Photo credit: Wikipedia
I haven’t had any body work since the appointment last spring with Hanna and Larry, who powerfully lifted a big piece of ancestral cement from the stuff in my head.* So it was a great treat to have my mother offer to pay for an appointment and to get a treatment with Hanna yesterday.
Bye Bye Wooden
As always, a lot moved and many interesting things happened. She spent a lot of time working on my head and at one point as she worked I sensed “ancestral”, something released and I had a crazy image of an animated tree (just like an animated tree “character” in Wizard101) flying up and out of my head.
After the appointment she mentioned working on an area with a lot of tension in my face and feeling it relax. It wasn’t until I was driving away that I remembered how often I’ve applied “wooden” to the muscles in my face I’ve felt are an ancestral legacy and thought “wooden” about their expressions in photos or how my face feels. Suddenly I got the animated flying tree as representing the staunchly tense ancestors and I knew that piece was released.
As always, the release has not led to the instant opening of all remaining knotted muscles, but a fair bit came out in the appointment and in the massive unwinding which started up a few hours later, I could tell it was working on a whole new level from where it was the day before.
Loving Them Anyway
After the floating tree, as she continued to work on my head, I was suddenly taken to another ancestral piece I recently mentioned about having slave owners in the family. While chewing on this issue I’d already realized there’s a much more current piece to it, which has been kind of the ignored elephant in the room for me: the bigotry of my mother’s mother and sister.
I adored my grandmother (the only grandparent I ever knew as my parents lost the other three as children) and most of the time nothing in our interactions brought up her racist viewpoint. But it was there and, while I tried periodically to talk her into changing her mind, mostly I tried not to think about it as the confusion between my love for her and my dislike of her opinion seemed too confusing to resolve.
I’ve written occasionally about my aunt with whom I had a conflicted relationship on many levels so being mad at her for her narrow-minded views (she and her rich, Republican friends were the types who dissed pretty much every group other than rich WASP Presbyterians and Episcopalians…) was easier. But still complicated.
They’re both long dead but I’ve carried the unresolved conflict all these years. As bits and pieces of the story floated to mind while Hanna worked, I thought about that conflict and the degree to which it left an uneasy place inside. Which led to contemplating loving someone but seeing a flaw that big and figuring out what to do about the contradiction.
And suddenly as Hanna worked, I knew it’s a gift the Universe gives us to present us with family members whom we love but who are bigots or alcoholics or unreliable, etc. We love them and despise them but most of us can’t quite let go because of the love and family ties. Really, it’s what a spiritual life is always calling us to do — love everyone unconditionally.
What an opportunity we’re offered in these conflicted relationships of love and hate all mixed up. I don’t see loving as requiring that you hang around. If someone is too toxic for you, you can love the divine spirit from afar. But seeing the flaws and loving anyway is a great spiritual endeavor. Once I could see the gift in that, I realized I don’t have to resolve the conflict, I just have to let the love win.
They were who they were and I loved them with confusion but they’re gone and I’m still here, not sharing their views. [Not sure how my mom sidestepped her family’s view but she and my dad taught me to treat all people of all races, religions, etc. with equal dignity and thanks to their guidance and examples, that’s what stuck]. I felt a big sense of release as I understood the lesson of love and the gift these conflicts offer.
The Jagged and the Strong
In this unwinding process I’ve been regularly aware of a pattern moving from the sphenoid in my head to my feet, particularly on the left side. Frequently something opens in my head and a while later some muscles open in my pelvis, knee, ankle or foot.
Hanna wound up working down one of those patterns and commented later about how jagged it is. She’s mentioned the jagged bit before. This time she also mentioned that all around it are patterns that are strong and straight (I forgot to ask whether she meant energetic patterns or muscle patterns or both) and prepared to help as it works itself out.
Before we started she talked about my self care having been important in all this and when she talked about these strong patterns I realized all the years of yoga, all the work with creating and doing my movement work, receiving body work of many sorts and doing spiritual practices have built strong supports which are now integral to how I live and heal. Picture me patting myself on the shoulder 🙂
One piece she mentioned at the end was a pattern at the base of heart chakra, pushing on my liver and moving up into the shoulder on the other side. By that time I was a little dazed and I didn’t manage to ask questions.
Many practitioners over the years have referred to a stuck pattern at heart level, of “protecting heart” posture, etc. There’s been a lot of work done and a lot of opening but I’ve been aware something is still left. Not sure whether that’s part of what she was working on.
I also have a sense all the chants I’ve been doing which aim at heart chakra are moving stuff in there…
And it goes on
I dream of the day I report this is over — the post will be titled “UNWOUND!!!!” But today is another one of those progress reports involving a nice leap forward but the process still unfolding…
*After pouring tens of thousands of dollars into the process of healing over the course of many years, I can’t afford it very often any more…