Hypno #4

I started in my clearing with my oak tree. I stood next to it close enough to touch the trunk and feel the texture of its skin. I could feel the beams of sunlight dancing with the cool shadows from the leaves, on my skin. I was here, where I am eternally safe, where I can never fail to find myself. I followed the roots of my oak down into the ground. I felt the earth cooling and nurishing me. I went deeper than even the vastness of this tree could go. Down to my connection with mother earth. 

I slowly drew her green gold energy up into my body. I let it swirl through all that was mine and flow around that wish wasn’t me. We all hold onto things that are not ours. Emotions that have been forced  upon us, thoughts we thought we were supposed to keep, concepts that others gave us that don’t actually belong to our truths. The energy swirling up through my body highlighted and made visible the things that were not mine but I was holding onto anyway. 

The large smooth rocks in my belly. The jagged coral lattice in my chest. The pyramid and the hidden darkness in my mind. They all became back lit and I could see them for the first time. The green golden light rendered visible all that I knew but could not see. It was a little disconcerning seeing these spots of deep dark blackness standing out in sharp relief. 

The decision was made to start in my belly. To see the heavy stones that I was holding there. To examine these places closely caused physical pain and psychological discomfort. Still, I knew I was safe with my tree. The largest stone was black and glass smooth. It sat low in my belly, over my left ovary. Which was having sharp stabbing pains the longer I looked.  I felt the weight of this stone as its own property for the first time. It was so heavy. I wanted to cry from the sheer mass of it. When asked how old it was I saw images of my mother, my grandmother and my great grandmother. Not as I knew them, however. It was more like seeing a fetus and knowing who it was. This was old pain. Generational pain. This was utterly feminine and totally annihilating. This place in my body told me that it was fear. It was fear of being a woman. It told me being a woman was unsafe and dangerous. Later I would come to realize that it was not being a woman that was unsafe, but being a strong powerful woman. It wasn’t the feminine that was undesirable but it was finding it strong and powerful and bold that was unsafe. It told me to be small, be quiet, and be unseen. This was not mine. It did not belong to my truth. 

Next we looked at the smallest stone in my belly. It was muddy brown and somehow sticky. It sat over my right hip just blow my ribs. It wanted to grab and hold more. It wanted to grow bigger and weigh me down.  It was resentment. Not mine but resentment from others. Resentment from the masculine. Resentment of my wounds and limitations. Examining this stone caused pain to zap from there out to the far reaches of my body; an inimical ripple. It was also the newest stone. When asked to figure out when it started I could only answer 5. What this means to me is that I was more than 3 but less than 8 when it started. This stone didn’t require a lot of examining. It was straightforward with little symbolism. 

The final stone in my belly was a very dark brown. It was old. So very old. It was more old than I could comprehend. It was also forced upon me with great intent. It was placed right below my diaphragm. It was designed to not let me breathe deeply. It was meant to create a bottle neck (if not a complete stoppage even) between my gut and my heart and mind. This stone was put here intentionally long long ago by someone I could not name or see. What I could see where churches. They ranged from modern to primative. I had seen the soaring buttresses and stained glass before but there were also churches I could not recognize or name. There were faiths I could not name mixed in with ones I know I had practiced. This was obviously about religion but there was something else behind it that I was not able to name until over a hour after the session ended. The closest name I can come up with for it was patriarchy. Not just the masculine or the feminine this time but both. It was restriction and it was limititing. It would not allow growth, expansion or change. It would not allow me to reach for what I can be. This stone was creating a block between what I was and what I could be. It was not mine and I refused to let it stay. 

I called out to the bright lady. I asked if she would give me her wisdom and guidance. She struggled to stay with that stone being so present. The bright lady flickered in and out. Able to stay only long enough for a feeling or a few words. Later I realized that it is because that stone represents the things that would negate her. The things that would keep her from ever becoming. She was still able to help. She placed her hand on the only place on my tummy the stones did not occupy. She reminded me that I am fire. Another flicker and there where images of lava. That was all she could do. Those three brief moments and she flickered out and away. 

I was angry. I was furious. I was the heat of the fire that could melt the hardest stone. My lungs were the bellows that fanned the flames. I burned from within with all the pent up fury of a volcano. Hotter and hotter it burned until I was sure I would be consumed as well. 

A gentle reminder that I am in the clearing with the tree and I was able to look at this righteous fury with a little more persoective. I was able to see the molten poison swirling around every part of me now. It must go. I refused to allow this to touch me and weigh me down any longer. If I was in the clearing that meant that I was still teathered to mother earth. She could consume and transmute anything. She could take this morass of garbage and turn it from death into life. I drew a deep breath and pushed. 

