New Old Wisdom

As I read Jamie Sams’ The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers, I feel a reverence for the journey I’m on.

It’s deeply validating to see things I have felt from the beginning, echoed in these pages. The reverence for the interconnections of all nature, and the life energy in all things is there. The pull for times of solitude and introspection are there. The understanding of our world built around trying to do everything through warrior’s ways, and the imbalance this creates. I believe you don’t even need me to explain that…just feel it.

I understand the ways I was fooled in subtle ways very young by tv and other stories later in my formal education, even ones sympathetic to Native Americans, to think that their ways were niaive and ignorant. Those stories leave out the context; illustrating only glorified colonial points of view.

No words describe what this feels like to read, but I will try.

It’s like remembering. Like finding home. Not in a giddy, shocking transformative way. In a warm, soft flesh and hard,white bones and red blood way. In a factual, ground underfoot, and sky overhead way. It just is. Not through some nondual teacher, or healing technique, or witnessing practice. Direct connection that just is. Me and the Mystery.

I understand why warrior ways of spiritual seeking have not produced the results I thought, that we’ve all thought and been taught to believe. I understand the deep residue of this belief system that made only those ways acceptable, and made me reject womanhood and those energies. I see where it makes others reject it, as well. I understand what cultural appropriation is, and is not. I understand how badly and deeply the world needs the divine feminine to rise up and balance it’s oppposite. I understand now how this whole deal is not about women overcoming their femininity to become more like warriors, or using warrior ways to break down those barriers.

It’s about seeing and respecting the unique living spirit in all things, respecting the great mystery, and giving space and asking permission; treading with lightness and respect wherever we go.

It’s about belonging to a planetary family, and the deep awareness of it, that makes for never feeling alone again, not matter what loss occurs.

I’m so glad I didn’t, never could, stay in anyone else’s version of this. I could have, and often wished to have it settled, but others’ versions were never quite right, and I could not rush myself toward what I did not know or couldn’t know yet.

What a happy surprise to read the traditional belief that full womanhood isn’t reached until afe 52. Makes me smile.

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Welcoming a New Day, New Year, New Perspective

I’m looking out at the back yard. The fox was here this morning, looking as though he’d spent the night. Five deer. Squirrels running around. 23 degrees. Birds combing the frozen mud. Winter has arrived, just in time for the new year. It feels different than I thought it would. I have plans for change, but they are different than years past. Makes me think of past eloquent posts defending the resistance to things resembling resolutions. Hmph.

The past month has been turbulent; I struggled to register all of the change and I haven’t wanted to move toward this new year yet. Somehow, I got through it, and though it’s felt hard, I somehow feel like I stayed with and moved through most of it, instead of bypassing it all. To be sure, there were some moments of bypass :). No perfection, but maybe good enough, it seems.

I’ve not sorted the past year, organized for the next, nor do I feel ready. I couldn’t, so I had to just take it day by day. It feels more real, now, somehow – having moved through to the other side with not even a huge amount of grace or purpose.

I feel a bit of relief from the perfectionism, as I notice I’ve still exercised on many of the days I’ve been off these last two weeks, and there was plenty of salad and real blocks of conscious eating mixed in with the emotional eating and days of nibbling sweets in response to all the holidays can evoke – anxiety, loneliness, sadness, depression, longing, and the highs and lows, family patterns. The change is all gradual, punctuated with ups and downs, but surprisingly ending with a net gain. I didn’t get lost. It didn’t have to all go to hell, even though it felt like hell a lot of the time.

No, not that sexy at all. But it’s very real and slow and solid gain. Undeniable differences from before.

I’m riding the energy of this recent new moon that is geared toward structure, boundaries, and planning that supports more ease in life. I ordinarily would buck anything resembling structure, but something must be shifting for me, as I can feel the faint pull of curiousity toward the idea of structure and starting to come into alignment with the truth, with the earth, with “what is” minus much of the usual resistance and disgust.

This really is how it is, I’m discovering. Real change shows up like this, as if something is happening organically, almost magically. But it isn’t magic. It’s just different than the ways many of us are conditioned, deeply socialized, to experience it (and I’m coming to understand more fully this enculturation as western, and white, as well). By and large we just accept that if someone is not doing something, it’s because they don’t want to, or they don’t want it badly enough. They must be lazy, have no work ethic, or are a moral failure in some way. Weak character, or some such.

