Being brutally honest

Since the facilitator training it has become clear to me that my honesty (transparency) is a gift. This explains why I get so frustrated with people who are fake. I also don’t like liars - what is the point of lying - people always find out the truth and lies are difficult to remember?! Lies can also really hurt people when they find the truth.

This leads me to something that bothers me about this forum sometimes. Whenever I speak it's almost like there is no filter from brain to mouth - I speak my truth. However, I feel that there are quite a few people posting who do a fair amount of re-tweaking and manipulation of their posts before pressing send and that just does not resonate with me - this is not your truth, this is you adding in your conditioned filters in order to appear something other than you are. Perhaps you want to appear 'correct' to be more acceptable to other people? But why ...... surely this is the place to be honest about your shit? I thought that is what Openhand is all about - airing the shit in order to learn, evolve and grow. But if there is a level of dishonesty then I feel you do yourself and the other readers a disservice. The only reason I re-tweak is for grammatical errors so it reads fluidly.

My ray 4 (the diplomat) is not all that strong - it is something I'm working on but I love honest and transparent people because life is easier that way. There is a small part of me that thinks perhaps I should be more tolerant of liars and fakers …..

Isn't this technically what the matrix is all about- liars, fakers and manipulators?!

I believe that living your truth will set you free....
So I hope by speaking my truth I give you permission to do the same :)


Dear Etta,

Your exploration feels healthy and very real! Being honest about how we feel is a powerful pre-cursor to change.

People have free-will. The only real choice we have is over how we are being ourselves. So, I work on getting that 'right' and trust that by the law of attraction everything will pan out. I feel what is aligned with soul in each individual situation. Sometimes that means truth it comes out like a samurai sword, sometimes bluntly, sometimes eloquently and other times my silence speaks volumes. Always feeling how I can be completely me, without compromising my soul, but fulfilling the most benevolent and aligned action. Honesty (in this world) to me is a dance and there are many ways to speak 'truth'.

In a world of veils and illusions, transparency is indeed a gift... I totally agree. It's a quality of the higher paradigm that we are all moving towards.

There are different reasons why people go back and tweak postings. On one hand it might be control - born from wanting to be perceived a particular way (or to be liked/accepted). Another reason for tweaking might be self realisation... for example, if you write something and have personal realisations throughout the typing process - by the time you reach the end of your post, some of the stuff might not be relevant anymore. So there are different reasons for different people.

My 'diplomatic ray' is not in short supply ha ha!

with love

Etta I seldom edit my posts for exactly the reason you speak of to be transparent as I can be. Some times when i reread them i don't totally understand what i wrote so i have to try to feel the energy that i felt at that time. Words are so flat most of the time yet it is most of we have on a forum like this. That is why i like face to face sharing so much better it is more real. The Openhand gatherings are so Energetically charged it takes my breath away sometimes just thinking about it. Our true essences shine through so powerfully in those moments when we connect in person. There is no faking it I feel totally naked at the gatherings good, bad and otherwise and totally accepted for who i am. I am far from perfect but ok with that as it is. Namaste, Eddie

Hi Etta,

I love how you share so openly :) Hurrah for honesty and transparency!

I'm one of the folks that oft times deliberates over what/how I write for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it can be about how I might be judged or perceived or some other distortion, though often it's about other things too. Sometimes it's ensuring that I am clear in my expression, I have a tendancy to be clear in my head, though omit important details when sharing, so I want to ensure what I am sharing is coherent and clear. There is also the internal discovery process in the act of writing itself, so by expressing and exploring I change my origional intentions with a post and it becomes as Trinity refers to a self discovery process. Sometimes it's finding the right language and it can take me time to tune in to how I articulate what I want to express. The other thing I am aware of is how misinterpretations can easily happen via written communication and I am keen to avoid that, I agree with you Eddie that face to face meetings are simplier...

A friend of mine would spend quite a while tuning in before sending a text and they could sometimes take a bit of time for him to write and edit, they were so beautiful, intuitive and heartfelt because he took the time to connect and find exactly the right words for the particular situation.

We all have our own unique ways of expressing, isn't it wonderful to have such rich variety <3

Anyway, I'm only going to read this post through once to make sure it makes sense and then off it goes (well maybe twice or three times :D ).

With love, Fiona

Etta I love this song!!! They have another "Lydia" that I really like.

I love your brutal honesty about the postings here and I agree to a point about editing. To edit is to censor oneself. I am very very guilty of this. Only in the aspect that Ive lived my life trying to just get people to understand me. I'm pretty sure I speak Pekinese or something half the time, while the rest of the world is going about in their own terms of word usage. I have journals upon journals where I just don't censor me, because a piece of paper will not judge me for who and what I am. I am a human anomaly. Not ever because I want to be, but because I just am.

When I first started posting here I was terrified, my hands shook and my palms sweated because that OC in my head just wont stop saying, aint nobody going to understand you and its for damn sure they are going to do as everyone else has done that does not know you.. Reject the very thought of your being. To which I just kept going, forge ahead ignore that shit in my head because I never back down from what I need and or want and I need people in my life right now and welp I asked my God to show me where people might understand me and here I landed. Yayyy :)

So there you go, small, tiny brutal honesty from this censored soul lol! I am going to try and not edit the heck out of my posts. Because maybe, just maybe I do speak Pekinese or something and I'll learn how to write as a human writes because dammit.. I am human too!!! I also changed my picture from a painting I did awhile back to me. I am just me.


