‘We are holy, and we are whole’…
For more years than I care to remember, I have been a psychotherapist, counsellor, healer, and creative being. I have been so very glad of my skills and empathy, having met and supported many thousands of beautiful people, and enabled some wounds to be faced and healed. My path has meandered in varying directions, each one a flag on the way to wholeness, heart opening and earth connection, both for myself and my clients.
Often I would split my sensitive, healer, shamanic, artist and writer self, from my therapist self, believing falsely that this part of me could not enter the therapy room. I tried in vain to keep the two apart.
Some twenty years ago this began to change. I realised by bringing my whole self into the therapy room, group or outdoor space, something shifted in others and in myself. We met and connected in wholeness, truth and authenticity; true transformation occurred.
I notice this now happening more in the therapy world; an integration of body and soul, earth and life, creative and psyche.
I like to call this form of therapy earth based psychotherapy.
Early on I offered ‘transformational soul healing ‘, perhaps the beginning of this integration. Though this began thirty years ago, I could not call it therapy for another ten years!
Then, of course there is mindfulness , reminding me of my 40 years as a meditator and sacred space holder. I experimented with this in the therapy room over many years, undertaking transpersonal trainings, bringing in silence and visualisation! Now mindfulness and wellbeing are on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
More recently, interest in ‘energy psychology’ and therapies such as EFT has grown. As a ‘spiritual healer I trained deeply in chakra psychology and their growth potential. Energy psychology is now recognised as a wonderful tool in trauma healing.
How our history of trauma is held in the body, needing attention and love, to be felt in order to be cleared, has been a growing theme within society, and certainly enters my work daily. During the years supporting young people and families in the foster care system, along with depth training in attachment theory and years in the fields of grief and loss, trauma emerged as the pivotal theme. We all experience trauma in our lives though some more than others. Our civilization is perhaps rooted in trauma ; we could say the earth is currently in trauma. Significant in my therapy room now.
Recent interest in the earth and nature as vital for our souls, echoes my 40 years in the world of shamanism and wild nature connection. My heart relaxes when I know that others are also touching the missing connection to life. When living in the Lake District UK and Shetland Isles, the lakes, horizon line and mountains were my teachers, the trees my wise companions and mentors. The sense of connection to all living beings, whether, earth, elements, animals and plants, taught me about life. Eco-therapy is now a ‘thing’! Such a wonder. The 20 year old young Anna would have been amazed!
And finally, our concerns about climate change, now acknowledged as we reach the brink of our known civilisation, reminds me of my very young self who refused lessons in driving because of an absolute abhorrence of polluting the planet. (I relented eventually!). As one of the original ‘greens’ I recycled before it was mandatory. We live on the earth, yet we have separated ourselves from our very source of life, ie nature. Those cycles we ignore at our peril. When we discover within ourselves our connection to these cycles, breathing in the source of life, something shifts within us. My therapy work now involves climate change anxiety, the earth’s role in our life, and how to connect body to earth, body to soul and body to life.
So what does it mean to offer psychotherapy which heals both ourselves and the planet. To link shamanism, healing and profound therapy?
I believe, fundamentally, we are bodies with souls, moving, breathing, sensing, and connecting if we are lucky. By discovering a reverence to our mother earth, allowing our bodies to show us our inner knowledge, and instinctive wisdom, we connect to a source of life which gives freedom; to be ourselves; to recognise balance and harmony; and to heal our past traumas and wounds. It allows our sensitive body self to feel safe enough to touch the earth, meet nature and other living beings and feel alive. Then we can find our truth and authenticity.
It allows us to face and heal some of the deep separations which have been here for millenia between the forces of nature and our own breathing, moving, feeling bodies. We may need to do this through grief rituals, gratitude times, deep emotional release, creative outpourings, deep therapy sharing, direct bodywork or similar. However we do it, we release the disconnect from our bodies, which has caused such traumas and wounds to be a part of every living being on the planet.
We explore that we are not alone. This is fundamental. For if we believe we are not alone, perhaps all living beings together are living on this planet trying to co-exist in harmony, then something happens in our system. We connect to our inner tribal self. We connect to a force beyond ourselves. We connect to gaia. And discover soul whatever that means for you.
We become soothed, we feel enlivened, we explore being held by the deepest mother of all – mother earth. And we begin to want to change our relationship to her, as we know that there is no separation between our bodies and hers. This can give hope to many at this time.
My wish is that my work as psychotherapist and space holder goes some way towards enabling a true connection between planet, humanity and all living beings. To discover and create a better form of society, releasing our fundamental sense of aloneness, along with letting go the ancient traumas we carry in our bodies, For then we cannot abuse the earth, we cannot abuse each other and we cannot abuse ourselves. For we are holy and we are whole. When we are connected.
Contact me if you want to know more about any aspect of my work…
Namaste and love
Anna Tara Yacov xx
With grateful thanks to Josephine Wall for the glorious picture – https://josephinewall.co.uk/