We tend to treat change as something entirely up to us. We don’t much cotton to the idea that we aren’t in control of it all. And we certainly can’t tolerate watching someone else be in that state, either. Those good ole mirror neurons will instantly notify us of how it feels to be there, so we get rid of it.

Literally.

We tell people to quit their whining if they’re not going to do something about it, and we tell them the same thing even if there’s nothing they can do about it. If they don’t stop, we’ll be mean to them or stop being in the same space with them. We are attracted to big changes that send a clear signal of progress, even though we can’t actually tolerate big changes like this, so we “relapse”. Our homeostatic body wisdom (read: autonomic nervous system) that keeps our systems and identities stable don’t really dig big changes.

And still we lust after, pant over, lunge toward, big changes.

My experience tells me that when change is fleeting or elusive even though we crave it, wish for it, dream of it, something is probably in the way. It may not be something we have conscious control over, and it could be we’re not even ready to be conscious of it.

What does”ready” look like? Well, having access to help and being able to ask for and accept help if we need it are a big part of it. This is something I’m learning to unlearn: the deeply rooted notion that

Everything is really hard and painful, and I have to do it all by myself

It’s taken years and persistence and a sincere desire to find truth, and many dollars and hours of support to work on shifting my nervous system, to free it from the blocks. I have heard of very few instances of quick shifts that last. Even plant medicines and the most significant spiritual shifts still require support post journey to integrate and stabilize the realizations.

Increasing nervous system capacity can also help make bigger and bigger changes more tolerable, but this is still felt as a disruption. If we can build to a place where change does not automatically equal danger for the nervous system, that really helps. Not judging ourselves for that automatic fear or anxiety response, and being able to stay present and observe it, are also really helpful.

We often know full well we need structures, habits, and supports (and help!), that bridge us to change, but can’t quite manage it. Here again is the detestable gradual approach. It is incredibly powerful, and incredibly unsexy. I think I’m starting to get the hang of this idea. At least, I hope I am. James Clear (from Columbus, Ohio!) writes a lot about this in his book Atomic Habits. I’d like to read it again to see how it seems to me now. I read it right when it came out, recommended it to others, thought it made a brilliant case, and put virtually none of it into practice. Readiness is all (but does not equal comfortable, mind).

We had a conversation in Meditation class this evening about the role of structure in bridging us to a future desired state or self. I used to detest even the word boundaries and any structure suggested or imposed. I now know how structure for me became confounded with rigidity, abuse of power, manipulation and control, and now I can see how it ultimately was connected to danger. People suggesting boundaries, or a lack of them, felt dangerous. I didn’t sense it that way. I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready to feel that fear, humiliation, anger, shame or anything else related to past violations of my boundaries.

Now, a testament to my healing,and a result to some degree of the structure of regular work supported by another human (I couldn’t heal relational trauma without a relationship, damm it!), driven partly by a desire to be less miserable, is this new orientation to structure, emerging as if by magic. For the first time, I notice genuine curiousity about structure, boundaries, and systems as a conscious path to change at a speed that my nervous system can tolerate. I thought my aversion was a stable part of my identity, but to my great surprise, I am starting to have the ability to sense structure as containment, support, continuity, glue; a necessary and helpful bridge to somewhere I want to go. A source of stability, security, safety. The foundation to support expansion, energy, change, and even some chaos, uncertainty and fear if needed. I can see now how I had to have help from outside as my structure at first, while I patiently, and not so patiently, built the internal structure needed to realize this shift.

I am conscious that I always start writing these posts to share something that feels meaningful, as pieces of the puzzle land and start to form a clearer picture, and then as I reach the end, I sense they sound like advertisements for something. That wasn’t the plan.

So be it. Enjoy the ride, if you can. If you can’t, know there’s help out there.

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Gifts in Disguise

I made the mistake of looking at my email last night, when Sunday is already quite a pressured experience anyway, preparing for the week. Glancing through, I found that I’d been fired by a client.

