7:07 Wednesday, March 30
So much for writing another post yesterday evening. My husband and I watched a video of a Standford lecture, and I fell asleep, so now I’m going to write about what happened yesterday…today’s happenings will have to come later and with any luck it will be later today 🙂
Little Changes Big Deal
Yesterday, I noticed some little changes in my behavior. Normally I like to be as unassuming as possible. I want to disappear, and especially because I live in a Japanese speaking environment and my Japanese is not as good as I’d like it to be, I avoid spontaneous communication at all costs. Yesterday, this was not the case.
I was amazed how easily I was able to meet my needs in almost all situations. I won’t bore you with every situation; just the ones that really stood out.
Obachan (pronounced Oh-bah-chahn)* on the train
A section of the seat on which I was sitting on the train had a swatch of fabric with some newspaper peaking out of it, so everyone was avoiding it like the plague. At the next stop the train filled up and the person next to me gestured to a little obachan offering her the seat next to him. This was the spot with the swatch. The little obachan took one look at the seat and began muttering to herself “What’s that newspaper? Is that someone’s newspaper?” She did not like the look of that swatch, so she opted for standing.
I didn’t like the idea of her standing; she could barely reach the handles dangling from the ceiling, and she looked so tiny and frail, plus she clearly wanted to sit down. So, I got up and offered her my seat with a gesture. She was reluctant to take my seat, so I sat on the swatch. She then felt obligated to sit where I had been sitting. She was of course apologetic, but I told her to think nothing of it, and we fell into awkward silence.
How was this a change? Well, in the past I have seen situations in which I could offer a seat or do something to help someone on the train, but I have not taken action for fear of not being able to communicate. In this case, I saw a problem, I did my best to offer a solution, and did not worry too much about whether or not I perfectly made myself clear. It was a great feeling.
Standing By My Decision
Normally when I make a decision about something I believe others will disapprove of I put a spin on things in such a way that the listener will approve of what I am doing, or I keep it a secret.
Yesterday, I met with my counselor. I’ve been seeing her for about a year, and we have been working on my self-esteem issues. She is also agreed to work with my husband and I in couple’s counseling. My plan was to tell her that I no longer the one-on-one sessions and that we could start the couple’s counseling next time.
So, naturally, I would need to tell her why I no longer needed the one-on-one sessions with her. So what do you think I did?
I told her everything. I told her about finding Teal, and about the Law of Attraction, and how I was open to the idea that it might be a fact. I heard myself telling her with passion in my voice about shadow work and what I had learned watching Teal’s videos. It was the first time I had been honest about my own truth. I stood by what I believed even though I was afraid my counselor would think I’d lost my mind.
So, were my worst fears realized?
Not at all. In fact, she seemed affected by my enthusiasm. She smiled and said she was happy for me. When I told her about this blog, she said she would be interested. It was a great experience.
Telling you readers about my experience isn’t nearly as scary as telling the people in my life with whom I interact on a regular basis. So, this encouraged me to continue to be honest and to be open to the idea of people actually responding positively to my story, and to be willing to stay with myself when they responded negatively. A negative response could result in my getting upset, so that means its an opportunity to reintegrate the parts of myself I abandoned long ago.
Two Firsts at the Stationary Store
So, I went to a stationary store to get among other things, I notebook and pen to keep a journal to document my shadow work. I had a particular notebook in mind, and I was excited about purchasing a special notebook in which to record my shadow work. I located my notebook and the other items I had come into the store to get, and proceeded to look for a pen with which to write in my notebook. At first, I looked for the usual ballpoint pens, but another pen caught my eye. It was colorful with a silhouette of a girl with a cute hair style. I immediately wanted this pen. Then I discovered that it was a fountain pen. I have never written with a fountain pen. Normally, I would have just put it away and settled for something similar but more familiar. But when I asked myself, “What would someone who loved themselves do?” The answer was clear, “Buy the pen. Learn how to write with a fountain pen.” So that’s what I did. I was so excited. I also had to communicate with the shop clerk, who kindly showed me the ink I should buy and how to insert the cartridge into the pen.
