Connecting to the Divine Core of Self
Mark [0:00] It’s a real honor today to be able to have a conversation with Corrie van den Bosch. I met Corrie many, years ago when I came back from Perth. I was starting my inner journey and Corrie was ERC (Emotional Release Counselling) back in those days, which now called ATEP (Association of Transpersonal & Experiential Therapies). Corrie trained with Pat Quinn in Toowoomba, up in Queensland. They are both Missionary of Sisters of Service. Corrie has journeyed with me and been a teacher for many years and it’s a real honor a privilege to be able to sit here today and have the Heart of Connection Podcast conversation with her, so welcome, Corrie.
Corrie [0:51] Thank you, Mark and a lovely title for your series Heart of Connection.
Mark [0:58] The Heart of connection to me is really important, in terms of our connection to our self, others and all that is. I’m not sure where I got the idea. It just came to me the idea. My experience of the inner work, for me, the inner work has been about healing a lot of the wounds that the childhood wounds, all the wounds that we accrue. I guess, metaphorically, they sit in the heart and prevent people from going there and connecting there. Having done the inner work, it’s such a gift to be able to connect – heal those wounds, to be able to open my heart and connect much deeper to my heart, so thank you.
Connected to own heart in an intimate way
Corrie [1:51] Yes and if you’re not connected to your own heart, in a really intimate way, you don’t connect to others in an intimate way either. We become defended. I don’t want you to touch my broken heart or the wounds in my heart. So I just keep you at that bit of a distance, no matter how nice I am to you. Once we really get to know our own hearts and realize that alright, they might have carried wounds, but they’re still our hearts. That’s the core of my life is the core of my vitality, and the capacity to really relate to life.
Mark [2:33] Corrie, can you let listeners know? Would you mind, it might be a rude question to ask, but the vitality and the energy that is still with you, at this stage in life, how do you do it? How do you? How do you get that vitality, and that energy, that flow? Is that from connection to yourself, connection to the universe, how do you do it?If you're not connected to your own heart, in a really intimate way, you don't connect to others in an intimate way either. Click To Tweet
Connected to my Flow more than ever through God
Corrie [2:58] I think in some ways I am more in the flow now than I’ve ever been. It seems strange, at this stage of my life. I think for me, it’s like living my life against the big horizon. The big horizon for me, is, first of all, God.
Corrie [3:21] God who is present in the whole of the universe in every being, whether it’s the plants in the garden, or whether it’s the people I know, or whether it’s the morning light, and as I sit here every day and do my morning meditation, and the dawn comes. The dawn is on the kitchen side. On the opposite side, which I face, there’s a house and it’s got windows, so I can always look up and see ‘aahh’ – there’s the dawn reflected in those windows.
Connected to my Vitality ~ being in the Present Moment
Corrie [3:59] So for me, vitality comes when we are really present in the moment, present to whatever is there, or whoever is there. With, and that’s why I like the Heart connection with our heart open. So that, when that presence is of someone who is in pain, your heart is open to connecting with that.
Corrie [4:31] Basically, it’s love, really. It’s love, and are more than ever in love with life, with God with the universe.
Corrie [4:42] I think I’ve never stopped learning, the depth of that mystery. I am still learning. I’m still quite an ignoramus in many ways but somehow it’s not head learning. It’s like a deep intuitive heart connection if you like but heart connection with everything.
Mark [5:12] How do you? What’s your process to connect to yourself? How do you do that? What is your process? How do you connect yourself? Is that through meditation, through reading through prayer?Vitality comes when we are really present in the moment, present to whatever is there, or whoever is there. Click To Tweet
Connecting to ‘Being in the Moment’
Corrie [5:26] It’s all that but it’s really being in the moment, no matter what I’m doing. Like I’ve been working on a little booklet. It just got two or three pages, a sheet of paper. To get the pages in the right order when you print it. I printed off a draft this morning and the pages back to front. Okay, cut up do them again. They go back and see if you can do it.
