say and they clearly did not wish to discuss the matter so that was that, they disappeared back into the space from which they had emerged.

I made a phone call to try and find out what the heck was really going on as none of what this person was doing made any sense to me at all.  I waited for a return call and received nothing until about a week or so later when another called me – had a short rant and then hung up in my ear.  This was the person who was closest to me in this situation.  There was no opportunity given for discussion, no questions asked, no room for a response to be given and heard and whilst it all “should” have upset me I didn’t feel anything much except relief that given the message they conveyed to me I would NEVER have to deal with this person ever again who I had been dealing with for some 45 years.

I felt nothing for the first time in all those years that was even close to wanting or needing to ring them back and ask what the heck was going on, write to them and ask any questions, nor did I feel any need to even try to defend myself nor give them a piece of my mind.  Nothing, zippo, nada.  I could clearly see that this was their “stuff” not mine and that it would not matter one bit what I said or did none of it would make any difference as it wouldn’t even be heard given the emotional state of the other person. (In hindsight the large Croc who could not come up onto the land for they were stuck in their emotional “stuff” i.e. the water.) It was quite literally my best option to just remain silent and yes to walk away entirely from the whole situation.

It wasn’t until the next morning when I was thinking about how this person always seemed to “thrive on getting a bite” out of others by stirring the pot, having a dig at me about something or the other over many years and how I had always bitten when they had behaved like that, that I literally stopped in my tracks due to a spine tingling, arm hair raising OMG ahhh haaa NOW I know what the dream was about.

Often it is the situation we scout future in The Dreaming to see what lays ahead and often the future will appear to us totally symbolically like this all did.  It really does pay to keep a journal and ensure you write down even just tiny snippets if that is all you recall.  Dreams like, it seems to me, to be mysterious and intriguing and often you have to play detective to grasp logically what they are really telling you.   Hence my total dislike for Dream Dictionaries and the very definite this categorically means that.   Crocodiles when they have turned up in the past have meant very different things to what these ones were symbolic of. This is why it also pays to keep and A-Z Index Book in which you can write down what certain symbols mean to you as the meaning of them is revealed to you in different contexts.

As for my crocs, may they swim happily ever after together and find peace within themselves, as I continue to walk my path without their presence in my life any longer.

Cheers, Cheryl.  

 

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#Cheryl O’Connor.
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DEATH IS ONLY A BREATH AWAY

From the moment we come into this world Death is the one constant companion we have who walks with us, along with our intuition, faith, trust and courage.

Yet we fear and fight death, why?

Is it because we think it is “the end” of us?

Is it because generally speaking our western culture hides the dying and death away from us?

Is it because our western medical system is geared to save life regardless of the pain and suffering another may be enduring which is often just lengthened by way of experiments, surgeries and the like? Granted there are some treatments and surgeries that do save lives but there are also many situations where a person is just treated like a medical experiment and kept alive only long enough to be of scientific value and research use. (I am speaking from first-hand experience with that particular issue having watched what occurred and was inflicted on my Dad for what seemed like two very long weeks, whilst he was dying.)

Is it because we have become so attached to the physical world we don’t want to leave?

Is it because we have become so dependent on another we don’t believe we can live without them?

Or is it simply due to fear of the unknown?

Whatever the reasons are that we fear death, battle it and do not just accept that it is an intrinsic part of being born, I don’t see any of it is as being really very healthy.

Many of us during the course of our life have folk come into our lives for however long they need to be in our lives and then they leave either by way of us and them just getting on with life, irreconcilable disagreement, mutual agreement or death. Sometimes we grieve the loss, however it may occur, other times we are glad to see the back of them. We even grieve the loss of well-known folk who we personally do not know. The standard norm however is considered to be that we are born, live to a ripe old age and when our bodies are worn out and we are old we “die”.   This however is not factual.

Death occurs at any stage of life, some folk die earlier than others and we have this in built conditioning which seems to me to think that unless we are of a ripe old age that anyone who dies under a certain age is “too young to die” or that it is a tragedy when folk die. We speak of poor lost souls who perish in natural “disasters” and accidents that occur. How do we know they are lost?

Some of us never get over the death of another who has been an integral part of our life or are totally lost ourselves when another leaves our physical reality by way of death. Often when well-known celebrities who have lived full and vibrant lives are dying many start praying for them, leaving messages on social media for them to keep fighting. Our media speaks of folk losing battles long or short against cancer and other dis-eases. Humans never have, nor will ever be in control of death or birth as much as we may try. When our time is up, it’s up. It really is that simple.

