Wednesday, April 25th
I’ve been dancing alot these days – ALOT. I realized it’s a great way to feel good all day. It’s also a good way to work with all the energy I have in my body these days. I suppose it’s a side effect of waking it up after a long period of being disconnected.
Now I can do a lower body undulation, for the first time ever.
It moves nicely until it hits my mid-abdomen, then it falls apart. I have recognized that the key is strengthening my torso to hold my body in a more elongated position that allows for smooth movement and creates separation between the upper, mid, and lower abdominals.
I listened to songs that have a tempo slow enough for the movement. This is important.
I watched a video that clearly showed how an upper body undulation starts with pulling the chest upward while contracting the mid back muscles toward the heart, the downward motion is then contracting the upper abdominals into what I would call the breast line. To create a full body undulation, the pelvis goes forward and rocks back, starting the move over by pulling back the chest back up and into the heart. I just realized that if you watched it from the side it would create an infinity symbol.
At the top of the movement, when I needed the strength of center muscles to fold into and through my heartspace, I didn’t have the strength. That’s where I need to get stronger. And looser.
I’ve been working closer and closer to the part of my body that’s still frozen in a protective posture. As I try to elongate and move my body – I’m finding it frozen and contracted here. But now it’s quivering with new movements.
Today I realize I need to be more gentle and patient as I release. Now I know why I cry a little bit every day, for no reason. I just go with it, knowing it will pass only if I surrender to the moment.
They stated in Divine Bodies that the perfection of Yogic bodies lies in their elongated posture and connected breath – enabling power to flow harmoniously through the entire body – able to function as a source of power to use in your life.
It’s starting to make more sense.
Tuesday, April 24th
I was sitting my things down on the table when I noticed the book belonging to the woman at the next table. Even though it was face down, it had the markings of a witchy book. As I sat down, then I asked her about it.
Yes, I’m that person.
It was something about Christians and Mystical Experience. She had been busy writing in her already full journal pages.
I asked her “Are you a teacher? Professor? Clergy?” I don’t know why, it’s just what I felt.
She shook her head no. “I’d love to be a teacher but I’m not good at sharing my work.”
I told her about the concept of the internal glass ceiling. It was obvious that this was a woman who could learn the skills to share her work. What was blocking her from taking the needed action to do something she loves? That’s the internal glass ceiling – not the external obstacles, but the illusions, the limiting beliefs, the trauma.
We went back to our private worlds. Her back to her journal.
Me to my Arabic.
Later, she leaned over and started talking to me about Arabic script. “The language is so beautiful. Did you know, they even make it art?”
She described something she’d seen in her past, that left an impression. She described it as disarming.
She asked why am I learning – I told her for myself and my son – I feel like it’s important.
And for art. I told her I’m studying art that uses Arabic script – and I can’t study it if I can’t read it.
Her eyes lite up. She loved those connections – art and linguistics – she told me she studied linguistics.
I told her about one of my favorite artists who combines (primarily) Arabic calligraphy, with performance, in a graffiti style – and about one of my favorite works. “He creates the words before your eyes – on glass – in the desert, in the end, he smashes the glass. The word is Sarab – Mirage. The work addresses cultural illusion of “limitless resources” but the meaning can be applied to anything.
“I totally get it.” she says. She wants to know where she can see it. So I pull it up on my Ipad and we watch it.
She’s really into it. When Nugamshi smashes the glass at the end, I feel a physical response in her..in both of us. Even though I know it’s coming, I still react.
She loved it. She thought it was powerful and very disarming when the glass shatters. A shock. In a good way.
“That’s why it’s powerful.” (I love her)
I laughed and told her, “In fact, I had a very strong reaction when I first saw this.” And it relates to that idea of the inner glass ceiling – and other things.
I told her how I saw his work here in San Francisco in September 2016 and then started following him on social media. The more work I see, the more I like. I told her how he was part of this awesome project that drove cross country, presenting their work to America.
It was from one of those cross-country locations that the Mirage/Sarab video was posted.
“I had been having a bad year. But I was trying to keep myself afloat. I was convinced I could just ride it out. I was happy when I saw a new video of Nugamshi’s work had posted. It always makes me feel something good. It’s often poetic. As I watched, it was more beautiful than I expected.”
“I loved the symbolism of smashing the glass – my stomach lurched – Maybe I expected some feeling of release of my pain. ”
She nodded her head.
“Instead, I felt cracked. I burst into tears.”
“I had been trying so hard to be okay, but I wasn’t. My being in one piece was a mirage to myself and those around me.”
That was my immediate response. Without trying – this work broke through something I couldn’t face because it was too scary.
I was heartbroken – I was in denial that I was already in breakdown.
To protect myself, I had been living within a series of illusions that were easier than facing the truth.
I can see that now – months later – with time to process.
That the shock of the glass shattering shattered something inside me that was already fragile.
In the weeks after surrendering to my heartbreak, the image and sound of the mirage shattering would come to my mind when I would feel pain – like a flash of light.
This is the end of the story. I closed by telling her “Once I was feeling better – I started to see it as a symbol of breaking through illusions and barriers.” It was a shocking experience that was part of my healing.
Once again we went back to our private concerns.
Later, she leaned over, with a big smile on her face, and showed me this.
“It was like this.”
“You were able to push through the veils of illusion, for a chance to see what’s on the other side.”
I would like to note that it doesn’t really look THAT COMFORTABLE. And I have found this to be true. And the Sun is like, Uh….. are you sure you want to do that? But he’s like “Hey! I’m already doing it!” 😉
Monday April 23rd
The heartbreaks had kept coming. And they were personal. Some were violent. There were many good things too. I can see how my work to this point has paid off – because I’m still here. By December, it felt like parts of me were drowning, my body was broken down. I don’t know what to call the part of myself that brings me back to life when I start to fade. But she saves me every time. At every chance she trying to break through, whispering “Yallah – this is not your story – change it.” Difficult, ugly, beautiful, transformative, chaotic change. She shows me all the beautiful things to live for. That life is still good even when it’s wretched. She shows me the road to the light.
When I finally woke up, I promised myself I would change everything that wasn’t working. All I can control is myself.
I knew the first thing I had to do is start healing my body.
Friday April 20th
let it all be with ease
i had this full circle moment where I realized that it’s as simple as letting go – falling into place is hard work but it can also be easy – easier than fighting it.
I love this song, but I wasn’t really watching videos during the years this was released. I saw it for the first time a few days ago. I would not have guessed this would be the video, but it makes sense.
Tuesday April 17
Yesterday, a woman started talking to me about my “golden hair” and kept calling me Rapunzel. As I’ve been on this path of saving myself – I wasn’t thrilled but I accepted the compliment. I looked up the story on Wikipedia and found an interesting story. There are several classic stories that mirror Rapunzel’s, but are much older.
Saulė was held captive until she was saved by the zodiac, using a giant sledgehammer. I suppose the lady got the archetype correct because I WAS freed from a prison of illusions by a divine body yielding a sledgehammer. It wasn’t intentional, but it’s true. Life is crazy like that.
When you wake, you’re going to wonder what happened.