Your Toes | Ten Chapters of your Life

asksablog

Your Toes | Ten Chapters of your Life

Introduction

Toe Reading is based on the theory that your body holographically records the story of your life. This story is expressed in your feet and toes and can be “read” to reveal your history.

Feet very accurately reflect the physical and emotional health and well-being of a person. An over simplification of this technique would be to say that well balanced people have beautiful, evenly shaped and spaced toes. The toes of people who have had more challenging lives will appear “toe-tied”, depicting the lumps and bumps, twists and turns of the personal and emotional lives they have lived up to this point in time. The ever-changing characteristics of the feet, toes and nails provide valuable clues to the inner struggles or inner resolve of their story.

For example, the angle of the toes reveal whether the person is innately shy…

View original post 2,496 more words

Advertisements

Listening

977A0680F

Photo taken in Palmerston Park, Southampton, UK

In January I started a counselling course after developing a strong feeling to pursue the career of a counsellor. It’s interesting that after leaving New York City and I feel like I can finally breathe and I not feel the intense pressure in the back of my head to find ways to make money. As I continue to try and fulfil the obligation to enter the job market (which I won’t get too deeply into), taking a counselling course has opened up my eyes further to the importance of communicating with others effectively in order to create a much more enriching experience with the people around me and, most importantly, discovering new parts of myself.

What I’ve learned so far from counselling is to fully appreciate the power of listening. I spent nearly 24 years of my life simply putting other people’s feelings first and listening to the ongoing issues in their lives. Over time I knew I needed to start shifting myself into listening to how I felt about things. I realised I wasn’t opening up myself enough, allowing people to know who I was, for of course when people talked and I listened, they felt comfortable and liked me, even though I didn’t even say much. This still left me feeling disconnected from the other person. After a while of noticing this, when it came to conversations, I would actively talk about myself, as well as listening to what the other people told me about themselves. I’d wait in between what the other person was saying and interject with my own life experiences so I could feel included. I thought, great, now I’ve put myself in the mix, I “should” start feeling better about myself; I didn’t. The connection was still missing, especially when it came to face to face conversations. With counselling I saw that the true effect of listening required not interjecting with your own life experiences, but actually being present with them. This was easy for me because of the years I’d been doing that unconsciously, but now I’ve noticed how truly from day to day with regular people you meet there really isn’t a deep connection with the other person in terms of back and forth conversation.

Now I know it’s a bit confusing because counselling someone is very different from talking with friends or regular people you meet, but if you’ve every had or heard someone ask you “How are you?” You tend to have two options in your mind; 1, tell them how you truly are or 2, simply answer with the “normal” response of “fine,” even when you’re really not fine. Turning that scenario around, the person asking “How are you?” Do you want to hear what this person has to say about themselves or, are you automatically asking this question to adhere to a social norm. When I witness these things, and when I do them, it’s very often because of social norms. However, I’m getting to a point in which it’s becoming tiring asking questions that requires time and effort to making a connection that instead, is creating verbal litter. At the same time, we’re in such a rush and have so “little” time.

In my classes we practice counselling techniques in groups; one being a listener, one a speaker and the other an observer. During one of the practices, as a speaker, I decided to fully open up, since it’s guaranteed I’ll actually be listened to. I talked about a relationship I had with someone that still has an impact on me. The listener has to give what’s called “minimal encourages,” which consists of head nods, eye contact and saying: “uh-huh” and “yeah.” This gives the talker the assurance that the listener is actually listening and allows the talker to speak more. Often, and without realising, when we listen we tend to jump in and say how we feel or give advice, instead of keeping quiet and listening. During this particular practice session I trusted that whatever I said would not be judged or looked down upon. At the end of it I felt happy and touched because the listener really was interested in what I had to say. I became slightly emotional, I finally experienced what I had wanted years ago, the feeling of connection, at the same time new insights appeared. I explained at the end of the practice —because you must give feedback — that the feeling I had is what I want people to experience when they speak to me or when I’m doing counselling. Would this be the connection I’m looking for?

