The Shoebox  

My guess is that it’s fairly common for women to have a ‘shoebox’ or something similar in which they store their ‘treasures.’ Letters, cards, photos, locks of their baby’s hair, basically things of sentimental value that seem to confirm their sense of identity, things that are pertinent to them and their lives.

In much the same way as kids love to layer papier-mache around a balloon, we humans love to build stories around who we perceive ourselves to be. We think that the music we listen to says something specific about us; that the food we enjoy eating says something special about who we think we are; that our hobbies make us more interesting and differentiate us from others and that the way we dress is a statement that sets us apart from everyone else. Our shoeboxes are where we store the ‘physical evidence’ of our assumed identity, which is why, when I think about it, I carried my ‘shoebox’ around the world with me. Throwing it out would surely have meant throwing away the evidence of my existenceor so I thought.

I had lots of things in my shoebox: concert tickets, photos, love letters and cards with sentimental words written ‘just for me.’ They were mostly things from specific people, however I had a couple of things in my shoebox that weren’t written by anyone I knew but were words I had cut out of cards and articles that had for whatever reason struck me as being significant.

I suppose the best way to describe these keepsakes was that rather than solidify my sense of self they alluded to a deeper aspect of life, and although I wasn’t totally clear as to why I wanted to keep them, I knew that I didn’t want to throw them out. Looking back, I can see that for most of my life I had an inkling that there was more to life than met the eye and yet I was never able to put my finger on quite what it was. I can see now that what I was doing was scrabbling around for what felt like tidbits of the truth.

As a child, the deeper aspects of life never consciously occurred to me; and looking back I can see that that was because I, like most kids, just lived it. Life and I were one and the same – we just bumped along together effortlessly. Up until the age of about nine I lived life from my body. I ran, jumped, skipped, hopped and rolled my way through my days. Whether I was building a dam out of rocks and pebbles or playing on a building site, I lived life through my body.  

My fingers still remember how it felt to squeeze a berry from the Snowberry Bush and they can still recall the squishy feeling of pulling putty out of window frames in the new houses on the building site where we played. My nose remembers the smell of our compost heap down the end of the garden and the smell of gas still reminds me of being in my Grandad’s kitchen. When I hear a plane flying high up in the summer sky, my ears take me back to lazy days spent playing in the back garden and when I hear the football scores read on the telly, I am transported back to feeling my boredom on Sunday afternoons when the sport was on TV. My mouth still holds the memory of how sweet the stem of a blade of grass tastes and the taste of strawberry jam reminds me of my daily dilemma of which spread to put on my toast.  

My eyes are just as instrumental in remembering my past: colours, particularly the colour white, brings back the memory of playing marbles and of how each different coloured marble had a different effect on my body. The sight of daffodils transports me back to my childhood joy at seeing their emergence in the field at the back of our house.  

The body, the body, the body… I lived life from my body. 

So what happened to me at the age of 9 to literally sever my connection from my body? Well, my family moved from a small village in North Yorkshire (the road we lived in was called ‘Crimple Meadows’) to Watford, a huge sprawling town an hour north of London. My sensitive young body felt like it had literally been assaulted and in many ways it had. Not only had my beloved countryside been replaced with concrete, but I was also picked on at school.

Many of the kids were hard and aggressive and up until that point I hadn’t been exposed to either trait, not even in adults. It was the girls in particular that upset me: they used swear words that I had rarely heard before and although none of the girls actually hurt me physically, looking back I can’t help but wonder if a quick kick would have been better than the numerous venomous verbal attacks I received. But it’s the way I chose to deal with it that’s particularly upsetting, because I chose to harden in exactly the same way that the girls that bullied me had.  

The me that had been me up until that pointthe young girl that had skipped and hopped her way through her childhood, the girl who had been as delicate as the spring flowers that she delighted in – chose to harden. And the reason why I hardened was in a desperate attempt to avoid feeling the pain I felt. Not just the pain of being attacked but the pain of feeling how awful it was to feel what had happened to the girls who had, at some point in their lives, been just as tender as me.

