On being childlike

This post is inspired by two events last week.  The first involved a session with a new client; the second, a reminder from Panache Desai to play like a five-year old.

On Saturday, a new client came to see me for a number of reasons–some shared, some not.  He happens to be an older gentleman, who during the session fully admitted he didn’t want to grow up (although wanted some adult action!)  and, in fact, had a temper tantrum while on the table.

Also on Saturday, Panache put it out there play and enjoy the day. Responses to Panache’s Facebook call to play in a child-like way ranged from the creation of mud pies to brilliant artistry.  Funny reads, inspiring art, and a reminder to me.   Not so much to play in the sense of, well, playing like a child.  But more of what being child-like means (or can mean).  Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m all about mashed potato mountains, Tonkas, Tinker Toys, Centipede, air guitar, Twister, and Barbie’s head on GI Joe’s bod (What? You never did that?).

I think we forget, though, that the most amazing bits of being a child are never lost or even grown out of (we just play differently as adults, don’t we?  Tequila and Twister, anyone? Trade in your Tonka for a Yota yet?).  We just forget how to see as a child sees. Seeing the wondrous nature of the world and people around us:

  • without judgement
  • with an openness not veiled by fear
  • knowing the care and responsibility we share for others
  • with awe
  • with curiosity
  • with gladness and grace
  • with a grin

Reliance on particular aspects of “child”, those that resemble deluded clutching in otherwise grown folks,  hold us back by keeping us afraid.  “I want, I Want, I WANT, I WAAAANT” is one in particular. Think the kid in the grocery store with the embarrassed parent.  We’ve all seen it.  Would you do that now?  Another is the, “No. No. NO. NOOOOOO!!! You can’t have it (or her or him!)!” Imagine me not giving my brother back his Tonka truck with the Barbie-headed GI Joe! We think they work for us.  We think that if we wear down another person or the Universe by saying “I want”, we’re getting our way.  We’re really getting in our way.  When we don’t want to share it/her/him as an adult, we shut ourselves off to everybody–including ourSelf and the thing/person we’re trying to cling onto.

So, yes, Breathe and Be child-like but in the way of seeing the wonder of the world with freshness, curiosity, grace and a big, fat, Cheshire-cat grin!

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Finding my voice

Simplicity seems to baffles many folks. Because we want to understaaand stuff.  The hows of stuff.  The whys of stuff.  How does it fit with what I think I already know?  Which box of life-data do I put this information in so that it makes sense to me?

This concept has become stronger over the course of the past few weeks as I moved through a strain of viral yuck.  As I recovered, I moved from literally losing my voice (sounding far too much like a toad for my liking) to figuratively finding it.  I learned that I’ve been speaking not to stand out and be heard, but to merely fit in–a habit that I’ve spent a lifetime repeating, apparently.  Talk about a “D’OH!” moment.

This realization came to me when I was reading a Washington Post Magazine article while waiting for a plane to take me to Denver.  The realization pushed me further when I was asked by a new friend in Denver how to explain to others what I do so that they understand.  I forced myself to say what I’ve thought of saying before but didn’t.  Usually I try to couch things in a way that people feel comfortable with–using ‘spiritual’ language or metaphysical terms or religious iconography.  This time, I just said, “I breathe.”  Eyebrow raised in response, OnePaw waited for further explanation.  Then, I found myself back in the same pattern–trying to use words that just don’t work to describe what I do, trying to make someone else more comfortable with their ‘unknown’.  I suppose sitting at a bar, drinking a beer (or three) with a woman who claims to ‘just breathe’ and heal others maybe is just a little on the ‘unknown’ side of things, though.  Who knows?

Here’s what I do know.  I breathe. That’s it.

It just so happens that when I breathe, the essence of all that is, God, the Universe, the Ground of Being, Source, whatever the Flavor of the Day is, moves through me and, in turn, moves through others.  And lives change, people.  That’s it. It’s magic is in its simplicity.

From now on you won’t hear me mimicking the voice of others so that yet others feel comfortable or can stay in their bubble box of life-stuff.

