Being loved, being appreciated

the antidote is discovered

take it in, bask in the warm glow

wisps of sorrow, pain, anguish

released in deep breaths, eye contact

gaze into my humanity, my vulnerability

I’ll share mine, will you share yours

I am counting the ways I love thee

And it is oh so long a list


This is a continuation of a post from yesterday. You should definitely go back and read Part One so you know how we wound up here – how Maureen set up resources (the counter vortex to use SE parlance) and made sure I had enough resilience in my system before going to these deep places. Enjoy!

M: Maureen Gallagher – SE faculty

K: Kirby Moore – me, SE student

If you recall from the previous post, Maureen had just explained to me what guppy breath is and we did it several times together… (it loosens tension in the jaw, without discharging too much energy)

K: I’m curious about my chest.

M: What do you notice there?

K: I’m on the edge of it. It is shaped like a ball, a sphere… It feels ancient… Might be a layer of freeze but not cold yet… it is new for me to see this… Yes, it’s ancient…. It feels dusty and musty inside.

M: Good. So it is shaped like a ball, it feels old. You haven’t seen this before. So you are just feeling into it from the edges, right?… what does it feel like in your body to notice it a little bit?

K: There is a lot of health here.

M: How do you know that?

K: There is warmth and light on the periphery of the sphere. Collapse in the center.

M: Notice that relationship. You can hold both the health and the collapse at the same time. This is all here….

K: When I was 22, I had my appendix operated on. I had a reaction and developed an arrhythmia. They saw it coming, hyper-oxygenated my body and then proceeded to stop and restart my heart. I found myself out of my body and among light beings, angels on the periphery of the room….

M: Can I ask you to notice what this like – being among the light beings?

K: It’s warm. Very comforting. Easy…. but then the light beings start urging me back toward the table. They are not using words, yet they are like screaming at me to go back…. [pause for a couple deep breaths] But I did not want to go back.

M: I want you to feel the warmth of the light beings.

K: I want to latch onto them (and not go back here). I am a spiritual being having a human experience. It’s hard. But I had to come back, my work isn’t finished yet.

M: So let’s slow this down. Feel the warmth of the light beings… Good. And a part of you did not want to come back. But a part of you did. Is that right?

K: Yes.

M: So something was holding you back. You liked it there with the light beings… And you came back…. I want you to stay with the “And I’m going back” for a bit…

K: It is like begrudging resolve. I’m going to grit my teeth and come back.

M: It’s okay to be with the resolve and wanting to remain with the light beings. Now can I ask you to set aside the wanting to stay back, put that to the side. And now be with the resolve, “and I’m going back.”

K: As I get to the table, I am shocked, startled to see that it is my face on the body on the operating table.

M: It just took a moment to see that. What else do you notice?

K: Bewilderment… confusion…

M: Yeah of course. This makes sense!

K: I want to shake and shiver this energy out. [starts to shake out his arms and hands]

M: Okay slow it down… that’s it… go slow… move your arms slowly. Whatever excess needs discharge, let it move down your arms. But not too much discharge.

K: It feels like there is pressure changing in my cranial bones.

M: Allow yourself to rest. That’s it. Let the remaining energy stay. Notice what is happening in your body as you allow some of the energy to remain.

K: There is a buzzing around my torso. My hands feel tingly. There is some numbness in front of my tibia.

M: So you are discharging a bit of activation, and then some freeze comes back to the surface. And vice versa. One more chance now to see and be with both – feel the wanting to come back and not wanting to.

K: It feels a bit more integrated… Like I can hold more pieces… or levels of discharge… only discharging 30-40% feels more manageable… I am more settled on the right compared to the left… in my legs too. [takes a deep breath]

M: Your breath comes in but your eyes look tired.

K: I am grateful for that. It is only recently that I have gotten in touch with how tiring it is to be hyper-vigilant. I want to be in touch with what is.

M: Allow the nervous system to find a new balance point. You are discovering a new normal.

K: I am going to seek out more support when I get home. But this feels more manageable.

M: So you see someone at home right now?

K: For craniosacral yes. But I want to work on this more.

M: Good. I’m glad you are leaning into support! So we only have a few minutes left in this session.

K: This dichotomy is really big. [staying on the other side vs coming back]

M: Notice your body. Notice what it means to be you around this. Be with this just as it is right now.

K: There is tiny bit of tingling around my lips.

M: You are noticing the physical, spiritual, psychological right now. Good. Take a little snapshot of this moment.

K: I want to squeeze my legs again. But the cold [freeze] is less.

M: Part of you is moving from freeze to vitality. I like this. Is there anything else you want to say?