Many say it is morbid to think about death and it seems to me in our western culture we are not at all very well prepared to face our own death or that of loved ones when the time comes. Yet we are all dying, we are all born to die and realistically we have no clue when the moment of physical death will occur.  It is quite literally only a breath or a heartbeat away. When you live with the total conscious awareness that death could occur for you at any moment or those you love, you live an entirely different life to someone who perceives that when they or their loved ones get old only then will they die.

Many who are told by doctors they only have x amount of time to live actually begin to live for perhaps the first time in their lives. They think what the heck, I may as well do whatever it is they have held off doing, because now I know I am going to die, yet we all know all along we are going to die at some point in our lives. It’s not the best analogy but it’s kind of like Christmas, we all know it’s coming, yet we race around like lunatics just prior to it occurring to get ourselves organised for it.

I feel very blessed as I see death differently to most I know, simply because I am no stranger to it. My first encounter occurred when I was 12 and it was at that time I just knew people’s grief (including my own) was more about what folk had lost, not done, felt guilty about, regretted etc., than it was about what the person who had passed on had gained, particularly if they were suffering from physical illness, dis-ease and pain. As a child, one of my favourite places to play was the cemetery just up the road from where I lived. It was peace full there and I often kept company with the snakes who curled up on the cement, seeking warmth, which covered the tops of the graves.

Even to this day it is not uncommon for me to be drawn to cemeteries and to just wander around, reading the gravestones that stand as monuments to another’s life – long, short or somewhere in between. It is still one of the most peace full places for me to go to as often there are not many folk around and it is a place that always puts my life and all things into their true perspective for me whilst always reminding me just how short and precious life in a physical body truly is.

My next up close and personal encounter with death came whilst only feeding my body small amounts of food and large amounts of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes when I was about 15. It was only the mutual love between myself and another which saved me on that occasion and kept me here.

Death paid me another visit at 17 when whilst knocked totally unconscious as the result of what I later found out was a fatal car accident, I was experiencing what we call a dream. I was in what I now know to be a parallel reality where the sun was shining and I was having a picnic with the person who I later discovered had passed away. It was beautiful, joyous, loving and peaceful and I was resting with my back against a tree, until our dog ran into the bush and I started calling out to him. My calling out became so loud it brought me back into this physical reality and as I opened my eyes I saw the horror of that car accident and the injuries I had received during it. I was also sitting against a tree, the exact same bushland around me as I had seen in the “dreaming” experience and what had been glorious weather in the “dream” was in this reality torrential rain. Our dog was also nowhere to be seen.

As I processed that event much later I just knew deep within me that “if” I had of been killed as well, I wouldn’t have felt a thing. There would have been no pain whatsoever for my consciousness had clearly left my body just prior to impact – my last memory before the “dreaming experience” having been seeing windscreen wipers moving across the glass in front of me. The pain of my many injuries only came when I became conscious of this physical reality again.

At 28 Death came calling once more as my body was shutting down from life threatening illness and during the next 10 years much “died” within me as I began to consciously walk the path of the Shaman. Death was also very present in my awareness when I was pregnant with my son at 36 and whilst I was birthing him, then later when he was roughly two and experienced Whooping Cough.   Often throughout my life so-called dead folk would visit me in what we call “dreams” and “visions” and also by way of “weird” stuff that occurred in this physical reality. They still do.

I also became aware of many deaths that had occurred for me during what we call past lives.   I re-lived being guillotined, hung, burnt, stabbed, eaten by a crocodile, murdered many times and in every possible way death can occur, drowned, being tortured, thrown down a well and my neck was broken and on it went. In one experience instead of trying to run from death in fear I just stood in the experience fully and said to myself, this is it – I am going to die. With that total acceptance and absolutely no fear any longer in relation to death my consciousness was back in my physical body and I truly “got it” that the essence of me just never ever dies. I have to say that was, at the time, THE most empowering experience I’d had.

When my Grandfather passed on, for the first time in my life I saw a “dead” body. All that was left was a container, like an empty cocoon. Who I knew my Grandfather to be was no longer present. The body was stiff, solid and cold due to freezer type refrigeration. This body I looked at and touched was just not him at all. It did not even really look like him.

Many say it is morbid to think or talk  about death, many will not even discuss it preferring to state “if something happens to me” rather than stating “if I die or when I die” and it seems to me in our western culture we are not at all well prepared to face our own death or that of our loved ones when the time comes.

