Sketch 7, Draft 1

1927_Klee_Variationen_anagoriaThis is not what I do. This is not who I am. This is not what I believe. But it might be. And that might be good.

When do you change your mind? There was a time when I was absolutely certain of my former understanding. Now I know different. In between came a series of experiences challenging my earlier view and opening me to a different one, then confirming that different understanding. I have moved from right to left, Caliban to Ariel, rationalist to mystic, self-denial to self-expression, and in this experience my old way fractured from top to bottom, and green shoots of new life poked through.

Noticing everything is bliss and danger, distraction and- I notice everything. I see the marks on the floor from the wrong kind of training shoes, the bars on the walls and the ropes from the ceiling, the sound my footsteps make, Anthea’s footsteps though I do not see her, no, I glance at her then drop my eyes. The sports hall expands, its ceiling the sky, its walls miles away, and I sit on the floor, resigned to whatever might happen. The way of being in me which would have been dismissive, judgmental, denying any possible value in this is silenced by my pain, but I am not, yet, a believer. I fear, but have sufficient trust in Anthea’s good-will and ability to hold the process that I go along with it. I see no alternative.

Anthea creates a flowing circle of healing energy around me so that only the highest and finest energy may come through, and asks me to focus on my chakras, a concept new to me. What colours do I see? I have no mind’s eye, so if I close my eyes cannot see anything, such that if I imagine a room I will imagine a verbal description of it. She insisted, and I plumped for red.

“Imagine your coccyx uncurling beneath you, extending downwards into the Earth. It roots you in the Earth, in our Mother Gaia, and energy from the Earth flows up for your healing.”

I try. I really do. I imagine my coccyx warily pushing down into the Earth, but it pulls back, unable to trust.

I speak my pain. I am begging that psychiatrist. “Do you have any idea what I feel? What did you do to diagnose? Can you not see that I am female?” Then I speak my anger at my mother. I imagine her on her death-bed, in the middle of that sports hall, and I prowl round it screaming at her. The foam is on her lips. “What did you mean, you still have work to do? Did I ever smile? Did you ever smile at me or touch me?”

I hear the Carpers at the back of my head. There are three of them. Anthea tells me to sit them in a chair in front of me, then bring them into my heart and love them. At this moment I realise:

I can channel the healing energy of God.

The first is like a baby whom I can pick up and cuddle. The second has a chalk-board and chalk, to lecture me. The third is black, a mass of energy. I need to make friends with it, as with a wild predator. I need to integrate, love and calm these aspects of me.

God’s Love is intimate.

At Anthea’s suggestion I have a shower then go to bed. In the shower I feel the healing energy of God channelled through my hands.

This piece comes from the Writing 201 course:
What’s your angle;
intros and hooks;
finding your key moment;
setting the scene, putting it into practice.

Here is the whole piece, most of the sketches tacked together in more or less the order I want, but needing quite a bit of editing.

Qi ki prana

Qi is the same word as ki, as in reiki, explained D. Chakras come from yoga. Yoga uses the idea of fields of energy in the body, and calls it “prana”. So my spiritual healing with the Friends Fellowship of Healing or the Healing Trust is an eclectic mix of Eastern ideas of different traditions, building on a Christian idea of healing by the laying on of hands, which can also be found in Hippocrates; and the locations of energy centres, and their meanings, are different in different systems.

I had thought that I wanted to develop my own understanding, my own intuitive feeling with my healing, but now I feel moved to investigate the observations of others, and the dogma, if any, which has grown up around this. I also want to spend more time with people whose hands get warm. More training beckons.

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My morning and evening ritual now begins with ten minutes kneeling, opening my chakras.
Open the base chakra, open the connection to the Mother Earth, Gaia, life and growth.
Open the creativity chakra, spinning, glowing, making.
Open the solar plexus chakra, projecting my power in the world.
Open the Heart chakra, open in love of all things.
Open the throat chakra, to speak my truth in the World.
Open the third eye chakra, to perceive Truth.
Open the crown chakra, open to Spirit Love and Truth.
Open the past life chakra, a source of love and energy
Open the Soul star, my connection to all living things with whom I connect.
Open the Stellar gateway to the Light of Spirit Who is God.

The last three I hear of through the golden light project. They have meaning for me.

