Somatic Experiencing

(Written in September 2009)
Session with Caryn. No coherent narrative, I just remember disconnected fragments.  Telling her about Elizabeth saying when she first met me she thought I was generous and kind. And then shivering and trying to hide.  When Caryn repeated it, it was painful — believing it and trying to take it in, and terrified to believe and take in.  “Can some part of you take it in?” I saw odd little creatures like sea anemones with many delicate tendrils waving, and they weren’t in my body but somewhere in front.  Caryn said that was very good, that the space in front of my body was part of me.  I talked about Elizabeth’s letter praising my vision, commitment and generosity, and started to expand on those.  Caryn asked me to slow down, so I did and began to go into detail about the hugeness of the galaxies and the amazing complexity that is the body…    A fragment drifted by “.. so great” and I spoke to Mother “I don’t think I’m so great, I think the Universe is huge and miraculous and beautiful and I want to share my excitement.” Caryn said she’d never heard me speak from that embodied place before.  I have been able to do it in the past few years: speaking my truth and not worrying about whether mother got it or not.  We worked on exploring and building the resource of weight and orientation to gravity.  She said that someone said the connective tissue in the body was a kind of “liquid crystal”, and when we were close together my body could resonate with hers, and her body could teach my body how to be resourced, grounded, taking up space.  She also had me practice using the trees outside my window as a resource, their verticality, their roots.  I told her about the time at Treigh Banh, when I sent a root down and the earth opened to welcome it.  We also worked on a gesture — my arm extended, hand raised, palm out — and the difference between pushing and taking a stand.  She put her hand against mine and talked about receiving and I thought about that time with Peter when he responded to my movement instead of rigidly resisting or falling away.  That feeling of delight: to be met, to be in relationship, rather than being bulldozed or abandoned.  We talked about how, if I had a thought (“this time last year I was headed downhill…”) I could stop it with an affirmation: I’ve come out before and I will come out again.  It’s OK that I don’t know what to do.  But when it comes as a body sensation (low grade fear, global activation) it’s much harder to become aware of and find the right resource.  She had me orient to the trees — actually to a particular white birch — and then tossed out a purple pillow to be the negative feeling.  I immediately saw that I was bigger than it was, resourced by tree and megalith, and I didn’t have to push it away, or defend against it, I could just let it be.  Caryn said this was a new phase in learning to orient and be resourced without having to disappear the negative thing.  In the past, resourcing has been a kind of dissociation, now I’m learning to have both the negative thing and myself.  Caryn talked about the “shit” and I saw that there were two parts: the shit mother smeared me with, and the wounded baby.  The shit is clearly not part of me and I can slough it off.  The baby I’m committed to, to care for and be with.  And now she looks like a dried apricot.  All she needs is a little water and she’ll plump right up to her full shape.  There’s been a progression, from walnut shell, to walnut, to dried apricot.  When I left I was feeling much better and I feel more solid now as I write about it.

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