The therapeutic magic of stories/La magia terapútica de los cuentos

 

This multi-media presentation was first given by Fina Subiñá at the Flower Therapy Conference in Barcelona, Spain, November 2007. The text below which accompanies the presentation was translated from Spanish by Montse Roca and then was slightly edited for readability. Watch the original media presentation – rich with graphic images – which was graciously prepared for this web presentation by Pau Castro Niubó.

The therapeutic magic of a tale
The inner child
The tale as a symbolic story

Flower essences for the inner child
The Ugly Duckling
About Fina Subiñá Clote

The multi-media presentation

Story has therapeutic value in that it takes us back to our childhood, often revealing where and how the soul has become entrapped. This permits us to free the pain that has crystallized around an experience and reconnect with a freed "Inner Child."

This short story was created to connect us with the inner child archetype.

I’d like to take you into a small soul experience through the inner child that we all have inside of us. Those who want to participate leave papers and pencils to one side. Drop the part of the mind associated with the left hemisphere of the brain—the rational, objective, analytical, that wants to register everything. Allow yourselves to connect with the right hemisphere which is more intuitive, irrational, imaginative, that gives us access to another space-time dimension. There, not only we can feel, but also give up our fragmented way of living, because we know by intuition rather than understanding, the interdependence of every part with the One.

Somebody said: “We don't stop playing because we get older, we get older because we stop playing.” I invite you to play (those that do not want to, may keep getting older). I ask you to drop expectations, make yourselves comfortable in your seats, close your eyes and let yourselves be guided.

We focus our attention on breathing gently, with no effort but deeply going inside. Trying to relax our body, at the same time we feel it more and more intensely and it becomes lighter.
 
Now we look for a memory of a time when we were filled with peace and prosperity. We consciously live this moment again and take this peaceful vibration to every cell in our body: when I breathe in I attract peace, and when I breathe out, I dive into it.
Breathe in…breathe out…

You can open your eyes now.

To get your mind receptive, I suggest that you listen to a short story while you enjoy the following images as if they were the first that you have seen for a long, long time…

Once upon a time in a nearby country, someone woke up one day realizing that the everyday scenes, although the same, seemed somehow different.

In the garden, she could see a woman lying merged with the landscape; and in the neighbor’s flowered garden there was a huge woman trying to get up. She closed her eyes, decided to drink strong coffee that today, because she had definitely not yet left the world of dreams.

While she was slowly sipping her coffee in the kitchen, she stared at her beloved grandparents’ pictures as she had done many other times, and the same thing occurred again!  Suddenly the beard of her grandfather transformed into a beautiful white horse, the nose into a rider, the eyebrow into a hat.

Also, her grandmother’s hair was a beautiful waterfall, the line of her face showed her young and naked. She had never seen her naked before. She was so beautiful!

What was happening? She could feel the caffeine in her body; she was sure she was awake.

But wherever she looked, everything seemed so different.

Butterflies could become noses; flowers could be lips. Hair could be horses, mountains could be…

What was wrong with her? She had always been proud of her sanity; was she becoming crazy?

She was not a person prone to exaggeration. There must be another explanation. She would think about what she did the night before: she had a light dinner, took a short walk and then she read a book that, although she could not quite understand it, she was delighted with it. It made her dream intensely, something that had not happened since she was a child.

It was presumably a scientific book, luckily written in comprehensive language, that explained the evolution of the human being related to his brain evolution.

She learned that mankind has a very old brain, known as reptile brain, instinctive, devoid of emotions and connected to everything that has to do with survival. Then with mammals, the emotional brain appeared. According to the book, this is the part of our brain that receives, interprets and finally responds to any sort of information that comes through our senses. In other words, reality is subjective: we can see it, feel it and we can live it filtered by our own emotions.

Interesting! she thought; this would explain something about our behavior. Later on in the evolutionary process of the human brain, the “cerebral cortex” developed, which made us thinking beings, creative and conscious.
 
