Embrace your dark side

Today I want to talk about ‘the dark side’. It’s what’s known as ‘the shadow’. It’s all those emotions and thoughts which are considered bad by society and others.

This might be feeling unhappy, fed up, bored, lost, numbed out, shameful, self-loathing, sad, angry or frustrated.

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In a society where the goal is happiness – people shy away from these ‘negative’ emotions. They hide them. They avoid them. They don’t talk about them.

But emotions are energy in motion. By blocking out emotions that we consider ‘bad’ we block out parts of our mind that are desperate to be aired.

If you block out the ‘bad’, you also block out the ‘good’ – and this creates a stuckness, depression and inertness.

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There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad or having ‘bad’ thoughts. OK, it’s not desirable. However when you reach into the darkness and feel the void, you shine a light on it.

It doesn’t have power over you. It doesn’t control you. You can make decisions from a place of acceptance and love, rather than fear.

“Beneath the social mask we wear every day, we have a hidden shadow side: an impulsive, wounded, sad, or isolated part that we generally try to ignore. The Shadow can be a source of emotional richness and vitality, and acknowledging it can be a pathway to healing and an authentic life. We meet our dark side, accept it for what it is, and we learn to use its powerful energies in productive ways. The Shadow knows why good people sometimes do “bad” things. Romancing the Shadow and learning to read the messages it encodes in daily life can deepen your consciousness, imagination, and soul.” – Connie Zweig

Our subconscious creates situations and environments that try and get us to pay attention to our shadow side.  The harder we resist our shadow, the harder it’ll bite back to get our attention.

If we’re not aware of our shadow, it’s controlling us.

Many of us can’t reach into our dark side because it’s too scary, too terrifying, too real, too deep and all consuming.

To feel it and expose it feels like death.

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But in truth, it’s not death at all. It’s a rebirth. It’s the beginning of a new exciting life with new aliveness, vitality, possibilities and a new fire in your eyes.

My failure in the past is that I haven’t been sympathetic to other people’s deepest fears and shadows. I’ve been impatient, intolerant and frustrated with others – because I feel like I’m talking to a fragment of them.

I process things quickly, see patterns quickly, am intelligent and can see what’s under the surface of people. 99.5% of people I’ve met haven’t been able to say the truth because it costs them too much. Because I haven’t really had true peers, I’ve become lonely frustrated and angry.

It’s wrong for me to take out that anger on others. I tried to use that anger and frustration as a driving force for business. That was wrong and didn’t work out very well anyway. Nobody likes working with angry young men.

But that annoyance was real and I needed to explore that.

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However now I realise these skills can be tremendously helpful. If I can see through everyone’s persona and insecurities – I might as well use it in a positive, supportive and productive way. I can help process that dark side – giving a space, time to talk, understanding, love and respect regardless of what comes up.

This all leads to healing, self-acceptance, joy and vitality.

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It’s also important to realise that many people don’t want to, or can’t process that dark side. The subconscious pain is so deep and so uncomfortable, and so threatening, they will avoid it at all costs. The accumulated layers of emotional spaghetti are so knotted that it’s impossible to unravel.

That’s OK too. There’s no rush. There’s no obligation to look at it. You have to accept that some people are struggling so much that they might never be able to get unstuck. That’s all OK. It’s important to give them love, affection and understanding – and accept them as they are.

If this is making your heart beat fast and making you uncomfortable. That’s a good sign. It shows we’ve touched a nerve of something real. If you’re angry – that’s excellent.

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If you look at someone like David Cameron, he is a terrified little boy. He was sent to boarding school at age 7. It’s a cruel and ruthless environment designed to breed cruel and ruthless men. There would have been terrible bullying. The only way to survive that is to become hard, a bully yourself and crush the weak. It’s Lord of the Flies.

