Ritual of Letting Go

Yesterday I did the ritual of letting go at Neskaya. I have a lot of negative beliefs about myself that I had learned from how my parents had treated me: that I was a bad person, selfish, was always making trouble, “thought I was so great” etc. and I wanted to get them OUT of my psyche where they drove me to discouragement and depression. Eight of my friends came to witness for me and support me. I explained about the 4th of July monologue and then read it out loud. I did make some comments, about my inability to use the word “drunk” when talking to my parents, about Mother’s use of the passive voice to avoid responsibility. People were very silent while I read. Feelings came up which was a surprise — I’ve already read it to a number of people, even some who were there, so I didn’t expect to get teary and angry. When I was done I saw that Lee Ann had tears on her face. I was so touched. We hugged.
Then I stuffed the braid of misery inside my sweat shirt and pulled it out, with some verbalizing “Out, out! I don’t want to carry this any more!” When I was done, I said I had planned to burn it, but we saw that the chimenea was dangerously close to some gas tanks for the work on the roof. I told them about my alternate plan to wrap it around a tree and let it bio-degrade. Someone suggested putting it into the compost heap. But the group had more energy and enthusiasm for burning it. The roofers carried the chimenea into the front circle. There were some sticks & small logs inside. I added the newspaper & sticks I’d brought over and then stuffed in the braid. Stephen came with the blowtorch and got it started. It blazed furiously, there were even flames coming out the chimney. We stood around in a circle holding hands. It was very satisfying.

Braid of Misery

Then we went back inside, and I taught “Bound for Freedom”, which I had choreographed to a song by Magpie from the civil rights era. I used moves from Nia, kicks and chops which felt very satisfying. They all did it with me. Afterward, Lee Ann brought out some cupcakes which she had made and decorated – each one different – and topped with birthday candles. She said she had learned that it was important to say our wishes out loud, so she declared these “Unbirthday Cakes”. We each took one, and one by one lit our candles, declared our wishes and blew the candles out.
Everybody came across the street to my house, where we had tea and some food that people had brought, and chocolate cheesecake. I felt so much better than I had in days! A successful ritual!

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