What you will hear is my truth grounded in experience and the universal truth moves through me and sometimes manifests in words.  It does just so happen that my Voice–the truth within and without–is shared by many. It has been over the course of human existence.  However, it is heard by few and understood by less.  Only sometimes, though.

Because God’s unwieldly love cannot be contained in words you want or think you need to hear.  When the vastness of God meets the restriction of our own humanity, words cannot hold it.  The best we can do is find the moments that rhyme with the experience of His/Her/Our love.

Father Boyle of Homeboy fame has asked …”Who can explain this moment, when the utter fullness of God rushes in on you–when you completely know the One in whom ‘you move and live and have your being’?”

When I breathe, that’s what happens.  That’s it.

It’s how I live, how I move through daily life–fully conscious of my connection to all that is, to everyone.  It feel it at every fiber, at all times.  It and I may not make much sense to others.  But, for me, it’s the only thing that makes sense. It fits in no box & can’t be contained in words.  It is, however,  an experience that I want to share with everyone.

Inspired by a new friend and following through

Funny how the electronic age and all of it’s twits, tweets, Faces and other gizmos, whatzits, and widgets have helped morph my definition of ‘friend’.   A couple of weeks ago, I ‘met’ a woman named Shea McGuir (follow her here because she’s just that cool–@happybranding).  What’s followed is an e-conversation inspired by a few questions she posed to me.  With her permission, I’ve included parts of our conversation here for a couple of reasons.  One, she asks what others don’t and the answers may help explain things for them.  And, two, Shea’s asking of just a few questions has inspired a bit of writing that I’d not had recently. Heck, I’d not had at all.  Her inspiration has led me to do something really whacky like take my own advice and do the same homework assignment I give others: Write.  Period. Just write.  Whuddathunkit?

Shea: Hi Ingrid. I just peeked at your website and am very curious about your gift! When did you discover this? Is it energy work? Psychic? Did you have a Kundalini awakening? A lightning bolt?

My first response (w/ some editing):  This week got a little nutty toward the end and making time to type just didn’t happen!  So, I’m not quite sure where to begin w/ all of this.  On that note, I’m just going to let the fingers flow and if it starts to wander, I promise it will connect back!

