Goddess Liberation

Hi all,

it’s day four of me being bald, and I’ve had some time to catch up with my heart. Because I’ve had a horrible cold, I’ve been home most of the time, not doing much at all. This has given me the time and space to feel into the new me. I’ve been looking into the mirror a lot. It’s always strange. Never seen me like this before. I’ve had very short hair twice before, in my early and in my late twenties. I remember on both occasions having this same feeling, like wanting to let go, making a new start. But I’ve never been bald. This one was radical. During the last days my scalp felt odd – very sand-paperish – not a nice feeling at all. Today it’s feeling a little nicer, a bit like dry moss on an old rock. When I now look into the mirror I feel good, really good, about myself. Not only did I achieve to raise over £2,000 and quite a bit awareness for A Band of Brothers in only 21 days, but I also received so much kindness, so many wonderful messages, and my husband has been looking at me in awe for the last 4 days (sho shweet). Wonderful. I did it for me. I needed to let go of the beautiful hair when it looked its best. Seems bonkers, I know. But I am on a self-healing path; finding my growth edges and  shedding layers is what I do. It is very important to me that I walk my talk, that I’m an integral, authentic person. As someone who supports people to let go of old patterns and habits I need to lead the way first and be an example. Right?

Today I was asked twice if I wanted my long hair back. And twice I replied, “I don’t think so, I like myself more like this. It is more me.” The long hair was pleasing others more, in hindsight. To be quite honest with you, long hair felt like a pain to me. The washing, the conditioning, the combing, the hair in my face (urgh – hate that feeling), especially when walking outside with the wind blowing, also the pony tales (not very flattering and giving me headaches), and not being able to wear a hat when having a pony tale. Annoying. All that just to look feminine? Nope. I think I’m done with it. I am feminine. It’s not my looks that make me feminine. It will be interesting to experience how my new look will change people’s perception of me. I think they will see me better. The hair was kind of in the way between me and others; like a barrier.

Anyway – I’m a happy girl. And besides – this whole hype was in order to raise awareness for ABoB. I am so proud that I have done something for them. Because of them my husband is a lot happier in himself, has male support; has more access to his needs and emotions; is able to talk feelings with me and his ‘brothers’; has created deep, long-lasting friendships with some of them; and last but not least he has become an even more amazing partner to me. After 2 years with them he is now ready to mentor younger men and will soon attend another ABoB quest weekend. I am so very proud of him and blessed to love and be loved by him.

All I want with every fibre of myself is to motivate and encourage others to also be bold, courageous, brave. I do believe that if you don’t play you won’t win. Yes, it can back-fire sometimes. But without giving it a go you’ll never know. I certainly have landed on my bottom a few times in my life, but I far more often felt like winning the jack pot. Do make sure, though, that you have created a support network around you first. It’s important to be held by your community of like-minded people. It can feel very lonely if you do a courageous act and have no one to cheer you on, back you up and hold you during the transformation.

bald, bold, brave, courageous, Silvia Siret, OxISC, change, positive change

Silvia, the liberated Goddess

PS: Huge thanks to Amanda Tracey, who did the shaving and holding space for me. She’s my big hero. Her page www.goddessliberation.com is worth checking out. Lots of great events on offer for women.

I’ve done it – I’ve gone bald for ABoB

Here is the evidence:

You can still donate here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SilviaSiret

The night before I felt shaky and tearful, realising I’d lose my beautiful hair. I was visualising my looks and how people would stare at me, but I was also starting to grieve the loss of my hair. My husband soothed me and kept telling me how great I was going to look and feel. My sleep was full of dreams of hair shaving and things going wrong. But in the morning I felt calm and ready. Ben Cole, who is producing a film about A Band of Brothers, had interviewed me the night before, and he was filming me while the hair came off – that was all exciting. A few friends and family came to the event, which was so comforting and encouraging. Amanda Tracey (www.goddessliberation.com) did the shaving and the head mandala for me. The whole process took over an hour.

Here is the video about the mandala:

Later I gave another interview to Ben, and we wrapped it all up. I’ve been receiving a lot of support in every way, and I feel so grateful for it all. The day was so beautiful.

Today, the day after, I’ve unfortunately got a cold, but I do feel liberated and at ease with my baldness. I look odd, yes, the bald patch feels cold all the time, and the mandala is gone now, and where my hair was is now a white patch; but I’m happy I’ve done it. My hair has grown just under 1 mm already, and it feels quite rough, going over it with my hand. The strangest thing about it is that when I touch my head, it feels like I’m touching someone else’s. Very weird.

My husband has been the most amazing friend and companion to me. He even got his head shaved two days before me, just to show his support. Isn’t that sweet?

