And did you get what you
wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself Beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
(Raymond Carver, Late Fragment)
It was a springlike day, my close girlfriend and I sitting with hot mugs of tea, watching the hail and the sun alternate outside the window. We were sharing comfy galpal time together on a spacious Sunday afternoon, but with the intention of “keeping it real” – a shared intention not to simply get together and engage in our stories about ourselves, or our stories about others – but to do The Work with our beliefs, a process discovered and shared by the beloved Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is.
Sometimes I’ll ask my friends how I can best support them when they come to me with stuff roiling and boiling, churning and turning. Would it be most helpful if I just listen and say nothing, allowing them to get it all out? Would they like my feedback afterward, or would they like me to simply bear witness and listen with compassion?
In this case, my friend wanted both – to get it all out, and then to have me reflect back to her what I heard or observed, and any insights I might have. “I got it,” I said. “Go for it!”
So she began to tell me about something that had recently happened between herself and her mother. At one point, when she was really rolling, she said, “You know I just hate my mother sometimes,” her face darkening, her lip shaking with a mixture of deep anger and sadness. “Okay,” she said, “I don’t really hate my mother – I don’t hate anything – but she makes me so angry.” At this point I felt drawn to interrupt her flow, not wanting to miss what I felt like was an important moment.
“Hon?” I said. “You know how I shared with you about a friend of mine who keeps having these ongoing dreams at night where he is hollering and yelling at the top of his lungs at his parents?” Her eyes lit up and she said, “Yes!” already sensing where I was going. I said, “Well, what I’m picking up on is that in those seemingly unsolicited dreams he must be speaking from a very real, very young place that needs to say those things.”
“If it were me, I wouldn’t any longer try to be “spiritual” or lofty about what feels like hatred or rage but I would name it – and then find a way to express that stuck energy in a way that’s not harmful to myself or anyone else. Then the log jam is finally moving and we are more free and in the flow and coming from a more balanced place from which to address the Mind, and to work with the core beliefs we took on as an infant, or a toddler, or young child or teen, and have carried with us for often many decades.”
My friend said, “That’s exactly right, Em. It reminds me of a process I use where I allow my body to “tone” sounds but don’t allow them to become words or anything intelligible. I drop into that feeling of anger or sadness and then just let it rip, allowing whatever sounds to come, and allowing my body to move in whatever way it does during that time – being kind to my body in the process, of course. I used to wait until I was alone in my house for a few hours and knew no one would be coming and going, and then do this practice. Even more healing was to have a close friend watch and witness it, feeding back to me what they saw that might provide even more insight later. I realize that this part is for those of us who are a little less self-conscious, but it’s profoundly helpful.”
“This is really timely,” she went on to say, setting her writing journal and pen aside. “This is exactly what’s needed before I next look at the beliefs I have around my relationship with my mom. I’m glad I’m reminding myself about this in the form of our conversation today!”
A day or so later I was recounting this experience to my husband in the dawning hours of the morning, triangles and rectangles of light playing across the ceiling above our bed. He said, “Yes. I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, if I may, I would add a another piece to that process. – I would say that once you have approached it from the Body, and the Mind, you want to definitely come back around and include the Soul. I’m not surprised that you are right on top of this, because in the book I’m writing right now I’m addressing the identical topic, and our explorations always seem to be right in sync.”
“Yes, Honey! – “I said, replumping my pillow emphatically. “But what I notice about myself and many of us who have been on “the spiritual path” is that we have learned to bypass what we actually feel, and we edit ourselves – even to ourselves – in order to try to fit the saintly, or enlightened ideal we have conceptualized. We try to “be” farther along the path than we actually are in that particular moment. And I think this serves no one, but only serves to increase our resentment that will come to the fore later. That’s why I no longer want to skip over what has been true for me in my body for years or decades or perhaps many generations – I want to move and release that stuck energy. Expression is our birthright and our natural state, and I think when we weren’t allowed to express in those moments our individuality or what was true for us, that energy stayed “stuck” somewhere and now is a time when we can lovingly bring our adult, aware attention to it, and allow it to move on. Let’s hear it for Recycling!”
