An inaccurate account of heart- and meaningful experiences around the early summer of 2022. These were written on and right after a six-day-long Holotropic Breathwork module, combined with Celtic journeying practices, still in an expanded state. Beltane — celebration of wild potency. A workshop about life force and authenticity.
Before all this, the previous year my mother died, on 22th October. I tried to attend breathwork workshops twice since, got sick both times. Finally have arrived at the mat. Two and a half years since my last breathwork. (Pandemic.)
In the first day’s journeys it felt as an exile, could not get into the inscape.
Then in the first breathwork I enjoyed the support of T, a warm, masculine embrace from my back, one I was looking for since weeks already at that point. Tried building up eye contact with him, a fearful experience. Managed in the end, slowly, until “I love you”.
I could feel my defences in my right side, as if it were a shield, against whatever. Maybe related to my earlier accident as well. It is a shield that keeps me stiff and encased.
Our spine, or health of our spine probably comes from our father.
A much fuller experience than I expected, in magnitude, content and capacity as well. Full on. You are missed and loved. I will write more later (or now). There is such a constellation going on, it seems the material from the past two and a half years really accumulated and waited to be processed, and fascinatingly it all appears in one flowing way. The synchronicities in- and outside breathwork are very visible of course.
The journey to the mother leads through the father for me (two days of work, substantial physical and emotional changes there), and meeting and containing the mother went further in a unison with Gaia. (Post second breathwork, in a journey.) I felt my hands held by other hands, a circular group of people. Becoming. Then we sang our experience, I found a tree to sit at for the soul song. A good aspect of it is that I rose towards the end of the journey physically, could walk with this experience, and in a reasonably short timeframe just walked back to the group, while letting the experience fade on its own time, soon after clearly and seamlessly and fully merging. Profound shift and profound ordinariness.
Previously, yesterday I was in a clearly expanded state, formed and cleansed autonomously in the second breathwork until freedom, and used it to process and mend a lot of material, connections, etc.
In that breathwork, I experienced purgatory, and in that flame, when we sincerely show up and regret whatever needs to be regretted responsibly, is also forgiven in one package — and in that same go it vanishes also. E.g., the experience when I was reluctant and angry to take my mother’s faeces and urine from the bedroom while she was helpless and in pain. I faced that and I stood for it and was forgiven. And it was gone. A few of these.
In the Gaia experience this flame was the second becoming. In / on my heart there is a symbol. Left side a crescent moon, right side a kingfisher, centre: the flame of purgatory. I will carve it out of stone as a fireplace.
All I did was obeying this:
"Move gently, pay attention,
Become one with the forest."
My breathing partner has a similar disconnection trauma and grief as mine, and lives in a relationship that is painful in several areas. She is similarly acute mentally and has a good perception of what is going on. So, we exchange constantly and easily. A lesson in progress, maybe many more to come. I am much more prone to (good) connection. I involve(d) my sitter more often.
I was and am in a deep and self-explanatory manner experiencing very profound states — and come and go in and out of them relatively seamlessly. When I am here, I am very open, intuitive and very much present, flowing, equanimous, as you would say fully here.
Beltane is a festival of authenticity. And of life force. These heavily inform my journeys. Freedom of love, freedom of choice and freedom of who we are. In whatever aspect relevant in one's life. Very fundamental concepts and constructs are challenged in the group. A lot of good work going on. I pay attention to that as well, especially now that it is very easy to connect and be with almost any process.
Many things written already, the point is that you are loved and missed, so please take it the way it is meant, at the end of a facilitated breathwork struggle, in the closing, peaceful and direct section when there are only humans connecting.
The ego part was also relatively easy to handle, mainly thanks to the fact that the experiences and inner dynamic were very straightforward and sort of stable. It was easy to lean back to the harmonious and truthful way for them.
Hopefully this makes sense. I hope you can sleep, trying to get some as well, I do it sparingly here.
This is a meaty email, but probably worthwhile.
OK, so then things escalated quickly from there. Fifth day, waking up relaxed but running on reserves already, no extra power. There were two journeys, and topics such as gender and death in the talks and discussions. In the first journey the only thing that changed was that the symbols, moon and bird on the fireplace I mentioned earlier with the fire of purgatory in the middle, started to slowly lift and spiral up into the flame.
Then came the second journey. I was spent, lying on my back. Thomas came, sad something about R, cheerful. I got a bit afraid, a sense of danger. Then a breather I am afraid of (G, you know him from before) bombed next to me (not for the first time), to do his journey beside me. My sitter went further away. I was thinking: do I stay, or do I move now? If I move, I will have an easier experience. If I stay, it will probably be hell. I stayed for it. I started to tense up. Shield back up, my right side frozen, rigid. The experience grew:
A dark, smallish room. I am afraid, must defend myself and that also closes me in. A male thing. I get disconnected from all my earlier experiences and tools. I lose interest in the world. The faces change around me, a somewhat paranoid state. There is no or much less sense of direction.
