Category Archives: Jan’s Blog

Welcome!

Currently, I put most of my energy into the weekly channeled messages, the daily Soulbytes, and the completion of The Recapitulation Diaries. An occasional blog does still get written when the creative urge strikes. Archived here are the blogs I wrote for many years about inner life and outer life, inner nature and outer nature. Perhaps my writings on life, as I see it and experience it, may offer you some small insight or different perspective as you take your own journey.

With gratitude for all that life teaches me, I share my experiences.

Jan Ketchel

Psyche & Soma

Psyche, in Greek, means soul or spirit, especially that part of the soul which manifests in the mind, in the conscious and unconscious parts of our wholeness. Soma refers to the body, especially to the nerve cells of the body. Psychosomatic is a combination of these two root words, meaning that which the spirit manifests in the body.

In my books, comprising the series called The Recapitulation Diaries, I write often about the incessant pain in my body. As real as the pain was, excruciating and debilitating at times, I discovered that it was really messages from my spirit, my psyche, directing me to what needed attention as I progressed on my journey. I discovered that during recapitulation what is manifesting in the body must be explored.

At first, I had almost every pain checked out by one doctor or another. I was doing this long before I even knew about recapitulation or began my journey of change and transformation. I’d go to a doctor and describe my pain, but there was never any diagnosis that those doctors could come up with to pinpoint what was causing the pain.

When I was in my early forties, I developed a skin cancer, a small red spot that turned out to be two types of cancer, basal cell and squamous cell. It’s unusual to have two types of cancer manifesting in the same area, the doctor who did the biopsy told me, but as soon as I had developed the red spot, and as soon as I was informed that it was cancer, I knew immediately that it had nothing to do with my exposure to the sun as a child, as was repeatedly questioned. I knew it had to do with what was festering inside me, that there was something much worse, that that little red dot was just the beginning of something far greater.

I knew, instinctively, that I had some dark thing inside me that I had been trying to forget my entire life. By the time I was forty, I had been pretty successful at forgetting, though I suffered in numerous physical, mental, and spiritual ways. That small red spot was just another indication that I might have to remember.

It was then that I acknowledged that my psyche was hiding something from me. It had protected me up until that point, but if I was to not get more skin cancer, or any other disease, I knew the time had come to face what it really meant. It took another five or six years before I finally took the leap, the leap into my own darkness and what lay there waiting for me to discover.

Pain is an indicator that the body has something to tell us. It might indeed be that we have a serious illness, or it might be that it is trying to protect us from that which we do not want to know. Pain can be a defense against that which is too painful to know.

As I recapitulated, I began to look at the pain in my body as a message from my spirit. I would ask it to show me what it knew, to guide me where to go next. I developed nerves of steel so I could face what my body had to tell me, what it knew and what it meant.

As I faced the pain and asked my body to be my guide, I also discovered that I always had the strength to face what it had to show me. I knew that it would not be asking me to face it if I was not ready. Whenever the pain showed up, and it showed up incessantly, relentlessly right to the very end of my recapitulation, I used it to heal.

That’s a strange idea, to imagine that our pain is actually our healing balm, but it’s true. Without my pain showing me what I needed to face I might not have freed my spirit and my body from the torment of years of abuse that had been so well-hidden inside me.

I often thanked my body and my unconscious for showing me what it knew, for revealing to me the truths not only of my own past but the truths of what the spirit and body are truly capable, how they inform and guide, how they really only want us to heal and discover the magical beings that we all are.

Even today, I still use my psyche and soma to guide me. I constantly question any pain I might have. Often, I realize, it is what I call “stuck energy,” a thought, idea, or attachment, a conjuring of the mind that I’ve latched onto that does not belong to me, stuck energy that needs to be moved along and out of my body, tension that when allowed to naturally release brings instantaneous relief.

Or it might be something that my psyche, my spirit wants me to be alert to, something that needs recapitulation. Perhaps one of the biggest lessons of recapitulation is that we are always being asked to grow and evolve, to confront our deepest issues and resolve them so we can move on into even greater freedom.

