Updated: Jul 10, 2022
Awakening, with a clench in front of my heart. A “dammit” escapes my lips. Instant irritation blends so well with my morning anxiety as I jump out of bed and head for the coffee pot. Ava walks under me, almost making me trip as I toss her a blasphemy as well. Geesh Tina, lighten up. Sorry Sweetie, I say to my fourteen year old kitty, Ava. She is a little deaf and not so agile as she use to be, unaware that she almost trips me twice a day. When will I feel myself again? I must sit this morning. I must acclimate to the day, hopefully feeling the sunshine on my cheek and some quiet in my mind. I anticipate balance that only happens in the depths of summer and winter. Anxiety softens the most, away from the equinox.
Last month in my Yoga Teacher Training, my partner handed out cards. Out of curiosity, I asked for one along with our students. I sat unsurprised because I am deeply connected to the Universe and all of its little signs these days. My card said “Letting Go.” But of course, release is my lesson in life and the most difficult. How can I let go when I hold on to everything so fiercely. Not things or people, but my mind noise. Thoughts, convictions, irritations, beliefs, challenges. It is endless and so are my lessons as I once again realize that as far as Ive come, the universe is asking me over and over to acquiesce and release. I tell myself that I have but I know in my heart that my work lives in that noise. My lesson always comes in fire. Passion can be flipped upside down and burn us up from the inside out if we don’t dig deeper into root cause. The heavens smiled down at my little spirit as I was guided away from safety and into the unknown of Earth Life. Lessons pound into my story, and delivered with painful blows to keep me from falling astray. I have been a rebellion from the beginning.
Fire is my elemental prakriti, which is a lot of energy to harness. My own DNA was made up of people who fought, angry and with a vengence, on the other sides of wars. History is vicious and no race escapes ruthlessness in modern time. Just because you may not be tossed into hand to hand combat doesn’t mean that you don’t experience warring with the opposition. Fear, big and small alike, feels the same.
Soft lessons we can grasp instantly in a moments awareness. Other lessons come toward us like raging bulls, aiming for our hearts, with a ferocity that is strong as the lesson’s velocity. I have never been one to just let go. And as a young teenager I had built walls of steel around my convictions. Becoming what I despised the most. Self righteous. I laid daggers ready to be catapulted in opposition to the powers to be. A contorted religious upbringing had manifested itself into wild rebellion. I tended to not care much for fake people who hide their own sins, only to judge the darkness in others. Fighting against any lie I had been taught or any false statement regarding sex and religion that I had been told. I was sick and tired of sick and tired adults walking the earth pretending they were wise. Wisdom is not earned with years but with hard work from the inside out. Wisdom is separate from ourselves. It is uncovered from deep down in the muck, once we go through the process. We don’t just get it at fifty or sixty years old because we had a lot of birthday parties. Not everyone finds it, earns it, and walks with it. Few do actually.
My planetary motions lent itself to catapulting my spirit into a world of generational trauma and violence to which I was spawn from. Trauma can lend itself deeply into the tissues of the body, specifically the low back surrounding the area of the sacrum. An imprint is left to be released spiritually and hopefully at a later time. Awareness. Preverbal trauma happens to a child before they are capable of speaking. Transcending language, trauma imprints itself deep into the body at a cellular level. In this place it can manifest itself at some point or begin to call for tending when the body feels it is time. I suspect that the sacrum is a holding cave of certain types of trauma considering the energetic field of this particular chakra. Most sensitive children carry trauma for many years with little or no knowledge on how to process, understand, and inevitably dissolve it.
I speak to my clients about my own history of low back pain. In deep study of the Chakra system and building a trauma sensitive Yoga School, I have been so interested by the Sacral Chakra. This Chakra is the holding cave for most childhood trauma. The year that I became sober, my back went out. I have began to realize that so much of my history was imprinted into this area of my body. And my body had held it there sacredly, to allow me to process it when I was ready. As I have. I have healed my low back on every level. This has been an extraordinary finding for me. Awareness is the ultimate medicine. It is not easy work, but it is essential for growth.
Another pattern that people can chose to stay easily into their own traumas are building archetypes from our personalities. These roles allow us to play out our patterns on the great stage of life with other people. If we do not dissolve these patterns through awareness they become a huge part of our story. We begin to identify with them. In power plays and victimizations. We draw in people that continually provoke or trigger us in ways that can open us up to our own personal baggage. So that we can see our patterns and develop healthier relationships with people, from higher consciousness. This is why we keep each other sick in codependency. Some people suddenly find sobriety when they leave an unhealthy relationship. Other times a victim role is created as a way to cope. The only trouble with positioning ourselves in the role of a victim, is that we lose all of our power and become stuck. I have began to find that space can be our most powerful elixir for healing trauma based patterns. Sometimes we need to distance ourselves from people who trigger us. And sometimes we realize those relationships are no longer serving us.
I remember a time that I was wounded over and over again by romantic relationships. I was unaware at the time of my own personal roles that I was playing in these dances. I was unconsciously reliving pain from my childhood. This was a glimpse behind the curtain as to where my work needed to be. It was a powerful prologue to learning to focus on myself. The world could not give me the loving relationship that I deserved when I was still in my own archetypal patterns of unworthiness. Many children of divorce, abandonment and neglect will chose relationships that repeatedly keep us wounded. Trauma extends itself out there as love, bonding and attachment. We may feel during this time that we are unlucky or that this is happening TO us. Unlucky streaks are indeed real but we publish our own stories and write our own diseases. Exhaustion can be the doorway to higher ground of awareness. The harshest lessons in life provoke the greatest opportunity to rise.