I am now looking forward to talking more about A Band of Brothers, and raising more awareness and money for them.  But I also look forward to having some hair back and starting the hair growth journey again. It’s strange when people stare at me, I’m getting all self-conscious, but I respond with a big smile and remember that it’s still me. I guess this chapter is not over, I’ll have to get through awkward situations and funny short hair in order to get to a point where I like it again. Maybe I’ll actually keep it short. It has its benefits.

My last year has been all about letting go, releasing and finding my true self as well as raising money and awareness for ABoB. It’s self healing, and it’s not easy. I’m shedding a lot of tears; but I also feel more and more whole. It is such a blessing to have my husband by my side, but also the full support of the rest of my family. My children and bonus children have been nothing but supportive and cheered me on. Fantastic! My close friends have also been amazing. It’s so important to have a support network. Without you guys I couldn’t have done this.

Thank you!

My work life

I’m at home with a sniffy nose, a lot of coughing, a painful stomach and a headache. I chose not to go to work this morning. I always think I should not call in sick – feeling guilty and full of shame for being not well. Anybody else feeling like that? Also, when I’m ill, I feel so very ill and so very upset and low.

Anyway, I wanted to write about my work life.

2 years I’ve been with this department now. The time for change has come, ….. I thought. I’ve just had a radical haircut, which is usually an indicator for change in my life. Two years is enough. Isn’t it? No, don’t get me wrong. I love (most of) my colleagues, and (most of) my job. It doesn’t pay very well, but – compared to other reception/admin jobs – it pays pretty well. There is no obvious reason why I should leave. Well – that’s not quite true. It’s the city I’ve got to commute to and from; it’s loud and full of tourists and students – overcrowded, I’d call it. At least I’ve changed to three full days from five half days. But still, a minimum of 2 hours commute on a work day? Okay, it gives me time to read (on the bus). And – really – an hour to work is not that bad. Is it? It’s like I’m looking for a good enough reason to change jobs. My husband calls me a job junky. I think he’s right. Maybe I’m just addicted to changing jobs after it has become routine. Maybe I’m just addicted to change anyway???

I’ve been looking, locally, but nothing compares to my current position, neither the pay rates nor the stuff I’d have to do to earn my wages. And – will I ever find such a lovely team of colleagues again? I’d be taking quite a risk.

There’s something else bugging me, if I’m honest. When I came to this country, in the beginning of 2005, I did not intend to work in admin much longer. I’d had enough of it when I left Germany. I actually hated being a PA/secretary/admin assistant. The whole admin crap – I didn’t want it anymore. And here I am – still doing admin. I wanted to be a full-time therapist. That’s what I wanted. In eight years I have not managed to earn a living from being a therapist. I am now not earning a living from anything I do. The part-time job in admin doesn’t pay enough to live – at least not in an independent way. I’m contributing to the bills, that’s it. The other days I’m spending hours and hours trying to get my name out there and trying to convince the public that constellations are fantastic and that I am a great therapist.

Drawing a balance: I failed.

Is that the deeper reason I’m at home, feeling pretty grim? I think I feel sorry for myself. Yes. I feel sorry for myself. “Poor little Silvia! You are a loser! Let’s face it. But I do feel sorry for you, I really do.” Is that what I need?

Wuh, – – – wait!

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I am not a loser. And I have not failed. Let’s face THAT, shall we?

I have changed jobs a lot, because I was never happy in them. I finally found a job, in which I am feeling happy enough to stay. I may only contribute to the bills and not earn enough to make a living, but I could if I wanted to. I don’t need to earn more than I currently do, because my husband and I have an arrangement. More than the income I need the time to build my therapeutic practice. And that is what the 2 other workdays are dedicated to.

I learned a lot on my way, and I learned that it is important to give energy into the things I’d like to grow. I also learned that I have most of my energy in the mornings. I know I haven’t made a rocket start; I’ve taken – I had to take – the little side roads, and I still am. On the way, I got to know exciting, supportive people, and slowly but surely I’ve been getting my name out there and still am. Don’t forget: I had to adapt to a new country. I left all my friends and family behind and had to start all over again. I’ve built friendships, strengthened my relationship, was a mother and bonus-mother to five children. I fostered two young people and I looked after dogs. I simply had no time to make a rocket start.

I know what it is: I’m sitting in this space that is empty. My kids are no longer here, the dogs are gone, too. I caught a bug. I’m feeling crap. That’s why I get this sense of emptiness. I misinterpreted it as failure.

I’m not failing. I never failed. I only ever did as best as I knew at the time.

There is so much to learn, still. But I’m on my way. I may not be the rocket therapist, but I may be the one who has been there, done that. And – once this bug has left my body – I’ll be my old sparkling self, inspiring and full of kindness and love.