I visited the Land of the Dead recently and it was a very beautiful experience where I interacted with many friends and family who have passed on. As with all families and during our life many folk have left my life and I was astounded to find them all waiting for me when I did this journey.   It is also a journey that can be done by anyone, which I facilitate.

Death again visited me up close and personal yesterday, which is what has prompted this article and during that visit it became clear to me that there is only one aspect of my life story right here and right now as it stands that I don’t feel a sense of 100% peace about – a mission I set out to achieve for myself some 23 years ago.  I feel extremely grateful that there is only one aspect and not as many as there were back then. As I conversed with Death in this experience it also became clear to me that hopefully with a little help from the Spirits this one aspect can be put right before I do leave this body because I really don’t want to be carrying that one with me.

My experiences have shown me time and again that whatever we do not have full peace, acceptance and love about within us when we leave, we just take with us and yep it would appear to me that it is a case of well too bad, so sad you just have to come back again to deal with it. We also take the love we feel for others with us, it doesn’t just “die” when a body dies, just as it doesn’t die within us for those we have loved who have passed on.  It is often the case those who have passed on have messages and guidance for us which they try to give us but even though we miss them we find it creepy, weird, spooky and we fear actually communicating with them ourselves, often preferring instead to have a third person tell us what another is trying to communicate to us.   We didn’t fear them, usually, whilst they lived in a body so why do we fear them just because they no longer exist in a body?

For myself there is no separation between the physical and non-physical realities which exist. Where I will go when I leave this body my mother named Cheryl I have no clue for I do not believe there is a Heaven as such, nor a Hell, except for within ourselves. It has been my experience that with our free will we either create Heaven or Hell in this physical reality and as John Lennon once said “Imagine there’s no Heaven, it’s easy if you try. No Hell below us, above us only sky”.   I therefore have no expectations of what will occur when I leave this body and so I am totally open to the adventure of it all. What I do have though is abundant faith and trust plus good navigational skills in The Dreaming and I know that a part of me knows way better than my logic does, my logic being so very limited in this physical reality.  I also know that the part of me that does know will kick in and do whatever it needs to do when the time comes.

So that all said how  do we all better prepare ourselves for the inevitability of facing and accepting Death’s constant presence as it walks inside and beside us in the shadows, instead of fearing Death and not truly living?

In dreaming, every single night, whether we have memory of it the next morning or not, we leave our bodies and go travelling, connecting and interacting with the Souls of folk we know and yep even those we don’t know and by some miracle we awake each morning in the body we left resting in our bed or wherever we slept.  Given some of the dreaming experiences I have, to me that in itself is miraculous that I find my way back into my body each morning.   When we wake we are blessed with another day of life in a physical body.   It is a gift, not a given.  It is also a gift so very many of us take for granted and don’t even give thanks for.

We even do this when we nana nap, power nap, meditate etc., for we have absolutely no awareness of our physical bodies when in that fully altered state of consciousness. Many also have no awareness even of that altered state of consciousness. Yet it is so very healing and powerful and it is a space, if you like to think of it that way, which is full of insight, abundance, truth, guidance and wisdom. During the night our body has miraculously kept our heart beating and our lungs breathing. So at some part of us we know it is perfectly fine and safe to leave our bodies and that we will be okay. True we may not be conscious of that, but I sense that deep down we just know it. Often too if we are feeling threatened in any way, either in the dreaming realities or in this physical reality, we will slam back into the body ready to take action. The dreaming body/soul/astral body are intrinsically linked it would seem to the physical body and its reactions for how often do we wake from a scary dream heart pounding or an emotional dream with tears in our eyes?

It is said that there is no better preparation for death than being a conscious dreamer and well….. I have to agree. For most of us travellers who are conscious dreamers,  we are aware of the multiverse and parallel realities, we learn the territory away from the confines of the physical body quite well, the more we practice it like anything the better we get at it and we also learn how to navigate our way around in that territory. We “know” without a shadow of doubt that we exist beyond the physical body.

To become a conscious dreamer and be better prepared for our own deaths, we need to firstly pay attention to whatever snippets of memory, be it images or feelings we have upon waking in our bodies of a morning.   The more we welcome, honour and act on our dreaming experiences, the more we receive them, the more we receive them, the more conscious we become of them, the more conscious we become of them, the less fear we experience not only in our physical reality but also in the dreaming realities of the multiverse, parallel realities, spirit worlds etc.

The biggest fear I sense most have is the fear of death and yet the irony of that is when we no longer fear death, we actually truly begin to live. For some of us perhaps for the first time ever. My mum, bless her has always said to me “You live like there is no tomorrow” and for me no there is no tomorrow ever for I have had way too many encounters with Death to not know I and those I love could be physically gone in an instant, so for me there is only ever each moment of now.

