Emotional Enlightenment

Universal Terms of Surrender

This is the third time I’ve attempted to write this post.  Each time I’ve written it it mysteriously deletes itself or doesn’t save properly.   So…the Universe is asking me to practice what I preach (or write) with this one.

Surrender is one of those words that I believe has been deeply misunderstood in the English language.  Typically, it’s been used in conjunction with wartime to denote a loss on the battle field or a relinquishment of sovereignty.  When did we remove all of the beauty from this word and from this state of being?

I first connected to the word in a different way in relation to the qualities of the Divine Feminine.  Regardless of physical gender, we all have masculine and feminine qualities within, or yang and yin for those familiar with Eastern philosophy.  Surrender, along with the element of water, flow, the moon, compassion, creativity, nurturing and “being” is typically associated with the Mother principle, or divine feminine (yin) in Eastern spiritual traditions.  The masculine, Father principle (yang), is typically described as the active, linear, steady and “doing” force and is associated with the element of fire and the sun.  

So surrender in the spiritual sense has a different meaning than the “rolling over” or “giving up” aspect we might associate with it.

The word surrender when we perceive it in a different way comes with a connotation of great strength rather than great weakness.  Surrender is the state of openness to the unknown, in which we cannot know what comes next in our lives but can allow each moment to stand exactly as it presents itself to us.  Surrender asks us to release our expectations about what’s next, to release our tight grip over control, and to allow a flow to take hold in our lives.  There is courage in facing exactly what appears.  True surrender doesn’t shield one from difficulties or negative outcomes.  It simply asks us to accept that we can’t know or control each moment in the context of a broader orchestration or larger divine dance. 

Surrendering to the possibilities around us at any moment contains an element of fear.  If I surrender to all of the unknown possibilities in this moment, it could mean that I could face some danger from which I won’t recover.  But in the act of closing ourselves off to the anxiety of feared consequences, we often shut our emotional systems down to positive sensations as well, like love, pleasure, excitement, joy, and calm.

Sometimes we spend so much of our mental and emotional resources trying to predict or prevent small or large shake-ups in our lives that we lock away our energy into narrowly focused worries.   And we don’t realize that often these worst moments, when they happen, are the ones that end up defining us the most, unlocking the hidden resources and paths we didn’t before see.

Reconnecting to the flow in my life has required some extreme rewrites and redirects.  An ill-advised cleanse which landed me in the ER seven years ago led to a dietary overhaul and a search for answers through alternative medicine.  Quitting a job (that I thought I would love) eight months into a three year contract gave me the fire in my belly to eventually work for myself.   A jarring kundalini awakening five months before my graduation date led to an exploration of spirituality and energy healing.  For me, these moments of painful and unplanned surrender were unwelcome at first, but they represented the beginnings of a much larger and more rewarding healing journey.

The lesson of the Divine Feminine is that from our place of greatest struggle and pain comes our greatest potential and possibility, our greatest inner resiliency, if we can only open and let go.  The true face of surrender is not giving up.  It is allowing the freedom to feel all of ourselves without contraction and having the courage to release what needs to go and invite what wishes to flow.  

General

Interviews and News

As the new year is in full swing, I’m looking back at the past month or two and am grateful for the opportunities that popped up to share more of my story and talk about psychology, energy healing and women.  

In December, Joanna Chan and I were interviewed on WBAI The Positive Mind radio show in New York City in anticipation of our December 13th womens’ event, Trusting Transition.

We had a small intimate ground of women discussing and sharing their own paths and hopes for moving forward in the New Year.  Through energy healing, intention-setting, discussing needs and values, and guided meditations we all (even Joanna and I!) made shifts to set us up for the fresh energy of 2018.  

On the Positive Mind radio show, Joanna and I got to speak more about women in transition, our own personal transitions, and how to confront fears and blocks to change.  We even spoke about how focused intention-setting and groups of women coming together in support of one another can be powerful to elicit changes.  Listen here (part of the audio on the recording gets cut off in the beginning, so to skip that part start at about 3 min in):

Then, on December 31st, I was pleased to debut an interview with my friend and meditation facilitator, Jeff Carreira.  In the discussion, we go in all different directions, speaking about Jeff’s kundalini awakening, my kundalini experience, what starts to happen after kundalini awakens in the body, and what specifically started to unfold for me afterwards.  We also talk more about energy healing and the future of psychology as we start to learn more about and understand these sorts of phenomena as a culture.

To listen, click here: 

https://jeffcarreira.com/kundalini-awakening-tara-cuskley/webcast-replay/

If you are in the midst of navigating your own kundalini awakening, or have questions over how to do so, consider trying a transpersonal coaching session: http://healrenewtherapy.com/transpersonal-coaching/

Or email me at drtaracuskley @ healrenew.com for a 20-minute free phone consult.

Personal Stories, Spirituality

How Spirituality Found Me (a former skeptic)

I’ve contemplated writing about my spiritual awakening experience for a while now, but it has never quite felt like the right time.   Words aren’t always adequate to capture an experience that’s both deeply personal and is best understood as a felt, embodied sense rather than something that can be described and analyzed.  But I am going to try my best because it feels important to begin sharing how my own path has included twists and turns for those who may have had their own interesting, unexplainable experiences.

