Day 1 of the MFR II seminar and I feel the tension of so many new people in the room. This seminar has more people than Unwinding and I feel intimidated by the sheer number of people; I feel their minds working. I try softening my diaphragm. A little better.

Half way through the day, John demonstrates a three person technique. He asks for two therapists to go up. Donna starts walking up and I get a nudge from Dave sitting beside me to go up. Thanks Dave. I’m going. We work with two people. They are great and I have fun up there. I look into the audience and I see all the faces looking at John and the volunteer demo person. I can see them. They are clear.

During lunch I ask John what I can do about my racing and skipping heartbeat. It’s been skipping on and off for a year and has gotten worse in the last six months. It had dissipated after unwinding, but was getting progressively worse today. It was concerning me enough to mention it. He asked if he could to some work on it. I was hesitant, again, but agreed I needed it.

I laid down and he began to work. He starts with putting some ribs back in. Then some structural work. I was getting my first treatment from him since my Intensive in 2005. Back then, I was too far out of my body to feel and trust. “When you feel yourself going back in time, let yourself come back to the present”, he said. He does some work. I feel myself slipping back; tensing. “Are you in the present?” he asks right at that moment. I come back. “I’m trying”, I say. Then I fall into my body. “There you go”, he says. My body relaxes. “Soften even more,” he says. I do and then the waves come. Waves of emotion. I let them come and every time I stifle or hesitate, John dialogues and my walls come down. Crying, fear washing through me, movement to contract, softening, another wave of emotion, and another. A small sound escapes me. John echoes it. More crying and with it this time, the sound. I hear people walking into the room and instructors talking and organizing. John keeps me in the present and I let it happen. I am being seen, but it does not frighten me. I soften more and begin to tremor, then shake; my legs, my abdomen, my shoulders; more crying and sound comes out and I let it. Then my jaw shakes and my teeth chatter. “That’s it. Let your body shake”, John says. I do.

He has me roll onto my side. I feel safe. Sobs involuntarily escape me. “Sometimes, life is not fair”, he says. I hesitate. I have been thinking it is exactly what I must have asked for and that I am beyond this thinking. But my body does not lie and more sobs escape. My past, my story, flashes before me. I want to leave it behind and live. “I don’t want this”, I say out loud. This truth has me sobbing even more deeply. He pulls me in so my legs form a C around him. I feel cradled. It feels comforting. It feels so good. “I love you”, he says. “I love you too”, I say and sob some more. Yes, I really, finally, can feel that love coming into me and feel myself sending it back to him. Finally, I trust him. I must be in the present. “So much for getting on the stage”, I say to him. I had no idea that would happen. The unknown just broke me out of a pattern.

That night I have my first real sleep since coming to Troy.

Day 2 is much slower and calmer. I feel so much love for my MFR family.

I walk the tables more freely. My diaphragm is softer. At some point, I learn to trust my feeling sense of which tables to go to. My focus has widened. The blinders are off. The blindfold is off. I see.

The day before, John had mentioned maybe I could to go up for the sphenoid release demo. He will demonstrate with me up there, then have the therapists pair up and work while he does some work on me with the lights down. Today I ask to do this.

When the time comes, I am doing something in the back. I hear “where’s Patti?” from John. Yikes, better get my butt up there.

There is no hesitation. I walk right up and get on the table. I am even calmer than I have been on stage as yet. After the demo, John does the sphenoid release on me. “Stay here”, he says. “I’m trying”, I say. I get softer with his guidance. Then softer still. John is doing the most gentle work I have ever experienced. It is so soft. He does a dural release and then rebounds it. I feel my pelvis. “Let it feel good”, he says. I do, for a moment. It is a moment I have never had. After a few seconds it is too much and I shut down the feeling. More rebounding. I feel a wave. “Let me move you”, he says. I do, as much as I can. I feel the movement from the rape, but it is not scary because I am in the present. After being moved like a puppet by my kidnapper, this feels ok. I feel myself floating and rocking as if laying on top of water. It feels good. I let the feeling in for a few seconds. More rebounding side to side. I feel where I am not moving and it releases there. I notice my shoulders are less compliant than the rest of me. My head is randomly moving. It’s all good.

After he leaves I stay up on stage for a while, letting my body tremor and move a bit. Then a calm settles over me. It is no longer the calm before a storm, it is just calm. I get up and walk to the back. We are done for the day and people are packing up. I feel a different reality. I see people buzzing all around me, yet I am still and calm. Wow, is life really this agitated? The calm lasts. The calm is still here as I write this. I am not afraid to be seen. Thank you John.

I still love you. Now I see you.

Fear of Being Seen

facing fear

At some point I realized that I was terrified of going on stage at seminars as a demo. The fear was dominant and so, I avoided going up as a seminar participant.

Now that I have been onstage as an instructor and feeling scared but centered, then more comfortable, I am beginning to look more deliberately at this fear. Turns out, after some inner dialogue, that I am afraid of being seen. “What would happen if I was seen?”, I say to myself. I’m afraid I would be taken. I would disappear. This brings back the memory of being on my bike and being run off the road and kidnapped. If I hadn’t been seen, I wouldn’t have been taken. I feel fear, then hear John’s voice “let yourself be taken”. Yikes! After some thought and being so, so tired of being afraid, I am open to letting myself be taken, however that comes about; not knowing where that will go.

My diaphragm contracts, yet I put my words out on the MFR chatline in hopes of creating momentum in doing what I fear … being seen.