K: I want to stay with this. And discharge some and rest. This was big.

M: Yes do a little bit. Keep it slow. Maybe do a little bit faster, but then pause and notice. Not too much at a time and notice. This helps the nervous system to find a new rhythm. Now I’m seeing if this is an okay place to stop?

K: Yes.

M: Good. Discharge just a little but stay with it a lot. Build your awareness. You want to stop before you discharge vital life-force energy.

That was the end of the session. Quite powerful for me! And I had to pause several times in re-writing it here to feel my feet, notice my breath and give my arms little squeezes. Go slow, be gentle!

Thank you for reading!


Maureen Gallagher was my facilitator, I volunteered as the demo (session) and was very fortunate to be picked. We went deep. This was getting long so it will be split into two parts. The last part is the juiciest – I assure you! (Surprise surprise) Oh – so I did this demo in front of about 40 ppl, some of whom I knew, most I had just met two days earlier. Let’s just say this is a great group (for me to feel safe enough to work through these big chunks).

M = Maureen, K = Kirby

So take some deep breaths. Seriously, some of this transcript might be triggering. If you notice yourself checking out, then stop reading and give yourself some comforting little squeezes to your arms and or legs.

M: What’s it like to be the demo?

K: Challenging. M: Say more about that.

K: I’m experiencing an elevated heart rate. There is charge on the front of my legs.

M: What do you notice in your entire body as you hold that feeling of charge?

K: Several things: charge in my legs, oh – I want to get up and run out of here!

M: Can you take a few breaths?… [then] Are you okay if we stick with the impulse to run for a bit?

K: Yes. M: Can you describe in your body the feeling of wanting to run? [How do you know you want to run out of here?]

K: There are micro twitches in my calves. The charge in my thighs. All over.

M: Be with the energy as it moves through your body…. Notice your breath… Do you like to run?

K: Not anymore. But I used to run a lot.

M: Was there a place you enjoyed running? [favorite place]

K: Actually, I’m remembering a magical time where I half ran, half skied down Afton Mountain.

M: Can we stick with that? K: Yes

M: I want you to tell me about this running / skiing experience while staying really connected to your body. K: Okay.

M: Start by telling me about going up the mountain.

K: Well my parents’ dog came with me but left halfway up the mountain. But my neighbor’s dog came with me all the way up to the top. There was about a foot of snow on the ground, but the top inch had iced over – freeze / thaw cycles.

M: I’m noticing your legs are moving a little bit. K: Oh, right, they are.

M: Do you want to make some movements with your feet? Like this? [She lifted her heel off the ground, then her other foot.] … Can you press your feet down into the ground, alternating?

M: So where were we? K: I’m about to go running / skiing down the mountain.

M: Have you gotten to the top of the mountain yet?

K: Oh no, not yet.

M: Okay, so you made it to the top. What is that like?

K: I accomplished my goal. I made it to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

M: Great! What do you notice in your body as you say, ‘You accomplished a goal?'”

K: It feels good. Like I triumphed.

M: Good noticing! You triumphed. Can you sit with that for a moment?

K: [takes some deep breaths] Yes…

M: Is something else here besides the triumph? What else are you feeling?

K: Oh. There is sadness. Aside from the dog, I’m alone.

M: Right. Stick with “I’m about to go down the mountain.” Can you do that?

K: Yes. M: As I say this statement, check in with your body. See if it resonates: “Going down the mountain will be fun.”

K: Yes that resonates.

M: So it is going to be fun. How is it to look at the “fun” right now?

K: There is still some sadness.

M: How would it be with your body to set the sadness aside for a bit?

K: That sounds good…. [stifles a yawn] Oh I just stifled a yawn.

M: You don’t have to stifle anything. Let it move. Okay, so you are about to start down the mountain. What do you notice in your body?

K: I didn’t realize I could go so fast. M: So that was surprising? K: Yes.

M: With the surprise, what do you notice in your body?

K: There’s something here but it’s hard to get at.

M: Take you time…

K: The outcome is enjoyable… Oh – and trepidation.

M: Can you say more about the trepidation?

K: Yes, the part of me that would run down the mountain regardless of risks. Reckless? What if I sprain my ankle? I’m all alone.

M: So there are two parts: You are aware of a need to be careful. And a desire to just start down the mountain regardless of risks. Is that right?

K: Yes. M: Okay, is there anything about that [the careful part] which wants to be felt or known?

K: I am grateful that want to abandon caution. I’m normally quite cautious.

M: Good noticing. Can you feel that gratitude now?

K: Yes. M: So there is a cautious part of you and a reckless part of you.

K: Right. M: Can you see and feel both within you now?

