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It is quite amazing how little adjustments can make a huge difference.

Since I returned from Canada, I have gone through my nursing school books and notes and I recycled hundreds of pages which were just sitting on my shelf gathering dust. By moving all of those nursing books further away (because I am heavily leaning towards not going back to finish nursing), I felt a massive burden lift off my chest and shoulders. It was wild. I had been sitting with the dilemma of whether or not to go back and attempt nursing school again, for 8 months! And by sorting through that stuff, I made the decision on a somatic level. My head is still is a little wonky about it – I suspect a double bind is rearing its ugly head saying, “If you aren’t successful, people won’t respect you.” Or some such garbage – who cares about other people’s respect? I want for me to be content first and foremost. Then I might concern myself with other people’s reactions.

And I have been avoiding (consciously) an old acquaintance who, in the past, when I spent time with him, I always felt something was off. Turns out that his boundaries are not the greatest. The I Ching occasionally points out that spending time around people who are too resistant to change or to learning is a massive energetic drain. Any good psychology teacher would say this too. And that is what was happening with this person. I care about him and his family, but I am no longer going to spend one-on-one time with him and bring myself back to an earlier pattern of superficiality in the pretense of an authentic relationship. I am done twisting myself up into a pretzel to fit in with a tension field which I have no control over. In other words, when I feel certain somatic signals, it is time to get myself out of Dodge. I realize this paragraph might not make the greatest amount of sense if you don’t have a somatic background, but feel free to leave a comment if you need clarification.

Nonetheless, by clearing out stagnating energy or people from my life, I have made room for ease and grace and abundance. Nothing to force, nothing to make, nothing to tees into existence. I am (mostly) content with the way things are. Yes some days I still want things a certain way, but eventually I remember this simple practice:

Body rests like a mountain.

Breath like the ocean.

Heart like the sky.

(from Julie Henderson, PhD)

Thanks for reading!

May all beings know ease and grace.

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This is some of the wisdom I gleaned from my time in Canada, where I spent 2-weeks at a birth process work intensive workshop. Then I taught a 3-day workshop on Salt Spring Island on working with babies (primarily from a Craniosacral perspective, but we definitely included a lot of Polyvagal tracking of the autonomic nervous system and wisdom and techniques from the birth process work / pre- and perinatal therapy arena). I realize that previous sentence might have a few words in it which could be unpacked. See below for links.

First of all, I have been studying bodywork since 2003 starting with Reiki energetic healing.  Every year or two, I added another modality to my repertoire, including Zapchen Somatics, Spiritual Astrology, Craniosacral Therapy (both biomechanical and biodynamic), Polyvagal work, birth process work, etc. Such that, for the past 12 years or more, I have mostly been heading toward appropriate self-care and moving toward health. I have been confronting patterns of stagnation, depletion and negativity along the way. And what this all means is that, even if I wanted to avoid health, right now that would be difficult. I have a full Jupiter return of health and well-wishing toward myself under my belt. In other words, I don’t exactly know what is next for me, but I know it will be good. I am not bragging – I still have my ups and downs. But when we put the causes and conditions into place, we can (mostly) control the result.

I really deepened my awareness of the energetic field while in Canada. Now, it did not all come at once – I have pretty much been able to sense these things in the past, but now I am very confident in my ability to discern what is mine from what is arising in the field. I am able to name what I am sensing, and I am now quite accurate, which is awesome. What does this mean? Here is an example: maybe I am working on someone (bodywork), they have had several sessions with me and they are looking to deepen their experience. I am hearing a good mother message in my mind. See the Ray Castellino or Myrna Martin links below for more on good mother messages. Back to the example: I am hearing in my mind, “I love you for who you are, not for what you do.” I ask my client if it is okay if I share something personal with them. They usually say yes. And sometimes it is so resourcing for the client’s little one (younger parts of themselves who may not have gotten all of their needs met). Occasionally mentioning a good mother message goes right to the heart of the issue, and their tissue will change rapidly under my hand when I have them say the message to their little one. Sometimes it will cause a cathartic reaction – they might start crying as I hit on a vulnerable area with this message. And we take the time to resource these younger (potentially wounded) parts of them. It is not a rapid process of healing overnight, but we go slow and this work sticks. Over 5 or 7 sessions, we move some energy which may have been stuck for a long time. And typically it helps that I can read the energetic field with ease now.