So when people criticise David Cameron, call him a scumbag, it doesn’t touch him. It’s near impossible for him to feel empathy, or love, or anything. Because any sign of weakness or vulnerability or kindness is terrifying because it reminds him of terrible times at boarding school where he would be targeted. He’s currently a flake of a man, who needs the prestige and power of being Prime Minister to paper over his internal discomfort. That’s OK.

I still don’t have my stuff together. Hell, I spent half the day in bed today because I felt bad. Mostly as I’m worried about writing this will open cans of worms in other people that I’m then semi-responsible for.

But I’m also trying to do the best I can with what I know. I can see the best in other people . I do care. I want others to get unstuck – so that they don’t die with regrets. This work and these themes are dangerous, scary and exciting, but also very life affirming.

When I get positive feedback from my writing I really feel like I’m making a hugely positive difference – so this is important work, that needs to be done.

(Here’s my earlier pitch about getting unstuck)

Now if you’re curious about exploring and resolving your shadow side. Drop me an email: alexclifford93@gmail.com

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I don’t have all the answers. I don’t pretend to. But what I can give is a safe, nourishing, understanding, supportive ear and ask probing questions so that you can be the best, most loving,  most alive people you can be.

Naturally everything is treated with absolute discretion and confidentiality.

If that doesn’t feel right then that’s cool. You’ll find you own way.

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Because one day all your worries and tension won’t matter. They’ll be distant memories and you’ll be laughing into the sunset.

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What really matters? Getting yourself unstuck.

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Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about work. I want to earn enough to repay debts and travel to meet friends and family. I want to do something that helps other people and I know I’m capable of helping a lot.

The problem with this old life of copywriting, marketing, selling or whatever is I don’t like it. It doesn’t feel comfortable to me. It feels toxic and wrong.

I can sell some software, properties, or investments or branded bottle openers. But these are just things. They’re just products, services, they’re just STUFF! Clutter.

The really important things… what really matters, are emotions, love, care, spending your time well. I can pretend that these products etc. will make you feel great. In fact certain things will help – like a yoga break or a juice detox diet and health regimes. But most STUFF doesn’t solve the core of the problem.

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And that core is: most adults feel uncomfortable in their own skins. Our consumer society thrives on people feeling paranoid and insecure. That’s why people buy insurance, cosmetics, plastic surgery, expensive cars, sugary doughnuts, designer clothes and so much stuff.

If you look at simple societies in remote parts of Europe and the world – they don’t have much, but they have everything they need. With much less mental strain that
people in “wealthy” socities have.

We can pretend that stuff gives us security. It can give the illusion of comfort for a while. But at the end of the day, you can never get out your own skin. If you’re uncomfortable in your mind… if you can’t have an honest heartfelt conversation with people around you… if you don’t feel you can play and laugh and dance around and be silly… then what is there to live for?

Sorry that’s a bit heavy and may touch a nerve and make you hate me. Oh well.

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But I mean, I feel like most adults long for a place without responsibilities and heavy things. A place where they can be playful and childlike again. You know making rocketships out of eggboxes. Or dressing up as a wizard. Or making drawings of your dreams. Or dancing like nobody’s watching. And just being immediately warm with people – without any agendas.

Maybe that’s what I need to make? A creche for adults?

We’ll see in time.

What I sense is there’s a huge STUCKNESS in people I see. They can’t process emotions. They can’t see things from other’s points of view. They don’t feel they can speak up. They feel trapped in a situation. There’s a huge amount of stagnant energy in their bodies and auric field. (Excuse the new-age words)

Various addictions cover that up and make them feel more comfortable. And that’s OK. Shopping, smoking, drugs, comfort eating, workaholism, alcohol whatever. These habits are all very self-destructive on the surface. But it’s a way of getting a feelgood fix (even if temporary)

Eventually addiction will cause a breaking point – hospitalisation, bankruptcy, arguments, depression or something. Then at that breaking point, people face and address the real problem that’s been niggling all along. The layers of shame and built up crud unravel – then that’s how the whole thing heals itself.

