Another Revolution Around the Sun

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New Year’s Eve, 2015. Tonight many people around the world are celebrating an end and a beginning. Our planet survived another trip around the sun and now we get to enjoy the ride one more time. But, I don’t think most people, myself included, have actually thought of it that way. It’s mostly been about a number. Pretty amazing what changing a digit can do to create this euphoria. I can feel a part of me wanting to go on a rant about the craziness of it all, but I would rather feel what lies underneath is for us as a human family.

In our relatively recent past, we came together in different groups to participate in the cycle of our sustenance. We offered prayer during times of sowing, and celebrated and gave thanks in times of harvest. It was a very human connection based on a very simple need….food. To me, it feels like a very significant relationship to renewal. Another relationship could be when a beloved elder is on their deathbed, while a mother is giving birth to a new member of the tribe. There is reflection and celebration of life and death. The most significant renewal.

As we have grown in numbers on this planet, we have had to find new ways to feed ourselves, which feels like the advent of the Industrial Age. Technology helped to grow more with less labor. Those who weren’t growing food were building machines that would help to do more with less labor. We began to make things that were farther and farther from our real needs. With this increase in population, we have also lost the close-knit bond of community we had when we were more tribal in nature. Both of these occurrences feel to have separated us from our human connection.

Enter our collective calendar. The one used to keep us all on the same page, so to speak. It is a solar calendar. One full revolution around the Sun. So, are all the fireworks and Jaeger shots about that cosmic dance? Hell, it wasn’t really that long ago that we thought we were the center of the universe. The biggest significance to me, near as I can tell, is the number got bigger and we had to buy yet another calendar.

So what is really happening tonight, New Year’s Eve? My heart tells me that we miss each other. We miss feeling connected to each other. The moment the clock strikes midnight we are all One. We all entered a new year together. People that don’t know each other will give each other hugs and a warm smile. For a brief moment in time, we are family again.

My heart also tells me we are off-gassing the pain of our past, both individually and collectively, and pray somehow ‘this year will be different.’ That maybe this will be the year we get to find our way home to the place we once lived, in love and harmony. Or maybe, we somehow know this is all going to come to a head soon, and we are just enjoying one last ride around the golden, shiny orb.

I feel both are true. I feel there are those of us who sense the coming shift and awakening in the unfolding human drama and are responding in our own way. We are offering sanctuaries both internally and externally. These efforts are making changes in our future happen now, in the present. I also feel we are not all going to make it, and that brings a sobriety to the celebration that is occurring tonight.

We have reached the end of a way of living. An end of a way of relating to each other and the Earth. An end of a chapter in our grand human story. But, at the same time, it is a beginning. A beginning we can choose to create with the help of those who are already here to help us. The guides and beings that exist in ‘other places’ that we have chosen to ignore. The plants and animals that we have chosen to dominate. And the planet we have chosen to desecrate.

Incredibly, they want to be with us again in the way it used to be. The love that they possess is more than we can let in, more than we collectively feel we deserve. But, to those who heal their own heart and seek to change the way they relate to themselves, humanity, and the Divine, and the planet, they will find a new reality awaiting them…along with another revolution around the sun.

Sequoia Heartman is a SoulFullHeart Apprentice Teacher at the SoulFullHeart School of Awakening And Sustainable Sanctuary in rural Mexico. Please visit soulfullheart.com for more information.

From Collapse to Sanctuary: An Appeal to Heal

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Industrial collapse and emotional/spiritual healing. They sound like unlikely bedfellows. There are not many voices in the grids that link the two intimately. Those that see an imminent global economic collapse, the likes our civilization has never experienced, are still mired in the content of convincing others that it is actually coming or what the best ways to prepare are. Not quite able to make that first step to building sanctuary. Those that are very aware of how our wounded hearts and souls have created a deeply unsustainable way of living are seeking their own healing to help themselves and the planet. But the thought of an actual collapse is swept under the proverbial rug so as to not feel the enormity of the fear that comes with that. If they continue with their healing that is all they can do to help the world change course.

The dire situation we as a species find ourselves in is a direct result of our collective emotional and spiritual wounding. The choices we have made have been to seek a medication to that wounding or a justification of our unworthiness as human beings. Organized religions and professional therapies have tried to offer a salve for the pain, but come up short on true transmutative healing and in many cases replaces one medication for another. There is a collective shadow that grows larger by the day and it seeks to be healed one way or another. The balance of life seeks equilibrium and the tipping point is soon approaching.

To project our current crisis onto the Illuminati, the Bilderbergs, the Republicrats or some other third party is a convenient way to take the co-created responsibility out of your hands and put you in state of indentured victimtude. Yes, there is corporate greed. Yes, there are those who have a shit load of power that are making things indelibly worse. But guess what, you drive the car that consumes the gas that is running out of short supply that is found in foreign countries that we want to bomb to take control of it or found in areas that can only be accessed by raping the very Earth that provides us our daily bread. You buy the products that are manufactured by the poor in poor countries who are owned by multinational corporations that have executives that earn a gazillion times more because they are really good at taking advantage of humanity. You buy the food that is raised in holocaust-type environments that use copious amounts of toxic chemicals and that spill tons of it into our waterways. The list goes on.