I became a lot clearer about double binds. I know when a client mentions one now. Previously, I could feel the confusion in the tissue, or the stuck-ness and know, “Hey, I think we are on a double bind.” But that might have been all I could do a year ago. Now, I can pinpoint both sides of the double bind and assist my clients through these deep conflicts. It really requires bringing their little parts along as well. One thing that Myrna Martin mentioned (she led the 2-week intensive) that really stuck with me is this: when we attempt to remedy a symptom that derives from unmet developmental needs, we have to bring those younger parts along with us, or they will feel threatened. Below is an example: (I would first recommend wiggling some toes, feeling your feet and legs, noticing your seat and pelvis, what are you sitting on and where do you feel that contact? And finally notice your breath. Maybe take a deep breath now.)

Let’s say we want to rid ourselves of anxiety which cropped up a few years ago. Now we might think that this issue is more recent and has nothing to do with the past and our younger days. However, what if our mother or father had serious anxiety problems? What if it took some major stressor to kick us into anxiety which was sort of dormant since we were born? If this anxiety issue does stem back to a young part who did not get all of their needs met (in spite of our parents’ doing the absolute best they could!), then that young part is probably kind of stuck somewhere in processing that unmet need. And likewise, that young part only knows about whatever was causing their anxiety. And if we try to fix the anxiety without including the younger parts in the process, these younger parts will feel like we are trying to stifle them or worse, kill them.  And sometimes this will make the symptom (in this case, anxiety) worse!

[Ever been to a chiropractor for a neck or back issue that always comes back no matter how many sessions you go to? Well guess what? It is possible that is a birth issue trying to complete, but without ever bringing awareness of the baby parts of ourselves into the process, it will never have the chance to complete! I love chiropractors and I go to see a network practitioner myself here in Charlottesville. I’m not trying to single them out at all. This analogy applies to many doctors, psychotherapists, nutritionists, etc etc. Sometimes we need to do a few months of birth process work to really get at the core of an issue.]

What all of this adds up to is this, I am much more confident in working with people of all ages. I taught a workshop in working with babies and I ended up working with newborns, infants and toddlers. And I am much more confident in offering long-distance work. I have been taught (by a different teacher) how to discern in my body what a distance client is noticing and how to slowly move them back toward health and well-being.

I was gone off and on for most of the summer, so I am looking to build up my practice again. So whether you are in Central Virginia and you can see me in person or you would be a long-distance client, I am happy to discuss working together.

Keep in mind I am an Embodiment Coach and a certified bodyworker. I am not a psychotherapist. If you have a mental health or psychiatric issue, make certain you are working with a license medical practitioner first.

Craniosacral – https://www.craniosacraltherapy.org

Polyvagal work – https://traumahealing.org

http://www.somaticpractice.net

Pre- and Perinatal Therapy (aka Birth Process Work) – http://www.castellinotraining.com

http://myrnamartin.net 

https://www.ppncenter.com

This is a continuation from a previous post, I would highly recommend going back and reading the beginning of the story which is one post back. And like I mentioned in that post I have the mothers explicit permission to share the story.

I should also mention that when I work with babies it is mostly all backed up by scientific research and compassionate and safe and professional touch. However in this particular case things took quite a detour into the esoteric realms. This rarely ever happens, at least to me.

So here I was working with the mother and daughter who was experiencing night terrors off and on for the past month. It had somehow come to pass that I had gotten in touch with a friend who knew a Mongolian shaman in Mongolia and she had relayed my request for assistance in working with this little girl.

Having completed the typical birth process session inside we went outside to conduct the shamans suggested ritual. First we collected the necessary ingredients: candlewax a spoon a bowl of water A lighter and some salt. Next we went outside and gathered wood to start a fire.

The shaman had told me what to do and had given me a little mantra to say at the right time and so we were ready. We lit the fire, the mom went and got her daughter, and then we started to conduct the ritual. 

