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Working with Symbols

the Secret World of your right brain    

"A person who forgoes the use of his symbolic
skills is never really free "

Mihali Cszikszentmihalyi,
from: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, 1990

A
good way to 'bypass' the rational left brain. 
fast abstract
Images and symbols are the language of the unconscious and of the body.

They have power. 



By consciously accessing and working with them, positive changes can take place.
The possibility to travel to your inner world and to exchange the hidden treasures that you find there for outer values is the transformation that will lead to changes in the outside world and your daily life.






Creativity makes use of the methods of the right brain in an almost imperceptible way. Just giving expression to something in the form of painting, or by using clay or stone without the pressure of having to make something 'beautiful' gives an immediate sense of relaxation.The unconscious has found a way to express itself and to reduce tension. This same tension, when inhibited, can give rise to physical complaints, illness, a weak immune system, muscular pains, insomnia, nightmares, addictions,- food, sweets, alcohol, smoking- or can cause conflicts in relationships and at work. Being creatively involved without thinking about the result creates a kind of pleasant trance in which it is easy to forget the time or what is going on around you. It is the task of the art therapist to follow and guide you in this process.

I
ntuition 
is the ability to be aware of- and to decode the language of your five senses, to shape the stream of incoming information with the use of an experience of a lifetime into a feeling of direction, the ability to take the next step, the facility to slide around the obstacles on your path or to find the right tools to assail them. Which way you choose is a personal choice, dependent on your energy level, your wisdom, the phase of life you are in. When your old and tried methods no longer work, and you hit the same wall time and time again till it hurts too much, you are ready to start looking for new roads, someone who can help you get an overview, new methods to recognise your independent instinct.

t h e  g r e a t   r e a l i t y  s h o w
It's only been a few hundred years that we have been so focussed on the outer world as the only reality. People have always been aware of the interaction between the inner and the outer world, and adorned their temples, furniture, pottery, tiles and clothes with patterns of the stars, nature, 'power' animals, gods and goddesses.
Only in the last few hundred years science has replaced much of religion, and since we have been able to produce so many things our modern society has become obsessed with what we can create in the outside world. Even human bodies are being modelled according to taste, and in producing and obtaining so much of what we can imagine, we seem to have forgotten the world inside where these images and desires actually originate.
Daily life with the concept of Monday to Friday and then, thank god, weekend, seems the only rhythm we know. We compensate desperately for the lack of dreaming time by watching television and films when we don't have to work.
It also has become the preferred method to access our emotions.  Amazingly it is precisely the medium of television and film, that now brings back the interest in 'things between heaven and earth', with mass interest in and discussion around other realities, ranging from Char and Derek Ogilvie to Oprah Winfrey running a series of online- and televised seminars with Eckhart Tolle  on "A New Earth".

Dreams form the connection between your inner- and your outer world. They contain information in the form of images about the
 things we have experienced -or even will be experiencing. They seem to come from a place outside time and space.
In our society we do
not pay attention to dreams. To our peril. It would save us precious time and effort, and needless pain, if we would . Dreams are the language of our intuition and contain precious information about the processes and impressions that we haven't been able to digest, caught up and busy as we were in the world of goal achieving, lists to work of  and ceaseless activity. Our dreams know which dangers lurk behind the seemingly friendly interactions at work or what our real feelings are about the people that we meet everyday in a casual manner. We run away from monsters that we never believe in when it's daylight again. Dreams tell us long before we have thought about it, when it is time to move, to change our relationships, what makes us sick. What we are afraid of but don't pay heed to.
They even tell us that we are much happier then we think - sometimes we can even
fly or jump of high buildings without coming to harm and see beautiful landscapes or make love to people we thought we could never reach...
And in dreams we are never separated from the people that were once a part of our life, still inhabiting the forgotten corners of our heart.


