Twelve weeks ago, around the start of the year, I made a conscious decision to start something completely new in my life, I call it the Animus Diet. Yes, I appreciate that January and dieting tend to go hand-in-hand, however, this was an entirely different kind of diet because there would be no calorie counting or weighing scales involved. Not even a tape measure, as I attempted to slim down my overweight animus, ‘Brutus’ and build up my skinny anima, whom I refer to fondly as ‘Olive Oyl.’ It was only when I discovered the wonderful cartoons at the beginning and at the end of this article that I recognised the characters as archetypes for my inner masculine and feminine aspects. In the first part of this article Journey of Love: The Animus Diet I wrote about my initial thoughts, reflections and changes that I felt I needed to make and I explored a number of suggestions about how to put these in place. This article picks up where week four left off as I continue to explore my inner masculine/feminine imbalance. And so the animus diet continues.
Okay, that’s it, I’m putting my fat animus on a post-holiday diet! For too long now he’s been aggressively stuffing me full of sugar and fat and making me feel, well, quite ill, if not tired most of the time. As a student of Jung I simply have to try out this lower inner-man diet. So back to the book shelves I go, to pull out Marion Woodsman’s impressive books that help me study “Feminine Consciousness” in more depth and try to figure out how to curb my invisible partner’s hunger.
In physical terms I don’t have much weight to lose, somewhere around 4.5 kg (10 lb) in order to fit into my jeans more comfortably. I’ve decided, as I usually eat reasonably healthily, that I’m not going to change my diet too much, instead, I’m going to change the way I interact with my “internal man.” Psychologically, however, I know I need to create more of a balance by way of plumping up my skinny feminine self and slimming down my overweight masculine side. When I came across the humorous sketch above, it perfectly illustrated for me how I felt my animus was taking up too much room “on the inside.” Continue reading
Welcome to the second part of my Journey of Love: The Way of the Dream. For ease of reference I will republish both dreams, however, if you would like to look back over the first part of this article, here’s the link: The Way of the Dream – Part One. In this section I will be exploring each dream in further detail, bringing to light their guiding themes before exploring how, despite being decades apart, both dreams are deeply connected. First, let us return to my recurring childhood dream. Even though there are a number of symbols within each dream I’ve decided to explore the three central images, which for me are the Dragonfly, the Dark Woods and the game of Hide-and-Seek. In the second dream I shall consider the symbolism of Birth, the Goddess Lakshmi and the Queen of Heaven before exploring the powerful connections between both dreams.
In March 2009 during a weekend workshop on the theme of Archetypal Dreamwork, I met Carl Gustav Jung for the second time in my life. This time, as luck would have it, there would be no escape or turning back. Although I had been captivated by the way of the dream throughout my life, dreams weren’t something that I had ever considered working with before within my therapeutic practice. However, deeply intrigued by the workshop particulars, I found my unconscious outperforming my conscious as the registration form seemed to fill itself out without me even noticing. Yes, I had decided from deep within, I wanted to learn more about the dark, mysterious world of dreams.
Halloween is the perfect spell for exploring evil visitations and how we unconsciously invite more fear-provoking ghouls into our everyday lives without really knowing or understanding why. In this seasonal blog post I shall be bringing to light the fate of the magician, otherwise known as the witch, healer, or shaman, for the alchemist has many names. To begin with I’ll briefly explore the terms ‘alchemy’ and ‘fate’ before delving into one of Jung’s richest passages that I’ve ever had the good fortune to stumble across.
This article is on the subject of the Like Button or whatever you like to call it button … you know the one! Whether you’re having a love or hate affair with it, or both, it seems that this button is here to stay. I’m going to begin with considering the external LB (Like Button) the one we encounter on WordPress, social media and in our daily lives too. Later I’ll explore the internal LB, the one that enables us to make our own decisions and validate ourselves. The curious case of two buttons, which one of these are you pressing? Let me start by sharing that I don’t have a LB on my blog ‘The Liberated Sheep’ for reasons that will become clear by the end of this post. Although, I’ve noticed I still get likes due to the wordpress.com reader, which I have no idea how to switch off!
This blog post is all about how I wrote my first poetry book ‘A Liberated Sheep in a Post Shepherd World’ inspired by the final copy proof landing in my hands this morning!!!
Why I Wrote My First Poetry Book
I love poetry and have always dreamed of the day when I would at last embrace my own book. Poems that I could share with everybody, including my family and friends. The happiness that I feel today is incredible! My confidence and faith, wholly restored. I have been bouncing up and down the street and walking around the supermarket with the silliest looking smile you ever did see! A natural high with a wonderful sense of achievement that on more than a few levels, means the world to me. This book has been such a long time in the making, more than thirty five years to be precise, so why publish now, here in mid-life I hear you ask?
Jung at Heart
I was truly young at heart when I first encountered Jung, whilst reading a book by Freud, in my local library. Intrigued by him I returned to the shelves and chanced upon his memoir, ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’ and sat down to read it. Being only fifteen years old meant that I couldn’t take out an adult book so it took a few trips to the library after school to complete reading. Anyhow I did finish it and although much of what I read went over my head I remember feeling captivated. Then as often happens, Jung and I (consciously) parted company for the next thirty years until, aged forty five years, I met him again and abundantly so, after joining a local women’s Dream Group based on Jungian principles.
Why I was first drawn to Clarissa I’ll never know …
I remember entering the shop and pushing back the curtain to find her sitting there, at her table in the back room, smiling. As I approached my thirtieth birthday, I was nervous yet desperate for insight into a life-changing decision I was making. Time backed up the moment she pulled out her Tarot cards, it was like magic being spread around the table. The consultation with Clarissa lasted two hours and I remember feeling amazed by her deeply intuitive, accurate reading of those mystical cards. It was revelatory! I saw her two more times over the next six years. Each time I felt held, in some way contained, by this archetypal witchy looking woman with her large gold earrings. Then, as often is the case, after the crisis had passed I forgot all about her.