I grew up within the Catholic religion, experiencing all the prescribed milestones throughout my childhood: Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation.   I even had the opportunity to visit the Vatican and see the pope from afar in my teens. While I always appreciated the rich tradition that Catholicism provided, beautiful religious art and architecture especially, as I grew into my late teens and early 20’s I began to look at religion as a cultural signpost, a representation of my heritage, rather than as a spiritual tradition.   I recognized that religion did provide spiritual support for many and good moral foundations, but it had never fully connected the dots for me and the dogma didn’t seem to fit my developing sense of self-autonomy.  And so I left it at that….without the drive to explore further, I labeled myself as agnostic in my young adulthood and visited Church only on holidays.

Science and research became another “religion” of sorts for me in my late 20’s as I entered graduate school for psychology.  It seemed to provide solidity in a way that was comforting, in a way that I could get behind.  There was a prescribed sequence of inquiry, analysis, and data that research provided.  My analytical left brain found satisfaction and excitement in finding new ways to explore the world of human nature through reading, citing, and conducting research.  I felt like I had a greater understanding of the world, a foundation from which to base my decisions, actions, and worldview.  And I did….but little did I know, as I entered my final year of graduate school, that things were about to get a whole lot less linear.

Continue reading “How Spirituality Found Me (a former skeptic)”

General

Now offering Skype Coaching and Healing Sessions

I’m excited to announce that I am now offering more remote coaching and energy healing service for those outside of New York State…

Are you looking for a clearing and reset of your energy field and a deeper dive into removing the mental, emotional, and energetic blocks holding you back from moving forward?  Are you looking for a deeper insight into subconscious core beliefs and intuitive guidance on specific life concerns?  Try an Energy Renewal session: http://healrenewtherapy.com/energy-psychology-1/

Do you want to refine your life goals and create your next steps in alignment with your highest vision and path?  Are you a spiritual seeker or on a healing path looking to get in tune with your own higher guidance, define your soul-based values, or dive deeper into shadow work and clear old beliefs or traumas?  Try online Skype transpersonal coaching sessions, which blend a focus on your everyday life goals with the path your Soul is destined to take: http://healrenewtherapy.com/transpersonal-coaching/

Tara Cuskley, Psy. D. is a licensed psychologist, Reiki Master, and energy healer based in New York City. For more information, visit: http://www.healrenewtherapy.com

Or contact drtaracuskley@healrenew.com to schedule.

Heal & Renew name centered

creativity, Emotional Enlightenment

Accepting the Invitation

I find as I commit to write more that writing is my healing. I never considered it in this way before.  I thought that I’d start a blog because “I like to write,” and writing seemed like a useful tool to convey information in a way that gets my viewpoint across.  Yet, I never considered that the mere flow of the words on a page, finding the exact right word that fits each second in time could be an exercise in healing.

You see a page is a blank field.  There is nothing there in the beginning.  The battle begins when the first word emerges.  Was that what I wished to say?  Is that exactly the right way to convey it?  This battle often heats up when I have a plan in mind.  When my analytical left brain thinks it knows what I’m supposed to say or supposed to write about, it somehow ends up jumbled up, not emerging exactly as planned.

And I fight it.  I fight the very flow the page is inviting me into.

You see, I’m learning that each blank page and each moment in time seem to have a specific mandate.  A specific thing is wanting to be said.  And this specific thing may be very different from what I think I’m wanting to say.  Perhaps this thing is emerging from my right brain, the intuitive, emotional side of myself, from which creativity seems to spring unbidden.

Continue reading “Accepting the Invitation”

Emotional Healing

Totality is the Path

I’m just emerging from a summer blog hiatus into a full-on end of summer hangover, realizing that September has hit…already!

One of my summer highlights was an eclipse trip to the Path of Totality in Columbia, South Carolina.

I’m still trying to digest it…

The weeks leading up to the eclipse carried much anxiety and mental confusion for me. If you could have opened my brain, you would have found a back and forth ping-pong game over decisions and next steps….an inner struggle that promised no winners and no victories.

Just when I think I have it all figured out (“I’m awesome, I’m the best,” my mind shouts from its shadowy corners), life hits me over the head with new developments that seem best left to someone else to deal with…someone stronger, someone lighter, someone braver.

And so, as I headed down to the greet the Path, listening to a podcast by Neil deGrasse Tyson, I resolved to end the mental warfare just for this small period of time.

And with that proclamation, my body relaxed.

Continue reading “Totality is the Path”

Emotional Healing, Health & Wellness

Energy + Psychology

These are two words that, traditionally, appear to have no relation to each other.  Yet, Energy Psychology, as coined by the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, is a new and growing subfield in a therapeutic space traditionally dominated by analysis on couches and behavior modification techniques.  As the psychological and mental health field opens itself up to a broader spectrum of healing modalities, focus on the human energy field is beginning to gain more prominence and research support.  And science is beginning to show what many practitioners like myself already know: there is more than the eye can see (or the mind can access) when delving into human consciousness and healing.

Energy is not a new concept, nor one limited to our comic book heroes…

Our quantum physicists have uncovered, on a scientific level, that all things are made of small subatomic particles called electrons and protons.  When these “particles” are examined at a closer level, we find they are actually not made of matter at all.  They are simply spinning so fast as to mimic solidity (much like a tornado whips dust into a solid, formidable structure).  Interestingly, in experiments, when these subatomic particles are “split” from each other they can be observed to affect each other’s behavior, even at great distances.  From these findings the “quantum field theory” was born, which in simplest terms, postulates that we (humans and all things) are nothing more than a field of energy waves following a specific set of quantum rules.

Continue reading “Energy + Psychology”