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

On Longing

By Kristine Enger

What is this yearning that we feel in our body, heart, and soul, for something, for someone? For a deeper soul connection, a soulmate, a twin flame. The longing to be seen, understood and loved. To feel completely safe. Where does this longing come from and will we ever find that elusive, missing piece so we will feel complete, whole and at peace? How can it be that when be truly believe we have met the perfect partner, after a while, a loneliness slowly starts to seep into our awareness, just when we thought we had it all.

Are we ultimately looking for ourselves, to express and be who we truly are? Is our divine counterpart the image reflected back to us when we look at ourselves in the mirror? Could it be that we are living our lives through our reflected self? And that it is our real self that we ache for, the one calling us home? Can we ever be whole and live without longing? A deep acceptance of the present moment with all its unanswered questions and messy situations will strangely soothe us. For a while. It is time to rest. And we will momentarily call off the search. Until we start again, fuelled by that very same longing, yearning for that deeper connection, venturing further and further afield into the unknown, knowing our heart is the compass, but reading it wrong like so many times in the past. Longing is what makes us feel alive, vulnerable and strong. It is calling us to grow; it is our connection to the mystery, to the Divine.

Mindfulness is Heartfulness

by Helen Williams

I love this drawing! I love how it shows the brain leaping into the arms of the waiting heart. I love how it shows the heart, anchored to the trapeze bar with arms outstretched, welcoming the thinking mind. In my experience this is what the essence of Mindfulness Practice brings us.

People often speak of not having the courage to trust themselves, of a deep fear and distrust towards their own selves. Yet on the deepest level of our being, we are driven by a yearning to be known. To be able to leap into the warm, welcoming open arms of a waiting heart and to feel safe, wanted, to know that we belong, we matter, that we can be held.

Mindfulness Practice, through the use of attention to our breath and the present moment, allows us to begin this slow, gentle, persistent journey into our own waiting heart. As we learn over time to open into ourselves, to experience our inner knowing, and to accept ourselves as we are, we realize we are not our thoughts. We are wholehearted, open, wise, knowing awareness, centred within our heart. With Mindfulness, we begin this journey of self trust, of coming home to the heart of ourselves.

It takes practice, patience, determination and community, to help us connect to ourselves and to each other fearlessly, but many wonderful people have told me over the years that practicing mindfulness has completely changed their lives and the image above explains how perfectly. The understanding that I am not my thoughts has helped them to leap into a new experience of the heart of themselves, bringing a calmer perspective to their daily lives. In the beginning, it can feel every bit as risky as swinging off a trapeze, yet learning to accept ourselves as we are, answers our deepest longing to be known. At Mindful ME we don’t offer lessons in trapeze artistry!! We do, however, offer a sincere, openhearted community and a very warm welcome to come exploring Mindfulness with us.

Expore Mindfulness Practice with Helen on Monday nights from 7pm – 9pm. Contact us to register or for more information.

Silence, please

by Isabel Galiardo

TV series, WhatsApp messages, Skype conversations, Facebook posts. News, news, comments, chats,…Breakfasts, meals, coffees and teas, brunches and movies.

We are part of a culture that promotes noise. We live permanently bombarded by stimuli that make it difficult or almost impossible to internalize and connect with our interior. The lucrative business of entertainment keeps us alienated, absorbed in information, audio and visual messages of all sorts, keeping us distracted and disconnected from our selves.

We are afraid of listening internally. Afraid of encountering our insecurities, unresolved issues, loneliness and emptiness. We keep focusing our attention on something external to avoid the pain, but in doing so we are missing the connection with our essence, a place inside of us in which we can find the peace, clarity and strength we are yearning for.

Why is it so difficult to remain connected if we have all those treasures waiting for us in the depths of our being? Because first we need to fight the dragon protecting the door.

The dragon is the symbol or our fears, limiting beliefs and painful wounds. We need to confront him. We don’t want to kill him but make him our ally. We can make peace with our past. How? By accepting and embracing it, which will gives us the power to transcend it.

When we have the courage to fight the dragon, when we break through the layers of our conditioned mind, we access an inner space where we can experience the joy of just being.

Learning to Love

I admit I have been searching for love ever since I can remember. I have looked for it in novels, in movies, in friendship, in romantic partners, in motherhood and in my spiritual quest. After years of searching I have come to the conclusion that it is the true purpose of our existence.

I believe this planet is nothing but a school of love. Our biographical events are different scenarios for learning about love. Throughout our lives we experience all sorts of vicissitudes and adventures, ups and downs, crises and ecstasies that help us explore love in its most diverse manifestations.

I have suffered the absence of love and love’s betrayal. I have suffered from unrequited love and the fear of losing it, and each one of these experiences has taught me something about myself and my capacity to love. Every conflict, every disappointment, has given me the opportunity to discover more about my wounds, my insecurities and my lack of self love. The pain and the need for answers have brought me to my inner search, widening my heart and making it more encompassing.

When we love we become vulnerable and exposed and that is when life penetrates and teaches us. Through our relationships we learn to love more and better. We develop our ability to give, to expand our own boundaries and to conquer our own demons. Love chisels us, shapes us, polishes us.

As the poet Gibran says:

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Isabel works with couples and individuals. If you would like to book a private session with Isabel please contact us today.