First I melted the candle wax in the spoon near the mom and daughter. Then holding the melted candle wax near the daughters head, I said the mantra to encourage the spirits to leave the daughter. Next we poured the wax into the bowl of water and having done that we sprinkled some pinches of salt on the fire. And finally the shaman had said that the mother needed to move the baby over the fire three times.

And that was it. The very simple ritual with a little bit more involved that I’m not mentioning but that is the gist of it. So now I’m hoping to get feedback on whether or not the little girl has any more night terrors.

I am very thankful that I was able to get support from an unexpected source. When I looked up night terrors on Google almost everything came back saying they would go away on their own or that it was just stress related; in other words my searching Google for half an hour on night terrors was basically useless and I definitely needed extra assistance. In fact, almost everything from medical websites written by doctors nearly all said that night terrors would go away on their own. Anyone want to tell me how helpful that is? Especially to a mother who is averaging 2 to 3 hours of sleep per night for the past few weeks. 😦

So again just to re-emphasize this: I normally work with babies in a way that is backed up by science and evidence-based research. I love working with babies and mothers and I look forward to doing a lot more of this in the future. 

I just want to share this story because of its unusual and amazingly serendipitous quality.

Thank you for reading,

Kirby

I have permission to share the story, which is important.

I want to start out by mentioning that nearly every baby session I do with mother and babies is based on science and evidence-based research. I enjoy working with babies and mothers and hope to continue to do so for a long time to come. However here is the story with a bit of an esoteric bent:

I have recently been in the Pacific Northwest where I have been treating babies and toddlers for the past week. It’s been a great experience and I’ve had the chance to meet other practitioners and have them learn from these sessions as well.

One mother worked with me with her newborn and that was a miraculous session. Therefore she wanted me to work with her toddler, a little girl. She told me this little girl has been having night terrors for about four weeks which is also about the age of her newborn as well, which plays in the story later. The daughter had to be resuscitated at her birth. However it was a homebirth and for the most part went according to plan. (Of course resuscitation is a big deal, and a big interruption to the birth plan.)

These night terrors always happened around the same time most nights, and then the daughter would be up for several hours afterward.  The family was losing tons of sleep.. they were desperate for support.

Because I haven’t worked with many babies who needed to be resuscitated I asked several friends and colleagues for advice. And I asked a friend of mine who has done a lot of international traveling, who I thought dealt with previous night terrors of her own (turns out I was wrong about that). 

It turns out that this friend was actually in touch with a Mongolian shaman in Ulaanbatar and that she was translating what the shaman told me to do in regard to this little girl. Sometimes when we ask for support, it arrives in esoteric unusual (but definitely appreciated!!) ways!

The shaman told me several important things. First of all newborns who have to be resuscitated are extremely spiritually sensitive. Their auras are more open than usual and they need to be within 2 to 3 m of their parents to avoid seeing or hearing or interacting with wandering spirits. As a result of this the shaman also mentioned that this little girl should be sleeping in the same room in the same bed with her parents. Now don’t worry too much, because the shaman said that by the time she was between three and five years old and her aura would repair itself as it were. She said her spiritual immune system would mature enough so she could sleep in her own room.

The shaman gave me a ritual to do with this little girl to clear spiritual attachments which she had picked up recently. More on this in a bit.

Now it just so turns out that there is a local energy worker or energy medicine practitioner in the area. And this lady told the mother that this little girl had picked up some spiritual attachments at the hospital when her newborn was born four weeks ago. This energy worker also told the mother to visualize fire as she massaged the newborns back and kidneys, to imagine the spiritual attachments burning off and then moving into a deep blue space.

On a sidenote, honestly I don’t think I could make up a story more coincidental and Bizzarre like this one. It is pretty darn amazing. I had no idea that the mother had already been told about the spiritual attachments or the fire was already recommended for her. Frankly I didn’t even realize I’d be communicating with a shaman about this baby. But it was meant to be.

Needless to say, I approached the topic of doing a shamanic ritual with her daughter very gingerly. I even said something like, you know if my daughter had night terrors for a month I’d be almost willing to try anything. But it turns out I didn’t need to convince her very much because she soon told me the story about this energy worker and what she had recommended. The energy worker had told her that her daughter had picked up the spiritual attachments at the hospital where her newborn was delivered.