Anywho–you asked about a Kundalini awakening.  I’m not sure if you can call it that primarily because there are so many explanations of the experience that I’m not sure where, or, if, I fit into that. And, to top it all off, I’ve not adhered to a ‘practice’ of any kind.  Ever.  What has come to the forefront for me in terms of ‘healing’ or ‘lightworking’ or however you want to define it wasn’t in my realm of experience at all until very recently.  Eighteen months ago tops.  In fact, until only a few months ago, it wasn’t a conscious exercise at all.  That changed with my first interaction w/ Panache Desai (google him & you’ll hit his website).
Getting to him, though, and connecting to what I call the Gift began when I was a kid.  I just didn’t know it.   I’ve been an empath all my life.  Something I knew-sorta- but didn’t know how to communicate with others.  In addition to living w/ childhood psychic abilities I lived with a very brutal mother.  I was physically, mentally, and emotionally brutalized until I went to college at 17.   My first suicide attempt was as a toddler.  And several occurred after that as I grew up.  Obviously, though, I’m still here.  I also experienced a series of six car wrecks that should have put my bod in the ground.  And, yet here I am.   I began questioning sometime in that whole mess o’ crap why I was here.  I’d scream, cry “Why I am here?!”  “What the fuck are you doing this to me for?!”  But just kept plugging along. And, at each crisis would ask the same thing but life went on.  I graduated finally, began work in the mental health field, transitioned to criminal/juvenile justice, partied hard, worked harder, and then got married.
The marriage was the catalyst for the current path.  You know how folks complain about their partner changing once they got married?  That happened to me. A 180 degree turn in personality, behavior, etc on the part of the hubs.  The short version of that is that I knew I had to leave w/in a year of getting married but didn’t for 2.5 more.  My leaving was part conscious decision and part a push from something outside of me. I didn’t connect to it at the time but that’s how it played out.  When I left, I came to VA putting 1700 miles between me and the now ex.  What occurred after was the creation of a fairly clear path for me that, somehow, I knew to pay attention to.  Again, I’ve no background in spiritual anything but just ‘knew’ to pay attention.  The synchronicities around me were just blatant.  Everything from people I met to a ‘for rent’ sign in just the right place to…you name it, it happened.
I also began experiencing very odd intuitive things that were particularly acute when related to my physical safety.  For instance, I was driving a friend to a doctor’s appointment one day and just got this very strange sensation that the ex was coming after me.  Out of the blue, I just ‘knew’.  I called a couple of friends and asked for some clarification to make sure I wasn’t just making it up and the confirmed it (one a psychic and one the neighbor who was to watch his cat while he was out of town!).  Odd, no?  Other stuff like that but not nearly as dramatic.  Visits in the night  from what others might call spirits, poltergeist activity (for a few weeks, my bed would shake me awake in the morning.  Not in the TV/Movie violent way but in a gentle, “Hey, get your booty moving” kind of way.)  I had strange physical things occur that might otherwise be related to disease or mental illness but I just knew they weren’t–what appeared to be anxiety/panic attacks, mystery pains, a couple of instances of what a MH clinician would call dissociation where, while awake, I (or components of me) separated from myself (an odd way to have a dinner out!!), etc.
When I finally settled here into my first home, I went to the local metaphysical shop and asked the owner if he knew person who did readings and he referred me to a woman who gave me my first reiki session.  During that session, all sorts of things happened. I levitated, she clearly sensed and then saw St. Michael (who I’ve always associated w/ because he’s the protector for those in law enforcement (a community I worked w/ very closely for many years) and Kwan Yin with me.  At the time, I didn’t know really who that was. I mean, I’d obviously heard of her but didn’t know anything about her.  Anyhow, Patricia asked me after the session how I felt.  I just looked at her and said, “I think you just woke me up!”  And, I had no idea what I even meant.   Afterwards,  my vision changed.  Notsomuch physically but deeper than that.  I just ‘saw’ differently.  And the other stuff continued in very odd ways.  I have to add that during all of this I was never afraid.  Fear didn’t even enter my mind.
At the time I was doing intensive in-home mental health work for a local for-profit agency and also ‘just knew’ when I was going to get canned.  I was in a position to use the court system to get a local department of human services to act for a child’s welfare and my bosses didn’t like the political repercussions.  So, I got sacked.  I got fired and found myself doing the “Now what the hell am I doing?”
When you’ve got nothing but time on your hands, a lot of strange things can happen.  Mine strangeness just was more extraordinarily odd than others, I think.  At one point, while laying on the couch doing the dozing in front of the TV thing, I got a ‘ping’ at the crown of my head.  Seriously.  Like an invisible someone gently (well, not really) hit my skull.  Right at the sweet spot.
Then, somehow, a book called Quantum Touch ended up on my desk.  I mean, I had to have ordered it.  I know that.  However, I don’t know why I’d have been interested in that at all.  Again, nowhere on my radar, really.  Then, interested enough, I signed up for a class.  I bitched and moaned the entire time.  I was unemployed, how the heck was I going to cover the $250, what the hell was I wasting my Saturday for…  Silly me.    Within 10 mins I ‘got it’. Within one class, I knew that ‘modality’ and ‘rules of engagement’ didn’t apply to me, too.  I ‘just knew’.  And, I started playing w/ the energy.  Healing the dog. Working on a friend’s torn rotator cuffs and other odd stuff w/ miraculous results.  Eventually word of mouth had others trickle in to me.  Those on a similar path in many respects and those w/ physical/mental health issues.  And they’d attempt to explain to me their experiences but couldn’t.  I had no frame of reference until this summer when I went to see Panache.  Similar to the book incident, I’ve no idea how he hit my radar but he did.  I knew that I needed him as much as I needed air. I ‘just knew’.  I drove like a bat out of hell for 14 hrs, saw him, turned around and came home.  What happened in the few minutes of contact w/ him was the ‘taste of my own medicine’ that taught me what I’m to do, showed me the importance and responsibility connected to it.
And, there you have it!  There’s more to it, really, but so much of this is ‘that for which there are no words’.
Recently, the energies flowing in and around me have begun to intensify significantly.  I shimmer when still, feel as if levitating, become ‘formless’ (I don’t know how else to explain it!), become paralyzed (wrong word, but again, don’t know how else to describe it), spontaneous stuff that occurs during sessions w/ people.  I’ve had the opportunity for a second person to sit in on individual sessions and observe.  During it, I ‘disappear’–become nothing more than bright light.  When I’m really still and go to what I call ‘no think’, I sense it happening as well.  Odd, indeed.   That coupled with the things that I say that I’m pretty sure aren’t of me (either that or they are latent w/in me and just wait for the opportunity to slip out!) seem to have me in the unlikely role of spiritual healer and teacher (although the ‘spiritual’ bit of that sometimes irks me!)
So, that’s how all this came about.  Or, at least the best way I can explain it.  At this point, I just bumble along thru it and try to maneuver through both worlds w/ something that resembles gracefulness.   I’m expecting to hear, “We’ve been waiting for you” at some point (although, I do hear it in my head every now and again).
Not sure what this is really all about or why.  I’m just riding it to see what happens and trying to get this magical,  mysterious thing out of the ‘woo-woo’ world and into the mainstream!
Thanks for asking me to tell you about.  This is the first time I’ve really ever put it into words before.  It’s strange reading it back to myself.  If you don’t mind, I might add to this to sort of fill in the blanks for myself.  If I were disciplined at all, I’d keep writing in the journal but…what can I say!  I’m grateful for the opportunity this provided.
Shea: But wow. Your story is crazy. I know you said you didn’t feel any fear, but what an experience… Trying to decipher this stuff as it’s happening? And trying to figure that stuff out mostly by yourself? No wonder you were like, “why are you doing this to me!” Crap, sister! I looked up Quantum Touch. Is this the approach that you’ve been using? Do people come to you with specific problems? And, can you sense/see/feel the difference between the presenting symptoms and the root cause? Maybe that question is too head-oriented. I’m just curious. Do you get words or other information to go with your physical experience of doing work on people?
Me: Quantum Touch was just the class I took.  I got really, uber-annoyed when after the class we were informed that we couldn’t call ourselves Quantum Touch practitioners until we’d taken one other course (really, a series of) to the tune of over $1K.  That, and, during the class I realized that their ‘rules of engagement’ were bogus.  I mean, other people may ‘have’ to breathe in a specific pattern, etc, but that kind of stuff didn’t apply to me. It was one of those ‘just knowing’ things.  So, I just bagged it and started playing w/ it. 