I who have had 2 children could tell without a moments hesitation or doubt that I was giving birth to this pain. I felt my abdomen and back contract and push down over and over again. It was so much effort that I am still physically exhausted. It hurt like childbirth and it was just as tiring. There is no way to explain how very long it took. It very literally seemed like this was the labor of lifetimes. Finally, finally it was expelled and went back into the earth. 

There was a delicious, joyfully weeping, emptiness inside of me. It was so vast and light. Eternaties were contained in the spaces these stones had left inside of me. I reached up to mother sky, into the heavens and beyond and drew down the purple gold light even as I felt the golden green life grow up into tendrels inside of me. The two met in joyous incandescence. Feeding each other, feeding me, filling me and protecting me. There are no words to describe how beautiful this was. It kept filling me up and making me grow. I was huge and powerful and so expansive. I keep trying, and failing, to explain this. Even now it brings tears to my eyes and peace in my spirit. 

Slowly, gently, I was reminded to come back to myself and to protect the places we had emptied. I found where the orange light of protection touched that I had grown scales. Harder than any metal, but flexible and able to allow the skin below to breathe. The orange sheen next to the purple and emerald was exquisite. The most perfect blend of colors. I flex my scales seeing how they responded to what I wanted,  or what I did not want,  to let in. They adjusted automatically, and involuntary reflect designed to keep me safe and still connected. My wings flexed and my neck stretched. I was magnificent. 

Once the light had finished coating me in protection I was a woman in the clearing next to her oak tree once more. This was not the same woman who first came there but one that had been changed in ways she can’t fathom yet. 

…………………

I want to note some of the physical sensations I was left with when I came out of hypnosis. Normally there have been very few other than the feeling of wellbeing and vitality. While I had those things I also had others. I felt bigger, stronger, an expentant emptiness. I felt like my center of gravity got higher. I still have that feeling hours later. My vision was clouded and blurry for about 30 min and is still happening occasionally. My neck and back feel less tense and somehow longer. I am emotionally and energetically buzzing with happiness and energy but I am physically drained beyond belief. Even writing this out in the bath was exhausting. It feels like the  good kind of exhaustion though. The kind where you are worn out from doimg something that makes you feel good. 

Drowning

I am surrounded by evidence of how long I have been drowning in life. Garbage and dishes littering my room. My only real living space. Clothing unfolded heaped in a mound in the corner. Groceries spilling out of the shelf they should live in.  The desk I need to work on school buried beneath all the things I just have not had the energy for.  

I didn’t even see how desperate it was getting. How could anyone else? I have been offered help, but from the one person who does more for me than anyone else. Drowning was easier than facing the shame of needing more from someone that is already giving too much. 

So, I reach out. I ask for a hand. Just a presence to bring me comfort while I bail out this boat. My reaching out is met with silence, again. What happened to the people that say they want to be there for me? I feel alone again. 

I have big plans. Things I really want and need to accomplish. Things that make what I am drowning in now seem small and insignificant. What am I going to do then? What am I going to do when classes are going to take up every spare spoon? How am I going to make this life I want happen when I can’t handle the things I have now? 

I am scared to hope for the life I want because I am drowning in what I can’t balance now. I am scared that I will fuck it up and waste people’s resources. I know I have to try anyway. To not go after it would probably be the biggest regret of my life. 

I plan on asking for help with this in my next hypnotherapy session. Help with figuring out the little daily things I do that sabotage me in the long run. Figuring out why I end up drowning time and time again. Then finding a way to change that pattern. But today, today I am just drowning. 

Why can’t I make it stop? 

Once more I was awoken being chased through my home by a man, red faced and screaming. Pregnant and unable to defend myself. Terrified and helpless. Locking myself in the only room I could lock in the house. Sitting on the cold hard floor huddled around my stomach, crying. 

Once more I hear him pounding on the door screaming at me to let him in. I barely ducked the last swing. Not at my face this time but at my pregnant stomach. He wasn’t just threatening me anymore, he was threatening my child. I tried, over and over again, to try to figure out a way to leave. No money, the car was in his name, no bank account, my parents were in a tiny apartment. My friends were not better off and he knew were they all lived. I had no way to run and no where to run too. The cold hurt from sitting on the hard floor. Tucked into the corner farthest from the door. I hear the door crack again. This means I have to replace the door before he gets home tomorrow, again. Last time he blamed me for it and we were once again racing through the same scene. 