The pain of it inhabited the space before I went to bed, as well as my dreams and in between as I lie awake. The pain being multifold, inflicted partly by my internal critic quickly identifying my errors with this client, partly worry about harm I might have caused, and partly due to my own personal traumatic material.

My more recent work has enabled me to turn toward grief and difficult feelings. The resulting introspection and discovery leads me to wanting to share here.

The essential “error” was too many misattunements in too short a period of time. My dear colleague Twig Wheeler talks of this in relation to SE, saying that as a practitioner, you get 2, possibly 3 strikes, and then you’re outta there.

I can see how due to some stress in my personal life, I had instances of being less than perfectly attuned. As I replay things, I can identify moments where I might have been able to seize upon the moment and name what was happening in those moments. This may or may not have made a difference.

The thing I would have named is the pattern of conflating disagreement with threat and otherness.

This experience was necessary because I am human and need reminders. And because I am still growing and will continue to grow. And because I am human. Because I do the same thing, we ALL do the same thing that this person was doing. I needed to see my own pull to identify fault or cause and otherize my client in response to being otherized.

As I allow my grief, it is impossible to not be aware of the ways in which I have “othered”, continue to “other”, on a daily basis. I am usually aware of it, and interested in and capable of inquiry about it. In this way, there’s possiblity, room for change and expansion of my perspective. I’m also acutely aware of my own trauma patterns that have made me, and still drive me, from time to time, to move away from another person because their disagreement feels threatening to me.

This is a cause for further grieving, because I can see this everywhere, in a new way, due to the gift from my client. I wish there had been an opportunity to have a conversation, to repair, but alas, I don’t get to choose, nor to know whether it would have made a difference, or whether the best thing for both of us has already occurred in this case. I grieve not getting the chance for a closing (a hazard of this job no one ever talks about in the training period).

I’m sharing so you can think about the distortions we are seeing in society at large, where we have a really low tolerance for discomfort, which makes it even harder to examine the othering that happens as a result of being driven by our trauma states and baser drives for safety and tribalism. It feels incredibly sad and isolating. I see it in my family, and the families of others, at the grocery store, on the road, on the bike path.

We all have the right to distance ourselves from whatever feels threatening to us. If our insides are creating the thing that feels threatening, rather than the outside (I am not talking about -isms and true environmental threats), then we may be continually actually be trying to move away from ourselves. The more we try to move away from ourselves, the more conflicted we become. I think you can see the dilemma.

I do the work I do, no matter how painful it may be at times, as an expression of trying to take responsibility for my othering, and help others be able to do the same.

I want to express my deep gratitude to all of you for your assistance in my becoming more and more awake, adult, and compassionate in this life I’m gifted with.

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Back to basics

I’ve been away. I’m sorry it’s been so long. I’ve been thinking about you, though, be assured.

This will be short. Perfection abandoned in favor of breaking new ground to feel the initiation of something a long time coming. Hope you can forgive it.

A lot has transpired. A new home, a compromise, a bit more quiet, a bit more dirt to steward, a boatload of trauma work. A mountain of labor ahead. Learning about grief and aging. Continuing to discover the vastness and depth of the conditioning I’ve experienced, and that most of us have been subject to. Wondering if there’s any real such thing as hope, and doubting its usefulness more and more.

I’ve been reluctant to say many of the things I’ve been thinking, and starting to realize thanks to others out there with the courage to speak plainly (thank you, Stephen), that you probably aren’t served by my keeping quiet.

I’ve thought, and said in safe places, the thing that I’ve finally heard someone (Stephen Jenkinson) say publicly, that we’ve missed a huge opportunity for stopping, in the form of the pandemic. The hoot and holler for things to get back to normal, a normal that we all know cannot be sustained, has filled the opening we might have used to make meaningful change.

I’m working on the daunting task of permaculture design, and dedicating time and energy to being closer to the earth, closer to food production and preservation, to watershed management, and all that it entails, not least of which is the disinterest of others.

I credit the ongoing work on my own trauma patterns with making it feel safer to share, to speak plainly, to risk pissing some of you off, confusing others, or sounding like a downer. I credit my work with making it more and more possible to inhabit the space of living in gratitude, while hope for the future of the planet withers.

