I went to a full day shamanic breathing workshop yesterday. It was interesting. It took me a while to acclimate to the atmosphere. I’m used to doing things solo and we had to work with another person; holding space for (aka babysitting) them. It was wild.
Breathing and visualization is enough to mimic any psychedelic brain activity, the author of this technique said. While I know this is theoretically possible it isn’t really that probable; not for me at least. There is part of my brain that wants to be self-contained too much and I’m not sure what it would take to let myself completely go like that.
All the same it did bring out some things that wanted to be recognized. There is definitely something to this communal spirituality I absolutely can not discount. It is much more powerful than working solo is.
Part of me is terrified of letting people in. But I’ve shared every piece of dirty laundry here so at this point what do I have to fear? I think what I’ve done is just placed my trust and affection in the hands of people that were not capable of being true friends. Maybe those were my own lessons in self worth to learn. I am not casting blame to others here.
The event organizers were very welcoming and inviting and it was a safe space and yet I felt guarded. It’s me. It’s definitely me. I somehow feel that I have to prove myself in these spaces and I refuse to. Spiritually I know myself very well and I don’t feel the need to justify myself or explain my experiences and capabilities.
Yet….no one, not one single person is asking me to really. Not one. It’s not that I don’t feel I belong. If anything these people probably understand my experiences and have had many similar ones. They probably get it much more than most people ever could or would be able to grasp.
But all I see is a room of fallible people before me. All I hear are things I already know. It’s not the point. Or maybe it is. I am just as fallible; if not more. Everything I need is already inside of me, so of course it feels redundant but it doesn’t discount it, or that at this moment I need to hear it and be reminded of it; witness it, let it in, again. I know I absolutely do need the grounding and I really do want the camaraderie. I need the safe space and I want to form real life friendships.
And allowing myself this is superficially easy, but deep down actually very hard for me. I try. I am trying. I am showing up and participating. Even though the thoughts ran in my head for the first two hours of the workshop yesterday screaming at me “why are you here?”. “Do you need to be wasting this money?”. “What is the point of this?” “Leave!!!”
Lately I’ve gotten to saying to myself “look at where there is resistance”, because there lies the paper trail. There is a reason for the resistance. It merits some investigation and reflection on its own. Why was I so aggravated? I slowly accepted that I was there and that that’s where I needed to be. I am there to help and be helped. I am there to reach out and be present where I am needed, not necessarily where I want to be but, really just wherever I am.
I can’t separate my own healing and journey to self actualization from the healing of the world. I am not a self contained bubble. As much as I’ve been able to do this journey alone I am not really trying to. This means opening up to others. It means allowing the flow to go both ways. Not just in the context of my business but in life. Frankly it’s a scary thought. But if it makes me afraid then that is exactly the right road to be on. Isn’t it?
I think in this case it is. It truly is.
During my breathing session I had a few visions come up.
It started with me and two men flanking me. They didn’t say a word but I knew they were my allies. I had a hard weapon in my hand. We were in a big office type environment (like Westworld). In a big room with lots of floor to ceiling frosted windows. I needed to use my weapon to break the glass to get out. But we had no idea what was on the other side. I walked up to the frosted glass on the door and prepared to strike, with not an ounce of hesitation. And it ended there. Even though I tried to get back to it I couldn’t.
Then I started to feel a pain in my lower left backside of my head. I never get pain there. So I said to it “I don’t know what you are, of why you’re here but I am ready to let you go. If you want to present yourself please do so, but you may go now.”. Clear as day in my own voice I hear “I don’t like the father I have been. I would like to be forgiven.”. It took me a minute to realize that even though it was my own voice and it was my own forgiveness I needed to give that is was my father and I forgave him and instantly the pain went away.
Then I started getting the anxiety that builds up that makes me want to gamble. I started thinking of places to go. Video poker? Table poker? Could I? Should I? The anxiety was having fun planning. Then a crystal clear image came in my mind of hands in prayer that looked exactly like a candle flame and were surrounded by pink, yellow and orange flames (or aura). The obvious understanding here was that I need prayer in times like this. To calm my anxiety and for a moment I did actually feel real and complete serenity. But that moment quickly passed and I was back to planning a gambling adventure.
I left there and googled poker halls. I went to a new one. I saw two faces I had seen before at other clubs. Not that I go often. A few times a year maybe. But these are regulars and they all know each other and I’m just a fly on the wall there really.
I played for about 4 hours. Talked to a really sweet 89 year old man called Lloyd. If I’m still paying poker at 89 someone better give me a trophy that says “bad ass bitch” on it. I’ll tell you what. I left because it was way past my bedtime and I was just hanging around. Most of the guys weren’t running me off the hands just because I’m a girl.
A few definitely were but they had their own rhythm and I just wanted to play. Sometimes I paid just to see the hands and know how they played. I ended up leaving with $4 less than I come in with. At one point I could have left with almost double, but it isn’t about the money. It’s about playing. It’s about the adventure. It’s like that song Sting sings “shape of my heart”.
Today is a no device day. But I do have eBay work to do. Then taking the kids to the thrift store shopping for clothes. Half off sale. I gotta just keep going; having faith, hope, keeping the doors open for ease. I just have to keep going. Right?
The kid keeps telling me how happy she is to be going to middle school. How excited she is that summer is ending and she gets to see her friends too. I don’t have the heart to tell her we may need to move. If it comes to that I better have lots of boxes of tissue around. 😬😣😭. But I’m hoping it doesn’t.