I told her: “I know at the core of being that I am enough. That is not my issue. I get that there are a whole bunch of people who struggle to feel like they are enough, but that is not my thing. When I say, ‘I am enough,’ I get only positive resonance from my entire system, up and down.”
She said: ” Repeat after me: I do enough. ”
That, I felt inside, provoked a different sensation.
I felt it first in my third chakra. I described it, and she suggested I drop into that feeling to explore. As I sat, I offered breath and curiosity. I wandered the edges and looked around with non-judgment. Eventually after much focused breath, I felt it migrate: up my shoulder blade, to the base of my neck. It shifted from electric sensation to a dull intensity.
Asked to describe it, I found the words: grey. brittle like a dry sea sponge.
She asked how I felt and I didn’t want to tell her at first.
She said: “This area, the base of the neck? It’s your primal brain. It’s your fight or flight center. I want you to continue to presence with me and tell me how you feel.”
I spoke without hesitation: “I feel skeptical, I feel threatened, I feel tense and I feel fear.” I felt my eyes narrow as I extended my hands from my lap to show her clenched fists. “I feel like… like throwing my fists. I feel like fighting.”
She said: Do you feel anger?
I responded. Yes.
She suggested I start tapping on my chest, as she became insistent: “I can feel your whole system, okay? You’re slipping to a primal place and I want to keep you here grounded –so tap gently, as long as you want, just like this. Maybe wiggle your toes. I’m going to say some things to you now…”
I can’t access what she said to me. It came from some deep part of her and it was intended for some deep part of me.
She instructed me to then tense my entire upper body. Neck, shoulders, biceps, forearms, midback, shoulders, face, fists. Get wound up, she said, and then release everything all at once.
I did it.
“Do it again,” she said.
I felt my body release and returned to my breath. Take a sip of tea, she said. Let’s stay grounded while…
(If I’m honest, I didn’t want to take a sip of tea. I wanted to stay in it. I liked that charged up feeling. I wanted to kill something and I felt powerful. I observed the flood of fight mode in my system and felt some amusement and pride and anticipation. This is a biochemical process for my surivival, I thought. I was built to do this. I was built to do this.)
She asked me something I can’t recall now. I wish I could remember it, because it feels like a big piece of the puzzle. Maybe it was to repeat after her, or to see how different phrases resonated. Maybe she asked me about my sea sponge. I don’t know but what I remember happening next is practicing some call and response, where my part was:
“I don’t want to.”
It felt childish to say. Impish. I don’t remember why that was the phrase, or to what it was responding.
But we said it twice before a wave of absolute sadness came to the surface. She suggested I could close my eyes, and just observe, or presence with her. Either way, she assured, she would be presencing with me and I should know that I am safe. She said other things, too.
And so there, in her nearly empty basement office, hands open on my thighs, looking into her eyes, I felt the universal sadness move through me while she sat in the place of knowing. A groundswell of sadness obliterated any sense of self. I was a constellation. Deep pattern disrupted. I noticed my breath, my chest riding heavy from nearly gasping for air through a constricted throat. In Chinese medicine, lungs carry grief.
We did not go back to the sea sponge. We didn’t need to. After all that sadness moved through, I simply needed to come back down to rest.