In hardening myself, I brought in a wedge between me and myself and in separating from myself, I also separated from the life that up until that point I had been part of. I subsequently spent the next 35 years living in separation from myself and therefore, from life. I feel to add that none of us can ever truly separate from life because life and us are one and the same, but by making our outer shell crusty, it gives us the feeling of being separate. This unclassified feeling of separation resulted in an almost permanent state of mild tension – a tension that I did a masterful job of covering up by managing to assemble myself into what can only be described as a ‘comfortably happy state.’ And why didn’t anyone notice what had happened to me? Well, because it had already happened to pretty much everyone else around me and living in separation from ourselves has become so normal and accepted that we neither recognise it nor speak about it. But deep down we all know that it’s happened and it is a pain we carry permanently.

‘Comfortably happy,’ would be for most a very enviable way of being and yet, deep down, I knew that it just wasn’t it. I had a sense of looking for something and yet was never quite sure what it was that I was looking for. I looked for this unnamed thing in some pretty strange places. I searched for it in extreme physical fitness, somehow believing that if my body was in what I perceived to be ‘pristine physical condition,’ then it would eventually lead me to some mystical elevated state.  

I explored the world of drugs, believing that an altered state could potentially open up a hidden trapdoor that I would be able to step through… ‘et voila,’ a hitherto hidden world would suddenly be revealed. I also dived headlong into the world of spirituality, feeling finally that I had found what it was that I had been looking for. But alas, spirituality eventually fizzled out in the same way as all my other fruitless pursuits.

At the age of about forty-three my previously athletic, buzzy body broke down. When I say ‘broke down,’ I mean that it kind of stopped going. It no longer wanted to power walk around the park; in fact it was so reluctant to even walk short distances that I had to start driving to the local shops. During this time, it seemed that I was suddenly able to really feel how my body felt and it felt like it had been hit by the proverbial truck. I literally felt like I had been mangled under the wheels of a semi-trailer! My body felt battered from the years of relentless exercise that I had put it through and it felt utterly exhausted from my fervently held belief that the more I did ‘as a woman,’ the stronger I was. There was nowhere for me to hide: my body brought me to the truth of my choices and I was left feeling directionless, despondent and in physical pain.

Surrounded by an ever-growing amount of crumbling beliefs, I began attending Universal Medicine workshops. Though I didn’t have any initial lightbulb moments or feelings of ‘coming home,’ I was none the less intrigued and have continued to attend workshops and presentations for the last 8 years. Over that time, I have come to realise many things.

One of the main things that I have come to realise is that self-care is crucial to evolution. The constant application of self-care has taken me deeper and deeper inside myself and has led to an unmistakable feeling of love deep within my body. An oh so familiar feeling and yet one that has a freshness to it that’s hard to describe. 

With self-care as my guiding principle, I have been able to systematically restore my body to the pristine condition that it was in when I was a child. A natural part of the process has been the removal of what doesn’t belong in my body. A bit like throwing ballast out of a hot air balloon, the majority of ideals, beliefs and pictures that I have imbibed over the years have been chucked overboard. With the removal of all that doesn’t belong in my body, I have been left with the truth of what does. And without any impediments to prevent it, I have discovered that the light of God is able to come through me, in the same way that it is able to come through all of us. The light of God is both extraordinary and at the same time very ordinary. It is what so many of us knew and never doubted as kids. It was, and indeed is, our natural living way, a way that is known intimately by us all.

So, the crumbs that I have been trying to follow my whole life and the small snippets of clues that I gathered and stored in my shoebox have been replaced by clear directions from my body. And it is by following these directions that I have found myself re-united once more with my body in exactly the same way as I was as a child. And it is through that re-unification with my body that I have been reunited once more with the body of God.

