The Healing and the Healer.

An essential part of brave-becoming is cultivating our capacity to sit with ourselves as both the healing, and the healer.

The first-person identity of your recovering sojourner is the healing. You are healing. The second-person perspective of the facilitator of the recovery is assumed by the healer. You are also the healer.

Your healing and the healer have a relationship together. It is not a power dance or a power struggle. It is a relationship between equals. This is the essence of spiritual self-direction; to be able to directly impart the grace, compassion, power and spirit of God unto ourselves, and do us good first before any other. In fact, we must be engaged in this work of self-directed spiritual healing before we can minister to anyone beyond our own person.

Can you hear her speaking gently to you, as you sit beside the path? Can you hear your healer, your sage, your minister, your mother, your medicine woman, dear one?

She is a sentinel to the maelstrom or method of the healings’ process. The healer sits with the healing, and together they patiently untangle the confusing, painful narratives of the past, threading them with patience and diligence like mala beads are threaded on a cord. She sits with the healing as she worries the mala in her trembling fingers, listens as she repeats the story to herself like a prayer, holding the sacred space open on her behalf.

Can you imagine this relationship, my dear one, this symbiosis between the knowing in your self, and the yet to know? Can you create this image in your mind of holding space for yourself, of becoming your most patient teacher, your most wise sage, your most compassionate friend?

Listen. Open. Receive.

Come, sweet brave becoming, and lay your head in my lap just now. Let go of the tangle you clutch in your palm; the mess of stories and memories and betrayals and loneliness and shame and fear. Loosen your grip, you are safe now. You are with the healer, and I have made a safe space for you to rest. There is no judgement here.

Everything you’ve done, and everything done to you? I know you hold these things so tightly, so tightly they pierce you and yet you will not let them go. My darling, just for a little while, let those little sharp stones fall from your grasp – let them fall. Don’t be afraid I will hide them from you as you sleep, or cast them away. I will not betray you. I know when you’re ready, you’ll do the work yourself. Perhaps we will remake them? Perhaps you will build a little altar from them, and move on? I cannot say. This is not my work. I am the healer, you are the healing. Let us only allow them to fall from your hand just now, and perhaps imagine we can spend a little time resting. Be with me, as I am with you, little healing. Everything is all right. You are safe. All is well, and we are well.

This is the voice of your healer. Can you hear her? She is not within me. She is within you, with you now. And she is ready to create sacred space with you, for you. You do not need to conjure her up, or bring her to you from the outside. Her words are your words. Her voice is your voice. Her deep kindness and love for you, is your own. You need only be willing to be open to receive.

……………
(c) Jo Hilder
From “The Healing and the Healer”
– The Book Of the Brave.
Coming soon.

How to shut out the world, and it all be okay.

There will be times when you feel strongly about connecting with others and building ties and making relationships and being around people, and you’ll seem to have endless energy for them all the time and take them out and have them around and give them everything you have, and it will never drain you or tire you and you’ll think, I am made to do this, this is my thing, people are so my jam, I’ll be doing it like this forever, don’t ever leave, I will never leave.

And there are times when you will withdraw into your bower and turn down the lights, and close the door and hope nobody notices and keep the noises low and the distractions to a minimum, and you won’t seek out contact with anyone much, or anyone at all, and you’ll surround yourself with things very old and very new that give you comfort and a connection to the unseen world and childhood comforts, and things that live silently and need little care or attention, or which draw your complete attention, which need a safe, quiet place to do their thing, but do not speak, like a candle, or a cluster of feathers, or a circle of stones, or a tray of tea, or a small dog or cat, or a book that needs reading, or one that needs writing. And that will be all you need.

And you’ll need it very, very much, And that will be okay. And that will be all right.

How To Love Your Darkness.

There is a time and season for negativity. I absolutely believe this. There’s a place for seeing things cynically and refusing to be cheered with platitudes and cliches. If you’re experiencing a period where your perspective is decidedly blunt and pessimistic, and you can’t see any good reason to change it, good for you. And I mean that.

Go with it. I often do. I especially found this empowering when I was recovering through cancer and treatment. Fuck all that positive thinking. Fuck all those sunshiney exhortations to just think positive. I didn’t want to be happy and just think positive. I needed to get down with my black thoughts and face off with it all. I didn’t want to make nice for others, or talk myself out of my fears. I needed to go with them down the rabbit hole and see where and what they led to.

