This is story about what faith is, why we lose it, and how we build it.
It is a story about what we think is light and what we think is dark and these times we live in.
And as always it is a story about what connection is.
I was driving myself and my 10 year old daughter from southern Oregon to the San Juan Islands. As with almost all moments as a sole parent with their nervous system set on OPEN (RE. Mediumship on overload), there was the undercurrent of exhaustion, “Why am I even doing this, I’m dreading this long drive, and why the hell isn’t there someone doing this with me.”
In short, I was once again pushing–because that’s what we do in this culture.
Everything was fine, even joyous as I blared Led Zeppelin for my incredulous child (who knew mothers who paint angels listened to this stuff). We are a great team, we are very close and we laugh a ton.
Be that as it may, I’m still the parent, and when you parent alone that weight of responsibility doesn’t leave you for one second. It is tiring, it is hard and many of my now divorcing friends (who are co-parenting, mind you, not sole parenting) have been saying: “Wow, now I get some of what you are doing and what it’s like.”
I would say that in general, in spite of my work which keeps me finely tuned in every day, I was getting lost. Lost in the doing, lost in the chronic pushing, lost in all the questions of parenting, lost in the human suffering becoming ever so apparent, lost about my purpose for being here, lost in exhaustion.
Sure, I was here for OTHERS and could serve OTHERS spectacularly. But where was I?
Well, I kind of wasn’t. And I knew it and had been saying for about 3 years to people: “I can’t keep going like this. It’s killing me. And I can’t get out”. Because from INSIDE the closed system I couldn’t see out. (Ever have that feeling? I’m hearing it a lot these days).
It was starting to get dark and we were driving past Eugene at night. I knew we’d stop soon. That’s when “before” turned to “after”.
(I’m currently living now in the “after” and I won’t sugar coat this: I’m still in transition. And as far as I can tell, transition is now and has always been the norm. It’s just so amped up now and our experience of time is so unfamiliar that now we HAVE TO notice that change is the rule not exception.)
A truck came up beside me, with a construction barrier on my left and I was suddenly ripped from my body. I lost control of vestibular clues and physical references. And in that split second I made a choice: I was either going to die (along with my daughter) or decide to stay here. I “decided” to stay and I managed to get enough control of my body and car to get us off the highway.
I don’t remember the rest that clearly but I found a parking lot, stopped and began to breathe and feel. I immediately contacted a couple allies and told them where we were.
Oddly, my daughter was just fine! Apparently, she thinks I’ve got a handle on life and all is well. Interesting how someone else’s unconditional confidence in us and in life is a grounding and calming force.
I have had every imaginable state that I knew there was. I’ve had these states invited in my work and uninvited as well. I have had my life as I knew it ruined by them before. It is not fun. And I do not recommend it or romanticize it.
This is where the transition began; a shattering. Midst the roaring shatter, I was able to stay very calm during the shattering: calm for my child, aware that this was not good, being stuck in a parking lot at night with my child, in a city I didn’t know, 4 hours from home.
It was hard to walk, or do anything, and driving the car to get to the hotel was a terrifying experience. Long story short I called numerous friends and 4 decided to make a party of it (which is both hilarious and odd) to drive 4 hours to get us and then drive the two cars back home. And throughout the entire experience I had allies on the phone talking or texting me through it.
(Just a note here on allies and friends. Thank God for them all. You never know who will show up and it’s irrelevant. What IS relevant is having those people who say “where are you I’m coming now”, not “can you get a bus”).
This was the clear “before” and “after”.
So, what do we do? What do we do when what we know is dismantled and we have no control? Sound familiar? As in…that is LIFE, and it is starkly apparent for so many sentient beings right now.
Here is what I did:
I took care of business. I emailed my business support team (who are, by the way…AMAZING human beings). I let my family know as much as I knew, which wasn’t much and checked in with one of them daily. I made sure my child was going to have the rides she needed (because we are surrounded again by…AMAZING people). I canceled all my work, plus everything else. I got help getting food (more amazing people). I set up somatic listening sessions so my nervous system could offload terror.
Then I owned it. As I said I’ve had dramatic things happen before and I knew this wasn’t a minor course correction. So I decided that instead of destroying my life again I would harness this energy. I decided I would be on retreat. I decided I wasn’t going to push myself to drive (as many worried people suggested I should). I decided not to do anything that wasn’t gentle and respectful of myself. I decided not to leave the house. And I didn’t. I left the house 3 weeks later for an experimental walk. I didn’t enjoy that experiment so I didn’t leave again. A few people came over for brief visits or to drop off food or pick up my daughter. But otherwise, because I owned it, I very contentedly went into seclusion. I had a reading with my mentor/friend, Flo Aevia Magdalena, to orient myself. I set up numerous weekly phone and skype sessions, all with new healers I didn’t know but felt called to connect with. Each one proved to be an extraordinary ally that understood the exquisite value of not being in control, not having a clue, not having any answers, being afraid, not living the way you are supposed to in order to fit in and living each day minute by minute. THAT is the power of multidimensional work.
