Last week I was unable to find a theme to write on. I kept looking for something that would be pertinent or significant, both as I worked on my book and as I pondered Jeanne’s answers to the questions I had asked her in Message #668, but alas nothing stuck out. This week, however, several themes have come up.
Today is quiet and the ending of some rainy and very windy weather is in sight. The other night, however, the wind blew harshly all night long. Sudden gusts knocked things over on the deck and rattled the house. It was a difficult night to sleep and I was constantly startled awake. As I lay there listening to the wind, the phrase, the winds of change are upon us, kept running through my head. Today, I present you with the following, beginning with a dream I had during that noisy and windy night:
In this brief dream, I pull open the double doors to our linen closet and stand there looking in at everything neatly folded, everything in its place, neatly compartmentalized on the shelves and I immediately think: “Oh, my mind did this. I don’t want to dream about this! I want to fly!” And with that thought I woke up.
Waking up out of that dream, I realized that what Jeanne had been reviewing over the past few weeks is that change is indeed inevitable, that tomorrow will always arrive, that we cannot stop time from marching on, just as we cannot stop the wind from blowing. The wind will always blow. It is what it does. The challenge we face, each day, is: do we allow ourselves to do the same, to constantly change? Or do we elect to sit tightly in our complacent lives, rearranging our linen closets and pretending that change is not happening? As soon as I called that dream for what it was, a mind conjuring call to stay complacent and caught in old fears, I allowed myself to let go a little more, to acknowledge that I do indeed want to be open, to dare myself to fly, as Jeanne called it the other day.
Do I dare to fly with the winds of change, to flow and become like a leaf on the breeze and truly let go of all the foreign installations, as Chuck calls them, all the neatly compartmentalized linen closets in my life? Where can I let go today? I must constantly ask myself this question rather than huddle in fear at the sounds in the night, of the wind doing what the wind does best. And how do I let go? How do I learn to fly?
As I ask myself these questions I immediately go to my body. Where am I tense, I ask, and where am I holding? Where can I soften? The body is the place that I personally find I must return to, over and over again, in order to truly let go. Releasing physical holdings is a big part of the letting go process. How many yoga classes have I walked out of feeling like I am in a new body, a softer, looser and more flowing body? Thousands of yoga classes that I have attended over the past thirty-five years have continually proven the simple fact that physical release is a vital aspect of allowing for change. Every week I experience this softening, this letting go of the physical, and the result is always startlingly amazing, because even after I have left the yoga class I notice that the softening automatically carries over into the rest of my day. Daily shavasana (relaxation) and daily meditation also suffice when I cannot get to a class or don’t have time for my own practice.
Finding that my physical body held most of my issues was a big discovery for me during my recapitulation process. When I first heard someone suggest, many years ago, that the physical body stores memory I found it hard to believe, but the longer I worked on myself the more true that idea became. Even though I had recapitulated my memories in my conscious mind, I found that my body still held so much more. The body, in its silent way, with its sturdy structure, seemingly so present in the moment, does indeed hold much more than we can see. Once I was ready to go to it and to allow myself to actually feel, asking it to show me what it needed me to learn, I began a more thorough recapitulation. Once I was able to leave the conjuring mind that told me I was done with my recapitulation and enter my body, I learned what it really means to fly, in the sense that Jeanne speaks of.
During one Embodyment Therapy session, which helped in the process of physical release, Jeanne came to me and said the following: “Let the bad out, keep only the good, only the essentials.” In a subsequent session she came again and guided me through the removal process of old memories, old ghosts as I saw them during the session, which I documented afterwards in my journal:
Jeanne is with me, pulling old ghosts out of me like tissues out of a box, all strung together. My body responds to the expulsion of them, reacting to the tearing sound each one makes as it leaves, the sound of a tissue being pulled from its slot in the box. Jeanne reminds me: “Remember, I told you it’s all about change, getting rid of the old that you have no use for, making room for the new.” I experience the physical ripping out, as if actual body tissue is being pulled out of me. It is quite painful, not easy to handle. I call to Jeanne to help me get through it. “Take my hand,” she says. “I will take you where you need to go. You aren’t dying, it’s just a removal of all the old dead stuff that you don’t need, dead issues, bad stuff, all the leftover memories and feelings that will bother you if left behind.” It is like having radical surgery. I am not sure that the pulling out of the old ghosts, the old demons, feels good. It feels like being disemboweled, that something is being yanked out of me, but I can’t stop it and I don’t want to either, because I know it is the right thing to do. I see the horrors of my life with my own eyes. I see every horrible aspect of the past as it gets pulled out and dragged away. In a quick blink of an eye everything that has ever happened to me gets pulled out and leaves my body. The process is fast, wrenchingly painful, but I go with it. I let go. I let it happen. I try to follow, to see where the ghosts go, but I am not allowed to follow. I am forced to stay in my body and experience the removal. (From a session in 2004)
This experience came to mind again during the night as the wind blew and the old demons fear and worry crept into bed with me, attempting a takeover. My dream, having jolted me away from them, prepared me for the winds of change that were blowing outside, reminding me to let go again of the old, to flow with the inevitable. I dozed and startled awake throughout the night, as the winds howled, never quite able to rest deeply, but at each awakening I would remind myself to physically relax, to physically let go. I repeated Jeanne’s recent words of guidance, to let go to the inevitable, finding that my intent to change had to be focused, as usual, on releasing physical holdings.
Self-hypnosis, repeating mantras, doing full body relaxation, quiet moments of breathing and calming meditation, as well as taking yoga classes, (and many other modalities of healing and relaxation) all offer release and bring attention to the physical body. If none of these processes are accessible or appealing, then simply notice the body and ask: Where am I holding? And then let it go and see what happens. And, as Jeanne has suggested, go deeper each time you ask the question, allowing for release and change to not only become a mind process, but a physical one as well.
Until next week,