He never remembers what he screams at me. He never remembers the threats. He never remembers the damage. 

I stay huddled there praying he doesn’t break another knuckle. I can’t take the looks in the ER and them asking questions it is totally unsafe to answer with him in the room. It doesn’t matter anyway. They always ask the wrong questions. “Has he ever hit you?” No. Even pregnant I know how to dodge and run. I know how to use every path in my home to evade him. I know how to practice moving through the house after I rearrange the furniture for the third time that month. 

The guilt and shame mount. What did I do this time to set him off? Why can’t I ever get things right? I always fuck up and forget one of his rules. Then there are the rules I don’t know about, but should have guessed. My older child will never be dirty when he gets home from work again. 

I am 14 years away from those days. 14 years and one moment can send me hurtling back in time. My heart is still racing over an hour later. I am sitting in my bath (still I default to hiding in my bathroom. The one door I can lock). The water around me trembling with the shaking. Once more alone and terrified and unable to escape the torment. 14 years, and why can’t I make it stop? 

Release and Escape

I went to a release party tonight. It was a workshop more than a party but the name still fits. The event was more intense than I expected but I also brought a big thing to let go of. We never discussed what we were letting go of. There is freedom in that. There is beauty in letting go of something with people who have no idea the specifics of your path but they are still there to walk it with you. Some how, it seemed to have been kept pure this way; undiluted by others perspectives and judgements. 

Here I will share what I was letting go of. I was letting go of all the things I thought I should be. The expectarions of what my life looks like had become chains holding me to things that were no longer working for me. All the ways I thought my life should be shaped really can’t apply if I am going to move forward along my new path. It was time to break the chains. It was time to let go of all that I thought would be. This means I have no shape or path for going forward. 

Having no expectations of the future is a very scary thing for me. I have built my life on plan after plan. Those plans helped me survive. They kept me looking forward when the present was too hard and too scary. While my present isn’t easy, it is no longer the nightmare that so much of my past was. I am surrounded by love and I have a new direction. 

Having a new direction and letting go of my expectations may seem contradictory but they are actually crucial pieces. See, I only know the next step in this process. I am not going to try to dictate how it goes or where it ends. My plan is to dive into the journey and just find where it leads me. I am going to walk my path only concerned with taking one step at a time. I am going to trust that the answers and the helpers will appear as needed. 

I think that by planning too much I may be putting limits on myself. Limits on what my life may be capable of becoming. I nearly gave up hope of ever being able to take care of myself. Now, I have not just hope but I have faith. Faith in myself and my ability to make things I want manifest in my life. I am not afraid of hard work. I thrive on it. I am going to try to not be afraid of the uncertainty of it all. We will see how that goes. 

After that I just couldn’t face going home to my messy room and unfinished projects. It felt too small and too oppressive. So, I risked putting it out on Facebook that I wanted to find a place to hang and avoid going home. A friend answered in the best way. I am sitting in the dark in Barbazoa listening to a band who’s name I dont know but I now want to know. I am escaping into the music and the feeling of the bass reverberating in my chest. I escaped into the unknown, into possibility. I found something here. I found peace in the midst of chaos and noise. 

I am not comfortable with chaos but I am starting to learn it has its place. I am also finding that there can be space within chaos for possibility. Sometimes, risking the thing that anxiety wants to run from is exactly what we need. I heard my anxiety tonight. I looked it straight on. I went on anyway. This feels like a good lesson right now. Who knows what more I may discover as I let go of expectations? I may even discover a self that I can’t imagine right this minute. Maybe she will be braver than I have been. Who knows. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that this moment is perfect. What matters was thanking my expectations of myself for helping me survive. What matters is moving past those expectations into the unlimited potential of the future.  

P.S. The band was youryoungbody

Work of a lifetime 

The streets were empty, crumbling and overgrown. Signs of violence softened by the creep of mother nature. I reached out an touched smooth stone, cold hard and old. I wander through the maze. Searching. I have no idea what I am searching for anymore. Hope I guess. I know better than to look for life. Something small moves in the underbrush. These strange strips of verdiant life between the lanes of smothering concrete. Life and not life dripping from each other, emphasizing the wounds of both. 

The dream a symbol of my heart. Torn and scarred and slowly being reclaimed. Piece by painful piece the monuments are torn down. The stones examined. They smell like hope lost. They smell like failure, acrid and stinging. There is an oak tree ahead of me. It seems to pull me into it’s shade. 

