Images

What is Real?


Today there were two snakes laying on my driveway.

I was on a phone call we and were talking about images- images in the sense of ingrained belief patterns so strong that they magnetize life experiences to them. This is the language used by Core Energetics and The Pathwork.

I was just about to say to my friend- well, the good news is that they (the images) aren’t real.

But before I could get the sentence out I was halted by what looked like two baby snakes coiled and laying on the driveway. I couldn’t speak the words, and instead started to babble about snakes.. “What is that- is that real- they look like dead baby snakes- oh my god -what do I do……”

Not long before I had come across a dead rat, rats being one of my deep irrational fears. So- this seemed somehow all the more plausible- that these two snakes would be lying motionless on the driveway. I was conditioned by the last rat experience.

Long story short- they were not real. Yet- my reaction was genuine fear, startle and unease. 

This is how images work in our lives, and how the level of mask plays out in our unconscious. Looks like a horse, acts like a horse. Is not a real horse. 

We energize our beliefs with our emotions. We magnetize them. And then they draw confirming experiences to us. Yes- authority figures are always jerks- all of them are. No- nothing ever works out for me- I can’t win. If I trust then I will be taken advantage of. Our images speak to us in absolutes, in either/or, if/then. They reflect dualistic, black and white thinking that was born in childhood, when we had less of, or none of, the kind of mature awareness and life experiences that would teach us everything is in shades of grey. That Both-And is the truth.

There are endless opportunities to connect with the truth, and just as many to connect with falsehood. We may buy stock and share in our false truths and spread them like gospel. Generations can live under a lie passed down. The kicker is that deep down inside we know that the lie is a lie. Somewhere we feel the itch of truth. Yet so few are given the permission, and the tool of open minded observation to consciously question the belief/image. Pride gets in the way. Fear of having our belief systems up-ended plagues us.

So instead of questioning, we look for confirmation of the image. We are drawn to the people and situations that will confirm the lie, because without it we have to experience the pain of the life of the lie within ourselves. That we, and maybe generations before have lived a lie. That we have spread the lie to others. 

How much courage does it take to face the images, the rigid stories, within us?

C’eour-Age. Heart wisdom. Compassion. Breath into your heart. And ask to know the truth. Ask for the strength to see your own self deception, and ask for guidance to know the real you. How am I blocking truth, expansion, love, joy? Living a lie will block all of that.

This is the work of the age- of all ages. We are part and parcel of our world. We change within to change without. We can not afford to grow complacent with the task our own inner evolution, with rooting out the truth within ourselves. As a daily task, as a way of living, and loving. And each tangle of false images that is unwound frees more of ourselves for true love, power, and peace. Our real self that is our authentic center, the essence of our souls before learned behavior. Our spark of oneness. 

Be well.

CHANGE

An AHA Today while doing my hip circles-

Oh- I could change! The areas of my life, where I felt trapped and stuck.. I can change! This felt so easy, so available. Yet I know I had to work hard to find this movement.

Feeling stuck, has been a certain theme for me recently- I have done several sessions working with my Core Therapist, and in the studio I have been obsessed with a blindfolded, moving backwards dance. While I have been practicing this dance for some time (the inspiration seemed to have intuitively arrived,) a friend pointed out that it is remnant of the nine of swords in the Tarot.

Some fixed beliefs I was expressing in my sessions; I have changed so much and it is up to everyone around me now to change…then more clearly and charged- and I won’t change, I don’t WANT to change, it is too much work, and fuck you for asking! (Who was asking? Life, I suppose.)

So the work was in embodying that resistance, stubbornness, and certainly PRIDE. As my therapist used a cushion pushing against me to represent the current of life, I stood my ground. I WON'T MOVE! I WON'T CHANGE! YOU CAN'T MAKE ME! There was first a pleasure here, yet that gave way to a dizzy feeling, and a deep deep exhaustion. It is exhausting to fight the current of life!

Then I “gave in”, but not in the accepting and surrendering, and come into me and let’s do this kind of way- in a deep collapse, giving up kind of way.

And the challenge here is that it felt good.

I felt permission to escape, to stop trying, to check out. I layed down and felt the weight of life sitting on me (literally as my therapist pressed the cushion onto me) and I felt relaxed underneath it. A familiar sadness arose, the secret joy of Eeyore. Oh well- I missed my train, oh well, life will just pass me by, oh well, I can’t do anything about it anyway, what with life sitting on me- it was an ennui, a resignation to loss of myself.

What a cycle! I can see know the relationship between the stubborn resistance, the exhaustion that causes, the the “permission” to collapse, not try, not care.

Ugh!

So the thing is, if this really was fully my truth, then I would feel no conflict at this point. It would feel great through my whole being, Yes, this is where I should be, how I should be living- here in the weighty collapse. But it is not my truth, it is not the way I truly want to live and be. And I believe, we all know our own truth, even if we have it deeply buried.

The weight that had felt grounding became crushing and painful. It was harder to breath, the feeling of stuckness was creating a panic that overrode the pseudo- experience of comfort. The images of lack, of hollowness, of isolation, the feeling of giving up were all being challenged. That is not really who I am. Who we are.

I push into the cushion, asking-this time- for the flow of life to help me. Can we work together now? Can I lean into you and let you into me?