Now, I fully admit my own role in this co-creation. I did, and to a lesser extent still do, some of those things listed. I still own a vehicle, but is on the market. I still buy some plastic products that are the bane of this Earth. I buy produce that had to be shipped to its location. But what I am doing is transitioning. I, along with my two friends, are moving our way to sustainable sanctuary, one emotional step at a time. I do not intend to come off judgmental or holier than thou. I am intending to bring into awareness our own responsibility in the current situation and that it takes time to move from one lifestyle to another. From unconsciousness to consciousness.

Collapse and healing will be one in the same when it happens on a grander scale. When costs skyrocket or delivery is stopped, and you can’t get the things you once took for granted, there will be an emotional response. You will go through shock, anger, depression, or other uncomfortable feelings. Others will do the same. The solutions to get those old needs met will range from barter to theft and maybe worse. When medications are abruptly taken away, the parts of us that needed them will do what they need to get them back depending on the level of dependency. And I am afraid the world is full of medicinally-dependent people. I was one of them, and still have a few to heal through.

My purpose is to wake something up in someone. Make a connection or two. You may just ignore me, but you would also be ignoring yourself and I am not okay with either. You may just call me a doomer or a hypocrite (because I am using a computer which is fueled by electricity which is fueled by some non-renewable source), but you would be missing my point and I am not okay with that either. I honestly want you to wake up. I want you to take a step in the direction of real change and empowerment. For yourself, humanity, and the planet. Feel for yourself what is happening in the world and to the world. Feel what is happening inside yourself and to yourself. They are one in the same actually. And when you really feel that, you have only one choice. Take responsibility, take back your power, and heal your way to sanctuary.

The Emerging Me Through Natural Education

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By Christopher Tydeman

In my former life, I was a teacher. I taught a range of ages from 7 to 12. I taught reading, writing, mathematics, history, science…et al. While I was teaching I was wondering if I was really teaching anything at all. I mean, yeah, I was helping with some basic fundamentals that are the building blocks of an education. But the content was a mixture of somewhat useful and interesting to downright drab and boring. I tried my best to bring in something meaningful and engaging but, to be honest, it was a lot of work. It all had to tie into the “Standards” of the prevailing curricula. Oh yes, the Standards.

We want our children to be “competent” so that they are “successful in today’s highly competitive world.” As a former parent to a school-aged child, I bought that with half my heart and all my mind. I passed that down to my students and their parents and care-givers. If they could demonstrate “proficiency” they would have a much better chance of “making a better life for themselves”.

I agree that my use of quotes is a bit tongue and cheek seasoned with sarcasm. That is my intention. Even while I was buying and selling those words, I could feel how devoid of humanity they really were. The Standards System, or Core Knowledge, or whatever the hell they are calling it now, is nothing more than a conveyor belt by which the Industrial Machine can create its submissive robots. I couldn’t participate in that system anymore without being guilty by association.

Why am I writing about this now? Great question. It has been two years now that I have left my teaching career. I am also now just learning what real education is all about…self-sufficiency, emotional awareness and fluency, and a place to discover and nuture our Divinely-given gifts. I guess I just realized I am in school for the first time since I was a child, where learning happened through creative play and experimentation. As an adult, I can add a lot of physical work to that list. This was the education I wished I could have given my daughter and my students. This is the shit that really matters. I knew it mattered because my students went crazy for nature, food, play, and art. They, as well as us older children, were born with the Divine Fingerprint. The desire to be with what we need most as human beings.

Somewhere we forgot that along the way. Convinced ourselves it must be more complicated than that. But as I sit here in Mexico with gardens literally popping out the ground from our own research, intuition, play and labor, I can tell you it isn’t. Granted, it is hard work. I have worked hard before, but this is for our food. Our sustenance and currency. Our hearts and our souls. You can’t get more real than that. I am learning more about myself and nature, as Mother intended. This is the real classroom.

So, I am back to being a student again. That is hard for the Industrial part of me who thought we had it all figured out. Put in the time and retire in peace. But once you feel your true, wild, natural self you can’t stay in the System without feeling the rub, the pain. The un-naturalness of it all. The insanity. This part of me is becoming more aware of how much happier he is now than he was then. I am beginning to feel a new me arising from this transition from teacher to student. From Industrial Self to Natural Self.

At some point I see myself teaching again. Not sure what that would look like, but I know what it wouldn’t. Been there, done that. I see being a part of a new reality for education. One that will emerge from the collapse of the old. For now, I am enjoying the ride of sitting in the student seat. Learning from my SoulFullHeart family, the ranch workers, the animals, the plants, and the Divine. They are the best teachers I have ever had. Time to rewrite the standards from the inside out.

