- Don’t “Take Responsibility”
Today I would like to ask everyone to never tell someone to “take responsibility” or “be responsible” again. Broken down, the words sound empowering – you are encouraging others to enter a mindset of responding appropriately to the situation, but what this phrase has come to mean is “take the fault or blame,” “man up and shoulder the consequences of your actions.”
We usually would use this phrase when someone is blaming others or assuming the role of the victim – “It’s not my fault x happened, so and so let him do it.” What we need to recognise is that someone who is avoiding blame or pushing it onto others is in denial and in victim mode. When we try to push someone in this state to accept their part of the ‘responsibility’ it is often met with closed minded defensiveness. (Why are they trying to make me take on a burden/ punishment that isn’t mine?! Can’t they see that I have been wronged? I am the victim, the small, the weak. I cannot possibly carry more than I am already. I won’t. They are wrong.) Any heart to heart communication that you were hoping for could be shot down.
Instead of trying to get someone to shoulder the “blame for their actions or inactions – ask them at what point they gave their power away. Usually, if we think through the event or project, there will be a point where we made a decision that brought about the painful consequences. “I drank more than I wanted to because I didn’t not refuse the drink he paid for and set before me. I had told him no, but when he brought it, I felt obligated to drink it.” When we find these pivotal decisions, they are points of empowerment as we can choose to permanently change our behaviour in the future. “I choose to only drink alcohol that I order. I will not be pressured into accepting anything I did not request.” (Side note: if one does not feel confident rejecting a drink, in a public place, how is one going to feel about rejecting advances in a more intimate, and more inebriated state…).
At what point did you decide to give your power to someone else?
1.) When I choose to trust the numbers instead of checking them.
2.) When I wanted to say “no” but said “yes”.
3.) When I realised what was going on but didn’t say anything.
4.) I knew I should leave but stayed.
5.) I didn’t want to go, but let myself be pressured into joining.
6.) I froze.
7.) I knew he/she/I was in no state to drive, but I got in the car anyway.
Instead of asking someone to take responsibility (shoulder the burden) of an outcome, we can empower them to be more aware of when they are giving their power away. We are not taught to stand in our power – we do that by recognising that we have a choice and if we have contributed to the situation, then we most definitely have power over it to change it.
“Take responsibility” implies that there was an ending with a negative result that needs to be paid somehow by someone. “When/ how did you give your power away” suggests that their power can be reclaimed, be wiser, and that they have control going forward and in the future.
We cannot change others or change what happened, but we can look back on where we lost ourselves and take a good hard look at situations that have us slipping. You can always change a situation, wherever you are in it – the beginning, middle or end, and it never really is the end until you are dead. If you do not reclaim your power, others will always have power over you.
The wise don’t need others to suffer the burden of their actions, but to learn from them. Do not look to blame and punish, but to strengthen and heal. When and how do you give your power away? What have been pivotal decisions in your life? What foundational changes have you made as a result of taking back your power?
- Intuition and Psychic Power
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend an all day workshop for the first time in years. I had no idea what the topic was going to be (Intuition) but the facilitator came highly recommended.
At this point in my journey, I no longer attend workshops expecting to learn anything new – having started my spiritual journey at 12 with my first deck of tarot cards, crystals, essentials and trying to make sense of the horrible nightmares and presences I felt around me…I have been meditating, reading and searching for answers for nearly 30 years. My past few experiences with teachers and expensive trainings have been a waste of time and money. It is for this reason now, that when I look for a course or workshop that I only look at the humanness of the person leading it. Camilla is a “good human.”
In this post, would like to offer more accurate information on the topic of Intuition and the difference between Psychic Skills or Powers, as she use them interchangeably – and they most definitely are not. Regardless of my knit-picking, she is a wonderful human and I hope to continue to learn more about being a wonderful human from her 💗.
Intuition vs. Psychic Powers
Intuition is an awareness – it is not knowingness or insight – it is the feeling you get that says “I should leave now,” “Wait, where’s ,” “Hmm, I haven’t spoken to x in years, I should call them,” and so on. It is also an inner compass that gives you direction but does not explain why- “I should do this, I don’t know why, but I am being called to go here, do that, speak to this person, quit this, etc.” Usually this is followed up by someone questioning you, “But why? We just got here! What do you mean we should leave?!” “What are you talking about ‘take a sabbatical and go to South America/ India/ Avalon’?! Do you even know anyone there? We don’t have the budget for that! I would support you if I understood you but at this point you haven’t convinced me.”
