The Drumming of a Heart

If you put your heart against the earth with me, in serving every creature,
our Beloved will enter you from our sacred realm and we will be so happy. – Rumi

This began calling me 16 months ago:

images

Beginning the weekend of October 2012 and through a period of nearly two and a half months, I thought I was going to die  (a very different experience than wanting to die, by the way!).  I drove myself to the emergency room quite sure that I’d had a series of heart attacks.  I experienced what physicians initially identified as heart palpitations that were so strong they would jolt me from a dead sleep into an upright, frightened, ‘shitballs’-shouting state.

At the ER, there was so sign of anything untoward and I was assured after several apparently bright medical minds reviewed my ECG and blood work, that I’d not had a single heart attack, never mind a series of them.

But the not-quite-a rhythm continued. It scared the shit out of me multiple times a day.  I often described it to others as an orchestral timpani that, unprovoked, without an emotional or physical trigger, would make me feel as if my chest wall was being cracked from the inside out; that my heart might be beaten out of my chest.  The urgency and repetitive nature led me to the University of Virginia’s Cardio-Pulmonary unit and a not-very-fashionable heart monitor that I wore for a month.

I recorded upwards of 30 ‘incidents’ a day, sometimes as many as 50, because the pounding was incessant, loud even as it echoed in my ears and mind.  This was not like any palpitation I’d read about or heard about (because you know, everyone had to tell me their heart stories, right?).  After a month of recording heart-breaking, I waited to go back to UVA.  I went.  They looked at all the EKGs submitted.  They looked at me.  They looked back at the monitor and readings.  Looked back and me and said, “Well, there’s nothing wrong with your heart.  We don’t see anything unusual here.”

WTF?  Excuse me?  How could there be nothing wrong with my heart?  I say, “Well, if it’s not my heart, what is it?” Them say, “We don’t know.  We need to start at the beginning.  We’re going to send you to another department for a full workup.”  Riiiiight.  I’ll skip the bit about what happened next and leave it at the fact I was not thrilled with the service, skill or insight that I believed a teaching hospital should have.

Once the immediate fear passed, I put on my thinking cap and decided that the issue really was one of a real-life, unromantical (my word, thank you) broken heart.  During the week before the ER visit, I had begun writing about my abusive childhood, diving into reaches of my mind & body to share my experience with others.  I thought it entirely possible that my body was telling me it wasn’t ready to find and deal with old wounds.   At the same time I was beginning the remembrance endeavor, I learned that my partner of a couple of years had been making plans of a future with me while lying to his adult children about my role in his life.  The truth that came out ripped me in two.  A body remembering significant physical and emotional pain and a metaphorically stomped love?  Broken heart, indeed.  The pieces seemed to fit.  Sort of.  The intense, persistent nature of the drum-heart beat abated.  The frequency diminished back to the ‘normal’ for me over the course of a few months.

I’d long felt and shared with others that I’d, with regularity, feel the heartbeat of another within my own–that was my normal.  To me, it was a comforting sort of thing–to profoundly know my interconnectedness with key people in my life.  I knew when said partner was thinking about me; I knew when someone was communicating with me in a standard telephonic or electronic fashion before I received the actual words; I knew my experience of the world wasn’t just freaky but had a deep, deep meaning.

This, however, was not that.

Oddly enough I was connected to a two other people who had the exact same issue.  One had previously been directly connected to me.  Another only tangentially via a common acquaintance.  We knew there was some sort of thread but couldn’t identify it.

Last week, while I was helping a friend move across the country, ‘it’ was identified. Clearly, profoundly & with a sense of urgency that has morphed my world once again.

I have been called.  I have been called for 16 months and didn’t know it until 4 days ago.  I (and another who will remain unnamed here until-or if- he chooses to go public) have been called by those lost long ago in, at the time, an unprecedented act of violent slaughter of humans, the earth that holds their presence, and by the person who now is their vessel.

The interconnected nature of what has transpired in the past few days with my own past, including my first vision in May 2008, is beyond merely ‘striking’.  The ties to living people, the energies of those (particularly Sai Baba) who reside within this Ingrid-package, my previous ‘knowings’, and a Cree elder who has been at my side for the past 5 days,  are leading me to spend what looks like most of February in the frigid West.

