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12 February 2016 5 Comments

What is Genuine Love?

What is Genuine Love?

“How few understand what love really is, and how it arises in the human heart. It is so frequently equated with good feelings toward others, with benevolence or nonviolence or service.  But these things in IMG_0108themselves are not love.  Love springs from awareness.  It is only inasmuch as you see someone as he or she really is here and how and not as they are in your memory or your desire or in your imagination or projection that you can truly love them, otherwise it is not the person that you love but the idea that you have formed of this person, or this person as the object of your desire not as he or she is in themselves.

“The first act of love is to see this person or this object, this reality as it truly is. And this involves the enormous discipline of dropping your desires, your prejudices, your memories, your projections, your selective way of looking . . . a discipline so great that most people would rather plunge headlong into good actions and service than submit to the burning fire of this asceticism. When you set out to serve someone whom you have not taken the trouble to see, are you meeting that person’s need or your own?” ~ Father Anthony de Mello

Contrast this understanding of genuine love with your conditioning about what it means to be loving.

What do you discover about yourself?

18 December 2015 6 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 71: Skill Set to Keep from Giving Away Your Energy

Managing Your Energy Part 71: Skill Set to Keep from Giving Away Your Energy

It is not unusual for intuitive people with big hearts to become drained in interactions, especially with people whose lack of clarity tend to call forth our intuitive skills. Here are behaviors and attitudes that help: P1080147

Monitor your level of confusion carefully. When you begin to feel confused, take a step back and take inventory. Are you confused because of your own unclarity? If so, ask yourself questions to clarify your motives and needs. If you are confused, however, because someone is being confusing, you may make an effort to sort it out—but do not make heroic and exhaustive efforts. If the person actively resists your efforts to clarify what they mean or where they are coming from, take the following steps:

Bring in compassion for yourself. Confusion is painful, and you are probably being kept at an emotional distance.
Focus on connecting to Source, to the greater spiritual whole, so you feel connected instead of painfully isolated.
Release your need to feel connected to the person. This does not mean you never connect. It means you take care of your energy first. If you try to connect, you make sure it’s not draining you.
Tell the person that the interaction seems to be a lot of work. Ask them to get clear about what they are trying to communicate or what they want and get back to you when they know. Then they can do their own work internally instead of relying on you to do their work as well as your own.
If the person continues to block your communication or makes it too much work, withdraw and try at another point in time.
Comfort your Inner Child if you feel pain that the person is not connecting with you.
Be clear about what you want from interaction. Do your needs belong in interaction, or are these needs the sort one must care for in one’s self, like the need for validation or approval?
Quit being too “nice.” If the person is obstructing communication or out of touch, ask them directly to let you know what they want. It may be necessary to give them time to come up with it. If you choose to wait, spend the time practicing a simple energy-based, body-centered meditation, such as watching your breath. This helps with patience, nourishes you, and keeps you from picking up their energy. It works much better than defense, resistance, or most attempts to shield.
Stay clear about who you are. Do not reinforce ego-based identity, just keep an eye out to see whether what the person says about you matches who you are. If you are clear, you are not defensive. Take in what they say and try it on to see if it resonates. If it doesn’t, push it back out. Let this be a relaxed and natural process, like eating and pooping.
Notice if you start to get emotionally triggered. If so, delve right into your discomfort and find its core. What is the deepest and strongest emotion at play? What are you reminded of? What are you afraid of?
Breathe into any body parts that get tight.
Remind your young parts that you have adult resources now and can take care of your needs. Determine exactly what you can do yourself that will soothe and support you. Self support includes making appointments with professionals, but you still do what you can for yourself.
Take breaks if the person becomes unreasonably demanding.
Practice the skill of detachment. Detachment is not aloofness. Do not push anything away or resist, but relax any part of yourself that gets stuck to or wrapped around it. For example, let your relationship go—while staying right where you are. Leaving is unnecessary—unless it is necessary.
Keep checking in with yourself as to whether your response of helping is coming from an ego pattern, old wound, or unconscious need. If so, stop. If helping stems from your essence or a clean desire to be of service it will not cause you problems.

Which of these skills is the most necessary in your current interactions?

At what point in your interactions do you need to employ them?