By Alexis Stewart, A woman who is actively engaged with Life in the understanding that it is our engagement with Life that will return us to the truth of who we all are

Further Reading:
The Vastness of Who We Are
The body is the marker of all truth
Returning to our body – The wonder, beauty and science of our body

89 thoughts on “The Shoebox  

  1. I love reading this. I remember my shoebox which travelled around the world with me. Even the cover of it was special, a Californian design that reminded me of the life I saw on the TV growing up and wishing I was there. There was a moment I was watching a woman when I was actually living in LA and realised I was literally living my childhood dream but that it wasn’t real and what I actually felt was desperately lonely.

    But this made total sense because, like my shoebox, I was seeking that special something that I knew was there but kept eluding me, from things outside myself. Life was like a giant treasure hunt. That love letter, that special note where someone had appreciated something special about me, all was a clue. I had moments of feeling like I felt the vastness and love of the universe, where I felt greater than my physical being. But I put these moments down to the place I was in; I never considered the amazingness of life is to simply settle in my body, stop the mental chatter and be.

  2. “Whether I was building a dam out of rocks and pebbles or playing on a building site, I lived life through my body. ” Children do this all the time – until education teaches them to focus on their mind and then the head wins out. Coming to Universal Medicine presentations I’ve had to relearn to feel from my body all over again. The results are so worth it.

    1. I can also remember building dams and playing on building sites. Every day was an adventure. Education is the box we are meant to fit our selves into. School becomes the cookie-cutter of what we will do in life to tick the boxes that they have decided we would be good at to support us in adulthood. It has taken most of this lifetime to come full circle with the aid of Universal Medicine. As I lose the rubbish of all the things outside of me, what is left is the child’s view of the world. Simple living and open to new adventures is where my movements take me today that will never fit in a box.

  3. It made a lot of sense when you described the shoebox. How we try to form layers of interests and experiences to form an identity. Many people value that identity they have formed and it makes sense that while they still value it thats what they seek in others. Being one who has over years thrown off many layers of ‘me’ it’s a great reminder when being with others.

  4. WOW such a long time ‘I subsequently spent the next 35 years living in separation from myself and therefore, from life.’ and for some it is much longer … even lifetimes. Such a waste when this needn’t happen at all! We have so much to learn, to respond to and heal regarding this.

  5. Your point about no-one noticing what happened to you because it had already happened to them is a really important point to clock about why adults don’t spot this moment of separation and sadness in children. We consider this separation as normal. Thank you for reminding us that it is not normal and that there is another way.

    1. Yes this point is massive. As you say ‘We consider this separation as normal’ This is actually deeply horrific. Time to turn the tide….’ there is another way.’

  6. There is a particular smell to putty (which is not often used now, it was the linseed oil that was used to make the putty pliable) that is an instant throw back to childhood, where a pane of glass in the greenhouse was broken and I watched as the man put in another pane of glass using putty and little tacks to hold the glass in place. How an aircraft sounded when it flew overhead on a summers day, the sound was different depending on high pressure or low pressure affecting the country. When we are children we are in touch with ourselves and our surroundings as one and the same. It is a completely different way of living to an adult, where we look outside of ourselves for acceptance of who we are from others as though they know us better than we know ourselves. Why do we do this?

  7. On reading this I reflected on how we collect things that we have experienced or feel a connection to in our life, but do we ever stop to ponder on what we leave behind; aka our footprints and energetic imprint in all that we do? With more of an understanding about this from the support and teachings of Universal Medicine, I can now ask myself to forget about collecting things and instead ask myself what am I leaving behind … how have I truly lived?

    1. And it also serves us to ask what the energetic imprint of ‘collecting things’ leaves behind because everything leaves an imprint and so the activity of collecting things will as well. And every imprint is either a reminder that says ‘God was here’ or a note saying ‘no he wasn’t’ and so we have to ask ourselves what note are we leaving behind with the activity of collecting things.