Hi Etta,

I hear what you are saying and see great value in being able to be who you are right now regardless of how that is received, regardless of the distortions you may later recognize as more refined truths emerge. I imagine that as various ways of being come into play, there is a dance in how that is expressed here...for me that can create more of a sense of uncertainty in the expression - as it's a new way of expressing oneself. Questioning and fear can then cause one to overregulate, pick apart and reshape the expression. I find it very challenging in those times, to just let it fly and allow the reflection to show me where it can be refined. I sense a difference in configuration may cause some to be more comfortable throwing it all out there and then receiving the reflection in the mirror and others may be more with their expression in a self-reflective way as it emerges, asking within if this is the most effective way of communication - accepting the present expression and yet noticing invitations for refinement.

Yes editing, it can be very much a pattern of being who you perceive you should be, controlling how you are perceived by others - and then for myself I also see there is care put into the words I this the most effective communication? Is the essence of what I feel coming through? Connection into others people's truths can be very supportive in mutual evolutionary growth. I also process a lot when I am writing...the process of sharing focuses my energy and things I begin with, are found to be different in the end...sometimes I share that whole process, othertimes, I let those parts go.

Very interesting exploration! Thank you for bringing it up.

Some great reflections, I'm pleased I posted this today.
I know the real me is more patient about this stuff but there is a high level of anger which I don't want to deny. You all raised very fair points and I feel my sharing has shown me another point I don't like about myself - judging others. So there was me accusing others of being fake when in actual fact the reflections you all shared showed me just how quick I am to judge and quite often wrong in my presumptions!

I spent 5 years in a job writing and rewriting emails in order to appear 'professional' in the fake business world of ripping people off. So perhaps I was judging from a place of my own past guilt?!
The universe has sent me a gorgeous new friend who is calm, honest, transparent and very DIPLOMATIC!!! We hung out this morning and I thanked the universe for sending her to me to show me that the diplomat within me is on her way.

Hey Etta! I wanted to add that I love your upfront way of expressing... It's something I find challenging.... and something I am working on .... Saying it like it is for me at the moment - even if that ruffles feathers. thanks for the reflections and yes may we all express a full rainbow of color! I find it takes enormous courage to let it fly and let life show us the reflection so thank you!! Love, Jen

I love that you've suddenly manifested a calm & diplomatic friend to reflect these qualities right back to ya Etta!

Judgement is just discernment gone awry. It's having a fixing opinion about something. If I noticing that I am being judgemental, I ask myself what is my actual truth in it and what is at the root. I usually find that it's just a case of overloaded discernment. With discernment I might still be given to confront an uncomfortable situation, but I can do it from more of a place of presence.


What a great thread - great subject. I am somewhat surprised Etta that you might think people here (on Openhand) are being fake though. There is a difference between someone purposefully faking something, as opposed to places where subconscious behaviours come to the fore unconsciously - sometimes people unknowingly put on the mantel of spiritual correctness, and confuse that with who they really are. I'd say it's quite common.

    As you'll know, in all of the course work and material, we're constantly encouraging people to be real about who they are, in order to unravel inner density. Generally speaking, I think for that reason, Openhand does draw people who're prepared to be honest about themselves. I find that incredibly refreshing.

For me the essence of it boils down to being authentic. Even if that's not pretty. Because being authentic - in other words real about who you feel to be - means you create honest and truthful reflections. That's a very direct and powerful way to evolve. I've done this all my time here - in posts only ever editing for grammar. I just let it flow straight out - articles and videos come pretty much the same way. In the early days, that upset plenty of people, who didn't want to own their own reactions. But over time, I realised I had to make my reflections as accessible as possible.

    Diplomacy and humility have been great teachers - what's the point of trying to help another, if all you do is piss them off?

I also realised that you can be a strong catalyst and still be accessible and effective providing you keep watching if your posts/offerings are over-energised in any way. That's the point, in any exchange ALWAYS watch your own stuff, no matter how the other reacts.

With that in mind, purely from the place of support, you said this Etta...

    "There is a small part of me that thinks perhaps I should be more tolerant of liars and fakers but how do you change something that ripples right to your core!!!"

So the words that spike very strongly in the field for me (I scanned the thread in less than a couple of minutes and they leapt right off the screen), are: "liars and fakers".

It feels to me like a very strong judgment. In which case, what's the reflection it's showing you Etta? What exactly is "hitting you at the core?"
Where are you being fake?

And I felt to offer a clue, which jumps right out of the title...
Why do you have to be brutal to be honest?


What I read here and I read here just about everyday, is coming from who ever, when ever at the time they write it, is what I see they had to do, for what ever reasons, is for them to decide. If they have to lie or be fake for that moment or for longer than a moment to get by isn't that up to them. I do not come here to be judged nor to judge. I came here because the path I journey lead me here. I am not very good at writing and only comment now and than. I believe that we all are here because we share a common goal. To be the best we can be, even with all our faults.

Much Love To all of you

"Please, don't try to fix me. I am not broken. I have not asked for your solutions.

When you try to fix me, you unintentionally activate deep feelings of unworthiness, shame and failure within me. I can't help it. I feel like I have to change to please you, transform myself just to take away your anxiety, mend myself to end your resistance to the way I am. And I know I can't do that, not on your urgent timeline anyway. You put me in an impossible bind. I feel so powerless.

