I’ve Moved but I’m Still Here!

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From uhaulstory.com, and the story of my move…

My practice has moved! After a million years, I have moved out of my dear office suite and have moved north. They say north is the place of mystery and now I live there! Hello, mystery!

Here is my new office address: 1019 21st St. Anacortes, WA. 98221

Now, if you are a Facebook friend, you may have noticed that I have a fundraiser happening through Together Rising, to raise money to keep great lawyers working on bringing the children back to their families who are at the border. I’m doing this so I don’t do ‘irrational’ things, like drive down to Arizona, pick up all the children who are without their parents, and hand deliver them myself. Staying active during this personal and cultural trauma happening is the only way we will move towards healing and not get stuck in the horror. Doing a fundraiser, for now, will suffice. I mention this because I’m GIVING AWAY MASSAGES EVERY WEDNESDAY THROUGH AUGUST. All you have to do is donate to my fundraiser. I find this to be a win-win for all of us. It gives me something to do with my hands besides wringing them. And, if you are like most of the people living around you, YOU COULD USE A MASSAGE.

But I’m far away from my dear clients on Whidbey! And those here in Anacortes don’t know me yet! What a great time to come see me then! A visit from an old Whidbey friend or meeting a new Anacortes client….get on in here!

I hope you’ll consider coming in and helping these children get home to their families at the same time. I look forward to seeing you. Questions? Just click the ‘contact me’ tab above and fill out the one time form. I’ll get your message right away! And thank you!

A Message for Those Who Lost Their Inner Compass

North Star Speaks

Between the inky black universe and the crisp white explosion of stars, an infinite number of possibilities begin. Grab them, any one of them, it doesn’t really matter. Wherever you start is exactly right.

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The Sombrero Galaxy

The gravitational pull will lead you home, vibrations in your spider web bones. 0b3d71954a6acf381b084cbb2bc59910--leap-of-faith-have-faithIt feels like a first kiss, or Christmas, or a dip in an icy lake after a hot day, or seeing a whale off to starboard, grand body so quiet it cracks you open inside. This pull you are following is your destiny. But destiny is not pre-determined. Destiny shapes as you form words to articulate this longing. Your Stillness finds Itself emerging into words and, like rungs in a ladder, your next steps materialize. Follow this. It is just for you, a world created as you are creating. It leads you home. Don’t fret, love, it will lead you home.

 

The isolation you made for yourself to feel safe is a lie. Break through the walls you are trapped behind. Reach your hand out to grab another’s. Feel the power of wanting to be reached in the strength of your grip. It’s okay to want help. Take this journey with loving hands at your back, holding your weight when you stumble, smoothing the worry lines from your face, massaging the tension from your shoulders. Ground yourself in the help of others, your oasis of rest. Receive their loving touch and let it melt your bonds. Move freely. We are never meant to travel alone for the entirety of our journey. That’s the secret I can offer you. Write these helpers in to your story. They don’t know they are in your play. Cast them so they can find their gifts in being your ally.

beach-best-friends-bff-blonde-Favim.com-1859745And then, you will find yourself in a place of disconnect. It will feel dark and lonely. It is the natural way of things to come to this place, so call on your allies to meet you when you come out. You will come out of this, dear one, don’t worry. It only feels like you won’t. Sometimes we swing so far away from our pull, we feel like we are lost. You aren’t. It is your aphelion. The blackness out in that part of the universe awaits its own storytelling. You will feel the gravitational pull again, reminding you that you were never ever separated from the perfect alignment that makes up the galaxies.

 

 

A Gift to You: A Vilanelle

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The gift comes to you in the end

As all life’s sagas will cease with you

The one you hate becomes your friend

How can this be? This rage intend

Your righteous justice, a one person coup

The gift comes to you in the end

The accusations that must be fend

An enemy will do what they always do

The one you hate becomes your friend

The mirror looks like it might bend

To walk inside the enemy’s shoes

The gift comes to you in the end

The light and dark of life will blend

It’s grace and love that will accrue

The one you hate becomes your friend

If you hate the other, take your cue

It’s your choice to end the rue

The gift comes to you in the end

The one you hate becomes your friend

A Taste of my Own Medicine

 

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Homeopaths don’t usually look like this

Last week I went to a homeopath. Do you know what they are? Pellet pushers. Tiny, tiny pellet pushers being pushed by tiny people. Tiny people in tiny clothes eating tiny lunches. Unless they are of a certain age, and then they are tiny people in enormously billowy clothes, eating tiny lunches. Like all alternative medicine people, their look and lifestyle is the marketing. You wouldn’t, say, go to an alternative medicine person if they had teeth missing, for instance. They think that you want to go to someone who radiates who you aspire to be. The marketing says, ‘You, too, would be living la vida loca if only you did what I did. Eat tiny pellets and you could be just like me, all wise, spiritually serene, naturally good looking and tiny’.

