The Other as a Mirror

By Isabel Galiardo
The only way to overcome the vicious cycles we create in our relationships is to understand that our partner is mirroring our shadow aspects. By this, I mean our blind spots, aspects of ourselves that we are not aware of, as they are avoided because they somehow create pain and contradict our self-image.
It is good to know that our relationships serve the purpose of healing the old wounds that we carry inside of ourselves. Our partner is not responsible for fixing, rescuing or saving us but he/she can contribute immensely to our growth. How? By giving us the opportunity to look at our own ‘reflection’ in the dynamics we create together. In order to experience our partner as a mirror, we need to shift from a codependent relationship to a mindful one.
We can use conflict as an opportunity to get to know ourselves better, to understand the disowned members of our internal family and welcome them. If I don’t accept my neediness it is likely that I will judge the other when he/she is dependent and vulnerable. If I have a strong need for pleasing people in order to feel loved and included I will get frustrated and let them down when their behaviour is not reciprocated.
Being in a conscious relationship requires paying attention and staying present. It is as if all of a sudden we become detectives of our own psyches. We follow the clues. We shift from autopilot to a mindful state. In order to do so, we can start by bringing our awareness to our bodies when we react to a comment, or to our partner’s behaviour. By acknowledging that a trigger can activate our wounds but most of the times are not the real cause of our painful emotion, we learn to stay in touch with whatever arises without immediately reacting. This choice implies the willingness to embark on a journey of self-inquiry that refers to oneself again and again rather than pointing our finger at the other. Instead of blaming the other person for our feelings, we own them. This allows us to express assertively rather than judgmentally and listen openly without having to go into defence mode.
‘’We want to be loved in a very particular way, one that soothes our emotional wounds from the past.’’ John Welwood

The Motion of Emotions

What you resist, persists. When you avoid and deny your pain and internal discomfort you are neglecting and abandoning yourself.
Self-care is not only about going on holidays or taking hot water baths. To take care of myself means that I’m in touch with the totality of who I am at any given time. I care, and therefore I listen to myself and I take responsibility for my wellbeing in any area of my life: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
We are wired to avoid pain. We can escape from it in multiple ways, from the most obvious- entering a new relationship, finding a new job or moving countries- to the more subtle ones like distracting ourselves with work, sex, food or alcohol.
When we consciously choose to sit with the pain and we endure the discomfort and the fear, keeping the presence and the connection with what is arising, we are fighting against our natural instinct of survival and reshaping our minds. When we train ourselves, through meditation and mindfulness to remain aware and fully present, without dissociating from the emotion or running away, the so-called ‘’negative’’ emotions become our allies, instead of toxic influences that poison our lives.
My emotions put me in motion. My anger, experienced mindfully helps me set proper boundaries. Today I am tired and cannot give you more. My sadness helps me grieve the many losses we encounter, losing a friend or a lover, a job, an opportunity. Healthy emotions are happening here and now, and they are energy expressing itself through ourselves.
That is why our awareness is so fundamental. We need to discern between the aliveness of the fresh, raw emotion related to the present time and serving a purpose, and the narrative I tell myself based on past experiences, which makes me get stuck in it. The narrative feeds the idea of inadequacy and separateness while the raw emotion is the messenger that tells me what is necessary and important in order to take care of myself. You choose!
Isabel works with individuals and couple’s in consciously expressing and exploring their emotions, stories, and here and now. To make an appointment with Isabel contact us. 

Realidad o ficción

Por Isabel Galiardo
Definitivamente las cosas no son lo que parecen.
Lo que tomamos por real es falso y lo que consideramos irreal encierra la verdad.
El personaje al que llamamos yo y al que defendemos y protegemos es tan solo la autoimagen con la que nos identificamos y nos presentamos ante el mundo.
Este yo superficial no tiene nada de autentico ni de real. Su existencia se basa en la necesidad de ser aceptado por los demás y ser aceptable ante mi mismo.
Es el resultado de nuestro condicionamiento, las ideas con las que nos definimos y los patrones y mecanismos de defensa aprendidos que nos acompañan desde la infancia. Esta falsa identidad nos ofrece una cierta sensación de seguridad y protección, es por ello que nos aferramos a ella.
Lo cierto es que cumplio una función vital en el pasado, permitiéndonos sobrevivir y adaptarnos al medio con los limitados recursos con que contábamos, pero ahora solo  limita y empobrece nuestra existencia.
Hacerse adulto no tiene nada que ver con cumplir años sino con nuestra capacidad de hacernos conscientes de cual es nuestro verdadero ser. No se trata tanto de lo que hacemos o tenemos, sino de lo que somos. Se trata de ser, de existir y para ello no hay recetas ni formulas. Madurar emocionalmente requiere que salgamos de nuestras guaridas, que nos liberemos de nuestras armaduras y nos dejemos tocar y afectar por los demás. Que soltemos nuestros falsos ídolos, nuestras infantiles certezas y nos relacionemos con la existencia en un dialogo de atención y escucha atenta. Al mantenernos íntegros y fieles a nuestra esencia empezamos a vivir expuestos a lo impredecible, en vez de aferrados a la ilusión de control que nos propone nuestra falsa identidad. Al ser auténticos y fieles a nosotros mismos, permanecemos abiertos y presentes a la dinámica y creativa corriente de la vida.
‘’Las personas no deberían pensar tanto en lo que tienen que hacer; tendrían que meditar mas bien sobre lo que son.”
Maestro Eckart
Isabel works with individuals and couples seeking to explore their relationships and themselves in an authentic way. Contact us to make an appointment to see Isabel or attend one of her workshops.  