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That’s how I see it anyway. It may vary between people. I may be totally wrong.

When I see and speak to people – I pick up that energy. I’m very sensitive. I get people.

I used to be very annoyed by the energy I felt, because it didn’t resonate with me. I was hyper-intolerant. I couldn’t see things from them from their point of view. I’d get pissed off that they didn’t understand me while I didn’t understand them. So I’d be frustrated and even more intolerant.

Then one day I had an epiphany – everyone just needs to be heard, validated, acknowledged, respected, understood and loved. Without those things, we can’t communicate. So emotions get trapped in our bodies. We get stagnant and inert. We get stuck.

When we sense a warm heart in someone else, we speak up, we clear that energy and get unstuck.

What I’m good at is giving people space – hearing what they need to say, and haven’t been able to say to anyone else. I’m also very good at diagnosing problems and issues… like reading between the lines. Call it a strong sixth sense or intuition. I can read people’s energy well and give them the insight they need.

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I’m proposing that I can help you get unstuck. By email, skype, in person or something else. Get unstuck, move on, clear the insecurities and feel confident in yourself.

  • Is there something that you can’t unravel or get to the bottom of?
  • What are you worried about?
  • Are you angry/frustrated/fed up with how life has turned out?
  • Can you not speak up about something that’s bothering you?
  • Are there hopes and dreams you’ve given up on?
  • Do you feel trapped in some way?
  • Do you feel the need to be busy all the time to avoid your feelings?
  • Do you feel numbed out?
  • Do you not feel comfortable in your own skin?
  • Are you worried about the future?
  • Are you battling with addiction or depression?

Well – that’s all OK. It’s not your fault. You know, it’s a perfectly normal and usual part of being human. Many other people suffer from similar worries to you. These problems arise because we live in a broken society where shame is normal and speaking your truth costs too much. Nearly everyone else is in pain, and stuck too, so they can’t hear you.

At a high level, politicians and businesspeople designed it this way to make you unhappy, and a good worker/consumer.

But believe it or not though, all your problems will pass. Then one day, sooner than you realise, all these worries will be a distant memory. You’ll laugh and wonder why you ever worried in the first place!

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I’ll hear you, ask questions, give you my insight of what I sense in you – and we can work together to resolve the messiest, grubbiest, stickiest problems you haven’t been able to understand or process.

If you want to get unstuck, please email me: alexclifford93@gmail.com

You can count on total confidentiality and discretion. I feel this is some kind of calling so I want to do it. I will ask you for money if we’re successful in getting you unstuck. We’ll make sure it’s affordable and well worth it.

We can do an introductory session to see if we click. If you’re better fit for someone else, I can send you in their direction. If it’s not right – I’ll tell you.

About me

I’m a perfectionist but far from perfect. So I get pissed off at myself. I’ve often felt shame, disappointment, anger and worthless. That’s why I’m good at this. I’ve processed a lot. I get it. I don’t hide from it. I still have things I’m processing, but I feel much happier in myself than I have in a long time. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. I’m no guru, and but I semi-pretend to have my shit together.

However, what I can provide to you is a safe, comfortable space where you can be you.

This is what people have said about me:

“Really needed to hear this today, it’s helping me find a healing journey out of the darkness of the last few years. “– Suzanne DenHoedt

“YES! YES!! YES!!!” – Patricia Kolowska

“I found this very gentle yet thought provoking. The knowledge that others go through similar phases is a comfort in what can be a harsh and demoralising daily
existence. Thanks.” – Cathie Coxx

“This really helped, thank you. You’re a beautiful blog post writer thank you!” – Jasmine M

“I feel like a new man. When can I speak to you again?” – Dave

“My heart almost jumped out of my body….my path in life finally feels right. Thank you for sharing your story. I connect with a childs sparkle. I view my role in life
as a true gift in which I am forever grateful” – Karen Kroetsch

“You can tap into people’s energy and tell them exactly what they need to hear. You’ve been a real ray of sunshine to me today in what has been a very desolate time.
Thank you so much” – Nick

So there we go. Drop me an email: alexclifford93@gmail.com if it feels the right thing to do. If it doesn’t – that’s cool too.