There is a Native American expression I very much love – “It’s a good day to die” (meaning that there are no regrets, there is nothing left unsaid or undone and that there is peace within). We use the term RIP when another passes on but how much better would it be do you think if we all lived in peace instead of waiting until we die to rest in peace ? I know for myself I have done and do all I can every single day to make every day a good day to die – how about you?

Cheers, Cheryl.

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© Cheryl O’Connor 2014.

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FEAR BASED CONDITIONING

We all come with abundant courage, trust and love into this world. We trust all our needs will be taken care of and as a very young child privileged to grow up in what folk call “the modern/civilised world” we do not worry where the next meal will come from. Clothes are given to us as is food, we have beds to sleep in and rooves over our heads and really we want for nothing, quite content to, in my day, go outside and play, weather permitting and imagine all sorts of things whilst having grand adventures in nature. So where does all that trust, courage and love go to as we get older?

From my perception it gets shut down by a blanket of fear based conditioning. Tiny piece by tiny piece it starts to be smothered by statements the adults in our lives make of “Don’t you fall from there”, “You be careful you don’t choke on that”, “You’ll break your arm if you climb that tree”, “Don’t run with scissors, you’ll injure yourself”, “Don’t play with that knife you will cut yourself”, “Don’t speak to ANYONE you don’t know already,” “Don’t you behave like that”, “Don’t be so noisy”, and on and on it goes with the don’t, don’t, don’t – when do we ever hear do, be, trust yourself, you can do that, you are strong, smart, caring, helpful ?

When do we hear you are beautiful, you are capable, all you need lays within yourself? When in the midst of an emotional release does a parent just allow that release to occur without trying to control the behaviour or telling the child to stop crying and use their words? How can anyone speak when they are in the midst of releasing emotional energy like grief, frustration or anger particularly if they have been brought up with being told they are stupid or a sook for expressing themselves or have had their self- expression squashed in other ways?

Constantly we are shut down from doing and from being who we truly are until like sheep we just become one of the herd baaing constantly with our complaints of this or that or verbally attacking or defending, or gossiping about others, making judgements and accusations, giving advice we were not asked to give, seeking outside ourselves for what we think we need.

That is NOT living, that is merely existing. We become so numb and non-present in our bodies we are like the walking dead, literally, because life becomes so boring.    Heaven forbid we should express joy or laughter in quiet spaces like lifts or whilst hemmed into office cubicles or at functions where we have to remain “dignified” and silent.

I recall once one of my children being ever so embarrassed whilst out simply because I was listening to and feeling the music of some drummers and my body started moving to the beat of the drumming. How is that we have created a culture where we are embarrassed by Self-expression with something as beautiful as appreciating another’s musical ability and moving with the flow of that music?

How often do we hear – “Leave your personal stuff at home, don’t let it impact on your productivity here at work” or the reverse “Leave your work at work”. Since when is it truly possible for any human being to just flick a switch within themselves and turn off like a machine from what is going on in their life be it at home or at work just because some man made device with numbers on it says it is time to?

In order to cope with it all we land up self-medicating, hanging out for that drink at the end of the day or that cigarette on our break, both of which we then become addicted to, or worse we take other substances to “make” us feel better which then create more problems for us, or we become ill and dis-eased simply because our Soul has become so bored with it all. Just watch commuters on a train who day in day out, do the same thing over and over again, they become like robots just going through the motions.   So many folk just hang in there for the weekend or for a holiday to escape it all and then their thinking is, shame that’s over now I have to go back to reality and the grind of it all.  That grind of it all IS your life.

How many folk are SO relieved when Friday hits – many it would seem for it is not uncommon to see or hear these days TGIF or when Wednesday hits it is commonly known now as hump day as we are all on the downhill run to two days where we can do what we actually want to do with our lives, how sad.    And seriously, what a WASTE of a life!

We are not here to be machines, to just constantly produce and make money to buy things or make other folk rich, none of which we can take with us anyway which some poor sod only has to sort out, distribute or sell or even worse still have arguments with remaining family members about it all, when we leave our physical bodies. So many of us have been brought up with the ethos of you have to study hard, do well at school, get a good job, get married, have children, get yourself into debt with a mortgage to own your own home, buy that flash car or whatever, which then ties you to that job you hate even more because that is, according to our fear based conditioning the best way for you to be successful in life. In the meantime you miss out on precious time with family and with yourself and then by the time you are “allowed” to retire you are, generally speaking, too old or too ill to actually enjoy any of it.

