What’s hiding under our obsessive yearnings, our addictions, our longings?
Why do we feel incomplete? Shamanism talks of soul loss when trauma is experienced and a part of us leaves ‘home’.
In craniosacral biodynamics the impact of trauma can physically translate as 'absent', frozen areas, or denser compressed parts where inertial fulcra(organising centres) have created patterns in the system.
These ‘lost’, ‘disconnected’ fragments can be 'potentised', enlivened and reconnected/resettled through the gentle and safe holding of a biodynamic craniosacral therapist.
Shamanism speaks of soul retrieval to help this 'energetic loss' reintegrate the body.
Where does this soul piece go? Susannah and Ya’acov Darling Khan in their book Movement Medicine, How to Awaken, Dance and Live your Dreams, say they may go to “'Soul School', continuing to evolve in an in-between world, waiting for the day when we are ready to receive it back again into the flow of our life".
They compare soul loss to that feeling of having left a house with a strong intuitive sense of having forgotten something essential behind. "It's that feeling of incompleteness that our modern mass advertising industry speaks to so very well."
The return to completeness is a journey that involves deep diving and changing/dissolving the patterning that ensues after trauma strikes.
There is a familiarity that comes with a post-traumatic pattern, especially when it stems from childhood and was successfully generated to protect us from further harm.
But what if we could transmute what has wounded us and reclaim what is rightfully ours; like an Arthur with Excalibur, lay claim to our realm and fully enter our own kingdom.
This popular legend reflects an age old yearning/problematic: how do I reconcile this empowering meeting of the self, this return to completeness and at the same time let go of my familiar beliefs about myself?
These are two very different propositions for ‘what I believe about myself’ is tainted with all the stories woven from traumas, incidents, experiences…they are a truth 'I', my ego, concocted over the years, a default template if you will but they are not the Truth.
This one lies deeper, much deeper and may be accessed if the vulnerable, wounded ego shows up and I am willing to see her with kind, compassionate and very alert eyes.
The archetype of the king in Excalibur is not the traditional controlling ruler but really its opposite: it is the humble servant, the apprentice seeking, learning, surrendering to what is and reclaiming what was lost, forgotten behind.
I can associate this symbolic lifting of the sword with the huge sense of relief that comes when we enter Long Tide; this effortless, bliss-like state of biodynamics which is often the gateway to what we call dynamic stillness.
It is that exquisite timelessness of ‘nothing else matters’ with complete and simple, engaged presence.
A client poignantly asked me after experiencing this ecstasy, “How do I bring that with me?”
It is always there, everywhere for us to feel if we so wish, but we slip away caught in the constant tugging between the noise of daily living, the webs of our own making and the plenitude of what is essential.
In a similar sword-lifting analogy, biodynamic craniosacral therapist and teacher Jane Shaw says we need to “step outside our wounding” to achieve this felt sense of wholeness.
Speaking last weekend at a post grad workshop entitled “Recovering love in a world of fear”, she beautifully compared the hands of a therapist to "stalks", as we plug into the Breath of Life that bathes planet Earth, our second womb.
Jane Shaw also mentioned developing our own “tool kit” to re-connect with this wholeness, to help us cultivate a resourced supported presence.
Here are some of my gleanings:
Become your own kind but vigilant witness, try not to get caught up in the webs
Deeply connect with the divine in its many manifestations: nature, the breath, our life force…
Tune into your heart and let its regular beat and fluid rhythms slowly, soothingly transport you away from your thoughts into the timeless, spacious Breath of Life.
Collect sacred objects that you can touch, see, smell and can act as catalysts
Cultivate an actual garden, and learn to love the weeds already there as well as the new growth
Here is a most exquisite poem by Hafiz as read by Jane Shaw during her workshop, that captures it all so well: