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i of the storm

Babet has been announcing herself at the shores of my bodymind days in advance of her visible arrival, rendering me blind & enchanted by narrowing spells and patterns, labyrinthine in quality as I had to go right in to the core of things before I could look up, come out and hold a wider, wiser view. In Matrix terms, I swallowed the blue pill first...

The first rumble manifested as a tech glitch. I was feeling good, accompanied by innerdance consciousness my soundscapes were flowing and I was discovering an efficiency to my developing style. I downloaded some new tracks and began to blend these sounds together, tracking my own somatic resonance & brain wave activation as guides to where they belong. And then a pretty rainbow icon, circular in form popped up on to the screen of my computer. This is the first time I have encountered it on my new device. It spiralled for a few minutes before leaving, my autonomic nervous system flagged this anomaly to my hypothalamus which directed my adrenals to produce a dose of epinephrine, spiking my heart rate. My understanding of tech (and self- regulation) returned and I continued with my soundscape. Then the rainbow appeared again, this time for longer, correcting itself again. This happened infrequently throughout the day and I pursued my endeavours with an increasingly decreasing breath rate and a tighter pericardium.

7 hours have passed and my soundscape is ready and I am excited by it, I feel it's a 'gooood' one. I click the button to upload it to my Soundcloud account and then down the rabbit hole I fall. Icons arise on the screen as they always do, communicating the compression of files are in process and then the little rainbow circle appears...and doesn't leave. My sympathetic nervous system has been primed for panic throughout the day and now it has a stimulus to activate toward. I feel fear & I am scared. I am attached to this wonderful soundscape and I am terrified it is lost, that I won't be able to share it with anyone. Then I am scared I might lose all of my soundscapes saved to this program. 0-100 in about 5 seconds. I google the problem and I read advice to uninstall and reinstall the software, this makes me nervous. I could lose all of my work, how will I ever make another soundscape again, there's no way I can learn a new program in a couple of days and I have sessions to prepare for, what am I going to do....Round and round I go in an echo chamber of my own pre-recorded history.

I open another project I had worked on and in panic, upload it before 'it is too late'. It is a slow process and I need to recheck the screen every few minutes. The rainbow appears and then disappears and the soundscape does eventually upload. Phew, I was holding my breath as electricity charged through my whole system. I was even close to breaking a sweat! And the echo chamber bounced back those persistent loops: You are going to lose everything, all that hard work gone, what are you going to do? you are helpless blah blah blah.

I close my laptop, take the night off and start afresh the next day. I open a new project and recreate the exact same soundscape (yes, I am that attached to these sounds). The program seems to work, the rainbow pops up intermittently but self-corrects. I complete the project in 3 hours and click to upload it. The process begins, then slows, then crashes. I have to close the program, reload, resave and try again. I lose count of the number of times and hours I lose to this looping. I am activated and misusing my imagination by narrowing my vision and only considering the most catastrophic of outcomes. The next day, I am consumed by this loop, googling for solutions, retrying the exact same process, expecting and hoping for different results. I even think to myself, you know Caroline, this is literally the definition of madness.

At 4.50pm on Saturday afternoon my prefrontal cortex activates with a new thought....Take your computer to the repair shop. 3 whole days of echoing and this is the first time I have a pathway out. I kick myself for not considering this before and I stay curious to why I was caught in a cycle of helplessness & self-reliance. But it's 4.50pm and everywhere is closing. I might need to wait until Monday to get this sorted, don't panic, everything will be sorted for the online session on Monday evening, breathe, steady yourself, yield into this, there is nothing you can do, there's no need to choose to stay worried for another 2 days...

On Sunday, I go into town to try the Apple Store, there isn't a technician working and the staff can't help me. Adrenalin spikes, I try another store and they say come back tomorrow, Adrenalin continues to spike and I am remembering how to ride these waves and utilise this hormone to help me see with clarity and navigate these stormy waters. I message my darling global innerdance community, mentioning my 'crisis' & then call apple support. We are on the phone for 2 whole hours. We uninstall, reinstall, we have to delete a ton of storage and then we reboot the whole system. And still the problem persists. Later that evening, darling Mario from the group chat contacts me and suggests a few things, nothing works and then dawn begins to break on the situation...there is a file in the soundscape which is either too big or corrupted and it is causing this issue. The program is fine, I won't lose any of my work, just this one particular soundscape is glitched. Relief washes through me closely followed by a momentary kick to my own narrow vision, swiftly replaced with my eye for insight. What on earth was this all about?

I attend an online innerdance with the wonderful Carla and my attention is in my brain, I am looping around a very small circuit, going round and round for most of the soundscape. I remember to notice the rest of my body, I am rooted to the floor, dense & unable to move a muscle in this state. And then I have an image of an ice pick being placed at the inner corner of my right eye, it is tapped and I realise I am receiving a transorbital lobotomy. As my left brain is pierced, I feel a release of pressure and oxygen begins to flow through my right nostril, easing a sense of peace through me.

My inner lobotomy frees something inside, enabling me to view my process with discernment. I am struck by my stubborn attachment to something which isn't working, how I endure and stay with (loyal) a relationship which does not nourish, consistently. I am reminded of an experiment I learned about during a somatic attachment & trauma training...They tested attachment styles on mice or rats (?). Mice would go to the pellet dispenser, tap a lever and a pellet would be emitted. The mouse returns, is fed and goes away happily. This continues for a few days, and what is observed is the mouse can come and go freely. The conditions are then changed. When the mouse taps the lever, the pellet may be dispensed and it may not, the outcome is inconsistent and random, similar to ambivalent attachment. Within 2 attempts, the mouse is now wholly focused on the dispenser and spends hours repeatedly tapping the lever. I won't go into the deep details but in essence, the inconsistency of this relationship activated addictive attachment pathways within the mice, rendering them unable to do anything else other than to focus solely on the lever and mouth of the pellet dispenser, a bit like me tapping endlessly away at my computer. I realise there are old patterns within my autonomic nervous system around inconsistent attachment, dopaminergic pathways are showing themselves and through innerdance, I can find my way in, out, through.

Babet is finally here and I recognise her in my body through migraines lodged behind my right eye ( and left brain short circuitry). Energy is churning up for my next innerdance and I bake a vegan cake for everyone who attends. I am placing my cake in the oven when I suddenly realise there is an egg in this!!! I had googled a vegan recipe and clicked on dairy free. I blindly followed a recipe to the letter without independent thought.

These examples may seem frivolous yet they point to a bigger picture of how losing insight can manifest. Patterns are persistent and hypnotising and we can fall asleep to ourselves out of hard-wired habit. I became enslaved by deeply embedded constellations around inconsistency and relationship, reinforced & rewarded by dopamine release, reducing me to one singular neural pathway which has nowhere to go but to repeat itself in perpetuity. I regain insight and clarity, only to go into automatic pilot when my creativity is required. Babet has been a most generous teacher, inviting me to experience and perceive how I can lose myself to old narratives and circuitry, as innerdance teaches me how to wake up and rewire.

As the storm breaks and light pours through the sky, I am reminded of my lobotomy and the value of our inner storms who show up to teach us how to ride these waves back to peaceful and illuminated shores. I am not saying I won't lose conscious connection to myself again but I do know with clarity that (1) patterns of fear-based attachment might attempt to cloud my view, (2) I can ask for help much sooner, (3) I can let go and move away from anything which causes me unnecessary distress and (4) I can bake 2 cakes in one day with ease. Ironically, one was dark chocolate and the other a vanilla sponge, creating a yin yang of baking! Dopamine drops, serotonin rises and order is finally restored...innerdance....and cake :)

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