There was a slight debate, whether I chose this or am I stuck here. Not that relevant maybe.
I had two choices: A, leave and cocoon and wait, until I am able to reconnect again (the answer to my fear process I described to you a while ago). Or B, I chose to stay. In the group. The journey was over. I was assigned into a group for the evening celebration, our group represented the masculine energy. So, I crawled to my cohorts, there was a discussion. There. I was fully in the process. So completely directionless, unable to connect, etc, lying down, while staying fully present for it. They planned some sort of a haka presentation. That was a somewhat surreal situation. Slowly, I managed to get my thoughts through, although I did not get much help in communication. I did not want a facilitator's help, since I was fully present. Their idea: they learn the haka and I stay and rest. My idea: I have a structure and unable to follow anybody else's right now. They, the group also have a structure: haka. So: let us do a structure in which mine and theirs merge. The idea went through halfway.
There was a point when suddenly all my group, ten people stood up from beside me to leave for this haka thing. I was lying there thinking, well, the world goes on without me. A strong experience.
Then two people sat back down, G, a Latvian man, and P, my sitter.
So, there are good people in the world, I thought. My family is the same way, despite or with the help of all traumas. A strong experience.
Briefly back to structure: it dawned on me how my personality formed the way it is now. Why I need(ed) my individuality. I learned how aggression cuts us off from the world. Grand.
So: we stayed. I started to contact G. Eye contact. Horrific. Immense fear and shame. The whole process was in fear, and shame came to it when in society. Imagine all this in a sort of a living environment, when 40 people go around to do their stuff, and I do my work with this guy, fully present and fully in process. Thus: shame.
We moved outside to a tree, my sitter left, it was a male thing. We managed calm eye contact. Full presence and fearful presence interchanged, and fear seized. There were a few layers in the eyes. Compassion, most of all. Tat tvam asi. Incredible.
Since I was fully open, I was also fully open for humour.
Then we talked. I asked him about the current war. If he was afraid, being a Latvian (as I was, my masculine fear process). He said yes, but he would not fight. Except if maybe his child would have been killed. Then I offered him a pact: if one of us is getting pulled into aggression or war, we call each other first. He accepted the pact, so now I have a shield brother. Beautiful man. (There was a shield momentum in my earlier breathwork and in his work as well.)
The process silenced a bit, I got up, decided to take part in the collective haka. I was halfway there, but I took part.
This whole situation above was my first ever fully conscious and emotionally present account of this process, in real life, which formed many aspects of my personality. As the original disconnect formed my relationship with women. It is about individuality, and it is about belonging. And masculinity.
It is remarkable how this being restricted and cut off thing works. The faces I see change. I do not know who to trust. I do not know if they understand me. It also triggers people. P's face fully changed, she went into her process, which was about her certainty that if a close man is in fear, then it must be because of her, he must be afraid of her (power). So, she cut me off. Fascinating. Some others got triggered or confused as well.
(Even later the ceremony reflected my struggle of being a part of a collective or not. When the feminine group’s turn came, one of them walked one by one to the masculine group members and offered a vagina symbolically. When she arrived to me, first she loudly asked if I belong to this group. I said: Thank you for your question, I do, and hello.)
I was still wearing a weighty mask when an hour of five-rhythms dance started. For a push, I picked a card from the usual deck: The Burden. Decided not to carry it anymore and started to move. Came back sort of.
I had the hunch throughout the week that for me the route to the mother leads through the father, so I had to work on both connections.
And there was also the notion of sacred marriage, the merging of feminine and masculine poles in us (in the fire of purgatory in my case).
I am not entirely sure what “through the father” means for me, maybe two aspects: a loving connection with the father is important, also the father can block off the mother (by triggering a complete shutdown for me). This mechanism plays out a million times in my relationships and life. You have seen it a million times. Traumas of omission (a lost father) and commission (a fearful one).
I can understand and relate to victims (and maybe perpetrators) of aggression differently now. I understand the accompanying feelings of directionlessness and shame much better. In my case it was emotional uncertainty, which was and is strongly interconnected with existential uncertainty.
Then I went to sit and discuss with P, to check in. Took blankets and spent two hours under the night, sitting and gently, politely touching. The sacred marriage is a tricky thing. The breathworks and all the journeys went flawlessly and impeccably I think, especially in the sense that all the gains were internal. Although we also touched with our male and female metaphorical poles I think, her male and female to my female and male. Somewhat. But mostly what we experienced was an ease of being in each other's company, a very fluent and continuous communication, both that we missed.
I was already shivering during this time in the evening. Went to my room, my digestive system gave in due to the fear reaction and stress of the day, I also got a fever. Slept from 2am to 4am, woke up, took a pill, went back to sleep. I have seen endless, flowing fields of yellow flowers... It was disturbing when one otherwise wanted to sleep, but the pill started to work so I slept four more hours.
(On the previous nights I had different pictures when trying to sleep:
Once I was only my spine and an endless bed of big-petalled, white flowers, overflowing.