It did me good. I’ve seen my dark side and my rock bottom. I hit it arse first and sat there with it, swearing and being a cynical shit and refusing to be cheered up or pulled out of it. I lived in a dark place for a long time, made friends with death and dying, became acquainted with worst possible case scenarios like you might a peculiar new neighbor, and learned they weren’t that scary or peculiar after all. I learned this about my worst case scenarios – sometimes they happen, and when they do, I can do them. I can go there. I am strong. I am smart. I’m also allowed to be scared, cry and fall apart. But I know what to do when they happen. Because I went there. Because I refused to talk myself happy or only think positive.

Truth is, we don’t always get the sunny outcome we are praying for. Positive thoughts have their time and place. But so does your melancholy. Just feel it all. Truly, that’s my advice to my friends who are going through cancer, or loving an addict, or being an addict, or breaking up a relationship, or watching someone slip away. Feel it all. Don’t be afraid. Love all the parts of you, even your cranky, negative, cynical side. It’s still you. However, be careful not to use your negativity to hurt others. Don’t become a bully, or a jerk, to your friends and community. Some won’t cope with your negativity, but lots of them will love it easily. Let them do it. Let them help you love the dark places in you. Love them into the light.

May you be loved into the light today, sweet friend.

The Wound.

Dear one, I want to ask you a few things. May I?

Do you feel innately and deeply attuned to perceptions others have about you? Is your consciousness pockmarked and pitted with little, unidentifiable fears?

Are you smattered with poorly healed, puckered emotional and spiritual scars you rue, but which cannot be tied to any specific incident? Do you believe you are filled with sin so grievous it could never be forgiven? Do you believe all the wrongs committed by you, and those committed against you, have their origins in your intrinsic badness and unworthiness?

Do you use the word “deserve” a lot, either in the negative or the affirmative? Do you find yourself doubting your own judgement on everything? Do you accept blame for mistakes, crimes, misdeeds, shortcomings and faults others point out to you, never exploring the possibility these may not be wrongdoings at all but are perhaps the real-world results of your intrinsic strength, wisdom, beauty and goodness? Is it easy for others to change your mood, and your mind? Are you, my darling, an unwilling, unwitting carrier of shame?

If so, it’s because you’ve learned to be.

For many of us, our welfare and survival depended on it, unless we were fortunate enough to be born into a situation where the goodness, wholeness, and purity of children and the vulnerable are considered holy things never to be interfered with.

Shame is endemic. And it is toxic for humans, and everything we touch.

As we mature, many of us arrive at a kind of resignation about the state of the world, feeling it is somehow different from the way it seemed when we were very young. We feel often the fault for this perception lies with us, and not with something that happened to us, despite our being the beneficiary of a great body of evidence to suggest otherwise. This is just how the world is, we lament, and it’s not a better place now. This is not a great epiphany, sweet heart – it’s a kind of misunderstanding. The world is not an awful place. And you are not a fool. Something happened back there. Something that caused a deep hurt in you, and made you change the way you saw things. You had to do this to survive, and survive you have.

But it has not been without a price. You have a wound, a scar. It isn’t healed, and the pain of it has made you jaded. You’ve been carrying something for these many years, a gritty thorn that’s worked its way to the surface, and beloved, it’s time to deal with it, for good. You have a wound there. Let me see.

Ah, yes, it’s as I thought. It’s shame.

There now, lay still and let the sting subside. Lay still, and let me sing to you. Let me sing these words over you, and you simply be still, and breath. There is nothing for you to do. Be still, and I will sing.

You are good. You are good. You are good.

This is not your fault.

This is not your fault.

The Essence Of Brave.

Understand then, my dear one, the very essence of brave is seeing and truly understanding there Printis no lack in you. You are abundant, you are good, and you are more than enough. You are not weak, you are not unknowing, and you are not powerless. All that stands between you moving forward and you standing still are the beliefs you hold about what you are and what you are not.

What changed, sweetheart, do you think? What happened to make you believe you were the emptiness instead of the sweet wonder that fills it? What went wrong to move you from believing you mattered to believing you did not matter?

Perhaps the question I need to ask is, what is the matter? What is it, my dear heart, if it is not you?

You matter. You are matter. You are not the emptiness requiring to be filled. You are not lack. You are not a space waiting to be occupied by something or someone outside of you. You are the answer to empty space. You are art filling the paper, words filling a page. You are not the empty arms; you are the exuberant love that runs into them. You are the abundance of cycles of living and dying and seasons and weather and seeds and weeds and work and rest turning wastelands into gardens. You are not the void God spoke life into – you are life.

