I didn’t mean to start a shit storm...but I did.
It was the day before New Year’s Eve, and we were packing to go away when I heard about the mega fires burning across our country.
Feeling deeply concerned, I impulsively posted a question on Facebook asking for research on what the cause could be (without saying it, perhaps implying that our governments policies and actions were to blame?)
I put the post on to get an understanding of what other people felt and thought about this topic and I didn’t realise I would open up a pandoras box.
The post quickly escalated with everyone firing attacks and belittling each other’s views and beliefs. Probably not the best way to ring in the new decade!
And then I was personally attacked for being a community leader who irresponsibly opened up a conversation where conspiracy theories were allowed to be aired.
This was not what I was intending with the post, but then again, what was I intending? I shut down the thread and looked inwards.
I realised I was hoping for a deeper truth to be revealed. But what truth exactly?
Often our answers come when we are ready to hear them...
Not long after, we had friends over for the weekend and our friend Peter took us through a fantastic process with his new archetypal cards ‘Wonderfeel’ (we highly recommend them!)
The cards represent different parts of our psyche, and the 5th card we chose tied all the previous qualities together into an archetype to be embraced at this time.
That last card was ACTIVIST.
I didn’t resonate with the word at first, (I was involved in one protest in my early twenties where we fought the extension of the Eastern freeway to protect the Mullum Creek. After the police forcibly removed me and 50 other peaceful protesters camped at the site, I realised a life of activism wasn’t for me), but Peter asked what it means to be an activist today.
One by one we got present to a deeper need and calling within us. We realised that the activist has a deep desire to be of service in times of crisis or injustice – but it is not about looking or behaving in a way that we usually perceive an activist to be.
The activist heeds a call for change but how it looks was completely unique to each of us!
Everyone’s expression of their activist seemed to be dependent on their unique gifts and how they desired to create positive change.
Through this process I was reminded that I love to activate others through the use of my words.
And there was my answer right there...
My intention all along was to reveal a deeper truth.... IN ME!
The truth is I have the power to influence through my words, yet I still believe that I'm not good enough on some level.
It's becoming evident that this is an area I'm being called to step up in.
Not by retaliating to attacks on Facebook or putting up controversial posts blaming the powers that be. But by learning how to be more responsible with my word, to be mindful of the impact that it creates.
The activist in me understands the power of words.
And although I’ve been attached, a perfectionist, judgemental and critical of my writing, it’s time to fully embrace the writer in me and learn how to communicate well, in a way that truly inspires people.
If I can accept my mistakes and failings and embrace and develop the power of this gift, I know I can be even more skilful in impacting the people I care about.
It's been a tough time for us Aussies.
However if we can remember that we all have the power to create the positive change we want to see in the world, especially in times of crisis when we often feel powerless, then we are on a winning bat.
I believe that we can all learn how to express ourselves with greater integrity and compassion for each other, as well as deepen our connection with our deeper calling and gifts at this time.
Power, serving love, for a unifying cause.
With love, Tracy xx
Our Power and Love Workshop is coming up on January 25th, 2020.
More than 2 years ago I received inner guidance to do Healing Massage sessions for men. I had been doing healing bodywork for about 7 years at this point but I had worked mostly with women.
I put an ad out and despite providing a clear description of the nature of the service and that it was non-sexual, I received call after call asking, "Will I be wearing any clothes? Will you touch my penis? Can I touch you? Do you do hand release? Will you accept extra money for hand release?
Knowing how to respond to these requests without judgement was quite difficult, but I worked through a lot of the judgement and anger that I was feeling about it and instead chose to get curious. I took on that I was ready to understand more about men and that this was the start of it.
A turning point occurred for me when a man I would have called 'creepy' rang one day. He asked if I would inadvertently touch his genitals during the massage. I said I didn't do that but I asked him, without judgment, if that was what he was looking for. He then openly shared about his strict Catholic upbringing, about all the guilt and shame he carries with him everyday around his sexual feelings and how he just wants to be free of it. I explained to him there are experts who deal with sexual shame and I passed on the number of a Sexological Bodyworker I know. At the end of the call he expressed deep gratitude for my genuine kindness and understanding and sent me a lovely follow up text.