K: Yes. M: Good. So you are abandoning caution. What happens next? [Kirby takes a large deep breath.] Oh that is a nice breath.

K: I’m starting to take longer steps. I crunched through the ice. Would this now be able to hold me?

M: Is there a better name that you would give the reckless part of you?

K: Uhhmm… adventurer?… No, pioneer!

M: Great! Experiment with that. So you are starting to run down the mountain?

K: Yes. The snow can only hold me at a certain speed. It can only hold me if I am going fast. [Anyone else see the attachment statement inherent in this line? Wow!] It sounds like a paradox.

M: And you noticed that… Feel your arms and your legs.

K: I feel more free. I was leaping and bounding down the mountain. It was like a once in a decade type of moment.

M: More like once in a lifetime moment! [Kirby exhales audibly with a sigh] Notice that breath and allow whatever else is present to arise… What else wants to come in?

K: It’s non-verbal. I can’t get at it.

M: It’s not verbal. Notice what’s happening in your body… See if you can just meet it… I hear you… I’m here with you… Now what do you notice?

K: I feel like holding a baby part of me.

M: How does the baby part respond to you holding it?

K: It appreciates it. Gradually. Like it was numb but it is slowly coming to… I’m feeling a headache around my frontal bone. [cranial bone]

M: I want you to slowly sense into your legs. What do you notice?

K: [Nods yes] M: Maybe there is something distressing?

K: Yes maybe in my chest.

M: Keep feeling your legs. Say, “this gets to be here and you can feel your legs.”

K: I’m feeling coolness… cold around my calves. It’s moving a little.

M: Can you see what you feel as it moves?

K: I want to do some squeezing. M: Good, do it. [Kirby takes some time to squeeze his calves on both legs, twice.]

M: How does it feel to squeeze your calves?

K: Grounding. Warming. Containing.

M: The coldness in your legs is some freeze energy coming out. Can you push your toes into the ground? Alternating feet. [Kirby does it for a bit.]

M: Now check in with your chest. What do you notice?

K: It feels… numb… no not numb. It feels a little collapsey?

M: Sense into that area with just a few tendrils of awareness.

K: In chest? M: Yes.

K: You want me to stay on the edges of it?

M: Yes… Oh can we do a couple guppy breaths? K: Yes. M: Let’s do them together. You open your mouth just a little… slowly… [They do guppy breath together.]

M: Now what do you notice?

K: I’m curious about my chest.

M: What do you notice there?

To be continued! And it is about to get juicy… ๐Ÿ™‚ (stay tuned!)

Thank you for visiting!


Prepare yourself. Seriously, take some deep breaths, think of a place that you enjoy or a person who feels like a safe protector / friend / ally / support. Or think of an animal you love…

Take your time. Notice what you feel in your body.

Come back to this whenever you feel activated or agitated.

Now to wax astrological for a minute – bear with me if you don’t speak astrologese. Normal English will resume in a couple of paragraphs!

Long ago, when transiting Saturn was in Gemini, square my natal Saturn / Mars, when the swift moving transiting Moon was conjunct my North Node (indicating that if I made it through this, it would be for the best in the long run), and most importantly, when transiting Pluto was almost exactly squaring my North and South Nodes (I find this pattern to be quite potent for the purification of negative karma, especially when another planet also squares the Nodes).

In addition, transiting Venus was trine my natal Uranus and square Natal Neptune around the night that I had the dream which told me explicitly that “I had appendicitis.” Transiting Sun was opposite my natal Saturn and conjunct my natal Mars, this is also a rough time of the year for me. Transiting Sun conjunct Mars is often a time of too much Mars – cutting yourself (I had done this under this influence – requiring stitches in my finger), getting speeding tickets (I’ve gotten 2 in separate years under this conjunction), etc. Finally my Progressed Sun was one degree from being opposite my Hades Moon – Pluto conjunct Moon in Libra. So this piece will also tie into my Hades Moon series from last week (go back a couple posts and you should find it).

So you basically know my whole chart, and if you are really good, you could tell me around what time this occurred. ๐Ÿ™‚

But don’t worry about that!

Okay, you know what. I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here. Go to this link and click on the 3 posts (starting with the Intro) about Near Death, Out of Body.

Then you will have a good sense of what my session yesterday touched when I write about it soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember to breathe and connect with your resources! Or come see me for a session. Or both!

Thank you for reading!


I just returned from a potent Somatic Experiencing training in Roanoke, Virginia. Acting on a hunch, I volunteered to be the demo person on Sunday (just yesterday even though time is doing weird things at the moment, read on you will understand).

