Alex's Experiences

I am booked for the Openhand Level 2 (Path Between Worlds) course in Glastonbury in May. I thought I'd start this Forum topic so that I can share about my preparation & build-up to it. I'm greatly looking forward to the course, with excitement & some trepidation. I love spending time in Glastonbury, where I lived for 2 years recently, so that will be an added bonus.



I just dowsed the various options I wrote in my previous post, & to my surprise, the answer that I was given is that I should now distract myself with something. Maybe I've done enough digging/unravelling for now. I'm sure there will be plenty of time for more of that soon...

Distractions, here I come!!!


Many thanks for your comment, Open. I agree with what you write & I like the take you gave on my dream, when you talked about the inflow of the soul, which is what the sea water coming into the ship may represent. It strikes me now, that the dream may be saying to me that I need to let the sea water in, so that the ship does capsize & be destroyed, that the ship is a "fabricated structure" as you put it on the course, & doesn't serve me, but keeps me confined, trapped & stuck.

I totally agree with you that my anger & rage are avoidance mechanisms, keeping me away from my deeper levels of pain. I have been aware of this before, but it's clearer now, & more importantly I'm now clearer that it doesn't serve me to engage this anger, & that I now need to interrupt my patterns around my experience, or perhaps indulgence, of this anger & rage.

It's 11.16am & I'm still in my B&B. I'm meeting a friend for lunch at 1pm, but I'm wondering what to do between now & then. I can feel emotional pain inside me, which isn't a "clean" feeling, but rather a pent up feeling, the pain of containing or suppressing something that yearns to be felt, expressed & released.

I have a few options as to what I could do about this pain right now.

I could just sit with it, do nothing, observe it, spend time with it & see what happens. I suspect, from past experience, that if I did that the pain of the pressure would just build.

I could try to "feel into it", to pull on some threads, which would be a more proactive response, but I'm not really sure how to go about that.

I could do some meditation.

I could do some journaling.

I could distract myself by browsing the web, connecting with a friend, reading a book, having something to eat, etc.

I could go out now, & see where the pull takes me.

Decisions, decisions.

Usually, I would dowse in such a situation, to bypass my ego-mind & connect directly with what my higher self/intuition is saying, in order to decide what to do (or not do) next.

That's probably what I will do now.


Hi Alex,

I remember you shared this dream with me on the course.

To me, it speaks very clearly of the many layers of protective ego that can build over the years which prevent the inflow of soul. And those protective layers get built also by subtle (unintentional) avoidance mechanisms - like the anger and rage you've been dealing with which have stopped you from feeling deep into the source pain.

I think it's important that sharing in this way doesn't become another of those avoidance mechanisms, rather than getting right into the work that now needs to be done.

It's not just about sitting in stillness either, it's about feeling into the discomfort which is the source pain and working with that. Like feeling alone or abandoned for example. Having nowhere to go with it but inside.

There's simply no avoidance of this 'cold turkey' if we are to progress.

Very best wishes


I'm sitting in the lounge of my B&B, having just been for a walk on the Tor. Actually, I did more standing & sitting than walking, just being with myself & observing what was going outside & inside me.

I'd like to share a dream that I had at the Openhand Centre, on the 3rd night of the workshop, & its significance for me. I can feel resistance inside me mounting as I type that, a low, sinking feeling, indicating that a part of me doesn't want to share the dream, is resistant to the idea, thinks that it will be painful & a waste of time, when I could be doing more productive things.

In the dream I was in a large, old fashioned sailing ship, which had many decks. I was all alone in this ship, on one of the middle decks inside. The ship was sailing through a wide channel, & the seas were rough & stormy. Sea water was coming into the ship & there was a sense of danger, that the ship might get flooded & capsize.

I was standing next to a huge pane of glass, or window, like you might see in a giant aquarium. This pane of glass was containing the sea water which was coming into the ship, & there was a sense of danger & threat, that if this pane of glass broke, or the sea water spilled out over the top of it, then the ship would be flooded & sink. I noticed that cracks were appearing in this pane of glass under the pressure of the sea water behind it, & that the cracks were spreading, but the pane of glass wasn't breaking & no water was leaking through. The sense of danger & threat was being mitigated by the strength of the glass that was holding the water back.

I'd like to share my thoughts & feelings about this dream, but will do so in a separate post.


I'm sitting in the La Terre restaurant in Glastonbury, one of the few places on the High Street here with wi-fi.

This morning, I moved out of The Daisy Centre B&B in the middle of town, near St. John's church, & checked into the Beruchah Guest House on Wellhouse Lane, next to Chalice Well Gardens & the White Spring, & at the foot of Glastonbury Tor. I'm sure that the energies here will be purer, cleaner & more powerful, & will help me continue processing & integrating after the workshop.

Then I visited the White Spring & walked up the Tor in a strong wind. After that, I walked back into the town centre a had a late lunch at Rainbow's end, followed by a drink of apple juice at La Terre. I got rather sleepy there, & decided that I needed a walk around the Abbey Grounds to refresh myself & get my energies up a bit.

I thought I'd be meeting up with Jean-Michel & Emilia for an early dinner, but that hasn't worked out & I will now be going to The Hundred Monkeys restaurant by myself, which is OK as I sometimes like eating on my own.

My overall energy has been low today, but not unduly so. It's all good - I need a slow, restful day as part of my processing.

Yummy food - here I come!!!


The Path Between Worlds workshop finished on Saturday lunchtime. I'm staying on at B&B's in Glastonbury until Wednesday, to give me an opportunity to begin to integrate the effects of the workshop whilst still in the wonderful, supportive energies here. I'm always very slow at processing & integrating such workshops, & know that I need to pace myself carefully.

There's so much to say about the workshop that I hardly know where to begin. Many thanks to Open, Lesley & Trinity for hosting & facilitating a most amazing, stimulating & powerful gathering at the Openhand Centre.