The other night I heard a tribe drumming, hand drums, 200bpm, enthusiastically. I could not sleep so I asked them to kindly stop, this system must rest now.)
Another pill in the morning, moved myself down for breakfast, could hardly eat or drink, I have not eaten properly in a while by then. What came to mind was the picture of you slowly walking to the restaurant in Spain in your process, seven years ago. I made my room and went to the closing circle. I got better in the meantime. I sang a soul song as my sharing and said "Thanks". A first, I felt it coming during the week!
I was fully connected then, came home connected. Had a chance to share a bit with R, she kindly waited for me before she left for Transylvania again.
Birds, connection, cooperation, death:
During the breathwork week I was reluctant to talk to anyone outside, I preferred to stay in the holotropic processing space. I did call R on the fourth day though, managed to share at least the tone of my experiences. During that telephone conversation I found a dead bird.
Upon arriving back home, during our sharing with R she said she was sorry, because in the meantime she found a dead bird on my balcony and forgot to move it. I was angry first — how could she leave it (to me). I kneeled, caressed the carapace a little, then got the idea that instead of feeling hurt, let us bring the bird down and bury it into the garden together. We did so. (Later we found further dead birds on our balconies that we buried.)
The movie yoga in the module was Piano. There is a scene with a severed index finger of a pianist woman. R had almost severed and hurt badly her same index finger just before the module.
In one of my dreams during the module I was angry, I was hitting the table with my palm. I accidentally hit into a glass, broke it, and the fragments cut my finger. I woke up and realized that I was angry at the movie because it was my own anger that cuts my creativity, same for her. Maybe an Nth defensive layer of emotions. In all quarrels and frictions, we do the same, get to anger, get back to a dark place and get cut off from our creativity and our other parts, people, and the world. A stiff defence, encased, locked in. Seeing that in each other.
Today’s dream process:
I went to sleep easily, woke briefly but slept for twelve hours altogether, in nice and cool conditioned air, in my own comfy bed. My sacred artefact for the week by me, a set of pliers, red handles, with a vagina-like part in its head.
Upon waking up I drifted and processed and dreamt. I dreamt with P. We met, my penis entered her at some point in the dream, and it was a cool and flowing, calm sensation. Then we talked, asked her about protection or something. We stopped there. Then another picture: the group was there, and Jo also, who took something for us, a substance I thought. He said it was a very expensive material. Threw it onto the floor, and it turned out that it was a powder of rainbow colours that painted all of us in glowing rainbow particles. And it was Beltane, the festival, P was around, and we were in contact, then Ra came I think, we were all fully present just following the movement of the moment (that is why Ra I guess), personality somewhere else. I was standing with them with an erection, but it was a normal thing, just energy. Ra then went on, climbed on something. People dancing, jumping, some half naked, very normal. It was just life. It was authentic life. I have also seen a thin, pregnant figure. When I write this, I feel a few sharp spots in my chest but that is all.
I believe the best way of moving forward is just love and honesty. And openness. It is so difficult to be completely open. When not doing so though, I find myself in old patterns, I hurt myself, I make myself into this or that, a role, not loved. I am loved, I have a good heart. All I do I would like to do for love. And it only happens in a natural and honest way. I do not want to cause any harm or pain ever to anyone, including me.
Yesterday I have also seen R from a different perspective, I have seen her authentic gestures, what make her she. Lovely gestures. I did not have to control them or cut them short or reshape them.
It is such a rich life, when not in defence. After that hard experience of fear, I found a half of an empty nutshell. Preceding that, after each important journey I found a full, enclosed and protected seed.
That is how it is now, a half open.
A further dreamy image:
In today’s dream processing I have seen myself draw all my life onto a huge, accordion-like sheet of paper, two meters in diameter. It is an open sheet; anyone can see it. I am not that sheet, that is a lite display of my life that I present outwards, me being everything around it. My first thought was that I, or it may be burnt in the flame of purgatory, then thought it should be preserved. Foremost, it can be seen, and it can also be burnt when necessary.
All I want to do is love. Ever, in each situation, and when the brutality or the pattern of aggression cuts it off in my psyche, then I will work on knowing and opening that up.
The only thing that actually worked in that above dark situation, and only after a while, already in discussion, was the heart, with the crescent moon on one side, Kingfisher on the other side, and the flame of purgatory in the middle.
I am a good man, and there are a couple of good people. All people have a heart. Challenging.
My relations should be nurtured and maintained, that is another lesson. Male and female. My uncle, L, also an important albeit sometimes difficult connection. Did I ever mention his name to you? Maybe not. My mother's brother.
Much love, I think I said it all. Thank you for the continued witnessing space, I thought it is easier to write it down to someone. I also thought you would maybe love to read it. Be very well! Just be well, just be well.
I will be able to love G, when he is able to love me.
Craig Ferguson and Steven Wright is still hilarious, I went to sleep listening to them.
S, a young, fellow breather came to me after openly narrating my experience of fear. She said that she went through a similar process, only silently.