Well, it turns out that I was in for a whale of a session. Later, the lead assistant mentioned to me, “one of my mentors says that SE is sneakily powerful.” And my demo session proves that this is oh so true!

Fortunately, a friend agreed to take notes on my demo sesh. Little did I know he was going to transcribe 95% of the words that were said as well – good lord he went above and beyond! I am quite grateful however, as I can pick it apart at my leisure – hopefully without activating myself (triggering old frozen energy to re-emerge without being able to keep it in my Zone of Tolerance or Resilience).

To set a little atmosphere for the write-up (to come later, I am about to feel rather wiped out, you’ll understand why), about 15 years ago, during one snowy winter, I was out at my parents’ house in Afton VA. They live in a beautiful area nestled up against the mountains.

I happened to have my boots with me, so I decided to go take a hike. It had snowed a few days earlier, so I laced them up tight and started off. First, I let the dog out to come with me. She was the smart type of dog who could barely be contained – seriously, she climbed every fence that she encountered. So she was going to come with me whether I wanted it or not. Later, she would abandon me possibly due to the cold.

Another dog, a neighbor’s, also came with. I hiked up the mountain, all the way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway – a solid mile and a half hike. Through the 12 inch deep snow and ice.

Halfway up the mountain, my parents’ dog, with whom I was close, left. Probably heading back home. She was a lighter dog, so I think the cold, snow and ice bugged her. The neighbor’s dog however, stuck near me! It was a larger dog with longer fur.

Turning back, to look down across the snow-swept Rockfish Valley, I knew I might get cold and wet, what with hiking in foot-deep snow without gaiters on. I trudged on.

After a couple hundred yards, the slope steepened. And suddenly, I wondered if the crunchy top layer of snow-melt-turned-ice would hold me. Not if I moved slow. I was just crunching my way through it.

Then I realized, the snow might hold me if I am nearly flying down it. In the session yesterday, I actually said, “I discovered that I had to move really fast to be held by the snow.”

I had to move really fast to be held by the snow. Say that sentence again from the point of view of attachment theory. I had to move really fast to be held. Whoa! A fellow SE participant pointed this out to me – my attachment style or disruption was right there in front of me. Many layers of metaphor came out in this session by the way!

But sure enough, I started half-skating, half-skiing down the mountain on the thin layer of snow-melt-turned-icy-crust. I was racing down the mountain and my companion was staying near me. We were pronking – enjoying the moment, moving for the sake of excitement and play, flying down the mountain.

I count this among several magical moments in my life. Probably never to be repeated – considering my lack of coordination today, I suspect I might injure myself if I tried this next year. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was probably cruising at around 20 miles / hour taking long loping, sliding strides.

This story came up in my session. Along with another story, which I wrote a bit about last year or a couple years ago.

It is a very pertinent story to the session. I’ll probably write it up again tomorrow – but now with another layer of meaning and extra layers of embodiment.

Thank you for reading! By the way, if you are in Charlottesville, you should consider coming to see me for a treatment. Somatic Experiencing is quite a powerful modality! And I could use some practice. ๐Ÿ™‚


Hello Dear Readers!

This post includes several topics: developmental needs meeting, a little bit on pre- and perinatal psychology / birth process work, healing early material, and Spiritual Astrology – specifically Moon in hard aspect to Pluto in the Natal Chart, a.k.a. the Hades Moon.

This will be a series of posts as it requires a bit of context to set up:

First off, not to ring my own bell or anything… but I have been on an intense psycho-spiritual journey now, mostly pushing hard, since 2005. I started taking Reiki classes and began studying astrology in 2003. But in terms of starting to buckle down on my healing process, it wasn’t until 2005 that I began doing more bodywork, receiving more bodywork and beginning the very preliminary process of untangling my inner knots. With that said, I had A LOT of dissociative / fantasy / numbing out / checking out type patterns to work through (in addition to the close Hades Moon in my chart, I also have Sun square Neptune)… so it has been quite the journey!

With that said, I have a true Hades Moon in my astrology chart – my Natal Moon is less than one degree away from my Natal Pluto – it is a close parallel (conjunction). I could chat at length about this – that would be another couple of posts alone! Suffice it to say I’ll try to narrow it down:

Keep in mind astrology is very complex – I am about to go against my usual parameters of not doing an astrology recipe book. What I am about to say about the Hades Moon will not be true for everyone: Because the aspects to the Hades Moon make a big difference between charts, the house placement of the Hades Moon matters a lot, the sign placement, etc. And if the individual is a Sun sign Cancer or Scorpio, then the Hades Moon would be even more prominent. However, some of this would apply to people with a relatively close Hard aspect between Moon and Pluto. With all that said:

One final disclaimer: when we discuss birth process / developmental needs meeting, we are carefully walking a delicate tight rope – we love our parents, our parents (hopefully) did the very best they could for us, and yet there were often some important needs that were not met or some hefty misunderstandings that they did not realize needed to be cleared up. Therefore, we can hold both anger (the challenge) and the positive loving-kindness we did receive (the health) at the same time.