In Traveling Light, I mentioned that this year’s healer-on-the-highway travels were not entirely altruistic, that my heart is looking for a home.

The drums are calling me home.  They are calling me home: to a physical space, to a special relationship with the spirit of First Peoples lost and alive, and to put my heart against the earth.

 

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Best Visual Description of What I Do

This is the best graphic of what my world is like!  This is how my body feels almost all the time.  Especially my head, heart and hands.

That ‘connection’ outside the ball? That’s what happens when I work with people.

Pretty cool, eh?

Traveling Light

I have been happier.

I have been wealthier & healthier.

But I have never been more free.

To that end, I am leaving Rapppahannock County to join others in their experience of life.  Beginning the first of February, I am taking to the road.  Me and the Mini, one healing table, one packed bag (ok, maybe two).  On the road, bringing ‘Spanx for the Soul’, wherever it takes us. However long it takes us.

My life, my existence, is a treasure, a distinct expression of the mystery.  In each interaction, from the mundane to the ‘miraculous’, I bring the highest expression of love there is.  This is a treasure to be shared widely & openly, not to be hidden or waiting to be found. I will go to where I am called and where I am asked to come.

This trip (and what a heady one it will be) is not entirely altruistic.  My heart wants a place to call home and I no longer think this beautiful place is it.  It’s a big world.  And, there are other treasures to find.

Visit www.ingridoliphant.com  and let me know how I can serve you or your community. I look forward to sharing my gift with you.

Honesty…honestly. It’s about time I was honest with myself and the rest of the world.

“As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know.”
― C.G. Jung

I was on the phone with a potential client last week and after she ran through some of the things she was seeking help with, I asked, “Why me?  Why now?”  Without hesitation she said, “You are the first person I’ve really connected with because, well, it just seems like you’re honest.”  She went on to describe some personal encounters with other folks and stories of fleecing by spiritual types, men lying on dating sites, and other instances where she ‘just knew’ people were lying during conversations.  An acquaintance and I had a similar discussion about passive-aggressive  behavior and communication when direct, honest communication gets us to the point much more quickly–even if it’s something that doesn’t necessarily want to be heard by another (or conversely, said by us!).   This was followed by an interaction with someone who wondered aloud if my ‘working with veterans, law enforcement and first responders for free’ was ‘a gimmick’ or advertising ‘teaser’ to garner attention.

Whoa.  I mean, yay me, right? But, seriously, why does honesty seem like such an anomaly these days?  Or are we just so jaded by all sorts of BS that the bullshit-o-meter is stuck on high?

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m not always honest. It’s my general way of being but I’m as human as the next person and will lie on occasion. Articles, books and movies abound about why we do that intentionally and without thought.  For the most part, though, that was beaten out of me long ago.  I’ll tell you up front if what you’re wearing is unflattering but in situations where I’m forced to express certain things, notsomuch.  Ask me how I am on a bad day and if I think you’re going to introduce drama, I’ll say, “Fine.”  I hedge what I tell others sometimes–particularly if they’re asking a ‘psychic’ kind of question–because when they ask questions of me they may not be prepared to hear what I have to say or their resistance may lead to an encounter I don’t have the energy for.  Sometimes I’ll dance around the answer to lead them to it without saying it.  Think of how much time I could save.

I’m also not honest about how I know myself to be.  I’m afraid to put myself out there in the way I know I’m meant to.  It’s one thing to read kitschy quotes placed on pretty pictures (especially those with Johnny Depp!) about not caring about what others think but it’s a whole ‘nother thing to really say fuck you to everyone around you.   For me, the fear comes at several levels.  First, I spent nearly my entire first two decades on the defense physically and emotionally.  While in that state, I was sort of where I am now:  needing to be seen, to be heard.  That’s a lot of time spent being hurt and waiting for ‘it’ to come.  As this gift of mine has unfolded for me, I’ve felt I’ve had to defend it and me to those around me or limit my expression of it

I’ve felt that I’m at a place in my life where I don’t think I can do that again.  But I’m reminded again and again and again through ecstatic experience, visions, interactions with clients, the invisible & visible, that I can no longer play chicken.  So, I’m making a choice to go balls-to-the wall and come out of my own little strange closet, so to speak.

