Go Be Love.

For the past few months, I have been gifting my Self with Internal Family Systems Therapy sessions. Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a type of therapy pioneered by Dr. Richard Schwartz, PhD. It supposes that all individual persons are made up of multiple parts, and these parts make up our internal family system. This is not the same kind of situation as schizophrenia: Individual parts do not ‘take over’ and force the primary Self into silent submission. Rather, this is simply a description of different aspects of our personality. It is common to tell someone that a part of us wanted one thing, but another part of us wanted something else. For instance, a little kid in a candy shop might have trouble deciding what to purchase: a part of her wants sour patch kids, but another part of her knows how they make her tummy hurt when she eats them. Still another part of her will make the decision to either throw caution to the wind and get the sour patch kids or to play it safe and go with the licorice whips, instead. Get the idea?

Obviously this is a very simplified example. And if you want to learn more about IFS, then you should go to this website where you can read more about it.

So, back to the reason I brought this up in the first place …

Tonight I had another session. And during this session, I had my first experience with a part unburdening. (Unburdening is when a part is able to fully release a past injury it’s been carrying around for a long time.)  It was really cool and unexpected. And this one was a spontaneous unburdening, which meant that the part didn’t tell me what the burden was, it just let it go.

During these sessions we work in guided visualizations. Here is an abridged version of what happened in tonight’s session:

I called to me a couple of parts I met in the previous session that seemed to be guarding an exile (an injured part). The first was a very energetic and playful little boy. The second was The Nothing from The Neverending Story. The little boy and I immediately took to each other – we had made friends in the previous session – and spent a few minutes playing in a field and bouncing on a trampoline. Then I noticed it getting darker, clouds were rolling in, the air felt heavy and electric. The Nothing was approaching. In the previous session The Nothing had felt very resistant, stagnant and menacing. This time, however, it didn’t elicit any fear or hesitation from my Self at all. I was merely curious about it. So I started talking with it and asking it what it wanted to share with me. It sent out a spokesman in the form of a Dementor. (Yes, the creatures from the Harry Potter series.) Strangely, I felt no fear, cold, dread nor any reaction to it other than wondering what it was going to tell me. It told me that I was evil. (Erm, excuse me?)  When I asked it why it thought I was evil, it told me I had forgotten how to listen.   My therapist suggested I ask it if it recognized that I was my Self and not another part and that I was here to listen. I did, and then I asked it what it needed to share. Suddenly I was no longer on the trampoline, but was on a rocky island in the middle of a turbulent ocean (again, very in keeping with the Harry Potter theme). The Dementor said that they wanted me to jump in to find out. I noticed it used the plural, and then saw that the sky was full of Dementors. Still, however, they incited no feelings other than curiosity. I was really interested in finding out what they were trying to simultaneously protect me from and convey to me.

I got a little frightened when I took in my surroundings. I was on a very precarious surface and the ocean was dark and roiling. Then I saw it: A Great White Shark was circling the rock island I was on. (Yes. I made the mistake of watching a trailer for The Shallows last night.) Anyway. If you know me at all, you know that I have a major shark phobia. And I mean PHOBIA. So, the thought of jumping into a stormy black sea with Jaws gave me pause. I actually began to wonder if maybe I wasn’t ready for this revelation. And while I was busy pondering that, I felt my Self jump in. (What?!?)

Once in the water, I was kind of descending in slow motion. It was dark, but that dreamy underwater dark. I felt safe somehow. I saw the shark approach me and before I could let my fear take hold, I just swam up to it and hugged it. To my absolute astonishment, it grinned and rolled over like a puppy getting a belly rub. I began to pet it behind the gills. This made it so happy. And it made me happy. During that time the shark shrunk to a more average shark size. It began to sort of frolic around with me. We danced and played and snuggled.  After a while, I asked it what it wanted to do and it told me to grab hold of its dorsal fin.