Corrie [5:58] I could get really annoyed about it. I messed it up again, I thought I had it right. Or to really kind of be there and allow me to be in the process. In a way, it’s like a metaphor for my life, because I get lots of things wrong.
Corrie [6:18] I then noticed something isn’t quite, in the flow, whether that’s in my emotions or whatever. Oh, what’s happening? What’s that saying to me? The other day, I was on the phone. I often walk up and down and the sun is shining. So I was walking up and down outside – on the side of the house. So come to the front and I saw these two women come in. So I said, to the person on the phone, look, I’ll get back in touch with you, I’ve got somebody here right now. So I went to speak to them and they came to tell me about God as Mother. They had their Bible and what to read about the Bible and I thought oh God, I can’t be bothered. So I was courteous to them, but I kind of let them go pretty smartly.
Connecting to the learning of not being in the flow
Corrie [7:14] They’d gone and I was thinking about it. I thought one of the things that I’ve tried to nurture in myself is hospitality of mind and heart. I said where was that when these two women came. So, it’s like, I know all that and I don’t want to know anymore, from your perspective. It was like, I way beyond you, you know. I thought well, they might have had something really valuable to teach me. Well, whether they had my word, but the very fact that I came. I registered how I was.
Corrie [8:02] I spent the next few days just pondering that. Not in a way of feeling guilty or bad, but saying, what do I have to learn from that experience?
Corrie [8:12] So since then, I’ve been thanking God for the gift of those two women because I realised that caught on the hop, I’m not as hospitable of mind and heart as well as I like to think I am. So, it’s like the everyday moments in life are all teachers.
A Connection within ~ Coming Home to ourselves
Mark [8:30] I remember in the years of working with you, as you follow me on my inner journey, you would always say, Mark, come home to yourself. That was such a wonderful invitation to connect to self is Mark. Come home to yourself and I still remember that to this day.
Corrie [8:51] Yes, I do you know we often resist coming home to ourselves, because we judge ourselves so badly. Now, a few years ago, I would have really given myself a hard time over this – these two women. I don’t I just say, well thank you, I needed that lesson.
Corrie [9:13] I think that’s what it is, if you’re at home with yourself, you don’t have to be other than you are, at any one moment.
Mark [9:23] When you come home to yourself, and you’re connected to yourself. Do you experience a deeper connection to God or to a realm of spirit essence something deeper than you?
Connecting to God out there & the same God within Me
Corrie [9:44] Yes. I’m just trying to think of how I answer that. It’s like God, we sort of content to put God out there, but God is within me, God is within you. It’s like, being in touch with a deeper mystery of who you are. I remember for years ago, I was sitting in my morning meditation. What came to me was, what if – what if I was not a Missionary Sister of Service, if I was not a counselor, if I were not van den Bosch if I were not, and I kept peeling away all the things by which I identify myself until there’s nothing left.
Being totally accepted, loved and at home there
Corrie [10:46] That was an extraordinary experience because that place where there was nothing left, was a profound of presence, of mystery, of being embedded in something vastly more than the “I” – that I think I am. Being totally accepted, loved, and at home there.
Corrie [11:16] For me, to come home to myself, is to touch back into that place. In fact, I think today, I probably live more out of that place, then than I ever have. Another thing that that is still very upfront for me in my consciousness is that – when I was counseling, I used to find that if I had the opportunity of working those people over a period of time, they would connect and I would connect with them. With the deepest core themselves – that no matter what their life story had been. Some of them had been pretty horrible and some of them had done pretty awful things as well.
Connection to the innocence & purity untouched
Corrie [12:05] There is an innocence, a purity, that is untouched by all that. To me, that’s God’s spark. I know many a time when I saw a person out of the door, after the session, I would just walk back upstairs and shake my head and say, Oh, God, you are just bloody marvelous. I don’t use that word lightly, I just couldn’t think of a word strong enough of the sheer wonder of the presence of the Divine, in the heart at the core of each person.