You do not lack anything you need, my love. It is all with you, now.

What would it take for you to dance into the room, jump into the puddle, paint the canvas, create the space, use your voice, take the ground, listen to your gut, be truly content? This is what brave is. It’s taking the empty space you believed was you, and filling it with you, in whatever sphere you find yourself in where you feel you are not enough, or are too much.

It’s coming to and into yourself fully as the answer to every question you believed you needed something or someone outside of you to solve.

It’s ceasing to ask, “What is the matter with me?” instead affirming, “I matter.” There can be no matter with you, if you are matter. If you are matter, all you need is with you. You need only breathe life into yourself, as God breathed life at the first, into the first. Breathe into yourself, my love.

Wake up.

Perfect love casts out fear.

You will cast out fear like a an artist casts out a brush without suppleness. As a writer casts aside 12742504_1036715449707878_567661044966021180_na pen that no longer writes. With thanks, for the service it provided thus far. Thank you fear, for the safety and security you gave me. Thank you for helping me in your own way. But you no longer serve me as I need you to. I am not attached to fear, any more than I’m attached to the plate I ate my last meal from, or the flowers than grew in my garden last year. That time has passed. It’s time to go forward now. Love your fear, be grateful for it. Love it, and love it perfectly. Perfect love does not hold on to its object. Perfect love lets go.

What would it take to have a perfect love for you?

Perfect love casts out fear.12801271_1036674239711999_1550217587317067156_n

And it does, you know.

Do you know how something gets to be perfect? Of course you do. Practice.

Just as our fear was perfected in us through our practice of it, so will be our love.

Practice fear? Did I ever? Who, me?

Yes, love, you.

When you learned to worry about going new places, adopting the cautious apprehension of your caregivers who tried to stay close to home as possible and did not like to vacation or venture anywhere new or uncomfortable or different. When you began to hate change and avoid it at all costs, equating it with the beginning of the end of the world, it was then. That’s when you perfected your fear through practice.

When you convinced yourself familiarity was safer and better and worth more than peace and health and independence, if it meant being alone. When you compromised, settled. When you held on even when all indications were letting go would end your pain, end the lessening and oppression or your spirit, mind and soul. When you did it again, then again. You perfected your fear through practice.

When you learned to recognise all those who need be referred to as “others”, and those who ought to be considered one of “us”, adopting the exclusion and inclusion habits of your peers and the tribe. When you learned the names and the jeers and the labels, and you applied them to yourself as often as to others. When it became a habit to see the differences between people, rather than recognise all are connected. You did it. You perfected your fear through practice.

When you hoarded and collected and protected and defended and fortified and piled up and locked away and accumulated and called your own that which was not you, not part of you, and would not help, heal, save or redeem you. When you felt deeply you were defined by what you owned. You perfected your fear through practice.

When you believed God was going to get you in the end for the things only He knew you did in the dark, in secret. When you warned others of their similar fate and felt it was your duty to so do. You perfected your fear through practice.

When you heard the voice in your head demand to know “Just who do you think you are?” whenever you began some deeply spiritual or creative work, or even some frivolous fun thing that didn’t even matter, or perhaps whenever you suspected you held the key to your own healing, or felt you had a thing of significance to share with another. And you believed that cynical voice of resistance that interrupted every brave attempt at growth and change was you, and was from you, and could be trusted and believed. You perfected your fear through practice.

When you dropped the brush, put down the pen, took the key from the ignition, unpacked the bag, threw away the application, resigned from the course, told yourself “it’s too much money to spend on me”. When you mistook the inner critic for the voice of reason. You perfected your fear through practice.

Yes, my love, your fear is almost completely perfected. You’ve been at it for years.

But all is not lost.

Perfect love casts out all fear. Casts it out. Like old rubbish. Like too many sweaters from a crowded closet. Like too many cans from a cramped pantry. Like lies are thrown from the presence of truth. Like hecklers are thrown from a theatre. Out you go – you don’t belong here. Take your impolite, boring nonsense from the room. Fear bluffs it’s way in with weighty talk and scary threats which sound like authority and feel like truth. But fear did not pay its dues. Love bought a ticket. Love paid the price.

If only you would practice love until it was as perfect as your fear has become. What would it take, for you to practice love for your own behalf as relentlessly and faithfully as you’ve dedicated yourself to fear? What would it take, my darling? Would you try? Will you?