Right then, she was able to understand what her therapist had always told her: be focused, observe, be aware. In fact, if she was unable to consciously create other responses, she would keep living her life using automatic emotional patterns, that although well established, were subconscious.

The last thing she read set forth the differences between primitive societies having a life in mystical union with nature, scared of the unknown, with no capacity for analysis; and today’s society that is very attracted to the unknown, with deep analysis and creative capabilities, however losing contact with nature and diverting all magic into the unconscious (unattainable from the analysis).

She fell asleep thinking that it would be fantastic to be able to speak with flowers, animals and stones such as in tales.

Wow! Finally, something appeared in her life that truly raised her interest. She was indeed awake, full of energy and eager to continue exploring. This might bring a new meaning to her existence, which lately had been tedious and boring.

The therapeutic magic of a tale

First of all, I would like to define the words magic and tale.

By “magic” I don’t mean an illusionist’s magic that “seems” but “does not,” nor do I mean black magic, which transforms us into beings devoid of will and therefore vulnerable to someone else’s will. Instead, I mean the Magic of Life that makes living on this blue sphere, suspended in the endless Universe, a mysterious and passionate experience.

By the word “magic,” I mean the magic linking to the magician archetype that is actually a soul archetype.

The magician knows the ritual to facilitate change; even knowing how difficult and ruthless life is, the magician opens to it ready to be surprised like a child. The magician knows how to enjoy the simple things of life. He can see not only with the physical eyes but with the eyes of the soul, and is able to decipher and rescue the true reality that gives meaning to existence from all overlapped realities.

When I use the word “tale” I don’t mean anything related to trick, fraud, or a lie. I don’t refer either, to modern stories devoid of soul and significance, which seem to be written with the aim to fit us into a predefined model of life, a ready-made one, in which there is little freedom left to help us discover and express who we really are.

With the word “tale,” I’m referring to a timeless story, which by using a symbolic language typical of each culture, gives the soul everything needed to take off and fly. I’m referring to the type of story that offers a broad overview, is imaginative and magical, where everything is possible, even the seemingly impossible; where dreams can become reality, or at worst, remain dormant seeds waiting for germination.

The inner child

In order to talk about the inner child, I will start with these images of wild animals, watchful of their descendants. With them, we have to remember that for ages, we have in the emotional brain the knowledge of how to care about our children, as well as how to care about ourselves. In the human being, when an emotion connects to thought, feeling arises. Feeling, which is a more refined emotion because it is conscious, takes part in every single relationship.

By “inner child,” I refer to our psyche’s contact with the soul and therefore with the full potential development of the being.

The child is humble by nature. He likes to play and learn, and flows with his emotions. He doesn’t judge others or himself. He doesn’t harm others or himself, as he is in contact with the One.

However, the inner child I’m referring to, as well as the “injured child” that we all have inside of us sitting at the bottom of our hearts in the cardiac plexus, at the crossing point between the vertical-axis earth-sky (in other words matter-spirit), and the horizontal-axis which manifests when we unfold our arms either to hug or injure others.

It is at this crossing point where we develop as human beings. We are thinking animals, we are conscious and creators, truly. This is what makes us different from other animals. But we are also beings provided with sensitivity which allows us to feel ourselves and the surrounding world. It is this capacity that brings us closer to the conscious love allowing us to forgive ourselves and others, love ourselves and love others.

We only can heal ourselves; we only can cure ourselves with Love and from Love.


 
The tale as a symbolic story

We are born with an enormous burden of beliefs (cultural, familial, etc.), but while we are still children, we are completely open and receptive to what life brings us, living every moment with passion. When first wounds come, we start building up a shell and other mechanisms allowing us to adapt and survive. We are caught in a never-ending fight with life instead of experiencing the dance of life that represents the dance of Creation.

Jung taught us that in the collective unconscious sits everything that mankind has been in the form of archetypal symbols--everything that mankind is and can dream about; real tales talk about this. My experience as a therapist shows that tales also help adults connect with the inner child as a symbolic story, revealing where the soul got caught, where our wounds start.