Also, I am standing on one leg, to develop leg strength and balance, and punching a shoulder level punch, one hundred at full focus, to develop a beautiful first kata.

I am considering focusing on these energies to mitigate insomnia.

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M sat down, and I did a-

you know, my thing. I stand behind her, and stick my hands out, not touching her. I move around her. Her mind’s eye saw various things, I had various intentions. My intentions were good, and she liked it-

It seems presumptuous to call it a “healing”. She had told me of things in her life, physical and psycho-spiritual, and to imagine that I-

It is not I who do it, it is We, with the Ocean of Light who is Consent and Love. And if I expect all M’s issues to just end, and for her to be Happy, then almost every session I do will be a “failure”. So- I want a Shift, and perhaps a shift which makes progress over coming days and weeks. That is not my responsibility. I do my part.

M sat down, and I did a Healing.

On the bus

I got a new dress in Dottie P. It is for my party on Saturday- ten years since I last pretended to be a man. Leave a comment if you would like to come, it is in Northamptonshire, I will email you details. I am really pleased with this dress, I find it flattering. Thence to Costas to meet S.

We were discussing that spiritual healing thing, you know, the one both of us would have thought was bullshit only a year ago.

-What is happening, do you think?
Well, there is this energy, God, life-force, something, in the Universe. I just open myself to it, it flows through me, it mingles with the energy in you. Opening up and balancing your chakras.

Then we started laughing.

It does not make a decision. I do not ask it and it consents, it just is, consent. It is there for us. I do not think I can spoil it, but my good intent seems to be a good thing.

Off for the bus.

The bus clanks down Market St and along Midland Road, and I look at the two blokes, about sixty, the one sitting just in front of me, the other beyond him sitting side on. I am thinking that if I believe in this spiritual healing thing, then I am a spiritual being- a soul with a body- and so are these two blokes. The sky is grey and there is a light drizzle, but both of them seem as if in clear light. Those individual hairs in the man’s crew cut are beautiful. 

Half-remembered from facebook, some guru or another said, if you can’t see God in the next person you meet there is no point in looking for God anywhere else. I read this stuff all the time, but- seeing it? Not so much. It is unusual for me to meet God on the bus. Nice, though. Added: Gandhi:

If you don’t find God in the next person you meet, it is a waste of time looking for him further.

Chakra reading

You may think you only have seven chakras- or none at all- but according to the Golden Light Project you have thirteen. One runs down your back, from the head to the base of the spine. It is your past life chakra.

I did not complete the GLP in thirteen days this time. I have stopped on the past life chakra, and I review my past life, turning memories positive, or finding something positive in them. Eg: the “write a poem about” question in CSYS English just popped into my mind. I did not really work in my sixth year, I had the Highers, I was wasting time before University. So: opportunities missed, but the World is full of opportunity. And forgiving myself for not working particularly hard then. Strange. I had a wee session with memories, got upset, had a cry- hormones- and afterwards felt relaxed, present and happy. F said, “well it feels good when you stop banging your head against a wall”- but I am not sure it is that. I dare to hope that things are shifting. Or it could just be a temporary effect from crying.

I have spent time giving and receiving spiritual healing. I felt warmth located at my solar plexus, so I opened my eyes, looked down, and that was where A’s hands were. Another sensation which indicates to me that it is at least worth while pursuing this further.

After, she told me what she had seen. I was dancing freely, wearing a beautiful dress with a yellow bodice. She passed me a blue cloak from the Lady, and fastened it about my neck. (We are not talking about the Virgin, here: calling her a virgin is an attempt to distort and limit her.) After, she sought to fill me with white light, but I resisted: I would accept yellow only. In her system, the seven chakras match the colours of the rainbow from the base, so yellow is the solar plexus, which I understand as my Power.

Later S performed healing. My mind flooded with random thoughts: Oh well. That was what happened that time. I would approve of a serene meditative calm, but one cannot always be happy with ones state. After, she reported very strong energy at my solar plexus, again, and in my brow chakra, strong intuition and intellect. She sought to pass some of that energy into my heart, and also over my shoulders and down my back- which is where my past life chakra is. I do not know if S  accepts the past life chakra or not.

I sit lightly with all this. If we share a set of symbols, and spend time together, intuition may pick on individual symbols and bring them to mind when we seek it out. The pronounced feeling of heat is the most interesting symptom for me. These are experiences I find worthwhile.