It was a shift in that I didn't need to take those requests personally anymore. I let go of my resistance and found myself moving more into curiosity and compassion with these men.
From then on the types of enquiries I was receiving, began to change. I was now getting calls from men who were in genuine need of massage, men who were stressed and just wanted nurturing, therapeutic and pampering touch.
As I worked with more men, I started to see patterns in them - patterns of tension, areas where they were shut down, emotional blockages and so much more. I saw the sensitive side of men, their pain, their vulnerability and all the holding on they do. So many men are suffering because they are expected to be tough, to be manly. I could see the tender boy inside each of them, who was yearning to be loved and acknowledged, appreciated and soothed. With my acceptance and reassuring touch, men were starting to melt under my hands, they sighed, some roared and others cried. Many times I drove home crying myself as I realised how hard it is for a lot of men, how lonely and isolating it can be for many of them.
As the work unfolded, I realised that the men who are coming to see me are actually seeking to connect with the suppressed and dormant parts of themselves. Even if they don't acknowledge it, they are craving deeper and more fulfilling connections with others where they can express these aspects of themselves too. Many of them are in unsatisfying relationships and don’t know how to ask for what they need. Single men who come to see me either lack the confidence or the know how to create the experiences they desire. These men are allowing me to guide them through a process that is awakening years of repressed feelings, emotions and desires and it's been incredible to witness.
Most of the men coming to me are struggling to let themselves be with their sensitivity. What I am learning is that men feel as deeply as women do, they have rich emotional needs and a strong yearning to let go of control and surrender to more vulnerable states of being (if they allow themselves to). It's been mind-blowing and a privilege to see how men are responding to my work and loving touch.
All of this is showing me how confusing it can be to be a male in this day and age. A lot of men are still wearing the mask required of them by society, yet what I am valuing and appreciating through this work, is the extent to which men are beginning to allow themselves to be with their sensitivity, to open up and let themselves feel what is going on in their inner world.
Through this process of validating men's experiences through hands on touch, men are giving themselves permission to be with all their yearnings and feel what is true for them. I can see how much relief it is providing and how men are starting to value themselves in a way they haven't before.
Unfortunately society's narrative about men makes it difficult for them to safely explore themselves and they end up walking a fine line between being called weak and feeble or domineering and arrogant.
At the end of the day, most men just want to feel loved, accepted and desired for all their humanity.
Let's support our men to feel safe enough to explore, own and accept all aspects of themselves.
With love Tracy
Photo credit - Ryan Holloway (top) John Noonan (below)
If you have a fascination with the Dark Side, if you feel debilitated by an inner Demon, if you have found 'feel good' spirituality isn't working for you, then maybe you are ready to leave the shore and go on the deeper journey of discovery.
Loving Your Dark Side is about understanding the emotional and feeling dynamics we experience in our lives and how we try to stay one step ahead of them, by using stimulation, tricks of the mind, belief systems, materialism and spiritual anaesthetics.
It's coming to terms with the realisation that in our daily lives we go through pain, frustration, anger, shame, fear, guilt and torment and many other feelings and yet we are taught and conditioned to sweep these under the carpet, to not let them get in the way of our lives and ambitions and if they do debilitate or overwhelm us, then that creates feelings of being a loser, a fool, a victim, a hopeless case.
Yet what is possible when we turn and face the fear of our pain, is the gold and the gems, the power and the clarity that were ours all along. We step into the cave frightened and vulnerable, we step out with the roar and the power of victory over our Demon.
The Demon of Debilitation, becomes a Demon for Love. Our power and heart integrate.
The freedom and the depth of peace that becomes available steps us out of our childish wants and needs into a deeper sense of Self that has a far greater purpose and a clearer mission. We leave the shallows and safety of the shore and immerse into the depths, where we find our gold and where we truly belong.