I know your intentions are loving! I know you really want to help. You want to serve. You want to take away people's pain when you see it. You want to uplift, awaken, caretake, educate, inspire. You truly believe that you are a positive, compassionate, unselfish, nice, good, kind, pure, spiritual person.

But I want you to know, honestly, friend, I feel like a steaming pile of shit when you try to 'love' me in this old way. It doesn't feel loving to me at all. Quite the opposite. It feels like you're trying to relieve your own tension by controlling me. Under the guise of you being 'kind' and 'helpful' and 'spiritual', I feel suffocated, smothered, rejected, shamed, and completely unloved. I feel abandoned in your love! Do you get that? I feel like you don't actually care about ME, even though on the surface it sure looks like you care! But deep down it feels like you are holding an image of how I should be. Your image. Not mine!

It looks like your love but it feels like your violence. Do you understand?

Yet as soon as you stop trying to 'help' me, you are of the greatest help to me! I stop trying to change to please you! I feel safe, respected, seen, honored for what I am. I can fall back into my own power. I can trust myself again, the way you are trusting me. I can relax deeply.

Without your pressure, your demand for me to abandon myself and be different, healed, transformed, enlightened, awakened, mended, 'better', I can better see myself. I can discover my own inner resources. I can touch my own powerful presence. I feel safe enough to allow and express my true feelings, thoughts, desires, hold my own perceptions. I no longer feel smothered, a victim, a little child to your expert adult. The courageous adult in me rises. I breathe more deeply. I feel my feet on the ground. Loving attention drenches my experience, even the uncomfortable parts. My senses feel less dull. Healing energies emerge from deep within. I feel light, free, liberated from your fear. I feel respected, not shamed. Seen, not compared to an image.

You help me so much when you stop trying to help me, friend! I need my own answers, my own truth, not yours. I want a friend, present and real, not an expert or a savior.

And do you see, when you are trying to save me, you are actually abandoning yourself? You are running from your own discomfort, your own unlived potential, and focussing on mine? I become your ultimate distraction. I don't want to be that for you anymore.
Let's break this cycle together! Let's stop trying to fix or save each other. Let's love each other instead. Bow to each other. Bless each other. Hold each other. As we are. As we actually, actually, actually are."

- by Jeff Foster

So heres my RAINBOW MUSIC  -songs that ignite my soul

Wolf - highly suspect

Ellie goulding - something in the way you move

Earth chant - seize the day

With love blessings and the deep truths you have all shared so 'open'-ly.


P.s; I have grammatically corrected this post of course ;)

Etta Im soooooooooooo happy for you!! How exciting is that you get to see them live :) I almost did last year, as they had two show's in Oregon. Could of, would of should of, huh hehe

You do me a favor?! Howl out YEOOWWW! once for me ;)

btw!! I had no idea we could actually go in and edit what was saved.. I'm a bit comforted by that actually!

wish you well in your minimizing Etta! I pray it's the most positive freeing thing for you and your family.


Hey Open,

Where am i fake!!! Oh wow, that hit something real big! Like woah im sad at my attempts to impress everyone around me and for what.... a love/acceptance/blissful peace that was in me the whole time....
Oh yup now I feel something in my heart centre
I see a small girl shuddering in fear - she’s my little girl... my broken inner child, no older than 4....

What sipped from the initial post for me were 2 emotions: a hardship with bearing the perceived fakery in others and a wanting to help, to fix the internal discomfort by helping others change. The quote is a beautifully honest account from a perspective of a person that is being judged and subsequently helped. This quote once gave me a deeper sense of acceptance of the other's path and my role as a support for others. It is very empowering, I find. I hope people here will find it as inspiring :-)

With love.


Little "perfect" daughter gets in trouble for mishandling the neighbours' rabbits 'UNINTENTIONALLY'!!

This is a key - getting in trouble for expressing my true self then slammed into a world of pain; physically, emotionally & mentally simultaneously......

 My young 'mind'  wracking through the  of 'telling-offs' searching to find its relevance and  context to this enermously stressful moment in time....

Gut and heart beating so fast, it feels like they want to evacuate my body in exchange for a 'safe' and idealistic reaity.

Ha! Yup ive faced it and on these layers i feel like some of the delusions have been gently corrected....

However, i would love to hear any insight you might have on my current process ;)

Bob marley - redemption song

Singing to express my soul - feels very fitting for my current situation.

Then 'hello' by adele. Here is me spiralling between passion and a very deep and ancient pain.

Now my heart wants to split into the painful memories I chose to manifest in order to heal this primordial and paralysis of fear!!!!!

My heart is so wide open to everyone and everything - "RIPPLING" THROUGH EVERY CELL AND INTO MY CORE!!

I could die at any moment and I now finally see how death is the most liberating and blissful experience for me on my personal journey. Surrendering to the ultimate flow of the darkness that rapes the light!!!

Wow and then i hear 'under the bridge gently coaching my soul to face this.

Sweet drugs used to mask this pain for me. In many 'hazey' days, i would run from this very raw and 'real' pain and now I realise it’s only once I go deep enough that I be set free

Free to express that little voice from my heart which so passions to be loud enough to.

Then wow GUILT!!!!!!!!!!!!

just as 'goo goo dolls' sing "Iris"

..."you bleed just to know you’re alive..."

Are you ready to know who i am...