To cut to the chase, the most notable outcome for me, was the realisation & confirmation that I need to make two significant changes in my life at this time.

Firstly, I will be changing my diet gradually over the next few months, with the particular aim of giving up wheat, refined sugar & dairy, as I know these aren't good for me & have been lowering my energy levels, both physically & spiritually.

Secondly, I will gradually increase the amount of time I spend in nature, sitting or standing & "doing nothing" - not even meditating - just being with myself & observing what's going on outside & inside me.

I may start new Forum threads to record these aspects of my journey, & to ask for some support from the Openhand community with this.

Many thanks to all the other participants too, for being there, for your contributions, & for being mirrors for me.

With much love & gratitude :-)


Thanks Kim for your encouragement & well wishes. I finally left my flat at 2.30pm, having done the few essentials & my packing, with several rest breaks as I was finding the whole process most gruelling & exhausting, even if for most people it would have been straightforward. It took me a total of 8.5 hours to do what most people could have done in 2 or 3 hours.

I'm still feeling a bit ill from my cold, which has moved down from my throat to my chest, but I've had these before & I know they are not serious - just a stress reaction. I'm looking forward to resting a lot at the Daisy Centre overnight & having a slow start tomorrow morning, before checking in for the Path Between Worlds workshop at 2pm.

It all feels a bit surreal right now, waiting at Castle Cary train station for my connection. The rage & pain have subsided, as if I've numbed them out somehow, but I know that they are not far away.

I wonder what dreams I will have tonight?


Just wanted to send you some encouragement and well wishes for your journey and on your upcoming Path Between Worlds course. It feels like you are certainly open to insights that are offered. We just need to get out of our own way! I can't wait to hear how it goes for you.

It's 10.27am, & with tremendous effort I've managed to have breakfast, wash & dress. I employed some of my coping techniques to get over my procrastination, but I've just collapsed onto my bed with exhaustion, & will take a short break before pressing on with my preparations to leave.

Those of you who haven't experienced severe depression or crippling procrastination might find it difficult, or even amusing, trying to understand why such simple activities can take so long & leave me feeling exhausted. I even find myself wondering, why can't I just pull myself together, do what needs to be done, & get out the front door?

The reason, of course, is that there is a powerful & very clever part of me, that doesn't want to go, or at least not yet, & I cannot overcome that part of me by sheer force of will. That part of me is very willful himself, & can match or better any will or force applied against him.

So I have to use different tactics to deal with this part of me. He needs to feel heard, understood, accepted & reassured. He needs to be allowed to go at a pace that is acceptable to him.

Underneath my willful, rebellious, sabotaging self is a very vulnerable, needy, terrified & young part of me. That's the part of me that I most need to love & look after, & right now, that part of me needs some rest from the demands & pressures of packing & preparation, even if only for a short while.

This feels risky for me to share on this Forum, but thanks for reading.


The Path Between Worlds workshop in Glastonbury starts tomorrow, Tuesday, at 3pm. I had arranged to travel to Glastonbury yesterday, & stay with a friend, but I was a bit ill physically & in great emotional torment, so I didn't manage to set off from Brighton.

Yesterday was a day of excruciating emotional pain for me, almost unbearable at times. I've had similar experiences many times over the last 10 years, just before setting off to some kind of workshop, or sometimes just before setting off on a visit to my parents or mother (my father died 8 years ago). It's as if I experience a huge battle between the part of me that wants to go (is excited & looking forward to it), & the part of me that doesn't want to go (doesn't like change or leaving my comfort zone, is terrified about some of the difficult/painful/challenging things that might happen).

Yesterday I largely stayed with my pain rather than going out to the cinema or swimming which can ease my experience at such times. There was a moment at about 10pm when I was curled up in bed when the pain felt unbearable & was building, & I thought that I couldn't cope with the experience & was planning on phoning the Samaritans (a crisis/suicide helpline) if the pain got much worse, to talk it out & get some support from an empathetic listener), but I was just about able to stay with it & I think I must have dozed off to sleep.

I had a dream last night in which Open appeared. This was only the second time I have dreamt about Open. The first time was only a couple of days ago, & Trinity appeared in that dream too.

In last night's dream, I was in a post office & there were lots of other people there too. I had a small packet for Open, & had written his name on it but not his address, & also I hadn't put a postage stamp on it. I was aware that Open was standing very near to me, & for some reason I didn't want him to see me writing his address on the packet (perhaps I felt embarrassed), so I pushed the packet into the (small) post box as it was. I then realised that the packet wouldn't get to it's destination without the address, & went to find the shop assistant who agreed to open the post box (which she shouldn't have legally done), so that I could get my packet out & address it properly.

So the theme in this dream seems to be that I wanted to send something to Open surruptitiously, as I could have handed the packet to him there & then. Or perhaps I didn't want him to receive the packet yet - I wanted there to be a time delay. Somehow it seemed safer for the postal service to deliver the packet to Open, than for me to hand it to him personally. Also, there is much less risk of rejection if I send something to someone in the post, as opposed to handing it to them directly. I don't have to witness them opening it in front of me, & deal with their reaction in the moment, if I send it by post.

As I type this, what's coming to mind is that the packet contains something about me that I fear is utterly unacceptable, monstrous & very dangerous, that the other person is (almost) sure to reject, or might not be able to tolerate or deal with. That would probably be the intense, compressed rage that I feel inside me, that I bottle up & which causes my depressions & lethargy.

As for the dream I had 2 or 3 days ago in which both Open & Trinity appeared, I can't remember the details of that now. However, I was struck by the fact I had this first dream just before I was due to set off for the Openhand workshop in Glastonbury.

It's 7.40am now, & I'm aiming to leave my flat by 10 or 11 am to set off for Glastonbury. I will be staying at the Daisy Centre there tonight, a B&B which I know very well. I'm still experiencing the intense pain and torment between the part of me that wants to go & the part of me that doesn't. It's a form of procrastination that I know very well & have experienced often. I've developed many coping strategies over the years to deal with this inner torment & procrastination, & unless the part of me that doesn't want to go is extremely strong & adamant, I know that I will get to Glastonbury tonight.

