The apple tree
I had a personal growth weekend, more new age than many: lots of hugging, lots of dancing. We took it in turns to role-play ourselves with our parents, and one exercise was to experience an incident as it had been, painful, and then as one would have liked it. At one point, Avi represented my mother, not in a role play so much as clearly in my own mind, and, inspired, I picked her up. “They tuck you up, your mum and dad”, they look after you, and while I think I was also looking after my mother and supporting her from quite a young age, I think everyone does to some extent- for the first time I felt simply delighted that I had been able to do so.
That was the Experience I had, at that moment. It felt real, it has moved me forward. Such is the flexibility of Avi’s technique that others had wholly different experiences, I hope equally liberating. Here, I got in the moment, senses heightened, awareness heightened, seeing the world in a grain of sand. The more I do this the more natural it becomes. Susan Blackmore‘s question “Am I conscious?” may get me there.
Later I felt fear of T—-, role-playing my mother, and was able with her help to change the scene, to feel warmed and accepted. I am creating a picture in my mind, of baby Clare (rather than the male name) loved, cared for and blissful. I hope it will have value for me.
The name of the process is Birth into Being, described as “Limbic system re-programming”, and the idea is that we change long-held patterns and emotional responses. We did it at The Pot, where a wide variety of healing or pleasureable activities, spiritual, emotional and physical take place. Richard Vojik assisted. Thank you.
The image of life as an apple tree came to me. I have been so afraid, of the other people around the tree, and of the tree itself, that I have rushed at it, collided with it and bruised myself on it, snatched at it so that I carry away nothing, or a dry twig, or some dead leaves. Whereas I may walk to it. The other people around it wish me no ill, and are no threat. The angry and fearful voices are just wraiths. I may go to the tree, and find the apple which feels to me most beautiful- not that which my intellect assesses as best, but my mature emotional being. It is ripe, and if I touch it in the right way it will come off in my hand.
So I have two more rituals for my ritual space. I am the child Clare, loved, cared for and blissful. And I am plucking my apple. It is my hope that my rituals- a Paradox!- the fantasies I create will give me a more balanced and real view of the world than my previous view, which itself arises from fear-fantasies.
I did not want to do the financial exercise. Circle time for a check in beforehand, and I am screaming into a pillow, thumping it as hard as I can, and greeting like a bairn. How wonderful to be a toddler again! Utterly liberating. This being that sort of loving, accepting space I do not think the others think any the less of me for it. I realised in this exercise that I never thought of co-operating with others.
In a job interview, I was asked what I understood of team work, and in feedback after they noticed that all my answer was of what I could give, and none of what I could expect. Armed with this feedback, I cobbled together a more rounded answer about teamwork. With this weekend building on other learnings in the past year, it seems to me that I may give and receive and- dance with- other people far more deeply than before.
Emboldened by this thought, I asked the others there for their prayers for my ritual space. I can use a wide variety of words for that- if any offend you, choose others: hallow it, send healing thoughts, wish me well, imagine it protected and life-giving. Whether the result comes from God, or Life force, or Spirit, or simply exists in my own mind, the effect is the same: my ritual space is strengthened for blessing. So I ask the same of you.
And a snatch of conversation pleased me, making sense of something. Faerie said, in groups which favour diversity, the oppressed may become the oppressors. Heteronormativity occurs when heterosexual people assume or imply that everyone is heterosexual, or that heterosexual behaviour is normal, or better than homosexual behaviour. It is oppressive because it marginalises other groups. However sometimes heterosexuals, bless them, behave in a heterosexual way, which is natural to them and not in itself heteronormative. Gay people can become oppressors by calling that “heteronormative” and saying it is discourteous. The distinction is important. I hope that is clear, it made sense to me.