Do you remember what kind of tale you liked when you were a child? Sometimes a simple question asked at the right moment recovers many emotions from the unconscious, revealing made up wounds, dreams and broken longings. In this precise moment where past and present meet, our own reality, our identity, becomes consciously integrated.
 
Flower essence therapy becomes very useful in such situations. We can’t generalize what flowers to use in these cases because every person is unique and  requires personalized treatment. This is all about the art of therapy.

Flower essences for the inner child

Bearing this in mind, the following are some of the most commonly used flower essences—

Beech: for excess of judgment of aspects related with our childhood that very often are projected onto others

 

Pine: to feel release from self-punishment that prevents us from enjoying life

 

 

Centaury: for children who are careless about their own needs but perform obedient roles and are too accommodative to their parents and family members

Cherry Plum: for fear of following through with spontaneous reactions



 

Mariposa Lily: to recover the relationship with one's own mother

 

 

Lady's Mantle: to reestablish contact with the nutritional energy of Mother Earth

 

Baby Blue Eyes: to repair the relationship with a father who abandoned the child


 

Angelica: when the inner child feels a huge distress

 

 

Evening Primrose: to heal the deep wound caused by having been either abandoned or rejected

 

Bleeding Heart: to accept and drain away the sorrow located in the heart

 

 

 

Joshua Tree: to manage the family’s karma in which one is involved

 

 

Pink Yarrow: to protect in case of an excess of sensitivity to someone else’s emotions

 

Iris: to connect back to the natural creative inspiration in every child

 

 

Zinnia: to regain contact with the inner child who is able to enjoy life and learns by playing

 

 

Shasta Daisy: offers integration capabilities

 

 

The Ugly Duckling

I have two versions of this tale. The first version has to do with my childhood, which taken into our “flowers” world would be something like this:

Once upon a time a duckling type, “Agrimony,” who had a permanent smile on his face, seemed to have just arrived from another planet and needed some “Shooting Star.” In a “Heather” pattern, he was asking for his family, going from one place to another, up until one day he saw himself mirrored in the water—beautiful, he was like Narcissus—and goodness! There in the pond he found his family, and it was a happy ending.

This version was a very simple one. It was not one of my favorite tales.

Years later, when I read Andersen’s original version, I understood that this story tells you about the way we live our lives, from the time we are born, up until we recognize who we are. It talks about the relevance of the family that accompanies us in our childhoods and how important they are to fulfill our needs for nourishment, protection and acceptance of who we are. This is something that doesn’t easily happen. It also explains how lonely, difficult and painful it can be in the process of building our self-esteem. This is the process that reaches its peak at puberty and adolescence, though we should keep working to improve upon the creation of our “identities.”

The tale says how important it is to keep on trying. This brings to my mind the “searcher” archetype. This is the archetype that takes us to the need for building our own personalities, the one that will hand over our soul’s purpose.

The audiovisual presentation represents the fall to hell and the need to fly again to be able to touch our soul.

The connection to the soul doesn’t ensure an easy life but a feeling of wholeness. In this quest for wholeness, light and dark times occur as day and night.

Regardless, we can always sit and enjoy a sunrise or sunset to contemplate the fascinating beauty of our Universe.

Credits

The photo (girl with puppy dog ) who opens the section “Inner child” is copyright of the photographer Isabel Muñoz
Music “Passion” of Peter Gabriel. Voice: Nusrat Fateh Ai Khan 

Fina Subiñá Clotet has a Degree in Biology from the University of Barcelona and has done further studies in Shiatsu, energy techniques, naturopathy, flower essence therapy, Evolutionary Psychology, dream interpretation, Taoist practice and spiritual healing.

“I understand the human being as a ‘Being’ in evolution, in relationship to ‘All that is.’

Symbolic language helps us join the personal with that which is beyond the personal. It speaks of the conscious and the unconscious, of what we have lived and what is yet to be lived.”

Write to Fina Subiñá.

 


 


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