Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Looking Forward and Back

When I read Joan Didionʼs The Year of Magical Thinking, there were many lines which stood out for me. Lines which I still chew on and even live inside my cells. The one I wish to address right now is this: “The way I got sideswiped was by going back.”
I found that to be very true for me. True because I was attached to wanting specific answers which there was no way I was ever going to get. The reason for this had a lot to do with my approach and a lot to do with whom I approached. I was going back to old relationships with people who had shut the door, people who had caused serious damage to my heart. And even though I had asked to open up each conversation with full accountability of my own parts, I kept going back to people who simply were not willing to go to difficult places with me.
I have a strong need to heal. I am fiercely committed to that process. But as one of my teachers pointed out to me, “Jill, you cannot heal while you are being raped.”
What I am coming to realize is that I gave my power away to every relationship in which the other person left with no explanation. The “no explanation” part not only hurt me, chipped away at my soul, triggered first chakra wounding, but I gave all of my power away to it in believing in some sort of justice system. Meaning, that I believed I was owed an explanation. And that I believed an explanation would help me to move on. This is where I was continually getting sideswiped and where I was hemorrhaging into my past.
I gave my power over to the pain of being left over and over. Because I didnʼt know any other way. That wound was an open one and it stayed open and I stayed wounded.
The question “WHY DID YOU LEAVE?” Simply kept me in pain and kept me powerless.
And every time the long list of people I asked to have that difficult conversation with me slammed the phone down or slammed the door, as brave as an act of approaching it was, the slam caused more damage to me and gave me another opportunity to choose to remain powerless.
I have asked myself- can I handle a shift in power? And what that means to me is to truly SURRENDER.
Flash forward. I approached Jessica Boylston-Fagonde who has created a method called Brand Thyself ( which is an exploratory process of getting to the heart of yoga teacher's offerings.  Jessica and I have known each other for several years and as the years had passed and we had each been growing and evolving, I wanted to know more about her work.
As we began our work together, Jessica asked me many questions. And she DID ask me to go into my past. But one of the things she did was she asked me to call upon my old students and ask them to share with me what distinguished me from other teachers which caused them to keep coming back to my classes.
The responses I have been receiving have opened me deeply. They are reflections of aspects of myself which I offered with my full self in a way that was fully seen.
And what I recognize here is that in this exercise (one of at least 10, the rest of which I have to do on my own), given the fact that I have been out of commission due to my recent back to back surgeries, is although I have had to “go back,” I was in no way sideswiped. Everything about this exercise opened me up. Humbled me, opened me, lifted me up and brought me back to the essence of who I know myself to be.
Part of that is because the question was directed about my very essence, but part of the credit goes to Jess because of knowing which questions to ask.
The entire session was just like this.
If there was pain, she didnʼt ask for the “story” of the pain, but she was clear about not denying it. She would ask for pointed words or essential phrases to understand the landscape of the area of pain. This gave her an entry point to offer that once that pain was healed, once I am able to get to an empowered side of that experience, that I will be able to use that experience in countless ways to be of service to help others.
When she asked me what I am most passionate about as a teacher to speak about?
I welled up with tears and without hesitation, said, “Transformation. When I see it happening in front of me. When I see it happening slowly over time. Or when I learn of a story of deeply inspiring transformation and I cannot stop myself from sharing it.”
Without a momentʼs hesitation, she responded by saying, “Look at your own stories of transformation. Write them down. You must.”
This was how she handled every question with me. Because her viewpoint is so clear. “When you wake up, I wake up.”
There is so much to say here. I barely even know how to say it. But I have known Jessica for a long time. And we spent our most concentrated time together (during a two week training), we were both facing a crisis. She turned hers into something deeply powerful, just as I name here. I have been trying to heal mine by continually using my mind to understand it. And I recall Caroline Myss saying once, “You canʼt rely on the mind itself for you to do the healing that you need when the mind itself needs healing.” Ironic, eh?
Iʼve written about this often. Step by step, for me it requires surrender. Complete and utter surrender.
This looking back which Jessica asked of me was a way into myself which is helping me look forward. Which helps me use all parts of myself, helps me truly integrate the whole person, whether she is fully healed or not. But whole. Integrated. Here right now. Grateful.
Conscious. Listening. Ready to write a new biography. 
With love.

Jill Bacharach

No comments:

Post a Comment