My fear looks a little like this:  I’m afraid of being abandoned by those left in my life.  I’m afraid of nutjobs becoming too much to deal with.  I hedge when people ask about the work I do.  I deny how special what it and I do together is (and the fact that there is no ‘it and I’).  I’m afraid that when someone cheers my ‘unconventional, inconvenient and unapologetic’ way that I will get caught up in the opposite. I’m afraid I’m really not prepared for this, that I’ll be in it all alone, that I’ll not be able to trust people who appear.  In fact, I keep making up all sorts of stuff to be afraid of to, well, keep being afraid–to keep from being honest with myself first and the rest of the world.

I’m more afraid, though, of missing out on life by not claiming my role in it.   In an instant-info age where folks try to out-spiritual one another, create hints and allegations of being THE second coming (neverminding the notion they don’t know what it really means),  bash those who claim their power while sharing ‘that’ Marianne Williamson quote, shouting EGO when someone speaks truth as they know it, I’ve been afraid to join the babel.   I’ve intentionally kept myself disappeared, even in sessions with people when miraculous events have taken place, denying that I know how and what I do because I’m afraid of feeling what I did as a child:  being unseen or, in turn, being seen and either ignored entirely or beat back into ‘being disappeared’.

I’ve known that this healing gift-thing that magically showed up three years ago has purpose beyond what I could have formerly imagined but now need no imagination for.  I’ve known that this form is not merely the deliverer of a message or healing or whatever the fuck this is since two and a half years ago an observer of a session watched me transform/disappear into light while I was standing in front of her.  I’ve known since two Februarys ago that I was being called out to step into a role for which I made presumptions of being unprepared. And, I’ve been reminded gently and I’ve been reminded not-so-gently and have not acted upon those remembrances because I don’t know what to do about all of this.  Although a path has been paved for eons to this point, it’s up to me to create the next bit of it and I don’t know what that means (okay, I kind of do but the mechanics of it escape me).  I don’t know how to be it or in it.  And, let’s face it, so many want to be the ‘expert’,  to tell me how to do & be so when they can’t know it or me and want me to show up in the way their reliance on archetypes and other shit has previously defined how I show up.   They try to wrap their language and labels around me to define (confine?) me in an understandable manner.   Some are ridiculously certain that I have a message–particularly one they’re certain they want to hear! (I love how folks will ignore ‘messages’ that float around, or do the opposite and latch onto the latest-or oldest-and strangle the life out of it, then move onto the next rather than letting the message breathe life into them.)  Some choose to deny and denigrate.  Some choose to attach themselves to the things I say in a manner that I do not.  Some see me.  Most don’t.  Any more, I care only inasmuch as it helps do this:

Here’s what I do know:  I experience the world in a manner most cannot conceive of–I walk with the visible and invisible in the same manner with no need for pre-defined roles, names, associations, hierarchies, and bureaucracies.  I experience the world as it is and appears before me.   I am both mystic and part of the mystery of it all, beyond theories, philosophies, systems, blueprints, codes, myths & models.  I cure cancer and other disease sometimes whether or not anyone believes it is possible. I bring to people spiritual enlightenment or awakening sometimes whether or not anyone believes it is possible.  I do stupid human tricks (everyone believes this is possible!!) like everyone else but more than one heart beats within mine.  I help other people shed pain, peel back layers, cut through cloaks and stories, and drop their veils.  Now it’s time to drop mine.    And I have no idea what this means in the day-to-day movement of life (although the big picture is ridiculously clear!) or what it will bring but my own time is now.

There are many like me all over the world.  Some of us are in places in the world where they cannot express their own being for a variety of limitations.  It behooves those of us without those limitations–like me–to stand up, claim it and start moving through the world as we are meant to without fear, without framing ourselves as another or in others projections to find acceptance, and start doing some shit.  I’m choosing to do so in this manner.  And move through the world as I was born to do.   I will no longer hold myself back and sit in the back of the class.   What has moved through me for nearly six years is this:  “Before there was, I was.”  I am meant to be here, my role is larger than anyone, including myself, could have known previously or possibly see now.  I’m now going to own it,  set my life so that I can know it and move through the world with it.  This is my shift today.

For some perspective on how I’ve come to this take a peek at other posts from last October and the past two Februarys.

Peace in, kids!

