The end of fall

cropped-red-sky-jan-15.jpgWhere I live in the Canadian Maritimes, late fall can look a lot like winter elsewhere.

This is the time of year that leads people to (frantic?) celebration, lighting up houses and trees, sprinkling glitter in unusual places, more parties, more drinking, more attempts to push back the darkness in any way we can.  But the darkness deepens.   Hours of daylight are few:  the sun is barely visible over the horizon at the beginning of the workday, and by the time supper is taking shape in my mind, much less on the stove, the darkness is encroaching again.  So we dance, and sing, and light our homes and maybe get half lit ourselves.  What are we celebrating?

With the growing darkness two things come up in us:  first, there is a primal fear that the darkness is all.  That there is really only darkness and any suggestion of light  is just self-deception or ignorance.   The world growing dark merely demonstrates the darkness of the human heart.  There is a lot of darkness in the world right now. Our hearts and minds grow dark, and we focus on the violence, the poverty, the problems both public and personal.  We fear that we will be overtaken by dark, there will be no more warmth, no more growing season, no sunlight toward which we turn our faces to soak in the energy of our star.

But there is also something else in us, sometimes a very small something but it is there.  There is also a spark, of faith, or belief, perhaps, but something that reminds us to keep on going. Even when the days are long and dark, when the nights seem to last forever, there is something in our human spirit that keeps us plugging along.  I don’t think it is hope.  Hope is too intellectual, too cognitive a concept.  It is something more like life itself.   Within us there is the fear of the ultimate darkness but more important, there is a push toward the light, toward life, a movement within us that says, “Yes” when all the world looks so much like “no.”

So maybe I need to re-frame my picture of our end-of-fall holiday mania.  Maybe it isn’t really about desperate pushing away of the darkness.  Maybe, instead, it is about our own small lights within reaching out to join with other lights, to band together until the light comes back into the world.

May you join your spark with many others to help bring light to the world.  Now more than ever, your life is needed to bring light into the darkness.

Peace.

candle1

 

 

 

 

Starting over. Starting over. Starting over.

The sun comes up every single morning.  What a gift, what a blessing.   When we conceive of the new day as new opportunity, everything opens up.

Sunrise over Cundy's Harbour, Maine, Dianne Carrick 31 Dec 2012
Sunrise over Cundy’s Harbour, Maine, Dianne Carrick 31 Dec 2012

  Today is just beginning.   That means that my experience of today is also, yes, just beginning.  So I have choices.  I can choose to make this a new beginning or a continuation of what was.   Actually, of course, today is always both of those things.    Taking a leap into something new can be frightening.   We shrink from fear, pulling ourselves inward, like an everlasting snail withdrawing his tiny horns from an aversive stimulus.   But once pulled in, once shrunken into myself, pulled away from the world, I am tight, tense, afraid, anxious, then actually interacting with the world becomes difficult. I am constrained from acting as I might want to act.  I am unable to feel my own experiences of the world because I have shrunk away from them.

What if?    

What if?    If only I realized that I am always and everywhere interacting with the world, actually am part of the world, taking in the world through my breath and my eyes, my ears and my skin, and adding parts of myself to the world just by being alive and being present, well, might that awareness not help me to know that fear itself is an illusion, just as separation is an illusion?

Starting over
Solstice dawn.
Solstice dawn.

Well, it’s a thought, anyway.   I was talking with my friend and body-worker Kathrine Walker about this miraculous interface between the human body (MY human body, your human body) and the world.   We were working with a meditation on the breath, visualizing the lungs right down to the alveoli, the location where the amazing happens:   air from the world interfaces with the body and becomes part of the body.   I recalled the other places where this occurs:  in the sensory organs and within the digestive system.   In each system, there is a specific place, specific part of the body which developed for its particular interface with information from the world….the retina gathers light energy and converts it to something your brain can understand.  The hair cells of the basilar membrane of the ear can take sound waves and turn them into neural transmissions.   Inside your nose are receptors that collect molecules of substances that waft in on the air you breathe, and those molecules are turned into information for your brain to interpret (“Hmm, apples….that reminds me of fall and our trips up river to pick apples.”)   The world is coming to us every moment of every day, and the world is becoming us.