Fire Among The Ashes: A Mid-Life Awakening

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By Christopher Tydeman

I am typing this on New Year’s Eve 2014. A typical time for reflection. It is also a few weeks before my birthday. Those two events always elucidate a form of taking stock and evaluation. They just happen to be really close in proximity for me. A double dose in this case. I find that to be a blessing in the moment. It signifies something big for me. I know that time is just an illusion, but to a part of me it has much relevance as a marker or a yard stick. If I hold it with a larger context then this part of me doesn’t get mired in the content of what didn’t happen this year or what should happen in the following year of my life.

I was staring at a bed of coals from a campfire. The burning embers were glowing with their hot orange and red hue while surrounded by the dead gray ash of the previous flame. It was like looking at a pulsating heart in the middle of a dying body. As each moment passed the life of the fire became smaller and smaller until it would eventually merge with its lifeless surroundings. There was a message or a metaphor in that for me.

I am entering a new phase of my life. A completely new life to be honest. I am no longer a part of the old structure and conditioning I was used to for 43 years. I am in a foreign country with basic yet emerging language skills, a dwindling fiat currency supply, and, at present, no generation of future funds. This couldn’t be farther than what I was taught to believe was the “right” way to live life at this age. I “should” have a house. I “should” have a career. I “should” be planning for my retirement. As I sit from where I am, that just feels like the ashes surrounding the hot coals. The death that smothers the fire of passion, desire, and life itself.

Many would call this a mid-life crisis. I would prefer to call it a mid-life awakening. An opportunity to take back what was given to me by the Divine Itself. The power and choice to live a life of freedom, self-reliance, and joy. Not some fabricated, name-brand, “this is what makes everyone else happy” type of bullshit. But authentic, down to nature, human to human, self to self type of contact. Life is not an Easy Bake Oven for Christ’s sakes. But it’s not torture either. It’s a daily round of the ebb and flow of hard work and rest. Of desire and surrender. Of challenge and ease. Of getting to the guts of what really matters while eating a plate of home grown vegetables. Anything else is just corporate politics trying to sell you a life they convinced you was better than the one that God gave you.

I don’t have any clue what will happen this coming year. Hell, I don’t have a clue what will happen next month for that matter. Before my deconditioning, I could more or less guess what my life would be like one year to the next. Work would be the same. Daily routines would be the same. Even the unknown parts would be planned and then made known. My sustenance would be easy and never be in question. I would spend my “free” time trying to forget that I wasn’t free at all.

But now each day is an unknown adventure. I am helping to grow our own food by creating a rich soil foundation and utilizing limited space to produce an abundance of nutrition. I am learning Spanish by fumbling my way through understanding and speaking. I am beginning to make connections with others who live in a nearby community to help strengthen a bond of genuine respect and collaboration. I am continuing to delve deeper into my own being, both emotional and spiritual, through my daily relations with my SoulFullHeart family. As I type this, I realize how rich my life really is in comparison to what it was.

Interesting. So the less I know, the richer life becomes. The more I know, the duller. There is a wisdom here in Mexico that eludes the rest of industrial society. Life doesn’t happen later, it exists now. In the moment. Anything that happens has a solution, one way or another, at some point. It will get taken care of and life will continue while you enjoy your cerveza. People will take care of one another, even if they don’t know you. There is always something to share with each other, even if it is a smile and an “Hola”. I am honored and proud to be in Mexico in my next life journey. I don’t know what happens this coming year and I am okay with that. I am here now. I am enjoying this paradise I co-alchemized. I look forward to sharing it with others, to help them feel what it is that they truly want in their lives. For a moment to let go of all they have been trying to be and allow themselves to be just as they are . . . a fire among the ashes.

Christopher Tydeman is a SoulFullHeart facilitator. Visit soulfullheart.com for more information.

Back To Me: Feeling The Emotional Root Cause Of Illness And Injury

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By Christopher Tydeman

In the moment, I am on my back. For the past ten days I have been mostly on my back. At some point I strained a muscle and it has caused much pain in sitting and generally moving around. Except when I am laying on my back. My first response was to determine the origination of the injury from a physical stand point. While there was definitely a physical component, doing a strenuous exercise before I was ready and not having strong core muscles, in SoulFullHeart we ask ourselves what was the larger emotional preursor to the injury. Since the emotional body is connected to the physical body, there is an emotional root cause. Now, I could look at it energetically, in terms of a dis-ease in my first chakra, which is true, and get some relief through some energy work, but that still doesn’t take me to the deeper layer, where if left unfelt, would just come back around again at some point in my life. I have not truly “healed” myself; I just kicked the can down the road.