This dilemma manifests in my current life's larger picture as a fear of sharing my tools as a facilitator with anyone in the world who resonates with 'how i show up in the world'.... i would certainly want to correct where i fall astray and gently tune into the message of my beating heart!!!!

Goodness me the synchronisation of songs on my Spotify playlist is just.... well its really just triggering a flow of memories and connectedness to this whole picture…

"All of me" by john ledgend.

And this reminds me of the pure soulful and passionate manifestations this has brought to me – I’m marrying my best friend. This thought alone generates ripples of authentic self ,dancing through the denseness.

Just as he sings the line:
"Risking it although it's hard for...."

Then 'hold back the river' by james bay.

So this must be the story of my father and i..... being 'brutally" broken 'hearted' by the person i loved most in this physical reality.

Ouch ....

:( :( :( :( :(

Tears ..... broken ....
So broken ....

'Let us hold each other let me look in your eyes'

Thank you Fiona Reiley for saving this utterly shattered 11 year-old girl.

Oh my goodness this is a really fast rollercoaster of stuff::

Now 'true colours' song....
I danced to this at the end of '5 gateways' workshop just before Fiona saved me from myself .....

Hope this is not a massive overshare because I’m more than happy to 'edit' this post and be a 'faker' and fake my 'authentic' flow


Dear Etta,

I see your true colours
And that's why I love you
so Don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colours are beautiful
like a rainbow

Even the greys and browns...

I see your awesomeness!

With much love, fiona

Hi Etta - wonderful, it's unraveling!

I would also suggest finding a quiet corner and exploring 'being brutalised' for being honest, and not being supported by those who shared your truth.

Dear Etta I feel you. Growing pains old and new at the same time. Thank You for you honesty and baring your Heart and Soul to the group. You are a Courageous Warrior. Namaste dear Sister

Feels like my forehead is going to burst open

Churning in my guts like i want to give birth to something very dark...

Dont know how to be alone with this. Please can someone hold a space for me over skype? I dont know how to face this alone, i feel like im ready to die....

Hi Etta - I am here editing audio and video at my desk.
I will be over the next hour if you need...
I've just switched my skype on - just call if you get this.
Sending Love

Re: Feels like Im ready to die.
Etta, first, let me say that the process you are going through here is a powerful example to all of us! An example of bravery, strength to dig deeper and courage to face the rawness of deep trauma. I am honestly in awe of your unravelling!

Your last post has really propelled me to share a bit about my learning process with a lady (let’s call her X for confidentiality reasons) who I am currently ‘supporting’. May be my account becomes an opportunity for reflection or may be just a recognition that you/we are not alone in our beautiful - as it were – darkness.

X is brutally self-critical and wants to die. She is also very strong and very insightful. She was raped repeatedly by her father as a child and she cuts herself to ease the emotional pain. She was ready to commit suicide not long ago but backed off because of the mindfulness work she started doing on herself. I see her as an amazing ambassador of light for everyone dealing with deep trauma and especially for women who have gone through similar experiences (NOTE: and I do not imply that you have!). I see her as a facilitator in the making, although she does not see herself as such – yet. In breaking through the onion skin layers of painful conditioning she is rising like a phoenix from the ashes to help others; because her liberation is important for the liberation of others. She actually has a tattoo on her lower back of a phoenix rising from the ashes!

On the inherent ‘power relation’ found in ‘supporting and being supported’:
When I first heard of X’s story I felt SO angry and had to contain a tsunami of tears that wanted to burst out of my whole body! No, I have never experienced rape myself but I could certainly feel her pain and my longing to just ‘make things all right’ for her –to ‘save’ her, to ‘help’ her – I would do it if I could at a blink of an eye! ‘Save’, ‘help’, ‘support’…a case of semantics inherent in such a power relationship which this inevitably is….What matters is how I inhabit this relationship and where the energy of my ‘wanting to save, help, support’ is coming from. In recognising the anger in me and the longing to ‘help’ her, to ease her pain, I found that I needed to work on the spot! on ‘my anger’ and the ‘longing’, so as to find that steadiness within myself to be able to be fully present with her and to reflect back to her the powerful warrior that she naturally is – for her to re-discover her warrior loving nature. So, in liberating myself (as much as poss) from my conditioning as it was manifesting in ‘anger’ and ‘longing’ (in other words transmuting it…), I am co-creating with her a space where she is inhabiting the warrior in herself while I am mirroring this back to her – in other words she is in the process of liberating herself. She and I are interconnected in our unique forms of conditioning and in our unique paths to liberation.

Together we are co-creating a process of loving ourselves by accepting our authenticity and truth indeed BUT at the same time by embracing that truth with the clear, steady, unattached energy of the warrior (very challenging!). It is important to inhabit our authenticity and truth at all times yet not getting lost in it. Not being defined by that ‘authenticity’ and seeing it for what it is… we accept it as it is in its rawness: feeling it as bare sensation with equanimity, the warrior energy. I see this as the process of liberation, the paradox Carl Rogers speaks of in Trinity’s powerful video above: “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am then I can change…”

The ‘spiritual’ path is indeed full of paradoxes (sigh!) and we are learning how to navigate these. The paradox of having a goal (enlightenment, self-love, being in the flow, letting go of distortions etc etc) and at the same time letting it all go (the striving, efforting, achieving, ‘getting there’, ‘just being’ etc etc whilst confronting the BRUTAL self-critic!). Similarly, the paradox of accepting and loving our authenticity/truth, so as to allow this to transmute/change by itself!

