Wednesday, June 9, 2010

trouble.... oh, trouble move away....

I'm venting here so I don't let things get to me.

today we took my 83-year old grandmother who has been in constant pain for the last month to the doctor to see what is going on. he took one look at her and sent her right to the ER. we have been urging her to go for the last three weeks and she has refused... today she said she wished she had listened to us. if she had, they'd have found she had two cracked ribs on her left side from the fall she took while drunk on May 8 (Mother's Day). she always drinks a lot, but on that particular day she said she was sad thinking about my mother, her only child, who had died on April 12, 1999. I had gone to visit her that day and it was a pretty unremarkable encounter. I think we did briefly discuss my mother but as usual, my grandmother didn't want to really go into the subject. later that night, after drinking from the moment I left until about 10:30 pm, she fell in her bedroom. she didn't know she was on the floor. she thought she was in her bed. a week later, she began having left side back pain which only got worse. after studying the heart chakra and its association to the lungs and the thoracic cavity... well, I probably don't need to connect the dots here. Broken hearts, broken lungs, broken spirits.

rolf tells us that unhealed grief and guilt will make us sick and we will carry that sickness to our grave. I know my grandmother feels guilt in part for the way she raised my mother, for being an alcoholic and for so many things unsaid. there is part of me that doesn't want to reopen old wounds, but so much of me wants to tell her it's okay. rolf told us that people do the best they can with what they are given. even people who do really bad things... it's what they are given in terms of mastery of the ego, of connection to the divine, of empathy towards the suffering and basic humanity of others. it's not our place to create more suffering by living in regret, or anger, or pain, or guilt, or shame. it is our place to create a world of compassion in which we- and others- can feel supported and healed.

that said, I'm working hard to get there myself.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

500 Hour Musings

In reading further along in Anatomy of the Spirit, it occurred to me that I would be better served in the interest of svadhyaya (self-study/ introspection) to give a short critique of her approach to the subject of the energy body and how I feel it relates to my experience right now.

I am most interested in case studies as examples. Often times I feel that Myss breezes through the histories of former clients and makes abrupt summations of what had been going on energetically. Some things are not so clear cut in my world. I have had to wade through layers of ego, pain, self-absorption, and defensiveness to get at the root of what has been happening in my life and why I allow it to shape my daily experience.

As a teacher, I am so challenged to recognize patterns in others that I often fail to see them in myself. Recently, however, I have begun to make connections between what I observe in my students and in myself that have clarified the value of achieving chakra balance.

I have a student who identifies himself as “Hate Edge.” His definition of this is being “Straight Edge” (no drinking/ no drugs/ no procreation/ vegan/ atheist), but taking it a step further... to “hate” people who don’t observe the same principles. Of course I understand the reasoning behind these principles (I even observe some of them), but the act of “hating” people who disagree seems not only misguided, but contrary to the very idea of ahimsa (non-harming/ non-violent) that being “Straight Edge” implies.

I know from reading Anatomy, our thoughts have such a powerful impact on our bodies. I happen to know that this young man also suffers depression and anxiety to a debilitating degree, and that he likes yoga and reports feeling lighter and happier around me and especially after a class. This is a young man who I see as having major first, second, third and fourth chakra excesses and deficiencies: He has completely defined himself in terms of his beliefs and his membership in a group. Any efforts to challenge him on these points, I have observed though not experienced personally, result in insults and angry outbursts. His relationships are incomplete, and he sees women as a means for sex (and has even had himself sterilized). He quotes disempowering song lyrics about having no place in the world and being completely worthless. He doesn’t even believe love exists in reality. It’s very hard to see someone you care about (I do care about all my students, even the ones who are difficult!) struggling in such a manner.

Lately, instead of getting wrapped up in peoples' stories and letting them get to me emotionally, or even reacting with fear or avoidance, I recently allowed myself to take a step back and identify what it is that stirs me up. I begin to see the associations with my own ‘”tribe” as being yet another means of letting myself get stuck energetically. Living in Richmond, Virginia, traditionally a very conservative city, I teach and get to know people on all ends of the spectrum-- the very religious, the very secular, staunch Republicans, determined Democrats, dedicated meat eaters, raw-food devotees... and I have to sift through it all and figure out where I land. Seeing people in more energetic terms is creating a sea change in the way I experience others and allow them into my world.

Ultimately I realize that whatever words or lifestyle I choose to create my own “story” as Tolle calls it, my real “Self” is none of these things. I feel the power of the universal spirit moving through my energy body and above the level of the ego and all its trappings: above the group mind, above difficult relationships, above any perceived gaps in my own personal power, above and beyond whatever pain and hurt I have allowed into my own heart. And I continue my self-study through all the chakras and beyond, by always seeking to say “yes” to that divine spark which illuminates and inspires my every thought, word and deed. This affords me the willingness and the means to help others see it too, in themselves, if they want to.