So how does this healing stuff work, exactly?

A woman who called the other day to see about scheduling an appointment asked that question.   She’s feeling like one hot mess and wanted to know if I could help.   She’d heard about me through local gossip (free marketing, anyone?) and wanted to know how this “stuff” works, “exactly”.

I dunno exactly.  Here’s what I do know.

There is nothing wrong with you.

You may feel all sorts of things.  You may feel afraid, anxious, awkward, addicted, alone, angry, compulsive, impulsive, enraged, exhausted, depressed, downtrodden, delusional, disorganized, dissociated, lonely, spent, sleep-drived, sad, stuck, annoyed, paranoid, grief-stricken, spent, out-of-whack, wonky, weird, panic-stricken, pissed off, pissed upon, distressed, disturbed, dis-ordered. disconnected, discombobulated, dis-eased, uneasy, uninterested in everything and everyone around you, moody, mad, masochistic, irritated, irrational, inattentive, hypervigilant, hyperactive, startled, sad, guilty, traumatized, spaced-out, stunted, stunned, stressed, suicidal, rage-filled, and, frankly, just generally fucked up.  You’re dealing with some serious shit. It’s your crap and yours alone to try to figure out.

But these things, these feelings are not you.  They are of you, sure.  They are sometimes of others (figure that one out, eh?).   You are dealing with them (or notsomuch as is often case) in the best way you know how.  You feel these things. They suck.  They make you feel like you suck.  However, you are not them.  There is nothing wrong with you. And you do not suck.

Once you know that, once you decide that, you will recognize all the tools you need to heal, to release these feelings that are holding you back, are within you.  It’s simple really.  Not necessarily easy. But simple.  I say that it is simple but not necessarily easy for a couple reasons.  First, frankly, we get used to these feelings.  As uncomfortable as they may be, they often become our comfort zone.  They  help shape our day, our relationships, our responses to life-stuff.  We get used to them and like having at least one reliable thing in the midst of the fuckedupedness.  Others get used to them.  And, despite all the blah-blah about change being good, life being change, a lot of folks don’t know how to and don’t want to.  Change, that is.   Again, though, there is nothing inherently wrong with that.  Some people say it’s wrong, assign it the ‘wrong’ label, but really, it just is.  The second goes back a few sentences to ‘others get used to them’.

What other people think or expect of us has an impact on us that we often don’t realize.  Others might not be comfortable or understand our erratic behavior, frightening mood swings, inability to move farther than the couch, or need for the booze.  However, folks at least have a glimpse of what is going on if we say, “I have PTSD” or “I’m depressed.”  The labels connect them to a definition or label that may not entirely explain your experience but can lessen their fear and open their hearts.   It helps them define you.  They, too, become comfortable in that and become afraid of your own change because they face being in a place of fear again.

There is no need to be afraid.  You have all of the answers within you.  And, it’s time to get right with you.

Same client said, “That’s such a freakin’ cliche, Ingrid. I don’t buy that.”  Well, it may be a cliche.  It may be tired.  You may be sick of hearing it but odds are you’re hearing it for a reason.  This cliche is true.  You can’t fully do for others until you can deal with you. All of your glorious, beautiful fuckedupedness.

Client says, “What the hell do you know about this?”  Me: “Been there. Done that.”

I first tried to kill myself sometime while I was in elementary school (maybe before?). I won’t go into details about that part of my story because I don’t want to hurt others but I decided that I didn’t want to be in this world because something wasn’t right.  It wasn’t right that I was afraid all the time.  It wasn’t right that I hurt all the time.   However, as most kids do, I survived.  Sort of.  I mean, I continued to breathe.  After the attempt and through the next few years.

Then I got older and attempted again as a teenager.  And again.  And each time I survived still trying to understand why I didn’t fit in, why I was still here, why no one heard me and why no one could see what was happening.  When all those crappy feelings that I didn’t know how to deal with me caught up with me as an adult, things stepped up a notch. I worked myself into the ground, I became an ‘expert’, I worked hard, partied harder, and hit a brick wall in 2004.  I hit that brick wall with all the force of a Mack truck doing 110.  Bertha was in the mouth more than once, finger on the trigger more than once. I took medical leave from my Probation job after my own physician said, “Well, Ingrid, we call this depression” in only the way a brilliant, sarcastic mind who knows that you know what’s going on can do.