In the 14 years of working with people's Dark Sides, I have often found that heart centred women and men are afraid of their 'power' because of a misunderstanding of what power is. They are afraid to show up in their 'power' for fear of not being liked or accepted and so we embellish our personalities with inauthentic qualities to fit in and belong, or we bow out and fade into the background, while we are left with this unerring feeling that something is missing.
Knowing this brings clarity, taking the plunge creates power, skill and command of your self and your life. I would be honoured to guide you on that journey.
If you are ready to deepen your personal journey, book a discovery call here:
If you have questions you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
As appears in the September Edition of Living Now magazine
I was re-watching Matrix Reloaded the other day, the second ‘difficult’movie in the trilogy, and for the first time I realised I disagreed with one of the many brilliant quotes in that movie. The quote was “Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.”
I disagreed because in my experience for myself and in working with many others in the area of transformational change, I feel pain is the source of our greatest strength and our greatest weakness.
‘Know thy Self’ was written on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. It beautifully sums up the challenge of life and the journey we all go on to arrive at a deeper understanding of ourselves and how we operate and what it means to be a human being, rather than a dog being or a bird being.
Yet within our current paradigm, and when I mean current I mean at least the last 100 years, the mantra would probably be closer to “whatever you do, don’t know your Self”. Don’t listen to yourself, doubt that inner guidance and, whatever you do, don’t follow it because, if you do, you will be looked upon by others as crazy. No, it is much better to let us, the authorities, the institutions, the corporations and their public relations and marketers, tell you what is okay to think, what you should do, how you should be and what you should believe.
Is it so surprising that many of us have no idea or very little skill in how to connect to our inner wisdom, our inner guidance? Even if we do, there is often shame or guilt or embarrassment around it.
One of the great embarrassments of following our guidance is the often absence of a ‘why’. Our need for meaning and whys for everything is often not fulfilled till after we follow our guidance, and very rarely before.
Sometimes it can take years to understand the why.
‘Why did you stay in that relationship for so long?’
‘Why did you come back to Australia?’
This is where the beauty of pain kicks in.
If we look closely we notice that when we don’t have an answer that is authentic for us, we have a jolt of pain. That shame or guilt or embarrassment covers up a deeper feeling of pain, the pain of not knowing or understanding why. Often in those situations we may fob people off with a made up ‘fob-off why’. But we forget that those close to us most likely can spot an authentic why from a fob-off why, even if that fob-off why sounds well thought out and makes sense; and those that care about us, and are willing to challenge us, will let us know. ‘Your why... smells a bit fishy. I’d dig a little deeper if I were you.’
So how do we know we have found the authentic why and not just some ‘makes sense why’ created by our logical mind?
As a Transformational Coach I know that if the person I am working with has a really good, well thought out, rational and reasonable reason for why something is so, and it makes sense, then a little alarm bell goes off in me and I know, more often than not, that they are avoiding their feelings, they are avoiding the pain. I see this is often what we do to justify our actions and avoid the pain that is there to face.
Why do we avoid facing our pain?
I would say because we have been taught to trade short, intense pain for mild, long-lasting suffering and somehow we believe that that’s a good trade off! We are conditioned to believe that pain is a sign that there is something wrong with us, in a negative sense. In other words it is a source of weakness, an embarrassment, self-indulgent or shameful. This avoidance of accepting the pain we have experienced in life and feeling the pain that is there to feel is at the core of our deep insecurities and is deeply debilitating. It is my experience and belief that when we reject and avoid our pain, we miss out on learning from one of our most valuable teachers in life. We miss the lesson of pain.
Pain is an amazing teacher that always delivers exactly what we need. Pain cracks us open to a new level of authenticity and eventually brings us to that line between living an inauthentic conditioned life and living a fully authentic unconditioned life, following our calling, sharing our unique gift and genius with the world.
Life – our higher self, that higher intelligence – can often be ruthless in its determination to bring us to that line, often kicking and screaming, trying to hold together the crumbling of our existing structures. Yet, when we let go, when we surrender to the unfolding discovery of the mystery of who we really are rather than cling desperately to the remains of who we think we are, we step into a new reality, a new realm of being, a new uncharted terrain in our journey. From this unfolding discovery we understand that pain plays a role in our growth and refinement. It teaches us a deeper acceptance of our limited sense of self and allows us the opportunity to expand beyond who we think we are.