Two kinds of discomfort- the discomfort of giving in to my pattern of resistance and collapse- the familiarity is alluring but it breeds deep despair and always lands me back in the same place, or the discomfort of deep change- of I don’t know, of yes and thank you, of moving into the unknown calling. Of trying and caring. The vulnerability to shed the ennui and step right into- life- you are in me, you are me, i am you- what would happen if I stopped blocking you?

YES AND NO CURRENTS

A clear flowing yes and a clear flowing no direct our lives and intentions. They move in and out of us without a lot of tension. When we have an inner no and an outer yes, or outer yes and inner no, we create ruts and eddies in our system. Sometimes this is called cognitive dissonance, but since for this research/workshop we are working with energy and the body, we can think of them as currents. Currents working together or not.

Yes is yes and no is no. Yes is not good and no is not bad. Clarity of yes and no brings clarity to our lives. When our inner (unconscious) no or yes aligns with our outer (Conscious) no or yes there is an ease to our lives. I would like that and not that. Yes to spending this time with this person, in this education, in this pursuit. No to eating, doing, or connecting with this. Or no- no to the boundary you have crossed, no to this treatment, no to that.

We see this with toddlers and dogs. When the inner and outer no, or yes, is lined up in their caregivers they don’t push so much. They accept it, feel it and move on.

The trouble sets in when there is a no and a yes. Or a yes and a no. When we have an outer yes and an inner no, or an outer no and an inner yes, the energy does not flow out, or in. We have tension in our bodies, confusion and frustration in our minds and emotions. We are creating a whirlpool, an undertow, an eddy. And like those water phenomenon, the longer it stays, the more energy it attracts to it.

Have you ever wanted something in your life? You want it bad, and perhaps even desperately. You make steps towards it, sometimes even progress? But you always get sucked back, in the same eddy, that same loop. Without and wanting. This is an outer yes, and a hidden inner no.

Have you ever felt a pull towards certain action or calling? Do you feel a longing, but squelch it down, stunt it, stop yourself moving in that direction (or even considering it with any idea of possibility?) This is an outer no to a hidden inner yes. A voice of calling. A voice of authenticity to your spirit and your path. You may temper your dreams with no you can’t have that, don’t be ridiculous. That is wrong/impossible, that is for other people, not you.

How to uncover all these currents?

Again we look to the body. We look to sensation. We look to slow down time, observe and feel. The currents will have a distinct quality in your body, and you can learn to follow and listen to them over time. The NO Current , while it may be charged at first, will always come to a halt. The YES, though maybe quiet, will expand and continue. Again, to be clear- this is not about never saying NO in your life, NO is an important word to learn, because NO can be in service to your true yes.

The base of the currents are giving and receiving. A yes is a yes to be here, to take this breath, to give and receive, to offer and take. A NO is a block to that, to feeling, to the flow, a NO can be a scattering, a leak or a block. NO to receive, no to give.

More on Altars of Recociliation

What is Altars of Reconciliation to me?

Reconciling, there is first recognition and there is acceptance. There is something else there too, something immutable, intangible. Grace? But more rigorous, there could be perceived pain in approaching reconciliation . There seems to be a reflective aspect to it.  Like here is what I must own in this situation. It is not passive to reconcile. So that is why acceptance is part of it, but not all of it. Reconciling could happen through change after you see the acceptance, see your part, and see how something could be different— could shift. Reconciliation is personal and daily. I need to reconcile this anger at this person over this situation. Where is my edge? What am I willing to accept as the relative truth, yet not willing to succumb to. Also how many things do I allow myself to have at once? Can I accept that this may be true, but also that it does not have to be that way, and also that I have a part in this situation and also that I do not have to take responsibility for what is not my part?

How do we reconcile with the earth and with our earthly bodies? Susan Thesanga says this:” We are at a critical point in the evolution of the human species. Our collective lower-self negativity expresses itself in our potential for suicidal pollution of the planet and in our capacity for armed self-destruction”. (pg 36/The Undefended Self)  So how do we reconcile with this suicidal pollution of the planet? That we barrel headfirst into killing the very source of our nourishment, our survival. How does this relate to our collective rejection of mother, of female energy, or our own body?

Reconciling with the flow of life, reconciling with things being out of my control, reconciling with having myself, my presence, my moment to moment existence- within my control. The larger flow, out of my control. Some say that we chose our lessons before we are born, then are born into the families, and circumstances that will best give us the option to learn the lesson. (Nothing being a given because of free will) Where does this end? Do we choose everything and everyone? And there always will be factors that are unknown- and even if we have chosen the perfect life situation to learn our lesson, not only can we go off of it- but so can others. Because of free will someone else may be veering wildly off their own life course plan and affect yours.

This thing too- how we are affected and affect others. Reconciling with the fact that we are not alone, never alone. Always connected. When we try to not be connected, avoid or deny it, we are still in relationship to connection. The lower self- as I understand it, ultimately is about our saying no to connection. It is about not just separating in the terms of individuating, but severing- severing our connection to others, life force, our own highest self. Blocking. Refusing to give or receive. Trying to, at least.