I promise to use care as I share from a place of great love.

Just wanting you to know I’m still on this train with you, and will be writing more regularly. Because I must.

Looking forward to next time.

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The Lightness of Grace

Thinking today about what more I can do to to be a redemptive force in the world, and reduce my ecological impact, it occurred to me that while I can and could do many more things, the balance sheet at the end of the day is still tilted in my favor. All I can really do is accept the fact that I live in a constant state of grace.

The gift of life, of friends, family, nature, music; the magic of discovery and learning; of every single thing that I get to have, do, or experience; can never be repaid. From the miracle of the light I turn on, or the unbelievably fine thread that makes my clothes, to the many elements that come together to make my car run and food show up on a grocery store shelf, I cannot really balance the scales in concrete terms. No matter how organic, or plastic-free, or socially justly I try to live, I can never balance the scales. I cannot live and have no impact. This dilemma has plagued me from the beginning of memory.

That leaves only this: I am the constant recipient of gifts that I can never repay. Knowing this, I can live as lightly as possible, strive to discover how little I really do need, and learn how to receive graciously. I realize that my previous perspective – trying to balance the scales and have zero impact – is a perspective conditioned by trauma and enculturation of toxic individualism.

I’ve noticed the difficulty that I and others seem to have in receiving without guilt, fear or anxiety, perceiving it as a vulnerability. I wonder about giving up that position as flawed and hopeless, and starting to receive with joy? What if we all held the awareness of the imbalance, our impact on the earth and others as a fact of life, as a truth of being, as a precious gift that can never be repaid, that it is our birthright to be the recipients of those gifts. This way we could proceed in our ongoing inquiry and efforts to live lightly from a place of joy and gratitude, rather than from fear and despair. Just a thought.

What a surprising place to find such an neverending source of lightness of being!

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I’m Here

My first post since the extraordinary time that is Covid first hit awareness here for most of us.

I am still not ready to write, but I also feel the need to begin, so hopefully I can continue writing beyond today.

I sit outside, welcoming the burning of the sun at it’s early fall angle, feeling I could sit here for years, welcoming the elements to batter me, without moving a muscle. I keep returning to the the vague knowing, the vague awareness, years ago, that this part, my heart, might feel this way if or when it finally opened. I resisted the urge to force it open, as learned there are ways to do such a thing, and I’m so glad I waited.

It’s a bit perilous, writing about what’s happening at the same time as I’m being a therapist and a support to others. And, I think it’s helpful for others, as well as my clients, to know that I am human, so they will know they also have permission to be. So they will know I am not afraid of their pain.

Soon, today, I will shift gears and start my day of Zoom meetings. I am grateful for the responsibilities which pull me out of the well of grief so that I can be with others. It’s constantly surprising me how possible this is, and how much softer and more open it’s made it possible for me to be with myself and with others.

This morning I had the luxury of time to be with grief, or whatever this mix of heaviness and intensity might be called, in a new way, for a little while. Sitting outside, staring into the yard, and making a space in my body for the wave to move through. Noticing the old familiar contractions in my head, shoulders, and torso, and allowing them to release so I could more fully feel the heaviness and sadness in my whole body. I want to know this part of myself. It’s waited a long time for my body to be able to hold it, and for me to be able to welcome it without judgement.

Two waves, three waves, four waves, then I decide to stop and eat breakfast.

More and more, I’m able to make space for it, as I shift away from fear that it will never end, or all the other things that might come as a result of feeling in a culture that cannot, will not, allow sadness. Bit by bit there’s more ease, as I release the need to explain it, rationalize it, analyze it.

I feel the anger and sadness about all the past attempts to pathologize me, judge me, diagnose me, by people who did not know they were frozen and unable to feel, unaided by the understanding of traumatic stress. I feel the regret for times I’m sure others may have felt I did the same to them.

I’ll run now, even though it feels like the heaviness of my body won’t allow it, and I’ll find, as before, that my body remembers how to run. Running as a way to care for myself, not as a way to get rid of what I feel.

I don’t know what’s ahead on this new journey of a heart broken wide open, but I can refuse to pathologize myself or go into worry that something’s “wrong” with me.

