So what can we do when we are ready to come home to our true selves only to find this resultant mind claiming squatter’s rights in our precious inner world. This resultant mind carries with it a kind of amnesia because we have forgotten our true selves and believe that this chattering, worrying, opinionated, competing, judging mind is us, our true mind. It’s not…it’s lying. Again, true mind and true heart are connected, and through that connection we find our true self…our feeling self…our loving self…our divine self.
My meditation has certainly been a help, a calming, clarifying practice that helps me to discriminate true mind from resultant mind…and perhaps I’ll write more about that another time. But for me, I had to begin the return trip home in a much more basic way…I had to first come home to my body.
I remember a teaching by Marc Bregman, the founder of Archetypal Dreamwork. He was speaking of PTSD and said that for many soldiers (and anyone who experiences trauma) in order to enter battle they had to leave their bodies. Marc said that the problem was then the difficulty of getting back into the body. How many of us are like the quote from James Joyce…”Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body.” That was me…never quite in my body or my feelings…and I knew that I had to find a way, an expression that would bring me back in. This morning while I was exercising, doing a form of dance called Nia, unexplained tears arose as they often do when I dance…and I was transported back to the moment I found the doorway back into my body.
It was 1999 and I timidly walked into my first Nia class, not knowing what to expect, bald from chemotherapy, head covered in a bandana. As the music started, Laurie, our teacher, guided us into the movements, directing us to extend our arms outwardly in a fluid, flowing manner. I felt stiff and embarrassed, only moving a few rigid inches from my body. “Who am I to move my arms with grace?,” my resultant mind protested. In that moment I knew I had never really experienced what it meant to be in my body. The body was to be controlled, starved and criticized, but never honored. My body desperately needed healing and I needed to be in it for that to happen. Slowly, over the next few weeks, the rhythm of the music pulled me in, and I knew dance was calling me home. Now, every time I dance I drop deliciously into each liquid movement, arms and legs flowing. For me, the way back into my body was through dance, for others it may be art, theater, photography, writing, cooking (love that too!), whatever expression it is that calls us home. And once I was back in my body…was embodied…I continued on my journey home to my true mind and my true heart.
With love, Mary Jo
Mary Jo Heyen – Dreamwork Practitioner
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