I wish you well whatever you do and wherever you go.

I hope you laugh lots, love lots and eat lots of wonderful nutritious food.

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Yes… laugh so hard you get wrinkles and look almost Asian

Your invisible religion

Every group of people has their own invisible religion.

In the workplace there might be an office “culture”.

In a country you have national norms and traits.

With a relationship you have a dynamic where someone is typically more dominant.

With family members you have certain rules, certain taboos and certain beliefs (like getting on the housing ladder).

Together it makes our identities. It creates a matrix of beliefs, a web of rules and norms that help people provide for each other.

That can be comforting. But it’s also very limiting and suffocating if you can see through it… if you can imagine a different world, or set of beliefs.

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We’re all actors playing our predetermined role. Except what we don’t realise is 95% of the script has been written by our friends, colleagues, family and society. They tell you what you are and how to behave. There’s a teeny weeny bit of individuality but that’s largely constrained by circumstances.

For the most part we never notice, let alone question, these invisible religions we believe in.

Things like “I should do what I’m told” or “he knows best” or “I can’t leave this”.

Derren Brown convinced 3 members of the public to push a man off a roof (potentially to his death).

How? By exploiting the social conditioning mechanisms that have been planted in our minds by evolution.

I’m saying this because so many of us are far from our essence, far from our inner knowledge, far from the gut feelings. We use our heads and logic too much – while our heart’s innate knowledge, and our gut feelings are ignored.

Intellectualising things leads to us seeing ourselves as separate from other people. It leads to wars, violence, lack of compassion and exploitation. It leads to all kinds of energy blockages in the body and health problems.

While on the other hand your subconcious and gut feeling is using millions of data points to work things out. It’s natural and free-flowing and leads you where you need to be in my experience. Even if that doesn’t often make logical sense.

So next time you talk to someone notice the invisible religions that you or they hold. And wonder what it would be like if you believed something else.

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You’re alright

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Everything is energy.

Everything is OK. Everything will be alright. Everything will work itself out in the end.

It’s easy to get caught up in day to day dramas about money, or work, or relationships. Or whatever. But it’s all just temporary.

Humans have survived wars, famine, plagues, droughts. Modern crises (existential and first world problems) are nothing in comparison. They do matter and are significant, yes. But they’re easy to solve compared to physical disasters.

With patience, love, understanding and time all the dark stuff and fears floats away. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have power over you any more.

Humans have a natural state of health. Left to their own devices and instincts the body and mind heal themselves.

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When you just let things happen, don’t worry too much and follow your instincts – you feel calm and like a leaf tumbling around in the wind.

The problems come up when we try and force our will on the world. When we believe we’re in control. In reality there’s some kind of higher power or God or something that’s crafting situations and making things happen.

We just have to let it be. Let go. Be. Feel. Sit ouside and feel the sunshine or the breeze. Taste the sweet zesty mandarins. Watch the birds fly around without any kind of self-consciousness. It just happens. With very little effort.

Crap happens.  Great things happen. If we’re attached to it we live in fear. Fear that the good times will end. Fear that the crap times will haunt us forever.

It all moves. All changes. Its all just temporary and before you know it, we’ll be ashes and dust so we might as well take our chances with what’s fun.

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Let go let go let go. Follow the stream. or don’t follow the stream. do what feels right. Or don’t do what feels right. It doesn’t matter. There are no mistakes. There is always treasure and we’ll always be provided for.

Stop beating yourself up. Or let yourself beat yourself up. It doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter. We’re all just in a collective dream – ghosts within pieces of flesh on a crater hurtling through the galaxy. We’ll be home soon enough.

Follow the energy. Let go of what doesn’t serve you and you’ll get where you need to be.

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Your instincts are sharper than you think.

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