Once I have left my flat I know it will be OK. The difficulty will be with getting the practicalities done before that - washing, dressing, eating, sorting out anything essential I have to do before I leave, & of course, the dreaded packing!!! I've got a real thing about procrastinating with my packing, & have done for many decades. It's as if the part of me that doesn't want to go, knows that if he can sabotage my packing, I won't be able to leave.

That's probably enough for now.

Hope to see some of you very soon at the Openhand centre.

From a very pained Alex

Alex you are in for such a treat you can't begin to imagine! Trinity has been instrumental in my conversion from a vegetarian to a vegan diet.
I'll be there in Glastonbury in spirit - and in the kitchen testing it all out! Hope you don't mind Trinity!!!

I'm only teasing, Trinity. I know that vegan & raw food are very healthy, & I've only heard the highest reports about your cooking. I'm sure I will enjoy my meals on the retreat, & rest assured - no cursing!


It's now only 3 days till the start of the Path Between Worlds (Level 2) workshop in Glastonbury. I will be travelling to Glastonbury tomorrow, will stay with a friend on Sunday night & then at the Daisy Centre in Glastonbury on Monday night.

I'm aware of an excited, but also very heavy energy around me today. I strained my lower back a few days ago, helping a friend with some house clearing & removals, & today I am deliberately having a rest day to help my back to heal.

I've just had a long phonecall with my fiancee, during which she asked me (not for the first time) the question "are you happy?". My response was that I'm happy that I'm being true to myself & that I'm following my spiritual path, but that this is necessarily taking me through experiences of pain, suffering, illness & discomfort.

We also talked about our experiences of impatience & frustration on the one hand, & of slowness & laziness on the other hand. I can feel both energies clearly inside me today, & the discomfort of having both at the same time.

Part of me is raring to go, feeling energised & excited, looking forward to my trip to Glastonbury & to the Openhand workshop, & yet another part of me is feeling tired, heavy, lethargic & in physical & emotional pain. I sense that I need to surrender to the latter today, to accept my low energy & need to rest & do very little. It feels a frustrating place to be in right now, & I'm aware of a lot of anger (perhaps rage) under the surface.

I feel like deadening my painful emotions/state of mind with a sugary dessert - fruit pies & fresh custard, but I'm not sure that's the best way forward. I've been doing a lot of comfort eating recently, & if I'm honest, I'm not sure how I feel about all the "healthy" vegan & raw food that I will be eating while on the Path Between Worlds course. I sometimes refer to this as "rabbit food" ;-)



That's great that you see it Alex.
And yes I'm sure we can help. When there's surrender, then we'll be able to resonate a frequency that will likely activate it and which you might feel.
Not promising anything but let's see how it goes.

Best wishes


My iPhone doesn't make it easy for me to edit my posts, so I'm having to write a new post to continue from my previous one.

I think you are spot on with this one, Open. Yes, I agree with you that gaining attention for my pain distracts me from going more deeply into it, from sitting with it & experiencing the full force of the feelings of being unloved, or perhaps of loneliness.

Since reading your post I have felt moved to devote more time just to sitting & doing nothing, to observing myself & my experience without trying to change anything, to just allowing myself to be in the moment.

You also mentioned that I'm probably not yet in touch with the real pain underneath the fizz I'm touching, & I'm most intrigued to find ways to approach & experience my true, underlying pain. Perhaps that's something you could help me with on the coming Path Between World course in Glastonbury?

With much love & appreciation.


While I find the depth of this anger intriguing, I'm really interested in the potential activities you outlined for yourself, a few of them being externally oriented and a couple of them more internally oriented.
You say that meditating can make things worse, and I'm wondering what that experience of 'worse' is or would be.
I'm also interested in the creative drawing. You mention that this is a positive thing, and I'm wondering what that experience of 'positive' is for you and how you feel when you are doing the drawing.
Dousing is an interesting thing. I found, when I used to do that, that unless I was totally centered I was in fact influencing the outcome so I became a bit suspicious of following the dousing advise. Have you ever felt that perhaps it wasn't giving an authentic answer?

In reply to by Cynthia Sham Rang

Hi Cynthia,

Thanks for your comment. I will attempt to reply briefly to your questions, but I don't want to go too deeply into them at this time, as I am trawling through deep enough waters as it it is presently. I want to also have some time & space for fun & for lighter activities & experiences, a break from all this heavy stuff.

Meditation is a powerful tool/technique, to be used with caution in some situations, especially for anyone experiencing mental illness or on psychiatric medication. I'm not in that situation now, thankfully, but was some 10 years ago. If I'm experiencing violent impulses, meditation can put me in greater touch with the violence inside me, & could, as a worst case scenario, lead to me getting overwhelmed by these impulses, & acting them out in reality - ie becoming violent towards myself, others or my physical environment. That is an example of the experience of "worse".

Creative drawing is almost always a very positive experience for me, as it tends to move me from a very stuck, bound, paralysed, confused or overwhelmed emotional place, to one of greater freedom, clarity, authenticity & connection with my deeper emotions & with the wider reality.

I have 10 years experience of dowsing, have experimented extensively with different approaches to this, & have developed a technique, which for me, gives authentic answers about 99% of the time. I only use dowsing for certain types of questions & when I am in a reasonably centred place. I have found dowsing to be ineffective when I am highly stressed or desperate for an answer. When I first started dowsing, I also noticed that I was influencing the outcome, ie wanting a particular answer, & I have talked to others who have experienced the same. My dowsing works for me, but it took a bit of time to learn an effective method.

I'm experiencing a break right now from the heaviness I've been feeling recently, so I'm going to go out for a walk along Brighton seafront while the sun is shining, & do something enjoyable & fun for a few hours.