Conscious incompetence III

At midnight on Saturday I was pacing the floor with Dick, wrestling with my situation. I am doing nothing, not working, not looking for work. This is OK now, but not for more than a year from now. I need an income stream, and I want it by the start of the next Mayan Great Age. So. What are the problems? How have I got to this situation?

How have I thought to move on? Feel the old suppressed feelings, mourn the old hurts, pass through these and move on. Having gained great respect for my mother doing as she did with the difficulties she had, doing her utmost best always, now I feel I can mourn for the happy childhood I did not have, and accept that. All this feels good and valuable, but not enough, and while I hope I am healing and growing and becoming capable, I fear that I am just vegetating. With Dick, I enumerated the problems, and the solutions I had found, and these did not seem enough; and I punched a cushion a bit, having got it out to scream into it, but that did not seem particularly useful either. Eventually, needing to go to bed, we just stopped.

The Importunate Neighbour- Wm Holman Hunt

The idea came forth the following day. I need to trust myself and the world. I do not trust either. I know, intellectually, that I can trust myself and the world, and now I choose to take that into my heart. I knew, then, how to do this: I will enumerate my good qualities, and the evidence that I have them, and I will think on them. Always I have felt terrified because I am not Perfect, and though my idea of perfect has changed over the years it has always been different from who I am. Now, it seems, I may be good enough.

This is really a conscious incompetence thing, which I could not do without having chosen to be positive rather than negative. It seems everything is coming together.

Also at the HAI weekend, I felt moved to offer spiritual healing, and did what I felt moved to do, offering at the solar plexus chakra, the seat of power. This makes no intellectual sense to me, indeed my inner rationalist could easily produce the arguments to refute it- but it felt real, and right, and my inner rationalist does not feel, itself, any need to produce that refutation. The person felt something.

Genetic women only

Do I benefit now, in any sense, from male privilege? Here is a definition, and here is a list. Clearly I do not benefit from those which apply to adults now: I do not get paid more than other women, for example. Do I benefit from the background of male privilege as a child? Well, I did not get the message that it was unfeminine, and therefore wrong in me, to express anger- but I did not feel supported in expressing anger, and my sister expressed anger trenchantly and robustly in her teens. So, not necessarily. I did not get damaged by a female upbringing but got my fair share of crap. And the uncongruent upbringing was difficult for me.

Men often seem to dominate conversations, but I recall being talked at by two women, who would not give me a word in edgeways, for half an hour. They wanted me not only to accept that I could not attend their women only activities, but agree that they were right to exclude me. I wanted to say that I would not attend only because I did not want to become the focus of those activities, I did not want those activities to become a discussion of whether I should be there. I wanted to be part of the activity as any other woman would be.

I accept that women can feel safe in women’s space, and having a trans woman present may make a vulnerable woman feel more vulnerable, making her think of bad experiences with men. There are two ways to deal with this. Organisers can exclude me, saying that the hurt of the woman justifies that. Or they can introduce her to me, explain that I am not a man, and I can show my sympathy with her past hurt. If they accept that I am a woman, they will do the latter. If they do the former, they confirm by their actions that they do not accept that I am a woman.

I am not arguing that the other woman has cis privilege, and is therefore less oppressed than I am, so I should be preferred this time. It is difficult to decide which of two people is more oppressed, and also, her oppression matters to me. I am arguing that if you deny me my place in women’s space, you are denying that I am a woman. If you say that anyone’s hurt is more important than my hurt, you are saying I am less valuable than that person. If you say that my presence threatens her because she has been hurt by men, you call me a man. I am not a man.

In a particular pagan Dianic ritual, those attending had to have uteruses, and had to have experienced menstruation. At a taster workshop on sexual reiki, the felicitator was actually concerned that I might feel excluded by her references to the uterus. I said I do not have a uterus, but I do have a hara. The chakra for creativity, behind the navel, has meaning for me. So I wonder why there was any need for the experience of menstruation, and whether a woman who had needed a hysterectomy before puberty would have been allowed to attend. Given the group leader’s use of the word “transies“, which has me spitting blood, I fear she might, and that the emphasis on bleeding was a pretext.

The illustration is Astarte rather than Diana or Lilith because I love that painting.

