There are no certainties in life, no guarantees, no predictable outcomes, and yet there are plenty of signs along the way to guide one’s journey, to lead one through thick and thin, to help one overcome the hardships that naturally accompany a well-lived life. For indeed, a well-lived life is just that because of the adventures taken, the issues encountered, and the uncertainties forged through. The signs and guidance that come may be ignored, may not even be noticed, for many are unaware, but once tapped into, often in a moment of despair or trauma, can be sources of comfort and great help. Remain aware. Keep your heart in alignment with the knowledge that each moment is a gift. Keep upon your path of heart, looking all around you for those signs that intersect with your energy every day. They are there. And with love and gratitude accept them and carry on.
My first encounter with the shamanic practice of Recapitulation was at The Westwood Seminar in Los Angeles in 1997, that year’s annual summer intensive for Tensegrity practitioners. Carlos Castaneda stressed the seriousness of this ancient shamanic Magical Pass, which required a complete reliving of one’s life in preparation for the freedom to fly free, into infinity, at the time of the death of one’s human form.
For Jeanne and I, our ancient Catholic foundation was stirred, as we feared the equivalent of going to Hell if we did not complete our recapitulation before death! Well, I know that Jeanne did indeed make the cut when she left her human form, though she did have to touch back briefly to clear up some unfinished business with her birth mother before she could fully move on. (See the final chapter in The Book of Us for a recount of this unfinished business.)
When Jan and I discovered that recapitulation could actually serve as a total healing tool for complex PTSD, we realized that recapitulation had vast application beyond the shamanic preparation for one’s definitive journey.
In addition, I was synchronistically drawn to EMDR at the same time I was introduced to Recapitulation. I realized that recapitulation and EMDR shared a bilateral feature as their processing mechanism. I also realized that REM sleep shared this same bilateral mechanism, the processing function of ordinary dreaming.
I have capitalized on the innate biological mechanism of bilateral processing in much of my clinical work, but I have also come to discover that intent itself is really at the crux of everything.
When an individual sets the intent to recapitulate, that is, to fully retrieve energy that is sidelined or frozen, by incomplete processing or resolution of prior or inherent experience, something takes over and turns the totality of current life into experiences of what needs to be recapitulated.
Many clients, who are recapitulating traumatic events of which they have no current memory but which form the etiology of their complex PTSD, have discovered that memories begin to appear in no apparent order, haphazardly and from many different periods of their lives, which absolutely insist upon being processed.
Memories may be triggered by bodily pains, dreams, current interactions, smells, sounds—almost anything serves as a projective screen for a memory to reveal itself. Once fully recapitulated, another memory begins to flesh out, of its own non-conscious accord, often from a totally different time and circumstance, perhaps skipping over many other traumas that occurred in between.
The point here is that the intent of recapitulation itself, once engaged, becomes the director of the actual remembering, determining the sequence, frequency, and unique presentation of new memories and how they are brought to consciousness. I have come to trust intent’s illusive logic in directing an unfolding recapitulation, because the necessary healing appears to require its own idiosyncratic, sequential building blocks, constructed through the order of one’s personal unfolding memory triggers and encounters.
Though I hardly suggest that anyone embark upon the journey of traumatic recapitulation without a seasoned guide, I cannot deny anyone the knowledge of their birthright, their own access to the intent of recapitulation, the ultimate soul retrieval journey. To fully retrieve one’s energy is to be fully present to facing oncoming time.
Finally, when I learned the magical passes for intent in the shaman’s world, we practiced yelling the word, “Intent!” very loudly and firmly. And so, I simply recommend firmly stating, out loud, one’s intent to recapitulate, thus affirming one’s conscious decision to partner with the intent of recapitulation, a most worthy higher power.
A warrior does not back down nor say there is no hope. A warrior keeps going, knowing that a stumble is not the end of the world nor that a hesitation shows incompetence. A warrior stays upon the path intended, taking each day as a new opportunity and each step as part of a bigger journey. A warrior moves on with alacrity, with the goal always in mind, with intent strong, and with the knowledge that the actions of every day past were important and the actions of every day to come even more so. A warrior’s intent stays strong and focused, even in the worst of times and even in the best of times, for a warrior knows there is no difference. And yet a warrior knows that there is so much more to life than good and bad, than more and less, than winning and losing. A warrior values a path with heart.
In today’s audio channeled message we are all asked to connect to our radiant selves, to our heart-centered loving selves, and to actually bring that self forward into our everyday lives. Do you dare to truly be your radiant self?
Keep your intent strong. Mark your own words and abide by them. Hold yourself accountable, for only you are responsible for yourself, your decisions, and how far you go with your intentions. If you want something, you are perfectly capable of making it happen, step by step, holding your intent strong and not wavering from your path. With your intentions firmly stated, your will strong, and your focus forward, you will not fail. Intent!