We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. Anais Nin
The Art of Inseeing
Last week I had the opportunity to engage in a very deep inner journey with another somatic therapist holding space for me. For more than eight hours we explored the depths of my early childhood fears which had haunted me my entire life. What occurred was nothing less than a miraculous opening into the deep dark chambers of the evolutionary journey of my ancestors and the voyage of life living through the revolving door of numinous incarnations.
Both my parents were at Pearl Harbor. My father was a fighter pilot and my mother was in the Women’s Air Force, I was born between the dropping of two atomic bombs, one of which was called “little boy”. In my inner journey, I was able to go back to my early preverbal experiences, into utero, through my mother’s life, and into the lives of both my maternal and paternal lineage. As, my adult self journeyed back in time I was able to see how my ways of seeing and being in the world were shaped, not only by the genetic and epigenetic influences, but by the lives of my ancestors which formed a precise blueprint for my life. Everything that looked like a dysfunction, was actually perfectly serving functions that I had never considered or understood before. It felt like I was released from a prison that I didn’t even realize I was in.
Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love. Rainer Maria Rilke
We are mammals! This means that we need to rely on our parents or caregivers to feed, nourish and protect us in our early years. This includes being seen, felt, heard, and held. If we do not get these things our development will be seriously impaired or we could die. We are not turtles. Once a turtle deposits her eggs, her job as a mother is essentially done. The young ones are on their own to make it back to the water and fend for and feed themselves. The journey of the human child starts in dependency, moves towards independence, and in healthy development should then move into interdependency.
Our nervous system has been evolving for millions of years and holds all the lessons of our ancestors, who endured war, famine, climate change, plagues, and all manner of hostile creatures and events. As we evolved, our nervous systems learned to protect, adapt, and evolve with the changing times. Part of that adaptation was a process of fragmentation and dissociation when we encountered overwhelming experiences. What we call a trauma response is a fragmentation of our essential self. When this happens part of our essence becomes frozen in our body, until we do the work to relive and embrace those time-bound, embodied experiences from the past. In other words, we need to go back to our earlier experiences and bring the love, nurturing and attention we didn’t get at the time of the trauma experience, which is what we do in our Reparenting work!
The paradox of trauma is that it has both the power to destroy and the power to transform and resurrect. Peter A. Levine
Rainer Maria Rilke coined the term “inseeing”, where we give such total attention to an object, person or piece of art, that our awareness merges with that which is being contemplated. In this total immersion we cease being a spectator judging, observing, ignoring, negating, and instead, "accept them fully, in complete oneness with them. It looks 'out of them,' as though fulfilling the role of consciousness not for itself only but for them also!" This is what happened to me when I went into the darkness of my unexplored shadow self, and the journey of my parents and ancestors. At some point, I was “inseeing” through time into the eternal presence at the heart of life itself.
I was able to feel and embrace all the pain, joy, grief, love, suffering, compassion, and fear that was my birth path. My whole journey was one of going into the body, feeling the sensations and emotions, tracing back into the genesis of my evolutionary unfolding, and loving the disowned parts through time and into the present. I felt as if I was glowing and filled with light at the end of the day, and the experience has remained with me since that awakening. My trauma as well as the trauma of my parents and ancestors all made sense. It no longer had a hold on me and I felt a tremendous release of tension throughout my body with incoming feelings of strength, vitality, focus, and clarity. I truly feel that I am being in service to life, love and beauty.
If our style of looking becomes beautiful, then beauty will become visible and shine forth from us. John O’Donohue
When I feel the glow diminishing and get caught up in the plethora of things undone, I stop, ground, breathe, and feel the love and beauty that’s at the very core of my being. I celebrate life and know that I am merely a vessel through which life is expressing itself. Most of all, it has been feeding my work with others. Through the process of “inseeing” I can feel my students and clients' emotions in my body, and it feels like my senses are beginning to merge with everyone and everything I touch and see… It’s as if there’s a larger presence available with unfathomable depths to explore and open to.
Next week, I will be doing my first combined Emotional Reparenting & Meditation Retreat. It will be A Trauma Informed Approach to Personal and Cultural Awakening! I do hope you will join us December 4th & 5th as we practice deepening presence and traveling back in time to give your younger selves the love and attention that he or she needed, deserved and wanted. Your younger self is waiting for you.
With love and blessings, Michael
Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do. Brené Brown