Having said all that, I really thought about my life when it comes to interacting with people. Are they really listening? Am I afraid of opening up myself to people because of the fear they’re not listening? Am I the only one who notices this? Am I the only one who has set out to change it? I understood why I would be afraid to open up to others — it’s really hard to talk to another person, who you’re expecting to listen, make a judgment or tell you what you “should” do, rather than just let you talk and be out with it. That opportunity to figure things out or give suggestions aids with my own growth rather than being told what to do. Understanding this, the way I talk to people is shifting and I’m becoming much more less likely to tell someone what they “should” do and I’d much rather ask them what they think they could do. The next thing I run into now is talking to people who don’t have the knowledge I posses when it comes to listening and so I still get that feeling that opening myself would result in not being heard.

I’ve recently come across a few people who’ve I attempted to make real friendships and connections with and come up short because they harness the same fears I mentioned above. Feeling anxious about people you come into contact with and those people not staying in your life, to be there for you, to listen to you, to support you on your journey or personal growth without judgement and aimless advice. I want people to know that those same fears are holding you back from people who actually care and want to be your friends. Putting in the effort as well takes a lot but is necessary to get the gears moving. At the same time, I know what you and many would say: “I’m not there yet,” “I’m going through a lot right now” or “I’m too busy.” I can completely understand, however it’s limiting to think you have to do it alone or push away those who may have something to tell you when they’re in your life. By putting in the effort to talk, open up and, most of all, listen, you can develop a long lasting friendship and learn about yourself in the process.

I can only hope more people have the courage to put themselves out there as I’m doing myself. We all want connections, we just have to get up off our asses and make them, did you listen to what I said?

The Kindling of a Twin Flame (Originally 15-Nov-2014)

977A8828FBW

Self portrait taken by The Walls, Southampton, UK

Written by Sara Thelwell

This tale of twin flames begins just over six months ago. They say that love comes when you least expect it, but I think it comes when you step aside and just allow it. Let us go back to the beginning…

I’m sitting on the floor in a conference room in a posh hotel in London on a Saturday afternoon in April. A sea of people behind me, all I see is Teal on stage, talking to participants at one of her synchronisation workshops. Every time someone leaves the stage, I raise my hand and wait for her to see me energetically light up, so I can have my turn to hear the answers to the questions that whirl constantly in my mind, partly so they won’t be forgotten, partly because they cannot be forgotten. I am willing Teal to choose me this time, surely my questions are significant; they’re the type many would be afraid to ask. Her eyes sweep across the audience and she points to a slim girl with a shock of white blonde hair sat several rows behind me. I’m crestfallen again, and then I feel the bubbles of resentment form deep inside me. Why am I being ignored? They converse and then Teal leads the girl into a visualisation to reconnect with her inner child and heal her heart. I decide to follow along with the exercise and instantly I see myself standing in the playground as a child. Alone. I surrender to the process, and as Teal directs the girl, she simultaneously guides me on my first steps to healing the void inside me, the black hole of abandonment that has filled me for years. When it’s over, the girl thanks Teal, her heart has been transformed from black to white and I know I have experienced a major shift too, but the intensity is all too much to really comprehend fully in the moments that follow.

A few days later, after I have had time to reflect on the workshop and the floundering relationship I am in, I decide to post in the Facebook page that those who resonate with Teal’s spiritual teachings use to connect. In that safe space, where like-minded people gather, I recount my experience and ask for guidance, which comes in many forms.

While I was revisiting my past that Saturday afternoon, a guy on the other side of the Atlantic was doing the same. He, too, would go onto post about his experience, though I didn’t see it at the time. However, he did see mine, and, seeing some similarities, he decides to reach out to me. It’s a number one day in numerology, a day of creation. It’s a day when pioneering projects begin, a day for those who seek adventure, for those who turn dreams into reality, and unbeknownst to me, it’s the first day of my relationship with the man I will choose to spend the rest of my days with.