Both parts of that experience are important – being aware of the niggle/ the push and then validating yourself, “I don’t know why I need to do this, but I will, and I will know later why it was important.” Every time you feel a call and ignore it, you allow your conscious mind to shoot down your senses of awareness (gut, heart, bones, womb, soul). You are giving the spiritual self the signal to shut up because it is not ‘feasible, logical, or reasonable.” This is why many depressed people feel numb inside, they have lost connection to their inner compass, they have not followed it for so long that it has gone dormant.
To cultivate intuition, you must follow it. Do as you feel called to do and trust that there is a reason for it. Keep in mind that the consequences at first may look bad (taking the sabbatical even though your boss or spouse does not approve and you find yourself fired or getting divorced, for example), but then after the shift has happened and the dust settles, the new chapter of you life starts to take shape and everything you went through makes sense.
Intuition is NOT the same as a psychic powers or abilities. These are forms of knowing, where you are able to glean factual information from simply thinking about a person, object or situation. These are skills that some people are born with, but more often are cultivated through spiritual practices. The Raja Yoga Sutras by Patanjali has entire sections on these powers or “Siddhis.” When someone asks you why you need to do something you will have the answer ready because you will have seen, heard or physically felt what will happen. “I felt/ I saw/ I heard… that I am supposed to meet a woman in red in front of a temple – I looked up the images online and found that it is in Peru and looks like this (photo) and I need to go soon.” “I have to leave because this is a violent person who will physically harm me if I do not leave now.” “This necklace belonged to your husband’s grandmother and was given to his mother as a wedding gift.”
These are skills that can be cultivated with various forms of meditation/ concentration. There is psychic seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling/sensing, smelling (Example: Visiting a house that was has passed through generations “It smells like roses here.” “My Nana used to always smell of rose water.”). Regardless of the extraordinary sense used, the image or message it creates in the field of knowing will be the same.
There are also tools you can use to help interpret what your messages that you have received through intuition – like pendulums, tarot/ oracle cards, runes, tea leaf reading, smoke reading, scrying…just loads. They are about translating the energies around you that you may or may not be aware of. You can use these tools to enhance what you know through your psychic powers for example, “When? Where? How many? By what means? Who?” Those tools can help you flesh out more of your plan towards following your inner guidance.
Spirits & Protection
Something you should be aware of is that the space around you is not a vacuum. At all times there are forms of energetic consciousness in between, on and a part of all manifested forms. When you start to tune into energies – you start to be more present to these “beings” as well. You may start to feel the presence of pleasant and not so pleasant forms crowd your space.
Some people suggest the “bubble” method of protecting yourself. Depending on how strong the person, entity or spirit is, it may work for a while but I have found it exhausting and not very effective. Again, if you look into the Raja Yoga Sutras, you will find them mentioning other powers as well – the ability to become huge or very small. Better than a “shield” or trying to push things away, you can change your energetic density so that you either cannot be perceived, or that you are so overwhelmingly bright that whatever is there need retreat. I created versions of these meditations for myself and they very effective.
The last and most powerful way to clear and protect your space is Sanskrit mantra. I have felt entire rooms light up, become more spacious and clear. There are mantras that are so powerful that they quickly remove even the biggest darknesses. Also a note here: If you come from a country, tradition or language that has its own prayers and mantras, they will work best for you. Those words, sounds and rhythms run in your ancestral bloodline in the form of vibrations. When you sing the words that have been sung for hundreds or thousands of years in the land where you blood and bones come from, it holds more power than anything else.
Generally, we do not want to touch sacred objects that belong to someone else – firstly it can feel as invasive and secondly, we can assume that they have spent a long time charging/ putting meditative energy and intention into these objects and it is inappropriate for us to then “contaminate” these objects with uncentered energy by touching them without permission.
It is for this reason that I do not let anyone touch my crystals, bell, or tarot cards – although I do share my Oracle Cards with my women in circle.
My Classes and Coaching:
Should you want to learn more about any of these topics, I do offer classes for increasing intuition, meditation & mantra chanting, spirits and entities, spiritual protection, the use of spiritual tools, yogic scriptures and Personalize Spiritual Life Coaching.
As always find me on IG @susan.mcginney for current workshops and class and do please make requests if you would like to host a workshop for you team or studio.
- Surrender – Pregnancy & Trauma
Yesterday I had the wonderful (and exhausting 😂) opportunity to introduce my business and services to LaunchPad Members x3 times.
The experience brought some beautiful connections and some triggering “marketing suggestions” from a woman who seemed very interested in my work and mentioned that she really would have wanted something like the postnatal/ Mom focused birth processing workshops/ coaching that I offer. “You should tell their stories and get them to share their experience with you!”