All the physical and energetic remedies should come secondary to the emotional. Now, if I was in absolute pain, I would self-lovingly find relief, but I would still need, and desire, to feel the emotional root at some point afterward. I have been doing exercises and using cold and hot compresses to aid in my recovery, but I have been offered to feel what the injury brings up for me. What is my back trying to tell me? What part of me needs me to feel it so I can help heal its wounds? What is the greater context to being in this state of incapacitation? If I spent my time taking drugs, watching movies, or trying to solve my “problem”, I am missing out on a sacred gift.

How could back pain be a gift? A part of me would ask the same question. But by asking some questions and being vulnerable, we get to feel a bigger relationship to life. What was happening in my life when the injury occurred? What was I suppressing or resisting? How do I feel about myself in this state? Where do those feelings come from? Are they really mine or do they come from a part of me that has held them? What can I offer this part of me to feel that it has a safe place to express itself? What is my current connection to the Divine and what support and guidance can I let in? These are SoulFullHeart questions. They bring in much more consciousness than what western culture in general would just see as a situation to fix or something to power through.

In my case, before the injury I was feeling a deep tension around this new chapter of my life. I left Canada with my SoulFullHeart family to exodus from the unsustainable culture of the western world and seek sanctuary in Mexico for its climate and ideal growing conditions. It was also a choice to feel myself differently, more authentically, away from the conditioning and comfort zone of that world. Who could I be? Who would I be when all the default toggles and switches didn’t work anymore? This brought an immense control/fear response from a part of me as I engaged in the journey from Canada, crossing borders, driving in a foreign country, trying to communicate with minimal Spanish, not knowing whether our desired destination would work for us or if we would be welcome. There was a sense of just surviving each day for a part of me, holding a need for control and knowing. I did not have much authentic me in the room to feel the joy and the adventure, as well as the fear from this part.

As we eventually found a welcome home at Rancho Amigos, we had to find a temporary home in nearby Tomatlan until the home we are staying at on the ranch is ready. This is where I feel the tension swelled and pooled up in my lower back and created the perfect condition for a part of me to be felt in its fear. It also created the space for me to reconnect to the Divine Mother, which had been lacking for some time. I have needed this time to feel my desire for being in community with those who see and encourage my bigness and gifts, being in connection with the Divine and the context and love that comes with that, and being in relationship to my parts that need to feel me holding them in all they need to be held in.

Being immobile brought me to feelings of inadequacy, frustration, control, burden, and a need to ‘do’ to in order to feel my value and worth. I began to journal with a part of me that had the voice of punishment and judgment. This is a big place for me to go, as it has been a lifelong crucible for me to value my own worth and feel my own power. This is amplified in community when others are having to do a little more to make up for the resting body, and to feel the love with which they do it because you are genuinely cared for. THAT is what ultimately triggers the underlying lack of worth. That is the water that brings up the oil that Kathleen referred to in her last blog.

I am still in dialogue with this part of me. It takes time for them to feel comfortable enough to really feel the depth of the pain that they hold. But it is starting place from which true healing and transmutation can happen. Over time, the voice and energy will soften, transform, and integrate. It will lead me to my true power, in heart and spine. Hmmm. Interesting. This is something I would not have felt if I hadn’t gone into the emotional and spiritual aspect of this injury. That my back represents my growing spine, my inherent self-authorized power and creativity, and my energetic ground to the earth below me. Wow. How cool.

With resting parts, a new wave of creativity has been unearthed in me. A desire to reclaim my heartistry through designing meaningful mandalas for myself, for others, and the Divine. I have felt my authentic desire to be a healer, to claim my place within an intensely beautiful community, and to feel the greater context of what this life has to offer. There will still be moments of uncertainty, doubt, and fear, but through this experience I will have more of me to be able to be with that. This, I’m sure, will be a gift that will keep on giving “back” to myself.

So the next time you find yourself sick or injured, I hope you find some inspiration to ask yourself some bigger questions. Questions that may lead you to take stock of the why and get you on a path to truly healing yourself authentically and consciously. If you wish to know more, visit our website at www.soulfulheart.com to learn about our body consciousness retreat in April that focuses on this type of conscious, integrative healing. It will change the way you relate to your body, heart, and soul. Guaranteed.

Christopher Tydeman is a SoulFullHeart facilitator and healing arts facilitator.

The Me In The We: Feeling Myself Within Community

SoulFullHeart Mandala designed by Christopher Tydeman

SoulFullHeart Mandala designed by Christopher Tydeman

by Christopher Tydeman (now Sequoia Heartman)

Since I can remember, a part of me has generally been a loner. Not in the lonely sense of the word but in the “I enjoy my me time” sense. When I wasn’t playing with friends (yes, I did have them), I was in my room playing with my Star Wars action figures, building with my Legos, or outside climbing trees and acting out loud some dramatic scene of me saving the world. Though I had a few close friends in my life, ones that I spent a lot of time with, I still found myself enjoying my “me” time.