Therefore she was actually quite open to doing this shamanic ritual. There were several other practitioners present so we went through about a 40 minute conversation with mom and daughter about how things were during her early months and how things were with dad and the rest of her family etc. this early portion was like a typical birth process session.

By the way I love working with babies and mothers and the first session I offer with newborns is free. Let me know if you live in central Virginia and you know of any mothers and your babies who may be having a tough time. I’m happy to offer support and I’ve gotten good training with myrna martin and Janet Evergreen.
To be continued

A classic double bind

OK this material is pretty deep. I might recommend having good support around you or having a friend you can call if reading this brings anything up for you; of course you could always call and schedule a session with me if you would like. Area code +1 434, 465-0603 USA.

One neumonic for countering this deep icky psychological material is to feel your feet, to feel the base of your body and to notice your breath. 

So let’s do that now: wiggle some toes, notice that wiggle move thru your legs.  Feel what part of you is touching the floor or your chair or your sofa, etc.  notice where your weight is.  And finally feel your breath , is it shallower tonight?  Are you doing more belly breaths?  Just noticing, nothing to fix, nothing to do.

Now into the juicy material: one classic double bind is as follows: because one of my parents is not really able to self regulate and they’re not able to take care of their emotions, the child has this primary conflict within them. On one side it says “I have to sacrifice my needs or my feelings to take care of my dad’s or mom’s needs and feelings.”  Of course this is not true but this is what the child encounters when they’re in the womb or early in their development and because a young baby’s brain has so much developing yet to do, the baby has no choice but to take on that belief as if it was theirs. The other side of the conflict is that the baby says to themselves “I am not allowed to have my own feelings or needs.” And this is pretty miserable.  Both are happening simultaneously.

As a result of having this conflicting set of beliefs within them, the child also develops sub-beliefs which are also known as forks off of the main double bind. One fork off of this double bind might be: I have to make everyone feel OK. Another fork might be the child part of themselves saying: I don’t matter. And yet another fork would be “I always have to be good or happy or charming.”

And just think, if someone has these beliefs about not being able to have feelings or especially not being able to express objection or anger, then if we cut off our authentic needs and feelings for too long, is that they will have a lot of underlying rage to deal with at some point in their lives. Ooph!!  This is intense stuff.

This is a very brief overview of one typical double blind, so if you have questions please do let me know. Or contact your local therapist or counselor. If you want to see how double binds show up in the astrology chart then let me know. Or if you want to schedule a phone session or an in person session also let me know.

Thanks for Reading!

I just attended an incredible workshop in the Kootenays.  This intensive was led by Myrna Martin and it focused on double binds, chemical and surgical birth imprints.

It was a small group so we really got to know each other well and I believe the intimacy assisted us to go deeper into the material.  The intensive was held in the gorgeous mountains above Nelson BC Canada. I hiked every other morning and did yoga and meditation on the other mornings. There was an incredible cook making a delicious assortment of meals. Foods like dabo dabo- or Indonesian street food and sushi bowls and Nepali dal and vegetables etc.  

it was really a special experience and hopefully our group stays in contact and is able to support each other for the upcoming year.

The material was really professional and profound. It definitely benefited me personally as well as professionally. In my next post I will discuss and give examples of double binds.  It was so incredibly beneficial for me!

And I know my clients will benefit deeply as well.  I am excited to share this work when I get back to Virginia.

Tomorrow however I am heading over to one of the golf Islands called salt Spring Island. On salt Spring I’m going to teach a class on how to treat babies and I’m going to rest and hike and integrate after this profound experience in Nelson.

In Vancouver, prepping

I am presently in Vancouver.  Getting ready for a birth process work intensive, also known as pre- and perinatal therapy.  It is a two week intensive.

This is level 2, which focuses on chemical and mechanical birth imprints (what interventions were used) as well as looking at ancestral double binds.  As a result, this is supposed to be a “big” workshop.  Im sure I will need time afterward to integrate and process.

After the workshop, I am heading back to Vancouver to go to Salt Spring Island, an island in the gulf, between Victoria and Vancouver – it is a three-hour ferry ride!  I am teaching a small group there in how to work with babies (from a Craniosacral perspective).  I’m super excited for all of it.

Wish me luck!