Our minds and our bodies, our psyche and soma, are amazing partners as we take our journeys through life, as we seek to know ourselves at the deepest of levels and as we seek to find the meaning in our lives.

I highly recommend any of the books by Dr. John Sarno, especially The Mind Body Prescription, as guides to understanding how psyche and soma work together to bring us to consciousness, to help us heal.

Our defenses are incredibly strong but our spirit is stronger. That is what we discover as we recapitulate.

I wish you all well on your journeys, and I send you love,

J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

Witness

I wrote the following poem a few weeks ago. It just came through me without being conjured or called. I felt the urge to grab a pen, and this is what came through. I hope it helps, especially in these times of turmoil when we may not feel heard, respected, appreciated for the journeys we have taken, when no one wants to listen to our story, when we feel alone in the world and our heart is heavy. Perhaps this offering that I received will offer you something. Here is the poem:

Witness

Let the sun be your witness, for it has warmed you.

Let the wind be your witness, for it has heard you.

Let the darkness be your witness, for it carries your story.

Let the earth be your witness, for it bears your pain.

Let the dawn be your witness, for it knows your dreams.

Let the birds be your witness, for they sing your song.

Let the water be your witness, for it washes your tears.

Let the whole Universe be your witness, for it knows you better than you do.

Let your Soul be your witness, for it has already gone where you have gone.

Be your own witness, for you know who you truly are.

Sending you love and support,

Jan KetchelAuthor of The Recapitulation Diaries

Recapitulation: Movement is Crucial

Just Breathe… anywhere, anytime…
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

There are many phases of a recapitulation, especially a recapitulation of childhood, especially a recapitulation of a childhood of sexual or physical abuse with its many layers of psyche and soma.

Each layer needs its own separate recapitulation time. Memories are multifaceted and multidimensional, like the skins of an onion, layer upon layer of thin veils of information that must be addressed one at a time. This is one reason that a recapitulation can take a long time. But we can facilitate a recapitulation by consciously attending to each of those layers with intent and awareness, paying attention to where we need to go next by what comes to guide us.

Recapitulation is guided by spirit, that of our body and that of our high self. Dreams guide us too, and we should pay attention to where they take us; our spirit speaking to us in its own language of symbol, myth, and possibility, tapping into other dimensions of truth and fact that we may be missing during our waking life.

During my own recapitulation, I discovered how the many layers of memory came. First there were visual flashbacks. Then those flashbacks fused together into movie-like scenarios, with sounds, smells, feelings, in both physical body and emotional body. Eventually each of those separate somatic experiences required their own recapitulation, so that in the end my recapitulation became a many-layered experience, as each part of each experience took its own time to show me what it had to show me.

The body holds just as much memory, or possibly more than the mind. This is what I came to discover, that the body holds its own memories, separate and yet connected to the memories that come from the deep recesses of the mind, that which is stored in the memory centers of the brain.

These body memories appeared as stuck in my body, energy caught in various places, causing pain and discomfort, anxiety and tensions, and they often acted out real physical disabilities, such as unexplained limping, numbness, swelling, rashes, etc. Often, just the remembering and reliving of a memory did not fully release it from my physical body. Such memories remained deeply embedded in my muscles and sinews until I did something physical to urge them out of me.

I found running, walking, doing yoga, Magical Passes and breathing, Embodyment Therapy® and energy work by an energy worker helpful in releasing these memories from the sinews of the body. Massage, making love, with a partner or alone (yes, masturbation is an excellent means by which to release stuck energy); physical work, gardening, creative endeavors like painting, dancing, singing, playing music, even taking lots of soothing baths. Don’t force; do what comes naturally to you. Anything that stirs the body is helpful in addressing the deep needs of the body to release what it has stored alongside the mental memories.

If physical activity is limited, pain and incapacitation will continue. Mysterious symptoms that no doctor can explain will continue. Illnesses of no origin will continue. So, I urge all of my readers to get up off the couch, out of the bed, and onto the yoga mat. Do some exercises that appeal to you. Put on some running or walking shoes, ride a bike, do something you enjoy in order to get moving.