And you can, too.

Sending love for your day,

c

 

 

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Valentine’s Gratitudes

I’m tired today, but not particularly sleepy, even though I’m not sure whether I slept at all.  I really HATE not sleeping well. I know full well that potatoes (I think it’s the lectins in them) mess with me, and I heard the whisper in my brain about the sleepless night I would induce, but I succumbed for convenience last night. I’m also stressed about this presentation on the 21st, which, since I began preparing for it, has me sleeping only about every third or fourth night from exhaustion.

The journey since accepting the invitation has been a pretty interesting roller coaster. Lying in bed this morning still wired and wrestling with the anxiety in my chest while my mind concocted the most brilliant TED talks all night long, it occurred to me to put my focus lower on my body, below my diaphragm, and viola!, something felt a little better. After a bit of hanging out with my focus, and then my hand, on my belly, it then spontaneously occurred to me that I was in a nice warm house in a nice warm bed. As I started to feel the shift that was happening in my body, my mind took off noticing other things I was grateful for despite the lack of sleep and the body panic, which led to wondering about extending and intentionally engaging in the gratitude list construction this morning as a way of supporting myself to feel better, which led to me wanting to share it, and this, with you…

That I don’t have it all mastered. That I, this morning, sheepishly realized it had taken me all night, maybe even a month, to really remember, or be able to access this in the moment I really needed it. This thing that I help my clients do to embody things that feel too big to handle: make a bigger body container, grounded in resource. I just keep trying to go forward, taking the risk of being real, and holding on to the knowledge of how good, how free, how more and more real and connected I feel, as a result.

Amazingly, I’m able to tap into the feeling of support in a way I never would have before. Actually being able to access safety through connection – even just thinking about connection with my imagined audience next Friday, all the friends who will be there, and all the people and supports who are making the opportunity possible, is a whole new experience for me. It’s almost unbelievable.

And now, I want to share my gratitude list with you.

Warm layers, inside, on a crisp, cold morning

Friday!

Treating myself to a homemade cup of clean, dairy free, decaf mocha that’s usually reserved for Saturday

That we can afford the clean local beans from the Worthington Farmer’s Market for said treat

Farmer’s market friends

Great article share from farmer’s market friend last night

The beautiful Valentine’s message this morning from my Huckleberry of almost 20 years

Access to the feeling of ground

The email today from an African American male expressing interest in the CRM teacher training

Snow, and the hope of more

Bluebirds zipping around outside

Earth that is the source of groundedness and food, and its magnetism combined with light, that produces every single thing supporting all the life forms on it

Support of my Huckleberry, and many great friends and family

The terrifying experiences on this life journey that keep leading me into deeper healing, meaning, and connection

Sun, and light, and especially sunlight

Did I mention great friends

The feeling that I’m getting closer and closer to my authenticity and my ability to be grounded in it, and express from it

The big sycamore at Masefield park and all the trees at this end of the trail, especially the big, wise ones

Winter

Help and love from others as I work out what I really want to say next Friday

Opportunities and support that life/universe keep extending to me at crucial moments

The amazingness of this journey of starting to be able to feel connection more spontaneously, (or at all, really!) at deep levels of my being, and in my body

My courageous clients I learn so much from

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! I’m thinking of this as Love day, as Gratitude day, Care More day, rather than the commercialized candy, flowers and hearts day it has become.

Love to all of you, my Friends. Thanks for tuning in.

Back to work on my presentation.

–c

xo

 

 

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Birthday Reflections

It’s a pretty different day that the one last year. I feel grateful, hopeful, at ease.

I share the experience of my journey hoping that others might find something helpful for their own journeys.

I am struck by the way what I need keeps appearing to help me on to the next part of the process. The latest example is accidentally discovering Thomas Hubl after being invited by a friend to participate in a web training of his. The idea of listening to yet another spiritual teacher made me want to puke. Simultaneously, the group participation and collective trauma exploration aspects of it terrified me. Something in me continues to be able to sense when I should move toward or away, and a force other than logic drew me in.