13 March 2015 0 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 38: Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts, Choice, Meaning, Spiritual Freedom

Managing Your Energy, Part 38: Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts, Choice, Meaning, Spiritual Freedom

“Brother, stand the pain.
Escape the poison of your impulses.
The sky will bow to your beauty, if you do.
Learn to light the candle. Rise with the sun.
Turn away from the cave of your sleeping.
That way a thorn expands to a rose.”
~Rumi

Some of my worst moments occur when I feel forced to squander countless hours trying, for example, to download a year of financial information that some mandatory update has eaten, and telephone “help” no longer supports the platform I just repurchased. With the thousands of people in mind who are in the same position, being treated to casual cruelty, irresponsibility, and the company’s rhetoric about their lack of support for the products they inflict on the public has reduced me to shouting. It’s the helplessness.

I know this is trivial. The triviality makes it worse. Stress from major life events at least seems meaningful. Real trauma is vitally alive. It demands transformation. In contrast, dry and useless waste of precious days is like death by a thousand paper cuts. Meaningless stress deadens us and erodes societal well being.

Inability to accept the mundane increases my pain. Aiming for self mastery or contribution offer a sense of choice about some part of the experience, adding some meaning. When I am willing and able to practice this it reduces my distress.

One of my spiritual goals is to be able to remain in my heart—or at least avoid spiking my cortisol—in frustrating, trivial circumstances. It helps me to take a strong stand for everyone who may have to deal with the same thing. I seek to enroll anyone who may be able to make a difference in the way that company does business, asking them to help reduce meaningless planetary stress by advocating positive change during meetings, and by notifying policy makers. Breath practices help me too. IMG_0028

We may be unable to control circumstances, but we can at least gain some influence over our responses to them.

When we do not participate in the ways that ARE possible, we suffer more.

Looping back into our several-post topic of spirituality and suffering:

When we feel that God will cause us suffering, I think we must ask ourselves What we take God to be. (Please substitute your own word or concept if you don’t like the G-word.)

When we experience ourselves as separate from God, we can be messed with by God. When we feel we are an integral part of God, like a cell within the whole of the body, we play our part. We are impacted by the whole but it is not doing anything TO us; we are part of it.

Someone once said to the spiritual leader, Hazrat Inayat Khan, “I don’t believe in God.”

Inayat Khan replied, “You haven’t experienced God. How can you believe in something if you have not experienced it? Wait until you have some experience and then believe.”

Inayat Khan also said that god is a vibration, and that we create that vibration. We bring it forth from within us as an ideal, and train our energy to resonate with that ideal, making it real by bringing it through us into the world.

No matter what we believe or what we call it, we can practice bringing love into the world. It’s not easy, but it is inherently worthwhile.

Working with love and forgiveness AS ENERGIES invites expanded and redemptive experience. Working through the mind is less efficient. We need to FEEL it. When we are willing to love ourselves during our moments of distress, and to forgive ourselves for our wounds, we move toward happiness that transcends circumstances and conditions.

What do YOU resist, and how does this resistance ultimately increase your distress?

Can you identify some way to create a sense of choice or freedom within your experience?

7 March 2015 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 40: Rapid Spiritual Growth and Rage

Managing Your Energy, Part 40: Rapid Spiritual Growth and Rage

“Because true belonging only happens when we present
our authentic, imperfect selves to the world,
our sense of belonging
can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
~ Brené Brown

Exposure to energies that promote rapid spiritual growth almost inevitably brings us up against the that prevent us from sustaining those energies within ourselves. When we are passionate about transformation, we view this as an opportunity to stretch ourselves with respect to these limitations. We are, however, rarely of one mind about it. When the going becomes painful, we are apt to view these challenges as an affront. Here we are, doing our best to be all that we can be, and it feels like we’re being tested or tormented, let alone receiving support.

One of my readers brought up what she aptly calls “the universal 2-by-4.” I would like to speak in part to those who have experienced sudden awakenings and transformational life experiences which they were not actively courting. My reader was brave and authentic enough to admit that she felt resentment toward God after having such extreme experiences.

I understand. In the face of this kind of experience it is easy to feel resistant to growth, fear of more pain, angry, and stuck.

About twenty years ago I went through an episode of acute spiritual agony. I was mad at God. Even if one kills one’s self, I reasoned, one could not escape suffering because it is nearly impossible to step off the Wheel of death and rebirth. I did not recall choosing to participate, maybe back at the beginning of being a distinct, individual soul, or agreeing to the intensity of the challenges. I resented that so much learning comes through distress. Why not through love?