“Hello, I’m Kevin. I read your post and it seems we’re experiencing something similar”

He tags me in it and after reading it we begin to talk.

“I am an open book. Ask me anything you want”

So, I do. I open up too. Two weeks pass, ten thousand messages on Facebook later, I feel a deep connection has been established between us. Or was it there already? And as each day passes, the sparks crackle into flames. Each day we pore over the pages of each other’s lives, speaking the words of our histories, our dreams, our thoughts and our feelings, voraciously devouring chapters. Typed words on computer screens and phones become spoken face to face on Skype and within another week I have bought my ticket to New York so that I can touch the man that’s touched my heart and stirred my soul. It is as clear as sunshine in a bright blue sky that this fire burns from the combined light of twin flames.

The countdown begins to our first meeting, but we’re already talking about the chapter where we are living together. We flit between the two; making plans for my visit and tentatively exploring how we can make that later chapter a reality. Phone calls and emails to solicitors are made and written, websites and forums are skimmed and scanned and we realise that, though our options are few, a union will stitch our books into one.

Aware that our hearts are taking us down an unbeaten path, we continue to make plans that we reveal to just our closest friends. Hotels are booked, I choose my dress, and, turning to numerology, we select an auspicious day. Those that choose to enter into a marriage on a number seven day will aid in the spiritual expansion of the other.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon in June, nearly two months after we first started messaging, we share our first kiss in the arrival hall. Having connected spiritually, mentally and emotionally, there’s only one more connection left to make. The next day we announce our plan to marry on the same page where we met. One of the members expresses a desire to be a witness and we arrange to meet for the first time a couple of days later, the day we’ll marry.

When that day arrives, we wake up in the heart of the city and walk down to Central Park, stopping to pick up breakfast on the way. Neither of us says much, both in our heads, preparing for the big event of the day. Despite our unconventional approach to the day, I get upset that I don’t have any flowers, and so we stop at a florist on the walk back to the hotel. With no idea of what I want, as soon as I step through the door, I am drawn to these luscious powder pink peonies. The man attending us wraps them into a bouquet with ivory ribbon. On the way back to the hotel, the reality of what is about to happen comes to me, I realise each step I take, is taking me closer to the moment I will say ‘I do’. Stroking the silky ribbon I am present in my body, I feel the fear in me. I have a choice to make. Am I brave enough to step onto this path of expansion, to follow my heart? Allowing my feelings to have a voice quells them, the heart does not care to live at the mercy of fear, and in that moment I mentally, and consciously, make the first commitment of the day.

Back at the hotel, Kevin gets ready and then I send him downstairs to wait for me. I take my time to prepare myself, and worried that I may have changed my mind, or run off without him noticing me cross the lobby, he comes up to check. Shortly after we leave, making our way down to City Hall. My figure hugging white dress, stamped with roses, makes it hard for me climb the stairs in the subway. I am mildly amused that I am on my way to get married, clutching my bouquet; while around us thousands of New Yorkers go about their business on a Tuesday afternoon. Our witness, a fellow “Tealer”, is waiting for us camera in hand. The couple becomes a trio. We exchange pleasantries; all of this feels completely alien. I squeeze Kevin’s hand, looking for reassurance. I welcome the flurry of questions and observations, which distract me from the fluttering in my stomach, focusing me instead on the unfamiliar face in front of me, this unfamiliar setting, this unfamiliar situation I find myself in. Everything about this day is unorthodox.