When I was checking out, I noticed that the greeting card I had bought for my daughter was for the wrong age group. Normally, I would just buy it and not make a fuss, but then the question came up again, and of course the answer was, “Speak up and politely ask to exchange the card.” So that’s what I did. When I left the store, I felt so empowered. I felt as if I were walking on air and that all was right with my world.
To give you an idea of what a big deal the last thing was for me, I’ll tell you how I would have acted in that situation perhaps a week ago. I would have been standing at the register thinking to myself that I needed to exchange the card; I would then make an inventory in my mind of everyone standing around me and gauge whether or not my exchanging the card would inconvenience any of them, I’d also gauge whether or not the cashier was friendly and accommodating enough to make such a request. My tongue would feel thick and immobile. My mouth would feel as if I it were wired shut. A voice inside my head would be screaming, “Exchange the card, you idiot! Exchange the card.” But I would not dare risk inconveniencing anyone despite the fact that it would result in my purchasing a card I could not use.
Delving into the Shadows
I’m not sure how to describe the shadow work I did this morning. I cannot find the words to describe what I went through. It was unlike anything I have experienced in my life. I reintegrated a part of myself that was without language. I experienced everything as a sensation in the body and a voice in my head, and there was another level of sensation I have never felt before; it was akin to the feeling you get when you receive a much needed tight embrace.
I began the process at 5:19 in the morning. I began by closing my eyes and breathing in through my nose and out through my nose making sure not to take any unnecessary pauses. The mental chatter and auditory distractions were a constant challenge for me. My mind is always racing with thoughts, so it is really difficult for me to sit in silence inside my mind.
During this time, emotions flitting in and out of my perception, but I could not latch on to any of them, until finally, I felt fear. I grabbed on to that sensation and I stayed with it. I asked myself, “How do I feel?” I focused on how it felt. My heart beat fast, I felt tension on the tops of my arms, and I felt paralyzed.
After a time, I asked myself, “When was the last time I felt this exact feeling?” I was able to answer that question quickly, but when I asked the final questions, “When was the first time I felt this exact sensation?” it took some time. Until finally, I started feeling tension in my neck. I knew it wasn’t related to the present, so I stayed with that sensation. I couldn’t visualize anything, all I could do was focus on the sensation in my neck. Sitting there waiting for more information, I asked “What do you want to tell me?” Time past and then I had an urgent need to yawn. I supressed the need thinking it was a way to distract me from what was going on, and then a voice said, “Yawn.” So I did. The feeling in my neck transferred to a raw burning sensation in my throat. I yawned again. I could feel tears on my cheeks. Time past, and I yawned a third time. The tension in my neck and the burning in my throat persisted.
I asked “What do you want me to do?” I felt a need to relieve the pressure on my neck. I didn’t know what to do so I just imagined taking the tension away. Then I asked again, “What do you want me to do?” The voice said, “Hold me.” So, I did, but it wasn’t a sensation like wrapping my arms around something, it was more the sensation I get when someone gives me a really tight and loving hug. Then the voice said, “Embrace me. Absorb me. Take me in.” This sensation was indescribable. I sensed or perceived a light that swelled to fill my field of “vision” and then I opened my eyes. I was overwhelmed. I took several deep breaths saying “Wow,” several times. Then I wept with joy. “Thank you,” I said. Moments later, I uttered the words “Welcome back.”
It was a lot like a homecoming. It was such an awesome feeling. I wrote in my new journal with my new fountain pen, and I felt good. I felt and still feel a sense of peace.
This is the beginning of something entirely new for me. It has been so long since I have actually focused on myself, my needs, and my desires. I’m optimistic, but I can’t help thinking of all the what ifs
This whole thing is crap. Afterall, I found it on YouTube, how legitimate could it be?
People think I’m a total nut, and therefore lost respect for me?
A decision takes me to the wrong place?
I lose the people and things most precious to me?
I humiliate myself?
I end up the same person with the same issues, problems, and unanswered questions?
This is just a placebo?
To these doubts I reply,
Whatever comes of this journey, it is a lot better than just standing still.