I write this article because I strongly believe that this dynamic of trying to hold together the remnant of who we think we are and the increasing pain that desperation creates is what more and more of us are experiencing in our lives. The journey to deeper authenticity can occur like walking through a furnace and having the excesses we have accumulated over time burned away, revealing a raw, vulnerable present human being. As my friend loved to say, “There’s light at the end of the funnel! Because sometimes this journey feels like you’re being sucked backwards through one.”
When we transform our relationship to pain and we begin to acknowledge and own the pain we have experienced in life and the lessons we have learnt, we tap into a strength, a resilience, a deep spiritual power that is a beautiful gift to ourselves and the world we serve.
Pain is not something we need to seek because it will always be provided when a lesson needs to be learnt, when a deeper level of authenticity is required of us, and that lesson is always perfect in its timing and in its delivery. That’s the beauty of pain.
Ian runs ‘Being the One’ Transformational Courses in Melbourne with his partner, Tracy Marcuzzi.
Elizabeth Jewell Stephens will interview them at afternoon tea on Sunday, 27th September, in Melbourne.
I woke up today thinking about a defining moment in my life.
I was sitting in a cafe with an old friend I hadn't seen for a couple of years. I was 28 and I had just returned to Australia after 5 years in London.
I was trying to explain to her the awakening experience that I had in London and the only way I could describe it was to say; it was like walking 100 yards and getting back into your body and zipping the back up and here I am in my body and these hands that I am moving are my hands and these eyes that I am looking out of, are my eyes. I moved my hands around in a flowing motion and I remember saying it’s as if this motion is the entire meaning of life, that every act of motion has within it the essence of all existence.
When I look back I have to laugh because I’m sure my friend must of thought I had lost my mind and in a sense that would be true. What I had realised was that the source of all meaning was in the mind. Without our minds there is no meaning and when we let go of our minds as the primary perception of reality we return back to our bodies and more importantly back to the essence of who we really are.
This is my body, this is my mind, these are my eyes I am looking through right now and these are my hands I see before me, but who is it that is thinking that? Who is it that calls these things my body, my mind, my thoughts, my beliefs, my emotions, my partner, my home, my work, my title? Who is my?
My friend was very ambitious and was doing very well for herself. A part of me was still wondering why I was, by society standards, a failure; Homeless, jobless, with no direction or drive. I asked my friend why they felt I struggled with life, what it was that I lacked that would make the difference? I had this deep realisation of myself and yet I didn't fully accept what I had discovered because a part of me wouldn't let me believe it. The part of me that had sent me on the seekers journey couldn't believe that I had found what I was looking for. Surely that can’t be it? Surely there is something more, something deeper something more profound. It couldn't be that simple could it? I remember laughing with tears of joy rolling down my face when I realised that all that time, all those years of pain and struggle and questioning, what I had been looking for was me.
Me? Which ‘me’ am I talking about here? I have quite a few me’s? So which one is the right one?
I really wasn't ready to let go of me. I had poured so much into me how could I just let me go. All that time, all that energy, all that work and deep inquiry, all that knowledge and information and points of view I had accumulated, and all those emotions and feelings I had experienced, there’s gold in there!! I couldn't just let it go. Could I?
20 years later after many annoyed and frustrating attempts to let go of me here I am, me still intact. I fully accept me. I fully accept that wherever I am, me is going to be there too. Sure I’m not the ‘me’ I thought I was going to be when I was a younger me. I never quite became the Rock-star 'me' that everyone (mainly me) thought I would be, and the Spiritual Guru ‘me’ that I got fascinated with for a while.
When I asked my friend, what it was that I lacked that would make the difference? My friends answer was “I don’t know, I guess its confidence”. I thought that was a pretty good answer. What I wished I’d asked was....to do what? To be what?
You know what the answer would have been right?