Here it is cool, moist, and still. The trunk is rough and alive under my fingertips. I can almost feel the slow pulse of sap that runs throughout it. My body begins to move. Swaying with the music of life. In this place where no one can see me I am truly free. In this place I can dance with sorrow and joy. I can stomp away my anger and water the ground with tears. They always fall here. This place that holds my secret heart. 

Eventually I stop moving, I see the darkness has caught me again. I remeber all that I have lost. The loves I never had. The safety I have never felt, just as elusive in this oppressive darkness. But the grass is soft under my feet. The trunk of the great oak comforts and holds me; hard and impersonal, but something is better than nothing. The child, the little blond boy with the biggest smile and most cautious love. He is taken away, I still see the taillights in the darkness the street taking him away forever. I wonder who he is now. I will never know. 

Never allowed to grieve for what was never really mine he lives here. On the edge of this oasis in the midst of brokenness. His memory lives with the mother I was only just getting to know before she was taken too. No taillights this time. Only sudden silence. No more chances. No more hope. 

I stand and run through the hard cold streets once more. I am searching. Searching for something that never was. There is no safety in this land. The wind tears at my tears. One day I want to build safety. How can I? There is no blue prints for this fictional place. It is a dream within a dream. 

I want to wake, the sounds of my screams and sobs stolen, never to exist. Only silence where there was once pain and love intertwined. The vine choking the tree that supports it. Mutual life and destruction. All my past is littered with these twisted hulks, death with the face of love. These are things I know. It is so much easier to keep planting the vines. Hacking them away to save the trees is exhausting. There is no satisifing sound of metal through the fleshy sticky vine. There is silence and regret. How many times have I planted the things that destroyed my hope? 

I run back to my oak tree. My feet slapping the hard, grit covered, concrete. Stumbling when I hit the tender grass once more. Falling, my hands biting into the earth. My breath harsh in my ears. My heart pounding to the rythym of fear and loss. I stretch a hand out groping for my tree, afraid it will disapear when I touch it. 

When will I ever know real safety? When will I stop fearing that the tree will be gone or dead? There is no softness outside of my little bubble. Everything wants to steal what little good I have planted. Hoarding all my good for themselves. Promising that I will get some when the monsters have had their fill. 

I build a wall around my oak. I need to protect it from the demons that haunt me. My dancing shadows. I build the wall high and thick. I wonder why it always disappears. The heavy cold stones always seem to melt away. Someone finds that one little place I have to leave so I can peep in and make sure the oak is there. Why do they keep using the thing I keep to reassure myself to tear away the only protection I have? I will have to dig out more stones in order to make another wall. The cycle of openness and protection fighting each other at every turn. 

Someone once told me that every stone I steal from each monument is taken from this wall. Each boulder I unburry from the suffocating earth is actually coming from the wall. Each moment of torment I take down and cast aside also opens the place I call safety, hope, love. One day all the stones will be gone. Swallowed by this cycle, healed over by the green and living things, crumbling to the dust. Today is not that day. Today is the day when the cold hard places bite and rip at me. My blood watering the ground. Still, I know I have to continue. The work of a lifetime to build and destroy my mind and heart. 

The invisible woman waking

There once was a woman who spent her life trying to be invisible. Shredding her spirit to be pleasing. Making herself small. This woman looked like any other. She may have even been smiling. How would you know? No one really saw her. She was always hiding. Then one day the closet door in her mind would no longer shut. So much of her nature torn bloody from her soul spilling over and demanding to be seen. 

Helpless in the floor the ragged gore covered pieces of herself, forcing her to awake and acknowledge their existence. The invisible woman finally becoming visible to herself. Carefully she picked up these pieces of self. A jigsaw puzzle with no picture. 

There are pieces that slid into place with relief. Others ripped her to shreds as they went home. Each piece had to be looked at carefully. Do they really fit in her anymore? There are extra pieces that she has to learn to let go of. No one sees this process. It is invisible. She remains visible only to herself for so long and then things changed. 

The bigger she grew, the more pieces demanded to be seen. She couldn’t hide herself anymore. She walks through the world aware of how giant she is.  She is strong, anyone who carries that much inside of them is strong. The woman is bold in her awareness. The world still doesn’t see her though. 

People move on barely able to catch a hint of her. They say they love her…but none of them *see* her. They she her shadow, they can feel her touch, they cannot see the mosaic she has become. They can only see the broken pieces that make it. 

One day someone saw her. They saw the jagged whole; the picture and the pieces. The woman discovers that she can do this too. That she can stand to be seen. Not only can she stand it but she learns to crave it. Then she learns to demand it. She is reveling in her bigness. 

