Sadness welling in my heart
Being with compassion, present to lives so squeezed by old and new pain, breath is barely possible.
Each day, more sad news streams through the world.
Can I soften my heart even in the midst of these streams? Can I rest in trust, in love, in knowing, this, too, shall pass, and humanness continues as it always has? And if it doesn’t, what can I make valuable with this one and precious moment of aliveness?
This is life, this moment. This is all I know.
This emerged in my daily writing the other day. In the midst of so much upheaval and change around the world, so much meaningless violence, so much hatred, racism, bullying, and resistance to immigration, how can we be?
I feel the tension around my heart as the daily news stimulates fear. With some effort, I remember. My practice is to soften my heart in relation to whatever may arise, intending heart-centered presence, just being.
Then I remember more. I recall what happens in a Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy session. First, as practitioner, I support the settling of our relational field through orienting to the health, the sense of resource and support, and how that feels in the body. In the midst of all the challenges, disappointments, illness, death and loss, etc., etc., can I find a way to rest? What supports me in being with what is? I ask my clients this question. And so I ask myself.
I have a strong practice that supports me in being able to bepresent. I have learned that I can be with just about anything. Even as I receive the news that yet one more person in my life is dying of cancer, I can breathe, remember my body, sense the support of mother earth under my feet, recall the love I feel, share and receive with those close to me in my life, remember how I have survived, and even thrived, in reviewing past challenging events in my life.
With all of this, it becomes easier to soften my heart, but this requires feeling it. I must listen, and be willing to listen, to what my body is telling me. The squeeze in my heart has a message for me. I cannot deny the pain, the sadness it carries. It cries. I cry. I allow the tears to flow, even while feeling the containment of the earth. I allow my body to move in flowing ways, offering it the breaths and sounds I find so helpful from my Continuum practice.
Any of these ways of resourcing not only support me in being able to be with challenging moments, but can also enhance my clients’ ability to be present with what arises, including with our relationship within the field of the treatment session.
A Craniosacral Therapy session can be intensely intimate. The client may feel like a tiny infant or child lying supine on the treatment table, with the therapist hovering over. It is essential to acknowledge and respect the vulnerability of this position. It is too easy for a therapist to assume the client knows this is a safe relationship. Isn’t it obvious? I’m here to help! And it may be obvious on a conscious level. For the little one within, however, there may be fear. There may be unconscious, shadowy memories arising in the body. There may be old emotions being touched by the current moment, like the depths of sadness I feel upon hearing about another person I know dying.
This is not just about this moment. It touches on other losses I have experienced, not only recently, but even as far back as when my twin died in the womb. Even beyond that, I am aware of the sadness and fears my mother carried along with me in her womb. Generations of loss, fear, violence, etc. due to cultural conditions trickle through as cellular communications. My little body grew within my mother’s womb fed by a toxic mix of ancestral terror. How do I find trust in this moment with that cellular trail still informing my consciousness?
The question really comes down to how willing am I, or any of us, to be with what is present? I don’t need to understand it all, although insight naturally arises as we are present with what is. What I do need is to be able to yield into the fields within fields of support that are available to all of us, balancing the influence of fields of trauma and challenge.
I could go on at length in this vein. For now, I want to invite you to join in this investigative journey. What is present for you as you read these words? How is your breath? Does it need your attention? How is your heart in this moment? Can you feel it? Is it tight and achy? Is it soft and full? And if it is aching, what would it take for it to be able to soften? What needs attention, holding, support, in order for you to be able to settle more fully into the gifts this moment has to offer?