Corrie [12:56] In our Bible, in the first opening of the bible, it has this beautiful chapter of Genesis where it says, “In the beginning, the world was just empty, void, it was dark,” and the Spirit of God hovered over the dark, over the deep and said, ‘let there be light.’
Connection of God is everywhere & everything
Corrie [13:23] Let there be light and in a sense that light – is in you, it’s in me, it’s in that pot plant. It’s in everything, right?
Corrie [13:41] If only we have eyes to see it. It only we open our hearts, to connect with it. I know for a lot of people, religion is old hat. Well, I suspect if they really knew what it was about, they would be as excited as I am.
Mark [14:03] That’s something that all spiritual teachings doesn’t matter, which religion. All spiritual teachings come back to the heart, every single one. I’m wondering now, in the present day, whether a lot of young people, instead of calling it religion, they’re just calling it spirit, the cliche that we’re spiritual beings having a human experience.
We are Gods having a human experience
Corrie [14:37] Sometimes I think I am God having the experience of what it is to be Corrie and you are Mark, you are God having the experience of being Mark.
Corrie [14:50] In a sense, I think that is not just a fanciful thing, it’s the Absolute Truth because where did they come from? It there was nothing, and God created, then we came from God. We are in a sense, God’s self-expression, we get a bit lost in it. Sometimes we want to be God and organize ourselves but when we come back to the heart, we realize at the Heart we are a mystery that is vastly bigger, and more precious and more sacred than what we like to think ourselves to be.
Mark [15:29] What do you experience when you disconnect from your heart?
Corrie [15:35] Oh God.
Disconnection is me getting lost not a disconnect
Corrie [15:40] It’s not that I disconnect from my heart, it’s like I get lost. I lose connection with my centre. It’s really a distraction.
Mark [15:57] How do you notice the distraction? What informed you within your body, within your being that you are lost into that connection to your heart?
Corrie [16:11] I don’t think it happens very often these days. I think – try to think back. Usually, when I’m anxious about something, that’s the first indication. Or when I get myself, ‘oh there’s 1000 things I want to do and I’ve only got an hour,’ you know, when I put the pressure on myself.
Corrie [16:34] I think well, is the sun’s still gotta rise in the morning if I don’t get all this done. It does, it’s like we can so easily think, presume we don’t even consciously think it – that the world depends on whether we achieve or whether we don’t achieve.
Connecting to whether we love or don’t love
Corrie [16:55] In fact, it doesn’t. The world depends on whether we love, or don’t love.
Corrie [17:04] If we don’t love, we just contribute to the destructiveness – whether it’s the destructiveness of the Earth or the destructiveness that we visit on each other.
Mark [17:14] Are people needing to re-connect or connect to the love within their own hearts a lot more, for us to keep evolving as a species?
Love in our Hearts
Corrie [17:34] The love in your heart, the love in my heart, is ultimately God’s loving you, in you, and loving me through you. It is in the reverse, they can only love in the measure that we are loved, ever infinitely loved. Just that a lot of people have not realised it.
Mark [18:05] That infinite love that, I guess, is the ‘All That Is’ whatever that means. That’s the infinite love. It could be God’s love. It could be universal love, whatever, it doesn’t matter what language or labels people put to. It’s the experience, the depth of the experience in that space. That divine love is very powerful.
Corrie [18:33] It comes through the experience of human love that wakes it up. I just read something lovely the other day. A woman was sharing. She was at a weekend retreat with a spiritual teacher. She had at home, she had a toddler and she had a baby that she was still breastfeeding. So she was expressing love to send home for the baby. This person spoke so beautifully about it. They had time for meditation. She loved it. Eventually, she got quite agitated. She says, but she interrupted him one of his talks, she says, but you know, it’s great to sit here and meditate but when I’m home, how do I find the time when I’ve got a toddler and I’ve got a baby and, and she says, I get up early in the morning, thinking I’ll have a little bit of time to meditate. She says I’m hardly sitting down with a patter down comes the kids or the toddler.