Coffee with T

T loves Costa Coffee, and loves talking of Zen, the mind/brain interface, consciousness and ways of thinking, and these topics please me too. Whence comes Inspiration? What happens when you sever the corpus callosum? His younger brother, who was gay just after “sodomy” ceased to be a criminal offence in England and tried so hard to be straight, is a spiritual medium, and his sister was a homoeopath, and T, a former hypnotherapist, has this wonderfully thoughtful, rational way of dealing with these issues. We dispose of Naive Realism- how would you know if you were living in The Matrix- wonderful film that, the sequels were rubbish- and have such similar interests and perspectives that the conversation is a delight. What do you mean by “I”? Well, there is this physical object, or process, continually taking in or excreting substance and ideas, which being an evolved animal has a strong attachment to its own continuing existence. How could new ideas change brain structures? By reinforcing new pathways through the brain. Well, it happens, we cannot say why. How can I talk about a soul or even an “I”, when if I suddenly stop taking oestradiol I get all emotional, weepy, impulsive, angry, and if I take it again I become more even-tempered? That is a chemical process, surely, rather than an “Individual”.

What I want to discuss is healing, and how I cannot justify it with my rational being: so how just to trust my emotional being? Of course I did that before: transitioning from acting male to expressing myself female makes no sense at all, rationally, apart from the fact that I Wanted to do it. I so want my rational brain to be able to justify healing work, and it can’t. I grew up having to justify everything rationally, being unaware of my feelings.

Have I told you this story? I decided to kill myself (No, he says, I have not told that story. When was that? Oh, years ago, not recently). I got my pills, and I went into my living room to get whisky to wash them down with, because I thought that might make me lose consciousness more quickly and be better able to go through with it. But in my living room I found my bath water flowing through the ceiling. A join in the drainpipe had given way, and the water flowed out. So I called the landlord, and the plumber, and got it dealt with, and after the plumber left the immediate desire to die had gone away. A Synchronicity!

But what about all the people who decided to die and didn’t have something like that to distract them? he asks. Yeah, yeah, I know. Still, that was my Proof of the Existence of God for years. And- why Libya but not Syria? Is that the same question?

This link between the amygdala and the limbic system and the frontal lobe- different voices, then Consciousness, the illusion of the I-

An even more personal story. I get a little weepy-
……………………………..and then I relax.

I went to a Healing Development Group with the Healing Trust. They have a particular procedure, first giving energy to the seven chakras, then to the parts of the body in turn. And I felt my hands grow warm, but when I passed over the leader’s arm, my hands suddenly felt cold. It felt so different. And I did not have the courage to tell her, or anyone until now. Could that be- sensing something? Could it be real?

Actually, now I have shared this story, trusted to share it, I feel- different. More relaxed, and Much, Much Happier. Wonderful. It feels real. I can respect that feeling.

People describe the flow of energy, or Qi, with very precise technical terms, in great detail, similar to the descriptions anatomists use, yet not describing anything an anatomist could observe. It mimics rationalism, but the rationalists can’t accept it. This is the weepy bit- my rational being has to be content with Unknowing. This is the joyous bit- in that Moment, I can trust my feeling.

Out into the sunshine. There is a busker in a dinner jacket, bow tie and fingerless gloves playing the guitar, and I stop to listen. Then Candy recognises me, and we chat with the busker about that time when the violinist played in the railway station– was it New York? Not sure. Candy is almost a stranger, we exchanged a few words when I was working. Now we exchange phone numbers. Impromptu conversations in the street! Not what I am used to. I feel relaxed, more real. He plays Bach. There is a group of rough-looking men four yards away, and one suddenly barks like a dog- RuhRuhRuhRuhRuhRuhRuh- loudly at another- rough looking men, hearing the music.

To the garage to get my car fixed, where I meet Ganesh. God is everywhere!

The ancestors

Caitlin Matthews’ Shamanic practice is the repair of souls. Part of the soul can be lost. She journeys, seeking it out, with the help of her spirit guides. When she finds it, she can bring it home.

Separately, she explains that sometimes someone phones you just after you think of them, and this may be because there is a link between you at that moment- they reach out to you, you think of them, they then phone you.