I did and it began to take me into a deeper part of the ocean. We approached a sort of cave-like space on the ocean’s floor. Just inside the cave mouth was a treasure chest. The shark indicated that I was to open it. I expected to see some kind of treasure or something in there, but it was empty. I was curious what to do when the shark vomited into the empty chest. I told the shark to take as much time as it needed to purge. I nurtured the shark and rubbed his back while he vomited and vomited into the chest. When it was finished it told me to close the chest and bury it. I used a shell to dig into the ocean floor and buried the closed chest. As I was digging a single diamond floated up to me. I offered it to the shark and it ate the diamond. The shark began to sparkle and shimmer and radiated a beautiful light. Urged by my therapist, I asked it what qualities it would like to take in, if any, to replenish itself post-purge, and it chose the following: Courage; Light; Strength; Joy. (There was one more, but I can’t remember it now.)

Then I grabbed its fin and it brought be back up to the surface. As we emerged, the weather was clear and beautiful. There was a rainbow. We were just off a lovely sand beach and the sun was making a brilliant show of setting. I thanked the shark for what it shared with me. I told it I loved it. I could tell the time was coming for us to part, so I asked it if it wanted to stay where it was or go somewhere else? It was happy in this new beautiful, calm sea. I asked if it wanted anyone else there with it? It chose a sweet pink dolphin as a playmate. They started swimming away happily and I shouted out to the shark to see if there were any last things it wanted to share with me? “Go be Love!” it said.

Go be Love.

So that’s my new mission.

I like it.

If you haven’t experienced IFS, I highly recommend it. It’s a wonderful way to free your Self from past injuries in your own time and in your own way. The therapist is there to guide you, but the work is yours alone. It’s good stuff.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this post. If you’re still reading: I love you! If you stopped reading a long time ago: I love you! And I invite you, too, to go be Love!

Some Exciting News!

Hello Beautiful People! I am so pleased to be sharing some amazingly good news with you today.

I’M GOING TO HAWAII!!!

I have been accepted to a work exchange program at Kanekiki Farm on the Big Island of Hawaii! I’ll be there from September through the end of the year. As you might imagine, I am over the moon about this new adventure!

Kanekiki Farm is a working farm and intentional community that has been growing for six years. The community consists of a handful of full-timers and a continuous rotation of volunteers, interns, and guests. My favorite thing about the Kanekiki community, and the primary reason I chose to apply for the program, is that they are an 80/10/10 community.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you mat remember me writing about 80/10/10 before. It’s also sometimes referred to as Low Fat High Carb Raw Vegan. It’s a diet and lifestyle practice that centers around achieving optimal health through getting as close to Nature as possible. (If you’re interested in learning more about 80/10/10, check out The 80/10/10 Diet book by Dr. Douglas Graham. It’s a very informative and enjoyable read.)

My hope is that while I am at the farm, I will be able to not only give of my Self to this amazing community, but that I will also gain some much needed support to help bring my long transition to this lifestyle to full completion. I am open to whatever happens, but, at present, this is my hope. It’s also going to be an awesome adventure doing something new in a place I’ve never been. It scares me as much as it excites me, so I know I’m on the right track!

This opportunity came to me as I was taking steps to once again get more minimalist in my life. After the Big Purge of several years ago – when I sold most of my belongings as well as my house, and, eventually, my car, too – I have managed, like many people, to amass a collection of stuff I don’t really need.

In an effort to further my minimalist intentions AND to help fund my Hawaiian adventure, I am hosting a yard sale/fundraiser event this weekend.  Part 1 is on Saturday afternoon and Part 2 is on Sunday morning. If you’re in Durham and are interested in getting some gently used treasures for yourself or your loved ones at bargain prices, or if you just want to stop by to say hello, please feel encouraged to do so! I’d love to see you!

I hope you are all having a beautiful Spring, and are taking good care of your Selves.

Big Love!