Reality or Fiction

by Isabel Galiardo
Things are certainly not what they seem. What we believe to be real is false and what we consider unreal actually contains the truth.
The character we call I, which we defend and protect, is just the self-image which we present ourselves to the world. This superficial self is neither authentic nor real. Its existence is based on the need to be accepted by others. It is the result of our conditioning, the sum of ideas we have about ourselves, the learned patterns and defense mechanisms that accompany us since childhood, offering a false sense of protection. It helped us in the past to survive and adapt to the environment with the limited resources we then had, but now only limits and impoverishes our existence.
Becoming an adult has nothing to do with time passing, but with our ability to become aware of our true being. It is not so much about what we do or have but who we are. It is about being, about existing, and for that, there are no recipes or formulas. To mature emotionally requires that we leave our lairs to let ourselves be touched and affected by others. We need to let go of our false idols, our infantile need of certainties, and to relate instead to existence in a dialogue of awareness and attentive listening. When we are true to our essence, we start living exposed to the unpredictable, instead of clinging to the illusion of being in control.
When we are authentic and true to ourselves we remain open and present to the dynamic and creative current of life.
” One must not always think so much about what one should do, but rather what one should be’’.
Meister Eckart
Isabel works with individuals and couples seeking to explore their relationships and themselves in an authentic way. Contact us to make an appointment to see Isabel or attend one of her workshops.  

You Need Only Water, Light and a New Pot

By Isabel Galiardo
I have a plant in the living room that I rescued from the garbage several years ago. It is giving flowers and full of life. It oozes beauty and joy. For me, it is a metaphor for what happens when we accept and take care of ourselves.
To throw the plant away because it has dead leaves and is growing crooked may seem the most logical thing to do. We think that if it is no longer useful, it is better to buy a new one.
We often do that with ourselves. We want to get rid of our faults and imperfections because they cause shame, pain and fear and make us “look bad”. But the difficulty and pain show us aspects of ourselves that need to be taken care of and accepted.
When you deny your fear, your anger, your shame or your guilt, you are mutilating yourself. It is not about wallowing in pain, nor about living as a victim of the past, but looking at it from a broader and more comprehensive, more compassionate and conscious perspective.
Do not try to get rid of the dry leaves or the parts that have grown uneven or deformed, on the contrary, welcome them and give them water and light (love and consciousness).
Bring light to the aspects that are in the shade. Orient yourself towards the light -remembering your true essence and elevating your vibratory frequency through spiritual practices will give you a greater awareness of yourself.
If you need a new pot, move to a larger space that allows you to continue growing and give flowers. Dare to consider life in broader and more expansive terms.
The most important task facing humanity is learning to love. Love starts with oneself and has nothing to do with a narcissistic or egocentric attitude, but with the ability to accept what I am at each moment without resistance or attachment. Letting life flow through me, letting LOVE speak through me.
Self-love and love for others are two sides of the same coin. What I do not tolerate of myself will be a source of conflict when I see it in the outside world. My own personal war immediately moves to a war with the world.
Let us make peace with what we are and we will begin to give flowers of hope, creativity, joy and unity.
“The goal of this work is not ‘get rid of your story’ but to have a more flexible relationship with it.”
– Matt Licata

Miedo O Intuicion?