 

The pellets are so easy! They taste like candy. It’s not like that hardcore Chinese medicine. No sir. That shit is for real. They have nothing that tastes like candy, not even the candy. Chinese medicine is like gargling your yard. So, no thank you, I am having too much of a hard time with what I’m already dealing with. I don’t need to choke anything more down. I want easy.

 

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This is what a freaked out mother looks like….

 

So, I’m happy to try this homeopath because one, I will get to have sugar pellets, but also because the treatment looks at the whole person. I need what I am going through to resolve in its entirety, so if the person can give me pellets to change the past, I am in! My past needs a good talking to, and I know there’s a name for doing that. What’s it called? Oh, right. It’s called therapy. I don’t have time for that right now. No, I’m desperate, like many of us who decide to try a new alternative medicine route. I need something new to believe in, not something old to process. Yuck. I’d rather clean out my toilet. You know why? Because at this point, I haven’t slept in three weeks. If someone so much as looks at me wrong, I want to either go flail my arms around in anger or flail them in sadness. Either way, I want to flail.

 

I had hopes for this homeopath who came so highly recommended. So, you can imagine my reaction when she came out in her caring-but-only-on-the-outside front. It was her handshake. Why is it that so many alternative medicine people have shitty ass handshakes? What’s wrong with meeting people in the physical world from time to time? I ask you? And then, she didn’t even shake my wife’s hand and that’s a big no-no. You don’t meet a lesbian couple and only shake one of their hands. Everybody knows that. Other than a random dead body being present in the room as an excuse, you need to shake both of the peoples’ hands. It’s just nice. Also, because we are both women, you don’t know which one of us is playing the boy part, who pays for the appointment. So just cover your bases. JUST KIDDING! There’s no boy part to play! But can I tell you just how many people I’ve met who actually think that? I suppose this is a cultural learning process. Some are just faster at realizations like this than others. No shame in it, but let’s just speed it up.

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This sucks

This leads me to another reason I am turned off by this woman. It’s her thinness masked as healthy. Does she have celiac? Probably. How do I know? Because she is hinting towards that kind of diet. I don’t have the celiac. Not every damn body does well on a gluten free diet. The Chinese proverb fits; ‘When you are a hammer, everyone looks like a nail’. So stop hammering on. Not EVERY kid is going to need to be dairy free for the rest of their lives, even if they have an ear infection. Which was another reason we went to see her. Yes, I went for my son, but I was hoping for compassion from her in which she sees the whole family as part of the healing process. My family of five is like a whole galaxy, and yes, I’m including my two kitties. Don’t even think I wouldn’t. We move based on the magnetic pull and movement of each other. It’s a beautiful dance…until it isn’t. Right now we are like the white guy dancing 80s style, all stiff and no rhythm, with the arms doing some kind of pumping action. It looks and feels uncomfortable and clunky. How is it that I’m missing the beat? This sucks.

The homeopath did one last thing. She made me cry. Oh, I know. No one can MAKE you do anything. Let’s just say, with a kid being sick for three weeks and getting no sleep, I could’ve used more understanding and listening and less blame throwing. Like flame throwing except it keeps burning through like shame. Blame, shame, flame thrower lady, you are NOT HELPING. Then, she started giving me nutritional advice. I have a certification in nutritional therapy but when I told her that, it was like I was speaking quietly to myself. She wasn’t listening. She just kept talking. The issue was cow’s milk for baby. Yes, I give my kid whey protein formula. Well, she heard that one. She put her pen and clipboard down, spoke slowly for dramatic purposes I guess, and explained how babies, or any human, should not be on cow’s milk. Ever. “So, do you have recommendations for what to give him that will have comparable nutritional value?” I asked her three times during her milk hating rant. Finally, she replied. ” If you really need to give him something white to drink, try coconut milk”. What? Why would I be hell bent on the color of his drink? I pressed giving her our history again, to help, so she interrupted by saying that she, “only had 17 years’ experience to back her up”. What? I’m just trying to TELL YOU SOMETHING! How does your defensiveness help me? Then, she asked if we vaccinated. Well. That’s always the card that gets thrown down in the alternative medicine world as to whether you are a true member or not. That, and stretchy, organic cotton clothes. And being vegan. And herbal tea. And tiny lunches with kale, with apple cider vinegar for dressing. I happen to like vinegar for dressing, but it’s all or nothing, sister. You’re either in or you are out.

