Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife.  
The first question was, "Did you bring joy?"  
The second was, "Did you find joy?"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Coming to the Surface

Something strange has been happening. As I traipse along, fairly merrily, through the British Isles visiting some pretty cosmic hots pots, my body and my mind seem to be wigging out just a little bit.

Though I haven't talked about it, my back started to give me trouble all the way back in Italy. I have been to two massage therapists, a Chinese acupuncturist, a blind back pain specialist, that I thought was going to be a chiropractor, and a physio...which is the UK way of saying, physical therapist. I cannot find a chiropractor. But this back pain, which really lives at the base of my neck seems to have a mind of it's own, sometimes responding brilliantly to therapy and calming down for a few days, other times it rages on, and then, quite unexpectedly it will just up and vanish for a few days or hours. Nothing that I do, or don't do, appears to make much difference to this neck strain's behavior.

That was the first thing. Later my body started having what you might call a rash...unseen, but felt, at the base of my spine. This little rash comes and goes, causing no distress, but making me aware that something is making it's way to the surface.

The most unnerving thing of all started happening while I was in Cornwall, after I had been to the Tor in Glastonbury. I haven't talked about this yet, and it deserves more time than I probably have now, but the mystical nature of some of the places, the lands that I have been communing with is one of the biggest reasons I am making this voyage. I didn't really understand that before, but it is becoming clearer everyday. And Glastonbury, where some believe Avalon lies shrouded in the mists and Camelot once stood, is an energetic hot spot that draws thousands of pilgrims each year. There, too, is the Chalice Well, said to hold healing powers. I drank from that well, sat with it, and then climbed the Tor, or hill, that seekers have been climbing for centuries.

The next day I went on to Cornwall, land of Morgaine, and, if the myths are to be believed, the place where King Arthur was born. This land, as I have said, spoke to me so loudly, so deeply. And as something ancient within me, stirred by the land, by the energy of so many pilgrims who had traveled to these places before began to resonate and wake up, my mind started to fight back.

Little digs, the way our little demon voices can, began to fly at me out of the blue. Self-doubts about all aspects of myself, my body, my creative abilities, my chance for love, all of it, started hurling themselves into my brain. It's as if the more I connect to something bigger, deeper, perhaps something more powerful which has shown me glimpses of the way I might focus my life and my light in years to come, all the fearful places in me are flooding to the surface, trying to unfocus me.

Fortunately, I have a lot of strength these days, willing me to walk towards the light and the life that is trying to show itself to me. For the most part, I have been able to dismiss the little voices with relatively little effort.

Though, occasionally, I have engaged in a bit of a wrestling match with the fear. Just yesterday this happened when I was getting dressed and all the old and experienced voices started telling me how bad my clothes fit me, telling me, as I waked down the streets of Edinburgh that I was old and invisible, basically attacking me at my weakest spot--my body. I had moments where my self-esteem would start to tumble like dominoes: first my body, then my acting...writing..., then my lovability. So quickly the tumbling can happen. I would then sort of puff myself up trying to make myself appear more powerful and bat at the feelings, ineffectually, creating a sort of shoving match inside. Ultimately, I tried inviting the negative feelings to go through me, as the self-help books tell ya to, I stopped fighting and tried living with the discomfort that comes from listening to the fear, instead of trying to pretend it isn't there.

Then today, I woke up, not feeling solid quite, but more comfortable in my skin than I did yesterday. However, my skin is looking a wee bit like a teenager lives in it. The rash is a little more visible.

I've had a couple of different naturopaths who have said that when the skin breaks out it is a good thing, it means the toxins are coming to the surface....releasing themselves from the body. This is what it feels like, like years of toxins, both of the body and the mind, are making their way to the surface. And I have a choice, I can let them go, finally, or I can continue to puff myself up, pretending they don't exist while they continue to poison me.

I am telling you all this in hopes that by writing about it I can speed up the letting go, the releasing of these voices, these fears that no longer serve me well. Hopefully by bringing these feelings into the written light, without shame or embarrassment, they will lose their hold on me. They will know that I have made my choice; I am no longer willing to spend my energy fighting the fears. I am ready to relax, let them in, and let them go.

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