by Isabel Galiardo 
Como podemos distinguir nuestra voz interior, lo que llamamos intuición, de la voz del miedo?
El miedo nos ayuda a reconocer y prevenir peligros, esta para protegernos. Sin el nos comportaríamos de forma temeraria y desconoceríamos nuestros propios limites.Cuando cobra excesivo protagonismo nos vuelve defensivos, agresivos, nos aísla, nos hace percibir el mundo como hostil.
 La voz del miedo esta vinculada al pasado y es parte de nuestro condicionamiento. Gracias a la experiencia acumulada, la personal y la de nuestros antecesores, podemos manejarnos en el mundo de manera mas previsible y segura. Pero cuando nuestro viejos miedos infantiles nos poseen, retrocedemos emocionalmente en el tiempo y percibimos la realidad a través de la lente de nuestro niño interior, que se siente desamparado, aterrorizado, incapaz,… Medimos nuestras capacidades en función de las experiencias pasadas, momentos en los que teníamos menos recursos.
Nuestra voz interior esta conectada con el presente y con el futuro, nos guía en la dirección mas apropiada para nuestro crecimiento y evolución. Nos muestra formas creativas y originales de ser nosotros mismos, liberados de nuestro condicionamiento y nuestras viejas heridas, invitándonos a expresa nuestro potencial y a contribuir a la totalidad de la existencia.
Nuestra voz interior expresa nuestra esencia, nuestro verdadero ser y esta conectada con nuestra verdad mas profunda, que es atemporal y universal, pero que se expresa de manera única y personal en cada uno de nosotros.
Para escucharla es necesario crear un mínimo de silencio y de quietud. Esta voz habla de manera sutil, casi en susurros; mientras que el miedo es reactivo y habla a gritos.
Date tiempo para conectar contigo mismo y para escucharte, para crear un dialogo con esta voz que habla desde la certeza y el conocimiento, que sabe..Después tomate un tiempo para asimilar la información y para entenderla y finalmente reúne el coraje y las fuerzas para llevarla a la practica.
Nuestra voz interior nos pide coherencia con nuestra verdad mas profunda y valor para alcanzar nuestro pleno potencial y por tanto nos desafía y nos moviliza para que abandonemos nuestra zona de comfort y exploremos nuevas posibilidades.Esto no siempre es fácil pero sin duda es inmensamente gratificante.


Fear or Intuition?

By Isabel Galiardo 
How can we distinguish between our inner voice, which we call intuition, from the voice of fear?
Fear helps us recognize and prevent dangers. It is there to protect us, without it we would behave recklessly and ignore our own limits. When it takes excessive prominence it makes us defensive, aggressive, isolates us and makes us perceive the world as hostile.
The voice of fear is linked to the past and is part of our conditioning. Our biographical experiences and those accumulated by our predecessors allow us to manage the world in a more predictable and safe way. But when our old childhood fears take hold of us we go back emotionally in time and perceive reality through the lens of our inner child, who feels helpless, terrified, incapable, … it measures our capacity based on past experiences, moments in which we had fewer resources.
Our inner voice is connected with the present and with the future, it guides us in the most appropriate direction for our growth and evolution. It shows us creative and original ways of being ourselves, freed from our conditioning and our old wounds, inviting us to express our potential and contribute to the totality of existence.
Our inner voice expresses our essence and is connected with our deepest truth, which is timeless and universal, but which is expressed in a unique and personal way in each one of us.
To listen to it, it is necessary to create a minimum of silence and quietness. This voice speaks subtly, almost in whispers, while fear is more reactive and speaks loudly.
Give yourself time to connect with yourself and to listen to yourself, to create a dialogue with this voice that speaks from certainty and knowledge, from a place of inner knowing. Then, take some time to assimilate the information and to understand it and finally, gather your courage and strength to put it into practice.
Our inner voice asks us for coherence and courage to reach our full potential and therefore challenges and mobilizes us to leave our comfort zone and explore new possibilities. This is not always easy but it is certainly immensely rewarding.