We are all interconnected, we are at the same time the ‘fakers’ and the ‘liars’ if you like. I find this poem by Thich Nhat Hahn inspirational with regards to that interconnectivity. I am sharing part of it:

*****I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin a bamboo sticks. And I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat, who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate. And I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.
My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth. My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans. Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one. Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up and the door of my heart could be left open, the door of compassion.******

I trust you are well supported Etta in this unravelling of yours but if you feel like co-creating with me I am also here anytime. Thank you again.

Much lovexx

Hi Etta. Just reading your posts sends shivers down my whole body. You can let go of the stuff that no longer serves you whenever you are ready. You are not alone! Let you true colors shine!

I'm bowled over by the love, warmth and support here - thanks everyone - the heart bursts.

Not sure where you are with it now Etta, but there are a few things that at a soul level you surely know...

- you wouldn't have drawn the experience if it wasn't right for you
- your soul can master anything it draws
- your experience is totally right
- as difficult and challenging as it is, keep going deep into each arising experience
- in the midst of the pain and horror, know that you are NOT the experience
- work to accept it, whatever it is - become as-One with it
- look for the new aspect of revealing soul that was buried there (acceptance maybe, amongst others)

So keep working with it, keep working through, and everything will unfold just fine.

Everyone's with you

Open *give_rose*

PS - felt to repost this today as a reminder...
How to Break through the Moment into Your Miraculous Cosmic Self

Dear Etta,

Although I was involved in the conversation running up to the start of this thread, I still want to take my hat off for your honest sharings here that clearly touched several of those following. When Open wrote ‘exploring 'being brutalised' for being honest, and not being supported by those who shared your truth’, that immediately struck a chord with me, but I could feel a strong resistance to dive into that deeper. I admire your courage to dive into it and call our for support here, when you didn’t know how to be alone in it.

Much, much love!


Thank you for the support.
I phoned Fiona and she held the space for me which led to me purging the denseness out into the toilet bowl - projectile vomit style!

Felt heaps better after and now just being gentle with myself

"Sleeping at last" - Saturn

Hi Etta - it's absolutely brilliant the way you've put yourself 'out there' in your process, and come through a strong bout of karmic density in such a powerful way. It's a fine example to everyone out there reading in the community.

    There's just no escaping it. Spiritual Enlightenment is not pretty. It's definitely not all rosy 'love and light'. If you want to progress, you have to get off the fence and dive deep into your sh**.

How do you know if you've got sh**?

    If there's any contracting fear of anything, then you've got sh**
    If there's any resistance to confronting any experience that presents in your life, then you've got sh**
    If there's something you can't accept or embrace, then you've got sh**
    If there's any tendency to project or get angry, then you've got sh**
    If you get tight, anxious or worried ever, then you've got sh**
    If you're in any kind of avoidance of something, then you've got sh**
    If anything at all pushes some kind of internal button, then you've got sh**

And a lot of it can be deep seated, hiding behind unpleasant veils.
If you've got anything at all like this, and lets face, just about everyone has, then the only way it's ever going to fully clear, is to go right into the very heart of it.

Why is this necessary? Why does it work?

Because prior to getting right into it, the buried density causes fragmentation of the soul - it creates polarity: there's the part of you in the trauma, and another part distancing itself from it (either consciously or subconsciously). And if you're being two, how can you be one?

So by overcoming the resistance, by coming directly into your pain, what happens first is, it intensifies. This is where many turn back - they don't want the discomfort, even though they're actually living in the limiting shadow of it all the time anyway.

Therefore best is to dive right in. Yes the pain intensifies. Yes it quickly consumes the reality you're in. It's like you blow it up to fill your surrounding landscape. You're then completely immersed in it - expressing, fully honouring it.

What this does is utterly profound...

    There's now no separation from it, because you are totally at-One with it, you explode the myth that it is. It progressively ceases to have the hold over you that it did. By accepting it totally, you literally open a doorway through the experience into presence - into The One.

You see every single experience is from, and of, The One. So if you're not able to accept any experience, how can you be being The One?

At the point you can completely accept by being awesomely okay in the experience, then you've exploded the limiting myth that it always was. It vanishes like a disappearing mirage. You're now The One in it. You've reintegrated that fragment of unrealised soul. And what's most refreshing is, you don't have to recreate the experience - or the limitation - again.

So, I say to everyone I know is reading out there whose not quite ready to jump off the fence and dive right in, take inspiration from Etta's example. It's not pretty no. But it is powerful, impressive, and finely demonstrates a very rapid, and effective way, of clearing your repressed, unwanted sh**. Awesome job Etta!

If you'd like greater clarification on the approach we're using here at Openhand, check out this article. It goes into much more depth...

9Step Spiritual Healing Process for Dealing with Subconscious Trauma and Karma

And a more simplified approach is shared throughout the Breakthrough Book...
Breakthrough: an epic journey of awakening

Go for it guys!

Open *OK*

A powerful sharing Open. I love your posting - it's full of some really helpful stuff for the journey. There's nothing like confronting your inner demons to breakthrough! Thank you for sharing.

I've been guilty of pretty much all of them at one point or another along the path. Being a diligent seeker of my own inner truth, I've found it so much easier to be honest with myself and get it all out on the table (so to speak).