Love is in our very being ~ as a Mother or Father
Corrie [19:40] This and this man, he said to her, God says to you, I love you so much, I just can’t wait, so I wake up this little body. He comes running out to you, I want to feel your cuddle. Right. It’s like when she cuddles this little one, it’s like she’s cuddling God.
Corrie [20:09] I think that spiritual teacher was onto something profound. We think our kids distract us from God. No, they don’t. They are the means and not just our kids, whether it’s our partner in life, whether it’s the people we work with, whether it’s the people we surf or whatever. Whether it’s the earth itself, it’s like, one day when I still had the counselling practice. It was probably in the middle of the training, and I was driving from where I lived in Bundoora to Vermont. I’m on the corner of the Mountain highway and Bundoora Road. I had to turn right, waiting for the lights to change. There’s a car in front of me and his blinkers were blinking, indicating he was going left.
My subtle God Messages
Corrie [21:02] Just for a moment, God winked at me in that blinker, right. Now you might say Corrie’s got a great imagination and I probably have got a reasonable imagination. It was more to it-it was a moment of consciousness. That God was recognizing me, aware of me sitting there waiting for the lights to change. This blinking light of the indicator going left, going right? Was like a wink from God. So yes, it can happen so simply, if we’re awake to notice, noticed the little signs.
Mark [21:41] With the inner journey work. How do you believe inner work has opened you up more to experience the depth of God’s love?
Corrie [21:57] There is inner work that is consciously designed to do that. There is also inner work that doesn’t actually have quite the same name. When I was in my mid-teens, I went through a crisis of faith.
Corrie [22:21] I was at a mass, a Catholic mass. It was at home, which was not very often. In those days, the mass was in Latin. So the priest is prattling away in Latin, making his little gestures and doing this.
Experience of my spirituality crisis
Corrie [22:41] From nowhere in my mind came witchcraft. This is all witchcraft. Wow, with that, my whole spiritual world shattered. It was like a bomb dropped on it. I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t know what to do.
Corrie [22:58] It sent me into a real spiritual crisis. It was like everything lost meaning. If what I had learned from a child, that what they celebrated in the Eucharist is not true and God wasn’t true. If God didn’t exist, then what is there in life? I remember at the time when I was still small, I remember it. I used to pray to God that God existed because if he didn’t, what was left of it.
My God faith came Back to me
Corrie [23:31] Very gradually, almost like the gradual lighting of dawn, the sense of faith, and God came back to me. Might have taken a year or two I don’t know how long. It seemed like interminable at the time, but then I was in so much agony over it. It might have only been a few weeks, I don’t know, I think it was longer. When that sense of God came back, I think that’s when our first fell in love with God.
Corrie [24:03]Before then I thought, I love God and I know God loved me.
My Search for God ~ was my search for life
Corrie [24:07] It was what I had, like the clothes you wear. From culturally and their family, and so on. Whereas, when this sense of God came back, it was immediate, it was personal. It’s like it grabbed hold of all of me, in all the cells of my body and whatever. I think, from then on, I started on this big search for God. Which really is a search for life, to search for connection. You know, I was a migrant child, my English wasn’t bright, I didn’t quite feel I belonged because I was culturally quite. Over the years, so as you know, I joined the Missionary Sisters of Service which I think has been the best thing I could ever be called to do because there was the whole spiritual nourishment.
Mark [25:11] Did you make that decision after – when you lost, where you thought you lost God, but when you found God again. Did you make the decision then, at that age to commit to the Missionary Sisters of Service?
My calling to be a Sister was from Childhood – I knew my connection
Corrie [25:26] I knew there that was a call. Already as a little tot, when I started school in Holland. We were at a Catholic school and the nuns. I just really feel for the nuns. I came home and I said, when I grow up, I’m going to be a sister. I had a few other ideas between then and when I actually. When I came back to this sense of – this personal sense of God, it was like there was only one response. That was to be totally, totally there and that’s how I came to be. I felt that call. Even though I loved children, and I really wanted a family of own. I just couldn’t get any peace, until I said, yes to this deeper call.
The knowing ~ I call it a Yes, deep within me
Mark [26:23] Was that a knowing?
