I am back from a long and painful silence. I am finding the light within and around me once more. I am grateful to be alive, I am grateful for the many voices and teachers I have encountered throughout this trip into and out of the darkness. I am grateful for the chance to share and for your presence in this unique moment.
As of May 2nd, 2020, I am the proud holder of a master’s degree in speech-language pathology (a whole lot more on that surely to come). And what a strange spiral of excitement, self-doubt, confusion, and joy (so many emotions) I have since slipped into. Boundaries, the poem to follow is about a depressive state I sunk lightly into as I processed some of the earliest traumas of this incarnation. At the end, I will share some thoughts about the book I’ve been reading that has provided me with tools and the language needed to transform this pain into poetry. All written with the intention to heal and integrate.
when you haven’t been shown
that people have an unspeakable barrier
around their souls
you might not know
about your own
as you grow,
you may fail to see
your own subtle need
the damaged energy centers
of your very being
a swirling sea of distortions
longing for security, safety amidst the cold and bitter storms
fouled by the lies we tell ourselves in fear of overflowing
so we seek comfort
in vices that pacify but do no healing to our battered bones
and we fall,
desolate in our disbelief of ourselves,
in our distrust of the universe —
there is nothing but suffering,
so much so that we forget
what its is like to feel supported
and for heavens sake, we share this shame, don’t we?
in some way, I know your pain
and you, mine
birthed into the blinding lights and shocking sounds
from the safety of the womb
as for me, I was born blue
unable to absorb oxygen
as they rushed with my near-silent body
to the nearest baby fertilizing machine,
delivering stinging stimulation
my gentle father, simultaneously cooing and caressing my cheek
with loving strokes and composed whispers
it must have worked to comfort me,
hospital staff scolded him
seven hours prior, an old anesthesiologist thumps a needle
or that’s the image in my mind, as the mother recalls the story —
my inquisitive father wondering aloud,
curious about the contents of the vile
“fentanyl,” the epidural deliveryman speaks
now the old unassuming man speaks like a sage,
predicting the darkest of futures,
certainly not unforeseen by the western medicine men
“in 20 years, people will be dying from this drug around here”
and four hours later, he would inject the mother with more
now I am 23 and by 6 a.m. on a November day in 1996,
my mother couldn’t feel a thing
as they told her to push, until she gave up
told them no more; nurse said “you will”
and I finally emerged from the cradle of the birth canal
bleating like a goat and gasping for air
then, incubated for sixteen hours
not a single loving touch from the mother
for the baby born blue
I must be made to cry in order to breathe right.
sound off! clear your lungs! be alive! be in the world, now!
coming into this body with mixed signals
the womb, dark and warm
the world, cold and bright
and I, I still lose my bearings on the physical world
quite frequently living in my head
a harrowing disconnect,
I can see the ground below my feet but hardly feel it
gasping still, my inhaler rules my strength
I went without for six days and nearly lost my mind
fraught with anxious thoughts
shamefully shallow inspiration
occupying most of my time,
until I made a desperate call
in 3 minutes of fretful talk, problem solved
there was never an issue at all
afraid to ask even a doctor for what I need
just one of many instances of self-deprivation
for no discernible reasons other than fear and shame
and fear lies like no other, besides her sister, shame,
who feels less urgent and creeps in even more insidiously than fear
these evil twins take over my mental loops, whispers turn to shouts
and I find myself again, doing without, in the most basic ways
losing my body in a desolation of lack of the comforts,
no, necessities, of life- warm food, cleansing water, depth of breath,
I recognize hunger and turn red
I feel cold and turn blue instead –
of reaching for a blanket or sweater
I forget when I last undressed –
to bathe rather than to go straight to bed
I look from the outside at the girl on the floor;
I wonder what she’s even suffering for
I wish I could give her a hug that felt like home
something to bring her out of the prison of her mind
something of substance, that didn’t make her feel empty
like all other solid things
all the pretty things acquired
did nothing to quell her desires
for ways to fill this time in isolation
only cluttered her space and mind
filled her with shame at the resources lost
feeling undeserving of any stimulus
How did she get here?