“Agreed,” he said, apparently missing my awesome Recycling reference. “You don’t try to leap to the Soul’s perspective first – but without that larger perspective, I believe that it would be hard for any of us to make any “logical” sense of the seemingly complex relationships we have in our lives, and why they are appearing in our reality to be experienced. And my belief is that they will – keep appearing in our experience – until we understand what it is they are trying to show us.”
These are the kinds of things my Beloved and I awaken at five in the morning and lie in bed talking about. Then, we bound out of bed and onto our laptops, warmed by socks and robes and by having been met, and having felt heard.
And for me, the crucial part about having someone in my life who can truly hear me is that it has given me a cellular experience of feeling expressed and heard, which can then help me to listen to myself more of the time and yes – “to call myself Beloved; to feel myself beloved on the earth.”
As I wrote this article, I came up with a mantra to help bring consciousness to any moment in time when I feel suddenly as if something young, or deep in me has been triggered:
Name it, Move it, Mind it, Soul it
Naming it is simply telling the truth to yourself about yourself. It’s a momentary truth, but if you’re feeling it, you’re feeling it. Too late to pretend it didn’t come up and rationalize it away. So be gentle with yourself. You are really BE-ing with You, for perhaps the first time in your life!
Moving it can be done in a number of ways, too many to count here. I’ve used 1) Exercise: running, biking, or even walking straight up a steep hill to really get the energy moving out of my solar plexus 2) Yoga 3) Breathing Techniques 4) Singing 5) Chanting 6) Dancing 7) Laughing 8) Toning/Moaning/Crying
Specific techniques focused on clearing the emotional body might be found on the following website, as it begins by introducing the idea that we each have a “signature sound” we came in with, and that once we discover this, it can be used to heal and balance our own mind/body whenever we choose to. As you read on, you will come to the section on releasing trauma, etc. if that is a particular section that is calling out to you. http://www.juliarogershamrick.com/articles.html?article=vocal_toning&title=Vocal%20Toning:%20Discover%20One%20of%20Your%20Power%20Tools
Minding it is turning our attention toward our longstanding thoughts, beliefs, and concepts that make up one’s constant inner dialogue and I’ve yet to find anything more helpful than Byron Katie’s process called The Work. If you are new to it, you can watch every video on her site, or on Youtube, and then download the worksheet (lovingly called the “Judge Your Neighbor” worksheet) having become more familiar with the 4 Questions and what are called “Turnarounds”. There is also a 24-hour free helpline where facilitators will take you through The Work. To find this number click on Resources, after visiting the homepage at: www.thework.com
I have also found great value in a book by Richard Moss that was recently published called Inside-Out Healing. I give it Five Stars!
Souling it can of course be achieved in countless ways as well, and although Neale is my husband, I try mightily not to frequently bring his material into my own website or into blogs so that no one feels as if they are being “upsold” once there. However, his books had a tremendous impact on my life back when I was 23, and this many years later, I continue to see incredible value in what he brings through for each of us to contemplate. Although the SouLogic Process is found in the When Everything Changes, Change Everything addendum workbook by Neale, and will appear as a deeper exploration and explanation in The Only Thing That Matters (his next book due out this fall), I wanted to give you a link here to his website where he has posted the process as well as a transcript of him taking someone through it, creating the possibility for someone to acquire a much broader understanding of what has transpired in their lives, and to find a place of true peace with what has happened. Click here: http://www.nealedonaldwalsch.com/index.php?p=doc&c=soulogicprocess
(To read the transcript section first, scroll down to The SouLogic Process in Action, once there.)
My wish is that in the sharing of what is working for me, others may also benefit. Please always trust your own inner guidance as to whether any of these tools are timely for you.
All My Love and Deep Blessings, as we end this Chapter & Verse blog entry with, as always, a poem…
A Mind Full of Joy
Whereas the Heart is used to being
the only place where Love is found
a Mind full of joy
draws the Heart like a moth,
into a surprisingly different flame.
A flame where nothing burns –
no wings are forfeited.
As if God stretches the length of The Home
to abide in every room at once,
“A Mind Full of Joy” – Em Claire ©2008 – All Rights Reserved