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Nina Handwerk: Brennan Healing Science Practitioner

Criticism and Change

How To Stay Open Through Challenge

By in awareness with 0 Comments

As the year wanes and the nights get longer, it’s easy to feel the energy of transition all around us. From life to death, lightness to seriousness, soul transitions take all shapes and forms. On the global level our earth is in massive transition, with climate change disasters left and right and species die-off. How do we handle this?

The personal transitions and the global ones can bring up existential fear, loneliness, and a feeling of loss of control. How do we embrace change, no matter how radically uncomfortable, rather than go kicking and screaming?

One of the purposes of healing work is to help you move from one way of being to another. Your soul wants to change, wants to evolve. We all want at some level to take the risk to become more than we’ve been. Healing work expedites this process.

Yet for every person, without exception, transitions are uncomfortable. Our ‘normal’ or habituated ways of doing things get called into question. We start doubting ourselves. We feel the impulse to move towards something new (or life demands it of us), some better way of being, that will ultimately allow a deeper embodiment of who we are, yet taking a risk to allow real change can feel overwhelming. It takes great courage and faith to believe that their could be more awaiting us if we jump off the ledge of the familiar.

If we could imagine our soul process in simple terms, it’s like learning to ride a bike. It is inevitable that we will fall over again and again until we start to get the hang of the new skill. The part of us that yearns for the freedom of bike-riding keeps us from giving up, even after the fifteenth failed attempt.

If we were to watch our own child fail again and again in the process of learning to ride a bike, would we roll our eyes, criticize them in the process, and ruthlessly point out their errors? No, most likely we’d be excited for them, encouraging, and ultimately we’d believe that they will one day show mastery. Of course! We see so much potential in our children. Yet, when it comes to our own learning curve as adults, we tend to heap on mounds of self criticism, judgment, and intolerance towards the aspects of ourselves that are lost, confused, and in transition, as though we think being adult means having nothing new to learn. So far from the truth!

The part of us that is in a growth process is actually the most valuable part of our being in a given moment. It holds the most potential. It is the most moldable, changeable, and un-stuck aspect. It is the one that is the most active in our psyche, while the other parts play a supporting role. Our areas of challenge and vulnerability are the keys to becoming more than we’ve been. If we can tolerate the discomfort of remaining on our growing edge, we can reach great heights of bliss and self-awareness. This is why the path of consciousness is often referred to as ‘walking the razor’s edge.’

When you’re engaged in your healing work and really feeling the discomfort of that new growing edge, one question to ask yourself is, “am I able to support myself in this growth process?”

When I’m going through something particularly heavy internally, I look to these supporting factors:

1. Can the adult, already whole part of me support the vulnerable, changing part in a nonjudgemental, patient way?

2. Am I determined to see the process all the way through and not quit when it gets uncomfortable?

3. Do I have good quality support to help me through this transition, to fill in any gaps in my awareness and help me see the bigger picture?

No dark night of the soul, no challenge, no discomfort is without purpose when we’re on a growth path. The trick is, can you stay supportive of yourself in the hard moments? This is the function of the healthy adult ego, which when clicked in, can nurture and support the part of ourselves that is in change.

When we have a functional healthy adult ego we’re able to encourage ourselves, have compassion for ourselves, be realistic with ourselves, and seek support when needed. Staying out of criticism is key. As soon as we enter into heavy self-criticism, growth stops.

If you find yourself criticizing, can you find a way to let it go and instead get curious about your process?

Curiosity opens the field, criticism closes it.

If you can stay curious in the midst of change, many avenues of consciousness will open to you.

Curiosity in the midst of change is what creates innovation and new ideas. On the global level, examples of this are the new legislation we’re seeing in places like the EU to address climate change, creativity in households around less waste, conservation efforts. All of these things show humanity’s willingness to keep trying, learning, and growing even in the midst of heavy catastrophes. It shows that we know on some level that continuing to move forward is key, even when life feels overwhelming.

On a personal level, the same is true. The more you can find support, both inner and outer, in heavy transitions, the more your energy field and psyche will keep opening to life, allowing you to handle more and stay positive even in difficulty. If you can stay curious rather than judge your process, you’ll have more capacity to shift and find innovation and flexibility in your psyche and spirit.

Lately what I’ve been meditating on in my work is the feeling of freedom that comes when the healthy adult ego knows its role, and is there to create safety and boundaries in your life, yet doesn’t stifle, judge, or inhibit the creative, curious aspect of you that is still growing. The feeling of not judging yourself as you learn is really quite amazing. Life feels more like an exciting experiment than a heavy burden, which I imagine is closer to the experience of a well-supported child.

Can you feel the reality that in essence you are exactly that? A well-supported child of the divine, here to learn, grow, change, and be happy.

For more information about my programs for conscious people working their growth edge in consciousness, contact me for a free clarity session.

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Nina Handwerk: Brennan Healing Science Practitioner