The women I work with have experienced abuse, been demoralised, pushed into medical procedures they did not want and in many cases being told that how they feel and what they went through doesn’t matter because they have a healthy baby.
The idea that these women, my clients, should publicly talk about a taboo subject that is still vastly downplayed and denied is heartless, unreasonable and repulsive to me. Women who find their way to me are looking for space and support in exploring the depths of the sadness and grief that this experience has caused them. They are processing the change in how they see themselves, the medical community, their relationship with their spouse (“He just stood there.” “He wasn’t even there.”). And I am not going to turn their pain and process into a marketing ploy to sell you or anyone my support or as more oddly suggested, give people an idea of how I work. I have thought about it though and will share some stories that are more than 7 years old from my time in Stuttgart…
Every client is different.
A very wound up Italian Mama with a strong devotion to the Hare Krishna Movement was being scheduled for a second unwanted c-section due to breech presentation. I spoke to her about Krishna. I quoted the Bhagavad Gita and spoke of letting all attachment go, that she is being divinely guided and that there are many techniques for flipping a breech baby. This greatly calmed her and made her feel more connected to herself and spirituality. For the next two weeks she routinely did the exercises, her baby flipped and she sent me glowing messages after that she had had a healing “normal” delivery.
Ignored and Shamed
I did not speak to my Colombian Mama about Krishna… She went to the hospital in labor but they refused to admit her as she was not “far enough” dilated. One thing you must know is that birth is unpredictable, labor can pause at any time and all of a sudden race forward. In many cases, it is directly linked to how a mother feels (perceived threats and fear can stall the birth process as the body is getting the message that she may need to flee or fight, and giving birth now is not safe). Anyway, she knew she was in labour and stayed in the hospital waiting room for hours, quietly labouring. “In my country, if women are loud when they are in pain, they are thought to be dramatic and are ignored.” So she laboured alone in silence. At one point she went up to reception unable to cope with the pain any longer “I cannot take it anymore and would prefer a C-section at this point.” The nurse chastised her and called her husband, who had gone home, to mock her publicly. “Your wife says she is ready for a c-section!” He said, “Well have you examined her at all?” When they did, they could see the baby’s hair and he was born minutes after.
With her I walked. We would walk through the woods, to the playground and we were mostly quiet. There were things she didn’t need to say…that she wished her family would come, that her husband wouldn’t need to be at work all day and could keep her company, that the people in our town were friendlier… We sat under trees and breathed through the sadness, the loneliness and walked, walked, walked. It is a horrible feeling to sit home alone, missing people, longing for them. Nature is a loving presence and sometimes it feels better to be moving, than sitting alone in an empty house. She knew she didn’t want anymore children – and somehow, life does that to us…to try again. It was hard for her to process that she will be going through this again, that her husband was accusing her of infidelity as she found out while he was away, that she was alone again. Sometimes, we need to just be allowed to let go of what we are holding onto – knowing that the person we tell will never mention it to someone we know. There is so much pressure to be happy and judgment when we are not…
I have taught prenatal yoga for many years. In Germany, where 1-2 children is the norm, many women were in class during their first pregnancy. One of the Mamas there was pregnant with a Rainbow Baby. Her last pregnancy had ended at 7 months, when the baby had died without any identifiable reason. In that case, the mother still needs to labor and birth this baby and support during this time so important. The rest of the women in the group were clearly triggered by this story, worrying about their unborn babies. Being spiritual, I brought the focus back to everything being a journey and that we don’t know how long or short it will be. We always have right now, and right now everything is good, calm and as it should be. Breathe into that.
Healing from infant loss becomes harder when people in our lives judge, blame or in some way punish the mother for not delivering a healthy child (or male child, especially in Asia). The woman’s feelings are all over the place “Who am I now? I was going to be a mother, is that what I am now? My body failed my child…” Her self-image needs to be recreated anew, ideally with support.
A different German mother was aggressively cut during an otherwise uncomplicated birth, causing severe nerve damage to her entire pelvic floor. She lost all control of her bladder and bowels. The pelvic floor clinic instructed her to “tense the pelvic floor muscles.” “I cannot feel my pelvic floor, it is not possible for me to tense those muscles.” None of the women in the clinic had given birth before… In the end she took a lot of their literature and came to see me. We worked with synergistic muscles – there are muscle groups that activate the pelvic floor at the same time, so regardless if you can feel it or not, you are working your pelvis floor even without Kegel’s. She was able to regain full control over her bladder and bowels through daily exercise. The body is amazing and constantly looking to heal itself.