If you don’t have a job for whatever reason you are considered to be a bludger and if you fall outside the box regarding any of those things it is deemed there is something wrong with you by many. So much fear based rubbish is fed to us from such a young age it’s no wonder we are not all puking it back up on the side walk as in a robotic like trance we exist and fool ourselves into thinking this is how life just is. We even treat each other often like a commodity or a possession – you give me this and I’ll give you that, or you “can’t” do this or that, or even worse still as I recently heard on the radio, some young woman had separated from her partner and the news reader’s comment was …… and bla de bla is back on the market again….., referring to her like she was just some piece of meat for sale, I wasn’t aware we had markets for women these days in this culture.

I also recall once when I was ill from having pulled several weeks of 19 hour days, without proper lunch breaks or having the energy to eat of an evening when I finally got home, an offer to walk me to the doctor as I didn’t know where it was, during which walk, when I said thank you I heard returned “Well I have to look after my investment”. I was shocked, is that all I was – an investment?   That prompted me to start thinking well perhaps it is truly time I started to more fully invest in myself.  So blessings to he who said that and thank you.

Life is truly not about ANY of this fear based bollocks and constant robotic production/consumerism. Life is an abundant ever flowing creation and whatever we need will manifest, just as it did when we were children. How many times have doors been closed in your face only for new ones to open?   How many times have really cruddy things happened that a bit later further down the track you can see the blessings in? We came into this life to create, for we are all creators and we are all the manifestation of Creation itself, with our thoughts, actions and words, we are not here to create a living hell for each other or the planet and bleat like sheep being pushed through a corral at shearing time. To become so desensitised to the atrocities in this world which humans inflict upon life on this planet that we just turn a blind eye to them or we do not get angry or sad about them.

How many people do you know who are actually in touch with their own passions, gifts, talents, skills and belief in themselves to such an extent that they know exactly what their purpose is in life, what they are here to do and who actually have the courage to break free of the boxes and just do it? What stops most folk from swimming the depths within themselves and pulling up the abundant treasures they contain which will enable them to do that which they love to do, not that which they feel they have to do? Fear, pure and simple.

Fear based conditioning that has been spoon fed to us since we were in diapers. We fear our pain, we fear the unknown, we fear the dark, we fear the light, we fear change, we fear not having a “job”, we fear life, we fear not having a home, we fear not having an income, we fear not being loved, we fear doing the Self work that would eliminate all the fear and all the pain and all the suffering. We fear death, we fear rejection, we fear loss, we fear illness, we even fear fear. Many miss their departed loved ones and yet become fear full should those loved ones make their presence known.

My goodness is there much in this world that we don’t fear given all we have been told and taken on as beliefs? Our heads are often terrified with whatever they conjure up and yet rarely do the fears we create in our own heads ever become a physical reality. At the end of the day in each and every single moment of life and even in death we are all absolutely fine.

Death is not something to fear, it is merely a transition from one state of being to another, just because we may not have a body any longer does not mean we do not exist. Personally I reckon once you move through your fear of death there really is nothing left to fear but by jingoes our fear based conditioning has a LOT to answer for because NONE of it is actually how life truly is and can be for ever so many of us. I saw a post a while ago on Facebook which I believe said something like:

F alse

E vidence

A ppearing

R eal ………   and that is precisely what fear is, an energy that squashes and conforms and stifles ever so much joy, love, peace, wisdom, self-confidence, self-expression and trust in this world.

If it is time you threw your fear blanket off, or started to remove it piece by piece, just as it was created for you to wear, untangling all the strands of it that have been woven around you so you can start to truly live your life as it was intended you live it with love, joy, abundance, excitement and passion – I have in my tool kit a pair of scissors I can loan you and many different ways in which I can assist you to untangle it.

Cheers, C.

Copyright – C. O’Connor 2015.

•*´☾☆☽`*•

#Cheryl O’Connor.

#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.

* Creative & Artistic Therapies.

* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.

* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.

* #Isis #Meditation.

* Proud member of The Wellness Universe – www.TheWellnessUniverse.com #‎WUVIP

Newsletter Subscription @ bit.ly/CheocoNews – All subscribers will receive a 10% discount on their first initial consultation for any of my services along with 33 awesome tips and tricks to help you start deciphering your dreams, as well as the symbolism of what appears to you daily.
My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop

UPCOMING EVENTS

CONSCIOUS DREAMING WORKSHOPS – 11 APRIL, 18 APRIL & 4 MAY

INSPIRED LIVING FAIR – 12 APRIL.