      1. I never felt I’ve fully understood energetic imprints – intellectually yes of course but can I feel my part with them? Reading, ‘every imprint is either a reminder that says ‘God was here’ or a note saying ‘no he wasn’t’’ and an impromptu walk on the way home where I felt the expanse of God, has helped me understand imprints. It was a magnificent walk. I knew and felt God, God is here as I walked, so the note left would be God was here. To quote Alexis in another comment, ‘He is Us and We are Him, there is nothing that is not God’. So when I walk and I’m consumed with my stuff then I leave the lie that says God is not here.

      2. Karin what you’ve shared here shows very clearly that you understand what was said but not from your head but with your body. Beautifully shared, thank you for taking the conversation deeper.

  8. What if how we lived as a child was not just child’s play but actually our true way of being? By calling it childhood we make a separation between how we lived then and how we live as an adult as if it is any different by make up, yet it is only different by choice. By the choice of how we are with ourselves when we grow up.

    1. Well said Lieke, life is a continuum, not just from childhood to adulthood, but from lifetime to lifetime and when lived from truth we should be taking it perpetually deeper, rather than coming further away from it as we leave childhood and then just thrashing around on the surface of it until we die.

  9. The light of God is something I’ve been searching for all my life, often in the many ways you have described your searching. What’s amazing is how I’m feeling this coming through in my daily life. It’s something that can be lived as a norm. This is both very wonderful and also I’m struck by how possible this is when once I thought it was impossible.

  10. The more I live from my body the less I need things to validate, confirm or remind me who I am. My body has lived every second of my life and is a wealth of wisdom, experience and guidance. Literally all I have to do is listen attentively and respectfully.

    1. Yes how simple is that, and yet it is not what we would call ‘common knowledge’. The more we can bring this back to our normal, the more we can reflect that opportunity to others.

  11. From an attachment to the contents of shoe boxes to re-unification with the body of God – a profound transformation. Becoming obsessed with the minuscule and ‘crumbs’ of life, is settling for less and in doing so miss the grandeur and majesty of what is truly on offer.

  12. This reminds me of a shoebox that I adored. It was sold as a memory shoebox and I loved the Californian collage print of beach, surfing, postcards etc. Inside I kept love letters, lovely letters from friends, tickets of places and parties I’d been to. Over the years, as I grew to love myself and not need to be loved from others, slowly the things disappeared, but the box remains, actually I can’t say that for certain but I know I have kept things.

    No longer needing them to affirm that I am lovable, they’ve remained because I have wanted to see my life through them, like they hold a piece of the puzzle about how I saw the world and my choices. I’m inspired to revisit the box and have another round of understanding and letting go; like when I visited my parents and we all watched a 30 year old re-run of Top of the Pops and saw an old icon I used to follow. I felt what appealed to me at the time, and any residual affiliations could be let go of with the knowing of who I am now.

    1. Karin, an honest sharing that many will relate to. When we deepen that inner loving core, our true self, letting go of physical attachments from the past becomes easier. Outer manifestations of our life dispensed with are replaced with an inner knowing of what is true, serves us and is everlasting.

  13. A beautiful read. Thank you Alexis. This particularly got me, ‘I feel to add that none of us can ever truly separate from life because life and us are one and the same, but by making our outer shell crusty, it gives us the feeling of being separate.’ Because my body always responds instantly to life when I dispense with the outer crusty shell.

  14. So far removed are we as a society from the concept of self care that when I first heard the term I was literally bamboozled. What was self care, I didn’t know. Yet the term is fairly self explanatory. The problem is when self abuse is your norm and you don’t admit its self abuse, you can’t even imaging what self care looks like.

    1. There are many people who would regard a glass of ‘medicinal’ wine at the end of the day part of their self care. But the only true voice for what constitutes true self care is the body and by the body I mean the whole of the body. It’s actually not true self care if the taste buds are saying ‘yes please’ but the liver is saying ‘no thank you’

      1. When we have pictures of what self-care is, are we already lost? When we allow the body to become the artist, it tells us what we need and not what we want.