In my life I have struggled to accept this piece. The affecting others and being affected part. Also the being projected on part. I want everyone to see me just as I am- my most authentic self. I want to demand others to see the true me- even if I cannot see it myself. Especially then. Is it a lower self statement to say- accept me damnit!? See the real me not some bullshit projection damnit! There is so much real need in that statement, yet the demand does not allow for warmth (compassion, light, love, humor.) The real need for my authentic highest self to be seen, and also the real need in our lifetime(s)is to discover that identity for ourselves.

Perhaps that is truly our realest need. To over the course of our life (lives) to locate, feel, live with, be with and from, love our most authentic being-ness. The thing that is just on the burning outside of our core star. That breath of manifestation that arises from the unmanifest. From the radiant emptiness. Yet is it too much to demand only the truest closest breath? I think of the elemental cycle- energy passing from unmanifest emptiness (ether) to manifest breath (duality/air) to quickened expansion (fire) to cleansing contraction (water) to the creation of something with enough weight and form that it can be held- and released. The spirit rising out of the corpse and back into the unmanifest, radiant emptiness.

This is what we are- so simple, so complete. This cycle over and over again- in the eons, and in the millisecond, a deep waving and weaving of the cycle in different speeds, dimensions and locations- over and over and over again.

This makes me feel- back to the beginning, both out of control and somehow in it. Or more- I feel I can rest in my connection and place in this- because nothing is outside of this cycle, not this word, thought or breath.

And you- you reader- when are you reading this? Not when I am writing it, yet I have you in mind- yet it is for you and for me. Yet this moment between us is outside of time, at least the kind of time that says you need to arise at 6 am tomorrow, and be at work by 9.

ENLIVENING THE ENERGY BODY

Enlivening the Energy Body

Workshop on 12/3/2018

“God speaks to each of us as he makes us

Then walks with us silently out of the night

These are the words we dimly hear-

You sent out beyond your recall

Go to the limits of your longing.

Embody me.

Flare up like a flame

And make big shadows I can move in

Let everything happen to you:

Beauty and Terror

Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.

You will know it my its seriousness.

Give me your hand.”    

                                       

-Rainer Maria Rilke, translation by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy.


Everything is energy. The physical body is just the densest layer. Blood, muscle, organ, tissue, bone, breath, circulation, nerves; hopes, beliefs, emotions, will/intention, all are/have energy. Energy is vibration, sound, and color. Whether we realize it or not we are always working with energy. We are constantly relating with and through it.

HERE IS THE WORKSHOP NOTES FROM 12/3. IT IS ORGANIZED INTO EXPLANATION and EXPERIENCE. While this does not detail every experiential practice we did, it outlines the thematic material from the class. Enjoy,

EXPLANATION

Energy follows consciousness until a pattern is established, then consciousness follow energy. It will run along the established pattern like a river bed until we increase our energy charge in order to flood the channel. Then once the channel is flooded we have the opportunity to redirect it using our consciousness. If this step does not happen it is easy to move back to the established pattern, even re-energizing it after a period of intensity. Directing the consciousness can be as simple as asking to move in the direction of the highest good for yourself and others.

Today we are going to begin by focusing on 3 energy systems specifically. Then we are going to “erase” them and focus on the energy system as a whole, which will encompass these three systems and so much more. There is a lot of mystery and magic in our energy system and our minds cannot ever fully understand it.

The systems are the chakras, the hara line, and the core star.

Chakras are often the most known and accessible. They are the most interactive on the daily. The are spinning vortices that feed all levels. The focused part of them are centered along the body receiving from the energy around us, feeding that “food” into a central energy column, and which then releases it back out through our aura. Each chakra is like a doorknob opening into the room of the corresponding level of the aura. Each has a unique vibration that relates to a color, sound, aspect of self and life. They are designed to metabolize particular vibrations.  Through blocking and leaking energy we may try to be managing our chakras in an attempt to keep us feeling “safe” and familiar. There are lots of images online of chakras.

The hara line is our level of will and intention. It drives us over the course of our life. It is a vertical current that connects earth and sky through our body. It houses the tantiem, which connects us to the center of the earth and is connected to our will to truly be here, our soul seat which connects us to our deep longing related to what we are here to do and share with others, and our spirit head, which connects us to a larger spiritual reality. Through blocking our intention to be present in any of these connections we can distort our hara line.

The Core Star is the deepest part of our energy system and extends into infinity. We are that.. This is the drop of the animating force that is within us. This is the universe, the divine. The glowing drive that brings all things beyond life and death. This aspect simply is. This place does not receive damage from life experience, as it is life itself. We may shroud and deny it, denying our life force if we fear its intense amount of power and connection, but we cannot kill it. Here is the all oneness.

Energy may feel like a current or like a cloud. An energy block can feel like tension, tight, numb, or stuck and charged at the same time. The natural state of energy is movement but sometimes we are afraid of what its movement will usher in; like a strong feeling, or a life change, so we employ some of our own free flowing energy to become a block, sealing the original truth behind a wall. This is akin to a dam holding back a powerful current, it may work for awhile but eventually the current will win. When we begin to move the block it may become even more scary because there is a rush as the current is freed. We may feel loud, out of control, big, or intense, and may even get that feedback if we direct the power in a harmful way. If we do not feel resourced with compassion for ourselves, have room for safe expression, and have the larger picture of how energy moves, we may establish the block again with even more determination. We will feel justified---asserting that the intensity of the rush proves whatever belief system we were using to hold it in place (for example- that it is not safe to “let the real me out.”). This is where redirecting the current with our trust, positive intent to grow, change, and evolve and having a creative safe outlet comes in. Developing trust for yourself and your process is key to any shift.