In all Workshops we will be:-

Undertaking a Drumming Journey which will enable you to connect more strongly with your Power/Totem Animal. We will be visiting healing places and places where important dream messages you have forgotten will come to life in your awareness and we will also be looking at creative ways in which you can begin to decipher your dreams enabling you to turn nonsense into total sense which, in turn, assists you to create the life you want for yourself and provides you with more inner guidance for your life.

We will also be exploring fun ways in which you can more clearly understand the messages life is sending you and we will be covering very generalised symbolism in relation to some of the more common archetypal energies/symbols.

For your comfort and for grounding purposes after the journeying work it is suggested you bring a water bottle, a small snack and for your comfort you may like to bring something to cover your eyes.   You will also need to bring some writing/drawing materials. Lee is kindly providing yoga mats for you to lay on at Earthlee Angel Therapies.  If you are attending any of the other workshops you will need to bring something to lay on.

Anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be permitted to participate. It is also suggested you only have a light meal  prior to a Workshop.

11th April – Earthlee Angel Therapies – 7/171 Station Road, Burpengary.  1.30 to 3.30pm – $50.  To book please call Lee on 3142 2818.  Deposit is $10 to secure your booking.
12th April – I will be at the Inspired Living Fair, Kallangur Memorial Hall, Anzac Avenue, Kallangur from 9am to 4pm where I will have a stall.  With me I shall have some of the Steiner based Dolls and Toys my mum and I make and if all goes to plan also some artwork and other items from Terry Saleh.  You can check his work out here http://www.salehart.com
18th April – Conscious Dreaming Workshop at Wantok Multicultural Centre, Old Petrie Town, North Pine Country Park, Kurwongbah from 10.00am to 12.00pm.  Cost is $50 and payable at http://www.cheocoenterprises.com one week prior to secure your booking.

4th May – By invitation of the Paranormal Awareness Community I will be facilitating a Conscious Dreaming Workshop from 6.45 to 8.45pm at the Mango Hill Community Centre, Chermside Road, North Lakes.  Cost is $30 and payable at the door.

If you have any queries please contact me.  Cheers, Cheryl.

Copyright – C. O’Connor 2015.

•*´☾☆☽`*•

#Cheryl O’Connor.

#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.

* Creative & Artistic Therapies.

* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.

* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.

* #Isis #Meditation.

* Proud member of The Wellness Universe – www.TheWellnessUniverse.com #‎WUVIP

Newsletter Subscription @ bit.ly/CheocoNews – All subscribers will receive a 10% discount on their first initial consultation for any of my services along with 33 awesome tips and tricks to help you start deciphering your dreams, as well as the symbolism of what appears to you daily.
My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop

I HAVE MOVED

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We’ve all heard that old saying one door shuts and another opens and it was very much the situation for me this past week.

The same week my contract with Earthlee Angel Therapies at Burpengary came to an end and I chose not to renew it,  I was gifted with the offer of using the space of the Signal Room which is part of the Railway Station, located in the South West corner of the Park at Old Petrie Town, North Pine Country Park, Dayboro Road, Kurwongbah by my lovely friend and family member, who has always been supportive of me and my work since the first day I walked into his Gallery in the park some 20 years ago now, Mr  Terry Saleh, Spiritual Artist and Healer of Terry Saleh Art Global Enterprises.

The Railway Station was originally North Pine Station, opened in 1888 and it served as a Cobb & Co Station and Railway Station for over a century.  It was later re-named Petrie Station after pioneer Tom Petrie.  In 1992 it was moved to the park and it was officially re-opened by The Honourable Leneen Forde AC, Governor General of Queensland at the time in 1993.

With the help of my Warrior Woman mum, in less than 24 hours over a two day period, we cleaned and transformed the inside of the building and set it up for me to start practicing in as of this Sunday.

To have a space of my own to work from and create the Steiner Based Dolls and Toys in is just the most blessed gift I could have received this coming Easter.  No longer will I need to cart boxes of materials and supplies constantly, loading and unloading my ute, or having craft materials scattered throughout my house which is where I have been making the dolls and toys from.  Absolutely chuffed, excited and delighted is the only words close to how I was feeling when I accepted Terry’s offer.   Filled with awe inspiring gratitude when I sat quietly in the space on my own yesterday also comes somewhat close to that experience.

Please note change of availability with this move starting this Easter Sunday:

Sunday:  8am to 1pm  you will find me in the Signal Room.