Whatever we believe and however we couch it, intense suffering can bring up rage. On the bright side, rage can assist with transformation. It focuses a huge amount of energy. Rage itself is life-affirming. We do need to use this force toward positive ends.

While I do not hold with rigid belief, I do believe that the urge to grow is part of our nature. We experience fulfillment through growth. We experience fulfillment by cultivating our hearts, and meaning through involvement with The Greater Whole.

The more we feel separate from God, others, the Universe, etc, the more we suffer. When we feel at One with It, we feel better and are more likely to experience meaning. If we cannot feel it now, we can aim to remain open.

IMG_1785Life is what it is and does what it does. We want to think it could be “fair.” We attempt to apply logic, to hold life to human standards of what should and should not happen. These standards were usually taught to us as children. Sometimes we regress when we cannot understand Life with our minds.

Apparently The One Being That embraces Everything does not maintain our biases against suffering and death. Much that we can experience directly, through our hearts, cannot be rationalized or explained. This includes the paradox of Divine Compassion.

Life is a big fat mystery. It full of paradox and both-ands. It does not and will not conform to our expectations. When we resist, we hurt more. I can understand resenting that.

The more I do practices that increase my ability to remain in my heart the more I experience myself as participating instead of feeling done-to.

How do YOU feel about using difficult circumstances to grow?

What brings you a sense of having a choice?

To progress in our Inner Work, we need to be willing to observe
our resistance to reality, our attachment to our self-image,
and our fear. (Understanding the Enneagram)

27 February 2015 0 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 39: Personal Context on Suffering & Spiritual Growth, Part 2

Managing Your Energy, Part 39: Personal Context on Suffering & Spiritual Growth, Part 2

This narrative follows and completes my story about grappling with the enigma of suffering:

Working in tandem with and being close friends with a powerful a clairvoyant, clairaudient healer I learned a great deal about energy. Unfortunately, when I began to confront him about various breaches of ethics, he did not address them and we parted ways. We had come to count on one another’s assistance in clearing our energy if we became too compromised to scan ourselves. Doing advanced energy healing without this safety net made me hypersensitive to energy.

Through Qi Gong, I was learning how to protect myself from energy that did not belong with me. At the same time, I was becoming even more sensitive, outstripping my ability to keep myself safe. Fortunately, ongoing work with several advanced healers and the accumulated results of my Inner Work were reaching critical mass. I learned how to cultivate positive energies to assist me both in staying clear and in clearing myself if I became compromised. Now I was able to strengthen my energy fields, effectively ground myself, and manage external energies. I quit having creepy energy experiences.IMG_1771

Before I began this blog, I wrote what would have been a long book. I intended to reach out to people who felt isolated owing to unusual energy experiences. I wrote autobiographically, to model the skills and attitudes I was developing in order to stay balanced and clear while encountering all manner of bizarre and unnerving energy phenomena.

I imagined people passing my book along to friends who had become isolated or felt crazy dealing with paranormal phenomena without support. After all my work I realized that publishing it might make me the go-to person not only for intuitives, but for those who were mentally unstable or ill. It is not my life work to serve in that particular front-line trench.

At this point I pursued and later co-taught some Gurdjieff-based spiritual work. It was very practical, emphasizing Inner Work rather than God. It felt good to engage in transformative work without worrying about belief. I withdrew when one of the main proponents of that work, a powerful narcissist, began to mess with my energy. He had asked me to co-author a book and I had declined.

Several years ago I was drawn to meet a spiritual teacher I had seen briefly when I was twenty. To my shock, I realized quickly and unequivocally that he was my Teacher. I had long before given up even the remotest desire for a spiritual Teacher. The several teachers I initially worked with were like stepping stones, without a deep inner link, full conviction, or any sense of permanence. My Teacher was not looking for students. I had to assert myself in a spiritually classic manner to forge a real connection. (How I managed that is a different story.)

Now I am extremely fortunate to have an absolutely genuine, astonishingly congruent Teacher. Treating each person as unique, he suggests specific spiritual practices to address distress and imbalance that stand in the way of experiencing spiritual Unity.

I used to fear that God or life would torment me in this way or that to make me grow. At first I formulated and reformulated several questions to my Teacher, seeking answers to make sense of suffering. His responses were the only things he has ever said that to me that didn’t quite strike home. They never in the slightest rubbed me the wrong way—which is a minor miracle. Neither did they satisfy.