977A9078F

We enter the building and queue up to receive a ticket. The continuous, flowing, soft stream of chatter from our friend carries me into unchartered waters, as we move further down the hall to wait for our number to be called. In each moment I see the blankness of the page laid out in front of me, each movement, every spoken word, each thought, every feeling imprints itself on to the fabric of my experience. Soon, Kevin and I are called and we take our seats. Across the desk from us sits a professional, young woman. She hands us several papers; documents are signed and stamped. I think we’re now officially married, aren’t we? Is the next bit just for show or is that the official part? We are directed to the chapel back down the hall. As we walk the short distance, I look up at Kevin. He stares straight ahead; I sense he is feeling as out of place as me. There is little seating and so we stand and wait for the two couple in front of us to tie the knot. Five minutes later, it’s our turn to enter. The room seems unnecessarily big for our party of three. An Angel marries us. The ceremony is short. We do not have rings, but instead exchange charms – metal cut-outs of the Chinese character for double happiness, the traditional, auspicious symbol worn by newly-weds, which we tie around one another’s wrists with the long red suede cord attached. Everything about this is unrehearsed, improvised, a million miles from what I’d always imagined. I’m beaming. As we leave the chapel, I see two violet orbs glide across my husband’s chest.

After the ceremony, there’s more paperwork to be done. As we complete the last formality at the Court, I feel the soles of my shoes slipping away. We make our way outside into the sticky sunshine towards Chinatown. My shoes are disintegrating beneath me and it’s becoming impossible to continue walking. I stop, and throw them into the nearest bin, stepping barefoot into the next chapter of my life. I feel everything; the gritty pavement, the hot, textured tarmac, fragments of glass, smooth stone slabs, while my husband goes off in search of some replacement footwear and our new friend and I head to the restaurant I have spontaneously selected to eat at. After lunch we emerge to find it has begun to rain, symbolising good fortune, fertility and a fresh start. We stop to purchase an umbrella from one of the many shops that stocks cheaply manufactured items imported from china, so ubiquitous, particularly in this part of the city. A passer-by also stops to shelter from the shower. She comments my flowers and we mention we have just married. Delighted, she buys us an umbrella and joins us in a photo to mark the moment. Now the adrenaline is subsiding, I am finding it harder to deal with the heaviness of the humidity; I need respite from the overwhelming feelings. I want peace and quiet, not the claustrophobic, bustling streets of the city. We say goodbye to our friend and ride the subway back to the hotel, where a dozen or so floors up from the pedestrians and traffic, we can finally relax.

That evening, we go and eat in my favourite raw food restaurant. We celebrate with cocktails, and toast to our sparkling future with glasses of Prosecco.

The next day I begin to understand just how Kevin will be the biggest mirror reflecting back to me the areas I need to work on in order to expand, although this takes a few days for me to really accept this and the path I have chosen to tread. And then it’s my last day with him for… well, who knows how long. I fly back to England and, high on a wave of excitement, I break the news to all those I’d kept in the dark.

We live the next few months in limbo, waiting for Kevin’s new passport to be delivered to him, since, in another unconventional move, he has chosen to take my surname rather than vice versa. Impatient, I insist that he asks Teal what is holding up the process when he gets the opportunity to meet her in August. I don’t get the answer I wanted. The belief sown during my childhood after my parents divorced, the belief that had become ingrained in every cell in my body, the belief that relationships don’t last has to change if we are to be reunited. So, I get to work, dismantling that mind-set, dissolving the emotions around it that have solidified over the years, the evidence. Days later, the passport arrives and we begin the visa process, which I resign myself will be a lengthy process. A couple of weeks later, I look down at my phone to see another Viber notification from Kevin, I open it and there it is, a photo of the visa pasted into his passport. I am in a state of shock; we are finally going to be together. That evening, he books his one-way flight to England and the countdown begins.

It’s been just over a fortnight since my husband joined me. It has been a period of adjusting, exploring, reflecting and learning. It has not been easy, it has not been a romantic whirlwind of perfect moments, it has been intense and a steep learning curve; each experience is a thread that weaves us together.

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend who, despite being several years younger than me, has ten happy years of marriage under her belt. She has counselled me through the difficult moments and revelled in the joy of our happy times since the birth of my relationship with Kevin. She shared a beautiful analogy with me:

When you begin a relationship, the two individuals are like stones. Rough, opaque, hard, dense and angular. Over time, as these two pebbles rub up against each other, they start to smooth out their partner’s edges. Years pass and the angles have eroded; the surfaces are becoming increasingly more polished. Hold them up to the light, and you can almost see the light shine through the beautiful gleaming minerals that a lifetime in the river of shared experience has created.