the girl on the floor in arms reach of warmth
shame and fear; shame and fear
I embrace her, remind her that
in my arms, she is Home
and we are finding
forgiveness for the neglect we inflict
because we are seeking
freedom from fragmentation
and I am practicing
grounding, nourishing, and listening to my body
so that I can comfortably define my boundaries
drawing energy from earth which supports me
until it is second nature to feel the roots of my being,
I will keep lifting up the blue girl from the floor
embracing her lovingly and reminding her that
in my arms, she is Home.
A Healing Text: Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith
“To distrust our basic instincts is to put ourselves at odds with the deep core of our physical being. It puts us at odds with our ground and the natural world.”
“Technological birth, in which the infant is pulled into bright lights, spanked, and separated from the mother, is such a shock to our ancient nervous systems that the experience is an assault to our neurological sense of ground.”
Reconnect with the body
Lots of touch
Look at the earliest relationship to mother
Reclaim right to be here
It is safe for me to be here.
The earth supports me and meets my needs.
I love my body and trust its wisdom.
I am immersed in abundance.
I’m here and I’m real.
In the first chapter of Eastern Body, Western Mind, Anodea Judith details the development of the first chakra, Muladhara, (meaning “root support” in Sanskrit) as a period occurring from the 2nd trimester to 12 months. This encompasses the earliest stages of child development in which arriving into the solidity of the earth, from the softness of the womb, is the first task of being human. The helpless infant cries out to have their needs met, for nourishment, physical affection, attention — basic needs for survival. When these needs are met, the infant begins to form a sense of trust, safety, and comfort in knowing that the world will provide for them. If the infant’s needs are not met, or only partially met, the infant grows with subconscious feelings of helplessness, anxiety, discomfort, and perhaps difficulty later in life in meeting their own needs, feeling safe, secure, and grounded. The root chakra becomes the foundation for the rest of the system, as its successful formation leaves a person with a strong sense of grounding, trust, security, safety, vitality, the ability to be comfortable in one’s own body, relaxed and still.
There is SO MUCH to unpack and learn from Eastern Mind, Western Body, and from studying the chakra system in general. I am exciting to have found such a comprehensive resource and hope to share more of my personal experiences, along with digestible tidbits from the book.
This post has been in the works for quite a while now, as I cycled through periods of intense anxiety and fear surrounding root chakra issues. The uncertainty is terrifying at times, but what I have learned during all of this will surely serve me. By investing time and energy into this work, I hope to move beyond fear, mistrust, insecurity, and scarcity mindset, all for the purpose of serving each Soul that I cross paths with.
Resonating with nature and feeling held by Mother Earth. Trusting myself. Trusting others. Trusting the process. Trusting the Sacred ground we all walk upon. Grounding down to send my love out.
My intention is to empower you to find the courage to move through the discomfort and heal your roots. I hope you do so more sweetly and softly than I am able some days. I forgive myself for the neglect and abandonment I inflict unto myself in times in which fear overcome me. I nurture my wounds and listen to my body.
I am worthy. I deserve to be here. I am enough.
You are worthy. You deserve to be here. You are enough.
Ending this post with gratitude, I thank you for being here. I am grateful for a chance to share my wounds, my process of transformation, and the knowledge I gain along the way. I hope this post provokes you to do whatever it is you do to find your ground. Go into nature, touch the earth, nurture a plant as if it is your Soul. Nurture yourself as if you are a precious child, as if you are a child again. Stomp your feet, dance like crazy, push against a physical boundary, jump, shake, kick, run. Breathe. When fear creeps in, get out of your mind and INTO YOUR BODY. Your body is the vessel of your Soul, and within you is so much love and power waiting to be released as you heal the wounds of your youth. Take care of yourself for the good of humanity.
With loving awareness,