Since then my experience has changed. It’s as if I absorbed the question into my growth, and don’t find myself circling in that particular eddy. Understanding encompasses more than the mind. Some questions are uprooted only through direct experience. My questions about suffering were formulated from a perspective that has begun to dissolve. It is not that I don’t have moments of fear, distress or overwhelm with the intensity of life. But such moments have less purchase on me. They have begun to dissolve into the Whole as I experience greater unity with Life.

Who do you know who accepts life as it is—including the trauma and atrocities—yet is able to remain genuinely positive?

What do YOU do to cultivate positive energy?

20 February 2015 10 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 38: Personal Context on Suffering & Spiritual Growth

Managing Your Energy, Part 38: Personal Context on Suffering & Spiritual Growth

When it comes to learning to manage energy, let alone coming to grips with suffering, there isn’t a quick fix. I find myself drawn to share some personal background before proceeding with other commentary. This will take two posts:

In my twenties and for eleven years, I was intensively involved with a different branch of the mystical school with which I am now linked. A leader’s serious abuse of power caused me to leave that school. Oddly, an independent teacher from a path I had never heard of sent a student to find me. This was before internet and occurred totally through Guidance. This teacher did fairly extreme (and fascinating) work with me for about seven months. When our stint came to completion, I became involved with a different spiritual group for seven years.

That group does a powerful fire ritual during which participants throw something they want to renounce into the fire. They caution that this act can put in motion difficult processes necessary to bringing about renunciation. Determined to learn through joy rather than suffering, I threw “learning through suffering” into that fire. Whether or not I was fully in belief, I thought I’d give it a sincere try. My next seven years were even more difficult than the previous. I asked experienced members of the group how to come to grips with suffering. Few engaged my questions. No one shared anything useful, just platitudes or party lines.

During a spiritual camp I had an episode of agony, through which I encountered rage with God. I have heard it said, and agree, that engaging with God in rage maintains a relationship and is cathartic—which creates more possibility than does withdrawing. I did not find it loving to set up Creation so we learn through suffering. I wanted OUT. For those difficult hours I felt acutely that even suicide was futile because one would simply find oneself back on the Wheel of Life, probably in less salutary conditions. I let these feelings arise but did not dwell on them later.

For three years I led a committed small group. We met in secret to evade attendance by superficial persons who permeated the local chapter of the larger group. A significant trauma dismantled this group.

During this period I became involved with a man who began to use spiritual rhetoric in an attempt to force me to caretake him. When the title of a book called, “God Talk and Domination” jumped out at me in a book store, what he was doing suddenly became clear. I practically developed an allergy to spiritual talk.

At this point I was feeling rather defensive toward God. I avoided spiritual groups for more than a decade. I had withdrawn from P1070852belief. Sometimes I felt that I had lost faith, and yet I could sense it hiding, way down deep and private. This faith was not “IN anything.” It stands like a spinning top that rights itself if pushed over. Paradoxically, this faith—for lack of a better word—was completely hidden beneath a wry unwillingness to fake anything or take anything ‘on faith.’ I came to sense that real faith could not be shattered (it was like water), or lost (it was part of me), or influenced by conditions and circumstances (it did not stand upon them). This was not faith that something or someone would somehow save me, but a kind of internal compass that drew me in a wholesome direction.

I became flexible enough to support people in their spiritual processes, no matter what belief systems they engaged.

When I carefully took stock, I realized that in dismissing belief systems and spiritual practices because I did not fully buy in to groups’ dynamics, politics and rhetoric, I had a deficit of positive energy. Without intentionally bringing in positive energy, I was being exposed to the “stuff” body therapy clients were releasing. These energies were creating unpleasant experiences—whether or not I “believed in” them.

“The distress I am feeling is the engine that drives me forward.” RR

Have you ever been angry with God, or do you reject whatever “God” might be because the enigma of suffering is confounding?

What does “faith” mean to you? Can you locate faith as a resonance or vibration instead of a concept or belief?

13 February 2015 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 37: Types of Distress & Spiritual Distress

Managing Your Energy, Part 37: Types of Distress & Spiritual Distress

It is challenging to approach the topic of feeling that God or the Universe is causing us suffering. I don’t want to be glib about this, or to dodge it because it is so difficult to write about without rhetoric, platitudes, or too much to believe. I find myself with a number of different things to say about this topic, in different contexts. I truly hope you find my reflections useful.