Friendship (Originally 18-Aug-2014)

977A0708FINAL

Photo Taken at Brooklyn, NYC

These two beautiful people have been in my life for an extremely long time. Eddy, on the left, I’ve known since high school and we’ve been very close for some strange reason. I remember him telling me why we were friends, it was because I thought out everything before doing it. I don’t know if he was indirectly telling me that I was one of the most intelligent people in high school or what, but I went with it. Rohan, on the right, I met through Eddy when they both were attending Bard college. I became close with Rohan due to his interest in film making and his Indian (India) heritage.

I remember a few years ago when I was studying in California for film making and I visited NYC for a weekend when Rohan’s family came into town and they rented a mini van, in which I was the chauffeur.  The van was filled with so many personalities and driving from NYC to upstate, where Bard is located, was a fantastic journey and great time with our dynamic trio. Since I never attended college, it was a nice few days to sleep in a dorm room and hang out with other college people for a while. Eddy would used to say that if I ever went to college it would be with him and Rohan, and I believe that 100%.

Rohan, Eddy and I spend a lot of time together watching various televison shows and youtube videos. Our most favorite show right now is Game of Thrones, and we can’t wait for the new season to come out! Followed by Home Land and The Walking Dead… Well, maybe not so much The Walking Dead anymore since it’s becoming stale.

This photo, I feel I’ve captured the essence of these two great friends of mine. Looking at it nearly brings me to tears. All the moments in my life that I’ve had with them were always filled with laughs and smiles and this photo brings out the best in both of them and signifies the joy I have with them. Even the lighting and where they’re standing brings me back to my own childhood of where all I ever thought about was being outside and playing with friends. I love these two with all my heart and I will be so glad to grow old with them, the three of us have shared so much.

Light show (Originally 11-Aug-2014)

977A9977FINAL

Taken at Coney Island, NYC

I’ve never done photography at night until I met Laura. It’s interesting to take photos with someone who actually knows what they’re doing and gets just as excited as I do with a photo. We were at Coney Island when I captured this lovely light show, it’s a prolonged exposure in order to see what truly everything is when slowed down.

I had just received my remote shutter control, this allows me to keep the shutter open for longer periods of time. This particular photo reminds me of the energy that is always around us. My most favorite photo of that night, this ride completely vanished and became a stream of light. I daydream about how it would be to slow down enough and see nothing but pulsating light, filled with all types of emotions and feelings. I could see ripples in the energy if i tried to touch them and different patterns that erupt from the contact from my own energy. I could imagine when time is slowed down enough that the darkness wouldn’t be dark anymore, everything would light up from an invisible sun, no space would have shadows. The warm fuzzy feelings of calmness fill my body with the thought weightlessness.

I seldom ask myself whether people love or like me at all. Only when things slow down will this marvel of light reveal itself. I sit and wait on my own marvels. The feeling when I don’t have to block off my own heart and feel unloved but to open my heart and receive the love that is always there. Like the light in the photo, it simply is.

Expression (Originally made 06-Aug-2014)

977A0099FINAL

Taken on the East side, NYC

Throughout our lives we find so many ways to express how we feel as people, smiling, laughing, playing, singing, dancing etc,. Being able to catch that expression in a photograph leaves me with an intense amount of joy. My cousin here had the feeling to do this aerial, and when she did I felt the immediate urge of capturing it. One shot.

It’s amazing the idea of expression. I have a friend who sings extremely well, but is afraid of letting the sounds out. I heard her ever so slightly once and it captured my so heart intensely, all I want to do is hear it again. That’s the unique expression speaking there, when it’s from the heart and can touch others. It’s coming from a deeper place that we are all a bit afraid of tapping into, the depths of our souls. I will continue to work harder by expressing myself through photos and I hope soon I hear the sweet melodies of expressions to come.