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Photo by Kelvin Valerio from Pexels

Hidden emotions

A close relative recently shared with me that he had woken from an anxiety attack. He was in the middle of an obligatory 2 weeks home quarantine after returning to his country from overseas. He said he had not even realised that he was feeling anxious until he found himself waking in deep panic with a racing heart and intense agitation in his body.

It is surprisingly easy for us not to know how we are feeling. Especially when it comes to feelings of fear, uncertainty and anxiety, so many of us have those running subtly in the background to various degrees as a normal part of life. We have learned to soldier on. To shut ourselves off from these challenging emotions and give control to those parts of us that can get on with things, that are achievers and that manage life despite our underlying feelings. And of course we can continue to allow those parts to run the show, managing our emotions with alcohol, Netflix or other distractions. But this does come with the risk of the repressed emotions bursting through when we least expect it: through a sudden anxiety attack, a gradual slip into depression, or sudden uncontrolled temper outbursts. This risk exists always, but it is greatly amplified in a context where our usual coping mechanisms are interrupted, or we are perhaps even experiencing complete loss of our identities derived from work or our social life. …

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Image by Jürgen Ziewe

There are many gains in becoming conscious of our dreams. The psychological benefits of exploring and interpreting our dreams were recognised long before Freud, in many ancient cultures. More recently, research into lucid dreaming has shown that we can use the sleep state to train our mind, heal our body and overcome fears and phobias.

And bringing awareness to our sleep may not only give us access to our dreams, but even allow us to experience an altered state of consciousness known as the out-of-body experience, a state where we experience ourselves fully consciously aware with the sense of being separate from our physical body.

Although it is generally agreed among researchers of the out-of-body experience that we can all potentially have such experiences consciously, in practice there is significant variation in people’s success rate. That said, it may be largely a matter of persistence. There are certainly plenty of accounts of people who applied themselves for some months and eventually succeeded to experience the freedom of out-of-body travel.

We can definitely all become conscious of our dreams, and that is itself enriching and a great first step towards expanding our consciousness further. Recalling and reflecting on our dreams can give us access to our subconscious processes, and especially at times of crisis which 2020 is for most of us, our dreams may give us access to anxieties, concerns or hopes we have not allowed to surface in our waking consciousness. Dreams, and the more elusive out-of-body experience, can also be a source of deep joy, and memories of some dreams can bring smiles to our face even days after the event. …

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Wayman Elbridge Adams — The Conspiracy (1919)

Prolonged uncertainty is painful. Among the many hardships suffered by those stuck in refugee detention centres, one of the most tortuous is the indefinite nature of their situation. They have no control over their lives and no idea when their situation may change. The coronavirus pandemic has brought a wave of that kind of uncertainty crashing down among those of us who previously lived in what seemed like a well-ordered world. …


Kim McCaul

Anthropologist ☆ Explorer of consciousness ☆ Podcaster ☆ Presenter ☆ I write to make the “supernatural” natural and allow genuine exploration of reality

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