  15. ‘…it is through that re-unification with my body that I have been reunited once more with the body of God.’ This sentence is pure gold and very true. The more we deepen in that connection with ourselves, the more God is revealed in our life, who in the beginning and end is ourselves in our pristine nature.

  16. Thinking we have to separate from others through the music we listen to or the clothes we wear was really brought to my attention today on a crowded train. I noticed a woman’s ring and felt it was a real statement she was making of who she was. Then there was the woman who was listening and singing to heavy rock at 9.30 in the morning which I thought, wow you got to really want to identify with that so early 😀

    I remember when music was that if you liked what I liked then you were with me, if not then we were at odds. The jewellery I choose was a reassurance to myself that I knew who I was. Today I pondered on my choice of clothing and it feels harmonious and supportive, no longer shouting to be seen or hiding to be invisible. Feeling these reflections today I can see how making an identity is such an effort. I often feel bad that I don’t make ‘more of an effort’ but perhaps there is something to appreciate here. Yes, I know where I can be more loving with myself and my body, but there is an ease of being to be really appreciated; and a letting go of any identity of proving myself.

  17. I feel I had to grow older to appreciate my body – when I was young it always felt as though it was judged from the outside by both me and I projected this on to others as well. Growing old with a grace and a love for my whole body has been so empowering and at last I am beginning to treasure it for the amazing wealth of wisdom and understanding it offers.

    1. Beautiful Susan, and so true. We tend to place more value on what we do and getting ‘there’. Yet what I am noticing, is that when we subscribe less to that ‘getting somewhere’ space then opens up to value our quality, what we bring and the importance of our tender, fragile, delicate and yet incredibly strong body.

  18. Self-care was a mysterious foreign language to me not so many years ago. My first thought was it must be the club of something women do? I have been embracing self-care for myself for several years. This week, my self-care may have saved someone’s life… mine! I had momentary mild chest pains for a couple of weeks that came and went until this week they went surprise and did not stop on my way to work. I dropped my bag on my desk and walk across the street to a huge hospital A & E. Four days later I leave the hospitable hospital with an upgrade to my heart. All because I listened to my body.

  19. ‘There was nowhere for me to hide: my body brought me to the truth of my choices and I was left feeling directionless, despondent and in physical pain.’ Thank goodness for the physical body, for without it there would be nothing to mark our waywardness!

  20. ‘have been replaced by clear directions from my body. And it is by following these directions that I have found myself re-united once more with my body in exactly the same way as I was as a child. And it is through that re-unification with my body that I have been reunited once more with the body of God.’ Beautifull. We cannot go wrong with following clear directions from our body and I know I can definitely listen to and follow more of what my body is saying 💫

  21. I bought two pairs of shoes yesterday and they came without shoe boxes When the box is discarded, nothing is hidden, there is no outer layer. What you see is what you get.

  22. Attachments keep us stagnant, in the past even. They weigh us down & make life feel heavy, yet we cling onto them for dear life.

  23. Your comment about why no-one said anything when you separated cuts to the truth – they had all separated as well so were not able to see there was anything wrong. Much to ponder here.

  24. “Comfortably happy,’ stopped me in my tracks. Comfortably happy conveys the grimaced smile. When we convince ourselves all is well within, because so much of what isn’t is pushed below the surface. Many of us live this way, not knowing the difference. When aligned to divinity, the difference is holding the qualities of stillness, joy, truth and love, these emanate and sparkle from deep within to be shared with others.

    1. It is very cool to expose the illusion of ‘happy’ as transient and nothing alongside the magic of consistent joy about life and all the learning, even when things are not going quite according to plan.

  25. This has been so healing to read. It has brought to life the elements of the purity of childhood still within me and all my particles have shifted releasing warmth, joy and confirmation of who I truly am – who I too have been returning to since discovering Universal Medicine. Thanks Alexis for sharing this blog, There will be an added fire in my day today which feels exquisite.

    1. Yes I agree! The magic of childhood returned. I didn’t allow myself the purity of childhood as a child, but reading this and feeling it for myself as an adult is such a joyful return.

