Today when I sat, I had a sense of the three companions, orca, spider and crow. Crow is strong, all were dancing. I was sitting with how to resolve my own sense of being invisible, the part of my experience where I disappear. The three danced and danced. Dancing with no end.
Sandra Ingerman's talks about the importance of journeying with intention. As I read her words today, I reflected on my experiences across the last month. I pictured the intention's I carried with me, or didn't, into the non physical spaces I been working/playing in. I sit with the way strengthening my intention may assist to strengthen my journey and the knowing which comes from the journey. The setting of intention for journeying is in itself a practice.
She names the appropriateness of the frequency of journeying, and also the way some journeys are vivid and others are not. Again, I experienced her words informing my reflection on my experiences. I have undertaken to journey frequently at this time. I can see how journeying with purpose, asking a well crafted question could be the driver in constructing my future experiences.
I like the openness of her text, prescriptive, providing step by step descriptions, but privileging what occurs of what should occur. Sitting with her writing clarifies and gives context to my experiencing. I like her gentleness, which feels supportive and encouraging.
It occurred to me today that I believe in a non physical reality. I have sat on the fence with this for a long time, believing in ghosts and spirits, but also not, saying I didn't know for sure. I still don't know for sure, but do know that something is real when I look into the non physical.
I don't need to have a definitive answer for what the non physical is, or isn't. But I trust my exploration and sensing.
Half a spider
When I sat today I noticed the crow, strong, healthy dancing dancing dancing. I noticed closer to my body half a spider. Spider is a special kind of medicine for me. I have come to see spider as being an expression of my femaleness. Crow of my male.
I have noticed her withdrawn, frozen, and shy. Today I noticed she was only half there. I felt the drum beat beat along the seam of her halfness. With crow to my right dancing. Beating his wings. I felt the lack of safety that seems to keep the spider only half there.
I noticed her grow very big, and grow very small. In this experiencing she was black with a red strip down her back.
As I was setting up the sweatlodge I noticed I was traveling with anxiety. This anxiety felt like it had a particular flavour. a particular kind of familitarty.
I noticed as I set up a feeling of a male presence, out of the corner of my eye. I chose to just hold this feeling, not making it wrong (judge it), or investing in it being right (create a story around it).
As I cleaned and prepared these two senses collided. My feeling/sensing became a knowing about my grandfather, my father's father who died when my father was 14. An alcoholic, he had died (from what I know) of cirrhosis.
The anxiety I was feeling felt like my grandfather speaking to me, through my gut. This almost overwhelming sense of closeness opened up to other kinds of feeling spaces in the feeling-holding dialogue between my grandfather and my body.
This new way of experiencing him, the strength with which he stepped forward and the way my brain linked the sensations with memories of similar sensation states felt grounding, my experiencing over time making a bit more sense.
'Still not sure if I am 'doing it right'. But I keep sitting with magical self experiences unfolding. I felt a deeply wounded part of me today. A part long forgotten, deeply traumatised. I felt her as dead. I struggled to breathe. Crow was there strongly. I felt crow in front of me, I noticed me noticing crows wings softly beating, I noticed me noticing crow showing me how to regulate this part, how to be 'normal' (really how to be in a natural state of being, not a traumitised state of being, me mirroring crows natural state of being).
I felt the strong uncomfortable feelings this part holds, holding this part tight, as crow worked with me to look for a way to include her tightly. Again, the surfaces of these feeling states felt rich and alive, containing a lot of information, linking to stories and memories of the past.
Working working to hold and heal.
With my Masters writing now completed, I have started reading Sandra Ingerman's beginning guide to journeying. So far what she says feels (mostly) resonant with my practicing.
Crow is traveling strongly with me today, I feel his (?) clarity, sharp eyes and beak and bristling health. The felt sense of crow in my body feels empowering to my well being, providing a resource to hold myself together.
I briefly flicked through Sandar Ingerman's book before I sat today. She was talking about journeyings place as a healing modality. This reminded me of my powerful healing experiences across the last weeks and refocused my attention going intoday.
When I sat today, I noticed my almost zoning out at the beginning. I reminded myself that journeying is an active not a passive process. I could feel this shifting my energetic experience. I noticed content arising around my mother, and teh lack of mothering I experienced. I reflected on uncomfortable recollections of my sometimes not adequate mothering of my own daughter.