Much of the suffering we go through through is due to attachment, reactivity, old wounds, rigid biases about what “should be,” and so forth. It is useful to differentiate between:

  • Distress that has been there all along, now surfacing into awareness (an opportunity for greater personal freedom)
  • Distress sourced to mistaken opinions and beliefs about live (an opportunity for positive disillusionment)
  • Distress that might be referred to as karmic, related to unavoidable life events (long term lessons that require integration over years)
  • Reactivity and resistance because we don’t like the way things are (calls for developing greater acceptance of Life)
  • Pain caused by lower-self resistance to the higher-self bringing in more light/awareness (ugh. Good luck, fellow Travelers! We’re in an unprecedented planetary growth spurt and the going is intense!)

The latter can be viewed as suffering that is brought about by spiritual pursuit. It hurts, yet at least when we incur suffering in pursuit of something of real value, it has inherent meaning.IMG_1791

This type of distress, when it is real, is an indication of achievement. We have managed to make a significant enough change in our energies that it is invoking internal resistance. It IS possible to regress in our trajectory of growth. An established habit of intentionally selecting the Highest Possible Option in the moment serves well during this kind of juncture, as does access to genuine Guidance.

If we are not on board with the changes we are going through, and experience no sense of choice, our distress is exacerbated.

We may also suffer when we are calling out for help and do not receive it. Sometimes we need to formulate ourselves through grappling with a particular challenge over time, alone. This is especially painful when we do not understand the purpose and direction of our growth, and feel we have not chosen this course.

It is possible to have chosen a course unwittingly. When we pray for greater understanding and compassion, for example, we may have experiences by which we learn them. How else are we to fully comprehend if not through direct experience?

When we are suffering, it is easy to feel uncomfortable or even annoyed by people who lack sufficient understanding to be in rapport with us. Trying to manage relating to people who don’t ‘get it’ when we hurt is emotionally frustrating. We may protect ourselves from disappointment, frustration, or shame by withdrawing from superficial or hyper-positive people, by whom we may be judged. It’s okay to crawl under a rock for repairs.

When I share positive experiences, values, directions to focus on, and highly positive experiences, I feel concerned about inadvertently pushing buttons for those of you who are in pain. (I’m trying to get over that.) Being positive can be scary because it can alienate people for various reasons. Those of you who know me know that I am all about wholeness. I have limited patience for people who adopt an external attitude that appears positive without doing their Inner Work—particularly if they regurgitate memorized platitudes when I am in distress.

The most positive and integrated people I know can and do stand fully in rapport with those who have been shattered by atrocities. They do not act “nice,” sugar-coat anything, or withdraw from distress, their own, or that of others.

Do you differentiate between different types of distress?

If so, how does that serve you?

8 November 2014 0 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 27: Clearing Up Confusion About Grounding, Part 4: Safety Issues & Overuse of Mind

Managing Your Energy, Part 27: Clearing Up Confusion About Grounding, Part 4: Safety Issues & Overuse of Mind

Our energy systems (fields, chakras, meridians) reflect personal issues. Imbalances reveal our issues to those who perceive energy. Working with our energy helps us to recognize and address our issues.

The base or root chakra at the bottom of the spine becomes weak and misshapen when one has chronic safety issues. Safety issues interfere with the natural connection between the base chakra and the earth, impacting grounding. Safety issues tend to keep us out of touch with the sensations in our lower bodies, also making it more difficult to ground.

Most of us pull our energy up and out when we become afraid. Fear telegraphs ‘loud’ or strong sensations and energies. Fear sensations easily overwhelm and distract us from other input, including grounding. If we hear a sound in the house and feel afraid, it is more difficult to Sense whether or not an actual intruder is in the house.

Relaxing fear increases our ability to Sense, turning down the intensity and quantity of sensory ‘noise’. When we are calm, we are more able to Sense the origins of sounds and energies, to distinguish the presence of a person from that of an animal or of the wind. We more easily Sense subtle input, including grounding.

Chronic fear can disable ones ability to ground. The opposite is also true: Learning to ground can help considerably with fear issues. Grounding assists us to Sense what is real. Sensing reduces disturbing conjecture and speculation, and supports empowered, reality-based action.

Addressing safety issues may be necessary to learning to ground. Addressing them means learning to: identify them, sense when they arise, feel how they impact body sensation, self-soothe, make appropriate self care decisions in the moment, and stay present with body sensations as they arise and subside from a useful response. Developing the base chakra assists with most of these steps.