Watch this space!

Family conscience

We are all children – We are not necessarily parents, but we are all children. (My husband sometimes says in such cases: “You must have a degree in pointing out the bleedin’ obvious.”). We remain children all our lives, until we die and – actually – beyond that.

In Family Constellation Work this is an important fact and has some weight.

When you visit mum and/or dad or phone them now as an adult, do you know the feeling of regressing to the 16 year old rebelling teenager you once were, or even to the ten year old child that wanted only one thing: to please Mum and Dad? I know it very well. Although I have learnt to handle those tense situations, in my case – when mum is being mum, I still feel all those feelings of a pleasing or a rebelling child. The pleasing bit is easy, isn’t it – you still get all the praise and the shining glimmer in their eyes when you comply to their ideas of how things should be, you feel you’re doing the right thing – you’re in the game. But when it comes to disagreement, that’s another story: You get responses like “Oh, you shouldn’t…” or “I wouldn’t, if I were you …”, or even a “How dare you do that to me/us!”. That feels, … um … dangerous – or, minimum uncomfortale. Doesn’t it?

My family conscience is all around; I take it with me, wherever I go; it is part of me. There’s always that little entity in me that knows exactly what agrees and what disagrees with mum’s and dad’s opinions on how life should be and how things will work. Family Constellation people call this “the family conscience”.

There is also the other thing you get, which is when mum and dad disagree and I dare to act like the disagreed parent: “You’re just like your father!” or “mother”, with that slight expression of disgust in the disagreeing parent. Ouch! That hurts. This is when children are – consciously or unconsciously – asked to take sides with one parent, which is basically tearing them apart. As long as the parents are together, when they disagree from time to time or even often, they actually agree to disagree and that is part of the ‘family conscience’. This is difficult for children and they develop certain skills in order to deal with such a situation.
If parents are separated though, there will be two family consciences. If parents separate in a disagreeable way and keep disagreeing with each other, it can be an even more difficult situation for a person (child). Of course, in other cases, if the parents agree to still be parents after separation, it can be a relief for children.
Any case of disagreement between mother and father and pulling their child(ren) into it, is asking the child(ren) to take sides, which is – because they love them both – impossible.

Children, by default, love both mum and dad and would do anything to make them both happy. They would actually even take their parent’s burdens from them, if they could. And they do try – unconsciously. This is when children (even when they’re grown-ups) don’t live their own lives. They try the impossible. A person’s fate is a person’s fate (or burden). Nobody can take it away from them. And – if everything was consciously happening – nobody would like to give their fate to anybody else. Would they?

The family conscience is a big thing that rules our lives – many people are completely unconscious about that fact. In Family Constellation Work the unconscious can be brought into consciousness. By looking at people acting as representatives for children (that is also adult children) and parents, family dynamics become visible. The inside picture of a family is brought to the outside world in order to have a look at it from a distance. Looking at issues from a distance – as you might know – can be revealing, and as a result the issue can usually be ‘handled’ with more awareness of all circumstances.

These days, when I speak with my mother, I have this whole picture in my mind, which was revealed to me, when I did my own family constellation. I see that she was the younger of two girls (5 years apart), losing her twin sister right after birth, losing her mother to cancer, when she was only 13 years old, having to get used to and accept a step mother, whom she couldn’t stand and a heart-broken father, who treated the wife like a house maid. I see all her short comings and that there was no counselling available to her in order to deal with her traumas. I see her hardly being able to stand on her own two legs without the support of a man by her side (my father), which made me sob, when I saw it in my constellation. These days, when I look at my mum or when I speak with her, I know that she has done the best she could. And with this in my mind, I feel grateful for what she has given to me: My life (and many other things). That is why these days our conversations are mostly harmonious, and we have finally bonded as mother and child. Since I saw what I saw in that constellation, I respect my mother with all her short comings. I am now able to say ‘yes’, when I think ‘no’, knowing that it makes her happy when I agree. I can now talk to her more respectfully, when I strongly disagree. I don’t slam doors anymore or hang up the phone.

It is magical: Since I did my constellation, my mum actually changed as well. She didn’t know anything about it. My attitude towards her changed, and that made her change. She started seeing me, respecting me. It was a process and probably still is, but it made our relationship work.

I still have a choice: I can be part of the family system or I can decide to step out of it. I chose to stay in it. As a result my life changed to the better. It changed from a chaotic life to a stable life.

Funny enough – my ex-partner’s families were all quite dysfunctional, and I never managed to stay with a man for more than three years. Now I am with a partner, whose family is exceptionally functional, and we’ve been together since the beginning of 2004, which is now eight years. And it looks very much like we’re going to stay together for a long time.

Love to the Universe and everybody in it!