The world is still frightened by these waking giants. It constantly refuses to see some of her parts. They tell her they are bad if they can be seen. The want her to rip her spirit apart once more and hide it. It is so tempting to her. The world wasn’t hurtling hate at her when she hid. The jagged places ripped when she brushed against these people. So much less bleeding when she was invisible. And yet, and yet there were the pieces, still demanding to be seen. Their cries so loud that she cannot deny them. She really doesn’t even want to try. She remains awake and big. She remains in a world that wants her invisible or gone. She remains awake looking for others like her. 

She finds some. There are other people who bare their naked pain to the world. Who bare the weight of the world’s pain on their shoulders. The bigger you are the more sky you have to hold up. You keep bleeding for the people who are not big yet. Those that have not awakened. It is a heavy burden, for those in so much pain, to wake the world around them. To do anything else would make the woman render herself invisible again. Once seen, no one can go back to hiding. 

Compulsion won

I had the worst compulsion tonight than I can ever remember having. I am still fighting with it. However, compulsion won round 1. Before I realized what was going on I managed to pick up and scrub most of my bathroom. Including doimg the floors on my hands and knees. It was about that time when I realized I was neaseated with pain. I made myself stop instead of getting a cleaning toothbrush and comet so I could do them ‘right’.  I still want to. I also want to organize all my jewellery, makeup, first aide supplies, and cleaning supplies. I want to clean my entire room. Finally getting the doors and moulding properly washed down. Moving all the furniture so I can dust and vacuum ‘correctly’. I want to organize every single thing in my environment. 

Instead, I am in the (mostly) dark taking a bath. I am writing here instead of destroying myself with this compulsion. I am also afraid. I am so terrified that I have finally become my mother. I had been doing so well in therapy. I had been coping much better with all the changes in my environment. For some reason that all broke today. I feel like a failure. Shutting down the old thought patterns of being useless is easier. But only for moments at a time. Then I am back down into the abyss. 

It is hard not to be sucked into the darkness when I let my behavior spill onto others. Snapping at people in a panic is still not ok. It doesn’t matter if I am having an extended panic attack, I am still responsible for my actions. 

If I knew what triggered this compulsion I am sure I could find a way out. I have gotten so much better at digging out the garbage in my mind and letting go of it. I could deal with it if I knew the cause. I don’t know so instead the compulsion is growing even immersed in warm water and peacefulness. 

While in the process of writing this I was about to launch into how gross a week this has been for me and I realized something. In order for me to get through the medical procedure I have been dissociative for the last two days. Yesterday my pain was too high to reintergrate. It just kinda snapped into place while I slept last night. This makes it likely that this compulsion is backlash. This rebound effect happens when I am unable to intentionally come back from a dissociative place. I am guessing why it took this form is due to the emotional age when my medical trauma fully set in. I have had a fear of Drs since I was an infant with heavy metal poisoning. It had not become full blown trauma until my aneurysm. At 8 years old home was only safe when it was perfectly clean and when I knew where each thing belonged. This was a stressful time but I don’t think I have ever talked about what it was like at home then. I tell people about my strange recovery. I talk about the effects. I even talk about the procedures. I just never really talk about home or school during that time. I don’t think I can start that today. What I am doimg is making a note to talk to my therapist about it. 

I am enacting my emergency emotion bleed off system. I will watch a movie that both makes me cry and inspires me. I need to let the excess emotion lose some internal pressure or I will just blow up again, only worse. I may still feel like I am worthless but at least now I can curse correct. 

My Pain Relationship

I have an odd relationship with pain. Not completely abnormal. There are others like me in my spoonie community. Certainly it isn’t like anything a normally well person would get. In a lot of ways pain is actually my primary partner. I have to check in with it before I can do anything. It decides if I can see my friends or not. It totally controls my sex life. It also controls how I see myself. Apparently, pain is an abusive partner. 

When people experience an abusive relationship they experience a lot of symptoms, depression, hyper vigilence towards their abuser, anxiety… The list goes on. There is often no help for what we suffer because of chronic pain. There is no shelter we can escape it to. There is rarely any way for us to escape. If we are lucky we may find a Dr who will be able to grant us temporary relief. It always comes back. 

I was born in pain and I know I will likely die in pain. This is an accepted fact of my life. Why would I accept something so horrible? Because to do otherwise would deny the truth of my life. It would also deny all the gifts that pain has given me. 

