Friday, May 19, 2006


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I have a hard time with the notion that we draw things to us that we need -- people, jobs, illnesses, and so on. At one level it makes perfect sense, but then my rational brain intercedes and waves the bullsh!t flag and, since it mostly runs the show, I dismiss such thoughts. Rational brain wants direct cause and effect, not karma, not intention, and not some mysterious power of psyche.

But then something happens that makes me reconsider the limitations of my little mind, which looks more and more just like my little ego.

Earlier this week, I had some nasty food poisoning. I wrote about the side effect here -- the emergence of my vulnerable child from the closet in which he was locked, with duct tape over his mouth to keep him quiet (kids are to be seen and not heard, or so I was taught).

That was a major step forward for me in itself. But what has followed has been a lot of the undoing I posted about this morning. It seems to come in waves when it comes, and it usually signals the sloughing off of old skin in preparation for new growth. It happened when I moved here from Seattle, and it happened big time when my sister and mother both passed away last summer.

When I am in this space, I feel like a raw nerve -- anything can make me cry. My emotions, which are normally so unavailable, are on the surface, and they can feel overwhelming. But I try to stay with the feelings when they come up, more secure in the knowledge that if given space, they will fade away as they are acknowledged.

The more mindful I am, the easier the process is. And then, one day, it will have stopped while I wasn't looking. But I will be left with more space in my life, fewer things standing in the way of my higher self. I'll be more calm and less reactive. I'll feel more grounded.

But not yet.

Right now I'm in the nigredo, as the alchemists call it. The chaos is an essential part of the process of coming undone.

Still, what I am left with is the awareness that my illness, physical as it was, might also have been something I needed in order to launch the next stage of my growth. My brain says, "Naw, bad food causes food poisoning. I didn't do this to myself."

But I still don't know what I ate that caused it, only guesses. What I do know is that I got sick for no good reason, and that being sick has opened me up in ways nothing else has. And that the opening is exactly what I have been seeking for more than a year.

Kira suggested that maybe my body was purging itself in order to clear the way for new information. She tends to see most or all sickness as an emotional thing before looking to the physical. I always do the opposite. This once, I have to concede that she may be right. I have no better explanation.

So today I am grateful for the mystery that is the bodymind. And I am grateful for the outcome of this week's illness. And I am grateful that I can admit that I don't have all the answers, even though it hurts to do so. :)

What are you grateful for?

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