What I’ve discovered is an adjunctive process/framework to support what I’ve already been working on. Plagued by energy management issues, I’ve found an explanation that makes sense and a way to work with it, in addition to what I’ve already been doing.

The so-called “problems” I’ve been struggling with turn out to be, surprisingly, the same work I’ve been doing all along. The simplicity of it is astounding. Feeling my feelings – all of them – helps build a stronger human container to hold the charge of life so it can move through and express.

I’ve noticed for a long time how I squander a good bit of my energy through lack of discipline in sleep routines and diet, and dumb down my energy with sugar or tv when it feels big. I’m starting to be able to stay, and let the energy fill my body, and let it enliven me and watch how it wants to move.

I get why group settings have been difficult now…more people = more energy, even harder to contain. It’s starting to be easier to talk in front of groups and stay connected to myself.

It’s been quite an amazing and unpredictable journey to find my body feeling a bit more open with each bit of work I do, and to notice the pattern that habitually braces my body against big feelings, good or bad, because of it having been too much for so long. Now I can notice and either choose to stay open and feel the flow from head to toe and back, or I can brace or resist feeling, and stay open to that feeling if that’s all I can do. Either way, it’s an amazing feeling to have experience come in and fill my body and be able to stay with the wave!

Here ‘s the thing: there’s no way my mind could have told me it would be like this. People who already have it, have no idea what it’s like to not have it. And those who don’t have it, can’t imagine it.

All I could do is keep going. No matter what, all I could do is keep being honest with myself about where I was, even when my mind was saying, what the heck is going on? What about all that enlightenment crap? Now it all makes sense. Waking up only takes you so far. Then you have to live. That’s the real work. Cleaning the gunk out of the pipes by going through it all consciously, bit by bit.

Then you start to feel the flow, the movement out, toward life. Off the cushion. Life flowing through you, wanting to express. The movement that cannot be faked or forced. Happy Birthday to me.

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Simple Gifts

Dear readers, many many changes continue to arrive for me in this transformation process. I don’t know how many times I will need to experience the expansions that follow every contracted dark period to truly trust it always goes that way, but it’s starting to seem like a pattern, for sure!

It’s been a rough transition to winter. Darkness. Heaviness. I feel it, and others are saying they feel it too. Not feeling festive. It feels like a time of intense transitions, peppered with fear, hopelessness, and sorrow about the conditions of the world. Some point to planetary events. It’s all shifting continuously, though. Things look different today than they did yesterday. I’ve started lately to question actual darkness out there in the world, and wonder whether it’s more a thing calling my attention to my own unexplored and disowned dark places.

That said, inspiration and support seem to come from the most unusual places! I thought I’d share with you some of those practices and ideas in case you might also benefit from that support.

The first is from William Samuel. I caught a reference to him on FB in some thread, and without knowing why, purchased the book The Child Within Lives. It’s a strange book, and I struggle to keep reading at times, but there have been two incredibly powerful concepts I’ve been practicing. One is recording “Glimpses”. This means journaling about beauty, insights, shifts. I write about nature sightings, like the amazing gray and crimson sky last night, or the gratitude I feel for friends or family interactions, or a new breakthrough in awareness. It seems to open a doorway for more of that to keep entering my life. Continuing the writing keeps the flow going.

The other concept is about giving. Giving in two ways: material and metaphysical. The first is simple – giving to those in material need without any expectation. I really finally got this with Samuel’s explanations of “giving to Caesar what is Caesar’s”. This opens up the flow of abundance at the material level. The other is giving or sharing insight with others. We might share or write of our insights and learnings, without trying to change or convince anyone of anything, or even assuming we know anything. This opens the flow of abundance for the spiritual or metaphysical level of being.

Opening these flows can significantly change the experience of living. It becomes possible to experience gratitude in a way that is unforced, and spontaneously, continuously arising. It may a little some time to establish the habit, and one should be aware one’s internal blocks to receiving may get in the way of moving toward such abundance. The flow seems to open up as little or as much as you do the practices.

