Stay connected to your healing intent, to your convictions that you are worth the effort, to your dream of a new you. In alignment with all of that, and sure of a higher purpose and greater meaning, find solidity in your life. In keeping with the knowing deep inside of you that your path of heart is the only path for you, continue your journey restrengthening your intent with renewed vigor every day, restating that you matter and that your dream matters. Resolve the issues that hold you back so that you may become fully open and accessible. Lose your regrets and resentments so that you may be truly ready for new experiences. With love, let go of your attachments so that your energy may be truly free to enjoy, explore, and embrace your new dream of you. Keep your intent strong from moment to moment and day to day. Your path of heart will not fail you nor disappoint you, but it’s up to you to stay upon it, to act on your own behalf, and to be the dreamer dreaming the dream of the new you. Dream on, with intent!
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.
Keep the love going strong, even as you must face your inner battles. Do not lose sight of that which is most important, your own growth and freedom, so that you may be fully available to be loving and generous for the rest of your days. Resolve the issues within the self that keep you from this loving and generous fulfillment of self. This will lead to the kind of freedom you don’t even know you need or desire as of yet, but once you attain it you will understand everything, and that all you have gone through has been well worth it. And remember, you are not alone, though you must face your aloneness; you are not forgotten, though you must face being forgotten; you are not neglected, though you must face neglect. You are part of the great loving wholeness and thus you are loved and you are loving. This is the truth. Seek this love, eternally, within and without.
Without blame or shame, come to terms with all that you are. Accept your part in all that has befallen you, in all that you chose and choose, in all that was and all that will be. Take responsibility for your life. Things happen for a reason. Try to find the reason. What are you supposed to learn? What in this life is meaningful, meant to help you grow and evolve? What are you supposed to resolve once and for all? No matter what happens or has happened to you, find your part in it and discover its meaning so that rather than stay stuck in a cycle of blame and shame you may move out of that cycle onto a path of meaning and heart. Why are you there? Where are you going? Only you will know for sure. Only you can live your life to the fullest. Only you can find your fulfillment. Travel onward with an open heart and an open mind, for truly you deserve to grant yourself the opportunity to find your path of heart, freed of the cycle of blame and shame, but, oh, so much more too!
A true warrior always chooses a path with heart. A warrior chooses love over hate, kindness over malice, compassion over disregard. A warrior does not turn away from that which challenges but instead turns toward the strengths within, for a warrior knows that everything that is necessary to travel a path with heart lies waiting to be discovered within. A warrior knows what intent is, how to serve and conserve, how to be open and how to protect. All these things come naturally to a warrior on a path of heart because such a warrior is fueled by that which matters most, now and forever, and that is love. A warrior on a path of heart turns to love and love returns the favor.