I mean, I’d like to learn new things, but paying out the ass to do so just doesn’t make sense.  I mean,  folks want hundreds and thousands of dollars.  At one level, I get it.  I mean, I’ve chosen this as my means of income, too. But, really, it ain’t all that special.  Nifty, awe-inspiring, Awe-some, magical, miraculous, moving, transformational, and all that is Divine but it’s my belief that everyone (and I mean everyone) has access to this and can do it.  If that’s the case, setting ourselves above everyone else (in part, by charging so much), we’ve missed the entire message.
As to the ‘fear/figuring it out’, I know this is going to sound ‘tarded but…I really am not afraid.  Even the rather disconcerting moments are only just that. I just pay attention and watch (sometimes that’s not the right word!)  I think, again in part, that I’ve not been afraid in this process because I don’t feel the need to figure it out.  On the way to finding the path, at one point I had to just surrender–it was ugly and not directly related to this (or maybe it was).  That surrendering led to the recognition that everything really ‘just is’.  Trying to figure it out, define it, label it, make it try to fit in mine or others’ little ‘boxes of life’ just wasn’t going to work.  That said, I do have to say that there isn’t some level of curiosity:  why me?  why am I to do ‘this’?  What’s my larger role or significance in the world?  I have no freakin’ idea and, so far, no one else has been able to tell me. I’ve got enough on my plate trying to do what I call the ‘real world’ stuff like bring in some income, navigate moving in w/ the honey and his adult daughter, and keeping wood chopped so my feet don’t freeze!  🙂
As to the folks that come, they kind of fit into three categories:  one group is experiencing something uncomfortable physically–chronic/acute pain, diagnosis of disease, wanting to avoid or have something conjunctive with modern, Western medicine;  a second group comprises those experiencing mental health/emotional issues–chronic/acute, wanting to avoid meds/traditional therapy, or have something to work with the last two.  The third, and most interesting, is those who just show up.  Nothing in particular is bothering them, they just know they need to come.  Some don’t even know why but they’re drawn like a moth to a flame.
And, yes, I can sense the differences b/n presenting and root. In fact, given the moment to do so, clients can, too! Generally, though, we don’t even go there because I’m of the belief that despite one may be experiencing a crappy time of it, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with you.  Whatever ‘it’ is, is often released either spontaneously or over the course of a short period of time.  Physical and emotional ‘healing’ is often the most tangible, palpable, experience but…insert drumroll…the shifting and transformation that occurs within that is freakin’ amazing!  Forget shingles disappearing, knee cartilage regenerating, fibromyalgia and addictions disappearing.  That’s all neat and fine, but I can only describe it as people experiencing life differently.  For whatever reason and somehow, they become more open to ‘the good stuff’.  Life changes so ridiculously spectacularly!  Sometimes spontaneously, sometimes gradually but…Yeah, I don’t know how else to describe it!  Pretty cool, indeed!    For everyone, I sometimes get ‘messages’ to share, sometimes not.  Sometimes I’m ‘chatty Cathy’, sometimes not.  Sometimes it’s ‘me’ speaking, sometimes not (although I wonder of late how much what other people call me ‘channeling’ some Master (just plain ol’, regular dead dudes in my book) is really something just latent in me that I didn’t know about.  Either way,  I’ve learned not have any expectations whether with individuals or in a group.
If you don’t mind too much, I’d like to include our email exchange in my FB notes and in my blog.  A lot of people ask similar questions but not in the engaging way you do.  For some reason, this exchange with you has really allowed me to communicate a lot that goes on w/ me in a way I’ve not been comfortable doing before.  What do you think?  Is it okay if I use your name?
More later!  Really, I do hope so!  I’d like to learn how you got into this ‘magical mystery tour’ yourself, who you work with, and some of your experiences!