I've not long got back to my flat after spending the day out, & I'm "stuck" in some feelings of anger which I can't seem to shake off, despite doing 15 mins of meditation just now. I felt the pull to post on Openhand.

I will reply/respond to others' recent comments in a separate post.

When I say that I'm "stuck" in feelings of anger, one thing I mean by that is that I've got things that I really must do this evening, such as unpack my food shopping & put it away in my fridge & cupboards, but my anger is paralysing me such that I'm refusing to do that. My anger is consuming me such that I feel like I'm "going on strike" regarding things that I should/must do, which also includes doing the washing up (dishes), making myself something to eat, responding to people who have contacted me & are needing a response, etc.

This anger has a violent quality to it. I feel like I want to smash something up, or throw things around, but I'm not going to do that & I am in full control of these violent urges.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do next this evening. My options are:

Spend some time sitting & "doing nothing".
Meditate (although this feels ill-advised when I'm depressed or having violent impulses, as it can make those worse).
Do some of my creative drawing, which is almost always a very positive thing for me to do when experiencing intense emotions.
Phone up a supportive friend or the Samaritans (a crisis/suicide line) - although I'm not feeling suicidal.
Record a video journal of myself on my smartphone, & speak out what's going on in my thoughts & feelings right now.

I will probably now dowse what to do next. For me, dowsing is a way of bypassing my ego/mind & connecting with my higher self (or intuition).

It feels a bit risky to have shared in this way on the Forum, but I am merely sharing the truth of my experience as I perceive it.

Rest assured that I will be OK - I've been in a similar emotional place countless times over the last 20 years or so, & I've always come through.

Thanks for reading this.


An interesting response Alex. I'm wondering if you could articulate for me what being a human being means to you.

I love what you said Open " No, you are not a human being. You are presence having the experience of a soul through a human body." Oh how quickly I can forget this!

Hi Alex, I just wanted to share with you that I have started sessions with an Openhand Facilitator to go into the pain from my past that I have not dealt with. I am willing to go there now but I needed guidance. My first session was excellent. Enjoy the Path Between Worlds workshop. It was a life changing experience for me. :)

Hi Alex,

I sense from the latter part of your post, that you're slightly misunderstanding the Openhand Approach to progression. Rest assured, the people here who are trying to help you have traveled far, over many lifetimes, and are very intuitive in terms of the soul's journey. Several very experienced facilitators are all essentially saying the same thing to you. So that might be worth getting your head around and giving it a go. Especially since the previous approaches you've tried seem (by your own admission) to have reached the limit of their ability to help.

You said this. Which jumps right out and is key...

    Deep down, I am just a hurting human being who wants to be healed, loved & to be free from my pain & trauma.

No. You are not a human being. You are presence having the experience of a soul through a human body. But like many in society, you're identifying with the human in you and its pain. It's like at some level, there's a resistance to letting go of the human ego crutch in you. I sense that at a subconscious level, gaining attention for your pain fills the sense of lack of love (especially self love). If you let go of the crutch of needing that egoic attention, it would mean you'd have to sit in the emptiness of that and find true love for yourself.

You said...

    I sense that I'm being more real when I'm in touch with my pain rather than in touch with my "spoiling for a fight" feeling.

I don't think you are yet in touch with the real pain at the core of the issue. As I've said before, it seems like what you really do is touch only the emotional/mental fizz, but don't let yourself truly surrender through that and go deeper. It's like the psychotherapy you've used (which I'm well aware of) just causes you to make a big noise as you touch only the surface of the pain. The noise then distracts you from really embracing the pain. And here's the synchronistic support for that view offered again in your own words...

    Now I feel a bit depressed...

    I may go for a swim and/or to see a film at the cinema soon, as both of these tend to help me move through states of depression.

These aren't helping you move through the depression at all. They're just avoidance techniques. To truly move through the depression is to sit right in the depth of it. Be depressed. See how it defines you. How it limits you. Don't distract from it. Don't make a big noise about it. It's not glamorous, it's not sexy nor noisy. It's a real low feeling, an aching pain of existence; like the sense of being alone forever. Get to know that, and you - as the One - can truly break through it.

But don't expect it to be necessarily quick. It probably won't. You have to be prepared to keep sitting in the 'cold turkey' of it. Until one day, you get bored of feeling bored. Then you don't feel bored any more. You could sit for hours just being, not needing to do anything, not needing to be loved, not needing anyone.

This is who you really are.


In reply to by Open

Many thanks for your long, thoughtful reply Open. You made a lot of helpful & serious points which I will mull over & digest.

My first reaction, however, was one of great amusement at your statement "you are not a human being". I know where you are coming from when you say that, but taken at face value your comment cracked me up - it really made my day!!!

You are one of a very few people who could say something like that & get away with it ;-)


In reply to by Open

Many thanks Open, for your comment on this thread 5 days ago. It took me some time to digest it, & to get over my initial reactions of amusement, & of feeling some anger at being challenged or contradicted. I'm aware enough now, that when I experience anger or outrage at being challenged or contradicted, that's almost always due to my ego feeling hurt.

There is immense value for me in what you wrote. I was particularly struck by these words of yours:

"gaining attention for your pain fills the sense of lack of love (especially self love).

Alex - the "spoiling for a fight" feeling - sounds like there's some energy there!
And as for "Some people say that we can choose how we feel" Can we? I think we can notice how we feel and then choose to pay attention or to ignore the feelings and pretend we feel something else.
Wishing you well.

In reply to by Cynthia Sham Rang

Thanks for your comment, Cynthia. I often experience the feeling state which I would describe as "spoiling for a fight", & yes, you are right, there is a lot of energy there.

By "spoiling for a fight", I mean that I feel provocative, argumentative, that I would like to get into a heated exchange with someone, or to wind someone up so that they get angry with me & then I have a chance to get angry with them back, in a safe & reasonable way. No, maybe that's not quite true, I want to wind someone up so that they get angry & I don't have to get angry - I can just watch with satisfaction someone else getting angry.