Melanie

Greeting the Porcupine

So, I’ve been really trying to continue working with the energies of Imbolc as the Wheel transitions toward Ostara.  It’s not been easy.  I’ve managed to land my Self in a whirligig of over-commitment, burn out, super stress and anxiety, a dwindling quality of self-care, and some misaligned vertebrae causing some pretty gnarly pain and insomnia.  Not-so-good times.  However, amid all this chaos, I am still doing my very best to look for the joy in the journey, the lesson to be learned or core challenge to be tackled.

I’ve been making some changes – I went full blond for the first time ever; taking steps toward even bigger changes – I’m really ramping up my search for a van to purchase that I can call home (more on that soon); and am working hard to treat my Self to some very necessary healing arts – getting massages, facials, and working with my crystals and gemstones.

This morning, after a particularly challenging week, I slept as late as I wanted.  (No alarm clock!!)  Then I rolled out of bed and onto the yoga mat where I gently urged my body toward expansion with some delicious languid stretching and moving.  I followed that with a re-reading of the description of Porcupine from my medicine cards book, and a Tarot reading with my trusty Mythic Tarot deck.  Both were insightful, informative and encouraging.

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You may recall that my totem animal for this period between Imbolc and Ostara is the Porcupine.  (Go here if you missed the last post where I wrote about this.)  As usual, this time when I read the description, my focus was directed differently than last time I read it.  This time I was drawn more to the discussion of Porcupine as a symbol of trust and faith – in people, in the Universe, in ‘the process’.  Here’s a passage I found especially poignant this morning:

“Porcupine has many special qualities, and a very powerful medicine:  the power of faith and trust.  The power of faith contains within it the ability to move mountains.  The power of trust in life involves trusting that the Great Spirit has a divine plan.  Your task is to find the pathway that is most beneficial for you and that uses your greatest talents to further the plan.  Trust can open doorways to the creation of space.  The space thus created allows others to open their hearts to you and to share their gifts of love, joy and companionship.”

I have been starting to understand, recently, just how much I am in need of Porcupine medicine.  I realize that I have lost a great deal of my ability to trust and have faith in this world.  This is especially true with people.  Being such a sensitive and highly empathic person, I am very easily deeply hurt by others, often without the others even knowing.  I’ve created a habit of recoiling from others as a result, always feeling distrustful of getting too close to anyone.  This is a sad state of affairs, in general, but, especially so, considering that I am a person who craves close companionship with others.  So, in essence, my lack of trust and faith is keeping me from one of the desires I hold most dear.

However!  Just this week, I experienced a little Porcupine medicine in action.  I’ve been (in my own trepidatious way) cultivating a friendship with a new colleague.  She’s been expressing concern over my health complications and waning energy.  (I’ve been feeling pretty defeated.)  Earlier this week, when things were getting kind of unbearable with my neck/head pain and the continual insomnia was really starting to effect my ability to pretend everything’s okay, she came to me at work bearing a beautiful picture she painted and some herbal tea.  The painting was inscribed with such kind words that I cried when I read them.  For the first time in a very long time someone actually saw me – not the face of me, but the whole me – and embraced me, honored me, and cared for me.  I am most often the one taking care of those around me.  I am most often the one making sure everyone else is alright.  I am not only not used to someone doing this for me, but I make it difficult for those who try.  Not intentionally, of course, but because I am not good with allowing myself to be vulnerable.  (I’ve become the wounded Porcupine – using my quills for protection.)  This simple gift may seem small and commonplace to some of you reading this, but, to me, it was a paramount gesture of generosity that really set to work the restoration of my trust and faith in not only the world, but in my place in it.    So … Porcupine is weaving her magick in my life in more profound ways than I expected.  And I am super grateful.  (Gift-bearer, if you are reading this, thank you, again.)

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So, change is happening.  Magick is afoot.  And the Universe is supporting me in the process.  I hope that you are getting the Universal support you need, too.  I’m trusting that Life is unfolding as it should for the greater good.  And I am ready to unfold with it.

xoxo,

melanie