Overactivity of the Mental Center can seriously interfere with grounding. We touched on this in the last post when I said, Grounding is a SENSING experience–it is not accessed with the mind.

IMG_0254Habitual overuse of the Mental Center is quite often an attempt to think things out in order to avoid fearful consequences. This habit is an expression of fear. The attempt to avoid fear by anticipating backfires because fearful thinking exacerbates fear.

Giving a busy mind a related job can keep it involved with grounding so that it does not interfere. FOCUS and INTENTION are constructive ways for Mind to participate with grounding. Focusing and actively extending the intention to ground holds the space open for having the actual experience of grounding. SENSING is essential. You cannot think grounding into occurring.

A balance of about five or ten percent INTENDING and ninety plus percent SENSING works well. Bringing in a little bit of related Feeling can enhance the experience, like noticing the way your heart feels more open when you are grounded, longing to feel grounded, or remembering how good it felt to be grounded.

Projecting an image of reality as an overlay onto reality itself is counterproductive. To ground we need to attend to energetics and sensations–not imagining, fantasizing, believing, conjecturing, trying, postulating, expecting, theorizing or rationalizing. These activities of mind interfere with actual experience. So can excessive intending or excessive Feeling. Trying too much becomes TRYING (as in irritating). Get mind out of the way and Sense it.

The above applies not only to Sensing but to accessing intuition.

Excessive mental involvement is an obstacle to satisfying engagement with life.

A client skilled in Tai Chi had high blood pressure. She noticed that whenever she did Tai Chi or meditated, hoping to bring down her blood pressure, that it increased instead. Watching her practice, I discovered that instead of being One with her body, she held a rigid image of exactly how each position should look, striving to impose this image onto her Tai Chi form to get it right. She was Thinking the practice and trying to make her body conform to a mental image. When she meditated, she was “trying not to think” instead of allowing her thoughts to pass by without engaging them. She was using mental force and will instead of Presence.

What makes YOU feel more grounded?

Does fear impact your relationship with the ground?
If so, what percentage of your time is this going on?
Chronic fear can be subliminal and constant.
Can you Sense whether or not you can allow yourself to feel safe?

19 September 2014 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 20: Dances with Groups, Part 5: Forgiveness & Blessing

Managing Your Energy, Part 20: Dances with Groups, Part 5: Forgiveness & Blessing

(Continued . . .)

Forgiveness and blessing soften, open and release stuck energy.

The next day the retreat group did a Forgiveness Practice, eye to eye, singing: “Please forgive me, for all that I have done and all that I have not done. Please forgive me.” It could have been hokey. The beauty of the music and sincerity of the group made it powerful.

L. encouraged us to approach and sing to anyone in the room who we needed to clear something with, or to allow someone to stand in for a person in our lives or our hearts. Tears came up here and there around the room.

Contemplating this song, my best formulation of what many of us need to say to our best Selves would be: “Please help me to forgive myself for not forgiving myself for all that I am going to do or not do next.”

While a bit lawyerly, this formulation covers that niggling sense that if we forgive ourselves in this moment we might not still be quite up to forgiving ourselves later, and may find ourselves doing the same darned thing!

P1070156We need to be able to let ourselves move forward despite shortcomings in not yet being able to sustain our ideals. We need to be willing to forgive ourselves when we fall back. Then can we move forward with the confidence that we can return to grace again if we fall.

Most of the day we did prayerful song with movement–like the one I shared in Part 1, but varying widely in type, intention, and tone.

We shared blessings later that afternoon, starting with some standard blessings: “May you be well and happy. May you be free from pain. May you live in peace. May you return to Love.” After warming up to it we began making blessings up for the person in front of us, giving and receiving, then moving on to someone else. I challenged myself to craft blessings that perfectly fit the inner longing of the person in front of me, such as:

“May you find yourself always around people you can trust, who understand you so you can be totally silly and get to play in joy,” or “May you be recognized for your lovely and unusual gift of congruence between your body, movements, emotions, thoughts and energy.”

The second one brought tears, and the woman later said she had been hoping all her life that someone would notice that about her. It’s an amazing intimacy to connect soul to soul without knowing someone’s personality. We had never spoken with one another before. Her response speaks to how vital it is for us to be ‘seen.’

I had another profound experience that evening. The group, in a long line, doubled back on itself, snaking through the room so some of us would pass face to face. The fleeting glance of one man astonished and transported me. Faster than thought, my heart literally rocked in my chest. I was riveted, yet we had already passed.