Energy can also leak, which could feel like coldness, confusion, a void in the body map, or a pinch. We can drain it through a crack, or it can seep out of us. We may leak or drain our energy because of fear of someone taking it, manipulating it, or to avoid feeling our own power or strong feelings. With this pattern we may also close our system and hold very tightly to what little energy we have, not allowing it to evolve or refresh. Building the capacity to hold a steady charge, and both receive and give without fear will be a process that requires loving patience. The system may run sporadically with a lot of energy at once then collapse, which could again “prove” the image (an emotionally charged belief system) that having too much energy is a dangerous thing. We may try to re-establish holding tight to what we have because there is “not enough,” and we will look to situations dripping with lack to confirm our belief. We will see those with less and think we have to give all we have to them. Proper giving is key to balancing a leaky energy system. How can you give from the abundance? Then you will feel what you receive when you give from the heart without resentment. You will realize that giving does not have to be partnered with draining and lack. Using the consciousness to have a real somatic experience of filling the energy system without rushing, not having to immediately “spend” or “give away” what is in the energy bank is needed. Trust and awareness are helpful tools.

So charging and discharging are two important processes for working with energy. As is trust, compassion, curiosity, and the ability to return to your breath and your feet. To ground. To commit.

EXPERIENCE

Now trust that what is here and ready to resonate is up and existing and is available. If your mind is holding on to all that information from before encourage it to let your body and energy system have what it needs. Thank your mind and put it in service to your larger consciousness by being present and curious and objectively observing.

Feel how your mysterious, gorgeous, and complex energy system in interacting with this moment… and now this moment. Moment to moment, what if your energy body guided you? What if your energy body is getting what it needs? Invite surrendering to energy, being moved by the energy body- getting what it needs and guiding your dance moment to moment.

Remember there is no feeling, thought, impulse, emotion, that does not have an energetic vibration to it. Notice what arises and also allow yourself to affect and be affected. Feel how your chakras and your field is constantly in relationship to everything. If you become overwhelmed- breath, and return to the root chakra and sensations in the physical body. Open your eyes and see others practicing what you are practicing. We are all here just practicing. Be right here and open to shifts in your consciousness.


Now rest and feel the energy changes in your body. Here is where you can invite your hara line, your will and intention to help you redirect your energy for your very best. For the very best you have to offer to yourself, to others, to the world in this moment. Here is where you can ask for guidance and support. Here is where you can breathe into your heart and ask to feel the uniqueness and authenticity of you. Use this flood of energy to break into new patterns of vibration and healing. Love.




INFINITE CENTER

This week, delving deeply into the core star with a client. Touching the infinite center of ourselves-

Before you were you- before you were born, you were a consciousness, a presences, a seed sound of your soul. You were everywhere and nowhere. As your consciousness moved, you moved. From this place of infinite connection, you are part of the all, and you are unique. This is god. This is spirit. This is the drop of water from which we emerge. This is the collection of the realness inside of you, this is the animating center of beings.

What is the pull to be born? What is the pull to become a human? Why do we sink into these forms and live in this place?

A central conflict of humanness, we are infinite beings in finite bodies. Our essence is indestructible and only has more chances to shine brighter and grow, yet our bodies decay and whither and die. All bodies die. All flesh rots, all bones crumble. Yet while we inhabit them we must care for our houses. We cannot ignore and abuse the flesh, and expect our spirit to emerge. What is, and what if the central spirit seed began to inhabit our cells? IT must, our bodies are alive in every cell while we are aimating them, then after our death, they cannot animate on their own. Any life within our dead flesh arrives from outside forces, insects, water, fire, the inherit decay that is on this earth.

There is not human, or perhaps any sentient being, that this is not true for. No matter how shrouded someone's infinite seed may be, it is there.

We are afraid of the monters of our negative unconcious..

“We are afraid of the monsters of the negative unconscious, which lurk in the forests of these unknown lands. (lower self lands.)”

These monsters; fear is their food, and while we fear them, they grow stronger. As they are denied, hated, ignored and abhorred, they, like abused animals or children, grow angrier, vindictive, isolated and hurt.

“And yet, some evil is an intrinsic part of our human nature, if we are to follow the path of the truth, we have no choice but to enter the dark mysteries of our nature, otherwise we will live on the surface of life, in the mask of denial.”

We must all question from time to time; are we on the path of seeking truth, or are we on the path of seeking ‘being good”, through denial of the unpleasant aspects of ourselves we would rather not admit to. Our desire to deny these less than ideal parts of ourselves is so strong and often unconscious. They bite into the very heart of our deepest longing, to be loved, to be connected, and to be seen, to survive. To allow these hidden “monsters” to surface is equated with losing all of these things. That we will no longer be loved, held, seen or supported, and we all have had affirmation of this at some point, or at many points in our lives. This actually did happen.

Denied and shoved back these distressed and darker aspects of ourselves undoubtedly rear their heads in wild and uncontrolled ways, the sheer power of them frighten ourselves and those around us. Terrified we see them as unsafe and begin the work of shoving them back to the hidden depths of our unconscious, where, in abuse, they sit and wait till the next time our defenses are thin.

