Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Gem Fire Air
What Do You Do When You ‘Go Away’?
by marty kleva
What Do You Do When You ‘Go Away’?
You know what I mean . . . when you hear something that you’d rather not hear, or you read something that you don’t want to know about?
What do you do?
I know what I do. My eyes immediately glaze over and I retreat behind them. During this time, my mind gets fuzzy and I cannot focus.
And then — my body — it slowly tightens the reins on my muscles. My solar plexus begins to ache, and I can detect the awareness and warmth drain from my body. As they leave, I feel like an empty shell.
No one home to contact or connect with.
I know this well. I’ve had lots of practice to become aware of this in the past five years as I recovered from the devastating effects of the auto accident I had in 2000.
But the most important lesson I have learned is that the mind fuzziness, the lightheaded feeling I get when I cannot focus my attention, means that I am leaving my body again. Just like I did in the accident.
And the other main lesson I have learned is that when I am not in my body, I am not in charge of my life.
I have an agreement with myself that I will stay present to all that goes on around me in my world, and work through it, even as it may be painful and difficult to be with.
I will tell you what I have learned about to how to stay in my body, even when my instinct says there is a clear and present danger. You might want to join me here as I talk us through it.
The initial point is to bring my awareness to the fact that my body is breathing on its own. My chest is rising and falling. I hear the air pass through my nostrils, and feel the muscles of my torso as they expand and contract while I breathe in and out.
This brings me back in touch with my body, my body that has never left anything. It is my awareness that has left. And so I continue working this way, with my awareness. Always bringing it’s attention back to my breathing. I don’t have to do anything about the way I breathe. My body knows exactly how to do this of its own accord.
So I trust my body’s innate ability to breathe, until my awareness is synchronized with my natural breathing.
Once there, I know from experience that I will begin to feel totally fused and cohesive. I am my breath and my body, as one and the same. A union has occurred that locks me into a dynamic, living, breathing body.
It is a beautiful feeling. A warm feeling. A safe feeling, even as I am also aware of danger.
Once there, I begin to move the two together throughout my body, so that while staying in touch with my breathing, I expand my awareness to include other parts of my body, and I can feel my pelvis, hips, knees, ankles and feet — still breathing.
Then, as I move the awareness of my breath throughout, it is as though I am also breathing in and out, to and from all those parts, even as I know that the lungs are acting as bellows and the chemical laboratory for oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange.
I can feel my feet touching the ground or floor, my back expanding and contracting against the seat that I am sitting in, or the floor that I am lying on.
This can happen anywhere, in the grocery store checkout line, or in my own bedroom.
I breathe myself into total awareness with my body. And as I do, I become more centered within.
From here, I can take actions aligned and balanced within the integrity of my instinct as well as my intellect.
I have learned that during the traumatic impact of the accident, my soul was shattered . . . into millions of unrecognizable shards. It was as if a beautiful stained glass window had been blown out by an explosion, with the pieces strewn to the four directions.
To recover from the trauma, I’ve needed to learn how to call those shattered pieces of my soul back to me, and eventually fuse them back together again.
The practice that I shared with you above, the one of synchronizing my breath with my awareness, is called “Body Awareness Practice.” This is what I’ve used to help retrieve my soul pieces. I still use it daily to live my life as fully conscious as I can be.
So that now, after five and a half years, even though I may have retrieved them all, and that I have all the parts of who I used to be . . . can you see or understand that nevertheless, my makeup is different?
All the pieces could hardly fall back into the exact same place. And the fusing that takes place through the intensity of the healing process melds the facets of the soul together differently than it originally was. Breath awareness is integral to this fusing.
I decided early on after the accident that I would not judge who I turned out to be through this experience. And I chose to look upon it as a brand new adventure, for I have always been adventurous. That has not changed.
So I was embarked upon this healing journey with all its steep mountainous terrain, and boggy marshes, until finally, I believe that now, I am at the place I was previous to the accident.
And yet, I am also further advanced as respect to who or what I was then.
My abilities and priorities are different. I take more time for myself for one thing. I pay attention to my instinct that previously was deeply buried amongst a heap of logical thinking and left brain reasonableness.
Presently, my instinct is screaming, like an engine in downshift of a car going too fast.
In the past, that signaled me to leave and go to that shell of a place where my mind got fuzzy and I didn’t have to focus.