Hades Moon: 1) the individual has a lot of deep karma with their mother – think going back life times and life times, some positive karma, some challenging karma (the challenging karma is pretty much guaranteed with the Hard aspect); 2) there is going to be some level of emotional hyper-vigilance – probably involving the mother (read on below to see what I mean), 3) the individual can use this extra-alertness to be more sensitive and some would even call it being psychic, this sensitivity might spill over into actually being more sensitive to substances, to pharmaceuticals, to essential oils, etc; 4) the individual is more aware of their environment and picks up on things easier, therefore they make great poets, good detectives, good researchers, etc; 5) sorry to say it, but at some point in your life, if you have this Hard aspect going on and it is fairly close in orb (1 – 6 degrees), you will most likely (unless you were born with incredibly positive karma) discover that you have some hefty repressed / suppressed resentment toward your Mum; in fact, that said resentment will probably be hidden by something else like sadness and maybe mixed with – fear if in Libra, jealousy if in Sagittarius, a big ball of complex emotions if in Scorpio (call me for an interpretation here), rigidity or a sense of duty or obligation or responsibility if in Capricorn… that was a mouthful…

But no seriously, this is heavy material. Check in with your body. Take three deep breaths.

Did you breathe? Why not? Do it.

Think about what makes you happy, or a place where you feel safe, or a memory of being held / cuddled by someone you love or an animal that you loved. Lean into your resources for a bit.

Okay. Back to the scheduled program.

Hades Moon (medical astrology bits): 1) constipation – Pluto’s suppressing / underground / sweep-it-under-the-carpet / hold-it-in effect on the digestion of emotions (Moon); 2) depending on where in the chart it is located and sign placement, it could amp up your nervous system really well – as in hyper-vigilance, anxiety, insomnia, think autonomic nervous system issues; 3) it could also (remember Pluto’s ability to suppress) lead to depression if appropriate outlets for resentment are not utilized (think autonomic nervous system issues going the opposite direction); 4) and it can definitely mess with the hormones – Pluto plays a big role in the endocrine system function and the Moon plays a significant role in estrogen / progesterone levels (not to mention prolactin); keep in mind I am not a doctor and therefore I do not claim to diagnose, cure, treat or alleviate any medical condition – if you think you have a medical problem, go see an appropriate licensed practitioner!

Okay so that is enough on the Hades Moon portion of this series. Although more on that later.

And it would seem that I am about to write a book here… hhmmmm… ๐Ÿ™‚

In the next post I will start discussing how, despite working through some significant birth issues over the past six years, and from doing other resourcing body (psychotherapy) type work since 2005… I discovered a significant piece from when I was about 4 years old. And processing it recently has been amazing, liberating and challenging. And of course, it all ties in to this Hades Moon thing quite tidily.

Thank you for reading! More to follow..


Wow! Just wow!

So I did Yin Yoga for a long (75 minute) session today and the effects were pretty stunning. Did it with a friend, so just the two of us. Pretty special actually in that – couples Yin Yoga (!)

We did a set that focused on the kidneys and bladder. Although it seemed to me to focus primarily on the spine (but then again that too makes sense – the “heart openers” where you open your chest out also affects the kidney meridian and the poses where we had our chins closer to our chests probably stretched the bladder meridians in the back).

I left her place soon after and once I got home, I was amazed at how little I wanted to do. Or think. Or process.

It was incredible. In case you can’t tell, I am interested in learning better ways to relax and rest down. And wow have I found one! I wanted to lie down in Shavasana (corpse pose) for an hour – and basically did. I attempted to do a workout but my rest time in between sets became 3 mins, then 5 mins, then 7 mins ๐Ÿ™‚

I also had the brilliant idea to start organize my documents to prepare to do my taxes… yeah, that lasted a mere 5 minutes! Before my brain said, “Uhh, are you serious? You want me to process hundreds of numbers right now?! I don’t think so!”

Well I can’t wait to do the other sets – the fire set (Heart / Small Intestine meridian poses), the earth set (Stomach / Spleen), the metal set and the wood set.

And honestly, I could probably do this same set we did today a hundred times and continue to get something out of it!

It is becoming more and more likely that if I teach in the future, it might involve some Yin Yoga. Will keep you posted!

Thanks for reading!