When I breathed into that awareness, when I actively sought to notice air becoming me, sound shaping my mental experience, feeling the sensation of really deeply looking at colours, I could just barely begin to touch this reality.   But it meant something.   It meant that I could let go of a lot of my striving.   No matter how hard I try, I can’t keep myself safe from the world.   No matter how much I try to control myself, my future, my life, things are happening every single millisecond that I cannot control.

The good news about that was this:    I don’t need to set goals, to create rigid structures for Self-Improvement, to follow somebody-or-other’s plan for getting a better body, more spiritual soul, sharper intelligence.  I just need to breathe and to be, and in so doing, I am becoming more part of the world and letting the world become part of me.   

Could be a scary thought.  Or it could be extraordinarily freeing.

On this last day of the year, I think I’ll choose to find it freeing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leap Day!

Credit: nickshell1983.wordpress.com via Nahno McLein's blog

 

I just had to make sure I got a post up on this special day….Leap  Day, that only happens once every four years.  Of course, every single day is just as special as Leap Day, in that it will never come again, and that my job is to try to make the most of it, even if that means just sitting and being in the day.   But I still have some attachment to posting something on this day.

So I am going to post an information sheet that I’ll be handing out at the group meeting tonight.  I hope you are coming!

Here it is:

               Body-Mind Psychotherapy: Bioenergetic Analysis & Therapy

Are you stressed?  Anxious? Sad? Worried?  Having trouble making decisions?   Things feel like just too much?

Bioenergetic Analysis is a holistic form of psychotherapy that listens not only to your words but also to what your body has to say. Bioenergetic analysis diminishes anxiety and depression, and promotes health and wellness in body, mind and spirit.

Bioenergetics assumes that the mind and body are one.  The experience of living in a body shapes and creates the subjective experience of the mind.  Feelings are a body experience, for example, and our minds use the information from our body experience to construct thought, generate behavior, and motivate our ways of being in the world.

The body-mind approach of bioenergetic analysis helps to heal a split between what our minds tell us and what our bodies experience.  In bioenergetics, we use body responses as a way to understand our patterns of behavior.  When we can feel those patterns in our bodies, then we become free to change them.

Becoming oneself~

When we were children, our feelings were huge.  When a very young child has a feeling, it happens all over the body….joy, sadness, anger or fear is a whole-body experience, filling the child and often filling the room.  As children, we learn that such explosive emotion is not acceptable.  We learn to contain our belly laughs by tightening our abdominal muscles, to constrict our longing by tensing our shoulders, to hold back our rage by tucking in our tails, setting our jaws, and tightening our backs.  In this way, we become socially acceptable but we cut ourselves off from our deepest feelings, including the sources of pleasure. In bioenergetics, we can take back our birthright.  We can learn to feel all that we were meant to feel, and experience our life in all of its fullness.

Working with a bioenergetic therapist is a way to help alter old patterns, heal persistent wounds, and move into a fresh future.

In bioenergetic therapy, you will explore your internal landscape with a trained therapist.  You’ll use movement, your voice, and other tools to help you experience yourself in a safe, comfortable setting.  With support, you’ll find that you can allow yourself to feel more, experience more, appreciate more, enjoy more.  When you can have these experiences in the therapy room, they become more possible in the world where you live and work.

Good to know….

An essential part of bioenergetic training is extensive personal bioenergetic therapy.  In bioenergetics, you know that your therapist has been through this very therapy.  This allows us to create a collaboration, in which you develop ways of moving forward in your life, while becoming more fully the person you were meant to be.

Bioenergetic Bodywork:  become vibrantly alive!

Bioenergetic exercise classes are fun!   Exercises are designed to help you get in touch with your body sensations, getting to know and like yourself in a different way.  Exercise classes are not psychotherapy, but helpful for everyone.   Exercise is tailored to your body needs, and incorporates stretching, sustained postures, vocal expression and fun!

During 2012, we’ll be offering FREE monthly bodywork groups on the last Wednesday of the month at Lokamotion Studio, 7-8 pm.  Call to register or just drop in.

 

Was there anything new and interesting in this post?   drop me a note or post a comment and share….and I hope to see you becoming vibrantly alive!