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She gave us some sugar pellets at the end but never informed us what it was. We left angry, disheartened and like we should have been doing more than we were. I gave the pellets to my son anyway in the parking lot after the visit, and he eventually got better, but only after he projectile vomited the entire contents of his stomach, including the sugar pellets. My son has a way of getting the message across.

 

Swimming

There is a place in me where, like the dawn, light and darkness meet. Is that true? Am I remembering this, or feeling its truth?

ocean-waves-water-light-warren-keelan-29.jpgI signed up for a spiritual writing course. Not being a joiner, this was a leap of faith. I wanted something to push me, and help me make more sense of the world around me. The exercises in the class pushed me further than I thought there was universe. The lessons, I thought, would be wrapped up after the class was over, but apparently not. It keeps insinuating itself, even after the last class, which makes me feel like a flayed hunk of flesh washed up on a Mediterranean dock at high noon. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. There was a whole swimming experience that I enjoyed while doing the writing exercises, before my beached carcass appearance.

 

This writing sends me flailing in to the beautiful, sparkly sea, but during one of my soul-searching swims, I have inadvertently gotten pushed in to a riptide. I know I am supposed to go with it. I know I’m supposed to stop fighting it. I’m even telling myself, “Stop fighting it! Just let go!” I am stronger than I think I am and fight myself harder and harder. It’s because I don’t want to go further out in to the deep water. It’s scary there and I can’t see the bottom. “Trust me! It’s going to be okay,” I hear myself say but the fear is choking the air out of my lungs and my diaphragm is in permanent lockdown. I need air. I need air! I take a deep breath and it only calms the surface waters. I take another breath and it calms further down. The next breath, I am curious if I will feel calmer, still. I do. I feel my mind wanting to mix this feeling with the panic. I breathe. I remember that noticing the breath is one way to come in to presence. Another way is to sense in to the body. I stay with my breathing, knowing that if I have too many choices I will choose none and stay in the panicky area of my mind. My breath holds me in its rapture but I can still see the ocean, or rather sense being in it. I’m floating out. Here I go. I can feel the ocean’s weight, heavier the further out I go with the tide. I can hear the water lapping at itself. I breathe and feel my chest asking for deeper breaths. I take one, and then another. I stay with it, even though I want to write to you something else. I stay breathing here because this is where I need to be right now. I feel the clutching of the things I want to think about, to take me anywhere else where I can control the course of things, and I breathe again, not breathing them away but breathing as if I am alive right this moment, as if I am being born for the first time and breathing my first breath of air, enjoying this being alive while everything else becomes the fleshing out to this bone hard fact. This living is a verb.

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I’m writing to you, dear sweet you, from my heart to yours. And I’m offering you my little orange life vest, if you need it. I know something has thrown you off course, maybe a little or maybe a lot. Life is good, it’s just that something is shoving your face in the murky, foamy water and you can’t see the horizon at the moment. It’s okay. There’s nothing to truly be afraid of. Let go. You will find the horizon again. You will know exactly where to look. Breathe. It will bring you back. But most of all, trust. What you are seeing is part of the goodness, even when it doesn’t feel like it. I’ll be here with you, holding the rope to your buoy. Just grab it to remember that you are not alone.

From Fear to Self-Authoring

Bridging Between Bodywork and Focusing Part II:
From Fear to Self-Authoring
Taught by Anastasia Brencick & Jack Blackburn
Saturday Sunday January 23-24 (9am-6pm) $280

Click here to register

Hi there! We want to welcome you to take one of our Focusing and Bodywork Bridging classes/series if:

  • You feel something more is wanting to emerge in your practice with clients that includes realms of emotional content and/or spiritual growth using touch and non-touch approaches, but you don’t know what that would look like
  • You want to find a language to support and encourage the integration of mind/body/spirit and the client’s own inner process in a natural, non-formulaic way
  • You know bodywork and verbal interaction have so much more to offer; something fresh and not yet done before, and you have a sense of how you might be a part of it. Anastasia and Jack