We need to keep remembering that evil is not a separate force in the universe. On the ordinary, dualistic level, evil can appear to be an equal and opposing force to good. In reality, evil is merely a distortion of the one great creative force of the universe. Meeting and embracing evil is the only way to redirect its “energy current” back to its pure origin.”

Let’s pause for a moment and consider the act of WAR. A power arises, a threat, there is a mobilization against this threat, a defense, beginning struggle and fighting. There is violence, death, resources are depleted and eventually one side “wins”, which only means the other side is temporarily subdued, until, more hurt, bitter and angry then ever it can re-gather its strength and strike out again.

This is exactly what is happening in our psyches and within our relationships. And we are no more likely to accept the “monsters” of another then we are of ourselves. We encourage suppression, battle and subduing in others just as we do ourselves.

But when do we as a human race ask- Is this truly working?

Have we come any closer to peace within or peace without?

“When evil is understood to be intrinsically a divine energy flow, momentarily distorted due to specific wrong ideas, concepts and imperfections, then it is no longer rejected in its essence.  (Pathwork lecture #184)”

There is power in our monsters, our own very life force, vitality, and creative current is entwined within it. That is why we cannot just toss it away. Perhaps part of us feels that occasionally letting these monsters rise up and yell can help us regain our power. And done in an intentional manner, with the true desire to find the distorted current and restore it towards our highest good, it can. Done in an way that damages other beings, however, will start a cycle of trauma for others, shame and guilt for ourselves that has too much psychic debris to help us move through and beyond the original monster.

But seeing that the energy held within these aspects is still energy, and is our own energy, we realize that to deny it is to deny ourselves. To deny ourselves is to deny others. So we can reclaim that power over time, and that distortion falls away and we become more fully our authentic selves.

The parable of the fallen angel, Lucifer, illustrates this perfectly. Its substance is made of god, yet it has “fallen” into distortion, into duality, into separateness. It has fallen into pride and fear and serving only the self. Yet is is a powerful presence. It did not draw its power from any other place but from the one source of power, the divine energy, or highest self.  

Experiencing our "monsters" with the intention to move through them, and not just to be seduced to staying in “lower self land”, we learn where we ourselves created duality, splits and defenses. Transforming the energy captured in the lower self and reclaiming it, in all its vulnerable beauty, pouring it back into our true core, our true center of spirit, that is made of the vibration of true love, power and peace is the goal and the gain that is accessible to us all.

(quotes from The Undefended Self by Susan Thesanga.)

ALTARS OF RECONCILIATION MAKING THE INVISIBLE VISIBLE

 

THE CREATIVE PULSE

 

What a beautiful, intricate, and incredible thing our bodies are. There is this thing that works on a holographic projection of the essence of our soul, and it is light, energy, then form. It is our veins, blood, neural pathways, organs, tissues. It is our thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and longings.

In rehearsal for Altars of Reconciliation on Sunday I did a meditation practice, followed by a “self-portrait” of what arose during the meditation. Mostly these feel like energy self-portraits.

Here is what I drew: Black inward pointing arrows all around my throat, as many as I could get on the paper. Soft outward arrows around the body. On Tuesday afternoon, 48 hours later, I began to lose my voice. By Wednesday it was completely gone and stayed that way for a week.

 

What gives? The body sent a message, an indicator, perhaps a warning? Energy precedes form. The physical body is the densest layer of the energetic field.

The energetic field is comprised of a holographic projection from an infinite center. The projection is like a fluid, brilliant, outline or blueprint, it houses our deepest, most true essence. The energy body also houses the spikes, arrows, indents, of life experience. Thoughts we think repeatably over time, fear, anxiety, trauma, relationships, place, society, everything around us affects the vibrational field.

It is a two-way street- the flux and movement from infinite center out and from infinite universe back in. In a breath, in a moment, a day, the course of a project, the course of a lifetime.

Our creativity, and our creative pulse are like this. We can use our creativity, and our art-making to consciously work with the process of expand/contract.  Everything we create is like this, a relationship, a human, a home, a business plan, a meal. When the in/out, express/impress cycles are too quick we might have anxiety, we don’t learn as we go, we can feel overwhelmed and overworked. When it is too slow, or fighting through resistance, we can feel depressed and stagnant. Through acknowledgment of the cycle balance is possible.

 

 

PRACTICE

 

Invite the space in the beginning. Allow emergence of what is and what is ready to be worked with, to be brought out to the light. The first step in the elemental cycle is ether- or charged space. What is the current, quality and sensation of holding a charged space or container for your material to emerge. It always has at least partially emerged from the unconscious if we are holding this practice. The unconscious energy ready to be worked with will present itself. In this stage it may shrink from the direct light of pressure to “perform” or from over-analyzes. It needs spacious love and acceptance to come forth.

As the sensation, attraction (to a color, and idea, and object, a movement, that thing that begins to draw you to it) grows, you can work more directly in your explorations. It can take a little more direct contact. Be curious, explore its shape, quality, timber. Does it come in words, sound, movement, color? Be in playful exchange. What parts of you are moving as you do this? Does it challenge something about you, or who you thought you were? Good. Be uncomfortable. Learn from it- it is emerging form a place of large connection that your ego alone is incapable of. Feel pulse of life with it. Allow yourself to push it out a little, this is expansion time.