Which brings me to the next practice gift I discovered: working to expand space and sensing of the body. There are many ways to approach this, and often people will do one of these, but not the other. Suzanne Durana-Scurlock, for example has resources that support this practice of opening and sensing the body. Any body practice can help with increasing self awareness, if curiosity about sensation and the felt experience is a part of it. Body based meditations by Reggie Ray in books and also video, are another way of building such skills. The reason for doing this is to make more space for experiences. Life wants to flow through us, unresolved feelings want to be finally felt so they can move on and out, and we need enough body container space to hold and tolerate what we experience. Allowing leads to transformation and freedom. The mind cannot conceive of how this is so, but it is what happens, nonetheless. (Sometimes we can need support to shift the patterns of constriction that block this openness. A skilled somatic practitioner can often help.)

Lastly, there is the expansion of attention to the fact of humans being not only a physical body, but also an energy body. Attending to this energy aspect of the body can be done in many ways, from Reiki, to qi qong, polarity practices, and a multitude of other practices. I’ve been trying out this Donna Eden practice.

These practices are opening up for me a different kind of connection to myself, to the season, to generosity and gratitude. It’s a wider space, a neutral orientation, an appreciation for the beauty that is all around. It comes and goes and hits me when I least expect it. To quote my favorite corny holiday movie, I’m finding it’s true that “Love actually IS, all around,” and then the real trick is just to let it in!

I want to express my deep gratitude to all those who have provided support to me last month, and ongoing. xo

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Staying in the Goo

I wrote this a week ago and couldn’t finish:

“Here it is again. Or rather, here’s another one. It’s not the same as before. It’s another place that feels stuck, that has an intensity of wanting to pop or move or unstick. It feels awful, and I can’t even figure out how to be with it. I know I might need support to shift it.

I know it’s important because I can’t seem to go into it, and I’m so exhausted from trying to manage the resistance that I can barely stand to do it anymore. There’s no technique or anything I can do and I just don’t even want to. I sense that if I could give up resistance to it, it probably would shift.

Just hearing Adya a second ago talking about devotion. Devotion to practice, to silence, to the timeless. Reminding me to come back to right now.

I’m excited because it feels like something important is about to happen again. And it’s amazingly painful because I can’t go back or forward. I think I understand why people go and do things like Ayahuasca or other mind altering journeys when they have a lot of trauma history.”

I’m still stepping forward through the discomfort, wondering what it’s all about…any of it. The heaviness of dark mornings, and colder weather coming, and the layers of body memory of it all: being so cold it hurt, morning dread of school torture, the lack of joy and meaning, and lack of safety and support for a person so young dealing with such difficulty.

I know that gratitude and connection are part of the way out, and yet sometimes it’s so hard to access them. The more contracted I feel, the more difficult it is to access those things.

Here I am sharing with you my purposeful effort to connect to those things right now.

I’m appreciating the wide space that felt opened up after having just a single cancellation today. I decided to receive it and turn away from wondering whether it was a true emergency and I was owed anything for the time.

I’m reflecting on impromptu, good conversation yesterday with a good friend, about the importance of slowing down, the possibility of relating to myself in the mornings in a different way, and the support for clarifying purpose and intention in personal and professional work.

I’m appreciating the sun, and the ability to be indoors out of the wind and chill, the hot cup of spicy ginger tea with raw honey, and knowing I have warm layers I could put on if I want to go outside for a bit.

I felt the pull to listen to some of the recordings on the Gina Sager web conference on the roots of modern dis-ease even though I had low expectations, and found a bit of clarity and inspiration, and a resource for a client, that I was not expecting to find in the day 4 interviews. I don’t know how the things I need seem to find me at just the right time. Such a delight.

The title of this post comes from the reminder about the butterfly…when it goes into the cocoon, and who knows how it knows to do that???, it doesn’t just grow wings. It becomes a liquid goo, that somehow is miraculously transformed into a butterfly.

We are so aversive of messes. They freak us out, disorient us, and we do anything we can to get rid of them. We don’t often consider them a source of transformation or truth. We don’t think of our breaking down as becoming the goo, like the caterpillar, that will transform into something else, possibly something beautiful with wings.

It’s making it a little easier for me to be in the mess, hold a curiosity about all the invitations being offered me by life right now, and notice the reflexive stress reaction to the  goo. I wonder what all of it will look like later, with my new wings.

 

 

 

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