How do I feel about this? I want to experience it. I want to work on my fears with Caitlin, and see what the result is. At the moment, I can accept the doctrine, construct an NLP type explanation, be content with Not Knowing, or cycle between the three. It does not stop me from wanting to experience it. During those two days I was very conscious of being present in my throat chakra much of the time, the place of my voice, the choice to express my creativity with honesty and integrity, and that would have been meaningless to me a year ago. Caitlin herself says, do not treat her Shamanic practices as psychological exercises.

She said, we are supported by our ancestors, now, in this world. In seven generations, one may have over a hundred ancestors. Any questions? The one in my mind was, what if I do not feel supported by my own family, why should great-grandparents support me? This, she says, is the usual question, so I agreed it was in my mind.

We arranged ourselves, representing my ancestors five generations back. I stood on a chair facing them. “Now do you feel supported? Can you pick on one with whom you feel a particular connection?” H– is trying to catch my eye, and smiling, so I pick him.

It was not a particularly strong feeling that I was supported, in that moment, more a choice. I choose to feel supported. This is part of seeing life positively rather than negatively. I also see that ancestors in eternity would see face to face, rather than through a glass darkly. H– represented my father’s mother’s father. A–, representing my father’s mother, said later that she was feeling particularly supportive. She had wanted to be picked. My father’s mother had a particularly difficult life, and perhaps was entitled to receive support in her turn. I had previously wanted some sign of being welcome here, in this group- that was it.

I also noticed C–, at the back, a spiritual healer, with her palms facing forward and her arms slightly out from her sides. I felt moved to make a similar gesture. At another point, Caitlin said, “Don’t give reiki or anything”, and I wondered, if it is there, how can one not? Perhaps this is a naive question. This is something more for me to investigate.

Walking in to lunch on the last day, when Appalachian Spring ran in my mind, it was entirely joyous for me.

Crystal healing

This is my rainbow moonstone. If I meditate over it, channeling spiritual energy through it, I hallow it and it will protect me. And I can take a moment at any time of day consciously to connect with it, giving and receiving energy, to regain my equilibrium. A video would be better than a photograph, showing the interplay of light reflected from the surface and refracted within.

This is my baltic amber. It is a powerful agent for purification, and energies circulate within it before being directed by the silver setting into my heart chakra, whence they radiate through all my chakras, purifying me.

At this my inner rationalist, normally so articulate, just goes, “What?????” Then she starts to mutter about the placebo effect, neuro-linguistic programming and ways of psyching onesself up into confidence. I am not sure she fully understands the spiritual nature of these enabling tools.

My inner child, by contrast, goes, “Yeah, that’s really really nice. Love it. Let’s do it.”

I got the amber at a Designer Outlet (shopping mall for remainder stores) and the moonstone from Booth and Booth. Both sell jewellery on the basis that it is pretty, rather than that it channels energies. Crystal healing is a minority taste, after all, and Cherie Blair was mocked unmercifully for protecting herself with crystals from a guide. However, it was the Moonstone that found me through a series of discoveries and synchronicities, and catalysed my spiritual growth so that I would be able to grow in appreciation of it.

Perhaps it is just a game which appeals to a certain sort of middle aged woman, in need of a bit of stroking and something to boost her confidence. What do you think? Please leave a comment.

The Golden Light Project

I am intensely grateful for having taken part in Golden Light Project no. 8, around the September equinox. I saw guided meditations inviting the light of Spirit into the Earth through me, and I thought I can do that, it seems worthwhile to pray with others, just knowing that others are praying too. I was not expecting the bounty I received.

The meditations invite the Light through the thirteen chakras, cleansing and purifying each one. Preparing myself by the ritual of the medicine wheel I brought myself into the space of worship and meditation, where I found senses of purpose and joy. Then on successive days I brought the Light into my connection with my highest self, into those people and situations which have most affected me in the past, into my memories of all that has happened to me, into my vision, intention and intuition, into my truth and creativity, into my place of unconditional love; into my inner child; into the Purpose of my life; into my strong, capable Power; into my creation of myself; into my base chakra, my relationships; and finally into the Earth into my Earth Star, which anchors me in the Earth and is my footprint there. I have seen some more of my potential and moved old patterns, resentments and fears so I am more free.

I loved the strong and gentle voice of Renata Ash leading me through this, and the singing of her partner Steven. The meditations are also available in German. I intend to be with them in December, at the Solstice, purifying and healing further.