"Your feelings have an intelligence worth following. Hospitality is the art of opening a space in our home for someone to arrive there. Rather than forcing the expectation that our needs be met, we make a courtship of that which we are curious about or admire. So let us make our lives alluring. Let us stand with respectful distance and make an invitation of ourselves, that wildness might decide to approach us. Let us re-member ourselves to the mysterious unknown, even when we hear nothing back. Let us keep returning to that uncomfortable silence and allow ourselves to be shaped by our yearning for answers."
It's as if, on waking, a self-warming process needs to take place. I am cocooned in a warm bed. Still there is a sense of shock, stiffness, coldness and frozen fear throughout my being. I see an image of Gulliver's giant pinned down. The greatest fear-filled message is to 'stay where you are!'. Crossing this threshold has been this way for me for most of my life, but I have bypassed it, run roughshod over it and rose to my day without consciousness of my body. It was too much for me to be present to and yet it continued to call me home. I have been curious about it for a long time. So, this morning I invited my 'self' to approach this felt physical and emotional state, fully, without expectation and with reverence and gentleness. As if bringing my presence to a wild and frightened animal. To just say, "I am here. I am with you". These are the words I longed to hear as a child whilst witnessing terrifying violence in front of me. This is in response to the deep calling within me for peace, integrity, warmth, safety and harmony. As I did this the experience of being in my body began to shift from frozen fear to vulnerable fear (ref. Robert Gonzales 'The Spirituality Of Compassionate Communication'). The tears came and the compassionate medicine was released throughout my system. I never know how long I can or need to sustain this awareness. I move in and out of it. This morning I knew something had shifted cause images of those red pepper and seed crackers I was hoping to make today came flooding in. Here's what I think happened.
There are parts of me that are 'out in the cold' and 'abandoned' because the environment I was in when forming my nervous system was filled with pain. And so these parts of me took shelter. Their pain now is calling me back to my originality. There is an aspect of my brain, the amygdala, that doesn't know 'who is out there' (ref. Sarah Peyton Neuroscience Educator and NVC Certifed Trainer) . These parts don't know that my father isn't going to come home drunk and physically attack his family. (Memories of me shaking with terror in my bed). And so, these parts of me need to know, and I need to keep reminding them, that slowly, bit by compassionate bit, it's ok to come home now. When I get images of creative pursuits, I know I have arrived home into the present, into gratitude.
I got out of bed very slowly, keeping my awareness on my whole being as it began to move into the day. Went downstairs and roasted a pepper in the oven ready to make my crackers.
I am filled with gratitude for these recent uninterrupted days that have created sufficient stillness for this relationship to take place.
"When we are thrust into exile, we are suddenly flooded with the backlog of unfelt feeling. This is why it can seem like one heartbreak joins with every other heartbreak you've ever felt in one mass of insurmountable grief. And though we may want nothing more than to distance ourselves from it, I believe we are being offered a chance, through the opening grief makes in us, to rehabilitate the relationship to our instinctual creativity. In exile, away from the hungry mouths and grabby hands that crowd in on our lives, we have a chance to come into conversation with our wild self again"
These 'unfelt feelings' are the harbinger of the hunger within my longings and as I finish this piece I hear more of them, tenderness, relaxation, ease and belonging. And if grief is the opening to rehabilitate our relationship with creativity, I'm all in!
"So slow down, friend. Take a deep and conscious breath. Trust the place where you are, the place of ‘no answers yet’, the precious place of not knowing. This place is sacred, for it is 100% life. It is full of life, saturated with life, dripping with life, drenched with life.
Don’t try to rush to the next scene in the movie of 'me'. Be here, in this scene, now, the only scene there is.
Now is the place where questions rest, and creative solutions grow..."