My experience with anxiety...

No matter how much work I've done on my spiritual journey, I still experience anxiety. At best, it's just a gentle flutter, something I can largely manage as I surrender into the experience - however, at worst it manifests as a (more rarely) full blown panic attack.

I think of my experience of anxious moments as a gift that hasn't fully realised itself yet.

I'm deeply committed to unveiling the truth, so the fact that I still experience it tells me that it still has something to teach me.

I meditate. I ground myself. I explore my infinite depths of beingess. Yet, there are times I just experience overwhelm & anxiety. My goal is not to eliminate it, but to learn, with every cell of my being what it has to show me. It shows me stuff about myself. It shows me stuff about humanity. It's freaking amazing what it teaches me.

Awesome Okayness...

So, I am awesomely OK with the fact that I get anxious at times. Being awesomely OK with it means it doesn't have such a tight grip on me like it used to. I am not trying to get rid of it, but rather embrace it. The Sh** for me is not actually my anxiety, because that still has something to teach me.

    The sh** for me is judging myself because of it.
    The sh** for me is feeling weak or inferior because I am super sensitive.
    The sh** for me is beating myself up because I just don't fit in this world. The sh** for me is feeling unworthy because I have unenlightened moments.

So for me, I will not give power to the sh** and I trust that once the anxiety has stopped serving its purpose, it will fall away.

with love

Open's powerful post hits me in so many ways. At first, it made me chuckle as I thought, "OMG, that's a whole lotta shit going on!" That lightness helps me to relax and go deeper. The image of pigs digging wallows and rolling around contentedly in the mud comes to mind. Pigs do this to lower their body temperature. Lessons from the pigs: make peace with your sh** and let off steam. That makes perfect sense to my intellect, but I'm still feeling overwhelmed with all the sh** I have to process. And so much crap still buried. It feels like a never-ending story.

These words stand out:

"If you get tight, anxious, or worried ever, then you've got sh**."

A loved one is mirroring back to me how anxious I am. And have always been. Even though I haven't always been conscious of that. Now it has become very clear. And it's hard to stomach. I'm a highly sensitive person and incarnated that way from the get go. Often feeling tense and anxious. Often hyper-vigilant. On the alert. Feeling unsafe in general. Ready, get set, go. Never stand in the same spot for too long. Do more. Running out of time. Something is about to blow if I don't move faster. Constant pressure. Panic. Danger. Faster. Faster.

I'm feeling such deep sorrow seeing a loved one struggle with anxiety. Not wanting it to be this way. Freakin' misfists. Too much suffering. Feeling sad and guilty. Why couldn't I have been a calmer, more serene person? Lack of acceptance. Yet knowing it's about respecting karma and the right of souls to grow and evolve. Knowing my anxiety is an invite to go deeper and release. Yet so tired of feeling this way.

Trinity, deep gratitude for sharing your experiences of anxiety and what it teaches you about yourself and humanity. I relate so strongly to what you experience. And I'm hugely inspired by all of your words especially these:

"So, I am awesomely OK with the fact that I get anxious at times. Being awesomely OK with it means it doesn't have such a tight grip on me like it used to. I am not trying to get rid of it, but rather embrace it. The Sh** for me is not actually my anxiety, because that still has something to teach me.

The sh** for me is judging myself because of it.
The sh** for me is feeling weak or inferior because I am super sensitive.
The sh** for me is beating myself up because I just don't fit in this world. The sh** for me is feeling unworthy because I have unenlightened moments.

So for me, I will not give power to the sh** and I trust that once the anxiety has stopped serving its purpose, it will fall away."

I'm not at that level of acceptance yet, but I'm feeling it's possible to get there.
You light the way. Thank you.

x Cathy

Dear Open and Trinity

Your sharings invite me to more honestly and deeply honor what is going on for me.

What you said here Trinity could very easily express my own feelings.

The sh** for me is judging myself because of it.
The sh** for me is feeling weak or inferior because I am super sensitive.
The sh** for me is beating myself up because I just don't fit in this world. The sh** for me is feeling unworthy because I have unenlightened moments.

Anxiety is something I live with everyday- somedays I can open to it and somedays I fight it and hate myself and what I feel... I cut myself off and isolate - all my life I have wished to be strong and unaffected by everything - I have wished to just feel me and nothing else, I have envied those who can feel so cool and unaffected and at the sacrifice of my soul I have found ways to be "strong and unaffected". Things arise - I feel the depth of pain I carry and then swiftly rise out of it to the place I feel peace and connection, the place I feel held and deep love. What do I truly feel? At times I have no idea... Lately I feel the truth of the loneliness I feel... The tenderness, honoring, warmth and love I deny of myself.... The reality I accept that is less than what is possible.

It's so incredibly challenging to keep staying real with what I feel....I am so tired of feeling such aliveness and yet feeing like I am made of stone at the same time.

Welcoming the vulnerability and willing to let what I feel be known.

Hey Trinity, Cath, Jen, it's so refreshing to hear people truly experiencing the path and not being in avoidance of it. All credit to you - I take my hat off to you. *give_rose*

I think there's a major misconception in the spiritual mainstream that through the process of enlightenment, you access this hallowed place where nothing touches you.

In the same breath, they'll speak of "Being the One". What that actually means is being the all of it, and embodying everything! Including the pain and the challenge.