Monday to Wednesday: 9am to 3pm at the Signal Room or at Lawnton.

If you would like to make an appointment please send me an email at cheoco99@yahoo.com.au

I have a vision in my head of things I  would like to do with the space in due course but really didn’t think we could get it ready as quickly as we have done, so I am pretty darn pleased with the transformation so far.   If you are passing by or just want to come and say hi – you are most welcome to do so, have a cuppa with me and lap up the peace and beauty of this space whilst you are at it.

Cheers and for those who celebrate it – Many Blessings for your Easter too.

Cheryl.

 

Celebrating the growth of Cheoco since 2012 and 2,000 Facebook Likes – THANK YOU!

Whenever we are busy creating anything we sometimes forget just how much we have already achieved. What started at the market when my work contract ended as offering folk some Dream Analysis and selling a very small amount of stock I had of the Dolls and Toys has, as I look back, grown considerably.

I now have much more stock and have moved from using a small fold up card table to acquiring 5 x 4ft tables and a 6 ft table. We have a marquee and I made the very colourful Cheoco Banner. We also acquired items for the table like baskets and little dolls houses. We then moved from outside the Gallery into the School House and I acquired two other premises to work out of late last year, Lawnton and Burpengary. In between all this I re-wrote a book and studied to receive my Diploma in Counselling as well as did much behind the scenes that I won’t go into here. I was also accepted last year for a scholarship to participate in a 6 month in-depth course with Robert Moss.

I have attended three events now – the Samford Valley Steiner School festiValley which is a bi-annual event we have also been invited to attend this year, the Handmade Expo and the Health & Harmony Expo last weekend in Caboolture. I have applied to attend several more this year as well.

I have created a website, set up the WordPress site, sourced suppliers for craft materials, created well over a 1,000 posters, written copious articles, been asked to do 2 radio interviews and I have been very busy behind the scenes networking on Social Media. As a result I became a member of The Wellness Universe. I have also had my articles and posters published on various websites and Facebook Pages.   I have worked on putting policies and procedures in place for my counselling practice and also for the purchasing/ordering of the dolls and toys, I’ve organised insurance, designed brochures, flyers and business cards and large banners and posters and as recently as this past week whilst my contract with Earthlee Angel Therapies ended at Burpengary and I won’t be renewing it, I have been offered my own space/shop front to work from. SO EXCITING and I will share more about that with you in due course.

It’s been quite a couple of very busy years and whilst I have been working with folk for a very long time in relation to Dreams and Reiki/Seichim part time, it has been and still is the most wonderful feeling to wake each and every morning inspired, excited and raring to go.

Whilst some days I may put in up to a 21 hour day like I did before the last Expo, to see a thought and a love and passion go from being a tiny little card table with a few items on it, into what I have been creating with the help of not only my Mum, who is a massive blessing in my life, but also my son and one other very important person, my son’s Uncle the lovely Terry Saleh, who without his love and support for some 20 years now, none of it would have ever happened or be happening, is not a feeling I can put into words.

To all who have supported me and who support my work on various social media platforms with your shares, your likes, your comments and suggestions, your sharing of information you find etc., big hugs and much love coming at you. THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH – Cheers and have a wonder full weekend folks. C.

FORGIVENESS – IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?

Like many I was brought up with a belief that it was necessary to forgive others who I perceived created trauma, heartbreak, grief etc., for me and were hurtful and/or abusive towards me. There were many to forgive in my life and I saw the only way to find peace and acceptance within myself was to do the inner work, feel the pain, shock, trauma etc., and to literally “let it go” and in doing so forgiveness came.

Letting go doesn’t appear to me to occur just in the mind by thinking you should let it go or trying not to think about it, if something is coming into your mind it does so for a reason and for myself letting go only occurs with releasing the energy of whatever emotions have been stored within the body and subconscious from the experience that haven’t yet been fully felt. This combined with “Forgive them for they know not what they do”, which had been drummed into my head as a child, all worked fine and dandy until recently.

There is much written about the necessity of forgiveness and for a while I saw forgiveness as being for giving to self and others.  That worked too for me but as we are all works in progress “stuff” comes up and into our awareness and we also gain more insight and understanding as “time” goes on, becoming more and more conscious.   Things we may have thought 10 – 20 years ago for example no longer apply to so many of us for we are forever evolving and learning. For myself I’ve always been learning, growing and changing and may I never stop doing so.   Much I was sharing some 20 years ago with folk, who thought I was nuts, is now very common to read or over hear being said.

