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.