Tag Archives: healing

Experiencing ‘Other’

12 Dec

I meditate a lot. At least an hour a day. It’s really been ramping up lately too – the call to meditate is loud now, as opposed to a quieter time when it seemed more like a choice. For me, meditating is listening deeply. I do not necessarily quiet my thoughts or use a breathing technique. I just show up, and usually ‘IT’ shows up as well. I usually experience a quiet state of relaxation and often will get impressions, mainly in words or ideas that I write down if I need to. Not a lot of color, not a lot of detail. The calm I experience walks with me and lingers behind me in indescribable ways. (I think this feeling-state is what St. Patrick was describing – using the words that made sense of it to him – a feeling of presence surrounding you anyway you look at it.)

I meditate mainly because I think it helps. For me locally, and for the world in general. Basically I figure that if I’m in a feeling state of internal kindness and warmth, I am also emoting that vibration out into our collective breathing space, making it a little easier for someone else, including myself.

Today, I tried something new.

Background: In previous classes and groups, we have discussed postures and their effect on ourselves, demonstrated it with Vanessa’s horses, and intended a class structured around ancient power postures. No wonder this book caught my eye at Half Price. Got it Sunday, started reading it last night. Had my first encounter today.

The Book: The Ecstatic Experience, Healing Postures for Spirit Journeys

Authors Belinda Gore and (Felicitas Goodman) open a door to ‘Other’, believing that we as humans are hardwired to connect with it. (Mystics, shamans, and ancient peoples practiced this same living, totally available technology) Ritual postures create a ritual bodyspace. An amazing, ‘no brainer’ (as in no thinking) – all feeling, smelling, touching,tasting, intuition, body, senses, sensual -based feminine/body-oriented) totally experiential way to engage ‘Other’. Yum. Seriously.

Here is what ‘happened.’  wrote down my impressions after a 15 min experience:

My tribe. Men. Glorious dancers – red body paint – shoulders

                                                          chest, face

                                               with white stripes on face,

                                                          under eyes

dancing. Around me.

Looking at me.

Wanting me to recognize them –

My little brother – the drum- also my son,

     dancing, hooting, strutting head thrown back howling

in wolf fur.

       I’m out of shape, losing form – healing me

      They are healing me

    removing my disguises

      it will take time they say

     Sitting there absorbing in this posture.

Blessing me, the hot sun warm, the rattle

     the drumming of the feet, the boots – moccasins

     with beads red, white some blue. Fringe.

  Good boots. I had boots like this. I am one of them.

They are my tribe. They are re-cognizing me thru all

          my disguises – and they are willing me to re-member

them. They Keep looking at me, so surprised to see me

show up like this. One really keeps interrupting his dance

(they have drums) to peer at me, as if I were barely recognizable

But once they recognized me they were laughing – little brother, son

     knew it was me straight away though. They’re laughing delighted


23 Feb

What do you do when a child of 14 ends her life?

What do you do as your daughter, in tears wonders and wished that she could have, might, have done something, anything, if only…if only she would have known, if they had been better friends…or what about the other kids at school, the kids that are well, different, she says kids are really mean to them. She tells me about a boy that was called horrible names that day at school.  ‘Mom?  Kids were teasing him- I could have stuck up for him…mom… I didn’t. Why didn’t I?’

My heart breaks, my heart aches for this girl that I didn’t know, breaks for her parents, for her family… they have nothing today but pain and unfathomable loss…my rage at the kids who bullied her because she was ‘different’. Really? Aren’t we all striving to be individuals? To make our mark by being different? Unique? Isn’t that a big message from our culture?

And yet, I have compassion for the pain, the suffering that these ‘bullies’ have- the no-inside, the lack of sacred space, of any kind of belief that life is precious, sacred. That they themselves are acting out of terrible pain. As my daughter points out- ‘we have all these anti-bullying talks and pep rallies. But they don’t work…’  She looks back over her brief 17 years and cites examples that she feels regret about, people that she could have been far nicer to, people she could have advocated for. I’m proud of her. I think this might be a choice point for her. For her life.

The one thing this other girl hasn’t got.


I’m angry, sad, confused.

I want to agree with my daughter, that this could have, should have been avoidable. When you think of people that die for their beliefs, I don’t typically think of 14 year old girls. But I can imagine some of those beliefs: I’m different. I don’t fit in. It isn’t worth it. Did she think any of these thoughts? I don’t know for sure.

But I am ashamed that this can, and does happen. In her obituary it states that she was a student, artist, singer, and master of the ukulele. Sounds like someone I would have liked to have known.

I have another website- The Journey. Art for Healing. www.journeyartforhealing.com It sits unattended. My husband asked me a couple weeks ago what I was doing with it. He wanted to post some picture of my art class’ artwork at Le Petit Marche where I staged a gallery display –opening and all for my class, a group of 7 – 11 year old budding artists. We had a huge turn out on opening night- much to the amazement and delight of these kids. These kids come to my house after school on Thursdays and we do art. This is the sign that is still up on the wall for that art display.

art class description.indd

 I do not want to fall into the knee-jerk reaction of “I have to DO something’. But I am already here. And I think I see a way to help. But I’d like to add practicality to my initial gut reaction.

I want to form a group. An Art for Healing group. At the high school level, where these kids need an advocate, a mentor, someone to encourage them in their uniqueness and someone to just be a friend.

As an artist, I believe that I can reach this group of kids who feel different, outside. I get them. I know what that feels like. I already teach, already had the intention of this business, Art for Healing, and now have an opportunity. Two years ago, I intentionally decided to not set up The Journey: Art for Healing as a nonprofit. But it is registered as a business.

 Where your talents and the need of the world intersect…there is your vocation.


So here I am. I’d really appreciate your comments/ideas/thoughts. I honestly don’t know what this could look like, or how it will practically come about. All I know is that there is a need here. And I am here.

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