These are obviously some of the worst cases and these clients I only see 1 on 1, as in a group setting telling these sad and traumatic stories can trigger anxiety and post traumatic stress symptoms (mentally and emotionally checking out & reliving your trauma) in other women in the group. Their stories and feeling need to be heard and honoured though which is why private sessions are available.
In postpartum group workshops to integrate the birth experience, we use techniques from art therapy, self-massage, journaling, singing/ chanting, Family Constellation meditations (especially in the case of infant loss), relaxation techniques, Life Story re-writing, and whatever else the group is open to as there is a lot I have explored on my healing journey(s).
The prenatal and postnatal classes are movement based classes with a few relaxation based exercises. We do a brief check-in circle and anyone can make a request to work on certain area of the body or more/ less intense poses today, etc. We are a flexible group.
- Birth does not need to include violence or abuse for it to be traumatic. There is a lot going on, fluids, pain, sounds, lots of people, possibly lots of interventions (which are sometimes necessary). Feeling out of control and not knowing how to help can cause an experience to feel traumatic.
- Medical intervention is necessary in rare cases. Ultimately women’s rights, desires and requests should be respected. The maternity ward is the most profitable ward of the hospital – you are not sick in need of treatment, you are having an experience and would like self-directed professional assistance.
- Birth very often is a wonderful and transformative experience. I just happen to work on the darker side, helping women move back towards their light and joy.
- Everything in this post is my personal experience and opinion. It does not constitute medical advice.
- I do not judge how you choose to birth your child. What is important to me is that you felt empowered and supported in making your own informed decisions and that they were honoured.
- Labor and Delivery Care in any setting is a Service. As such you, the client, should have the right to choose and decline whatever is available from their menu of offerings.
- Lastly, I am not a medical professional or licensed therapist. In the case of severe symptoms please seek the support of professionals who also have the ability to prescribe (temporary) medication and will be covered by your healthcare provider. I am just a wise woman.
💖 Find my Current Yoga Schedule and Real Time Updates on my IG @susan.mcginney. Send me a message via DM or through this site to schedule your FREE Connection Check Call ☎️ 💖
🌟Spinning Babies – Resources for turning a Breech Baby
Midwifery Today Articles (Trigger Warning)
🌟Birth Rape: Another Midwife’s Story by Shea Richland
🌟Trauma in Birth by Jan Tritten
🌟Tools for Easing Grief and Birth Trauma by Beth S. Barbeau
🌟Birth Trauma Association UK
P.S. I have seen a few women benefit from EMDR. It wasn’t for me so I can’t say much about it, but it does get good reviews from those who went through it.
- The Family Constellations Mysterium
“It’s spiritual and a bit of a mystery,” that is all my son’s art therapist would tell me. For fun I had been taking a few sessions with her as well and when I mentioned that I was looking for a personal development modality that wasn’t strategy or massively talk based, she mentioned that he husband did Family Constellations.
Obviously that one sentence about some sort of spiritual mystery didn’t satisfy me and when I got the chance, I asked the man himself what we were going to do in the session. He gave me a dirty look and told me to be quiet. “Give me a single question about your life,” he said. This was very bizarre. I thought about a feeling I had been carrying around with me for a while and said, “I want to know why I always feel >this way<." I took a breath to explain, but was cut off by the instruction to be quiet.
In the end my first experience was very odd, but now I am seeing that most facilitators approach clients in the same way.
If you’ve seen the Netflix series “Another Self”, you know how in the first episode they just read a little blurb online and then find themselves sitting quietly in the circle just watching, listening and feeling what comes up.
I get the question a lot – “What is it?” The quick answer is that it is an energetic healing modality that is supported by a few core beliefs about life as a spiritual person. It was developed by a German named Bert Hellinger who found that each person carries within their energetic field, the memories & traumas of their whole family system. What this means is that our lives can end up entangled with the fate and feelings of other family members without us being consciously aware.
What makes this modality different than others that work with a similar concept, is the visual and embodied experience of the soul field. Instead of you talking about your family members and being asked to analyse or explain your feelings or events, you choose representatives from the people who are present to stand in for your family members. These representative feel into your family system, into the family soul and the person they are representing. You as the client, need only sit back and watch these energies unfold. The goal of the session is for there to be a movement towards healing.
The most awkward question I get is “but how does it work? How do they feel your field?…” There is no answer to this. People feel because they are human. Why and how Family Constellations work is a bit of a mystery, a bit of magic that you cannot pick apart with a critical analytical brain – and if that is what you are looking for, there are many lovely talk and analysis based coaching modalities….
Another aspect to keep in mind is the belief that the people who are present, are the people you need. If you feel called to attend, it is the right time.