If physical movement is difficult, even just lots of deep breathing will begin to open the passageways to release what’s stuck; either the recapitulation breath or any other deep breathing technique will suffice. Or simply breathe consciously, with awareness, paying attention to the gentle and natural in-breath and out-breath that your body makes on its own. Breath is life; breath is healing.

Whatever you choose to do, begin slowly, proceed at a pace that you and your body can handle, but be persistent. Ask your body to show you what it needs; this is often the best way to start the physical release of recapitulation. Your body will respond and show you what it needs.

Both your psyche and your body will thank you for getting in touch at a new and deeper level. Your recapitulation will get unstuck, and you will be better prepared to handle what it reveals to you.

It will make you stronger in mind and body, psyche and soma. And your spirit will be overjoyed.

Wishing you well on your continued journey of recapitulation.

Sending you love and support,

Jan Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

•Published simultaneously on The Recapitulation Diaries Facebook Page

You Are Not Special

Nothing is original. Everything has already been created, dreamed, invented, constructed, designed, written, and delivered. When you can understand that, you can understand that you are not special, that everything is impersonal. Any yet, if you can pull out of the ether one of those dreams, one of those creations, and bring it to manifestation, then you have done yourself and all of humanity a great service, for everything that lives in the ethers, all those dreams, have value.

Without owning, give the creative its due. Even the recapitulation of your own life is the retrieving of a dream once dreamed, as equally impersonal as any other dream. Give it its due, its impersonal due, and then, without attachment, move on, reaching for another new dream. For you are not special. You are just another dream, plucked from the ethers.

This is what I plucked from the ethers today, and without attachment, I send it back to the dream that we are all dreaming.

Sending you love,

Jan Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries

The Usher

When we are ready to recapitulate traumatic memories, the Usher comes, inviting us to take the journey back into our most profound experiences in life.

I first experienced the Usher back in 2001 when I was baking cookies for my kids’ lunches. I was hit with such an insight that I fell to the kitchen floor gasping for breath, for it felt as if what had flashed before my eyes had simultaneously knocked the breath out of me.

The Usher came many times during my recapitulation, reminding me to stay the course, reminding me that recapitulation is the portal to freedom, and that the only means by which I was going to gain my freedom was to fully recapitulate everything that had happened to me as a child, and everything that had happened subsequent to that time, as I strove to maintain sanity and stability in a world that I had always experienced as all too unstable.

I learned to let the Usher in, to open the door and pay attention to what was being shown to me, knowing that it was the next step on my journey toward wholeness. With nerves of steel, with unbending intent, and with as much sobriety and stability as I could muster, I faced my past, what my abuser had done to me, and what my child self had formulated in order to survive.

I learned, through the recapitulation process, that freedom would never be mine if I did not recall, relive, and release everything from my past. I worked on my recapitulation for three years, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. At the same time I was raising my two children, working as a freelance artist and writer, running a gallery and faux finish painting business, even teaching painting classes for a time, while also deeply engaged in my local arts community. Somehow I found within me the strength and courage to do all those things while facing some pretty horrific events from my past.

It was the most painful period of my life, but it was what set me free. In doing my recapitulation, I believe I also set my own children free, for I was intent that they would not carry forth into their own lives my depression, my fears, my defenses, or my judgments. It was just as important to free them of the old me as it was for me to free myself of the old me. I wanted freedom for myself, but I also wanted it for them.

At the same time, however, full integration of the old me was part of the healing journey. I had to learn to love every part of myself, fully, and allow every aspect of who I had been come along on my changing journey. In the end, I was only going to be allowed to move forward into new life if I could accomplish the feat of becoming a fully integrated, whole being. It was a most humbling and most stupendous journey.

I am grateful for every step of that three-year-long journey, and for what I learned during that time. My books document that time in my life and all the things I learned about our fuller capabilities as beings of energy. It was during that time that I was taught how to be a channel, how to trust what I was hearing and seeing and experiencing, and how to integrate my spirit into my life along with all the other parts of myself.

When the Usher shows up, I wish that you too may have the strength and courage to take your own recapitulation journey, for it truly is the path to freedom, and your true path of heart. Wishing you all the best!

Sending you love,

J. E. Ketchel

Author of The Recapitulation Diaries