In regards to my family, I can remember liking my space from the volatility of my birth parents. The stresses of everyday life found there way energetically into the house and my room was a respite from that. I remember having close family friends that I spent weekends and summers with. That was my first taste community outside the family unit. As kids, we fought, argued, did the silent treatment, forgot what we were mad about, and then continued on. All within a span of 30 minutes most times. Having fun was way more important. But when I got into my room, I felt like I was home. I could rest and be me.

When I became a teenager, this need for personal space amplified, as it does for most. I had a core group of friends that I partied and hung out with quite often, but, again, I found solace in my room. This time it was with music, television, and art. Staying up until the wee hours drawing album covers for my favorite heavy metal bands. I felt a “me” in my room that no one could touch. When I was “out there”, it was about fitting in, staying away from the assholes, and following the rules. Community was a much bigger and scarier place.

As I entered college, and moved into dormitory life, community felt a bit safer and more real. So many different people coming together with so many different ways of seeing and feeling the world. It was exciting and engaging. I was not feeling the need as much to have my own space, plus it was impossible anyway. During that time, I felt another “me” that I hadn’t experienced before. One that saw life through a bigger lens. My “room” got a whole lot larger. Then, I began to wonder who the hell I really was.

During my time in the dorms, I met my former wife, Jillian, and we became a community of two. We had friends, but it was our relationship that felt more like the room of my youth. Together we explored who we were in the great dance of Life itself. Not long afterward, our daughter made her way to us and community changed once again.

Suddenly, my “me” became a father. I had to became a provider. I stopped exploring and started working. The part of me that felt unsure about being a father, held on tightly to being responsible in the Western-style ethos. I was too tired from work and child raising to feel me anymore. I continued on the path of being a good provider that led me to a “solid” job an elementary school teacher.

As a teacher, you, by default, become a member of “the community”. The neighborhood, the families, the teachers, and students. You are trained to leave your Self at the door. It’s not about you, it’s about them. So for someone who had been not feeling himself for sometime, teaching young children was not going to get me there anytime soon. A good teacher is dedicated to their students. That is the mantra of the Good Teacher Brigade. You also go to concerts, sporting events, meetings, conferences, social events, recess duty, bus duty, field trips, and on and on. Who am I again?

During this time, I was no longer married and was living on my own with my daughter half the time. After a few years of teaching 24/7, I realized that I had ignored that part of me that I used to hang out with in the room of my youth. The care free, happy, creative part of me. I began to be with myself more and do things that I enjoyed like exercise, hiking, and playing guitar. And through that, I began to feel the depth of my unhappiness. I missed Me. The Me that could create a world from scratch. The Me that could stay up all night with a piece of paper and a pencil. The Me that saw beauty, love, and magic in all things. The Me that felt the Great Spirit and wondered about the Great Mystery. Where had I gone?

Enter SoulFullHeart. Jillian, my former wife, had been on a healing path for many years. She offered to help me with this question. It started as an exploration and has evolved into intimate community. Through my process I have been healing my way back to Me. There are a lot of layers, more than I ever imagined. To feel those, there has to be vulnerability or else they can’t move. And that is hard for someone so inclined to be alone. In essence, to be hidden. For a while, it is necessary. I wrote about it in a blog I wrote a couple of years ago. But then there is a graduation to another level of intimacy.

Beginning in March of this year I, along with Kathleen, moved to an RV campground with Jillian and Wayne. This was a new level of community, in that we began to share meals, exercise together, and generally spend more time together and in closer proximity. After coming to the decision to exodus to Mexico, I sold my RV and began to live with them in their camp site. My personal space had gone from a one-bedroom apartment, to an RV, to a tent in 4 months. For a part of me, that tent was my room from years gone by. He felt safe and comfortable just as he had when he was a child.

It is important for me to feel the needs of this part of me. Without doing so, he gets depressed and tense. The feeling is similar to having a hard time breathing. This certainly goes back to more than just this life. I haven’t gotten there yet but there is something soul-based about it. It is more important for me to feel it, than to figure it out right now. Especially, now.

Since we left Canada for Mexico, I have not had much of my own space. This is the most intimate I have been my whole life. We are currently living in a studio-type dwelling, which is more reminiscent of youth hostel than an apartment. We eat, sleep, change, read, write, cook, talk, process all within 750 square feet. We are waiting to get to our sanctuary on the ranch while the home we are staying in is completed, the roads get grated and the river water recedes. Though this is temporary, it is the perfect trigger to highlight my relationship to community and my Self. How do I feel the Me in the We?

I have to feel the needs of my parts alongside the needs of the group. There are times when I have to advocate for my space even if it means not being a part of something that I may be needed or desired to be a part of. That is hard to do when another part of me is a people pleaser. An internal conflict arises. But the more I advocate for that, the less I actually “need” it. There are also times when a part of me will need to be negotiated with because my community, my family, needs me. It won’t always be on its schedule, but I will always find the time. That is what it means to hold a part of you.