An event had occurred in my life way back that bubbled up emotionally yet again for me to explore.   Of all the events in my life I would have to say that this particular one has had the greatest impact on my life and my heart since it occurred. Many say the past is in the past so just move on, forget about it, let it go, that whatever just wasn’t meant to be and I have always struggled with that concept particularly around this specific incident for I am very aware that past, present and future all exist in now and that the energy of what we label past has a huge impact on ever so many of us.

If it didn’t cultural traditions for better and sometimes yes for worse would not be handed down, people would no longer re-act to things others say and do, there would be no need for “protection” by way of the military or arms and so it goes on.   How often for example does it occur that we have a gut re-action of anxiety, fear, defensiveness or attack, which is purely based on a past experience that is merely being triggered by a present situation?

This particular event in my life is one that wounded my heart very, very deeply. It is not something I will ever forget. It has been something that I have just had to learn to live with and allow the grief to surface and be released as and when it needs to be and so as I found myself re-visiting it yet again, as we do when something is so traumatic and overwhelming that to process it all in one hit is just way too much to cope with, I had the thought and feeling that I needed to forgive behaviour which I found totally manipulative and one of the worst behaviours imaginable to me. Forgiveness had come easily with ever so many folk yet with this particular event I was struggling big time.

I could see the gifts that had been received from the event as my journey through life would never have been what it was if things had of been different and there were ever so many gifts and so much to be grateful for.   Yet forgiveness just was not coming and I started beating myself up about it not coming.   Dreams were indicating that something really yuck and awful was on its way out and physically I became ill for two weeks with flu like symptoms as I was processing it all. My bones ached to the very core of them and I just had to shut down and off to sleep, dream and rest my body.

I then stumbled across a poster that Mena of Mena Canonico DARE to be REAL had shared on Facebook and it was along the lines of there being no need for forgiveness unless we see ourselves as a victim. A light bulb went on for me in the moment of reading that poster and the truth tingles ran rapidly through my body. I was SO delighted to have this come my way as it made perfect sense to me of why I had not for a second been able to feel forgiveness towards others who had created so much grief for me and for another, with their manipulative lies. It was indeed to my heart and head an unforgiveable act of manipulation and certainly not something I would or will ever forget or forgive.

It did however send me off on a tangent at a young age that without the gift of it I never would have taken.   I could clearly see that at a Soul level if you like my path was just meant to be what it was and that these particular people had played their roles beautifully in ensuring I stay on track in order to achieve what I was here to do for myself in terms of healing and learning so that ultimately I could provide a safe, nurturing, validating and sacred space for others to explore themselves in.

Mena’s poster was a life changer for me because it is so very true that when we can see the lessons and gifts, can feel gratitude for all we have experienced and do experience, the good, the bad and the ugly, we gain acceptance and peace and we learn that truly there is nothing to forgive ourselves or anyone else for when you know with every cell of your being that you are NOT a victim, that you chose at some part of you to experience what you did and do experience for your own growth and learning.

This then led to another conversation with a longstanding and very dear friend about blame and judgement and we concluded for now that those too are all part of the Victim mentality. Of things being done “to” us rather than us taking responsibility for our part in the experience and seeing that nothing is ever done “to” us without our consent and permission at some level for we do indeed choose to participate in whatever we experience for our own development and evolution.

There is also much talk about forgiving yourself – for what exactly? For learning, for growing, for becoming the person you have become or are still becoming due to your lessons and experiences? What is there really to forgive yourself for? Why not just work on loving and being proud of yourself instead for being so brave and courageous to choose to experience ever so much that we all do here to ourselves and others, usually in ignorance, in this physical world.

Cheers, Cheryl.

Copyright – C. O’Connor 2015.

•*´☾☆☽`*•

#Cheryl O’Connor.

#Holistic #Counsellor, Author & Writer.

* Cognitive & Body Based Counselling.

* Creative & Artistic Therapies.

* Specialising in #Dream #Analysis/#Conscious #Dreaming & #Shamanic Journeying.

* #Reiki/#Seichim Treatments & Attunements.

* #Isis #Meditation.

* Proud member of The Wellness Universe – www.TheWellnessUniverse.com #‎WUVIP

Newsletter Subscription @ bit.ly/CheocoNews – All subscribers will receive a 10% discount on their first initial consultation for any of my services along with 33 awesome tips and tricks to help you start deciphering your dreams, as well as the symbolism of what appears to you daily.
My book The Promise, Skype & Email Consultations Available – bit.ly/Cheocoshop