D

To my foremothers

To my foremothers

March 8, 2019
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International Women’s Day.
Today.

Over lunch with friends and colleagues the other day, I talked about the deep connection I have to the long line of women that have come before me; I can literally look over my right shoulder and sense them there. All of them. Thousands of them, strong women, connected to me womb by womb by womb. Back through the ages, until the beginning of time, human time.

That’s one of the images I have – and it’s powerful. Physical in a sense.

The other one is that the buck stops here.

Not in the sense that I haven’t given birth to a daughter. Because I have.
Rather… there’s a shift. With me. I bear the full weight of all that has gone before me, all the angst, the anxiety, the strength, but also the weakness. The inability to make choices, empowering choices, due to… well. Culture? Societal norms? Heritage and expectations of parents, relatives, and society at large? Yes. All of that.

Without resilience amongst the women that I am born of, I would not be here.
But there has been a struggle. A long hard one.

Photo by Anders Roos

Photo by Anders Roos

And it stops here.
I am breaking patterns, that have been passed down, from mother to daughter for millennia.
Tossing them up in the air, and like a skilled juggler, catching the components, and making new patterns.

For all of my foremothers that have walked the earth, and all of my descendants to come – I am breaking patterns.
Healing wounds, wounds of ages past, as well as those of today.

The image of my female ancestors came to me in a session with D. Who else? A catalyst he is. Opening up for what wants to happen. For letting go, as well as letting come. At the time, I wrote about the experience thus:

I saw more of me.
Saw those that came before me, the generations upon generations of women who have given birth to babies, who in turn bore babies, and somewhere along the line, this resulted in my mother giving birth to me. And me giving birth to my daughter.

About holding it in…. or not.
The pivotal moment in time when the path ahead, for the women stemming from my womb, going back all the way to the womb of my First Mother, shifts, no longer carrying the weight, the burden, of judgement and inner harshness, concealed within. Letting it out into the world. Being, perhaps, created by those who cannot stand to see it, visibly, so used to it being concealed. Cringing from the physical aspects of it, when it is recreated outside, rather than sneakily hidden underneath the skin, the flesh, deep within our soulbodies. So much easier to ignore, pretend it’s not existing, turning it into something that-we-must-not-name…

My back pains. Related to this. Without a doubt. A not-so-gentle way to let me know, there’s more I need to let go of! For us. All of us! Knowing… that I would not be where I am, without the strength, resilience, survival instincts and skills of all the women that stand, physically, behind me, all the way back to my First Mother.

Humbled. Honored.
Proud!

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Zero burpees.

February 27, 2019
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May 28th 2016 I started a #100dayburpeeschallenge. I didn’t do the challenge as per the rules for it (Adding a burpee every day of the challenge, starting with one and ending with 100), but I did a number of burpees every day, a total of 3000 during those 100 days. And day 101, I just kept at it, and I have, ever since.

But today, I made an intentional decision to stop.
1005 days in a row, I’ve done at least one burpee, often more.
A total of 12911 burpees gives me an average of almost 13 burpees/day.

But today I stopped this routine. Deliberately.

With a bit of help from my friend (D, as always. Where would I be without him? Who would I be?) I’ve realized that I need movement. My body needs movement. But not the same type of movement every day. Sometimes, I feel as if my body is of triple density, being heavy, so incredibly heavy. Those days, it’s an absolute pain doing my burpees. It’s as if I am not supposed to do them, being too much of a struggle.

Other days, it’s as if there’s no gravity holding me down. I jump, up, up, up, light as a feather, with an enormous amount of energy and bounce within bursting out of me. Those days, doing my burpees is a joy. It’s as if I am headed for heaven!

Heavy Helena and Heavenly Helena need to move. But they (me – different aspects of me, I know that.) need different movements. Not the same. One size doesn’t fit all, not even when “all” is but the various ways I show up in the world.

So I will be continuing with my daily Seven but will be dropping my daily burpees and the burpees log.
Letting go.
Letting come.

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Doing. Being. Causing pain?

February 26, 2019
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Back pains again.
Desperately trying to figure out what to do to stop the pain, as well as ensure it doesn’t return.

Got valuable help from the one and only D once more, suggesting I look less at what to do, and more at what I am doing and how I am being it.

Still. Struggled with it.
Frustration and pain. Horrible pain.

Two full days at a customer site – long days.
Busy evenings at that.

So this morning (after 4 full days of pain) I relented and rescheduled a meeting I had this evening, giving myself an evening of rest with an added bonus-online therapy session with D as well. Got to my customer – and an hour before lunch I suddenly noticed: pain gone.

Just like that.

The appearance of these back pains has me looking within, with invaluable help from D. And I have to say, I humbly bow down to those who suffer constant bodily pain. It’s hard to avoid giving my backpain my entire focus, even though I know that’s the best way to ensure I suffer the pain all the more.

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Slow down. Ease up.

February 16, 2019
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As I walked through the door, exclaiming my back is killing me, D picked up on the message. When we sat down to work with the pain, he asked me: What did you feel as you stepped through the door?