It is outside of you, it is now a mirror. You have created this thing. There is often a sense of stop here- the meal is plated, the painting is done, the song is recorded, the dance was performed. Because of the excitement of the expansion, you may feel euphoric. You did it! Feel accomplished but don’t disappear in the ecstasy without holding a thread with which to return. Stay present with the creation/mirror on the outside of you. Soak it in, take it in. How does it affect you? How does it affect others? What has this contribution brought to the world around you. Is there something more you need to notice?

The creative process applies to all energies, so this is the process for both construct and destruct. Be honest. Are any aspects causing you or others harm? Can you observe truthfully?

You can also make a beautiful piece of art that deeply studies your shadows. You can do this with minimal harm to the world around you, yet all birth has a violence. Nothing tears through the fabric of our souls without affect. Try to notice without shame. These births are necessary. This is another moment of pause. Of non-doing. The energy is very much outside of you, on the edge of your field, and often in the people around you. Pause here and with honesty and compassion. Reflect, notice, feel.

Like the singularity of a black hole, the point of expansion before the movement of the infinite gravitational center pulls light back in towards itself.

The flow back to center can happen slow, or very quick it is the undertow. It is the water settling into dirt. It is the tree shedding its leaves and pulling its life force back to its root. It is our returning. This is part of the integration, the flowing back in towards your center. After the creative pulse has pushed out, it comes back to you, changed, and can transform you. What did you learn through the arc of the process? What parts of yourself do you need to reconcile in order for the contraction back into yourself to happen. This part is less celebrated, less understood. It need not be dark but notice any resistance. Notice where and why you resist, what you may be stuck in holding unto. Often the returning forces us to rethink who we are. It has the capacity to shred self-identity and false beliefs, and if we are not connected to our own spirit this is disorienting, even debilitating. Yes, what is the cost of keeping this energy stuck, of not accepting that you have been shown more. And is there a secret pleasure tied up in not changing?

The altar inside is the place you started the creation from. It is the place of charged potential, of vibrating emptiness from which your longing and impulse emerged. Fill that space now with the reflections of your creation. With the way you grew and changed. With the mystery. Surrender your lesson to this space. Particularly the ones that are lost on you in the moment. They will be the seeds for your next creation. More love. More surrender.

 

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PERSONAL STORY

 

I was frustrated with a person that I felt did not offer me the support I needed from her. I felt I was doing all the giving in the relationship, and that she was constantly putting me out while looking good and taking credit. This was a hard pebble of a feeling that existed around my chest, inside, and holographically projected into my field of energy.

I went into a movement practice with this- invite, investigate. build, observe the mirror, integrate and lay down the old self. The feeling was sharp, dramatic, and also strong and alive. I let myself exaggerate the energy, push it out and see it thru. Till there was nothing but a wall. A wall created by this feeling. And what really was the feeling, as I brought it out I saw my interest in NOT receiving the support. The way I had made it work for me. My pride as I got to be BETTER THAN, to know more, to JUDGE her and her way in the world. I felt deeply into my pride. I felt deeply into the wall it was creating. I danced that wall, that pride. I was a lioness, ready to rip and rend. I was an aristocrat judging and condemning. I was puffed up and full of myself. I felt the desperate attachment to that identity. I also felt the overwhelming burden of it, of maintaining something that was outside of truth. It takes so much energy to sustain false beliefs. I felt the weight and exhaustion of holding it. How it kept everyone out, I was strong yet lonely inside of it. And how if her help was extended to me, I was in a bind- part of me wanted it, yet if I accepted it, my idealized self-image would be ruined. I danced with it. I asked to know more. I asked to be able to retrieve my energy and essence that I had used to create this pride wall, I asked to be able to bring it back to my center, so that I may lay down the shell that was hurting me. To pull back the pleasure current I had attached to “being right” through distortion and pain, and to help it find its way home.

Through the dance I imagined laying this down at the altar, inside and outside. I imagined it as a sacrifice. Thank you, you are done, release to the fire of transformation. I felt my softness, my tears. I felt the space.

Like taking the red pill, you cannot truly turn back once you honestly see an energy you are carrying. That is the mirror phase. Laying it down in the creative process allowed me to remember. Allowed a shift. Allowed for the integration. We are all made of energy, and we cannot slice away parts of ourselves, it never works. So, the process is to transform what we have, not to cut away or to try to create more. It is already there inside of us. There is place deep within us, a place of perfection where the energy flows with balance and illumination. Ask to see our blocks. We ask to see where we are stopping or leaking the flows. We ask to see our fear, because love and acceptance is our natural state, our habitat, our home.

 

 

 

A letter to the particpants of the first ever Altars of Reconcilation workshop- held at the Tiny Theater PDX on November 12th, 2017.

Hello everyone-

Thank you so much for participating in the first ever Altars of Reconciliation workshop. I am inspired and grounded by how much all of you brought forth of yourselves, truly and honestly. You are beautiful beings and we are all working through this dualistic coil individually as well as in community.

I am also struck at the power of this work, and am grateful to know this at this time in the world. It is a shared experience and process and I want to reiterate that I hope to be a resource to you, as you are to me, in this process. Feel free to reach out to me with questions, comments or feedback.

