Three things that I have engaged with or pondered on this week
Over the last month I have been organizing artwork, and have finally had some small changes made in the website. I have expanded the Artwork space and posted samples of various things I have made over the last 15 years or so. Additionally, I have removed the Books and Quotes parts because they reflected what I was reading prior to the creation of the site in 2013, and also, because I have frequently been writing about and referring to books I have been reading in the News area.
I have been tapping and listening to talks at the Tapping World Summit
As one of the speakers mentioned we can potentially carry hundreds and hundreds of hurts and regrets and moments when our bodies momentarily went into fight-flight or freeze mode. But if we keep passing our experiences as we often do unacknowledged and unfelt once we start tapping it will feel overwhelming as so much starts pouring out. Tapping can slowly help us release pent up emotions and create clarity as we slowly feel into and integrate our experiences. Tapping can also help us get to the original wound, the first cut, which when left buried, facilitates the repetition of patterns and dynamics.
I have many personal examples of how unaddressed earlier experience shapes our future, and a few come to my mind right now. One that comes to mind is about speaking in front of the class, another is about a light bulb that had caused me a lot of fretting and worrying. I”ll chose the light bulb and save the other for a future post. A little while ago I was perched on a stool changing a light bulb when I felt heaviness in my chest and then as I tried to understand why I experienced inner resistance. So, once I got off the stool I tapped on the physical sensations. As the bodily responses died down I remembered an incident from decades ago. I believed I had definitely left that one behind.
It had been an exhausting summer. We had been renovating an old building and had invested all the money we had on the restoration work and the purchase of desks and school material. Everything had to be according to regulations and before we could open the school we had to receive a license from the relevant authorities. Finally, inspection day had arrived. We had double checked everything, put flowers in vases and were looking forward to checking this item off our list. The inspector seemed to be pleased throughout the tour. Then as he was walking towards the exit he switched on the hallway light, even though it was morning, and the light bulb was dead. Initially, I had thought nothing of it until he announced that this had cost us our license. My arms had felt limp and my toddler in my arms heavier. I couldn’t believe this was happening. He was abusing power and there was nothing I could do least I make matters worse. The license papers did arrive; meanwhile, I had secreted tons of cortisol.
Over and over as we tap or meditate we realise that our body registers all kinds of things and what we push down or out of sight. Carrying around too much stuff from our past has undesirable repercussions for us and others. We need to feel and make sense of our experiences, not only the big T traumas, but also all the other things and then place events in the bigger container of our own live, see the threads, and also, the bigger societal picture. One of the speakers talked about how we always need to bring in all the context and see what else was going on.
I have also been reading a few things by poet David Whyte. Below is a passage I liked on vulnerability:
Vulnerability is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice, vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding undercurrent of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, in refusing our vulnerability we refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity.
To have a temporary, isolated sense of power over all events and circumstances, is a lovely illusionary privilege and perhaps the prime and most beautifully constructed conceit of being human and especially of being youthfully human, but it is a privilege that must be surrendered with that same youth, with ill health, with accident, with the loss of loved ones who do not share our untouchable powers; powers eventually and most emphatically given up, as we approach our last breath.
The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance, our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully, or conversely, as misers and complainers, reluctant and fearful, always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter, never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door.