Destroying to Build

by Isabel Galiardo
One of our greatest fears is the fear of change. Change forces us to face the unknown, to abandon our references and our security, to enter new and uncertain territory. Change is death, it implies the end of a time and the beginning of another.
In the Hindu Trinity, Shiva, the God of destruction and death, plays a fundamental role in the cycle of existence. Without these forces there would be no evolution, there would be no transformation, we would always remain stuck in the same place, trapped, fixed, dead.
We face a wonderful paradox: without death, there is no life. In order to grow and evolve, we need to die, to change. It is essential to remember that change is necessary, that it is fundamental for our progress. Change invites us to develop different aspects of our being and offers us the possibility of experiencing different dimensions of our humanity, always with the purpose of becoming the best version of ourselves.
Our first great move occurs at birth, we die to our intrauterine existence by leaving the womb to begin our life as individuals on earth. Our baby dies to give way to the child, the child gives way to the teenager and then to the young person, the adult and the elder. These different vital stages lead us through successive deaths and resurrections. Life drags us, drives us forward, mobilizes and transforms us, killing us and making us be reborn a thousand times.
On a psychological level, whenever we gain understanding, abandon an old belief, or let go of a certain prejudice, we are making space for the birth of something new, more encompassing and inclusive. It is a liberating and enriching act which is preceded by tension, rigidity and resistance. Something is about to come to an end and we find it hard to let go.
In times of change, we feel fear, we contract and we resist. This resistance is due to us not trusting our abilities or being unable to make sense of the impending change. We fear the unknown. The key is to trust, to go ahead and move towards the apparent emptiness despite the vertigo. At that moment we do not have the clarity to see where our steps will lead us to, but we do have the certainty that something has started and that within it lies a growth potential. Then, with the perspective that time gives us, we will realize that what we interpreted as a loss would end up being a gain, a progress on an inner level.
The processes of change are fantastic opportunities to better understand our fears and attachments. In those moments we have the opportunity to recognize them and face them with consciousness.
Each biographical stage entails its own challenges. Depending on our limitations and our strengths, we will live each change as an expansive and rewarding phase or as an intolerable and difficult loss to overcome. In any case, it is about cultivating the basic trust in life which sustains and leads us along the paths that are necessary for our learning and evolution. When we trust, transitions are more fluid, we relax and cooperate, putting ourselves in consonance with and at the service of existence. If we connect with the wise and loving current of life, then life becomes an adventure, magic and miraculous and we are available to dance with her movements.

Nuestros Hijos No Son Nuestros

De forma inconsciente manipulamos a nuestros hijos, les exigimos que se comporten como deseamos, o si no, les retiramos nuestro afecto. Así hemos sido educados y así educamos.

‘’Si no te comes la papilla mama se va a poner triste’’. ‘’No disgustes a papa.” ‘’Me has decepcionado.” Hemos crecido tratando de ser lo que no somos, tratando de agradar y cumplir con las expectativas ajenas, y pasamos gran parte de nuestras vidas aterrorizados ante la posibilidad de dejar de ser amados y aceptados.

Hemos creado una sociedad competitiva donde solo puede haber ganadores o perdedores. Debemos cumplir unos estándares, aunque sea a costa de sacrificar nuestra esencia. Ganar dinero, tener buena apariencia, obtener méritos académicos y profesionales son las máximas aspiraciones en nuestra cultura.  Nuestros hijos viven desde bien temprano sometidos a la presión que implica estar siempre bajo examen. Hay que obtener resultados, pasar exámenes, aprender idiomas y destacar en esta carrera desesperada por salir adelante. Ya no hay tiempo para ser, para jugar, para aprender por el mero placer de hacerlo.

Nuestra cultura ha hecho prevalecer la mente sobre el corazón. Nos enorgullecemos de nuestras conquistas en el terreno científico y tecnológico, pero hemos perdido algo fundamental en el camino, nuestro corazón. Sin el estamos incompletos, somos seres tripartitos: cabeza, corazón e instinto.

Enseñémosles a desarrollar una relación consigo mismos en la que escuchen sus tripas y su corazón, además de a sus cabezas, en la que puedan reconocer lo que necesitan y desean, no lo que se espera de ellos. Así podrán compartir desde su grandeza, desde su pleno potencial, en lugar de encogerse para amoldarse a nuestras expectativas.

Our Children Are Not Ours

by Isabel Galiardo
We unconsciously manipulate our children, we demand that they behave as we wish, or else we withdraw our affection. Thus we have been educated and so we educate.
”If you don’t eat your food mom will be sad”, “Don’t make your dad angry”, “You have disappointed me”. We have grown up trying to be what we are not, trying to please and fulfil the expectations of others, spending much of our lives terrified at the possibility of ceasing to be loved and accepted.
We have created a competitive society where there can only be winners or losers. We must meet standards, even at the cost of sacrificing our essence. Making money, having good looks, gaining academic and professional merits are the highest aspirations in our culture. Our children live from an early age subjected to the pressure of being always under examination. You have to get results, pass exams, learn languages and excel in this desperate race to get ahead. There is no longer time to be, to play, to learn for the sheer pleasure of doing it.
Our culture has made the mind prevail over the heart. We take pride in our achievements in science and technology, but we have lost something fundamental on the way, our heart. Without it we are incomplete. We are tripartite beings: head, heart and instinct.
Let us teach our children to develop a relationship with themselves in which they listen to their guts and heart, in addition to their heads, in which they can recognize what they need and want, not only what is expected of them. In this way, they will be able to share from their greatness, from their full potential, instead of shrinking to conform to our expectations.