If I can't find someone to wind up in this way, I like to watch heated political discussions on Youtube, or maybe war documentaries or movies, although I'm starting to get bored of that sometimes, but not always.

A lot of my energy seems to get tied up inside me, it's a frustrated feeling, as if I know that I'd rather be using this energy in some other way, but can't seem to find my way to a better use of this energy.

As I've shared before, & I'm not really very proud of this, I do enjoy watching, observing or reading about wars, as this seems to satisfy something inside me, to release something or give me a buzz or feeling of excitement. However, it also doesn't feel healthy or "normal" to have this reaction to wars, & I know it's indicative of some dysfunction or unresolved trauma issue inside me.

As I type this, I feel myself getting in touch with some deeper pain inside me, which is probably what's really going on for me when I feel like I'm spoiling for a fight.

What's this pain about? The first thing that comes to mind is the pain of feeling unloved & unwanted. I know that's the root of many of my issues, feeling unloved or unloveable, & from what I've read about psychology & psychotherapy, feeling unloved or unloveable is the root of many people's emotional/psychological issues.

Now my emotional pain is increasing, & I'm starting to get a headache. I know intellectually & rationally that I am loved & I am loveable - many people have told me that, & I am in a loving, long-term relationship. However, there is a part of me, a very young, damaged part of me, that still feels deeply unloved & unloveable, monstrous in fact, rejected, reviled & hated. That part of me still needs to heal, or at least to be reassured, comforted & loved.

If I was in a Primal Integration group, I might now be expressing that part of me that feels unloved & unloveable, speaking or shouting out into the group room "I'm hurting! please love me, mummy! I need you, mummy! etc", in order to deepen my experience of that pain, for more of it to release & heal.

However, I'm wary of sharing in this way too much on the Openhand Forums, as it doesn't seem to go down very well or perhaps I am being misunderstood.

Deep down, I am just a hurting human being who wants to be healed, loved & to be free from my pain & trauma.

I sense that I'm being more real when I'm in touch with my pain rather than in touch with my "spoiling for a fight" feeling.

Now I feel a bit depressed...

I may go for a swim and/or to see a film at the cinema soon, as both of these tend to help me move through states of depression.

Thanks for reading this.


I love countdowns before workshops & courses, especially if they are of a therapeutic nature, which for me, includes "spiritual development" courses which is how I see the coming Path Between Worlds workshop in Glastonbury.

I've just got out of bed & felt a pull to immediately post on this thread. Normally, the first thing I would do is some sitting meditation, followed by a grounding practice, some juicing & some of my creative drawing.

My mood is now dropping as I start writing this post. I felt some enthusiasm to share 10 minutes ago, but that is now evaporating. I'd like to share exactly how I'm feeling on this forum, but part of me is very reticent about that, as I know that I often seem to "trigger" others when I do so, & I can get some unsupportive feedback as a result. So, I'm probably feeling unsupported now, & looking for or needing support.

I can sense that there is also a part of me wanting to provoke some kind of reaction in others. The "spoiling for a fight" feeling. That feels like it's a form of attention seeking.

Last night, I went to one of my Primal Integration weekly groups, the first one after the Easter break. That felt very supportive, & I shared about my recent dismissal from the cleaning job, got some feedback from others, & also got some better perspective for myself.

The group also "stirred me up" a lot, & I had a difficult journey back home & was in a lot of emotional pain late last night, & used food & internet porn to deaden my feelings, to ease the pain when I got home. I had dreams about porn overnight - I must have been processing all this as I slept. In my dream, I was wanting to watch some porn in the family home I grew up in, but I was scared that I would be caught doing so by my father. I was raised in a family where there was a lot of sexual repression & I got many confusing messages about sex from my parents.

My mother had a disgust towards sexuality which she transferred onto me. My father was much more comfortable with his own sexuality, but had some rigid, "black & white" views as to what was wrong & right.

I feel vulnerable writing about this on this public forum, especially now that I am using my real name & having a real photo of myself displayed.

However, this is what is coming up for me in my dreams as the Openhand Level 2 workshop approaches, & I believe in the importance of dreams in that they often reveal what's really going on for me, things that I might try to deny, suppress or avoid otherwise.

I would like to get my sexual issues resolved better, as they have been burdening & troubling me for many decades. I'm much more accepting of my sexuality than I used to be, & I know that I have already healed to some extent, but there seems to be a way to go yet.

I'm now feeling some of my familiar self-loathing & self-hatred, which I know are tied into these issues. I would dearly love some liberation from my self-hatred, yet on the other hand, I know that my self-hatred has become a "comfort zone" for me, something I'm very familiar with & something that brings me some comfort, satisfaction & distraction.

Perhaps I'm addicted to my self-hatred? I certainly seem to get some kind of "buzz" out of it.

I'm moving towards a victim-y place inside me now. Part of me would like to say "I hate myself, & it's all your fault, mum & dad!"

I know that blaming doesn't get you anywhere, keeps you stuck & disempowered. A large part of me wants to stay stuck & disempowered, if I'm honest, & another part of me wants liberation, freedom & to move forward.

Right now in this moment, I sense that about 60% of me wants to remain stuck & disempowered, & 40% of me wants freedom & to move forward.

That's not very comfortable to admit, but that's where I'm at today.

Some people say that we can choose how we feel. I'm not so sure about that. We can certainly choose what we do, say, or think, or at least there is an illusion that we can.

I'm starting to get a headache now, an angry headache. I know that a disempowered person is an angry person.

I am disempowered & angry, & have been for many years & decades.

I'm back to my theme of power now.

Yes, that's the theme to bring to the Level 2 - POWER & POWERLESSNESS.

Thanks for reading this. I know that my posts can be very challenging to read.

