This is the moment I want. This one, when the tides are turning, when my eyes are clearing, when those deep-down soul dreams show their faces and declare “I am more free than I’ve ever been!”
Like this: standing in the bathroom brushing my teeth looking in the mirror, my hand on my hip, a triangle punctuated by the silver around my wrist — the beaver bracelet I put there a week or two before. This beaver bracelet that speaks to me of home, of making dreams a reality, of construction, of craft. A den. With an inside and an outside.
And it’s the proverbial bonk on the head: Home is within me!
So cliché when it comes right down to it, but it’s how it comes that matters. This idea comes up from within and I catch a glimpse of its brightness as it speeds by me into the world.
What I’ve wanted for ever — kindness, vitality, volition, openness — has moved down inside me, gone molecular, and is coming through me, from the bottom up, appearing in new splendor, wondrous and captivating. Becoming, bejeweled…
Still…. I am speeding up the freeway. It is early on Saturday morning and I am alone in the car, heading to a retreat center an hour north of Seattle for the first Deepening Skills workshop where I have signed up as a client AND a therapist.
I have never been to this retreat center before, there will be 35 people there (almost twice as many as usual), I will be sleeping in a dorm room with seven other women, and I will be a therapist, and it is a lot of newness.
I arrive and I see people, and I know most of them, and it is a big, beautiful house, and still, when I approach Miles I find that I am crying. Just tears and Miles holds my gaze and I hold his hand, and we stay like that, quiet. And Brian is nearby and he sees me too and he says, “Well, hi honey,” and then in a little bit, “What’s going on?”
I tell him, “I think I am just feeling things as I am living them,” and he gives me a big smile.
“That’s good!” He laughs, “Congratulations!”
I laugh, too. It does feel good.
Feelings things as I am living them… rather than not feeling them, or having to spend all this time later, trying to match up the feelings and the experiences, putting them back together again. My insides and my outsides, seamless, right here. Now.
I run in the morning, the kids still asleep while I move up and down the streets, retracing my steps back to the door I’ve been through before. I arrive home, and I lie back and stretch, feeling the simultaneous tug and release. These muscles are so happy to be visited.
And throughout the day, it is as if I have stored up rest and relaxation, moving more slowly, moving at once, the whole of me together.
Except I’ve woken up in some neglected corner of my life, a place where my children argue as never before, where they keen and moan, cast-aside and turn-away. Orlando tells me he is jealous of Mica and that I am too hard on him, that I am always telling him to stop but not Mica. He is right.
And Mica sets his tiny teeth into a scowl he fiercely maintains, at me, at brother… Stuck in foul frustration, I can’t access it – him – and he has been here most of the summer.
This morning, after growling out “You hurt my feelings!” to brother, and setting his face to scowl and swinging his arms, I approach and he both resists me and melts into my arms, and I carry him into the house.
I hear my own thought, “He is so stuck, and I can’t figure out why!!” and I notice how tight it feels. We head up the stairs, and we arrive on the bed. And now I notice he is stretching out his arms and punch-pressing my breasts — the soft tissue, the changing body — these breasts that haven’t given milk since March.
I turn to him and ask softly, “Are you mad? About not nursing anymore?”
The tears come harder, these ones are deeper and more real, and he is trying to nurse again, and lying his head on my chest and sobbing.
I tell him, “Yeah… it’s a big change, and you feel sad. It’s natural… it’s natural to feel sad about a big change.”
He tries to nurse and I say no, and he fusses and cries, and we move through the changes together, and I comfort him, and he settles, soon.
We are lying still together, and then he says, “Let’s say I just got borned! That I just came out of your vagina,” and he curls into my chest and makes a baby face, looking at me, “I am born now!” And then he starts to crawl, and he says, “I’m going over the edge!”
Again and again, we play this game of him almost falling off the edge, of him hanging over the edge, and of me holding him and catching him. We’ve played this before — years ago! and I am sure he doesn’t remember it — and I am in awe that he needs to do it again, that he knows he needs to do it again. It’s never too late to feel what you need to feel.
When he is done, he crawls back onto the bed and makes a little nest out of the blankets, and he tells me, “You be in the nest, too,” and we curl up in the nest and lie there, together.
I am lying there, thinking how he just fashioned his own Hakomi session…. Expressing emotions/grief, receiving comfort, creating a missing experience (safety at birth, support during transitions), receiving nourishment (in the nest).
I just have to stay, and listen.
What am I called to do as a Hakomi therapist?
:: Be still
:: Let my own personhood speak; be authentic
:: Attune to and contact emotions (in the client)
:: Be mindful of my own inner experience (thoughts, feelings, sensations)
:: Follow… and lead
:: Open to my intuition (What did this person decide? What core, organizing belief are they holding onto that might be causing them some unnecessary suffering?)
:: Be willing to experiment
:: Trust and support the natural unfolding of life toward wholeness (organicity)
And two days later, Mica gives himself another Hakomi session… this one with the whole family present. We have just finished eating breakfast, and Orlando says something that hurts Mica’s feelings, and then Mica gets mad at me… I am sitting on the couch and Mica is mad, and he is saying, “Bad Mama! Bad Mama!” and he picks up a gun he and Orlando had made earlier out of Duplo blocks and is pointing it at me, “Bad Mama!”
My first instinct is to stop him (ack! he’s angry and shooting a pretend gun!) but I don’t. I play, and listen. He shoots again, and I stick out my tongue and flop to the side with a big “ehhh!”
It breaks the tension. Mica smiles a little, puts that gun in my lap, and creates a new weapon out of Duplos, shoots me with it, and I die a dramatic death, and then he puts that weapon on my lap. Repeat. And repeat again.
I am saying a few things here and there, not very often… “Frustrated, huh?” and “You want to feel powerful.” And the tension keeps decreasing, and brother joins in, and I say, “You are working together,” and eventually the healing shifts into “just” a game.
I am covered in Duplo weapons on the couch, my kids are happy, and we are connected to self and each other.
Orlando asks me, “Wanna look for beach glass?” Offering to me what I have given him…
I remember the first time we squatted in small coves and sifted through rocks and gathered colored bits of jewel. Now it is the three of us – me and my two boys – on the beach we know and love, and we set out north, Mica exclaiming, “I’ve never been to this part before!” and Orlando mumble-swaggering, “I’ve been here lots of times,” and me holding my tongue, choosing to choose my response (later) rather than reacting.
I tell them I used to beachcomb with my mom – Grammy – when I was a kid.
Orlando wants to know, “Did you find beach glass?”
“Yes,” I tell him. Yes.
I think how it is ingrained in me to head for these washed-up spaces. How I’ve already shown my kids what I know. How we’ve already arrived together in these darker, far-away places, looking for treasure.