In all of this, I knew things were really, really, incredibly messed up beyond description. FUBARed beyond FUBAR. And as I tried to figure out why I was here, what the heck was going on with me, why I was ready to blow the back of my head off but didn’t really want to, I had to explain it over and over to people.  And each person said something slightly different: “You’re Depressed.”  “You’re Bi-Polar.” “You are really ill.” “You are what we call a PTSDer.  A Complex PTSDer (as if that made it all the more special).”

After two shrinks, four therapists, I finally decided I wasn’t what they thought I was.  I might have been feeling whacked out in more ways than one but I knew that each time someone else tried to pigeon-hole me as a way of understanding me, they got it wrong.

As soon as I decided I was a beautiful disaster that could fix my own-damn-self (dammit!), things changed.  Immediately.  IBS symptoms gone after I decided that caffeine, wine, and nicotine were the causes. Cut those out, cut out IBS.  Cut out the suicidal ideation because I didn’t really want to die.  Sometimes felt like it but didn’t really want to.  Left the husband that I’d talked about leaving for over a year within two weeks, moved 1700 miles to one of the most spectacular places on the planet, and have watched the beautiful disaster morph into a wondrous woman (if I do say so my own-damn-self!) who’s been given an amazing Gift.

I have been there.  Walked the darkest path, sunk into the deepest depths and thrived!! I am the most blessed of all people.  And I am grateful beyond words that I was kept here to be able to do what I do.

This “stuff” work because when you are ready, when you decide that it’s time to let go of all that  holds you back and no longer serves you, the tools come to you clearly.  I am simply one of them.  When I am with you and I breathe and connect to the Divine (however you define that) , I am a tool, a facilitator that allows what you need to release to just go.  It’s that simple.  And, yes, this part really is that easy.

When those things that no longer serve you leave; when you’re not holding on to them, you begin to experience the world and all of its challenges in a different manner.  Those emotions? You still feel them but they don’t define you.  You feel them, acknowledge them and let them go.  As you do, you grow. As you grow into the new experience of life, those things that do serve you just come to you.  In magnificent ways.    This is the healing process.  Maybe I should call it growth process instead, no?

When you’re ready, just get to me.

“I’m careful about miraculous stuff, but for a very real, straight up, down to earth gal, she shares a remarkable undefinable gift with her clients.”  Sandy C, Delaplane, VA (09/17/09)

UnCommon Touch

It’s not New Age; it’s of the Ages. It’s real, not woo-woo. It doesn’t require belief or faith (although I’m sure it helps to not prefer a root canal). It doesn’t interfere with belief or faith. Its only magic is in its simplicity. I breathe, you heal. You change. You shift. You de-stress. You find peace. In fact, *I* don’t do much of anything. This is my Gift. For you. For everyone.

Young. Old. Child-like adults. Every shade of pink, brown, yellow. Man. Woman. Christian, non. Conseriberal. Libertive. (Yes, I did that on purpose!)

This gift is something I call UnCommon Touch, inspired by the book of the same title by Tom Harpur.   It is simply Divinely-inspired transformative energy  for which I am merely a facilitator and catalyst.  It is a shared connection to the Divine that brings about profound changes in everyone that comes into contact with it.  It is neither modality-based nor definition driven.  In fact, this is of that for which there are no words (bet you’re wondering why this post is so long, now, huh?). It is certainly ‘energetic’ but there are no symbols, rules, etc.  I simply breathe and place my hands on people.

Sometimes change is profound. Sometimes subtle. I’ve heard on more than one occasion, “I’m not quite sure what happened but I feel so much better!” People have experienced the instantaneous healing of physical wounds and chronic pain, relieved themselves of previously unresolved emotional pain, and found inner strength previously untapped. Physical and emotional symptoms of PTSD have disappeared (including suicidality), rotator cuffs have healed after 20 years, and spiritual gifts have been ignited.
Although each session is unique and everyone experiences the energy differently, there are some commonalities throughout. People “see” differently, they begin to experience life differently, the awareness of Self and connectivity to others increases, masks fall away.  While this process develops, healing occurs on the emotional level (generally preceding other changes) as well as mentally and physically.  It becomes easier to access that place of Peace and move more Grace-fully when handling all that which life tends to throw at us.
Here’s what a couple of others have had to say:

“Although being able to talk to my therapist has done wonders to clear my thoughts, I credit the session yesterday with you for allowing me to feel almost “new.”  In this lifetime, I’ve experienced NOTHING more powerful than the healing and enlightening energy the two of us were graced with yesterday.”