Please feel free to respond if you are moved to do so.

With much love & gratitude,


Only 3 weeks to go Alex ,
I will be happy to meet u there and we will be working deep all together . It will truly be magic in many unexpected & uplifting ways . Much Love , J-M

It's a beautiful sunny morning here in Brighton. I had a 90 minute 3-way Skype couples' counselling session with my fiancee yesterday, which felt very powerful & important. I slept deeply with lots of vivid dreams last night & woke up in a difficult (emotionally pained) mood, as is usual for me.

I'm practising the Openhand method of staying with, surrendering to & softening into uncomfortable emotions, rather than trying to get rid of them or distract myself from them. So I lay in bed for about 20 minutes just experiencing my emotions & "bad" feelings until it felt right to get up. I decided it was "right" to get up when I sensed I would be wasting my time to stay in bed any longer, that it was indulgent to remain in bed.

Having got up, I made myself a mug of hot water with a squeeze of fresh lemon, & then just sat for 10 minutes in my lounge, looking out over the sea. I am very blessed to have a view of the sea (the English Channel) from my lounge, and I'm sure that this was divinely arranged.

After this, I dowsed what to do next, & the answer given to me was to meditate. The alternatives I dowsed for were to do some of my creative drawing, or to do something else (other). If I had been given the answer of "other", I would have probably felt into what the other options might be, & dowsed again to ask which one I was given to do.

So then I lit some incense, made myself another hot water & lemon juice, did a grounding practice & meditated for about 15 minutes until I felt prompted to stop.

I then dowsed again to decide what to do next, & I was given the answer, somewhat to my surprise, that I should write a post on Openhand. So this is what I am doing now.

What I've just shared is typical of how I spend my mornings, when I haven't got anything I have to do or I have to get out of my flat for. Today, I have an appointment at a horticultural college at 1pm, so will have to leave my flat at about 12noon.

Having lost my job as an early morning cleaner, I'm back to having a very leisurely lifestyle where there is very little I have to do in terms of the ordinary activities of life. That leaves me lots of time to "do nothing" (one of my favourite pastimes!), or to sit, meditate, draw, go for walks in nature, contemplate life, etc.

I know that I am very blessed & fortunate to be able to "do nothing" for long periods of time. I sense that the sacking from my last job was divinely sent, as it has given me an opportunity to have very little to do in the run up to the Path Between Worlds workshop in Glastonbury.

I love spending time in Glastonbury, & one of the things I am "doing" now is to make arrangements to stay there for 2 nights before & for 2 or 3 nights after the workshop.

I will remain open to the Universal flow in the coming 3 weeks, in preparation for the workshop, & will follow my internal "pull" as much as I can.

I'm now starting to feel a trace of a headache building, & some further emotional pain arising. I could explore this pain a bit further, but I sense that it's time for me to do some juicing, then have breakfast, & then get ready to go out to my appointment at Plumpton College.

With much excitement & gratitude - Glastonbury, here I come!!!


I wrote in an earlier post:

"It seems to me, that my resentment, & how I cling onto that, might be the central issue I need to bring to the coming Path Between Worlds workshop."

Having pondered this some more, & also having considered others' comments, I sense that it might also be important for me to address what's driving my resentments, or my addiction to my resentments, ie not to see my resentments as the core problem, but as a symptom of some other underlying issue.

What came to me today, as I was meditating & drawing, is that I have more fundamental issues around power & control, especially power. At a very deep level, I have an unresolved issue (trauma) about feeling powerless, & not being able to accept or deal with that feeling/emotion. As a result, I am terrified of connecting with or re-experiencing that state of powerlessness, which is locked away inside me. My sense is that I need to allow myself to feel the full force of this powerlessness, in order that it can be unravelled & released, which I don't believe I've been able to do to date.

However, I realise that what I've just said is coming from the model of deep-feeling, regressive therapy, such as Primal Therapy, amongst others, which stress the importance of allowing myself to experience (feel) in the present, what I was unable to feel fully (to bear) in the past, when the original trauma or traumas happened.

So maybe I do need to fully connect with my deeply buried feelings of powerlessness in order to move forward (evolve), or maybe I don't - perhaps there is another way around this? I don't know at this stage, & I know that it's OK not to know sometimes. All will be unravelled & resolved in its own time if I allow myself to trust in the flow, guidance & provision of the Universe (the Divine) - at least that's what I intuit...

I can feel the energetic build up to the Path Between Worlds workshop in Glastonbury more strongly now. I've just started re-reading Open's book Divinicus, following a pull I felt towards that.


Hi Alex

I don't know much about a lot of things, but you ask if feeling powerless is the same as surrendering it seems to me that it's the opposite. Feeling powerless gives the power to the resentment, and surrendering while softening into it is a clear indicator that the resentment is powerless. You are not afraid of it.

I could be way off the mark - but, how does that sit with you?


In reply to by Cynthia Sham Rang

Many thanks for your comment, Cynthia. What you say resonates with me, especially the idea of what I may be doing (or not doing) which gives power to my resentments.

However, I also feel a bit confused, & maybe this has something to do with semantics. In 12-step work, of which I have done a lot, there is a fundamental principle of "admitting we are powerless over alcohol/drugs/food/other people, etc", & this admission of powerlessness is the first step in releasing & overcoming the addiction. So, the admission of powerlessness is, in itself, a very powerful action.

Having said that, there is probably a very important distinction between feeling powerless over my resentments, & admitting my powerlessness over my addiction to my resentments, or my addiction to whatever it is that drives my resentments. As I've shared in previous posts, I sense that I have a physical (chemical) addiction to certain hormones which I generate inside myself, which give me a buzz when, for instance, I think an angry or vengeful thought, or remind myself of some resentment I hold towards someone or something.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "surrendering while softening into it (the resentment)", but I do get the overall sense of that. It's a difficult concept for me to go towards, & I can feel my resistances rising as I try to do so. Perhaps that's where the work for me lies...