Since we are all artistic and creative types, we are using our tools--our creativity, our bodies, our voices, our music, our artmaking.. etc as method to explore what is true and deep in our energy field.

1. Meditate, inviting to know what is ready to be worked with. It will feel charge, have a charge. Allow it to present and trust in the manner in which you encounter it.

2. Investigate- what is the timber, feel, vibration, quality, texture of the item. It most likely will be something sharp or stuck, if it was in the flow of your field it would not stand out. What is the feeling outside (how does it point outward) what is the feeling inside (this relates to the cost to you.)
How does it think it is serving you, what does it believe its job is? Where do you resist reconciliation (hugely important and takes a great deal of self honesty) How does it harm you, what is the cost?

Propose to yourself, if I were to reconcile this thing, what would I need to give up? Remember all you can ever sacrifice is something inside of you. You can know this and choose not to give it up. This may be a very important part of the process. Feel how you may be resistant, and have a NO to giving up this part of yourself. Let yourself own your NO.

 

THESE ARE THE TWO STEPS WE WORKED WITH, AND THEY ARE SO KEY! BE PATIENT AND KIND TO YOURSELF. NO NEED TO RUSH.----------------------------------------

When you are ready and clear to continue, it is often because the cost to you is greater than the "pleasure" of maintaining the charged energy that you have not yet wanted to reconcile. This, I believe is an enduring and cyclic process.

3. Build the ALTAR. Is this inside of you, or outside? Are you connected to ritual and object making? How can you best serve yourself in making an altar. Mine are usually invisible and energetic. Yours might be totally different.

4. Lay the item of the altar of reconciliation. Feel everything. Receive your own compassion.

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Boy, when I look at this I realize how big this could be, How it can be served by a lot of space and time.

Once again, I extend gratitude and joy in knowing each and every one of you.

Till we talk again,

best,

Tracy

MUSINGS

In Core Energetics training we learned about the path of transformation, as opposed to transcendence. Transformation path is messier, because you delve into your own psyche to stand and feel and face what is the most held, darkest in you, to look at your deepest fears about who you may actually be, honestly.
It takes a lot of courage to stand in this.

And When this does not annihilate you- as your immature fear may have thought, there is a reckoning and accepting of yourself. The transformation is guided by a commitment to the higher self.. dependent upon the tools of grounding and loving and opening, of compassion, of reconciliation, it requires direction towards our own vulnerability to love and accept, to risk being open, and caring, and also to risk being wrong and see our mistakes. It risks being hurt by others and world, and this is a real possibility, but it is this kind of self honesty frees us from the deep betrayal we inflict upon ourselves through ignoring, denying, festering wounds and anger, or judgement. Because that is a betrayal of what is truly good in us, of the gifts we truly have to offer the world.

Through the world right now I see us struggling with the transformation, that chaos is increasing and I also see people who are rooting down, and centering in themselves and love, looking at hard truths, and extending a hand. I also make my prayer to see more clearly every day, to be courageous, to root and open in the midst of chaos, to help.

I also see--- a squirrel carrying a nut through my yard, I feel the vulnerability of sharing in this social media thing we have, I feel my pelvis sitting on the floor. My dog tracks the squirrel.

So yeah, here in the moment is good for me.

 

A LITTLE WHILE BACK, RIGHT BEFORE MOTHERS DAY, SOMEONE ASKED ME TO WRITE ABOUT MY EXPERINCE AS AN ARTIST AND A MOTHER. I CONDUCTED AN INTERVIEW WITH MYSELF, AND TRANSCRIBED WHAT I SAID.....

AND HERE IT IS...............


I entered motherhood through the back door, by falling in love with a man who had children. I thought I would be more of an auntie, or have a part time role in their lives, but as life happens I have ended up being the day to day mothering presence. I still hesitate to use the word mother, to call myself a mother, there is judgements on it and I don't want to be disrespectful to their “actual” mother who is also still in their lives. But I have embraced Parent and I do a lot of parenting- particularly to my step daughter Aidan, who is now 15, and was 9 when she moved in with us.

I had no real idea what I was in for, and the way parenting scatters your energy and shifts your priorities. So, obviously that is challenging to artists/dancers who tend to already be a little scattered between trying to make art, and scratch out a living, and so then you just add one more thing to the mix and its a bit of a perfect storm- particularly if you don't have a traditional framework of a single money maker who can keep all the bills going. So you are just trying to figure it out, and that is how my family has worked, is just a lot of trial and error. Figuring it out moment to moment.

I did have the experience of being in a rehearsal process with Aidan. I had already known she was very creative, an incredible artist, and loved to dance- like popular dance. We had a lot of dancing to that “dance central” game for a couple of years, and she was always one to get up and dance at school functions, in fact even on her most recent birthday party we had a huge teenage dance party in our living room. She goes to Jefferson, so she is around a lot of people who love to dance and do it on a regular basis. There is a certain energy you can pick up off of that, through being with young people who are just really into it- course I could be picking up on hormones too!  But we were able to go through the process of Tahni Holt’s “Sensation/Disorientation” together, and that is incredibly special to me. It was an amazing experience to share with a young person, and to share with this young person in particular who has such a big role in my life. It was challenging too, the process started and she wasn’t part of it and rehearsals were like my artist time, and then I had to open that up to share with her when she got invited by Tahni into the process. Watching her work was incredible and at time hard- because she is still a teenage, and she still struggles, she pulls back and forth- plus the material was very sophisticated. I had to watch myself in it, because I told Tahni from the beginning that I didn’t want to be parenting and performing at the same time, and while it is impossible to turn that off 100 percent, Tahni, really took that role of pushing her, keeping her on task, and taking her where she wanted to go, which as a director was her job anyway. But the experience really brought us closer- it was such a unique and incredible thing to share together, and I loved watching her step up to it, bloom, and really own it and be with it. It just makes your heart swell.