Working full time in high school left me a deeply exhausted insomniac. When I would finally fall asleep it was heavy and hard. Insomnia was a state of being that i assumed was normal. Quieting my mind has always been one of my greatest challenges. One night my body had fallen into a deep slumber, leaving me to realize that I was more wide awake than I had ever been. Without the capability of moving my body or opening my eyes, I could still SEE. My body was separate from my being. I had never experienced this before, suddenly i realized on a deep level, somewhat amused even, I was fully awake. Wow. Wild and scary, this experience left me a bit confused. Time was not of any essence as I began to slide deeper into this other realm. Pure consciousness, yet the fearful part of me began to take over when I began to resist. I could feel something holding on to me, pulling me the other way. From what I can remember, without words, I felt the sensation of letting go. I just could not. The door slammed open as I awoke. Softly in the night I felt panicked and fearful and so deeply alone, yet watched by something greater than myself. This realization was the beginning of a journey that has never stopped. I felt for the first time that I was more than a body and a mind. I felt my spiritual beingness. I knew that there was something behind all of the mind noise that was still and sacred. I have always felt that if I had not began to experience astral projection and out of body experiences, I would have possibly explored atheism. But in my personal journey, this doorway led me deeper into seeking spiritual practices.
Religion and spirituality are two different things, although many religious people are spiritual, not all spiritual people are religious. I was unable to find my soul in church, so my journey began with curiosity and an intense passion for reading. There is a sanskrit word that I am endeared to. VIDYA. The space where science, art, and magic meet. This is the space that I love to explore. As a young girl, I lost my way for a time. Instead of exploring, I became deeply distracted and in want of something. I kept my guardian angels on their toes. We do not have to earn our protection. Our protection is continuous in times of need. In our time and in our way. We must lose our judgement of those who seem lost. There is a lot of learning in suffering. Judgement is for the ignorant. Ignorance is not good for anything but separating ourselves from the great tapestry.
There are connections that involve very little explanation and a guidance into the soft space of stillness. Recognition by a stranger. I remember a moment when I was in a crowded Sam’s Club at Christmas time. I glanced across the space at a young, pretty Amish girl. She was with her group. I was with mine. But we met across the room and knew each other in a moment. Our eyes locked and we softly smiled to each other. I remember you. Without our identifications. Without our costumes. Our names, jobs, and roles. Our relatives and individual churches. Our schools and neighborhoods and family names. We meet in front of each other, fully open in our own temple. The only true one that the holy watches over. If more people laid bare their nakedness to the moment, they would sin so much less.
We all have low times. Lethargy or lack of creativity can bring us to dull mind patterns. Sometimes I find it difficult to let go of obsessive mind noise over the smallest incidence. I continue to work on myself so that people do not bring pain into my life. I have been in a program of cleaning up other people’s messes for so long that it was hard to see myself from the outside. I am learning that I can be responsible for my feelings and to allow others to be responsible for theirs. Things run more smoothly this way. I am exhausted by codependent dances with others. This is the price to pay for loving so many people. I see people in all of their delicate states and it touches me on such deep levels. I really do care. I am learning to take isolation when I need it. And to notice if I carry guilt for putting myself first. Even on my own long and weary journey, I still have strong tendencies for pleasing and fixing, although I have come a long way. I also have realized that is all stems for my deep seated need to control. Usually when I have lost my way, I jump back on my meditation disciplines rather quickly. I also have learned that keeping boundaries allow for me to be at my best. When you work to please everyone, you please no one. Life must be traveled alone to a certain degree. With maybe a handful of souls that are doing the hard work on their self as well. If you are lucky to find a few.
I remember a time of unknowing that disguised itself as wildness. Culture Club and Guns and Roses strolled me into my high school years. I was trying to find my place in the world back then. I was a feral teenager among other feral teenagers. We were all born poor and of parents that divorced and for a while forgot they had kids. None of us minded, as summer days turned into summer nights, we grew up in times of wild awakenings that catapulted our independence. By the age of 16, most of us were working full time and actually managing pretty well. Trauma of neglect would whisper later to us. My beloved sister became a mother soon after her fifteenth birthday. A shotgun wedding ensued on the same Saturday as my High School graduation. I think back to that time. I have lost quite a few early comrades to drugs and alcohol. I remember my best friend Angie the most. I loved those years and I hated those years.
The space where we hold our power is always where we suffer the most. Unfortunately, I was born with a heart murmur, and it has been delicate from the start. I must learn to let go of things that continue to hurt me. To yield to the softness inside myself and to destroy the part of myself that pretends. Perhaps I have gotten a little serious these days, but I definitely like myself more. And I pretend less.
Never give up on yourself. People will let you down if you let them. Things give you momentarily highs but never feed the soul. The practice of letting go brings peace into our lives. And most importantly. Never give up on yourself. Make yourself pure. Pure of mind and body. Clear your surroundings. Get CLEAN. That way you can always have your own back. You are someone that you can be still with. You will be in the best company wherever you go. Once you love yourself, you are never alone again.
In my sobriety, I found my delicate parts again. We don’t win when we get sober. We become. We grow. We change. But we do not get free passes to life. Life is about learning. Learning is difficult at times. We find ourselves over and over again in practice. In a turmoiled world, we are all just trying to find our way to Holy ground.
Since beginning this blog at the beginning of Summer, my sweetest kitty Ava has passed over. I feel an ache in my heart typing this. Death is so final. There is no going back. I look behind the bookcase at where she slept. I cried when I took her bed out to wash. Letting go of her shifted something in me. I promised in her passing, that I would take better care of myself. I would not let people treat me badly anymore. She wouldn’t have liked me putting up with mean spiritedness. I know she loved me. Even though I was her humble servant to the end. The lessons are forever coming. They are the truest practice in peace.