I would like to tenderly yet directly speak to the parts of you who are dying...I am currently in the midst of a profound spiritual awakening which is reshaping my world view and understanding of my role on this earth as an innerdance doula. My duty is to support others to die and to do so with grace, acceptance, and where possible, with joy in their hearts. When I speak of dying in this context, I am referring to the daily micro deaths and deaths of self which facilitate individuation.
Since beginning this journey, I have died many deaths, some more joyous than others. At times, there has been a physical sense of grief absent of an emotional story, and I have stumbled along in this liminal space, barren of direction feeling lost yet held within a trust that there is a path and it is innate to me. At others, I have felt the anguish as old and stubborn stories resist their release, fighting to stay put, fighting because at one time it was the only way to survive, fighting because they have never had the freedom not to fight.
innerdance is not always easy or pleasurable and we place no greater value upon transcendence for we understand each innerdance is an embodied hero's journey which archetypically requires a descent into our underworld, a sacrifice and a death of the old ways. Sometimes people criticise themselves for not being able to yield to the cosmic journeys available to them, feeling trapped in circular thinking and inhibited potential, others reject their own strong emotions and sensations, refusing to bring them to life through acknowledgement or expression. Tendencies to compare can activate & some believe they should be having delightful journeys (lives) like 'everyone' else. I innerdance every few days and sometimes, I am with the electrical circuitry in my brain, looping in infinity, sometimes I am timespace. What shows up are patterns and echoes which require our loving attention. There is no wrong or imperfect innerdance, there is no wrong or imperfect you.
The transpersonal psychologist James Hillman said “You know, people come to therapy really for a blessing. Not so much to fix what’s broken, but to get what’s broken blessed.” and for me, this is equally true within innerdance. For those of you/us who are experiencing resistance, disorientation, a sense of crisis or loss, is it possible to bear accurate and loving witness to yourself as your body activates, as you find yourself stuck within circular thinking, can you allow yourself to become the rage, the grief, the fear , the gaoler, and express yourself in this unconditional space in ways previously denied to you and currently by you? Can you meet yourself with love in your heart, blessing the parts of you who are malnourished, in emotional pain and outcast in service to your own healing and integration?
Scientifically, the regions of the brain which are activated during innerdance & other spiritual awakenings are the same as during near death experiences which explains why so many people have life/death reviews within their innerdance journeys. For those who have faced physical death and returned, the majority describe feeling irrevocably changed which then becomes their focus as they adjust their lives to live in alignment with their newfound spiritual understanding. Carl Jung believed that when working directly with the unconscious through Active Imagination, we are duty bound to integrate the messages and learning from the depths into our every day lives and this gentle gauntlet is laid down at the feet of those who innerdance for we have initiated a healing process of death and rebirth with the full support of the profoundly innate intelligence within us which requires our cooperation as we make the necessary and sometimes long overdue changes in our daily lives.
Earlier this year, I held space for my first innerdance and within the journey, I sensed something had vacated my body. There was fresh space within my lungs, rib basket and diaphragm. For the first couple of days, I felt light and free, I knew something had died, I just didn't know what. Within a week, I found myself free falling in spiritual crisis. My whole body was screaming in emotional agony, I was completely lost with no sense of ground beneath my feet or sky above me. I had no idea how long this transition would last, I just knew there was no going back and I was to be in this space for a while.
I began to dream and have day visions of Jesus Christ or myself being crucified which I initially met with fear and confusion. I chose to stay curious and support myself in this painful unfolding the best way I know how.... In one innerdance , I begin by lying down and I see a crown of thorns encircling my womb, piercing me, shooting pain through me vertically. I begin to crawl on unrepenting knees towards my crucifixion with a cross upon my back. I look up and Mary Magdalene is visiting me, I stand up to greet her & I experience a strong impulse to self-flagellate with my arms and hands softly flailing and slapping. Each gentle strike is filled with empathy and loving energy. She lovingly wipes my face with warm rags. I feel loved.
In another, I raise one leg, resting my foot on my inner calf. I am bound to a wooden cross as my knees press together and my pelvis and thighs tighten. Sensing strong winds and waves within, I begin to sway. I am high up, as high as the crow's nest on a ship, I see myself as Jesus crucified to the mast. I follow the movements which arise and the image continues to evolve. I turn my head to the side and as I look back towards Jesus and the boat, I see he is wearing an orange life vest, my sacral chakra begins to throb.. I know we will survive this storm because we are creatively resourceful, the twice-born.
In each death process I personally experience and with each innerdance I hold space for, I am continuously reminded of how we are our own medicine. There is a profound power within us to find our way through which mirrors the birth of the universe, of the planet, of ourselves. We gestate in the fertile void, without gravity, without light yet there is a map held within the trillions of cells which knows when to pause, when to push. This mapping makes up who we are and with each innerdance, that map updates, old pathways fade and new directions appear. It takes time to get to know ourselves anew, it takes empathy, compassion and patience. So for those of us who become innerdance, be it once or it is now our life's focus, I invite us to become our own midwife, assisting in our rebirth, swaddling ourselves when needed, attuning to the needs which continuously arise and ebb. Some pregnancies and births are easier than others but each one results in absolute perfection...You.