Perfect love casts out all fear. You can’t scare yourself out of being afraid, out of resistance. You have to love yourself out of it. Love yourself through it. This means rather than hating on your fear, hating yourself because you have it, gathering it up in your arms, laughing and tossing it in the air. It means knowing the voice of resistance is not your voice – rather, you are the one who witnesses resistance, who observes your fear. And if you are the witness, the observer of your fear and resistance, then it cannot be you who is afraid. You have fear, but it does not have you. And you can love the part of you that feels the fear, and reassure it, and have compassion on it. And you can support that part of you to keep on moving, towards healing and growing and changing, even with the fear, if you must. And as you perfect this love, the fear will be cast out, not like a demon, but like the annex, the accoutrement it is; a part of you who is afraid of change, who mocks to make itself feel bigger, who bluffs to convince you it has authority and weight. But who is a wisp of a thing in reality.

You will cast out fear like a an artist casts out a brush without suppleness. As a writer casts aside a pen that no longer writes. With thanks, for the service it provided thus far. Thank you fear, for the safety and security you gave me. Thank you for helping me in your own way. But you no longer serve me as I need you to. I am not attached to fear, any more than I’m attached to the plate I ate my last meal from, or the flowers than grew in my garden last year. That time has passed. It’s time to go forward now. Love your fear, be grateful for it. Love it, and love it perfectly. Perfect love does not hold on to its object. Perfect love lets go.

Love your fear, with compassion, as a witness, and not as its owner, master, servant or slave. Love your fear, and don’t despise it as a combatant, or opponent would. Love your fear, laugh at it, with it, like that heckler in the theatre, and let it go, show it the door. Perhaps it served you once, but it can no longer. It did, you know, for a time, keep you company like a friend. But it’s time for it to go.

Practice love as devotedly as you did your fear, my dear. Practice love like a beloved nocturne, like a favourite verse of a special song, like one foot in front of the other at the same time every day, until the walk becomes a mile, becomes a day and another day, and before you know it, love is just what you do, the way fear used to be. But you don’t do that anymore. You do this now. Perfect love. Practice makes perfect.

Perfect love casts out all fear.

What would it take for you to have a perfect love, for you? Practice, my love. It’s time to begin.

Love, Jo xxxx

Mama Muse, and the Orphans in the Creativity Minivan.

When it comes to where I spend my time and energy artistically, I love to just take to the road.

I got this old minivan, see? I’m behind the wheel, driving, and beside me sits my trusty navigator, Creativity.

We are not alone. We have this bunch of feelings, thoughts and emotions who always want to come along too.

But we don’t let them up front with us. All those fears, resistance and ego must take a back seat.

After a while, like clockwork, the complaints and whining start up back there. In fact, no matter where Creativity leads us, and I drive us, they always start up.

Whatcha doin’ that for?

Why do ya wanna do that weird thing?

Dontcha know people will think you’re crazy?

Who do you think you are?

I don’t wanna do this!

I wanna do something familiar! Something people will like! I wanna do something I know how to do!

I wanna GO HOME!

And when this happens – and it always happens – I pull the minivan to the side of the road, I get back there amongst the fit-pitchin’ and the whining’, and I give them all a hug and tell them everything is perfectly okay.

Shhhhh, now, little babies. Everything is going to be all right.

Then, I get back behind the wheel, strap myself in, and pull my minivan back on the road.

I give Creativity a wink, and then I floor it.

Come on, you bunch of wildlings, let’s go!

As my amazing friend Jo and I were discussing just this morning, fears and resistance make interesting back seat passengers, but lousy navigators.

Give them your most tender compassion and reassurance, but when it comes to setting your course, listen to Creativity. You’ll be scared out of your wits mostly. But she’s braver, smarter, and knows how to have a lot more fun.

Get to it!

Have a great weekend, lovelies.
Jo xxx

The best is yet to come!

Bill Gates said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

This is five years work for me. Three books of my own. Three books with others.

And several more I watched being born and make their way into the world.

I have felt at times like I’ve accomplished so little. But here’s the evidence of what’s possible in just five years.

And the best is yet to come.

A colouring book just completed. Small and Pure due out in May. Another colouring workbook soon. And three more books before Christmas.

A body of work to be proud of.

What could you achieve in a year, five years, ten years, if you were willing to overcome resistance and put your butt in the chair and do the work?

All these books available on Amazon. And I’m available for creative and spiritual coaching and direction.

Visit my coaching page, or browse my Store ?