Conscious dreaming, inner journeys and vision quests.
We can combine our left brain and our right brain. There are countless pathways between them that we seldomly -consciously- use. When we do, it's a very pleasant feeling. When both our brain halves function in harmony there is a feeling of peace comparable to a kind of light trance. This can happen spontaneously, whilst jogging, or when juggling balls, whilst cycling smoothly on a long road, whilst dancing, or making doodles on a notepad during a lecture, when watching through the window of the train whilst listening to music on headphones.  Or building sandcastles with a child on the beach. Or by being creative without thinking of the result or the next task.
When we choose to consciously enter the world of dreams, we need training, concentration, alertness. Or else we will fall asleep or, be overly awake and question the images we encounter with our daily brain. It helps to have someone to guide you into to your inner world. This is called an 'inner journey'. First you relax in your chair, then you relax your body and from there you go into the journey of your choice. This can be with the intention of receiving an answer to a question, or in order to deal with an inner conflict that you want to solve, you can work with body symptoms in this way or you can enjoy to travel and explore the inner worlds and their inhabitants. Time is of no consequence here, and you may feel that you have been away for a long time whereas only half an hour has passed. All the time whilst you are consciously dreaming, you can, if you want to, quickly come back to the outer world to deal with whatever is asking your attention there. 

Inner journeys have a powerful healing effect and can be done once or over years. You can learn to do them by yourself or with the use of a cd with guided journeys or drumming. The inner journey, as well as other forms of working with images have been and are being used by shamans of all cultures, including present day therapists, healers and psychiatrists.  Inner journeys can also be done in a group. It's good after an inner journey to write things down, and to go outside in nature for a bit, where you will then often find symbols of the very things you were encountering in the inner world. This is called 'synchronicity '- the occurrence of inner and outer events responding to one another.
 
It is also possible to be in a light state of conscious dreaming whilst being in the outside world, preferably in a place without too many people. You can pursue this actively and spend time in nature in this way, this is called a 'vision quest'', where you seek answers in the mirror of the outside world and of nature by the encounters and symbols that represent the things you need to know about yourself at this time. It takes practice and training to be able to use, and trust your perception in this way. Then it can become second nature and you can even do this in a busy shopping street.
Connecting the inner and outer world can be a very enriching experience and make your life calmer and at the same time more intense, so that you need much less stimulus to feel that you are really alive.


Time, space and other measurements

So what are the realities of the 'inner worlds'? If we experience the third dimension in this world, does that mean there are other dimensions that we can learn to perceive by crossing the boundaries of time and space?
These questions have occupied me since I first realised that at times I was able to know things about people, situations or events that did not seem reasonably possible. And with a physicist father topics like the concept of 'infinity' were introduced to me at an early age.
When I was about 12 years old I became aware that not everybody experiences this, as I had always assumed. I am skeptical despite my fertile imagination and want 'proof' of things. It seems to me now that time and space are measures we use to define (and also limit) our dimension. The way length and breadth can help us outline a square on a piece of paper, for instance when you want to get the right size for buying a plank of wood to use as a shelve in your bookcase.
With some training it is possible to go beyond these measurements of time and space, as so many films already show us. If you have ever edited a video or used animation software, then you have seen how the 'time line' works! You drop things in it or you remove them and it changes the scene in the future and in the past. 
As children we don't have this perception of time anyway, it takes quite long for a child to learn about yesterday and tomorrow. To small children there is only the now, and people that leave through the door are just gone!  Just as easily as we go to sleep at night and leave the confines behind of our physical environment, it is possible to step into other dimensions that are just beyond ours, it only adds a line to the drawing, the way you dot in the third dimension in your box to make it look like a cube. In my experience with doing readings for people about their lives, we move along this time line -or spiral- according to our intention, and by making choices we choose one path or another. 'Seeing the future' is therefore merely the ability to see what comes towards us on that particular line. Making a new choice can change that. And looking at the past in a different way, for instance with forgiveness and understanding instead of resentment and pain, can connect us to the 'centre hub' of the wheel of time in a way that strengthens us and changes our future choices.


In individual sessions, either open consultations or specific topic areas any or all of these methods will be used.
Workshops and ongoing groups on specific topics are also available.




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