Writing

It’s not hard to do, really.  Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and just do.  I don’t know why I’ve just not done it.  For years I’ve had the compulsion to buy journals of all shapes and sizes.  They thin, thick, spiral bound and not, some with pretty covers, some just utilitarian.  I’ve stacks of ’em.  Every now and again I pull one out and write a line  or page or three, then put it back down.  Again, don’t know why.    Then, I read A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas.  I didn’t particularly like the book for a number of reasons.  However, I did like page 149.  I ripped it out and have hung on to it (guess where I shoved it?  Yup-a journal.)

“I had always wanted to write but thought that you needed a degree, or membership in a club nobody had asked me to join.  I thought God had to touch you on the forehead, I thought you needed to have something specific to say, something important, and I thought you needed all that laid out from the git-go.  It was a long time before I realized that you don’t have to start right, you just have to start.  Put pen to paper, allow yourself the freedom to write badly, to get it wrong, stop looking over you own shoulder.”

I’ve taken that bit of her paragraph as a sort of ‘call to arms’.  In this case, it’s a call to pen/cil and keyboard.  I’ve got something to say but I may not always know it until it’s out there.   There you have it.  I’m not all that creative with words. I love reading what others have written (generally), like finding them in puzzles, love my ‘Word of the Day’, but I’m not one to paint a picture with them.  So what I’ll write is real for me or about the real of others.  It may not be specific, laid out right or important but I feel I’m being driven to and so, well, here we go!