This experience has highlighted something that I have forgotten. While my community needs me, my parts need me as well. And sometimes my parts don’t want to be in community, and that’s okay. It actually get me back to Me. Remember? The one in the beginning of this blog. It gets me back to my roots. The reason I am here in the first place.

I am an artist. I want to create art. Art for me, art for others, art for the Divine, art for the earth. I am a healer. I want to heal myself and the earth, and I want to help others heal themselves. I want to use art to do that through sessions. That is the Me in the We. That is my heartsong in the choice. That is what I will continue to wake up for and be a part of in the way of life called SoulFullHeart.

Sequoia Heartman (previously Christopher Tydeman) is an apprentice facilitator of the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life. Visit soulfullheartwayoflife.com for more information. 

Romance As A Reflection Of Self Worth

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By Christopher Tydeman

Romance has always been triggering for a part of me. I wasn’t really raised with a template of a healthy romantic relationship. One that included both sides of passion. On one side, the random acts such as notes put in a hiding place to be found later or the hot passionate kiss in the middle of crowded street without care for the peering eyes upon you. Or the other side, which includes the loud clash of conflict that is still held in respect and not reduced to energetic violence. The place where there is a vulnerable and heartfelt, “I am sorry.”

In my personal experience, my template was a withhold of need, a projection of resentment, and an eventual eruption of anger with barbed-wired shrapnel. The sweet moments were few and far between, and even those consisted of half-baked sentiment with an obligatory stale crust. Were there moments of genuine love? Yes, absolutely. More than I count on my fingers and toes. But certainly not enough to show a young man what real love is all about.

So, am I screwed? Never to feel authentic desire, lust, and passion? Of course not. I am not a victim to my experience, I am informed by it. A part of me could easily close up heart-shop by blaming it on my conditioning, and never allow love to enter its fortified walls. It’s what part of me learned by my father as the ideal way to relate to love. However, even he hasn’t done that. He, too, desires a life surrounded by love. He can’t help himself because it is the ultimate human need above our survival needs. This part of him, and now a part of me, can protest all they want, but it is not our nature to resist love in absolution.

My templating gives me a starting point from which to launch. I don’t press off of it like a swimmer does off the side of a pool. I go into it. I feel it. I ache with it. I cry with it. Then something new emerges. Desire. Risk. Energy. Passion. Something different than before. Something unlike a part of me could ever imagine as being possible. I am honestly not writing from that place in the moment, but I can sense it. I sense it because it is in me. It is me. I would have not known that unless I had someone else to reflect that to me.

For the last two years I have been in relationship with such a person. A beautiful woman I never saw coming. A woman who could see a “me” I hadn’t been able to see myself. Now that I say that, I feel my romantic history has been such a dynamic. There is this reflection of bigness, of courage, and of strength. That picture, as desirable as it is, gets intercepted by my unworthiness and is flat-lined. Not to be resuscitated for fear of rejection and pain. ‘The higher you climb the harder it is to fall’. That is the mantra of self-protection.

This is the trigger I referred to at the beginning. But it is more than just the reflection of my bigness that frightens a part of me, it is that someone else actually cares enough to fight for it. That I AM worthy of the kind of love that is more than I ever believed is possible. A part of me is used to a healthier version of the type of love I grew up with, but is uncertain, even confused, about this ground of sacred love. Authentic love. Transactable, palpable, relational, passionate love. Lots of wounding that needs healing. Lots of conditioning that needs re-experiencing.

So what about this woman? After a few incarnations and explorations, it has come clear that Kathleen and I may not be mates in the way we thought we could be. She has passion that yearns to be matched and seen by another. I have a passion that yearns to be discovered by me, in me, and through me. It is possible that romance is not meant for me now. Maybe the romance is in me first. But I could not have come to that if it wasn’t for her. Her passion, her love, her desire for her own self-worth. She may very well be a soul mate, just not in the way I have thought of ‘soul mate’ in a romantic context.

We have been through much, Kathleen and I. My love for her remains as tender as the first time we hugged. That is what is real. That is what cannot die no matter the circumstance. We will continue to be what we have signed up to be for each other this life, for however long that is. She is a big reason I will heal towards self-worth and maybe even sacred romance. It is because of her I will know true love, both for myself and from another.

Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio Show

Letting Go With Love: Healing Codependency Between Fathers And Daughters

By Christopher Tydeman

Throughout the SoulFullHeart healing/growth process, much is felt into around our relationship to ourselves (i.e. our parts), our birth parents, our friends, and our mates.  We have written extensively about those in this blog.  The one relationship we have not written much about is our relationship to our children.

Each combination of relationship (mother to son, father to daughter, etc.) has their own specific dynamic.  When our children arrive in this world, both past and current life agreements we subconsciously made with them begin their construction and playout.  Our experiences with our birth parents, our societal/religious conditionings, and our past life woundings, all coalesce to shape the dance between parent and child.