Then I watched and listened. It was excruciating to be around any other people and all that they carried in their fields. Memories, mine or others, (it’s all the same) were coursing through my body and if I sat for more than a couple minutes in front of anyone I was seized by the terror and physical knowing that they were going to attack me. This was the feeling I had around every person except my child.
I also had this reaction to everything else in my surroundings if I was anywhere but in my healing space. My nervous system had clicked into high alert. But with so many years of somatic mindfulness based practices under my belt I was able to watch and watch and watch. I knew I wasn’t about to be attacked, and I watched in precise detail what a nervous system under perceived attack does. The vision narrows or becomes blurry, the balance is off, tension takes over the muscles as any movement or sound makes you jump, the center of awareness is behind the body. In my case, and I happen to know most cases, the field is open to any number of forms of possession. My field was porous. I had nightmares every night.
I stopped my agenda. This stuff just never happens on a known or Americanized timeline does it? It is simply not convenient doing deep personal or collective healing work. The few times I made any attempt at outward movement I got backlash from my body. If I tried to drive I had to wait hours for my nervous system to settle again. If I sat with a person I started to feel vertigo. If I went for a walk past certain specific boundaries I wanted to run home and the feeling of wanting to run away stayed.
My body, in its profound intelligence, trained me to back off and leave it alone and breathe. It MADE ME stop. It has done this before, many times. But because this time I listened and was comfortable with seclusion I was able to listen. And it talked. It showed me memories across many timelines. It showed me parallel lives (many people call these past lives). It showed me not just all collective grief, but the specific groups I had made vows to and was feeling. It showed me specifically what happens when you aren’t in your own field and how something else will inhabit it. It showed me the fine line and continuum that all human beings are on of of “normal” and “psychosis”. It showed me how to not feel crazy as I accessed parallel experiences at the same time. It showed me that when I attend to these experiences and own them it would feel calm. When I didn’t, it panicked.
I maintained curiosity. I resisted the pressure to name this. My mind wanted a label as did almost every person around me. We are all under a lot of pressure to name things. This is how stories get made. Entire life stories. I can describe what happened (kind of) and what I learned. But to say this was a “panic attack” misses the point entirely.
For one thing, my body was panicked, but I was not. Also….what IS a panic attack? Is it what I’m finding all of life to be…A sincere and fervent invitation to be curious, feel it and bless it?
What IS postpartum depression? What IS chronic fatigue? What IS cancer? What IS death, life, breathing, air, parenting, sleeping, dreaming, isolation, gender, loss, energy, addiction, divorce, bonding, money, love? What are civil rights? And do we even have free will?
Trust and Training became the agenda. From my “before” lifestyle I couldn’t have known how to stop the momentum of daily life. I’m not sure there was actually a way to. (Which is why I’m keenly suspicious of all the coaches out there who feed us weekly emails on how to fix your life. I don’t think it needs fixing, it needs listening).
There wasn’t anything in my life I could see to drop. Parenting? Nope, that’s every second, everyday. Work? Nope, it feeds me too deeply. Self care? I was already skimping on that and I do more self care than any person I know…because it is essential for balance. Friends? Well, don’t we all kind of need friends?
In the course of this forced and extended retreat and hours of alone open time each day I began to quickly see I was in a training. Luckily this was also pointed out to me by my allies. So I owned that too. I entered two actual extensive online trainings, (Attachment Mastery and a year long training in the the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy: Integrating Attachment, Differentiation, and Neuroscience in Couples Therapy) and I treated my personal sessions like training. Because really, all of our sessions are. If we are not making a sense of meaning out of confusion…then we are suffering.
I moved the furniture out of my healing space and set up a sacred circle as my work space. I set up guardians, portals and reparented fragmented parts of myself. I entered into an ongoing constellation with all my lives, my psyche,…my soul, my personality, my trauma, my relationships, loss and gain, success and failure. I watched the painful gap between what I came here to do and what I felt I had achieved. (My daughter by the way is used to sessions, prayer, energy work and healthy emotional release. Healing and connection is normalized in this family.)
I dissected the energy structures behind social oppression. I spent many hours with death. I saw many realms and beings that scared me at first and upon deeper listening were allies. I learned the mechanics behind true multidimensional constellations -meaning not only does the system change depending on where we stand but on where EVERYTHING stands…far beyond just family lineage.
For much of the work I had to organize the fragmented parts of my psyche so they weren’t interfering in the work, or I invited them in when needed. As my nervous system restructured and realigned around all of this new information I aligned my boundaries differently as well. I didn’t worry about how sessions would be structured after this, because I knew it would be clear in the moment of connection with each person.
Reflecting back my work changed very quickly after all this. I’ve dropped preconceived notions about how to serve people and don’t make anyone fit my structure. I know what I do, I know how to do it and I offer that with clear communication about what I don’t do. With tools from so many levels of reality it is easy to see how and when to serve. Clients no longer need to fit into my structures…I can orient our work around their completely unique needs.
On a personal note…it is a huge relief to not be on the treadmill. Spirit took me off.
Be well, trust your life and follow the movements of your soul.
There is so much more to come.