I think I need to ponder this some more. It's giving me a headache trying to "get my head around" what you've written, so you have probably hit the nail on the head. My ego doesn't like what you've said at all, but thanks for saying it anyway.

So, to answer your last question, what you've said sits uncomfortably but helpfully with me.


There are just over 3 weeks until the Level 2 workshop starts in Glastonbury. I've just woken up from a very long, deep night's sleep. It's also exactly a week since I got dismissed from my early morning cleaning job at the cinema.

Those of you who have been reading my posts over the last 2 years will know that I have got a lot of unresolved issues around the subjects of anger, rage, unforgiveness & punishment. This morning, I awoke with a strong sense of resentment & feeling owed, as if the world owes me a living. From an adult (intellectual) perspective, I know that the world doesn't owe me a living, & that I am totally responsible for myself, financially, practically & in every other way. However, there is a part of me, which I could describe as my (damaged or wounded) inner child, who deeply feels & experiences this sense of lack, feeling owed & greatly resentful about how my life has turned out, in terms of my financial & career situation.

I am trying to follow the Openhand way of embracing & softening into these experiences of lack, resentment & feeling owed, to become as one with them so that I don't need them to go away, but I don't get much sense yet of them unravelling. It's most painful to experience this lack & resentment, although perhaps at a deeper level it is really need - need for appreciation, approval, reassurance & love.

I've just started to apply for other part-time jobs, following my dismissal, & that's probably bringing these issues & feelings more to the surface. I'm an intelligent, well-educated 51 year old man, many of my friends & peers have responsible, fulfilling & well-paid jobs, & I have failed to hold down a basic cleaning job & am now applying for work as a postman. I believe that all work is honourable, & trying my best to trust in the flow of the Universe, but I'm still struggling with the pain of resentment, feeling owed, & feeling the injustice & unfairness of my situation.

I now feel like I am speaking like a victim, that I am disempowering myself. I feel powerless over my emotions right now. I'm wondering if feeling powerless over my resentment is the same as surrendering & softening into my feelings of resentment?

It seems to me, that my resentment, & how I cling onto that, might be the central issue I need to bring to the coming Path Between Worlds workshop.

Thanks for reading this.


Thanks Open for your comment. Yes, I agree with you that getting bored of my anger & rage is a good sign, that an increasing part of me now wants to let these go. However, I'm aware that another part of me is very attached to my anger & rage, & doesn't want to let it go at all. It's become a long standing habit or even addiction for me. I think that I get a buzz or high from these emotions, they make me feel alive & that I exist, & I sense that I get a release of certain hormones inside me when I connect with my anger & rage, & that I have become addicted to these hormones. It might be adrenaline, or it might be something else.

As for the dismissal from my job, I also agree with what you wrote about that, & once my anger has subsided sufficiently, I will contact my manager to ask her certain questions & to see what compensation I can get.

I have a sense that my dismissal, & the unfair & abrupt nature of it, was divinely sent in that it threw me into a very emotionally painful place that I wouldn't have otherwise accessed, & that it was important for me to experience that & find my way through it. I can now sense that I am coming through that & emerging from the other side.

The dismissal was most definitely a considerable shock, as I didn't see it coming & was assuming that I would be able to continue in the job for sometime, as my colleagues in general seemed satisfied with my performance. I thought that my slower work speed had been accepted, & wasn't causing undue concerns for anyone, & was balanced out by other contributions that I was making, such as improving communication & organisation within the team. However, in doing so, I may have been showing up the managers by taking over some aspects that they should have been responsible for, which they wouldn't have liked.

My lesson for future jobs is to make sure I ask for regular appraisals & feedback from my managers rather than from my co-workers, so as not to allow discontent to build up such that they decide to get rid of me.

Yesterday I was feeling very low & hopeless about this, as well as having my anger & rage. I seemed to have worked that through overnight, & woke up feeling more content, fresh & more ready for the next step, whatever that may be.

It's a lovely sunny day here in Brighton. I've got nothing planned yet for the day, but it would be good to spend some of it outdoors.


Hi Alex,

I think getting bored with the anger and rage is a good sign. It means an increasing part of you now wants to let it go.

With regards closure on the job, personally I believe you're owed an explanation at least. It does sound illegal. You may not want to challenge, but can you ask pertinent questions without anger or energy? If it were me, I would be making sure they knew that I knew it was unfair and (probably) illegal. There may well be some form of compensation due - you took the job and committed to it in good faith.


I'm having a day of intense emotional pain. I'm feeling a lot of anger & rage, which is veering towards depression as I try to suppress it. I don't want to feel my pain. I'd rather avoid it somehow.

I'm having the urge to watch YouTube documentaries about World War Two again. I'm drawn to these when there is a lot of anger & rage inside me. I'm particularly drawn to watching videos of Hitler's armies invading various countries in Europe & crushing the opposing armies. Inside me, I'm spoiling for a fight once again.

This anger & rage inside me is a bit tedious now. I know that my present pain is being caused by 2 factors. The principal factor is that I'm missing my fiancee, who came to visit me for 4 days over Easter, & then flew back to her home country in the Far East 8 days ago. We won't be able to see each other again until early July, when we will probably be able to spend 2 months together. So I'm going through the deep pain of physical separation from my beloved, & adjusting to being apart from her. That's generating a lot of my anger, pain & rage. I'm a bit bored of this, but such is the nature of long distance relationships.

The other factor is coming to terms with the ubrupt & unexpected dismissal from my cleaning job 3 days ago. I need to contact my manager to discuss some final practicalities & to tie up some loose ends, but I'm putting that off as I still feel very angry about how the dismissal happened & I don't want to get into an argument with her over the phone. I think I will sleep on it, & tomorrow will make some notes about what I need to say to her before calling her. I'd rather not have to contact her at all, but I know that I will regret it if I don't. I need some more closure to this situation, & a call will help with that.