Through the formative years, parts of us invest a lot of energy in protecting and guiding our offspring.  They represent something to us.  Our greatest hope and our biggest fears.  We project so much onto them that the mere thought of their “failure” or lack of well-being is combated with a barrage of care-taking and/or excessive demands.  To lose them physically or emotionally feels like a fate worse than our own death to a part of us.

In this fused state, it is hard to conceive that our children have their own soul trajectory.  Their own needs and experiences they must have on their individual journey.  This becomes increasingly clear the older they get.  An emotionally healthy and awakened relationship would naturally find its completion around 18.  This doesn’t necessarily suggest we would never cross paths again someday or consciously avoid seeing each other.  It would just be the embarking of their adult journey, taking with them all the love they received in their youth.

But, we collectively are not in a healthy emotional state.  Our children are still children at 18 because we choose for them to be that way.  Our needs and inadequacies took precedent over their real growth.  They are stunted.  Sure, they may run a Fortune 500 company, but their emotional immaturity causes them to treat others unjustly, take advantage to satiate their greed, or run a company into the ground because of issues of control.  Or they may live a “normal” life with a spouse, their own children, a stable job, and a nice house.  But internally they are dissatisfied and unfulfilled.

As a young man, my father would tell me, “I don’t give a shit what you do for a living, as long as you are happy.”  My mother made it her mission to see me graduate college to fulfill something she desired in her own life and as a symbol of what was considered “successful”.  In each case, it was more about them than it was about me.

I carried this with me into the birth of my own daughter.  My fears and hopes were transferred onto her.  All a part of me felt I couldn’t be, hoped that she could.  But to be that meant her breaking away, so another part kept her small so she wouldn’t.  “Be big! No, be small!” Was the energy of my parenting.  A dichotomous push-pull.

As I progressed through my eventual healing, I had to draw boundaries with those that I had an unhealthy bond with.  This included family, friends, and later a mate.  But the one who got the “pass” was my own child.  She had her own vision for her life and that didn’t include healing toward emotional and spiritual awakening.  The others in my life who weren’t ready I said goodbye to, but a part of me could not accept that with my daughter.

Fast forward a couple of years later.  I have found myself in the belly of my care-taking.  Letting go of my need to be needed.  Feeling and seeing the impending industrial imperial implosion.  The ensuing chaos and violence, both physical and emotional.  I have entered into the Brave New World.  I can talk about it until I am blue in the face, but that won’t matter if someone is not able or willing to feel it.  It becomes a soul choice.  A personal decision.  To tug or force someone to get them to come along serves neither me nor them.  There is only one choice…let go.

To say goodbye to my daughter is by far the most difficult thing I have had to do.  It was a choice not made overnight.  It has been, as with all other difficult moments, a process.  Gut-wrenching and tear laden.  To continue a relationship with someone whose path is divergent to mine is not self-loving.  It is also enabling that person to stay in denial and smallness.  I love my daughter too much for her to be in either.  But more importantly, I love myself too much to continue to be seen as less than what I am, even if it is my own child.

As I walked away from her, tears in my eyes, pain in my heart, I could feel the Divine with me and with her.  Mother tells me,

“You make choices based in Love, you enter Love’s eternal grace.  Your kingly act of courage is the greatest gift to your daughter, to yourself, and the world at large.  There is no goodbye, for those souls meant to be together will remain so in heart.”

In that moment, I felt trust.  A trust that she will find her way in her own time, with her own choices.  A part of me is letting go of protecting her and trying to “save” her.  I will always have the desire for her to be a part of our SoulFullHeart community.  She has VIP status.  BUT, it is with her sovereign choice and my needs being met, that that can happen.  Until then I will hold her close to my heart as I prepare for the next phase of my soul’s journey.

 Christopher Tydeman is an apprentice SoulFullHeart Teacher. Visit soulfullheart.wix.com/sanctuary for more information about staying at SoulFullHeart Sanctuary and virtual sessions.