Yes, pain can bring you gifts. I have learned self compassion from my pain. I have learned how to see and hold the pain of others without judgement or fear. It has taught me patience. Pain has forced me to let go of my perfectionism. Pain has taught me the true meaning of self love. It has also taught me that there are times when the pain I will experience for doing something may be worth it. 

I don’t know if I will ever gain a healthier relationship with pain. I do know that I can’t worry about that right now. The only thing I can do is work on keeping it from screaming and be kind to myself when I cannot stop it or quiet it. I can only hope that I don’t spread my pain around to those I love. 

My solo poly heirarchy

I have hated proscriptive hierarchy for a long time. Proscriptive hierarchy comes with rules that do not take into account the needs and feelings of anyone outside the primary partnership. I no longer date people who have these kinds of things in place. Descriptive hierarchy doesnt bother me. That is the we live together have shared finances/kids/whatever so this person naturally gets more of my time because of that. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I practice proscriptive hierarchy. 

First, you need to know that I identify as a solo poly person with some Relationship Anarchy leanings. Solo poly in my case is intentionally chosen. The relationship anarchy leanings are more of what I would call my ideal principles. So, how do I have a proscriptive hierarchy? 

 There are rules for dating me. Rule 1, I do not want to get married. A person has to agree to that or I can’t date them. Rule 2, I will not live with you. This is where I lose a lot of potential people. Even in polyamourous circles many people want nesting partners or commune type cohabitation of partners. I do not. I am not healthy in those situations. I tend to give too much and then end up resenting people for it. Not their fault but a pattern that I create and am working on breaking. Rule 3, even when it is tempting or easy I will not let anyone be my primary partner. I am my own primary and I need to be my own primary as I work on breaking codependant behavior patterns. I also have to put my physical and mental health needs before everyone in my life. Staying functional takes constant work for me. 

Once I realized that I do put rules and limits on how people can have relationships with me I began to wonder how I missed it for so long. I missed it because I pick people who don’t want these things. I pick partners where these issues are not on the table. Right now, all the people I am dating are happily married. They don’t want to live with me. They can’t marry me and they already have (descriptive) primary partners. It is easy to miss a thing when the people you are with agree with your rules because they are the same rules they have. (To be fair, mostly it was never spelled out like that. It mostly is a default understanding.) 

I don’t plan on changing my rules. I can’t say that they won’t change at some time in the distant future, but I am not dating people who hope they will change. I guess that I need to accept that hierarchy isn’t just for couples and there are times when it is necessary and healthy. 

Confronting less than, hypno #3

I started in a forest next to a small babbling creek. Not enough water to get lost in but just enough to give movement to the small, comfortingly dark forest. It was so still and full of life at the same time. Birds were talking quietly among themselves while I sat with my back against a large evergreen.  A breath and I was becoming rooted in the ground, another breath and it was taking all the tension from my body, leaving me connected to Mother Earth once more. After some time passed I invited a guide to appear. Soon I realized that the lightening of the scene around me was because the bright lady had appeared. She glowed so intensely that it was difficult to make her out. Her voice smiled at me as she took my hand. Once more refusing to give me her name, “You already know me. ”

“How do I know what I right?” I needed, to know. I needed to understand how to know when I was making the right choice for myself. My body lies to me and contradicts itself. How could I know that I was going the right way? The bright lady smiled and her light blazed forth as she touched my heart, expanding and stilling like the ever moving forest. Then my root chackra came alive as she touched me once more. It felt like power and rhythm. It was the opposite of the pulsing stillness of my heart, but some how it was perfectly balanced by it. I absorbed and memorized this feeling of my root chakra and my heart chakra in perfect harmony. This is what doing the right thing for myself feels like. The balance of the beginning of my personal power and my heart. When those things are dancing together, I can know I am on the right path. I asked the bright lady for a symbol, a way to remind myself of this great lesson and knowledge. Before me appeared an image of an apple tree. The drawing of light was so clear and detailed that I could see that the tree bore the signs of all 4 seasons. It was one singular thing and it was all its possibilities all at once.

I took the light into myself, I made it part of who I am and how I can know myself. I could feel my roots in the ground soaking up moisture and nutrients. My branches were sleepy and bare from winter, peaceful rest after hard labor. The death and birth of apples in the fall, leaves dying even as the fruit ripens. The lush fullness of summer and the warmth of sun, feeding my leaves and further nourishing me for the hard work ahead. Spring and blossoms like confetti and fireworks, the promise of life in a profusion of joy. I could smell the blossoms, feel the sap flow and taste the sweet coolness of the apple’s flesh upon my own.  I knew in every cell of my being what that tree means to me, it is the purest representation of how I can know my own path.  I smiled knowing how easy it would be to find reminders of this tree.