  26. Thank you Alexis, as one of your biggest fans I eagerly await your first book, I literally hang off every word! I so appreciate the honesty, rawness, insights and the way you let us all into your life and hold everyone as an equal, thank you. Reflecting on your shoebox story and the many things we collect to build an identity had me wondering about the lack of appreciation in our lives, and our inability to value the precious and amazing beings we already are.

    1. I felt the Ouch moment Melinda when you said
      “Reflecting on your shoebox story and the many things we collect to build an identity had me wondering about the lack of appreciation in our lives, and our inability to value the precious and amazing beings we already are.”
      We so undervalue who we are and what we are here to bring to the world, we have forgotten who we are and because of this have accepted a lesser life which gets lesser and denser every day.

  27. It just shows how change such as moving can have an huge impact on a child or young person’s life, and how maybe we are not sensitive to this as much as we could be. In working with young people that have had many changes in their life, throughout their life, including the different people that come in and out such as social workers, it makes me see just how much stability and consistency, even if they are unaware of this, is important to them.

    1. And yet these moves from one place or home to another and even having different social workers are part of our unfolding. The world shifts around us, what’s important is the quality we hold inside. Not enough attention is given to building inner steadiness for parent or child.

  28. I still love shoe boxes, but now only keep things inside I need, wear and love. It’s not the box, but what we choose to store inside. Like our own body. the quality, care and love we bring to it makes a difference in how we experience life.

  29. We can hold onto things to fill a void, or we can buy new things to fill a void. If we are not willing to fill that void with Love, nothing we do will ever feel enough.

    1. The crazy thing is that the void is already full of love because every available nook and cranny is already packed to the rafters with love, so it’s not so much that we need to bring love in, it’s more that each of us needs to reveal the fact that love is already here, there and everywhere. It is quite literally all around us.

      1. Ah Alexis! Thank you – what a stunning response. We can spend our whole lives trying, pulling & pushing that “love” in when it is all, already there.

  30. Thank you Alexis, we all have our boxes. My feeling is we would all like a Dr Who Police Box as we all have multiple lives and would like to take trips in time to explore our incarnations, when all we have to do is fully re-connect to our Essences and thus live Soul-fully in all we do and we have no need for any boxes as we have become spherical, thus we do not feel boxed in.

    1. The collection of anything is about identity, the identification of who we perceive ourselves to be and so the letting go of anything has to surely start with the letting go of our identification with whatever it is that we have collected.

  31. I still have a shoebox but for years nothing has gone into it, only taken out. I used to keep cinema / concert tickets and various other Knick-Knacks. These days I am happy to throw away the ticket stubs. I’d also ad in the incessant need to take a photo on smartphones, to be part of that ‘capturing the moment’ shoebox, I am starting to take less pictures and enjoy the moment for what it is rather than from behind a screen.

    1. Yes, interestingly I can now see I have gathered and stored less physically but I can also see that I am gathering and storing less emotionally as well and life feels lighter as a result.

  32. Your description of ‘comfortably happy state’ brought a picture of a movie of our blood cells flowing endlessly, never going anywhere trapped in a loop and separate from all others. Self-care is the awaking of the cells and their purpose of why we are here.

  33. I so relate to searching till exhaustion going in to illness led me to the truth that it is me I was looking for.
    Life, health and vitality has done a 180 degree turn around since the truth was revealed of not where to look but more simply how to be. The truth as shared by Universal Medicine is nothing short of amazing and empowering.

    1. ‘I so relate to searching till exhaustion going in to illness led me to the truth that it is me I was looking for’.
      Yes this is the essence, the constant searching ends when we we find ourselves and that divinity lies within.

  34. Reading this made me realise that in my teens and beyond, I spent a lot of time trying to identify myself and ‘fit’ into the world, only to years later completely deconstruct this to finally feel and appreciate the true me which is forever unfolding. I feel we live the complete opposite to what the truth is .. trying to attain things, even in ‘who’ we are, instead of letting go of everything that is not us (beliefs, ideals and pictures included) and connecting and living from the love/essence we are. ✨So simple yet we make it oh so very complicated!