We did another little piece together at one of the Spectacle Gardens at the Headwaters. It was a simple piece, I just stood really still in this grounded place (outside by the tracks) and she got to throw paint on me. That piece was cool, in a lot of ways it was about my experience of parenting. You are just sort of standing there and POW shit starts to come at you- you don’t know what is coming or what is going to happen because they're just doing their thing- you know it is not vindictive it is just what they are going through- but you have to stay there and do your best to maintain, to stay grounded. That is a lot of what that piece was about for me- and in a way, asking myself- could I take it?

The thing about parenting- how it has affected my art? In some ways I feel more strength around it, because it would be easy to release so you have to declare for it in your own way. Also parenting for me, has made me a more generous person in general, which the best art, I believe, has a lot of generosity. But there is this unpredictability. Day to day, where you don’t really know what may happen, you can go along and be in your flow and focusing on what you need to focus on, but then boom, there is a shift- it could be as simple as someone gets sick and stays home from school, or some kind of appointment, or a ride is needed- or something more dramatic- but you have to develop this constant fluidity of juggling what you are focusing on, what your schedule looks like. You could have a total picture of how your day may be, or how you may run a rehearsal- and boom, something comes up and it shifts. So it has really forced me to be a lot more fluid in how I approach life, and there is a strength in that kind of adaptability, and there can also be a weakness in that because it can disperse your focus too much. So it is a lot of finding what is that balance of holding the line, but with enough flexibility that it allows for this bigger movement of a young person growing.

Audio Blog, musing on Einstein quote.

The famous quote from Einstein "We can not solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." inspired this. I am trying out an audio blog, where I am speaking off the cuff. It is about 12 minutes long, and a bit abrupt at the beginning and ending, but I kept it so that the spontaneity could remain. 

A Core Energetics approach to looking at this quote.

WARNING: swear words.

FREE WILL

FREE WILL
I am an improviser.
I rest into the mystery of the universe, and go with the flow. Follow intuition as things arise, keep myself loose, calm and flexible. And I am grateful for this ability.
But recently lessons of a different flavor have been coming. Lessons about discernment and choice. About free will.
I choose, I choose where my attention lays, what I invite, I choose how I connect. The universe like a cosmic menu, here are the items available, then here is what I select and then consume. This is what makes me. It is different than just being served, and figuring out how to deal with it.
Free will, feels like such a responsibility, and also like a deeply powerful place.

Sometimes my conscious mind makes a choice, but my unconscious makes a different choice. I am consciously saying yes to something, but there is also a no. No, I won't make space for that in my life, no I’m too busy right now, No that is not exactly how I want that to be, No I won’t do the work that is required.


When I become aware of this resistance, I am closer to healing the split. Before there is all blame and victimization, all desperation or hurt. But revealing these powerful conflicting forces within clears the path for true free will. Because if you don’t realize there are options/oppositions, how can you make a choice? When I realize that something I think I am saying wholeheartedly yes to continues to thwart me, I look for a hidden no. I realize I am not caught in the current of some force that is outside of me, I am caught in the eddy of my own internal struggle. As I perceive it, my power grows, my power to fully choose. Free Will.

These lessons first came to me through working in a Core Energetics session, which bases some of its philosophy on the pathwork lectures.
Here is a wonderful excerpt that addresses the Yes and No conflict.
To read the whole lecture go to pathwork.org, lecture no.125.

“When you discover specifically how you say no to a cherished fulfillment, you reach a major transition in your entire development, in your outlook on life. After such a discovery, you can never be the same, For the first time, you comprehend the fact that you do not have to depend on circumstances outside your control, that you are not a persecuted victim of an unfair and unkind fate.......................

..........Acknowledge it, draw it out further into consciousness and prepare yourself for finding the answer to the barrier.”

I want you to have all of your cherished fulfillment…..

WHAT ARE AREAS THAT YOU ARE COMPELLED BY A NO, AND A YES? Leave comments below. And, as always, Thanks for reading!

DOES the universe taste of us?

Excerpt from Elegy 2. Duino Elegies by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Gary Miranda.

"We-we evaporate in our feelings. We exhale ourselves and vanish. Our scent grows fainter as it passes from ember to ember. Someone may say to us; "Yes. You've gotten into my blood. This room, the springtime-it's full of you." But what for? It can't hold us. We vanish in and around it. And even those who are beautiful- can anyone keep them from vanishing? The appearance of beauty seems fixed in their faces for always, and, always, it fades. Everything we are evaporates- like dew from the spring grass, or steam from hot food. A smile- where does it go! A glance-new, warm, a gesture of the heart- oh it hurts to say it, but this is what we ARE! Does the universe taste of us then, since we spill ourselves into it?"