As for tonight, I'm still feeling a lot of pain, but I feel a bit calmer having shared this on Openhand.

I feel less inclined to watch war films now.

Thanks for letting me share & thanks to those who read this post. It's good to feel heard.


About 3 hours after I posted my last comment about my abusive working environment, I most unexpectedly got sacked from that job, & was given an instant dismissal. The reason for the dismissal seemed rather spurious to me (I'd missed a bit of cleaning a few days previously & my general work speed was slow), so it seems the management had just made a decision to get rid of me, not following their own company procedures correctly in terms of disciplinaries required before a dismissal.

My interpretation of this unexpected turnaround is that I'd completed the spiritual work (or learning) that I needed to do in this job, & the Universe was giving me a push onto the next stage of my growth/evolution process, whatever that may be.

I've been in a state of emotional shock since the dismissal, as I've never experienced anything as abrupt & final as this in a work situation.

I've put in a renewed claim for Job Seekers Allowance (a UK state benefit or welfare), & I know that I need to find other paid work soon to make ends meet, unless the Universe decides to send me some extra money from another source, or pushes me to do something more drastic or "left field", which I'd like to say that I'm always open to.

As well as the shock, I have had a lot of anger & outrage to deal with, regarding the manner of my dismissal which was clearly unfair & quite possibly illegal. However, my intuition tells me to accept the dismissal rather than to attempt to contest it, which might just waste a lot of time & energy. Some things are worth standing up for & making a fuss about, other things aren't.

I'm most interested to see what might arise for me now...


Hi Alex,

The key would be to ask 'what do you gain from the self bullying?'
Is it unnecessary suffering to explore it? A good question.
It could be happening at a mind level - I'd say an inner child program. Is it to get attention? Is it because you don't feel loveable by someone else?

The pain then would be a mind based one. In which case, the Openhand Approach would not to be owned by this. But neither to ignore it. The "Open Mind" part of Openhandway means not to judge the situation as good or bad. To let go of the need for any kind of outcome.

Then to drop into the heart - "Open Heart" - and begin to perceive the moment more from a heart centred space. In this way, we can begin to unwind the tightness in the mind - simply by sitting in it. If you're in the heart, there will come a point when you recognise that part of the mind drama is not you.

I'd say this is an indication of how to approach it. But you must feel into it yourself.

Go well


I've been doing my cleaning job for 3 months now, & I'm noticing there's a fair amount of worker abuse & exploitation. I'm trying to challenge this & stand up for myself, but from an Openhand perspective I'm interested in why I drew this situation to myself & what have I got to learn from it, or to experience for my soul growth & self-realisation.

The thought came to me this morning, that my abusive, exploitative & unfair working environment is a mirror of how I abuse myself & treat myself unfairly. That's a difficult thing to admit on a public forum.

I have a strong internal bully/critic who abuses/punishes me much of the time, & enjoys doing that & gets satisfaction from it. I'm aware that I've developed patterns & habits which feed & energize this inner bully. I think that's part of the addiction that I experience, which I referred to in an earlier post.

My big question is what to do about my inner bully? I'm not sure what the Openhand approach to this might be?

It's certainly an opportunity to explore my pain, but is it unnecessary suffering to do so?

Part of me is hurting a great deal as a result, & has been for many decades, or maybe many lifetimes.

Any thoughts, anyone?


I'm on my way to work. I was experiencing some difficult feelings waiting at the bus stop. I considered just staying with the feelings, but felt a pull to journal them on my iPhone, despite Open & Lesley's suggestion that I try not journaling. This is what I wrote:

"I'm feeling anxious, scared, angry with myself. Bored, under pressure. I'm fantasizing that my work colleagues are angry with me. I feel under pressure, that time is running out, that there is danger all around. I'm scared & anxious. I don't like feeling like this. Panicky feelings. Scared. Shall I post on Openhand? Yes!"

Alex, I find my response to this posting to be very different from previous posts. I've often felt a bit edgy and tense when reading what you wrote, but this time my heart feels soft and warm. Perhaps it's because you 'revealed' yourself that I feel more connected. I don't know, but whatever, why-ever, however - reading this brings me a sense of peace. Thank you.

Thank you.

It's a month & a half till the Path Between Worlds course starts. I'm still in bed at 11.30am, deliberately having a lie in as I need to catch up on sleep & rest. Today, Friday, is like a Sunday to me, as my working week is Saturday to Wednesday, so my "weekends" are Thursdays & Fridays.

Now that I'm back in paid work, I don't have my usual dilemmas about what to do when I wake up on most days of the week. I have to get up & prepare for work. Today is different, as I don't have anything planned & I don't have to get up or start my day if I don't want to. Which leaves time & space for "doing nothing", or for just going with the flow. Doing nothing seems indulgent & a bit uncomfortable, as for me, that usually means that painful feelings start to come to the surface. Then I often get the urge to try to do something about the pain, to find a way to move through it, so that it turns into something more positive, enjoyable & constructive. Also, I'm aware that if I'm lying down when experiencing painful feelings, it more easily puts me in touch with my (very) early childhood traumas - when I was a baby & couldn't sit up, get up or walk.

So, I have to decide now, do I stay in bed, do nothing, & let these painful emotions build? Or do I stay in bed & distract myself from them, or do something else such as text/call my fiancée? Or do I get up & start my day? I can sense that my body is hungry & needs food & drink - or is that another distraction?

Decisions, decisions on a lazy Friday morning. The sun is shining & the skies are blue, which seem to be calling me. I've got a few things on my "to do" list which I've been putting off & really need to be done today.

Hmmmm.... I really don't know what to do next, or whether just to be & see what arises. Beingness is great, but sometimes certain things just have to be done.

I will try & stay with my beingness, trust my intuition & follow the pull...

It's warm & cosy in bed - don't really want to move. Maybe I will just let time stand still for a while.