    1. How bizarre is it Vicky when you think about how we try to ‘fit in’ when in truth we all naturally fit together seamlessly, the only reason why we feel that we don’t fit in is because we’ve tampered with the original to such an extent that we feel totally out of whack and utter discombobulated. Crazy eh?

  35. When I got to the point where I felt empty as a younger teen, this was the time where I felt I needed to prove to myself that life was ok. Whilst I was never a hoarder of things I remember looking through my sisters’ photos feeling like they had evidence of having a much happier life than me! In truth they didn’t but it is interesting to note what we do to sometimes to convince ourselves we do when we are feeling empty. Now that I live from the inside out rather than the outside in, it simply doesn’t occur to me to keep anything that is no longer used or needed as everything I really need is felt from within first and foremost.

    1. Clinging onto anything or anyone that is outside of us stems from a lack of knowing that we are a patch of everything already, a piece of the Whole. Because when we remember that we are a piece of the Whole, then what small or big items could we possibly want to hold onto? Items are to do with individuality and we are not individuals, we are the United Body of God and as there is nothing that God isn’t then what items could we possibly want to hold onto? Collecting and clutching at items is an attempt to solidify our sense of who we are but it makes no sense because we are the transient nature of life, we are the permanent movement of life itself.

    2. Awesome to hear you are now living inside out rather than within. When we compare ourselves to others we are actually destroying ourselves from within.

      1. When we return to the knowing that we are all actually the One United Consciousness then comparison will simply disappear overnight because what’s there to compare ourselves to when in truth there’s only one of us?

    3. Thanks Michelle, reading your comment I got to feel from within myself how attached I am to physical possessions, and it didn’t feel at all like something innately from me, rather something I had taken on.

      1. That’s cool! I actually really dislike holding on to objects as I feel cluttered by them. If they have no purpose or value in my day to day living then they are disposed of without any sentimentality whatsoever.

      2. It’s a lovely strength you have to inspire and support others with. Thanks Michelle!

  36. ‘Life and I were one and the same – we just bumped along together effortlessly. Up until the age of about nine I lived life from my body. I ran, jumped, skipped, hopped and rolled my way through my days. Whether I was building a dam out of rocks and pebbles or playing on a building site, I lived life through my body. ‘ No need for keepsakes when we can live life like this!

    1. Agreed, it really illustrates how we feel and experience everything from our bodies anyway, therefore we don’t need those keepsakes. If we have known love, that is known from the body and forever remembered as a physical feeling, now I can see we reduce it if we leave it locked in a box in the words from another.

      1. Agreed Lucy and the act of taking photographs as ‘keepsakes’ has become epidemic. It feels like we’re all desperate to convince ourselves that we’re having a good time.

      2. Living life from the connection to our bodies is such a natural way to be and live, and it is such an indictment on how we relate to life that we loose connection to this fundamental asset. We are all born knowing this and yet none of us discuss it or refer to it in any way. In our denial that it is there we give ourselves permission to play ignorant of it and then look outside of ourselves to try and understand why we feel so discontent in life.

  37. Very timely read Alexis, as today I have begun to go through some stored items and it is rather interesting to discover that much of what had been stored no longer held any appeal in the life I am now living. A time of clearing, sorting, understanding and reflection on how one can choose to evolve, and graciously let go of possessions.

  38. Great, great blog, Alexis. As I read these words in particular…’I brought in a wedge between me and myself…’ I felt the pain and despair of having done the same. A seemingly unstoppable pain and despair that eventually turned into icy numbness as the wedge stayed stuck and was at times driven deeper creating a chasm between me and myself. For me, too, self care has been my guiding principle, the belay device that has supported me in climbing out of the chasm of separation and back in to the wondrous connection I was never truly separated from – the body of God.