From Jack: Dear Ones, Since last August Anastasia and I have been exploring the different connections between professional touch and Focusing. We both taught at the international Focusing Conference in Seattle last summer. We wanted to create a forum where non-touch therapists and bodyworkers could exchange processes together to see how much both groups could learn from each other. Both Anastasia and I have been teaching elements of Focusing to bodyworkers to help them with verbal interaction with their clients. Over the past ten years or so non-touch therapists have been exploring somatics and proprioceptive interactions with their clients along with such body sensing techniques as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). At the same time bodyworkers have been exploring connections between conscious awareness, proprioception, somatic or sensory awareness and fascial connective tissue as a profound communication system distributed throughout the whole body. These explorations by both groups are moving us towards a final mind-body solution in which we can realistically posit a direct connection between thoughts, actions, emotional states and bodily health.

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A thought passes….

As bodyworkers we are now aware of various signs and symptoms of what we might call fear in the body. We can feel the direct inhibitory effects of fearful states in the body and mind as a direct experience of our clients’ and our own growing edges. So part of this second class in our series is first to explore the effects of fear in our own bodies; where is the fear; what does it feel like; how is fear related to pain and discomfort; what are the patterns of interaction in other parts of the body; and what other thoughts and memories are generated in the mind? We will then discuss what bodyNOWpresencing is so that we can use it in those fear-imbued body parts and notice the effects of presencing on pain and fear. We will practice on ourselves, with partners, and have a discussion about fear in general: what are the effects of chronic fear in our bodies; what fears have been passed down through our own family lines; what parts of our lives have been inhibited by fear; What would we do differently if we were not living fearfully; Do we sense that we have much more fulfilling life to live; Are our fears realistic or are they products of the fact that we humans are the only species that live in fear of one another; Are our fears of one another intrinsic or are they extrinsic; What role can bodyworkers and Focusers play in relieving ourselves and our clients of fears?

unnamedJoseph Campbell: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
ACIM Quote: “I am responsible for what I see.
I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goals I would achieve.
And everything that seems to happen to me
I ask for, and receive as I have asked.”
If we are creating our own experiences – What are the implications? What does it feel like to be meaningfully alive?

Considering the above quotations as true means that when we realize that we have a role in creating the life we are experiencing, we can then choose to play that role actively or passively. Does life happen to me? Does life happen through me? We can then learn the ways to play that role, starting by assuming responsibility forour own thoughts, and their effects.. What do we mean by responsibility?

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Using Focusing during a bodywork session: The Dialogue of Touch

In this part of the class we will measure our experience when we use the steps of Focusing and bodyNOWpresencing to go deeply into our conditions of pain and fear both individually and with partners. If we discover that we really can transform fears into useful and non-stressful actions then perhaps we can consider authoring our lives differently. Certainly it is worth a try to apprise our fears and our actions more knowingly; testing the bases of our fears. As we spend more time using our body sensory systems to train ourselves to dwell in presence, we become more open to the following effects of presencing: In presence we notice the difference between our fearfully conditioned thought patterns, where we search our memory banks for causes of our fearful state, and using these conditioned thoughts to assess our present situation. Instead we have the option to focus on a process that unfoldsas we use the tool of bodyNOWpresencing in order to enter a state in which the eternal now opens us up to all possibilities. As we IN-form ourselves with the effects of now-processing we are freeing our minds and bodies from the fearful conditioning of the past, which we explored earlier in the class. We are also opening ourselves to a non-reactive state of being in which we are free to choose our directions free from inner or outer coercion.

How can we develop self-authoring? Basic practices:

  • Authoring my day using Focusing and/or presencing
  • Co-creating with deep Self, practicing and learning throughout day
  • Learning to invite Inner Being to help/teach me my specific role in creation
  • Reviewing my day and giving thanks
  • Participating in making life better
  • Pausing for meaning
  • Participating in Presence – gifts and signs of presence
  • Active inner life – watching/feeling my reactions and sensations throughout the day

Healing work – As I learn self-authoring I pass it on. With these new-found possibilities we can start to become aware of the following effects of bodyNOWpresencing in our lives: We start to become aware of the signs and gifts of presencing. We also become much more aware of our ego-based feelings of guilt, shame, blame, and competition that attend our machinations. On the other hand we are more and more attentive to inner guidance that produces states of peacefulness, clarity, a sense of destiny and mission, to become co-creative with all of life and especially in reversing our human fear of one another and our distrust of life.

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Here is a quote: from Thích Nhất Hạnh echoing he Buddha’s teachings in his book No Death, No Fear,

“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only doors through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”