What is the greater expression of anxiety? What is the macrocosym here? (I always finds it helps to expand the individualistic microcosym into the bigger picture).

Light is working its way through the universe to illuminate the darkness. In other words, there's a constant working towards harmony and balance. Which means there are still countless places where such alignment does not exist. As the light starts to break through, it creates "fizz", like bubbles, as waves wash up onto the shore. Souls incarnate into every aspect of the universe to bring light to it, and so, yes, they incarnate into the "Fizz". Which can feel like anxiety.

Now you can pop the inner switch and simply step out of the density - retract from it. Or you can first embrace it and then soften into it.

I do believe this is what the empaths amongst us have chosen to do. You're taking on that Fizz for everyone else - to bring light to the issue. You're working right at the boundaries of the darkened recesses of the universe - expanding them out, to bring the light in. You're being the wayshowers for the fully embodied experience.

I take my hat off to you!

Open *give_rose*

This post really touched me - very powerful language you use here.
So here goes,

-The sh** for me is feeling alone, ignored and unsupported when the kids come home suffering and unable to cope because they've been stuffed with sweets and tv and all sorts of sensory stimulation just to 'keep them happy' and I'm seen as the bad guy because I stand up for a simpler and more earthy way of doing things.

-The sh** for me is getting angry and expecting more from people around me than they're able to give.

-The sh** for me is feeling guilty because I know it's my stuff and yet I still have moments where I project from a place of unconsciousness.

-The sh** for me is being reserved and withdrawn because I can't connect to the people around me in a way that feels meaningful and deep and I feel lonely, like I don't fit in.

-The sh** for me is watching all the harmful things that my loved ones do to themselves, and not being able to help.

-The sh** for me is not feeling like there's anyone close to me who understands just how beautiful and magical the world is and therefore no-one to share it with.

-wow - I got a lodda sh** goin' on!

It's an ongoing process and it just has to express itself and flow. I've even tried holding things in and being the emotional robot that I sense a few people want me to be, mostly as an experiment to see what happens, but I can't manage more than a day before it gets too painful to hold in. I's just not the way I'm built any more.

As you've helped me to realise - true strength is in having the courage to be vulnerable and then going right into it, looking the beast in the eye and saying 'alright, lets work together on this and see how we can make this more aligned'

Much love


Hi Etta, Open, Trinity, Cathy, Jen, Rich and everyone else,

I am really touched by the vulnerability, honesty and depth of embracement of "sh**" being shown here.

I have been feeling a lot of tightness around my solar plexus and lower chakras for a week or so and been holding the space for it (and yes it's sh**), feeling it when it's present and sitting with the discomfort of it. I had been holding a question around it and asking to be shown how to work with it and Open your paragraph about Fizz fits - my solar plexus is out of alignment! Thank you for that!

Richard these words really stood out - "true strength is in having the courage to be vulnerable and then going right into it, looking the beast in the eye and saying 'alright, lets work together on this and see how we can make this more aligned'" I'm not sure how this relates to the fizz in my solar plexus yet, though feeling ready to go there. As I'm writing I'm feeling it intensify and am noticing my frustration with it... how can I bring it back in to alignment... time to go and be with it some more...

With love and appreciation to and for you all, Fiona

Wow! This is exactly what I was and am reading about! Dealing with that sh**!

I hope nobody minds if I add mine to the pile. I've been feeling very "twitched" out since the beginning of this tbh. I hate to see anyone in pain and like Margaret's poem (which I love btw!) there is nothing much I can do about it other than send thoughts of love and wish you well's.

Personally I just wish this month would go away! I think the universe decided to play chess with mine and my Daughter's life and rearrange things without my consent! Not that I actually believe it asks for consent.. Ever. But I was actually contemplating the Seattle retreat and yet that's not even an option. Someday perhaps!

I just try to keep in mind that with everything negative there is always a positive!

Wish you all well!!

Jen Thank you for connecting. I really feel you. I really admire that you keep getting back up, keep confronting what is presenting for you. It's freaking awesome Jen!

Cathy Thank you so much for connecting too. You wrote: "I'm not at that level of acceptance yet, but I'm feeling it's possible to get there.
Well here's the thing - we only ever resonate with what we are ready for! We just have to allow a little time for the 'speed-of-light' soul to merge with the rest of us ha ha. I am getting my sun shades ready - because when you fully breakthrough, you are going to shine so brightly that we'll all need them!!

Open - What I LOVE is that you keep expanding into the infinite cosmos and bringing in these gems!

Really resonating with your sharing (and laughing in an OMG 'that's awesome' sort of way) about FIZZ.

    Open wrote: "Light is working its way through the universe to illuminate the darkness. In other words, there's a constant working towards harmony and balance. Which means there are still countless places where such alignment does not exist. As the light starts to break through, it creates "fizz", like bubbles, as waves wash up onto the shore. Souls incarnate into every aspect of the universe to bring light to it, and so, yes, they incarnate into the "Fizz". Which can feel like anxiety.

    Now you can pop the inner switch and simply step out of the density - retract from it. Or you can first embrace it and then soften into it."

YES! What a fabulous way of finding words for the experience. That's exactly what I feel and your explanation helps so much with clarity. I've always felt this experience, similar to what you describe, of embracing and softening into the darkness and then expanding through it or infusing 'light' through and beyond it. The problem being the FIZZ - which of course isn't a problem, it's just how it IS (in which case acceptance of ones purpose is very helpful).