And as I think about ending this post, the main point is that if I were to define Family Constellations to you, I would be setting limits and boundaries, expectations and hopes – that is not my job. I hold the space for you to have whatever experience is right for you, based on your felt experience of the constellation.
It’s been over four years now that I have been studying this modality, and I have found it brings me peace and a feeling of expansiveness. I would like to offer that to you too.
In the beginning, yes, it is a spiritual mystery with odd unanswered questions. You decide to go on the journey, or not. That’s all.
🇳🇱 Marijke de Vries – Kunstzinnige Therapie – the wonderful art therapist in Haarlem, Netherlands
A Free Introductory Course from one of my teachers Bertold Ulsamer:
🇬🇧 Family Constellation – A Significant Method for Your Growth
🇩🇪 Methode Familienaufstellung Kennenlernen
The only other Family Constellation Facilitators I know of in Singapore:
🇸🇬 Redefine Wellness
- Climate Change Masquerade
When I was still in college my schedule was filled with languages, writing and anthropology classes (I was even a TA 🤓). Anyway, one of my classes was taught by a Geologist/ Geographer and he was the first person in my circles whom I had heard scoff at “Global Warming.”
He explained that earth has gone through many Ice Ages and that we are currently still moving out of the last, so obviously temperatures are rising.
I was recently thinking about dinosaurs, as is typical for a Mom of three boys…, and noted that there were dinosaurs EVERYWHERE. We know that the planet had a very different, much warmer climate. Reading stories and myths to my children, I’ve come to hear many “Great Flood” stories from around the world. More research had me looking at huge impact craters all over the earth that would have changed the climate over night. A huge fire ball hit Northern America and melt vast amounts of ice that flooded entire regions. Other rocks landed in places that cause volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and other natural disasters.
Climate change is nothing new, nor is it something dangerous in itself -as we are experiencing it now. What is dangerous is what is hiding behind the vague term.
Just to repeat, the problem is not that the planet is warming by a degree or two. The issue is that we are poisoning our land, food and water supply; that we are logging trees that store carbon, filter our air, give oxygen and protect land and top soil from erosion; that we are abusing animals and people for the sake of profit. The issue isn’t Climate Change – it is manufacturers of fossil fuels, toxic dyes and paints, synthetic fibres, pesticides & herbicides, the use of toxic chemicals in cleaning & body care products. It is seeing land, nature and people only as a means to make money. It is systems that push individuals through a one size fits all path instead of valuing differences or even providing them with practical life skills. It is setting one ideal for success as the (unsustainable) norm, that in reality does not bring much fulfilment.
Many people are becoming disenchanted with this model of life. They are looking to get away from low quality, toxin laden lives and are instead becoming self-sufficient. There is a new attitude about what quality of life means and that it has nothing to do with sitting in an office, with your children in a school that is under serving them. I think it is pretty safe to say that they have gotten fed up with the real issues behind the name “Climate Change.”
But what can “normal” people do? For starters you change your purchasing decisions. Starting with skin and body care products, change them out for non-toxic options, then choose to buy only natural fibre clothing/ shoes, then bike/ rollerblade/ carpool to work – the idea is to stop giving money to people who are getting rich off of poisoning us.
There is a big push in my permaculture classes to reduce consumption. I think they have missed the mark. There are cumbersome worksheets and calculations to figure out your carbon footprint. I honestly don’t know who needs those. I think we need to change what we consume – when you eat nutrient dense food that wasn’t grown on a depleted lot sprayed with toxins, you stay full for longer. Feeling hungry is your body screaming for nourishment. I think our consumption changes naturally when we enjoy a higher quality of products – and sadly, these higher quality goods have lost out to manipulative advertising campaigns for decades now, but I think that this underground movement is starting to change that.
Covid, with all of its ugliness, was also a great opportunity for exploring working from home. Rents are cheaper in the suburbs, you have more space, there is no commute, no transport costs, more time with family, more money available for wages as corporate buildings weren’t needed, no additional wardrobe costs for “work attire”. After that experience, many people are pushing to have their contracts changed to allow for home office days – including my husband.
The main take away that I am wanting to share is that “Climate Change” is just a clever way to mask the true crimes at hand and to protect the guilty. I think it was a cunning name chosen to get scientists involved in pointless discussion about minuscule temperature differences and debate about whether it is significant or not, while completely ignoring the destruction of wildlife, human health and moral, and the whole planet at large.
We are fed up with all the Big Stuff. Big Pharma, Big Farms, Big Business, Big Real Estate Moguls, Lobbying – legal bribery, Slimy Politicians. Climate Change is happening, but the more important change is the social one.