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The memory of our cells

What if we re-calibrated our identity to privilege our cellular memory rather than or as well as our roots, our country of origin?

In a recent blog, Cherionna Menzam Sills ( explained how during a craniosacral session she experienced a cellular discharge in the whole system and identified it as ancestral trauma. There was no organising centre, no fulcrum within the body, its origin was in the person’s ancestral past.

She says that, “A prickly, slightly cold sensation seemed to exude from every cell, dissolving in the field of stillness we were suspended within.”

The primal cell of a being receives a whole lot of memory inherited from our ancestral past but it also is impregnated with the qualities and attributes of the energetic field of the time.

If I were to look at my roots, my spatial origins, I would consider I was born and grew up in France. Yet I have lived in Ireland for almost half my life and this experience has also shaped and deeply influenced who I am.

My roots, my nationality limit and restrain the field of my identity whereas my cellular memory is a much more expansive, ever creative universe which contains as well as renews and layers who I am.

I was conceived shortly after the cultural and social ebullience of the May 68 multilayered ‘manifestations’ of freedom in France.

Often socialist, intellectually-fuelled revolts and outcries for independence and recognition of civil rights were also happening worldwide that year.

There were similar demonstrations in the rest of Europe, in the Americas, in the Eastern Block (Prague’s Spring shattered by the Russian army tanks taking over the city).

Student uprisings and wars of partition and independence like the Nigeria Biafra war for example also took place that year and throughout the African continent, as well as South East Asia…

They were carried out mostly by the generation that was conceived and born right at the end or shortly after the most nightmarish of all world wars.

Imagine the massive trauma, the despair, the sense of total and utter loss the field carried at that time! But also the huge relief, the determination to rebuild and dream again, the rising hopes! What a rich soil!

Hence what was probably the most revolutionary year worldwide of the whole 20th century impacted on the cells of those born in 1969.

Fast forward to present time and I still resonate with what this era was made of: a wild, unashamed, fiercely opinionated assertiveness and a colossal yearning for change, for freedom and independence.

I remember hanging out with friends of my age when I was a teenager and later at university and all we did was ‘refaire le monde’ as we called it: “re-make the world” literally.

In other words we discussed various social recipes and explored ways to apply them to better the lives of others and lead a fulfilling, meaningful life of our own. You’re going to say students the world over and of all eras do this.

Well the thing is, I still do, and I’ve spent my entire adult life seeking, exploring, creating meaning, firing up, looking at the bigger picture, trying to connect the dots, and never really taking off an activist mantle of one kind or another.

One of my closest friends also born in 1969 is very much like this. In fact, every time I meet someone born that year, there is a resonance of some sort on these fronts, a recognition that we belong to the same ‘tribe’ in many ways. It is quite uncanny and yet so thrilling, so satisfying because it is a kinship at a cellular, even a soul level that is not based on borders or nationality.

This energetic field imprint has affected my connection to places too. It is Ireland’s wild, pure, raw beauty that deeply appealed to me.

Living on this island with endless horizons surrounding its rugged shores, I met my freedom like never before.

It is still relatively easy to find a natural world in Ireland that is untamed, merciless, mysterious and profoundly, unashamedly free.

In my perception, the land at its wildest stands its ground, exudes a tranquil wisdom and commands respect and awe.

Its mesmerising presence begets a meditative state.

I remember the absence of words of an evening by a lake in Co Mayo and the arrival of a car that just stopped and gazed, our eyes resting in the sunset for what seemed a long time.

Such simple reassurance in the interconnection, in the common participation to the whole. But we could have been anywhere on this Earth's merry-go-round, waving the Sun’s flamboyant goodbye.

In the same way I still partake in aspects of France that resonate with my cellular memory.

I listen to French radio almost every day for example and find it so resourcing because it conveys France’s somewhat provocative and playful creativity and its curiosity and hunger for learning and discovering.

Its fierce restlessness and daring inventiveness gives me hope that the status quo will change. Its passion and the perceived arrogance of its ‘take it or leave it, this is how I am’ integrity fuels my inner fire.

I also enjoy these qualities in the British, American and world music I listen to, in the books I read…

Their nationality, where they come from does not matter so much as their content, their quality, their ‘vibe’, their meaning, their scope.

“I” is made up of the reflection of many mirrors. But these mirrors are in my cells, not simply in my roots, my national origin.

Were I to live elsewhere one day, I know my cellular memory would also act as a magnet and make the decisions for me.

I’ve tried to make a case for an energetic and cellular identity rather than a border-based national one because at a time when racism and nationalisms are on the rise, it shifts the focus on what we have in common rather than what sets us apart.

I am the memory of my cells, the times and places my ancestors and I lived through, not my nationality.

This not so much as defines us but it allows for constant flux around common axes/midlines because it mirrors our internal ever-evolving dynamics and is centred on our felt sense, beyond logos.

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