We walked from this place to a magic elevator in a tree, doors made of embellished bark came open at our approach. Within all was the free, roots and pulp and leaves made up the interior and somehow it was not dark. The bright lady’s presence pushing that aside. I pressed the button and down we went.  Deeper and deeper into somewhere, into no where, into my unconscious.  It was so dark and vast I didn’t want to approach it. The bright lady took my hand and lit just enough of the darkness for me to get through. We walked for a bit, hands lightly clasped, before we came to a door in the side of the hill. This door was more conventional looking than any other, but its size was terrifying.

It changed, small then large then minuscule and rotund. The ordinary doing things that only the fantastical should do caused my heart to pound and my knees to lock. My palms grew slick in my companions and she looked at me as love and compassion enshrined. She will go with me, she will light the way and hold my hand for as long as I need her too. She will not allow me harm and she will be there to comfort me. My shield and my guide, slid through the doorway as I opened it, lighting up a room. It was impossibly large and incredibly small at the same time. As if it couldn’t decide how much room it should take up. This was the home of ‘Less Than’. There were jars covering the walls a three dimensional wall paper like no other. These jars contained something horrible, brown and murky that was alive and hungry, nightmares come to life, and from my life. I finally managed to look away to look at her, for she was me, misshapen and grotesque, but still I was her too. She looked at me from a visage I knew so well, this is what greeted me in the mirror for most of my life. How I saw myself before I let go of the word ugly. Still, I felt compassion for her, for me and for all of us. What a horrible life to whisper endlessly to the jars of memory and fear. To feed them with your very soul, the very act making you more disfigured and pain filled.  Hand spasming with the force of clutching the bright lady.  A sense of calm filled me up once more, a reminder that I am safe from harm, the bright lady will always help me. Less Than was perched upon a stool in the middle of the room, and under that stool was a box, that box was something she did not want me to have. Time was meaningless in trying to figure out how long she had possessed it. Ages has no relevance in the soul. Once I saw the squat dark box I knew it contained the most precious of treasures. Less Than grew to a giant size trying to shield the box from me, but it was not hers to keep. Still, I remembered fear. The jars along the wall demanding my attention once more.

In slimy swaths of color and texture each jar revealed itself to me. Every time I felt diminished, like I was too big, when I believed I was too small. The memories taking on the sickening mockery of dancing with size. Gleefully taking what small piece of bravery I had to look in that box. Making me feed them with my gaze. I could feel each wound and abrasion they afflicted upon my spirit. The bright lady was suddenly behind me, hands upon my shoulders her light diffusing the murk the memories leaked. This is when I could feel it. I could feel the bands these memories placed around me, my ribs my shoulders and head. I could feel where they bound me up and made me a prisoner of them and of Less Than.  I turned to the bright lady and she brought forth from a shaft of light my atheme. How she found that, and how it is still bound to my spirit I do not know, but twice now it has appeared to release me. I get lost in a memory that is wholly separate and apart from Less Than.  This was a memory of power and of magic. A bonfire fed with my blood as I cast away all the bindings of that time. I see now that Less Than ate that memory. She took it away because it told me what I had to do in order to be free of her. I took that knife that was bound to my blood and I used it to cut away the miasma of bindings around me. The knife had been purified in the light, pledged to do no harm and only to free me and free me it did. Dead worms falling to my feet, ribs expanding, shoulders opening, my wings unfurling as more worms died upon the ground. My throat and head were next, I could SEE. This was sight and more than sight, this was speech and more than speech this was me unbound and nearly free.  I gathered those worms, pathetic slimy brown things limp and useless and I gave them to the light. Slowly they were compressed, transformed into a kushball of light. They would never trouble me again.

I was finally able to turn and see Less Than with compassion. She made me small to protect me. To keep me safe from the people who feared my big-ness. She kept me from being noticed and from attachments. I did not need this anymore. I thanked her in sincerity and gratitude even as I bade her go. First, I must remove the last thing. For from her hands grew root strings. They were meant to trip me up along my path. To keep me stumbling around and doubting what I could be.

“Please let me cut them away”

” Leave me my hands and you may cut my nails, for I would love rest. I have been feeding the memories for too long.”