After accepting that I am meant to be incarnated on this planet at this time (otherwise I wouldn't be here) and surrendering into and embracing the FIZZ without judgement, it's gotten so much easier. I've normalised the fizz so much so that I usually exude an energy of peace and calm. Yet there are times when I lose presence (even if just for a little while) where the fizz momentarily catches me out.

OK, now I have to roll around the floor, because that word is awesome!
"FIZZ" - brilliant!!! *ROFL*

Trinity, I so appreciate your encouragement, kind comments, and insights. Yes, where I am is always where I'm meant to be. In anticipation of what's down the path, perhaps I'll purchase a new pair of glare-free Ray-Bans! :)

Open, I love language and words and "fizz" is one awesome word. Thanks for the concept of empaths as 'fizzy' wayshowers! I have a wicked sense of humour and what comes to mind in some of those overloaded moments is the phrase, "Fizz Off!" :)

Forever a badass!

x Cathy

In reply to by Open

Hi Open,

I can't seem to get any deeper about "being brutalised for being honest". After a week here in new zealand and being around stepmum & father it started to make more sense. I have been brutalised for being myself and not what they deem 'normal' and 'successful' all my life. My stepmum in particular has reduced me to the wreck I was 10 years ago.   I am trying really hard to be the bigger person and accept she hates me but the inner child/teenager damage inside feels so huge. I have sat with this everyday for a week - one main thing came up was 'I'm not good enough' and I let this ripple throughout my being.  Since then i feel less angry and no longer feel sad. I just feel I don't want her in my life because all she does is put me down about every single thing that comes out of my mouth -  it makes me think there is no point in being around her. There is a level of forgiveness I need to reach but I'm finding the '5 gateways' book meditations aren't working for me anymore.... it's like the small 'I' has clicked on to what I'm doing and wants to sabotage my progress. I have been working with stuff in my own way but sometimes I feel I'm going around in circles and not getting to the core of the issue - almost like procrastinating.  However, as this is a one time opportunity being out here near her, I wondered if there is something I should be doing to start to see the gift or opportunity that is trying to present itself? It feels like a huge victim mentality going on - like everyone from my childhood was out to get me and this feels very dull. I'm not a victim because i chose all of this. I feel ready to put this crappy stuff to bed because going back into these old patterns and energies just renders me as a useless and pathetic waste of space. I am so fed up of this victim energy. Also when I write about my pain to process it, I find myself wanting to go to sleep instantly which feels like another  distraction from getting to the deeper pain. I feel blocked - ha victim mentality strikes again!!

I also put this out there to anyone that has felt similar stuff or anyone who can see a distortion I am  blind to.
With love

Hi Etta,

I experienced a like situation with my earth father. I went to visit him and my mom a few years ago, I was going through a very raw stage emotionally, a lot of transitions through all facets of my life.
His judgements were very blunt on the verge of cruel with him using body language to intimidate me at one point. I felt like I was in two worlds that were not meant to merge or touch each other. In one was my body and all the experiences it had grown through since infancy with this man witnessing my growth which seemed to create a perceived sense of power over me in some way. Then my soul was shining lightly through all of it, I felt deeply through as I navigated to align with higher truths.
It came to a head within one interaction where his antics no longer could touch me. There was no reasoning or compromising as there was not a bridge between us thus his words fell into the abyss. The more I stayed within the truths I was experiencing the more empowered I felt. When I left there (with my brother) I never wanted to speak to him again. Not out of malice but out of love for myself. I didn't speak to him for over a year. Then as time moves so does the energy around those experiences. We speak now and just yesterday had a great conversation. I refused to keep crossing the bridge into the past which is where he seemingly wanted to take me. Yes, the initial breaking down was painful but I felt such resolve to honor my experience and love myself there was no shadow. You hold all the keys beautiful Etta.

Much love

Hi Etta,

You are doing great! I have not had an experience similar to yours but felt to share an observation i made during New Year retreat. One day when i was walking up to the Tor, I noticed this woman in front of me which draw my attention as she seemed a bit out of place the way she strolled and playing with her hair - kept winding some of it around finger. As i approached and sure enough, it was Etta! So maybe this is coming more from intellect but feels like you are trying to protect yourself. How does it feel to be vulnerable? Keep being authentic and honest with yourself and others. You are doing great even if it seems like you are not making any progress.

With Love and Power,

Oh Etta my heart is going out to you know, I have been here before and its no fun!

I do have a question though. Have you gone to your step parent and just gently looked them in the eyes and said "thank you!" Thank you so much for being you. Because in that you have found a part of yourself. That you value her and accept her for herself as your sure she does you.

The surrendering to love. Be love, teach love, give love and accept love into yourself.


Hi Etta,

Sometimes you just have to make a choice: accept those that don't share your way yes, but that doesn't mean immerse yourself in their energy. There's a crucial part of the 5GATEWAYS film where we talk about the need to pull away from those who are 'always trying to put you down', or else always reminding you of the old consciousness.

The new consciousness is like a flower: it needs good soil, plenty of sunlight, water and nutrients for it to grow. If someone is always pouring on 'weedkiller' how is the plant going to grow? I'm not saying completely step away from the energy, but what I am saying, is that on the path to Transfiguration you have to nurture the new consciousness so it will grow. Engage with the old still, yes, but that doesn't mean submerge yourself in it.

Just a thought.

Open :-)