  39. I used to have a shoebox like that, mine wasn’t a shoebox but a box from a teapot – very pretty, with flowers. I don’t even remember when I got rid of it or how, but the thought of “let me keep this so I can look back and remember this scenario or occurrence in a few years. There is obviously an attachment to these moments, something significant that has happened & we want to keep hold of it. But what if instead of keeping memories in our head, we register shifts in our body? Changes of energetic quality?

  40. Alexis like you I have through Universal Medicine come to realise that self care is crucial to our evolution. And this is something that we work on constantly because the universe is expanding and we need to expand with it. We seem to have forgotten that we are very much part of the universe and instead have settled for less. When we connect back deeply to our bodies again then the universe is revealed once again to us and we are once more united with the magnificence of who we truly are. We get to feel how deeply precious we are and that we cannot harm ourselves or others because they come from the same preciousness as us.

  41. Years ago I junked all of my ‘shoe-boxes’ with old photos and memories of all kinds. After years of self-loving alignments I was able (and happy) to let go of these old belongings. It was and is really a big thing in my life to count now on me belonging to the Universe instead of belonging to things or stories of my life. Sometimes I feel a bit lost, as there is no benchmark in the outside I can orientate myself. But then I know, it’s time to deepen my connection to myself and with that, deepen my connection to God. And I found the Universe inside of me, inside of my body.

    Hmm…in fact, my body is the most gorgeous ‘shoe-box’ ever. And I don’t have to put anything in – it’s all already there, waiting for me to be discovered and expanded.

  42. Our body always speaks to us, if we choose to listen. In the UK I was taught to override my body when young and to ‘push through’ was seen as a good thing, ie totally ignoring the body’s messages. To ‘give in’ was seen to be a sign of weakness. Universal Medicine has enabled me to realise otherwise.

    1. We totally champion toughening up, don’t we? The trend in this instance is to completely deny our sensitivity and cause hardness and issues in the body. What if honouring our sensitivity is actually healthy for us? This is not to say that we feel weak and wobbly over every little thing – it simply means knowing we know what love is and that anything contra to that hurts if we allow it in. Our sensitivity is our radar for what is true or not and if we do feel vulnerable at times, well that’s ok too because then we are open to letting more love in and being supported, which can be a joy to feel.

  43. Who hasn’t kept a shoebox like this?

    Mine was a bit bigger than a shoebox actually, and only recently have I been able to throw these things out. Why? Because I don’t contain to a shoebox the bigness of life I felt as a child, the truths I felt I needed to keep secret, and to myself.

    I have also reconnected to aspects of being a child such as that connection to my body and beyond- to God that you have written about here.

    The fact is, this experience of life that I had as a child, that connectedness, could never be contained to a shoebox. As much as I tried, my body had something more to say and simply couldn’t resist telling me that there had always been something more; and that there was a much more connected way to live.

    The ‘crumbs’ of life that I pursued were creating a whole lot of tension.

    I like how you describe the light of God – that it is equally so extraordinary and so ordinary.

    I grew up feeling from the world every reason not to see the light of God as ordinary. The prevailing feeling underneath, then and now, is that it is really so so ordinary.

    1. Is it possible that this is why the Roman Catholic Church has glorified God symbolically by building many ornate churches, wearing heavily embroidered gold and silk garments and the intense ceremonies that are performed because they want to take God away from the ordinary to make him seem greater and only obtainable by the few not the all. And this falsehood is one that we have accepted as true to the detriment of our innate knowing of God.

      1. Mary this feels more than possible and also very deliberate! God is all around us, so making Him separate and afar is a lie that keeps us from knowing God in all that we do.

    1. This is so true Mary. So I guess you could add here if we want a shoebox (body) stuffed full of things that have been collected, holding onto the past, or do we want a body that is clear and complete in each moment? This then makes me ask why do I hold onto/keep certain things that are physical (tickets etc) and also non physical ideals and beliefs!!

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