Today, I know that it will not serve my purposes, and I deal with the clenched fist in my gut and the ache in my heart.
For a situation has arisen within the past week. It began when I read Eric Francis’s blog last Friday on PlanetWaves, where he first brought up the subject of the newly awarded $385 million contract for Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR to build detention facilities for "an emergency influx of immigrants".
Only this is not a facility that will be built in Morocco, like the new interrogation and detention facility the United States is helping the government of Morocco to build for Al-Qaeda suspects near its capital, Rabat. (This news is according to western intelligence sources and reported by the UK Timesonline.)
No, this is a facility that will be built here inside the US. The question needs to be asked, what scenario could bring that amount of “immigrants”? From where?
I took note of Eric’s mention of it and decided I would come back to his request for any reader feedback after I had finished reading his blog.
But it was so funny, as things go, when I looked for the place to go back to after finishing, I couldn’t find it! So I let it go, but could not stop thinking about it or remembering that I had seen it.
It took me back to the various accounts and records I have seen and read in the last ten years about the facilities in my own area here in the southwest. And particularly when I lived in Colorado and regularly traveled a route that took me by a state prison. Early on, the prison was easy to see from the road, given the wide-open southwest terrain.
Years later, I realized one day as I drove by, that it had taken on a new look, and even a new feeling. It was larger, much larger. There were now many buildings, where before there were a few.
The expansion seemed to have sprung up overnight, yet I know that was impossible.
Then I began to hear some talk that I dismissed, talk of huge underground facilities far greater than those seen above ground: of state of the art everything, including a crematorium. This info was reportedly provided by workers, who helped build the facility. Of course I never met one of them, so I couldn’t say for sure about the truth of that information. And therefore, I did not say anything to anyone about this.
But I knew what I personally saw. And I knew what I felt.
A huge complex was now in place that spread out over the southwest desert. Where once there was a small nondescript sign announcing the entrance to the prison, now there was a major entry point that could not be missed. (Today it is touted as a “superplex” on a government affiliated web-site.)
And where once I might have barely noticed what I was feeling as I drove by it, the feeling became intense and foreboding. After that, I began to drive by another route, and I put it all aside.
So why am I bringing it up here, now?
Well as I said earlier, many things have changed for me since my accident. I see things differently, and my priorities have changed. My instinctual nature has become more keenly attuned, and as I said, it is screaming at me now to, “Pay Attention”, to “Wake Up!” to the realization that there is a threat on the horizon, that things are not what they seem to be . . . and that this time I had better stay in my body.
Today, I read Eric’s blog at PlanetWaves. . . and there he has a story sent in this morning by a reader, the mother of a four year old son telling us what he saw as they were recently riding by an old, worn-down looking “army village” in New York State.
You can read the account for yourself here. (Feb. 22 Where Do You Go?)
After I read the mother’s account, I sat stunned, and what flashed before my eyes were the thousands of four year olds who in past times were torn from their mother’s arms at the train stations full of “cattle cars”, and as the mothers were dragged away, their children screamed, “Momma, don’t leave me!”
So in my world, the bell has been rung . . . by a four year old.
Are you still with me on this after hearing the information above, sparse as it is . . . or was just hearing the word crematorium enough to have you go away? Or perhaps it even took reading the words of the children screaming for their mothers for you to leave.
I know very well that it took a lot for me to stay when I read that this morning.
What I used in order to stay present and not go away was the body awareness I shared with you above. As I did it, I became aware of the deep rage within my belly. Nothing can raise a mother’s rage more than a threat to one of her children, or any child for that matter.
That’s what I became aware of as I synchronized my breath and body.
Can I stand by and not say what I am aware of, when it might save one child’s life? Am I willing to be seen, regardless of whatever some will make of me, simply because I have pointed out the shadow of darkness that has great foreboding for this country’s future?
Do I not know that what the present administration says is not the same as their actions? Am I not aware, using past performance as a guide, that when this administration says they are planning to do something in the future that what they are really saying is that their mind is already made up and it is a done deal?
I am aware of the deep threat that I feel about the sordid intentions and Faustian agenda that others apparently have for those yet to be named, yet to called “immigrant.”
The bell has rung its warning. Who will heed?
Will we choose to stay, or will we ‘go away’?