What I felt was The Beloved. This had nothing to do with the man as a personality or a body. He was so Present, inwardly silent, and connected to Source that the Divine shone through him at that moment.

I felt a brief confusion. Yes, I wanted the moment back–and forever–but this flash of feeling had nothing to do with anything that could survive a moment of grasping. This was the mystical experience of longing for the Divine. There was no where to look for it but to cultivate it inside myself.

To have mastery over our energy requires assessing our experiences accurately. We are safe to open to deep feeling when we trust our perception and therefore our decisions.

Is there anyone YOU need to forgive, or to receive forgiveness from?

How does thinking about this impact your energy?

5 September 2014 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 18: Dances with Groups, Part 3: Healing & Release

Managing Your Energy, Part 18: Dances with Groups, Part 3: Healing & Release

Here is the soundtrack again if you care to hear part of the event as my story of a healing event continues:

A friend on the Path, J., approached me with loving tears on her face. My body began to thrash in a resistive way when she touched me, as if on its own. This was not a release. I love J., but her energy was not going to work for me at that moment. I held my palms out in a universal symbol to back away.

B. remained solid and clear, giving me courage.

J. backed up just outside my fields, grounded herself, and began to pray for me with love, keeping her heart and her glance with me. I was deeply grateful that she understood and accepted my need without making anything up, feeling rejected, or projecting on me. I was greatly relieved that she ‘got it’ and could honor my need for her not to touch me without withdrawing. Her response was truly loving and healing. This touched me more deeply than touching my body could have.

B. said, “Thank you for trusting me to be there for you. It is a privilege to support you.”

S., a lovely and competent therapist, showed up and laid her body across my back. On her knees beside me, she began to sob aloud. I was grateful for her trust, and this deep contact. I felt as if she was crying for us both, and learned later that her current life situation matched parts of my own. I lifted the heat and weight of her long, thick hair from her neck and face, and covered the back of her heart chakra with my hand, to support and connect.

A familiar-feeling hand took one of mine, stretching my arm above me. My new friend, A., pressed acupuncture points in my palm.

Someone calm–P.– grasped my feet, helping me stay in my body. P. put a hand on my sacrum. A jolt like a shock ran through me, jarring my body in a huge spasm. I gripped B. to stabilize my body. I saw from his face and hesitancy that P. was uncertain whether touching my sacrum was supportive. He allowed me to place his hands where I needed them at the moment. As remembered I could ask for what I need I redirected various hands to areas where I needed connection or release energy. My brave supporters were happy to be effective. Now their collective flow activated energy that had been locked inside. It began to release in intense and sudden jolts.IMG_0346

B. stroked my forehead. I pressed my face into his leg or side, pulling gently on my hair to keep my neck aligned so I wouldn’t hurt it as I thrashed. I was trying to relax and let it all happen. “You can throw up on me if you need to,” B. said. I told him I didn’t want to. “But you can.”

A tiny but mighty healer who is also a midwife leapt in and began digging with all of her fingers over my heart, like a small dog scrabbling for a bone. She suddenly grabbed and tore something out from the energy-hole she just dug, flinging it from the building. A cascade of jolts raced through me, buckling my spine and shooting out the top of my head. This release was especially helpful and powerful. I found this intervention oddly comforting and even lyrical.

Later, she told me she was aiming for the pond when she did this “extraction”--and truly hoped no one had been in the way of the energy she threw out. She said this extraction had been done by her inner fox, who assists her when she does healing.

I challenged myself to take in all this support, to let myself feel it instead of trying to get the process over with so people could carry on. I began singing softly with the group between waves of release. This helped me stay with the process without thinking too much. I let myself feel included instead of feeling as if I were interfering with the group process.

As I went through this moment of concern, B. said, “You really didn’t need to go to such lengths to get a little attention from us–you could have just asked for it!” This was his kind of humor, touching my fear gently so I could laugh and let it go.

When the storm had passed he said, “Why don’t you let some of your sisters walk you out to your van and go to bed.” I thanked him and we shared a parting hug. He added, “I’m just glad I thought to tell you to put your head in my lap, and that you trusted me and were able to do it!”

S. and I got herbal tea and had a good talk in my van.

Does part of this story ping something for you?

What comes up, and what does it tell you about yourself?

If not, is there any feeling you resist when read this? 

How are you with receiving support?