What does John say about day 2 of unwinding class? Chaos. With chaos surrounding me, I could feel myself slipping into an old familiar place of disconnection. But instead of getting lost in my old patterns, I pulled myself into the present long enough to be aware of what I was actually feeling. Then anxiety would overwhelm me and not wanting the expression of that to come out, I would do things to distract me from feeling. I could feel it building inside though. It wanted to come out. It wanted to be free.

Day 3 of unwinding class – integration of my goals. I reach out to the chat line, asking for help and receiving it. I was not expecting that. I mentioned to Dave at breakfast that I had posted on the chat. He said “I know”. I said, “oh shit”. I had not expected anyone at the seminar to be reading posts. Then, while we are walking between tables instructing, he purposely bumps into me. “Sorry, I didn’t see you.” He gives me a few more intentional bumps. Yeah Dave, I read you loud and clear.

Part way through a rotation of a three person unwinding at the tables, as I was walking between them, I came to a path that crossed John’s. I stopped. I knew our paths would cross. Hesitation. Avoidance. I waited for him to pass, then looked out on the tables to feel where I was needed next. Unexpectedly, I felt John’s arm wrap around me from the side, gripping me tightly. I was caught off guard. “I see you”, he said. I became aware my solar plexus was tight. He placed his hand on it. “You can soften now” he said. A wall comes down. I begin breathing deep and fast. “Don’t control your breathing”, he says. I let it go where it wants. Another wall comes down. He gives me permission to go with it. “Find a place to sit down”, he says. “Don’t worry about the tables.” I walk, wandering; feeling my way to where my essence needs to take me. I am being taken.

My essence takes me to the side of the stage where I sit. Then the thaw happens. Crying, shaking, then a feeling of coldness leaves me. I cough violently; gagging on nausea rising up. I let the feeling go through me again and again. John comes over and puts his arm around me again. “You are having a quantum shift”, he says. “Stay with it.” He leaves and I go on. The physical responses subside and I am stood up by my essence. I walk a circuitous path which takes me to the back of the room. Then it says “leave now”, so I do. I walk out the door into the lobby. I walk right up to a mirrored door and look into myself. My eyes look old and dark. I begin to cry. Seeing myself cry without looking away I look ugly. I hear a door opening from the seminar room and I panic and walk towards a distant washroom. I walk in and there is also a full length mirror in there. I look into myself again. Same ugly crying. Then, I soften my focus and step back. Still crying, I look beautiful. Which one is real? Both. Neither. I let the waves of crying come, continuing to look. Curious.

I walk back into the seminar room. John is reading The Scared Little Boy and the Warrior. I feel the words – they sting. So familiar is the warrior. So familiar is the scared little boy. Then he reads the final sentences:

“The boy frightened and in tears stepped from behind the wall,

not sure of what to do he looked frantically around.

Then he heard the Warrior whisper.

“Be yourself and you’ll be fine.”

Tears rolled down his face,

as he watched the warrior die.

But the warrior smiled as he watched the boy begin to live.”

My body begins to tingle and grow warmer. I want to live too. Out from behind the wall.

Dave and I then pair up for the two person seated unwinding. I go first. I start sitting, then push myself to standing slowly. Anger erupts and Dave is there with a pillow. I walk into it, pushing hard. My voice yells loud and deep. I am pushing my kidnapper away. Then with a final shove I turn and walk away. I walk away from my past. I walk away and my fear of him is left behind. I keep walking and my essence takes me to the stage again. Right before I get there I stop. The gravity of walking away from my past hits my fearful self. Am I ready? The urge to move forward is too strong for my fear and I start walking again onto the stage; right to the table and I stand in front of it. More emotion comes up and I let it go through me. In the dark, I can see the crowd of people clearly. I rotate my body to one side, then the other and notice how little range I have. My world is not much beyond a set of blinders. My peripheral vision is a place of fear. The place where the car came up to me on my bike and ran me off the road. I stay up there until the waves of fear dissipate and I become calmer standing and looking out at the crowd. I am more comfortable there now. I leave the stage.

Next, the group does an on the floor self unwinding followed by an inner journey. My body is moving freer. Emotion and sound is coming more easily than ever before. I hear more words than I have ever heard when John talks us through the inner journey. A little girl appears to me and takes my hand. The younger me. She is smiling and happy. She whispers in my ear “I’m ok. You can rest now.” I see myself outside of myself. I see the little girl looking on the older me with compassion and innocent joy. I see her looking down at the older me like a child comforting an adult. She is perfectly confident and undisturbed by what she sees in me. I realize that I am not hurting her by having her see me like this. I relax and let her take me. I hear John say “find what you are passionate about”. The little girl, still leading me by the hand, sits me at a table. She puts a pen in my hand. She wants me to write. My left arm begins to tingle; it gets stronger and stronger. I am shaking all over. Waves of tremors move through me. I don’t want to do what she is asking, but the innocence of her request is too much to ignore. The feel of her holding the pen in my hand and the calm joy in her request are burned into my body memory. It is too strong to ignore.

Later that night, as the instructors are having dinner, I am feeling all kinds of sensations I have never felt before. I take the time to notice the feeling of each one. Remembering. John asks “are you all right or are you still processing?” I am both.

Still later into dinner, I look at John’s profile beside me. I think, ‘I can’t believe I’m here’. I did not think I would be alive to witness this moment. I could not believe I was sitting, looking at the profile of the man who started me on my path to living. Waves of gratitude washed through me. How do I thank him for that. It is so big. How do I thank John for saving my life? The tears come now as I write this. Feel this John. Feel my gratitude. See me living. See me free. See me sharing my experience in my writing and speaking. This is what I am here to do.

Thank you John. I love you.