Healing Art: Day 5 – The Ache To Be

Day 5005

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

By Christopher Tydeman

*Note:  The drawing was in response to a feeling I had inside me around claiming my essence as an artist.  At the time, I was working with a part that was keeping me from fully inhabiting my passion. But shortly after, I made a decision to leave my current culture and move to Mexico with Jillian and Wayne.  This triggered something in me that seemed to also be reflected in the drawing.  It took on a new meaning for me so I began to journal with the picture and this poem emerged.
My soul draws, but does not tug
It calls, it aches, it desires
To feel, express, experience, and love.
But there is a pull, a grasp,
A spaghetti pretzel of fears, doubts, and deafening critical voices
Of social, familial, and cultural conditioning
You cannot be free, you see
You don’t have the skills, the courage, the mettle.
You only know one way to be
And that is comfortable, safe, and settled.
But that does not bring me closer
To what I feel I am or can be, do you see?
I am born of life and life is change
And change is risk and risk is unknown.
That is why you should stay with me, you see.
It is unknown and unknown is not knowable
Not clear, preplanned, controlled, or dependable.
Take my advice, heed my warning, and let me take care of thee.
I feel your concern, your love, your genuine protection
Your need to encase me in bubble-wrapped isolation.
But it enslaves me, and does not save me
From a life of restless deadness, can you see?
I do not see what you see
Or feel what you feel
Or ache what you ache
My only will is to keep you safe
I will need you on the next phase of my journey
Your awareness, your sight, your vision, and might.
I wish to bring you with me, not leave you behind
For without you I am reckless abandon in the shadow of the blind
I will heed your words, and feel your cry
I will need more time to accept and understand why.
That is all that I ask for you now to see
How one day we both can be fearless and free
 Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio ShowFor more information about the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life, visit soulfullheart.com.

Healing Art: Day 4 – The Gift Of Despair

By Christopher Tydeman

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

Drawing By Christopher Tydeman

This picture was done during a time where a feeling of great despair had bubbled up within me.  I did not journal with it at the time and to do so now would be inauthentic and contrived.  However, I did feel a desire to share my process around the theme of this drawing.  Maybe as I write a voice may choose to be heard and felt if it felt safe enough to do so.  

There was an overall feeling of hopelessness that overcame me.  Like a black cloud that covers the sun that seems to go on forever.  I began this picture with the cloudy background to capture that feeling.  Next, came the road, or path, that I had found myself on.  “A road to God-knows- where in a hurry,” a part of me felt it was on.  Then, an intuition to make dark columns from the horizon up toward the heavens.  Foreboding monoliths towering over to suggest that there was no hope of salvation.   Lastly, I could feel my desire and passion being guarded, protected, quarantined,  or off limits.  A part of me felt it could not have what it truly wanted.   Enter despair.

This picture represents several parts of me all at once.  My inner sensitive, full passion, love, and sense of beauty.  My inner critic, with its perpetual barrage of criticisms, judgements, and punishments to keep my inner sensitive in a state of oppressive depression.  Then my inner muse.  My vision and creative energy.  My connection to the divine within and without.  A holy trinity, if you will.

The separation of a sensitive from its muse is part of a journey to remember what we, as artists, have always known ourselves to be.  Messengers, prophets, divine creators.  That comes with great reward as well as great pain.  To be open to such inspiration, one must be sensitive enough to receive it.  But that leaves the door open to much toxic energy and conditioning.  Through the course of one’s life, and even lives, these external influences can become internalized.  The inner critic is born.  But this part of us can be viewed as a “negative” to be combated and banished.  The emotional reality is that this part of us was developed to protect us from the pain our inner sensitive was too sensitive to digest.  By keeping constant surveillance on us, the inner critic is trying to keep us from being heart broken once again, even while it is breaking our own spirit in the process.

Before SoulFullHeart, my inner critic was a harsh self-punisher.  The bigger the desire, the harsher the punisher it seems.  But as I began to heal my punisher, it has softened to a critical voice.  Admittedly, I still feel some punishment but not as acute as in my past.  I am feeling my inner critic as my guide and keen protector of my inner sensitive.  Its voice is of my fathers, both biological and step.  They were just trying to do what they felt was best from their own experiences and conditioning to help me become successful and happy.  I am grateful for that, but it no longer serves me.  I am to be a father figure to my own inner sensitive.  To field the harsh criticisms and digest them between me and my inner critic, leaving my sensitive to be what it is meant to be…a receiver of divine beauty.

In this drawing, you will notice that there is space in between the bars.  There is opportunity.  There is a way in and through.  I will take the figure on the road by the hand and walk with him.  I will love the bars for what they truly are and in time they will come down to reveal my heart, my muse, and my gift to the world.

Over the next few weeks, Christopher Tydeman will be vulnerably sharing works of art that he has created that reflect his inner world. In SoulFullHeart, our inner world is comprised of a tapestry of emotionality, which is held by what we call a “part” of us. These parts live in different emotional terrain, such as hurt, anxiety, control, depression, rage, and shame. When we courageously venture inward, we feel this terrain with our parts to feel and heal woundings that have been been stuck for many years, many lifetimes. Christopher says about this series, ‘”As a creative soul, I desire to help my parts heal through images, words, and music. I also desire to serve others with the same passion of healing and creativity. I do not have a plan other than to be as transparent as I can and see where the road takes me.”  Check out his previous blog entries, An Artist, His Muse, and His Inner Critic, and Healing Art to Heal Your Heart to find out more about this series. Christopher Tydeman has been embracing the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life since August, 2010. He is a SoulFullHeart facilitator-in-training, author on this blog, and he hosted the SoulFullHeart Experience Radio ShowFor more information about the SoulFullHeart Way Of Life, visit soulfullheart.com.