Again, I was drawn to the surface of my experiencing body, noticing the way the uncomfortable feelings pulsed. I was aware I was traveling with crow. I was aware of the beating of crows wings. This beating felt like it was energising the pulsing uncomfortable surface of my feeling body. It felt like it was offering a regulation of my heart. Comforting
The context of coming here, into this active deep feeling space, holding myself again and again feels so precious. It reminded me in different context, that there is the expectation to heal immediately , especially when working with alternative modalities. That a single journey will resolve all parts of an wound.
My own experience and intuition is that it is by going again and again, working with the complex surfaces of the wound, the inside feeling space contexts and the way these intersect with the outside circumstances of the person's life healing is achieved.
Post Masters reading
Shame, beating heart-beating drum
I noticed my mind was busy today, with lots of thoughts a solutions arising as I tried to watch what was happening inside. I noticed a feeling of shame coming up. It felt sharp and familiar. I saw the crow come and wrap its wings around my heart, holding the shame.
As busy thoughts and not much else unfolded, I started to feel the drum beat I was listening to penetrate first my heart, then my back and other parts of my body. It pulsed and beat at, creating subtle movement. The feeling the beating generated was relief.
I was reminded by my busy thoughts of my teacher telling me that shamanic experience is marked by its dynamic motion. Sitting still, quietly is not shamanic experience. I looked for the body (not mind) movement as I sat.
Encounter with spider and crow
There was a short meditation at the end of the yoga asanas. As I sat I noticed spider and crow. Crow was strong, vital, spider was timid and I could feel the feelings of being shy and disappearing in her.
In the shamanic traditions I work in, spider is my totem. She shows up as a Black Spider, a huntsman spider or sometimes a brown house spider. She showed up today as a black spider.
It was fascinating to see and feel her. It felt like I was able to know more about myself through being with her and crow in these minutes.
It felt like she was showing me specific parts of my broken feminine. With crow strongly with me too.
Today when I sat I mostly just cried.
My sense is the deep work I have been doing has both given me access to long buried deep feelings and is allowing my to hold the discomfort.
I decided to not feel disappointed that not much else happened today besides memories of perceived injustices arising and tears coming. I let them come. I have plenty of time to get journeying right.
As context, I lost touch with my sadness many years ago. I don't remember when. Probably when I was a kid, when my pain went unnoticed, ignored for so many years I numbed it out. I stopped struggling and kind of died instead.
Through many years of therapy I have waited for tears to come. God knows I deserved my own tears. A deep soul shattering lack of safety unfolding from the sharp neglect of my childhood. The abuse and neglect, so many humiliations I have suffered.
My own behaviors become insane and sometimes psychotic. Then being blamed for expressing my experience in difficult ways for others. Victimized, insane and mostly dead.
I have waited and waited for my tears to come. My lack of tears felt like further evidence that I was beyond healing, beyond hope.
Then over the last years they have started to come. I have highly valued the physical pain (a deep dull ache) in my heart space I have noticed across the last few years. I associated it with being close to spirit, to my authentic self.
The coming closer to my felt experience of neglect. Part of building an understanding that the abuse was not my fault, contrary to what my family ask me to believe. That my madness was an understandable response to the madness of my family environment. And I was allowed to not blame myself, and I am allowed to feel sad.
The inside work across the last week has bought me in touch with strong, deep feelings, leading to healing. The healing is ongoing, unfolding, emergent. Yesterdays holding my pulsing pain strengthens my understanding that I am capable of holding myself together.
When I look inside, this is the work that's there to do now. I am going to privilege trusting the process over trying to get anything right.
Holding strong uncomfortable feelings
I was feeling tiered today. A sense of self hatred present in my mind and body. I could barley muster the motivation to do my morning yoga. But I did. I could barley muster the motivation to do a journey today, but I did.
As soon as I closed my eyes, I felt a welcome clarity. Colours felt bright. It felt like an energised and alive space. I went to the part I worked with yesterday. It felt like veins and arteries hooked up between this wounded child part and 'me'. I looked/felt around for others, but I was alone. I felt into all the feeling spaces, all the blocks and crunchy memories of being less then. The reasons why these parts had become separated. The reasons I had become separated from myself.
Then, I went from vibrant and clear, to lost. The strong feeling spaces shifted the other parts of the experience away out of focus. Deciding to not pathologise my unfolding experience, I stayed with what was unfolding.
I sat holding my self in my uncomfortable feelings. They pulsated through me. I stayed with myself. It felt like a safe and attentive holding. The vibrancy of the first part of the sitting showed up here in the clarity of my holding.
My sore felt experience pulsing as I breathed.