“I continue to feel clearer pathways to understanding-both sleeping and waking.”

“If you have not personally experienced hands-on healing of this sort, and you’re in need of physical, emotional or spiritual uplifting and/or healing – you may want to go outside your comfort zone a bit to take advantage of Ingrid’s healing presence.  She is indeed a wonder and has truly been graced with a gift to assist and heal others.  And to add even more to all of this – she’s an extremely entertaining, friendly, compassionate and sensitive human being.”

“She  can work on anyone, two legged or four.”

“No more night terrors. No more night sweats.  No more nightmares. No more. Period.”

“I found again what I thought I’d lost a long time ago. I feel reconnected to me.”

So, this is my Gift.  It is one of the Divine and although it flows through me, it is of all of us and for all of us.  I don’t know why I was chosen, I just know that I was. My educational and career background (criminal justice!) certainly didn’t prepare me for it. I’ve no connection to any faith, religious or spiritual practice outside of The Golden Rule.  Becoming unemployed last year is the greatest thing that ever happened to me because it brought me to this.

For a long time, gifts such as this have been held as outside of the ordinary for a multitude of reasons. It is time for healing like this to move out of the “New Agey-metaphysic-magical-mystery-tour-mumbo-jumbo” into the mainstream. The healing is my Gift. Getting this to everyone is now my job.  And I could use some help getting it done.  Ideas, suggestions, comments, introductions, anything constructive would be appreciated!

UnCommon flyer

Shifting life and livelihood

Profound shifts in my life have occurred in the past few months.    Personal choices coupled with the change in our economy led to a lot of free time during the course of the last year.  Time that would have otherwise been spent devoted to other people’s problems or projects became time focused on me.  My needs, my wants, my way of life, and, my purpose:  the reason for being and surviving.

As I asked to be told and demanded to be shown my path, I began to move beyond merely noticing the synchronicities in my life to actually paying attention to and following them.

Although this process began long before I can actually remember, I noticed it a few years ago when I had my “God at the kitchen sink” moment.  What quickly followed that was the leaving of a husband and the comfort of the “known”, moving 1700 miles away, becoming unemployed and involved in another not-so-wise relationship, and humbly visiting the local department of social services office to ask for food stamps.

If, at any time during the course of this process (or before-hand) had anyone asked me if I’d consider myself a spiritual healer, I would have looked at them in the manner that implied a third head had sprouted from their neck!

However, truth now be told, I am a spiritual or energetic healer.  Funny that.  It took being in a place where I could hear what I needed to and engage with myself in a way I otherwise would not have to come to this odd and interesting place.   In finally finding it and developing an understanding of it–this new role I have in the world–other shifts (or gifts) have occurred as well.

Although I’ve always been intuitive at some level (I’m actually one who believes we all are), the role my intuition plays in my life has increased dramatically.  I see differently.  My physical vision is better.   There is a clarity of sight that is mirrored in my other ‘vision’ as well.  I speak differently.  I act differently.  And, according to a good friend, even my smile is different.  When I expressed that I was having a hard time articulating what changes were occurring in and around me, Mark said, “You’ve gone from being happy to finding joy.”  And, that, folks, sums it up.

I’m still an adventure-craving, travel-needing, argument-instigating, red wine-loving, occasional cigar-smoking smart-ass and firecracker full of life (and, occasionally, shit–I admit it!).  However, I’ve now recognized and begun to use what others saw in me years ago.

To facilitate the growth that continues to occur within and around me, Oliphant Consultants as it has existed will cease to exist.  I have learned an enormous amount from colleagues who became mentors and friends.  I am grateful for each opportunity that has presented itself and lessons learned from each project and program.

I will continue to support the communities with which I’ve developed a particular affinity for: law enforcement and other first responders, courts and corrections personnel as well as military servicemen/women.  However, I will be doing so in a different, more beneficial, manner for all of us.