I trimmed her nails and watched them fall at my feet. The light swallowing them as well. My wings flexed, stretching in the ever growing room, space appearing around me where there was only fear before, the light reaching deeper and higher.. suddenly.. I can fly! I twirled with joy and the bright lady, laughing at my happiness brought me back again, my work was not done, not even a little. I asked Less Than to go, her response was to pick up a burlap bag and to gather her memories, every shelf, every thought, every scrap of the yellow brown infection was removed. At last, she took her stool, but the box remained.

Less Than took her rough hewn sack and went into the light, climbing a ladder down into the hole and to her well earned rest. The light she disappeared into swelled and grew until it bathed every corner of the cavernous space. As the light washed over me I realized I had grown. I had become a giant in the light. I took up all the space in this room, the walls suddenly brushing my wingtips even as it grew. My bigness was realized. Squashed and bound no more.

I look at the box centered in the room, both near and far. It is the same box, but it is not. Gone is the dark brown wood, gone are the ornate carvings. It is made of light and crystal. Edges fragmenting the light and shining it around me the bands of color doing no more than caressing the edges of my vision, for these were not bindings but fireworks of light. I picked the box up, holding it carefully in one giant hand. It weighed nothing but it was solid and weighted with the pricelessness of what it contained. I knew in any other realm but my unconscious this box would have been too heavy for me to move. It was smooth and comfortingly cool, a damp rag when fevered or a cool mist when the sun has made you wilt. Its corners and edges sharp, but not cutting, as if it was unable to hurt anything. It could only protect. Reverently I pushed back the lid and looked upon the contents. I knew what they were the moment I saw the box, but there was something in seeing them in my hand that made them real in that moment. This teapot and cups.

I picked them up and set them in my hand as the bright lady removed the box and let it go in peace to the light. I would not need it anymore. She smiled and I was lost in contemplation of the items in my hands. The weight of the teapot, solid, metal and love. It had weight and it felt like it was something used every day, practical and luxurious at once. It was a vessel of transformation. It contained I can, and I believe and I accept. It was made from the essence of acceptance of imperfections and it was cast to both hold and to give. The cold metal and the faint grassy smell of tea reminding me that even something dried and used up can be transformed into something beautiful and nourishing. I caressed the depth of its intricate filigree with nothing more than my gaze and still I could feel the smooth undulating patterns of each motif. The cups, a surprise in the box, matched it imperfectly but harmoniously nonetheless.  Handeless and delicate they seemed to always be just big enough. These cups so fragile and perfect, translucent and vast in strength. Nourishment, they were made of nourishment and contained it.  A reminder that I can nourish my own heart. I knew, in that moment that these things could feel, they could think and they could love.  I knew I was supposed to carry within my heart the vessel to nourish my own spirit. I knew that they were missing and that they were so happy to be returned home. My heart opening, wings spreading, eyes closing as I allowed my heart to open and receive these tiny immense feelings. They danced as I placed them in my heart. Their joy bubbling over through my eyes as light spilled from my being. Slowly, ages later I allowed my heart to close once more. Not sealed, but merely returning to its resting state, filled and filling me.

I turned my attention to the teapot. How could something so solid feel so light, almost floating in my hand, once again at a size you would expect. Real and heavy, a couple of pounds of metal, but living and wanting to return home. How does one return to a home that has never known its occupancy. How do my wingtips feel the smooth roughness of the walls? How do my feet feel the forest floor beneath them? Pebbles and roots, bugs and worms, the feeling of home and food and decay all mixed and rendered useful. We live in it, we eat from it, and we die in it. The earth is the beginning of all things and the ending of all things. She was here when we first took breath and she will live longer than us all, eons pale before the Mother. Here, in this place so deep within my self anything and everything is possible and upon my hand was the truth of that. For this teapot, so real and solid was noting more pure than belief. Belief in myself, my ability to transform myself and my world. It was the ability to take pain and turn it into wisdom.  First it needed to go home, my forehead opened and into it was placed this teapot of transformation. It slid home and suddenly my world bloomed. Riots of light and color, the fireworks of spring and autumn, the endless beauty of nature and the perfection of a spirit joyful and free. The connection between my head and my heart was electric and more brilliant than any sun. My words freeing, soaring once more within me. The apple tree realized in all it’s glory once more. My time here was done. Less than and the room that she had taken as her own, melted into the beauty and light.

The return trip was not so eventful, my unconscious, mostly still indistinct was not something to be feared, for within me I carried knowledge and power. Now the elevator back up to my world, the place where I exist with others, had changed. It too shown with light, made of glass and gems. Gleaming beacon that slowly brought me back to reality, where I could once again plant my feet on solid ground.