I have a teacher. She lives in the mountains of Montana and when I first heard her name, I did what we do these days, I googled her. To find her website. Her spiel. Her approach. But I came up empty. This woman, apparently, needs not advertise but is solely word of mouth and by introduction and even then, she doesn't always get back to people for a long time. Not because she is rude. She just manages all her own mail and she gets a lot of mail. So sometimes messages get lost in the shuffle and friends that I have introduced to her are left wondering if she is choosing not to see them for some esoteric reason. But for the most part it's really just been a matter of pushing and insisting until you get to speak with her on the phone. She does her sessions over the phone.
The first time I talked to her, she gently started speaking my deepest fears, she gave voice to the uncertainty, the angst, the despair. It was like someone had written the most eloquent, tender poem, just for me, hitting me deeply and profoundly and painfully. Tears were streaming down my cheeks for an hour straight, snot was running out of my nose -- I was turning myself inside out and everything that had been bottled up was released and cascaded to the surface. It was excruciating because it was the Truth beneath the Truth and the fear behind the fear. Really, she shit we don't want to acknowledge for fear it will swallow us up and leave us incapacitated for ever and ever.
In the days that followed my first session, I was hit by fatigue so profound that at one point, I fell asleep outside on my porch in the middle of the day for 4.5 hours. With my cat on top of me (I know because my daughter thought it was so unusual that she took a picture). That's not normal for me. I emailed my teacher and she assured me that when we are 'over ripe' for release, it can be very exhausting. Indeed. I was exhausted for the better part of the week to follow. Then I continued the work. The work of naming what resides in the shadowy reaches of my soul and bringing it into awareness; not to wallow in it mind you but to name it, release it and speak a new Truth through the power of the Word. Speaking, Commanding, Creating something new into being.
With each session another layer is revealed. She assures me that she is simply helping me give voice to what my soul is ready to work with. I believe it because it always feels so right on. Dead on. Bull's Eye. Lately we have been working on monitoring where I allow my mind to go. How my thoughts weave and wander and tells stories to the point that my whole nervous system is engaged, complete with adrenaline and jaw clenching -- all from the impact of my own little thoughts. My teacher says there are dark beings that feed on our negative emotions and if we allow them to fester for much more than 5 seconds then they've 'got us' and it's very heard to stop the negative spiral of despair, anger, jealousy or some other dark state of mind. My boyfriend who has long been a student of Carlos Castaneda's book says that Don Juan says the very same thing. So for a couple of weeks now, my task has been a new level of witnessing, no I would say monitoring or even guarding, what I allow to occupy my mind. It's shocking frankly, to realize the habitual extent to which, I take certain dark turns and start walking down very unpleasant alleys: imagining unpleasant arguments, or worst case scenarios, what I would do if or if or if...you know, just to be prepared if all that I fear really happens -- and before I know it it, all that I really fear IS happening, right there inside of me and my whole body is in reaction. I am no longer present to my life here and now or to the lovelies that occupy it -- in fact, I may be slightly suspicious of the lovelies that occupy it because in my dark imaginings they are no longer so lovely and I can't really trust them, now can I?
The antidote that my teacher has given me is this simple sentence: All is well. Or more specifically, "“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” First uttered by Julian of Norwich in the 14th century. Here is what I can say about my progress so far. It's amazing. My dark thoughts were somewhat unconscious -- and certainly very secret -- until my teacher bluntly pointed them out and made me aware of just how damaging it is for the mind to entertain dark scenarios. What got my attention was especially her bit about dark, demonic beings feeding on my miserable states of mind. Yuck. Somehow that has made my hyper aware of what my mind is up to. For only a few weeks now, I have been nipping the dark thoughts in the bud and showered them with the antidote de jour: All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well....or simply, all is well. All is well. Isn't it lovely to say. Say it out loud now: All is well. I feel my body relax, my breath deepen and somehow my thoughts are redirected to all the ways in which all things really are well. Really are well.
Today I talked with a special someone in my life who likes her privacy. She experiences people's vibe in colors. She told me I am lighter -- that the darker blue that made me appear sunken at times had evaporated, that the whole color field has lightened up. I believe it. I feel it. I don't want to be too exuberant about it. Like my teacher said, you will be tested. I already feel that. The things that normally start a stream of fear seem to come at me with a suspicious frequency. I picture myself riding a fearless horse though the dark woods with dementors coming at me and me repeating the magic spell: All shall be well, all shall be well, all shall be well. If you try it too, I would love to hear your experiences.