I didn’t really have an answer, so he asked if I wanted to hear his impression. Yes, please tell me, I responded. What else could I say, being a Curious George and all that…

So he said, slow down. That’s the message I got, to slow down. Ease up a little. 

I’ve carried the message with me, this past week, using it as a baseline to reflect on what I am doing, in which areas, and how it all serves me. Or doesn’t, for that matter.

Coming to a realization that for quite some time I’ve been pushing all my own buttons. At the same time. Working on all areas, simultaneously. Pushing against the boundaries of my comfort zone… no, that’s untrue. I’ve been pushing against the boundaries of my stretch zone, going dangerously into the red snap zone… in many, if not all, areas of life.

I realized, as I took in the message I was sending but not picking up on, that I don’t have to work in all areas, everywhere, all the time. It is not only reasonable but actually wise, to heed the advice of the master of self-care, Pop the cat. Let myself rest, consolidate, push fewer buttons, letting come that which wants to come, given that I let go of that which has done its job.

So I breathe in. Hold it, for a few seconds. Then… exhale, letting go of a bit of the urge within, to be done. Knowing it’s not at the finishing line the reward of this journey lies. It is the journey itself. That is the reward. The growth. The expansion. The learning. That which is life. Living it. Loving it. Letting go to let come, and reveling in each twist and turn, each nook and cranny, falling through internal trap doors, one after the other. All the while being open. And gentle. Knowing my gentleness towards myself is that which ensures the openness, the willingness, the ability to step without hesitation into the next inch of the unknown.

As a direct result of the reflective process of this past week, I honored myself today.
Saying No to others. Saying Yes to me.
Slowing down. Easing up.

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In pain.

February 10, 2019
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Friday morning it started. Again. My lower back pulsating, sending small hints that soon, in a few hours or at most a day, there will be massive pain, making me so weak that getting out of bed, putting socks on, or sitting down is a major hassle. A painful hassle.

Lying on heated wheat bags, with hips/legs in a 90 degree angle to alleviate the pain.

I know to be in motion when this happens. To not freeze on account of the pain, but rather the opposite. To move as much as I can, to stand, dance, wiggle my body, apply heat (or cold, but heat is so much nicer…) and whatever other ways to try to get through the pain incident as quickly as I can. 

It used to be my neck. Freezing up every now and then… and I finally got the message: speak out, because you’re holding something vital back, that needs to be communicated. Once I got the message, I picked up on the cues, and as I often (always?) knew what it was I was holding back, and to whom, this problem has all but disappeared.

Now it’s my lower back. And it has been for a few years. And I haven’t gotten the message. I’ve gotten a strengthening program for my core, and that’s helped, but out of the blue (or so I thought until today), this back pain would flare up, making life really painful for a few days.

Invited to lunch at D’s place, I knocked, stepped in and exclaimed: my back is killing me! He continued cooking, we talked, we ate (oh my, delicious doesn’t even begin to describe D’s cooking!), had tea, and then he asked if I wanted to work with him on my back. An offer too good to decline.

I showed him, the difficulty I had in leaning down to touch the floor, and with a sense of disgust told him about the sensation of being totally weak, lacking strength and control of my lower back, effectively stopping me from functioning in the world in the way I normally do.

So we got to work.
Him asking. Me responding.
Him paying very close attention to the energies, where they took me, what they had me do.
Scratch my forehead.
Peck on his knee with my finger.
He had me describing the pain; the location of it; the size of it; the shape of it; the sensation of it.

For an hour (or so?! I don’t know…) we continued, with me sensing into the pain, discovering the connection to old Helena (the one I was, before… The one that started to transform into new Helena, i.e. me, a few weeks before the birth of my first child) as well as Warrior Helena, my longings, needs, fears. Delving into my relationship to these two archetypes of Me, as well as noticing the shifting sensation in my back. Melancholy, tears, disgust, disappointment, the disembodied feeling of being a Brain and a Body rather than an integrated Being. Coming to understand the need to make allies with both old Helena and Warrior Helena.

That’s the message.
With the neck, my body told me to communicate with others.
With the lower back, my body is telling me to communicate with me. All of me. All aspects of me. To make all parts of me my allies, and not enemies, or parts to be ignored, taken for granted or be ashamed of. 

It’s hard to put into words, but in a gentle way a lot of ground was covered, a lot of work done. When done, D asked: How’s the back now? I smiled at him, wiggled about on the sofa a bit, afraid to show him what I believed to be true: that the pain was gone. So after stalling for a while – wanting to live in the hope that what I sensed from my lower back was true, rather than the fear of trying it out only to discover it wasn’t – I stood up, bent over, touched the floor without the least bit of problem or pain, danced around a bit, grinning from ear to ear: The pain is gone. Gone!

Oh!
The relief – the constant background pain, similar to the low-murmuring noise of ventilation. The relief when the pain disappears equal to that which occurs when the ventilation suddenly shuts down.
Amazement – how is this possible? Talking, sensing, doing the work, and all of a sudden, the pain is just gone?
Gratitude – how lucky am I, to have a friend like D. Someone who can help me find out more about myself, the messages my body is desperately trying to tell me, guiding me in the process of discovery. He’s done it before, he’ll do it again.
Wonderment!

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