hidden self

Turning the Forbidden Key; A Deeper Self Knowing.

The brothers are coming I'm a big fan of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, an American poet, psychoanalyst and post-trauma specialist, who uses her poems throughout her writings, spoken word audiobooks and stage performances as expressive therapy for others.

In one of her audio series, Clarissa tells the story of Bluebeard...

'Marrying' illusion...

The story illustrates the powerful forces at play in our psyches, the plot is that Bluebeard selects and marries the youngest and most innocent of three sisters, in spite of the suspicions of the elder sisters and who goes to live with him in the grandeur of his castle.

One day an occasion presents itself where Bluebeard is called away and before he goes, he gives his wife the keys to the castle but informs her of a forbidden room, the key to which is also given to her, with the instruction that she may enter any room, but this.

The youngest sister in the story represents the curious and creative spirit who soon becomes bored in the big castle and wants to explore the forbidden room. 

This spirit is within us all, but if not afforded it's natural expression, is nothing more than a servant to the predator, also within.  The price of marrying illusion, is feeling of obligation that you must 'be happy with your lot' and not want the 'something more', like the freedom to explore, which is represented by the entering of this room. To obey the predator, is to sneak your life.

There is a way out of this, we must dare to unlock the forbidden door... but the risk we take is that doing do may shatter all illusions, not just those of the oppressor, but our own too. The ideal life we signed up for may not be all it's cracked up to be, especially if what you long for, is for it to instead, be real.

Change is risky... people don't like it... to change yourself is no different.

But what do you want? To live as if all is well, let a predator control your castle, uphold illusions... or to explore, discover all your authentic glory, self government and expression?

If you chose to turn the key... you risk angering your inner (and sometimes outer) Bluebeard.. the one who didn't want you to go there and you're going to have to identify and recruit the parts of you that are strong, that know how to protect, stand up for and fight for you until the predator is no longer in control.

This is how it is... this is how the battle is lost or won.

I made this spread in my journal yesterday, to represent and celebrate my favourite imagined scene from that story. The one in which the brothers are summoned and arrive to rescue the sister from her fate, now that she has challenged Bluebeard's power, his hold over the castle.

The brothers

These brothers represent the self supporting inner forces available to us, the decision and capability to rescue ourselves, they are commitment and providence. They are strength and action, the forces through which we emancipate and empower ourselves.

If you're curious about the telling of and unpacking of this story as told by Clarissa, I highly recommend her audio performance of Theatre of the Imagination.

I'm so grateful for my brothers and that I had the courage to call upon them <3


Amanda xoxo

Uncovering the story of who you really are.

I've come a long way in the last few years... I've learned how to figure out what's important to me. I learned to express my self and to be more open, I learned how to fear less and love more. I’m in the process of becoming a more holistic, authentic person. Still, I've carried a vague sense that something, some part of me is still missing... calling me.


What part of you is missing?

Imagine if what you've been seeking all this time was under your nose? How do you go about identifying what exactly that is? Well, how about looking in the one place you're not looking, the one place you never look. Ever. Why? Because when you're 'there' you're nowhere else. Whatever your doing there is so meaningful it has your undivided attention.

In my case, recently I have conceded the war of attrition with my mind and decided to turn instead to my heart with this question 'What part of me is missing?’ What part is yearning to belong?', just rest it gently there, don't force an answer. Just let it come. Doing this was like turning on a magnet, I gave myself to the charge of a larger force.

I put my trust in my heart and gave myself to it's pull. I began spending my time a little differently. I began to play and one day I caught myself doing something I've instinctively been doing all my life... and for the first time I noticed... this is it.

This is where she lives, my missing part.. I found her.


She is to be found in how I 'spend' time when I am unburdened from the need for that time to be 'spent wisely'... I go within. I tend to my inners like a gardener would to roses. I soak up whatever is spilling over and and I pour it out. I empty my cup so that I can drink again. That's what I do, I nourish and comfort my soul through freedom of expression. I Write, I paint, I scribble and I play. I work things out, I find ways to communicate, to connect to the world, I express my heart, passionately. It’s how I speak my truth. It’s where I am in touch with my voice.

It is my secret part... the one I created but kept hidden. She's been doing this a lifetime, right under my nose and she has become skilled at maintaining her secrecy.


How did I discover this?

In april of this year, something in me spontaneously decided to 'make' a birthday present for a friend. I had some art supplies in the office and so that's where I went about making it. That piece didn't work out, but I didn't stop...something was ignited.

Over the course of the past three months, if I'm to be found anywhere in my spare time, it's here. My creative space has since taken on a personal, soul nurturing feel. The way I have been using this room is changing.. I'm feeling more bonded with my space and it evoked in me the need to nest. I started transforming my room into a nook... moving out of it what can live elsewhere and bringing in what belongs. In doing so, I instinctually went about the house gathering 'twigs' for my nest. It was then I noticed it. The sheer volume of evidence has overwhelmed me...

Around me began to assemble the symbols of what gives my life meaning. Love notes Terry and I write to each other, handwritten letters from friends, trinkets my family and friends have gifted me over the years, cards of encouragement and love, all carrying the same message: You are loved, you are enough. Then there are my own scribblings and expressions of creative yearning over the years, revealing a conflicted theme between love and fear... a need to know there was nothing to fear and that no love could be so great that it couldn't be true.

This is the narrative of who I really am, weaving together for the first time. I've never seen it all in one space. It's profound.

I've realised that having a love this big, when part of you feels undeserving, creates a fear... that it may be wrong. It's not wrong.

I know what's happening here... that part, the banished part of me who felt undeserving of expression, of love, is also the one who loved to play, but who felt bad about it because somewhere along the line she picked up the message that she didn't have a right to play. How mistaken she was, I have never ‘seen’ her before… but now I do. I found her, I have embraced her and she  has been unburdened. She has decided now to belong.

It's all coming together.. it's making sense. This room is different now, here I'm connected to something soulful... the work I do in here has heart.

This is no longer a place of exile, it is a fertile place, of retreat, re-claimation, recovery, renewal... it is my Soul Nook.

Always, Amanda <3


This is the final of a four part post series 'Discovering your Soul Nook'

Read the rest of this series by following the links below. Don't forget to follow my blog if you like what you've read!

Part 1, Where do You Belong

2, Finding Your Hidden Strength

and 3, Where do you step forward