Tarot, Triggers And Incense With Theresa

Individual incense blends and inner images

Theresa begins by giving me a brief introduction into the following ritual, before she asks me to close my eyes, relax and simply let the images of all the things I would like to let go of today arise in my inner space. It doesn’t have to be anything major for this session, but I if I wish I can also think of something that is triggering me at the moment. Depending on the kind of trigger it might take more than one session to dissolve it. If tears are flowing that is normal. No tears are OK as well. Then I embark on a magical journey through waves of changing complex scents accompanied by tastefully selected pieces of music ranging from slow mantras to spherical sounds to rhythmic tracks that fit very well into the flow of the ritual and harmonize amazingly well with the stations of my inner journey. The incense mixes for the ritual are composed individually and out of the moment in response to the presence of the other person. Using her colorful incense fan Theresa is moving the smoke in lying figure eights around my energy field. This movement initiates the release of old, stagnant energy from my energy field, Theresa explains. And indeed during the ritual I am watching a sequence of emotionally charged images and scenes appear before my inner eye. Smells are the language of the spirit world in the indigenous view. Different smells contact different spirits. Through smudging and burning incense good thoughts are being invited and negative thoughts are being released. This idea is far from being strange since we know that our sense of smell directly connects to the emotional limbic system and is capable of causing changes of mood – this is also the basis of aromatherapy. At some point, an indeterminable, as if magically extended period of time later, the sound of the small bell on Theresa’s utensil desk signals the return to the present moment. In accordance with old shamanic tradition the windows were closed during the ritual, so that the smoke gathered in the room like a thick cloud. By opening the windows she now releases the smoke together with the thoughts it carries out and away into the open

Identify the next steps with Tarot Coaching

At one point during the reading Theresa mentions that a sudden sense of anxiety does not have to point to a real danger, but can also just be a trigger. This can be really tricky, since these things tend to feel like intuition. When thoughts like “Something could happen to my child” or “My husband is going to leave me” are suddenly appearing out of the blue, she explains, we are tempted to assume imminent danger and a need for immediate action. Why else would such a thought befall an otherwise intuitive person in the middle of the day? This however, Theresa explains, is usually a fallacy. What has really happened is that a past traumatic experience is being projected onto the present moment and the near future. Why? Because of a trigger. Therefore it is worthwhile to go within and have a closer look at this treacherous piece of “intuition”. Looking closer at the fearful thought “My husband will leave me” you could find out for example that it reminds you of your father leaving the family and that it arises exactly in the moment when your husband is about to close the door behind him. It is the image of a beloved man closing the door behind himself while you are watching from the hallway that has triggered you. You do not know that however, so it all feels like premonition urging you to do something to prevent this loss from happening or prepare yourself for the hit. It is therefore vitally important to learn to distinguish triggers from real intuitive impulses. As a rule of thumb, triggers are based on traumatic memories acutely flooding the present moment. They always trigger behaviors such as reaching for chocolate, addictions, avoidance or freaking out. Intuition on the other hand is essentially calm and not of an emotional nature. It does not flood the moment or overwhelm the system. Personally, Theresa says, she would locate intuition in the gut feeling and the space around the head, while triggers usually radiate from the solar plexus up into the chest.

Triggers that feel like intuition but that are not

At one point during the reading Theresa mentions that a sudden sense of anxiety does not have to point to a real danger, but can also just be a trigger. This can be really tricky, since these things tend to feel like intuition. When thoughts like “Something could happen to my child” or “My husband is going to leave me” are suddenly appearing out of the blue, she explains, we are tempted to assume imminent danger and a need for immediate action. Why else would such a thought befall an otherwise intuitive person in the middle of the day? 

This however, she explains, is usually a fallacy. What has really happened is that a past traumatic experience is being projected onto the present moment and the near future. Why? Because of a trigger. Therefore it is worthwhile to go within and have a closer look at this treacherous piece of “intuition”.

Looking closer at the fearful thought “My husband will leave me” you could find out for example that it reminds you of your father leaving the family and that it arises exactly in the moment when your husband is about to close the door behind him. It is the image of a beloved man closing the door behind himself while you are watching from the hallway that has triggered you. You do not know that however, so it all feels like premonition urging you to do something to prevent this loss from happening or prepare yourself for the hit.

It is therefore vitally important to learn to distinguish triggers from real intuitive impulses. As a rule of thumb, triggers are based on traumatic memories acutely flooding the present moment. They always trigger behaviors such as reaching for chocolate, addictions, avoidance or freaking out.

Intuition on the other hand is essentially calm and not of an emotional nature. It does not flood the moment or overwhelm the system. Personally, Theresa says, she would locate intuition in the gut feeling and the space around the head, while triggers usually radiate from the solar plexus up into the chest.

How to recognize and understand fears and triggers

Especially when strong fears and panic attacks are arising, Theresa recommends to imagine they are a train rushing by while you are watching from the train station. This allows for some distance and peace of mind so you can start looking more closely at what is really freaking you out. What set this train in motion? Was it an image, a verbal thought, a sensation?

Every situation in which you feel overwhelmed usually contains a very specific trigger that is there and hurting. Once you can clearly see what it is, it is over. This is it already. Triggers lose their power simply because they have been identified and understood. “You can’t heal what you haven’t understood,” she says. She gives an example from her personal life:

“Everyone who has children knows the feeling that everything can be just too much. Here I am sitting at my desk and all I want is to finish an email and both of my children are in my space seeking my attention. I feel overwhelmed and annoyed. Now, if the thought arises “I’m losing control over my life, others are dominating me”, I will become angry at my children. However, the moment I have realized that it is this belief that is specifically triggered in this situation, I am no longer ruled by it. I might still be annoyed but I am perfectly able to simply ask the two to give me ten more minutes.”

Although identifying the thought that is triggered will not make the momentary feeling of annoyance go away it dissolves the sense of victimhood. This is the key point. Triggers always go along with a sense of victimhood. When they are identified, you are no longer just helplessly reacting but intelligently responding to the situation. It is therefore worth asking the following three questions:

  • When do I get angry?
  • When do I become anxious?
  • When do I get hurt?

Answering these questions as specifically as possible can lead to the arsenal of your own personal triggers. In her individual sessions and workshops on triggers and authenticity Theresa is guiding her clients to do just that. As a mother of two young daughters and author of children’s books she has a special eye on the youth when it comes to this, she tells me. Adolescents of all people need to learn how to identify their triggers the most to become stable adults.

 

Being peaceful with yourself

Triggers are a natural part of life and new triggers will arise again and again. Therefore it is important to learn to be “peaceful with yourself”, as Theresa calls it. Those who have learned to be in touch with their negative emotions and meet them in a fearless and relaxed way – not avoiding or denying them in a misplaced desire for holiness – will discover a treasure, an energy gift in every trigger they dissolve.

I too feel peaceful with myself leaving Theresa’s space in a soft, open-hearted state of mind. On the door she reminds me to pay attention to my dreams in the next few days while the ritual is still working its way through my system. Pleasantly surrounded with beautiful complex scents oozing delicately and unobtrusively from the sleeves of my sweater, I step out into an enchanted late summer day.

 

by Gwendolin Kirchhoff

You want to book an incense and tarot ritual with Theresa, check her side. 

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