Corrie [26:26] Is a knowing – it’s, I call it a Yes, I found a deep within me and that yes. I often ponder that even now. It’s like everything me might protest, but some deep level, if what I’m wanting is not true to what I’m called to be in this relationship with God and with the universe, then I will not have peace, because of this Yes. Which, I think is God’s Yes, me always wins.
Mark [27:06] How strong was that connection?
The connection God is ‘Who I am’
Corrie [27:09] It’s who I am. It is so strong that I can be me and shut that off.
Corrie [21:19] Of course, as a Missionary Sister of Service in our years of formation, I learned how to meditate. We were nurtured with good reading and study. I think that’s really important to continually nurture, not only with meditation but to read the kind of things that nurtures your appreciation of what it all means. So, choose ‘well what you read and read well what you choose.’ Choose only the sort of reading that’s really great and nurture that.
Mark [27:54] Does that help you in your connections?
Corrie [27:58] It does and at this stage in my life, I find that I read authors and I think yeah, that’s right. I know that but I haven’t heard anyone say it quite like that before.
Corrie [28:13] So life itself lived at a deeper level, awakens insights and wisdom that you find – yeah, I’m not the only one that that knows that.
Connection to Powerful Flow State
Mark [28:15] It’s a pretty powerful flow state, isn’t it that space when you just everything just seems to just flow. There is an easiness about it, that peacefulness, a gentle and just flows?
Corrie [28:49] See God is a flow.
Corrie [28:52] It’s really interesting that over the last 20 or 30 years, there were some profound books come out on God as the Trinity. Now that is, in some ways, a specifically Christian way of understanding God. What people are saying is, that we tend to think of God as an entity somewhere but in fact, when you reflect on God as Trinity – God is a relationship.
Corrie [29:28] God is love and love only exists in relationships. So there’s the relationship within God and then that relationship that within God, with which God wanted to reach out beyond. So God shares that relationship, and therefore creates a universe.
Mark [29:48] When I’m in nature, I feel the love of nature and vice versa. It’s a powerful connection. It’s beyond the sort of the cognitive mind stuff. There is that – just that harmony, that love just being in nature, just being in the bush, it’s just being one with it.
Connection to God’s healing through Nature
Corrie [30:13] God. Nature is a great healer and I think God’s power of healing comes to us through nature. Now, whether it’s in the bush, whether it’s on the ocean, whether it’s in your garden, whether it’s walking down the street and just noticing the autumn leaves or the new buds, are listening to the birds.
Corrie [30:40] If you just let yourself be in that moment to take in what’s around you. There’s something that brings you home to yourself.
Mark [30:51] Do you then become part of that? Listening to the birds?
Corrie [30:55] We are part of it.
Mark [30:58] We are part of it. Corrie in each episode, I’ve been asking the guest, what advice would you have for the younger people that are following in your footsteps? What advice would you give them?
Advice for the young people following behind you
Corrie [31:17] Give each moment, with love. Love for yourself, love for whoever is around you. Don’t ever hold anything against anyone, because if you do, you’re actually holding it against yourself and you’ll be miserable.
Corrie [31:37] Meet people with love, learn to have compassion, learn to forgive and you’ll be a happy person. Doesn’t mean you won’t suffer pain, that’s part of life.
Corrie [31:51] You can grow and you find that you love never runs out. It grows with the more you share it.
My Heartfelt Appreciation and Gratitude to you Corrie
Mark [32:00] Thank you for the opportunity to have that growth. It was stood by me for many, many years and it’s a deep honour and privilege and I feel the emotions coming. To thank you, for paving the way to have that gift of love to self, others and ‘All That Is’ and I feel really blessed.
Corrie [32:28] Just remember Mark, I learned and grew through you too and all these others who have to. It happens together.
Mark [32:38] That’s the beautiful thing about the Heart of Connection, it does happen all together. Thank you very much.
Corrie [32:44] Even a discussion like this there is joy in it.
Mark [32:50] Thank you for the bottom of my heart.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai